All posts in Former Reds

Ones that got away?

Obviously there’s been much discussion about whether Josh Hamilton should’ve been traded away to Texas. But do you ever think about other guys you wouldn’t mind having back in a Reds uniform (even if they really stunk when they WERE Reds like Ryan Dempster did). Here’s my Top 12 ACTIVE players who have thrived to some extent since the Reds turned them loose. Feel free to agree or disagree and/or add anyone we omitted in the comments section. (Disclaimer: I’m not saying I’d want Paul Konerko instead of Votto at first base right now … duh. I just enjoy keeping track – in case you couldn’t tell by the RedsFest appearance wishlist post – of what guys go on to do when they leave Cincinnati. It’s fun for me for reasons I can’t explain. Disclaimer No. 2: I didn’t include guys like Jeremy Sowers, John Axford and Jake Arrieta, who were drafted by the Reds, but did not sign.) And no, Adam Dunn is not going to make this list, just because. Because his average isn’t THAT much better with the Nationals and he still strikes out a TON (a career-high 199 in 2010).

12. Matt Belisle, RP. Lousy for the Reds in 2008 (1-4, 7.28) and not much better for the Rockies in 2009 (3-1, 5.52) but he had a very nice 2010 campaign, finishing 7-5 with a 2.93 ERA in 76 relief appearances. With 91 Ks in 92 innings, by the way. And 8.9 Ks/9 is by far the best of his career.

11. Jorge Cantu, IF. Up until just recently, I’ve been outspoken about being Mr. Why-on-Earth-did-we-release-Jorge-Cantu? .277/29/95 as a full-time player with the Marlins in 2008, followed by .289/16/100 in 2009. He did cool off in 2010, hitting .262 with 10 and 54 before the Fish dealt him to Texas for a couple of minor-leaguers, making him a bench guy. But he’s still only 28 and I still think he could’ve been at least invited to Spring Training after he went 17-for-57 (.298) in his limited action as a Red in 2007.

10. Dennys Reyes, RP. OK, so there are 9 other teams who could play the “I-can’t-believe-we-let-Dennys-Reyes-get-away” game too. But do you know where he spent the longest stretch (4 years) of his 14-season big-league career? Right here in Cincinnati. Did you know he was only 21 when the Reds acquired him – along with Paul Konerko (more on him later) – for Jeff Shaw. Did you know he’s still only 33?! OK, one more did you know … the guy has made 50+ appearances in each of the past five seasons. The ERAs he’s posted in those seasons? 0.89, 3.99, 2.33, 3.29 and 3.55. Money.

9. Zach Stewart, SP. If you were like me, you were more worried about the two young arms (Stewart and Josh Roenicke) who went to Toronto with Edwin Encarnacion for Scott Rolen than you were about EE himself. And at this point, would you take back that trade just because a 23-year-old Stewart went 8-3 with a 3.63 ERA in 26 starts for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats this past season? Absolutely not. It’s just not a bad idea to keep tabs on guys like this (along with Brandon Waring, Justin Turner, Jeff Stevens, et al.) for later on when they maybe get promoted and do something.

8. Jeremy Affeldt, RP. As a Red, he was 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 78 1/3 innings in 2008. He parlayed the season into a nice deal with the Giants. In San Francisco, his 2010 campaign (4-3, 4.14) wasn’t quite as strong as his 2009 (2-2, 1.73), but he battled injury and the Giants obviously think highly enough of him that he made five postseason appearances during the team’s recent World Series title run.

7. Jeff Keppinger, IF. C’mon. Keppinger? Really? Is that the best you can do? No, but he makes the list. Keppinger actually established career bests in 2010 with 514 at-bats, 62 runs, 148 hits, 34 doubles, 59 RBIs. And you’ve got to give the guy credit: In his first full season as an everyday player, he hit .288. That’s nothing to sneeze at. And you’ve got to love a guy who walks more than he whiffs. Keppinger had 51 walks in 2010, and only 36 strikeouts.

