Saturday, February 22, 2014

Reds links and notes for your Saturday

+ So, there's a photo of the best Reds tattoo you are likely to see today.

+ Jonathan Bernhardt of Sports On Earth examines the long-term financial implications of the Reds extending Homer Bailey's contract. It's a little on the lengthy side, but it's a good read.

+ Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes how Bailey's contract sets the market for other starting pitchers, including Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija.

“It’s good for the game. It’s good for the players,” Samardzija said of Bailey’s deal. “It’s good to see a guy that started out really young in the big leagues get rewarded for his hard work and his consistency as of late for sure. It’s cool. It’s good to see.”

Samardzija is in line to receive a big contract himself pretty soon and the Cubs will undoubtedly be using Bailey's new deal as a reference.

+ The guys at Sporting News recently published fantasy baseball projections for Brandon Phillips. I'd say their prognostication is pretty fair. Have a look to see if you agree.

+ Joe Dannemen of FOX19 spent some time at Reds camp on Friday. Judging by these tweets, Aroldis Chapman is doing his thing and Ryan Ludwick is hungry for a bounceback year.
+ Bottoms up! The Louisville Bats are giving away Jay Bruce steins to fans at Louisville Slugger Field on Opening Night (April 10). That should be nice for fans who attend.

+ ESPN.com's Pedro Gomez may have taken the worst spring training photo of all-time on Friday. He tried to get a good shot of Joe Morgan, but apparently he used a camera from 1854, because the end result was fuzzy and completely unclear. Click on the link provided to see for yourself.

+ Over the years, Joey Votto has often been criticized for being too robotic, too impersonable, and too intense, among other things. But he sat down with the Cincinnati Enquirer this week to help dispel those character flaws. As a guy who has been a part of the Cincinnati Reds since 2002, and figures to remain in the Queen City through 2023, he wants people to get to know the real him, not necessarily the character that the media portrays him as. I tell you what, it's not like I ever disliked Votto, but the more I hear him speak the more impressed I have become.

+ Communication will be key for new hitting coach Don Long, writes John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Long has his work cut out for him taking over the reins from longtime hitting coach Brook Jacoby. He will be called upon to guide a Reds offense that some believe could potentially struggle at times in 2014.

+ Hal McCoy of FOX Sports Ohio profiles rising pitching prospect Michael Lorenzen. A converted outfielder, Lorenzen's fastball has a tendency to touch 100 mph, and that has folks around the Reds organization buzzing about his potential. A product of Cal-State Fullerton, Lorenzen has drawn comparisons to fellow minor league right-hander Robert Stephenson.

+ Although it's just an exhibition, the Reds will take the field for an actual game for the first time in over four months this Wednesday. They'll battle their interstate rivals from Cleveland.

+ The Texas Rangers like what they see so far from former Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. That's not surprising in the least bit.

+ Lastly, on a bit of a sad note, today would have marked the 80th birthday of Big Red Machine skipper Sparky Anderson. Although his playing career didn't amount to much (.218 average, 34 RBI), his managerial career sure did. All in all, Sparky won 2,194 games, two Manager of the Year awards, and three World Series titles. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

+ Hey, only 37 more days until Opening Day.

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