Christmas may not be for another two and a half weeks, but today marks an early Christmas of sorts for Reds Country. That's right. Friday kicks off the two-day extravaganza known as Redsfest! If you have never been before, I would highly recommend that you make an effort to attend this year. The annual event offers the best chance for fans to interact with players, coaches, alumni, and fellow fans as well.
But for those who aren't able to go, perhaps this post stuffed with Reds-related news and notes serves as a bit of a consolation prize. Dig in:
+ Thursday was the final day of this year's version of the Winter Meetings. The Reds failed to land a leadoff hitter, but are still in negotiations in bringing OF Ryan Ludwick back on a 2-year deal. The club also passed to select anyone in the Rule 5 Draft. All in all, it was a pretty quiet and uneventful trip to Nashville for Reds executives.
+ Many players who were accused of using performance enhancers during their playing days (i.e. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa) are up election into the Hall of Fame. Former Red and 2011 HOF inductee Barry Larkin told the AP that he doesn't think players who cheated should get into the exclusive club. Agree or disagree?
+ Cliff Eastham of the Bleacher Report recently published a nice little piece on top prospect Billy Hamilton. Check it out.
+ Although the plan is to insert Aroldis Chapman into the starting rotation to presumably take Mike Leake's place, the Reds have told Leake to prepare for next season as a starter. Are the Reds planning on trading Leake this winter, or are they just ensuring rotation depth in case someone goes down to injury?
+ Dusty Baker credited Cubs doctors for saving his life last September after Baker was rushed to the hospital with chest pains. Once there, Baker was also treated after suffering a minor stroke.
+ On Wednesday, Joey Votto was named the recipient of the Tip O'Neill Award for the third straight year. The award is given to the top Canadian baseball player annually.
+ Bleacher Report's Tyler Duma recently outlined who felt to be the most underpaid players on the Reds roster. See who he selected by following this link.
+ Cincinnati released their 2013 Cactus League schedule earlier this week. They will play 38 exhibition games in all (20 at home, 18 on road).
+ On that same note, here is a link to the 2013 regular season schedule. The opener is slated for April 3 against the Los Angeles Angels.
+ Looking for more information on Redsfest? Here you go!
+ Baseball America tabbed Cincy as its Organization of the Year on Tuesday. The write-up cited player development and scouting as the main reasons for the selection.
Have a great weekend, folks!