Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday's weather for Cincinnati, Ohio

"Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers in the morning... then partly sunny in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent." (From Weather Underground)

Sounds decent for our Holy Day!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Did I mention I'm going to Opening Day?

And there will be no Jacque Jones on that roster. Yippee! (Though Nick Massett and Lance Nix look like they're going to make it.)

I'm a little busy right now because I finally did get a new job and I finally am moving back to DC - probably next week - so I'll be posting sporadically in the next couple of weeks. But I'll definitely be posting lots of pics from our Holy Day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm on the Herrera bandwagon

Though I'm not sure I wasn't before. He's retired 22 of the 23 batters he's faced this spring (according to Brantley).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some WBC facts

Below are some final facts and figures from the World Baseball Classic. As always thank you for your support!!

The Final between Japan and Korea on March 23 drew 54,846 fans, the largest crowd in World Baseball Classic history.

A total of 141,854 fans attended the three games in Los Angeles over Championship weekend...43,630 fans attended the Japan vs. United States Semi-Final on March 22, the second largest-crowd in World Baseball Classic history.

ESPN’s telecasts of this year’s semifinals (Korea vs. Venezuela Saturday, March 21, and USA vs. Japan Sunday, March 22) and final (Korea vs. Japan, Monday, March 23) averaged 1,820,000 viewers (up 24 percent) and a 1.4 rating (up eight percent).

In Japan, the Final earned a 36.4 rating despite starting at 10:30 AM on Tuesday morning.

Sunday night’s telecast of Japan vs. USA on ESPN was the most-watched World Baseball Classic telecast in U.S. history by posting a 2.2 rating.

The 2.2 rating of Japan vs. USA more than doubled the 1.0 rating both semifinals produced in 2006.

Japan vs. USA was the most watched sports event on North American cable television last week.

More than 15,000 fans watched the Final from Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

From the International Baseball Federation - Bring Back Baseball group.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I got U2 tix for NYC this morning. Just wanted to post that.. Have you ever seen joy? See me.

Finally, sports are getting kinda smart...


Pretty awesome

The Reds Hall of Fame will debut two new exhibits this spring and is looking for your help in making these exhibits unforgettable experiences for all Hall visitors.

For "Crosley Field Remembered," the Hall is actively seeking items associated with the ballpark to include in the exhibit. Crosley-era programs, ticket stubs, snapshots from photo days, souvenirs, advertising materials, concession items - all are of great interest.

The Hall of Fame is also looking to supplement the displays for 2009's second major exhibit, "The Negro Leagues and Cincinnati." If you have any items connected to the Cincinnati Tigers, Clowns, Buckeyes, Browns, Cubans Stars or Crescents or any advertising items, programs or scorecards related to Negro League games played in Cincinnati or Negro League players from the area, please contact us.

If you are interested in loaning or donating an item for either or both of the Hall of Fame's new exhibits or if you have questions about making a loan or donation, please contact Reds Hall of Fame Chief Curator Chris Eckes at ceckes@reds.com or by phone at (513) 765-7930.
I don't have any memorabilia old enough to contribute, but if you do, do it!
"The Negro Leagues and Cincinnati"

Cincinnati's role in the Negro League story will be examined through images, period artifacts and rare film footage. The Hall of Fame's exhibit will also include items culled from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's "Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of the Negro Baseball Leagues" exhibit, the balance of which will be on display at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which is partnering with the Hall of Fame to bring this traveling exhibit to Cincinnati. The Hall of Fame's exhibit is part of the Reds' season-long celebration of the June 19-21 Civil Rights Weekend which will be highlighted by the Civil Rights Game on June 20 against the Chicago White Sox.
I'm really excited about the Negro Leagues exhibit in Cincy - I've been curious about Negro Leagues baseball in the city. I know a little about the Clowns, but it is my understanding that Cincy couldn't keep a Negro Leagues team for very long and I'm wondering if that has to do with being a small city and not being able to profit from the teams or because of the racial problems associated with the city. Or both. If anyone knows anything about it, let me know. It would make an excellent topic for a book, that's for sure.

I can't wait to see these exhibits this year!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I wish baseball were the national pastime in America.

TOKYO (AP) — Special editions rolled off newspaper printing presses and Japanese fans who'd taken time off work to watch the World Baseball Classic final celebrated with banners emblazoned with "Samurai Japan."

The WBC may not be a big deal in the United States but it's huge in Japan, which prides itself on its baseball pedigree. Needing a 10th inning to beat archrival South Korea 5-3 in Los Angeles late Monday only added to the tension.

Workers crammed into bars and restaurants in Tokyo and other cities to watch the game, which started at 10:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Electronics stores selling big screen TVs were turned into public viewing galleries as the baseball-crazy nation stopped to watch as Japan defended its title.
I don't know what that's like - being surrounded by a nation who cares, really cares, about baseball. Boston was sort of like this when I visited in 2003, but mostly you really have to seek out other baseball fans instead of talking about a game around the water cooler.

The game was awesome.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

WBC injury concern debunked

Great article that won't do anything to convince WBC naysayers to enjoy the Classic because, you know, facts are stupid things. The gist: "In short, major leaguers who represented their countries in 2006 got hurt less often."

Some people just like to complain about things.

He's their old friend

I was doing some online research of global cell phone use when a familiar picture showed up in a newspaper sidebar.

Bronson Arroyo
SP, Cincinnati Reds

2008 statistics:
15-11 4.77 200 163 68

The guitar-toting righthander has become a cult hero in Cincy, appearing in several popular TV spots. But on the mound, Arroyo has been singing some sad songs -- he allowed 106 earned runs and 29 home runs last season. He has two years left on his contract with Cincinnati.
They failed to mention that Arroyo was one of the best pitchers in the game in the second half of last season.

Now, that's thinking outside the diamond

I love this idea. The Bankee$ grew way too much sod for their new park in case something happened, and the extra will be sold as Yankees Grass.

There are so many untapped revenue resources for MLB teams. It just takes the right person to break away from the mold. If the Reds want some ideas, I have plenty...

In the spirit of the World Baseball Classic

Here are some versions of baseball that have been played around the world.

Lapta - A Russian game that has been played since the 14th century.
Lapta is an old Russian folk game with a ball and a bat. Mentions of lapta have been found in old manuscripts, and balls and bats were found in the 14th-century layers during excavations in Novgorod.

