About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nick Travieso Building Reputation In Goodyear

Nick Travieso is all of 21-years old in his first big league spring training camp.

Manager Bryan Price has mentioned his name several times as pitchers that have left an impression 11 days into training camp. To compare Homer Bailey had advanced to Double A by his third professional season after being taken in the first round of the 2004 draft (7th) overall.  Travieso, was the Reds' first pick (14th overall) in the 2012 draft out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He has spent the last two seasons in Dayton, a Low A league.

"It impressed me that he repeated a league, the Midwest League and became a force," Price said.

Travieso, 6'2" and 225 lbs right-hander, led the Midwest League in wins with 14.  That was tops in the Reds' minor league system as was his 3.13 ERA.

"He's grown into his body. His velocity got better throughout the course of the year. It isn't uncommon for pitchers to regress in the second half of the year, especially young pitchers," Price said.  "The velocity on his slider increased.  His pitch quality and command is much improved.  He is a big physical guy, who is throwing at the bottom of the strike zone. He is a "yes sir", "no sir" guy."

The Midwest League All-Star may not have advanced as far as Bailey in the same amount of time but the Reds' organization is in a different stage.  When Bailey made his Major Leaugue debut in his fourth year in 2007 the Reds starters were Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Matt Belisle and Kyle Lohse with games started by Bobby Livingston, Eric Milton, Kirk Saarloos and Mike Goslin.  Travieso has a much more formidable task to earn a spot in the Major Leagues with established starters, Johnny Cueto, Bailey, Mike Leake and the group competing this spring that includes, Anthony DeSclafani, Tony Cingrani, Rasiel Iglesias, David Holmberg, and veterans, Jason Marquis and Paul Maholm.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Homer Bailey Throws Off The Mound For The First Time Since August


Homer Bailey hasn't thrown from a mound since August until Friday.

The author of two no-hitters threw 20 pitches which left him feeling better about his prospects for the season.

"I was looking forward to it actually," Bailey said after the first of four sessions.  "Even in the off-season playing catch and stuff and you watch guys do bullpens, in your mind you think you can still do it or even getting a brace off for the first time you feel like you can get back on the mound and throw.  It isn't the case. It's kind of really, rewarding."

Clik link below for video


He had a couple pitches that were 100 percent but not all.


"A couple came out of my hand pretty good, but I'm not going to say I 100 percent got after it," Bailey said.  "All things considered it went pretty well.  I only threw 20 pitches so I couldn't have walked that many guys."

Bailey didn't experience any pain.

"It was kind of free and easy," Bailey said.  "The next couple of steps will be the true test.  We can see how it bounces back.  We will see how it goes when the numbers add up."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Marlon Byrd v Manny Parra


Jason Marquis Gets First Crack At Starting Young Arms Impress Price


Veteran Jason Marquis will get the ball to kick off the 2015 Cactus League season against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.

The right-hander with 14 years of Major League experience is in the mix to fill two permanent spots in the Reds' starting rotation and one temporary spot, left by Homer Bailey's recovery from surgery.

Manager Bryan Price laid out the first week of games, noting that things could change.

Marquis, veteran left-hander Paul Maholm, Anthony DeSclafani, Tony Cingrani, Rasiel Iglesias, David Holmberg, Dylan Axelrod and Daniel Corcino all have a chance to fill two spots.

"We won't have enough starts for nine guys," Price said.  "We have an idea but we have to get through live batting practice so every thing could change but we have an idea of who will pitch the first week."

The tentative plans include Tony Cingrani as the starter for the second game and Johnny Cueto the third game both of them are also against Cleveland.  Mike Leake will probably pitch on March 7 against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa.  Homer Bailey will not pitch in the first week.  The other candidates for starting roles will pitch behind the designate starter in early games in which pitchers will only work one or two innings.

Price has been impressed by several young arms in camp.

