Reds Insider
From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Monday, December 31, 2007

A post on the Post

I've got nothing Reds-related today. Just wanted to wish all the best to those at the soon-to-be-late, great Post.

I've been around so long that Tony Jackson told me the other day that he assumed I worked at the Post at some point. I did not. I did deliver it for a couple months when I was about 12, and, like most West Siders, I grew up reading it.

Some of my best friends in the business are former Post writers. I'm sure the current crew -- Lonnie, C. Trent, Josh and Go-Go -- will land on their feet. It's going to be weird seeing that empty spot on the press row.

Sad day for Cincinnati. Sad day for newspaper people.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Add a vet or go with the young guys?

Now that it's pretty apparent that Erik Bedard isn't going to become a Red any time soon, the Reds are looking at young, unproven pitchers for three of the five rotation sports.

Do you think they'd be well-served to add a second-tier free agent? Livan Hernandez, Steve Trachsel, Bartolo Colon, Jason Jennings, Freddie Garcia, Kris Benson, Matt Clement and Jon Lieber are still out there. Other than Hernandez, there are health questions about them all.

Or do you think the Reds should just go with the young guys? Homer Bailey and Edinson Volquez would be in rotation if the season started today. But Johnny Cueto and Matt Maloney are close to big league ready as well, so they could replace Bailey or Volquez if they falter.

And I hope you all had a happy holiday.

There's been some debate about anonymous posting. I'll continue to allow it, although I wish people would register or leave a name at the bottom so people could respond to them. Everyone on the site, except for me, is anonymous anyway if they choose to be. I don't think there's a guy out there named Bob Redlegs.

It wouldn't hurt for everyone to be a little nicer and little more tolerant. In other words, rip the post not the poster.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Implications of the Hamilton trade

Just finished my Sunday Insider for the paper -- how about those Bearcats, by the way? -- the gist of the Insider is the odds of the Reds getting Erik Bedard are not good in the wake of Josh Hamilton trade.

Baltimore has backed off the insistence that Jay Bruce be in the deal. But the Orioles want three top prospects. That probably means Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto. The Reds probably aren't going to do that.

I can see why. If Bedard walks after two years, the trade would be a disaster if even two of the three panned out.

I still think the Reds will add a veteran starter, just not one in Bedard's class.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Reds trade Hamilton (updated)

The Reds have traded Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers for a pair of young pitchers. The top one is Edinson Volquez, the Rangers' minor league pitcher of the year.

Volquez is a 24-year-old right-hander. He was 14-6 with a 3.67 ERA in the two minor league stops last year. He struck out 166 and allowed 98 hits in 144 2/3 innings.

He was 2-1 with 4.50 ERA in six starts for the Rangers.

The other other in the deal is Danny Herrera, a 23-year-old left-handed reliever. He was 7-2 with a 3.69 ERA last year with Bakersfield and Frisco. He struck out 75 and allowed 57 hits in the 63 1/3 innings.

A little instant analysis here: I don't think this means the Reds won't trade for Erik Bedard. It makes it easier to give up Homer Bailey. I think Ryan Freel is the leader in clubhouse in the center field race. But Jay Bruce could be end up there by Opening Day. I think Hamilton will hit a lot of home runs in Texas. Questions about his durability made him easier to trade. Johnny Narron being his personal coach didn't sit well in the clubhouse.

From the conference call:

Hamilton: "It did (surprise me). It really did. I got a call last night. They asked me to come to Texas for a physical."

On Cincinnati: "I was in right place for coming back. A city that had never seen me play welcoming me the way they did on Opening Day. I enjoyed the fans. I enjoyed the organization. I told Wayne to tell Mr. Castellini thank you."

Krivsky: "I look at it as value for value. I made up my mind if we were going to give up Josh, we had to get quality in return. Volquez is a guy who can bolster our rotation for years to come."

On Volquez's stuff: "He's a fastball, curve, change-up pitcher. He's athletic with a live arm. He's from the Dominican. His hero is Pedro Martinez. (Volquez) is a charismatic guy. He's animated on the mound. He pitches from 92 to 94. But he can go get 97 or so. His breaking ball pitch is hard, more like a 'slurve.' His change-up is well above average. He's got impressive stuff. It's a matter of putting it together."

On center field: "That's open for competition. Spring training will determine a lot. (Norris) Hopper, (Ryan) Freel, (Chris) Dickerson and (Jay) Bruce will compete."

Are the Reds still looking for veteran starter? "It depends on what we'd have to give up (in trade) With free agents, it's a matter of dollars and years. We're always looking for pitching. But, with Volquez, (Johnny) Cueto, Matt Maloney and Homer Bailey, we have four pitchers, 21 to 24 (years old), on the cusp of the big leagues. With the ceilings they have, we feel good about the future."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Bedard update

I did some checking on the Erik Bedard front today. It's sounds like nothing has changed -- the Orioles want Jay Bruce; the Reds aren't going to give him up. That is not to say the deal is dead. The Reds are hopeful as the field narrows that they'll be able to work something out.

The Mariners, despite agreeing to a deal with Carlos Silva, are still interested in Bedard.

The Reds are also looking at pitchers other than Bedard. I don't have specifics. But Oakland's Joe Blanton may not be Plan B.

And to get you in that holiday spirit, from the Reds:

TODAY’S NEWS: Mr. Redlegs will make an appearance at the Freestore/Foodbank’s annual Christmas toy distribution party tomorrow (Friday, December 21) from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Liberty and Walnut Streets in Over The Rhine...the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum has donated 500 baseballs for the children and their parents.

That's Mr. Redlegs, the mascot, not the guy who posts on this blog, I would assume.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Talking to Krivsky

I spoke with Wayne Krivsky this afternoon. He did not sound like a man on the verge of a deal.

"We don't have anything at this point," he said. "Today was a pretty quiet day."

The reason I asked is foxsports.com reports that Seattle is close to signing Carlos Silva. Seattle was considered one of the front-runners to land Erik Bedard.

"When somebody signs a free agent, it possibly takes them out of trying to trade for other players," Krivsky said. "But a team may sign someone and still try to trade."

In other words, Seattle may still be interested in Bedard. If the Mariners aren't and with the Dodgers out of the field, the Reds' chances would be considerably better.

Rose on the Mitchell Report

Pete Rose is going to be on "Sports Unfiltered with Dennis Miller" on Versus (it's a cable network) tomorrow at 10 p.m. Here's what Rose had to say about the Mitchell Report:

"The Mitchell report’s come out and I never thought anybody would make me look like an altar boy."

