OMGReds wanted to get to a couple of Reds Winter Caravan stops this year, and heading to Athens – home of Ohio University, where former Red Frankie Baumholtz, 9-year MLB veteran Steve Swisher and Hall of Fame third baseman and Reds Killer Michael Jack Schmidt (.608 slugging percentage against the Reds was his best against any opponent … he had 55 homers in 630 at-bats vs. Cincinnati) once starred – was a no-brainer.
Check out our photos from Thursday night at the Market on State (formerly University Mall).
There was a Q&A with fans; biggest news to emerge from that is that Dusty sees Jay Bruce in the mix for leadoff hitter consideration. Wha? I was a little surprised that didn’t get more of a reaction from the crowd.
Shortly after the Q&A started, Chris Welsh seized the mic and told attendees to start forming the line for autographs. He discouraged fans – in the interest of moving things along – from posing for pictures while going through the line. This reds.com article said that “at most visits, the groups will take time to participate in question-and-answer sessions, pose for pictures and sign autographs.” (I had wanted to get a picture with Dusty for my wife’s grandmother who is a big Dusty fan, but Welsh was sitting next to Dusty and I was afraid he’d muster up the strength in his recently surgically repaired shoulder to reach over and slap me if I did, so I just stuck to autographs.) But I figure Athens was one of the visits with no photo opportunities, so that was definitely no biggie.
What did bother me – through no fault whatsoever of the Reds – was people around me in line a) asking where Homer Bailey was (the website CLEARLY stated all along that Bailey was only doing Saturday and Sunday on the Northern Tour) and b) going all Jay Cutler on the Cowboy and complaining that he wasn’t there. It was announced just before the others arrived that Brantley was under the weather and wouldn’t be able to attend. And I heard people bitching about not being able to get their Brantley stuff signed. THE POOR GUY (it turns out) HAD STREP THROAT! Have you ever had strep throat? The remedy is plenty of fluids and rest – not signing autographs and interacting with fans. And it’s highly contagious, so people should be glad he didn’t try to tough it out. Geez. Give the Cowboy a break, people.
Good time. Was I jealous when I saw that Joe Morgan was at the Air Force museum today? You betcherass. But then again, the fans who were in Dayton couldn’t go down the street after their Reds Caravan stop and have a beer at the Maplewood Inn like I could.