Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MLB Week 13 - Freedom


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

- Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

We Reds fans need to petition King Robert Castellini to set us free from the tyranny of the bad baseball played under the despotic reign of Lord Bryan Price.

Since the back to back wins our Reds enjoyed on June 13 & 14, Cincinnati has won just four of their last nineteen games, and are on pace to finish with a club record 104 losses this season.

Good News - The Reds bullpen had an E.R.A. of 4.77 for the month of June.

Bad News – The bullpen E.R.A. is STILL 5.93.

I guess it was all Mark Riggins fault.

Maybe if the Reds had former Washington Redskins running back John Riggins as pitching coach.

I do like the fact that former Reds pitcher Ted Power is going to be the bullpen coach.

Oh well, Ohio State football is less than two months away.

As I mentioned before, the last game of the season can’t come fast enough this year.

Useless trivia; Eighty-five games into this season the Reds have lost twenty-eight games which they held a lead. By contrast, the division champion Reds of 2012 lost thirty-one games all season long after having a lead.

More Good News; the Reds are undefeated while leading at the end of the game.

More Bad News; unfortunately, that has happened only thirty times this season.

I applaud Major League Baseball for having Sunday night’s Atlanta – Miami game played at Fort Bragg North Carolina, only for soldiers and their families. If baseball does more games like that, I think it will slowly regain its title as “America’s Favorite Pastime”.

My favorite memory of baseball on Independence Day occurred, ironically enough, on the Bicentennial Day of Sunday July 4, 1976. In the first game of a doubleheader between then East Division rivals Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Phillies catcher Tim McCarver (yes, that one) hit what should have been a grand slam home run except for one thing; McCarver, in his excitement, inadvertently passed a sightseeing Garry Maddux who was standing and watching the ball leave the playing surface at Three Rivers Stadium. According to the rules of baseball, McCarver was called out and all three runs were permitted to score, so officially Tim McCarver hit what was called “A Grand Slam Single”.

More Useless Trivia; According to Baseball-Reference.com, there has been three instances of “Grand Slam Singles” in baseball history. The first on July 9, 1970 when Detroit’s Dalton Jones passed teammate Don Wert against the Boston Red Sox. Second was Tim McCarver, and arguably the most famous one happened during Game 5 of the 1999 National League Championship Series when the New York Mets Robin Ventura hit a fifteenth inning walk off grand slam against the Atlanta Braves. Through the excitement of hitting a home run the Mets chased down Ventura before he reached second base. The on field celebration prevented Ventura completing his journey around the bases, and since the winning run crossed the plate as a result of Ventura’s hit, the Mets were awarded a 4 – 3 victory with Ventura given credit for one R.B.I.

40 Years Ago – Sunday July 4, 1976, George Foster goes four for five with a double, three run homer, and two stolen bases to lead Cincinnati past the Houston Astros 7 – 2 at Riverfront Stadium. Foster raised his batting average to .343. The win was the second of what would become a seven game winning streak. With the win Cincinnati moved to 5.5 games ahead in the National League West Division.

Have a blessed week. Happy 240th America, and to all veterans, a heartfelt thanks for your service in keeping us free.

Dan Howard

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