"If you’re gonna put these guys that supposedly did steroids into the Hall of Fame, I mean I gotta get a shot somewhere."

"I’ve been suspended 18 years for betting on my own team to win… I was wrong....but these guys today, if the allegations are true, they’re making a mockery of the game."

I think the Mitchell Report is going to keep Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds out of the Hall of Fame, unless the allegations are proven untrue. Rose's problem now is that even if he was re-instated it's up to Veteran's Committee to put him in. I don't see that happening.

Narron sitting out '08

I spoke to Jerry Narron yesterday. He said he turned down four offers to coach in the big leagues. He's going to sit the year out. The Reds, of course, are paying him through 2008.

"I'm fine," he said. "I have 25 years in the big leagues. Let someone else a chance."

Narron, the self-proclaimed Baseball Guy, gets his fix daily, working with his son. Connor is a sophomore shortstop for Aycock High. I'm no expert in such things, but I've got to think the kid will be a first-round draft choice. He started as a freshman on the state championship team. He's a switch-hitter with some pop.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Kuroda ripple effects

The Los Angeles Dodgers officially introduced Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda Sunday. Signing Kuroda to a three-year, $35.5 million deal probably removes the Dodgers from the Erik Bedard chase.

But it may mean the Seattle Mariners, who hoped to get Kuroda, go after Bedard. The Dodgers were reportedly interested in the Oakland right-hander Joe Blanton. So the Reds may be in better shape as far as trades.

The Reds weren't ready to jump into the competition for top Japanese talent.

"Some of the other clubs are in better position as far as scouting," Wayne Krivsky said last week. "We're talked to some agents. We've scouted some players off video. (Japan) is an area we're trying to make in roads in."

Kuroda, 32, was 12-8 with 3.65 ERA for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp last season. That shows how valuable starting pitching is on the open market.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Junior's Mitchell statement

I tried to get a hold of Ken Griffey Jr. today -- he'd give me the keys to Aston Martin sooner than his cell number -- but failed. Griffey left a statement with his agent, Brian Goldberg:

"Obviously, it's unfortunate having those names attached to the report. But more importantly, going forward we need to do everything possible to restore and maintain the fans' confidence in the game and the players."

That's typical Griffey. He will never say: I was clean. That makes what I've done a lot more noteworthy than I'm given credit for.

"Besides staying away from this stuff," Goldberg said, "I'm proud that I've never once have I heard him say: If they hadn't done this, I would have been able to accomplish that. Just like I haven't heard him say: If I hadn't had all the injuries, I would have done this or that."

I haven't heard Griffey talk about what might have been either. And I and others haven't tried to get him to talk about it.

The temptation had to be there to cheat. Steroids and human growth hormone would have made it easier to come back from those injuries. You've got to give him credit for playing clean -- even if he won't ask for it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell thoughts

After digesting the Mitchell Report and the reactions to it -- and that was a lot to digest -- I've got to think that only a fraction of the players who used steroids were named/caught.

Almost all the new names came from the two New York guys, Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee. Most of the older allegations are from BALCO. So if you got your 'roids from elsewhere, you're probably not in the report. There are a lot of other ways to get HGH, steroids and the like. My guess is a lot of guys were relieved today.

By the way, the Reds had no idea Mike Stanton was going to be named.

The report is going have ramifications on Hall of Fame voting for years. This is the first year I get a vote. I don't even want to think about it yet. I'm bleary-eyed from reading the Mitchell Report.

Mitchell Report (updated)

From the Sen. George Mitchell's report, as it relates to the Reds (all this is according to the report, of course):

--Hal Morris bought steroids from Kirk Radomski while Morris was playing for the Reds in 1999. Morris paid by check.

--Current Red Mike Stanton bought human growth hormone from Radomki in 2003.

--Former Reds Denny Neagle, Ron Villone, Ryan Franklin, Kent Mercker and Josias Manzanilla bought from Radomski.

--Former Scott Schoeneweis is mentioned in connection with steroids. The Commissioner's Office ruled Dec. 7 that there was enough evidence to discipline Schoeneweis.

Bud Selig just completed his press conference. It sounds like he won't take Mitchell's recommendation and not punish players named.

"I will deal with active players," he said.

He went on to say he'll consider disciplining others in the games involved. Dusty Baker was mentioned briefly in the report. Marvin Bernard admitted to Baker that he took steroids. Baker did not report that to the Giants or the Commissioner's Office.

Like the Schoeneweis allegations, much of the report is a rehash of reports already out. The biggest new name is Roger Clemens. Others mentioned: Andy Pettitte, Eric Gagne, Jason Giambi, Troy Glaus, Gary Matthews Jr., Jose Guillen, Brian Roberts, Paul Lo Duca and Rick Ankiel.

Very damning stuff on Clemens: "According to (Brian) McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens' performance showed remarkable improvement,'' the report said. "During this period of improved performance, Clemens told McNamee that the steroids 'had a pretty good effect' on him."

The report talks about wide-spread use and spreads the blame for it around.

Mitchell recommended that players mentioned in the report not be punished. He talked about "looking forward." He said all the allegations of use are at least two years and at times nine years in the past.

Jack Armstrong is the first Red mentioned in the report: "Within the past week, the former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jack Armstrong estimated that between 20% and 30% of the players in his era, 1988 to 1994, were using large does of steroids while an even higher percentage of players were using lower, maintenance does of steroids."

Mitchell's group tried to interview 500 former players. Only 68 agreed to be interviewed.

Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse employee, was key to the report. Eleven players admitted Radomski that supplied them with performance-enhancing substances. The committee founded evidence -- cancelled checks and the like to support -- Radomski's claims.

McNamee, the former New York Yankees trainer, told Mitchell that he was "a direct eyewitness" of three players he served as personal trainer to.

The report says Baker told investigators that in 2003 when he was manager of the San Francisco Giants that he was "completely shocked" when allegations of steroid use by Marvin Bernard were made. The report says Baker asked Bernard if the allegations were true. Bernard, Baker said, admitted use the past. Baker, the report said, did not report this Giants or the Commissioner's Office.

Baker is not mentioned in section on Barry Bonds that follows the section on Bernard.


From the Reds:

The Reds will not offer Major League contracts for 2008 to IF Jerry Gil or RHP Brad Salmon but have re-signed both players to minor league contracts with invitations to big league spring training camp.

Bedard update

While we wait for the Mitchell Report, here's an update:

The Reds remain hopeful that they can land Erik Bedard but not as hopeful as they were last week. Let's say 50-50. The Orioles continue to insist on Jay Bruce. The Reds aren't going to give him up. I'm not sure how or if the Miguel Tejada trade will affect this. The Orioles did get Luke Scott, a left-handed hitting outfielder, in the trade.