6. B.J. Ryan, RP. Ryan has had a rough past couple of years. He had a 6.53 ERA in 20 2/3 innings in 2009, was released by the Blue Jays in July of 2009, was signed by the Cubs 10 days later and released by the Cubs a couple of weeks after that. But he’s still 33 I’m not aware of any formal retirement announcement (though he did ask the Cubs for his unconditional release). And it’s tough to ignore those years when he was an outstanding relief pitcher – 2003: 3.40 ERA in 50 1/3 innings; 2004: 2.28 ERA in 87 innings; 2005: 2.43 ERA with 36 saves in 70 1/3 innings; 2006: 1.37 ERA with 38 saves in 72 1/3 innings; and 2008: 2.95 ERA with 32 saves in 58 innings – knowing that the Reds drafted him in the 17th round of the 1998 June draft and traded him a year later for Juan Guzman (an integral part, mind you, of the Reds’ strong 1999 campaign).

5. Paul Konerko, 1B/DH. You might cringe a little when you see what this guy has done since the Reds traded away a 22-year-old Konerko for Mike Cameron in 1998. (Yes, we realize Cameron was a big part of bringing Junior here just 13 months later.) With the exception of down years in 2003 (.234/18/65), 2007 (.259/31/90 – actually a down year for him) and 2008 (.240/22/62), he’s kind of been a beast. And he bounced back from the worst year – 2003 – with .277/41/117 in 2004. It looked like his power and average were taking a turn for the worse as he got further into his 30s … until this year. .312/39/111 in 2010. Right up there for the best year of his impressive career so far (.584 slugging and .977 OPS were career bests).

3 (tie). Ryan Dempster, SP. Sure, the guy is 102-102 with a 4.37 ERA over 13 big-league seasons. How could we possibly miss him that much. But in 7 seasons with the Cubs since Dempster was released by the Reds in 2003 (after a miserable ’03 season in which he went 3-7 with a 6.54 ERA and a disgusting 1.76 WHIP), he’s 52-47 with a 3.67 ERA and 87 saves. He had his ups and downs as a closer for the team, but look at Dempster as a starter for the Cubs. 2008: 17-6, 2.96. 2009: 11-9, 3.65. 2010: 15-12, 3.85 (with 208 Ks in 215 innings). That’s three consecutive seasons of 200+ innings with an ERA under 4 (and one under 3). You think Arroyo has been solid for the past three seasons? Dempster’s numbers have actually been better.

3 (tie). Ryan Franklin, RP. Are there more feared closers in the game? Sure. But ever since 2007, when Franklin posted a 3.04 ERA in 69 appearances in his first year with the Cardinals, they’ve felt pretty good about what he’s done. 3.55 ERA in 74 relief appearances in 2008, 1.92 ERA in 62 appearances as an All-Star in 2009 and 3.46 ERA in 59 games in 2010. And 83 saves along the way. The consolation: At 37, he’s no spring chicken anymore. The dagger: He’s got more saves (9) against the Reds than any other team.

2. Hamilton, OF. As a Red: Hit .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in 298 at-bats in 2007. Only time will tell whether it was a good idea to give up Hamilton for Daniel Ray Herrera and Edinson Volquez, but right now it’s not looking great. No offense to Volquez, but Hamilton appears to be an elite talent. A league-leading .359, with 32 HRs and 100 RBIs in 518 at-bats during the regular season. He also led the AL in slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044). Oh, and he still only made $3.25 million. No offense to Jonny Gomes, but imagine an outfield of Hamilton, Stubbs and Bruce. The consolation: He’s still a little streaky. In the ALDS, Hamilton was 2-for-18 (.111) with 2 walks, 6 strikeouts and a stolen base (though – in his defense – he missed most of September with bruised ribs). In the ALCS against the Yankees, he was 7-for-20 (.350) with 4 homers, 8 walks, 7 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. And in the World Series, he was 2-for-20 (.100) with a homer.

1. Trevor Hoffman, RP. “That’s history, Fletch.” Yeah, we know, he didn’t even pitch when he was a Reds minor leaguer – he played shortstop. But there’s no forgetting that the guy who would go on to become MLB’s all-time saves leader was an 11th round pick of the Reds in the 1989 draft who was made available to the Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft. Whoops.