The game was played outside on a field the size of 20 x 25 sazhens (about 140 x 175 feet). The edges of the field were marked with parallel lines, called salo. The goal of the game is to hit the ball, served by a player of the opposite team, with the bat and send the ball as far as possible, then run across the field to the kon line, and if possible to run back to the gorod line.

The running player should try to avoid being hit with the ball, which is thrown by the opposing team members. For successful runs, the team earns points. A team wins by either getting more points during the scheduled time or by having all its players complete runs.

Brännboll - A game played in Scandinavia.
The main difference from baseball is that there is no pitcher, instead the batter himself hits the ball, usually a common tennis ball, with his bat. The bat is sometimes a wooden baseball bat, but less experienced players may use a flat paddle-like version (often disparagingly called kärringracket hag-bat, tjejträ girl-bat etc. mainly by boys). There are also no constraints to the playing field. However a too crooked ball hit will result in a strike. The batter has three (sometimes two) strikes to get a valid hit or he is forced to go to the first base and the turn is given to the next batter in line. After batting, the batter drops the bat and makes his way counter-clockwise (or clockwise) around the four positioned bases, while the outfield players – who do not wear gloves – try to catch the ball and throw it to an appointed "burner", belonging to their team. The "burner" (Brännaren) needs to hold the ball in his hand, while simultaneously stepping on a small board on the ground – resembling the pitcher's plate, in baseball – and yell "Bränd" (Burned), which ends the round. If the infield runner(s) are by then not positioned on a "base" they are "burned" and forced to go back to the first base or the previous passed base depending on rules (a person on his way to the first base may not be burned). A game is played in timed periods, often 2 or 4, and the teams switch sides in between them. However, if there is only one player left to bat and no player makes it to the fourth base during that round, or the last batter fails to produce a valid hit in his two attempts, the team is "burnt out" (utebrända), and the opposite team either gets a predetermined amount of bonus points (and all on the team gets back in line for batting) or the time period ends and the teams shift sides.

Pesäpallo (also known as Finnish baseball) - This was actually an Olympic demonstration sport in 1952. It is played in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and Northern Ontario. The basic structure of the game is identical to baseball, as the founder of the game based it on baseball in the early twentieth century (why on earth our beloved game had to be changed is beyond me. They've killed the beautiful symmetry of the game. Change it back, and get those Finns in the Classic!)
The more significant differences from baseball are:

* The first bounce of the ball is decisive: It must bounce within the play area, and may then roll over a line and still be in play. The back line on the fly counts as a [strike/foul ball]. The foul lines are also on the sides and the front of the field. So if a player hits a very hard hit that would be a certain home run in baseball, it's counted as a strike/foul in pesäpallo. This increases the tactical approach but decreases the challenge of hitting hard.
* A batting team's batting inning ends not when three batters have failed to score, but when either three batters have all been physically beaten by the ball (a ball catch straight off the bat does not suffice, it is called 'koppi' a middle ground between scoring and being out) or when the entire regular team of nine has batted and are all either in koppi, out on a base or run-out (but if a player scores, he liberates all his koppi players, making them eligible to bat again in that inning)
* Catching a ball in flight is not an out, but forces all runners not on a base to return to home base (this is called a "haava", lit. "a wound" or simply "koppi", "a catch"). This gives the batter a chance to "move the responsibility" of advancing runners to the next batter if he thinks he's not good enough for the task. Also, "wounded" players are not allowed to bat unless two runs have scored after the "wounding". Hence the team can run out of players.
* A batter's box is removed and the home plate serves as a pitching plate, which is round with a diameter of 0.6 metres (24 in). All other batting team players stand in a semi-circle near the batter, either awaiting their turn to bat, or one step further back in 'koppi'
* Pitches are tossed straight upwards from above the batters plate (100% vertical tosses), and the batter hits the ball when it drops down. There is no catcher (catcher is one of the closest fielders to the home base); the ball hitting the pitching plate is a miss/strike.
* Players have no difficulty hitting the ball when it's pitched upwards, so the main target isn't just hitting the ball, it's positioning the hit correctly (very short hits - bunts - help other runners advance bases [like stolen bases but with the ball hit and hence counting as a strike when the batter stays back after hitting the ball], a good homing hit is batted between the fielders in the midfield and if the ball slips far away from the field, it's easy to hit a home run etc.). The home run is not so much good hitting as weak fielding.
* A home run is scored when the batter reaches third base before the ball (the ball is in play even if it has bounced to the river near the field). After a home run the runner can stay at third base and try to score another run.
* The strike zone is rather different; the ball is good if it was lifted at least one meter (3.2 ft) above the heads and it hits the pitching plate.
* Walking requires fewer invalid pitches (when the field is empty of runners, one invalid pitch allows a walk, otherwise two). A walk advances the runner closest to home base; if there's a runner at third base, he/she shall score.
* The batter is not required to run after hitting the ball on his first or second strike. But, after two strikes, when the pitcher releases the ball for the pitch, the batter can drop his bat and try to run to first base. The pitcher must wait until the ball bounces from the pitching plate before he can grab it [the absence of this rule would lead to serious injuries] and try to throw the runner out at first - so even at the top level, the runner stands a good chance of making it to first base without having hit the ball.
* Force outs are always outs: if the runner is off the base and the ball is in the control of a defensive player at the next base, the runner is out.
* The bases are not laid in a square; the players have to 'zig zag' the court (see chart).
* When entering a base or the home base, the runner only has to cross the line of the base; there are no actual cushion bases like in baseball, only circular lines in the sand showing where each base is.
* The pitcher or the fielders in the bases don't have any plates to touch to make an out; having only a foot in the base (a much larger area compared to the bases used in baseball) is enough.
* The attacking team uses a color coded fan to signal the runners when to move. The fan is multicoloured, held by the manager of the team. Color sequence is decided prior to the game. When the manager puts on the specified colour order and holds the fan over his head, the runners know to run. Sometimes even a certain player holding his bat up is the "code".
* The offensive team can "skip" batters. The team manager has an option to jump over his weaker batters and go straight to his "big guns" if he thinks it necessary. This is only possible in super pesis, where each team has a small allowance of 'jokers' to play.
* The final score of the game is not the runs scored but "wins" of two periods, which include four innings each. To win a period, a team must have scored more runs in that period. In the event that both teams have scored the same number of times in a period, the team with more home runs wins the period, if this is also equal, then neither team receives a period win point, and hence both lose ground in the overall league table. If after the 2x4 innings are played, the overall periods won score is either 0-0 or 1-1, then a sudden death overtime sequence is initiated.

