I haven’t been this excited for a game since 1999.

Okay, that was completely untrue, but the Reds will open their 2010 Cactus League season with today’s game against fellow Goodyear tenants, the Cleveland Indians. It’s the first Cactus League game ever for the Reds, and it will actually be televised on FSN. Catch all the action at 2:30, unless you have to work (like me), in which case you need to set the DVR (as I did last night).

Yes, the game is meaningless and, yes, I’m going to watch every pitch. That’s how I roll.

The lineup for today’s game is below. I know this is going to come as a shock to you, and I’m sorry you have to find out this way, but it turns out that Dusty Baker is going to bat his centerfielder and shortstop in the top two spots in the order. Has he ever done that before? I’m not sure….

Drew Stubbs CF
Orlando Cabrera SS
Joey Votto 1B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Scott Rolen 3B
Jay Bruce RF
Jonny Gomes LF
Ramon Hernandez C
Laynce Nix DH
Mike Lincoln P

Someone needs to print up some lineup cards, with CF and SS pre-printed in the 1-2 spots. We really need to get those to Dusty; it’ll save him some time when making out the lineup every day.

Anyway, I’ll be watching (eventually). If you are going to watch, feel free to use this as a game thread to discuss what you see.

92 Responses

  1. preach

    You can tell it’s exhibition if you have Gomes playing the field while Nix DH’s.

    I am very excited. Is it on a radio broadcast anywhere?

    • Chad Dotson

      You can tell it’s exhibition if you have Gomes playing the field while Nix DH’s. I am very excited. Is it on a radio broadcast anywhere?

      It’s supposed to be on WLW, I think.

      And Nix ran into a fence yesterday. Not enough to keep him out of the lineup, but enough to keep him out of the field.

  2. mike caldwell

    Apparently Dusty is still convinced that Phillips is a clean-up hitter.

    • Bill Lack

      Apparently Dusty is still convinced that Phillips is a clean-up hitter.

      He said last week that Dusty’s his #4…none of us are happy about it.

  3. John

    Someone just posted on an Enquirer article that baseballrumormill.com is reporting that the Reds have traded Chris Dickerson, Yonder Alonso, Micah Owings , Chris Heisey and Matt Malaoney to the Tribe for Grady Sizemore and Cash considerations.

    I want this to be true so badly but I can’t find anything on baseballrumormill.com or anywhere. None of these players are in the lineup for today so maybe by some miracle this is true.

    • CeeKeR

      Someone just posted on an Enquirer article that baseballrumormill.com is reporting that the Reds have traded Chris Dickerson, Yonder Alonso, Micah Owings , Chris Heisey and Matt Malaoney to the Tribe for Grady Sizemore and Cash considerations.I want this to be true so badly but I can’t find anything on baseballrumormill.com or anywhere. None of these players are in the lineup for today so maybe by some miracle this is true.

      Why would an American League team want Micah Owings? Surely he isn’t nearly as valuable of a trade chip to any AL team since he won’t get to bat (barring the occassional interleague play). I think I might be willing to give up the rest of the guys mentioned, though the Heisey/Maloney/Alonso trio should probably only be two of three… That said, I’d be shocked if this is true – it seems unlikely from both team’s perspective…

  4. RedinFla

    “Yes, the game is meaningless, and yes, I’m going to watch every pitch. That’s how I roll.”

    Thanks for just making my day, Chad. 8)

    I’d be interested in radio, too — FSN Ohio doesn’t quite reach down here.

  5. preach

    “And Nix ran into a fence yesterday.”

    Now they need a new fence. That’s how HE rolls.

  6. preach

    I’m a Grady Sizemore fan, but that seems an awful lot to give up for two years of him, especially with his contract status of having a player option.

    I would love to see him wearing Red, but I don’t see that one happening.

  7. John

    That’s way, way, way too much to give up for Grady Sizemore.

    • RedinFla

      That’s way, way, way too much to give up for Grady Sizemore.

      A BIG amen to that, brothers.

  8. GregD

    WLW is carrying games today, tomorrow and Sunday. Next Saturday and Sunday, then March 20 through the end of the season…

    With the time shift to Arizona, is the Reds on Radio Network missing an opportunity to broadcast two weeks worth of spring games that would be airing from 3-6pm while a large number of people are in their cars, either picking up kids at school, driving to or from work, or heading out for an evening?

