Saturday, May 31, 2008

Standings for May 31, 2007 (Division winners & WC in bold)

ALE     W   L    GB      WP      RS      RA
BOS 36 16 - .692 280 201
BAL 27 27 10.0 .500 243 229
TOR 25 28 11.5 .472 239 245
TBD 22 29 13.5 .431 237 311
NYY 22 29 13.5 .431 268 244

CLE 33 19 - .635 295 243
DET 30 23 3.5 .566 297 260
MIN 27 25 6.0 .519 251 231
CHW 24 25 7.5 .490 200 233
KCR 19 35 15.0 .352 211 291

LAA 33 22 - .600 254 224
SEA 26 24 4.5 .520 251 246
OAK 26 26 5.5 .500 229 199
TEX 19 35 13.5 .352 263 305

NYM 34 18 - .654 259 196
ATL 30 23 4.5 .566 255 237
PHI 26 27 8.5 .491 274 262
FLA 26 28 9.0 .481 268 272
WSN 22 32 13.0 .407 202 260

MIL 30 24 - .556 243 235
PIT 23 30 6.5 .434 218 256
STL 22 29 6.5 .431 194 252
CHC 22 29 6.5 .431 231 220
HOU 22 31 7.5 .415 212 247
CIN 21 34 9.5 .382 251 286

ARI 32 23 - .582 239 224
SDP 31 22 - .585 224 173
LAD 31 22 - .585 237 211
SFG 25 27 5.5 .481 224 212
COL 25 29 6.5 .463 225 269

I provide, you decide.

(No, we're not done yet!)

Go Reds!

Fun times, these are. Looks like we're gonna have to do something about the Chub$, though. Get out the goats. And the voodoo dolls.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I am sooooo sick...

I have a terrible case of Bruce fever right now. I keep staring at the clock waiting for it to change, waiting for the time to pass until I can watch him again. All I can do is think about baseball - Reds baseball. It's been awhile since I've felt this way.

Oh, the pain of hearing that clock tick so slowly, the agony of waiting, ooooooooohhhhhhh...and I am sick to my stomach watching the Chub$ win repeatedly. Stop it! Isn't having Jim Edmonds enough to make you lose?!? The Rockies have lost three in a row. Come on, Rocks, move some mountains in Chitown!!!

Here's the thing. Or a thing. Last night, George Getting on my Last Nerve Grande and Jeff Never Owned a Horse Brantley were talking about how well the NL Central teams have played at home and how poorly they've played on the road. The Reds are 16-9 at home and 9-19 on the road. The first place Chub$ are 22-8 at home and 10-13 on the road. They have played five more games at home than have the Reds. The Reds are seven games back, but what would it be like if they had played five more games at home (and hence five fewer games on the road)? The difference means the Chub$ have more games to play on the road as the season goes on, while the Reds play those five games at home. Do you get what I'm saying? I think I do. Maybe not.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Funny how things are happening now. Patterson DFA'd? Phillips, Andy called up? Hmmh. Well, now, thinks are starting to look up a bit, aren't they? I just hope it's not too late.

What a night! What a show!

The air hung heavy with a thick sense of rain weighing down colors and sounds and stunted enthusiasm on a day to remember forever. Even the green of the field and the red of the caps were dulled by the gray shadows swirling through the stadium and the surrounding city. A meager crowd left vast red spaces of empty seats as the once glorious baseball town proved what once was is no longer. Here we witnessed a historical debut and none but a few of us braved the elements to experience Life, to witness something we can tell our grandchildren about with a sparkle in our eyes, a quiver in our voices, and a youthful excitement in our hearts.

A young ballplayer barely removed from boyhood brought us to the park. He carried with him a buoyant smile unhindered by the water falling around him. Before game time, he and a young second baseman rewarded the fans who bothered to show up with ink stained baseballs and memories to cherish. As the players stood in the dugout waiting to run out on the field to start the game, the newbie ran onto the field and had to be called back. His enthusiasm for the game, for achieving his dream, had pushed him onto the diamond before it was time to take his position. Time arrived, he sprinted out as a child runs to his presents on Christmas morning. I envied him. Here was a man who had gotten his wish, who had achieved what he had dreamed of for all of his brief life, who was standing next to his boyhood idol...if only we all could be so fortunate.

Seen here is the first Major League pitch to young Bruce. He did not get a Hollywood hit in his first at bat - he worked an unromantic walk, the first of two he received on the night. To the 17,900+ of us who witnessed it, that walk was magical, that walk was the beginning of a new era of Cincinnati baseball. That walk was healing. Seven losing seasons began their descent into the dark confines of the places we hide bad memories. This man will one day soon lead us back into the glory days.

But he is not a savior. Baseball, a sport where even the weakest man on the team can be a hero, is a team sport. He may one day carry the team on his back to a championship, but he still needs that team. Most of that team is on the field now, working out the kinks in its game. That team consists of others with the talent to win, others like Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Johnny Cueto, and Edinson Volquez, all pieces to the puzzle.

