That little dude can pitch.” – Reds Manager Dusty Baker to the Reds beat writers following today’s 13-4 victory over the A’s in which Mike Leake pitched 2 scoreless innings (4 strikeouts).

Here are some random thoughts from today…

• 13 runs on 16 hits by the Redlegs today was mighty impressive, especially with most of the damage coming off an established (and yes, recrudescent) Major League pitcher in Ben Sheets.  However, what most stands out for me was the pitching of Mike Leake and Travis Wood.  Leake today simply dominated his 2.0 innings of relief.  And although Wood was a little wild (3bb), he fanned 4 in 3.0 innings (1h, 1r/1er, 3bb, 4k).  I’m not an expert on anything, so you certainly don’t have to take my word for it, but I think both of these dudes are going to be pretty successful big leaguers.

• I’m anxious for you folks to get familiar with Leake.  You’re gonna love this kid.  From his personality to his pitching, he’s a real treat.  Wood is a little more laid back than his counterpart, but like Leake, he knows how to pitch.  They’re definitely 2 guys to get excited about. 

• I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get a chance this afternoon to catch up with Adam Rosales but “The Loose Cannon” John Fay did…check it out here.

• Jonny Gomes has driven in 7 runs so far this spring.  He had 2 hits and 2 more RBI today.  Wouldn’t it be great if he has a big offensive year this season?

• I’m convinced that Tommy Bahama would go out of business without Major League Baseball.  If there were no baseball broadcasters, writers or scouts (especially scouts), I think Tommy Bahama would simply be known as Tommy Smith living in Lansing and working 2 jobs just to make rent.  But because there’s some secret rule that requires everyone with a MLB credential to own at least 3 Tommy Bahama shirts, ol’ Tom will be drinking daiquiris on the beach for many years to come.  As for me, I’m going to stick with my concert t-shirts.

• After a 4-for-4 day with a 2-run bomb and 3 runs scored, Chris Dickerson surely got some peoples’ attention today (yeah yeah and don’t call me Shirley..har har).

• Wladimir Balentien’s home run was a no-doubter to the opposite field.  He’s out of options, which makes him an interesting piece of conversation this spring.

• This is a little late, but the double play that Paul Janish turned to end the ‘B’ game on Sunday morning against the Indians would’ve been the top play on ESPN, no doubt about it.  Paul can pick it over there at short.


Alright, folks…today, I’m unveiling a special new feature here on the blog.  It’s called Better Off Red’s Question of the Game

For every Reds home game for the rest of the spring, I’m going to go out amongst the people at Goodyear Ballpark and ask a random question to random Reds fans.  Those who participate will have their picture and response posted here on Better Off Red.

Today’s question: Who would win an arm-wrestling match between Jonny Gomes’ mohawk and Marty Brennaman’s poofy white helmet?

DSC01200.JPGWayne McGrath
from Northern Kentucky (on the right): “I’d say Gomes.  I just think he’s a little tougher than Marty.”  (A little!?  Yeesh!)

DSC01201.JPGAndrea Willit, Amy Russell, Chuck Russell and Ryan Russell (all Cincinnati transplants living in Las Vegas) 

Andrea says:  “Marty’s helmet.  He’ll use his mind to win.”  Amy and Chuck agree.  Ryan took the 5th.

DSC01202.JPGDavid and Nancy from Florence, Oregon: “We don’t see Cincinnati TV so we don’t know about Marty’s hair.” 

Well, David…Marty’s hair is as solid as that old-school Reds T-shirt you wore today.  Keep rockin, homie!

DSC01203.JPGNikki Turner, Shelby Adams and Jackie Turner from Cincinnati and loyal Better Off Red readers!!

Jackie says: “Jonny Gomes’ mohawk!! Ah totally!  Because it’s really sexy!  I love the ‘hawk!” 

Nikki says:  “I’d say Marty’s (white poofy helmet) because it’s timeless!  It’s been around forever.  It’s not going anywhere!”

Shelby says:  “I’m with Nikki.  It’s gonna be the poof.  I could’ve been Switzerland and not get between the two of them (sisters Jackie and Nikki) because I do have to fly home with them, but I’m going with Nikki’s answer.”

DSC01204.JPGEric Triplett with his dad, Carl

Eric says:  “Jonny Gomes’ mohawk!  I like mohawks and anyone with a mohawk is tough.”  Dad Carl agrees.

Don Secrest from Chicago says: “Marty’s white poofy helmet.  Only because he’s been around so long, he might out-smart Jonny.” (I forgot to get a photo of Don, darnit!  Sorry Don!).

Thanks for participating, folks!  You all will receive an unwashed butter knife from Chris Welsh’s dishwasher.  Congrats! 

The next Better Off Red Question of the Game will take place on Wednesday (Doubleheader = 2 questions).


So if you’re tired of seeing all of the photos I’m posting from Arizona, how about some from Cincinnati?  This from my colleague Michael Anderson

“Monday was Turf Day at Great American Ball Park…the day when head groundskeeper Doug Gallant and his staff remove the grow blanket from the playing surface. The grow blanket was installed in mid-February and stays on for three to four weeks. The purpose of the grow blanket is to insulate the grass and raise the temperature of the soil and roots. The eight to 10 degree increase in temperature fools the grass into thinking it’s later in the springtime. When the blanket is removed, the grass thinks it’s April and not March. That’s why it’s the greenest grass in the Midwest right now!”

Michael is a fantastic photographer and he snapped off the following photos today at GABP…enjoy!









Saving the best for last…ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Reds fans of all ages….please welcome the newest member of the Reds Cap ClubCHASE HERRELL!!

Chase 1.jpgChase is the son of Reds staffer Chris Herrell, who happens to be one of my most favorite people this side of the Mason-Dixon line (even if he does operate an illegal moonshine still in his wooded backyard).  Just kidding!  Chris is actually a top-notch human being and one of my dearest friends…and his son Chase is already becoming quite the athlete.

Welcome to the RCC, Chase!


Alright, that’s enough nonsense for today.  I have to catch a 7:45 bus tomorrow morning for Tucson, so I need to get my beauty sleep.  Of course 7:45 is 10:45 to most of you, but still…

I’m going to go climb into my “growth blanket” and hopefully when I wake up it’ll be April and not March.

Thanks for logging on!  I can’t believe you folks are actually reading this stuff, but I really do appreciate knowing that you are.  I know I say thanks a lot, but I really mean it.  It’s fun sharing all of this with you…and I’m managing to make myself laugh from time-to-time, too. 

Thank you!

Be safe, have fun and pursue happiness!!!…and never EVER drive in front of the store or you’ll just get held up by pedestrians entering/exiting and motorists trying to find the closest parking spot.

See ya!


1 Comment

Great work, Jamie! Keep the words comin’ . . .

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