  9. Matt WI

    @John: Maybe that was just for a spring training game. You know, they just walk through the door adjoining the stadiums like hotel rooms and switch fields for an afternoon.

  10. GregD

    @Chad Dotson: I just read on Sheldon’s blog that Nix is being scratched from the DH role for Sutton just for today’s game.

  11. GregD

    The Sizemore rumor sounds made-up. There’s nothing on this on any of the mlb rumor websites.

    • GRF

      The Sizemore rumor sounds made-up. There’s nothing on this on any of the mlb rumor websites.

      It certainly sounds made up, and I also have found no verification of it, but I am not absolutely convinced it would be way way too much for Sizemore. Maloney and Owings are 5th starter types and we have some options there, Dickerson is a 3rd/4th outfielder type, and Heisney may or may not be more than that. Alonso is obviously the big prize, but given his issues hitting lefties and the fact he is blocked by Votto, is he really untouchable? The system would still have Frazier, Leake, Chapman and Francisco towards the top.

      It seems like a clasic numbers for starpower deal. Not saying I would do it (I would try and get Heisney out, maybe for Francisco and I would need to be real convinced on Grady’s health), but I am not sure I would just hang up the phone…

  12. GregD

    @Bill Lack: Yep, Dusty already said that the first 6 guys in the lineup today are his expected starting 6 for the season (when all healthy.) LF/C will bat 7th or 8th. Dickerson will occasionally spot Stubbs in CF and leadoff on those days, but bat 7th or 8th when he plays in LF.

    • david

      @Bill Lack: Yep, Dusty already said that the first 6 guys in the lineup today are his expected starting 6 for the season (when all healthy.) LF/C will bat 7th or 8th. Dickerson will occasionally spot Stubbs in CF and leadoff on those days, but bat 7th or 8th when he plays in LF.

      Nice! “I’ll bat Dickerson 1st, unless he plays LF, if he plays LF then it’s 7th or 8th.” Yup, sounds about right.

  13. nick in va

    The game should be on XM 186. I’ll be tuned in.

  14. GregD

    I don’t think that’s necessary a bad lineup against LHP.

    vs. RHP, I’d do something like the following:

    LF Dickerson
    CF Stubbs
    1b Votto
    3B Rolen
    RF Bruce
    2B Phillips
    SS Cabrera
    C Hanigan/Hernandez
    Pitcher

  15. Chris W

    The game is om XM 186. I just heard “the Reds are on the Radio and got fired up!

  16. nick in va

    Marty and Cowboy! A sound for sore ears.

  17. Mark in CC

    So Mr. Fashion Dusty can’t wear the Spring Training Team Hat?

    • GregD

      No MLB Gamecast (or whatever they call it) for ST?

      I haven’t checked today, but in past springs they don’t typically provide this service until the later half of the spring at the earliest. If I recall, some of the sites are still working out gamecast bugs on opening day.

  18. nick in va

    Homer for the Indians. Lincoln off to stellar start.

  19. nick in va

    I’m just wondering. Should I seek help? I’m posting to a “game thread” for a ST game.

  20. Mark in CC

    No more starts for him until 2019

  21. nick in va

    It’s not a sellout according to Marty. I wish I were there to buy a ticket.

  22. Vamac

    what’s going on… any pbp? blind here in LA

  23. Mark in CC

    Hafner not as huge or successful since they started testing for the juice.

  24. nick in va

    Bottom of the 1st. Stubbs just struck out. Still 1-0 Indians. Lincoln gave up the homer to the first batter and then one other hit. Marty said his stuff looked good though.

  25. Vamac

    Thanks for info.. keep it up, if possible

  26. nick in va

    Votto grounds out to first. End of 1.

  27. Mark in CC

    Kearns gets a hit. Tells you all you need to know about Lincoln’s stuff.

  28. nick in va

    Another hit for Cleveland. There is one out. Lincoln is on fire.

  29. nick in va

    4-0, ground rule double with the bases loaded scores two more. Dusty to the mound.