Just look at that lineup. It's almost right. Oh, it was a wonderful thing to see those five letters on that scoreboard, five letters we have been waiting to see for so long. And what a debut! 3-3 with a double, two walks, two RBI, and a stolen base!

What a beautiful night! I love this game! I only wish Cincinnati did, too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


That is my initial reaction at least to the news that Scott Hatteberg has been DFA'd while Corey Patterson is still on the team. While I'm willing to admit Hatte needed to go because he was a wasted roster spot, he shouldn't have been let go before Patterson and his .240+ on base percentage. Now we'll have to worry that Bruce won't get to play enough. Perhaps they are just holding onto Patterson until Norris Hopper (remember him?) comes back, but I've given the Reds the benefit of the doubt too many times and am not really willing to believe the move has to do with anything other than Toothpick's manlove for Patterson.

I mean, look how long it took for the team to call up Bruce. Now, we all know they were waiting for the Super Two deadline to pass (despite their denial), but rather than doing the smart thing and just calling Bruce up and signing him to a longterm save-some-dough deal like other teams have done with their unproven-yet-highly-talented-can't-miss prospects, they decided to keep him down to save a quick buck while simultaneously throwing away this season. A good June could turn things around, but it might be too late.

I was not a Toothpick hater, but I am an eager and enthusiastic convert.

I'm so mad I thought about not going to the game tonight. I hope Scotty is signed by another team. I wonder if the Mets might pick him up with Delgado hitting like a blind man under water while sipping the last breaths of oxygen in his punctured tank.

Christmas Day

It's difficult not to expect too much from Bruce. I'm so excited I can hardly remember that the Reds won't be in first place after tonight's game. It's as if I think Bruce can singlehandedly make the Reds gain seven games in one night. Gotta remember at the end of the day, the least we can be is six back. Sure did blow a chance for a gain (three times!) over the weekend when all NL Central teams but Pittsburgh lost.

After Sunday's debacle, Reds are the top two strikeout pitchers in all of baseball. It's kind of fun to say that. (We take what we can get.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!


Looks like I'll be going down to Cincy tomorrow.

ho hum

I have nothing to say today. I only got online to see if Jay Bruce was a Red yet and Corey Patterson an ex-Red, but there is seemingly no end to the disappointment with this team.

At least Toothpick's stellar use of the bullpen yesterday messed up the rotation for the week. (But Harang was awesome! 9 Ks!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

I want to give up!

but I can't. Last night I turned the game off after it became 8-2 on sucky pitching. I want to be one of those people who can just walk away when things go wrong, but I'm a baseball junkie. I just don't have the strength to do it.

Still, I have to wonder. Will the glory of Cincinnati Reds baseball ever return? Were we cursed by the Big Red Machine? I was born during the winter of the last time the the Big Red Machine were world champs. I can't help but wonder if all of the hope in Votto and Cueto and Volquez and Bruce and Bailey will ever live up to the hype. Or if it will live up to the dumbitity of the Reds brass. Yeah, I just made that word up.

Call it a crisis of faith. I'll be better with a win. Isn't baseball like that? Doesn't a losing streak make you want to cut every player and a winning streak make you think you'll never lose again?

Gotta love it. Gottttta love it.

Oh Reds, please stop breaking my heart.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

De Bruys (or more obsessing about Bruce)

BRUCE (origin: Normandy France Local) De Bruys; from Bruy or Bruys, a place in Normandy where the family originated. De Bruys was one of the followers of William the Conqueror and fought at the Battle of Hastings. From this ancestor, King Robert Bruce was descended.

The year was 1066. William of Normandy led French speaking descendants of former Viking raiders to conquer England and defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. It turned out to be the Vikings' last conquest, and the only reason they really won that battle was because Harold's army had marched 220 miles south in less than three weeks after defeating a Viking army in central England.

The Vikings had had a good run. Not only did they set up a colony in North America 500 years before Columbus set sail for the Indies, but they also gave us the subject of many movies, some good, some awful. I enjoyed The 13th Warrior. My favorite part was when Antonio Banderas was sitting in the circle with the Vikings and by the end of the night he could speak their language. The Vikings also gave us Bjork - I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Jay Bruce could have Viking blood. Let's hope he's ruthless on Major League pitching!


There is this bar in DC called Rumors in which I had the misfortune of finding myself a couple of times. It's a little, I guess what you could call a dive bar for "preppy" kids, you know, polo shirts and khakis and snotty spoiled brats who drank their way through expensive colleges without a concern for their Cs and Ds because they knew mommy and daddy would pay their rent after graduation. Oh, it is a dreadful place for the thinking person, a blur of over-priced rainbow cocktails, plagued by the sticky stench of spilled Heineken and name brand cologne, the high-pitched wailing of fake blonds and eight dollar drunks and the baritone of former prep school football players, and the utter absence of intellectual stimulation. Once I met this guy there who looked like Philip Seymour-Hoffman and he thought that meant he had to talk like Philip Seymour-Hoffman and if Philip Seymour-Hoffman had played a role where he was the son of a wealthy New England doctor and they spent most of the time on a yacht, well then, he could have been Philip Seymour-Hoffman.

