The big news in Redsland right now is Homer Bailey’s imminent Tommy John surgery and subsequent long and difficult road back to a major league mound. The fact that many of us saw this coming doesn’t change the gut punch that the official announcement was. For his part, Bailey himself was philosophical, telling Hal McCoy for Fox Sports Ohio, "Hey, there are people dying out there every day. There are people a lot worse off than I am. I’ll get through this just fine." Good to see some perspective from the tall Texan, and I for one can’t wait to see him pitch for the Reds again.
The Cubs and Reds have seen a lot of each other already on this young season, and new Cubs manager Joe Maddon has clearly been paying attention. He paid his own first baseman Anthony Rizzo the highest compliment possible for a baseball player by comparing him to Joey Votto Tony Andracki of CSN Chicago details the similarities, but also points out the Rizzo has a ways to go before being truly comparable to the Reds star, noting Votto still sports superior power and strike zone awareness.
Jon Heyman’s weekly "Inside Baseball" column from a week or so ago was mostly concerned with Kris Bryant’s service time issues, but there was an interesting nugget buried way down in the article:
Cincinnati never approached Mike Leake about a new deal. Leake, who can be a free agent at year's end, was said to have been a bit hurt not to have been contacted. He's been a very useful starter, but Reds higher-ups may see him as a No. 3 or 4, and no more.
Some unsourced rumor mongering with a side order of speculation here, and I certainly hope Heyman is incorrect about Leake’s feelings toward the organization. I wonder if the Bailey news may change the team’s thoughts on Leake’s future. On the other hand, if they can’t afford him, they can’t afford him. It will be interesting to see where Leake winds up pitching next year.
Earlier this week news broke that former player and manager Kirk Gibson is battling Parkinson’s disease. Cincinnati native and former Red Dave Parker is also battling the same disease, and offered some words of support for Gibson, stating his belief that Gibson’s strength will help him through it. The Cobra also expressed confidence that he himself can beat the disease, saying "I think I am gonna die of something. But it won’t be Parkinson’s."
Despite the fact that it’s only the second day of May and the baseball season is less than a month old, All Star voting has begun. One change this year is that voting is online only, meaning no more paper ballots procured at the ballpark. Fans can vote 35 times per email address, so if you’re looking forward to the rare opportunity to see Reds players suit up and take the field at Great American Ballpark this summer, get to voting right away.
Finally, this is a couple of weeks old, but I thought it was cool enough to bring to your attention. Josh Katz, Matthew Bloch, Larry Buchanan and Joe Ward created an interactive graph and used something called extreme value theory to try to predict how long various baseball records will remain unbroken. It's tough to describe, but just click on over and take a look around, it's a lot of fun.