The Reds defeated the Indians on Wednesday in the Cactus League opener, 8-3. CLICK HERE for the box score.
Just before the game, Joey Votto requested Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” for his “at-bat” music. Sound familiar? It’s the same tune Todd Frazier steps in the batter’s box to. Not sure if Joey was messing with Todd or not, but just before Votto’s first plate appearance of the game, he took a second to acknowledge the song and to point to Todd in the dugout. Good stuff. And don’t panic, I don’t think it means Joey is making a permanent switch from the Stones’ “Paint it Black.”
Billy Hamilton led off the game with a 10-pitch walk. On the first pitch to the next batter, Hamilton swiped second and advanced to third when the catcher’s throw ended up in center field. Here’s hoping we see a lot of that during the regular season. I think we will.
The Reds scored 5 runs with 2 outs.
Chris Heisey got off to an early lead in the Cactus League MVP voting. He crushed a 2-run homer in the seventh and ripped a long double in the ninth.
Donald Lutz laced a triple to center in the eighth. I’m always amazed at how fast that big man can get around the bases.
Alfredo Simon, Chad Rogers and Pedro Beato were the most impressive on the mound.
Following the game, Bryan Price said he was pleased with the way the Redlegs played. He specifically mentioned the defense, which was pretty good, especially in the second inning when the team turned a nifty 5-4-3 double play followed by a great play by Zack Cozart deep in the hole at short.
Here are a few pics from the game…
Excludes Opening Day and Boston Red Sox games Aug. 12 & 13
CINCINNATI (Feb. 26, 2014) — Single game tickets for the 2014 Cincinnati Reds regular season home games at Great American Ball Park go on sale Saturday, March 1 at 9 a.m. ET, excluding Opening Day on March 31 and both Boston Red Sox games August 12 and 13.
Get the best seats at the lowest prices for your favorite games of the season including Opening Night on April 2, six bobblehead games and 13 Fireworks Fridays.
Fans have many options to purchase single game tickets on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.:
• Internet: reds.com
• Phone: 513-381-REDS or 877-647-REDS (7337)
• In person: Great American Ball Park ticket windows, Kroger stores with Ticketmaster retail outlets and Reds.com kiosks on Fountain Square and at the Skyline Chili at 4th and Sycamore in downtown Cincinnati.
The 14 games with fireworks shows include Opening Night on April 2 plus every Friday home game, including a special Independence Day Fireworks Show on July 4.
See Ken Griffey Jr., Dave Parker and Ron Oester during 2014 Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, Aug. 8-10. The Induction ceremony for the Class of 2014 will take place Saturday, Aug. 9 prior to the Reds vs. Miami Marlins game at 7:10 p.m.
2014 Bobblehead games:
• Sat., May 10 – Homer Bailey No-Hitter Dual Bobblehead, presented by Unilever (Reds. vs. Rockies, 7:10 p.m.)
• Wed., June 4 – Aroldis Chapman Bobblehead, presented by Coca-Cola (Reds vs. Giants, 7:10 p.m.)
• Sat., June 21 – Ken Griffey Jr. 500th Home Run Bobblehead, presented by Cincinnati Bell (Reds vs. Blue Jays, 4:10 p.m.)
• Sat., July 12 – Billy Hamilton Bobblehead, presented by PNC Bank (Reds vs. Pirates, 7:15 p.m.)
• Wed., Aug. 6 – Jay Bruce Bobblehead (Reds vs. Indians, 7:10 p.m.)
• Sat., Aug. 23 – Commemorative 2015 All-Star Bobblehead (Reds vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m.)
Celebrate STAR WARSTM at Great American Ball Park the weekend of May 2-4. The Force will be strong at the ballpark as characters from the iconic film series will be on hand to help fans feel like they’re traveling to a galaxy far, far away. The Friday night fireworks show will feature the STAR WARSTM theme music, while the first 20,000 fans will receive a STAR WARSTM and Reds-themed T-shirt on Saturday and poster on Sunday. Stay tuned to reds.com/STARWARS as additional details are confirmed.
Many other popular Reds giveaways are scheduled in 2014, including the Fleece Blanket (April 12), Team Baseball Card Set (May 25), Reds Cap (June 7), Joey Votto T-shirt (July 5) and Reds Stein (Sept. 6).
Sundays are once again Family Days at the ballpark, with a kids giveaway and half-price ticket offer every Sunday throughout the season.
To view the full 2014 Reds promotional schedule, visit reds.com/promotions
Get Boston Red Sox tickets with the Perfect-10 Plan: Guarantee your tickets to see the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox and save up to 23% off single-game prices with the new Perfect-10 Plan. The plan includes both games against the Red Sox (Aug. 12 and 13) plus Opening Night, three Fireworks Fridays, two bobblehead games and more. Visit reds.com/perfect10 for more information.
It’s always fun day when a few of the Reds minor leaguers are invited over to big league camp to serve as base runners during “run-down” drills. It’s got to be a thrill for those kids as they get to share the same field with the Major Leaguers that they aspire to be.
Plus, it’s a fun drill to watch. A coach sets up the random scenarios, including which bases are occupied, how many outs there are and what inning it is. The minor league runners take their bases and are instructed to run as if they are in a game situation. The drill begins when the coach hits the ball to a random infielder. The idea is to get an out, preferably by cutting down the lead runner who is trying to advance. It’s not unlike what you and I used to do in Little League practice; the fundamentals are still the same.
At the conclusion of today’s workouts, a very spirited edition of batting practice took place between Chris Nelson and Rossmel Perez, two non-roster invitees. Both players have been working hard in camp and have been virtually “tied” in their hitting drills. In order to break that “tie,” they squared off in the batting cage. Most of the Reds position players were behind the cage watching and taking sides. Team Nelson was on one side of the cage while Team Rossmel was on the other. It was loud, it was rowdy and it was fun. Pitching coach Jeff Pico threw to the hitters while batting coach Don Long “kept score.” The “winner” will be announced tomorrow. It might sound silly but it was a pretty good exercise in team-building.
