It can cause a man to question his fandom to a sport

So long; Natural.
It could cause me someday to no longer be a fan. The attachments to certain players; in my favorite team’s uniform. Then all of the sudden it is never again. When I got the email tonight that read in the subject line ‘Reds acquire pitching from Rangers’, and I opened it to see that Josh Hamilton had been dealt for two unproven minor league pitchers; I had to read it twice. Three times. Back over it again. I’m hoping then anything can take it back. But it can’t. Josh Hamilton is gone. Gone as I know it; other than a passing glance in the box score or on the highlight reel. No longer can I go to the park and hope to talk to Josh; the most personable player I’ve ever seen (save Sean Casey) in my time as a fan.

What happened tonight makes me sick. It makes me want to have a few good minutes with Wayne Krivsky. I don’t respect the man; and I don’t believe in him at the helm of my favorite baseball team. Here you have a young player who hits .300 and shows good power to all fields while being an exceptional talent in his rookie season. He was the finest story in all of baseball last year; maybe in the last several decades. However, Krivsky couldn’t wait to serve up Hamilton for the first couple of prospects he could. Hamilton was dangled and offered in every deal that there was opportunity for. I knew, the time was nearing; because where there is smoke there is fire in this game. It would not go away; the name would not go away. Hamilton’s name was continually rumored to be shipped one-way out of town. This would be following the departure of the two men who were instrumental in getting him back in baseball; Johnny and Jerry Narron.

The guy could do it all. Power to the opposite field like I’ve never seen. An arm like a greek god; speed in the outfield and on the basepaths. It pains me to know this will never be realized while wearing the wishbone “C”.

You watch; these two young Texas arms the Reds acquired will be kicking around the major leagues in a few years; struggling to stick somewhere. They’ll be journeyman at best. Not that I know the destiny for Josh Hamilton; but it would have been nice to see him chase it in the Queen city; where for one season he was all the buzz and the biggest story each night from the spring training games into the warm summer nights.

No matter what happens; I’ll never forget having the privlidge to watch Hamilton play in my major league city for a summer. In some small way; he allowed me to be a part of it. For that, I’ll always pull for Josh.

It wasn't all that long ago….

That Josh Hamilton was the biggest and best story in baseball. It makes me sick as a fan that the Reds would consider trading away this guy–for any reason. This is not a player you get rid of. The ceiling hasn’t been this high on a player the Reds have had in my lifetime. That said, something tells me something is terribly wrong behind closed doors that we all do not know about, or Wayne Krivsky is a moron dressed up as a baseball man.

I fear the latter.

Throwing it around: More Mitchell goodies

It’s been too long since it’s been thrown around here in hogger land. It’s time to see what the net is saying about baseball, and of course that big time Mitchell report:

*By the way, I’m shocked that the Boone brothers escaped the list. For now.

  • Cincinnati Reds blogger John Fay reacts. The Reds had no idea Mike Stanton was going to get fingered. (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • View many of the key pages in the Mitchell report. (Deadspin)
  • The all snubbed Mitchell Report team. (Bugs and Cranks)
  • Now that the names are out, some good questions exist. (The Big Lead)
  • The New York Mets got hit with steroid guilt today. (The Mets are Better than Sex)
  • There are more questions than answers with this report. Also, every picture I see of George Mitchell gets increasingly more frightening. What is it with this guy and close-up, creep shots? (The Diatribe)
  • Someone guessed that our boy Adam Dunn was on the Mitchell Report. Well you guessed wrong, son. (LairdNYC)
  • How many people are done with card collecting now that the cardboard heroes have been ousted as cheats? (Wax Heaven)

The Mitchell Report

Now that the official list has been anounced; it’s time to react to it. Today as a fan; I feel a great evil has been let out. I feel that some of the dark inner truths that maybe should have always remained secret are never sacred again. What did this Mitchell report accomplish other than generating immense interest and hype? Other than ousting players and shaking a proverbial finger at the sport, what really has changed? It’s not that I don’t agree with these events taking place, because I do.

Honestly the witch hunts are going to continue. Just because some 80 players were named, doesn’t mean that players will stop using or that everyone has been outed in their guilt. I keep thinking about what is going through the minds of certain players and figures of the sport’s past on this evening. Is Clemens sulking in his shame? How about local star Kent Mercker? He’s spent a lifetime being a feel good story from central Ohio. Is that now somewhat tarnished because he was listed in the report? Hal Morris? I watched Morris at Riverfront Stadium as a kid; Hal Morris can’t use steroids or performance enhancing drugs–this guy wore a windbreaker in one of his baseball cards.

I think that you have to go on a case-by-case basis. You can’t simply say that because guys like Mercker were listed on the same report as Barry Bonds, that they’re both intraveneous users of steroids; which is the perception many will get automatically. Also, in the past I’ve brought into question whether or not players like Adrian Beltre and Todd Helton were guilty of using steroids. Just because they were not named, doesn’t mean that they are in fact innocent. Mitchell and his Deca-seeking henchmen simply couldn’t catch everybody; they never will.

