Thursday, December 31, 2009

Six six six

Reds who've worn number 6: Ed Bailey (1957-1958,1960), Johnny Edwards (1963), Woody Woodward (1969), Bob Barton (1973), Jeff Sovern (1976), Alex Grammas CH (1978), Bill Fischer CH (1979-1981,1983), Bo Diaz (1987), Ron Gant (1995), Ryan Freel (2000-2008), Drew Stubbs (2009-present)

The number of television and radio broadcasters the Reds apparently feel they need is 6.

The number of years the Reds had to go as "Redlegs" due to political paranoia was 6. (1954-1959)

The number of times in the seventies the Reds finished with a season record above .600 is 6. (1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976). Just think about that. This Reds decade has seen only one team finish over .500 and the Machine finished over .600 six times!!!

Six was Barry Larkin's position. He'll know if he goes into the Hall this year on the 6th of January. That's the Epiphany, and the Baseball Writers better have one of those when they're voting.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th homer in a Reds uni. There were 6 people in the stands in Miami that day.

Leatherpants, Bud Selig, Don Fehr, and Scott Boras all have three sixes marked on their foreheads.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lucky number seven

This 12 Days of Christmas by the Numbers is lame. Seven just isn't significant.

The number of NL West titles the Reds have won is 7.

Reds who've worn 7: Pat Corrales (1969), Hector Cruz (1979-1980), Don Werner (1976,1978-1979), Rafael Landestoy (1982), Russ Nixon MGR (1983), Billy DeMars CH (1986-1987), Lenny Harris (1989), Mariano Duncan (1990-1991), Al Newman (1992), Rick Wrona (1992), Kevin Mitchell (1993-1994, 1997), Curtis Goodwin (1996), Alex Ochoa (2000-2001).

Seven is a position with a gigantic question mark over it for the Reds. Of course, if they had JUST SIGNED DUNN then we'd be set.

Seven is, of course, Mickey Mantle's number always and forever. Speaking of Mantle, his history of injuries didn't keep him out of the Hall - why is this an issue for Larkin?

The best World Series and LCS go to 7 games. Unless the Reds are in it. I don't need that heart attack.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eight

Eight White Sox were kicked out of baseball for the Black Sox Scandal. The Reds could have won anyway.

Reds who've worn number 8: Frank House (1960), Don Pavletich (1967), Rafael Landestoy (1983), Joe Sparks CH (1984), Bo Diaz (1986), Terry McGriff (1987-1990), Juan Samuel (1993), Joe Morgan (1972-1979).

Number 8 is retired by the Reds. Duh.

The number of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball is only 8%.

Cal Ripken's giant 8 statue was stolen from outside Camden Yards this year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Niner niner niner

Continuing with the 12 Days of Christmas by the Numbers series, today's number is 9.

Of course, the most obvious 9 in baseball is the number of men on the field.

The Reds have won 9 NL Pennants.

Reds who've worn 9: Dutch Dottier (1959-1960), Hal Bevan (1960), Hal Smith CH (1969), Bill Plummer (1973-1974,1976-1978), Vic Correll (1979-1980), Mike O'Berry (1981-1982), Dann Bilardello (1983), Vern Rapp MGR (1984), Max Venable (1986-1987), Luis Quinones (1988), Joe Oliver (1989-1994), Eric Anthony (1995)

The Reds have retired 9 numbers.

Ted Williams is the best player to have worn number 9.

The Reds have had 9 consecutive losing seasons.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ten

Next in our 12 Days of Christmas in Numbers series is the number 10.

Reds who have worn 10: Eddie Kasko (1960), Vern Benson CH (1969), Sparky Anderson MGR (1970-1978), Tom Foley (1983-1985), Luis Quinones (1989-1991), Bip Roberts (1992-1993), Eddie Taubensee (1994-2000).

Ten, of course, has been retired by the Reds and Sparky Anderson is in the Hall of Fame.

Ten is the number of pennants the Reds have won, although one of those was with the American Association.

In each of his 10 MLB seasons, Jason Marquis' team has gone to the post season.

There are 10 starters in American League baseball. There should only be 9.

Ten is the next year the Reds go to the playoffs!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On the Larkinth Day of Christmas

Continuing with the 12 Days of Christmas by the Numbers series, today we reach 11, which, of course, is Barry Larkin's number always and forever more (the Reds will put it up on the wall one day soon.)

Other Reds who have worn number 11: Roy McMillan (1957-1958,1960), Hal McRae (1972), Denis Menke (1973), Bob Bailey (1976), Ron Plaza CH (1978-1981,1983), Dann Bilardello (1984-1986), Kurt Stillwell (1986-1987), Barry Larkin (1988-2001)

Ryan Zimmerman is the best player now wearing number 11.

Eleven is the number of pitchers a team should have on its roster. Unfortunately, that's never the case.

The chain 7/11 pays money to have games start at 7:11pm on occasion.

The longest losing streak the Reds have had was the 11 losing seasons in a row from 1945-1956.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Fa la la la lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala...

This is the first day of Christmas. For the next twelve days, I will be posting about each day's number and its significance to baseball. So here we go: 12.

The Reds have made 12 playoff appearances in their history.

Did you know that when the Bankees$ originally began to wear uniform numbers that 12 was used by starting pitchers?

Reds players who have worn number 12 are: Smoky Burgess (1955), Darrel Chaney (1972-1974), Dave Revering (1978), Harry Spilman (1980-1981), German Barranca (1982), Wayne Krenchicki (1983), Nick Esasky (1983-1988), Joel Youngblood (1989), Paul Noce (1990), Freddie Benavides (1992), Willie Greene (1992-1998), Deion Sanders (1994), Dusty Baker (too long).

You can buy packs of a dozen baseballs at your local sporting goods store.

Twelve players tested positive for stimulants during 2009.

Roberto Alomar, who is up for the Hall of Fame with Barry Larkin, wore number 12 during his career.

There are 108 stitches on a Major League Baseball, which is divisible by 12, equally 9, which is the number of players on the field. This, of course, means absolutely nothing.

In 1912, Redland Field opened in Cincinnati. Redland, of course, was later renamed Crosley Field.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Huh. From the Did You Know Files.

Chances are if you are reading this soon after the publishing time, I am on a flight to Dayton, as long as the Snowpocalypse backups don't affect my flight from National Airport. I do look forward to eating Skyline and Cassano's sometime in the coming days!

A few days ago Red Reporter gave a final rundown of the Best 100 Reds series. An interesting side note was some of the fun names the Reds have had in the past. I like to look at turn of the century rosters to see all of the unusual names and the great nicknames they had back then. As I was pouring over a few rosters from the early twentieth century, I came across some interesting names, not for their unusual sound, but because of their unusual ethnicity, at least for that time - Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida.

Turns out, Marsáns and Almeida, who both debuted on July 4, 1911 for the Reds, are recognized by Major League Baseball as the first Cuban MLB baseball players. Both of them spent time in the Negro Leagues. Though they were light skinned Cubans, the Reds had to refute rumors that they had "negro blood."

