All posts in Outstanding
Apparently Volquez LOVES(ed) his hair.
I got my haircut last night. It was too hot, the weather. I was tired too, three years of long hair. I decided to cut it out. … I love my hair. I’m keeping it at my house. I’m going to bring it tomorrow.
(via Mark Sheldon)
Dusty was impressed too…
“He pretty looked good,” Baker said. ”He looked handsome.”
(via John Fay)
Our friends at Mustached Baseball Head have a breakdown of Volquez’s performances, with and without dreads. Great work right there.
This item caught our eye over on UniWatch today – An eBay auction of a photo of Johnny Bench chillin’ in his pad rockin’ out to early Andrew Lloyd Webber. We imagine that this photo was taken in 1970 or ’72. Jesus Christ Superstar (the rock opera) came out 1970 and photographer Jack Klumpe took photos of the Reds for the Cincinnati Post through 1972.
There are a TON of other Reds images up for auction by the same seller. Some fun stuff in there.
No matter though, we were just mesmerized by JB’s shoes… and his hi-fi set up. We were also pleased to learn that he was a big chess fan. Er… a fan of BIG CHESS.
I took in Fox Sports Ohio’s replay of the Reds’ 5-4 win against the Nationals from Sun., June 6 and came away with the following observations:
Why it was particularly appropriate that FSN Ohio aired this particular replay on 2/3/11:
Laynce Nix played a significant role in the win. He didn’t have the go-ahead home run in the 9th or the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th, but Nix would’ve been neck-and-neck with Bronson Arroyo for third in MVP votes for this game. In case you missed it, the Washington Nationals (of course) announced Thursday afternoon that they agreed to terms with Nix on a minor-league contract that includes a Spring Training invitation. Well, as a matter of fact, the Reds probably don’t win this big game on 6/6/10 if not for Nix, who delivered three hits and made a stellar diving catch in left field in the 5th inning. Godspeed, Mr. Nix. When this coming June rolls around and Fred Lewis is hitting .240 with 2 home runs, we’ll think of you. (I’m kidding, Fred Lewis, no disrespect, best of luck and welcome aboard.) As an aside, did you know Nix ended up hitting .291 with 4 homers in 165 at-bats in 2010? Based on his 2009 numbers (.239/15/46), I’d bet anything most Reds fans would take the over in guessing how many homers he had in 2010, and the under in batting average. I digress …
Why this win against the Nats was so important:
Reds ended their 6-game homestand .500 (after they had lost 2 of 3 in St. Louis), instead of 2-4. If they had lost, they would’ve ended up losing the season series to a team that ended up 69-93. And if they had lost, they also would’ve ended up with a losing record in June (for what it’s worth). Instead, September was their only losing month of the regular season. And they survived a Cordero implosion, which is a rarity (there were only 3 other games he “blew” in 2010 that the Reds won).
What I didn’t remember that watching the replay made me remember:
• Ohio native and former UD star Craig Stammen allowed just 1 earned run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings just weeks before being demoted to the bullpen.
• Tyler Clippard, who had pitched a scoreless 8th and struck out Nix to start the 9th, was lifted in favor of Matt Capps, which might have made sense against any team OTHER than the Reds. In Washington’s defense, Capps was the NL leader in saves at the time with 18, so Jim Riggleman’s move wasn’t exactly a head-scratcher. BUT Capps had given up runs in 6 of 9 appearances entering Sunday’s game and ENTERED the game (obviously it got much worse DURING this appearance) with a 6.33 ERA in 30 career appearances against the Reds.
• Scott Rolen’s exciting 9th-inning pinch-hit home run was preceded by HUGE back-to-back doubles by Drew Stubbs and Jonny Gomes (his of the pinch-hit variety).
• One pitch before Rolen’s homer, he checked his swing with two strikes, and many in the crowd disagreed with the result of the appeal to first.
• Chris Welsh said, “How ’bout this Reds ball club!” at least three times.
• During the bottom of the 9th, Paul Keels (who, by the way, we wish a continued strong recovery from the abdominal surgery he had in last Fall and who we wish no ill-will in mentioning this minor goof-up) referred to former Red Bob Wickman. Former quite a few teams, Voice o’ the Buckeyes, but never a Red.
• Mike Morse, who had the quietest .289, 15-homer season (in just 266 at-bats) in recent memory – and, in 2010, had 5 RBIs (on a double and a triple) in just 3 ABs against the Reds – was the one who tied it against Cordero in the bottom of the 9th.
• Miguel Batista (who, by the way, has played for even more teams than Bob Wickman) – who had been ejected the night before for hitting Brandon Phillips in retaliation for perceived showmanship – was the one who gave up Stubbs’ go-ahead single in the 10th.
• Former Red Adam Dunn, who had struck out three times in four at-bats that day, would have hit in the bottom of the 10th against Nick Masset if he had not been lifted in the 9th for defensive replacement Adam Kennedy. Dunn, in case you were wondering, is hitting .182 with 2 homers and 5 RBIs in 55 career at-bats against the Reds.