Jon Moscot caught Price's eye in live batting practice.  Moscot was the Reds' fourth round pick in 2012. The 23-year old right-hander spent most of the 2014 season at Double A Pensacola. He was promoted to Louisville on August 18 after being named to the Southern League All-Star team.  Moscot was 7-10 at Pensacola with a 3.13 ERA and started three games at Louisville in which he was 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA.

Moscot velocity is between 89 and 92.

"He throws plenty hard enough, but its command, bottom of the zone command and side-to-side," Price said.  "He has a very, very good slider and an improved change-up. We target the Robert Stephenson, the Michael Lorenzen, the Nick Travieso and Amir Garrett.  The big hard throwing guys and they're great.  Arm strength is is a great starting point but when push comes to shove efficiency is what wins."

"DeSclafani and Moscot were the top two from when I was watching but there were others Lorenzen, Garrett and Marquis stood out," Price said.

The Yips

Nick Howard, the Reds' first choice in the most recent June draft out of the University of Virginia is having a difficult time throwing the ball to firstbase on infield drills.  Howard hit Kevin Towers, the Reds' special assistant to the general manager, in the foot during a drill.  Witnesses said that two or three went straight into the ground, several other throws sailed over the firstbaseman's head.

There have been noted cases of players, suddenly unable to make a simple throw.  Dodgers infielder Steve Sax had a period in which he simply could not throw the ball to first base.  Former Mets' catcher Mackie Sasser one day developed a phobia that did not allow him to make the simple throw to the mound after a pitch.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pitcher's Infield Practice


Votto Hitting First BP Session Of 2015


Position Players, Topps Baseball, Cards And Golfer/Owner Bubba Watson In Camp


All 64 players reported to Goodyear, Arizona.

After physicals this morning there will be an afternoon workout.

A representative from Topps Baseball cards was in the clubhouse, inking players to the agreement that pays royalties to the players for use of their images on baseball cards.  Players were handed a stack of their cards for 2015.  New this year, the cards will have a border in team colors, rather than the white border.  Topps cards will continue to have autograph cards and jersey's embedded on the player cards.

Two time masters golf champion, Bubba Watson, was in the camp to great players and the media.

Watson recently bought the interest of the Reds' Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoo team in the Southern League.  Watson was born in Pensacola and raised in nearby Bagdad, Florida.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mat Latos Stirs Reaction By Reds


Mat Latos told a national writer that the Reds rushed him back from injury and the clubhouse lacked leadership.

Latos is an immature individual that is his own worst enemy.

Last June 6, after he left a rehab start in Pensacola with a cramp on a rainy night, Latos himself complained that the Reds wanted him to make another rehab start.

"I am just a puppet on a string," said Latos after adamantly declaring himself ready to pitch.

His first start was June 14.

""Obviously this is a distraction we anticipated," Bryan Price said. "We're not going to allow it to be an on going distraction. Unfortunately, it is a lot of tabloid BS that's unnecessary."

"We have a top shelf training and medical staff," said Price who sent a text of appreciation to Latos after the trade to the Marlins. "Their credibility is undeniable. It is a non issue. It is unfortunate that we even have to address it. We would not compromise the health of our players to win a baseball game."

General manager Walt Jocketty debated whether or not to respond to the article by Rosenthal.

"We didn't want to go back and forth with a national writer," Jocketty said. "We feel we have one of the best medical staffs in baseball. We follow very strict protocols after surgeries. We treat everyone the same.  We make sure they are ready to go. If anything, I've always had the philosophy that if a guy says he is ready, wait an extra day or so just to make sure,"

Latos also claimed the Reds clubhouse became undisciplined without key players to lead.

"You look at the Reds after we lost Bronson (Arroyo, after the 2013 season). Everything went to s---. You look at it after we lost Scott Rolen (after 2012). Everything went to s---. When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town.

After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies."

"A lot of things came out that shined a really negative light on our organization.  That is unfair and innacurate," Price said. "We have outstanding leadership from ownership through the front office, through the coaching staff and we have outstanding quality character people in our clubhouse.  It is rediculous that we even have to discuss something of this nature. We have done nothing to deserve this."