Also receiving votes: Jose Guillen has put together a couple of decent seasons since the Reds dealt him to Oakland for Harang and two others in the middle of an outstanding 2003 campaign (Guillen was .337/23/63 in 315 at-bats at the time of the trade), but he’s struggled for the most part in the batting average category. Same with one-trick ponies Russell Branyan and the aforementioned Mike Cameron. Elmer Dessens, who followed up a decent 2009 (3.31 ERA in 28 appearances) with a solid 2010 (2.30 ERA in 53 relief appearances for the Mets) at age 39. Alex Gonzalez hit .250 with 23 homers and 88 RBIs between two teams in 2010. I mentioned Cody Ross here but really he wasn’t a Red long enough to really worry about it. And depending on how 2011 goes we could maybe sub out Belisle for Todd Coffey, we’ll see. (And we’ll keep an eye on guys like Chris Denorfia and Darnell McDonald and Adam Rosales to see what they might do over an entire season, and Craig Tatum and Pedro Viola to a lesser extent.)

C’mon, I know I’m forgetting someone. Bring it! But you’d better check ’em before you head this way with William Bergolla, Chris Dickerson, Jerry Jr., Kyle Lohse (’08 is looking like a one-hit wonder) Felipe Lopez, Corey Patterson, Wily Mo, David Ross, Kirk Saarloos, Willy Taveras or Ryan Wagner, cuz we’ll send it back.

Redsfest appearance wishlist

As we wait with bated breath to find out who will be appearing at next month’s RedsFest (the day the list is revealed is seriously one of our favorite days of the year here at … we thought it’d be fun to think about unexpected appearances from former Reds.

And while you might dream about getting John Bench or Tony Perez or even Junior, we hate to break it to you but it’s not going to happen. Josh Hamilton also isn’t going to feel bad that he didn’t stick around in Cincinnati longer and make it up to fans by showing up at RedsFest. No, I prefer to celebrate and embrace former Reds who never quite lived up to expectations. And here are some of the cards (we have a million of) that we’d love to get signed if any of these guys did show up.

Willie Greene

Willie Greene
Ah yes, the Reds were high on Greene when he made his Major League debut Sept. 1, 1992 at age 20, three years after he was the Pirates’ first pick in the 1989 draft. In fact, he spent the majority of his career with the Reds before he was dealt to Baltimore in ’98 for Jeffrey Hammonds (who, by the way, we would also love to see at RedsFest). Greene had less than 200 at-bats with the Reds between 1992 and 1995 and spent most of those seasons hitting for power but not really for average in Indianapolis, which was also what plagued him when he became the Reds’ everyday third baseman. But did you know this guy hit 19 homers in 287 at-bats in ’96, and then 26 homers and 91 RBI in just under 500 at-bats in ’97!

1989 Topps Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis
The second overall pick in the 1988 June amateur draft (by the Cleveland Indians) had not one but two stints with the Reds … and he’s from Hamilton! C’mon, tell me half of Hamilton wouldn’t turn out to see the guy who was 1988 Gatorade High School Baseball Player of the Year for the Big Blue? Even hard-core Reds fans seem to have already forgotten Game 3 of the 1995 National League Division Series against the Dodgers, when Lewis hit the first pinch-hit grand slam in postseason history. And he hit .339 in 171 at-bats for the Reds that season. (He was .254/6/28 with the Reds in ’99.) The guy was seriously an unsung contributor to the ’95 team that until a few weeks ago was the most recent to make the playoffs. Time to give him some love.

Pokey Reese

Pokey Reese
The Reds’ first-round pick (20th overall) in the ’91 draft, Reese could fly and field but not enough of the other stuff. But it suddenly looked like the sky was the limit for Reese during his career year in ’99 (which coincided with an outstanding Reds’ campaign that season, of course). He hit .285 with 38 stolen bases (fifth best in the NL) and won his first of back-to-back Gold Gloves for the Reds. But he came back to Earth in 2000 when he hit .255, and even more so in 2001 when he hit .224. He was traded in Dec. 2001 with Dennys Reyes to the Rockies for Luke Hudson and Gabe White, dealt the next day by the Rockies to Boston for Scott Hatteberg and granted free agency two days after that. He signed with the Pirates and spent a couple of disappointing seasons in Pittsburgh and another one with the Red Sox, never regaining that ’99 form (though he did win a title with the BoSox in ’04). Sure has been through a lot off the field too, for sure, as explained in this Boston Globe article.

