This is what it’s all about: Reds walk off Brewers in 10

Being a baseball fan, these are the nights you remember forever. No matter how long you have enjoyed the game of baseball, and no matter how many seasons in the sun that follow; you’ll always remember the 2010 Reds. I can only imagine what it would be like to have this be the team you began to follow when you first started to follow the game of baseball. This isn’t a perfect team, but it will be a memorable one; with several figures that will hold their respectful prominence place in this game forever. It’s a little bit like those 1990 Reds were for me (I was only eight). But it really is similar.

Last night, St. Louis had already lost their game 3-0 and I decided to go out for a late run around the neighborhood and listen to the extra innings affair.

As the sweat started to pour off me, Jay Bruce laced his game winning single to left field off Trevor Hoffman and Jim Kelch belted out that the Reds had done it again. Summer coming to the end and the text messages flowing into my iPhone from all of my redleg nation peers. As I told one of them, we’ve only just begun.

And as I told someone at the office this morning (a place that remarkably, is an easier place to get up and come to when your favorite team is playing like this); the Reds are winning games even when they’re making fundamental mistakes. Every move is working–like the move to pinch run Brandon Phillips for Ryan Hanigan last night and to leave Chris Heisey in on a double switch. Things aren’t back-firing and the momentum is snow balling. That’s when you know it could be your year.

The Reds just keep on rolling. They’ve got 18 wins this August, the most wins they’ve had in a month since August of 1999. These guys are talented. The National League is wide open. If they continue to handle their business they have a chance to cement their place in the annals of this great game. Every night is big and crucial, that can’t be overstated.

I didn’t know much about Lorenzo Cain before last night, except that he wore a pitcher’s number on his back. But this kid can flat out ball in center field. If I’m in the Brewers front office I probably stick him in the lead-off or two spot in my order and see what he can do; if he shows anything he’s my Opening Day center fielder next season.

Cain made one of the best catches I’ve seen all season by nearly going through the screen last night to rob Paul Janish of extra bases in the 6th inning.

At the end of the night, the Reds had pulled out another game and gained another game in the standings on the Cardinals. With the excitement that’s been built and is continuing to build with each passing day (magic number is down to 27), it gets no better than moments like right now in Cincinnati. This is what it’s all about.

Reds call up Cuban Lefty Aroldis Chapman and his heat

I was out on the golf course last night probably hitting a sliced drive when the Reds announced that Aroldis Chapman was coming to the big leagues today.

And has there ever been a better time to be a Reds fan? Life is good. Here we are in the midst of a pennant race, and we get to add a guy to the bullpen who has been consistently hitting triple digits on the radar gun.

Chapman’s debut will be just as special as the other uber-prospects that have been up in recent years, but it will be a debut that is not able to be predicted ‘when’. I would expect it to come in one of the next two ballgames though; because the Reds pen has been worked pretty hard lately.

Thinking back to our thoughts on when the Reds signed this kid; who knew that he wouldn’t be here until the day until September? We’ve done all of this without his nuclear fastball. Wow, the future is bright barring something unforeseen.

And in his honor tonight, I’ll sit on my porch and smoke one of these. There is no finer cigar than that of a Cohiba from Cuba. It’s smooth, but with just the right amount of strength to it. I’ve got two that are the size of donkey-dicks sitting on my dresser right now because they’re too big for my humidor! So I figure after the Reds win again tonight, I’ll take the hour or so necessary to finish one of these bad boys in honor of Aroldis Chapman.

Welcome to the show, and good luck kid.

Update: For those of you who haven’t seen it yet……

Bless me Father, for I have sinned

Folks, get ready for some enjoyment. For your eyes only I present the highlights (and lowlights) of last night’s Cardinals/Astros Game Thread from Cards Clubhouse. This is going to be delicious.

You must pay particular attention to poser ‘JimmiE‘ who goes from declaring ‘the beginning of the Cardinals 2010 season’ with smiley faces to taking the pitch fork out and joining the angry mob pretty quickly.

JimmiE Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:12 pm
3 hours …………. then the beginning of our 2010 season starts !!!

Who’s with me !!! Very Happy

jcanaday21 Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:18 pm
To me this series and the Reds series over the weekend is do or die. We have finally gotten to that point IMO. If we make up no ground I think we have to focus on the wild card and pray. Still a glimmer of hope and I will be at Sat’s game to help the cause.

