Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 11-29-06. Marty was the host tonight and mentioned the Chad Moeller signing. He thought it was an interesting signing since he feels that the Reds will not carry 3 catchers again.
After commercial, Reds Senior Director of Business Operations Phil Castellini joined Marty to talk about RedsFest. Phil said it is an exciting process and said that they used the FanFest at the All Star Game in PIT this year as a model for RedsFest. Marty asked Phil to talk about some of the things that haven't been talked about. Phil said this is going to be a family event and anyone from 5 to 85 is going to have a blast there. There will be a full sports bar there with big screen TVs that will be showing basketball games. Marty said that the look and the things that are going to the event are going to be radically different than any previous RedsFest. Phil said this will be like a Walt Disney version of RedsFest adding color and light and sound. There will be 40 some odd TVs at the venue which will be playing what is going on at the main stage as well as highlights from last year and other years. Phil said there will be a 40,000 square foot baseball field in there which will mainly be used for kids but there will be a celebrity whiffleball tournament on Friday night including some Bengal players. Marty asked what is his sense of the reception that this event has garnered as far as the fan is concerned. Phil said it has been 4 times the pre-sell that they have had in the past. Marty said the new uniforms will be unveiled on Friday. Phil said Friday is about the sizzle and they are going to have a fashion show with professional models and Reds players and after that will be the concert. Phil said that Peter Frampton will not be there due to a schedule change. Marty asked about the celebrity poker tournament. Phil said that this is going to be a big fundraiser for the Reds community fund which will be more fun than a dinner. The tournament will be Saturday night.
After commercial the first caller asked Marty if the new no-smoking law would affect attendance at Reds and Bengals games. Marty said he doesn't know and it will be really interesting to see what transpires.
The second caller said he likes Wayne but he's confused as to what the plan is. They have signed 3 non-pitchers who aren't good hitters and he wonders where the offense will be. Marty said he's concerned about the offense too which is ironic since the Reds have been known to have a lot of power and now they are going to have to scratch and claw for runs (The 2007 Cincinnati Reds: They're Scraptastic!) The caller said pitching and defense are great if you have 3 Cy Young pitchers but the Reds have barely 2 quality pitchers. Marty said that you can count on Bronson and Aaron and he thinks Homer can be a major factor in the Reds success story in 2007 whether he starts the season with the Reds or joins them during the year. He said the acquisition of Gonzo is an upgrade defensively but he strikes out a lot too. He said it's awful easy to say a new hitting coach will help him but you are what you are and he has been in the big leagues long enough that if someone could have found a way to get him to make more contact, it would have happened by now (Something tells me he was referring to someone else too).
After commercial, Marty mentioned that the online balloting for the Ford Frick award that Joe is up for ends at midnight tomorrow. The site is at http://www.baseballhalloffame.org Marty congratulated Reds head groundskeeper Doug Gallant who has been selected to supervise the main stadium field for next month's Asian Olympic games.
The next caller talked about how he was at a Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago and although he is blind his wife told him Marty was there and he said that he couldn't have been prouder of how Marty handled himself with the people that came over to talk to him. Marty thanked him.
The next caller asked Marty if he had ever thought about writing a book. Marty said he hadn't and doesn't intend to while he's still working. The caller asked what were the needs the Reds had to address this next year. Marty said they addressed one in signing Gonzo and the other is getting a closer which may be more difficult than it looks. He said he hopes they are close to signing Weathers to a multi year deal because they need his veteran presence down there and after that we will have to wait and see.
The next caller said he thought the biggest tragedy last year was not bringing Homer up. He thought a couple of quality starts by him later in the year may have made the difference. Marty said that he understands and he and Narron and others have badgered Wayne about bringing him up but to his credit he stood his ground about sticking to the plan he has for him. Marty said he thinks Homer will start at AAA and if he does well he will get called up.
After commercial the next caller said he disagreed with the last caller about calling Homer up. He thinks Homer needs to work on his other pitches. Marty said he still thinks Homer will be up with the Reds in 2007. The caller then said that the Reds should get rid of Dunn because he's not a good left fielder and then asked about Sean Casey's situation (The first Sean Casey reference came at 6:45 p.m. for those of you in the pool. ) Marty said DET re-signed him for another year and repeated it slowly twice. He said if Votto has a good year this year, he will probably get the job in 2008 (Over Jerry Narron's dead body).
The next caller asked what kind of starting pitching could the Reds get and asked how they will use Freel. Marty said that with the addition of Gonzo most of Freel's playing time will come in the outfield with an occasional spot start in the infield. He said the team has a different look to it when Freel is in the lineup. He said it's wide open after the first two spots and he expects Lohse to be back.
The next caller asked about a long ball hitter who got hurt in spring training a couple of years ago (I believe he is talking about Rob Stratton). Marty said that he's a journeyman and a career minor leaguer. Then the caller said that he heard someone talking on ESPN about Homer and they were saying that if Homer can throw 98 in the minors he can throw 98 for the Reds. Marty said Homer needs to develop more pitches and when he can refine his breaking pitches, he should be a very dominant force in the rotation. He said he's the best starting pitching prospect he's seen since he's been here.
After commercial Marty said it was always nice to be working with our own Matt700wlw. The next caller asked about Majewski and what the projected payroll would be. Marty said it will probably be in the $70M range. Marty said he hopes they see a different Majewski than last year.
The next caller asked if the Reds were interested in re-signing Aurilia and moving Encarnacion to 1st. Marty said he doesn't think that will happen but he thinks there may be a chance he will come back to platoon at 1st.
The next caller asked Marty what he thought Dennis... I mean Norris (Just channelled Kitty there for a second ) Hopper's chance of making it on the roster. Marty said he thinks Hopper will get every chance to make the club and he really impressed Marty. Marty said he likes the fact that he's a contact hitter.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 11-29-06. So let it be written. So let it be done.