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Cincinnati Reds

Buckle Up, Sinclair Buys Fox Regional Sports Networks

Sinclair just acquired Fox Sports Ohio, among the Fox Regional Sports Networks, and a concerning future isn’t all that far fetched.

Jeff

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On the surface, this seems fine. The Fox Regional Sports Netowrks (RSNs), including Fox Sports Ohio, were dangling in limbo with Disney buying out most of Fox and being told it can’t keep the RSNs. Then Fox said they didn’t want them back, Comcast said no, and few options remained. Then came Sinclair.

Cable, as much as anything, is a business. We see that with what’s happened to ESPN and CNN with all their layoffs in recent years. Cable companies, cable providers, cable channels, they all want more moolah. Sinclair has just made a business move that offers them the chance to make more of the moolah, but we, the fans, have cause to worry.

Remember when every game wasn’t broadcast on television? Sports, let alone baseball, has blown up so much that we can even watch English Premier League soccer games. However, with Sinclair’s purchase of Fox’s RSNs, there is a slight chance they could abuse this power and remove this convenience, from a baseball standpoint. I was alerted to this by this article, written by Craig Edwards, over at the wonderful website known as FanGraphs.

Patrick Crakes, a sports media consultant, said this of the Sinclair purchase, “Sinclair got a great deal and should be able to cut costs and leverage the RSN’s and their stations together effectively with distributors and advertisers.”

I don’t know about you, but cut costs has never been a phrase that excites me. Quite the opposite, really. As Edwards goes on to say, Sinclair could get this done by nixing local programming and, instead, have a more centrally emanated broadcast. In fact, this paragraph really gets the hair on the back of my neck standing up:

“In Cincinnati, Sinclair owns the local CBS and CW stations. When negotiating with Spectrum, the main cable provider in Cincinnati, it could provide an all-or-nothing option. If Spectrum isn’t willing to pay more to put all three channels on, it gets none of them. This practice, known as bundling, has been going on for years, and it might also be part of the reason why cable prices have continued to go up as companies lose subscribers. The best-case scenario here is that Spectrum pays the higher rate and then passes on higher prices to its consumers who then pay more for the same product. The other scenario involves the two sides failing to reach a deal, and customers being simply unable to watch Reds games.”

And, sure, some of you may be Cincinnati Bell subscribers rather than Spectrum, but he’s using Spectrum as a benchmark. Maybe, hypothetically, Spectrum turns down that deal and Cincinnati Bell takes it, to differentiate themselves. Their prices will go up, or other programming will get cut. Sinclair is in a position to ransom Reds games to the highest bidder and the consumer is the one at risk.

Plus, there is the narrative of the decline of baseball’s popularity. Some say it’s all hyperbole, given the revenue that Major League Baseball pulled in last year, but if you are a believer in the slow demise of America’s pastime, what better way to perpetuate that than to take away the local broadcast?

It must be cautioned that the leveraging of Fox Sports Ohio is all conjecture, at this point. However, it was largely unreported that Sinclair made this purchase, so it’s worth making aware of what’s going on and what may come down the pipe in the not-so distant future.

Jeff has spent his entire life around sports. From playing baseball and golf in high school to traveling with college softball, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams as their media relations guy, sports have always been his focal point. He’s pumped to be bringing Reds content to the Locked on Sports Podcast Network!

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Cincinnati Reds

The Moose Stops Here

The Reds have reportedly signed Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal, per Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic

Jeff

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© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

How we looking, Reds fans? I, for one, can’t stop randomly yelling “YES!” in my apartment. My neighbors may be calling the cops as you read this.

Or maybe I should be yelling “Moooooooose!”

The Reds began their offseason of acquisitions by signing Mike Moustakas to the largest contract in franchise history. The Moose is coming to Cincinnati for four years, $64 million dollars. He compiled 3.2 bWAR last year and had a 113 WRC+.

The big key is that he will be the Reds second baseman. Per Baseball Reference, the group of players who combined to shoulder the second base duties in Cincinnati put together a -0.6 WAR. Clearly it was one of the most important positions to upgrade during the offseason and the Reds have done that.

There are two ancillary considerations from this move. One is that Nick Senzel will remain in center field in 2020. One can figure from this move that the Reds have complete faith in his ability to rehab his surgically repaired shoulder. The other is a possible Plan B at first base as Moose has shown an ability to play all infield positions with some degree of aptitude. Now, that’s not to say there are rumblings of Joey Votto retiring or going anywhere, but it does not hurt to have a plan B.