Rounders - The original form of baseball, this game is still played wherever the British Empire once stuck its flag.
Rounders is played at international level. Canada, England, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales compete against each other, and the Pakistan Rounders Association held its first national competition in 2006. There are plans to develop the game in other Asian countries and Zimbabwe also has a national body for rounders.

The 2008 Rounders World Festival was held in Rotherham, England, on June 28 [4] organised by the UK National Rounders Association. This event replaced a proposed World Cup which was cancelled after fewer teams entered than expected.[5]. National teams represented at the festival were China, Iran, England, and Wales.[6].

The inaugural meeting of the World Rounders Association took place at the 2008 World Festival, attended by representatives from England, Wales, India and Pakistan[7].
Sounds like the World Baseball Classic has competition. Screw rounders - play baseball!

I wonder if the existence of these similar games has in anyway hindered the development of baseball on an international level. Think about the most popular sport in the world - football. There is no real competition. Sure, there are other sports called football, but they don't resemble the sport where you actually use your foot and are more like rugby. Pesapallo is sometimes called the Finnish national sport. What if baseball hadn't been altered to create this game? Would the Finns be playing in the Classic now? If all the world were playing baseball instead of their various versions of it, would the earth consist of two seasons - football and baseball? Could I live in Europe and see the same quality of baseball in Berlin as I do in New York?

Hotdogs for thought.

I was rooting for a Venezuela-USA final

One, I wanted a rematch. Two, I am as sick of Japan and Korea as I am the Red $ox and the Bankee$. Three, the politico in me wanted a Chavez-Obama matchup. But hey, at least we get our catcher back.

Regardless, I think it is important that USA beats Japan tonight so that American interest in the tournament is piqued. So many people have been missing out on incredible baseball.

Next time, though, I hope they play the tournament without so much space in between days. Chipper Jones said he loved his time with Team USA, but if they don't change the format, he won't play next time. I understand completely. It's stupid how they have so many off days. I was getting so excited for each day's games, and then there'd only be one or none and my enthusiasm waned a little (not a lot, but I am a WBC diehard.) They could play the whole tournament in about two weeks - it's not like playing everyday is different than Spring Training. I'm all for what Jon Miller suggested tonight - shorten the season during WBC years. I want the season shortened every year - 150 games. There is no reason the World Series should go into November.

But that's the cool thing about watching the WBC in its infancy - we can see the learning process and make it better next time. I think they'll probably do something about the roster issues, too, allowing teams to replace injured players at any time, and not just the ones on a provisional roster.

Man, I love this tournament.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

From a group who is trying to bring back baseball to the Olympics



Television Ratings, Attendance and Sponsorship Highlight First Two Rounds of 2009 World Baseball Classic

The 2009 World Baseball Classic has been an overwhelming success leading into the Semi-Finals of the tournament. The 36 games that have taken place have resulted in record-breaking television ratings and larger crowds than the inaugural tournament held in 2006. In a World Baseball Classic that promised to build on the excitement of the inaugural tournament, more companies are attracted by the increasing international appeal of baseball sponsorship opportunities.

Television ratings highlights through the first two rounds of the 2009 World Baseball Classic include:

w ESPN has averaged 1.68 million viewers, up 53% from the 1.1 million viewers in 2006

w ESPN registered a 1.3 rating on ESPN, up 30% from a 1.0 rating in 2006

w United States vs. Puerto Rico on March 14 delivered a 3.4 Hispanic rating on ESPN Deportes to become the highest rated World Baseball Classic telecast as well as the highest rated non-soccer event in the network’s history.

w ESPN Deportes has been the most watched ad-supported cable network among Hispanic men (18+) topping all other cable networks regardless of language.

w Japan ’s first Round Two game against Cuba on Sunday, March 15 delivered a 17.9 rating, even though it started at 4:45 a.m. on a Monday morning.

w The first match-up between Japan and Korea earned a rating of 37.8 in Japan – with more than 45 million viewers tuning in nationwide ranking it as the highest rated sporting event of any kind in Japan, surpassing even the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, since the 2006 World Baseball Classic Final between Japan and Cuba (43.4).

w Team Canada ’s television ratings increased 77% in Canada from the viewers that tuned into Canada ’s games in 2006.

The attendance for the 2009 World Baseball Classic has surpassed the 2006 World Baseball Classic to this point by approximately 8% with more than 659,000 fans attending games in 2009.

w Puerto Rico’s Round 2 defeat of the U.S. drew 30,595 to Miami ’s Dolphin Stadium on March 14

w More than 42,500 fans attended the opening two games of Round 2 featuring four foreign teams on March 15 at PETCO Park in San Diego

w The first match-up between Japan and Korea on March 7 was played in front of a sell-out crowd of 45,640 in the Tokyo Dome.

w The Rogers Centre in Toronto held a crowd of 42,314 on March 7 for the United States thrilling victory over Canada .

Fifty-six companies are sponsoring the 2009 World Baseball Classic globally or regionally – more than double the number of partners from the inaugural tournament.

w Partners are activating in 11 countries and territories that are participating in the event.

w Seven partners are activating in multiple regions

w 12 Teams wore patches on their uniform, helmet or both

I don't know why the bullet points turned into Ws, but I'm too lazy to change it right now. This Korean blow out is really quite dull, though it is only the third inning...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A handful of banana split coupons at the Dairy Queen

Get Cobb Field: A Day at the Ballpark!

A bright blue day under a massive Montana sky sits on creaking bleachers, beer in hand, buying raffle tickets from the pin hat lady. There’s one in every ballpark, you know. This version, Barbara, sticks her pins in a red floppy hat and tries to give everyone in the ballpark luck with her raffle ritual. A man plays the national anthem on a saw and a guy tries to win ten thousand dollars by throwing a baseball from the mound through a hole in a board at homeplate. You can get your ticket for five bucks and sit anywhere you’d like, maybe even next to the guy who played ball on the original team so many decades ago. It’s life as a fan in a minor league ballpark.

