Time for an update: What we think

A lot of people have been logging on lately only to find a blog that isn’t updated with fresh takes. We have to apologize as we’ve been extremely busy away from the blog, and that will probably continue into next week. But we’ve got a few things we’d like to talk about.

-Having watched the E! True Hollywood Story about Baseball Wives last night, I have to say they really didn’t get across the message that you’d hope. They left us feeling like they’d left out a lot of the harsh truths of what it’s really like being a baseball wive. You know, we read the book Juicy by Jessica Canseco. Is every baseball wife’s life like that? Absolutely not. Is that a good look into how it is for some and potentially many of them? Absolutely.

It’s not always all roses like Jenny Finch and Casey Daigle. Daigle is hardly a ballplayer at all. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2006 and threw only 61 and 1/3 big league innings. We don’t care that he married a sweetheart in Jenny Finch. That wasn’t an objective look into a baseball marriage. It was, in a word; boring.

Not to be a shit spreader, but there are websites out there that will show you what is a possible truth about Scott Proctor. I got the feeling of being duped when I heard him talk about putting his family before baseball. I’ve heard many tales. I don’t know if they are true or not. But I know that where there is a lot of smoke there is usually fire. What we’ve heard in the past is that Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth were dirtballs in their Yankee days, wives or not.

Is it fine to have a picture perfect couple like Cole and Heidi Hamels on the show to talk about their fairy tale romance? Absolutely. But we expected to see some baseball wives and players sitting in the dark with their voice disguised, talking about what it’s really like to go on the road. There are plenty of players who don’t cheat. But there are plenty who absolutely do. Let the recent shocking incidents of Steve Mcnair remind us all that athletes are never who we think they are 100% of the time. Shame on E! television for giving us an only half truth. In our opinion, that show was a wasted hour of our life. There was no build up.

Oh yeah, and one more thing. In our 25+ years of following the game of baseball, Josh Hamilton’s story remains the most amazing we’ve ever followed. As we said to our friend we saw the show with last night, there’s no way that Hamilton cheats on wife Katie Hamilton. The real point though, is that it’s amazing that the Cincinnati Reds actually had this guy who will one day be talked about as a Ruthian legend, and basically gave him away. A terrible move by the Reds. In a decade, this guy’s legend will go well beyond the statistics he amasses on the back of his baseball card. He is an amazing human being and hearing his story once again last night about how Christ came into his life is living proof of the Lord itself. What else could save a man like that?

-Now about the Reds. We’ve been watching them long enough to have a pretty good idea what we have in them this season. This isn’t a team of world beaters. Before the season we predicted they’d go 80-82 and be competitive all season long. Through half of a season, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

It’s pretty easy to see that watching this team with high expectations will drive you crazy. That’s why we’ve pretty much stopped letting them be the life and death of our every day. We had to step away. We had to. If not, they’d drive us nuts. Bad day. Good day. Followed by horrible day. Followed by big win. Followed by pummeling loss. It’s going to be that way all season, you see. It just is. They’re going to win one tight, then lose a heartbreaker the next day. They’re going to win a big game that they somehow pull out, only to get beat 22-1 the next day. There’s nothing that says this team is owed a 7-game winning streak to springboard them in the standings. Sometimes what you see is reality. The Reds just aren’t anything special. They need some help. I’m not sure they’re going to get the type of help they need. They’re probably a year away. And that’s fine. So long as you aren’t a person who lives for baseball season like us, because this is the type of team that can cause your blood pressure to rise.

-Homer Bailey has arrived. The guy was consistently throwing 95 and 96 MPH on the gun last night, and dropping in full count curve balls to strike out a fooled Ryan Howard looking. It makes you wonder why the Reds fooled with Bailey’s delivery ever. It’s clear that whoever was directing him in this organization was holding him back. He’s a stud. And when I say that, I am saying as an objective blogger that he’s got as good of stuff as anyone on the staff. I think the only thing missing was Bailey believing in himself and getting the go ahead to pitch how he feels best suited.

The Reds haven’t had a guy who racked up 10 K’s a game at-will in a long time. Think about it. They’ve had plenty of guys hyped to be the next strikeout king in baseball, but no one has actually went out and done it. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that as Homer Bailey matures a bit, he could be that guy. He looks that good right now. We are very happy for Bailey and will be watching him closely. There’s no way you take him out of the rotation at this point. He needs to be groomed to possibly be the #2 guy by as soon as next season. We like his upside more then that of Johnny Cueto and Edison Volquez. But that’s just us.

-Jay Bruce. What a tangled web we weave. We’ve been relatively quiet about it, but if you read this blog at any length, of course you know that what he’s going through is really bothering us. And it’s bothering us because we’ve been in a slump where for no apparent reason, things just seem to not work out at a given time. That’s baseball.

We aren’t sure, but there’s probably a thousand people telling Bruce this advice or that advice. If we could talk to Jay and give him advice for 5 minutes we’d tell him this: In life, we’re all called to do something. It’s not decided by anything other then fate. You have to have that belief as you are out in the world making your start somewhere. For Jay, we know that it was his destiny to be a great player in the game of baseball. It just was. No one can change that. He has to have the belief in himself and his own fate that he is in his calling right now. He’s a great kid and that’s why this particular situation is really bothering us. He is a player who deserves success. And when that day comes (not if) we’re going to be proud to say we stuck with him and believed in him all the way. We’re going to celebrate. We are in your corner, dude.

Of course, if we could give him one piece of baseball advice; it’d be exactly what we did when we got in a slump. Keep things as simple as possible. It’s easier said then done, but tighten up the stance, and be quieter in the batter’s box. Search for the focus and go back to the basics. When you keep things simple, it’s easier to focus. When a thousand thoughts aren’t swimming in your mind, the hits will start to fall. They just will. Remember it’s destiny. Bad luck can only keep a great player down for so long. After that point, you have to ask yourself are you buying into the pressure and the fans too much. It’s you against the world out there when you are in the batters box. But there’s millions of people across the country who believe in you and know you have it in you. The bad luck will come to pass and the slump will be over if you just continue to work hard and have that faith.

I always promised to never involve God in a baseball game or anything surrounding it. But in this I broke that promise. I have begun to pray for Jay (and the Reds sometimes, only when absolutely necessary). I’m not praying that he comes out of his slump. I’m praying that he’ll have that faith in himself and that inner strength to get through what we’re sure will be the most challenging part of his long career. Not even sure if Jay is a believer, and that isn’t really important. He’s got people who care about him that are sending good karma his way; and things are going to turn around very soon.

And another thing. If you’re one of those people talking about sending him down to Louisville, you’re flat dead wrong. The kid hit almost .370 last season in AAA. He has nothing more to learn or prove at that level of baseball. This team isn’t a World Series contender are they? No, they aren’t. So you let this kid work out his kinks at this level so when we are contenders, he’s ready. That’s the smart money, and I’m proud of the Reds for their patience at least to this point. They’re actually making the right move for once. Plus he’s one of the finest right fielders in the game already.

-That’s all we’ve got for today. Let us know your thoughts.