Even if the Reds can't land Bedard, they're dead set on having a proven starter in the mix. Oakland's Dan Haren is the best available. But Billy Beane is asking a lot -- probably too much for the Reds' tastes. That leaves Cliff Lee and the second-tier free agents. Dusty Baker told some people at the Winter Meetings that he would like to have Mark Prior, who the Cubs non-tendered. He's a huge risk because of his medical history. But, if he's healthy, the reward would be large.

Carlos Silva remains on unsigned. I'd be surprised if the Reds would lay out that kind of coin. But, then again, I didn't think they'd pay $46 million for Francisco Cordero.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

O's on Bedard

This from today's Baltimore Sun:

Despite rampant rumors that (Brian) Roberts, shortstop Miguel Tejada and ace pitcher Erik Bedard are about to be traded, MacPhail said no deals were imminent as of last night.

"There's no shortage of talk, but it's just that - talk," MacPhail said. "The conversations have not ebbed since we left Nashville."

MacPhail said the club is in the process of filtering the number of suitors to decide who is the best trade fit for several Orioles. At this point, it appears the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners have emerged as the leading contenders for Bedard. The Houston Astros have been the most aggressive suitor for Tejada, and the Chicago Cubs have honed in on Roberts.

I talked to someone today who thought the Reds were third in the race, but that they could get the deal done if they offered Jay Bruce. I don't think they'll do that.

It's interesting, this trade is likely to come down to what the Reds and O's think of Reds' top two prospects. That's a very fluid thing. This time last year, my guess is the Reds would have traded Bruce but not Bailey. If Bailey wins 11 or 12 games this season, he'll go back to untouchable.

Monday, December 10, 2007

From Cantu

I got an email the other day from Jorge Cantu.

"A little bit surprised? Yes," he wrote. "I really liked the ball club a lot. I thanked them for the opportunity. Now it's time on to test free agency."

He said he had long conversation with Wayne Krivsky.

"It was very professional," Cantu wrote. "(Krivsky) said it was a baseball decision."

It will be interesting to see how the whole Rule 5 Draft thing works out. The Reds didn't protect Carlos Guevara, who got snapped up. They released Cantu to make room for a pick. And they picked Sergio Valenzuela.

I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time comparing the stats of those three. Krivsky said the Rule 5 comes down to pure scouting. This is chance to see how the Reds are doing in that regard.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bedard deal not dead

Just finished my Sunday Insider for the paper. Here's the cliff notes version: The Reds still think they can get a deal done for Erik Bedard. They're not going to give up Jay Bruce to get one done, however.

That would mean Homer Bailey would likely be in the package. I'm guessing here but I think it would take Bailey, Joey Votto and a top prospect to get the deal done.

Would you make that trade? I think Bailey could develop into a No. 1 or 2 type. But Bedard's already there and he's left-handed.

And, by the way, they're still counting the numbers from Redsfest, but attendance is going to be over 20,000 -- a record.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Griffey at Redsfest

Ken Griffey Jr. was a surprise guest Friday at Redsfest.

Marty Brennaman asked that Griffey be included in the tribute to Joe Nuxhall.

"Because of Joe Nuxhall, he's here," Brennaman said.

Griffey participated in several of the events, including the "Kids Only Press Conference." I missed it, but John Erardi reports this exchange:

Griffey, of course, doesn't like talking about his home runs -- not the ones he hits, hopes to hit or how many he'd like to hit before his career is over.

But he answered this question from a kid:

Q. “Have you set a goal for hitting home runs?”

A. "“I’ve definitely got put on the spot. And I thought John Fay was tough. Have I set a goal about hitting home runs? No. What would I like to end up (with? About seven hundred.”

The crowd, some of them the parents of the kids asking the questions and others adults just listeninig in, applauded enthusiastically.

Coats deal completed

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds today acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays minor league RHP Justin James as the player to be named in Wednesday’s trade that sent OF Buck Coats to Toronto.

James, 26, has spent all 5 of his professional seasons in the Blue Jays' system after he was selected in the fifth round of the June 2003 first-year player draft.

Last season, James combined to finish 3-5 with a 3.89 ERA and 2 saves in 43 appearances, including 5 starts, with Class AA New Hampshire and Class AAA Oklahoma City. Following the season, he pitched for Scottsdale in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Coats, 25, last season appeared in 127 games at Class AAA Iowa and Louisville and in 20 games for the Reds. He was claimed off trade waivers from the Cubs on August 28. On November 28, Coats was designated for assignment when the Reds signed free agent RHP Francisco Cordero.

Bruce get another award

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - OF Jay Bruce has been named winner of the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award as the Cincinnati Reds’ Minor League Player of the Year for 2007. He will receive his award tonight at 5:15 p.m. at Duke Energy Center downtown during ceremonies on the main stage at Redsfest.

RHP Johnny Cueto was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year and IF Adam Rosales the team's Minor League Hitter of the Year.

Bruce, 20, will enter the 2008 season rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the organization. In 2007 he also was named Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and Sporting News after hitting .319 with 46 doubles, 8 triples, 26hr and 89rbi at Class A Sarasota, Class AA Chattanooga and Class AAA Louisville. He played for the U.S. team in Major League Baseball's prestigious All-Star Futures Game.

Last season the Texas native led all Reds minor leaguers in homers, ranked among the organizational leaders in batting average (2nd) and RBI (3rd) and ranked among all minor league players in extra-base hits (80, 2nd), total bases (306, 2nd), doubles (T7th), hits (166, 10th) and slugging percentage (.587, 14th).

Bruce finished the 2007 season ranked as the top prospect in the organization, International League and Florida State League. In Baseball America’s post-season tools survey, he was rated the best hitter for average and best power hitter in the Reds’ minor league system.

Bruce was selected by the Reds with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the June 2005 first-year player draft. He was scouted and signed by the late Brian Wilson.

Cueto, 21, won the organization's top minor league pitching award for the second straight season. In 28 starts at 3 different levels he combined to go 12-9 with a 3.07 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 161.1 innings. Cueto led all Reds minor leaguers in ERA and strikeouts and ranked third in victories.

Rosales, 24, last season was a Florida State League All-Star after hitting .294 with 5 HR, 48 RBI and 9 steals at Class A Sarasota. He also hit .278 with 13 HR, 31 RBI and 4 stolen bases at Class AA Chattanooga.

