Archive for the ‘ Base Line Items ’ Category

HAPPY “THANK A MAILMAN DAY”

A picturesque snowfall is coming down at GABP as I type this. Here’s footage from just outside my office window…

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On Tuesday, February 12, pitchers and catchers will report to Goodyear, have physicals and work out.
On Friday, February 15, position players will report to Goodyear, have physicals and work out.

Who’s ready?

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On this date, 1934….

From “Redleg Journal”  by Rhodes & Snyder:  Powel Crosley purchases the Reds as head of a syndicate that includes Larry MacPhail and Ohio Lieutenant Governor Charles Sawyer.  MacPhail became vice-president and general manager of the club.

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C Miguel Olivo (non-roster invitee) will wear #30.  Newest Red LHP Manny Parra has been assigned #43.

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That’s all for now.  I’ll have more in a bit.

Expect good news!

Jamie

BASELINE ITEMS: “INSPIRE YOUR HEART WITH ART DAY”

I was inspired by my pal Mike “Whiskey” Sours (@Mike_Sours) today to purchase a piece of “art” for Better Off Red Headquarters.  A custom order has been placed for a door-sized Burt BobbleRed “Fathead.”  I’m pretty stoked about it and can’t wait to see what a life-sized Burt looks like…

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Congratulations to Reds fans Andrew Dunn and Ben Wietmarschen for being selected as finalists to participate in the 2013 MLB Fan Cave!  Andrew and Ben are trying to make the cut to compete as “Cave Dwellers” at the MLB Fan Cave in New York.  If they make it, they’ll participate in a Survivor-style challenge throughout the 2013 baseball season in which they’ll try to outlast all other Cave Dwellers.  Oh yeah, and they’ll also attempt to watch every single MLB game while they’re there.

Let’s help these guys represent the Reds on a national stage!  Click HERE to vote for Andrew and Ben.  For addtional information (and hijinks) log onto MLB Fan Cave.

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Here’s some good news for those of you who can’t wait for Reds baseball to start…

Beginning March 4th, Fox Sports Ohio will be airing a “Reds Live – Spring Training 2013″ program every weeknight at 10pm ET.  The show will feature news, notes, interviews and features.

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And speaking of news, Chris Heisey and Alfredo Simon today signed 1-year deals to avoid arbitration.  Homer Bailey, Shin-Soo Choo, Mat Latos and Mike Leake are the remaining arbitration-eligible Reds.

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The equipment truck from Cincinnati leaves for Goodyear, AZ on February 4.  Pitchers and catchers report to camp on February 12.  Position players report on February 15.  Are you ready yet?

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A few people forwarded me this yesterday from ESPN’s web site…

BROTHERHockey

I had no idea Ryan Ludwick played hockey! And if he’s going to use an alias, why not “BROTHER” Salmela instead of “Ansii?”

This was emailed to Ryan and he responded with a chuckle and, of course, a “Brother!”

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That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’ll have more in a bit.  January is almost over, thank goodness!

Expect good news

Jamie

 

WEDNESDAY’S BASELINE ITEMS: “INANE ANSWERING MESSAGE DAY”

HAPPY INANE ANSWERING MESSAGE DAY!

Saturday, April 20th is Brandon Phillips Bobblehead Day.  Here’s what Dat Bobble looks like…

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Want Opening Day tickets?

Now through Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. ET, fans can register on reds.com/openingday for a chance to purchase up to four (4) individual Opening Day tickets.

There are a limited number of tickets available through this opportunity.

Applicants must complete and submit the registration form online on Reds.com to participate in this opportunity to purchase Opening Day tickets.

Winners will be selected at random from the pool of registrants.

Winners will be notified via email and will have the opportunity to purchase up to four tickets to Opening Day.

The best way to guarantee Opening Day ticket options is with a VIP Full, Weeknight or Half-Season Mix plan.

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Congratulations to Stephanie Barringer and @CCLandscaper for winning the 2013 Reds Pass-Ports!

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How would you like it if Great American Ball Park hosted the MLB All-Star Game every 5 years?  Acclaimed baseball columnist (and Miami University graduate) Terence Moore thinks it should happen.  CLICK HERE to read his story.

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Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has ranked 2013’s Top 100 Prospects.  There are three Reds on the list…Can you guess which ones?  CLICK HERE to find out.

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That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’ve got 2 last minute minor league bios to write for the media guide (and here I thought we were all finished! d’oh!)

Expect good news!