  30. Mark in CC

    Lincoln’s in the clubhouse being treated for shell shock. Maybe the positive here is we don’t have to worry about him in the rotation discussion anymore.

  31. preach

    “I’m just wondering. Should I seek help? I’m posting to a “game thread” for a ST game.”

    What about those of us who can’t watch/listen to the game and are counting on the thread to keep us posted? Sheesh, this is some sort of sickness.

  32. Travis G.

    No way is that Sizemore rumor true, because the Indians could get a much better deal than that. Alonso’s the only real prize there, and Cleveland doesn’t need a 1B/DH type. Heisey’s 25, Dickerson’s 27, Maloney’s 26 and Owings isn’t all that good. Sizemore is only 27 and really, really good.

    Hooray for baseball on the radio!

  33. preach

    “Lincoln’s in the clubhouse being treated for shell shock.”

    Just tell him to rub some dirt on it.

  34. nick in va

    Maloney strikes out his first batter. Two down.

  35. nick in va

    Maloney walked the next batter and got a groundout. Reds coming up to bat. 4-0.

  36. Mark in CC

    Maloney looked good. Not a great Spring Training pitcher usually.

  37. nick in va

    Cowboy drove out to Arizona. He’s not driving next year he says.

  38. nick in va

    Well take away my squeaky toy, it’s a hit! (My daughter likes the movie Chicken Little) Rolen singles.

  39. Mark in CC

    Looking in the stands at the crowd the average age is at least 15 years older than it was in Florida.

  40. nick in va

    Jay Bruce broke his bat on a check swing.

  41. nick in va

    Up next, he’ll break one on his back. Cowboy beat me to it. Just mentioned Braggs.

  42. nick in va

    Gomes strikes out. End of two, still 4-0.

  43. Mark in CC

    That’s the Kearns I remember.

  44. nick in va

    3 up 3 down for Maloney in the top of the 3rd.

  45. Mark in CC

    Hernenadez looks to be in pretty good shape. His face is a lot thinner.

  46. GregD

    Huh? What’s with the Kearns bashing? When do you remember him being bad in Cincinnati? He was hurt (played only 64 games) and batted just .230 in 2004. Including that year, he was above average offensively and defensively during the whole of his Cincinnati career.

    He gave Washington and good 1.5 years, but his offensive performance really dropped off the table the past two seasons.

  47. nick in va

    Sutton was hit by a pitch. Stubbs struck out again. Cabrera popped out. Votto walks. BP up with bases loaded.

  48. Matt WI

    Reds get two runners on with no outs and don’t score. Hmm. I’ve seen this movie before. It sucks.

  49. nick in va

    BP lined out. End of 3. Still 4-0 Cleveland.

  50. GregD

    @Matt WI: Stubbs & Cabrera have to get on base. Stubbs has a history of doing so in the minors. Cabrera is going to be an out-machine.

  51. Vamac

    mlb.com gamecast will be avail on opening day.

  52. Matt WI

    @GregD: I hear you Greg. And of course I don’t really mean to extrapolate the first spring training game into anything, it’s just hard not to notice that situation when it’s so familiar from last season.

  53. Mark in CC

    Kerans – in 8 big league seasons hit over .240 3 times and struck out 682 times in 842 games suggesting power however averaging only 13 a season. A lot of it had to do with injuries but just the same a disappointing 1st round pick. So I stand by a strike out being the Kearns I remember.

  54. nick in va

    Run scoring triple. There was a runner on 2nd. 5-0.

  55. RedinFla

    Just tried WLW radio online. just a couple of talk guys preoccupied with beer. 🙄

  56. Matt WI

    @RedinFla: Highly recommend gameday audio from mlb.com. $15 for the whole season and post-season access to all radio calls being broadcast for home and away teams. If you’ve got computer access and live out of radio range, it’s great (except when the Cowboy is talking of course). I’ve done it for the last 3-4 years. Of course if you get access to them on tv during the regular season via satellite or something, then ST isn’t really worth the gameday audio.

  57. nick in va

    My updates are slacking because work is getting in the way. The nerve of people to bother me during this important time.

  58. nick in va

    Must be experiencing technical difficulties because right now I’m getting some great “technical difficulty music.” Puts me in a happy mood.

  59. nick in va

    9-0 now, where can I go to get my happy music back?