Rumors are like that. They stink. They are most often untrue and can ruin lives. We can try to close our ears, but sometimes we just cannot do it. I had the misfortune of finding out what John Fay said to Marty about Tuesday. Oh what dreams may come! When the team goes home, one sliver may be gone, one sharp thorn in the side of goodness. Better, though, is the addition of a shining light, a glimpse into the glory of the future. I'm going to spread a rumor...

He thinks the Reds might call up Jay Bruce and DFA Corey Patterson. I've had the same feeling. Maybe it's not a feeling. Maybe it's just logic. Maybe it's just doing the right thing, the smart thing, the thing that should have been done weeks ago when it was evident Corey Patterson was just Corey Patterson, not some bizarro world form of Corey Patterson who might go against his career numbers and actually hit.

Oh, what a joyous day this will be! How fantastic, how divine! Perhaps the baseball gods are intervening to save us from this despair we call the 2008 Cincinnati Reds!

If it's true, I will be there!

Bruce went 2-4 yesterday to better his numbers to .369/.397/.661.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ceremony to Remove the Curse

Dear baseball gods,

We are sorry for whatever we did to offend thee. Was it something Pete Rose said? Perhaps thee are disgusted with the way Junior lets everything drop in front of him (except for that vintage Junior catch last night. Did that make Webgems?) Maybe thee are pissed off by the Jay Bruce Abuse going on in AAA? (Although that wouldn't explain the years of poor West Coast trips.)

We humbly offer thee this chicken as a sacrifice and pray to you to remove the West Coast Curse which has plagued our team for many moons. Please show mercy on Mr. Redlegs' soul and allow us to not make the fielding or baserunning errors that have made the Reds look like a Little League team over the past two games (no offense to Little Leaguers). Lift the brain impediment which causes Dusty to bat Adam Dunn low in the order, play Patterson, Freel, and Hairston in the same lineup, and keep Corey Patterson on this team while Jay Bruce grows bitter with his .366/.394/.365, 10 HR, 8 SB, 32 R, and 37 RBI down on the farm. Make the Hatred Dodgers, led by The Evil Jeff Kent, run in circles around balls the Reds hit. Oh mighty gods, please spare us from this curse!

(The idiots in that video must be future Darwin Award winners.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Around the horn

Did anyone see that catch Jim Edmonds made yesterday to rob Hunter Pence of extra bases and the Asstros of a run? Guy looks strange in a Chub$ uniform, but that was vintage Edmonds out there up on that stupid hill they have in Houston.

I watched The Zen of Bobby V yesterday on E$PN 2. Excellent, excellent film. That man is a brilliant ambassador not just for the game, but for humanity. How many Americans would go to work in a foreign country and not bother to learn the language? (Most) Bobby V seemed to have a good command of Japanese but a better cultural awareness. And that fire! Oh, that fire is what a team like the Reds could use. Losing is not an option with him. If you haven't seen the film, try to watch it next time it's on.

What does E$PN get out of pushing for instant replay? Are their humanoid talking heads the ones who started the drive towards what is probably inevitable? One of the great things about baseball is the human element of the game. The little guy can play just as big a role in a win as your big slugger. Umpires are human. They will make mistakes. It's part of the game. Sometimes the mistakes go your way, sometimes they don't, but don't mess with that. Besides, we'd all miss Sweet Lou coming out to toss some bases. How can you argue with a rewind button?

When did Orel Hershiser get so bad at announcing? It sounds like he's been taking lessons from Joe Morgan. Everything was about when HE played. They brought up J.R. Richard for some reason - I can't remember exactly why - but Hershiser had to say something about how when HE was in the minors, HE faced Richard who threw "really hard" despite the fact that Richard never again threw another Major League pitch. Just one example of him injecting some non-relevant anecdote into the broadcast. Orel also had to make sure people knew he had a 2.03 ERA one year. But what do you expect from E$PN announcers? Are any of them NOT annoying?

E$PN Classic showed Kerry Wood's 20 K game in 1998. The rookie threw 122 pitches that game, the first of eight times he threw 120+ in a game (the high was 133). Guess who wasn't the manager of the Chub$ at that time?

Congrats to Jon Lester. Feel good story, isn't it?


I woke up this morning.

I was kind of surprised, given that I felt the end of the world was coming after last night's loss to the Hated Dodgers. Everything started off so well with the 4-0 lead and all, and then one of Dusty's Doers did the team in by throwing away the third out of the inning. That also threw Goodroyo away. Badroyo came in and proceeded to give up the lead two innings later.

I have hated West Coast trips for 29 out of my 31 years of life. (The two years I didn't hate was when I lived in California and could go see the Reds play or at least watch them on television at a reasonable hour.) The Reds seem to have hated those trips since California baseball became a reality. When Janish made the throwing error in the bottom of the ninth after replacing Dusty's Doer, I knew the curse of the West Coast was working its black magic.

