Category Archives: Cincinnati Reds

Game 4, 2014: Mets 4, Reds 3

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[Box Score]

Another ballgame, another heartbreaker one run loss for the Reds. Another Jay Bruce home run in a losing effort.

Mike Leake provided a very Leakian effort – he went 6 and 2/3 striking out three and walking three, but gave up two two-run bombs to Lucas Duda which was all the Mets needed to thwart the Reds.

Bruce’s home run was the 166th of his career, and his second of the season. It came off lefty John Lannan and put the Reds within a run at 4-3. He drove in all three Reds runs while also adding an RBI single earlier in the ballgame.

The story of the game for me was little Jenrry Mejia who went six innings while striking out eight for the Mets in earning the win. he walked five batters but had the stuff to get out of several jams with the strikeout; he might be a guy to watch as the season goes on because he has exceptional stuff with a plus fastball to go with.

Of course, it was gut wrenching to watch Jose Valverde work himself into trouble in the ninth inning only to get out of it by Joey Votto having a poor at bat and popping out, then dropping a splitty in to Jay Bruce to get the final out of the game and lock down the save.

Jay Bruce got one yesterday

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The Reds dropped another heartbreaker to the Cardinals yesterday afternoon, 7-6. The game featured a rain delay that took the start time from 12:35 PM ET to around 4:35 PM ET.

Jay Bruce hit a towering two-run home run off Lance Lynn in the first inning to put the Reds up 2-0 for his first home run of the season. Todd Frazier followed with a towering bomb to left field and the Reds were out front and running 3-0. Frazier would later add another home run later in the game off Pat Neshek that cut the Cardinals lead to the one-run deficit they would win by.

Overall, Homer Bailey was not sharp. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 4 and 1/3 innings. The two-run homer he allowed to Jhonny Peralta proved costly because it nearly erased a three run lead and was foreshadowing for the tough outing that Bailey had ahead of him.

Here’s Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, Danny Graves and some 2002 Reds at a Poison/Cinderella Concert

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This photo serves as proof that we look at Adam Dunn’s twitter feed entirely too little. This photo would be tough for the common man to put a date to, but we’re going to begin by saying it was 2002.

Pictured in the photo from left to right is Todd Walker, Sean Casey, Danny Graves, Aaron Boone, and the legend Donkey himself. By 2003, Todd Walker was no longer a Cincinnati Red. He was a Jim Bowden casualty.

The group played together in 2001, but it is important to note that Dunn was not called up until very late in that season. We’re comfortable with dating this photo from 2002, not that it matters any.

What matters is that Adam Dunn is awesome (editor’s note: he hit career home run 441 today in Chicago), and this group of Reds was a lot of run. In this picture is a group of really nice guys who were never anything but really nice to the fans. We’ve also heard dozens stories from around this period in time 2002-2004 when we lived in Cincinnati about this group’s off-field theatrics. They went to see Poison and Cinderella. I also went to see Poison and Cinderella that same summer. That was my third time drinking moonshine: first, last, only.

Aroldis Chapman had a steel plate surgically inserted in his head

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The poor guy.

He’s probably depressed and laid up in an Arizona hospital room right now with a bunch of doctors that don’t speak Spanish, dying for a drag off a cigarette and some mango juice.

But seriously – this really sucks. Not only was I bummed about the news all day due to my allegiance to the Cincinnati Reds, but my fantasy team just lost two months worth of saves and ratios from it’s most dominant player.

Godspeed, Aroldis. We all know J.J. Blooper and the rest of the pen are going to have a hard time filling those huge Cuban shoes of yours until you return. It’s a testament to a guy’s talent when you will literally miss just watching him. Chapman is one of those rare talents.

BREAKING: Aroldis Chapman hit in Forehead by line drive; Carted off field

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So this is entirely awful.

A Salavador Perez line drive struck Aroldis Chapman in the head tonight in the 6th inning of the Spring Training game between the Reds and the Royals. We listened to the postgame wrap-up show on 700 WLW and Marty Brennaman said that the line drive ‘struck Chapman squarely in the forehead’.

Chapman was carted off the field and the game was called. Thoughts and Prayers go out to the Reds closer. We have a feeling he will be alright.

Updates at Hardball Talk.

Here is a look at the Reds St. Patricks Day Uniforms

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St. Patricks Day celebrations come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve never been much of a St. Patricks Day guy – I’m not Irish. It’s just an excuse to get drunk; and like today for instance, it’s a Monday. Horrible day of the week to tie one on. Let’s be real. If you went out last night and you’re over the age of 24, you should carefully reconsider. It was a Sunday damnit!

The Reds celebrated by beating those dirty Cleveland Indians 5-4 in a meaningless spring game. That shot above came from the tail end of a Todd Frazier double. I just learned that The Toddfather became a father, so there’s another reason he’s in for a big year.

Cincinnati Reds 2014 Team Preview

One of the fastest to ever play the game.

One of the fastest to ever play the game.

