Friday, March 30, 2007

11 o'clock, tick, tock

I only have 20.5 hours until I set foot in a Major League ballpark to watch Major League players play a Major League game. Exhibition, of course, but it's a game. After what seemed like an eternal wait, the season has suddenly arrived. We've had fun with predictions this spring - or we've argued about them. We've had hope that our team will do well this year - or we've had no hope. But what we really want to do is to hand our ticket over to the ticket people, smell the hotdogs, hear the buzz of the stadium and feel the excitement as even grown men seem ready to jump up and down because they get to go to a ballgame. I am envisioning right at this second that moment when the green first bursts forth from the field and hits your eyes, that moment when you know that winter is truly over and that baseball has sprung back into your life. Oh, sweet, sweet dreams to come true in 20.5 hours.

Get yours by mail!

Yeah, it's a crappy Photoshop job, but I'm at work. I don't have time to pixel push today, but I think you get the point. Having Milton, Cormier, and Toothache on our roster is a disaster waiting to happen. Let's pray Krivsky is able to unload Milton and Cormier soon. Rumor is he's doing his best. I've heard the Phillies need some pen help...

Eric MilTON

I don't remember Eric Milton back when this photo was taken. I hadn't realized how large he was. Maybe he needs to get back to steak and potatoes every night. Back then, the mere mention of his name didn't make a person cringe.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

87 wins

Some would say that I am deluded in my optimistic outlook for the Reds' season. They say this team did nothing to improve, that we just got lucky last year, that blah, blah, blah... My delusion is nothing compared to this piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today. It includes 5 reasons why the Pirates could win the division. (To be fair, it also includes 5 reasons why they won't, but those are 5 HUGE reasons.) In response, I thought I'd write a similar bit on the Reds.

Here are 5 reasons why the Reds will win the NL Central:

5. The division will be tight. The people who are picking the Deadbirds to win the division this year are on crack. LOOK AT THE PITCHING STAFF. How the heck is a team supposed to win when the number 2 starter is Kip Wells? Oh yeah, and they have Ranklin in their pen. Ha, ha! I like to pretend that Scott Rolen is not on that team and have successfully been able to forget from time to time, but aside from him and Prince Albert, there's no offense either. Others are picking the Sausages, which kind of makes sense to me, but like every other year they've been picked as the dark horse candidate, they'll flop. Kevin Mench and Geoff Jenkins will end up duking it out in the dugout when their platoon situation boils over. Ben Sheets won't get 30 starts - he hasn't since 2004 - and Jeff Suppan is not an answer. The Cubs have Sweet Lou. They also have Jason Marquis. And the goat. The Asstros suck.

4. Josh Hamilton. Roy Hobbs can do everything, even after the better part of three years off. Did you see The Throw? And that swing? Even his outs are pretty! The guy will be starting centerfield by June. You heard it here first.

3. Alex Gonzalez. Guy made 7 errors last year. Reds' shortstops made 25. We could pick up 2 or 3 wins on defense alone. And we all know what a difference 3 wins made last year.

2. Ken Gimpy Jr. Guy's due for one last hurrah. I say he hits 40 out this year to become the fifth member of the 600 club. It's going to be fun to watch him leap over other Hall of Famers as he approaches that milestone. He'll play 130 games this year thanks to outfield depth.

1. Adam "Brook Jacoby" Dunn. He's been tearing it up this spring - with SINGLES! Oh, and those 4 bombs show that his new approach to hitting has not reduced his power. He'll hit 50 out this year and become the Reds' very own Bujols (Bonds-Pujols), the kind of player that drives a team. You heard this, too, here first.

And the 5 reasons the Reds might not play baseball in October:

5. Get behind Harang, Satan! Harang finished his spring with a 6.66 ERA. Say your prayers that the Dark One does not ruin his season!

4. Kyle Lohse doesn't have a breakout year. But he will. If he can get over his mental block. And his inconsistency. And his suckitude.

3. Krivsky doesn't call up Homer. Homer should be here on the Summer Solstice to give the Reds one of the top 1-2-3 punches in baseball. His big blue ox is not allowed in the clubhouse.

2. The geriatric ward breaks down. I'm not as pessimistic about the pen as many Reds fans are, but with Stormy, Stanton, and Cormier getting ready for the adult diapers, it could be a messy situation. (Get it? ha, ha!) Cormier needs to be gone before May 1 or the Reds will have to say May Day!

1. Sunk cost! Milton must be optioned before the end of the April showers or there certainly won't be any October flowers! DUMP MILTON!!!!!!

Now, why is that giant white rabbit talking to me?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ride pine, Nats front office!

Will I get to go to the first game in my season ticket package? I'm not so certain I will have the tickets in time.

See, I received the package for my birthday in January. However, since my sister ordered the tickets, they must first be sent to her and she must send them to me. But she's down frolicking in Florida, watching the Reds beat the Red Sox and sunning on the beach. When does she get back? On our Holy Day. As I see it, several things could happen.

1. She gets back, her neighbor has signed for the package, she overnights the tickets to me, and I go to the day game on April 4.
2. She gets back, her neighbor has signed for the package, she overnights the tickets to me but UPS' "overnight" service turns out to be two days - or they lose the package.
3. She gets back, her neighbor hasn't signed for the package, it is returned to the Nationals because they are unable to deliver it, I have no season tickets.
4. She gets back and discovers that the tickets still have not arrived.
5. She decides she never wants to leave Florida.