I received my loot back today from the signing Sean Casey did for his charitable foundation, Casey’s Clubhouse. Couldn’t be any happier. Sean laid down some beautiful signatures on the three baseball cards I sent in – 2004 Bowman (above), 2005 Topps Heritage and a 2001 Bowman Heritage. At $5 per autograph on baseball cards, this was a fantastic deal. Since all the proceeds were going to Sean’s charity, it was a no-brainer. I only wish I would have sent in a few more items.
For photos of the signing, click here. There are some sweet pieces of memorabilia in there!
The promoter, Kevin, has indicated that Sean is interested in doing another signing after the baseball season starts. We’ll make sure to keep you posted.
Votto-matic was at the New York Hilton on Saturday night for a dinner, where he was presented with his National League MVP award.
Redreporter.com took some great pictures of the Reds’ first baseman/sharp-dressed man.
Be sure to make your way down to the comments’ section as well to see three cool ads – two of Votto, one of Junior – that were in the event program. Good stuff.
High school friend Kevin Main is doing a private signing with Sean Casey that he told us about … it’s for a great cause (and tax deductible) so give some serious thought to sending something. Here’s the info from Kevin …
I am conducting a private signing with former Reds/Pirates/Tigers/Red Sox player Sean Casey to benefit his foundation, Casey’s Clubhouse, which seeks to build a Miracle League field in southern Pittsburgh for children with disabilities.
The pricing structure is as follows:
$5 for cards
$20 everything else
Inscriptions are free
PLEASE INCLUDE A SASE WITH YOUR ITEM(S). PLEASE TAG YOUR ITEM(S) WITH A POST-IT NOTE THAT INCLUDES THE NAME LISTED ON THE SASE AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. If you want any inscriptions (The Mayor, 3x All Star, etc.), please include that information on the tag as well. As of right now, I do not have any unsigned items available, but could possibly make an Adorama order if interest is there (I do have lots of images).
The signing is now January 26. I need all items by Monday, January 24.
Please make all checks payable to Casey’s Clubhouse (yes, this is tax deductible). I am not taking any money for this signing—all proceeds are going to Casey’s Clubhouse.
Send items to:
Re: Casey’s Clubhouse
109 Lansing Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Casey has been a very accommodating signer for us his entire career. This signing is a great way to say thank you to Sean and to help some kids at the same time.
Plenty of Edgar Renteria discussion on Twitter today, and the story has gone from Renteria reportedly telling ESPNdeportes.com that he’ll be the Reds’ new full-time shortstop to Dusty telling John Fay there’s no controversy here and both guys will play.
From Fay’s blog post:
While Renteria reportedly told ESPNdeportes.com that he’s the Reds ‘full-time’ shortstop, Baker wasn’t willing to commit to that. Asked if he considered Renteria or Paul Janish the starter, Baker said:
“I don’t know. We don’t have a quarterback controversy at short. Everybody plays on my team. They’re both going to play. Janish is younger. Edgar is more experienced. Janish deserves a chance to be my shortstop.”
“You’ve got to have two shortstops,” he said. “Both are capable.”
I like that Dusty said what he said, out of respect for Janish. It’s easy enough for Dusty to say this because, quite frankly, one guy could stink it up during the spring and the other guy could hit .500 and the decision is made for him. It’s almost a “We’ll cross that bridge …” answer on Dusty’s part that doesn’t alienate anyone (except maybe Renteria, just a little, for jumping to the conclusion that he’ll be the starter). And the fact of the matter is Dusty really doesn’t need to commit to one guy or the other right now. And he IS right: Both guys WILL play if they’re healthy. He doesn’t say how much both guys will play, and he doesn’t need to.
I’d guess the Reds probably wish Renteria wouldn’t have said anything about being the full-time shortstop. It makes you wonder whether they told him he’ll be the starter but asked him not to say anything. It’s more likely that they told him he’ll have a shot at starting or the job is his to lose, which, like I said, is pretty much the case.
One of my favorite items in my modest baseball collect is the first issued set from The Infinite Baseball Card Set. Illustrator and designer Gary Joseph Cieradkowski has set out to create a never-ending set of baseball cards that capture the interesting and the obscure from baseball days long gone. Each card features an exquisite illustration accompanied by a carefully researched story on the player. From Negro Leaguers to obscure semi-pro players and even hall of famers in their days before the show, the Infinite Set is a beautiful look at the history of the game – and its uniforms.
The Infinite Set’s most recent entry features none other than Reds Hall of Famer Johnny Vander Meer. We all know him as the dude that tossed back-to-back no-hitters for the Reds in 1938. Check out Johnny’s beautiful card and story over at The Infinite Baseball Card Set.
On another Cincinnati-related note, The Infinite Set featured a card of Sandy Koufax in a University of Cincinnati baseball uniform. Unfortunately, the NCAA forced the removal of the card due to it being in violation of collegiate licensing laws. Commence eye rolling… NOW. You should have seen it – it was a beautiful card.