The organization’s minor league player of the year award is named after Sheldon “Chief” Bender, who spent 64 years in baseball. He spent his last 39 years in the game with the Reds in their scouting and player development departments.

Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award
Reds’ Minor League Player of the Year
2007...................................... OF Jay Bruce
2006............................ RHP Homer Bailey
2005.............................. OF Chris Denorfia
2004.......................... RHP Richie Gardner
2003................. OF Stephen Smitherman
2002........................... 3B Brandon Larson
2001.................................. OF Adam Dunn
2000............................... OF Austin Kearns
Award named after Chief Bender beginning in 2001

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter Meetings: It's a wrap

What Wayne Krivsky said in the final pow wow with writers at the Winter Meetings spoke volumes:

"I would like to have done something if it improved the ballclub. I feel good about our team right now. We added (Francisco) Cordero as a major piece to the team. We want to solidify the starting rotation, see if we can add an arm or two to compete for one of those spots."

A couple of days ago the Reds were hopeful about getting Erik Bedard or Dan Haren or Dontrelle Willis. Those are not guys you bring to compete for spots in the rotation. Those are guys you pencil in for 35 starts. The Reds haven't given up on that, but it doesn't sound hopeful.

“There’s always that possibility," Krivsky said. "We’re not ruling that out either."

But it seems much more likely that the Reds will sign a low-level free agent -- Brett Tomko, Jon Lieber, etc. -- than pull off a big trade. The only player they added at the Meetings was Jose Valenzuela, a 23-year-old right-hander they picked in the Rule 5 draft. He was 1-3 with 7.00 ERA in Single-A last season.

Krivsky said right now Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Belisle are the only ones assured spots in the rotation. Homer Bailey has the inside track to the fourth spot. The fifth spot? Hard to say.

"That's the way stands right," Krivsky. "It's a long way to spring training. It depends on what happens."

Rule 5: Reds get Valenzuela, lose Guevara

The Reds picked Sergio Valenzuela in the Rule 5 Draft. He's a 23-year-old right-hander from Mexico. The Reds lost Carlos Guevara to the Marlins. Florida took him with the sixth pick, one before the Reds took Valenzuela with. He was then traded to San Diego.

The Rule 5 come downs to scouting, the Reds say. That's only way what happened makes sense. Guevara had very good numbers at Double-A last season; Valenzuela had very bad numbers at Single-A.

We'll see how it plays out.

Valenzuela was 1-3 with a 7.00 ERA last season in Single-A, 3-4 with 6.04 ERA in 2006 in Rookie Ball. Valenzuela, no relation to Fernando, is listed at 6-foot, 175 pounds. The Reds say he's actually 6-3 1/2, 200.

J Harrison, who scouted Valenzuela for the Reds, said Valenzuela throws up to 95, 96 mph.

"He's still got some development left," Harrison said. "We think he can develop into a starter. He's got a slider and a plus change-up."

The Reds plan to work Valenzuela out of the bullpen this season. He's got to remain on the 25-man roster or the Reds have to offer him back to the Braves for $25,000, half of what it cost to pick him.

Guevara was very good at Chattanooga last season -- 2.32 ERA, 16 saves. He's got a change-up/screwball that helped him strike out 87 in 62 innings.

"We had heard that he might get taken," Wayne Krivsky said. "When you get guys taken in the Rule 5, it shows your system is getting better."

For every Josh Hamilton . . .

From the Reds, their Most Recent Rule 5 Selections, Major League Phase:

RHP Jared Burton, from the Oakland Athletics
Spent the 2007 season with the Reds

OF Josh Hamilton was selected by the Cubs, then immediately traded to the Reds
Spent the 2007 season with the Reds

RHP D.J. Mattox, from the New York Mets
Missed the 2004 season following 3/19/04 “Tommy John” surgery on his right elbow. Spent the season on the Reds’ 60-day disabled list

RHP Jerome Gamble, from Boston
Was sold back to the Red Sox on 3/7/03

RHP Luke Prokopec, from Los Angeles
Had been signed by the Dodgers to a 2-year minor league contract through 2004.
Missed the 2003 season while recovering from 9/18/02 right shoulder surgery. Spent the season on the Reds’ 60-day disabled list. In 2004 spent the season on Class A Dayton’s restricted list

RHP Blake Williams, from St. Louis
Was sold back to the Cardinals on 3/21/03

LHP Adrian Burnside, from Los Angeles
Was sold back to the Dodgers on 3/13/00

RHP Keith Glauber, from St. Louis
In 1998 spent most of the season recovering from 10/21/97 rotator cuff surgery.
Spent most of the season on the Reds’ 60-day disabled list. Appeared in 3g for the Reds, all in September. In 1999 made 19 minor league starts, then on 7/20 went on the DL for the rest of the year. In 2000 made 50 minor league apps and 4 apps for the Reds, all in September. In 2001 made 45 minor league apps. In 2002 retired on 7/5without making an appearance.

LHP Noe Najera, from Cleveland
Was sold back to the Indians on 3/15/97

OF Adam Hyzdu, from San Francisco
Was sold back to the Giants on 3/31/94 (on that same day was traded back to the Reds). Was released 3/23/96

OF William Canate, Cleveland
Was traded to the Blue Jays on 4/13/93 for cash considerations

Who Is Eligible To Be Selected
If a player is 18 years of age or under on the June 5 that precedes the date he signs his original contract, he is eligible for selection at the fourth Rule 5 Draft that follows the first effective season his original contract.
If a player is 19 years of age or over on the June 5 that precedes the date he signs his original contract, he is eligible for selection at the third Rule 5 Draft that follows the first effective season of his original contract.
No player on a 40-man roster is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wrapping up Day III

It's looking like the Reds are going to leave here without adding a starting pitcher -- or at least a No. 2 or 3 starter type. Asked how it was going in his session with the scribes, Wayne Krivsky said:

"It's going."

That doesn't sound like a guy on the verge of landing Erik Bedard. You have to read shades of gray with Krivsky, but he seemed pretty confident and upbeat yesterday. Today, not so much.

The difference between getting Erik Bedard and a third-tier free agent is huge. Krivsky talked about bringing in "competition" for rotation spots. That smacks of Victor Santos and Kirk Saarloos.

Last-minute deals happen, and we're getting down to the last minute. The Rule 5 Draft is at 9 a.m. tomorrow. That's end of the meetings.

As for the Rule 5, the Reds have targeted "three or four" guys, they pick seventh, so they'll probably get one. That's why they released Jorge Cantu.

