Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Robinson to lead Opening Day parade

Hall of Famer will also be honorary captain vs. Mets
By Mark

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade has often opened the vault of Reds history and has an alumni serve as Grand Marshall.
On Wednesday, it was announced that one of the greatest players to wear a Reds uniform -- Frank Robinson -- would lead the 90th edition of the Findlay Market Opening Day parade.

Robinson, who played for the Reds from 1956-65, will also serve as the honorary captain for the 2009 season opener against the Mets. Also making a special appearance in the parade will be Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

"We are very excited to have both a Reds Hall of Famer and a current Reds player in the Findlay Market Opening Day this year," Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini said in a statement. "The parade is one of the oldest traditions in all of baseball, and it's the first time in recent history that a current Reds player will be in the parade."

Part of an infamous trade that Cincinnati would probably love to have back, Robinson was dealt to the Orioles for Milt Pappas, Dick Simpson and Jack Baldschun on Dec. 9, 1965. Robinson, who was a lifetime .294 hitter with 586 career home runs when he retired in 1976, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He was enshrined in the Reds Hall of Fame in 1978.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PECOTA Season Projections

PECOTA Season Projections
by Matt Sisson on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 4:40 pm EST

Baseball Prospectus has released it’s yearly AL and NL projections. Topping out the American League East is the Boston Red Sox followed by the New York Yankees. BP projects the Sox to win 98 games with the Yankees finishing just one game back with a 97-65 record. The Cleveland Indians are projected winners in the Central with the Twins finishing second. Oakland takes the West with the Angels finishing in second with just 79 wins.

The American League East remains at the top of the AL rankings with the Red Sox leading all of baseball with 98 wins and second to the Chicago Cubs by just 1 run with 864. The projected second place New York Yankees will boast an impressive 97 wins, more than any other AL or NL division leader. Tampa is also projected to win 92 games, which is 8 better than the division leader in the AL West and Central.

The Cubs are projected to be the best National League team with 95 wins while the Mets top the East with 93 wins and the Diamondbacks lead the west with 90 wins. As i previously mentioned, the Cubs are projected to lead all of baseball with 865 runs scored, which is better than any team in the NL by a large margin. The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies are both projected to win 88 games in ‘09 and one should secure the wild card in what would be a projected one game playoff.

It looks to be a long season in the NL Central as the Pittsburgh Pirates are projected to be the worst team in baseball with 97 losses, just beating out the Houston Astros who are projected to lose 96 games. The Seattle Mariners bottom out in the American League with 92.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Pirates set to sign Maholm, Hinske

Top pitcher gets 3-year pact, plus option that keeps rights through 2012
Friday, January 30, 2009

By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pirates are expected to turn a double play of signings today, with pitcher Paul Maholm on a three-year contract extension and free-agent outfielder Eric Hinske on a one-year contract, each having agreed to terms yesterday.

The bigger deal, in many ways, will be the first.

Maholm and the team early yesterday morning agreed to a term that guarantees his salary through all three of his arbitration-eligible years and comes with a club option for a fourth year, 2012, that would have been his first after becoming eligible for free agency. Salary figures were not available, but the total guaranteed money is estimated to be in the range of $13 million-$14 million.

All that was needed for completion of the contract was for Maholm to pass a physical, something of a formality considering he was examined just two weeks ago at minicamp in Bradenton, Fla. He flew to Pittsburgh yesterday.

Maholm, 26, was the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2003 and is fresh off his finest season in the majors, going 9-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 31 starts. His 3.11 ERA from May 31 until season's end was ninth lowest in the National League.

Maholm's agent, Bo McKinnis, and the team began discussing a multiyear contract in early December, but that appeared in jeopardy later that month when Pirates president Frank Coonelly publicly stated that only catcher Ryan Doumit was likely to get such an extension this offseason. Multiyear talks never stopped, though, largely because Maholm was supportive, and they picked up momentum two weeks ago.

No one from either side would elaborate yesterday.

By reaching agreement, Maholm and the team will avoid their arbitration hearing, which had been set for Feb. 10. The sides last week exchanged salary figures toward that hearing, Maholm filing for $3.8 million, the team $2.65 million.

The Pirates' only remaining player with a hearing is outfielder Nate McLouth, set for Feb. 17. The sides continue to talk toward a one-year deal, their multiyear negotiations having fizzled in December.

Other than Maholm and Doumit, the players who have received multiyear extensions since new management took over in late 2007 are second baseman Freddy Sanchez, starter Ian Snell and closer Matt Capps. In every case but Capps, the Pirates secured the rights to at least one year of the players' free agency through club options.

All that was known about Hinske's contract yesterday was that it covered one guaranteed year. The salary is expected to be in the range of $1.5 million, which would be nearly double the $800,000 he made last season with the Tampa Bay Rays. There also could be $1 million or more in performance-based bonuses, likely for plate appearances.

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