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Thursday, October 22, 2015


CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the 2016 Major League coaching staff that will serve under manager Bryan Price.

Bullpen/assistant pitching coach Mack Jenkins, hitting coach Don Long, Major League catching coordinator Mike Stefanski and bullpen catcher Dustin Hughes will return in 2016 to those positions.

The following coaches will return with new responsibilities: Jim Riggleman will serve as bench coach, Billy Hatcher will coach third base and outfielders, and Freddie Benavides will coach first base and infielders. Last season, Riggleman was third base coach, Hatcher first base coach and Benavides infield coach.

New to the 2016 staff will be Mark Riggins as pitching coach and Tony Jaramillo as assistant hitting coach. Riggins spent the last 4 seasons as the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator and previously served as pitching coach on the Major League staffs of the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. Jaramillo has been a hitting coach in the Reds’ minor league system since 2008, including each of the last 3 seasons at Class AAA Louisville.

The club will not renew the contracts of bench coach Jay Bell, pitching coach Jeff Pico or assistant hitting coach Lee Tinsley.

” We appreciate the hard work and dedication Jay, Jeff and Lee gave us the last two years,” Jocketty said.



CINCINNATI (Oct. 21, 2015) — The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy has announced the fall 2015 clinic schedule for baseball, softball and T-ball.

The Urban Youth Academy in Roselawn offers free, year-round baseball and softball instruction, plus educational and vocational opportunities for boys and girls ages 5-18 residing primarily in urban neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

T-ball Clinics – Sundays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Oct. 11 – Dec. 13)
• One hour indoor T-ball games for boys and girls ages 5-7 teaching the basics.

Softball Clinics – Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Oct. 21 – Dec. 16)
• For girls ages 8-18 whose skills range from beginner to intermediate, teaching the basics of hitting, throwing, fielding and pitching.

Baseball Clinics – Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Oct. 27 – Dec. 15)
• For boys ages 8-13 whose skills range from beginner to intermediate, teaching the basics of hitting, throwing, fielding and pitching.

“Our clinics offer high-level instruction and skills development in addition to conditioning, speed and agility sessions,” said Charley Frank, executive director of the Reds Community Fund. “Participation in our programs at the Urban Youth Academy is intended for boys and girls who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford or have access to this type of programming.”

Buckeye Health Plan (Buckeye), a multi-line health plan serving Medicaid recipients in Greater Cincinnati and throughout Ohio, is a proud sponsor of the Urban Youth Academy’s fall baseball and softball programming.

“We are excited to partner with the Reds Community Fund to offer this program to the Cincinnati community,” said Buckeye President and CEO Bruce Hill. “Our mission at Buckeye is to improve the health of our communities, one person at a time, and what better way for kids to be active and get healthy than by playing baseball and softball.”

To register for clinics and information on all Urban Youth Academy programming, please visit or call (513) 765-5000.

P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy
2026 E. Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45237
(513) 765-5000
Academy hours: 3 to 9 p.m. (closed Friday)
Office hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 p.m. (closed Friday)

The Urban Youth Academy is also available for daytime rental (until 3 p.m.) to host corporate or private events. Please contact Charley Frank at (513) 765-7231 for rental information.


Proceeds from auction to benefit the Reds Community Fund

CINCINNATI (Oct. 19, 2015) — Fans have the chance to own one of the official mustache statues that were placed around the Queen City commemorating the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.

This particular statue was located in Eden Park and was one of the 21 “‘Staches On Parade” that were featured at many iconic locations in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

The statue is adorned with unique All-Star Game logos and imagery and measures 8 feet wide, 2.5 feet high and weighs approximately 850 pounds.

The opening bid for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game mustache statue is $4,500 and bidding will remain open through Nov. 16.

To place a bid and for complete auction details visit

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the baseball and softball-themed outreach programs of the Reds Community Fund.

Special thanks to SVI Themed Construction Solutions of Morton Grove, Illinois for their donation of this 2015 MLB All-Star Game mustache statue.



As if this Postseason couldn’t get any better, Reds third baseman Todd Frazier will serve as a guest studio analyst on MLB Network following Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday, October 17!


