RedsFest Wrap

After attending my first RedsFest on Saturday, I came home very impressed.

RedsFest is a very professional operation that ran smoothly.  From the autograph and photo booths to the memorabilia show, and the main stage events, everything was very well put together, each of the different aspects of the event kept me at the Duke Energy Center far longer than I originally thought I would would be there.

If you were at the “Hot Stove Report” with Dusty, Jocketty, and some of the front office staff, I was the one who asked the question about statistics and how the Reds use them in evaluating players.  The moderator holding the microphone didn’t know what sabermetrics was.

My question was: “Most major league teams are now dedicating specific departments for statistical analysis, how are the Reds using sabermetrics and statistical analysis now, and in the future?”  Jocketty and the rest of the brain trust gave a pretty standard answer of “Good scouting [ie. more eyeballs on a player the better] is primary and stats are used as back-up”.  He also noted that there is a lot you can do with statistics, and with comptuers holding so much information, it should be used in conjunction with scouting.

I guess I was looking for something more like the Mariners are now doing under their new GM, but I guess Jocketty is too old school for such newfangled technology and forward thinking.

I didn’t get anything signed since I didn’t have season tickets (they had a season ticket holder only line) nor was I a kid (they also had a ‘kids only’ line) and I didn’t want to stand in line for an hour in the other lines to have someone sign a ball.  It almost felt like watching the line for Santa Claus on “A Christmas Story”.  The players only sign for an hour and there is no guarantee that you get your one item signed.  Hopefully someone cool comes to our Reds Winter Caravan stop in January.

The “kids only press conference” was a riot and “Reds Idol” was pretty good as well.  Brandon Phillips is goofy. Chris Dickerson is a cool cat.

There were also a lot of former Reds. Eric Davis, Lee May, George Foster, Jack Billingham were in attendance.  New Red Ramon Hernandez (acquired from Baltimore for Ryan Freel) also showed up and introduced himself to the crowd.

The only “personality” I saw at the event other than Marty, Jeff B., Chris Welch, and George Grande was C. Trent Rosecrans. He had a dry erase board with “C. Trent Rosecrans Live-Blogging”.  It was quite funny.

All-in-all, RedsFest was definitely worth the short drive from Louisville on a rather dreary Saturday morning and made me only slightly less depressed about the upcoming season.  I would definitely go back next year.

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Brandon is Golden

AP Photo by Tony Dejak

AP Photo by Tony Dejak

Congratulations to Brandon Phillips for winning the National League Gold Glove Award for second base.  I have to admit, he is my favorite Red.  Hopefully he comes again this year to the Reds Winter Caravan stop in Louisville so I can personally congratulate him.

I also wanted to note that BP was selected as the Bill James Handbook’s Fielding Bible Award winner as the best defensive second basemen in the Major Leagues.

Questions and Rumors

Here we go again. The Reds get slapped around by the Red Sox today 9-0 and lose another series. Poor pitching again by Homer Bailey who looks nothing like the promising young prospect we all hoped that he would be.

How come Dick Pole and/or Dusty don’t get into his face and light him up like they did to Matt Belisle earlier this season?

Where is the post-game meltdown by Dusty? I am tired of hearing about how good it was in the Haight-Ashbury scene back in the 60’s and 70’s in California. Its nice to hear that he is laid back, but is Baker too laid back to light a fire underneath the team’s individual and collective ass, especially the younger players? I didn’t think old-school types would appreciate the lack of effort and the constant rolling over that this team seems to do on a rather consistent basis.

Why do I love Brandon Phillips? Because of this:

Nice “Sandlot” reference.

Some rumors after the jump… Continue reading

Brandon Phillips is Our Homeboy

A day after Valentines, the Reds are showing second baseman Brandon Phillips the love by signing him to a 4 year contract worth an estimated $27 million to avoid arbitration and to lockup one of the brightest stars of the Reds’ roster.

A CFT favorite, Phillips came to Cincinnati near the beginning of the 2006 after the Cleveland Indians were upset by his slow start.  Sent over for a player to be named later (Jeff Stevens), Phillips won over the hearts of Reds fans by his dynamic defense and instant offensive burst he showed in the first few weeks of being in Cincinnati. 

Known for being a sully character in the clubhouse, Brandon has shown absolutely none of the bad attitude that he was said to of had and has been smiling ever since.  We can’t remember a time that the camera has been on Phillips and he hasn’t had a huge grin on his face. 

John Fay wrote down some quotes from Brandon after the deal was done in his Reds Insider blog.

“The Reds gave me a second chance,” he said. “They opened up the door for me. The fans welcomed me with open arms. I want to make sure I give back to them. I want to do community service. I want to give back to the community. I’m going to do many things in the city. I’m going to go to certain places and try to find me a field. I want people to know who I am. I want to bring more people to the stadium. I want to be how Barry Larkin was.” 

Brandon had an awesome year last year with a 30-30 year and we hope those types of numbers can continue.  We would like to see a higher OBP (.331 last season) which would raise his value tremendously. 

We will have more on Phillips and the rest of the Reds crew in our season/spring training preview in the next few days.

Lazy Sunday Links and News II

Brandon Phillips and Matt Beslisle arbitration
Both Brandon Phillips and Matt Belisle filed for arbitration this week. 

For Belisle: Salary-$390,000 Asking-$1.65 million Reds Counter-$1 million

For Phillips: Salary-$407,000 Asking -$4.2 million Reds Counter-$2.7 million

JinAZ has a nice breakdown with some figures

Spring Training Home
Former COO John Allen made a trip out to Goodyear, Arizona this past week looking at a new site for the Reds’ spring training home.  Looks like Sarasota wants to make a counter offer to “re-build” Ed Smith Stadium which is in bad need of repair and to come up to code with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Read about it here and here

MLB Congressional Hearings
Last week Senator George Mitchell, Commissioner Bud Selig, and Player’s Union President Don Fehr had an appearance before Congress about the Mitchell Report.  Although I have barely watched some of the nearly four hours of testimony and questions, nothing much was gained; except for the fact that some Congressmen and Congress women know little or nothing about baseball.  One Congresswoman compared steroids in baseball to Britney Spears shenanigans. 

Baseball Prospectus Prospects List
BP has put out some information on Jay Bruce and the rest of the minor league prospects in the Reds system.  A subscription is required for the entire article.