Courtesy of Bowtie McFunnypants, news broke last evening that the Reds had agreed to bring on Jay Bell as their new bench coach. Bell, the hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013, was also, of course, a long time member of the franchise during his playing days, having been an anchor at the SS position during their late 80's and early 90's heyday. Not to be outdone, the Pirates quickly sought to replace him, and did so by reportedly promoting former Cincinnati Reds IF Jeff Branson from assistant hitting coach to non-assistant hitting coach. Look forward to no more than zero articles blaming one of them for whomever's team has the worst offensive statistics this upcoming season - at least not from us. You'll see one somewhere, though. I'm sure of it.
The BBWAA announced its Rookie of the Year Award winners last night, and Wil Myers took home the AL's edition after a fine year with the Tampa Bay Rays, while Jose Fernandez was rightfully coined the NL's top rookie. Fernandez was spectacular as a mere 20 year old this season, and the voters dutifully acknowledged such by voting him 1st on 26th of the 30 ballots, with Yasiel Puig finishing a rather distant 2nd in the overall tally. Much to the chagrin of Reds' fans (and much to the detriment of all those who shall stand before him in the future), Reds' standout rookie SP Tony Cingrani received zero votes despite leading the entire NL in K/9 among pitchers throwing at least 100 innings in 2013. Go get 'em, Cinnerman.
The MLB GM meetings have been going on in Orlando for the last two days, and Twitter has been aflutter with hundreds, if not thousands, of meaningless speculation and hyperlinked articles. So far, the Reds seem to have stolen the show with their signing of Brayan Pena, and...you get the point: there's been nothing going on. Don't fret, though. You can go to sleep each and every night knowing that most every major news outlet sent someone to Florida for the week to write articles saying teams are interested in Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran. Multiple articles, even. It's like a wet blanket with a bowtie. If you're looking for some Hot Stove action, I suggest you wait for the Winter meetings in December, unless you're truly interested in the Phillies getting older with Marlon Byrd. There is this kind of blockbuster, though:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>A GM's meetings highlight: Peter Gammons recalling Groton Little League encounters with John Kerry. Gammo whiffed him twice.</p>— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) <a href="https://twitter.com/jcrasnick/statuses/400293142366527488">November 12, 2013</a></blockquote>
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The Mat Latos trade came out of nowhere, as did the Shin-Soo Choo trade and the free agent signing of Aroldis Chapman. The Scott Rolen trade was foreseen by precisely nobody, as it came at the trade deadline during a losing season, and while many of us would like to wish we'd never seen it happen at all, none of us can claim we saw the acquisition of Jonathan Broxton at last year's trade deadline coming, either. Walt Jocketty plays things very, very close to the vest, and he's never been one to be either predictable or one to show his hand, and while speculators have already written off Ryan Hanigan's future as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, I'm not quite ready to put all my last dollars on those odds just yet. For what it's worth, it seems like Hanigan is quite in demand, though. LookoutLanding and DRaysBay both have their eyes peeled.