Eric Owens

Eric Owens
This fourth-round pick of the Reds in 1992 bounced back and forth between Cincinnati and Indianapolis so much that his nickname was “I-74.” But we find his 1996 numbers with the Reds fascinating. He hit just .200 in 205 at-bats, but he managed to steal 16 bases. 41 hits, 23 walks, 16 stolen bases! He always had the green light (he stole 33 in 1999 and 29 in 2000 for the Padres) and made a nice career for himself as a very poor man’s Dave Collins (speaking of whom, he definitely doesn’t fit in the category for this post, but how about inviting D.C. to RedsFest!)

Brandon Larson

Brandon Larson
The Reds’ first-round pick (14th overall) in the ’97 draft and – by all accounts – a bona fide slugger at LSU, Larson played his entire four-year MLB career with the Reds from 2001-2004. Which amounted to .179/8/37 over those parts of four seasons. But don’t worry, Brandon, you’ve got plenty of company as far as BUSTY first-round picks by the Reds in the 1990s. Yes, we’re looking at you, John Oliver, C.J. Nitkowski, Pat Watkins, Chad Mottola and Ty Howington.

Rest In Peace, Sparky

Here’s a link to Erardi’s Cincinnati.Com article.

Who do you root for now?

Not the Phillies, we hope. Unless you thought it was heartwarming the way Halladay threw a no-hitter in Game 1 … or cute the way Chase Utley pretended like he had been hit by a pitch in Game 2 … or gutsy the way Charlie Manuel stuck with Cole Hamels in the 9th inning in Game 3. Don’t make me puke. Besides, the Phillies don’t even have any former Reds on their active roster.

I’ve heard some people talking about pulling for the Rangers because they still like former Red Josh Hamilton. Here’s a look at Hamilton and other former Reds still competing in the postseason:

(Note: I did not include the likes of Chad Moeller of the Yankees and Jose Guillen of the Giants, who were on those teams’ 40-man rosters but were not included on Division Series rosters.)

Hamilton, Rangers
As a Red: Hit .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in 298 at-bats in 2007. Only time will tell whether it was a good idea to give up Hamilton for Daniel Ray Herrera and Edinson Volquez, but right now it’s not looking great. No offense to Volquez, but Hamilton appears to be an elite talent. (Oh, and he’s still only making $3.25 million.) And no offense to Jonny Gomes, but imagine an outfield of Hamilton, Stubbs and Bruce.
Now: A league-leading .359, with 32 HRs and 100 RBIs in 518 at-bats during the regular season. He also led the AL in slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044). In the ALDS, Hamilton was 2-for-18 (.111) with 2 walks, 6 strikeouts and a stolen base (though – in his defense – he missed most of September with bruised ribs).

Jorge Cantu, Rangers
As a Red: 17-for-57 (.298) in 2007 after being acquired from Tampa Bay (along with Shaun Cumberland in exchange for Brian Shackelford and Calvin Medlock). Cantu was released by the Reds during the offseason that followed.
Now: Since being acquired from the Marlins in July (for a pair of minor-leaguers), Cantu is a backup infielder who hit .235 with 1 homer and 2 RBIs in 98 at-bats for the Rangers during the regular season. He struck out in three of his four ALDS at-bats.

Cody Ross, Giants
As a Red: 1-for-5 with 2 strikeouts in 2006 (Cincinnati was an extremely brief stop for Ross, who also played for the Dodgers and Marlins that season.)
Now: An August waiver pickup, he homered and singled in Game 4 of the NLDS to lift the Giants past the Braves. This after he drove in the lone run in Game 1. (No other player had so few RBIs for a team in the regular season and registered a postseason RBI, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.)

Jeremy Affeldt, Giants
As a Red: 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 78 1/3 innings in 2008. He parlayed the season into a nice deal with the Giants.
Now: His 2010 campaign (4-3, 4.14) wasn’t quite as strong as his 2009 (2-2, 1.73), but he battled injury. He did not appear during the NLDS.

