|Wrong kind of pepper|
It is an open forum of sorts. Feel free to agree or disagree as you see fit. Discussion is half the fun.
How could I not lead off with the All-Star Game finally coming back to Cincinnati? Yesterday it was officially announced by Bud Selig that the 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati is a city teeming with baseball history and some of the best fans in the country. It's about time and I couldn't be more pumped. The last time the ASG was in Cincinnati I was only about five months old. Now if I can just find a way to experience the awesomeness that this will be. Selig also announced that MLB would be donating $1.5 million towards a new Urban Youth Academy in the city. That's great. Maybe he can also find it in his heart to reinstate Pete Rose in time for the big game.
In other fun news, Reds Caravan kicks off today. The caravan will make stops in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, so make sure you check out the schedule for the whole thing, so you can try and make it to one of the locations near you to meet many great Reds players and personnel. It's just another thing a great team does for its great fans. I'm jealous of all you who can participate.
Speaking of the WBC, maybe it would be a good opportunity to use amateur players in the game instead of professionals. I guess every other country is using its best pros too though, so I guess we need to compete in the same manner, even though America has never finished better than fourth in the previous two classics. P.S. Keep Joey Votto out of it this year, please.
It's arbitration season! There are currently six arbitration-eligible players, with which the Reds have exchanged figures. Logan Ondrusek signed a two-year deal last week. The Reds haven't had to go to an arbitration hearing since they crushed Chris Reitsma's hopes in 2004. It seems likely that this year, the Reds may have to break the streak though with such great young players like Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, and Shin-Soo Choo. Also, apparently the way arbitration works, the player submits a salary figure and the team submits one. If they can't agree by a certain date and it goes to an arbiter, that person has to decide which one of the figures the player deserves. There is no happy medium. I guess the player and team have already had their chance to compromise.
The hope is that the Reds will be able to save some money and work out long term deals with Latos and Bailey, like they did with Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce. I think it's more likely that they are able to do this with Bailey, rather than Latos. To me, it seems like it would be smarter for Bailey to take the years instead of the money, given his knack for inconsistency. Sure it could come back to bite him, but signing long term for what will still be a lot of money, is better than taking his chances in the short term if 2012 was just an exception more than a rule. Latos though has put up top of the rotation kind of numbers basically all three full years of his career. I'm sure he feels that he will continue to do this and become an ace worthy of a big time deal in the future, perhaps one too rich for the Reds blood once he's done with arbitration. I'd urge him to sign a long term deal now too, but only because of my immense bias.
As of right now here's a look at how I project the Reds' 25-man roster to look entering the 2013 season:
Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, Aroldis Chapman
Sam LeCure, Mike Leake, Alfredo Simon, Jose Arredondo, Logan Ondrusek, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton
Ryan Hanigan, Devin Mesoraco
Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Jason Donald, Jack Hannahan
Jay Bruce, Shin-Shoo Choo, Ryan Ludwick, Chris Heisey, Xavier Paul
If Nick Masset is actually healthy, he could start in the bullpen. J.J. Hoover could sneak in there as well and I somewhat hope he does. We all know how Dusty Baker likes his veterans, so I guess it's possible a guy like Cesar Izturis or Emmanuel Burriss could and probably would replace Jason Donald.
Lastly, when is @DatdudeSooChoo gonna get on Twitter?