Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MLB Week 21 – A (Super) Star is Born

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

(Yawn!) I sure wish West Coast baseball games would start at 4pm their time.

Sure, the 2016 season for our beloved Cincinnati Reds has not been good, in fact it has sucked a few times. The hope we had during the 5 – 1 start dwindled quickly when the bullpen failed on so many occasions especially the months of April, May and June.

Potential is a class yearbook word used to describe someone who is not quite living up to societal, athletic or academic expectations, but tries to make an effort. I think potential sums up the Reds season thus far.

We’ve all witnessed the breakout year Adam Duvall is having, he’s the seventh left fielder in Reds history to appear in at least 106 games and pound 29 homers. The other six are Adam Dunn (2004 – 2008), Greg Vaughn (1999), Ron Gant (1995), George Foster (1976 – 1979), Frank Robinson (1956 – 1957) and Hank Sauer (1948).

Since his call-up on August 20, Jose Peraza is hitting .438 (14 – 32) through Sunday. Peraza also had his first four hit game in last Monday’s 18 – 9 defeat against the Dodgers.

Scott Schebler fell on some tough times for a week or so after his dramatic walk off homer against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 2, but he seems to have gotten back on course. Prior to last night’s game at the Orange County Angels, Schebler went twenty-five straight plate appearances without a single strikeout, the fourth longest streak in Major League Baseball this year. Unfortunately, Schebler went down swinging in his first at-bat Monday night, ending the streak.

Saturday’s 13 – 0 beat down of the Arizona Diamondbacks was the Reds sixth shutout of the season, and the third in the month of August.

The Ironic Department; according to Elias Sports Bureau, Anthony DeSclafani became only the second pitcher in the past two seasons to hurl a complete game shutout in which his team scored as many as thirteen runs. The other one? Chicago’s Jake Arrieta. Yeah, the no-hitter at Great American Ballpark on April 21.

Useless Trivia; the last time Cincinnati scored at least thirteen runs in a shutout road win was on June 18, 1994 when the Davey Johnson managed Reds thumped the Atlanta Braves 16 – 0 at Fulton County Stadium. The funny part of that game is the Reds only led 3 – 0 after six innings. The Reds offense exploded in the seventh, scoring five runs, three on a Reggie Sanders home run two in the eighth, and six runs in the ninth.

Road Warrior; Brandon Phillips is hitting .363 (37 – 102) over his last 27 road games since June 30. Phillips has hit three homers during the span.

Now the bad news….

Ever since our Reds went on a modest five game winning streak, August 16 – 20, the longest of the season, Cincinnati has dropped six of the last eight games, including Monday night.

Like butts, everyone has an opinion, especially with the San Francisco 49ers oft maligned quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock since last Friday, Kaepernick chose to not stand for the playing of our National Anthem prior to his team’s third preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers. Kaepernick said it was to protest the treatment of the oppressed in this country by the police.

I’ve always been told that if you shoot at a police officer, expect them to shoot back. If you try to fight a police officer, expect them to fight back, if you threaten a police officer, expect them to defend themselves. Yes, they are a few bad officers, but the good ones far outweigh the bad.

So Mr. Kaepernick, I don’t know if you are aware of this, please allow me to give you a brief civics lesson. Every two years this nation that you chose to disrespect, holds national elections. All of the House of Representative is voted on every even numbered year, like this one. Every four years, we select a President. One-third of the United States Senate is elected every even numbered year, again like this one. I encourage you to exercise the right our brave military personnel died for to defend, the right to vote. Then how about donating some of the millions of dollars you’ve fleeced from your employer, the San Francisco 49’ers, to the various organizations who are committed to help the oppressed you chose to disrespect this nation for. Then look to the Muslim controlled nations around the world, like Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Those nations take oppression to a whole new level, like murdering Christians, denying entrance to Jewish individuals into their countries, and stoning those engaged in a homosexual lifestyle. Women have no rights in those countries either, but you’ve chosen to disrespect this “mean old country” of ours.

So Mr. Kaepernick, take my advice, if you do not like this country, and are not willing to do anything personally to improve it, then haul your splinter filled ass to Canada where they will gladly accept washed up quarterbacks from the National Football League.

Have a blessed week. GO BUCKEYES!!!!

Dan Howard

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