Jocketty was more upset after the comments that shed a negative light on the clubhouse.

Jocketty was more upset after the comments that shed a negative light on the clubhouse.

"It is something that is not true," Jocketty said. "There were more than a couple of things that were exaggerated. We're spending a lot of time talking and there is no reason to go there.  I spend a great deal of time (in the clubhouse). We have a great group of players.  We haven't had the vocal leaders but we have a lot of guys who control things in the clubhouse. I have always told some of the key players that the managers, general managers and coaching staff can only do so much to manage the clubhouse. They have to manage it."

"We have never had a situation that was out of control," Jocketty said. "I don't remember what he specifically said but he (Latos) made some comments about San Diego too, so consider the source."

"If this was a court of law, there would be testimony attacking the credibility of the witness," Homer Bailey said.

"He should mind his own business and help the Marlins win," Marlon Byrd said.

"It was addition by subtraction and that's all I'm going to say," Skip Schumaker said.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bullpen Session 2015

Jason Marquis Wants To Continue His 20 Year Affair With Baseball


It has been 20 years since Jason Marquis was drafted by the Atlanta Braves.

Marquis at 36 still loves the game.

"I love every part of the game of baseball," Marquis said. "I love hitting and my job of pitching."

Marquis hit .310 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005 while winning 13 games.

The Reds were looking for a veteran pitcher as an alternative to younger pitchers that are competing for the two open starting spots in the Reds rotation.

"We targeted (Anthony) DeSclafani to start for us and we have Tony Cingrani, who has pitched well for us when healthy," Bryan Price said.  "We signed Marquis and Paul Maholm to compete.  Those are guys that are comfortable pitching in the big leagues,  Marquis has been very impressive."

Marquis is a known commodity, having competed against the Reds but he is coming off  "Tommy John" surgery.  He threw a bullpen for the Reds last spring but signed with Philadelphia, making nine starts for the Gulf Coast League Phillies and Triple A Lehigh Valley.  He was 4-1 with a 4.83 ERA.  The Phillies released him on August 31.

The Reds signed him to a minor league contract on January 20 with an invitation to spring training.

"In my mind, its my job to lose," Marquis said. "No disrespect to any of these guys but that's how I have to approach it.  I compete with myself."

The native of New York City and resident of Staten Island, has a 121-114 record in 14 Major League seasons.  He won 15 games twice in his career, with St. Louis in 2004 and Colorado in 2009, the last of a string of six season in which he won 11 games or more.

His last season in the majors was with the San Diego Padres in 2013.  He had a 9-5 record in 20 starts before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in July.  He was placed on the disabled list and shut down for the season.

Marquis has been throwing all winter and did his research of teams that he wanted to pitch for, what situations would be best for him.

"You can't always rely on your agent," Marquis said.  "I did some research. I have known Walt Jocketty from my days in St. Louis.  Jim Riggleman (the Reds new thirdbase coach) was my manager in Washington. Dr. Kremchek did both of my surgeries. I looked at every team.  This team's top three starters with Homer Bailey healthy is pretty good.  A lot of people discount their lineup but it is very good.  I've had to face them."

Marquis wants to contribute and at the same time help the Reds' younger pitchers.

"Walt Jocketty was very upfront with us," Marquis said.  "I didn't come to play for the money.  I still love it. My family loves it and wants me to play."

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Joey Votto Defends His Approach At The Plate


Joey Votto won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2010 with a monster season.

He drove in a career-high 113 runs and started a run of four straight season in which he led the league in on-base percentage.  He drove in 103 runs the next season.

Votto suffered a knee on June 29, 2012 the year in which he signed a $206 million contract extension.

He played all 162 games in 2013 but his RBI total fell to 73, bringing criticism for being too selective at the plate.  The argument is that Votto is paid to drive in runs and has been drawing walks at the expense of RBI.