Austin Kearns, Yankees
As a Red: Finished third in 2002 NL ROY voting (behind Jason Jennings and Brad Wilkerson) after hitting .315 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs in 372 at-bats. But the season was so far the best of his career, as his average dropped in the seasons that followed (.264 in 2003, .230 in 2004, .240 in 2005) before he was traded on July 13, 2006, in the much-discussed Kearns/Lopez/Ryan Wagner for Bill Bray, Majewski, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson deal (that isn’t mentioned quite so often anymore, probably because Kearns and Lopez haven’t done a whole lot since they left, Bill Bray is still contributing for the Reds and fans have forgotten how terrible Majewski was as a Red). Kearns was at .274/16/50 in 325 at-bats at the time of the 2006 trade. He’s been subpar since the deal, though, with the exception of a decent .266/16/74 campaign with the Nats in 2007 (in which he had 587 at-bats, a huge total for him).
Now: .235/2/7 in 102 at-bats for the Yankees since being sent from the Tribe for minor-league pitcher Zach McAllister. He didn’t have an at-bat during the Yankees’ ALDS sweep of the Twins.

Dustin Moseley, Yankees
As a Red: Well, kinda. He was the Reds’ first-round pick (34th overall) in 2000. He pitched for Dayton, Stockton, Chattanooga and Louisville before he was traded during the 2004 offseason to the Angels for Ramon Ortiz.
Now: He was 4-4 with a 4.96 ERA for the Yankees during the regular season; he hasn’t appeared for them in the postseason. In his 5-year MLB career, he’s 12-11 with a 5.28 ERA.

Of the names on the list, Kearns had by far the longest stint with the Reds. Interestingly enough, Affeldt is the only other guy who even played a complete season with the Reds.

Curiouser and curiouser

A friend of confirmed to an contributor that he saw Francisco Cordero, Juan Francisco and Aroldis Chapman walking around together at Kenwood Towne Centre (which you may also see spelled “Kenwood Towne Center” from time to time) Thursday afternoon. What’s odd is the Louisville Bats – believed to be Francisco and Chapman’s current team – played a home game Thursday evening against Columbus. Chapman did not appear in the game and WAS listed among available players on the bench. Francisco did play, so he obviously managed to be in suburban Cincinnati during the afternoon and in Louisville that same evening, which is not unheard of. (The two locations are approximately 110 miles apart.) pointed out just this morning that Chapman didn’t appear in Louisville’s loss to Indianapolis on Wednesday either, which would make him “fresh for a weekend series.” And IF it were the case that the Reds were going to promote Chapman in advance of the upcoming series against the Cubs, did he even bother to go back to Louisville tonight when he was already here today? Can anyone confirm that he was in the dugout at the Bats’ game tonight? Just wondering.

Also, if he were promoted already, it would allow Chapman to avoid the madness that would be the pregame team autograph session the Bats have scheduled for Sunday.

Then again, wouldn’t the Reds have announced/promoted it right away (that Friday would be Chapman’s debut as a Red) if they had promoted him already? Probably, yes. So really, what can we deduce? That Chapman has, in fact, reportedly visited a shopping mall in greater Cincinnati. According to a fairly reliable source.

Also, in case you missed it, here’s a topical and strong feature about Chapman from the Enquirer’s John Erardi.

Gala highlights

Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame members

The Red Jackets are here! Members of the Reds Hall of Fame line up at the end of the Gala.

UPDATE: We’ve posted a photo gallery with images of Sunday night’s festivities, and we’ve added videos that you’ll get to at the end of the post …

Pardon us in advance if we go a little overboard with our coverage of the 2010 Reds Hall of Fame induction gala, but you’d be pretty fired up too if you had just been in the same (big) room with the entire current Reds roster (minus the ill Scott Rolen) in addition to the likes of Johnny Bench, Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Lee May, George Foster, Jack Billingham, Hal Morris, Tom Browning and all three Nasty Boys. Oh, AND Chris Sabo and Pedro Borbon.

Reds Hall of Fame Gala - Sparky Anderson

Sparky addresses the crowd via video message

VERY cool event, thanks to a very impressive effort by the Reds Hall of Fame. Everything about it was well executed and exactly what piques your interest, gets your adrenaline pumping and tugs at your heartstrings (thanks, Sparky) if you’re a Reds fan. Michael Anderson from the Reds mentioned that Hilton, Head, SC-based producer Philip Myers – a professional entertainer who specializes in corporate and commercial entertainment who the Reds have worked with for past induction galas as well as the Civil Rights Game – was involved with the production, particularly with the music, which at times throughout the evening made me feel like I was in ‘Far and Away’ (obscure reference 1 of 1).