Since that 2012 season ended and the Reds lost to the Giants in game five of the NLDS in Cincinnati after being up two games to zero on the eventual World Champion Giants, I have really been in a deep and dark depression as a Reds fan.

Some people might get really down on me for saying that – they’ll point to when the Reds were running out Jose Acevedo or Jimmy Haynes or Brandon Claussen as starting pitchers and were a losing team and tell me how good we have it now. How we’ve ‘made the playoffs’ three out of the last four years.

But there’s something that kills you about watching a team evolve from the abyss into what you know is a core’s window – and make no mistake – the last two seasons were the peak of this current group’s window. It didn’t ever hurt like that (like this) back when we were so horrible. It has taken me the entire offseason just to get some feeling back in me after the way we went out. To be fully honest, I’m still not over that 2012 afternoon that Buster Posey hit the grandslam off Mat Latos. I’ve never felt anything like that in a lifetime of watching sports. I don’t know if I’ll ever really get over it. It was like dealing with a death.

It’s made it increasingly tough to write about the Reds. Their passive offseason this year really did nothing to dispel that. If anything, it just made me a little bit apathetic towards their upcoming season. You look at their lineup, and there’s still some thunder. There are things you can find a positive in. If their pitching staff doesn’t have any injury, it features some phenomenal arms.

But this is largely the same group that couldn’t get it done the last few seasons. Something is missing. If I could tell you what that something was I would be doing a lot more than just writing about the Reds; it’s like the million-dollar question. I think the Reds needed Aroldis Chapman to develop into a top of the rotation starter that they could roll out in a must win game in the playoffs. A Randy Johnson type figure who the opposition knows is simply going to always beat them. Someone to get Mike Leake out of there. A lot of guys could close for this team. Few guys in the league strike fear into a lineup like Chapman could as a starter. But that’s never going to happen now.

Maybe that something is a real heart and soul leader. Someone who keeps Brandon Phillips in line. As much as I like Phililps, I’m starting to wonder if he’s not a little bit of a cancer in the locker room. I wouldn’t have cared if the Reds decided to part with him – but almost sheepishly they made the choice to bring him back. And along with that, they brought back the entire group that has failed to win the big one year after year. That’s concerning. You keep banging your head against the same wall long enough, all you’re going to get is a headache. The only thing different is the manager, and Bryan Price isn’t even a new voice. It’s not a shake-up. Everyone else got better, and at best the Reds stayed the same.

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Reds over/under Win total in Vegas is 84.5

If you’re wondering what kind of year it’s going to be for a team, you can take a quick look at a team’s over/under win total projection at the sportsbooks and get a decent idea at what is reality.

The Reds over/under total for this year according to Bovada is 84.5 currently. In betting, this is what you call a damn good line. I think the experts did a good job with this as they obviously do. You can disagree with it, you can be a homer, you can denounce it all you want.

I think the truth of the matter is the Reds are more likely to be under this number than they are over it. If they’re over, it will be by winning about 85. The most likely scenario – and this is my gut feeling which is all too often correct with the Reds – is that they’re right around this number. I see a season with 83, or 84, or 85ish wins for the Reds in 2014. That amount of wins isn’t going to be good enough to sneak into the playoffs. It will be a competitive season where you can’t complain about too much, but never really get excited. It might feel a lot like 2011.

When I saw this number and I examined it across my emotions through the offseason, I said to myself that it looked pretty damn accurate.

Baseball is Back

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Today, baseball returned to the field (and there was only one collegiate team in play as an opponent).

The Reds beat their friends from around the Cuyahoga 8-3. Jay Bruce was back in right field. Joey Votto manned first base. Billy Hamilton hit lead-off and played centerfield.

Even though it was a long day at work, it seemed all was once again right with the world. Spring is on it’s way. There is a new hope arriving. As the sun shined during freezing temperatures outside today, something just felt different.

That Yasiel Puig guy went 2 for 3 as well.

Jay Bruce, still our favorite Big Leaguer

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Just like in a marriage, after all the years have gone by the ‘freshness’ has worn off. The butterflies aren’t there every time you kiss and your appetite has magically returned on dates (much to the chagrin of your waistline, and those dates end up being more infrequent and less romantic). But even with the chance to stray for all those younger prospects, you never leave the one you truly love.

That’s what it’s like with Jay Bruce. Sure, there are younger flavor-of-the-month players all over the league who are exciting because you don’t know where the ceiling lies. And those guys are a lot of fun to watch. But on a given night, there’s nothing better than buying a ticket and going down to the park just to see Jay Bruce get four hacks at it.

I am at the point where I am settled and comfortable with the player Bruce has become.  That player is a very high-end player, even if it is just short of being the generational superstar we all hoped for.

Bruce plays hard every night and keeps his mouth shut. He’s a franchise cornerstone and consummate professional. He’s a good person away from the field who hasn’t changed much since signing a mega-deal that made him a rich young man.

