Thursday, August 10, 2017

MLB Week 18 - Who's That Guy?



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer



It’s going to be very interesting how Microsoft Word handles this name I’m about to input.

Asher Wojciechowski

Just as I thought, my laptop caught fire.

What really bugs me is how MS Word puts a red line under a person’s last name. Don’t the software creators know that we’ll likely look up the proper way to spell someone’s name before we enter it in the program?

In a word, Wojciechowski has been impressive. Three wins with one loss, four walks and twenty three strikeouts, where have you been all season?

To date, he’s allowed nine home runs, three to the Toronto Blue Jays, three to the Los Angeles Dodgers, two to San Diego (last night 8/9) and one to the Washington Nationals. That’s a pretty impressive list. Look, many pitchers this season have been reduced to the fetal position by the Blue Jays and Dodgers.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

MLB Week 17 - Adam Ruins Me



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer
@DaHermit16



I’m slowly becoming a fan of Adam Conover’s show “Adam Ruins Everything”. The show is based on the host, Mr. Conover, factually debunking several false ideas concerning certain themes.

One of my favorite episodes was the one about Christmas. I, myself, have conducted several studies about the commercialization of the most sacred holiday of them all, the birth of our Lord Jesus. There are many myths about a certain Santa Claus, of which I’ll not discuss in this baseball forum. Let’s just say “Google it.”

On his “Adam Ruins Football” episode, Mr. Conover stated that rarely the best football teams make the Super Bowl, and the percentages are even smaller in baseball. You know, he’s right.

From 1903 to 1968, the team with the best record in the National League and American League met in the World Series. Sometimes the team with the better record did not win the Series, as in the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 1954 Cleveland Indians, but neither team had to navigate two separate tiers of playoffs to get to the World Series.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

MLB Week 16 - 0.167



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer




What an unusual way to begin an article. What does 0.167 mean? It’s the Reds winning percentage since the All-Star Break.

Two wins in twelve games. I don’t know any self-respecting Cincinnati Reds fan that is happy about that.

The Reds are saying they’re rebuilding, I can agree with that to a point. However, Zack Cozart and Scooter Gennett are having career years. Joey Votto has struggled a bit since the Midsummer Classic, but his average is still hovering around .300. Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler seem to have developed into pure power hitters. Eugenio Suarez, Billy Hamilton, and Tucker Barnhart are becoming defensive assets. In my humble opinion, this team is already built.

The problem, of course, is pitching.

Somewhere, buried deep in the archives of this website, is an article touting the greatness Bryan Price has with pitchers. The December 2012 article was called, “Is Bryan Price the Best Pitching Coach in Baseball”.

Four years as manager and with the Reds teetering on their third straight ninety loss season, I think we all know the answer to that question.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

MLB Weeks 14 & 15 - The Long and the Short of It



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer



Nice to see that Yankees superstar Aaron Judge took the time to visit with a Houston little leaguer prior to the All-Star break.

Did I mention that I hate losing to the American League?

When I was a child, there were three certainties; 1) You had to pay taxes, 2) You were going to die eventually, and 3) The National League will win the All-Star Game.

Useless Trivia; from 1960 to 1987 the National League won 26 of 31 games (with one tie). Since 1988 the American League has rebounded to win 23 of the last 30 games (also including a tie in 2002). At 43 wins apiece, this marks the first time since 1964 that both leagues are tied in wins.

It looks like Bobby Abreu Syndrome has befallen on another Home Run Derby Champion, Aaron Judge, who is a scintillating one for twenty-one since his dominant victory at the Derby.

The Long of It; Reds Homer Bailey looked like he may have figured it out in his wins at Coors Field against Colorado, and his impressive performance in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Short of It; in Bailey’s two starts against the Nationals, Washington has scored a combined thirty-two runs.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

MLB Week 13 - Slightly Better




By Dan Howard
Staff Writer



Although our Reds won four of seven games last week, I still stand by the comments I made in last week’s article. This team will continue to mire in obscurity as long as Bryan Price remains manager. I can’t believe any self-respecting Cincinnati Reds fan young or old can think a fourth straight losing season including a potential third straight last place finish as acceptable by any stretch of the imagination.

