I admit it: I like Anthony Rizzo. I think he’s a good player. It’s just too bad he plays for the Cubs. Another reason to like Rizzo is that he shows proper respect to our own Joey Votto According to Sahadev Sharma of ESPN Chicago, the two trained together in Florida in the offseason, and Rizzo is appropriately honored when people compare him to the Reds’ franchise first baseman. There are the usual interesting quotes from Votto in this article, including his thoughts on BABIP and how he creates value for the team.
John Erardi of the Cincinnati Enquirer looks at some comparisons between Todd Frazier and Heinie Groh. Groh played in the majors for 18 years, including a stint with the Reds from 1913 through 1921. He was also a team captain and played mostly third base, as well as some second base and a little shortstop, and was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1963. Erardi maintains that both Groh's game and his personality were similar to Frazier’s, and he also posits that Frazier would be a worthy choice for team captain, should Price elect to name one. It’s an interesting idea – I’d have thought of Votto or Jay Bruce as a captain before Frazier. But I have to say, the more I think about it, the better idea of Frazier as the first Reds captain since Barry Larkin seems. I’d be interested in everyone else’s thoughts on the matter.
Another week, another article from the national sports media about the startlingly rapid improvement Billy Hamilton has shown since the start of the season This week’s entry comes from Christina Kahrl of the ESPN Sweet Spot blog. Hamilton continues to say all the right things in these interviews, this time giving credit to his mentor, Delino DeSheilds.
As you may have heard, Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres this week. It was Lincecum’s second career no hitter, and both came at the expense of the Padres. It was the first time a pitcher threw two no hitters against the same team since Addie Joss did it in 1910. In light of Lincecum’s accomplishment, SB Nation’s Bryan Kilpatrick has a look at Joss and his career. Also, Ross Benes has an analysis of whether or not no-hitters are actually becoming more common, as it sometimes seems they are.
As Major League Baseball continues to recover from the untimely death of Tony Gwynn, former player Dirk Hayhurst strongly encourages baseball to ban smokeless tobacco. He makes some compelling arguments here, although I personally don’t believe an outright ban at the major league level would do much good. Addiction is a powerful thing, and to me a better course of action would be for the minor leagues to more strongly enforce their ban that already exists. One possible silver lining, though, is that Nationals superstar Stephen Strasburg has said he has quit smokeless tobacco since Gwynn’s death.
This past Tuesday was the 44 year anniversary of the final game ever played at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field. To commemorate the occasion, Chris Garber at Redleg Nation uncovered some fantastic photographs of the old stadium. There’s some really great stuff here, including a fairly incongruous photo of Iggy Pop playing a concert at Crosley not long before the Reds left it. Absolutely worth a look.
SB Nation’s Cee Angi wonders if this will be the year for a .500 team win a World Series. Between expanded playoffs and increased parity, it’s certainly possible, if unlikely, and Angi looks at some of the worst regular season teams who went on to win the whole thing.