Well, here we are. We’ve made through the long cold lonely winter, and we stand at the brink of another baseball season. In fact, today is the last full day without a real game on the schedule until the All-Star break. More importantly, though, we’re just two days away from Opening Day, which we all know is a de-facto holiday in Cincinnati. The Enquirer website has some helpful information to help you navigate the day if you live in town and are planning to take part in the activities in person. They have articles on planning your pregame activities and the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, as well as an article on things to do and see throughout the day. Also, Jamie Ramsay has a guide that includes Opening Night activities for those of you planning on attending that.
Speaking of the parade, this year’s honorary Grand Marshalls will be all three Nasty Boys, Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Reds last World Series championship. Charlton was interviewed by the Hamilton Journal-News in advance of his big appearance. In the interview, he acknowledged that the Nasty Boys’ intimidating style of play likely would not be tolerated in today’s game, but he has no regrets, stating, "Was it smart? No. Would I do it again? Probably." Good stuff there.
Before we get too hung up on Opening Day and parade and the rest of it, though, the Reds have one last bit of preseason business to finish up: the last game of their two game exhibition series against the Toronto Blue Jays in Montreal. Of course, these events always bring up memories of the old Montreal Expos, and not just from Jonah Keri for a change C. Trent Rosecrans indulged in some what-ifs about the 1994 season, and what might have happened had baseball ownership not forced a work stoppage that cancelled the postseason that year. Since both the Reds and Expos were looking good for postseason play when the season ended prematurely, Rosecrans got quotes from Barry Larkin, Jeff Brantley and others about the quality of that Expos team, as well as the state of baseball at the time and the effect the ongoing labor negotiations had on the season. Brantley in particular has an interesting perspective, having been the Reds player representative during the negotiations.
Jared Cross of the Hardball Times has projected league leaders in various pitching categories, and the article includes lots of cool graphs and charts if you’re into that. But also in the article, Cross speculates on the possibility that the Reds own Aroldis Chapman could have a "perfect" season, meaning a season in which he allows zero earned runs. While that section contains such allegedly English sentences as, "Modeling seasonal ERA as a continuous lognormal distribution is problematic when exploring the far left tail of the possible," the final conclusion is easy enough to grasp (although, how is "The Far Left Tail of the Possible" not the title of a Rush concept album from 1981?). In the end, Cross concludes that if Chapman throws 65 innings, his chance of posting an ERA of 0.00 is 1 in 1500.
Planning a vacation this summer? Slate.com can help you generate an itinerary for visiting all 30 ballparks in 30 days.
New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred sat down with NBC’s Chuck Todd for an interview that will air on tomorrow’s Meet the Press. Naturally, the ever-present subject of Pete Rose came up again, so if you’re curious about what Manfred had to say on that subject (spoiler alert: it’s the same thing he always says on that subject), you can check out this 30 second clip here. If you want to hear what Manfred had to say on any other topic, I guess you’ll have to set your DVR.
Finally, I know I’m not the first to make this observation, but it bears repeating: this just seems like asking for trouble.