Tuesday, August 9, 2016

MLB Week 18 - Dog Days of Baseball

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Did you really think the Reds were going win every series from the All Star break until the end of the season? I did too.

Wearing “Speed Kills” on his shoes, Billy Hamilton went 3 for 4 on Sunday at P.N.C. Park and promptly stole four bases. He’ll probably be flying to Rio to take on Usain Bolt in the Olympic 100 meters later this month.

I know I’ve said this before, but I wish Josh Harrison was a Red.

Remember a couple of months ago, during our weekly Redlegs Review podcast, Jack Ward and I both said we weren’t worried about Joey Votto, and said he’d eventually start hitting. There’s something satisfying about being right.

Speaking of the Rio Olympics, this year’s Summer Games are being contested in a city where it’s winter, and will be until September.

GOOD NEWS!!!! Baseball will be back as an Olympic sport in 2020 at Tokyo.

BAD NEWS!!!! The games are scheduled to begin on July 24, 2020 so don’t expect to see any Major Leaguers, unless MLB does what the National Hockey League does during the Winter Olympics, shut down for three weeks so their players can represent their home countries.

I don’t ever see that happening.

I saw where the Anaheim Angels Mike Trout turned 25 this past Sunday. The Mickey Mouse Network aka ESPN showed some incredible stats about Trout during Sportscenter. Trout has more hits that Pete Rose had at 25, more homers that Barry Bonds at 25, scored more runs than Rickey Henderson at 25 and has collected more total bases than Hank Aaron, my pick as Greatest Hitter of All Time, at 25.

Should Trout avoid the debilitating injuries that plagued Yankees legend Mickey Mantle suffered, we may be witnessing the greatest player in baseball history, period.

When I turned 25, Ronald Reagan was president. His successor, George H.W. Bush, was to be elected a few days afterwards.

When Jack Ward turned 25, we were still the Colonies.

Congrats to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, who have made 1,066 starts together as a first baseman/second baseman duo. That’s good enough for fourth place on the all-time list.

Useless Trivia; The Houston Astros’ Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio currently hold the record for most starts by a 1B/2B combo with 1506. The Yankees Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri are second with 1425 starts followed by the Phillies Ryan Howard and Chase Utley with 1134.

The must maligned Cincinnati Reds bullpen sported baseball’s third lowest ERA, 2.45, for the month of July.

Unfortunately, the Reds bullpen have surrendered a home run to the first batter faced a whopping 23 times this season.

40 Years Ago; Wednesday August 11, 1976, at Wrigley Field the Reds and Cubs tangled in a classic Wrigley game. Twice the Reds trailed by nine runs, 9 – 0 after 2 innings, and 10 – 1 after 5. Dave Concepcion led the Reds rally by going 4 for 6. Tony Perez, Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey all homered with the latter being a dramatic two out two run shot in the ninth that tied the game at ten. Cincinnati scored three in the tenth to win 13 – 10. Aside from the 23 runs scored, both teams had 36 combined hits with Cincinnati collecting twenty in this game and saw their lead in the N.L, West grow to 12.5 games.

Have a blessed week. GO MANCHESTER CITY!!!

Dan Howard

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