It’s almost that time…

In a few days, we will have more tangible Reds topics to discuss because there will be dozens of actual Reds to talk about topics with directly at Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report on Friday and of course, I will be there.

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Naturally with a miserable winter it’s been in Cincinnati, the thoughts of just being warm again supersede almost everything else. One look at the five-day forecast is exciting enough, and there will be baseball too. I’m actually stunned it will be in the high 80s and even touch 90 on Friday. In past years, it’s started off much cooler (50s and 60s) before zooming into the 80s and 90s closer to the end of camp.

*A few days after I get to Goodyear, I hope to update my annual Spring Training dining guide with a few new entries and the removal of some old ones. I’ve gotten good feedback each year from doing it and I hope it’s useful for those who make the trip. I know Florida was the preferred destination for many Reds fans, but has anybody given thought of heading out to Arizona? From year one out there in 2010, I’ve been a huge fan of Spring Training in the Cactus League. I believe if others try it out, they will see what I see.


Some links:

*My 2014 Spring Training preview is on Reds.com. It provides a quick primer on the team and issues. The reporters for all 30 clubs have previews up as well. Be sure to check them out.

*Jamie Ramsey is an early arrival to Reds camp and he has already posted numerous pictures on his blog.

*In another good piece, Anthony Castrovince tackles the use of advanced stats in baseball, namely in regard to how Joey Votto is evaluated.

9 Comments

Mark, just make you hook up with Hal McCoy once in awhile when you go out to eat!!! He knows some good spots out there also!!!!! GO REDS!!!!!

Mark— that WAS AN Excellent piece you referenced by Anthony Castrovince, relating to wRC+ sabermetric…. Everyone on this blog should read it….. THANKS….

The BABE all-time high wRC+ @197…when mid pt or avg is 100…WoW.

Making first trip to Goodyear the weekend of March 7th. My brother and I are taking my Dad for his 70th B-day. Looking forward to some golf, baseball and warm weather.

JD: Good for you…time flys by…I lost my dad last July at 93…He was a lifelong reds fans and Babe Ruth gave him ball tickets one time, during a visit to Cincinnati, when Dad worked at the old SINTON Hotel. Time with dads and sons are precious…Time at reds games are priceless with dads…Spring training with your DAD…OMG…I have no words.. Cheers to you and your bro for making it happen.

So, having read the article about wRC+, I have some questions. This stat doesn’t remove Votto’s place in the batting order from the equation, does it? Would he have the same value if he’d batted 7th instead of 3rd? Somehow I doubt it. Is there an optimum position in which to bat your player with the highest wRC+? Since it’s a balance of power, walks, and everything else, I’m just not sure what to do with it.

I’ve been wondering just how to quantify what Billy Hamilton will bring to the table, and I’m curious if this is it. If Hamilton has, say, a .300 OBP but steals 85 bases, is he valuable enough to deserve the most at-bats on the team? What would his wRC+ value be? If we just copied his offensive production in Louisville last year into the majors for this season, would we be proud to have him based on wRC+ alone?

Making my first pilgrimage to Goodyear in mid-March. Haven’t been to spring training since I caught a game in Plant City 25 years ago!

Mark and board members in the know…
…just keep a good idea for us ‘out of towners’ that will
eventually visit and will be in need of a great hotel and
great eat’n places! One day, it’ll happen.
(ps…kinda think that when we get OVER THE TOP
one year, that Mark will host a get-together for all us
die-hard Reds’ fans for cocktails!) Anybody else think
that is a good idea?

This year will mark every year at reds spring training since 1991(except the year the strike screwed up spring training). My kids now 13,12, and 10 have been to every spring training they have been alive for.
Air fare has gotten to be too much so I am emulating Clark W. Griswald this year. Is Wallyworld anywhere near Goodyear?

Yes, Neb, I think an MLB-blogs sponsored all expenses paid blog regulars retreat to Goodyear, with a cocktails icebreaker hosted by Mark Shelton, is an outstanding idea. If I have to pay my way, I’m stuck here in the frozen tundra of our endless Moscow winter. Still, when Ps and Cs report, spring can’t be far behind. Looking forward to that first raido broadcast spring game. It just sounds warm.

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