I was able to drop by two stops of the western leg of the Reds Caravan over the last couple of days. The western leg of the caravan included Thom Brennaman, Walt Jocketty, Phil Castellini, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Todd Benzinger, and Mr. Redlegs.

I first dropped by the Indianapolis stop at the Castleton Square Mall on Friday night. The stop was scheduled from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. I arrived ten minutes late due to horrendous Friday rush-hour traffic around the Mall.

When I arrived Thom Brennaman had already concluded the introductions and was into the Q&A session. The caravan stop was setup in the open mall area and their audio acoustics were terrible, such that I was unable to hear either the questions posed, or the answers. The questions ended five minutes later and it was then time for the autograph line, which I was not interested in.

I left disappointed. I’d been to caravan stops in the past and this one seemed not setup well at all, and I did not like the open center of the Mall, environment. I’d have been okay with it, I think, if you were at least able to hear the Q&A session. I won’t attend another one at this location.

Not to be deterred, I also attended the Saturday morning caravan stop at Stoops Automotive in Muncie. I had been to this stop before in years past and knew it was setup much better. The big difference at this caravan stop is that the event is simulcast on ESPN Radio AM 1340. The radio broadcaster pretty much MC’s the event and interviews the caravan members throughout, even while they are signing autographs. This results in much more content and insight from the caravan members. The setup and acoustics at this caravan stop are also excellent.

My tip of the Red’s cap, although I actually had on my Dayton Dragons cap, to the Caravan and Stoops representatives for a great job putting on this caravan stop. I really didn’t hear any Reds news that I haven’t already read here at Redleg Nation, with maybe the exception that Frazier commented that he expects to get to play more SS at spring training than he has the last few years. That news is greatly tempered now by the Cabrera signing, however.

I did actually go through the autograph line at this caravan stop. Not so much for the autographs, but I wanted to shake Todd Benzinger’s hand and say hi, since he was a friend of mine long ago who I had lost contact with. I really enjoyed this caravan stop and will gladly attend this one again. You can also see my wife and myself in the crowd in the following picture from Jamie Ramsey’s blog. I’ll leave it to you to play “Where’s Waldo” finding us. 🙂 Also, below are a couple of pictures that my lovely wife snapped while we were there.

Crowd shot from Jamey Ramsey’s Blog “Better Off Red”

Reds Western Caravan Members from the crowd. From L to R, Phil Castellini, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, ESPN Radio Guy, Walt Jocketty, Todd Benzinger, Thom Brennaman

Reds Western Caravan Members in the Autograph Line. Seated from R to L, Walt Jocketty, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Todd Benzinger, Thom Brennaman