"I think it is to be expected," Votto said.  "I am the guy with the big contract. There are times when it can be a bit of a nuisance because I have to answer questions but most of it is noise. I think that I've proven when healthy that I'm a helpful part of the team. In terms of being in the middle of it, I have to choose my words carefully.  I think it is really silly and I'm not going to use the word ignorant, but ignorant. I also think that there is some validity to it because it is coming from a perspective that is being nostalgic. I don't think that everything has been taken into context. Ultimately, it's entertainment. If there weren't debates like this, what are we doing.  I think it's great. I'm the bjg money guy that is supposed to do certain things and has done certain things in the past. They expect it in the future.  I'm not doing it so let's talk about it."

Pete Rose defended Votto in a recent interview.  Rose said that Votto should keep being selective at the plate, refrain from swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. He said that it was up to the Reds to find someone to drive in runs behind Votto.

A study by Stats Inc, backs up Rose statistically.

2014 MLB
Pitches charted out of strike zone: 7695-for-45359 (.170)
Pitches charted in strike zone: 33900-for-120255 (.282)

2014 Votto
Pitches charted out of strike zone: 4-for-54 (.074)
Pitches charted in strike zone: 52-for-166 (.313)

Career Votto
Pitches charted out of strike zone: 167-for-927 (.180)
Pitches charted in strike zone: 888-for-2473 (.359)

'I'm glad I can be a lightning rod, as long as I'm performing," Votto said.  "Whether its the 2010 version or the 2013 version, you can not deny that I have been able to provide value to the team. In both examples, I was part of a playoff team."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bryan Price Wants To Slow Down On Speed Up Changes


Major League Baseball announced three rule changes to speed up game play.

1) No longer will a manager have to go on the field to stall while determining whether to challenge an umpires call.
2) The batter must have a foot in the batter's box at all times.
3) Play must resume immediately following the TV timeout between innings.  The batter and pitcher must be ready.

Price understands the desire to speed up the game but offered that modern baseball, changes in the design of stadiums and other factor have contributed to delays during a game.

Above all he does not want to lose the strategic part of the game that makes it popular.

"From my perspective as much as we're working to quicken up the game, there are other parts to it that extend the length of the game."

"There have been other things that have developed, like in Philadelphia the bullpen is in the second deck in centerfield.  As much as we use statistical analysis now, its a matchup game with your bullpen.  You don't use Pedro Borbon for 3 1/3 innings anymore.  That is going to ad time. There are defensive shifts; guys running from thirdbase to the outfield and then back and sometimes that's been from one pitch to the other.  There have been managers that will change the shift when the count goes from 2-0 to 2-1, 3-0 to 3-1."

"There have been things that have developed in the game that will add time.  Some of them are within our control and some that aren't."

"I get it.  I think we all enjoy the quality of a 2 and 1/2 hour game. It flows. That being said, if you're a baseball purist, you like all that.  I think we all like to be an armchair manager and manage along the two managers."

"The importance of the pace of game, how about the quality of the game. Baseball is a game with rules and strategies. If we have to change the rules and the strategy of the game to make it quicker, I think we're losing sight of the intentions of the game."

"It's a storied game.  Baseball is a great game for a million different reasons. The thing is we're always going to find a group of people we try to appeal to."

There was a proposal floated that relief pitchers be required to pitch to more than one batter.  Price believes changes like that would detract from the game.

"If you lose enough games with the wrong matchup when the pitching changes are mandated, I don't think the fans will enjoy that a great deal when they're on the wrong end of it."

"I'm glad that we can pause the game without taking the field.  I didn't like to run out there and as soon as I turn around, people are yelling from the dugout to go back.  It's a waste of time. It's embarrassing. Nobody really wants to do it. If we can just hold the game and tell the umpires we want to just take a look at it.  We only have 30 seconds to look at it, who cares if you're on the field or not?"