Almeida spent only three years in MLB, all with the Reds, mostly as a bench player. Marsáns, on the other hand, was a good player who finished 18th and 24th in MVP voting in 1912 and 1913 respectively. However, a falling out with the manager of the Reds led to his quitting the team and going to play for the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League in 1914. It was his last good season. Legal battles with the Reds plagued him for the next few years, forcing him at one point to return to Cuba. He went to the Browns the next year and to the Yankees for two seasons after that, but he was never the player he was for those two brilliant seasons for the Reds.

The Reds discovered the pair on a trip to Cuba in 1908 to play exhibition games against the Cuban teams.

You can read the great bio of Marsáns here at the Baseball Biography Project. Interesting stuff.

Of all the firsts the Reds have had, this is one I didn't know about.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Secret Thoughts of Scott Rolen

I'm getting old. I can just feel it in my bones. I'm so glad I got out of Canada. They talk funny up there. Joey talks like that, but I'm gonna try to get him to stop. Probably won't though, cuz Canucks are like that. They think Canada is the greatest country on Earth. Stupid Canucks. Ever hear of a place called the United States of America? Man, am I glad to be out of there and back in the States. In Real America, too, the Midwest, where they don't have all those East Coast elitists like they do back in Philly. Stupid East Coast elitists and their fancy shmancy double soy lattes and their public transportation and their knowledge. So glad I got some security for the next few years. I just hope the fans don't give me some stupid nickname like Grandpa Rolen or something like that. Seems like the fans always give stupid nicknames. And the reporters will use headlines like "Cincinnati Rolen Past the Cubs" when I do well and maybe if I don't do well they'll say, "Bob Howsam Rolen in His Grave at Contract." That would be bad. Ha. It's kind of funny, though. I had a good year last year. Too bad I got hit in the head and got that concussion. Man, I can't wait to play the Cardinals and beat the heck out of them. LaRussa won't know what hit him. Sweet revenge. Boy was that a bad situation, with LaRussa being such a jerk all the time. I hope there aren't any jerks in Cincinnati. Phillips might be kind of a jerk. I'm still not sure on that. Baker's not a jerk - he's a real player's manager who respects veterans because they've been around. Not like that jerk LaRussa who played younger guys over veterans because their on base percentage was higher. I mean, seriously, where's the respect? Well, anyway, I gotta go wrap some presents. I'd like some nice hot chocolate now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Big Time Machine

Here's Pete Rose on Phil Donahue from 1985. The hairdos and graphics are great. Enjoy!











Oh, Pete, why did you ruin everything?

Friday, December 18, 2009

No, occifer, I ain't been drinkin' none

Continuing with video week, since Fridays are amateur drunk night, I thought I'd leave you with some images of drunken Reds fans.









Remember - Cincinnati got kicked out of the National League for selling beer!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is it April yet?



Since we're in an extended rain delay, I thought I'd post this Brandon "Lucky Charms" Phillips rain delay interview. Plus I can't think of anything to write about.

Sigh...I'd sit through a two hour rain delay just to be at a baseball game. Come to think of it, it rained in all but two of the ten or so MLB games I attended this year. (Funny, Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain" just came on the shuffle as I was typing this. No joke.) Actually, not true - one of those games it didn't rain but snowed.

Doo doo doo...banana phone...it's much too early to have the baseball restlessness.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baseball in Technicolor



Continuing to rely on YouTube because I can't think of anything good to write, I thought I'd post this video of Reds pitching from the last decade and a blogger's response at the end.

You can watch the whole cartoon here. Pretty funny. And odd seeing ads in the cartoon for champagne and tobacco.

Another amusing old cartoon I found is "Goofy's How to Play Baseball" made back when Disney made films to make films:



I thought it interesting to hear some of the terminology we rarely use anymore like "speedball" and "slowball."

And here's a great Woody Woodpecker from 1943:



Here's Charlie Brown floating out to sea on a pitcher's mound:



Here, Clyde Crashcup from The Alvin Show invents a Cubs fan:



Ah, the good old days of cartoons.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ice Coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooold



This guy's actually an opera singer. There are a couple of other real singers who are beer vendors at GAB(p), too. What an interesting job that would be, except for the carrying around the heavy beer and all. I remember the first season in Washington one of the beer vendors was fat and by the end of the season he had lost a ton of weight because of all the carrying and walking up and down the stairs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

1891: The year Cincinnati had two major league baseball teams



I came across this trailer for a film on the 1891 Kelly's Killers of the American Association. The story goes like this. In 1891, the Cincinnati Reds of the National League were bankrupt and sold to a group that wanted to move them to the American Association (the league the Red Stockings had played in after they were kicked out of the National League for playing games on Sundays and selling beer, only to be reinstated in 1890.) The National League threatened to put another franchise in Cincy if the Reds moved to the AA, so they stayed. But the AA was left with an uneven number of teams - seven - so they put another team in Cincy, also called the Reds, but people called them Kelly's Killers to distinguish between them and the National League Reds. Mike Kelly was the captain of the team.

The team played above their ability for awhile but faded out of contention in August and then disbanded. The AA replaced them with the Milwaukee Brewers, and the league folded at the end of the season.

Many people don't realize that the American Association was a Major League and that each season, a sort of World Series was played between it and the puritanical National League. Our Reds won the AA in 1882, the first year of the AA, playing at the same site as Crosley Field. It's a shame the Reds don't really recognize these years and this pennant.

An interesting note is that Kelly's Killer Frank Dwyer went on to pitch for the Reds for eight seasons. Dwyer is eighth on the all-time wins list for the Reds.

This documentary was supposed to come out in August. Has anyone seen it? I am trying to find out more information, but the website for the Society for Cincinnati Sports Research (SCSR), the documentary's producer, is sparse. They have a website devoted to Kelly's Killers, but there is nothing about the film.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There's something about an Aqua Velva man...





The War on Errors: A Lesson in Language

The English word "Church" comes from the Greek word kuriakon, which was used to mean a place of worship. Many European languages use some derivative of this word - kirche in German, църква (crkva) in Bulgarian, kerk in Dutch, and kyrka in Swedish.

In the New Testament, the word "church" is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, meaning "assembly." You might recognize it if you know any of the Latin languages - iglesia in Spanish, église in French, igreja in Portuguese, chiesa in Italian. εκκλησία is still used in Greek. Persian, too, uses a derivative of the Greek: (kilisa) کلیسا Turks use the same word, kilise. I imagine the Arabic (kinisa) الكنيسةis some bastardization of the Farsi or the Turkish, but I don't have direct knowledge of that.

The word "baseball" was directly given to human beings by the Baseball Gods but underwent babelian transformations as it slowly spread across the globe, from its humble beginnings in England to its perfection in America to its becoming the national pastime in Japan to its drafty abuse of Latin American children. Various forms of the game are beisbol in Spanish, honkbal in Dutch, bejzbol in Croatian, among a few others. For the most part, the word baseball has remained in its pure state - even the French, who are obsessed with having their own word for everything (see this WSJ article on their agony over how to translate cloud computing), use the word baseball.

