Introducing “Hardball History”

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We’re doing a new weekly video feature called “Hardball History.” It’s basically a “this week in baseball history” thing. We hope you like it. Even if, in this first installment, I called it “HBT History” by mistake. We’ll work the bugs out eventually. Promise.

Anyway, for this first installment we have Mickey Welch winning 300, 18 people getting into the Hall of Fame, Satchel Paige making his first start and the still mind-boggling Heathcliff Slocumb trade, without which none of us would be singing “Sweet Caroline” and “Fever Pitch” would still be about soccer.

Or maybe it’d be about the Mariners. Hard to say.

Enjoy:

Scooter Gennett upset with Reds over lack of communication regarding contract extension

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Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett can become a free agent after the 2019 season. He has become one of baseball’s better second basemen since the Reds claimed him off waivers from the Brewers in March 2017. Over the last two years, he has hit 50 homers with an .859 OPS. The only second basemen with a better OPS (min. 700 plate appearances) since the start off the 2017 season are José Altuve (.900) and Daniel Murphy (.876).

Gennett is upset the Reds haven’t been in contact with him to discuss a contract extension, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Gennett said, “We’ve definitely opened it up. They know I want to play here. They know I enjoy playing on this team. I enjoy the fans. I enjoy the coaching staff. I enjoy my teammates. They know all that. There’s nothing else to tell them at this point. It’s waiting for them to come back, which they have not.” He added, “(We’ve) heard absolutely nothing. Zero.”

As Fay points out, Gennett was born in Cincinnati and grew up a Reds fan, so this is a cinch for the club if it makes any effort. The Reds presently have just $58 million in 25-man roster obligations for the 2020 season.