Babyhead Jocketty: Payroll to remain 'about the same'

Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon has some early updates for us from the Winter Meetings, and it’s news that Reds fans should be happy about. That is, if it holds true by the time Opening Day rolls around in 2010.

I spoke with Reds GM Walt Jocketty this morning and here are the highlights:

* It appears the Reds will not be cutting payroll significantly for 2010 as previously speculated on some media outlets.

“I think it [the payroll] will be close to what it was last year,” Jocketty said.

So, not as good of news as if the Reds would actually go out and get someone and increase payroll (Lord knows that will never happen). But based on this, the Reds shouldn’t be any worse then they were last year, and if guys improve and the youngsters progress, who knows what kind of fun we could have.

Derek Jeter is Sports Illustrated’s 2009 Sportsman of the Year “In what has already been a banner year for Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees shortstop can add another honor: Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year award. Jeter was chosen as the magazine’s 56th honoree (the Dec. 7 issue will hit newsstands on Wednesday) and becomes the first Yankee to be named SI’s Sportsman.” [Sports Illustrated]

Missing the days of Kenner Starting Lineups being on our Christmas list

Tell me this doesn’t take you back to your childhood a little if you grew up in the 80’s? Starting Lineups were what got us interested in sports in the first place. A cool clip from Super Duper Baseball Bloopers with players giving their thoughts on whether or not their figure looked like them. We have to admit, as the years went on the facial likeness got more and more accurate. It’s a good thing that Kenner stopped producing these beauties or we’d have no closet space left in our condo!

MLB 2K10 Starring 'Evan3Longoria'

Just fix the fucking glitches that make it unplayable. “Longoria rose out of “a stable of guys” the team works with throughout the years in a role that is part consultation, part audition. Longoria also worked with 2K through a local GameStop tournament last year, helping his candidacy. Snyder wouldn’t name any of the other ballplayers in the consulting pool when I asked, but did say they were there because of their willingness to contribute. “We touch base with these guys throughout the season, picking their brains on baseball, asking them if they would be willing and able to jump in and help critique the game, and tell us what he’d like to see changed,” Snyder said. “When you’ve got an athlete willing to lend time and expertise, that’s a big deal.” []

Rays Report with confirmation of Longoria being the MLB 2k10 cover boy.

Grady Sizemore’s bad boy side

While you were away this weekend, all Hell broke loose for the Indians Grady Sizemore.

Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore says legal action has been taken after pictures of himself in various stages of dress and undress appeared on an Internet site Sunday morning.

“These pictures were stolen illegally from my girlfriend’s email,” Sizemore told The Plain Dealer on Sunday night. “It’s now a legal matter that is under investigation. I can’t say anything more.”

Grady what the hell are you doing bro?

At least 15 pictures of Sizemore appeared on the Web site. He is alone in all of them. He’s taking pictures of himself with a cell phone while looking into a bathroom mirror in several of them.

In some pictures Sizemore is fully dressed. In others, he’s in his underwear or nude.

“I have not seen the pictures,” said GM Mark Shapiro, “but I will look into it.”

I guess we’ve all been through this, wanting to send some form of nude pics to a female friend (or have we)? But Sizemore’s got to be smarter then this. He’s one of the most desirable men in the game of baseball, he can’t have pics like this floating around even to his trusted females.

Concentrate on your craft Grady. You went from being one of the most lethal weapons in the game of baseball to an ordinary player last year. Start hitting off the tee.

For the full run of NSFW pics, go to Deadspin. We got nothing more.

MVP: Most Valuable Pujols

To no surprise, Albert Pujols is your 2009 National League Most Valuable Player.

Pujols was listed first on all 32 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city to score a perfect total of 448 points, based on the tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th.

Pujols, 29, led the league in home runs (47) for the first time in his career and was third in batting (.327) and runs batted in (135). He also topped the NL in runs (124), total bases (374), grand slams (5), extra base hits (93), on-base percentage (.443) and slugging percentage (.658). For the eighth straight year he totaled more walks (115) than strikeouts (64).

