Reds prepared to listen to trade offers for Joey Votto

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An intriguing report from ESPN’s Buster Olney:

Rival executives getting signals that the Reds won’t shop Joey Votto — but that they are fully prepared to listen to offers.

Votto is owed a bargain $9.5 million salary in 2012, but that number jumps sharply to $17 million in 2013 and the Canadian-born first baseman will be a free agent heading into 2014. If the Reds are already resigned to the fact that they won’t be able to afford a long-term extension, they might as well get max value for Votto before he gets a whiff of the open market.

Votto batted .309 with a .947 OPS, 29 home runs and 103 RBI in 161 games this season. He posted a 1.024 OPS, 37 home runs and 113 RBI over 150 games in 2010 to earn National League MVP honors.

Frontier League team names itself the “Florence Y’alls”

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If you’ve ever found yourself on I-75/71 in Kentucky, just over the river from Cincinnati, you’ve no doubt noticed the water tower for the city of Florence, Kentucky.  Its top is painted with red and white stripes and, instead of featuring the town’s name or the name of the local water concern, it says, “Florence, Y’all.”

The water tower is a nice welcome to Dixie, even if Kentucky isn’t really Dixie. The point is that, if you’re from Ohio or Michigan or someplace and you see it, you know you’re on your way to Lexington or Louisville, or points south. To warmer climes, southern charm and hospitality and, hopefully, a nice little trip.

The folks who support the Frontier League baseball team in Florence no doubt realize the kind of chatter that surrounds that water tower, because they just voted to rename their team:

And they added a handy dandy explainer:

I like it. And I like the idea of naming a baseball team after a notable and much talked-about roadside sign. Which is to say that, if I ever get a baseball team here in Ohio, I’m also gonna name it after a famous sign you see while driving on the interstate not too far from me:

Yeah, that’s a thing. And my baseball team would not even be the first sports thing named after it.

Alternatively, I could put one closer to my house and call it the “ODOT SUCKS.” May be better.

Viva local culture.