Occasionally, I’ll peruse the filing cabinets in the Reds media library here at GABP.  I’m usually not looking for anything specific, rather, just searching for something neat.

Today I found a few thing that I think you’ll find interesting, including inter-office memos from then-Reds Assistant to the Executive Vice President Dick Wagner.  I also found a memo about Pete’s #14 and menus that Reds staffers had handy for their take-out lunch runs.  Enjoy…


Unfortunately, the Orioles beat the Reds in 5 games in the 1970 World Series and thus avoided a Riverfront Stadium scheduling conflict with the Bengals. The Bengals lost to the Chiefs at Riverfront on October 18 by a score of 27-19.


I wonder what happened to “Robert Paul Ritter.” Was he in cahoots with “Ted Elkins?” What did the Davenport, Iowa bank have to do with any of this?  This could’ve been an episode of Dragnet!


In this day and age, Major League Baseball organizes all of the pregame festivities for its annual All-Star Game. It seems in 1970, however, the Reds were responsible for booking their own anthem singer. In this case it was Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers.


A 1982 memo from the Reds Publicity department states that Pete Rose will have his uniform number 14 retired “at an appropriate time after Pete retires from baseball.”


Long before LaRosa’s gave away free pizzas for 11 strikeouts at GABP, they sold $2.50 Jack Salmon platters to Riverfront Stadium staffers.  I imagine this menu was from the mid to late ’60s.


Ummm…I don’t see ice cream anywhere on this old menu.


Finally, I have a question…

Are you ready for the Better Off Red PODCAST?!

Stay tuned for more information!


Have a great weekend!

Expect good news,



Keep checking today’s Baseline Items, as this post may be updated with information/news as the day progresses.


Some good news in Reds land today…

West coast cross checker Jeff Barton has been named this year’s recipient of the Scout of the Year Award for the West Region.

The Scout of the Year Award honors a lifetime of scouting excellence.  Jeff received the most votes in the history of the award.  He will be honored at a banquet at this year’s winter meetings in Nashville.


Congratulations to kcnaeou1978, who was randomly chosen as this week’s Baseline Items prize winner!

kc’s question was:

What do you see are the biggest missing pieces for the Reds to get back to playoffs?

To answer, I’d like to see the team solidify its bullpen, add some power to the bench and continue to be creative in adding “analytic-friendly” players with “high-character” players.

Many of you had great questions and comments on Tuesday’s blog post.  I’ll continue to answer/address here on BOR in the coming days.  Thanks for the participation!


From the Reds 2015 Season in Review…

SETTING RECORDS: Joey Votto established modern franchise records for walks (143), number of games reaching base at least twice (107) and total number of times reaching base via hit, walk or HBP (319)…he broke his own records, all set in 2013 (135 walks, 105g reaching twice, 316 total times on base)…from 7/10-7/28, he reached base safely at least twice via hit, walk or hit by pitch in 15 consecutive apps, also a single-season franchise record (24-48, .500, 4 2b, 4hr, 9rbi, 17bb, 2hbp, .833slg, .642obp)…the club’s previous single-season mark of 13 such games was shared by Joe Kelley (1903), Johnny Temple (1958), Pete Rose (1967) and Adam Dunn (2002)…from 8/11-10/2, Votto reached base safely via hit, walk or HBP in 48 consecutive games (55-154, .357, .528obp), tying Pete Rose’s single-season modern franchise record (6/12-8/2, 1978)…Votto’s 48-game on-base streak was the longest single-season streak in the Major Leagues since Kevin Millar reached safely in 52 straight in 2007 (6/20-8/25) and the longest in the NL since Barry Bonds’ 58-game streak in 2003…Votto reached base safely in 144 of his 158 apps overall, 2 shy of his 2013 single-season club record of 146g…he led the Major Leagues in all of the above statistical references.


Hope to have a big Better Off Red announcement soon.  Keep your eyes (and ears) open!

Expect good news,



Keep checking today’s Baseline Items, as this post may be updated with information/news as the day progresses.


Good luck to the seven Cincinnati Reds farmhands who’ve been selected to participate as members of the Peoria Javelinas in the 2015 Arizona Fall League:  RHP Stephen Johnson, RHP Layne Somsen, RHP Nick Travieso, RHP Zack Weiss, C Chad Wallach, INF Alex Blandino, OF Phillip Ervin.