Jamie

 

TUESDAY’S BASELINE ITEMS: NATIONAL PUZZLE DAY

So it’s 64 degrees when I write to you on this Januray 29.  That’s normal, right?

Things are fairly quiet today in Better Off Red Headquarters.  I think a lot of folks are still recovering from the Caravan.  It’s business as usual, however, inside the ballpark.  It seems as if there isn’t an offseason that goes by at GABP without the presence of power tools and construction vehicles; no exception this year.

The solar blanket has made an appearance on the field to keep the grass warm.  The poor turf probably thinks today is the first day of Spring.  I’m sure the field will get a frigid reminder in the next few days that we’re still in the midst of winter.

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I’ve got a 2013 Reds Pass-Port to give away here on the blog and one to giveaway to one of my Twitter followers.  If you have legitimate plans to attend 20 or more Reds games this year, then you’re eligible to win.  In the comments section below, tell me how many games you plan to attend in 2013.  I’ll randomly choose a winner tomorrow.  You can improve your chances of winning by voting for Better Off Red in the “Best Blog” category of City Beat’s Best of Cincinnati readers poll (CLICK HERE TO VOTE).

If you need help on qualifying for those 20 games, you can take care of that at Reds.com/Tickets.

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I snapped some photos of the ballpark today…

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The Hot Stove League radio show airs tonight on 700 WLW and the Reds Radio Network.  Click HERE for more details, including archives of previous shows.

Here’s hoping Marty gives Thom a hard time about his autograph.

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Speaking of Marty, he’s lost 10 or so pounds over the last few months.  He’s been walking the malls and using something called a FitBit.  He swears by it…so much so that I ordered one today.

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A special mention to one of my favorite bands “Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.”  The four-piece indie rock group originated in Springfield, MO but lead-singer Phil Dickey is a big-time Reds fan and an avid reader of Better Off Red.  He sent me a message yesterday saying that he’s working on a song about the blog.  Consider me super-pumped!

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That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’ll have more in a bit.

Expect good news

Jamie

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 (ramsey.mlblogs.com) giveaway. Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion. If you have received a Better Off Red (ramsey.mlblogs.com) 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 (ramsey.mlblogs.com) 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 (ramsey.mlblogs.com) 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.

HERE’S SOME STUFF FOR YA…

The Reds have invited to Major League spring training camp 15 non-roster players, including RHP Nick Christiani, LHP Wilkin De La Rosa, RHP Justin Freeman, RHP Drew Hayes, RHP Chad Rogers, C Nevin Ashley, C Tucker Barnhart, C Corky Miller, IF Emmanuel Burriss, IF Cesar Izturis, IF Kristopher Negron, OF Billy Hamilton, OF Ryan LaMarre, OF Denis Phipps and OF Derrick Robinson.

Click on the PDF link below for an updated Spring Training roster…

2013 Spring Training Roster

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Tonight’s Hot Stove League show will be the last of the off-season to emanate from Holy Grail Banks, located across the street from Great American Ball Park…RHP Logan Ondrusek is scheduled to attend tonight’s 6:00 p.m. show with hosts Marty and Thom Brennaman…next week, the Hot Stove League will be broadcast Wednesday (January 23) at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum as part of the Reds Caravan kickoff ceremonies…members of the traveling caravan will attend that show hosted by Jim Kelch and Marty.

Reds.com/HotStove

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Listen to some good music this year.  Check out the five current albums I’m listening to, over on the sidebar of this page —>

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Here’s a great piece from Cincinnati.com about Reds owner Bob Castellini receiving a much-deserved honor from Northern Kentucky University.

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For those of you folks who love the game-used stuff, Reds Authentics has posted a new Reds Auction HERE.  Check it out, there’s a ton of really cool items.

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Team USA’s provisional roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic will be announced Thursday at 10am ET on MLB Network.

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Today is the last day to submit your applications for the 2013 Reds/P&G Community Makeover.  Applications are available online at www.reds.com/community.  P&G and the Reds will select one local community for a project that includes ballfield and other neighborhood improvements, similar to the Cheviot Fieldhouse restoration in 2012 and the North College Hill varsity baseball diamond and community center efforts in 2011.  the Reds Community Fund also will select a minimum of 2 additional ballfield projects to support.

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ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION: RHP Homer Bailey, CF Shin-Soo Choo, OF Chris Heisey, RHP Mat Latos, RHP Mike Leake, RHP Logan Ondrusek and RHP Alfredo Simon.