Billings, Montana. Population 89,847. The Billings Mustangs are “the professional sports team” and have been the Reds rookie league team since 1974. (There’s a minor league hockey team, too.) Until last year, they played in Cobb Field, a ballpark that stood from 1948 until its death in 2007. Prior to Reds affiliation, the Mustangs were a Royals affiliate – George Brett played rookie ball here. Jim Kaat, too, for an affiliate of the Washington Senators. Current Reds Joey Votto and Jay Bruce played here as well.

Cobb Field: A Day at the Ballpark is a must see film for any baseball fan. Told from the perspective of the field itself, the film goes through one day in the life of an old ballpark, from grooming the field for the day’s play to scrubbing out grass stains in the uniforms and sweeping away ballpark trash in the wee hours of the morning. It’s a sort of nine inning Ulysses, a tale told through brilliant photography and interviews with a future star, a Hall of Famer, those who merely sipped from the cup of The Show, and those who spend every waking moment dreaming about it.

From the film:
Starring: the home of the Billings Mustangs

Screenplay By: Craig Lindvahl, Susanna Rich

Produced By: Craig Lindvahl

Awards: 3 Mid-America Emmys (best trailer, music, cinematography), selected for 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame Film Festival

Plot Outline: Cobb Field; a day at the ballpark explores the world of minor league baseball through the eyes of Cobb Field, a sixty year-old ballpark in Billings, Montana, and home of the Billings Mustangs from 1948-2007.

Shot during the last weeks of Cobb Field’s existence, the film imagines what Cobb Field might share about history, about baseball, and about life. From retired players like Jim Kaat and Gary Redus, current players like Todd Frazier and Daniel Zeffiro, from coaches and staff members, and from umpires and fans comes a heartwarming story of baseball in the rookie leagues.

Ballparks are like people with all of our personalities and mortalities and triumphs and tragedies. When they are born, they are beautiful, miracles of construction, created by the labor of man and testament to the wonders and mysteries of life. They laugh with us, they cry with us, they share in our joys and our despairs. They shudder as the cold winter leaves them empty and they thrive with the rebirth of spring and the glory of the summer sun. With the passage of years, they accumulate memories they share with us each and every visit we pay them. They age. Their parts, once shiny and beautiful, begin to wither and fade, the splendor of youth lost with the wrinkles of time. Their skins become marred by their years, their organs weaken, they cough and wheeze and groan as their steel bones ache with a change in the weather. They begin to shake and creak and crumble and then they are gone. We go to their funerals and some of us have tears in our eyes as we watch them implode to the ground. Rest in peace, old friends.

Cobb Field: A Day at the Ballpark is an old man expressing the joys of life when he knows it is his time to go. He admires the youth that play on his green; in sixty years he has never tired of the dreams that dance on his field. There, on that dusty diamond in big town Montana, dreams were given legs that ran and bodies that played and mouths that smiled. The smile of one who holds a dream is truly beautiful – there is such an innocence to it all, a purity that makes you feel like maybe Eden was a minor league baseball field. No flashbulbs blind players from seeing a love of the game, no leather couches and plasma televisions in the locker rooms, no Congressional testimonies, no taking up two lockers in clubhouse, it’s just baseball in its virgin form.

There are a lot of things to like about this film. The photography is beautiful. The interviews are fun. The shots of the Mustang burgers make you hungry. My favorite part is the footage of future Reds star Todd Frazier making his professional debut. It’s a gem. Us Reds fans will watch this film years from now and adore seeing Todd help hitting coach Aaron Holbert try to pull buckets apart or that sweet, sweet swing of his that was beautiful even in the beginning, even when all but the fanatical diehards among us did not know his name. And I think he was cheating on his windsprints!

All of the photos here are screenshots of the actual film. I loved it and recommend that everyone visit the website and order a copy. Buy it here. Do it now!

Facebook page here - become a fan!

There's no more appropriate team for Yulieski Gourriel than the Reds

Stupid politics, depriving the baseball world of so many great players and Hall of Famers. Remember Omar Linares? Never set foot on a Major League Baseball field, but he was one of the greatest third basemen of all time. I loved watching the Olympics to see him play. The New York Times has an article about Cuba being eliminated from the World Baseball Classic that reminisces about how teams used to drool over him.
...one of the juiciest rumors of the late 1980s was that the Toronto Blue Jays and their ingenious general manager, Pat Gillick, were plotting to sign Linares and have him play only home games in Canada.
But stupid politics. Stupid, archaic, lobby-driven notions of danger, stupid ideology. Cuba ceased being any kind of threat to the United States when the Soviet Union fell into the abyss of fallen empires, yet we still have a stupid embargo which has done nothing to change the situation - it has only impoverished a nation of people. And now, after all of the years of dictatorship and poverty, when Cuba seems so close to joining the twenty-first century in the global economy, one can only wonder when the Castros die, will the beautiful island country that breeds baseball players go the way of Haiti, the most dangerous country on Planet Earth? Will the deaths create a power vacuum that will turn the island into a warzone? Will a potential Hall of Famer choose a gun over a bat?

I love international tournaments because we get the opportunity to see the Cubans play ball. It's the only chance we get. I was hoping that the USA would play them in the title game, but Cuba is out and I'm not sure the USA, with its disrespectful attitude towards the WBC, will win another game. (I know that since both teams advanced, the USA-Venezuela game didn't matter much, but Davey Johnson didn't even try. He left Guthrie in even as he was getting pummeled to "get his work in." This is the second time it's happened - the first was with Peavy. And speaking of Venezuela, MLB Network announcers need to shut up about how Magglio Ordonez is a friend of Hugo Chavez. Chavez is not the Hitler Fox News makes him out to be. Stupid politics. Stupid tangents.)

The amazing thing about Cuba's elimination is the fact that since Castro took over, Cuba has never not been in the title game of an international competition. Never in 50 tournaments. Until now. They had won 43 of the 50 tournaments! That's dominance.