Cards_Champs_47 Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:25 pm
Cmon Cards! Man up, All the reporters are talking about how bad you wanna win, then Win!

Your killing Redbird nation. Even if you guys cant go to the playoffs, give us a fun September

chevyman58 Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:44 pm
Winn can’t play the ball, = a run. Holliday can’t play the ball, = another run. Now Ryan has a brain cramp, probably gonna = another run.

Gotta love it …………………

In the meantime Happ’s retired 15-in-a-row & faced 1 batter over the minimum thru 7.

dansaint Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:48 pm
I actually think the team shaved their heads to prepare for the electric chair and their execution from the playoffs

STLPujols5 Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:11 pm
College football starts this week, thank goodness. I don’t have to watch this sorry excuse of a baseball team anymore this season.

Cards_Champs_47 Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:12 pm
Well, Im starting to bring out the white flag. I tried to keep on believing but geez, i can only take a certain amount

VermiciousKinit Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:28 pm
It’s almost like these guys are losing on purpose.

rasfan28 Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:30 pm
This Cardinal team is really depressing!!!! Their not even fun to watch. I just keep shaking my head in disbelief.

JimmiE Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:34 pm
At least the Brewers are trying to help us out, going into extras in Ohio.

Go Crew !!!

JimmiE Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:52 pm
Never mind ……… Bruce decided to STOP hitting HRs, and instead settled for a walk-off single.

Cards now 6 gms back. Crying or Very sad

chevyman58 Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:39 am
How bad do they have to be before Extra Innings will give me a refund? Better question might be ‘can they get any worse’?

Tulcard Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:25 am
This is NOT Cardinal baseball…. icon_censored

JimmiE Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:50 am
The only one to blame that on is TLR …………………….. Period!

Tony LaRusa’s Style is baking the Cardinals

Looking back on Tony La Russa’s history with players (and there’s more than one above average player on that list), you start to see why there’s some struggling going on in St. Louis.

La Russa has been successful for a long time in this game. He does small things to the lineup that are ‘cute’ when you’re winning but sets himself up for a lot of criticism when the wins aren’t pulled out–like last night’s 3-0 shutout loss to J.A. Happ and the Astros.

When the Reds lose and Dusty Baker downplays everything, I want there to be Hell to pay. I cringe and I get pissed. But the bottom line is, Dusty is right and we who practice losing our cool and want him to scream and yell and act like the walls are closing in are all wrong. What you’re seeing right now is Dusty’s style prevail in a pennant race.

No one’s talking about it, but I assure you that La Russa’s nit-picky, paranoid style is running it’s course on his roster in St. Louis and the negativity and toxicity of this man is reflecting his team’s play on a nightly basis.

On the contrary, Dusty’s relaxed, hands off approach is allowing his young players to go out and play without fear of losing their jobs on a nightly basis.

I don’t know which style is better, but for the roster set and positions that these two teams find themselves in right now; Dusty’s style is working and La Russa’s isn’t. It seems that the story coming out of St. Louis on a nightly basis is something that La Russa is complaining about. Something that rubbed him the wrong way. He’s acting like a ginger prick to any and all who will open an ear and his players have stopped responding with any type of motivated play.

Dusty Baker’s caring-grandfather style after so many seasons in the sun is motivating his men to run through walls right now. They’re the horse at the end of the Kentucky Derby who is running at full tilt without even being hit by the jockey.

Just something to think about as we finish up the last month of baseball. And something you hope the Cincinnati Reds front office takes notice of when trying to bring back Dusty Baker next season.

You Boys have exactly what it takes to hold off those darkies from St. Louis

That’s right, ya heard me sweetie. You know old Marge is lookin’ down on all of ya’s dont’cha honeys? Now be a sweetheart and get me another vodka and scrap the soda, lemon, and anything else you were thinking about ruining it with, will ya sweetie?

Those Cardinals, they have a pitcher or two; and they’ve got that overgrown wetback. But overall, they’re just an ordinary team. If you let them catch you, I’ll never let any of ya live it down. Do ya understand me sweeties? Now look Schottzie in the eye and tell her you’re gonna win it for her, honeys. Don’t make Marge trade all 25 of your asses before next spring sweetie.

