Wednesday, October 4, 2017

MLB Weeks 24 Through 26 - I'm Done

By Dan Howard
Staff Writer

First of all I sincerely appreciate all of your prayers during this difficult month I’ve endured. My sister-in-law’s death on September 2nd, at the age of 58, was a sudden shock. Then my aunt, in Reynoldsburg Ohio, suffered a series of strokes which nearly killed her. On September 26, six years to the day we buried my father, my mother had bypass surgery on her right leg to assist her circulation. Thank God she’s doing well aside from the usual surgical soreness. Her doctor said that prior to her surgery she had twenty-eight percent circulation going to her right foot, post-surgery, her circulation jumped to ninety-three percent. Mom will turn 76 in January.

Aren’t you glad the baseball season is over? I sure am.

Let’s see, at the end of the 2016 season, Cincinnati’s legendary broadcaster Marty Brennaman said to expect the Reds to win around seventy six games in 2017. He felt the experience gained, especially the pitching, during the 2016 campaign would propel the Reds to an eight win improvement for 2017.

It didn’t happen.

Cincinnati finished 2017 with exactly the same won-loss record as 2016, 68 – 94.

It’s the first time since 1932 – 1934 our Reds suffered three straight ninety-plus losing seasons.

Useless Trivia; the Reds lost over ninety games for five consecutive seasons from 1930 to 1934. I fear that futility may be repeated as long as Bryan Price remains manager.

A few months ago, I wrote an article “Meh” where I express my disgust with Reds management. Apparently you fans have been agreeing with me. Reds attendance for 2017 was the lowest since 2009, and the second lowest since Great American Ball Park opened in 2003.

Look at all the positives that came from the offense this season; club record for players with twenty or more home runs – six (Joey Votto, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez, and Zack Cozart.) Tied the team record with most players hitting at least twenty-five homers – five (Cozart finished with 24), and tied the team record for most players with thirty home runs – three (tied with 1956, 1970, and 2007).

More Useless Trivia; the 1956 Reds went 91 – 63 finishing in third place, two games behind the N.L. Champions Brooklyn Dodgers. The 1970 Reds won the National League Championship, falling to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. The 2007 Reds finished in last place, just like this year’s team. The Reds fired manager Jerry Narron in mid-season, and decided not to renew Pete Mackanin at the end of the 2007 season, paving the way for Dusty Baker.

Let’s examine the Reds recent history under a new manager. Sparky Anderson went to the World Series his first year, 1970. John McNamara won the West Division in his first year, 1979. In 1985, Pete Rose’s first full season as manager, was the Reds first winning season since 1981, and the beginning of four straight second place finishes in the National League West Division. Lou Piniella won the World Series in his first year 1990. Davey Johnson took the Reds to the National League Championship Series in his first full season as manager in 1995. Dusty Baker tasted the success of a division title during his third season, 2010, followed by back to back postseason appearances in 2012 and 2013.

What confuses me so, is that how can Reds management be so content with such managerial ineptitude? Even the legendary Tony Perez got fired after posting a 20 – 24 record in 1993. I vehemently think the Reds upper management, maybe the entire organization, needs to apologize to Mr. Perez for that. Sure Jim “Leather Pants” Bowden was a knucklehead, but a whole lot of the blame falls on the late Marge Schott for allowing Perez to be dismissed.

The only thing Tony Perez did afterward was to become a consultant in the Florida/Miami Marlins organization and win a couple of World Series with them.

Ever hear of Miguel Cabrera? He wears the number 24 as a tribute to Tony Perez.

I feel better now. Glad to get that off my chest.

For what it’s worth, this will be my last article of 2017. Hopefully when the snow melts, and the grass, dandelions, along with my allergies return in 2018, I’ll have all my family medical issues straightened out, a brand new computer in tow, and a better attitude towards the Reds management when the new season begins on March 29.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Have a blessed offseason. GO INDIANS!!! Win it for the O-H-I-O!

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