A quick programming note: I will be on the John Renshaw Show on 1450 the Sports Buzz this afternoon at 3:40 PM EDT to talk a bit o' Reds.
You got to appreciate what an explosive element this Chapman situation is
"The longer we go, it will be harder to stretch (Chapman) to start," Jocketty says. "We may be resigned to the fact that he will have to pitch in the bullpen all year."
The back-and-forth will-they-or-won't-they? Sam-and-Diane thing the Reds have going with Aroldis Chapman is boffo for ratings, isn't it? It's May Sweeps and the Reds are making sure they get as many eyeballs on the TV set as possible. They may be indecisiveness with important roster decisions, but they sure do know how to get us talking by the water cooler.
Look, this thing has been discussed ad-nauseam. We all know the arguments for and against. I suppose both sides can console themselves with the fact that no matter what happens, we still have one of the most talented pitchers of his generation suiting up for our team. There is really no wrong way to use Aroldis Chapman. I mean, I guess you could try to make him a right fielder or a bullpen catcher or something like that. That would be a bad way to use him.
The one thing that sticks in my craw though is just how risk-averse this Reds brain trust is. The biggest reason cited for why Chapman should remain in the bullpen is that you don't want to fix what ain't broken. It would take some work to get him into the rotation; it would mean taking the risk that maybe he wouldn't do well with it, or that his replacement in the bullpen wouldn't do as well. Too many variables. Too many what-ifs. It's best to leave well enough alone.
Except, there really is no risk. So what if Chapman doesn't take to it? So what if he's an unmitigated disaster as a starting pitcher? He can go right back to the bullpen and we are exactly where we were when it started. No harm done. There is no risk.
Unless you are Dusty Baker, of course. The risk you run is losing a few games in the standings down the stretch when your bullpen fails and giving people a clear scapegoat. That could be the difference between playoffs or no, and that could be the difference between having a job or not. And you know, that's understandable. Baker wants to keep his job, and the best way for a manager to lose his job is to take risks and have them backfire. So managers don't take risks.
So that's it. Chapman is probably going to be a reliever all season. I suppose if/when Nick Masset and Bill Bray get healthy there is a chance they make the transition then, but I doubt it. Bullpens are delicate and fungible beasts, and I doubt it will ever be settled enough for them to say they'd get along fine without Chapman. So whatever. He's terrific as a set-up man, and at least I get to watch him on my team. I suppose you have to look at the bright side in situations like this, because the dark side can drive you crazy.
Dusty says Ryan Ludwick will DH in at least two of the three games in AL NY
I would assume that's tonight against Andy Pettitte and Sunday against C.C. Sabathia. I guess I can't really argue with this, as the Reds bench isn't exactly built to play with the DH. There's really no good option, so I guess it might as well be Ducky. I think it would nice to see Mike Costanzo get the first start of career on Saturday, though. He could DH or play 3B or even 1B.
andromache keeps on kickin' the ki-nowledge
Joey Votto is leading the league in walks, but the rest of the team is not. He's drawn a larger percentage of his team's total walks than any other team walk leader in the league. If that sentence is a bit difficult to understand, check out the table she neatly put together. It's neat. Basically, Joey Votto is walking a bunch and nobody else on the team is. They need to be more like him.
If you were hoping that Cincinnati would be granted the honor of hosting the All-Star Game next year
you will have to wait. MLB has announced that the Mets will host the 2013 Midsummer Classic. Queens hasn't hosted the All-Star Game since 1964, while the Queen City did it back in 1988. They did just play one in the Bronx back in '08, but that's totally different, I guess. Regardless, it'll be nice for the Ny Mets to show off their new digs at Citi Field.
The Reds have made an offer to Melvin Mora
Mora is now 40 years old and was semi-retired at his home in Venezuela, but both the Giants and Reds called him for his services. He's coming to the states to discuss with both teams. I'm not really sure what this means for Scott Rolen. I suppose you could surmise that Rolen's shoulder is cooked and he likely won't be back this season or ever. The Reds are scrambling for someone - anyone - who can handle 3B because plan A was seemingly DOA.
Or, I guess you could surmise that a guy like Mora would sign to a minor league deal and serve as depth at the position. The team is thin at 3B anyway and a cheap, veteran back up is never a bad thing to have laying around. It may have absolutely nothing to do with Scott Rolen's health, or it could have everything to do with Scott Rolen's health.
FanGraphs has been running their rankings of radio broadcasters
The Reds frontline squad of Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley comes in at #18 on the list.
"The uniformity of the comments regarding Brennaman and Brantley is notable. Most respondents regard Brennaman’s play-by-skills — both in terms of his voice and also capacity for narrating play — as impressive, but note that he is not necessarily at peace with the world and the people in it. Brantley appears to be playful in the way a dad is playful — in that he’s endearing but likely to embarrass you in public."
The Giants' Jon Miller earned the #1 spot. Bob Uecker ranks 2nd. I think that's probably about right.
I know the Oakland A's play in the American League, and all the way out there on the left coast, too
but they are still good for some interesting news now and then. They've been working to get a new stadium for some time now, with the primary focus on the San Jose area. I don't want to get too far into the depths of this convoluted and politically vitriolic story, but suffice to say the Giants don't want 'em to.
Commissioner Selig said something fairly interesting yesterday though, intimating that perhaps the Bay Area isn't the only place the A's might build a new home. Discussing possibilities of new MLB cities is always a fun bit of speculation, and Al Yellon at the Mothership rattles off an interesting list of possibilities. The A's AAA affiliate is just up the road in Sacramento, which is a town plenty big enough to support a big league squad. Vancouver would be fun, mostly because Canadian baseball is cute like European basketball. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the A's franchise, and the eastern seaboard, like California, is plenty big enough and rich enough to support more baseball. Central and west Texas, too.
Red Reposter NEWS FROM HELL
Ratko Mladic, The Butcher of Bosnia and known accomplice of Dusty Baker, is on trial at The Hague for war crimes he allegedly committed during the mid-90s. "Mladic is accused of orchestrating a horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing during the bloody civil war that ripped apart Yugoslavia. The former general showed no remorse as his war crimes trial opened Wednesday, at one point even appearing to threaten victims in the court. He drew his hand across his neck as if cutting a throat while staring at victims of the war..."
This guy...I don't....I don't like this guy very much. I mean, that's the kind of thing the villain does in a poorly-written second rate courtroom drama on USA. The trial is on hold for a while now as the defense takes time to look over some evidence the prosecution failed to disclose.