Lots of interesting items in the local papers today. Here’s a roundup:

–On Marty and Thom Brennaman, Hal McCoy has this, Trent Rosencrans wrote this piece, and Rick Bird also has this in the Post. The DDN also had this self-critique by Marty and Thom.

I have to tell you, I’ve enjoyed the coverage of this story. Marty has been part of the family for my entire life, practically, and it’s been fun to watch (and listen to) this unfold. Maybe it’s because I have a young son.

–John Fay notes that Paul Wilson is back on the mound:

But the story of the day was Wilson.

He came into camp as a non-roster invitee. He was considered a long shot to win the fifth spot in the rotation, but he has impressed everyone with the way he has thrown.

Being on the mound with a crowd in the stands and facing guys in different uniforms is an entirely different thing.

“I was nervous,” Wilson said. “It’s been awhile since I’ve been out there.”

Wilson gave up a wind-blown home run and an unearned run.

“He should be happy with the way he threw,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said.

I’m rooting for Wilson — he seems like such a good guy — but I’m not sure where he fits in with this organization.

–In the Enquirer, Kevin Kelly provides an update on three old friends:

A film crew spent the past few days at Space Coast Stadium coaxing several Nationals players into acting for a series of TV commercials that will air this year.

Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez took the spotlight Wednesday.

The Nationals, like their broadcast partner, consider the right fielder and second baseman part of the team’s core. Included in the group is relief pitcher Ryan Wagner, the third player acquired in an eight-player trade with the Reds last summer.

“To get two players the caliber of Kearns and Lopez that are just entering their prime, and then you get a guy like Wagner, who has setup, closer-type of stuff, it was just a terrific trade,” said Manny Acta, the Nationals’ first-year manager.

Yeah, don’t remind me.

–As expected, lots of info on the Dustin Hermanson signing in the Enquirer, Post, and DDN. I still like this signing. It’s a no-risk proposition…though I do wonder, as Chris does, why nobody else was offering more than a non-guaranteed deal of $500k.

–Hal McCoy couldn’t help discussing Josh Hamilton’s mammoth homerun yesterday:

Josh Hamilton and Mark Bellhorn were peering out a clubhouse window that afforded a view of the 30-foot high batter’s eye atop the center-field wall, 400 feet from home plate.

They were discussing whether Hamilton’s home run cleared the 30-foot wall above the fence or also cleared the flags another 10 feet above the batter’s eye.

“All I know,” said Hamilton, “is that’s the farther and hardest I ever hit a ball.”

–Here’s why you should root for Ken Griffey, Jr. By the way, Lonnie Wheeler reported on Griffey’s first swings of the spring.

Meet Jerry Gil! Ummmm….if you want to, that is.

–I was listening to the MLB channel on XM Radio this morning, and one of the Yankee pitcher was talking about all the great former Yankees that were always around camp, offering advice and helping out. So when I saw this headline in today’s Enquirer, I couldn’t wait to read it: “Vets pass along wisdom, work ethic“.

Unfortunately, the vets to which the Enquirer refers are Jeff Conine and Scott Hatteberg. Reggie Jackson, they aren’t. 🙂

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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18 Responses

  1. Mr. Redlegs

    Interestingly, who among you are now (conveniently) on your knees and crying over Lopez but also the same ones who chased him out of town with his ass between his legs like a scared dog?

    Flip, flop, flip, flop.

  2. preach

    This ’round up’ is fantastic. Thanks.

    (Gil’s childhood hero is Manny Ramirez!?!….geez, I’m old…)

  3. preach

    Mr R.,

    I don’t think that we are missing Lopez as much as it is that we traded him along with two other pieces of what the Nats call their ‘core’ in a swap that includes, in part, two players that aren’t on our roster anymore and a pitcher who was damaged and can’t throw off the mound yet. It’s not the fact we traded him that’s an issue (frankly, I’d rather have A-Gon); but what we traded him for that’s the issue.

  4. Alan

    Yes sir, the “roundup” is fantastic and much appreciated. I am going to use Spring Training to sort through as many MLB blogs as possible. There are a lot of hacks out there typing a lot of nonsense. Redleg Nation is on my short list of “keepers.”

  5. Alan

    Hey preach, I think that I agree with you on your assesment of the ’06 trade with the Nats but lets not lose sight of the fact that if Kearnes and Lopez are part of their “core” Bowden is going to have trouble tempting many fans with their apple.
    I can’t see the Nats winning more than 70 games. Their pitching staff reminds me of something Bowden ran out to the mound at Cinergy and they are in a tough division.
    Anyway, speaking of win totals…I’ve been saying that (unfortunately) the Reds will top out at 82-85 wins in a division that might require a whopping 86-89 to take the flag.

  6. Chad

    I assume you are directing that comment at me, Mr. Redlegs. Can’t say I appreciate your tone.

