Archive for the ‘ Base Line Items ’ Category

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

WEDNESDAY’S BASELINE ITEMS

I had a great time last night watching the Reds Hot Stove League show at the Holy GrailMarty and Thom, as always, did a great job hosting.  They were joined by Todd Frazier for a segment, as he called in to discuss his players choice award as top rookie.

It was fun to catch up with Tina C. and her parents as they were also on hand to see the show.  Tina is  one of the authors of the super-cool Reds fan blog “Rockin’ Redlegs.”  I highly recommend checking it out.

The Hot Stove League show returns to the Holy Grail next Tuesday (11/13) from 6pm to 7pm ET.  Come on out and take in the fun with us.

For more information, visit Reds.com/HotStove.

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Just because the election is over, doesn’t mean you have to stop voting.  Polls for The Burt Awards are still open!  Get your votes in before November 12.  Click on the links for:  Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four and Day Five.

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Don’t forget The Silver Slugger Awards will be announced tomorrow (Thursday) at 6pm ET on MLB Network.  Tune in to see if any of our Redlegs win a pretty silver bat.

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I’m getting prepared for a big trip out-of-the-country in a couple of weeks.  Nothing has been confirmed yet, but I expect Better Off Red will be turned over to Lisa Braun and a band of guest bloggers.  Upon my return, I’ll have a day to recover from jet lag before heading to Nashville for the MLB Winter Meetings.  A week after that, we’ll be hanging out at the BOR booth at Redsfest!  There is no offseason, I tell ya…and that’s how I like it.

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Below are some photos from last night’s Hot Stove League at the Holy Grail and a pictures I snapped today of “naked” Great American Ball Park.  Enjoy…

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

Expect good news,

Jamie

WEDNESDAY BASELINE ITEMS; CONTEST WINNER ANNOUNCED

Congratulations to Tuesday’s Better Off Red Contest winner: “Baywatch Boy“!

Thanks, everyone for participating.  The answer was the Yankees and Rudi Stein.  What a great movie, right?

I’ll have more fun prizes to giveaway very, very soon.  So stay locked in to Better Off Red.

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Today marks the yearly Reds Employee Softball Game here at Great American Ball Park.  Or as I mentioned yesterday: The Annual Restrain and Sedate Head Groundskeeper Doug Gallant Day.

I plan on snapping some photos for your viewing pleasure.

It’s a nice gesture by the Reds brass to allow this day for us and the employees love it.  We have a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for photos…

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I try to make a point to say hello, tweet and thank those who’ve just started following me (@Jamieblog) on Twitter.  I’ve been a neglectful in those duties over the past 10 days or so.  So, instead of using Twitter, I’d like to use this part of the blog to say hello and thanks to the following new followers (say that 10 times fast)…

@mizary @JennySeif @lrneu @Rockhunter710 @BrittFrancois @DavidSchuh24 @Kpottorf @BearcatNellie @lnwalker23 @CrownedGuenon @ScooterInDelhi @AegisofTweeting @AlexanderRealEs @Justin_Adcock @NikkiLee253 @TWelam @BrentBillock @WCPatriot1 @kholli85 @BananaCatherine @Bill_Felix @ALaboutSports @Lisa_Dulaney @MSSURVIVOR100 @caitulmer @ThatBseBallGirl @kmcha08 @thisericsmith @TheMattRoss @CurtisBlow304 @Heather_Reed @redsfan65 @rossblacker @paulpesco @AftonWagner @andrewdmoses @ChadPergram @AAACincy @ChrisRGross @bebken @Cam_Rose @gljones01 @D1Cincinnati @keepitbrutal @StephenTorbeck @Diane_K @CardChronicle @annewithane79 @dvmcgowan @credittmcnich @DUSTYLEW @MattMcCormick01 @rschil @scotthoup @maleigha_stott @TWARN44 @BNightengale

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to all of my “old” followers.  Thank you!!

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More to come.

Expect good news!

Jamie

FRIDAY BASELINE ITEMS

Postseason first pitch times have been released through Tuesday. Times are subject to change in case of a postponement or suspended game…

As you can see the Reds and Giants will play at 9:37 pm ET on both Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday’s game at Great American Ball Park is slated to start at 5:37 pm ET. Those games will be aired on TBS.

On the radio side, WLW and the Reds Radio Network will broadcast the Redlegs games throughout the postseason. Marty Brennaman and Jim Kelch will alternate play-by-play innings with Jeff Brantley on color commentary for the full 9. Thom Brennaman will replace Kelch during the week.

