Friday, May 17, 2013

Comparing the 2013 Reds to past postseason teams and other notes

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

First of all I want to wish a happy birthday to my “bookend” children. Taira Faith, my oldest, turns 25 on May 20, Ethan Joel, my youngest, turns 8 on May 17. The other three will just have to wait their turn!

Speaking of children, I just got my Father’s Day present, the complete Ken Burns’ Baseball series on DVD, including the Tenth Inning. Thanks kids!

Having five kids is great, especially when four of them are in their twenties. Getting them there is a bit tough!

Prayer request update; Cindy Ward, wife of Tomahawk Missionary Baptist church pastor Dr. Jack Ward, is home from the hospital, her infection is minimal and can be controlled/eliminated by antibiotics. Thank God!

As of the date of this writing, Thursday May 16, 2013, Reds baseball has reached the “quarter pole”. Forty-one games have passed, 121 games remain, and hopefully more for the Reds in October. Now the boring part, here’s how the 2013 Reds compare to the past ten Reds postseason teams since 1970.

     Reds Team
W - L Final 121
70 N.L. Champions
    72 – 49
72 N.L. Champions
   72 – 41(a)
73 West Division
    74 – 47
75 World Champs
   87 – 34
76 World Champs
    77 – 44
79 West Division
   66 – 54      
90 World Champs
    61 – 60
95 Central Division
   58 – 45(b)
10 Central Division
    68 – 53
12 Central Division
   75 – 46
2013 Reds
Projected 74 - 47

(a) – Owners’ lockout in 1972, season reduced to 154 games
(b) – Players strike, season reduced to 144 games.

My 2013 projection is based on the Reds win percentage after Game 41, expanded to a 162 game season. Now the cold slap of reality; the 2002 Reds won 25 of the first 41 only to fall on hard times, winning just 53 of the remaining 121. This is a very different Reds team with a lot better pitching than ’02 so I believe this year the Reds will enjoy their first back to back 90 plus win seasons since 1978 – 1979.

Did I mention the Reds will win their first back to back division titles since 1975 – 1976?

Memo to Bryce Harper; it’s called a warning track for a reason.

The media went wild over Bryce Harper’s face plant on the right field fence of Dodger Stadium, especially the blood running down his neck. That’s nothing; I look like that every time I shave.

Not beating on the Toronto Blue Jays this week, after Monday’s Maple Leaf – Boston Bruins Game 7 folks in Toronto have enough to worry about.

What’s up with Boston teams rallying from three down? First it was the Red Sox coming back from a 3 – 0 deficit only to win four straight games from the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. Now the Bruins rally from three back to beat the Maple Leafs, scoring 3 in the third period to tie the game winning it in overtime. In the classic game 6 of the 1975 World Series the Red Sox trailed Cincinnati by three, 6 – 3, in the eighth inning only to tie the game on a pinch hit three run homer by former Red Bernie Carbo.

It used to be the other way around; teams would come back from three down to beat the Red Sox. The aforementioned game 6 of the 1975 World Series, the Red Sox led 3 – 0 after the first inning. In game 7 of the same series Boston scored 3 in the third inning only to see the Reds rally to win the game, 4 – 3. In game 6 of the 1986 World Series, the New York Mets scored three in the bottom of the tenth to defeat the Sox 6 – 5. Boston took a 3 – 0 lead early in game 7, only to see the Mets storm back to win the World Championship. In game 7 of the 2003 ALCS the Red Sox led New York 5 – 2 only to have the Yankees rally to tie the game. Former Red Aaron Boone sent the Yankees to the World Series with a solo home run in extra innings. For what it’s worth, in the 1978 A.L. East Playoff, Bucky Dent hit a three run homer to lead New York past Boston.

Didn’t Babe Ruth wear number 3 as a Yankee? Just sayin’! (Look, I don’t believe in curses; I believe in bad baseball.)

More on Bernie Carbo; in 1993 he founded the Diamond Club Ministry, “Telling the greatest story ever told through the greatest game ever played.” Check out his website I’m going to try to attend his fantasy baseball camp in Mobile, Alabama in the future.

Speaking of the Deep South; memo to Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, instead of railing against the Southeastern Conference football teams, try recruiting better players at Oklahoma so you could compete with the S.E.C.!

The double play Brandon Phillips turned last Friday against the Brewers may have been the greatest Reds double play since game 2 of the N.L.C.S. versus Pittsburgh, when Paul O’Neill gunned down the Pirates Andy Van Slyke trying to advance to third on a fly out by Barry Bonds, preserving a Reds slim one run lead. Reds won the game 2 – 1.

Useless trivia; the 1990 NLCS between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh was the only National League Championship Series in the 1990’s that did not feature the Atlanta Braves.

Great week, 6 – 0! Plus six consecutive road wins too! Let’s hope these streaks continue this weekend in Philly and next week in New York! Have a blessed week. Thank God for VACATIONS!!!!! (I’m taking off work from May 20 to 29!)

- Dan Howard

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