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?

Miserable – Thirty one losses this season came from three losing streaks of nine games or more.

Anemic – The woeful thirteen game losing streak we Cincinnati fans suffered through was the longest since 1945.

Embarrassing – The 98 losses this season makes the fourth time in club history our beloved Reds lost 98 plus games in a season. 99 in 1934, 98 in 1937, 101 in 1982, 98 this year. I can’t personally write about the 1934 and 1937 teams, but we knew the 1982 team was going to be bad due to the free agent sell off after the 1981 season.

Useless – How do you stop Cincinnati? Let them put runners in scoring position. A smoking .214 batting average RISP. Dead last in MLB, fourteen points behind Seattle who was next to last.

Worthless – Jay Bruce .180 average with runners in scoring position. Bruce had more strikeouts, 49, than hits, 30 with runners in scoring position. How much are the Reds paying him?

Sorry – Todd Frazier wasn’t much better. .210 RISP. Frazier chipped in a .220 batting average post All Star break while suffering from Bobby Abreu Syndrome.

Confusing – Yes the Reds set a record with the most rookie pitchers starting games, but for the team ERA to be 26th in baseball is really not that bad, however wasn’t Bryan Price a hot shot pitching coach before he became Der Furher? As you would imagine the top six ERA teams in baseball are in the playoffs. (Note: I’ve been taking a German language course for the past five months. Es ist gut!)

Shameful – Our Reds relievers were 35 of 56 in save opportunities. Aroldis Chapman was 33 of 36, however, as good as J.J. Hoover was this season, he just converted one save in seven chances.

Upsetting – The 2015 Reds usually got the snot kicked out of them in the early innings but in the 59 games they held leads after seven innings, Cincinnati lost nine of those games.

Mortifying – Cincinnati was a pitiful 13 – 59 when their opponents scored first. The Reds just didn’t lay down this season, they went full on thumb sucking, blanket toting, and fetal position during those games.

Bewildering – If Matt Williams gets fired one season after winning the National League Manager of the Year award, how can Reds owner Bob Castellini be happy with Cincinnati’s performance this season?

Firetruckin’ – You Tube Bryan Price’s interview about Devin Mesoraco back in April.

How do the Reds improve for 2016?

First fire Bryan Price, or at least relegate him back to pitching coach. Replace him with Ozzie Guillen. Yeah, I know Guillen sometimes suffers from Cranial Rectum Inversion, but he’s darn good with young talent and Cincinnati is loaded with it. His ability to develop players from Latin America is very impressive. I’d love to see what he could do with Eugenio Suarez and Rasiel Iglesias. He may have struggled a bit with Miami, but I believe that was the owner’s fault not Guillen’s. My preference is Terry Francona, but he’ll be in Cleveland for quite some time.

Second, the time has come for Jay Bruce to take his talent for striking out somewhere else. Trade him now while you can.

Third, former Reds leadoff hitter Shin Soo Choo is in the playoffs with Texas, Billy Hamilton is not. It’s time for a quality leadoff hitter. As I’ve said many times before, you can’t steal first base.

Fourth, Eugenio Suarez must be in the starting lineup next season, either shortstop or outfield, his bat is too good.

Fifth, and last, I think the Reds young pitching is very reminiscent of the Atlanta Braves of the 1990’s. With proper management this pitching staff should do good things in 2016.

There’s nowhere to go but up….I hope.

Have a blessed week. Look for recaps of the 1940, 1975 and 1990 postseasons in my next post.

Dan Howard

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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