BACK IN THE SADDLE
Hi everyone, hope you didn’t forget about me. My sabbatical is over and I’m back in the blogging chair…
While I was away saving the whales, wrestling alligators, developing a cure for the common cold, meeting world leaders, balancing the budget, piloting a space ship, running marathons and headlining Vegas, I missed out on a few items of Reds news. If you don’t mind, allow me to catch us all up….
*Scott Rolen, who has the most powerful handshake in the game, signed a 2-year extension with the Reds on Saturday. When I met Scott last year and introduced myself, he unintentionally yanked my arm clean off my shoulder. He’s such a nice guy, I told him not to worry about it and even gave him permission to use it in that night’s game. He hit a 3-run homer with it, signed it and paid to have it surgically reattached for me. If you see Scott and feel the need to congratulate him on his contract extension, I’d recommend limiting it to a pat on the back.
*And while we’re talking about guys who could snap me in half, Laynce Nix signed a minor league deal with the Reds on Friday and has been invited to Major League camp. Nix is so strong, he can gargle peanut butter.
*Longtime Reds scout Gene Bennett was recently named 2009 Midwest Scout of the Year. Gene originally joined the Reds system as a player in 1952 and 6 years later began a distinguished scouting career that continues more than 5 decades later. He scouted and signed such Reds stars as Don Gullett, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo and Paul O’Neill. During his 57 years with the Reds, Gene’s many contributions to the organization and to our game have not gone unnoticed. He received the TOPPS Scout of the Month Award 12 times and in 1988 received the TOPPS All-Star Scout Award. In 1996, Gene was elected to the Middle Atlantic Major League Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame. Last January he received the Legends in Scouting Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation. Above all the awards and accolades, Gene is a class-act human being. He’s one of my favorite people in the organization.
*In case you missed it, earlier this month at Redsfest Chris Heisey received the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Award as the Reds Minor League Player of the Year for 2009. Travis Wood was named Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Year while Juan Francisco earned Reds Minor League Hitter of the Year. On the Major League side, Brandon Phillips was named Reds 2009 MVP and Bronson Arroyo took home two awards – Reds Most Outstanding Pitcher for 2009 and the Joe Nuxhall Good Guy Award.
*Paul Lessard has been tabbed to replace Mark Mann as Reds Head Athletic Trainer. Lessard has 12 years of big league training experience, most recently with Boston.
*One of our former media relations interns, Shun “Sational” Miyamura has been named director of the Tokyo Giants’ New York office. Shun was one of our hardest working interns we had here in Cincinnati and certainly deserves all the best. A native of Japan, he admitted to me that he’s excited to be back in the States.
*And on the topic of hard-working media relations interns, you may know Jim Misudek from his Reds Internal Affairs blog. Tomorrow is his last day with us here in Cincinnati as he’s been hired as a full-time media relations representative for the Atlanta Braves. Jim’s a tireless worker who put in many hours with us in a job that frankly doesn’t garner a lot of glory or compensation. His new position is very much deserved. Jim’s “paid his dues”, and now he can pay his rent. Congrats buddy.
*Another one of favorite people in the game, Dan Wolfert was recently hired by Pittsburgh’s Florida State League team in Bradenton to serve as general manager. Dan performed the same duties for our club in Sarasota before the Reds sold that team to Pittsburgh (Lynchburg is the new Reds “high-A” team). This is a great opportunity for Dan and means he doesn’t have to move. Good luck Dan!
Well, I think I’m now up to speed…more to come tomorrow. If you need me, I’ll be cleaning out my
litter box inbox.
In the meantime, here are my favorite albums of 2009 (I’ve linked some for your listening pleasure):
• Mason Jennings: Blood of Man
• Elvis Perkins In Dearland: self titled
• Dan Auerbach: Keep it Hid
• Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs: It’s Blitz!
• Doves: Kingdom of Rust
• The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You
• Coconut Records: Davy
• Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: self titled
• Portugal. The Man: The Satanic Satanist
• Wilco: Wilco [the album]
• The Builders and the Butchers: Salvation is a Deep Dark Well
• Band of Skulls: Baby Darling Dollface Honey
• Handsome Furs: Legal Tender
• Kitty, Daisy and Lewis: self titled
• The Fiery Furnaces: I’m Going Away
• Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!
• White Rabbits: It’s Frightening
• Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
• Death Cab For Cutie: The Open Door EP
• Tim Easton: Porcupine
• The xx: self titled
• Method Man and Redman: Blackout! 2
• The Harlem Shakes: Technicolor Health