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Red Reposter: Talking baseball with the Hit King

Jonah Keri delivers another excellent piece with his Pete Rose interview.

The Reds' Amir Garrett, now a full-time baseball player
The Reds' Amir Garrett, now a full-time baseball player
Mike Stobe

'Cincinnati Is a Joke to Pitch In': A Not-So-Brief Chat With Pete Rose

Grantland's Jonah Keri shows us again why he's one of the best baseball writers working today. After a brief introduction, Keri lets Rose do all of the talking. Rose's responses sound as if the two had a long conversation as the piece covers a variety of topics from the players' union, unwritten rules, Bob Gibson, Las Vegas, and more. In addition, the Hit King comes off remarkably well given his track record of self promotion and occasional obnoxiousness. I am surprised by how much I agree with Rose on a few topics, including the silliness of unwritten rules, expanded instant replay, and the designated hitter (sorry).

New York Daily News: "Amir Garrett leaving St. John's basketball"

This is good news for the Reds as Garrett's NBA chances were slim at best. His balancing act between basketball and baseball reminds of Bill James' take on Robin Yount in the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract:

In 1978, after Yount had been in the major leagues four years, he held out in the spring, mulling over whether he wanted to be a baseball player, or whether he really wanted to be a professional golfer.

When that happened, I wrote him off as a player who would never become a star. If he can't even figure out whether he wants to be a baseball player or a golfer, I reasoned, he's never going to be an outstanding player.

. . .

But as soon as he returned to baseball, Yount became a better player than he had been before; his career got traction from the moment he returned. What I didn't see at the time was that Yount was in the process of making a commitment to baseball. Before he had his golf holiday, he was there every day, he was playing baseball every day, but on a certain level he wasn't participating; he was wondering whether this was really the sport that he should be playing. What looked like indecision or sulking was really the process of making a decision. (p. 594)

I'm not suggesting that Garrett will be a Hall of Famer like Young, but there was a frustration among fans that he's been chasing an improbable dream on the hardwood while his true talent lies on the diamond.

EDIT: I somehow missed that Garrett said "he plans on being at another program in the fall", which changes the tone of my comments. I'm not sure where he thinks he's going to transfer that's going to give him a better chance at playing in the NBA. If he transfers to another division I school, he will have to sit out a season. 22 year-old redshirt juniors are generally not hot NBA prospects in the current basketball environment. I apologize for the error.

Marshall missing due to shoulder fatigue

As was mentioned in the comments of a previous thread, Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds are being cautious with Sean Marshall as he recovers from some "shoulder fatigue". The Reds could have retroactively placed Marshall on the disabled list after his last spring appearance on March 22nd in order to avoid pitching shorthanded during the opening series. I don't think there's any reason to worry, but the team's reluctance to use the disabled list is baffling as always.

Red Hot Mama: Opening Day with a Baseball Layman: The 5 Worst Things about Baseball.

RHM's smoothitron manages to offer constructive criticism of the national pastime without telling anyone to get off his/her lawn. I happen to agree with all of smoothitron's points, but even if you don't, I think you will find his/her arguments well-reasoned and restrained.

Mother Jones: Is Your Team's Owner a Major League Asshole?

The progressive periodical investigates the political views and business behaviors of the owners of all thirty clubs. While I think we can all agree that there are some very slimy people who own/have owned baseball teams, some of these comments are pretty ridiculous. MoJo considers Cincinnati's ownership more fair than foul, but mentions that Bob Castellini donated "more than $100,000 to Republican candidates and committees" in 2011 and 2012.

The piece criticizes Rays owner Stu Sternberg for working at Goldman Sachs. The National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA) also punished Sternberg's former firm Spear, Leeds, and Kellogg with a $1M fine for delaying paperwork. Look, I'm not saying firms should break the rules, but "delaying paperwork" and the resulting $1M fine are small potatoes. In addition, the article doesn't even mention that the FINRA is a private regulatory entity.

MoJo say's Oakland's Lew Wolff's biggest crime is his closure of the upper deck, "which had become a refuge for fans wishing to smoke pot during the middle innings." I think the war on drugs is moronic, but Wolff is a private business owner. If he wants to close the upper deck (for whatever reason, and I'm guessing there were factors beyond the weed), then that's his choice.

Craig Calcaterra summed it up pretty well over at NBC Sports' Hardball Talk: "I gotta tell ya, reading this, I almost get the idea that if you have some money and run a business, Mother Jones is gonna think you're an a-hole. Just a gut feeling."