    And if you are directing it at me (I can only assume you are since there were no comments above yours that you could have been responding to), then it is spectacularly ill-informed. All of the Redleg Nation contributors have always been huge Felipe Lopez fans. Heck, RN sponsored his page on Baseball Reference (it expired recently, and we didn’t renew it since he’s a Nat).

    As a matter of fact, for most of the RN contributors, one of the biggest problems with The Trade was the fact that two of our favorite players — Kearns and Lopez — were traded. On top of that, they were traded for pure junk. Bad stuff.

    You are correct, though, that many fans of the Reds were absolutely merciless in their criticism of Felipe. The criticism, in my mind, was largely unfair…and I think Lopez was hammered mostly for committing the sin of not being Barry Larkin. Fans couldn’t accept that he was simply an above-average player who could help the Reds in his own way.

    Now, of those fans who complained, I haven’t heard any crying about the fact that he isn’t a Red any longer. Perhaps you can point us to some fans who are doing that. I haven’t noticed it.

    Who are these flip-floppers you talk about and where are they?

  7. Chad

    And preach, that makes me feel old, and I’m not that old.

  8. Alan

    There’s nothing wrong with being old! (But I’m not old either.)…
    The other day Tigers’ hotshot prospect Andrew Miller (He’s their Homer Bailey) struck out fantastic old guy hitter Julio Franco. In 1985 Julio Franco was a fantastic young guy hitter playing his third full MLB season with the Cleveland Indians. Franco had already amassed over 350 hits (and over 125 strikeouts) On May 21 of that season the Brewers’ Teddy Higuera (in case you’re not old enough to remember the Brewers used to played in th eAmerican League for a time) struck Franco out in front of a “crowd” of 4,004 at the old Cleveland Stadium.

    Andrew Miller was born that day.

    I wasn’t at that game in 1985 (but I could have been). I might have been slow dancing with Stephanie Verne to Madonna’s “Crazy for You”. Does anybody remember the name of that guy in that high school wrestling movie that looked kinda like Jeff Daniels but wasn’t?

  9. preach

    So, Chad: Correct me if I’m wrong, but from your post and my post I gather that whether you liked Lopez (your view) or didn’t particularly like him (my view, although I liked his O, couldn’t stand the D), it is the ingredients of the trade itself that we find distasteful, and neither view was trying to run him out of town. I was for trading him or Kearns, but not both, and not for the pieces we got in return. That’s all I was saying. Haven’t flip-flopped, and I’m sure the posts are around to prove it.

  10. Daedalus

    This frightens me: “Why Bellhorn at first base?

    “Being able to play first base, third base and second base makes it easier for him to make the club,” said Narron. “I like the fact he has played on a World Series winner (Boston, 2004).”

  11. Chad

    “Being able to play first base, third base and second base makes it easier for him to make the club,” said Narron. “I like the fact he has played on a World Series winner (Boston, 2004).”

    Quick, someone sign Luis Sojo and Rafael Belliard! They’ve played on World Series winners, too!

  12. preach

    Don’t know why I didn’t see your posts before now; but I agree that talking about the Nationals ‘core’ players is probably a lot like talking about ‘great’ French war heroes–I’m sure their are some out there, but…..

  13. preach

    Oh, yeah, and that Bellhorn comment scares the mess out of me too….however, it only confirms an earlier fear I had about his making this club. Can’t say I’m suprised. But if he makes it, where does that leave Conine?

  14. The Mad Hatter

    Occasionaly you see articles talking about the 10 worst trades of all time or something along that nature. I don’t know if “The Trade” will be grouped amongst it because of the enduring legacy of most of the players involved but it has to be close. Unless Bray and Majewski turn into Nasty Boys 21st century we got fleeced. That should go into a text book of how not to trade when your panicking.

  15. Mr. Redlegs

    On the eve of heading to Arizona for spring training, my evil (re, bored) ploy to stir up the pot on “The Trade” was a success!

    Sorry folks. I couldn’t resist. . . .

    But I am serious about this: It’s the 2nd game of exhibition season. Bellhorn? Relax. Stop reading too much into much of anything that happens for two weeks. You’ll be stress-free.

  16. The Mad Hatter

    Redlegs which city, I am trying to head to Tuscon tomorrow. For a change being stationed in Arizona is a blessing and not a complete disaster.

  17. Mr. Redlegs

    I always base myself in Phoenix because it’s pretty much in the middle of all the sites, and it’s much easier to move around the Arizona sites than Florida. I have a frantic itinerary for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, then will work according to need and game schedule the rest of the week.

    I really prefer Florida ST because I like the beaches, the food and the, uh, scenery, better. Plus, the Reds are there and I can usually see them 2-3 times, especially if they play night games.

    I will get to Phoenix in time for the Cubs-A’s BP and clubhouse, then scoot over to Peoria for Padres-Mariners postgame/clubhouse.

    Sunday is a more typical day: Tempe for Brewers-Angels pre-game, Scottsdale for Giants post-game, Tucson for night game BP/clubhouse for Rocks-Dbacks.

    Then, die.

  18. ZACH