Gigantosaur adds to his Hall of Fame resume. He becomes the sixth player in NL history to win the award unanimously. And look at the numbers that he put up. Those are Pujols numbers every year. Absolutely sick.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: he’s the best ballplayer of our lifetime. A joy to watch even though he murders the Cincinnati Reds. He’s one of the few players in the game today that you can be certain your grandkids will know about.

And he’s now a 3-time MVP.

Line up and get in on the M-Cab Sweepstakes

The Detroit Tigers are interested in trading Miguel Cabrera according to some sources. Or they’re at least exploring it.
Cabrera became a source of negativity this past season when he went out and got drunk the night before the season finale one game playoff between the Tigers and Twins and got involved in a domestic dispute.
The Detroit Free Press feels that Cabrera’s contract might make him tough to trade.
Almost any time you ponder a possible trade involving at least one veteran player, the first question to ask is, “What are the contracts?”
Cabrera’s contract calls for more than $120 million over the next six years. That’s a lot for any team to commit to, even a high-payroll one like the Red Sox.
And remember, trading for Cabrera requires a steeper cost than signing a free agent for $120 million. The Red Sox or anyone else would have to give the Tigers players in return — possibly some young, low-priced players — in addition to taking on Cabrera’s contract.
That’s too much coin for 90% of the teams in the league. The other teams in play are already winning enough and don’t want to add a problem guy. Detroit might be ‘stuck’ with Cabrera. But at the same time, we’d expect someone to get creative or maybe a three team deal with the Tigers picking up some of his salary to dump him.
When a guy this talented is even mentioned in rumors, it’s an easy assumption that he is a glaring clubhouse problem. Those on the inside would probably be willing to admit that is what this is all about.

Joe Mauer is your American League’s Most Valuable

Joe Mauer took 27 of 28 votes to win the American League MVP Award unanimously, edging out Mark Texeira and Miguel Cabrera very easily. And rightfully so:

Mauer, the first catcher to lead his league in batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444) and slugging (.587) in the same season, was listed first on all but one of the 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city. He was second on that other ballot to score a total of 387 points, based on a tabulation system rewarding 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third on down to one for 10th.

Mauer, 26, is the only AL catcher to have won a batting title and the only one in either league to have won three of them. His .365 average, the highest by a catcher in major league history, surpassed his prior league-leading figures of .347 in 2006 and .328 in 2008. Mauer posted career-high totals in home runs (28) and runs batted in (96).

He did not start the season until May 1 due to a back injury and helped keep the Twins in contention for the division title following the loss to injury of first baseman Justin Morneau, the 2006 MVP and ’08 runner-up. Mauer batted .378 with two home runs and 14 RBI in the club’s final 21 games of the regular season.

Mauer was always a great hitter. This year, he added some serious power to his game. We got to enjoy his MVP type stuff on our fantasy baseball team. This past year will probably go down as the best that Mauer has in his career. We’re glad a goodfella like Joe won the AL’s most prestigious award.

At the end of the day, it’s nice to see those small and mid market teams bringing home awards like the Cy Young and the MVP award.

Another pundit Projecting Jay Bruce’s 2010 season. “Jay Bruce will be one of the most interesting players to watch in the majors in 2010. He has incredible power and is a very toolsy player. The question is if he shows the potential he flashed in the minor leagues (AAA slugging percentage over .600) or if he continues to hit like a league average player.” [Fan Graphs]

Our Shortstop Ties the knot (and swills Keystone & Flask)

A lot of folks out there are moaning for the Cincinnati Reds to go out and trade for a new shortstop because of the lack of pop our little warrior straight out of Keebler Rice University brings. But we here at Diamond Hoggers like Janish. He’s right up our alley.

And now he’s aparently a married man. We’ll have to see if the wedding band improves the lifetime .205 batting average; but by all indications Paulie looks like a cool fucking guy. Rolling with the Keystone Light, a great touch.

Here’s that ‘the gang’s all here’ shot you been waiting for. Dickerson, Stubbs, Bruce, Maloney, Herrera. No clue about slick Rick all the way on the left, but we think it’s Janish’s brother.

