Reds Spring Training Storylines to Watch
Kids, Aliens, and Will Bensons
In my first Cincinnati Magazine column of the season…well, actually, wait. That’s not quite accurate. I’ve already written one, but you haven’t seen it yet. And I simply cannot wait for you guys to get your hands on it.
I have a feature column in the April issue of the Magazine comparing the Reds and the Bengals, and discussing how the Castellinis became the biggest villains in town when Mike Brown held that title for so many years. It’s not another rehashing of the Castellini nonsense, however. It’s a look at how the Bengals turned things around so dramatically, and an evaluation — with five specific suggestions — of how the Reds could use that example to turn things around on the baseball side.
It’s a fun, optimistic piece and I’m looking forward to seeing it published. Mostly because I saw an early mockup of the opening illustration for the piece yesterday, and it is going to be amazing. Maybe even better than the gorgeous illustration accompanying my piece from the Opening Day issue one year ago. (Illustration by Alexander Wells — wellsillustration.com.)
Anyway, my first Reds column of the year was published over at the mother ship. I’ll do another one later in March before beginning my weekly columns throughout the season. This one is about the key storylines to watch in Reds spring training:
The long, hard winter is finally over. Spring has sprung, which means that, in Arizona and Florida, actual baseball is being played. Balls are popping into catcher’s mitts, bats are swinging through the air, and there is plenty of chatter on the infield. It’s the most wonderful time of the year … or something like that.
For long-suffering Reds fans, well, it’s complicated. We can’t sugarcoat it: The 2023 version of our favorite team just isn’t going to be very good. After losing 100 games for only the second time in franchise history, Cincinnati’s front office did little to improve the roster over the off-season. Another calendar year of aligning the payroll to resources is ahead. Feel free to go ahead and cancel those plans for a postseason parade.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be interested in the 2023 Reds. As I noted in last year’s season review, the Reds have a good (albeit small) core of young potential stars on the big league roster. Many organizations would love to have a youthful pitching triumvirate like Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft. Second baseman Jonathan India is only 26 years old and just one year removed from winning the Rookie of the Year award, while Tyler Stephenson has the talent to be one of the best catchers on the planet.
Head over to the Magazine to read the rest. Please? Seriously, I desperately need your clicks. I’m addicted to them.
The Riverfront: A Cincinnati Reds Show
What is this week's episode of The Riverfront about? Well, Nate and I were joined once again by Carlos Guevara to make some bold predictions about the 2023 Cincinnati Reds. We also catch you up on all the spring training news, salivate over Will Benson and Matt McLain, hug some prospects, and spend most of the episode just mocking me over one thing or another.
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and don’t hesitate to smash that thumbs-up button while you’re at it. You can also subscribe to the audio version of The Riverfront wherever fine podcasts are found, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
What I’m watching
Trying to get caught up on my Oscars viewing before this year’s Academy Awards. Saw a couple of the animated features that were nominated: Turning Red (which was pretty good) and The Sea Beast (which was not great). Finally caught up with The Woman King, and I’m astounded that it didn’t get nominated for Best Picture. Really fun movie with strong performances, and I recommend it highly. 4 stars out of 5.
I saw all of the Oscar-nominated documentary shorts, too. They were all deserving of the nominations, but How Do You Measure A Year was the best of the group. Honorable mention to The Martha Mitchell Effect and Stranger at the Gate.
I also saw a couple of movies in the theater, one far more enjoyable than the other. First, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania…the less said, the better. Paul Rudd is always great, but the CGI just keeps getting worse in these Marvel movies. 2.5 stars out of 5.
Then: Cocaine Bear. Completely ridiculous, a mish-mash of storylines that didn’t really add up to any coherent narrative…and still pretty awesome! The bear consumed cocaine! Insanity ensued! 3.5 stars out of 5.
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