"'Still in the mix?'" he asked, with a rueful smile on his face. "I think we can do a little bit better than 'still in the mix.'"
The Barry Bloom article is nominally about Jay Bruce taking "the next step" to becoming a better player, but as one might expect Joey steals it with the little screentime he has in the video. Don't forget to watch to the end of the video to see Votto sarcastically flex!
Look, nobody's more excited for Jay Bruce to take the next step than me. But a cursory Google search has a "Jay Bruce 'Next Step'" hit from 2011, and I'm sure I can find one from earlier if I wanted to. Next steps would be great, but there's still plenty of goodness in a big OPS and decent defense.
Cueto looked good last night, pitching four scoreless innings. His Tiant turn was intact (nice query, ken!), but his bullpen; less so. The Reds also got their first look at replay, which was botched by the booth -- or technically, the truck -- when they didn't have access to the feed showing that Santiago tagged Hank Conger at second. Replay may be imperfect and delay already long games, which gets some guff from me, but Price was senatorial, saying that "we didn't get the call overturned, but we got a chance to have more dialogue with the umpires."
That line kills me, by the way. You can practically see Price making this gesture:
Injury updates: Jonathan Broxton looks "terrific" in Fay's notebook, and Latos may be ready by Opening Day (though Bloom sounds a bit pessimistic in that one). Marshall, however, is having a couple more setbacks these days, which dang. Holmberg's missed a few days with a shin injury as well.
Interesting note in the Faypiece about Jay taking more of a vocal leadership role. In the Bloom article, they mention that Chris Speier is moving to the front office. Him and Miggie Cairo's backgammon games must be thrilling.
Big Dumb Article alert: SBN's own baseball master, Mike Bates, thinks that MLB Advanced Media's new defensive stats may be bad news for small-market teams. He's uncomfortable. Why?
First, I'm worried that it might not be available in any kind of usable form to fans like you and me who watch the game.
He goes on to say that it may end up being as opaque and lame as "Nasty Factor." Which, totally with ya.
Second, and contradictory, I'm concerned about the democratization of data in the game today. In general, we have the notion that more data is good for us, and that it can help us to understand complex systems. I think that absolutely has the potential to be true, but we've also found that a little data in the hands of people who don't respect it leads to less understanding and more to unproductive and angry exchanges on Twitter (of which, admittedly, I've been occasionally guilty in the past) and in articles that make everybody look bad for both creating and consuming.
This is a pretty laughable concept, because it's not like this is the data of which Blue Jays' American outfielders is stealing their secrets (hint: its Colby Rasmus). And it's not like data needs my respect. The average break of Mat Latos' slider is still sleeping soundly at night even after the mean things I said about how it's really just mooching off of his power fastball.
Also, angry discussions on Twitter may or may not happen even in a land without defensive metrics. Maybe. But we haven't seen the best part yet...
If everybody is working off of the same data set, I'm worried that this will kill off one of the advantages at the margins that have helped allow teams like the Rays to stay competitive for the last six seasons, the A's to win the last two AL West titles, the Pirates to finally become successful again, and the Nationals to cobble together an impressive looking club again.
First of all, if Bates listened to the C Dot podcast, he'd know that every team has its own proprietary metrics in place and that all 30 teams are pretty comfortable comparing best practices since the lower-level Front Office guys can be a bit transient. Second of all...
Rewarding them for their lack of intellectual curiosity and initiative, subsidizing their stupidity, and reducing any potential advantage enjoyed by the league's smarter teams seems to be counter to the spirit of competition itself. Baseball is better when a variety of teams are able to compete with one another in a variety of ways, and if clubs want to eschew knowledge and building their own systems to analyze defense, I say more power to them. Let them suffer those consequences, and continue to reward the most open-minded and interesting franchises who refuse to stop evolving and innovating.
Oh man, who gave Mr. Bates the Silicon Valley Kool Aid? There isn't a single front office out of the 30 that is blind to the idea of defensive metrics. As mentioned, every team already has its own set-up in place, and having an additional set up isn't going to make these teams destroy their own. Stats are, after all, just statistics and public domain anyways, its in how the stats are read that dynasties are made. All of his talk of reward and punishment basically is just Fear of Change writ-large and a #HotTake saying that #HotTakes shouldn't exist. Where have you gone, Charlie Scrabbles?
And in not-really-Reds news:
Serious Jammage's Five Awesome Rick Ankiel Throws are some serious jam, in honor of Ricky A's retirement.
Junior is selling baseball cards, but not very loquacious. (H/T Charles Scrabbles)
NotGraphs has 5 Amazing Baseball Caps. Well, one amazing cap, and four weird ones. I'll let you guess which one is that one.
The Classical goes back to talk about the Juan Marichal/Jon Roseboro picture with a gentleman writing a book about them. It's a really interesting Summer of Sam angle in that Roseboro was one of the Black pioneers in LA during the summer of the Watts riots, and it was the end of the Trujillo years in Marichal's native Dominican Republic. Sounds like a neat book.
Joe Posnanski's Rabbi of Swat is also a great read. Anyone know anything about Sam Bohne, Cincinnati's first Jew? AMS78 you got anything?
Australian dude doing a Sam Spade monologue kills me, is not related to baseball.