Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why 2015 Version of Reds Similar to 1971 Version



by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

The Reds finished their western road trip with a 3-7 record. The good news is that their young pitchers did alright. The bad news is that when they pitched well the Reds didn’t score enough to win. I still can’t see how a team with the starting eight the Reds have can have trouble scoring runs? It doesn’t make sense to me. You would think that if the Reds got decent pitching which they have, they would win way more than they lose.

They return home now and finish August with a ten game home stand with two against Kansas City, three with Arizona, a makeup game with Detroit and three with LA.

I was hoping Johnny Cueto would pitch against the Reds but not so. The Reds will finish out the season with rookie starters according to manager Bryan Price. What else could they do? They don’t have anyone else to pitch. Michal Lorenzen was sent down because of innings limits. Will they have enough arms to finish the season? Price said they will find them somewhere. This is a great opportunity for some of the Reds farmhands to get a shot at the big leagues.

Monday, August 17, 2015

WEEK 19 – WEST COAST WOES


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Another year, another 3 – 7 West Coast road trip.

If I was the baseball commissioner, I’d start all West Coast games at 5pm local time. I’d also start Sunday Night Baseball games at 7pm eastern time. Come to think of it, I’d play weekend World Series games in the daytime.

All this got me thinking, if I lived in Hawaii, Cincinnati’s home night games would start at 1pm, their Business Day Specials would begin at 6:30am.

Thank God Ohio State football begins in three weeks, that’ll take my mind off this Reds season of futility.

I must admit, this horrible season makes it very hard to write these articles.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Better Times Ahead for Reds?


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Well, it’s bad time for the Reds. As of Tuesday they have fallen to 49-61. That’s not good. And even worse they are in the middle of a brutal ten game western road trip. So far, so bad. They are 1-4 with one more against the Padres and four this weekend at LA. It could get ugly.

On the bright side, the Reds rookie pitching had been very good on the road trip until Tuesday night. Michael Lorenzen blew up again giving up 7 runs in an inning and a third. Besides that the Reds have only given up 2.6 runs per game on the road trip. David Holmberg has a 3.06 ERA in his three starts. Look at the last starts on the current road trip. Anthony Desclafani went six innings and gave up three runs. Rasiel Inglesias six and one, Keyvius Sampson six and one, David Holmberg six and 2 thirds and gave up two runs. They could be 4-1 on the trip. So I am very encouraged by the young pitching. The bullpen has been great also. Burke Badenhop and Pedro Villarreal especially have been outstanding.

Monday, August 10, 2015

MLB Week 18 - Nuclear Powered


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

In a previous post (Firecrackers and Duds – July 6, 2015), I listed Joey Votto’s slow July start as a dud. Do you think Votto may have read my article? Since the All Star break, nobody’s been hotter, to the point that I believe that Votto glows in the dark. I guess Votto doesn’t sleep, he just gets turned down to a slow simmer.

Here’s some stats; from July 10th through 28th Joseph Daniel Votto reached base safely at least twice via hit, walk or hit by pitch in 15 consecutive games. He went 24 - 48, a .500 batting average, with 4 doubles, 4 homers, 9 runs batted in, 17 walks, and twice hit by pitch. Votto had an on base percentage of .642 and his slugging percentage was a nuclear .833. The 36 hits Votto has collected since July 6 to August 7 has raised his season batting average from .273 to .306.

Useless Trivia; needless to say, Votto’s feat set a franchise record, the Reds previous single - season mark of 13 consecutive games reaching base at least twice per game was shared by Joe Kelley (1903), Johnny Temple (1958), Pete Rose (1967) and Adam Dunn (2002).

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Looking to the Future and Analyzing Sunday's Fiasco

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by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Let’s start out by saying I’m encouraged for next year! The Reds as you know traded Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto to other teams and got some really good, almost major league ready players in return. I was hoping that Walt Jocketty and the Reds would not enter into a rebuild and so far they haven’t. The Reds have great players that are either untradeable or not going to be traded. So why would you start a rebuild when you have solid talent? They still have Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, JJ Hoover, Aroldis Chapman and next year a healthy Devin Mesoraco, a healthy Zack Cozart, and maybe Marlon Byrd. Billy Hamilton will get better, and I love Eugenio Suarez and his performance this season.

Walt borrowed a phrase from Dave Dombrowsky of the Tigers as he called what the Reds are doing a “reboot.” When you reboot a computer you are putting it back to where it used to be. Hopefully the Reds are putting back together a team like the playoff teams in 2010, 2012 and 2013. That’s what we are hoping for and I believe is possible.

