Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Redlegs Review Podcast: Episode 8

In this edition of the podcast, Jack Ward and Dan Howard discuss the continued futility of the 2016 Cincinnati Reds, the lone bright spots (ahem...Adam Duvall), and the rest of the MLB landscape.

MLB Week 8 – Gloom and Despair

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

“Gloom, despair, and agony on me

Deep, dark depression, excessive misery

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all

Gloom, despair, and agony on me.”

- Buck Owens and Roy Clark from the syndicated television show “Hee Haw”

Pretty much sums up the 2016 Cincinnati Reds season thus far, doesn’t it?

On this week’s podcast, my Redlegs Review contemporary writer and program co-host, Jack Ward, and I discussed an interesting point. Our beloved Reds are currently 19 games out of first place while only winning 17 games. The last Reds team to finish a season with a greater deficit from first place than games won was in 1880. That Reds team won just 21 games (lost 59) and finished 44 games behind the Chicago White Stockings (67 – 17).

Monday, May 30, 2016

Duvall, Cozart Lone Bright Spots for Lackluster Reds

Zack Cozart 20130625.jpg

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

The Reds are 4-18 on the road and have to go to Colorado where they of late haven’t played too well. Sad to say but this Reds team is shaping up to be one of the worst baseball teams I have ever seen. They can’t hit, they can’t field, they can’t pitch. I know every team goes through bad stretches, but this doesn’t feel like a bad stretch. It feels like a really bad team. I know they have Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto as the nucleus, and that is great. But some really bad teams have had great players. Remember 1987 MVP for the last place Cubs, Andre Dawson? Steve Carlton won 27 games for the 59 win Phillies in 1972. Bruce, and Phillips are not great but pretty good. Bruce is on a pace to drive in 90 runs and hit 25-30 home runs. Phillips is on a pace to hit 18 home runs and drive in 70 runs. That’s a good year for any second baseman.

Joey Votto on the other hand is off to the worst start of his career. I’m starting to get concerned about him. I can’t imagine Joey Votto hitting .207 at the end of May! But it’s happening. It’s probably just one of those slumps that can last a whole season sometimes. Many great players have had off seasons.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Redlegs Review Podcast: Episode 7

In this edition of the podcast, Dan Howard and Jack Ward talk about the potential of this version of the Reds possibly exceeding the 102-loss record season set by the 1982 Reds, as well as what else is going on around the baseball landscape outside of Cincinnati. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

MLB Week 7 – As Blue as 1982

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

That was a tough year. President Ronald Reagan, arguably my generation's greatest leader, was facing an economic recession unseen in this nation since the Great Depression. By November 1982, unemployment was at an all-time high (it’s higher today), 17,000 businesses failed, and farmers, the staple of the American economy, were losing their land. Soviet communism was slowly progressing in eastern Europe and Asia. It was a dreary, dreadful time.

The top song of 1982 was Olivia Newton John’s Physical, although, in my humble opinion, the best song of that year was the theme from Rocky III, Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger (number two on the Top 100 list). Michael Jackson’s signature album, Thriller, was released on November 30, everybody bought a copy, except me. Thirty-four years later, I still do not own a copy of that album/CD. And to think, I considered myself a Michael Jackson fan, all the way back to his Jackson 5 days.

In sports, the San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 26 – 21. The Clemson Tigers defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers to become college football’s National Champion. The North Carolina Tar Heels, led by some unknown freshman named Michael Jordan, beat the Georgetown Hoyas to win the NCAA basketball championship. The New York Islanders won their third straight Stanley Cup by sweeping the Vancouver Canucks, and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 2 to win the NBA title.

Season Continues to Spiral Downward for Lackluster Reds

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Well, it’s almost Memorial day and the Reds are floundering badly. After losing every game on a recent home stand….every single game! They now are on the dreaded west coast road trip. This means games at LA and Colorado, which historically have never gone well for the Reds. In the middle of this trip they head to Milwaukee and then back to Colorado.

The Reds have lost eight straight. They haven’t hit and when they do they don’t pitch. But on Monday night they got a great performance from Brandon Finnegan. A complete game, even though it was eight innings we’ll take it. Something that greatly concerns me about Brandon Finnegan though. He said after his brilliant outing “I make the same pitches every game, sometimes they hit them and sometimes they don’t.” That is true, I guess…..but I wonder why batters never seem to hit Clayton Kershaw or Jake Arrieta? And when they do get hit….these guys always blame it on their poor location or one or two bad pitches. They admit that they make mistakes! Hmm…. But Brandon Finnegan always makes the same pitches? Maybe he should try some different pitches.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MLB Week 6 - The Great Pretenders

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

As the Reds seemingly regress, these articles get harder to write each week.

I was watching a baseball game Sunday when a hockey fight broke out.

Pretty good scuffle between Texas’ Rougned Odor and Toronto’s Jose Bautista. I just wish that Adrian Beltre didn’t hold Bautista back.

If my name was Rougned Odor, I’d probably learn how to fight too.

Here’s an idea, how about a three round bout between Odor and Bautista as an undercard for an upcoming heavyweight fight, or during the next UFC event.