Just got done watching the hour-long “Baseball’s Seasons” on MLB Network about the 1975 season. First of all, I must say they do a REALLY nice job with that program. I was impressed. And not just because they devote plenty of time to the entire 1975 World Series and don’t gloss over everything but Carlton Fisk’s home run like others do.
Enjoyed Cliff Johnson’s quote about the Big Red Machine, “I don’t know who named it, but whoever did they named the hell out of it because it WAS a machine and they WOULD run over you.”
Always love the anecdote about Denny Doyle claiming he heard Don Zimmer yelling, “Go, go, go!” when Zimmer was yelling, “No, no, no!” before George Foster guns him out at home plate (personally one of MY favorite Game 6 highlights).
Anyway, definitely worth watching if you get a chance. Set your DVR if you missed it; it replays at midnight and 3 a.m.
(One other highlight: The atrocious all-red uniforms the Cleveland Indians wore in 1975. Wow.)
OK, so OMGDan picked up a few packs of 2009 Topps Heritage (based on the 1960 set) for $2 apiece at Redsfest just before it closed and I was unable to pull the trigger as we were being asked to vacate the premises. A good 20 seconds of analysis paralysis had cost me an opportunity to take advantage of that deal, so I looked for the same cards a couple of days later at a local department store that specializes in various and sundry items and purchased a couple of blaster boxes. Pictured above is by far my best pull. Yes, that’s Chrome Refractor – numbered to 560, beaches. (So it’s in between the Chrome cards numbered to 1960 and the Chrome Black Refractors numbered to 60.) Happy Hanukkah to me.
Topps Heritage has me wrapped around its little finger. Every year, I look forward to all the vintage goodness that each set oozes. Following the sequential pattern that Topps started with the 1952-inspired set back in 2001, the 2011 release features the 1962 design. Topps shot out a preview today via @ToppsCards featuring none other than our very own Aroldis Chapman (above). BTW, shouldn’t Aroldis’ card say “2011 Rookie”?
Topps also posted some more cards on The Facebooker, containing another must-see card for Reds fans featuring Frank Robinson and Joey Votto…
We now officially now have the droolz. See you in the baseball card aisle at Target in February.
(The pics of Valaika and Rolen signing for fans are from before the game. When it wasn’t dark out yet. Duh.)
SportsCenter says Bruce is the 5th player in ML history to clinch a playoff berth with a walk-off home run.
Cardinals came through, thanks to Holliday, Pujols and Pags’ nephew … you have to admit it’s pretty cool that it’s up to the Reds now whether they get to clinch in front of the home crowd … given that it’s been a while since the last playoff appearance (15 or 20 years, depending on who you ask) :)
Ready for the TweetUp?
Why is it that Homer Bailey and Edinson Volquez appear to be battling for the fourth and final spot in the Reds’ postseason rotation while a rookie who has won just one of his past six starts is widely considered a lock? (Besides the fact that he is left-handed, which obviously is a plus.)
Here’s why: In the 15 starts Travis Wood has made, he’s allowed more than three runs a grand total of two times. Granted, there have been a few starts where he’s only lasted five innings, so those wouldn’t officially be defined as “quality starts.” But even three runs in five innings is giving your team a decent opportunity to win, and he’s done that or better 13 out of 15 times. His strikeout-to-walk ratio this month has been an outstanding 22/4, and he’s allowed just one homer in four September starts.
And you know what’s often overlooked (aside from the fact that he should really have more than five wins based on how well he’s performed)? If this guy makes his next start in San Diego this weekend as expected, it will be his 13th road start in 16 starts. This poor guy hasn’t won a game at GABP yet because he’s only made three starts there! 23 years old and Wood on the road is 5-2 with a 3.31 ERA with opposing batters hitting .201 against him.
Of the teams currently projected to make the playoffs, Wood has faced the Phillies once (the best outing of his young career, the near-perfect game against Halladay that the Reds lost in 11 innings) and has faced the Giants once (the worst outing of his young career, where he allowed seven earned in four innings in San Francisco on Aug. 24). The Braves would see Wood for the first time if the Reds were to meet Atlanta in the postseason.
- WLWT.com has a photo gallery AND silent video of the young lads getting ready for their trip to Houston
- Fox19.com has even sexier video.
- Fox Sports Ohio has some great video (with audio!) right here.
- J-Ramage gets us a group shot to admire and post as desktop wallpaper.
Our boy Sam is looking good.
Yonder Alonso – Baby
Chris Heisey – Sexy school girl?
Mike Leake – Not sure what is going on there
Sam LeCure – Purple dress lady? New Orleans Flapper?
Logan Ondrusek – Sexy school girl
Jordan Smith – Sexy cop
Chris Valakia – Sexy Santa
Travis Wood – Glitterpants Robin
Rob Coughlin – French Maid (sexy?)
Poor Rob – he’s not a even a player – a first year video guy for the Reds. HAHA
Where is Aroldis Chapman? Did his contract get him out of rookie hazing somehow?
Did we miss anyone?