In Arabic it is... كرة القاعدة (korat al-qaeda)! AHHH...baseball has been invaded by terrorists! It's the Crusades! We must arm ourselves against the hordes of leatherpants-clad warriors who hate us for our beautiful game! We must fight against the baseball extremists - Al-lenselig, Don Aldfehr, Al-Bert Poojols, Al-lCubsfans, Al-Exrod Riguez, Scott Al-Boras...

Ok, enough sarcastic hysterics. This is what happens in the off season. April 5th seems so far away...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Church for Church

Ryan Church was non-tendered by the Braves today. I wouldn't mind seeing him compete for a leftfield spot on the Reds. (See? I'm a fan.)

In my opinion, Church got the shaft when he was with the Nationals, which really impeded his progress. Old Leatherpants just didn't like him. When they finally let him play as a full-time starter in 2007, he hit .272/.349/.464 with 15 homers and 70 RBI in 144 games.

Of course, injuries are a problem for him, but he might make a good platoon with Gomes if the Reds can sign Gomes. I suppose if they can sign Gomes, they won't have the money to sign Church. And this is assuming they won't be able to sign Nix.

You know how sometimes you just take a liking to a player for no explainable reason? Church is one of those guys for me. I won't be upset if the Reds make a run for him.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"When you are burning in Hell, I hope to be burning food on my Pete Rose Signature Grill."

There's a website Emails from Crazy People. It's along the same lines as You Suck at Craig's List, People of Walmart, and Passive-Aggressive Notes. I enjoy looking at these sites when I get a little frustrated at work.

I came across this one that is sort of Reds-related and thought I'd share it because it made me LOL and it sort of goes with the Church of Baseball theme.

ATTENTION: Ryan alkdfddgdf (aka: fraudulent scammer):

On May 1, 2009, a Pete Rose signature grill (Pete Rose (Signature Series) Roto-Grill! eBay ID: akjflakdjflaksdjf) was ordered from your Ebay auction. Along with that order was payment through debit card. Our bank shows you received $79.00 from our account on May 4, 2009. We have not heard from you regarding this order, its shipment, or anything. We have made repeated attempts to contact you through Ebay, and you have not responded. It is beginning to look like a fraudulent listing. If this is the case, every attempt will be made to get law enforcement involved. We have already been working with Ebay to start a case against you for your lack of communication and this seemingly fraudulent item posting. You got the money, as per the agreement. Up to this point, you have not upheld your end of the agreement by shipping us the item that we paid for.
It goes on.
You have lined your pockets in an unsavory manor and apparently have no desire to communicate with us about this order or the fact that you have no intention of shipping the item we bid on and paid for the day the order was placed. What kind of racket do you run? You know, living in Utah, I would have thought that some Mormon values would have entered into your business practices. You are not an upstanding Mormon at all!! Hmmmm…Where in the Hell is my grill?! It does not take 15 days to ship something from Salt Lake City to Cheyenne, Wyoming!! The distance is not that far. I bet you scam little old ladies who live on limited incomes, too. Do you do that, Ryan? You are one of those people who do not believe in honest work for honest pay, are you Ryan? Funny thing, I have a friend named Ryan, and he is a low-down, dishonest, shady character, too!! What do you suppose the chances of that are? You know, greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and it is quite clear that you are a greedy Godless person who does not care in the least about being dishonest and greedy with people. You obviously do not have any pride, which by the way is another deadly sin…but being so consumed by greed, you will surely burn in Hell for that deadly sin which you practice so well. When you are burning in Hell, I hope to be burning food on my Pete Rose Signature Grill. I plan on grilling a meal to commemorate you as you burn in Hell. First, I plan to grill the very tiny little smokies to signify the tiny wand between your legs that you use to screw people who send you money for products thought to be legitimate. I will also grill two very shriveled up raisins to signify the very tiny balls you have. I apologize if you are a eunuch (and I am half guessing you are), in which case, you don’t have any balls to signify with raisins. If you are, indeed, a eunuch, I will replace the raisins with thin slice of tuna to signify the flat void you have between your legs. I will burn each item sufficiently to match what you will look like as you burn in Hell!! Now, that we have the niceties out of the way, WHERE IN THE HELL IS THE GRILL THAT WAS ORDERED OVER TWO WEEKS AGO?! You should already have a map of Hell and should be able to locate the grill quickly…that is if you know how to read a map. Do they teach that skill in fraud and scammer school? I bet you were valadicklesstorian of the class, weren’t you, Ryan?! I could go on and on, but I am pretty certain you won’t respond to this email, either.

Sincerely,

Non-Hell Dweller
Wow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rant away those winter blues

It's winter - we need something to do with our time, right? I present you with another great Marty moment:



One of my favorite Marty moments in recent years (and there really aren't too many of them, to be honest) is this rant against Chub$ fans when they threw a bunch of balls onto the field after a Dunn homer. He summed up what we think of them brilliantly and pissed off a lot of Chub$ fans. The rest of us - even fans of other non-Chub$ teams - found the rant wonderful enough for someone to create a Facebook page Marty Brennaman Is My New Hero.

Chub$ fans aren't obnoxious? Here's a perfect example of what Marty was talking about:



Unfortunately, they still won the division that season but were wonderfully swept by Los Angeles in the Division Series. It makes me happy to think this man might have cried.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

For this winter day, I present you: Hot Red Hot



This made me LOL. Oh, how terrible it was, but I'd put up with another equally as bad recording if we could have another trophy.

Here's my update for Reds Rap 2010. Can you picture Harang and Bruce trying to rap?

Ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh
Let me tell you a story about a baseball team
On top of the game and it's not a dream
From fourth to first the pennant we can win
Now I present THE CHAMPIONS!

Hot, red hot
Hot, red hot

Harangutan here with the rest of my crew
BP, C-Dick, and Voltron, too
Coming to you live just to bust the groove
With some help from my homeboys to make you move
This is the time of year to take the pennant
Ain't no half steppin', so let's win it!
Listen up, listen to the story,
This is the year, the moment of GLORY!

I'm from the streets, the streets of CA
I chose ball, and I'm really good, eh?
I've seen people playing hockey acting like they're cool
If they were smart, a bat would be their hitting tool.
Enough of that, I wanna beat that Cardinal Poo.
Just listen up, that's what I want to talk aboot.
Back to this rap, and this is what I got to say
In twenty-ten we're gonna take it all the way.

We're the Reds, red hot
We're the Reds, red hot

Strike three, he's out, you'll always hear
With Johnny Quest you'll have no fear
All year long I'll be the best
So all you critics forget the rest.
This is my time to shine, that's why I'm bustin' this rhyme.
The pitch I'm throwing today - aye carumba! muy caliente!

When duty calls Jay will deliver
With crushing blows that'll make you shiver

Stubbs in the outfield running down shots
Fly balls, line drives, they gotta be caught

It's been a long time, I've taken some heat
Because of my managing we're gettin' beat
I send C-Pat and Willy to the dish
And the pitcher says, You can't touch this

Yo, take it to the seventh inning stretch!

Go Bronson! Go Bronson! Go, go, go Bronson!

Uncut, no work, I have no pain
Me and my guitar we're together again
Another homer, look out, who can it be?
Oh, we're in Toronto for season three!

