Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley were doing the old Twitter question mailbag during a Reds game the other night and someone asked Marty what his greatest fear was.
Kind of a cool question. Certainly better than “who should the Reds trade for” or something. You figure Marty would go with “spiders” or “crowded elevators” or something. Instead, he gets real. Like, almost too real:
You have to tip you hat to Marty for being 100% honest — you can tell he thinks about this, maybe a lot — but I have never in my life been more thankful for Jeff Brantley being around to lighten the mood in my life. I’m just trying to think how he could top it.
“Well, Jeff, I often think of how bad it would be to be buried alive — Votto takes the 2-2 pitch up and in and the count is full — buried alive the way Uma Thurman was in ‘Kill Bill 2.’ Meeting eternity clawing and scratching at the inside of a pine box, screaming in vain. Votto takes ball four high and that’ll bring up Jay Bruce. Awareness of one’s imminent death, I feel anyway, may be life’s greatest possible horror. A horror we all must meet, but some of us, mercifully, unwittingly.
“Bruce is 6 for 20 lifetime against Garcia . . .”
(h/t to Deadspin)
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.