All this is to say, I am excited. I also believe this is just the start. More to come from this front office that is clearly putting money to their words. For now, get ready to chant “Mooooose” all summer long!

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All-Decade Team

Reds All-Decade Team: Everyday Eight

Introducing the blog post about the Locked On Reds All-Decade Team!

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We are coming to the end of the 2000-teens. Weird, isn’t it? This decade started with a lot of success for our Redlegs and ended with lots of questions. Maybe they can regain their winning form as we head into the 2020’s, but for now let’s look at the players that made the past ten years what they were.

To set only a few parameters, this will be based on impact and not necessarily longevity. For example, based on their time on the Reds and performance, my thought on the best center fielder, for the past 10 years, is Shin-Soo Choo. Now, I get it, he was only here a year, but that what I mean when I’m looking at the All-Decade Reds. Who had the greatest impact during his tenure with the Reds from 2010-2019?

I also want this to be interactive. Comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text the Locked On Reds Line (513) 549-0159. This post will be finished on December 31, 2019.


Locks

Joey Votto

I don’t know why anyone would argue this. He is the Reds Player of the Decade, and arguably the National League’s Player of the Decade. If you don’t believe me, look at this.

Brandon Phillips

Dat Dude was electric at second and a constant stand-in as an argument to everyone’s favorite Red, at the time. I forgot to mention him as a lock on the first All-Decade podcast, so that’s a bit embarrassing, but no second baseman deserves it more. He could hit anywhere in the lineup, and perform well to boot. There was no other second baseman that was better from 2010-2019 in Cincinnati.

Jay Bruce

Few Reds have provided such iconic moments as was Clinchmas which got this past decade started off with a bang. Beyond that, Bruce was a constant force in the middle of the lineup. His arm was a lethal and gunned down anyone foolish enough to try and run on him. No outfielder eclipsed him and he is definitely a lock for this All-Decade team.

Zack Cozart

Cozart could do it all. He had a good bat, a great glove, and the ladies loved him. Find another Reds shortstop from this past decade and I’ll tell you why they aren’t as good as Cozart was.

Leans

Shin-Soo Choo

Your first thought on this is going to be “but he only was a Red for a year?” Here’s the thing, no centerfielder had a better year. Does he get a bump because he may not have been here long enough to leave a bad taste in our mouthes? Sure. Did he absolutely kill it his one year and is still talked about? Absolutely. If I’m building an everyday eight that is the best of this past decade, he’s on that team.

Devin Mesoraco

The options at catcher are Tucker Barnhart, Ryan Hanigan, and Mez. Maybe you include Ramon Hernandez for the two halfway decent years at the start of the decade. This is a position that can be hotly debated, but I am throwing my hat in the ring for Mez. When he was healthy and got regular at-bats (2014) he was the best Reds catcher this decade. I’ll take those numbers he posted that year and pretend that he isn’t injured when named to the All-Decade Team. A healthy Mez was worth slotting 5th or 6th in the lineup. That’s not something I’ve never said about Tucker.

Ryan Ludwick

My rationale behind this is two-fold. Unless they were just absolutely amazing (like the next lean) then I’m looking at the playoff teams. Ludwick had a great first year as a Red. His final two years soured some fans to remembering him, but he was money in 2012. When faced with the options, I lean Ludwick.

Eugenio Suarez

This one took some thinking because I really liked Scott Rolen, but I think Suarez has outperformed him. He has the misfortune for playing on the bad Reds teams, but he has become the face of the franchise, heading into 2020. The thing that keeps him from being a lock, to me, is there is an argument for Rolen over Suarez…but I will argue Suarez is the Reds third baseman of the decade.

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All-Decade Team

Reds All-Decade Team: The Pitching

Here’s the blog post accompanying the idea of the Reds All-Decade Team, the pitching side of things.

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We got things started with a blog post about the everyday eight, now let’s start thee pitching. For this, we’ll do a starting five, a closer, and two relievers. I’m not sure we have any locks, but we have some really strong cases, here. Okay, maybe one lock. Johnny Cueto is a super lock for the rotation, maybe the Reds Pitcher of the Decade.

You know the drill, comment, tweet (@lockedonreds), and call/text (513) 549-0159. We’ll finalize it on December 31, 2019.

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