I always thought that getting owners would make the Nationals a real baseball team. I thought "Well, we have owners, there won't be any more problems with issuing season tickets." I also thought the owners would not be content to lose 100 games. As far as owners go, I have the best and worst of them to root for/against. Bob Castellini, the Reds principal owner, has demonstrated that he wants to win. The Lerners need to lern how to manage a baseball club.

Rest assured, I am going to that game April 4 even if I have to buy tickets. But I will make damned sure that I get compensated for the tickets. I don't want money, though. I want a Ryan Zimmerman autographed baseball, with ink sitting sublimely on the sweet spot, the centerpiece of my baseball collection (although my Larkin ball back in Ohio will never be replaced as my favorite!)

On a somewhat related note, I can't wait to go to the exhibition game on Saturday. Real Major League Baseball - such music for the soul!

17-9 in Grapefruit League play

Last year, the Reds finished Spring Training with a 21-11 record. They went on to be in contention until game 161, thanks to a torrid April in which they won a franchise record 17 games. With 4 games to go (split squad on Saturday), the Reds are approaching that same spring record.

Granted, we've played the Pirates 6 times, going 5-1 - the loss was a split squad game with few of our starters. But we've also played the hated Yankees' A lineup 3 times without losing and have beat Boston in both games. We're 2-1 against the Twins, whom we play tomorrow. These are top tier teams!

Yeah, spring doesn't count - but it can be an indication of how things can be. It certainly was last year. Here's to taking this spring momentum and charging out of the gate! If we could only play well in September...

It's getting so close...can you feel it?

My new job

Well, since I can't play baseball, I might as well umpire, right? Ria Cortesio is umping the game between the Cubs and D'Backs tomorrow. She is the only female professional umpire in the game, is 30 years old and has been doing it for 9 years. She's hoping to get a promotion from AA to AAA this year, but chances of her making the Majors are not high because Major League umpiring jobs rarely open up.

The players quoted in the article were cool with it. Heck, why not? I mean, the leading presidential candidate for one party is a woman, so I guess the country isn't living in the dark ages anymore.

This part was rather annoying, though:
Life in Double-A isn't luxurious. Last year, she made about $2,600 a month for the six-month season and her per diem was $25, with her hotel room paid for; big league umps can earn well over $100,000 and get $357 daily to pay for their meals and hotel.
$2600 a month isn't actually poverty-stricken.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Royal Pain

It's one thing to say "I'm a great player" if you are really a great player. It's another to say it if you're Emil Brown. As if Kansas City doesn't have enough woes, Brown had to tell the press that he is one of the best outfielders in the game. He even compared himself to Tori Hunter, saying
"It isn’t an adventure for (Twins outfielder) Torii Hunter when he dives for a ball and misses it. Then, it’s, ‘Oh, he just missed it.’ He gets the benefit of the doubt because he’s a Gold Glover. But it’s an adventure when I do it."
and to Vladimir Guerrero, saying
"Vladdy can run, and he can throw pretty well. He would be an outfielder, you know, that’s comparable."
Read the article - it's full of deluded arrogance. Hey Emil, if you're so good, why is your team soooooo bad, hmm?


Yesterday, while Bobby Livingston was giving up no runs to the Boston Red Sox, Eric Milton was giving up 5 home runs in 6 innings - TO THE SINGLE A PIRATES!

Why is this guy guaranteed a spot in the rotation? Why is he our number three? If he has to be in, they should make him a number five.

Milton - you stink!

Monday, March 26, 2007

I still can't believe that throw

Nothing like beating the Red Sox on ESPN

Even if Matzusaka (when am I going to get to the point where I don't have to double check if I've spelled that correctly?) did not give up a hit, the BoSox could not manage a run against Reds pitching. The weird thing about the Yankees-Red Sox station, ESPN, was that they talked about the Reds as much as they did Boston. They even interviewed Aaron "I'm the most underrated pitcher in baseball" Harang in the dugout. Is the apocalypse upon us?

Bobby Livingston showed us another reason why we need to DFA Eric Milton NOW, especially after Milton's shitty performance against the Pirates in a minor league game today. HEY CASTELLINI, EAT THE $9 MIL! WE WANT TO WIN!

Oh, and that highlight reel throw by Roy Hobbs to nail the batter at second on what should have been a double? Unbelievable.

Good news

Yay! No more Bellhorn!

Nothing against you, Mark, but you just weren't gonna cut it.

I was worried for a bit that Jerry Morron's fascination with aging veterans and utility infielders would waste a roster spot on him. Now if only we'd see Toothache's name on that list...

I'm looking forward to watching Matsuzaka pitch today on ESPN/FSN and hope the Reds beat up on his phantom gyroball. The media is making him out to be some sort of god. Do they have giant blue oxen in Japan???

Friday, March 23, 2007

Going to Cincy

Mom just got some Reds tickets for us, so I'll be going to Cincy to see three games in four days!

Sat., June 30th vs. Deadbirds, sec 107,
Sun. July 1 vs. Deadbirds, sec 108, and
Tues, July 3rd vs. Giants, sec 140, MoonDeck.

Looks like mostly bleacher seats left for the Deadbirds series. That's awesome news! Hopefully Eric Milton hasn't put the Reds out of contention so those games against the Deadbirds are important. Or perhaps Braden Looper will have put the Deadbirds out of contention?

