Friday, July 4, 2014

MLB Week 14 - Red, White, and Very Blue

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Baseball is a funny, yet fickle sport. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, something happens that will just blow your mind and leave you dazed, confused, and scratching your head.

Last weekend, our beloved Cincinnati Reds traveled to San Francisco and literally “pillaged the village”. Babies were crying, women screaming, and men figuratively were begging for mercy as this version of the Red Machine tore through the Golden Gate city bent on annihilation. I thought the mayor was going to declare a state of emergency and request the National Guard to restore order. Many compared the Reds conquest of San Francisco to General William Sherman’s march through the South during the Civil War. “Looks like it’s going to be a fun summer watching the Reds”, I smugly told my sons as we watched the images of San Francisco being reduced to rubble this past Sunday on Fox Sports Cincinnati.

Useless Trivia; the last time Cincinnati swept a four game series in San Francisco was May 16 (doubleheader), 17, and 18, 1972 at Candlestick Park.

Wha’ Happened?

I’m sure our Reds were brimming with confidence as they arrived at San Diego last Sunday evening, maybe too confident. Maybe the Padres didn’t want to see their coastal city getting reduced to a smoldering heap like Cincinnati did to their sister city to the north the previous four games. Maybe the former Red players who dot the current San Diego roster felt they had something to prove. Who knows exactly what happened, the truth of the matter is the Reds flew back to Cincinnati on Wednesday evening with their “whooped” tails firmly entrenched between their legs. Rumor has it that some players were on the plane sucking their thumbs while lying in the fetal position, much like they did during all three games at Petco Park.

I, like many of you readers, was happily ignorant of San Diego’s Jesse Hahn prior to his start Monday night against the Reds. Now we think he’s the front runner to win the Cy Young Award. Did we think the Padres would just wilt in the Reds greatness? I haven’t witnessed a San Diego pitcher dominate the Reds like that since former Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones (Google him) dazzle the Big Red Machine teams of 1975 and 1976.

More Useless Trivia; The last time a Reds team lost a game in which they allowed only one hit was on September 12, 1950 in a 3 – 1 loss against the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was the seventh time since 1900 Cincinnati lost a game while surrendering one hit.

It’s good to hear that the Reds won the bidding war and signed Cuban pitcher Raisel (ray-SELL) Iglesias last week. Hopefully he’ll become “Cuban Missile II”!

Captain Obvious Moment; Are you wondering why so many players are leaving Cuba to play in the United States? Aside from the freedom America has to offer, the average wage in Communist controlled Cuba is nineteen dollars per month, up from sixteen dollars per month in 2006. It’s hard to believe sixty years ago, Havana, Cuba was a thriving community where American celebrities played.

Despite being zero for July; the Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Seattle Mariners led the Majors with eighteen wins in the month of June. Unfortunately for Cincinnati fans, so did the Milwaukee Brewers.

Congratulations to Billy Hamilton, the National League’s Rookie of the Month for June. Hamilton finished June with 14 stolen bases, 18 runs scored, 36 hits, 6 doubles and 3 home runs. It would be great to see him win Rookie of the Month for July, August, and September too!

This season the Reds have never lost a series to a National League Central team not named St. Louis. Cincinnati is currently 7 – 0 – 1 in eight series versus Central foes, 0 – 3 in series against St. Louis.

Aroldis Chapman has recorded at least one strikeout in his last 35 appearances. Chapman’s effort is the second longest in Major League history to the Cubs Bruce Sutter 39 game streak from June 1 to October 2, 1977.

I appreciate Todd Frazier’s hustle during his unsuccessful attempt of catching a ball in foul territory Wednesday afternoon at San Diego. That’s prime example of my saying, “Your Life is Meaningless, Catching the Ball is Everything!”

Did you happen to notice the sign behind home plate at Petco Park on Tuesday night for Aladdin Bail Bonds? Do so few people get arrested in San Diego that a bonding company has to resort to advertising to drum up business? Or are Padre fans that rowdy, if they’re arrested for public intoxication at Petco they’ll know who to call to bail them out?

I guess I have seen it all!

Have a blessed week. GO REDS!!!!!

Dan Howard

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