The AFL season kicks off today with all six teams in action.  The Reds are partnered up with players from the Braves, Padres, Orioles and Mariners to round out the Javelinas roster.

For more information on the Arizona Fall League, CLICK HERE.

Oh, and of the six teams in this year’s AFL, I’m a really big fan of the caps being worn by the Glendale Desert Dogs. What’s your favorite?


Many of you saw the Kansas City Royals yesterday rally from an improbable 4 run deficit in the eighth inning to beat the Astros and avoid elimination in the American League Division Series. One of the key moments during that comeback was when KC’s Kendrys Morales hit a ball up the middle off Houston reliever Tony Sipp.  The ball skipped off the mound and off shortstop Carlos Correa’s glove for a 2-run error.

The broadcasters felt it should’ve been a hit.  I thought it was correctly ruled an error.  What do you think?


Pretty cool of Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips to travel to “The Pit” last week to watch an epic high school football game between powerhouses Elder and Moeller…

#greattimes… Coolin’ it w/ my homeboys at the #elder game in #thepit!!! #altiora #purplefriday #selfie #ALLREADY A photo posted by Brandon Phillips (@datdudebp) on Oct 10, 2015 at 11:27am PDT



Got a pressing question, compliment, complaint or comment for Better Off Red?  Post it in the Comments Section of this blog post.  I’ll randomly publish one of them and that person will win a mystery prize from BOR Headquarters.  Cool?


Expect good news!


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Hi folks!  I’m happy to be back here at Better Off Red Headquarters after spending a gorgeous autumn “staycation” at home in Cincinnati.   This is absolutely my most favorite time of the year and I must say, the Queen City is no slouch when showing off her Fall wardrobe.

In addition to the incredible Bengals game I saw yesterday, I’ve spent a lot time glued to the TV set watching Postseason baseball.  None of the new Fall television shows can quite capture drama like Major League Baseball in October.  The Astros/Royals series is my favorite so far, followed by Cubs/Cardinals.  And yes, I did see the “Utley Slide.”

Speaking of Postseason baseball, my colleague Larry Herms and I have once again been selected to work the NLCS for MLB.  Not sure yet in which city we’ll work, but we’ve been assigned to games six and seven (if necessary).  I have yet to visit Citi Field, so I wouldn’t mind seeing the Mets advance.

Here are a few Baseline Items to catch you up on while I was away…


Reds HOF & Museum offers Major League Clubhouse Tours

CINCINNATI (Oct. 12, 2015) — The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is once again offering offseason tours of Great American Ball Park that include the Reds clubhouse, radio and TV booths, dugouts and more.

The two hour Major League Clubhouse Tours feature access to the:
• Reds Clubhouse
• Visitors Clubhouse
• Radio & TV Broadcast Booths
• Field Level Media Interview Room
• Plus all the stops on the Scotts® Great American Ball Park Tour including the dugouts, press box, Mercedes-Benz Diamond Club, FOX Sports Ohio Champions Club, Handlebar at the Riverfront Club presented by Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati and more.

The tours begin Oct. 17 and are available on Saturday afternoons at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. only.

Major League Clubhouse Tour tickets and pricing are available at:
• (513) 765-7923
• In person at the Reds HOF & Museum, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Each tour ticket includes admission into the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum.

The tours run weekly until March 19, 2016. No tours on Dec. 5 due to Redsfest.

Space is limited and tours often sell out in advance.

About the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum:
Driven by a mission to celebrate greatness, preserve history and provide inspiration, the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is the place where the story of Reds baseball comes alive each day. Established in 1958, the Reds Hall of Fame is the oldest continually operating team Hall of Fame in all of baseball. Since its inception, 85 players, managers and executives have been honored with induction. The museum features 15,000 square feet of historical, interactive and educational exhibits, highlighting the rich and storied tradition of the Reds for fans of all ages.


