The snow continues to blanket my back yard and the temperature is in the high-twenties, but the long, hard winter is over, as far as I’m concerned.

Cincinnati Reds pitchers and catchers report to spring training today. All is right with the world.

Yeah, a bunch of players reported early, but today’s the official start of spring camp. The Reds are optimistic. Edinson Volquez is there, working hard, with a sunny disposition. Cincinnati even has an “Ocho Uno” in camp.

Yes, all is right with the world. Baseball is back.

21 Responses

  1. TC

    Merry Christmas! For me, Christmas has moved from December 25th, which in adulthood is just like any other day really, to the first day of Spring Training. I have the same excited feeling I did when I was a kid.

    I’m glad the team is optimistic. We all hope the Reds do well, but for 2010 I think realistic expectations are 3rd place and a couple games over .500. Hopefully, they will exceed my expectations. But the road back to excellence is a long one for a team that has sunk so low. For me, a successful season is one that is going in the right direction and shows REAL promise for 2011. It’s not quite a building year, but a prep year in my mind.

    God bless us, everyone!

  2. taoistlumberjak

    And with that, I’m back to commenting at Redleg Nation.
    Aloha, which is apparently Hawaiian for “1st in the division or bust.”

  3. preach

    We are in first place!

    Pitchers and Catchers report! Pitchers and catchers report! Pitchers and Catchers report!

    Yeeeaaahhhhh!!!!!!

  4. RiverCity Redleg

    AWWW, I can almost smell the grass, pine tar, and chalk in the air.

  5. HOVG

    Thanks for picking up the “Ocho Uno” piece…Jon and I have certainly been having some fun with it. True story…on Tuesday, the Louisville Bats actually changed their jersey orders to accommodate the change to 81.

    Ocho Uno is here, gang…and Cincy fans, you didn’t have to get Terrell Owens in town to see it.

  6. RiverCity Redleg

    There are some pretty cool pictures of the new facility in that “Reds are Optimistic” article.

  7. david

    ” ‘Cabrera is our shortstop,’ Baker said … The Reds are set at seven of the eight everyday positions: Joey Votto at first base, Brandon Phillips at second, Cabrera at shortstop, Scott Rolen at third, Ramon Hernandez catching, Jay Bruce in right field and Drew Stubbs in center. ‘I always try to leave room for spontaneity.’ ”

    If Baker is so open to “spontaneity” then why are Cabrera, Hernandez and Stubbs “set.” I like Drew Stubbs more than most, but even I think the CF job should go to the guy who wins it, whether that guy is Stubbs, Heisey or Dickerson. The same should be said for short and catcher.

  8. RiverCity Redleg

    David, I agree totally. I have to believe, regardless of what he says, that Hanigan, Dickerson, Heisey, etc can still play their way into the lineup. They’re just going to have to do more than what the aforementioned starters will have to do to win the job.

  9. RiverCity Redleg

    As I’ve said all along, regardless of who is named the “starter”, Hanigan and Hernandez will have to play close to a 50/50 split for the Reds to maximize production from the catcher spot. No worse than 60/40 either way.

  10. Steve Price

    I keep waiting for Dusty to turn in this lineup, since it’s set:

    Lopes 2b
    Russell ss
    Smith RF
    Cey 3b
    Garvey 1b
    Monday CF
    Baker LF
    Yeager C

    • preach

      Priceless. I don’t know why Rick Monday isn’t leading off since he’s a CF, but the comment is priceless.

      Steve Price: I keep waiting for Dusty to turn in this lineup, since it’s set:Lopes 2bRussell ssSmith RFCey 3bGarvey 1bMonday CFBaker LFYeager C

      • Steve Price

        preach: Priceless. I don’t know why Rick Monday isn’t leading off since he’s a CF, but the comment is priceless.

        Hey, it wasn’t necessary priceless 😆

        Lopes led off because the Dodgers couldn’t ignore his exceptional on base skills coupled with his speed any longer. They finally shook off their infatuation with switch hitter Jim Lefebvre who made an impact back in 1965 and 1966.

  11. Sultan of Swaff

    Let the Dusty bashing begin!!! Gheesh, it’s day one and already the guy is spouting utter nonsense. Yet even that can’t dim my optimism. Theoretically, I could see them contending, but that would have to be predicated on a hot start. But honestly, I don’t care because there will be a million subplots to keep me interested. There’s nothing more interesting to me than a team on the make, and the Reds are that team.

  12. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    I can hear the organ playing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” now…

    GO REDS!

  13. Travis G.

    My plan seems to be working. My 2-year-old son asked for his Reds hat today when I offered him his winter cap. He even said, “No, Reds hat.”

    I’m really looking forward to this spring training, probably more than any since Josh Hamilton went to Sarasota. So many storylines to follow:

    1. Just how good is Chapman, and when can he help the big club?
    2. Just how good is Bailey? If he picks up where he left off, is he the Opening Day starter?
    3. How’s Harang?
    4. Is Burton back?
    5. Can anyone win the LF job, or will it go to Dickerson by default?
    6. Is Bruce ready to take a great leap forward?
    7. Is Votto okay? Like, personally?
    8. What sort of leadership role will Rolen assume? How will that affect Phillips?
    9. Who’s the CF: Stubbs, Dickerson or (as david intriguingly suggested) Heisey?
    10. How well can Jocketty Dusty-proof the 25-man roster before Opening Day?

    • david

      Travis G.: My plan seems to be working. My 2-year-old son asked for his Reds hat today when I offered him his winter cap. He even said, “No, Reds hat.”I’m really looking forward to this spring training, probably more than any since Josh Hamilton went to Sarasota. So many storylines to follow:1. Just how good is Chapman, and when can he help the big club?2. Just how good is Bailey? If he picks up where he left off, is he the Opening Day starter?3. How’s Harang?4. Is Burton back?5. Can anyone win the LF job, or will it go to Dickerson by default?6. Is Bruce ready to take a great leap forward?7. Is Votto okay? Like, personally?8. What sort of leadership role will Rolen assume? How will that affect Phillips?9. Who’s the CF: Stubbs, Dickerson or (as david intriguingly suggested) Heisey?10. How well can Jocketty Dusty-proof the 25-man roster before Opening Day?

      I got a better one, if Frazier plays lights out in ST, will the Reds move BP for a LF?

      • Steve Price

        david: I got a better one, if Frazier plays lights out in ST, will the Reds move BP for a LF?
        Reply

        I think this is the best option; my guess is they would put Frazier as most-of-the-time starter in LF and keep Phillips. I don’t know that Frazier is defensively ready to replace Phillips at 2b yet….but, I think that’s the plan.

  14. Travis G.

    johnfayman tweets: Jocketty on Chapman: I was impressed with his command. Everything was right around the plate. He looked good in his fielding drills.

    That’s an interesting question, david, but I can’t think of any teams that would match up well with that. Guess it comes down to who needs a soon-to-be-expensive 2B and a surplus of slugging OFs. If Frazier wins the job, I’d rather put him out in left and hold onto Phillips for the year.

  15. RedinFla

    @Travis G.:

    What a great list of questions, Travis G.!
    All those storylines and more have me super-eager to get this season started.

    I almost wish we could fast-forward to the all-star break and see what’s gonna unfold.

    But then I think of all the cheers and jeers, “Titanic struggles” and armchair managing I’d miss — and I guess I’d rather live it the old-fashioned way, one game at a time.

    Dare I say it? maybe the Recaps will need (deserve?) a new name this season.. 8)

  16. TC

    Nothing will burst my hopes or depress me more on this day than Phillips trade talking.