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Rose, BP Jersey - 79 ASG (22JAN09).png

Remember This Guy???  I’m sure MLB would like to forget Pete Rose, but he knew how to play the game…


Read and weep below, Reds fans.  By the way, good to be back and adding more to this blog…not that I’ve seen anyone reading it.

I KNOW there are those out there who hate hearing anything close to “nay-saying,” but I’m SICK of losing seasons from the Reds.  The fans deserve better than that.
While “Hope” will always spring eternal – I refuse to be overly optimistic or hopeful about the 2009 Baseball Season in Cincy.  Especially since it looks like the Reds are ready to begin the season with a hole or two in their Roster…such as a Right-Handed Slugging Veteran who can play in the outfield…such as Left Field. 
Seems like yesterday that sooooooo many Reds fans were happy to get rid of Adam Dunn and his high salary.  Don’t see any 40-HR-Sluggers taking his place. 
I really hope the Reds have a winning season in 2009, but it seems Mr. Castellini and his G.M. are ready to roll the dice and go with less than they talked of before the Winter Meetings.  Just how badly do these gents want a winner at GABP???   Yes, the question is kind of pointless, as I’m sure they don’t remember themselves. 
I might be coming up with stuff on Reds Legends of the past in the next few weeks.  Right now, the present with the Reds is a little depressing…
By the way, I’m glad to hear of Manager Baker’s great moment with his family at President Obama’s Inauguration on Tuesday.  With all due respect, however, Mr. Baker needs to turn his attention to his JOB now.  By the way, I take exception to his criticism of the last eight years.  I’m a Republican – not too thrilled with them, either these days, and I’m not for Socialism in this Country.  I’m also a Soldier/Veteran, and I take his criticism personally on that front. 
God bless you all, Our Reds, and Especially…GOD BLESS AMERICA!
© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

01/22/09 12:42 PM EST

Reds done shopping for the winter

Payroll likely to remain approximately $74 million in 2009

CINCINNATI — Reds Spring Training opens in just over 22 days, but the roster you see when camp starts on Feb. 14 should look just like the one you see now.

The Reds have hit the maximum they want to spend on the 2009 team payroll and aren’t looking to make any more acquisitions.

“I just don’t foresee us doing anything right now,” general manager Walt Jocketty said on Thursday as he prepared to leave on the Reds Winter Caravan. “I want to see what we have going into camp.”

That means a couple of offseason items on the shopping list will likely remain unchecked, namely a run producer to man left field. – – DO TELL… 

“We’re trying to strengthen our bench, but right now we’re at the limit, payroll-wise,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a tough market out there right now.”

All winter, Jocketty indicated that the nation’s slumping economy would likely affect baseball spending league-wide. And while economics certainly appear to have curtailed the Reds’ efforts somewhat, the team looks like it will end up close to the $74 million payroll it opened with in 2008. The club isn’t revealing the exact payroll figure.

“It’s what it was last year,” Jocketty said. “In fact, it might be a little bit more.”

After signing free agents Willy Taveras, Arthur Rhodes, Mike Lincoln and Jerry Hairston Jr., and acquiring Ramon Hernandez in a trade, the Reds have $58.375 million committed to 10 players for the upcoming season.

Francisco Cordero will be the highest earner at $12 million, followed by Aaron Harang ($11 million), Bronson Arroyo ($9.5 million), Hernandez ($8 million, with the Orioles picking up about $2 million), Alex Gonzalez ($5.375 million), Brandon Phillips ($4.75 million), Taveras ($2.25 million), Hairston ($2 million), Rhodes (estimated $2 million) and Lincoln ($1.5 million).

Cincinnati also has two arbitration cases pending with Edwin Encarnacion and David Weathers. Encarnacion wants $3.7 million, while the Reds countered with a $2.55 million offer. Weathers is seeking $4.6 million and the Reds offered $3 million.

If free-agent outfielder Jonny Gomes makes the club after signing a Minor League contract this week, he will earn a $600,000 base salary. The remainder of the roster is expected to earn in the $400,000 range.

Meanwhile, the club is trying to find ways to generate and improve its revenue stream.

“We’re focused on the top line,” Reds owner/CEO Bob Castellini said. “We feel like we’ve put together just about the whole team we anticipated we’d be able to put together.”

Aside from the Cubs’ addition of outfielder Milton Bradley, no club in the National League Central division made drastic improvements, and the Reds aren’t conceding efforts to contend in 2009.

However, it’s clear there is a focus on building beyond 2009. That mantra will be evident during Winter Caravan this week, as several prospects were included on the trip to help get fans excited about the future. Among those being featured at stops are the past two first-round Draft picks in Yonder Alonso and Devin Mesoraco, and Reds Minor League Player of the Year Chris Valaika.

“It takes time to build a consistently competitive organization,” Jocketty said. “You can do some things to have instant success, but you can’t sustain it. We want to build an organization that sustains success for a long time and be a club that’s in the hunt every year. That’s why we’re really trying to develop our younger players and really utilize the talent we have in the organization, and add to it with some veteran guys.”

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.