Price will meet with Joe Garagiola Jr. and Joe Torree from the commissioners office to discuss they rules and how they will be implemented. They will discuss how to communicate to the umpires the pause to determine whether to challenge a call.

Johnny Cueto Thinks Big


Johnny Cueto wants to stay in Cincinnati and the Reds want him to stay but his value on the open market could interfere.

"I want to stay here (in Cincinnati)," Cueto said through interpreter Tomas Vera on the day the Reds pitchers gathered for their first workout. "Honest, I'd like to have a contract before spring training ends but all I can to is play.  At this point, I just have to keep working hard and let them (the Reds and his agent) work it out."

Cueto, 29,  has established himself as one of the top tier pitchers in baseball. Since 2010, Cueto has a 65-32 record with a 2.73 ERA over 863 innings.

He will be paid $10 million this season before he becomes a free agent and compares to a pair of pitchers that signed big contracts over the winter.

Clayton Kershaw, 26, signed a $208.4 million contract with the Dodgers for six seasons. He has a 85-36 record with a 2.26 ERA over 1,099 2/3 innings in the same period of time.

Max Scherzer, 30, signed for seven years at $210 million with the Washington Narionals. Scherzer is 82-35 with a 3.52 ERA in 1,013 innings.

"Good for him," Cueto said when asked about Scherzer's contract.  "I don't know what will happen with me. I can't tell you. If I have to ask for something it might as well be $300 million. I just have to put my faith in God because I don't know what will happen."

Bryan Price was Cueto's pitching coach before taking over as manager before the 2014 season.

"The contact is between Johnny and the club," Price said. "I have a long term relationship with Johnny.  He knows we appreciate him and want him to be here long term.  He has earned the right to be one of the top tier paid pitcher."

The numbers alone don't tell the true value of Cueto, the "Ace" of the Reds' staff.

"To be an ace you need to have the overall ability to impact the team," Price said. "He has to be the guy that consistently gets you to the back of the bullpen. When he pitches you never feel like you're at a disadvantage. In the second half of the season, when we hit the skids, He was still outstanding. It was as well a pitched season as I've ever seen."

The Reds traded away two starting pitchers from last season in part to save money for Cueto's contract.

Alfredo Simon was traded to Detroit after a break through season in which he won 15 games second to Cueto's 20 wins.  Mat Latos had an injury plagued 2014 season after two straight 14 win years in Cincinnati.  Latos was traded to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Anthony DeSclafani, who is competing for one of the vacated starting slots.

Devin Mesoraco Looking For Max Workload


Devin Mesoraco wants to catch.

He wants to catch a lot.

"I want to catch 161 games and take a day off after we clinch the playoffs," Mesoraco told reporters on the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers.

That is just fine with manager Bryan Price, although the number will be closer to 140 games.

"I anticipate him having a higher workload," Price said. "I can be more random with the use of Brayan Pena, who backs up Mesoraco.

The 26-year old set a career-high with 114 games last season while having his best season in the majors with a .273 batting average, 25 home runs and 80 runs batted in.  He started the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique, then spent another 19-day stretch on the DL with a strained left hamstring.

The first round pick in the 2007 draft, signed a four-year contract for $28 million on January 26.

Mesoraco intends to earn his salary.

"As many times as they want to write my name in the lineup, is fine with me," Mesoraco said. "I want to play every day."

Pena developed a rapport with ace, Johnny Cueto but Mesoraco will catch him more this season.

"Johnny Cueto wasn't a success because of who caught him," Mesoraco said. "I caught him when Brayan played firstbase for (injured) Joey (Votto).  Cueto has a different way of doing things but after a game or two we were on the same page."

A couple writers suggested that to keep Mesoraco's bat in the lineup, he should learn another position.

Both Price and Mesoraco were luke warm on the idea.

"It wouldn't be terrible for him to field some ground balls but right now with Joey Votto at firstbase and Todd Frazier at thirdbase, there won't be a lot of opportunities for that," Price said.