Actually, though, this loss can be pinned on Toothpick, who failed to put in a strikeout pitcher - Cordero - in a strikeout situation. That was after starting Freel, Patterson, and Hairston in the same lineup. And then he goes and takes OUT Patterson instead of Griffey in the ninth when we need the best defense on the field. I could manage Major League Baseball better than that.

Games like these make you remember the Reds-Dodgers rivalry that used to exist before Interleague play cut our seasonal meetings to a mere six (though we do get them an extra two times this year because of the imbalanced schedule.) It's easy for me to hate them when they have Jeff Kent on the team, a player I loathe more than any player in baseball not named Poopholes, thanks to watching and rooting for the Giants day in and day out for a couple of years. But that team rivalry has all but disappeared. Imagine being the fan of another team during the seventies, when the Reds or Dodgers won the division every year of the decade except one. It's easy, I know. We only have to look to the Red Sox and Yankees to see what it's like.

We needed that game - it was the winnable one, the one with a pitcher who'd been throwing well. Now we have to turn to the Undependable One and Johnny Be Good Sometimes But Still So Young and Inexperienced to win this series. I know Cueto can do it, but Belisle? He has a long way to go to win me back. I just hope tonight's game isn't over in the first inning.

Monday, May 19, 2008

...and these six belong to the Reds!

Keep it rolling, Bronson! We have left the cellar...woo!

Bronson has been kickass in his last two starts (even though the pen blew it for him last time around). If we can get more of Goodroyo tonight, we still have the problem of tomorrow.

Some people are starting to ask whether Affeldt should be thrown into the rotation. NO. We have a good thing going in the pen and don't want to change that. Yesterday's poor showing by Affeldt is an exception - everyone's allowed to have a bad outing once in awhile. But what's the answer? Fogg? NO. Bailey's not exactly tearing it up down in Louisville - something about an attitude problem? Well, we know he's going to be up here at some point this year, but we're gonna have to bide our time until then. Why not try Tom Shearn?

No, I'm not saying Shearn is a longterm solution. I'm not even saying he's a lock to solve the problem temporarily. But he's doing quite well in Louisville with a 6-1 record, 4.14 ERA, 27 K, 14 BB, 51 H, 5 HR in 50 innings pitched. You can say, yeah, but he's 30 years old and probably just outsmarting AAA hitters. Ok, but look what he did last year: 3-0, 4.96 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, though he gave up too many homers and too many walks and got lit up in 3 of his 7 starts, but he had four great starts. You might say well, it was September call up time, but no, he got the A lineups of the playoff bound Chub$, the Asstros, the Sausages, and the Mets (granted, the Mets were playing their way out of the playoffs at that time). These were not small time lineups.

But hey, maybe the winning will rub off on Belisle?

And what about Hairston and Janish? Is that picking up the team and Keppinger or what? Hey, that's what good teams do. They don't let an injury to their hottest hitter destroy their season.

Dunn has homered in four straight games and has had an RBI in six straight. We've been seeing some "unconventional" Dunn - sac flies, groundout RBI, singles to he about to go on a tear? And what about his recent unDunn-like defense? Good stuff!

Voltron is now leading the Majors with a 1.33 ERA after the Reds jumped all over former leader Cliff Lee for 6 runs, 5 of them earned. FIVE against a guy who hadn't given up any in 16 innings straight. I went to the game yesterday thinking it was going to be a two-hour, few hits affair. I'm glad I was wrong!

If we go 4-2 on the West Coast trip, which have traditionally been Reds killers, we'll go to .500 on the season going into another homestand in which we face the Pirates and Braves, both of which swept us earlier in the season. Time for revenge!

Jay Bruce update: Bruce went 2-4 with his 10th homer yesterday. He's now hitting .363/.392/.669 with 8 SB and 1 CS. Corey Patterson is hitting .227/.273/.412 with 4 HR and 7 SB with 3 CS.

Hey, these haven't been cheap wins. These wins have come against two of the hotter teams in baseball. How sweep it is!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

To the river!

Ok, so Dunn's game winning shot that gave the Reds a five game winning streak and their second straight series win didn't leave the park, but another foot or so and it would have.

Three games under .500, still six back of the Chub$ but rolling. I'll be there tomorrow to watch the top two ERA pitchers in baseball hook up. One must fall. Actually, more than likely it will go down to the bullpens.

This is fun...

Poodles, lots of poodles

Mephistophiles is in the house. These next two games are going to be old school baseball, two pitching matchups that warrant national attention. Today, Fausto Carmona continues to benefit from signing his name in that little red book against one of God's good guys, Aaron Harang.

The world sure looks different when the Reds are winning!

Ha! welche Wonne fließt in diesem Blick
Auf einmal mir durch alle meine Sinnen!
Ich fühle junges, heil'ges Lebensglück
Neuglühend mir durch Nerv' und Adern rinnen.

(Ah! at this spectacle through every sense,
What sudden ecstasy of joy is flowing!
I feel new rapture, hallow'd and intense,
Through every nerve and vein with ardour glowing.)