Ahh, it brings me back to just last year, the back to back sweep of the Deadbirds and the Asstros, the rage of excitement flowing through our veins as we realized our team was in first place in June, those hyperexciting dollar hotdog nights against the Deadbirds later in the year before that fateful plunge into the Pacific Ocean all but drowned our dreams. We surfaced one last time thanks to the floundering Deadbirds...It was a great season, even if it was a losing one. This one will be even better!

Josh Hamilton is not a Good Samaritan?

It's weird how the mind works. I guess mine's a little weirder than most. Yesterday I got home and flipped on Seinfeld as I was changing out of stuffy office clothes. It was the series finale, when the four of them are on trial for violating the "Good Samaritan Law." (For those who don't know, they were heading to Paris when their plane had mechanical troubles and they had to land in a small town in Massachusetts. As they are walking down a sidewalk waiting for the plane to be repaired, a guy gets carjacked and they stand and watch. A cop arrests them for it.)

Anyway, for some reason - perhaps the cold medicine I took - that show got into my dreams. Congratulations to Josh Hamilton - you must be a Red because you appeared in my dream, too. See, everyone was worried that Hamilton was about to be arrested on drug charges because there was an issue of drugs around and people suspected it was him. I accused him of "it" (the exact it, I'm not sure of) to his face but it turned out that he was totally clean and I felt bad. Then, the cops came and arrested him anyway because the rumors he had caused violated the Good Samaritan Law, and he was put away for a year, which apparently ruined his baseball career forever.


Thursday, March 22, 2007


There are hundreds of baseball blogs out there. It always amazes me to see new ones start up and repeat the same thing you can find on other, more established blogs. I try to avoid that. I try to provide something different, something lighter, more spiritual, something that makes people remember how great this game is. Blogging is a strange trend. It's a confessional, really. This is a place I can talk about my feelings for a game that is like a crutch when injured in the harsh realities of life. It is a place I can relate childhood memories, innocent times when summers meant total freedom, except from perhaps the bedtime. I just want to provide something that makes people laugh or recall a good baseball memory every now and then.

I haven't felt inspired recently. Even my excitement for the game has waned a bit. I contemplated quitting this blog but have since realized that I shouldn't, for this is my outlet from the prison-like existence of office life I have come to despise. It isn't for me. Some people may be content to waste their lives away slaving behind a desk. I can't do anything but dwell on it. It was bearable today when I watched the Reds game, because it was something I truly love and it could take the monotony away for three hours. I should have been an architect or an engineer or something where I could use my creativity, but I'm pretty much stuck in the only city my $50,000 piece of paper is useful in.

I'm writing this from my front porch while listening to the Nats beat up on the Asstros (11-0 in 5th). It's still 70 degrees at nearly 9pm, and while it is not the first warm day of the year, it certainly is one of a handful. I already have a nice tan going on thanks to spending lunch outside a couple of days last week and skipping work on Tuesday on account of illness (yes, I really was/am sick, but I couldn't stay inside on such a beautiful day.) Opening Day is a mere ten days away, yet the barren trees, lack of flowers, and that winter storm over the weekend makes it not feel like spring. It's depressing.

D'angelo Jimenez just dropped a routing popup and the Asstros scored 2.

My moodiness will probably be reflected in my sporadic posting over the next couple of days or weeks. It should have been evident in the past few weeks, too. I would say I'm taking a break from blogging except I could post ten things tomorrow, who knows?

I look forward to using my camera this year and Photoshopping my own photos. I'm looking forward to consistent warmth, flowers, and spending all weekend out in the sunshine. Oh, and to hitting the old ballpark!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Make Opening Day a Federal Holiday!

(Wrote this yesterday) It was back in January when I complained that it was too warm. Things just weren't right - it was creepy - and I worried about what spring would be like.

Well, here it is, March 20, and the vestiges of winter abound. The trees, normally full of buds at this time of year in DC, are barren. DC's famous Cherry Blossom Festival starts late this year. [Fading into tangents... The new Nats park, as Nats fans know, will have rows of cherry trees in leftfield. The artist's renderings of the park show the trees in their full pink glory. However, cherry blossoms only last two weeks before falling off (what a mess that will be!) Since they normally bloom the last week of March, that leaves one week during the entire season they'll be in bloom. If the Nats don't start the season at home, well, no pretty pink blossoms for us! What was I saying? Oh yeah...]Spring to me is how I get through life. I love summer - shorts, grilling, warm nights, a beach outing or two - but it is spring that is renewal. It is spring that thaws the ice and brings us longer days. It is spring when the days aren't oppressively hot, when even rainy days are pleasing, when color comes back into the world in the form of varigated flowers, green grass, and blue skies.

It's also the time when we have no days off for three months straight! Have our corporate masters who stick us in offices from 9-5 intentionally done this to us to make us suffer through the brilliance of the days and make us feel the full force of wasting most of our lives? Why must the cruel fluorescent light torture our eyes while the sunshine brings things to life? Why must we breathe the stale office air when freshness laps against the outside walls? Why can't America have ONE DAY OFF in spring?

There is one perfect day to have off, the holiest of days, a non-denominational day that can be shared by everyone. That is Opening Day (not the faux ESPN night game, but the true Opening Day.) Why not celebrate baseball, a part of our national conscience, our social fabric, a game that isn't just a game, but a symbol of what is good in life, a symbol of America itself, a game that integrated more than a decade before the Civil Rights Movement and healed us after the atrocities of that fateful September 11. When Rosie the Riveter was screwing tanks together, so too, was Dottie Henson donning the mask while the boys destroyed Hitler. Even Civil War soldiers on both sides of the conflict took a time out from their killing each other to play baseball together.