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Throughout the postseason, I’m hoping to see your photos and/or videos celebrating Reds victories.  As far as photos, send them to me at jramsey@reds.com.  If you have videos, send me the YouTube link.

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P&G announces $2,000,000 commitment to Reds Urban Youth Academy
P&G and Reds partnering to make a difference in the Cincinnati community

CINCINNATI (October 5, 2012) — P&G has committed $2,000,000 to the Cincinnati Reds and the Reds Community Fund’s “Urban Youth Academy.”

The Reds Urban Youth Academy will be a baseball and softball training facility at Roselawn Park in Cincinnati that provides free, year-round instruction for boys and girls ages 6-18 from Greater Cincinnati and throughout Reds Country.

“P&G is proud to continue our partnership with the Reds and the Reds Community Fund to help improve the Cincinnati community through the development of the first Urban Youth Academy in the Midwest,” said Jodi Allen, P&G VP North America Marketing and Brand Operations.

The complex will include four renovated fields and a 33,000 square foot building featuring batting cages, pitching tunnels and a full indoor field. Groundbreaking will be in 2013 with project completion expected in 2015.

“We are committed to creating opportunities to get more kids to play baseball,” said Phil Castellini, Reds Chief Operating Officer. “With the support of P&G and our other partners the Academy will be the hub for urban baseball and softball training in Greater Cincinnati and hope to serve more than 20,000 kids and coaches annually.”

The relationship includes support from Kroger featuring a strong in-store retail plan in 2013 that will promote several P&G brands while raising awareness for the Reds Urban Youth Academy project.

The Reds Urban Youth Academy is modeled after Major League Baseball academies in Compton, Ca., Houston, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

Since 2010, P&G and the Reds Community Fund have partnered for the annual “P&G Community Day” volunteer service projects featuring hundreds of P&G employees renovating baseball and softball fields and community parks. The most recent project on August 2 included over 400 P&G North America Marketing employees restoring the Cheviot Memorial Fields, historic grandstand and Cheviot Memorial Fieldhouse.

The Reds Community Fund currently operates the Reds Urban Youth Academy at the temporary home of Cincinnati Public School’s Gamble Montessori High School in Winton Place. The fall/winter session starts October 22 and offers free baseball and softball instruction four days a week to boys and girls from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky public schools.

There is currently a need for an expanded, year-round Reds Urban Youth Academy in Cincinnati because local Knothole participation has dipped significantly in the past five years while select baseball programs continue to expand. This suggests baseball is failing in urban areas that typically rely on neighborhood and recreational baseball for instruction. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of kids aged 7 to 17 playing baseball decreased 33% from 8.7 million participants to 5.8 million participants from 2000 to 2011.

Additional partners in the Reds Urban Youth Academy capital fundraising campaign are Major League Baseball, The City of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, PNC Bank and Reds owners and players.

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The Reds have a workoutout this afternoon at AT&T Park. I’ll be there and will have some photos and other stuff that I’ll post right here on Better Off Red.

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Also, please visit Reds Authentics to bid NOW on the Better Off Red Funkblast shirt that I wore in the clubhouse during the clinch!  I signed it “Expect Good News” and it still smells like beer and champagne!  We need to at least get this bad boy up over the $100 range….

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I’ll have more in a bit from San Francisco.

Expect good news,

Jamie

THURSDAY’S BASELINE ITEMS

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Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Johnny Cueto’s 2.03 ERA is the lowest among all Major Leaguers with a minimum of 150 innings pitched. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, his 2.79 ERA is the sixth-lowest among all big leaguers with a minimum of 300 innings pitched.

Of  Johnny’s 7 starts so far this season, 6 have been “quality” (6 or more innings, 3 or fewer earned runs), including each of his last 5.

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Congratulations to Reds skipper Dusty Baker for becoming just the 20th manager in Major League history to collect 1,500 wins (1,500-1,381).

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I’m very much looking forward to Friday’s Reds Tweet-Up

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While you’re at the ballpark this weekend, don’t forget to cast your all-star votes for the Reds! I hope we can get as many Reds voted onto the National League All-Star team (especially Wolfgang Amadeus Cozart!).

