From my pal @Bongreatness

The first 25,000 fans inside the ballpark today will receive a commemorative Mr. Redlegs 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Bobblehead.  Gates to the ballpark are scheduled to open at 5:10PM for Season Ticket Holders and 5:40PM for the general public. However those gate opening times could be adjusted in accordance with Cincinnati Fire Code, should the crowd size outside the gates dictate it so.

Tonight is the second Reds Rookies game of the 2014 season. Hundreds of proud parents will be bringing their babies, all of whom are members of the Reds Rookies fan club, to the ballpark tonight and enjoying festivities in the Kroger Fan Zone as well as a pregame parade around the warning track.



Photos courtesy of my colleague Michael “Mando” Anderson




From my pal @Bongreatness

Tonight is the 11th Fireworks Friday of the 2014 season, presented by KOI Auto Parts. The 15 minute fireworks show, featuring Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks, will be set to a “Wedding Party” soundtrack and will begin approximately 10 minutes after the conclusion of tonight’s game.

Speaking of weddings – tonight is the 2nd annual “I Do’s on the Diamond”, coordinated by Reds Special Events. We have 20 couples who will be saying their vows on the field tonight, with ceremonies slate to begin at approximately 6:35PM. Five of those 20 couples are actually renewing their vows. Due to the I Do’s ceremonies, BP times have been adjusted with both teams tonight.

Offering up one of our ceremonial first pitches tonight will be Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, the President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The Freedom Center is celebrating its 10th Anniversary of opening this weekend.


From Major League Baseball…

Facility Will Provide Free, Year-Round Baseball and Softball Instruction and
Educational Programs to Greater Cincinnati Youth

The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy
Is Midwest’s First Site, Sixth Overall

CINCINNATI – Major League Baseball and the Cincinnati Reds have officially opened the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy, a state-of-the-art baseball and softball training facility that will provide free, year-round instruction and educational and vocational programs to Greater Cincinnati youth ages seven to 18. The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy, which is located at Roselawn Park in Cincinnati, is also supported by Procter & Gamble, the City of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, and Reds owners and players.

“The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is a significant commitment to the young people of Greater Cincinnati and a terrific addition to the storied legacy of the Cincinnati Reds,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, who attended today’s opening. “It will serve as an invaluable resource for these children as they discover the opportunities available to them in baseball and beyond. It has been a privilege for Major League Baseball to work alongside the Reds and all local supporters, and we sincerely thank them for their dedication to this project.”

“This is a proud day for the Reds, the City of Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble, and all the generous donors who have poured their time, talents and treasures into building this magnificent complex,” said Bob Castellini, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Reds. “The Home of the Reds has officially expanded to include this state of the art facility, which will help develop our home grown baseball talent while serving the community in which it operates.”

“Some of the fondest memories of my career were spent in Cincinnati with the Reds, and I am honored to have been a part of bringing an MLB Urban Youth Academy to this wonderful city,” said MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Development Frank Robinson. “This will be a special place for these young people, and we all look forward to the outstanding talent that will be developed at the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy.”

The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is the fourth Academy in operation, and the first in the Midwest, joining facilities in Compton (California), Houston (Texas) and New Orleans (Louisiana). Additional sites in Hialeah (Florida) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) are in development. The P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy is modeled after the facilities in Compton, Houston and New Orleans, featuring four renovated fields and a 33,000 square foot building that includes batting cages, pitching tunnels and full indoor field. Similar to all MLB Urban Youth Academies, the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy also will offer educational and baseball vocation programming including tutoring as well as clinics and free seminars on umpiring, athletic field management, scouting and player development, sports and broadcast journalism, public relations and statistics, athletic sports training, and more. The Academy’s goal will be to graduate 100 percent of the youth it serves. “Community Days,” scouting events and other free programs are additional activities that will take place annually at the Academy.

Having opened its first facility in Compton in 2006, the network of MLB Urban Youth Academies has reached more than 10,000 young people. More than 400 Academy student-athletes have gone on to participate in collegiate baseball and softball programs, and more than 100 Academy student-athletes have been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Three Compton Academy graduates have been selected in the first round (Aaron Hicks, the 14th overall pick in the first round of 2008 by the Minnesota Twins; Dominic Smith, the 11th overall pick in the first round of 2013 by the New York Mets; and J.P. Crawford, the 13th overall pick in the first round of 2013 by the Philadelphia Phillies). Five Academy graduates, all from the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, have appeared on Major League rosters during the 2014 Championship Season (Khris Davis, Milwaukee Brewers; Anthony Gose, Toronto Blue Jays; Aaron Hicks, Minnesota Twins; Efren Navarro, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Jon Singleton, Houston Astros).

For more information, go to
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From my pal @Bongreatness

Offering up one of our ceremonial first pitches tonight will be Senator Sherrod Brown.  Senator Brown is currently serving his second term representing the State of Ohio in the United States Congress.




The Reds wives are scheduled to answer the challenge this afternoon. We’ll have footage right here on BOR!



Congratulations to Rod Ford, winner of the 2015 Commemorative All-Star Bobblehead!


It’s great to have Brandon Phillips back in a Reds uniform, but were you wondering how he looked in green?  Nicholas Studios passed along several photos of Brandon from his recent rehab outing with the Reds’ Class-A Dayton Dragons.  Take a look…

NLF_0317 NLF_0332 NLF_0405 NLF_0438 NLF_0551 NLF_0569 NLF_0579 NLF_0640 NLF_0700 NLF_0792 NLF_0798 NLF_0828 NLF_0847 NLF_0866 NLF_1105


Our latest Ice Bucket Challenger: Mat Latos!


I’ve recently been organizing all of my Reds stuff that I’ve accumulated over the years and came across Riverfront Stadium seats that I purchased following the ballpark’s implosion in 2002.  The seats have been in storage for over a decade because I never had the brackets and floor mounts that would actually allow me to sit in them.

But a few days ago, I came across a guy named Ben Archer who specializes in such things.  He runs a web site called Archer Seating and has set up a web page especially for Better Off Red readers who also need help with their Riverfront/Cinergy seats.

CLICK HERE to check it out.

Dsc_0027 (2) Riverfront (2)


The newest addition to the collection inside BOR Headquarters…


I’ve got an extra one to give away if you’re interested…and I know you are!

Stay tuned to the @Jamieblog Twitter feed today to find out how you can win it.  Otherwise, be one of the first 25,000 fans at Great American Ball Park this Saturday (8/23) when the Reds host the Braves. CLICK HERE for tickets.


My friend Caroline Rose’s new album, “I Will Not Be Afraid” is out today!  I hope you get a chance to pick it up!



Long-time Reds Fantasy Camper Steve Ritchie sent me an email about a Baseball Heaven Alumni raffle that gives one lucky winner a free spot on the 2015 Reds Fantasy Camp roster.  CLICK HERE for more details.


That’s all for now! More in a bit.

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.


More #IceBucketChallenge videos coming in from Reds Country…

Here’s Reds COO Phil Castellini and members of the Reds front office answering the bell…

…and here’s Reds players Brayan Pena and Alfredo Simon calling out Bruce Chen and Johnny Cueto before soaking themselves…


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