Friday, May 24, 2013

Week eight observations and notes


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Please pray for the victims and their families of the tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma on Monday. I could not imagine the pain and suffering the families of those who lost loved ones are enduring. In the wake of such a tragedy, writing a baseball blog is insignificant but I will continue on.

To all Veterans on this Memorial Day weekend…..Thank you and may God bless you for your service to this great country. You are the reason that this nation remains free.

I goofed last week when I said the Reds would win their first back to back division titles since 1975 – 1976. Technically the Reds won the back to back Central Division championships in 1994 & 1995. The Reds were in first place when the 1994 season ended on August 12 due to the players strike. The Cincinnati Reds officially recognize the 1994 team as Central Division Champions. That’s an ‘E’ on me!

Donald Lutz seems to be a left handed version of George Foster.

With the exception of the New York Yankees, I believe that there are 28 other Major League teams that would love to have Sam LeCure as their closer.

Last Thursday, Brandon Phillips said the Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez made him look like Willie Lump-Lump during an at-bat. Just who is Willie Lump-Lump? Willie was one of the many characters of famous radio & television comedian Red Skelton. Now that’s old school!

I wonder what was going on in the ninth inning of last Friday’s game at Citizens Bank Park between Joey Votto and someone in the front row. It didn’t look like they were talking about the best place to get a Philly Cheesesteak. Maybe he wanted some advice about types of wine since Votto’s mother used to be a sommelier (wine steward).

Did I mention that I loathe losing to Philadelphia?

Useless trivia; after Sunday’s loss, the Reds all-time record at Citizens Bank Park is 12 – 24. At least we won the season series for the first time in a long while.

To Tony Cingrani; thank you for the 2 and 0 won-loss record, 33 innings pitched, 3.27 ERA, 41 K’s and a WHIP of 1.03, there are some lovely parting gifts for you at the door, and a few Cy Young Award votes.

Best wishes to my namesake Dan Borrelli, the Associate Producer for the show Dancing Fools which debuts May 29th on ABC Family channel. If his name seems familiar, Dan was the music director for CMT’s The Singing Bee, not to mention a stand-up comedian, writer, and is friends with actor Danny DeVito. His dad, Carmen was my seventh grade teacher and Little League coach at Venters Branch Elementary way back in 1975. “Mr. B” also owned an awesome 1967 Mustang. If all my teachers were like “Mr. B”, I’d likely be a doctor by now, he made school cool!

Joe Nuxhall always said before any series at Shea Stadium the Reds and Mets ought to play all of the games in one day. Would Nuxy feel different at Citi Field? Probably not.

I really don’t think that Zack Cozart was the least bit intimidated by the Mets Matt Harvey.

Come to think of it; none of the Reds hitters were intimidated by Harvey.

More useless trivia; with Wednesday’s 7 – 4 win against the Mets, the Reds are 12 – 5 all time at Citi Field.

Seems to me that around this time every year Aroldis Chapman struggles, then figures it out to return to his usual dominating self.

How do you slow down Aroldis Chapman? Feed him lots of Cuban pastries. Really!

Good News; Joey Votto is so hot he may self-combust. Did you see the vapor trail he left behind when he scored in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game. Look for the streak to continue this weekend against the Cubs.

Bad News, Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen is getting hot. Of course he could be just getting fat on Cubs pitching.

For a moment this past Tuesday, I thought I was watching a classic baseball game from the 1970’s with Oscar Gamble, come to find out it was only a Coco Crisp highlight. Check out Gamble’s 1975 baseball card (Topps #213).

There was a discussion on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption about baseball’s greatest hitter, either Miguel Cabrera or Barry Bonds. Pardon the Interruption Mike & Tony, but what about Hank Aaron? Take away his 755 home runs and he STILL has over 3,000 hits. 3016 hits to be exact.

More on Aaron; Hank Aaron led the National League in hits and batting average twice. “Hammerin’ Hank” also led the N.L. in home runs, RBI’s, and doubles four times.

I brought this up a few months ago; Miguel Cabrera wears number 24 as a tribute to Tony Perez.

I think that Sergio Garcia went to the Fuzzy Zoeller School of Golfing Etiquette

In the fallout following Garcia’s comments, ESPN’s Michael Smith said he wasn’t offended by the fried chicken remark, in fact it made him crave fried chicken to the point that he was looking for a Popeye’s restaurant. That’s what makes Michael Smith one of the best in the business.

Now that Sergio Garcia has apologized for his idiotic comments directed toward Tiger Woods, my advice to Sergio is to take a crisp, clean, flat piece of paper, wad it up into a ball, then try to return the paper to its original form, without wrinkles.

Everyone in the universe knew that LeBron James was going to take the last shot in Game 1 of the Miami – Indiana series, everyone except Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel.

Memo to Mr. Vogel; it is scientifically possible to dribble and drive twenty feet to make a layup in just under 2.2 seconds.

For what it’s worth department; Yeah, I’m playing Beat the Streak at mlb.com, made it to six straight. Shin Soo Choo ended my streak this past Sunday.

What would I do if I beat the streak and cash in on the 5.6 million dollar payday? What any self-respecting Appalachian resident would do….buy a double-wide trailer.

Have a blessed week, GO REDS!

Dan Howard

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