One way to get to Fausto is by walking. Dude's K/BB ratio is 18/35. (Contrast that with Harang's 51/15.) If the Reds will stop swinging at the first pitch and work some counts today, we can get some baserunners. (That's a big IF.) And check this out: his WHIP? 1.644! (Harang's is a cool 1.123.) One has to wonder how Fausto can keep up the winning at that rate. (I'm telling you, devil's work it is.)

It's time to fight the poodle! Go Harang! Go Reds!

Jay Bruce update: After going 0-3 in game one and 2-3 in game 2 last night, Bruce is batting .364/.395/.669 with 9 homers, 5 triples, 9 doubles, 35 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. BRING UP BRUCE!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008


We couldn't have lined up the pitching rotation any better than this, with Cueto, Harang, and Volquez going against the Tribe. These three are all in the top 15 in the league in strikeouts, and the Indians are third in the AL in striking out at the plate. Indians fans seem to think they are going to run over us in this series. It's time to show them how wrong they are.

Records are deceptive. Cueto has been a bit inconsistent, but both he and Harang have been victims of low run support. Now that the offense seems to finally have come out of whatever was plaguing it in April, that will change. And Volquez? 6-1 with a 1.12 ERA, having given up one run or fewer in all eight of his starts? Wow. I look forward to a pitcher's duel on Saturday against Cliff Lee.

Things are rolling now. We just took three games against a team that had until the series began the best record in the NL. We lost the Mets series after taking two of three from the first place Chubbie$. The offense has finally come to life. We have a winning record at home and a .500 record for May (if we had only taken one during that Atlanta sweep, we'd be at .583, a number to be excited about). Things are looking bright now. This series probably doesn't matter to the Indians, but it is huge for us if we are truly going to turn this thing around. Imagine what taking the series from another good team will do for the psyche of the team.

At five games under .500, there is no more room for mistakes.

Screwing in lightbulbs

So, checked the sites today. No Bruce call up. Patterson still on the roster. Fogg and Belisle, too, though the latter has been skipped. I guess rain is good for something.

I love these series with the Indians. I do believe there should be fewer interleague games, but I don't want to see these series go.

My first Indians game was in the late eighties at old Memorial Stadium. Talk about a dump. They were playing the A's led by the Bash Brothers, and well, there weren't too many people in attendance on that day. See, baseball is cyclical like that. You'll have your periods of winning years followed by periods of losing years. For the Reds, the winning years have far outnumbered the losing years since the end of WWII. Seems like we're poised to break out of these losing years soon unless Jocketty trades away our youth for some aging veteran hasbeens. What a nightmare.

Anyway, I went up to Cleveland in 2000 and saw the Reds play in what will always be called the Jake. That was when they sold out every game after that great run in the late nineties which culminated in that World Series loss in 1997. I watched that series while living in Luxembourg. You can imagine two women asking a bartender in a small town Luxembourgish townee bar in broken French to watch a baseball game, but hey, we had to do what we had to do to watch it. The grumpy old men in the bar found us amusing and stared most of the night while mumbling in Luxembourgish. That was the first time I watched the Tribe in the post-season overseas, the second being last October in Bulgaria. Hmm...maybe I should stay stateside when the team plays in October.

I'll be down in Cincy on Sunday to see the latest Reds-Indians series - it'll be the first time I see Voltron pitch. Then in June I'm going to Cleveland to watch the Reds.

Odds and ends...

As I was looking for the ticket stub from that Indians game at Memorial to double check the dates, I came across my 1990 Leaf Frank Thomas Rookie Card, once the most valuable of my collection at $90 and held in a four screw container to maintain its mint condition. The baseball card industry screwed itself by getting greedy and making the hobby something only adults with disposable income could afford to buy, and now that same card is being sold for around $40, still a good value for a piece of cardboard. All of the insert madness and the pre-rookie infant seat garbage that the industry started producing coupled with the explosion of "new" companies (most of which were owned by one of the big three, then four, then five) killed the value of cards as well as the fun of collecting. Do you know any kids who trade baseball cards any more?

Since my laptop died for good (not a hard drive problem, at least, but a problem with a crack in either the video card or the motherboard, something that will probably cost more to repair than a new laptop), I haven't been able to post photos or photoshops and am hoping Santa Claus breaks his stubbornness and brings me a new one now instead of in December. Santa's a Reds fan, right? I mean, he wears the colors. Except in Britain, apparently. You know, cuz Santa is an employee of Coca-Cola.

Also, don't forget to visit Let's Go Tribe for the other side's take on this weekend's series.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Well, well

at least I didn't get wet, though I did waste a bit of gas before getting the word that the game was canceled. I didn't make it all the way there.

Second time this week I've had a game rained out - I was supposed to go to the Dragons game on Sunday.

Really getting sick of this rain...

Oh, and Walt Jocketty scares me. While everyone else seems to be locking up their good young players, we still have ours toiling in the minors. The Reds want to know why they can't put butts in the seats? How many Reds execs does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Apparently, there aren't enough of them to do it and get the team out of the darkness.