Speaking of the Rule 5: Look for Carlos Guevara to go. He was 1-2 with a 2.32 ERA and 16 saves at Double-A Chattanooga last season. The Reds left him unprotected. Why? He's only 5-11, 25 years old and he's had some injuries.

Spring invitees

The Reds announced some of their non-roster invitees Wednesday. Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Matt Maloney are on the list. Others include:

--RHP Tom Shearn, 30: Shearn went 3-0 with 4.95 ERA in seven games and six starts for the Reds.

--RHP Justin Lehr, 30: He was 7-1 with a 3.99 ERA for Triple-A Tacoma last year. He's over a year of big-league service time.

--RHP Jon Adkins, 30: He was 2-4 with a 3.99 Triple-A New Orleans. He made one appearnce for the Mets. He's got just over two years of big-league service time.

Reds Hall class

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - SS Barry Larkin was selected by fans, and OF Cesar Geronimo, RHP Joey Jay and front office executive Garry Herrmann were tabbed by the veterans committee for 2008 induction into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. It is the largest and oldest continually operating team Hall of Fame in baseball.

The quartet will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in ceremonies at Great American Ball Park on July 19 and will increase the membership to 75, including 69 players, 3 managers and 3 executives. A Hall of Fame gala will be held July 20 at Duke Energy Center.

Geronimo will be introduced to Reds fans Friday at 5:45 p.m. on the Duke Energy Center's main stage at Kahn's Redsfest 2007, presented by Great American Insurance Group, benefiting the Reds Community Fund.

“With 2008 representing 50 years since the establishment of the Reds Hall of Fame, it is fitting that we honor the contributions of three players and a front office executive who have made a lasting impact on Reds baseball," said Reds Hall of Fame Executive Director Rick Walls. “We are pleased to recognize their many accomplishments with this important recognition and look forward to their induction next summer."

Larkin, 43, received 16,386 of the 25,269 fan votes tabulated in August at the ballpark, the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum and online at reds.com. Chris Sabo followed with 2,434 votes and Paul O'Neill with 1,724.

Larkin has been rated by baseball historian Bill James as "one of the 10 most complete players in history" and the sixth-greatest shortstop ever. He is included in Bill Deane's book The Top 10 Baseball Shortstops Of All Time. When he retired following the 2004 season, Larkin ranked among baseball's all-time leaders at shortstop in home runs (7th), batting average (10th), hits (12th), stolen bases (12th) and RBI (17th). Nine times in his last 15 seasons, he was rated by the Elias Sports Bureau Rankings as the top shortstop in the National League.

The Cincinnati native's 19 seasons with the Reds ties the club record shared by David Concepcion and Pete Rose. In 2,180 appearances from 1986-2004, Larkin hit .295 with 198 HR, 960 RBI and 379 stolen bases. In franchise history, he ranks second or third in almost every statistical category. The 12-time National League All-Star won 9 Louisville Slugger Awards (the most by any Reds player) and 3 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, he was the NL's Most Valuable Player in 1995 and 4 times won the Ernie Lombardi Award as the Reds' MVP. In 1996 he became the first shortstop in Major League history to produce at least 30 homers and 30 steals in a season. He was the club's captain from 1997 until he retired.

Geronimo, 59, was the center fielder on the Big Red Machine clubs of the 1970s, generally considered one of the greatest teams in baseball history. He is the seventh member of that starting lineup to be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame. Acquired by Cincinnati in the famous November 1971 trade that also included Jack Billingham and Joe Morgan, in 9 seasons with the Reds from 1972-1980 "The Chief" hit .261 while winning 4 consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (1974-77). He produced his best season during the 1976 World Series championship run, hitting .307 in 149 games.

Jay, 72, pitched for the Reds for 6 seasons from 1961-66 and compiled a 75-63 record and 3.80 ERA in 150 starts and 36 relief appearances. He was a National League All-Star in his first season with Cincinnati after going 21-10 with a 3.53 ERA and ranking among the league leaders in wins (1st), shutouts (4, 1st), complete games (14, 3rd), winning percentage (.677, 5th), innings pitched (247.1, 7th), ERA (8th), strikeouts (157, 8th) and starts (34, 9th). He finished fifth in that year's NL MVP voting. Jay is one of only 5 Reds pitchers since 1900 to win at least 20 games in consecutive seasons.

Herrmann, also a Cincinnati native, was the club's chief executive officer and general manager from 1902-27. Under his leadership, the Reds won the franchise’s first World Series in 1919, finished second in the National League 3 times and third 4 times. He spearheaded the construction of Redland Field, the ballpark that served as the home of the Reds from 1912 until 1970.

In 1903, Herrmann was chosen by baseball owners to be the president of the National Commission, baseball’s governing body at the time, and held that title until 1920. In that capacity, he was instrumental in mediating a conflict between the American and National Leagues that led to the establishment of the modern World Series in 1905, an achievement that earned him the nickname “The Father of the World Series.” Herrmann died in Cincinnati in 1931 at the age of 71.

Krivsky on Cantu

Wayne Krivsky on the Jorge Cantu move: "It's a baseball decision."

He said Jeff Keppinger will get at-bats at first base.

Krivsky thanked Cantu. "He handled it like a pro," Krivsky said. "He's a tremendous worker. He did a good job for us. But we wanted to get to 39."

There you have it.

On pitching in general and Cueto in particular

I talked to a scout last night who has seen quite a bit of Johnny Cueto.

"I've got him making the team out of spring training," he said. "He really competes. His stuff is good. He's got good command and he can racket up his fastball when he has to."

I mention this because it appears the Reds are hedging their bets, if they can't trade for a starter. (And, by the way, it sounded like Dusty Baker thought they were getting Dontrelle Willis). Anyway, there are reports the Reds have talked to the agents for Brett Tomko, Jon Lieber and Glendon Rusch.

It's nice to bring in veteran guys, but it seems to me it's rarely worked with the Reds. See Joe Mays, et al. I'd rather roll the dice with a young guy than hope an older guy can find himself again. The problem is Reds would be rolling the dice with three young guys -- Cueto, Homer Bailey and Matt Belisle.

Cantu released

The Reds released Jorge Cantu in anticipation of making a pick in tomorrow's Rule 5 Draft.

I did not see that one coming.

Cantu, 25, hit .298 with a home run and nine RBI in 57 at-bats after the Reds got him in a trade from Tampa Bay for RHP Calvin Medlock and LHP Brian Shackelford.

Reds make (minor) trade

Not exactly a blockbuster, but from the Reds:

Today the Reds traded OF Buck Coats to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash.

Coats, 25, last season appeared in 127 games at Class AAA Iowa and Louisville and in 20 games for the Reds. He was claimed off trade waivers from the Cubs on August 28.