So why not celebrate baseball? Make Opening Day a Federal Holiday. Let the entire nation have the chance to watch the Reds Findlay Market festivities like it does with the Macy's Parade. Let us celebrate spring! Let us celebrate life!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Teixeira to Nats?

From Rosenthal:
The Orioles can't wait to make a play for Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira, who could become a free agent after the 2008 season. But Teixeira, a native of Severna Park, Md., will have another option if he wishes to play close to home — the Nationals, who open their new ballpark in '08 and could score a public-relations coup by trumping the Orioles.
I love Nick Johnson, but I'd take Teixeira in a heartbeat.

Baseball Paddy's Day Photos

I took a few photos of baseball related stuff yesterday. This Miller Shite truck was sitting in front of 4 P's Four Green Fields, which was charging $10 to get in, so I did not have a pint there. (I was turning in library books next door, honest. But I did have to walk past it and thought of having a pint until I saw the $10 charge. It was not yet noon, and the place was already packed. I hate when Paddy's Day is on a weekend.) And what the heck are people doing drinking Miller Shite on the Irish holy day?!?

If this is you, I took your photo because of your green Nats cap. Bubbafan attributed green unis to Roger Clemens, but the first team to wear green uniforms on Paddy's Day was none other than the Big Red Machine in 1978.

After two failed attempts at having a pint and having nearly given up hope that I would be able to on account of all of the stupid cover charges, I stepped into Biddy Mulligans on Dupont Circle, where there was no cover and I actually found one seat at the bar, watched the Ohio State game, had a few pints, ate corned beef and cabbage, and sat next to two people who were visiting from Ohio during the weekend.

DC is just not a good place to celebrate Paddy's Day if you're a real fan of it. Then again, it's hard to celebrate anywhere after having experienced two Paddy's Days in Dublin!

This is March

I can't wait until the orange goes away!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Oh look

Wood is hurt again.

Tell me again why some people are picking the Cubs to win the division? Jason Marquis' bat?

I couldn't help but smile when I saw this

In an article about injured veterans who could make a big difference mid-season, Eddie Guardado is one of those players. However, it wasn't so much Guardado's inclusion as one line about the Reds that excited me (emphasis mine).
The Reds wouldn't feel as comfortable with 37-year-old David Weathers and Mike Stanton, 40, as their season-opening closers if Guardado wasn't in line to be Any-Day-Now Eddie by the time the All-Star Game break rolls around.

Weathers did a solid job last season after Guardado's elbow ligament came undone in late August, and Stanton was a comparable surprise in San Francisco, where an injury to another closer (Armando Benitez) exposed him to his first ninth-inning fires since 2003.

Blessed with a strong rotation and a loaded offense, the Reds expect to be an NL Central force, which will put a lot of burden on the two veteran arms at the end of their bullpen. Having Guardado come to their rescue the last two months could be a season-saver.
I see statements like this coming in more and more places these days.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Crawling to the gate

Temperatures are expected to plummet over the weekend (figures that it would be incredibly nice during the week when we are incarcerated in offices but gets all wintry nasty on us during the weekend!) I hope the weatherheads are wrong, but they're usually only wrong when they say something good is going to happen!

So yeah, it's Paddy's Day on Saturday. It's usually one of my favorite days of the year, but it's on a Saturday this year, so a bunch of drunken amateurs will be packing the pubs more than usual. Last year was fun, because several coworkers and I would go out for a pint, come back and work for an hour, then go back out for another pint. We got three in before the end of the work day, then we hit a rather lame pub that didn't even play Irish music save for a single U2 song! But we all went over to someone's house afterwards - rather early given the flow of Guinness throughout the day - and stayed there, having breakfast together in the morning. It was great fun.

There isn't much to write about baseball right now. I'm just not feeling it in this eternity of waiting for the season to begin. The Reds are doing so well this spring that I'm more anxious than usual - I'd like some of this winning to fall into April, like last year. I guess I have a bit o'writer's block (and speaking of that, I'm listening to Writer's Block by Peter Bjorn And John - I highly recommend it.)

Happy Paddy's Day Eve Eve.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This is a post

This post is to show what baseball media coverage is at this time of year. I'm just posting this to post it, not to say anything of substance.

These are words. They make up writing. Writing makes an article. Anyone with half an education can write. Some don't write well. Few do, actually. I am writing stuff here that is not good because I am mimicking what I see in the baseball news. A whole lot of nothing. Blah, blah, blah. Just like the newspapers. Words, words, words. La dee da. Blah, blah, Hamilton dee da doo. Johnson doe doe blah femur do da.

If I have to read anymore speculation about who will be in the Nats rotation or about Griffey starting on Opening Day, I'm gonna, well, stop reading the do da baseball news.

Super Sub!

In this day and age of Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs getting virtually all of the national media coverage, every time I see a Reds player get a photo on, it is exciting, and I feel like a puppy whose abusive owners have just given me a lap of water after my dish has been dry for days. Today's article on super-subs gives the spotlight to Ryan Freel, the ultimate super-sub.
It actually is not uncommon for these super-subs to earn an everyday position, a feat Craig Counsell accomplished in Arizona, Freel has done with the Reds and the same for Carroll with the Rockies...Freel figures to get the nod in right field or center field for Cincinnati, depending on the status of Ken Griffey Jr. But even when Freel was changing from second to third to right field on an almost daily basis, he was never viewed as a part-time player.

