Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thoughts on Reds Caravan


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

I visited the Reds Caravan at Fannin Motors in Ashland Ky on Saturday, January 30th. There were many loyal Reds fans there. I am impressed with the love the fans have for the Reds. The Reds organization is doing the right thing to reach out to their fan base with these tours. The Reds were awful last year and going to be more than likely again this year, but the fans I talked to have hope that springs eternal. They even pumped me up…a little.

I asked assistant GM Nick Krall what they expected for the 2016 season. In a nutshell he said that they feel they have made some moves that will make the team better now and into the future. That’s glockenspiel for “we are going to be bad this year.” But only time will tell if the future will be better.

Amir Garrett, a minor league prospect, was there. He played basketball at St John's and is 22 years old. He had a great year in A ball last year and is on the Reds 40 man roster. He is a beast at 6’5 and a hard throwing lefty. He was very excited about the upcoming possibilities with the Reds.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dark Winter for the Reds


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

First of all, goodbye to Todd Frazier as he was traded to the White Sox. I was told during last season that Todd was un touchable. I guess things changed when he finished the season in a long slump. I think it’s an awful move to trade a popular player like Todd for the fan base. The Reds believe that they have two major league ready players in Jose Peraza, who they hope will play second base next season. (What does that mean for Brandon Phillips?) and Scott Schebler, who can play outfield. We shall see what happens but the Reds are in full blown rebuild mode and that means for Reds fans a few years of futility. That my loyal Reds fans, is not what we wanted to hear. It was my opinion that the Reds could contend with their nucleus of veterans like Leake, Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Frazier, Chapman, Bailey and Mesoraco. But when the dust clears only Votto, Mesoraco and Bailey will remain.

We may certainly be saying goodbye to Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers as soon as they work out some legal issues with Chapman. If not the Dodgers, then I read where the Yankees and Astros are interested in him. Bottom line is Chapman will not be back with the Reds next season.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Of Heroes And Goats


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Hallelujah, the worst baseball season in 33 years is finally over.

Will the Reds new GM Dick Williams be active this offseason?

I read that the San Francisco Giants declined their option on Nori Aoki, hmmmmm. Career .287 hitter, good contact, some speed although his stolen base numbers have fallen over the past couple of seasons, and he was a bona fide Reds killer while in Milwaukee.

Congrats to the Kansas City Royals, featuring former Reds Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, and Ryan Madson, for overcoming several deficits to become World Champions.

The New York Mets played like they’d never been to the World Series before, the Royals played like champions.

Post-World Series and Pre-Offseason Musings


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Remember what I said last week? ”I’m hoping the Royals win but if I was a betting man I would pick the Mets as bad as I hate to. I just think they have the better pitching.” Wrong again. The Royals had the better pitching in the World Series thanks mostly to two former Reds. Edinson Volquez was very good in two starts and Johnny Cueto was almost perfect in his start. Who would have thought back in April that these two former Reds would be the guys who put the Royals over the top?

Of course the Royals are world champions because they do two things that the Reds never do…they put the ball in play in crucial times and their bullpen gets big outs! The Reds strike out in the clutch and their bullpen aside from Chapman rarely gets the job done at crunch time. Result. Royals are the world champions and the Reds are last in the National League Central division.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Comparing Postseason Picks to Reality


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

I am not the least bit interested in this year’s World Series. I have never liked the Mets. Kansas City would be a nice story if they win, but it doesn’t matter to me.

How are my playoff predictions going so far?

Well…..

I had the Dodgers beating the Mets which they should have done. Greinke and Kershaw both lost a game! Basically, the Dodgers gave the series to the Mets.

I had the Dodgers over the Cubs for the NL pennant. Well, at least I didn’t have the Cubs in the World Series.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Can the Reds go from Worst to First in 2016?


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Can the Reds be the Astros, the Royals, the Cubs or the Blue Jays in the next two years?

This seems to be the year of revenge for teams that have been bad for the past several years. The Cubs made the playoffs in 2008 and the Astros were in the playoffs in 2005, but until last year it had been 29 years for the Royals, and until this year, 22 years for the Blue Jays.

I left off the Rangers who went from worst to first in 2015 because they have been good for several years and last year was unusual for them.

The Cubs were in last place in their division last season. The Astros lost 92 games in 2014 and were in last place with 111 losses in 2013! The Bluejays were last place in 2013 and the Royals lost 95 games in 2010, 91 games in 2011 and 90 games in 2012.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

MLB WEEK 26 – FINAL THOUGHTS


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

The pathetic, deplorable, miserable, anemic, embarrassing, useless, worthless, sorry, confusing, shameful, upsetting, mortifying, bewildering, firetruckin’ Reds 2015 season has finally drawn to a merciful close.

Just think, I waited a week to calm down before writing this post.

Where do I start? How about if I define the adjectives above with how they apply to this past season.

Pathetic – Bryan Price’s stellar record as manager of Cincinnati, 140 wins 184 losses (average 70 – 92), and just think, we get another season of him!

Deplorable – How’s that 106 million dollar contract to Homer Bailey looking now?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Forgettable Season May Force Changes at the Top


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Things are getting very bleak. The Reds young starters are getting worse rather than improving. They are 23-46 in their last 69 games. That’s horrible for guys you are going to depend on next season. This gives me great concern for 2016. I knew the Reds after trading Cueto and Leake would not be very good but to be this bad was something I never figured. I liked their young pitchers and I still think they can be good but they need to be very good next year. Good won’t cut it in the National League Central division next season. All of Reds nation has reason to be concerned.

It looks like the Reds will wind up losing maybe 97-98 games this year. That is something that no one predicted at the start of the year. I figured maybe 79-83 at the worst! But 65-97 is just unbelievable!

Monday, September 28, 2015

MLB Week 25 - A Tale of Two Cities


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

With sincere apologies to Charles Dickens.

It was the best of times (for Pittsburgh), it was the worst of times (for Cincinnati).

This past Wednesday, Sept. 23, the Pittsburgh Pirates accomplished something for the fourth time in their franchise history that our beloved Reds have NEVER done. Qualified for the postseason in three consecutive years. You read that right, the Cincinnati Reds have never played postseason baseball in three consecutive seasons.

Useless Trivia; the four times the Pirates made the playoffs in three consecutive years, 1901 – 1903, 1970 – 1972, 1990 – 1992, and 2013 – 2015. Unfortunately, for the Bucs, during those streak years, the Pirates made the World Series just four times, 1901 – 1903, and 1971.

The Reds have made the playoffs in back to back seasons a four times, 1939 – 1940, 1972 – 1973, 1975 – 1976, and 2012 – 2013.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Comparing Joey and Ted


by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Joey Votto broke the Reds record for walks in a season with 136. That’s incredible if you really think about it. That takes amazing plate discipline, knowledge of the strike zone and pitch recognition.

Ted Williams, who as we have talked about as the one who Joey has studied intently, had remarkable vision. We have heard the stories of how well Ted could see the ball. He claimed he could read the trademark. (I guess he memorized it.) But his Base on Balls stats are incredible. Ted Williams had six seasons of 140 or more walks. He led the league in walks eight times. Yes, he had eight seasons that he did not walk one hundred times. Most of those where cut short by injury or the Korean War. Only in his second season did he play in more than 140 games and NOT walk one hundred times. He had two seasons that He walked 162 times, his career high.

The most interesting thing about Ted Williams is that he struck out over sixty times in a season only ONCE! He struck out 64 times in his rookie season. He next highest was 54 in his second season and 51 in his fourth season and never more than 47 times after that.