Mesoraco doesn't even own a glove besides his catcher mitt.

"I could order one, I guess," Mesoraco said.  "I trained hard in the off-season to be able to catch. All of the best catchers, like Yadier Molina are behind the plate a lot.  I'd like to catch both games of a double header."

Mesoraco played other positions as a youth.

"I was one of the better athletes.  I played some shortstop, centerfield.  I was pretty fast for that level," Mesoraco said.  "I would try another position but there won't be much time to spend working on it.  I have to catch the pitchers down here a lot to learn them."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Brian Price Filling Pitching Roles To Start Second Year


Brian Price didn't want to be quoted but allowed that Johnny Cueto would be the opening day starter.

"I think you would be safe in writing that without a quote from me," Price said as he looks to replace two starting pitchers from 2014, a season he doesn't want to talk about too much.

"We lost 86 games and everybody knows that," Price said.  "Three teams finished ahead of us last year and the Cubs got better, so we're a candidate for finish in the second division but it doesn't matter where we're picked to finish. It matters where we do finish. We're enthusiastic about getting ready for 2015"

The Reds traded 15-game winning starter, Alfredo Simon, to Detroit over the winter.  Mat Latos was dealt to the Miami Marlins.  Homer Bailey is not yet throwing off the mound.

"It doesn't mean he won't be ready," Price said.
Price needs to fill those spots and has an abundance of choices.

"The exact number is a lot," Price quipped.

Anthony DeSclafani, who came to the Reds in the Latos trade, is among the choices.  Tony Cingrani, who had injuries last season, is ready to compete.  Cuban pitcher Raisel Iglesias is in the mix as are Dylan Axelrod, David Holmberg. Both of them made starts last season.  Free agent signees, Jason Marquis and Paul Maholm have a chance to resume their careers.

"We have Cueto, (Mike) Leake and Homer. In deciding who will follow, we have to handicap a little bit. We won't have enough innings to get that many pitchers ready to start," Price said.

Those that don't end up in the starting five, will have another role to fill.

"I'm interested in finding someone to fill Alfredo Simon's role when he was a relief pitcher," Price said of the right-hander that was able to eat innings when starters had an off night.

Iglesias, if he doesn't make the starting rotation, could fill the role.

"In the short time he's been with us, we found that he has four quality pitches. He showed a quality change in the Arizona Fall League.  He has two really good breaking balls and a quality fastball," Price said.  "That usually translate into a starter but what a way to break into the big leagues."
Axelrod, Jumbo Diaz and the veterans Marquis and Maholm fit the same mold as possible long relievers.

The Reds bullpen let them down last season.

They signed Burke Badenhop, who is known for inducing ground balls to bolster that area of the team.

"He was our target in October," Price said.  "We didn't know if we could even kick the tires to get him but somehow, miraculously, we have him.  We wanted him for his performance and he's a great guy. We can use him in situations where we need a ground ball and he can pitch multiple innings." 

The Reds also signed Kevin Gregg, who has been a closer with the Florida, Toronto, Baltimore and the Cubs.

"Kevin Gregg is not someone we see in that role at this stage of his career but he opens the door for the other guys," Price said.

Pictorial History Of Spring Training By Gary Yeatts



​Welcome Red's fans to the 5th year of the Goodyear Blog. Do you know the history of spring training?  In 1888, two truck drivers named Willie Spring and J. R. Training carried baseball equipment to Miami, Florida. Everybody was waiting for Spring & Training to arrive and hence the term "Spring Training" began. Now if you believe that nonsense I guess you have had a long hard winter! Obviously I subscribe to the Brian Williams school of reporting. Readers Beware!

