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Red Reposter - Winter Leagues & Mumbo Jumbo

...since the Cincinnati Reds aren't doing a dang dern bit of anything these days.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Dominican Winter League begins play today in, well, the Dominican Republic, and there are sure to be a ton of Cincinnati Reds players and prospects taking part.  You can read all about the league a few days when they actually get around to updating the rosters, stats, and whatnot. In fact, none of the six teams participating in this year's league have their sites updated, either, so it's been a bit of a grind trying to find information on them.  That's typical protocol, though, so I suspect we'll have a bit more to go on after each team's game one is in the books and the box scores come out.  The gist, however, is that the 6 teams will play each other for about 50 games between now and mid-December, before the whittling begins and they hash out a league champion over a lengthy playoff system.  The winner advances to the Caribbean Series to face the champions of the winter leagues from other - you guessed it - Caribbean countries, and the winners of that get lifetime supplies of Gushers and a complementary 12-pack of Tab.  Stay tuned.

The Mexican Winter League began play a few days ago, and hopeful future Reds masher Donald Lutz is taking part in it for yet another season.  Lutz got off to a hot start by dingering in his first game, and he'll look to get his sweet swing back in its prime, powerful form across the border in the coming months.  Puedes descubrir sus estadisticas aqui con las de los otros jugadores en su equipo, Yaquis de Obregon.  Bakersfield Blaze basher Marquez Smith is also plying his trade in the MWL with the Charros de Jalisco, and he's off to a 3 for 11 start (with a dinger); Dayton Dragons' dinger-masher Sebastian Elizalde is off to a 9 for 17 start (with two dingers) for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo; the Tomateros de Culiacan have a guy on their team named Refugio Cervantes (which is amazing and non-Reds related); and former Red Carlos Fisher is tossing meatballs for the Caneros de los Mochis, which is cool.

According to Lutz, it has already been a pretty eventful season so far.  He seems determined to snap a lot of pictures during his time there this winter, and you can follow along with him on his Instagram account, if you'd like.

In other news, the usually thrifty Pittsburgh Pirates are planning to give free-agent to be Russell Martin the $15.3 million qualifying offer for the 2015 season, which is an interesting development.  There haven't been too many, if any, catchers to receive said offer (largely because the rigors of their jobs mean they miss lots of games due to injuries or rest), and the fact that the small-market Pirates are the ones offering makes it that much more of an odd scenario.  Catchers like Martin (durable, good defense, and on-base machines) don't hit the market often, though, so it's likely he'll decline it and seek lengthier pastures elsewhere, but it'll be worth watching.

Jeff Passan called the Kansas City Royals "America" about a billion times.  I think it was that many, but I lost count once I started shaking my head and laughing.  The Royals are America?  Seriously?  No, not seriously.  The Royals are not America.  I can't believe that distinction even needs typing.  The Dallas Cowboys aren't America, Derek Jeter isn't America, and the Royals are not America.  Ni, I say.

Oh?  I forgot to add-in the "Royals are America" link?  No, no I didn't forget.

Speaking of not-linking, it's been 24 years to the day of Eric Davis's dinger off Dave Stewart in the 1990 World Series, and the Enquirer caught an interview with both ED44 and Billy Hatcher about the iconic blast.  Unfortunately, they asked P-Doc to do the interview, so I'm not linking to that, either.  Sorry, Nick Hurm, but policy is policy.  There's a level of unaccountability we've got to maintain around these parts.

Instead, here's the link to the video from  Man, that batting stance is the thing dreams were made from.