If you were to go stand outside right now, you’d probably believe me if I told you spring training begins tomorrow. According to weather.com, you’ll know I’m a fraud by Friday. One can dream, no? Let’s rattle off some topics in loose prose, separated by ellipsis.
Who is the face of this franchise? The results of the MLB Network Face of Franchise fan vote are as follows: 49% Votto, 34% BP, 3% Marty, 3% Todd, 2% Bruce, 1% Chapman…So we’re going with Votto, only, we’re talking about the guy you put on every billboard, the guy you’re taking all of your radio quotes from, the guy taking pictures with and signing your kid’s glove – this person’s face becomes synonymous with your brand…but what if it’s not a smiling one? I don’t think anyone will argue that Votto is the most personable person…I’ve always considered him a little withdrawn, uninterested in the social interaction aspect of being a professional athlete…Anyone remember in 2010 when Dusty Baker literally had to force Joey to talk to the crowd at the fountain before the departed for Philly? An awkward moment, for sure.
Lance McAlister makes the case for Brandon Phillips, which is fine by me… Always smiling, always vocal, never shy, LOVES the fans here unlike any other Reds player I’ve seen in years…what say you?
What about Homer Bailey, the prodigal son of this franchise? He’s gone from Cincinnati Savior to Whipping Boy, now to respected near the top of a rotation guy…Oh and by the way, he missed Redsfest because he was busy bagging lions in Africa.
Aroldis Chapman is starting…deal with it. Literally, this is the reason the Reds paid the absurd amount to get him…The best teams in baseball hardly depend on a big dollar closer anymore…Check the Orioles, Rays…check St. Louis, or how about the Giants? The notion of needing a high-profiled 9th inning guy is a farce only religiously practiced in large market cities, where it doesn’t matter what you pay for a closer…it matters here.
The health of Joey Votto is something seldom being discussed this off-season….why is that? Perhaps everyone believes his injury was minor and that he’ll recover flawlessly….guilty as charged….if we were talking about anyone else, it may be plausible to question the dedication of returning to 100%…not everyone can do this, and Adrian Peterson, who suffered an ACL tear, not just meniscus, made a 100% recovery seem trivial…You don’t witness many guys like Joey, guys who are borderline obsessed with becoming the greatest at what they do…his drive is unrivaled…he says he won’t participate in the World Baseball Classic unless he’s 100%, so we’ll get a sense of where he is…but bet against Joey at your own risk.
That’s all I got for now…feels forced. Will do better next round.