I'm off to the game

Section 134, Row R. Pretty good seats. Hopefully yesterday's magic wears off on Belisle.

1. Freel cf
2. Hairston ss
3. Griffey rf
4. Phillips 2b
5. Encarnacion 3b
6. Valentin 1b
7. Dunn lf
8. Ross c
9. Belisle p

Valentin at first? I've given up complaining about Dusty's stupid lineups. And we though Jerry Moron was bad.

I hope I don't freeze or get wet.


Just kidding. They're not smart enough for that. I mean, why would you put the best team on the field when you can have Corey Patterson?

The thing about too many lefthanded bats is durhambullshit. Last time I checked, Patterson was lefthanded. There is no reason on Earth, the Milky Way, or the entire universe why he should be playing over Bruce.

Everyday I check all of the Reds sites in the hope one of them will tell me what I want to hear. Alas, Bruce still wears purple. The team has four more games left on the homestand before going on a seven game trip to California. If they don't bring him up in the next four games, we have to wait at least eleven. That's a lot of baseball to be played without putting your best team on the field.

So did Murphy get dropkicked?

This game reminded me of 2006. Good offense. Good Bronson. Bad something. Good ending. It was a roller coaster seemingly every game back then, right up to the last week of the season when the guys let us down. (Or rather, Ryan Franklin let us down.) This time around, it wasn't much of a roller coaster until the very end. Guess it's like the Racer or something - kind of dull until you hit the hills. That coaster always made me dizzy - do they still have it?

Can you imagine what Janish feels like right now? Forget heroin - go with getting the game winner for your first Major League hit. I mean, not only are you fulfilling your dream, but you do it in the best way possible. This team needed to come back and win that game after blowing a six run lead in the freaking ninth inning. Memories of past horror came flooding back, and then FSN had to reopen old wounds in showing that May 2005 game when Danny Graves blew a NINE run lead in the ninth. Oh, the pain! The team has a confidence problem and needs to know it can come back from such destruction. It's gonna take the fire of the young guys to do it.

Kudos to Hairston and Janish for picking Keppinger up. Keep it up, guys!

Remember that team that had the best record in baseball three days ago? We just took the series from them. I'm not really expecting to win tomorrow with Belisle on the mound, but I'm hoping to be surprised. Then it's onto the first place Indians, who've just played 43.2 innings of shutout baseball. Like Thom said, they're about due to give up a ton of runs! Hey look, we're only five under .500 right now. The first step is to get to .500...

(Photo is David Kohl/AP)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


You think with a 6 run lead going into the ninth inning everything is set, right?

Mr. Murphy needs to die.

3-3, HR, 3B, 2B, 2 BB, 3 RBI

Now hitting .366/.398/.662. That's a 1.060 OPS after today's Bats game against the Little Bankees.


Is this what it feels like when a kid gets coal for Christmas?

Man down!

I tell you what, the baseball gods must be pissed off at the Cincinnati Reds for some reason. I mean, starting on Opening Day when the rains poured down and the team lost, they have had nothing but bad luck. How can a guy with a 3.00 ERA like Harang have a 2-5 record?

Now, though, a much worse thing has happened. Just when the Reds have finally started playing well and are finally hitting, their leading hitter goes down with a broken knee cap and is out indefinitely. This isn't just a 15 day thing. Back in 2005, Keppinger had the same injury and missed half the season. Poor guy.

Perhaps the gods will cut us a break and give a happy to be in the Majors Janish a bat made of lightening. How will we replace Keppinger's offense if Janish hits .245? (An obvious solution is to BRING UP BRUCE, who is hitting .352/.378/.613 for the season at AAA. Look at Tampa Bay! They are in first place in a division that includes the Bankees and Green $ox! Did they leave Longoria toiling in the minors? No!)

I'd hate to think that just when things have started to go well, we lose a critical piece to the puzzle.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A win

So we lost two of three to the Mets and Johnny Be Bad showed up on Sunday. The fact is, we are four of our last eight and the team is hitting! But - there are some things that need to be changed NOW before it is too late.

1. DFA Patterson. I don't care if he had four hits last night - isn't that four more than he's had all week? Seems like it anyway. Looks like it isn't going to happen though, with Toothpick's man love for a career OBP under .300. Pathetic.

2. Bring up Bruce. I know the justification for leaving him toiling in the minors is that he doesn't walk enough and his OBP is lower than what they want, but how is he going to improve down there? He's only hitting .348/.375/.609. Last time I checked, a .375 OBP is higher than .276. PUT THE BEST TEAM ON THE FIELD.

3. DFA Belisle. Dude made his Major League debut in 2003. If he hasn't improved by now, he never will. Heck, I'd rather have Tom Shearn in that spot than Belisle or Fogg. Shearn's doing well in Louisville. He'd be a good place holder until Homer is ready, if Homer isn't brought up, that is.

4. Bring up Homer. He can't be worse than Belisle. He could be better, though.

5. Give Dusty Baker some Ritalin, because the guy doesn't seem to be paying attention...although batting out of order might be a good thing, because the team can't get any lower than that. The only way to go from there is up.