There's more to life than O.B.P.
You can make it to the big leagues like Willy T.
Striking out, grounding out is what I do
They pay me millions, yes it's true.

This is the roster, it's really not full
Leftfield has a great big hole
Shortstop Soft-J comes with no bat
How long til Alonso wears a C hat?

We're the Reds, red hot?
We're the Reds, not hot?

Here's a special message for Walt:

Say no to Carroll, no to bad contracts
Just get us someone to hit the ball with the bat
And you can win the World Series all right
Not by making bad trades but doing what is right.

Say no to Willy, yes to Gomes
Just get us someone who can get on and cross home
And we can win the World Series for once
It's been twenty years since we were champions!

We're the Reds, red hot
We're the Reds, red hot

Hey there we're doing this for you...

We're the Reds, red hot
We're the Reds, red hot

Everybody clap your hands...

Hmm...that turned out a little more bitter than I had hoped.

And then there was this:



It's hard to think Cincinnati sports teams used to be good. I'm still not certain the Bengals are really in first place. If only the Reds would follow suit...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Cincinnati Reds Basketball Club?

When I was a kid, there was something different the Reds did during winters. These days I'm sure they aren't allowed to do it for insurance purposes, but back then, you got to watch the Cincinnati Reds play a sport even during the off season. That sport was basketball.

I don't remember how many years they did it, but I know it was a few. The Reds had a traveling basketball team that went to different high schools and played basketball for charity. It wasn't just the nobodies who played, either. The stars played, too - Barry Larkin, Paul O'Neill, Hal Morris, Joe Oliver...the good old days when the Reds were a winning franchise. Barry Larkin's brother was also part of the team - Byron is it? He was the best player, as if I recall correctly, he was a college basketball star? (Fuzzy memories...)

The highlight was not the game itself, but the autograph sessions afterward. I must have those programs somewhere back in Ohio, all smeared with glorious ink at the hands of a ballplayer - I'll have to get them out and scan them to show you some time.

I mentioned this on Twitter (@churchofbasebal) and someone said he had never heard of these traveling winter teams. I'm wondering - does anyone else remember the Reds winter basketball teams?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Feeling cold tonight? Listen to this gem of a memory!

video


I have saved this and listened to it from time to time as a heartwarmer. It was the greatest Reds comeback in my personal memory, and my heart fills with joy every single time I listen to it. Such a wonderful warmer on this dark and very cold night!

Campaign Time



If I campaign, will they take away my tax-exempt status?
___

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Coincidence? Or Divine Intervention?

Really jealous of those who are at Redsfest this weekend. We certainly have the best team festival in all of baseball, and I'd like to thank the Reds for putting it together. I'm wearing Reds gear today and am really happy to hear Dusty Baker said Stubbs is the starting centerfielder (also that Taveras is being Stubbs and Dickerson on the CF depth chart and Heisey is listed as the starting leftfielder.) I've really enjoyed all of the Tweets today from Redsfest - seems like everyone's there - Red Reporter, Redleg Nation, OMG Reds, Reds Minor Leagues...

In January I'm going to Beirut for what is most likely the whole year aside from a trip back to Washington for work every three or four months or so. (And a week in Paris to see U2.)

One of these trips back is going to be in July so I can see U2 in Chicago, Philly, and New York over a two week span. (Yeah, I know it's a little excessive.)

Now, as I was looking at the Reds schedule to see about catching a game over the course of those two weeks, at first I was disappointed because the Reds weren't at home. Then I saw where they were going.

My shows are July 6 in Chicago and July 12 in Philly. It just so happens that the Reds are in Chicago July 1-4 and in Philly July 9-11.

Huh. Of all the things. What are the chances of one, let alone two times working out like this?

(Oh, btw, if you were wondering about this weird U2 stuff, when they came out with their latest album, they had a song about Lebanon. Two weeks later, I had a job that I didn't interview for in a Lebanon organization. And I'll be living there next year. Also, an image such for Achtung Baby came up with this Bronson photo.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Baseball dream of the week

At the Reds game with the family, a meaningless game at the end of another season out of contention. Still, the game is exciting. The stadium is neither Great American nor Riverfront but looks like a combination of both. In the ninth inning, the Reds are winning, but the other team gets a couple of runners on. The Reds are able to close it out, though, and I say, "there's nothing more satisfying than a Reds victory, even when it's meaningless." We get up to head to the car and I walk much faster than my family and we are separated. The ramps are the Riverfront ramps. I go back to try to find them and suddenly find the parking lot is inside the stadium (actually, in real life at the Reds first ballpark, horses and carriages were permitted to park in the outfield!) I assume they had just left me behind. I look from afar at two places my mother usually parked. The red Jeep Cherokee isn't there in the first spot but is located in the second - down the third baseline. So I have to try to find them.

As I walked around the stadium, I encountered a pro-Palestine rally. The rally is fuzzy - all I know was that it was a line of people with signs on a ballpark terrace overlooking the river. I continued on and hit some sort of market for foreign art that looked mostly like junk. Then I found a line at a movie theater for a movie I had never hear of. I talked to some of the people in line and they judged me for not hearing of it because "everybody has seen it."

I finally found my mother and two sisters in a bar drinking pints of Bud Light. I said something about being sorry and thought you'd left me, but they just ignored me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Twaseball

Hey, I've started a Twitter account for this site - @churchofbasebal - because I want to go back to my original "daedalus" purpose with that account. Yes, it only has one L at the end because of the character limit.

Today's tweets:

Did you know? The NY Bankee$ interlocking logo was first designed to be a medal for NYPD shot in the line of duty?

The crack of the bat is the requiem of a pitch.

Almost doesn't count. Ask Brad Lidge.

It's all baseball, no politics, no music, no random comments. Just baseball. I promise. If you have a Twitter account, please follow me. (I seem to have rediscovered my love of words of late and am going to be reengaging this blog!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Reds weren't always a poorly managed team...

Doing a little research on the Negro Leagues. Night baseball was firmly entrenched in the Negro Leagues by the time the Reds decided to be the first MLB team to try it.
The one man who deserves full credit for bringing lights to the majors is Larry MacPhail, a flamboyant baseball executive and innovator for two decades starting in 1930. In that year, MacPhail became president of the Columbus, Ohio, franchise in the minor league American Association. Among the changes he brought to the club was the introduction of night baseball, having noted other minor leagues team‘s success with it. It was a wise decision. In 1931, Columbus outdrew its parent St. Louis Cardinals club by 30,000 for the season, largely due to night games.

In 1933, MacPhail was elected general manager of the Cincinnati Reds, a franchise that was suffering losing records, poor attendance, and poor finances. Partly through the force of MacPhail’s personality, the National League agreed to allow each of its eight members to play seven night games apiece during the 1935 season. The only team that accepted the offer was Cincinnati. Lights were installed at the old Crosley Field and on May 24, 1935, the Reds defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 in the first night game.

MacPhail’s gamble paid off when fans flocked to the night games. At the end of the season, the Reds total attendance had doubled from the previous year. More importantly, the seven night contests had averaged 18,620 spectators per game; the other 69 home games, a paltry 4700, proving that fans actually seem to prefer non-daylight games. With the increased revenue, MacPhail was able to build winning teams that won pennants in 1939 and 1940 and were the World Series champs in 1940. (emphasis mine)
Read more if you want.