Reds Hall of Fame Gala - Brandon Phillips

BP waves to the crowd

All of the current players and a bunch of former Reds who were on hand were introduced at the beginning of the event. It was fun to see how the players reacted as each guy walked up to the stage and acknowledged the crowd in his own way. Couldn’t really get good shots with the camera, but I do know Eric Davis’ walk/acknowledgement had Arthur Rhodes and Coco Cordero just about ROFL, and Volquez was cracking up at just about everyone.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty emceed and at one point exclaimed something like, “How about those first-place Reds!” Slyde from and a couple of others I chatted with pointed out that “first-place Reds” wasn’t entirely accurate given that the Dodgers stink and gave up a 4-0 lead to lose AGAIN Sunday to the Pujols-less, Molina-less and Rasmus-less Cardinals, who took a 1/2 game lead in the division. Later in the program, Marty corrected himself as only Marty can:

I don’t give a damn that the Cardinals won today!

There was a really memorable segment where Bench, Foster, Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Gary Nolan shared their favorite memories from the 1975 World Series. Bench made it clear he’s a fan of the 2010 Reds:

We’ve seen it on the field so far this year. When guys have been hurt, somebody’s picked them up. And that’s the way it was in our year (1975). Never forget that there’s 25 players and they’re all gonna contribute. … Our great success came because of all of the great support players, the role players that came out and did their job. They knew what their job was, and when they had to do it, they did it. And I’m just as happy for them; that’s why all 25 players were World Champions, and that’s why we all got rings. So thanks to all of those people.

Wow. Quite a contrast to how Bench is portrayed in Joe Posnanski’s ‘The Machine,’ huh?! :)

In another segment of the event, it was very cool the way the 25th anniversary of 4,192 was acknowledged. (Sabo later said he thought Pete was going to come out during this segment.)

Reds Hall of Fame Gala - Norm Charlton, Marty Brennaman and Rob Dibble

Norm, Marty & Dibs

And the 20th anniversary of the 1990 title featured what Marty said is believed to be (still awaiting confirmation or denial from Charlton, Dibble or Myers, none of whom acknowledged it) the first reunion of the Nasty Boys in 20 years. (Dibble, who is part of the Nationals’ broadcast team, is in town for the upcoming Reds-Nats series, but apparently it was a pleasant surprise that he was able to make it in time for the reunion.)

A family member, Cairil Mills, had some very well-prepared and well-articulated remarks about Tony Mullane, who was apparently quite a fascinating individual. You just don’t get pitchers who throw a complete game during just about every outing anymore!

During his induction speech, Borbon explained that he considers Cincinnati the best baseball city in the country. (St. Louis can put that in its pipe and smoke it.)

Chris Sabo at the Reds Hall of Fame Gala

Chris Sabo

And Marty declared, “The two people I’ve known who are totally without ego … are Joe Nuxhall … and Chris Sabo.”

Three memorable quotes from Sabo’s speech (which actually referred to Pete Rose for a good two minutes or so):

I’d like to thank all of my former teammates, especially with the ’90 team for coming here … it was a fun team. I might not have shown it when I played, but I loved playing with all of you guys. Great teammates. We might not hang out off the field, but we had a good time on the field.

He’s not here, but I actually owe a lot to Pete Rose. He’s one of the few guys who believed in me when I was in the minor leagues, when people thought I was crap. He actually gave me a chance. And thankfully, Buddy Bell got hurt and I got a chance.

I’m just glad you guys all came out. I’m also glad this weekend’s ending and I can go home and have a couple of beers.

I’ve cut down a couple of the better video clips we got, including a pair of emotional recorded messages from Sparky Anderson. OK, I’m warning you, it’s not some dude in a Mike Leake shersey having an impromptu dance-off with Hammer or Norm MacDonald hosting the ESPYs, but it’s really pretty cool stuff if you’re a fan. Also, the audio quality is good but the video quality isn’t great.


The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum

Championships past are on display at the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum

The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum have released their full schedule for this weekend’s “Famefest” as well as a list of all Reds Hall of Famers and Reds alumni that will be in attendance. There are some great names from Reds history that will be in town this weekend. Hope to see you at the yard taking it all in!

UPDATED events and times from

Reds Alumni scheduled to appear this weekend:

Reds Hall of Famers: Johnny Bench, Jack Billingham, Pedro Borbon, Tom Browning, Leo Cardenas, Eric Davis, George Foster, Cesar Geronimo, Wayne Granger, Tommy Helms, Barry Larkin (Sat./Sun. only), Jerry Lynch, Jim Maloney (Sat./Sun. only), Lee May, Joe Morgan (Fri./Sat. only), Gary Nolan (Sat./Sun. only), Jim O’Toole, Chris Sabo and Mario Soto.