Some thoughts:

-I thought it was interesting that I hit a few guys dead on that no one else did. One in which I give myself a lot of credit for is Todd Hundley. I was the only person I’ve ever heard to name Todd Hundley. Jerry Hairston would fall into this category as well.

-As for guys that aren’t as mainstream that I’m not surprised about? In other words, guys I’m shocked I didn’t think of: Josias Manzanillo, Jack Cust, Denny Neagle, Chuck Knoblauch, Kevin Young, Paul Lo Duca, Gregg Zaun, Mike Lansing, and Glenallen Hill.

-Where the hell were the following guys on the list? Ron Gant, Albert Pujols, Dave Stewart, and of course Helton and Beltre.

-Complete shockers for me? Mercker, Hal Morris, David Justice, Fernando Vina, Brendan Donnelly, Ron Villone and Mike Stanton.

-I thought the list had a bunch of guys that were no-brainers that many failed to mention in leading up to the report: Kevin Brown, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Lenny Dykstra, David Segui, Brian Roberts, Eric Gagne, and Miguel Tejada.

[Entire Mitchell Report]


Interesting thought that I had today:

Anyone think it’s at least a bit suspect that these things occurred today, some 24 hours before the Mitchell Report is released?

In about 12 short hours we’ll know so much more. Full reaction to come right here on Diamond Hoggers. Oh yeah, and if you thought that the Steroid Witchunts end with the release of this report, you’re definitely mislead. They’ll keep coming.

The Mitchell Diamond Hogger Report

In lieu of the George Mitchell steroid report/investigation/list coming out tomorrow, I wanted to go ahead and name my own names of those that should or could find their way onto that list.

Let the names begin. *These aren’t necessarily people that I think are going to be seen on this list, but they are people that I believe have used steroids.
Aaron Boone
Brett Boone
Omar Vizquel
Sammy Sosa
Andy Pettite
Roger Clemens
Brian Roberts
Jay Gibbons
Miguel Tejada
Kyle Farnsworth
Kenny Rogers
Placido Polanco
Ivan Rodriguez
Juan Gonzalez
Jim Thome
Gary Sheffield
Barry Bonds
Brady Anderson
Adrian Beltre
Todd Helton
Larry Walker
Gabe Kapler
Brad Fulmer
Brian Giles
Marcus Giles
Jose Guillen
Matt Williams
Luis Gonzalez
Troy Glaus
Gary Mathews Jr.
Paul Byrd
Kenny Lofton
Matt Lawton
Randy Velarde
Bobby Estalalla
Jeff Bagwell
Jim Leyritz
David Bell
Darren Holmes
Jerry Hairston Jr.
Scott Hairston
Steve Woodard
Scott Schoenweis
Rick Ankiel
Ryan Franklin
Alex Sanchez
Guillermo Mota
Felix Heredia
Rafael Betancourt
Dan Serafini
Carlos Almanzar
Mark McGwire
Ismael Valdez
Chuck Finley
Lenny Dystra
Fernando Tatis
Marvin Benard
Benito Santiago
Armando Rios
Jason Giambi
Alex Rodriguez

Johnny Damon
Robbie Alomar
Carlos Baerga
John Rocker
Mark Prior
Termell Sledge
Glenn Braggs
Termell Sledge
Derek Turnbow
Ricardo Rincon
Dave Martinez
Manny Alexander
Wilson Alvarez
Ozzie Canseco
Jeremy Giambi
Dave Hollins
Neifi Perez
Mike Morse
Jorge Piedra
Tony Saunders
Vinny Castilla
Richard Hidalgo
Greg Vaughn
Jay Bell
Javy Lopez
Ray Lankford
Todd Zeille
Todd Hundley
Pat Burrell
Richie Sexson
Adrian Beltre
Kevin Brown
Albert Pujols

If Cincinnati doesn't get their shit together, I'm out

Cincinnati is talking about trading Homer Bailey and Josh Hamilton to land a 1-year relative wonder in Erik Bedard (Baltimore). I’m not liking this one bit. It’s very hard for me to sit back and watch as the Reds contemplate picking apart pieces of their future for the NOW. Some Reds fans will say that they want to contend now, they’re sick of next year. I can understand that because they’ve been poor for so long. However, if the Reds hang onto guys like Bailey and Josh Hamilton (who we have no idea what their ceiling could be), we are looking at around a 5 year window of contention, instead of the 1 or 2 years we might be able to contend now if they trade away the Hamiltons, Baileys, and Joe Vottos of today.

In short I’ve really had enough of the Reds. If they trade any of these guys they lose my support and the revenue I’d spend on going to watch them. They’ve already screwed up a situation in which they could extend Adam Dunn to a long-term contract and build around him. I’m about thisclose to being an Indians fan forever, because they simply know how to build a team. They lock up their young talent, treasure it, build around it. The Reds don’t have a fucking clue.