Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Chapman escapes Communism… is still a Red!
I think the Reds signing of Aroldis Chapman is great for baseball… even if my spellcheck will never accept the spelling of Aroldis.
I’ve never seen him pitch. He is Cuban… ergo mysterious and probably overhyped.
But I and the rest of the staff at Sully Baseball think this is a step in the right direction for the Reds.
Now granted, I drank the Kool-Aid big time at the beginning of the season and made the Reds my out-of-nowhere pick to win the NL Central (and the pennant.) That was wishful thinking.
But Cincinnati should be a big baseball city.
I’ve been to Cincinnati. Granted it was 17 years ago, but
It has a rich baseball tradition, passionate fans and should be one of the few metropolitan areas where the baseball team has a stronger following than the football team.
There was no “Big Bengal Machine.”
But alas The Great American Ballpark is empty most nights and the Reds haven’t been relevant in years.
They are one of the “Less than Magnificent Seven”… the seven franchises that missed post season play all together from 2000 to 2009.
Which makes this signing all the more encouraging. The Reds made the big bid… not the Red Sox or Yankees.
Sure other members of the “Less than Magnificent Seven” have been signing players too. But mainly they have been stock piling live bodies.
Does anyone think the Royals are significantly improved by bringing in the Scott Podsedniks and Jason Kendalls of the world?
It’s nice to see the likes of Pudge Rodriguez, Matt Capps and Jason Marquis in Washington uniforms… but by the time the Nats are even mediocre, they’ll all be long gone.
But the Reds are taking a shot at a potential young ace in a division without a true powerhouse.
They are trying to kick start their playoff hopes on Chapman joining Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey this year and Edinson Volquez in 2011 to possibly create a terrific rotation. And maybe by then Jay Bruce and Joey Votto will have blossomed into stars.
It may not work but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than just signing players for the sake of signing them!
They spent $30 million hoping to put a winner on the field in the long run.
They could have spent $33.5 million on Brad Penny ($7.5 million one year), Fernando Rodney ($11 million two years) and Brandon Lyon ($15 million three years) and say “Hey! We’re spending!”
Instead they seem to have a plan…
And I am sure Reds fans will love Chapman if he does what his fellow countrymen Livan Hernandez, El Duque Hernandez and Jose Contreras all did:
Come up big in the playoffs and help deliver a World Series title.
Then the sleeping giant known as Reds mania would be awakened.