Hopefully this administration will finally normalize relations with Cuba and pave the way for Yulieski Gourriel (pictured above) to sign with the Cincinnati Reds (he can play short, right?). He's only 25 years old, so if we get him next year, there's still a lot of life left in those baseball legs! And I'd like to see the Miami franchise moved to Cuba, where people actually go to baseball games - oh, that would be some baseball vacation! You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday, they will join us, and the baseball world will be as one. Oh, yeah, and the greater world, too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If you don't like the World Baseball Classic, you don't like baseball

Wow, another awesome baseball game was played today, another Hollywood script made reality. Bottom of the ninth of an elimination game, Team USA down 5-3 after Puerto Rico scored what everyone assumed would be the winning run in the top of the ninth. The Flying Hawaiian promptly singled to open the inning off his teammate J.C. Roidmero. Brian "Wish he were a Red" Roberts followed with a single and Mr. November flied to right, allowing The Flying Hawaiian a meaningless tag and move to third.

By then, the baseball world sat at the edge of its couch, hands clenched, hearts racing, and some of us were left to wonder why a beautiful spring day could feel like October. Roberts stole second by miraculously getting his hand under the tag of Felipe Lopez and only replays showed it was the right call. Up came 2007 MVP Jimmy Rollins, and by then we could feel our blood pulsating through our veins. A nine pitch at bat, a walk, bases loaded, hope hanging heavy in the chants of USA! USA! USA!

Cincinnati native Kevin Youkalis made his way to the plate as the stadium sounded like Fenway Park and erupted when he drew a walk and an RWI (Run Walked In, of course!) 5-4, still one out. Muscles tense, hands wringing, the only thing in the world that existed at that moment was a baseball game. David Wright came up and worked a 2-1 count. Puerto Rican reliever Cabrera throws a pitch down and away, Ball 3, except Wright goes down and gets it and sends it down the rightfield line. A game of inches, indeed, and two runs score. USA wins! Woo! Puerto Rico is eliminated and we're advancing to the next round, the semi-finals.

This game was as good as a World Series game. It's too bad some people are too stubborn to enjoy it, because they are missing a heck of a lot of a beautiful thing. To see the faces of those USA players, to see guys like Wright and Rollins pump their fists into the air, to see Adam Dunn who's never tasted winning, to see them all pile up like that, their faces like boys, the joy, oh, what it brings to the heart!

Oh! I love this game!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A link roundup

I usually don't do this, but I was interested in all of these things and haven't finished the article I am writing on a new baseball film, so here you go.

First off, an article about Freel in the Carroll County Times. Read it. The things he says make me feel hopeful about the 2009 Cincinnati Reds now that we have a positive attitude in the clubhouse.

An article about a Phillies Phan's visit to the tomb of Alexander Cartwright, courtesy of another Cartwright, the latter who points out that Alexander's middle name was Joy. Unbelievably appropriate. I felt a little pang of joy of my own upon learning such information. The Reds baseball at Alexander's tomb is awesome.

According to the Bank President, Daryl Thompson is hurt again. Remember his debut at Bankee $tadium last year? Man that was awesome. But I'm starting to think we only got to see a glimpse of what could have been. I don't think he's ever going to be healthy enough to be an effective pitcher on a Major League roster.

The Classic might be a new way to sign players for cheap. Sidney Ponson signed a minor league deal with the Royals today after Pudge signed with the Asstros yesterday and Julian Taveras signed with the Nationals a few days ago. Of the many benefits of the WBC, I didn't see it as a place to showcase you still have something left in the tank.

USA plays a rematch against Puerto Rico tonight in an elimination game. USA! USA! USA!

Happy Paddy's Day!

Reds are sporting the green caps today just like they did in 1978 when they were the first team to wear green on Paddy's Day.

Suck it, Red $ox.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Reds Announce Auction for Opening Day Champions Club Boxes

Proceeds to Benefit the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum

CINCINNATI (March 16, 2009) -- Reds fans can bid now on reds.com for seats in the new Champions Club Boxes on Opening Day.

The Champion Club Boxes feature an outdoor bar area and in-seat service, in addition to access to the new all-inclusive FOX Sports Ohio Champions Club and its unlimited food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Packages of four, six and eight tickets are available, with auctions ending either Friday, March 20, at noon ET or Friday, March 27, at noon ET.

Link to auction page: http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/ticketing/clubbox_auction.jsp

The FOX Sports Ohio Champions Club (formerly known as the FSN Ohio Club 4192) is located on the first base side of GABP.

The 2009 Opening Day game is Monday, April 6 vs the New York Mets. First pitch is 1:10 p.m.

All proceeds from the Champions Club Box auctions will benefit the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

All winning bids will receive annual memberships to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
Why on earth did they change the name from 4192?

Anyone who wants to win this auction and give me the tickets, I think I'd be ok with accepting them. ;)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Now managing...Barry Larkin!

Barry is filling in for Davey Johnson as manager in the USA game tonight.

Someday, he better do the same with Cincinnati stitched across his chest.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some more random, underdeveloped, sci-fi-ish thoughts from the realm of imagination

Articles like this make me excited about the 2009 Cincinnati Reds. So true, so true. The one thing that really irritates me about many of today's statheads is they are quick to dismiss things like team chemistry and enthusiasm and leadership, all things they say with contempt, like they are talking about a piece of rotten fish that is smelling up the whole kitchen from its place in the bottom of the garbage can. They'll point to a few exceptions, teams who hated each other but won it all, as "proof" that chemistry doesn't matter. Often these are the words of people who've never played competitive ball - it seems like the most vocal anti-team chemistry statheads admit they were no good as players. There's nothing wrong with that. Just don't dismiss with such virulence things you don't understand, that's all I'm saying.

I'm not anti-sabermetrics at all. Au contraire, mes amis. But I also know there is more to baseball than just numbers. However, I am inclined to agree with some statheads that everything in this world is quantifiable. We just haven't figured a way to quantify intangibles yet. Human knowledge is not yet that advanced. Just imagine the exciting possibilities! Someday we could have a TCPF (Team Chemistry Performance Factor = amount of certain chemicals like pheromones that are able to mix rather than causing aggressive reactions and yadda yadda) and an LVA (Leadership Value Added) and a bunch of stats that have to do with human chemicals and biology and physiology and all that stuff that I find so fascinating but never got around to studying. It was only 30 years ago that the first human pheromones were discovered. Things these days may seem to fly by, but 30 years is nothing in the science field. When science finally discovers that there are other chemicals like pheromones that dictate who we have as friends and enemies and the like, and when we can measure those chemicals and the reactions between people, then we may be able to quantify team chemistry. I wonder where that will fit on the back of a baseball card?