I wish the Reds had some fight in them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Redlegs Review Podcast: Episode 6

In this weekly edition of the podcast, Jack Ward and Dan Howard are it again talking Reds baseball (primarily poor pitching) as well as what's going on elsewhere in Major League Baseball.

Lean Times on the Horizon for Reds

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

With the loss to Cleveland on Monday night, the Reds stand at 15-23 and a paltry 3-13 on the road. The Reds bullpen woes continue and the starters, aside from Dan Straily, continue to be inconsistent. Besides Straily, reliever Blake Wood and the injured Rasiel Iglesias, the Reds have had no consistency at all in their pitching staff. It has been abysmal and there is no end in sight.

Even if Homer Bailey came back today, what can we realistically expect him to do? We all know that Homer is no Johnny Cueto, so how much help is coming actually? Not enough to change this season around, unfortunately.

We have found out last year that rebuilding is heck. And into the future could be a heck of a long rebuild. The Houston Astros went through the same the thing the Reds are getting ready to go through now. The Astros last winning season before last year was 2008 when they went 86-75. They began a slow rebuilding process that resulted in 74 wins in 2009 and 76 wins in 2010. They went into high rebuilding gear in 2011 when they were horrible for three seasons. In 2011, they were 56-106, in 2012 they were 55-107, and in 2013 they were 51-111. Those three seasons led them to last year when they surprised everyone by winning a wild card berth at 86-76. They stock piled draft choices and young players for six years and the result was 86 wins in 2015. Was it worth it? So far this year they have regressed backward. They have a worse record than the Reds at 15-24 so far this year.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Redlegs Review Podcast: Episode 6

In this edition of the podcast, Jack Ward and Dan Howard break down the current state of the Reds, as well as a general sweep-around of what the rest of the MLB landscape currently looks like. 

Seventh and Eighth Innings Not Kind to Bullpen

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

The Reds coming off their second bad road trip, are home for ten games. So far they are four and four with Monday night’s win against the Pirates. The Reds bullpen blew two leads against Milwaukee and should have swept that series. Also on Monday night the bullpen ended their major league record of 23 games allowing at least one run.

Speaking of the bullpen, they are still last in the National League with an ERA of 6.43 and last in saves with three. Tony Cingrani saved his second of the season in three tries against the Pirates on Monday night. Tony barely hung on after a leadoff double and getting David Freese on a warning track fly ball for the last out. But a nice outing by Tony who has given up only three hits in his last 5 2/3 innings.

And it appears that Tony Cingrani and Ross Ohlendorf will be the Reds closers for the time being. Bryan Price said he would flip flop them in the eighth and ninth according to matchups. The Reds sent JJ Hoover down to Triple A to get his game straightened out. Meanwhile, Aroldis Chapman made his first appearance for the Yankees Monday night. His usual stat line. One inning, two K’s, no hits. He wasn’t in a save situation. But before you get too nostalgic remember the Reds lost 98 games with him last year. I’m not saying Aroldis wasn’t great and it was NOT his fault that the Reds lost 98 games, but the value of a closer depends upon the team getting him the lead in the ninth. A closer can’t pitch every night either so the Reds need to get the lead and then do something very foreign to them this season…HOLD IT! That’s where really your seventh and eighth inning guys are just as important as the closer.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

MLB Week 5 – Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

So much for getting fat with victories against the woefully inept Milwaukee Brewers.

Yes, the two wins were nice, especially Friday night’s victory that ended the Reds bullpen streak of 23 straight games allowing at least one run. The scoreless bullpen streak ended at one game, however, as the Reds relievers returned to their old ways Saturday giving up eleven runs including a seven spot in the Milwaukee tenth inning.

J.J. Hoover shouldn’t be the only pitcher sent down to Triple A Louisville.

As I said in last week’s Redlegs Review podcast, Bryan Price must go.

If, by some miracle Price turns this season around, I will sincerely apologize for my comments, both on this website and on our weekly podcast.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Redlegs Review Podcast - Episode 5

In their weekly podcast, Jack Ward and Dan Howard break down the current state of the Reds, which includes some pretty startling statistics detailing Cincinnati's struggles this campaign. 

Also, should the Reds be mulling a change at the top?

MLB Week 4 - Apathy

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Apathy - the feeling of not having much emotion or interest: an apathetic state. From Merriam-Webster.com

Peter Principle (Wikipedia.com) - The Peter principle is a concept in management theory formulated by Laurence J. Peter in which the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate's performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and "managers rise to the level of their incompetence."

That pretty much sums up my feelings about the Reds season thus far.

Shoddy Bullpen Badly Ailing Redlegs

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

The Reds finish another bad road trip getting swept by the Mets and then losing two out of three to the Pirates. The Reds have lost nine straight to the Mets by the way.

The pitching woes continue for the Reds especially out of the bullpen where the Reds bullpen is last in the National League with a 6.54 ERA. The Reds team pitching ERA is 5.35 ERA after Wednesday’s win over the Giants.

The Reds set a major league record for consecutive games with runs allowed by relief pitching. The old record was 20 by the 2013 Rockies. Tuesday night the Reds broke the record in their 3-1 loss to the Giants. A dubious record to have but it just tells you how awful the Reds bullpen has been this year.