I'm reading a book called Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism. It's mostly free-market enthusiasts talking points, but it does have some good ideas. There's a general recognition - especially after, well, you know, the economic collapse and the Wall Street idiocy and all - that the way things work now (or "work") has no future. Innovation has always been the future. Innovation has always driven real capitalism (as opposed to the corporatism from which we suffer).

Yes, I like to joke (with lots of sarcasm, bitterness, and truth) about large markets and unlevel playing fields and all, but that's the reality at this point. There's no hope of a salary cap or anything close to making things "fair." The truth is, only innovation is going to overcome the big guys. It's true in business, and baseball, being a business, is no exception. Billy Beane was innovative, and the A's won more titles than their Bay Big Brother Giants in this decade.

In this book Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, big firms are a part of the economy and play a role in taking the innovative ideas and making them widespread. That's what the Yankees have been doing - they've taken Beane's sabermetric model and used it successfully. By no means have the Yankees ever been innovative - they just pay more money than others.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that baseball has become a little more uneven since the reign of Emperor Selig. But it's not like baseball hasn't ALWAYS been uneven. The New York teams used to use teams like the Reds as AAAA teams back in the days when the world was in black and white or not even filmed. The best example I can think of is how the Giants got the Reds to give them Christy Mathewson for pretty much nothing (no offense, Amos Rusie - you were at the end of your Hall of Fame career.), who subsequently had 17 HOF seasons before he was traded back to the Reds and played for half a season. (To be fair, the Reds got Edd Roush out of it - guess the Giants couldn't see the Hall of Fame future after 39 MLB games with them.)

Isn't it time for the Reds to be innovative again?

I can think of a lot of things that they could do to draw attendance, but unfortunately in this day and age, you can't say anything without someone stealing it and claiming a copyright. So I'll continue to scour the Reds job openings and wait for the right time.
___

Writing about Josh Gibson right now...

Why is it that it took me ten years to realize that the X-Files baseball episode "The Unnatural" was about Josh Gibson, and the alien in the character "Josh Exley" was a metaphor for the alienation black ballplayers felt for not being allowed to play Major League Baseball?

Friday, November 13, 2009

“Oh God, no.”

Thus spake Walt Jocketty when asked if Votto could be part of a trade deal.

Fewer words more beautiful have not been spoken.
___

The name game

Was thinking about some of the funny names in baseball and thought I'd create a little game out of it. Players can be current or past. Answers are in the comments.


A water management project completed.

The ashes on one's head on Ash Wednesday.

A canis lupus in heat.

A blue colored bird's contusion.

What you do with an empty soda glass.

Iron tongue meets fruit-filled pastry.

A very heavy child who was born out of wedlock.

When a baby dropped a bottle in the back of a taxi and the lid came off.

What the umpire did when the pitch that walked a batter was outside.

What the guy with three young kids said when his wife told him she was pregnant again.

What the guy had who was eating a rueben at mass.

What the guys asked each other when they were shouting at their friend from far away.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Rubbish

The Reds have taken out the garbage recently, getting rid of a lot of the roster fillers and all. However, the thing that's stinking up the rubbish bin is still stuck to the bottom, rotten, moldy, and emitting toxins into the air.

Still, there's pleeeeenty of time to take a firehose to the bin. Too much time.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Realignment

Red Reporter has some suggestions about how to fix MLB's unlevel playing field.

I really like that realignment idea. You could group it according to market size so it looks like this:

American League

AL Large

Bankee$
Red Sox
Angels
Rangers

AL Medium

Tigers
Indians
Blue Jays
Orioles
White Sox

AL Small

Rays
Royals
Twins
A's
Mariners

National League

NL Large

Mets
Dodgers
Giants
Chub$
Deadbirds

NL Medium

Asstros
Phillies
Nationals
Marlins
Diamondbacks
Braves

NL Small

Reds
Pirates
Rockies
Padres
Brewers

Of course, you'd have to stop interleague play and not play the same teams five thousand times a year on account of the time zones and all.

The leagues could be named after ballplayers. I choose Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and some pitcher - Cy Young? Nolan Ryan? Sandy Koufax? (Too many Dodgers!)

What do you think?

Friday, November 06, 2009

In case you're interested...

The Bankee$ pukefest is going to be live somewhere on the interwebs. If you want to watch it, google it. I'm not helping anyone who wants to watch the Bankee$ celebrate their $200 million payroll.

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

UGH.

Oh, and Ramon Hernandez. Good move on the Reds part, I think. Opting for the $1 million buyout and renegotiating for a smaller contract? Bravo, Walt. Because the Reds are not the Bankee$.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New film about Josh Gibson

It's about time someone made a good film on maybe the greatest ballplayer who ever lived. NY Times has the scoop.
A new documentary, however, not only tells of Gibson’s legendary baseball accomplishments — historians and former players debate whether he actually hit a home run out of the old Yankee Stadium in 1934 — but it also tries to make the case that his drinking and apparent demons were a result of the brain tumor that eventually killed him.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'll say it now...

I WANT LaMafia to be manager next year. I can't stand him, but he knows what he's doing. Bob, spend the money on LaMafia and his sidekick Duncan, and you will more than make up for it come October of next year. I really believe that. Position by position, the Reds on paper are better than the division winning Deadbirds of this year. I really believe that, too. Except Pujols, who's in another league, but I like our guy at first!

The Division Series have been great so far (except for the Bankee$ defeating the Twins.) The games have been exciting, close, good pitching, timely hitting, and the Deadbirds got swept. Can't get much better than that.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What a game!

I was rooting for the Tigers last night, but man, what a game that was!

With the Twins win, that leaves two teams I don't care about (Twins, Rockies), five teams I hate (Bankee$, Bread $ox, Codger$, Deadbirds, and Di$ney$), and the Phillies.

I want the Twins to beat the Bankee$ in three games, don't care about the other AL game because whoever wins I want the Twins to beat them, too, want the Codger$ to beat the Deadbirds in three games then get beat by the Phillies in four games. Then the Twins and the Phillies can play seven games and have the last game go 24 innings with the score tied 1-1.

Overall, I'm not enthused by the teams playing October baseball this year. I'd be more enthused about the Phillies if they hadn't won last year.

Tell you what, though. When I saw those Twins fans' euphoria after their victory, I became extremely jealous. I wonder - will we Reds fans ever get to feel that?

Maybe.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Article on Jerry Hairston, Jr. in the Times

Lucky guy gets to go to the playoffs this year. This quote makes me sad:
“I hate to sound corny, but I dreamt we were popping Champagne,” he said. “Only, I thought it would be with the Reds.”
Sigh...

Read the article.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm gonna miss this

Yesterday about 3pm there was a woman in the lobby of my office building with stacks of free Nationals tix, so I scooped up four of them and went to the ballpark after work.

Adam Dunn hit a homer - his 38th of the season. He's already hit his 100 RBI. Oh, and he's hitting .279 right now, making this pretty much the best season of his career.