OUT OF OPTIONS: The following players on the Reds’ 40-man roster do not have options: RHP Jose Arredondo, RHP Bronson Arroyo, RHP Homer Bailey, IF Jason Donald, CF Shin-Soo Choo, IF Jack Hannahan, OF Ryan Ludwick, RHP Nick Masset, OF Xavier Paul, 2B Brandon Phillips and RHP Alfredo Simon.

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More in a bit.  Thanks for logging on!

Expect good news

Jamie

BASELINE ITEMS: “STEP IN A PUDDLE DAY”

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier today, these are the days in which a baseball blogger really has to show what he’s worth.  When new or prospective bloggers ask me for advice, I always tell them to, (1) keep it fresh and (2) keep it updated.  When there’s not much going on, you sometimes have to make lemonade out of lemons.  Today is one of those days, so grab your glass…

The guys in the Media Relations department have pretty much sewn up the writing portion of the 2013 Reds media guide.  We now have to proofread it and make corrections.  This is an onerous task and probably my least favorite part of the job.  But it has to be done or else the Player Development section will look like it was written by a third-grader (Player Development is my section of the media guide and I normally write it in crayon).

Anyway, after working up a pretty decent headache, I gave my eyes a break and my legs some exercise by taking a stroll this afternoon around the ballpark.  After receiving a few morning showers in Cincinnati, temperatures are incredibly mild today and the sun is shining bright.

Here's what GABP looks like today.  Naturally gorgeous, huh?  And that's without makeup!

Here’s what GABP looks like today. Naturally gorgeous, huh? And that’s without makeup!

While trying to figure out what I could possibly write to you today, I noticed on my calendar that January 11 is “Step in a Puddle Day.”  I’m not kidding, it says so right there.  So, because my calendar told me to,  I  looked for some puddles in/around GABP in which to step.  (Thankfully, tomorrow is NOT “Jump off a Bridge Day.”)

Here are some of the MVPs (most valuable puddles) of GABP…

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Just for fun, let’s pretend I stepped in all of ‘em.

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I checked my handy-dandy Redleg Journal and saw that, in addtion to “Step In a Puddle Day,” today is the 13th anniversary of Tony Perez’s election to  the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  My dear friend Ben Otto and I drove up together to Cooperstown that summer to watch the induction ceremony.  One of the best trips of my life.  In addition to Tony and Sparky and MartyCarlton Fisk was also inducted that year….and he just finished up his speech a few minutes ago. (waka, waka, waka!)

On this date in 1983, former Red and current radio personality Tracy Jones was selected in the first round of the secondary phase of the winter amateur draft.

And also on this date in 1919, the Reds nearly went out of business!

Excerpt from Rhodes and Snyder’s Redleg Journal:  January 11, 1919 – Garry Herrmann informs the stockholders that the club is unable to meet its payments on debt it owes from the construction of the new grandstand in 1912 (an outlay of some $400,000). Several years of poor attendance in the mid-teens left the club unable to meet its obligations. Hoping to stave off foreclosure and to raise capital, Herrmann proposed that the Reds, then operating under the name “The Cincinnati Exhibition Company,” be dissolved and a new entity formed: “The Cincinnati Base Ball Club Co.” The stockholders essentially received nothing for their old shares, and were asked to purchase shares in the new venture to keep the club afloat. Stockholder Lou Widrig proved to be the financial savior, buying hundreds of shares in the new venture. Widrig became treasurer of the club in the 1920s.

The book fails to mention that Garry Herrmann was also forced to sell off some those extra and redundant consonants in his name in order to pay for the star players on his “base ball club.”  It must have worked because the Reds went and won a very uncontroversial “World’s Series” that year.

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Speaking of construction, it continued today on Crosley Terrace and in the Reds Team Shop.  Check it out…

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Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Do me a favor and have a great weekend, will ya?!  (also take advantage of some of those Reds ticket deals that are currently available on Reds.com/tickets, you won’t be sorry because 2013 is going to be a very special year for our boys and our city).

Expect good news!

Jamie

BASELINE ITEMS: MONDAY, 12/17/12

Reds country received some sad news over the weekend.  Mason Felt, the Reds fifth-round draft pick in 2012 was injured in a car accident on Saturday morning, leaving him in critical condition.  According to reports, Felt’s father, Roger was pronounced dead at the scene.

For more information, click HERE.

Please keep Mason and his family in your thoughts.

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The Reds have released their 2013 Promotional Schedule.

In addition to Opening Day (Monday, April 1 vs. Angels), Opening Night (Wednesday, April 3 vs. Angels) and Joe Morgan Night (Saturday, September 7 vs. Dodgers), the Reds have a season’s worth of fun planned for fans at Great American Ball Park.

