Friday, February 26, 2010

Catcher Preview

I planned on writing about the Olympic hockey semifinals but neither is all that interesting so I will begin my Reds preview. Today it is the Catchers.

Ramon Hernandez

-2009 stats (avg/obp/slg/ops/ops+) .258/.336/.362/.699/84, 81 games, 5 HR, 37 RBI

Ramon is 33 years old and on a steady decline. His OPS+ has gone from 111 to 88 to 87 to 84. He is a nice insurance policy for this season but Ryan Hanigan should be the full time starter by July. Ramon was injured last season and only managed 330 PA's but was passable when in the lineup. For some reason Dusty loves him. I am guessing it has something to do with his speaking spanish which comes in handy with our latin heavy pitching staff. This season he should transition to a backup and allow Hanigan to take over.

Ryan Hanigan

2009 stats.263/.361/.331/.692/84, 90 games, 3 HR, 11 RBI

Ryan is only 29 and should get his opportunity this season. Both players are essentially the same except one is on the decline and the other is in his prime and hungry to make an impression. Dusty doesn't like him because he isn't "clutch" or a "run-producer," two terms that are impossible to quantify. His RISP stats were bad but the sample size was tiny. Over a full season they should balance out and he will be just fine. His defense is also much better then Ramons. Let's hope Dusty gets his head out of his ass and let's Ryan have his chance to be an everyday catcher.

Wilkin Castillo

He is a utility player who can also catch. He should not get a start unless it is an emergency.

That is the catcher breakdown. Here's hoping Hanigan gets his shot and thrives. I am a big fan because I can yell his name with a drunken slur like an irishman. Cheers young Hanigan. Erin Go Bragh.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Little late but here are some links

I blame LOST for the lateness of it. It is only an hour show but takes at least 12 hours to digest it and even then i don't understand half of it. Here are a few interesting links I came across:

-For LOST fans, you must read Doc Jensen. He does recaps and previews of all things LOST and they are amazing. Not sure what he will do when it ends but for know he is a must read every week.

-Two of my favorite things are coming together: Maker's Mark and the 1990 World Champion Cincinnati Reds

-C. Trent continues his great work on the Reds. Nice to have good writers for this mess of a team. Some great Dusty quotes. Savor them because this will be his last spring training.

-At least the Reds aren't the Royals. They are dealing with a hot dog shooting lawsuit.

-How about 'Merica? Glad we beat America Jr. in hockey. Too bad NBC hates sports and sent it to their non-HD channel in favor of Ice Dancing. It makes sense. Let's put the one game everyone cares about in the one sport that must be in HD on our crappy non-HD channel and put the least exciting category of the most boring sport that looks the same on any TV in HD. I can't figure out why NBC is 4th in the rating with brilliant decisions like that. Apparently I am not alone in my hate for NBC's coverage.

-As March madness gets closer, here is a link that will get you excited about it and waste a ton of time.

-Finally, ladies take note. This is what you do when a man proposes to you. I knew I liked Hilary Duff for some reason

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reds, Olympics, college basketball

-Spring training has started. For constant updates I recommend C. Trent Rosecrans at or John Fay at the Cincinnati Enquirer. They are both on site in Arizona and are posting updates and pictures from the new complex in Goodyear. Seeing green grass and blue skies after the winter we have had makes me wish spring were here right now. Alas, we still have 5 weeks.

-In the meantime we have the Olympics to keep us occupied. The reason the Olympics are so popular is because there is a clear good guy and a clear bad guy. America is of course the good guy and everyone other country is the bad guy. Not all bad guys are created equal. Some evoke more hate then others. Here is a quick list of countries I root against most, starting with most hated:
  1. France-people are mean even though we bailed them out of 2 world wars. Instead of rolling out the red carpet for Americans, they treat us as second class citizens. Hey, you would be speaking German if not for us. How bout a few bottles of wine on the house Pierre?
  2. Russia-We hated them for 50 years and old habits die hard. The Winter Olympics really bring it out because they mention the Miracle on Ice ever 10 seconds. By the way, who won that Cold War? That's what I thought.
  3. China-I fear they will rise in coming Olympics, mainly because their country is a rising world power. France and Russia are pretty much the same as they were a decade ago but China is totally different. In 10 years they will probably win everything and own everything. I am starting the hate early.
  4. Germany-You would think the country that started 2 world wars and slaughtered millions would be higher but what can I say, I enjoy beer and so do they.
  5. Everyone else-no one else really raises my ire. The Scandinavians seem harmless and America Jr.(Canada) is too nice.
-The college basketball regular season is winding down as we sit 3 weeks from conference tourney week. Kansas looks like the best team barring a major collapse. Kentucky looks good but hasn't played a good team all year thanks to a weak SEC again. The top of the Big East is wearing each other out but should still be ready to take over March again. The rejuvenated Big 10 has potential but needs to prove someone besides Michigan State can win in the tournament before they can be trusted.

Have a good weekend, be safe, and stay away from girls with big hair.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baseball is back and so am I

Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow. The wait is over.

I am calling this season the Dusty Baker Farewell Tour. Why is it his farewell tour? Let me explain:
  • He is in the final year of his contract, meaning no future monetary commitments (a big deal for a cash-strapped franchise)
  • The organization has upgraded signifcantly at SS, 3B, and CF since last seasons opening day (I can't believe Taveras is gone)
  • 3 years is enough time to judge(although I saw this coming after 2 months)
  • The young core is ready and cheap, which will not last so they cannot waste another year of Votto/Bruce/Cueto/Volquez earning less then 2 million each
  • The fans are antsy and the Reds can't go another decade without the playoffs (hell the Bengals have made it twice since the Reds last made it)
  • The division is ripe for the taking (The Cubs/Pirates/Astros/Brewers all downgraded in talent while the Cards stayed the same and are one big injury from trouble)
This means either he makes the playoffs, meaning he finishes above two of the Cubs/Cards/Brewers trifecta (he hasn't beaten any of the three the past two years), or he is gone. A reasonably competent manager would win 85 games or so with this talent. Too bad Dusty is nowhere near reasonably competent. I see 80 at most, which puts us in 3rd, making him toast.

So, without further ado, let the Dusty Baker Farewell Tour begin.

I have changed strategies this season. My posts will be more consistent, but not as frequent(that is, unless they win or i get more free time). I will commit to a post every Friday and Tuesday. Other posts will come based on my availability, interest, and imagination. Just warning all 3 of you readers ahead of time.