Based off of comments I have read on the Reds Facebook page, tweets hitting my timeline and reading that BRM’s own Matt Gahris hitting the Dayton stop of the Reds Caravan, I’d say it was a success. There we no shortage of lines to get an autograph or two. There were no empty seats, I don’t believe, even with winter calling during potions of certain legs of the Caravan. I huge hats off to the Reds organization for once again providing Reds fans the opportunity to meet the players, present, past and future.
1. ToddFather has had an eventful offseason, wants more from postseason
The other day, I referred to the skyrocketing fan love Todd Frazier has amassed to that of when Jonny Gomes was a member of the Reds. Almost a cult following status, if you will. Well, we know that Todd was recently married to Jackie. We know that Todd and Jackie recently purchased a home. (Or did you?)
I cannot think of a single Reds fan that doesn’t still have the slightest of lumps in the stomach due to how 2012 ended. Frazier hasn’t forgotten. He hasn’t forgotten his success from 2012, but thinks team goals are more important. Frazier told John Clay of kentucky.com of his postseason experience:
“It’s something I want to get back to as quick as possible,” Frazier said. “I remember being at bat and getting a walk with the bases loaded and I couldn’t even hear myself think, that’s how loud it got. It was so exciting. Those are the things that you never forget.”
Frazier also stated that team goals are more important and those team goals can aid in reaching personal goals.
2. This could be on your wall…
I don’t think I need to say a whole lot about this…
— shawn voelker (@shawnvoelkercom) January 28, 2013
But I will anyway. If you are not following Shawn on Twitter or haven’t liked his Facebook page, you are missing out on some wonderful sports-related art. He does art other than that from the world of sports. Check out his website if you haven’t already.
3. Change in balk rule
Ever grow weary of the “fake to third, then fake to first” attempted pickoff? So goodbye to it as far as being a legit “baseball play”. With the rule change, if a pitcher fakes a pickoff throw to third, it will be ruled a balk. As with any rule change, it has those that like the change and those that do not.
Tyler Kepner of The New York Times chatted with Jeff Nelson, a former MLB reliever, about the rule change. Nelson isn’t a fan of changing it.
“The managers say it’s all about speeding up the game,” said the former reliever Jeff Nelson, now a contributor to MLB.com. “I think now, the runner at first might get a little bit of an advantage. All it’s used for is to keep the runner at first close. I might have done it 100 times and gotten two guys on it.”
Nelson also added that he would utilize the move as a “reset” if he was feeling uncomfortable. I thought pitchers stepped off the rubber for that?
4. Larkin and Team Brazil in WBC
Not everyone is on board with the World Baseball Classic. There has always been an issue regarding the timing (for one) of it. There are other concerns.
Barry Larkin has a big concern about it as well. It has nothing to do with all about MLB player sustaining injuries or not getting off their season to a good start because of participating in teh WBC. Far from it. His Team Brazil has another tall order ahead. IN the last round, Brazil upset Panama…on Panama’s home turf. For Brazil to advance to the second round, they must get by Japan, Cuba and China.
When MLB.com’s Barry Bloom asked Larkin of Brazil’s chances, Larkin responded with this.
I believe that we have an opportunity to advance. We’re playing Japan, Cuba and China. Our success is going to be predicated on doing the small things once again. Unless we get on a hot streak, we don’t have the power to maul people. Going into Panama, we talked about executing, we talked about small ball, and we were really able to do it. We played it pretty straight up. It’s going to be the same. Sometimes we get beat because the opposition is better, but at least while I’m at the helm we’ll do our best not to beat ourselves.
For the record, Brazil is the lowest ranked team in this pool, according to IBAF. Cuba is #1, Japan sits at #3 while China ranks #18. Brazil comes in at #20.
5. Yes, two weeks…
I know I don’t have to add to the excitement that in two weeks pitchers and catchers report!!!