Coats was designated for assignment on November 28, when the Reds signed free agent RHP Francisco Cordero.

The Dusty Session 2.0

Dusty Baker just did his media session at the Winter Meetings. The guy is a shear delight. He quoted Van Morrison at one point. The session lasted a half hour. The highlights:

--On trading Ken Griffey Jr. or Adam Dunn: "I don't want to part with either one of them. It's hard to have an offensive part and get more offense. What you have to do is try to fill in the other stuff. Pitching, speed and defense hopefully. . . If they didn't want Dunn back, they wouldn't have picked up his option. And Junior's here; I didn't come to town for Junior to leave."

--On his reaction to the Florida-Detroit trade: "Damn. My wife grew up with Dontrelle (Willis') aunt. He's from the Bay Area. We could have rode to spring training together."

--Has he talked to Pete Rose? "Not yet. I'm hoping to hear from Pete. I'm sure I will when I get there. Like I said, I love Pete. I'd like to prove Pete wrong when he says it's impossible to win in that ballpark. I like to hopefully win and have Pete and Joe (Morgan) back -- all the dudes that kicked my tail."

--On the Mitchell Report coming out before Christmas: "That ain't Merry Christmas or Happy New Year for some people." He did say he got interviewed for the report, by the way.

--On Barry Bonds since the indictment: "I've spoke to him. Spoke to him shortly after to say hello. I spoke to his mom. Our families go way back. I grew up with his dad and mom. I mean, what are you supposed to do?"

--Is it imperative that Reds add a starting pitcher? "Well, imperative, I'd sure like to have one. . . or maybe even two, or hopefully one of the kids will develop and mature over the winter. And like we used to say with the Dodgers, we're always looking for a surprise pitcher who falls out of the sky, that gets it together -- whether it's someone in the Rule 5 Draft or a guy who was injured last year or a young man who went to Winter Ball and picked up another pitch."

--Do you think you can win right away? "I always think I can win. I always think I can win right away. We're not that far from winning, even though we haven't won in seven years. That's behind us."

--Does he see a deal happening? "We're trying. We're trying every day. This is probably the most activity I've seen at the Winter Meetings in a long time."

--Do you think you can help Dunn defensively? "Yeah, I think I can. (Left field) is the hardest field to play. It was hardest for me. I played center, right and left. In left, you don't have much reaction time. Everyone can hit the ball hard to left. . . the ball is never coming at you straight. I won a Gold Glove in left. . . I think I can help him, and I've heard he's a guy who is open to suggestion and help."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wrap up of Day II

Since Wayne Krivsky said what he said in the last post, I've talked to several people who say the Reds are serious about going after Erik Bedard.

Here's what Krivsky said: "I've never said we haven’t connected with the clubs with the higher-end pitchers. I’m looking at anyway I can to improve the team."

That's a huge admission from him. Ordinarily if you asked about going after big-name pitchers, he'd say no comment.

That doesn't mean te Reds are going to get Bedard. The Orioles are in position of strength here. But an offer of Homer Bailey, Joey Votto and another player might do the trick. (Jay Bruce is the guy the Reds just don't want to give up).

Again, it goes back to whether you want to play for next year or build for the future. Well, really, it's whether Bob Castellini wants to play for next year or build for the future. And given the Francisco Cordero deal, my guess is Reds are playing for 2008.

Tomorrow -- the last full day of the meeting -- could be interesting.

Krivsky speaks, Day II

The Reds haven't been getting mentioned much -- except maybe here -- when it comes to speculation about the top starters on the trade market -- Erik Bedard, Dan Haren, Dontrelle Willis. That doesn't mean they aren't trying to get those type of players.

"I never said that," Wayne Krivsky said. "I've never said we haven’t connected with the clubs with the higher-end pitchers. I’m looking at anyway I can to improve the team."

Reading between the lines here, that tells me that the Reds maybe aiming higher than expected. Like they did with Francisco Cordero. If they are, Krivsky would do so as quietly as possible.

"Some people like to talk more than I do," he said.

I asked Krivsky if the Reds might be willing to trade pitching for different pitching.

"To get a quality starting pitcher you’re going to have to give up something of quality," Krivsky said. "That goes without saying. To subtract from one area where you might be weak in then substitute another . . . if upgrades you fine. But typically you deal from area where you have more depth to fill an area where you’re light."

"There’s not many teams that have depth in starting pitching right now. There are a few."

Reading between the lines, again, that may mean the Reds are willing to part with Homer Bailey in the right deal.

Nuxhall on the ballot

The Nuxie campaign obviously worked:

From the Reds:
COOPERSTOWN, NY – A record 122,505 fan votes were cast online at http://www.baseballhall.org/ throughout November, as fans chose three of 10 names to comprise the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award ballot, given annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Joe Nuxhall (82,304 fan votes), Bill King (7,659) and Joe Morgan (6,065) earned spots on the ballot through the online vote, taking place exclusively at http://www.baseballhall.org/, the online home of the Museum. The three fan selections will be joined by broadcasters Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Dizzy Dean, Tony Kubek, Graham McNamee, Dave Niehaus and Dave Van Horne, who were selected by a research committee from the Cooperstown-based museum.

The winner of the 2008 Frick Award will be announced February 19. Voting will be conducted by a 20-member electorate, comprised of the 14 living Frick Award recipients and six broadcast historians/columnists, including past Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Ernie Harwell, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Harry Kalas, 2007 Frick winner Denny Matthews, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker and Bob Wolff, and, historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of NY Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian), Curt Smith (historian) and Larry Stewart (Los Angeles Times).

Now in its fifth year, the Museum’s online fan balloting established a record for votes cast and for most votes by a single candidate, as Nuxhall totaled nearly 50,000 more votes than the 34,705 received by Lon Simmons in 2003, as he secured a position on the 2004 ballot. More than 105,000 votes were in cast in November 2003, for the 2004 Award ballot, the previous single-month vote total in the fan selection. In 2006, King (11,943), Nuxhall (8,049) and Ken Harrelson (6,795) were selected by fans for the 2007 ballot through the online vote, with Kansas City’s Denny Matthews winning the award.

From FSN:
FSN Ohio will air a Spotlight special on Reds legend Joe Nuxhall, Tuesday, December 11th at 8:00 pm.

On June 10th, 1944, Joe Nuxhall made baseball history, pitching for the Cincinnati Reds at the age of 15. Since his major league debut and throughout his second career in broadcasting, Joe inspired generations of Reds fans and players. In November of 2007, Joe passed away, leaving an indelible mark on the Reds organization, and the game of baseball.