There are five bobblehead nights scheduled for 2013 – Brandon Phillips (April 20), Aroldis Chapman (May 11), Mat Latos (June 5), Todd Frazier (July 3) and Joey Votto (August 6).  Also on the docket are 13 Fireworks Fridays, two “Bark in the Park” games, a Faith Post-Game concert featuring MercyMe and several “giveaway” days for the kids.

To see the full 2013 Reds Promotional Schedule, click HERE.

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Coming up this afternoon on Better Off Red is Day Five of the Umpteen Days of Christmas.  My main man Jon “Moonshine” Cline of the Reds Authentics department stopped by BOR Headquarters this morning to drop off some more prizes!

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And if you haven’t yet finished all of your holiday shopping, I encourage you to stop by the Reds Team Shop on Crosley Terrace at Great American Ball Park. You can pick up some cool Reds-related gifts and then take a break across the street at the Banks.  A perfect shopping plan if you ask me.

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Check out this holiday video featuring some of your favorite Reds players…

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I’ll have some more stuff in a bit. Stay tuned!

Jamie

#WINTERMEETINGS: BASELINE ITEMS FOR TUESDAY

Just completed a very interesting Day Two of PR discussions here in Nashville at the Winter Meetings.

As I’ve mentioned before here in this space, there’s a common misconception that the Winter Meetings is an event designed solely for teams’ general managers to get together to discuss trades.  In reality, there are so many more things that go on at the Winter Meetings – most of which, you can read HERE.

For me, personally, I go to the annual event to attend the PR Meetings.  The “PR Meetings” is a 3-day affair in which members of all 30 clubs’ media relations/public relations departments congregate with MLB PR officials to discuss best practices of the previous year, go over media relations-specific issues and to hear from guest speakers.

In our meetings today, for example, we heard from Joe Torre and Tony La Russa on their new roles with MLB and how they perceive the intended duties of media/public relations.  We were also treated to a discussion with Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura and how their first year as new managers went with specifics to media and public relations.  Also the group discussed handling breaking PED news.  All interesting stuff (in my opinion).

The Winter Meetings also presents for me an opportunity to attend MLB sponsored events (Gibby Awards, Managers’ Luncheon, Roundtable discussions with various outlets like Elias Sports Bureau, ESPN, Sirius XM) and to catch up with my colleagues in the industry.

It’s common to get the wrong impression of the Winter Meetings because most folks only see trade/rumor coverage of the event on TV.  But I can assure you, there’s actually a lot more to it and I’m not here to hang out in the hotel lobby wearing  jeans and a t-shirt, hoping to catch a glimpse of Ken Rosenthal.

Just a sample of the incredibly large Opryland Hotel in Nashville, home of the 2012 Winter Meetings

Just a sample of the incredibly large Opryland Hotel in Nashville, home of the 2012 Winter Meetings

The ESPN Baseball Tonight set from high above in the Opryland Hotel

The ESPN Baseball Tonight set from high above in the Opryland Hotel

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As I mentioned yesterday, there’s currently a really cool baseball auction taking place HERE benefiting Stand Up to Cancer.  Most of us have friends or loved ones or know someone who has been affected by cancer.  Because you are reading this blog, you’re probably a baseball fan.  Thus, please PLEASE look over the auction and place a bid on one (or a few) of the incredibly unique items.  The proceeds are going to a great cause.

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Congratulations to 19th Century catcher/third baseman Deacon White, a former Red, who has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Pre-Integration Era Committee.  The Hall of Fame announced today that White will be inducted into the Cooperstown shrine, along with umpire Hank O’Day and former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert on July 18 as part of its class of 2013.

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The Reds today were announced as Baseball America’s 2012 Organization of the Year.  An individual post here on Better Off Red, regarding the honor, is forthcoming.

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Expect good news!

Jamie

BASELINE ITEMS: RUBY TUESDAY

Howdy folks!  In case you haven’t yet checked out the Burt Awards results, you can do so by clicking HERE.  The Burts, of course, are a light-hearted take on end-of-the-season awards recognizing Reds superlatives.  All of the voting was done by the readers of Better Off Red.

I had a lot of fun with the Burts this year; monitoring the results and putting together the quirky photos.

If I learned anything from this year’s voting it was that you all love Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips!