Monday, August 3, 2015

MLB Week 17 - Take Me Out to the Brawl Game


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Things got a wee bit touchy Sunday afternoon, didn’t it?

If anyone thinks that Reds reliever Pedro Villarreal purposely hit Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen in the eighth inning of Sunday’s basebrawl game, you really need a checkup from the neck up. Come on, it was a curveball, you don’t send messages with a curve.

I understand McCutchen’s frustration with getting plunked, I also see the point of his mates “having his back”, but I just don’t get the retaliation. Villarreal is just a kid trying to keep his team from falling further behind in a 3 – 0 game, so why would he intentionally hit a batter, especially McCutchen?

One thing that really bothered me during the brawl was the indifference the fans in the stands had about the fight. I never heard Great American Ball Park so quiet. Where was the passion? Where was the outrage? I expected a “Let’s Go Reds” chant in unison, and all I heard was Marty Brennaman’s explicit description of the fight.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Trade Deadline Notebook


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Well, the Reds have done it. They traded Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals for three left handed pitchers. They are pretty solid major league prospects so I am pleased with what the Reds got in this deal. I hate to see Cueto leave. The Reds had a legitimate ace with Cueto. Someone they could depend upon to keep them in every game and give them plenty of innings. He will be missed.

Lots of trades have happened so far and more to come. Troy Tulowitzki was traded to the Blue Jays for Jose Reyes, Tyler Clippard was traded to the Mets, Shane Victorino was traded to the Angels and Cole Hamels is still in Philadelphia as of Tuesday.

The question for the Reds is will they do more? I saw where ownership has given the okay for the Reds to begin to rebuild. That means that you can look for Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce to probably be traded. The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31st. After that players can be picked up on waivers and dealt that way. So just because the Reds don’t do anymore before July 31st they still have the waiver period that runs until the end of August.

Monday, July 27, 2015

MLB WEEK 16 – THE TRUTH HURTS


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

It’s hard to focus on Reds baseball when they’re closer to last place than first. The defending National Champions Ohio State Buckeye begin their title defense in six weeks, so I apologize if my mind wanders a wee bit.

Speaking of football, final score Sunday, Broncos 17 Bengals 7. I thought the NFL Preseason started in two weeks.

It is with great sadness to see Johnny Cueto leave for Kansas City. I wish him all the best as a member of the Royals. Thank you for eight great seasons as a Cincinnati Red.

How huge is that Homer Bailey 106 million dollar contract is now?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trade Deadline Thoughts and Observations


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

I attended the Reds game on Monday night against the Chicago Cubs. It was a great night. Saw Jay Bruce hit one a mile. Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd each hit home runs. Brandon Phillips made another dazzling play and Aroldis Chapman blew them away in the ninth.

I toured the Reds Hall of Fame before the game. I was very impressed. If you are a Reds fan you have to take this in, and come early so you can take your time. I spent about an hour and a half there and I actually needed about twice that see every display, but I hope to return in September and do just that.

This is an outstanding effort by the Reds Hall of Fame staff. I was very impressed and even moved by the things I saw. The most amazing was the 4,256 baseballs on the Pete Rose “hit wall.” I loved the artifacts and stories. Again if you go, and for every die hard Reds fan this is a must, plan to spend at least 2-3 hours there to do it right. The Tony Perez display was great. Of course Pete Rose and Johnny Bench displays are everywhere. But just about every Reds player seems to be represented there somewhere. There are interactive games where you can throw a ball, hit a ball, and see displays of old ballparks and even see the actual seats. Actual baseball gloves worn by players, old uniforms, old baseballs and bats are everywhere.

Monday, July 20, 2015

MLB Week 15 - Now Get Back to Work

Photo Credit: CBS Sports

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Breaking News (7:34pm Sunday) ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that Reds owner Bob Castellini is authorizing General Manager Walt Jocketty to sell off the team. Rumor has it that at least seven Reds are on the trading block; Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, Jay Bruce, Marlon Byrd, Brayan Pena, Manny Parra, and Mike Leake.

(Personally, I think it would be a huge mistake to trade Johnny Cueto and Brayan Pena.)

Although I cannot prove it scientifically, I believe that a 24 hour day off goes by faster than an 8 hour work day.

Who knew a countdown timer at a baseball event would generate such excitement.

Yeah, I really believe this year’s Home Run Derby was the best ever. And not because our own Todd Frazier won it.