As I approach the beginning of my fifty fourth year on this third rock from the sun, I’ve been taught many things by many people. One such lesson was delivered by Hall of Fame Reds radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman, who, a few years ago, when former team owner Carl Lindner sympathetically heard the cries of the Reds faithful, including me, and gave an aging Barry Larkin a contract extension instead of trading him. Brennaman said, during a game, that the Reds needed pitching, and although he understood the outcry of the fans to keep Larkin, we fans need to understand that baseball is a business, and if this team was going to succeed then the money used to tie up Larkin would have been better put to use in acquiring a much needed quality pitcher. The result was nine straight losing seasons from 2001 to 2009.

Lesson learned.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

MLB Week 12 - Meh



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer




It’s happened. After nearly fifty years of loyal Reds support, it’s happened.
The 101 losses the 1982 Reds suffered didn’t do it. The nine straight losing seasons from 2001 to 2009 didn’t do it. Blowing a two games to none lead to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series in 2012 didn’t do it, although I don’t believe the Reds nor the city of Cincinnati have recovered from it.

But this year’s Reds have succeeded where others failed. On the brink of a fourth straight losing season, they’ve made me completely and totally indifferent.
Gagging a three-run lead Friday night was bad enough but Saturday’s complete meltdown was the straw that broke the camel’s back. An 18 to 3 bludgeoning at the hands of the Washington Nationals was a complete embarrassment for all Reds fans. Sure, it marked the return of the one hundred six-million-dollar man Homer Bailey, who did little more than pitch batting practice to the boys from our nation’s capital. Bailey’s line one and two thirds innings pitched eight runs all earned which calculates into a 43.20 earned run average.

He’ll probably pitch a perfect game in his next start.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MLB Week 11 - Had Enough Yet?



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer
@DaHermit16



This is starting to get sickening.
Since the Reds were 19 – 15 back on May 10, they’ve lost twenty-four of their last thirty-five games, including two rounds of losing at least seven straight games.

Pathetic.

Maybe Bryan Price knows things on Dick Williams and Bob Castellini. Can you think of a better reason Price hasn’t been fired yet?
Bronson Arroyo injured his elbow during Sunday’s ninth straight loss. I’m surprised it wasn’t his neck getting strained watching all the home runs he’s given up this year.

And I’m a Bronson Arroyo fan.
In all seriousness, Arroyo is like a second pitching coach on the Reds staff.

Maybe that explains it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

MLB Week 10 - No Consistency

                                                                                (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)


By Dan Howard
Staff Writer



Last week, we thought the Reds may have turned the corner and figured this thing out by doing something that hadn’t been done in fourteen years, sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game series. Cincinnati swept the Cardinals on May 5 through 8, 2003, the first season at Great American Ball Park.

For years it seemed our Reds cowered in fear while facing the Cardinals, to the point that, on August 4, 2013, I wrote a very controversial article, called “Cincinnati Yellows” describing the way Cincinnati seemingly wilted against St. Louis. You can find the article in the archives section of this website.

Useless Trivia; the last time St. Louis swept our Reds in a four-game series at Cincinnati was from July 8 (Doubleheader) – 10, 1949. At Crosley Field.

Then came the dreaded West Coast Road Trip.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

MLB Week 9 - The Reds are Playing Like....



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer




Stool, guava, dung, $&!#, poop. Any way you describe it, our Reds are playing that way.

Last week I wrote about the streakiness of this season, then last week Cincinnati goes out and promptly lays a, uh, egg.

Had it not been for Devin Mesoraco’s walk off homer in the tenth inning last Friday, the Reds would have been winless last week.

Mesoraco has a thing about hitting walk off homers versus Atlanta. Remember the blast he hit off Craig Kimbrel a few years ago.

I’m writing this while standing because my butt is still sore from the 17 – 2 beat down last Monday at the hands of the merciless Toronto Blue Jays.

Monday, May 29, 2017

MLB Week 8 - Streaky Season So Far



By Dan Howard
Staff Writer



What a topsy-turvy baseball season this has been.
Our Reds began 2017 winning seven of the first nine games, followed by losing eleven of the next fourteen, then winning nine of eleven to push their record to 19 – 15. The seventeen-inning marathon loss at San Francisco started a Cincinnati seven game losing streak. Now, prior to the start of the Toronto series, at Memorial Day, the Reds have won five of the last eight to run their record to 24 – 25.

Two-and-a-half games out of first at Memorial Day isn’t bad, considering that no one seems to be running away with the division, yet.

This will be Joey Votto’s second time playing in his hometown. Votto grew up about 10K’s from Rogers Centre. That’s a little over six miles in our units of measure.
Some of us old fogies can remember that the United States were supposed to convert to the metric system on January 1, 1980. Even older fogies stopped it.