With a painfully slow and dull free agency, much of the offseason focus in baseball has centered around the Hall of Fame and which players are worthy of election. While candidates like Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, and Vladimir Guerrero are locks to achieve baseball immortality, there are a number of intriguing players who don’t stand […]

The Reds signed Orlando Cabrera to a free agent contract in the off season in an effort to strengthen one of the Reds’ biggest offseason question marks; that is, who plays shortstop or maybe the question was actually whether Paul Janish would hit enough to be the regular shortstop?

Janish was the default regular after oft-hurt Alex Gonzalez was dealt to the Red Sox in a post-trade deadline deal for minor leaguer Kris Negron last August. The Reds have been searching for a shortstop since the retirement of Barry Larkin following the 2004 season. Felipe Lopez gave us one good offensive season in 2005, but we’ve since gone through Gonzalez, Royce Clayton, Jeff Keppinger, Ray Olmedo, Juan Castro, Danny Richar, Enrique Cruz, William Bergolla, Rich Aurilia, Pedro Lopez, Jerry Hairston Jr. , Adam Rosales, Drew Sutton, and even Brandon Phillips has played there since Larkin retired. We even had current Reds’ shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s brother, Jolbert Cabrera, stand there for nine games in 2008.

I don’t know why, but I’m hearing Johnny Cash‘s “I’ve Been Everywhere” in the background; or maybe it’s REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It;” maybe it’s Billy Joel‘s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” I don’t know, but…

Am I the only one missing Barry Larkin?

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I just wanna ramble a bit about recent events. Is that alright?

The last few weeks have been more interesting, from a Reds hot stove perspective, than we’ve seen in years. Do I agree with every move Walt Jocketty has made? No. Do I think the Reds are better now than they were a few weeks ago? Yeah, probably. That’s a good thing.

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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.

How about some links? –John Fay talked with Todd Frazier, and then developed that into this piece about Frazier being in the shortstop mix this year. I’ve made no secret that I’m a big fan of Frazier. I think he has a chance of being a pretty good major leaguer. I wouldn’t mind seeing Frazier […]

A quick stroll around the interwebs…. —-Looks like the Reds are around $70 million in payroll so far. I’d be surprised if they added much more to that total before Opening Day, but then, stranger things have happened. –The Reds sent a scout to watch Ben Sheets throw. –Will Joe Nuxhall win the Frick Award […]

How in the world, you may ask yourself, did Brandon Phillips get over 600 PA in the number 3 and 4 spots in the Reds lineup and still fall 2 RBI short of the 100 mark? For crying out loud, over 500 of those PA were in the number 4 spot batting, most often, behind Joey Votto, who put up an incredible .414 OBP. Well, basically, it’s because Dusty Baker is simply bad at building a batting order.

The number 1 and 2 spots in the Reds lineup each ranked 15th in the NL in OBP.

Group                OBP
Reds Overall        .318
NL Overall          .330
Reds #1             .302
NL #1               .340
Reds #2             .302
NL #2               .337

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Frequent commenter Steve noted the following in last night’s game thread: Chris Welsh: “The Reds are just a better team now. Scott Rolen is better at third base. Drew Stubbs is better in center field. Paul Janish is better at shortstop.” Welsh is absolutely correct. And it’s yet another data point in the ever-increasing “Why […]

I drew the short straw, and get to evaluate the Reds deadline deals.  After the trades, and last night’s game, I barely have the strength.  I’m also leaving on vacation in a few hours, so I’m going to rely on you guys to flesh this debate out in the comments.

I’ll start with the positives:  The Reds traded Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the Yankees for some guy.  Actually, his name is Chase Weems.  He’s a catcher.  And he’s headed to Dayton.

Now, the main event:  The Reds sent third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and pitchers Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart to the Blue Jays for third baseman Scott Rolen.  The Blue Jays are reportedly going to defray some salary – the best I can figure it’s the difference between what’s owed to each guy the rest of the year – Rolen’s salary is $11M and EE’s is $2M. Continue reading

Earlier tonight, we were wondering if Dusty Baker has always batted a lousy (but fast!) CF in the leadoff spot, or if that was some special torture he dreamed up for Reds fans. I ran through the history of Dusty Leadoff Men, and found that – yeah, he almost always bats his CF first.  In […]

November 29, 1971: Joe Morgan is traded by the Houston Astros with Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Denis Menke to the Cincinnati Reds for Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart.

This is the most famous trade in Cincinnati Reds history, bar none, and the one trade that made the biggest impact in Reds major league success.

But, before we analyze this deal, let’s say it’s not the 1971 Reds, but the 2009 Reds. Our favorite team has a losing record, and many of the starters are playing below expectations and some are fan favorites, yet there’s someone who’s playing well. Let’s say Joey Votto is the guy who’s playing well and the guy recognized as a defensive stalwart, say Alex Gonzalez….and the 2009 Reds decide to trade them. And, why not, let’s throw in a part-time fan favorite, a player such as Jerry Hairston, Jr.. Most on this blog would be aghast at trading Votto, and there would be mixed emotions about Gonzalez, but to “Joe Fan” trading both would paramount to treason and team ownership would be questioned about their competency.

Well, that’s what happened in 1971. Continue reading

Time for a recap of today’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Cincinnati 2 Chicago (NL) 5 WP: Harden (7-6) LP: Owings (6-11) S: Gregg (21) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –None whatsoever. NEGATIVES –TOS* Simply pathetic. —Injuries: Starter Micah Owings left after three innings due to shoulder tightness and right fielder Chris Dickerson hurt his shoulder while diving in […]

Time for a recap of today’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Milwaukee 9 Cincinnati 6 WP: Looper (8-4) LP: Bailey (1-1) S: Hoffman (21) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –Edwin Encarnacion was 3-3 with an upper-deck HR, a BB, and 4 RBI. Don’t look now, but EE’s getting hot. –Joey Votto and JHJ had two hits each. Votto hit […]