1. Which Reds outfielder can I trust to watch my cats and water my plants while I’m out of town visiting my parents?
Ryan Freel: He steals bases (37, 36, 37 over the last 3), plays a variety of positions (though he seems to be locked into center for this year), and hasn’t gotten a DUI in over a year. But I think, of all the outfielders, he’s the most likely to piss in the plants and with his diet, which I assume consists of Copenhagen Longcut, Arby’s roast beef, and Dr. Pepper, just once could kill them. That’s a risk I’m unwilling to take.
Ken Griffey: I couldn’t possibly ask the greatest player of our generation to come to my house while I am out of town and water my plants. Maybe, if he feels bad, he could just pick me up at the airport. Plus I’ve heard he’s lactose intolerant and I keep a lot of dairy on hand. I don’t want anything coming between him and the 162 games he’s going to play in right field this year. And by the way, that career low on-base from last year (.316), was simply an anomaly, he continues his attack on the record books with a much more Griffey-like season.
Adam Dunn: there is so much to like about the Big Donkey. He mashes the ball (40 bombs in ’06, third year in a row over 40), hits lefties (.270/.393/.503) and drew a league- leading number of walks. But even more appealing is the joke he continues to play on America. The lengths he goes to convince your uninformed baseball fan that he is not the cerebral, Tony Gwynn-esque, professional hitter, all true Reds fans know him to be. No matter how much criticism he receives, he continues the charade; his mystifying dreadful approach to right-handed pitching (.215 average, 130 Ks), his dedication to taking a first pitch strike every single at bat, his ability to make you actually believe your left fielder has at the very least, minor brain damage, are all part of the act. But remember if you find yourself questioning his motives, its not his unique pursuit, his legacy, but yours as a Cincinnati Reds supporter. Such an important endeavor is simply not something which can be interrupted by the additional responsibility of caring for cats and houseplants.
Josh Hamilton: Hamilton is someone who has kind of flown under the radar this spring. Apparently, he was high draft pick of one of the Florida teams and has some sort of criminal past or something. If that sort of thing interests you, I was able to dig up a little information here and also here, and I guess here and here as well. Many of the stories involve his grandmother’s role in his incurable crack addiction and almost all of the accompanying photos have him looking very thoughtful and non-threatening. But he is an enormous talent, demonstrated by him killing this spring (.403 through 3/28), and I think he’d be a positive addition to the organization. And that’s not just because the Josh Hamilton crackhead bobble-head, the one with him stealing your TV and kicking a puppy, is the best idea I’ve ever had. That said, I still don’t trust him around my cats unsupervised.