As you might imagine on the weekend before the grand old game returns, there is plenty of Reds-talk among the various media outlets today. I thought it might be a good time for a roundup:
–John Fay notes that, for the first time in his Reds career, Junior Griffey isn’t being talked about as the key to the season. While that’s true, I have to question Fay’s conclusion that this is the case at least partly because of the “emergence” of Josh Hamilton. That’s just silly. Hamilton may be a nice piece of the puzzle, but the guy has played 23 games above Single-A.
Junior is much more a key to the season than is Hamilton.
–Season Previews, from Mark Sheldon, Trent Rosencrans, and Mark Sheldon again.
—Matt Belisle thinks he’s going to be the fifth starter, but manager Jerry Narron hasn’t made a public decision yet:
Matt Belisle is like anyone else. He can only make an educated guess.
“If I was guessing, I’d say I’m the fifth starter,” he said. “But it’s just a guess – because I’ve been starting these last couple games.”
Belisle started Friday’s Florida finale for the Reds, a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Ed Smith Stadium.
Obviously, the competition for that spot is between Belisle and Kirk Saarloos. Either way, I’d guess that both of these guys will be coming north with the team for Opening Day.
–MLB.com has this Q&A with Jerry Narron. Much of it is devoted to the continuing mantra of “pitching and defense.”
–I’m going to be at Opening Day on Monday, my fifth consecutive season opener. Someone named Gia Farrell will be singing the National Anthem before the game. I’ve never heard of her, but after seeing this post by Jeff Wallner, I can’t say I’m going to be disappointed to see her.
If you’re interested, here’s a video featuring Farrell. Suffice to say that I won’t be adding her to my iPod any time soon.
–Finally, Blade notes that he’s started a new Reds blog devoted to the minor leagues. It’s called, creatively enough, Reds Minor League Baseball Blog. Check it out.