This offseason has been far and away the most fun and engaging and warm and romantic that I can remember. Our Reds are done fucking around and are doing everything within their powers to make them the best team in the National League. And by god, they are doing a pretty good job of it. They might still be a step or two behind the defending-champion Nationals and the Dodgers and maybe the Braves, but this baseball team looks every bit the part of a contender. That shit bangs.
But you know, that ain’t why I’m so jazzed up about baseball at the end of January, at least, that’s not the whole reason. I cannot recommend enough that you read Joe Posnanski’s sweeping baseball epic, The Baseball 100. For 100 days before Opening Day, Joe has published player profiles of the 100 best baseball players in history, in descending order. Today is #56, Joe DiMaggio. Here’s a bit that really got me all sugared up:
“He cracked a single on May 17 and went 3-for-3 the next day against the St. Louis Browns. He doubled off Denny Galehouse on Monday, scraped a single off St. Louis’ Elden Auker in the bottom of the eighth on Tuesday and got two hits off Detroit pitchers on Wednesday (though in that game, the bigger story was his perfect throw that nailed Charlie Gehringer trying to go first to third on a single).”
Of course I never saw DiMaggio play. I was a child when he died at the sunset age of 84. I assume that none of you saw him, either. But that image of the centerfielder darting to his left, cutting off the ball in the gap, wheeling and firing a bullet to third base to cut down the runner … the pitcher tipping his cap, the runner looking back over his shoulder as he sulks to the dugout brushing the dirt from his shirtfront, the fielder, his head down in humble triumph, sauntering back to his position, the crowd rising to their feet yawping their appreciation.
Spring Training starts in a few weeks, ya dorks.
The Reds have been all up ons every damn thing these last few months and Red Sox’ superstar baseball athlete Mookie Betts is no exception. The Red Sox, being a pathetic baseball franchise run by pathetic myopic hedge fund shitfucks, seem particularly interested in trading their superstar baseball athlete Mookie Betts rather than taking advantage of his significant talent by trying to actually win some baseball. It’s pathetic, really. But whatever their suspect motives might be, the Reds did check in on his status earlier in the offseason. They decided to go in some different directions, but the Sox seem more likely than not to trade him.
According to the Boston Globe, the Sox have narrowed it down to the Dodgers and Padres. There’s a chance he still might stick in Boston this year, but both the Dodgers and Padres have loads of young talent they could leverage to land themselves a superstar baseball athlete like Mookie Betts. I’d hate to see him tearin’ ass around the National League, though.
Yesterday Trent took another pass at predicting the 26-man roster. With the recent additions of Nick Castellanos and Pedro Strop, the roster has two fewer question marks than it had last week. Also of note, with Eugenio Suarez having surgery on his shoulder on Tuesday, the infield is likely to look a bit gaunt come Opening Day.
So how big a deal is this Geno thing? Well, I dunno. The Reds project that he will begin regular Spring Training activities a bit after proper Spring Training begins, putting him on track to be 100% and ready to go soon after Opening Day. But how much do you trust the prognostications of the Reds’ medical staff and front office?
You know, the procedure he underwent isn’t a complicated or invasive one. They removed a bit of loose cartilage from his throwing shoulder. This wasn’t a labrum repair or anything like that. That means there are relatively few variables that could put a hitch in the giddy up of his recovery.
But do you remember when Anthony DeSclafani had some little shoulder thing and was gonna be ready pretty soon after the season started and he ended up missing the entire year? It probably isn’t constructive to be an alarmist about all this, but goddamn my blood pressure spiked somethin’ fierce when I heard the Reds would be without their best player for any amount of time this season. This is 2020 man and the Reds are going for it and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sit here and watch Geno taking hacks in the cage while saying things like “we’re probably a few weeks away” all damn season and I need a drink man.
Also of note: Trent projects a bullpen of Iglesias, Strop, Lorenzen, Garrett, Stephenson, Lucas Sims, Cody Reed, and non-roster invitee Nate Jones. That group excludes Sal Romano, who is out of minor-league options and most likely would not pass through waivers in the event. This would also mean Jose De Leon would begin the season in AAA Louisville. I’m pretty high on that kid.
New Era recently released their Clubhouse Collection for 2020 and the Reds’ edition is all about it. These are hella sharp and if I had $40 to drop on a fucking hat you know I’d be doing it but I’m a cheap old son of a bitch.