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SATURDAY’S BASELINE ITEMS

Obviously, the big Reds news today is Ryan Madson’s season-ending elbow surgery.  The news this morning hit like a ton of bricks.  I read a lot of your tweets and comments and can certainly understand the emotions of sadness, anger and frustration.  However, I’m not co-signing on the feeling of defeat, and here’s why…

  • Baseball games aren’t played on paper and message boards.  Even good teams have to deal with adversity; great teams overcome it.  Let’s hold off at least until the second week of April before we write off the Reds.  This team has talent and is deep.  Its success isn’t dependent on one relief pitcher. 
  • Aroldis Chapman.  I’ve seen him pitch three times so far this Spring and he resembles a man who was given a big package of pitching wisdom for Christmas.  He’s focused and in control on the mound.  The few times he’s been in trouble, he’s pitched himself out of it rather than throw himself deeper into it.  I think I used the word “savy” on Twitter to describe his Saturday afternoon outing.  Imagine a smarter, wiser Aroldis Chapman, whose breaking pitches look nastier than ever.  Oh and to the pundits who all but eulogized his fastball, Chappy hit 98 on the gun today.  I don’t know what the plan is for Chapman.  I don’t know if he’s going to start or relieve.  I don’t know if he’s going to be in Cincinnati on Opening Day.  But I do know that he’s going to play a huge part in the Reds success this year. 
  • Jose Arredondo.  2012 will mark his second full-season following  2/2/10 “Tommy John” surgery – meaning, he’s back to full strength.  Jose Arredondo at 100% is capable of complete filthiness (in a dominating kind of way…see year 2008).  Arredondo (to my knowledge) isn’t a closer candidate but he will have a significant role in the bullpen and I suspect he will lessen the burden of losing Madson.  I like him and I really like what I’ve seen from him.
  • Zack Cozart.  Worried about a rookie starting at shortstop?  You should see this kid play.  Next to Chapman, he’s been the most enjoyable Red to watch this Spring.  I’m looking forward to seeing the looks on your faces when he makes that first Ozzie Smith-type play…he’ll probably have a couple of doubles in that game. 
  • Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips,  Johnny Cueto, Sean Marshall and Bill Bray.
  • Scott Rolen is healthy and he’s looking good…really good.
  • Mat Latos is the real deal.  It’s disgusting to think about how good this guy is going to be.  And don’t let the so-called “attitude-issues” worry you.  I can only judge a guy by the way he deals with me, personally.  So far he’s been nothing but nice.  It’s not unusual to see Mat milling around the Reds Spring Training complex chatting it up with everyone from our front desk employees to the parking lot guards.  He’s intense on the mound and he takes his job seriously.  Let’s not confuse that as being something else.

Those are just a few of my observations.  I know they consist of a lot of things that can’t be quantified.  Don’t hold that against me, I can only call ‘em as I see ‘em.  I think this team is still very solid from top to bottom; probably the best team I’ve been a part of in my 100 years that I’ve worked here.  I expect good news and I hope you do, too.

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So let’s take a deep breath and smile.  The sunshine is good for your teeth!

We have an entire baseball season staring at us in the face.  That’s gotta be a good feeling, right?

And if you’re having a hard time smiling, take a look at my desk when I walked into work this morning.  Someone (I know who) decided to have a little fun at my expense (and at the expense of our office supplies budget)….

 

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I leave you with a few photos I snapped today in Peoria…

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BASELINE ITEMS – MONDAY

First, I can confirm that the Reds have not signed Roy Oswalt.

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A friend of mine today tried to convince me that it’s February 6.  I simply laughed in his face. 

I took this photo today just to prove we are in fact celebrating the first day of Spring. 

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And speaking of Spring…I know we’re about to fire up the engines when I get my annual Spring Training credential

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Did you guys happen to see comedian Josh Sneed’s hilarious Redsfest video?

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The boss, Rob Butcher has arrived in Goodyear and snapped these photos of Reds Fantasy Camp, currently taking place at the Reds Spring Training complex…

Tom Hume and Billy Hatcher

I miss this

There's no power like OLIVER POWER!!

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My main man Jon “Moonshine” Cline from the Reds Authentics Department alerted me to this super-awesome Reds Auction taking place now….CLICK HERE.   If you tell Moonshine that Jamie sent ya, you’ll get absolutely 0% off everything in stock.

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That’s all for now.  I’ve been challenged to a “best 2 out of 3″ bowling match tonight by Reds Director of Homestand Meetings Zach Bonkowski.  I can promise you that game 3 won’t matter. 

Take care and thanks for logging on!

Expect good news,

Jamie

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