It's my annual reminder that spring is right around the corner, the first day of Spring Training. The Reds kicked of the final year of Grapefruit League by beating the defending AL Champions, the Tampa Rays, 7-0 (box score).
Standings mean nothing in exhibition games, but anytime you can hear Reds' Hall of Fame annoucner Marty Brennenman rattle out his classic line - "this one belongs to the Reds!" - it is a good thing.
Seventeen-game winner Edinson Volquez started for the Reds and was a bit wild at first, but settled to pitch three solid innings as he allowed a pair of hits, walked a batter, and struck out three. Johnny Cueto relieved him and tossed three scoreless, no-hit innings, picking up the win while fanninig three Rays' hitters.
Homer Bailey, who is battling for the team's No. 5 spot, struck out two of three batters he faced. Journeyman Aaron Fultz and Jared Burton finsihed out the shutout by each tossing scoreless forms.
Offensively, it was the long ball that provided most of the fireworks as Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a grand slam and minor Adam Rosales added a two-run shot in the ninth inning.
Manager Dusty Baker likely tipped his hat on what the Opening Day line-up looks like as of today, with his first line-up card of the Spring: