Musings, News, and a Hearty Hello

Hello BRM!

It appears that you have gotten a new face here in these parts.

My name is Justin Hamilton and Steve and the guys at BRM and Fansided have been nice enough to give me a chance to blog about the Reds that I love so dearly. It has been a fast-paced and exciting road that has brought me here and I hope to make the best of a new-found opportunity.

I guess it is only appropriate to give a bit of info about myself. I am a lifelong Reds fan currently attending grad school at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky (Go Eagles!) and born and raised in Salyersville, Kentucky. I have followed the Reds for as long as I have followed sports, with the love for the Redlegs instilled in me by my Dad and brother. Yearly trips to Reds games and nightly phone calls from my brother after great games fueled me on from a kid until today. In addition to the Reds, blogging has also been an interest of mine. With sports and the Internet going together so harmoniously, like any sports fan I took to the Internet ravenously in search of any tidbit when the Internet was in its infancy. This ultimately became the norm of me checking the sports blog of record for all of my teams. Starting a few years ago, blogs became the place where real fans go for candid coverage and real up-to-date information for their favorite teams. After seeing the success of blogdom, it seemed like a perfect choice for me to pursue in order to fulfill my need to talk/think/write about sports and my want to write.

So realizing this and after a valiant attempt at starting a Reds blog of my own over the past couple years, here I am. All I just really hope is that you guys enjoy the reading as much as I enjoy the writing. Here’s hoping for a long and great time here at BRM!

Well enough of the sappy, it’s time to get to the good stuff.

First a bit of news that may have went unnoticed to some (well, mostly me). The Reds announced the signing of Fred Lewis along with making the Renteria signing official yesterday, according to MLBTradeRumors. This finally gives us that last speedy left handed outfielder off the bench we have been hearing about for a while. Lewis and Scott Podsednik appeared to be the two suitors that the Reds were courting the heaviest and with the signing of Lewis, adding Podsednik too seems unlikely since they offer essentially the same thing.

The signing of Fred Lewis is actually one that I am alright with.  He is a left handed bat with speed who can play all three OF spots. He provides a platoon mate for Jonny Gomes, a respectable leadoff man if necessary (199 career starts batting leadoff with a .348 OBP and 51 SB career), a very good defensive sub, and someone who could potentially grow as a player since he only just turned 30. All in all, a decent way to round out the 40 man roster heading into Spring Training…you know until we get the obligatory trade during spring training that comes out of left field (I promise, no pun intended).

And finally, I post this news so I can muse on the Reds outfield for a bit. I had a bit of trouble trying to decide what my first bit of brain dump would be about the Reds since getting the opportunity to write here. So I started thinking about the position groups and I kept coming back to the outfield. Something about the group leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable heading into spring training. We are heading into next season with the same group we had last season. Every time I think back to a spot where something came up a bit bad, I keep jumping back to a Jonny Gomes defensive brainfart or a Drew Stubbs strikeout. While I know piling on Jonny is the in thing to do now, his defensive skills really are below average and he is as streaky a Reds player offensively that I have seen. I would feel much better with the offensive pop he brings starting 80 games against favorable matchups rather than the 133 games as with last season. He can be a real weapon while still being the inspirational leader of the team. With Stubbs, I know there are deficiencies but he seems to still be reaching his plateau. Maybe Mr. Votto can teach him a little plate discipline or someone, anyone could teach him to bunt a little . The one rock I am not worried about however is Jay Bruce. The shiny new contract means we should not need worry about one corner OF spot for some time. But with the addition of Lewis into the mix with a year older Chris Heisey, we may be able to see a slightly more complete outfield unit in 2011 that won’t haunt me with 2 on 2 out Ks and misplayed linedrives.

That’s all for now and I hope to keep much more coming.