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We had another great crowd last night at Holy Grail Banks for the Reds Hot Stove League show and Better Off Red Brain-Bending Baseball Trivia.  Thanks to everyone who came out!

Below is the trivia script from last night, featuring the questions and answers.

Script, click here —> November 11

And our leaderboard:

1. Charlie Sheenius: 98 points
T2. Two and a Half Interns: 88 points
Boomsticks: 88 points
4. Team Arbor Mist: 76 points
5. Cobra Kai: 70 points
6. Heads Up: 69 points

We’d love to see you and your team come out and compete next Tuesday!

“Expect good news,”



Want to have some Reds-related fun tonight before the big bad polar vortex hits?  Yes, yes you do – so, join us tonight at the Holy Grail Banks at 6pm for a live broadcast of the Reds Hot Stove League radio show featuring Sam LeCure!  Sam will be on hand with hosts Thom Brennaman and Jim Kelch to take your questions and talk about everything Cincinnati Reds.

And following the show, stick around for another edition of Better Off Red Baseball Trivia hosted by yours truly.  We’ll have nine innings of trivia with a chance for you to win some really cool prizes.  I GUARANTEE a good time.

Tonight’s trivia theme is “2010” (the year, not the movie), so study up!

See ya tonight!




Riggleman Head ShotCINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Reds today named Jim Riggleman third base coach for the Major League team.

Riggleman, 62, joined the organization’s player development department in 2012 as manager of the new Class AA affiliate in Pensacola, then in 2013 and 2014 served as manager at Class AAA Louisville.

He has been a manager, coach or instructor at the professional level since 1981, including all or parts of 12 seasons as a manager for the Nationals (2009-11), Mariners (2008), Cubs (1995-99) and Padres (1992-94).

Riggleman previously worked on Major League staffs as third base coach for the Indians (2000), first base coach for the Cardinals (1989-90) and bench coach for the Nationals (2009), Mariners (2008) and Dodgers (2001-04).

He joins second-year manager Bryan Price’s coaching staff that includes bench coach Jay Bell, hitting coach Don Long, assistant hitting coach Lee Tinsley, pitching coach Jeff Pico, bullpen coach Mack Jenkins, first base coach Billy Hatcher, infield coach Freddie Benavides and Major League catching coordinator Mike Stefanski.



Welcome to the fifth and final week of The Burt Awards!

Every Friday for the past month, Better Off Red has unveiled categories and nominees for the most prestigious Reds end-of-the-season awards -“The Burts.” If you’ve missed any of the previous polls or if you simply want to cast your vote again, click Here, Here, Here and Here.

  • Polls will close at Midnight, November 14.
  • Results will be posted right here on BOR on Tuesday, November 18.

As many of you already know, Better Off Red has announced a random “Fan Participation” winner during each week of Burt Awards voting.  Week Four’s Fan Participation winner is @frtoastwalter.  He will receive a really cool prize from BOR Headquarters.

Would you like to be Week Five’s winner? It’s your last chance, and since this is the final week, I’m going to award two winners – one from Twitter and one who comments on this blog.

  • To be Week Five’s Twitter winner, simply include the hashtag #TheBurts in your tweets this week.
  • To be Week Five’s Blog winner, simply leave a comment to THIS blog entry below.

I will announce the two random winners on Tuesday, November 18 when the voting results are revealed for the 2014 Burt Awards.

Without further ado, here are the final categories that need your votes…

Leading off the final week of voting is “Best Nickname.” In a day-and-age when most players’ nicknames have been reduced to simply adding a “y” or “ie” to their surnames, the Reds and their fans still manage to come up with some catchy monikers.  Which is your favorite?


Next up is Favorite Food at GABP. Whenever you go to Great American Ball Park, there’s that one delicious item that you can’t watch the game without. What is it at GABP that makes your belly growl and your tongue slap your eyeballs? And if the menu we listed doesn’t suit ya, click “other” and write in your vote in the comments section of this post.


Our next category is Best Special Event of 2014.  It was a busy year for our Reds staff, especially the Entertainment and Productions and Promotional Events departments.  Several really cool Reds events took place during the year. Which was your favorite?


We know how much you folks love your bobbleheads, so pay attention to this next category.  Of the nominees listed below, which would you like to see made into a bobblehead in 2015?  And please note, this is just for our amusement and there are no promises that the “winner” will get a bobblehead next year.