"He is a starter, but he doesn't always start in the same spot," said Cincinnati manager Jerry Narron of Freel.

"It's always been, 'He's going to play, but where's he going to play?' " Freel added. "I'd come into spring, and every position has got that spot filled by somebody that's a prospect or a big name. But there's been more of a crack [in the] door for me a little bit this year than there has ever been in previous years."

"That 'super-sub' tag got me to the big leagues," Freel added. "It helped me stay here in the big leagues. It's given me an opportunity to play more. I take it with great pride."

Jesus is a baseball fan

People often find this site searching for sermons or prayers or something religious and baseball. That, of course, is to be expected. But it is also something to contemplate, especially as I sit outside and some crackhead with a bullhorn is shouting Jesus this and Jesus that and you're all sinners and going to Hell! Yeah, that really makes me want to join your religion.

The web searches say something - whether it is about the nature of baseball or the nature of the American Jesus, I'm not sure. But I do know that baseball is a spiritual game, one that heightens your senses and gives you a dose of the joy of life. Just thinking about how close we're getting to Opening Day gives me a great smile. The guy on the corner is too cracked out on Jesus to understand that joy as he screams about death and Hell and ruins the peace for so many people who just want enjoy their lunch in the sunshine. Maybe he needs some baseball in his life.

I hope there is never a closer whose name is Jesus. I cringe at the thought of the headline "Jesus saves!"

Missed the Reds game last night

Can't believe that a Yankees game was neither televised nor broadcast on the radio.

Regardless, it was nice to discover the Reds A lineup beat the Yanks A lineup 6-3, that Josh Hamilton added two more hits and two RBI to his spring totals, and that Brandon Phillips hit another homer, his fourth of the spring. So the Reds lead the Grapefruit League with a 10-2-1 record. Pretty cool.

Does it mean anything? Probably not. But last year we had a good spring and the season turned out pretty well. Let's hope we can make the momentum last a bit longer this year.

Also - I know there are some link updates I need to make. I promise I'll do those very soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

FeLo Forgets His E's

Nats 320 has an interview with Felipe Lopez. What struck me as particularly odd - and whiny - was this passage:
I read that when you got traded from Cincinnati you were expecting the trade. Why?

“Yes, I was expecting it, because of the way they were treating me. Weeks prior to that (The July 13, 2006) trade to Washington--why are they doing this to me, sitting me down, not giving me playing time? Last year (2005), the year before, I was an All Star, leading the league in runs scored, hits and stolen bases and they (Cincinnati Management) were acting funny towards me. I kind of expected the trade. I really smelled it coming. So, I prepared and got myself ready for that (the trade).”

By funny, can you be more specific?

“I am not going to say, just that they were acting funny toward me.”
The way he was treated??? Not giving him playing time? He did not play on June 25, July 1, July 4, and July 7, but prior to that, he had played every game for a total of 85 with the Reds. He didn't play all that well, either, at least not like the All-Star he talks about, and management thought he needed some rest. In April, he hit .255/.333/.392 with 3 homers, 9 RBI, and 20 runs scored. May was a decent month when he hit .310/.391/.398 with 2 homers, 10 RBI, and 16 runs scored. In June, he hit .252/.350/.437 with 4 homers, 11 RBI, and 16 runs scored. Those numbers aren't bad, but they're certainly not like his All-Star numbers. To bring up the "led the league in" this stuff, well, that's just arrogance.

But the biggest reason he sat for a few games was that management was fed up with his errors - you know, the 14 errors he had in the first half of the year? Count 'em, FeLo - 14! He was costing the Reds games, and being in first place or first for the Wild Card around that time, management decided it'd had enough. I certainly had.

Monday, March 12, 2007

King of the Fashion Faux Pas!

Just some of the hideous caps available at New Era. Of course, none of them tops the murdered logo cap:

Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet...?

For diehard baseball fans, this is about the point in Spring Training when you start to get tired of the exhibition games and the pointless drivel coming through the media about some player you don't care about who won't make the team. Roster cuts are finally being made (could we cut Mark Bellhorn?) and pitchers are starting to throw four innings. Some of us have already experienced a nice, warm, sunny weekend when all we wanted to do was go to the ballpark, but alas! We cannot.

Spring Training is too long. Us fans think so, the players think so, the coaches think so...if they just started a week later, we wouldn't lose our enthusiasm for these faux games until we only had two weeks until Opening Day. Three weeks? Well, that just seems like an eternity.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I like this winning thing, even if it doesn't count

Sometimes in life you get so busy that you don't have a lot of time to do things like dust your shelves or put your laundry away. My room looks like a disaster right now, but after putting a couple of sweaters away, I decided I'd "do it later." Instead, I'm writing this post and rewatching the Reds game from today. (I'm not actually watching watching, but I have it on just to have baseball on.) I can't wait to put the sweaters away permanently for the summer - only a couple more weeks!

Speaking of messes and clothing, what blind person made the choice of those ugly Spring Training/Batting Practice jerseys? And those hats! They are hideous!

Today's victory was a game with very few starters for either side. A couple of notes:

The best part of the game was that Paul "Perpetual Rehab" Wilson pitched 3 innings of no hit, no run baseball. After his horrendous first outing, this was a welcome change and puts him back into the fifth starter mix. Another bad outing today most likely would have killed his chances.

Chris "I Like Louisville" Denorfia went 0-5 with 2 Ks, dropping his ST average to .179. He really looks clueless at the plate, and it's looking more and more like he'll be starting the year in Louisville.

