Thursday, November 5, 2015

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.

If you recall, 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. And now Don Mattingly is the manager of the Marlins. There was evidently something that Mattingly didn’t like while managing the Dodgers. I think he was in a perfect situation myself. You know I had the Dodgers over the Cubs for the NL pennant. I had the Dodgers beating the Blue Jays for the World Championship. And with Kershaw and Greinke they should have! Yes the Dodgers 7th and 8th inning bullpen was not great but that didn’t beat them. It was Kershaw pitching awful and losing game one and Greinke giving up a home run to Daniel Murphy late in game 5.

Now the question is who is going to manage the Dodgers next season? Bud Black?

Speaking of Daniel Murphy, why didn’t the Dodger pitch him hard inside like the Royals did? The Dodgers after the first two games should have pitched Murphy in off the plate and soft away after he had already hit home runs in four straight games. If he walks so be it. Kansas City did a great job of pitching the Murphy and Cespedes, the Mets best hitters.

I didn’t think the Royals had the pitching to win with Volquez and Cueto being so inconsistent in the playoffs and regular season. But hats off to the two former Reds, they stepped up big. I’m very happy for them. NOT!! I wonder where Cueto will wind up next season? I would say he is going to be very rich man. Rumors are that Yankees and Dodgers will be big bidders for Cueto. Jordan Zimmerman and David Price are also on the market and that will hurt Cueto’s value for sure. No way Kansas City can afford him or the Reds for that matter.

There is no way I had the Mets going this far yet. Great job by Terry Collins who had critics already calling for his removal five minutes after the World Series. Good grief! What is the matter with people? Did you really have the Mets winning a division and getting to the World Series in your wildest dreams back in March? Come on Mets fans, give the guy a break. The Mets were in second place in late June. I am glad the Met extended his contract through 2017.

As I said I’m hoping that Brandon Phillips will win another Gold Glove which is announced on November the 10th on ESPN. Again, I don’t know what the Reds are planning for the off season. But as we have mentioned getting Devin Mesoraco, Homer Bailey, and Zack Cozart back is a start. Starting pitching and bullpen help is a must, as it is with every major league team in the off season, but especially with the Reds. One thing is for sure, the Reds have got to put the ball in play next season. The Giants put the ball in play and win. The Royals put the ball in play and win. You can’t as the Royals say “keep the line moving” if you strike out in big situations.

Congrats to former Reds skipper Dusty Baker being named the Nationals new manager. I met Dusty a few years ago and he is a very cordial and friendly man. He looked me in the eye and talked with me like we were long lost friends. But what about Bud Black getting low balled they say? I was under the assumption that it was a done deal that he would be the Nationals manager. But what I heard is that the players wanted Dusty. That’s something you hardly ever see is the players getting a say. I like it.

My next report will be about the winter meetings coming up in December. Will the Reds trade Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips or Aroldis Chapman? I believe the Reds will be big players in the winter meetings. It will be interesting for sure. Until then, have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful that the Reds didn’t finish last, O sorry, they did finish last. Well, at least we can be thankful that the Cardinals and Yankees got beat in the playoffs.

Until next time,

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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