Another week of sports stories has washed ashore with some (like something or other about Alex Rodriguez but not the Kabbalah) sure to ring through our ears and eyes, ad nauseum like the Brett Favre Retirement Spectacle of last year.
The Reds brought Daryle Ward and Jacque Jones aboard, which are moves I like. Last year, young players like Paul Janish and Adam Rosales were brought up to the Big Show before they were ready and it showed. Janish's most memorable moment was perhaps having his nose bloodied by his teammates after hitting a game-winning single. Rosales and Janish could be productive one day, but it's been shown time and time again that when you bring up players prematurely, great damage to their development can be done.
Look at Todd Van Poppel. Although Reds fans only got to see him in person near the tail end of his career, you could still see that he once had talent and had been crushed by the weight of early promotion and unrealistic expectations. While it remains to be seen exactly what Jones and Ward have left in their tanks, you can at least count on them knowing what Major League service entails and that they won't be learning on the job.
It is particularly amusing/odd that two thirds of last year's outfield remains unsigned waiting for a market to develop. It's odd … to say the least. Kenny Lofton got forced out of baseball last year. It seems the same is happening to old but dependable second baseman Ray Durham (amongst others) this winter.
It will be interesting to see all the youngsters whose paths to the majors have been expedited by the jettisoning of older players are ready to contribute and if the older guys who can't find a job will take extreme delight in their successors' struggles.