Phil "I Love the Minors" Dumatrait had one of the worst throws I've ever seen a professional ballplayer make on a ground ball back to the mound with a runner on first. Because there was nobody covering second, he had to wait for someone to get there. He should have just thrown to first, but instead he threw it into the dirt about 20-30 feet in front of him. Anderson "Spring Training Big Leaguer" Machado made an excellent how'd-he-do-that grab and somehow managed to get the out.

Bubba "Send Deno to the Bats" Crosby continued his good spring going 2-3 with two doubles and an RBI, raising his spring average to .364.

And last but not least, Miami won the MAC Tournament today and will be going to the NCAA Tournament! Go Redskinshawks!

Friday, March 09, 2007


Oh no!!!

The Reds have lost two Spring Training games in a row!!! There goes our season!!! Homer Bailey pitched poorly!!! He's not good!!! Josh Hamilton's batting average is under .500!!! Give him back to Tampa Bay!!! David Ross is batting .176!!! Why'd we give him the #1 catcher job??? Cancel the season now!!!11!!!11!!1!!

Ha ha.

What's on my mind

Thursday, March 08, 2007

In response to scalper spam...


As much as I believe in entrepreneurship (I work for an organization that promotes democracy throughout the world through entrepreneurship), I don't believe that scalping companies should be legal. In fact, I've been busy writing my Congressman (oh wait, I don't have a Congressman because DC's 600,000 people don't live in a democracy) telling them about how your company and others like it should be illegal. Because if I am not allowed to sell an extra ticket of mine on the street, you should not be allowed to sell it for profit.

I've posted this on my blog.

On 3/8/07, TicketCity Links wrote:

I'd be interested in seeing what you could offer. We sell a ton of baseball tickets, and ideally, we could do something that would include some text links to our site.

We pay 5% of every sale to you that comes to us via your website. Our average sale is $500, which translates to $25 for that sale.

One idea I will give you is to include you in our one-of-a-kind Partner PPC program. We pay X amount for every click from your site to ours, regardless of whether they buy or not. It's a chance for you to earn a lot from the traffic you send us.

To sign up, please visit: You can also go to, click on "affiliates" at the top, then "Click here to sign up." If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


Julie Kwong

Web Content Manager

800-SOLD-OUT *152

Happy Birthday, Ryan Freel

Sunshine is a wonderful thing. After a day of bad weather or spending your time in the bleak of an office, or simply walking down a street smiles abound on the faces you meet when the day is full of sunshine.

I spend a lot of time outdoors when the weather gets warm, especially in the spring before the mercury moves into hot. I'm not one of those outdoorsy types, though. I hate camping. I don't like the thought of wild animals, either. I do appreciate hiking or cycling or rollerblading, but I'm not overly active in those areas, either. One thing, though, that I really like to do is sit outside and listen to (or watch) baseball, thanks to the wonderful gift of WiFi.

Those days are just around the corner, but for now, I will settle for listening to Ryan Freel play on his 31st birthday over that same WiFi. I do it from the bleakness and suffocation of an office with thoughts of sunshine on my face and dreams of baseball in my mind.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The Reds are STILL UNDEFEATED. They tied the Yanks starting nine. We didn't even have Dunn, Griffey, OR Gonzalez, and we started a guy who's trying to win the fifth spot against Petttttttittttttttte. And ARod was thrown out at the plate. Great stuff!

I wish it were 7pm

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Nats lost again

My stretched optimism is now fading, not because they've done poorly in a few Spring Training games, but because the pitching has been atrocious from those who were thought to be frontrunners in the rotation.

I hope we don't get to the point where we're rooting for a no-hitter for the other team's pitcher somewhere in the season. It certainly will be loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong.

Oh well, it's baseball. That's all that matters.

Reds 6-0

Up next: the hated Yankees, who lost their first game today against Cleveland for a 5-1 record in Grapefruit League action. The game is on YES and MLB.TV at 7pm.

A couple of notes on today's game against the Tampa Bay Who?: Dunner, who's now hitting .556, had two singles today and drove in a run. Eric "Where's My Stapler?" Milton only gave up 1 run in 3 innings - any time he doesn't give up a longball is good news. Scott "I Want to Play 160" Hatteberg went 2-3, while his platoon buddy Jeff "Veteran Presence" Conine went 0-2. Brian "I Totally Forgot He Was Trying to Make the Team" Shackelford pitched a scoreless inning.

Hope the Reds can save some of this winning for the season!

Is it deja vu all over again?

There is this woman at the deli where I usually get my lunch who has me thinking of not going there anymore. The reason? Because every single day since she started working as cashier two months ago she tries to stuff my lunch in a plastic bag and every single day I tell her I don't need one. I don't need to contribute to even more waste on this overburdened planet when all I am doing is carrying a sandwich. How after two months can someone still not remember the habits of a daily customer, especially after I've told her several times that a plastic bag for one sandwich is a waste? I mean, the guy behind the deli doesn't have to ask if I want everything on my sandwich because he knows the answer is yes, even when I get different kinds of sandwiches. She is either one of the most oblivious people on the planet or one of the dumbest.

Today's bag episode got me thinking about Jerry Narron and Wayne Krivsky. No-hit utility infielders, ancient relievers, third catchers, and hasbeen veterans are the plastic bags of the Reds. Jerry and Wayne continue to try to push them on our team even though they show everyday they aren't needed.

The latest of these seems to be Mark Bellhorn. Bellhorn has been in the lineup everyday since the start of Spring Training games, which has me wondering if they are seriously considering giving him a spot on the roster. John Fay seems to think so, not that I consider Fay the epitome of inside information.

C. Trent says,
"bellhorn's abs may go down now that conine's back. but keppinger had really impressed so far. kepp does have options, though. dude can hit, that's all i can say"
Keppinger would have been a much better choice if indeed Freel and Castro are not sufficient enough for utility infielders. Poor guy.

I hope Robin Goodfellow is right:
I don't think Bellhorn makes the team. Maybe I'm going "Ollie Stone" again but I think Bellhorn is here because well, somebody has to be here. You bring in a veteran. A competitor. A pro. A World Series ring. You hope that the kids are a little bit awed, a little bit enamored, a little bit inspired. (A litle bit- or a lot- frightened and motivated.) And you thank Bellhorn for the nearly thankless job by giving him as many ABs as early as possible in March so that if the phone rings and it's the Kansas City Royals calling because their ">>insert injured Royals' infielder here<<" is banged up for few weeks then you can pat Bellhorn on the butt and send him and on his way to Nowheresville.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Reds still undefeated

Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's Spring Training - but still, 5-0 in Grapefruit League play makes you wonder just a little. I mean, Peter Gammons said on the first edition of Baseball Tonight that the Reds could be the surprise in the NL Central, so that has to say something doesn't it?

What was good?
  • Josh Hamilton. Again. He was 1-1 with a walk, raising his spring average to .562 (9-16 with 2 BB, 1 HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI, and 4 R.)
  • Brandon Phillips hit his third homer of the Spring.
  • Bill "Better Be Good Since We Gave Up 1/4 Of Our Offense For Him" Bray, Mike "Two Year Deal" Stanton, Brian "Fellows" Meadows, and Kerry "I Was Good Once" Lightenberg combined for 4 innings of 1 unearned run baseball.
  • Jerry Gil was 2-3 with a game tying homer. With Keppinger out 4-6 weeks with a broken finger, I'd rather have Gil make the team over Mark "No hit" McHellborn.
  • The suicide squeeze is one of my favorite plays in baseball. When it scores the game winning run, it's even better. Chad "Third Catchers Give Me a Toothache" Moeller laid down the bunt.
  • Our favorite Canadian Joey Votto was 1-1 with an RBI.

What was not?
  • Paul Wilson probably blew his chances of making the rotation after giving up 5 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 2.2 innings. I know it's early, but the guy was a long shot to make the rotation, and today's outing was a significant setback for him. On the plus side, he did strikeout 3, but in the first inning he was all over the place.
  • Nothing else was really that bad.

No Reds on radio or internet tomorrow, gives me a chance to hear the Nats. Reds will be on MLB.TV on Wednesday versus the hated Yankees, so I'm looking forward to the chance to see them play.

The Josh Hamilton Bandwagon Rolls On

It looks like some Rays fans are starting to lament the loss of Josh Hamilton. Rays Index says "Reds likely to start producing Josh Hamilton Jerseys any day now."
The Rays still have plenty of their own questions as they enter the first full week of Spring Training games. However, there was one question lingering out there in the minds of many Rays fans and it involved a player in a different organization all together. This past off-season, the Chicago Cubs selected Josh Hamilton from the Rays in the Rule 5 draft and then traded him to the Cincinnati Reds. At the time, most thought that it would be a long shot, at best, for Hamilton to make the Reds 25-man roster. Most thought that Hamilton would find his way back to the Rays or the two teams would work out a trade so that the Reds could send him to the minors for further seasoning. At the very least we assumed this would be underlying storyline throughout Spring Training with the final decision coming down to the last round of cuts by the Reds.

Well, the Reds are four games into their Spring schedule and the story may be a non-story already as Hamilton is tearing up the Grapefruit league with 8 hits in his first 15 at bats with 2 doubles and a home run. We admit that we were a bit torn about the Hamilton situation. We are always for the team before the player, but we do have a soft spot for Josh Hamilton. Part of us wanted him to fail so that we could get him back, but another part of us smiles every time we see a Reds box score and Hamilton has multiple hits.
Hey, it's only Spring Training, but good feelings abound about this guy. This is one bandwagon I'm happy to be on.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Blessed be the game

I stopped by the National Cathedral to snap a few photos, including one for my new banner. I had intended on capturing the image of the cathedral towering above a school's baseball field next to it, but the infield was covered with tarps and there were soccer goals behind the backstop!

I went ahead and snapped a few photos anyway but had to hurry so I could get home and listen to Marty and Joe calling Homer Bailey's first start of the spring. Though Homer's performance in the second inning was disappointing, it was still great to hear the Old Lefthander, even if he couldn't figure out who was up to bat!

I thought I'd show the original photo of what I used for my banner, as I thought it was pretty cool. It's kind of like you're going into Heaven if you go into the church.

I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get an earlier start, because the cathedral is absolutely beautiful - I snapped the equivalent of a role of film in just 15 minutes. But it is freezing out today, not even 40 degrees, and the sunshine had fooled me in my choice of dress, so no gloves and just a fleece was not enough to combat the wind - one last hurrah for the winter's wrath.

Given that the church is non-denominational, shouldn't there be a weekly Baseball service?

Here are a couple of other photos of the cathedral that I liked. You can click on them to make them bigger if you'd like.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bar baseball

I love baseball. Duh, right? Well, tonight, I had a reminder of how much the game is ingrained into my sub-conscience while drinking a couple of pints of Guinness at one of the few places in the DC area that actually knows how to pour a pint - Four P's in Fairfax or Falls Church or whatever Virginia suburb it's in.