The closest result came from the “Best GABP Promotional Giveaway Item.”  The Reds Stein beat the Sean Casey Bobblehead by just 4 votes.  Another close call came in the “Best Twitter Account” category; @DallasLatos held her own in finishing second to @DatDudeBP.

I hope you had as much fun with the Burts as I did.  Heck, who knows, perhaps this will become an end-of-the-season tradition.

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There are some really cool things happening involving the planning of this year’s Redsfest.  For the first time ever, the event will expand to the third floor of the Duke Energy Convention Center to accomodate more stuff for the kiddies.

Also new this year, the main floor of the convention center will include something called the “Reds Connect Zone.”  That’s where I’ll be hanging out with Dallas Latos and the Reds on Radio network affiliates.  Once again, we’ll have lots of your favorite minor and major league players stopping by the “Better Off Red” area for games and mischief.

Redsfest begins Friday, December 7 from 3pm to 10:30pm and Saturday, December 8 from 11am to 6:30pm.  Tickets are on sale now at Reds.com/redsfest, by phone at (513) 381-REDS, at the GABP box office and select Kroger stores with Ticketmaster retail outlets.

For ticket prices, the official press release and other helpful information, log onto Reds.com.

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Two very notable Reds happenings tonight…

The Reds Hot Stove League radio show will take place this evening from 6-7 at the Holy Grail (Banks).  “Mr. Perfect” Tom Browning will join host Jim Day to chat about all things Cincinnati Reds.  Tonight’s call-in guests include Sean Casey and Bronson Arroyo.

If you haven’t ever seen a live Hot Stove League show at the Holy Grail, I highly recommend it.  It’s really a lot of fun.  However, if you can’t make it to the Grail, tonight’s show can be heard on WCKY-1530 AM and reds.com/hotstove.

Also tonight at 6pm the 2012 Manager of the Year Awards will be announced live on MLB Network.  The Reds’ Dusty Baker is a finalist for the NL award.  Here’s hoping the skipper gets this much-deserved prize.

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I’ll be on a 2-week hiatus beginning this Friday.  The lovely Lisa Braun will take over Better Off Red in my absence and I’m sure the blog won’t miss a beat.

You folks still have a couple of more days with me, so you’re not off the hook just yet!

More in a bit.

Expect good news!

Jamie

BASELINE ITEMS: IT’S MONDAY

A few things today…

First, I hope you all had a happy Veteran’s Day!

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Redsfest tickets are now on sale!  Please visit Reds.com/Redsfest to purchase ‘em.  There, you’ll also find a helpful “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

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The Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners will be announced live tonight at 6pm ET on MLB Network.  Tune in to see if our own Todd Frazier takes home the hardware!

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Tomorrow’s Hot Stove League radio show will be broadcast live from the Holy Grail (at the Banks).  Jim Day will host the hour-long program. Bronson Arroyo is expected to call in to chat about baseball and Hurricane Sandy relief.  You’re encouraged to stop by and see the show live and take in the fun that you could only experience in-person.  Trust me, it’s a blast.

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The results for the 2012 Burt Awards will be announced later today right here on Better Off Red.  Log on to see who won!

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Finally, I have some terrible news to report…

This morning I received an email that I wish never had to be written.  It was from loyal Better Off Red supporter Laela T-B and she informed me that her husband Rob B had passed away.

I knew Rob mostly as @SpeedWalrus, the kind, big-hearted Reds fan with one of the best whiskery moustaches this side of Sam LeCure.  He was always there for an uplifting word of encouragement and he never flinched in the face of a Reds defeat – or more importantly –  in the face of his battle with cancer.

Rob always participated in our contests and was a breath of fresh air when it came to online interaction regarding the Reds and other quirky topics like TV shows and music.  He indulged me in more than one hilarious Twitter conversation and was a constant reminder that there are  real-life, good-hearted people behind that “@” symbol.

I regret not interacting with the Speed Walrus as much as I could’ve.  I regret not keeping up with his blog as much I should’ve.  I wish I had hung out with him.  Rob had many interests, including running and motorcycling.  After he found out he had cancer, I remember Laela telling me that he was embarking on a cross-country trip on his iron steed.  He documented his trip online.  Simply outstanding.

A while back, Rob sent me a t-shirt that featured his “logo” and the words “Ride On.”  I’m wearing that shirt as I type this.

This news hits me especially hard as I recently found out that my father has a very advanced stage of the “big C.” Here’s hoping my old man can handle his illness like Rob did – with extraordinary courage and exceptional positivism.

Ride On, Walrus.  We won’t forget ya, big guy.

Jamie

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