And there’s another reason ya can’t let it slip away sweeties; in St. Louis there’s a lot of colored people sweetie. We don’t want our postseason to be ruined by something like that now honey. Now could you reach over on the nightstand and grab my Marlboro’s and be a sweetheart for me baby? Thank you. Nothing hits the spot like a glass of rubbing alcohol and two cigarettes for breakfast sweetie. It helps knock the cobwebs out baby.

Now go out there and win the first prize for old Marge now honeys. Get out there and be the team that you and I know you can be. You guys remind me of someone I knew well so many years ago. And besides, there is not alternative honey. You win, or you go underneath the sheets and clean out ol’ Marge’s breadbasket sweetie.

Throwing it around

Hopefully it’s a short week in the office for you (it’s not for us) but good times lie ahead. Next weekend is going to be filled with good sports. The NFL is right around the corner, and NCAA football kicks off in less than a week. Not to mention, the Reds go to St. Louis this weekend for some good old fashioned playoff-atmosphere baseball. We’ll see what happens. Here’s some linkies:

-The Reds’ amazing transformation. [SweetSpot]
-Jay Bruce says the Reds are on a mission. [Jay Bruce’s blog]
-Aroldis Chapman getting the call up. [Hardball Talk]
-Why did TLR bench Colby Rasmus minutes before yesterday’s game? [Viva El Birdos]
-Manny Ramirez is a Chicago Sock now. [LA Times Dodgers Blog]
-Frank Thomas had an emotional retirement ceremony yesterday. [USA Today Daily Pitch]
-Nationals extend Livan Hernandez a year. [Fanhouse]
-Ken Rosenthal says that Manny’s ejection sealed his fate. [FOX Sports]
-The Blue Jays have shut down Brandon Morrow for the year. [Bluebird Banter]
-A lot of hype coming down from the Aroldis Chapman reports. [Deadspin]

Programming Note

This has always been a blog about all things Major League Baseball. We here at Diamond Hoggers have always prided ourselves on that.

That said, we were thinking about it and as the Reds return to relevancy has became more serious, it has become increasingly more difficult to follow all of the happenings around this great game in which we love.

For now we’re just going to enjoy the ride and do the best we can. Of course, there’s also a real job factoring in here. We’ll do our best to cover as much as we can in the time allotted.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

– Posted from my iPhone

The Reds and deliverance on a Sunday

I fell asleep towards the middle innings of today’s Reds game. What can I say, I was tuckered out. When I awoke the Reds were 5 games up on the Cardinals and the magic number was down to 29. The Reds had delivered in the hot sun on a Sunday and Jay Bruce had hit home run #17 on the season. As I remarked and thought about, I used to have to go to sleep in order to formulate dreams that would produce what is now true reality.

Everything is rolling right now. Like that Robert Earl Keen song, The Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends. That’s what this is feeling like in late August 2010. During some points of the 2010 season the Reds have looked like they were going to collapse, only to show you that they had a beautiful unwrapped gift for us all. To show people like me who have doubted them at points that doubters should step aside and clean the egg off their proverbial face. Who knows where the hell this ride ends. It really could end up special beyond our wildest imaginations.

I don’t know if they’ll fend off the Cardinals. I can’t predict the future, but I know that people in St. Louis are starting to give up hope. The Cardinals have a long way to go and a short time to get there (another reference to a song that I love).

A week from now the Reds will be wrapping up a series in St. Louis that sets up as the biggest series they’ve probably played in over a decade. I’d make a case that they’re all big right now, and every night is a playoff atmosphere. Next weekend while big for the Reds, is even bigger for the Cardinals. The Reds have played welll enough to this point that taking even one of three on Labor Day weekend sets them up nicely for the stretch run.

I’m not punching a playoff ticket yet, as I’ve seen too many whacky things happen in sports to count my chickens before they hatch. I believe this team will be in the postseason as I believe they’re in the top four teams in the National league, if not on paper then in terms of intangibles and chemistry. This is just ‘one of those years’ I think for the Reds, by God. But we’re not betting on machines here, we’re betting on something uncertain; human beings. The Reds still have almost a quarter of a season that they must handle their business as they have to this point. If they do that, they’ll be where we all want them to be.