FSN Ohio’s George Grande takes viewers through the life and career of Joe Nuxhall, as documented in an interview taped just months before he passed away. Joe talks about his life, on and off the field, with commentary from special guests including some ex-teammates, current players, and various colleagues that discuss the man hailed as “The Old Left-Hander.”

Spotlight: Joe Nuxhall re-airs on the following dates and times on FSN Ohio:

12/13/07 @ 8:00pm
12/14/07 @ 12:00pm

Seen and heard II

Seen and heard at Winter Meetings at the Opryland Hotel:

--I talked to Tim Naehring. He is going to the Yankees as a major league scout. He signed a two-year deal. He'll be based in Cincinnati.

Naehring was considering getting out of baseball after the Reds fired him as minor league field coordinator in September.

"I told someone in the game that," Naehring said. "He said, 'Don't send out any resumes. Don't call anyone. If you start hearing from the top organizations in baseball, you should probably stay in the game.'"

Naehring heard from the Yankees and a couple of other clubs shortly thereafter.

--PETE'S HERE: Pete Mackanin is here. He's working the lobby. My guess is he gets a coaching or managing gig.

--STAR GAZING: I walked past Don Mattingly and Cal Ripken in a one-minute span.

--NUXIE & THE HALL: We'll find out today if Joe Nuxhall is one of the 10 finalists for this Frick Award. I'd be stunned if he doesn't make the ballot.

--ALLEN'S HERE: John Allen, the Reds outgoing COO, is here. Still no word on the new spring training site. The club is keeping its options open. I'd like to see them go to Fort Myers (Lee County), but, oddly, I don't get a vote.

Winter Meetings Day II

It seems to me that what the Reds do at the Winter Meetings comes down to this: Do they want a proven starter badly enough to give up Homer Bailey or Jay Bruce?

If they're willing to give up one of those two, they could possibly land one of the big fish out there -- Oakland's Dan Haren, Baltimore's Erik Bedard or Florida's Dontrelle Willis. If the Reds were willing to put Bailey or Bruce in a package, clubs will listen.

It's the classic, present-vs.-future argument. My sense is they would not part with Bruce under almost any circumstance. As for Bailey, if their internal scouting projects him as a No. 1 starter, they'd be silly to trade him. But, if the project him as No. 3 or 4, they might be willing to risk it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Krivsky: Starter a priority

Wayne Krivsky said the Reds are looking for a starting pitcher at the Winter Meetings.

"It's a priority," Krivsky said.

If you come to this blog regularly, you know that about as specific as Krivsky gets when talking about moves.

All 29 other teams have starting pitching somewhere on their Winter Meetings shopping list as well. But it sounded like Krivsky is fairly confident the Reds can make a trade.

"Trade talk is at much high pitch than last year," he said.

Other tidbits from the scribe session with Krivsky:

--Johnny Cueto has been invited to big league camp, although he's a long shot to make the club. To get him ready, he's been shut down at Winter Ball. "He's up to about 200 innings," Krivsky said, "get some rest and come into spring strong."

--The Reds are open to Eddie Guardado and Eric Milton returning, albeit at a drastically reduced price. "Those are two guys will keep in touch with," Krivsky said. The declined offering either arbitration.

--There are no untouchables. "Every organization has players who would be awfully hard to get," Krivsky said. "Someone would have to grossly overpay to acquire them. It’s unrealistic to think that’s going to happen." In other words, Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey or Cueto aren't going anywhere.

Winter meetings update

Seen and heard at the Opryland Hotel:

--Pete Mackanin is not at the Meeting -- yet.

"I'm coming in tomorrow," he said by phone from his home in Florida.

Mackanin says he's in line for a couple of on-the-field jobs. That would be his preference. If that doesn't work out, he'll consider returning to the Reds as a scout.

"Wayne (Krivsky) has left that open to me," Mackanin said.

--I heard that former Reds minor league field coordinator Tim Naehring landed a job in Yankees system. I'm trying to track down the details.

--Tony LaRussa and Bill DeWitt had lunch together at the one of the garden restaurants.

--Jerome Bettis is here for some reason. My guess is he's promoting something.

--Jose Rijo is making the rounds. Josie seems to know everyone in baseball. Rijo said the Nationals -- he's a special adviser to Jim Bowden -- have traded for Elijah Dukes. Dukes is a five-tool outfielder. Jim Bowden can't get enough of them. Dukes has had his share of troubles. Let's see Lastings Milledge, Dukes, Wily Mo Pena and Austin Kearns. That's outfield is getting crowded.

Updated Redsfest schedule

From the Reds:

CINCINNATI - Kahn’s Redsfest 2007, presented by Great American Insurance Group, benefiting the Reds Community Fund, will be held at Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets are on sale via the internet at reds.com, by phone locally at (513) 381-REDS or toll free at (877) 647-REDS and at all area Meijer stores. One-day tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for fans 12 and under, while two-day tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids.

After a 2-year absence because of construction on the convention center, last year's bigger and better Redsfest drew a record crowd of more than 18,000 over two days. The first 10,000 fans attending Redsfest 2007 each day will receive a commemorative drawstring backpack and a DVD featuring highlights from last season.

Scheduled to attend are new manager Dusty Baker along with current players Adam Dunn (Friday only), Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey (Saturday only), Matt Belisle, Todd Coffey, Brandon Phillips, Jared Burton, Ryan Freel, Jeff Keppinger, Marcus McBeth, David Ross, Brad Salmon, Joey Votto, Bill Bray, Javier Valentin, Juan Castro, Bobby Livingston and Ryan Hanigan and Major League coaches Mark Berry, Billy Hatcher, Brook Jacoby, Dick Pole, Juan Lopez and Mike Stefanski.

Former Reds players expected to attend are Cesar Geronimo, George Foster, Chuck Harmon, Lee May, Tom Browning, Tommy Helms, Leo Cardenas, Todd Benzinger, Eric Davis, Ted Power, Jim O’Toole, Ron Oester, Chris Welsh and Jeff Brantley. They will be joined by minor league prospects Jay Bruce, Chris Dickerson, Richie Gardner, Drew Stubbs, Daryl Thompson, Justin Turner, Craig Tatum, Chris Valaika and Todd Frazier. In addition to Welsh and Brantley, broadcasters Marty and Thom Brennaman also will host the weekend's festivities.

Highlights of the first day’s activities on the Toyota Main Stage will feature the announcement of the 2007 Reds team awards at 5:15 p.m., the introduction of new manager Dusty Baker at 5:30, the introduction of the Reds Hall of Fame Class of 2008 at 5:45 and a tribute to Joe Nuxhall at 6:00.