6. Trade Fogg. I know they are trying. They need to try harder.

7. DFA Todd Coffey. Yeah, I know he's in Louisville. And he's doing poorly down there. I'm afraid he's gonna get the call soon to come up.

Voltron tonight against Mark Hendrickson, a guy with a 4.93 career ERA. Isn't he the one who used to play in the NBA?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Are the bats finally starting to come around?

After last Wednesday's home run barrage, I started to wonder if the offense was finally starting to hit like people expected it would, but then there was the off day followed by the rain postponement, and well, sometimes long breaks are momentum killers. But the bats did not die. The Reds had fifteen hits in the first game, and though they lost, it was not for a lack of scoring runs but because Matt Belisle should be DFA'd. Then they go out and score seven more runs and get another fourteen hits to take the second game of the double header, and I'm thinking, hey, is it true? Is it really true? Are these guys finally going to hit?

And hey, Goodroyo showed up. Awesome pitching performance. Guess he wanted to get up there with our other three top ten strikeout pitchers in the league, eh?

Dear Mets, let us introduce you to Senor Johnny Cuest. Sorry you have to meet him in this way, as we are going to take the series from you. No hard feelings about those 96 mph heaters blowing by you, ok? But hey, we left you with a gift this weekend - your guys started hitting a bit, too. Don't give up, and stop booing your players. It's early in the season, and you guys have some good ones.

Let's go Cueto! Let's go Reds!

Can we end the Belisle experiment?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Oh Shea can you C?

So the Reds are going to that dump in Flushing they call Shea Stadium for the last time to take on an underachieving Mets team. If I were in DC right now, I'd take the bus up to the Big Apple to take in one or two of those games this weekend. But I'm in Ohio at the moment, so I guess I'll have to settle for FSN. I hope it's Thom and Chris and not George "A nuclear bomb has been dropped, I'm melting, and I'm still smiling" Grande. IT'S NOT A BLOOP IF IT GOES TO THE WALL!

I'm not feeling so confident going into NYC with Belisle and Arroyo pitching, the latter against Johan Best Pitcher in Baseball Santana, but something about that offensive display on Wednesday gives me hope that maybe the team's struggles are nearing their end. It wasn't just that Lieber was bad, because the Reds hit against other pitchers, too. We shall see.

Griffey called out the fans after the game on Wednesday. See, the negativity in Redsland IS getting to the players. People who've never played competitive sports just don't get how an environment like that affects a team. Still, the spoiled brats we have for players these days need to realize that without the fans, they can't PLAY A GAME for a living, and Griffey should shut up or go to Boston where the fake frontrunner fans fill the stadium and cheer loudly as long as the team is winning. You want to see more smiles and red caps around town? START WINNING CONSISTENTLY. It's amazing what winning will do, Mr. Junior. After Wednesday's game, notorious Reds bashers Tracy Jones and that other guy on his show actually said this team could be good. For a second I thought the world was ending.

The Reds can take two of three from the Mets and convince everyone that they have, indeed, turned it around. And when Junior's red caps fill the ballpark when the summer days are the kind that only grasshoppers and flies like, I will stand up proudly and say I always believed.

Be sure you check out for the other side's take on the series.

I had a dream

A baseball dream. I was at Spring Training, only it was now and the games actually counted. But the minor league teams all got to play before the Reds played at night. They wore Reds uniforms like they do in ST. We were watching the Dragons play a team called the Indians, though I don't think they were from Indianapolis. I went over to the players entrance because I wanted to wish Devin Mesoraco - the Reds 2007 first round draft catcher who was promoted yesterday to low A Dayton - good luck for his first professional game (I guess the GCL Reds of last year didn't count). Though he was the right height (the guy is on the short side in real life), he came in with large black sunglasses and curly black hair resembling an afro and didn't acknowledge my presence when I wished him luck. Why would he, as I was lying on the asphalt in the parking lot with a notebook open? Just another freak of a fan, I guess. This was right after there was something to do with aquarium fish, but I don't recall what that was about. And cats. And very tiny turtles in a sink. I remember trying to keep them from washing down the drain.

We sat on bleachers and before the game started, some guy in a full chieftan headdress came around and passed out little figures of their mascot giving the finger with cracked birds eggs running down it. Yeah, weird. I thought so in the dream, too, so I ignored the guy when he tried to hand me mine, but as soon as he passed, I wanted one and proceeded to go to the end of the bleachers to accept my strange gift. But he wouldn't give it to me, said I had my chance. Then I got the bright idea to go to the military recruits section. I put on BDUs so he wouldn't recognize me, but one of the recruits - they were on a special day away from basic training - got into trouble and so everyone in a military uniform had to do push ups. There were people from all four branches, but the Navy had to wear their dress whites while the rest of us wore BDUs. Then I heard the crowd scream so I got up and ran back to the game. I had missed Mesoraco's first home run, and he was the guy I had wanted to see play.