Very interesting and fun to think about. I remember reading somewhere about how parents were electing to put their high school kids under the knife to have Tommy John surgery they didn't need just to put a few MPH on their fastballs to increase their chances of getting to the Majors. While that is an outrage (and should be thought of along the lines of steroids, but no, surgery is not DRUGS! so it's not morally wrong, right?), I started thinking about the possibility of other things one could do to a body to increase competitiveness. What if science develops an artificial leg that gives a human being the capability of running 20 MPH or a fake arm that throws 120 MPH? I don't watch a lot of science fiction, but it is kind of fun to imagine a sort of half robot half human player. It'd be like the Ultra League of the Nintendo game Baseball Simulator 1000 where you could throw pitches that disappeared halfway to the plate and do a rocket jump to catch a ball twenty feet in the air. I'd hate for that to happen - it'd take the beauty of the game.

I better stop. My imagination kind of takes over and I could just go on forever... ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Watching Nederland again...

It's a meaningless game except to win the pool since both they and Puerto Rico already advanced, but it's still a good game. I'm starting to wonder if they might keep winning - they have some good pitching.

I've been trying to think of a good Netherlands story but all the times I went there were rather uneventful. The very first time I went there I got out of the train station in Amsterdam and saw a man smash another guy's head with a brick. I've been to Amsterdam a couple of times, Haarlem, Utrecht, Leiden, and Rotterdam. About the only thing remotely interesting that happened in any of those times was when I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered something that was disgusting (and I eat everything). Imagine reading a Thai menu in Dutch. Then I ordered the disgusting Oranjeboom beer and I tried to make both tolerable by pouring the beer in the food. It didn't help. I ate Indian food for the first time in my life in Utrecht. My favorite meal in Netherlands was the pancakes I ate in Leiden with onions and mushrooms. Oh, I am hungry now to be thinking only of food.

I want one of those orange caps.

Onvoorstelbaar Oranje: 'Wow'

From the Nederlandse honkbalsite:
"Zij speelden vrijwel perfect. Ik kan niet anders dan ze feliciteren." Felipe Alou, manager van de Dominicaanse Republiek, was zeer aangeslagen na de tweede nederlaag in vier dagen tijd tegen Nederland. Na het verlies op zaterdag stelde Alou nog dat dit een tegenstander was waar de Dominicaanse Republiek met 9-0 van zou moeten winnen. Na gisteravond weet hij nu wel beter. Nederland is de hoofdrolspeler geworden van de tweede World Baseball Classic. Rod Delmonico: "Ik kan alleen maar zeggen: wow!"
I just like the look of Dutch. My favorite word in this paragraph is "vrijwel." Baseball is called honkbal and the Dutch professional league is Hoofdklasse.

What a game.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Nederlands wins! One of the best baseball games I have ever seen - and favorite WBC winner is eliminated!

God, I love this game.

Poor Votto

Our Canuck seems pretty down that Canada has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic. It's the biggest surprise of the tournament thus far. Right now Italia is playing Venezuela and I'm rooting hard for the Euros to beat Team Chavez. It would be nice for a European team to get some recognition to elevate the sport on the continent I wish I called home.

But - back to Joey. He's tasted it, that excitement of high level competition. He played in the best baseball game of his life on Saturday, and he's not going to be able to settle for losing.

I'm starting to really get excited about the 2009 Cincinnati Reds. I was down on them all winter, but, you know, spring, rebirth, all that flowery jazz, the sweet fragrance of freshly mowed grass and the photos of verdant heaven and bare arms in daytime...I can practically hear the crack of the bat.



Chris Dickerson gets some love on MLB.com.
And then there's Dickerson, a career .255 hitter in the Minor Leagues who had never hit more than 13 homers in a season. Called up by the Cincinnati Reds last year to take the place of perennial 40-homer man Adam Dunn, who was traded to Arizona, Dickerson surprised a lot of seasoned baseball people.

Dickerson hit .304 with six homers and 15 RBIs after an Aug. 12 callup and now is projected to start for the Reds in left field in 2009.

"Taking that experience and mind-set into this year, it's almost like having a head start," Dickerson said recently. "You know what works, what approach you had and what it took to be successful at this level."

Dickerson isn't the only one who feels that way. His manager, Dusty Baker, was impressed with what he saw in the late stages of the season and thinks the playing time will prove to be extremely valuable for the young player.

"The fact that you did it, your confidence level rises," Baker said. "You think you belong here. He's always had the ability. Everybody was trying to figure out when he was going to put it together. When you look at him, you think, 'What took you so long?' It doesn't matter when you get it. The key is to get it and get it in time."

Dickerson is competing with several veteran outfielders for the job, but when he's asked how he feels about his chances, his answer could speak for all of the second-half wonders of 2008 who find themselves on the map in 2009.

"What's the point in coming out if you don't feel like you're going to win the spot?" Dickerson said.

"I don't come out here to sit on the bench."

Monday, March 09, 2009

Did you know?

Did you know that Team Canada star Joey Votto played seven games at catcher during his time in the Gulf Coast League in 2002? He also played nineteen games at third base and three games in the outfield, but no games at first base. He became a first baseman the next year at Billings.

A proposed rule change

What is with the Reds? I mean, five grand slams this spring? Save some for the season, boys!

Anyway, I was looking at the boxscore, specifically at the two blown saves (Lincoln and Jukich) and the W behind an undeserving pitcher's name. Jukich blew the save and is rewarded with a win? Not right. So here's what I propose. If a pitcher blows a save and the team comes back and wins the game, the win should go to the pitcher whose win was stolen from him by a crappy bullpen appearance.

What do you think?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

I'm glad Joey Votto is on my team.

What an awesome day for baseball.

A man who played a game for a living sat in a dugout with his fingers to his neck. Forty-two thousand people, feet planted firmly in a standing position, roared thunder into a great white dome as the clean up hitter dug into the batter’s box. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, man on second, down one run. It was the classic Hollywood situation brought very much to life under the glare of an international spotlight.

The man checking his pulse was the one responsible for the outcome of the game. A last minute roster replacement, only fate had put him in the dugout, and he had delivered with one hit, two walks, and two runs. That one hit was the difference maker, a two run bomb that put Team USA up 6-3 at the time of the blast. (Oh Adam, first in war, first in peace, last in the National League East.)

What a joyous sight it was to see a stadium filled with so many enthusiastic fans for a fledgling tournament with a vocal opposition. Canadians brandished maple leaves and the Stars and Stripes responded with a choral minority. Venezuelans, too, were well represented as they waited for the next game, their violent yellow announcing their presence with authority. But. USA! USA! USA!

This was a beautiful baseball game. If your heart wasn’t racing like Adam Dunn’s, you’re probably dead. And if you didn’t watch it, you should be dead. (Ha ha, just kidding on that last part. But you did miss a hell of a game.) The intensity was astounding, the mood festive, the passion deep and genuine. If you love the game with the little white sphere, this was the game for you.

Dunner had a brief but great interview after the game, an interview in which he said flat out he’d never been to the playoffs but this was what he thought the playoffs were like. And you could see in his eyes and hear in his voice and feel with your soul that the excitement he felt was unlike anything he’d known. Playoff atmosphere it was, indeed. He had a big game in a game that mattered. As a Reds fan, one has to wonder what he could have done in autumn baseball. As a Nats fan, I know he isn’t going to get that any time soon. As a Dunn fan, I have just conjured up this bizarre scenario in my imagination where the Reds are in first place at the trade deadline but realize they need a power bat if they are to make it to the promised land, and without Jimbo at the helm, a trade can return him to his rightful place in leftfield (with all due respect to Chris Dickerson and whoever else may play there.)

What a game.

A kid with a kid’s name comes up to the plate for his first at bat, see, this canuck, and he stares at one of the best pitchers in the game and says, whatever, and promptly singles. But that wasn’t good enough. Next at bat, he mashes one into the rightfield stands to put his team up 2-1. And you really have to watch him. He has It. He has The Thing. Oh, yes, he had an excellent rookie season the previous year, would have won rookie of the year if this other kid who played a tougher position for a better club hadn’t had a season equally as good. But this canuck, see, he has The Beauty and you don’t see that very often in your life. Ken Griffey, Jr. had The Beauty and now he has the ghost of The Beauty but it’s still beautiful. So Joey Votto isn’t content with his single and his homer and singles again later in the game, when his team is down and needs to score. And then he comes up in the ninth inning with his team down by two runs and what does he do but hits a double that scores the fifth run for his team.

I can’t wait to see this guy play October baseball with Cincinnati stitched across his chest.

That brings up Jason Bay. Votto, who is not slow, is pinch run for, and I don't know anything about the pinch runner except he looked like Votto if Votto weren't a pinup boy. Same body, different face. A little scrawnier, I guess. Oh man, this was a great battle. I was at least chewing on my fingers or something like that because I did feel like this was the playoffs and I was definitely sitting on the edge of the couch and I felt my heart in my throat but I was torn. I rooted with all of my being for the one who will someday be The Best Canadian To Ever Play The Game to get a hit and he did and secretly I had wanted a homer to tie it up. I know, I know, in this day and age a person is never satisfied, right? Well, I am rooting for Team USA in the tournament because USA! USA! USA! but I am also rooting for Reds players and I saw our canuck in the dugout after the game and he was so sad but Dunner was so happy and oh my god I don't know what to think because I'm happy and sad at the exact same time and well, We won.

That was a darn good baseball game.

(You can get the full game recap here. I’m not here to regurgitate things you can find on any other website in the vast of the world wide web.)

A little spring fun

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Holy craap, Nederlands stuns Republica Dominicana!

Voltron gave up three runs to Nederlands today, which was enough for the loss in this gigantic, enormous, huge, massive upset in the first round of the World Baseball Classic. In the first inning alone, he threw 29 pitches. You only get 70 in this round.

Baby Red Alexander Smit did not fare very well, either, as he only pitched to three batters, giving up a sac fly, a single, and an intentional walk.

Havoc was caught stealing after getting a hit.

Team Dominicana is the overwhelming favorite to win the whole thing. Nederlands only needs to win one more game to advance to the second round. Upsets are fun! Woooo Nederlands!

Unfortunately, it was sooooooooooooooooooo beautiful today I missed the game. I'm sorry I did. Right now I have USA vs. Canada on inside, but I can't bear to go in to watch it except every now and then. Votto has had a monster day so far, getting a single and hitting a massive homer. Thom thinks he's going to have an incredible year. I'm inclined to agree.

Get on your gloves!

It’s the first day of the year that is warm enough to wear a t-shirt outside, a Saturday at 1:30pm. I’m sitting outside in a suburban housing development where people buy houses to raise families and no single person would dare to dwell. To my left, I can see twenty houses from the back patio, five of them with backyard playgrounds. To my right are eighteen houses and four backyard playgrounds. That’s nine backyard playgrounds, the kind that cost hundreds of dollars to put up, tall wooden structures with swings and slides and little houses to climb in. Nine backyard playgrounds, empty, the swings used by ghosts born of the wind. Thirty-eight houses, not a single child outside playing.

The clock slips later into the day. Two children appear in a yard without a playground followed by a man in a green windbreaker. And then, a beautiful sight – a baseball being tossed through the air. The clouds that had become thick suddenly part, revealing a blue sky, weak with spring but brilliant nonetheless. I see the ball in the air then nothing, an errant throw to dad. The man in green disappears behind some thick shrubs of the same color and returns, taking a moment to demonstrate proper throwing. He holds the ball next to his ear and I know what he’s saying without hearing it. A toss, the ball disappears again, a pause, another little white sphere sails through the air. A perfect strike to dad.

I hear Homer kicking butt on the radio and feel warm sunshine on my skin and see kids playing baseball. There aren't too many things better than this.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Top Ten Reasons To Watch The World Baseball Classic

Team USA appeared on Letterman last night and read the Top Ten list.

10. Jimmy Rollins: "Due to the economic crisis, we all have to share the same pair of pants"

9. Curtis Granderson: "Japan has one of them crazy robot shortstops"

8. Dustin Pedroia: "Because it's an international event, our right fielder is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton"

7. Chipper Jones: "The winning team plays Neptune in the Galactic Baseball Classic"

6. Roy Oswalt: "It's fascinating seeing how players from other countries scratch themselves"

5. Adam Dunn: "You'll be part of a cherished baseball tradition dating all the way back to 2006"

4. Ryan Braun: "Because of the metric system, the games will be 6.83 innings"

3. Kevin Youkalis: "Before each game, you get to sit through 30 different national anthems"

2. David Wright: "Australia's secret weapon: a fastball-throwin' kangaroo"

1. Derek Jeter: "What else are you going to watch, hockey?"

Watch it here.

