Here are some photos that I just pulled off my Game King-II camera. Some of them have been sitting there for quite some time.
Here are the finished versions of the cakes that Ali took to the fair.
Here’s a drawing that Jonny put up on a white board. I don’t know why I look so worried…
Here’s a picture of Griffey from the last Reds game I was at.
Two years ago, I gave up baseball. It was plagued with cheaters, steroids, and bad decisions. I stopped watching it, I stopped supporting it, I even stopped supporting MLB products. Last month I received a phone call.
The local PeeWee league president called, telling me that there was no coach for my cousin’s PeeWee team and the team would be killed, and he’d be put on another team. I always wanted to coach, I knew the logistics and the game very well, and always wanted to be the man to make the decisions that could win or lose the game. With no employment, I had the time; did I have the dedication? After some thinking I called the league president back and told him I’d take over the team. I recieved my team’s equipment, shirts, hats, picture forms, and roster and went to work.
PeeWee baseball is played by 6, 7, and 8 year-olds after finishing a year at the T-Ball level. It’s not exactly professional all-star baseball, but it’s a start.
At this point, most other teams have been practicing for weeks. Also, after looking at our roster I can see that we have all 7-year-old first-year players. Compared to the other teams, that’s a huge disadvantage.
It seems everything is against us, younger kids, less practice time, yellow jerseys!
Part 2, Coming Soon
Today is the 60th anniversary of the first black player in Major League Baseball: Jackie Robinson.
In honor of Jackie Robinson, Ken Griffey, Jr. is wearing #42, Robinson’s number, during the game today.
Irish Elk also shares a neat story about Jackie Robinson’s days in the minor leagues before the call-up to the Dodgers.
Can you smell the peanuts? Can you feel the sunshine? Can you hear the crack of the bat? Yes, sports fans, it’s that time again! Time for baseball!
So, what are the Reds looking like for 2007?
The Reds didn’t lose much in the offseason. Most notably, they no longer have Jason LaRue behind the plate, as his really low batting average and high salary didn’t make a lot of sense when you have David Ross to call on. His defense will be missed. Rich Aurilia also decided to go back to the Giants, which is a major offensive loss.
The Reds also didn’t resign Royce Clayton (thank God), so they signed Alex Gonazalez to play short. His bat isn’t stellar, but his defense is well-known.
There’s a full offseason transaction log at RedReporter. With that, here’s a breakdown of what’s going on around the Reds in 2007:
The Reds managed to resign Arroyo through to 2010, much to shock of everyone who thought he’d be on the first plane to Boston the second his contract expired. With Harang signed to a 4-year contract as well, the top of the rotation is looking excellent. 3-5 is where it gets sketchy. Kyle Lohse will probably be #3, and Eric Milton will be #4 for the last year of his contract, barring any shocking changes. I predict that #5 will go to Matt Belisle, who may finally be getting it together. The Reds could really use another solid starter in this rotation.
Amazing Eddie Guardado was signed, but due to his injury, he probably can’t play until well into the season. David Weathers is back again, hopefully he can as decent as he was last year. Majewski may start the season on the DL, but Bill Bray will still be there. The biggest pickup for the Reds is Dustin Hermanson, who was injured last year but had an amazing season with the White Sox in 2005. He’s looking very recovered in spring training and could be the go-to man for closer. The bullpen is still a pretty big question mark, but I think there is some hope here.
David Ross is starting. His defense was very shaky last year, but there’s no question his offense is there. Valentin is still a great #2 catcher and maybe even a better pinch hitter. Chad Moeller was also picked up as well, meaning the Reds are again going to carry three catchers.
With Edwin, Gonzalez, Hatteberg, and Phillips, the infield is looking good. Edwin improved his defense significantly last year, and the rest of the group get high defensive marks. Gonzalez will probably be in the .250 batting range, but the rest of the infield are all solid at the plate.
Some major changes in the outfield this year. Ken Griffey Jr. will be playing right field. This is a really big deal, and I think something that might keep Griffey in the season a little longer than normal. Which is good. Adam Dunn is still in left, and he’s been working extra on his batting this year. Let’s hope he can set a personal record for least amount of strikeouts in a season.
Center field. Well. I figured this would probably be a Freel/Denorfia platoon. However, the Reds picked up Josh Hamilton on a rule #5 draft in the offseason. This guy has been the story all over baseball in spring training. He was signed as a #1 draft pick some years ago to a record signing amount, but then pissed it away to a cocaine addiction. Since then he’s become a Christian, got himself clean, and is tearing it up. Behold:
I don’t put a lot of stock in spring training stats, but he has hit .400 in spring training in 60 at-bats. He is right at Adam Dunn’s offensive level. Plus, he can run like the wind and throw like Paul O’Neill. Freel is probably my favorite Red, but if Hamilton doesn’t start in center field, it would be a crime.
I haven’t taken much of a look at the rest of the NL Central, but I’m pretty excited about the Reds this year. See you at Opening Day!