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Cincinnati Reds links for 3/23/2016

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AKA off-days suck.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

So, some fine soul decided to compile the last time all 30 MLB teams appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The results are interesting (to me and probably no one else) so, let's dive in.

First of all: the Reds haven't been on the cover of Sports Illustrated since March 10, 2014. And of course it was not an actual, current, Red. Nor was it the world taking note of how awesome Joey Votto is. It was Pete Rose. Because of course it was Pete Rose.

The cover in question resulted from a book excerpt exclusive from Kosta Kennedy's Pete Rose: The American Dilemma, released in 2014. I've never read it, but as far as I can tell, it says that we have to embrace Pete Rose because we embrace other cheaters, so, whatever. I'm not really interested in talking about Pete Rose (though, the cover is pretty cool, but of course it is Pete Rose).

The Cubs, Mets, Giants and Astros grace the regional covers for SI's Baseball Preview edition, coming out this week. They're mostly unremarkable except that Johnny Cueto is on the Giants cover, looking awesome. 2015 Preview covermen included the Indians, Nationals, and Mariners and omigosh someone wrap Johnny Cueto in bubble wrap right now.

It turns out that baseball didn't grace the cover of Sports Illustrated from the season preview issues until the end of August last year, which I find a little strange if only because there really isn't all that much sports stuff going on during the summer, though I suppose 2015 featured a US Women's World Cup victory.

The Yankees haven't been on the cover since Jeter's Retir2ment in 2014.

The vast majority of all teams have been featured on the cover in the last five years. The Arizona Diamondbacks, however, haven't been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated since 2007 Justin Upton was a "rising star" for the snakes.

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Off days are boring. But not as boring as it must be for a relief pitcher to sit in the bullpen and not be called upon night after night. That's a situation that new Reds closer JJ Hoover could see himself in if his manager sticks to traditional bullpen roles in 2016. But, manager Bryan Price is seeing things differently this spring.

The Reds skipper admitted to new Enquirer scribe Zach Buchanan that the club really has no idea how they're going to get to their "closer," this season, with the state that their bullpen is currently in. The reason that former Reds closer Aroldis Chapman didn't go more than one inning, Price says, is because he felt just as confident in Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton to get three outs (the overlap of Aroldis Chapman being the closer and Sean Marshall being healthy seems extremely short, given the totality of Aroldis's career with the Reds, but I digress).

So, it doesn't seem to be much of a strategic change as much as Price realizing how big of a raging tire fire he's working with in his bullpen.

Speaking of news that might of interest to the Reds front office regarding Mr. Hoover: Jon Heyman reports on Twitter that the Mariners are looking for 7th and 8th inning relief help via trade. Now, how good would JJ Hoover look in Seattle, in a familiar role to the one he's occupied with the Reds for the last three season, in exchange for some decent, young Mariner prospects? Makes ya think.

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The Rays played the Cuban National team on Cuban soil yesterday. It was a very, very big day not only in baseball history, but world history. President Obama was on hand, as the game was part of broader, more important diplomatic outreach between the two Cold War foes. The last time a sitting US President visited the island nation, the 1927 Yankees were the reigning World Champs.

The Reds have a pretty rich history with Cuban players, and their most current was definitely feeling the feels from the event yesterday. C. Trent captured the thoughts (and emotions) of Raisel Iglesias as he watched yesterday momentous affair.

It would be really cool, for the Reds and for Iglesias's, if the team could make a trip to Cuba one spring. Hopefully, this trip and the efforts of the United States has been making to normalize relations with the country help its baseball stars (and more importantly, its citizens) find a better quality of life in their homeland, and a safer means to come to the United States to chase their dreams.