Wednesday, October 5, 2016

MLB Week 26 – Ninety Times Two

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by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

It’s over, finally.

I actually watched the Vice Presidential Debate last night. Best night of sleep I’ve gotten since attending my last postmasters meeting.

A couple of years ago, while shopping at a local retail pharmacy, I saw a compact disk specifically designed to help individuals sleep. I thought it was a recorded postal meeting.

The second straight ninety plus loss season, the first since the 1930’s, has come to a merciful conclusion.

My Redlegs Review contemporary, and dear friend, Jack Ward did his annual season recap in his article, so I won’t be redundant. I’ll just add a few thoughts.

Joey Votto should petition Major League Baseball to begin the season on June 1, that’s when he seems to start hitting. Two years in a row. Whoops, I guess I was being redundant, I wrote that a few weeks ago, sorry.

The Jay Bruce trade paved the way for Scott Schebler to earn his spot in the lineup, and he didn’t disappoint. Since August 2, Schebler batted .295, with seven doubles, one triple, eight homers, and 32 RBI. In his last 43 games, from August 15, Schebler batted .336. Jay Bruce who?

Adam Duvall & Joey Votto became the third set of Reds teammates to amass 31 doubles, 29 homers, and 97 RBI. Johnny Bench and George Foster did it in 1977, while Lee May and Tony Perez accomplished the feat in 1969.

Neither the 1969 nor the 1977 team lost ninety games.

Jose Peraza tallied the third highest batting average for a Reds rookie player. His .329 average trailed Hal Morris’ .340 in 1990 and Cuckoo Christensen .350 average in 1926.

Neither the 1990 nor the 1926 Reds lost ninety games.

Useless Trivia; the 1926 Reds finished at 87 – 65, in second place two games behind the National League champions St. Louis Cardinals managed by Rogers Hornsby. The Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series. It was the first of 19 National League and 11 World Championships for the Redbirds.

Joey Votto became the second Cincinnati Reds player to produce a .320 batting average and a .430 on base percentage in a season. Joe Morgan did it twice, in 1975 and 1976.

Neither the 1975 nor the 1976 Reds lost ninety games.

See the pattern here.

In 1978, Sparky Anderson was fired after winning ninety games, as was Dusty Baker after the 2013 season.

How can the Reds upper management justify re-signing Bryan Price after three years of futility? Price’s managerial record is 208 – 278, a scintillating winning percentage of .428. For Price to break even in his managerial record through 2018, the Reds need to average 99 wins the next two years.

Memo to self; the Reds haven’t won 99 games since winning 102 in 1976.

For argument’s sake; if Bryan Price want to get to a career .500 percentage by the end of 2017, the Reds need to go 116 – 46.

Memo to self-2; the Reds single season record for wins is 108 in 1975.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman said, during his “Ask Marty” segment on Sunday’s season finale, that he expects the Reds to improve next year.

When you’re at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. But when will that happen?

40 Years Ago; Sunday October 3, 1976, Reds pound the Atlanta Braves 11 – 1 to earn season win 102. The sad part of the day was that Ken Griffey went 0 – 2 to see his batting average fall to .336, losing the National League batting title to Chicago’s Bill Madlock who went 4 – 4 in the Cubs 8 – 2 win against the Montreal Expos.

My predictions for the playoffs went down in flames on Tuesday night. I thought the Orioles pitching was better than that.

Other predictions;

N.L. Wild Card - San Francisco over New York.

N.L.D.S. – Chicago over San Francisco, Washington over Los Angeles

A.L.D.S. – Toronto over Texas, Cleveland over Boston (Jack Ward picks Boston, I fear he’ll be right)

A.L.C.S. – Cleveland over Texas

N.L.C.S. – Chicago over Washington

Presidential Election – Trump over Clinton by the narrowest of margins

World Series – Let’s say that the first time in magnetic, electronic, and digital recording history, they’ll be dancing in the streets at Addison and Sheffield. Cubs over Indians.

And thus ends my 150th article. Have a blessed week. SKÖL VIKINGS!!!!

Dan Howard

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