I woke up in a good mood, though, because I had just been at a baseball game, demented as it seemed.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

And now form the head!

Boy, do we have some good pitchers. Voltron is now the Major League leader in strikeouts, passing his teammate Hardluck Harang today with 10 Ks against the Chubbie$. Voltron's 1.06 ERA is second in the Majors.

Voltron's performance today was overshadowed by the offense, which hit seven homers, three of them by Joey Votto. The offensive explosion came a day after Hardluck Harang, normally a quiet guy who shows no emotion, put his foot through a clubhouse wall. Coincidence?

I'm not giving up on this team, not with the kind of pitching and power we have. Today's win was fun.

Hey, we just won a series.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Aaron Harang vs. Carlos Zambrano, Part 9,052

Last season, Aaron Harang and Carlos Zambrano hooked up four times, with Harang getting the better of Zambrano every time, earning 3 wins and a no decision that the Reds eventually won, while Zambrano lost all four games. (He did beat the Reds in two games in which Harang did not start.)

Aaron Harang lost six games last season. Six. Over the whole season. I emphasize this because he has already lost four games thanks to the wasteland that has swallowed the offense. But - they build entire communities in the deserts these days, so it's time to build some homes out of bats in that woeful wasteland. It'll happen. You just gotta believe.

In my eternally stupid optimism - or at least eternal until a team is twenty games out in July - I was trying to come up with some more evidence why we should have hope, and I found it last evening thinking of the Chub$ rotation. What rotation? They sent Rich Hill back to the minors, Ted Lilly has lost velocity and ability to pitch decently, Jason Marquis has a 5.08 ERA with a K/BB ratio of 21/15 in 33.2 innings, and there is a reason they call him Ryan Dumpster. Jon Lieber is about to enter the rotation, but he's anything but a sure thing. Bottom line is their rotation is a mess. If the offense goes into any length of slump or if they lose any of their big bats to injury, they will go on a Chub$-like losing streak. They have already lost 8 of their last 11.

It's time to send them on a long losing streak right now. I'm heading down to GAB to watch Harang kick Zambrano's butt! Woohoo! Go Reds!

Monday, May 05, 2008

What is wrong with the Reds

That is not a question, it's a title. What is wrong with the Reds is simple, brought to light today in Hal McCoy's blog:

I should have listened to one of the players who told a friend DURING spring training, “We stink.”

With attitudes like that, it's no wonder they really do stink.

Of course, Hal McCoy stinks these days, too. He's already thrown in the towel for the season, evidenced by his "Out of it by Mother's Day" post. Why in the world anyone would want to play in Cincinnati with the attitude of the fans and media is beyond me.

That clubhouse needs a shakeup. The Reds need to bring in players who WANT to be there, not the I get a paycheck jerks that have been leading this team in its losing for so long. Ok, so maybe Dunn can't be sent to the minors. But Bruce can certainly play in his spot for awhile. (I'm not a Dunn hater like many in Cincinnati, but I do think he needs to take a break to get his head on straight.)

I wonder who said it. We stink. I can imagine it coming out of Griffey's mouth. Dunn's too. Freel? Yeah, I can believe that. Arroyo? Yes. And maybe he just got his pronouns mixed. Brandon Phillips? Could have been him, too. I can't see any of the other guys saying that. I put my money on Junior.

But sorry, it's not over. Last year, the Rockies were 12-17 at this point. They were six games out at the end of July and had an amazing run to make it to the World Series. The Reds are similar to the Rockies team of last year in that they have a lot of unproven young guys, but it's early enough that they don't have to make an amazing run. There are still 130 games left. They will hit. They have always hit.

Have some faith. Hey Reds players, get your heads out of your butts and have some faith, too.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

!!?!This is beyond comprehension??!?

The Reds are not this bad. What the heck is going on? We need someone to blame. Well, I blame Corey Patterson. Get rid of him now and bring up Bruce.

Ryan Freel should never be allowed to steal. He's just too dumb to know how to do it. I'm tired of baserunners getting out for stupidity.

Bench Dunn. Just bench him. Maybe a week off will get his head on straight. He really needs to get his head out of his ass. Send him down to the minors like they did Edwin last year. A week or two down there would do him good. Bring up Bruce.

If I were to bet on baseball, I'd bet Arroyo goes on the DL tomorrow to make room for Weathers. I hope he doesn't spend his fifteen days drinking at the Blind Lemon or whatever that place is he goes.

I'll be at the game on Tuesday - Harang vs. Zambrano. Odds are on the Cubs to win the series, but we'll see. Something has to click soon. I think I'm bringing a "Where's Bruce?" sign. No, I don't think Bruce is the answer to all of these problems, but I think Griffey and Dunn are killing this offense and a new bat might bring some life to it.

It's mystifying, it really is. I don't want to give up hope, but right now, it's pretty tough to hope for anything. This team needs to stop feeling sorry for itself and start playing how they are capable of playing before it's too late. I have a feeling too late is coming sooner rather than later.

Sigh. I'm really depressed.