The first spring training was actually in 1870 in New Orleans. Our own Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Chicago White Soxgot together for a few games. The teams would move around "barnstorming " the area. It  would take another 50 years for some semblance of spring training as we know it to arrive. In 1915, four teams trained in Florida and the Grapefruit League got its start. Following the Great Depression the concept of "remote" spring training spots for teams had blossomed.  The Pirates trained in Hawaii, the Dodgers in Cuba and even the Dominican Republic and Mexico were used. In 1946, the Cactus League began with just 2 teams. Now the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues each have 15 teams. One of the most unique training locales is that of the Atlanta Braves located in Disney World.                                           

​While the locations have changed, so have the training regimes. Early training sites were mostly "fat farms" and "drunkfests". Cornelius McGillicuddy (better known as Connie Mack)  once reported "We played baseball most of the day and drank most of the night". Star players like Ty Cobb would refuse to report to spring training and most players reported to get in a round of golf or two. Today's players train year round and report to spring training to get ready for a grueling long 162 game season. Modern training facilities are state of the art.      
   Red's training room at Goodyear.
One of the biggest social barriers was segregation. Back in the day, black players could not stay with white players. A young Cincinnati Reds outfielder, by name of Curt Flood, had to stay in Ma Fletcher's Boarding House while the Reds were in Tampa.     
 As integration gained traction, so did the popularity of spring training. In 1981, spring training attendance reached the million mark for the first time. 2014 saw attendance rise to 3.6 million. The Grapefruit League netted $385 million from out of state visitors in 2014. The Cactus League had a $632 million impact on Arizona.
    Money does not grow on trees but rather in spring training ballparks.                                         

I am looking forward to being your eyes and ears for all of the spring training season. Considering my eyesight and hearing that may not be saying all that much.  Still, it is a pretty young spirit in an old body.   YIB (yours in baseball)- G                                         

    Gman on duty at Spring Training                  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Xavier Falls To St John's


The habit of falling behind caught up to the Xavier Musketeers in a 78-70 loss to the St. John's Redmen at the Cintas Center, a rare home loss.

"We got just enough stops to get the win," said St. John's coach Steve Lavin.

Xavier (16-10, 7-7 Big East) started the game quickly going up 13-3 in the first four minutes but by the intermission, the Red Storm led by seven on a last second shot by Jamal Branch.

Xavier tied the game at 42 with 17 minutes remaining in the second half but St. John's quickly went back on top by six at the 15:53. mark. The Red Storm surged ahead by nine at the midpoint of the second half but Xavier got within one point, 66-65 with five minutes to go.

St. John's (17-8, 6-6 Big East) outscored their hosts 12-5 over the last five minutes.

"When we got close we didn't make the stops," Matt Stainbrook said.  "We didn't communicate in transition.  Seventy-eight points is too much."

"We played great in spurts but we broke down on the defensive end," Trevon Bluiett said.

Stainbrook led Xavier with 17 points and nine rebounds.

"Stainbrook is one of my favorite players, if not my favorite player in the Big East.  He's tough.  He's unselfish and creates mismatches for most teams.  We tried to limit his touches," Lavin said.

"We did a decent job of getting it into the post," Stainbrook said.

Xavier commited 13 turnovers that led to 12 St. John's points but also scored 11 points off 10 St. John's turnovers.  Both teams had a dozen fast break points.

"St. John's imposed their will both at the end of the first half and the end of the game," said Xavier coach Chris Mack.  "They were more athletic and got to every loose ball.  Every day is a sense of urgency now. Our backs are against the wall."

Sir'Dominic Pointer led St. John's with 14 points.  D'Angelo Harrison, who left the game in the first half with a minor injury, scored 18. Phil Greene IV scored 15 and Branch added 11.

Trevon Bluiett scored 16 for XU.  Jalen Reynolds had 12 points.

Xavier is looking forward to meeting the Cincinnati Bearcats on Wednesday UC.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reds Add WiFi At Great American Ball Park

Steve Watkins of the Business Courier reports that the Reds will add WiFi services so that fans can tweet and send pictures (not of the description or accounts of the game) from their ballpark experience.