That was the extent of good baseball. The Dunn bomb gave the Nationals a 2-1 lead, and it was the last time Major League baseball was played on that field by the home team, for the Little Leaguers took over after that. What a craptastic game.

Did I mention Adam Dunn hit his 38th homer of the season and is batting .279?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Pedro!

Been pretty busy lately, trying to save the world and all. Or at least the country that seems to be at the center of all of the world's conflicts - past, present, and probably but hopefully not future.

I was thinking about the season and how I haven't been to a baseball game since the Reds came to Washington at the beginning of June - no wait, Randy Johnson's 300th, whichever came last - and how this is pretty new to me, this not paying attention to baseball, and it really makes me quite sad.

You know about my trip, but that was only two weeks, and it was in July and this is now September and it's cold and gray and the leaves are shaking with September's sad song and there's a sort of violence on the television screens that acts as The Sport and all of the color is starting to drain from the world.

I hate it.

I hate it because September baseball has been meaningless for me for the past decade. Sure, you get to see all the rookies take a few swings and all, but for far too long we've held out hope in those guys and nothing ever comes of it.

I saw this guy in the Metro this morning wearing a Reds hat and jersey - a real fan, not wearing it just for the colors - and I said "nice shirt" and he said "I'm going to see Adam Dunn tonight" and I said "Me too!" But I lied. I'm not going to see Dunn. I'm going to see Pedro. Dunn isn't Dunn with that Natinals stitched upon his chest. No, Dunn was in the wrong uniform all season and his real team scored fewer runs than everyone else in baseball.

Ah, remember the days when Dunn and Kearns were the future, back when "wait til next year" actually meant something...

Well, Reds, I'm not waiting anymore. I haven't given you a dime since that last time I saw you lose in DC when it was still spring and you still had a winning record. I knew even then it wouldn't last. I have watched a handful of games on television since then. I'm not sure you won even one of them.

So I'm going to a baseball game tonight, and I'm going to see a GOOD team play with a future Hall of Famer taking the mound in a funny colored uniform. It's a cold and gray day, a rotten vegetable of a day, just like the taste baseball has left in my mouth this season.
___

Friday, August 21, 2009

There's always next decade...or the one after that.

A few years ago, well, several years now, I attended a game at Camden Yards commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1983 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baltimore Orioles. This World Series was the last one the Orioles appeared in, and I said aloud, “It’s so sad that a team has been so bad that the only thing it has to celebrate is the 20th anniversary of its last World Series appearance.”

At that time, the Reds were in the midst of only their third consecutive losing season, and we were certain that we were almost there – maybe next year. Though his arm had already fallen off for the season, we still couldn’t envision that Ken Griffey, Jr. in a Reds uniform would always be like that. We had the promise of the Dunnandkearns show. Everything was gonna be all right.

Still, I remember thinking “I sure hope the Reds never get to that point where they go 20 years between World Series appearances.”

So are you going to 1990 20th anniversary night next year?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baseball will not be returning to the Olympics in 2016

I blame MLB for not getting its ass in gear and pushing for it and not figuring out some way to pause the season so the best in the world could compete.

People don't realize how much baseball not being in the Olympics HURTS the sport. Governments fund the Olympic teams. When a particular sport isn't played in the Olympics, the national team of that country gets no funding. When the team that plays a sport that is not very well known, that funding means everything, because what private sector organization is going to want to fund a niche sport? There's no profit in that!

European baseball was starting to make a name for itself. The European Cup will disappear and all of those leagues could disband. This directly affects the World Baseball Classic, too - where do you think the national teams come from?

Of course, whiners will rejoice at the death of international baseball, because they're pitchers "won't get hurt." (Despite there being no evidence of WBC hurting players.) But what it does is further push baseball into the oblivion of nostalgia and makes it become even more irrelevant than it already is these days. American children don't dream of being Major League Baseball players anymore. MLB needs players from other countries to sustain itself.

You watch. Twenty years from now, baseball is going to be screaming "What did we do wrong?"

Very, very disappointing news.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Your kids are not invincible

NY Times Magazine has an article about Little League pitch counts - or lack thereof - and the sharp increase in the number of kids having Tommy John surgery because coaches and parents refuse to limit the number of pitches their kids throw.

It's sad that kids have such competition these days that the adults tasked with taking care of them would risk their futures and the knife in order to win a meaningless middle school baseball game.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hal was fired

Recent Reds developments make me wonder if I'll be able to get into Reds baseball next year. I already quit this year.

Hal McCoy was how us folks around Dayton got our news about the Reds in the pre-internet, pre-every game is televised days. Hal McCoy made Reds fans.

Our country is in a sorry state. And the Reds, well, I'm starting to think they'll never play October baseball again. Not with the income chasm in baseball these days. Just a symptom of a greater societal problem.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You know what would make me tune into the Reds again?

If Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, and others in the organization were called up to play out the season.

Smash the arbitration clocks. Get these guys up here to see what they can do and see what they can work on so that they can be good to go for next year (or 2011, if that's what we're looking at now with the loss of Volquez.)

I don't know what makes me sadder, the fact that the Reds have turned into the worst team in baseball or the fact that baseball has ceased to interest me.

Thanks Walt. Thanks Dusty. Thanks Bob.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yay! The Reds won!

All right, I'm off to Beirut tonight, won't be back until July 31. If you're interested in seeing my photos of Lebanon and reading about my trip, I'll be posting at http://travellingrox.blogspot.com.

I hope the Reds go on a ten game winning streak while I'm gone and climb back into this thing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Didn't watch the home run derby

Not gonna watch the all-star game, though I would like to watch the president throw out the first pitch.

In the last decade, I think I've watched about half of the all-star games. All the pomp and circumstance is a real turn off. Plus with the Reds never getting more than one player (2004 exception noted), I just don't have the extra incentive.

But I haven't watched a Reds game in a week, and I don't feel the need to do so any time soon. Why? Two words.

Willy Taveras.

Just two words sum up everything about why I have lost all interest. Willy Taveras is s symbol, a reincarnation of the problem this team's management has had for years. Last year, the avatar was Corey Patterson. Before that it was a host of others ranging from Royce Clayton, Eric Milton...stop. I don't want to bring the pain back to you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A play in one act

A real life Facebook exchange:

Chris Dickerson All star break hooray!!!
3 hours ago · Comment · LikeUnlike
You like this.

Me at 11:11pm July 11
hopefully y'all play better after. cuz we're all a bit depressed these days, esp after bruce broke his wrist. seriously depressing.

good luck second half!

Chris Dickerson at 1:21am July 12
What would a simple comment about a three day break be without some fan criticism/comment? Geez

Me at 2:53am July 12
well, you're the ones playing like crap. we're the ones paying for your lifestyle.

look up the history of the Cincinnati Reds. i know players these days don't care about the history of baseball and only care about their paychecks, but you play for a storied franchise.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Still alive

Have decided NOT to go to NYC this weekend to see the Reds play at Shitty Field. It's just not worth the effort at this point (especially since I am going on a trip the next weekend for two weeks.)