Diamond Hoggers sends a warm congratulations out to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Janish! Someday your children will be proud!

Had a dream last night

So last night I had this glorious dream. It was the best dream a man can have. Yes pervs, I was more disappointed waking up from this dream than a dream of any female from my youth or past.

I had this dream that the Reds were in the World Series, and I cannot remember who against. They had just won a tight ballgame 7-5 or so to take a 3 to 1 series advantage over their AL opponent.

Adam Dunn (who had been re-acquired) slugged the home run that made the difference. Jay Bruce had homered as well. The Reds were heading back to Great American Ball Park for game 5 and I was about to go and scalp a ticket for whatever the price was.

Then I woke up. I hope this isn’t as close as I ever get to this, but I have my doubts.

The Offseason Dreams of Matt Stairs

Well, fuck. Now that we done lost the World Series to them damn Yankees of up north, I figured I’d travel home to my homeland and live with the rest of the Nordiques of my kind. My baseball career’s aboot over with and I figure I can find work as a trapper, a rancher, or maybe a trailsmen somewhere well hidden in some wooded area beyond the border. I’ve carved oot a pretty good career. 17 seasons and 11 teams later I’ve got a .264 average and 3 stolen bases to show for it. I think I might fit well as a lumberjack too. The timber is fresh up in New Brunswick. Fuck being a substitute teacher.

But I’ve decided I like Philadelphia. This is a city where anything is possible. Even if they doon’t know who I am, I like the fans. I like the cheesesteaks. I like the colored folk. I like Ben Franklin. The women don’t mind if you have stretch marks on your underbelly covered up my multi-colored thick hair. I’m not going anywhere.

I fully intend to open up a car wash like old Lenny Dykstra did. It’s gonna be big. We’re going to have all kinds of deals. Stop by Matty Stairs Wash & Dry and get the Grand Slam special. That’s right, $9.99 and a quick spin later not only will your car feel great; but you’ll feel like you just smelled one of Charlie Manuel’s clubhouse shits! See, at Matty Stairs Wash & Dry we focus on bringing all the authenticism of an MLB Clubhouse!

It’s going to be big. (stares off into the distance of abandon car wash business)

For an extra $2, you can wear a game worn Matt Stairs helmet through the car wash as you wash up your Jaguar. For $15.99 you get the MVP! Wear the helmet of Matty Stairs, get your Jaguar washed, and an officially autographed picture of me in nothing but my Montreal Expos uniform from my rookie year banging a French Canadian transvestite hooker with Delino Deshields and Marquis Grissom!

Throw in an extra five bucks on any package, and I’ll shave off some of my beard and give it to you. To hell with game worn gloves and bats. I’m giving you a piece of a former Major Leaguer’s DNA. Where the hell else in America can you get that?

We’ll feature specials like the dugout wax special and the pinch hit vaccum detail!

At the end of my career, I was lucky to even pinch hit or get in a game. But that didn’t stop me from knocking 259 big flies out of the park did it? Well being a beastly, bulging, furry man isn’t going to stop me from opening one of these beauties in every city in America.

Beats the hell out of cooking hasbrowns at the Le Blu’ Cafe like my brother.

DH Video Select: When it Was A Game

As we did a lot last offseason, we bring you the first installment of Diamond Hoggers Video Select to help entertain you and get you through the offseason. Fair warning though, you will not always be brought baseball content within this space. It could be anything amusing, weird, funny. Anything submitted to us that strikes our fancy.

Today, we bring you baseball though. If you read this blog you probably have seen When It Was a Game. If you haven’t seen it, you need to see it. It’s basically old classic footage of the game before it got tainted with agents, cleat chasers, Selig, Barry Bonds, the Designated Hitter, and all the other evils that exist in present day baseball. Watch parts of it here.

We have to admit, when that glory music comes pumping in at the beginning and ends of the film; it really hits us at our core. It’s beautiful. We could shed a tear. I want to leave work, go buy this shit on DVD somewhere and watch it while laying around the house in my underwear. Then I wanna go play catch with my pops. It’s that kind of film.