Read all about it by clicking the link below:


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Myles Davis Plays String Music To Orchestrate Win Over Providence


Myles Davis swished three quick 3-point shots early in the second half to propel the Xavier Musketeers over the Providence Fryers 78-69.

The Musketeers continued their habit of falling behind at halftime, but Davis and freshman Trevon Bluiett, who forfeited his starting position to Myles Davis, scored 19 points on four 3-point shots as Xavier built a 10-point lead after Providence head coach Ed Cooley, left the court with a rapid heart rate, stomach discomfort and light headaches.  Cooley was taken to a hospital for tests.

'It is always exciting when you hit a couple 3-pointers in a row," Bluiett said.

Myles Davis finished with 14 points, the eighth straight game in which he scored in double figures.

"First and foremost, I want to say Ed is in the forefront of our thoughts," Xavier coach Chris Mack said.  "The zone worked today.  Dee Davis had the biggest challenge in Kris Dunn.  I think of 50 players in our league, they have the two best players. with LaDontae Henton."

The Musketeers (15-9, 6-6 Big East) rebounded from Wednesday's loss to the conference cellar dwellers.

Providence (17-7, 7-4 Big East) fought back and tied the game at 64 with 6:43 to go but Bluiett, Jalen Reynolds and Dee Davis made plays down the stretch and Xavier went on a 14-5 run from there.

"Our guys responded to adversity after our coach left," assistant coach Andre LaFluer said.  "Myles Davis is such a complete player.  Bluiett didn't start today but could be one of the most improved players."

Dee Davis stole the ball from Dunn as he was about to tie the score late in the half.  Davis turned it into a dunk at the other end from Reynolds, who trailed the play. Reynolds set a career high with 19 points.  Dee Davis tied his career-high with 15 assists.  Xavier tied a season high with 24 assists as a team.

"For Dee to steal the ball from Dunn, who is so good at getting to the rim and putting defenders on his shoulder shows great anticipation, toughness and saavy," Mack said.

Freshman J.P Macura made his first 3-point shot in five games and finished with 10 points.

Henton led all scorers with 24 points. Ben Bentil scored 16 and Dunn 11 for Providence.

Red Add Bullpen Depth

The Red signed RHP Burke Badenhop to a one year contract with a mutual option for 2016 and designated LHP Ismael Guillon for assignment.

The Reds signed RHP Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

BlueJays Drop A Loss On Xavier In Overtime


The Xavier Musketeers won all 11 of its home games, including wins over Georgetown and Seton Hall, who were ranked when they visited the Cintas Center.  Somehow the Creighton Bluejays got off the basement of the Big East and defeated the Musketeers 79-72 in overtime.

"We should have been ready from jump," Myles Davis said. "We gave them the game."

Xavier has a nasty habit of falling behind at halftime.  This game was no exception as Creighton behind a career-high four 3-pointers from Rick Kreklow built a three-point halftime lead.

Xavier, who has won two games when trailing at the break, roared out to a seven-point lead only to fall behind again.  The game featured 11 ties and regulation ended in a 65-65 deadlock.

"I'm extremely proud of my team  We hit rockbotton Saturday against Georgetown," Creighton coach Greg McDermott.  "For the first time Saturday, our team looked defeated.  To bounce back against a team that rarely loses at home makes me proud."

Creighton (11-13, 2-9 Big East) beat Oklahoma and Nebraska earlier in the season but lost nine in a row and 10 out of 11 coming into the game.

"Give Creighton a lot of credit," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "Our inability to get a defensive rebound down the stretch is the reason we're sitting here with a loss.  It is a leadership issue.  It is three games in a row here at home where we came out lackadaisical"

Jalen Reynolds led Xavier (14-9, 5-6 Big East) with 17 points.  Remy Abell scored 16 points and Dee Davis handed out nine assists in the loss.

Kreklow added a second-half 3-pointer to give him five for the game as he scored 17 points to lead the Blue Jays.  Geoffrey Groselle added 15.  Devin Brooks led all rebounders with 12 for Creighton.