Today, wearing that Sunday day-time Red, was another one of those days in which they handled their business and took another series. I can wake up and start my long work week (I have to work this Friday following the opening of the OSU Buckeyes football season unlike many of my peers) with a smile. And speaking of football, NCAA will be here soon; the NFL in two weeks, and I could give a shit.

It’s still Reds season and I love it.

[Box Score]

A couple of heart warming stories

Jay Bruce meets with the boy who caught his 3rd home run Friday night Seven-year-old Deaton Oaks of Beford, Kentucky earlier today returned to Jay Bruce the historic third home run ball Bruce hit during Friday’s game vs the Cubs…fans returned all 3 home run balls to Bruce, who became just the 26th Reds player and second Reds leadoff hitter to produce 3 homers in a game.

Mo Egger, one of the best guys in the business, gives Valaika’s 1st career home run ball back to the organization. We’ve often told you that you should check out Mo Egger’s blog over at 1530 HOMER. In a world full of ‘do you know who I am?’ type people Mo has always been a breath of fresh air to us. His takes are strong, and more important than anything he’s always appealed to us because he’s just a good dude. The world doesn’t have enough people like him. Last year for example, we were out of town for a wedding and couldn’t get Jay Bruce’s bobblehead. Mo sent us an extra one he had laying around. If you haven’t heard yet, he caught Chris Valaika’s first career home run ball and gave it back to the Reds for nothing. If you have the iPhone download iHeart radio and listen to 700 WLW when he’s on. When he’s on the air his takes are as good as his heart. Thumbs up to you, Mo.

Dispatch Report: A Saturday Night Sell-out in Cincinnati

I think this was the second pitch of the game. Bronson Arroyo was the hard luck loser on a night in which the Reds couldn’t scratch across enough against Randy Wells (he seems to do well against Cincinnati) and the Cubs. Arroyo gave up a solo home run to Xavier Nady and a two-run home run to Kosuke Fukudome. The Reds are now 2-8 when I’m in attendance at the park this season.
The second night in a row in which Jay Bruce hit lead off. Bruce also made an incredible catch in the top of the second inning to take away a home run.

This was the night after Jay Bruce’s 3-home run game. There is the moondeck in which Bruce’s three homers landed. Just thought I’d get a shot of this, and although I missed the once in a lifetime event by a night, I was there just hours after the smoke cleared from the three bombs.

And while it was hard to follow up a three home run night, Bruce walked, singled on a line drive to right field, and struck out twice while working a full count in each strike out. Really, it was four good at-bats out of the leadoff spot.
Here’s Joey Votto crossing the plate on his 32nd home run of the season. Votto is still leading the world in hitting at .327, but this was his only hit of the night. A lazer home run to right center field that tied the game at 1-1 (after Xavier Nady’s solo home run in the 2nd inning). You just hope that opposing teams don’t start pitching around Joey Votto too much in the pennant race, which they most assuredly will at times.
A view over the river into Kentucky that most of the stadium can’t see. Despite being pretty muggy preceding several chilly nights that felt like fall, it was a beautiful night. And in my dreams I’d get to spend a summer living in one of those homes in the picture. You often wonder about the people who own those homes. Do they go to the ballpark several times a week? If they don’t, they should. That would be the life. A house on the water just a stone’s throw from Newport, and right across the river from the greatest baseball hotspot on earth.

In my next life, I’d like to own one of those homes.

Roy Hobbs does his best Jay Bruce impression

And THIS is why I love baseball. You’d be surprised how many times real life imitates the Hollywood script, no?

Hope everyone is having a nice little Saturday (the best day of the week). It’s surprising how little I’ve thought of the impending NFL and NCAA football seasons. That’s all for now, heading to the ball park in the Queen City to see the Redlegs take on the Cubbies. Full report tomorrow.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

I told you guys Nyjer Morgan was a nasty fucker (Morgan goes Albert Belle on a fan): MLB fined and suspended Morgan for what it deemed his “inappropriate actions” Saturday night in Philadelphia. A league official said Morgan exchanged an “ongoing dialogue” with one fan and then, at the start of the bottom of the eighth inning, threw a ball in the stands and struck a fan. The league was notified about the event because security at Citizens Bank Ballpark became involved and filed a report. [Nationals Journal]