Easily, one of the most popular blog posts here on Better Off Red involves Reds “Intro Music.”  Which Reds player had the Best Music in 2014?  If you need a point of reference, Click HERE to scroll through all the 2014 music updates.


Well, that about does ‘er. All of the nominees for the 2014 Burt Awards have officially been announced. It’s up to you to decide the winners!

Thanks for participating!

Expect good news,


Official Rules for BETTER OFF RED Giveaways: Employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents of any MLB entity and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries & affiliated companies and their immediate families and those living in their same household, whether or not related, are not eligible for any Better Off Red ( giveaway. Better Off Red ( will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion. If you have received a Better Off Red ( giveaway in the last 30 days, you’re not eligible. If you live more than 100 miles from the ballpark where a game for which tickets are being given away will be played, you are not eligible for that ticket giveaway. If a giveaway recipient is determined to be ineligible, Better Off Red ( may, in its sole and absolute discretion, not give away the goods or ticket(s) or may give the goods or ticket(s) to the next eligible follower. You will be required to privately (through Twitter direct message or email) provide your name and address if you are selected as a giveaway recipient. Better Off Red ( will not keep or store your information or use it for any purpose other than sending your giveaway item(s) or providing you information on receiving the item(s). Giveaways are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules or regulations.


Founded in 2012, the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winners are determined using a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics, as well as the data logged by the baseball experts working for the scouting service Inside Edge.

2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award Winners

(P) Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds
(C) Russell Martin – Pittsburgh Pirates
(1B) Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
(2B) Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
(3B) Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers
(SS) Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
(LF) Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
(CF) Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
(RF) Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves *

Defensive Team of the Year – Cincinnati Reds

*Jason Heyward named overall 2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year.



Don’t forget to join us tonight at the Holy Grail Banks for a live broadcast of the Reds Hot Stove League radio show, followed by Better Off Red Baseball Trivia!  We’ll get started at 6pm sharp.  See ya then!



The official release from the National Baseball Hall of Fame…

Ten Named To Golden Era Ballot
for Baseball Hall of Fame Election

-- Nine Players, One Executive with Greatest Impact from 1947-’72 to Be Considered Dec. 8 –

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Nine former major league players and one former executive comprise the 10-name Golden Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 8 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today.

Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills are the candidates for Golden Era Committee consideration for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2015. Howsam is included for his contributions as an executive, while the other nine are inclusions for their on-field careers. Allen, Kaat, Minoso, Oliva, Pierce, Tiant and Wills are living; all other candidates are deceased.

Any candidate to receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Golden Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 26, 2015, along with any electees who emerge from the 2015 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 6, 2015.

The 10 Golden Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1947-72 time period. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list, and have been retired for 21 or more seasons; and Managers, Umpires and Executives with 10 or more years in baseball.

Allen, Howsam, Pierce and Wills are new additions for consideration by the Golden Era Committee, which elected Ron Santo in December 2011, the last time the Golden Era Ballot was considered. Buzzie Bavasi, Charlie Finley and Allie Reynolds were previously considered for election in the fall of 2011 but did not return to the 2015 Golden Era ballot.

The Golden Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Claire Smith (ESPN); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Golden Era ballot features Hall of Fame members Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; major league executives Jim Frey (retired), David Glass (Royals), Roland Hemond (Diamondbacks), and Bob Watson (retired); along with veteran media members Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby. The Golden Era electorate will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the 10 finalists as part of baseball’s Winter Meetings, Dec. 7-8 in San Diego.

The 10 candidates for Golden Era consideration for the Class of 2015:

