The Reds’ legendary broadcaster Marty Brennaman will be sporting a new look a week from now. The 70-year-old Ford C. Frick Award winner pledged earlier this year that he’d shave his head for a 10-game winning streak, and the Reds came through with one Sunday by beating the Rockies 7-2.
Before today’s game, Brennaman said he’d get the cut Friday in the Reds clubhouse if the team was able to finish off the sweep. Homer Bailey has volunteered to do the honors.
Mat Latos led the way today, pitching eight innings of two-run ball and striking out eight. Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce homered for Cincinnati.
The Reds are 61-40, tying them with the Nationals for the game’s best record. They’re on pace for 98 wins, which would be their highest total since the Big Red Machine won 102 games in 1976.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.