Major League Baseball recently released information recapping the 2015 season.  You might find the following data helpful…


MLB Attendance



MLB Pace


MLB Instant


From the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Ten of the National Pastime’s pioneering voices have been named as the finalists for the 2016 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The 10 finalists for the 2016 Frick Award are: Jack Graney, Harry Heilmann, Al Helfer, France Laux, Tom Manning, Graham McNamee, Rosey Rowswell, Hal Totten, Ty Tyson and Bert Wilson. The winner of the 2016 Frick Award will be announced on December 9 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., and will be honored during the July 23 Awards Presentation as part of the July 22-25 Hall of Fame Weekend 2016 in Cooperstown.

The 10 finalists for the 2016 Frick Award include the three fan selections produced from online balloting at the Hall of Fame’s Facebook site – – in September and October. Graney, McNamee and Wilson emerged as the top three fan selections in the online voting. The other seven candidates were chosen by a Hall of Fame research committee. All candidates are deceased.

(Helfer called games for the Reds in 1935 & 1936).



During World Series
• Game 2, Oct. 28, AL City Rivera/Hoffman AL/NL Relievers of the Year presented by The Hartford
• Game 3, Oct. 30, NL City Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet – J.J. Hoover is a finalist!
• Game 4, Oct. 31, NL City Hank Aaron Awards – Joey Votto is a finalist!

• Mon., Nov. 9 (8:00 pm ET) MLBPA Players Choice Awards (MLB Network)
• Mon., Nov. 9 (Evening) Sporting News Executive of the Year GM Meetings in Boca Raton, FL
• Tues., Nov. 10 (6:00 pm ET) BBWAA Awards Finalists Announced (MLB Network)
• Tues., Nov. 10 (7:00 pm ET) Rawlings Gold Gloves (ESPN)
• Wed., Nov. 11 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards (MLB Network)
• Thurs., Nov. 12 Louisville Silver Sluggers (MLB Network)

Mon., Nov. 16-Thurs., Nov. 19
BBWAA Awards (Finalists, Tues., Nov. 10) MLB Network
o Nov. 16 Rookies of the Year
o Nov. 17 Managers of the Year
o Nov. 18 Cy Young Winners
o Nov. 19 Most Valuable Players

• Fri., Nov. 20 (7:00 pm ET) Esurance MLB Awards (MLB Network,
• Tues., Dec. 1 American League Edgar Martinez Outstanding DH
• Sat., Jan. 23 2016 BBWAA Dinner at New York Hilton





That’s all for now! I’ll have more in a bit, including a chance for you to win some cool prizes from Better Off Red!

Expect good news,





From my pal @Bongreatness

During pregame ceremonies today we will honor 15 of our Season Ticket Members for their long-term commitment of support to the Cincinnati Reds franchise.

Today we will also recognize the staff members who make up the Cincinnati Reds front office (those based in Cincinnati). Included in this ceremony will be the recognition of several long-time Reds Gameday staff members who are each retiring after today’s game – including Bill Koshover (Event Security Supervisor – 22 years), Denny Roebel (Usher & Ticket Taker Supervisor – 26 years), Cora Hector (Usher – 35 years), Benny Clary (Chief Ticket Taker Supervisor – 46 years), and Charles Keith (Usher – 46 years). Members of the Reds front office staff will be stationed at the gates of the ballpark at the end of today’s game to personally thank fans for their support during the All-Star Summer.



Todd Frazier, who was in the original lineup, has been scratched.  More information forthcoming.  In the meantime, here’s tonight’s lineup:



From my pal @Bongreatness

During pregame ceremonies tonight the Reds Community Fund will welcome and recognize members of their board & volunteer leaders of their numerous youth baseball and softball outreach programs. Also tonight the RCF will receive donations in the amount of $5,000 from Sargento & Kroger as part of their “Kroger K’s Program” and $28,000 from Mike’s Carwash as part of their season-long “BowTie Tuesday” promotion.

Tonight the Rotary Club of Cincinnati will honor Dr. Henry Heimlich in recognition of lifetime of achievements by presenting him with the Paul Harris Fellowship, named after the founder of the Rotary International.

Tonight’s Cincinnati Bell Hometown Hero will be done In Memoriam for Master Sergeant Corey Hood. MSGT Hood died in a tragic accident earlier this summer at the Chicago Air & Water Show. Corey was a Lakota West High School grad and served in Iraq & Afghanistan prior to joining the Army’s Golden Knights parachute demonstration team. We will be joined at tonight’s game by dozens of Corey’s friends and family members, as well as his wife Lyndsay – who will stand in for Corey during our Hometown Hero moment.

