Reds Winter Caravan:Louisville

So yesterday was the start of the Reds Winter Caravan and one of the first stops was Louisville Slugger Field.  The event was held in the ballpark’s foyer (think concrete slab floor, florescent lights) as opposed to the last two years at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.  The event was moved due to renovations to the factory site to make room for new exhibits coming this summer.

The caravan carrying Chris Dickerson, Jerry Hairston, Yonder Alanso, Jeff Brantley,  Dusty and George Grande arrived forty-five minutes late to the site since they were held up at a Frankfort, KY radio station.

A great majority of the crowd (about 600 or so) was there seeking autographs and were lined up even before the caravan arrived.

One thing that stood out was the fact that while there were some kids, there wern’t many.  At 4:30 in the afternoon it is a horrible time to have an event like this as it should have been scheduled for a time when more people could get out of work or school so that they could drive to the stadium.  There wasn’t much promotion of the event which was strange.

The one bit of good news was when CEO Bob Castellini announced that the Reds and Bats are going to extend their relationshiop through the 2012 season.  This is big news and it is nice to know that we’ll be able to see many of the Reds up and coming prospects for the next several years.  I don’t really know how I would feel about going to games if the Bats were affiliated with another team.

Notable Quotes:

From Dusty

“I won’t put a governor on them. I want them to use their arms, legs, bats, everything in order to win”

Translation: CREATE HAVOC!

Jerry Hairston:

“We are young, but talented.  There is a difference”

Yeah, and Grizzly Adams had a beard.

Other than Dusty babbling about winning and going to the inauguration on Tuesday with his son, George Grande took only one question from those assembled.  It was about the radio affiliate (not from me) and pretty much dismissed it by saying, “The Reds are doing everything to bring Reds fans the best radio and TV coverage”.  Joe Zerhusen, the broadcast affiliate manager, was also in attendance.  Presumeably he will be around tonight checking various spots in the city for the horrible reliablity of the signal and continue to see if there are other options for another affiliate.

All in all it was a poorly timed event that seemed hastily put together with little fanfare or excitement.  The people running the caravan should have put more into the event (promotion) and at the very least they should have apologized for being late.

When you give out free copies of Baseball America’s NL Central prospect report that says, “Reds are a long way away”, while trying to promote the team as a winner, you have some serious problems.

Reds Hot Stove on WLW

I’m not suggesting that anyone call in tonight at 6 P.M. and bitch about the Willy signing or quote reliable data that shows that he is a Patterson-esque player, but if you have some constructive criticism for the Reds….

Local (513) 749-7000

Out of Town (800) The Big 1, (800) 843-2441

and all-knowing Jeff Brantley (the guy who said EdE wasn’t clutch) will be on with Mo Egger

Week Wrap-up

You Know What Grinds My Gears? In a critical situation, Mike Lincoln makes a terrific stand on the mound versus David Wright and Carlos Beltran and gets no help from the crowd.  Cincinnati fans can be passionate about wanting to run Adam Dunn out of town, but they can’t get behind thier pitchers (or hitters) in critical situations.  Not one person in the crowd on Saturday night got up to cheer on Lincoln during the two crucial at-bats.  Are Cincinnati fans really that great?

Jeff Brantley, please stop: How much hyperbole does this guy speak?  The plays by Brandon Phillips and Jeff Keppinger are amazing, but their is no reason to go on and on about how they are the best at what they do.  Brantley is starting to grate on me a bit.  It is almost as if he is projecting himself onto the field as a player.   Jeff makes Chris Welch seem tame in this regard.  There is homerism and then there is Jeff Brantley.

Triple A All-Star game: This was a lot of fun.  It was a great game that was supported very well by the Louisville fans (reportedly sold out), despite the Pacific Coast League pulling out the win in the ninth.  There were even pockets of PCL fans (mostly displaced St. Louis Cardinal fans rooting for the Memphis All-Stars) that traveled to Louisville to see the game.  Did anyone see this on ESPN?  I was curious as to how well Louisville Slugger Field looked on television and what they said about Louisville during the broadcast since I don’t have access to a recording device.

Triple A Home Run Derby: This was not fun.  Again, it was well attended but definitely was not worth the $14 spent.  Even with the microphone problems they had with the MC, it was a pretty boring event due to the lack of power these supposed power hitters seemed to have.  Apparently the PCL guys were having trouble with the thick humidity that was present that night and the fact that Slugger Field is one of the largest parks in both leagues.  Fortuntely I got home in time to see the big boys (including Hobbs) do it right at Yankee Stadium.

Reds on Radio Problems, sorta: Apparently the 93.9 “The Ticket” website has been marked as a harmful website.  As I told you before, the Louisville Reds on Radio affiliate is run by about 5 people and they are pretty horrbile.  Only one Reds game has not aired on the station or its sister station since the move from WKRD, but if they want to be around, they need to get their act together.  I really wouldn’t be surprised if they folded.  Everyday I hear them begging asking for advertising, despite being the ESPN affiliate in town.

David Ross Interview On Country Fastball.  A program that is webcast and blends country music with interviews of baseball players and musicians from the country music scene is featuring the Reds catcher this week.  Hopefully they will have some sort of archive since I posted about this too late.

Still Staying Positive: About the Reds season.  They dropped two games versus the Mets and thus lost 2 games in the wild card which puts the deficit at 9 games behind the Cardinals.  From here on out, they don’t have any more west coast games (going to Arizona but not the coast) so that is a positive thing.  With games against the Padres and Rockies at home and then going on the road to Houston and Washington, this should be a time for the team to pick up several wins without having to suffer too many losses.  We shall see.

Jeff Brantley Is Not Clutch

Normally we feel bad for Jeff Brantley. Night in and night out he gets ragged on by fellow announcers on both TV and radio. George Grande (FSN Ohio), Thom Brennaman (Radio and FSN Ohio), and the grand poobah of Reds media Marty Brennaman (Radio) constantly tease him about his southern drawl and cowboy boots. We empathize with Mr. Brantley; we really do. We are tired of the cowboy references and wish they would stop and just call the game.

But on Wednesday night as the Reds looked as if they were going to go down to a second straight defeat, Edwin Encarnacion came to the plate and what transpired was absolutely hilarious.

We can only guess that his Mississippi Mudflap clouded his judgment if in fact “clutch” actually exists.