Phoenix hasn’t sipped a single drop of rain since December 20, a span of 65 days without precipitation. There’s a 40% chance of rain here in the Valley during the overnight hours on Friday and a 70% chance of rain on Saturday.
The Reds begin their 2014 Cactus League season tomorrow vs. the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 3;05 pm Cincinnati time. Reds hurlers who are expected to pitch include: Alfredo Simon, Pedro Beato, Trevor Bell, Daniel Corcino, Tim Crabbe, Ismael Guillon Drew Hayes, Lee Hyde, Curtis Partch and Chad “Shark” Rogers.
Enjoy the photos!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 24, 2014
MLB, MLBPA ADOPT EXPERIMENTAL RULE 7.13 ON HOME PLATE COLLISIONS
Rule Will Prohibit Egregious Collisions at Home Plate in 2014;
Pathway Guidelines for Runners and Catchers Established
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have officially negotiated the addition of Rule 7.13, covering collisions at home plate, on an experimental basis for the 2014 season, the parties jointly announced today.
In 2014, the rule being implemented by MLB and the MLBPA (set out below) will prohibit the most egregious collisions at home plate. The new experimental rule sets forth that:
• A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).
• Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe.
In determining whether a runner deviated from his pathway in order to initiate a collision, the Umpire will consider whether the runner made an effort to touch the plate, and whether he lowered his shoulders or pushed through with his hands, elbows or arms when veering toward the catcher. The rule that will be in effect in 2014 does not mandate that the runner always slide or that the catcher can never block the plate. However, runners who slide, and catchers who provide the runner with a lane to reach the plate, will never be found to be in violation of the new rule. Beginning immediately, Clubs will be required to train their runners to slide and their catchers to provide the runner with a pathway to reach the plate at all levels in their organizations.
MLB will distribute training materials throughout Spring Training and discussions on the new rule, including the retraining of catchers and base runners, will be held during MLB’s meetings with managers in the weeks ahead. Additionally, MLB and the MLBPA will form a committee of players and managers to review developments as the season progresses and to discuss the possible application of the new rule in 2015.
Finally, instant replay will be available to review potential violations of Rule 7.13. The Umpire Crew Chief will have discretion to invoke instant replay in order to determine whether Rule 7.13 was violated.
OFFICIAL BASEBALL RULE 7.13
COLLISIONS AT HOME PLATE
(1) A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball). In such circumstances, the Umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the collision.
RULE 7.13 COMMENT: The failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation of Rule 7.13. If the runner slides into the plate in an appropriate manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 7.13. A slide shall be deemed appropriate, in the case of a feet first slide, if the runner’s buttocks and legs should hit the ground before contact with the catcher. In the case of a head first slide, a runner shall be deemed to have slid appropriately if his body should hit the ground before contact with the catcher.
(2) Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Notwithstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 7.13 if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in order to field a throw, and the Umpire determines that the catcher could not have fielded the ball without blocking the pathway of the runner and that contact with the runner was unavoidable.
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Happy 21st birthday to Reds pitching prospect Robert Stephenson.
Brandon Phillips put on a fielding display this morning on one of the Reds’ backfields. A lot of folks don’t realize that he actually practices some of his more flashier plays, as he did today.
Phillips this morning challenged Miguel Cairo, who was hitting grounders to the infielders, to get a ball past him. Cairo took him up on the challenge and eventually (somehow) hit a rocket that barely eluded Dat Dude. Brandon tipped his cap, smiled and said he didn’t think Cairo had it in him. Phillips’ humility didn’t keep Cairo from ribbing him, though.
Since Reds manager Bryan Price takes great pride in his ability as a batting practice pitcher, I decided to get some action shots today of the skipper throwing BP. Perhaps we can get one of the photos made into a cool 80′s-style sports poster.
A lot of folks are hoping for a new attitude among the Reds and within the organization; more intensity and focus. While it’s difficult to determine that kind of stuff during Spring Training drills (at least for a schmuck like me), I will say the players seem more vocal in camp. Lots of “attaboys” and “way to gos” and discussions about what they’re trying to accomplish during practice. It seems the players are paying attention to what their teammates are doing and raising the bar for each other.
Reds coach Freddie Benavides told me today that he notices that zeal during normal fielding drills. For example, one guy will see another guy put some zip on a throw to first base, then he puts zip on his throw to first base. Benavides says it’s kind of contagious.
(It should be noted that as I type this, today’s workout ended about an hour and a half ago…Joey Votto is still on a back field taking grounders)
Enjoy the photos! Also included is video of Votto taking his cuts in the cage…
Another Sunday workout is in the books.
MLB Productions was in camp today getting footage and Reds interviews. That material will be used for a variety of MLB programs. A reporter from Time magazine was also at the Reds facility to do a feature on Billy Hamilton.
Bryan Price told the writers, during the daily manager’s meeting, that the club has reached out to former Reds third baseman Scott Rolen. The idea is to bring Rolen in as a Spring Training instructor.
Here are some photos (and video) from today’s workouts…
Mat Latos returned to the field today for a full workout. Here’s video of Latos throwing…
In a complete rookie move, I allowed my camera battery to expire today, just as I was taking some Academy Award-worthy video. Thankfully, I have a tablet that’s capable of shooting moving pictures (albeit, without a zoom).
Below are videos of Johnny Cueto throwing live BP, Joey Votto batting against Alfredo Simon and Chien-Ming Wang throwing off the mound.
Soak in the sights and sounds of Reds Spring Training…