See what you've done to me, Reds? See what you've done to me, Dusty Baker, with your Willy Taverases and your Adam Rosaleses?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dear Reds, I am done with you

Corky Miller for Norris Hopper while Willy Taveras remains on the team is the last straw.

Thank you all, blog readers, for continuing to come here, but this is it. I will no longer be paying attention to the Cincinnati Reds in 2009. (Unless, of course, Walt actually decides to address the problems. But he obviously has no intention of doing that.) I'm going to Lebanon next month for the first time. I'm going to concentrate on eating good food and enjoying my favorite body of water on the planet.

See you all on the flip side.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

REDS FANS IN DC GATHERING TONIGHT

What: Reds fans in DC gathering to watch Joey and the Reds take on the Blue Jays.

Where: Momo's, 1334 U Street NW, Washington DC (green line Metro stop - U Street/Cardoza)

When: Tonight, 7pm.

Monday, June 22, 2009

If I lived in Billings, I would definitely do this.

"Host Families Needed

The Billings Mustangs are looking for people interested in participating in the Mustangs Host Family Program for the 2009 season.

Host families provide housing for the Mustangs players during the season which runs from mid June to mid September. It is a unique chance to become involved with Mustangs players from across the country.

"We greatly appreciate the sacrifice and support from our host families," General Manager Gary Roller said. "Year after year we see relationships built between players and the families that house them; relationships that often last for years to come."

Among the benefits host families receive are tickets for games so they may enjoy the action and watch their "adopted" family member's success. They are also invited to special player meet N' greet events and dinners.

Those interested in becoming a host family can apply or find out further information by contacting the Billings Mustangs at (406) 252-1241."

Don't forget to check out the film on the old Mustangs Home, Cobb Field: A Day at the Ballpark!
___

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Breaking News: Reds Team Eye Doctor Fired

Cincinnati, Ohio - The optometrist working for the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club was fired this morning after it was discovered none of the Reds could see.

Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty launched a special investigation into the team's eyesight after weeks of not being able to hit the ball.

"I knew there was some reason the team wasn't hitting, but I knew it wasn't because of the personnel on the team. I mean, Adam Rosales was hitting over .300 in AAA. I knew he wasn't a Mendoza player."

The team was made to undergo eye examinations after Saturday night's loss to the Chicago White Sox.

"I didn't realize that sign on the outfield wall was for M&Ms," the .214 batting Jay Bruce said after being fitted with a pair of contacts.

The players were not the only ones affected by the incompetence of the team's optometrist.

"Whoa, this is really something," Reds Manager Dusty Baker said. "Here I thought I was leading off with Willie Mays every night and it turns out it was only Willy Taveras. What's he even doing on this team?"

The optometrist would not return our phone calls, but COB has learned that he is originally from St. Louis and is part of a cult that worships as their god St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols. The Reds have not decided whether they will pursue legal action.
___

Saturday, June 20, 2009

MLK lives on

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The tweets come in, tweeters from all over saying unimportant and important things. One links me to an article about the jerseys a baseball team is wearing. Another points me to a video in which a woman dies in her father's arms, the victim of a brutal regime. I see the paradox between the sacred and the profane, the lively and the mundane, freedom and tyranny. The irony of celebrating the Civil Rights Movement at a baseball game while a nation spills its blood for civil rights of its own is not lost on me.

This baseball game bombards us with media coverage while the struggling nation across oceans and deserts suffers from a government-imposed media blackouts. Tonight we'll see morons behind homeplate on cell phones and waving like happy idiots while a dictatorship has cut off nearly all phone services.

Yet, the celebration in Cincinnati is not profane. It is warranted, overdue, appropriate. A gross injustice has been overcome in America, a hideous chapter of history that seems almost unreal to those of us who grew up in the post-Civil Rights Movement generation. Perhaps in thirty-five years, Iranians, too can celebrate at a football game their own liberation from the iron fist of oppression. Perhaps they can wear the same jerseys as those brave Iranian players wore when they dared to don green wristbands in their game against South Korea. God grant them that gift.

And so today while we celebrate progress and freedom in America, we must not forget the grave injustice that still exists throughout the world, that a nation takes to the streets in peaceful protest while its government murders its citizens, that we must never, ever give up in the struggle for civil rights, for human rights, for liberty and justice for the whole world.

I am so proud of my team and the City of Cincinnati for the wonderful job they have done in organizing this celebration. The Reds have always been a classy organization, and it is only appropriate that the baseball club that has given us so many firsts is the first to host an official Civil Rights Game.
___

Friday, June 19, 2009

European Cup going on

"The European Champions Cup will be held this weekend in Barcelona between the top four club teams in Europe: Fortitudo Bologna and Danesi Caffe’ Nettuno of Italy against L and D Amsterdam and Corendon Kinheim of the Netherlands. The semi-finals will take place Saturday 20 June and the finals and third place game on Sunday, 21 June. EuroSport 2 will televise the final on a tape-delay basis on Monday June 22nd from 20:15 to 22:00 CET

The European Cup is held between the top teams of the European baseball leagues of and organized by the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB). The first competition was held in 1963 and it has been held annually ever since. Not since 1968 has any team playing outside the professional leagues of Italy or the Netherlands won the competition. Although a professional team from San Marino won the competition in 2006, they play in the Italian Serie A1. Since 2008, with the extinction of the CEB Cup Winners' Cup, the top two teams at the European Cup qualify, together with the top two teams from the CEB Cup, to play the European Champion Cup Final Four. Kinheim won the title in 2008.

Barcelona holds special significance in European baseball, as it was the site where baseball returned to the Olympic programme in 1992.

Catch all the action live and uninterrupted online through www.2009baseballworldcup.com."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I don't mean to nitpick

But couldn't they have told us this plan a few days ago?
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, on the disabled list since May 30 with stress-related issues, is expected to head to a minor-league rehab assignment Wednesday night.

“That was the plan a few days ago,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said before the Reds game against Atlanta.
Very good news.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vote for Baseball!

An Italian newspaper has a poll about what sport should be put back into the Olympics for 2016. Go on over there and vote! Baseball is winning so far.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Long Night Part 1

There are certain rewards that come with waiting through a two hour rain delay that comes with only three outs to go in the game. Of course, I only say this because the Reds won. Had they blown that one, I might not have felt the joy I do now about managing to stick it out.

Reward number one was Billy Hatcher threw me a baseball. I think he gave every Reds fan left a ball, maybe as a way to thank us for staying.

Reward number two was the opportunity to sit - or should I say stand because the seats were soaked - directly behind the Reds dugout. Sitting behind the dugout, one hears all sorts of things, like Brandon Phillips giving Bruce a hard time for not scoring on the messy double play in extras. For the most part, the team was pretty quiet. Adam Rosales and BP did the most cheering. There were nicknames like Nixy and Gomesy coming from the dugout.

Folks in Cincinnati need to stop complaining about the cost of going to a baseball game. For $40, you can park your own car in this gravel lot on the soil of our nation's capital. Ticket prices are outrageous if you don't have the secret discount (natsfb in the coupon code box on the Nats ticket website.)

