Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MLB Week 19 – The Impatience of Being Patience

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Sixteen days into August and our beloved Reds played just their fourth game at home this month last night.

At least the next ten games are at home, including an unusual Friday to Monday four game series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It seems weird to say Joey Votto went one-for-four Monday night and saw his batting average drop to .303. Votto is hitting .379 since June 1, second best in MLB (Houston’s Jose Altuve .392).

Tough loss for Cincinnati in the first of four against the Marlins. It was made even tougher thanks to the “brain fart” suffered by Blake Wood two outs in Miami’s eighth inning. With the bases loaded, Dee Gordon raps a grounder to Votto, who’s playing deep at first base. Wood breaks late from the mound and gets to the bag to receive the toss from Votto a fraction of a second after Gordon. By the time Wood spins and throws the ball to catcher Tucker Barnhart, Adeiny Hechavarria has already scored…. from second base.

If looks could kill, Tucker Barnhart would have gone to jail last night. I believe Barnhart wanted to go to the mound, ahead of Bryan Price, grab Blake Wood by the shirt and scream “HAVEN’T YOU BEEN PRACTICING GETTING OFF THE MOUND SINCE SPRING TRAINING!!!!”

Barnhart wasn’t the only one getting a little hot under the collar, right Don Mattingly?

(Recycled Content) Appalachian definitions;

Swearing – What you do if you hit yourself with a hammer.

Cursing – What you do if your friend hits you with a hammer.

Cussin’ – What Don Mattingly did Monday night.

At least Barnhart kept his modest eleven game hitting streak going. Barnhart is hitting .359 (14 for 39) during the streak.

Useless Trivia; speaking of hitting, Great American Ball Park is the only existing venue in which newly enshrined “3000 Hit Club” member Ichiro Suzuki hasn’t gotten a hit. In fact, during Suzuki’s certain Hall of Fame career, he’s only collected one hit in a Cincinnati ballpark, Cinergy Field. Through last night Ichiro is 1 for 17 (.059) in the Queen City

If Brandon Finnegan gives up any more homers, N.L. leading 26 this season, he’ll probably go on the Disabled List for a sprained neck.

Talk about life imitating art; last week I made some comments about Chicago Cubs fans, comparing them to the Biblical passage found in Acts 17 “certain lewd fellows of the baser sort”. After Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth inning during Sunday night’s nationally televised game with the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, the Cubs disc jockey played the song “Smack My B**** Up” by the Prodigy. Needless to say with the domestic violence controversy surrounding Chapman, including a thirty game suspension to begin 2016, someone lost their job early Monday morning.

Thanks for making my point Cubs fans.

If I played, my entrance/walk up song would be either “Jesus Freak” by d.c.Talk or “Dangerous” by Decemberadio. Google ‘em.

Had Billy Hamilton not tried to go through a wall to make a play Monday night, he probably had a good chance in beating the club record for stolen bases, 81 by Bob Bescher in 1911. Hamilton has recorded 32 steals since July 5.

Hamilton epitomizes my baseball creed, something I’ve driven into the heads of my five children; “Your life is meaningless, catching the ball is everything.”

I wonder why none of them played baseball.

In all seriousness, I never pushed my kids into sports, I and my wife wanted them to make their own decisions about extra-curricular activities. My two daughters, Taira and Brittany won a championship in middle school basketball, Taira won several Special Olympic championships while in middle school. Brittany played in the West Virginia SSAC Girls High School State Basketball Tournament. My oldest son, Jeremy, played Little League Baseball for one season, in 2002, batted over .300 and was an All Star in his only season of organized sports. Middle son David never caught the sports bug as well as his younger brother Ethan, but both excelled in the classroom. David graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA and Ethan, currently a sixth grader at Kermit (WV) K-8, has collected a total of 11 academic achievement awards in the past two years. Of all the accolades my children have earned, I’m very proud of the fact that all are active in our church, Jesus Name Tabernacle, with Brittany, Jeremy, and David creating a Youth Choir in the church. Jeremy and David are also studying to become ministers.

So I’m a proud dad.

40 Years Ago; Wednesday August 18, 1976, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Dave Concepcion each collect two hits and lead Cincinnati to a 4 – 1 win at Riverfront Stadium. The win ended a four game losing streak which did not affect Cincinnati’s place in the standings. During the slide the Reds lead only fell 2.5 games from 13.5 up when the losing streak began to 11 up at its conclusion. It was only a matter of time until the Big Red Machine would earn its fifth division championship since 1970.

Have a blessed week. GO TEAM USA!!!!

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