Sometimes a rose is more than just a rose

Once upon a time…

There was a little girl with a "Pete's Back" shirt who understood the energy and the fervor that was swirling around a certain city on the banks of the Ohio though she couldn’t quite grasp why it was there. The shirt was teddy bear sized. It's yellowed now and tucked away into a box with other memories, but it hasn't been forgotten.

The house where a child donned such a uniform was a practical stadium with a practical name – Riverfront. Simple. Descriptive. Logical. Makes people believe that all of this corporate nonsense is new, this changing of the names in the middle of a baseball cathedral’s existence, this marketing bacchanal that seems to transpire before our new millennium eyes. (Nevermind that it was Powell Crosley, Jr. in 1934 who changed the name of Redland Field to something more egotistical. But his cathedral was demolished, too.) On the outside, Riverfront had its own beauty in a practical sort of way. On the inside was the same perfect diamond that is found across the country, indeed across the world. (As a spectator, it was tough to tell that green was fake, and to a kid, it didn’t matter.) The record was broken, more games were played, school grades increased, a World Series, a strike, a division title, college, adulthood, life. Riverfront was always going to be there and then it wasn’t.

As a result we're left to piece together the memories that could very well not be our own but false recollections based on replays of the same few great moments – three World Series, a perfect game, 4192. There's nothing standing to remind us, nothing left but a white rose marking the spot where a record fell. Now we walk down Vine Street or Pete Rose Way or across the purple bridge to the ballpark and pass the gaping brown hole where a stadium once stood. You can still see the place under the bridge where the vendors sold big blow up bats and foam fingers that said “Reds #1” even though when I passed through the Reds were usually #2.

The bulldozers have come in and flattened the land and you can see signs of something coming to life, something years in the making, something that became ridiculously political. Soon there will be unadventurous chain restaurants and overpriced condos and apartments and offices and nobody will ever think about how someone sat in that exact spot as the chair at the dinner table while watching Johnny Bench hit a homerun or Tom Seaver strike a guy out.

I sometimes wonder what children think as they pass by the desolate space. Do they know what happened on that ground? Do they appreciate going to the new park that will one day be ripped down, forcing them to struggle to recall what are real memories and what is remembered by film clips? No, no they don’t, because they don’t get it, just like that girl with the Pete’s Back shirt didn’t get it. Going to Riverfront was just about the best thing that girl could do, but she didn’t fully appreciate it because as children we rarely understand that there is something to appreciate. We take for granted those things will always be there. Come to think about it, most adults do, too.

So go on over to the website and vote for the Banks Project to be renamed The Riverfront District. Because that’s what it is, a stadium burial ground on the banks of the Ohio.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New and Improved MLB.TV?

I was going to purchase MLB.TV for this month, at least and discovered that an MLB.TV subscription no longer includes Gameday Audio. As a result of being in the Cincy market last year, I didn't purchase MLB.TV, so this could have happened last year. The only reason this really matters to me is that I wanted to listen to the Reds play Nederlands tonight. Not that Nederlands has any players I want to watch - I just love international competition. I'm pumped for the World Baseball Classic and am contemplating getting up for the Asian games that start tomorrow. (I have to watch U2 on Good Morning America on Friday so I might as well get up a couple of hours earlier to watch baseball, right?)

Anyway, there are some new MLB.TV Premium features this year that are kind of cool, the first particularly good for Reds fans - the option of syncing the radio feed to the television broadcast. So when the Cowboy and George Grande are driveling on about how great Jim Edmonds is, you can flip over to Marty and Thom (I like them.) Also, there is a DVR option. And it says you can get the games in HD - I'm pretty sure I have HD on my laptop, so that might be pretty cool. (On a related note - can anyone tell me what an HDMI port is? I think it has something to do with getting television? I know there's television software on this thing, I just haven't explored it yet.) There's also a player tracker option where you can get alerts when your favorite player is up to bat. That sounds good for people into fantasy baseball. You can also get a picture in picture if you want to watch two games at once. Sounds pretty cool.

Fun with history

Did you know you could look at every Sports Illustrated cover for every team? It was fun to go back through the Reds covers.Pete wins for the most covers, though I'd rather three of them not exist. And maybe one of the most hideous covers of all time is the one featuring Marge Schott and her cigarette. Just wow.

I have this Junior cover. I hung it on my wall for years and years. If only...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Think warm! (It's not working)

It's a bummer that more games aren't on the radio, television, or internet. You would think in this day and age of media orgies that it would be possible to televise every game, even if it just meant sticking a camera behind homeplate and letting it run with only the sounds of the game for audio. Just give us a streaming internet feed or a webcam or something. We're all freezing our butts off and a lot of us are buried under snow (not me thank god) and it would be a sort of mental medicine if we could just get a look at a baseball game and some palm trees.

I'm not feeling all that great today and I was thinking about how there was a case of whooping cough in my six-year old cousin's class and the county health department had to send out letters to the parents of all the kids in the schools warning them about it. I thought pertussis was pretty much a dead disease because of vaccines. Turns out though, that it's making a comeback because kids aren't getting vaccinated as a result of the cost of health care in this country. Some parents simply can't afford it. The pols are right when they say we don't have a health care system in this country; we have a sick care system.

No, I'm not gonna get whooping cough because I had my DTPs all those years ago when medical care was for people instead of profits. But I do start whooping every time the Reds make a baserunning blunder. They've been caught stealing six of ten times this spring and have gotten thrown out trying to take an extra bag several other times. That was already a problem last year when we were actually talking about how we have the worst third base coach in the history of base coaches but now that we have all of these guys who are supposedly fast, Toothpick wants to run even more, which just means we're gonna be running ourselves out of games. That's Havoc!

With all of these baserunning blunders, maybe it's a good thing we can't see the games.
It's Christmas time in leftfield.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Don't forget to pack your Leatherpants and don't let the door hit your Segway on the way out.

Marty Brennaman said, "There are some days you remember all your life. I remember where I was the day JFK was assassinated...and I will always remember March 1, 2009."

Naturally, Leatherpants blames everyone but himself. I hope that man never gets another job in baseball again.