Sportscenter was hanging over the bar, and a couple of guys were sort of watching it in that way you watch something when you're with someone and you find your eyes automatically moving towards the television regardless of how interesting the conversation you're having. I watched them with interest because I saw how they were both trying NOT to watch, but they couldn't help it. (And really, when there is no game on, why is it necessary to have the television on instead of allowing good conversation?) Then, I heard the word "baseball" and could no longer concentrate on my own conversation.

Sure, my conversation was on the potential for war with Iran and the fact that my god, at least we are talking to them now! Then we switched to the Iraq topic, commenting about how the "surge" was not a surge of new troops but 20,000 poor soldiers who have all been to Iraq once, twice, and even three times. But that word baseball, well, it pulled me away from the harsh realities of living in 21st century America and brought me to a place where I could remember the sweet pleasures that life has to offer.

It's funny how that one word can alter your activities and thoughts and feelings and mood and blood pressure and breathing...


Too bad it isn't April.

I know it's the third game of Spring Training, but their play is solidifying my good feelings about this season...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Jerry Narron is a Common

Spring is peeking its head in the door today, teasing us here in DC with 60 degree temperatures and brilliant sunshine. Despite my workload, I took my whole lunch hour today and strolled around downtown with my camera, which goes with me everywhere now. I had no destination, just started walking, and ended up at the Nats teamstore. Boy, that was a disappointment. It's tiny! I was tempted to pick up a Zimmerman t-shirt and probably would have if it had been under $20. Instead, I walked out empty handed. They didn't even have little pocket schedules.

I stopped for lunch and ate outside on Farragut Square. On my way back, I passed the Orioles teamstore and saw they had New Era O's caps for only $8 bucks, including the old school cartoon Oriole cap, so I went inside. Unfortunately, the cartoon logo caps were only in size 8, so I couldn't cash in on the deal. I asked if they sold tickets in the store. The answer, as I knew, was yes. (Nats, get a clue!) The O's store is huge - why is the Nats store so small?

I was about to leave when I noticed a box of Topps 2007 cards, so I bought two packs. I got one Red - guess who it was? Jerry Morron! I also got Albert Pujols. Ick. Traitor Damon, too. Ick. Other than Johan Santana and Todd Helton, the rest of the packs were garbage. How is it that I can get two crappy Pirates cards but no real Reds players? I can remember as a kid having difficulty getting Reds cards, too. I guess nothing has changed.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Meet Octie

Octie eats coins which get me closer to attending Reds baseball in October. Octie currently has $7.89 in him, but he is saving up for an autumn chill and red and white uniforms under incandescent stadium lights with roaring, sold out crowds screaming for guys like Dunn and Phillips and Harang and Arroyo and Griffey and Encarnacion and Freel and Bailey...

Octie knows that if the Reds play baseball in that hallowed month, I am taking some time off work to attend the games, so Octie better eat a lot this summer! Octie will let you know how well he has eaten throughout the year.

...and this one belongs to the Reds

Ah yes, a meaningless Spring Training game, but what joy it was to listen to. An exciting finish came with a double and an out at home plate to save the game.

What was good:

Kirk Saarloos - Saarloos pitched 2 perfect innings.

Paul Wilson - Wilson gave up 1 earned run (2 total) on 4 hits in 2 innings. He also struck out 2.

The Longball - Dunn, Phillips, Bellhorn (ugh), Keppinger (meh), and Hamilton hit them out. The wind was apparently 20-25 mph, as the Brennamen told us that a couple of times an inning. Marty said the outfielder just stood and watched as Dunn's homer hit the roof of a house behind the stadium.

Josh Hamilton - I am very happy to say this. Josh was 2-4 with a 2 run homer. I know it's only Spring Training, but he's off to a fine start. Keep it up, Josh.

Ryan Freel - Freel was 2-2 with a walk, a run, and a stolen base, though he was also caught stealing once. Guy really needs to cut down on those. A little acknowledged fact is that Freel led the league in 2006 in being caught stealing.

Listening to Baseball - 'nuff said.

What was bad:

Mark Bellhorn - He started the game. I don't care if he hit a homer, he has no business on a Major League roster.

Eric Milton - Gave up a homer to his first batter. Hope that's not an omen. He gave up another homer in his next inning for a total of 2 earned runs on six hits and a walk.

Rheal Cormier - When your job is to pitch one inning, shouldn't you NOT give up a run on 2 hits?

The Defense - Five errors were committed by the Reds (Freel, Denorfia, Machado, Coffey, and Votto). Groan. It brings back bad memories of last year. It may only be a Spring Training game, and the first one at that, still...

Bailey is starting the A game on Sunday. Can't wait for that!

The Reds Are on the Ra-di-o!

It means nothing, yet in our thirst for baseball, it is a sip of precious water after winter's desert. It is the joy of the first Spring Training game, digging out your AM radios or logging onto an internet site, hearing Marty's voice for the first time this year, listening to the jingle "The Reds are on the radio" - even the static sounds like fresh spring air. We wake up with a bit more energy, keep one eye on the clock all morning, and feel a little of the weight of life lifted from our shoulders. Though we don our winter coats, we know that warmth is just around the corner.

This year, there is something more - there is a genuine feeling of hope that if the wind blows the right way, the Reds could play baseball in October.

I'm so excited I'm bouncing around in my seat!