• Dick Allen played 15 seasons from 1963-77 for five teams, spending nine seasons with the Phillies, compiling 351 home runs, 1,119 RBI and a .292 career average. Was named the 1972 AL Most Valuable Player and the 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, with seven career All-Star selections.
• Ken Boyer played 15 seasons as a third baseman with the Cardinals, Mets, White Sox and Dodgers, earning seven All-Star Game selections and winning the 1964 National League Most Valuable Player Award en route to leading the Cardinals to a World Series championship.
• Gil Hodges was named to eight All-Star Games in an 18-year big league career as a first baseman with the Dodgers and Mets, winning three Gold Glove Awards and leading the Dodgers to seven National League pennants and two World Series titles. As a manager, Hodges led the 1969 Miracle Mets to the World Series title.
Bob Howsam was the architect of the Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds Championship teams, serving as General Manager from 1967-77. From 1947-62, Howsam led the minor-league Denver Bears and was a founder of the Continental League, making the push for baseball’s expansion into Colorado.
• Jim Kaat pitched 25 seasons with the Senators, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games over the course of four different decades. Kaat was named to three All-Star Games and helped the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series.
• Minnie Minoso played 17 seasons with the Indians, White Sox, Cardinals and Senators, earning seven All-Star Game selections and three Gold Glove Awards as an outfielder. A native of Cuba, he blazed a trail for Latin American players in the big leagues starting in the 1950s.
• Tony Oliva played 15 seasons for the Twins, winning three batting titles and leading the American League in hits five times. He was named to eight All-Star Games and won the 1964 AL Rookie of the Year Award.
• Billy Pierce complied a 211-169 record with a 3.27 ERA in 18 seasons, 13 with the Chicago White Sox. A seven-time All-Star, he led the league in complete games three straight seasons, totaling 193 overall. Posted lowest ERA in the A.L. in 1955 (1.97).
• Luis Tiant won at least 20 games in four of his 19 big league seasons with the Indians, Twins, Red Sox, Yankees, Pirates and Angels, finishing his career with 229 wins and a 3.30 ERA while earning three All-Star Game selections. He won two American League ERA titles and led the league in shutouts three times.
• Maury Wills played 14 seasons from 1959-1972, 12 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a .281 lifetime average and 586 career stolen bases. The 1962 N.L. MVP was a seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner.

More information on each candidate is available by visiting

Ron Santo was elected by the Golden Era Committee in 2011, receiving 15 of 16 votes to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Other voting results from the 2011 election: Jim Kaat (10 votes, 62.5%); Gil Hodges (9 votes, 56.25%); Minnie Minoso (9 votes, 56.25%); Tony Oliva (8 votes, 50%); Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant each received less than three votes.

The 2011 16-member Golden Era Committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members Hank Aaron, Pat Gillick, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson and Billy Williams; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Roland Hemond (Diamondbacks), Gene Michael (Yankees) and Al Rosen (retired); and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O’Connell and Dave Van Dyck. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Golden Era Committee.

About the Era Committees

The Golden Era Committee is the second of a three-year cycle of consideration for Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players by Era, as opposed to the previous consideration by classification, with changes approved and announced by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors in 2010. The 2014 meeting will mark the second time candidates from the Golden Era have been considered by a committee system. Both the ballot and electorate are created anew with each cycle for consideration.

The Era Committees maintain the high standards for earning election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with focus on three time periods: Expansion (1973-present); Golden (1947-1972) and Pre-Integration (1871-1946), as opposed to the previous four Committees on Baseball Veterans, which considered the four categories of candidates. Three separate electorates consider by eras a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players on an annual basis, with Pre-Integration Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2015 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2016 and the Expansion Era Committee candidates to be considered again at the 2016 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2017. The Golden Era Committee will next meet at the 2017 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2018.

Candidates remain eligible in perpetuity through the Era Committee process, with new ballots constructed by the Historical Overview Committee the fall prior to each election.




Beginning this Tuesday, November 4, the Reds Hot Stove League radio show will kick off with a live broadcast from the Holy Grail Banks from 6pm to 7pm ET.  

The weekly Hot Stove League program can be heard every Tuesday through March 31 on the Reds Radio Network and (the show will move to Wednesday on December 24 & January 21).

As an added bonus to those attending the live shows at the Holy Grail Banks, Better Off Red Baseball Trivia will take place immediately following the Hot Stove program.  We’ll have fabulous prizes and lots of fun for those of you looking to bend your brain with baseball information (minutiae).

So add some Reds Baseball to your Tuesday nights this offseason and join us at the Holy Grail Banks for the Reds Hot Stove League radio show and Better Off Red baseball trivia!

See ya Tuesday!





Many of you readers are well aware of my fondness for the felines (and animals, in general).  It’s exactly why I’m thrilled today to celebrate National Cat Day!

To get you in the spirit, here are some imperfectly put-together photos of Reds players with cat faces…because, well, it’s National Cat Day.

And if you get a chance, help out my friends HERE.



Click on image for full size



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