Speaking about folks in Cincinnati, maybe the reason they don't go to Reds games is because all the Reds fans in DC. I'd guess that about half the crowd were Reds fans last night. We pulled a Chub$ fan game on the Natinals, minus the obnoxiousness. Nats fans who were there could have learned a thing or two about how to be a baseball fan from us - you know, the stand with two strikes kind of stuff they are clueless about. On more than one occasion I've been told to sit down from some Natinals fan. You can't really use the excuse that baseball is new in DC anymore, can you? And besides, didn't they go to Orioles games in the past?

We sat with the Red Rooters. Most of the section were Reds fans, a happy occurrence.

Anyway, a few other photos from the night's game. I'll post more later (and get to them from Tuesday's game.)





















Yes, I stayed until it was over.

And it was worth it. More at a better hour...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deja vu deja vu deja vu deja vu

Rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain why does it always rain when I go to a baseball game rain rain rain rain?

I'd have more, but it's 1:30am thanks to rain rain rain rain rain rain rain but hey, the Reds won! And I had seats behind homeplate! I'll have pics up tomorrow, but I really need to go to bed.

Reminder: Reds fans in DC, come to The Bullpen tomorrow at 6pm. It's the beer garden outside the centerfield gate. They have cornhole and live music and stuff. And beer.

Johnny Cueto is awesome. Even when he's not.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Reds in DC this week - calling all Reds fans in DC!

Game times this week Reds at Nationals Park - Tuesday and Wednesday @ 7pm, Thursday @ 4:30. Let's all sit together and form a massive red block.

I don't have tix yet but will be going to all three games (I'm waiting to hear about some good seats but at this point I neither know if I can get them nor what day it will be.) I'd like to get everyone together for at least one of the games, maybe get a group discount (come on, Reds fans, I know there are enough of you in DC to form a group.) If not, I have half off coupons that are good for the series, because, you know, the Reds aren't considered a "premium" series.

The weather forecast looks like crap for all three days (thank you, global warming, for turning DC into Seattle.) Right now the Weather Channel says highs of 83, 79, and 81 for each day with a 40% chance of rain (which usually means it will rain), scattered thunderstorms on Tuesday and Thursday and showers on Wednesday. So at least it won't be cold when we get soaked. But there are plenty of seats undercover and also bars and such if you melt when you get wet, so rain is no excuse not to come to the ballpark!

Wear RED shirts! We're rooting for the REDS!

I'm contacting the team to try to get Jim Day to come over and talk to us on camera.

I've already let work know that I'll be leaving early all three days (might not go in at all on Tues), so I may be more free than others, but here are the pre and post game beer plans for the week:

Tuesday - I plan on getting to the park when the gates open to watch batting practice and all that stuff. First 10,000 fans get a draft day t-shirt that says "I was there," with the W being the Nationals curly W. How cute. But if anyone is up for meeting for pre-game beers when BP is over, I'm up for it.

Wednesday - let's all get together for pre-game beers at The Bullpen, the beer garden area outside the centerfield gate at Nationals Park, say 6pm? I'm one of those who refuses to miss the first pitch, so I'll go into the park before the game starts but plan on sticking around until about ten or five til seven. I'm up for arriving earlier, too, if anyone is up for it.

Thursday - It's military appreciation day, so if you're in the service, bring your ID. I don't know if you get anything for it other than a God Bless America in the seventh inning, but maybe there's a discount? I'm hoping to have everyone gather together for post game beers since the bizarre 4:35 start time will allow plenty of time for such a thing. I was thinking some place around Eastern Market, but if anyone has any other suggestions, let me know.

That's it for now. Email me paddyglover at gmail dot com if you're going to be at the game and if you want to get tix together. Look for my update here later this evening. I'll be spreading this around the Reds interwebs, too, so we can pull all the Reds fans together.

Let's pull a Chub$ game on the Nationals (minus the obnoxiousness and stupidity) and make Nationals Park a home game for the Redlegs!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

It was deja vu all over again

The following are my thoughts from Randy Johnson's 300th victory game on Thursday. I had spent the previous night sitting through the three and a half hour rain delay and decided I would go back for the game despite the threat of weather remaining.


If I hadn't just done the rain thing last night, I'd probably write how there is something romantic about seeing a tarp covered field. When did "40% chance of rain" become "it's gonna rain?"

I noticed something at Nationals Park I hadn't seen before and I can't decide if it's cool or ridiculous. Four flags fly atop the scoreboard - a 1924 flag commemorating Washington's lone World Series triumph (it still happened later than the last Chub$' win), 1925 and 1933 flags commemorating two American League pennants, and a rather pathetic plain white one representing the fact that the team is not going to win another pennant for a very long time. (Strasburg will not save this franchise.)

I'm eating some chili cheese fries from Ben's Chili Bowl, one of the things the Nationals did right when building the stadium. Nice to have local vendors rather than the massive corporations that don't care if you run out of hotdogs by the fourth inning as long as they've filled their order. I remember when the Nats fired Aramark. That was a lovely feeling. Ben's is great. It's not Skyline, but then again, it's not supposed to be. It's a Washington institution.

The tarp comes off and there are some players on the field dancing their funny warm up ballets. We watch the Royals and Rays on the giant screen. Boy, it's cold right now. This is supposed to be a doubleheader, but I doubt I stay for the whole second game, especially with a 9am seminar in the morning. Ernie Banks was crazy - this weather is not fit for anyone to be outside. (Thanks, SUV drivers, for your contribution to global climate change.)

But, back to Randy Johnson's big night. There are a lot more different caps tonight than usual. I've seen Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Phillies, Mariners, and Rangers in addition to the Reds cap on my head. (I saw another Reds cap but I'm pretty sure its wearer is not a Reds fan, if you know what I mean.) There's even a guy with a Billings Mustangs shirt here. These are people who appreciate the historical aspects of baseball.

Randy walks onto the field, and I get the baseball goosebumps. As he throws in the bullpen, a camera-wielding crowd gathers to watch. There is a sense that something historic is going to happen, a certain electricity in the air that is never present in regular Nationals games. It's a shame that the large crowd that had come the night before wasn't present for this 4:35 start. I wonder if they think Johnson's pitching the second game.

Randy throws the first pitch. Time to settle in and watch the game.

Randy went six innings - it was a little disappointing he didn't go out for a batter in the seventh, just so we could have the opportunity to cheer him off the field for the pitching change. He didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning, and the crowd groaned. It was a shattered bat grounder up the middle that took a lot of the energy from the game. After Johnson left, the seventh and eighth innings were rather eventful, with the Nationals getting a run and loading the bases in the eighth before Adam Dunn struck out on what could have been ball four to ruin the win for Johnson. (It made me ponder the question about umpires purposely missing a call in a game that doesn't matter for the sake of an event.) Dunner got up in the ump's face and probably was not thrown out because of the guilt of the ump. But hey, there were a lot of happy people in the stands, and for once, I cheered an Adam Dunn strikeout.

It was awesome as a baseball fan to witness something so rare. I was quite happy that it just so happened to take place in the city in which I live and that I had the opportunity to see it, even if I did have to suffer a three and a half hour rain delay the night before. It was worth it.