1990 Team Members: Glenn Braggs, Keith Brown, Tom Browning, Norm Charlton, Eric Davis, Billy Hatcher, Barry Larkin (Sat./Sun. only), Hal Morris (Fri./Sat. only), Randy Myers, Paul Noce, Ron Robinson, Chris Sabo and Herm Winningham.

Fans will have many chances to meet and greet with their favorite HOF’ers and Reds players from the 1990 World Championship team. All meet and greet sessions are free with Hall of Fame admission.

Friday, July 16
5-6:30 p.m. – Meet and greet with returning Hall of Famers (photos OK, no autographs)
SCHEDULED TO APPEAR: Bench, Billingham, Borbon, Browning, Cardenas, Davis, Foster, Geronimo, Granger, Helms, Lynch, May, O’Toole, Sabo, Soto

Saturday, July 17
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Meet and greet with select 1990 team members (photos OK, no autographs)

3-4:30 p.m. – Meet and greet with returning Hall of Famers (photos OK, no autographs)
SCHEDULED TO APPEAR: Bench, Billingham, Borbon, Browning, Cardenas, Davis, Foster, Geronimo, Granger, Helms, Lynch, Maloney, May, Nolan, O’Toole, Sabo, Soto

2010 HOF Induction Weekend Remaining Event Schedule

Friday, July 16 – Reds vs Colorado Rockies (7:10 p.m.)

  • MC Hammer concerts (pregame and postgame)
  • 1990 team celebration (postgame)
  • Fireworks presented by Klosterman Baking Co. (postgame)

Saturday, July 17 – Reds vs Colorado Rockies (7:10 p.m.)

  • FameFest at the HOF will include baseball instruction, cornhole, caricature drawing, games, meet and greets, mascot visits, a band, sponsor booths, inflatable for kids, and more (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • New Inductee Press Conference (5:45 p.m.)
  • Chris Sabo Bobblehead presented by John Morrell (free to the first 30,000 fans)
  • HOF Induction Ceremony (pregame)

Sunday, July 18 – Reds vs Colorado Rockies (1:10 p.m.)

  • Vintage baseball game (Noon)
  • Powel Crosley Jr. Award presentation (pregame)
  • 2010 Induction Gala presented by Extra Bases at Duke Energy Convention Center (6-10 p.m.)
    Featuring the entire 2010 Reds roster along with current and former Hall of Famers

We salute you, Cobra fan

Dave Parker Cincinnati Reds Jersey


OMGreds spotted a Dave Parker jersey at GABP last week.

Well played, good sir.

Griffey Retires

Ken Griffey Jr. - Retired


Holy cow, The Kid is done. According to, Junior told the Mariners Wednesday night that he was hangin’ ’em up.

“While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Mariners front office has asked me to retire, I told the Mariners when I met with them prior to the 2009 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction,” Griffey said in a statement.

“I feel that without enough occasional starts to be sharper coming off the bench, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be,” he said.

It will probably take a while to sink in, but I’m sure a lot of us feel that a piece of our childhood is now gone. Personally, I always enjoyed watching Griffey during his time as a Cincinnati Red. I can’t wait to see him deliver his speech in Cooperstown.

Official Press Release

In case you missed it …

Willy Teveras

Oh, Willy

A division rival is considering signing Willy Taveras? Say it IS so!

Eh. Peter Edward being inducted into a baseball hall of fame

Say whaaaaa? Yeah, Pete’s going into a professional baseball hall of fame. Just not THAT ONE. You know, that counts? Supposedly?

Seems that ol’ Chuck Hustle is being inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals at The Baseball Reliquary.

Again, Saaaaay whaaaaaaaa?

Okay, what’s the deal here? Well, according to the philosophy of The Shrine of Eternals, Pete may be the perfect candiate for induction into the Monrovia, California based hall of fame:

The Shrine of the Eternals is similar in concept to the annual elections held at the Baseball Hall of Fame, but differs philosophically in that statistical accomplishment is not a criterion for election. Rather, the Shrine’s annual ballot is comprised of individuals – from the obscure to the well-known – who have altered the baseball world in ways that supersede statistics.