Also on Friday, Reds star pitcher Bronson Arroyo will highlight a concert presented by Cintas that also features Noah Hunt, lead singer of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, beginning at 8:00 p.m., and the Reds Community Fund Wiffle Ball Tournament's Elite Eight Showdown starts at 4:00 at the Gorilla Glue Field of Dreams.

On Redsfest Saturday, the Reds Community Fund Celebrity Poker Tournament, presented by Alvis Materials, will be held in the grand ballroom beginning at 5:00 p.m.. Celebrities will include current and former Reds players, coaches, front office executives and local personalities. Participants must be at least 18 years old. The tax-deductible entry fee is $200 per person. To sign up for the Texas Hold 'Em style tournament, visit reds.com, call (513) 765-7235 or sign up at Redsfest. Tickets at $25 are available to fans 18 and older who just want to watch the action.

Other activities scheduled for the main stage on Saturday include a kids only press conference involving Reds players, a Reds Idol karaoke contest, a Hooters wing eating contest and the Reds Hot Stove Report with general manager Wayne Krivsky and new manager Dusty Baker.

Fans will be able to enjoy several exhibits from the Reds Hall of Fame, including Reds World Series trophies, a Reds memorabilia gallery, Belterra Sports Bar and an interactive area that will feature the Fun Zone, Gear Up batting cages, Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine speed pitch, Executive Transportation steal home challenge and Miracle League Field.

At www.reds.com/redsfest, fans can keep updated on ticket information, confirmed activites, events and current/former players attending Kahn’s Redsfest 2007, presented by Great American Insurance Group, benefiting the Reds Community Fund. That special site also can be accessed via reds.com and will be updated continuously until the event begins.

Kahn’s Redsfest Preliminary Event Listing

All events subject to change

Toyota Main Stage

Friday 4:00-4:45 Redsfest Friday Kick Off Show, featuring Freekbass

December 7 5:00-5:15 Reds Community Fund Press Conference to unveil 2008 Miracle League initiatives

5:15-5:30 Announcement of the 2007 Reds team awards

5:30-5:45 Introduction of new manager Dusty Baker and 2008 Reds players

5:45-6:00 Introduction of the Reds Hall of Fame Class of 2008

6:00-6:15 Tribute to Joe Nuxhall

6:30-7:30 Kids only press conference with Reds players, presented by Mr. Redlegs Chew

8:00-10:00 Concert featuring Bronson Arroyo and special guests Noah Hunt & The All Stars


December 8 11:00-noon Redsfest Saturday Kick Off Show, featuring the Pete Wagner Dixieland Band

Noon-1:00 Reds Hot Stove Report with GM Wayne Krivsky and manager Dusty Baker

1:00-1:30 "Ask The Alumni," presented by Baseball Heaven

1:30-2:15 Reds Idol karaoke contest with celebrity Reds judges

2:30-3:00 Hooters wing eating contest

3:00-4:00 Kids only press conference with Reds players, presented by Mr. Redlegs Chew

4:00-5:00 “From the Field” with manager Dusty Baker and members of the Reds' coaching staff

5:00-6:00 Reds Hall of Fame Jeopardy finals, presented by Kroger

6:00-7:00 Redsfest 2007 Closing Act, featuring The Screaming Mimes

Gorilla Glue “Field of Dreams”

Field activities will include home run contests and an adult Wiffle Ball tournament.

Reds Community Fund Miracle League Field

Field activities will include Wiffle Ball batting practice for kids of all ages, youth baseball clinics, Reds Rookie Success League games, Miracle League games and RCF Match program games.

Belterra Sports Bar furnished by Watson’s

Featuring pool tables, foosball tables, video games and flat screen televisions broadcasting live sporting events in High Definition provided by Time Warner Cable.

Reds Heads Booth

Be among the first kids to join the Reds Heads for 2008! The official kids club of the Cincinnati Reds, the Reds Heads will begin their 2008 membership drive at Redsfest.

Interactive Areas

Fun Zone featuring video games, baseball inflatable bouncer/slide, wild pitch interactive, Gear Up batting cages, Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine speed pitches and Executive Transportation steal home challenge.

Majestic Merchandise Area

Featuring authentic jerseys that can be personalized on site.

Reds Ticketing Area

Featuring information about premium, season and group tickets and Reds gift cards.

Reds Hall of Fame Exhibit

Featuring Negro Leagues display, Women in Baseball display, Reds history timeline and Kroger Reds Jeopardy.

Reds Memorabilia Gallery, presented by Cincinnati Regional Tourism Network

Featuring hard to find collectibles from collectors such as CEI Sports, Planet Collectibles and more.

Reds Community Fund Store

Featuring silent auctions, raffles and the opportunity to purchase baseball memorabilia such as autographed game worn jerseys, hats and bats. Proceeds to benefit the Reds Community Fund.

Photo Opportunities

Reds.com Dream Room with “register to win,” Delta team photo featuring the 1990 World Series Champion Reds, Superior Dental Care clubhouse scene featuring Great American Ball Park replica lockers, Jeff Wyler Automotive Family "At the Wall Catch" and New Era "Walk Off Home Run."

Interactive Vehicles

Time Warner kids truck, the Spiderwick Chronicles interactive bus, Major League Baseball's Road Show, Toyoto pit pass and Pepsi live truck.

Autograph Booths

Presented by Duke Energy, CEI Sports, Sargento, AE Door & Window Co., Jones the Florist and Banquet/Kroger kids only booth.

Photograph Booths

Presented by National City, Cintas and Skyline.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Booth

Will feature memorabilia, fan tributes, highlight reels and a free commemorative art card while supplies last.

Live from Nashville

I'm here at the Winter Meetings. I'll update if or when I hear anything.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Heading to Nashville

I'm on a 9:23 flight to Nashville tomorrow to cover the Winter Meetings. It's not my favorite event. You stand around for hours, talking to other writers, trying to sort out the rumors. Last year, the Reds didn't do anything but sign David Weathers and Mike Stanton in the first three days. They didn't announce either signing, of course.

Their big splash came Thursday at Rule 5 draft when they picked Josh Hamilton and Jared Burton. I don't think there are any Josh Hamilton's available this year.

My guess is make a trade for starting pitcher this year. That's purely a guess, based on what they need.

Right now, they only have four healthy starting pitchers on the 40-man who have pitched in a big league game -- Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Matt Belisle. Bobby Livngston on the roster, but he's coming off shoulder surgery.


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