  60. Matt WI

    9-0 Tribe. 3 Run bomb after Alonso was charged with an error on a toss to the pitcher covering the bag after making what was described as a good play to get to the ball. Sounds brutal out there today. Oh well.

  61. nick in va

    That’s it for me. Going home. It’s nice to have baseball back, even if it is the first game of spring training.

  62. RedinFla

    @Matt WI:

    Yeah, I always subscribe to MLBTV — just haven’t done it yet. WLW has an online option, they just aren’t carrying the game, I guess.

    nick in va- sounds like a few somebodies are having technical difficulties. 🙄

  63. RedinFla

    I think maybe I take back that thing I said about maybe not using the words “Titanic Struggle” any more…

    Just kidding.
    It is, after all, just Spring training, right? Right? 😯

  64. preach

    I got to watch the last inning. One of the first things I heard Thom mention was an Arizona Diamondbacks reference. Huh.

  65. Bill Lack

    I had the game on in the car….listening to Brantley do play by play makes my ears bleed.

    • Steve Price

      I had the game on in the car….listening to Brantley do play by play makes my ears bleed.

      The phrase I told my son, was “Brantley’s terrible.”

      It’s odd to me…I remember Al Michaels calling Reds’ games, and Marty Brennaman in his best days. I used to love to listen to Joe Nuxhall interview the players for the “star of the game” and then his sign-off: “here’s the old lefthander rounding third and heading for home. Goodnight, everybody.” That was bed time for me.

      A former co-worker once said to me…”baseball announcers all sound the same to me…I heard a Reds’ game the other day and it sounded like the same announcers my dad used to listen to in the garage.”

      I asked how long ago it had been and she answered…and then I told her…”those are the same announcers.”

      Even Joe wore on me…as he was aging, the dead air time was horrible…sometimes I thought I lost the signal…(being 100 miles away).

      I think Chris Welsh is great; I believe Jim Kelch will add a lot…but, I’m ready for some changes…

  66. BJ Ruble

    I went to turn it on MLBTV and got pretty ticked off that it is blacked out. Why in the world would they black it out? That is so dumb. So now I have to record the replay on FSN and watch it tomorrow.

  67. Steve Price

    I don’t know what we’re going to do when we realize that Stubbs is going to strike out so much, it will be hard to keep him at the top of the lineup…and that kind of refers to Dickerson, too. Stubbs is more of a #7 hitter….Cear Geronimo, if you will; doesn’t have the same arm, but he’s a defensive speed guy first…I would say he’d be good to bat in the eighth spot, where a pitcher could bunt him over, or he could steal second and then be sacrificed to third, and let the top of the order drive him in…but, he may strike out so much that batting eighth he would never get a pitch to hit.

    Cabrera won’t be nearly as bad as AGon and Janish from last year, but boy…we have to have someone get on base.

    I really don’t mind strikeouts…but, I don’t like strikeouts in the 1 and 2 position. 1 had to find a way to get on base, and striking out doesn’t do it; the #2 guy needs to be a bat control guy.

    I’d rather see Cabrera at the bottom of the order, but he is kind of the old-fashioned #2 kind of hitter…he gets the bat on the ball…but, lots of double plays.

    • Steve

      I don’t know what we’re going to do when we realize that Stubbs is going to strike out so much, it will be hard to keep him at the top of the lineup

      Not for Baker. See Corey Patterson’s and Willy Taveras’ 400+ ABs as reference.

      I hope, hope, hope that Stubbs will have a higher OBP than last year, but I’m in complete agreement on this. He should be batting lower in the lineup to take some pressure off.

      Here’s my suggestion:

      Dickerson
      Rolen
      Votto
      Phillips
      Bruce
      Stubbs
      Hernandez/Hanigan
      Cabrera
      Pitcher

      Remember, Cabrera is a career .323 OBP and was below that last year.

  68. BJ Ruble

    @Steve Price: I would like Rolen in the 2 hole because how he gets on base, and his power really isn’t there anymore. Stubbs would be great towards the bottom of the lineup, ala Geronimo, as you stated. Cabrera has no business at the top of the lineup, although he will be all year no matter what.

    The biggest problem is the team is full of 6th to 8th hitters…