Rock on, Pete. Considering other baseball odd-balls like Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Doc Ellis and Bill Veek also grace the halls of the Shrine of the Eternals, he fits in well. What do we need to do to get Tony Mullane up in that mother?

It’s not all about Pete though, he’s got company. Three candidates are selected from each year’s Eternals ballot. The 2010 inductions also include Casey Stengel and Roger Angell, longtime baseball writer for The New Yorker.

Road Trip?
Oh, you want to go? Well then, here are the deets:

When: Sunday July 18, 2010

Time: 2:00 pm

Where: Donald R. Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA. (Sounds fancy)

Admission: Free admission, yo.

More Info: Phone (626) 791-7647

Really though, I think I’d rather head out west to check out “LASORDAPALOOZA“. Tommy hates the Reds so much that it actually makes me like the guy. What passion!

Tip of the double ear flapper to ESPN 2.

Breaking former Red news

Why so much about former Reds lately, you might ask? I guess it’s sometimes interesting to think about whether you miss someone. Like a former flame. Are you better off without them or do you kind of wish they were still around?

Anyway, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale Tweeted that the Giants have signed lefty reliever and former Red Jeremy Affeldt to a 2-year, $9.5 million extension.

From Nightengale:

Affeldt will receive $4.5 million in 2010 and 2011 with a $5 million option or $5o0,000 buyout in 2011. Affeldt was originally scheduled to receive $4 million this season in the final year of a two-year, $8 million deal but the contract was revised.

That’s pretty big bucks for a non-closer, but you could argue that Affeldt has been one of the best set-up men in baseball – and he’s only 30. In 2009, he had a 1.73 ERA and allowed 42 hits in 62 1/3 innings. You don’t exactly want a guy like that to get away anytime soon.

The year before, of course, he was a Red. Wasn’t quite as dominant – 3.33 ERA, allowing about a hit per inning – but he actually didn’t walk as many guys (2.9 BB/9) as he did last season as a Giant (4.5 BB/9).

Fact is, his ERAs the past three seasons have been 3.51, 3.33 and 1.73. Pretty impressive.

Anyone miss this guy? (Dumb question.) Anyone think the Reds were foolish for not keeping him around for more than one season?


They say news about former Reds comes in threes. reported that the Mets released pitcher Josh Fogg.

The 33-year-old Fogg hadn’t appeared with the Mets this spring after hurting a side muscle; he was released at his request to pursue a contract elsewhere. He was 0-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 45.2 innings with the Rockies in 2009.

A man of contradictions

Direct quotes from Adam Dunn that appear in the first item of a notebook, when asked about the importance of playing in all 162 games in a season, which he’s never done. (He played in 161 in 2004 and has played in 160 twice.)

“It’s hard to play 162. I’d like to try. I love playing.”

“I think that there are some days you need to take off. You don’t need to play 162 games. You don’t need to. We got guys that are very capable of playing. I think about 155, that’s a good number. You got to have a break.”

“I really don’t care. I got a lot of other things to worry about than playing 162 games. But I’ll try this year. Do I think that it’s necessary? No.”

Hmmm … I actually feel a little dumber. And I’m a little surprised he didn’t try to take a potshot at the Reds while discussing his fascination/indifference with regard to playing every game in a season. I’m sure he thought about tacking on a “since I’m not a Red anymore” to the end of the “I love playing” sentence.

Denorfia sighting

Nice feature from about Padres non-roster invitee and former Red Chris Denorfia. Looks like he may face his former team yet this spring; Reds take on a San Diego split squad on Saturday and welcome the Padres to Goodyear on March 30.

Jerry Jr. joins brother

The San Diego Padres reached an agreement with former Red Jerry Hairston Jr. on a one-year deal worth $2.125 million on Monday, according to


He will be the second member of the Hairston acquired by the team in three days.

On Saturday, the Padres reacquired Scott Hairston from the A’s for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. Scott Hairston played parts of three seasons (2007-09) with the Padres before he was traded to the A’s in July.

We say good for Jerry Jr. Chase Weems, the player we acquired for Jerry Jr. from the Yankees last season, hit .179 in 67 at-bats in Dayton after we got him, but he just turned 21 yesterday. Speaking of birthdays …

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