Friday, June 26, 2009
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
Monday, June 22, 2009
"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
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
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
"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."
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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.Very good news.
“That was the plan a few days ago,” Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said before the Reds game against Atlanta.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
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.)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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
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
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.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
BE AN EARLY BIRD FRIDAY: On the riverfront Friday night, the Cincinnati Police Department is expecting a crowd of about 50,000 to attend both the Reds' 7:10 p.m. game with the Cubs and a sold-out Keith Urban/Taylor Swift concert next door at US Bank Arena...the CPD recommends fans who don't have passes for the parking garages adjacent to those venues avoid driving on Second and Third Streets and instead use exits into the northern part of downtown (5th Street, 6th Street, 7th Street, Gilbert Road, Reading Road, etc.).
Tickets still available for all three Reds vs Cubs games…call 513-381-REDS or 877-647-REDS or visit www.reds.com.
Fireworks after the game on Friday…Reds Team Baseball Card Set giveaway on Saturday night…Joey Votto photo giveaway on Sunday.
Last night I went to Nationals Park in the hopes of seeing Randy Johnson get his 300th win. When will I have another opportunity like that in my lifetime, right? Well, the day was sticky humid, the kind of humidity that makes your lungs feel like swimming pools, and it wasn't until 6:30pm that the sky decided to deliver us from that evil.
Everyone knew it was going to storm, and boy did it. The Nationals put on the scoreboard "we are monitoring the situation and will keep you updated." But they never updated us. So we were forced to use our cellular technology to find out what was going on, and everyone said the same thing. It's going to storm all night. It stopped raining at one point, but we knew that more storms were heading our way. Everyone said this game would not be played. Everyone but the Nationals.
No! They would not call it! It was a big crowd, a real baseball-sized crowd, and there was money to be made! We may not play the game, but by god, we're going to make money off the concessions!
For three an a half hours we sat eating, drinking, and knowing the game would not be played, but us true baseball fans waited it out, just to be sure.
THREE AND A HALF HOURS.
What team makes their fans sit for three and a half hours before making a decision to postpone when everyone in the world knows a game cannot be played?
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Aaron and Bryce Dessner, the guitarist twins from the National, are not content to rest easy after jointly producing the twin triumphs of the Dark Was the Night album and concert. Come October, they'll present a brand-new multimedia piece called The Long Count at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.The best part?
The piece, done in collaboration with visual artist Matthew Ritchie, will include guest vocals from the Breeders' Kim and Kelley Deal (also twins!), My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, and the National's own Matt Berninger. The Dessners will perform it with a 12-piece chamber orchestra.
"Jointly conceived by the collaborators as a one-hour immersive multimedia experience exploring ideas of symmetry and creation, The Long Count weaves together disparate themes ranging from the hero twins of the Popul Vuh (a Mayan creation myth) to the epic 1976 World Series victory of the Cincinnati Reds over the New York Yankees (which occurred in the year of the Cincinnati-born Dessners' birth).
Yeah, yeah, I was down on the team after the crapfest in Killwaukee and last night's crapfest in Taint Louis. The emotional toll taken by not only the loss of these games but by the loss of Joey to bizarre and secret circumstances sometimes contributes to kneejerk reactions.
The whole "I feel your pain" idea is not empty rhetoric. We as worshipers of the baseball religion invest so much emotional energy into the game that the saints who are the objects of our veneration and adoration become a part of us, become one with our baseball souls, and when affliction strikes one of our dear holy men, we feel a pain stir within us. No, it's not empty rhetoric when we say "Get Well Soon" or "We're Pulling For You." We as human beings (who aren't sociopaths) really do care.
Baseball is a funny game, as countless others have said. Maybe it's the long season and the daily play that mimics real life and the cycles we all go through, the ups and downs, the times when we feel great and the times when our bodies fail us. Maybe it's the colors of the game or the imperfect symmetry of the field that stirs our souls. Maybe it's the fact that the little guy can be as great a hero as the superstar. Maybe it's just that the game is so old, it embodies the myth of the "good old days" and gives us a sense of security and comfort we think is lacking in our modern lives. Whatever it is, the game is different than any other. There's no "football mystique" or "basketball nostalgia" or "soccer poetry." It's only baseball that arouses these things within us, only baseball that can break our hearts one day and give us a natural high the next.
And even though we may feel ready to give up on the season after a weekend massacre, a simple patchwork win like Monday's defeat of the hated Deadbirds is enough to stir up October hopes. Then they can be dashed with one crappy sixth inning.
And so tonight, once again it's time to root, root, root for the away team despite the fact that we feel the hangover of defeat today, because the possibility exists that we could wake up tomorrow with a song in our heads, a smile on our faces, and all the hope in our hearts that maybe, just maybe, this is our year.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Rosales is now batting .239/.327/.348 with 10 BB in 109 PAs.
Janish is batting .300/.378/.375 with 3 walks in 46 PAs.
Granted, he has far fewer PAs than Rosales, but Janish looked good at the plate back in the days when he got to play. And even if he was playing over his head, the fact that Janish's glove is FAR superior to that of Rosales means even if Janish hits like Rosales, he's still the better choice until Edwin returns to the hot corner.
This is no contest. Dusty's just afraid to put Janish's name on a lineup card because he can't remember how to spell it. Maybe Laynce Nix can lend Paul a Y.