As part of a Military Appreciation Night at Great American Ball Park, we will have a post-Anthem flyover conducted by the 77th Weapons Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base. The flyover will be performed using a B-1 bomber flown by Major Kevin Johnson, a Lakota West High School grad, and his crew.



11th Annual CBTS Marty Brennaman Golf Classic raised $230,000

CINCINNATI (Sept. 29, 2015) — The Reds Community Fund announced today the 11th annual CBTS Marty Brennaman Golf Classic, which took place at Belterra Casino Resort on Sept. 27 & 28, raised $230,000 for the Reds Community Fund.

Hosted by Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, over 40 celebrities and 170 golfers participated in this year’s event that included two golf scrambles and a Sunday night dinner and comedy show.

This year’s special guest was Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

Since its inception in 2005, the Marty Brennaman Golf Classic has raised nearly $2,400,000 to support the baseball and softball-themed outreach programs of the Reds Community Fund.

The event was sponsored by CBTS with additional support from Cintas, Belterra Casino Resort and Prestige AV & Creative Services.

The Sunday night dinner and program was hosted by Jim Day and Fox Sports Ohio.

Following the dinner, guests enjoyed a comedy show in Belterra’s CenterStage Showroom featuring comedians Josh Sneed, Dave Dyer and Todd Yohn.



RHP Raisel Iglesias has been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise long season for the Reds in 2015.  The 25 year-old made his Major League debut this year, nearly 10 months after signing a 7-year contract through the 2020 season in June 2014.

Iglesias and his agent meet with the media after signing with the Reds in June 2014

Iglesias and his agent meet with the media in August 2014

From August 1 to September 2, Iglesias produced 7 consecutive quality starts (2-3, 2.31); the season’s longest streak of quality starts by a Major League rookie or Reds pitcher.  From August 23 to September 2, he recorded 13, 10 and 10 strikeouts to become the first pitcher in modern Reds history, rookie or non-rookie, to record at least 10 strikeouts in 3 consecutive appearances.

Iglesias was born in Cuba and left there in 2013.  He became eligible to sign a Major League contract after he established residency in Haiti.  Iglesias now resides in Miami, FL.

With the help of Reds assistant athletic trainer Tomas Vera, Iglesias recently provided Better Off Red a glimpse into his life and personality.  Here’s Raisel in his words…

First Car: My first car is the one I bought last year when I got to the USA.  It’s a Dodge Charger.

Sports Achievements:  I won a bronze medal in swimming during a high school competition for Isla Juventu.

Hobbies:  I go fishing almost every day during the offseason.

The Point He Knew He Was Really Good at Baseball:  After I traveled for the first time with the Cuban National team.  I was 12 years old (We went to Venezuela).

L-R: Aroldis Chapman, Reds primary care doctor Angel Velazquez and Raisel Iglesias

Memorable Birthday Parties:  My 25th birthday (last year).  I had my entire family with me.

Non-Baseball Destination He’d Like to Visit:  I would like to visit Brazil.

Favorite Music: Salsa, Reggaeton, and Pop Music.

Favorite Electronic Gadget:  My cell Phone

Pets:  I have two German Shepherds (Diablo, and Luna).  When I was in Cuba I had more than 50 pigeons.

Superstitions:  If I have a good game, I repeat everything I did the next time I pitch.

Favorite TV Shows:  I watch a lot of soap operas.


Siblings:  I have 5 siblings; four sisters and one brother.  My brother is here with me in the USA.

Do your siblings watch your games: In Cuba you can’t watch an international TV station.  Also, they don’t show any games in which a Cuban player is playing.

Role Modes/People He Looks Up To:  My mom is my role model and I admire Mariano Rivera.

Favorite thing to do in Cincinnati:  I like to walk around downtown Cincinnati.

Greatest Gift Given:  I gave a glove with my name on it to a little kid in LA this year.

Favorite Meal:  Rice, beans and steak.

What He’d Do If He Didn’t Play Baseball:  I would be a little league coach.

What He Likes To Do With Free Time On The Road:  I stay in my room and play video games.



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