I am a sucker for old baseball programs. I once wrote a long, rather high-minded thing inspired by them which sort of explains that fascination (and I think it actually holds up). But most programs these days are boring. Posed shots of the three best players, maybe. A logo and some TV sports production-level graphics. I realize that programs are really revenue generators and advertising delivery devices, so if the artistry of the past seems mostly gone with these things, it’s because form is following function. But I do sort of miss that old artistry.
Which makes me so happy to see the Cardinals’ latest scorecard. It’s quite the throwback to those old ones, and it gets bonus points for taunting:
The “learn to score the Cardinal Way” in the upper righthand corner made me roll my eyes, but it’s more than made up for by that absolutely hilarious empty-handed Pirate. And I’m screen-capping the miserable Cub for future reference.
This is all kinds of fun.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.