He’s got his blemishes, but we love the guy for them just like we do his strengths. It’s okay that he’s going to slump for several week periods that make you wonder when he’s going to hit again. That’s because you’re going to get Gold Glove defense during that stretch and he will heat up again. And when he does, there’s going to be Hell to pay.

I also feel like in a year like the one the Reds are about to have – one that will be a mediocre showing without a postseason series win – it will be enjoyable to watch Bruce continue his career milestones. He’s a guy I enjoy going to the park to watch play on an every-day basis. I love having the guy as part of my big league city. It’s been a privilege to watch his career develop from day one.

I hope to see the Reds sign Bruce to some type of contact that makes him close to a career Red. While we wait on that, we’ll keep heading to the park to see him play; in search of the same goal, trying to get that one championship before the sun sets on us. Neither one of us knowing how much time is left to get there. All the while we’ll keep piling up those Bruce Bombs on the page of the blog.

You never forget your true love. We still love Jay as much as we did in the beginning.

What does $105 Million Buy You Cincinnati? Six more years of Fuckin’, that’s what

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Did you hear that paw?

Six more years and $105 million dollars. That buys a man a lot of steel-tipped arrows, paw. But the most important steel-tip arrow that’s going to hit it’s mark is the one that resides in these here drawers. That’s right.

[Loads .20 gauge with buckshots, Fires it in the air, twice like Yosemite Sam]

The only thing worthwhile that little bald-headed puke Jocketty has done for this team all season is securing my services. You’re telling me in all this time the guy couldn’t have found one hitter who could help us? You’re rolling into the season with Skip Schumaker as our big free-agent? Schumaker? You a queer, Jocketty? You sure ain’t much of a hunter.

But I’ve had me a big off-season full of huntin’. There was that little Mexican Senorita down in San Antonio, the Mama San at that Asian Masseuse Parlor they just opened in my hometown, and the blonde 35 year-old tennis instructor I bagged just days ago here in Arizona. One by one, the little Bailey Muzzle Loader was on it’s mark and when I took aim at their appendages, I didn’t miss.

[Loads entire tin of dip into his mouth]

I guess there’s a lot of folk back in Cincinnati who will be surprised that I’m still here. Things looked bleak at points. That nutless wonder Price tossed around the idea of making me a bullpen pitcher. There was times when my ERA was near 8. There’s been good times, and bad times. There’s been times when I was up to my elbows in split-tail. There’s been a lot of those times.

I even remember the time this team was talking about trading me. Man did I get sick of that shit.

All the while, I never lost confidence in the Homer Bailey Express Fastball. When I wind up and throw that fucker by another hitter, it’s like tragedy has never found this world. I’ve got an arm that will put asses in seats and more asses in my king size bed.

I still hate Pittsburgh, for the record. Those lucky fucks.

[Shoots endangered animal, throws it in the ditch for the Hell of it]

Even now with enough money to be above the law, I’m still gonna be the same old Homer Bailey. I’m still gonna demolish hitters. I’m still gonna amaze scouts by firing fastballs harder in the ninth that I did when I made pitch number one. I’m still gonna drive my monster truck around and go muddin’ down in Kentucky. I’m still gonna eat possum I find alongside the road.

They say $100 million changes a man. The only thing it changes about this man is the amount of condoms I’m going to need.

[Gives his blood hound dog a deer antler to chew on]

For all of you that have been with me since day one; for all of you that have never stopped believing in the Homer Bailey Express, I got a special surprise for you this season. I’m gonna bring that Cy Young trophy back to Cincinnati, and put a little Squirrel head on it. It will look better that way, because Cy Young was an ugly sumbitch.

And you ain’t even gonna believe the amounts of cum I’m gonna bring to the park this year now that I’m set for life.

[Fires six-shooter at neighbor who is cleaning his grill, barely misses]

I can’t wait to put on a pair of assless-chaps and march into Jocketty’s office and tell him I want the ball on Opening Day. If that little bald-headed shit jaw does anything but agree, I’m gonna tie him up to the ceiling chandelier like them pigs we skin out on the ranch.

Yeeee-hawwwww! Find us a power hitter Jocketty you bald bastard! I am fucking crazy!

A Fantastic Read on Aroldis Chapman

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We are a few days late getting mention of this up, but over the weekend ESPN did an interesting profile of Aroldis Chapman that all my fellow Reds fans should see.

If you missed it, you might never learn the following:

  • Aroldis Chapman smokes Marlboro Reds, regularly.
  • He owns a swimming pool that he cannot enjoy, because he does not know how to swim.
  • He routinely spends the entire day in his room, often waking around dinner time.
  • Chapman longs for life back in Cuba, specifically the ‘craziness’ of his home country.
  • Chapman seems bored with life despite being independently wealthy.
  • A professional might even say that Aroldis Chapman is depressed.

I don’t want to make too much of this – ESPN would not generate many page clicks or buzz by writing a fluff piece of the Reds closer about him visiting the sick in a hospital (though the article gives mention in passing to this towards the end).

As someone who has closely followed Chapman since the beginning of his incredible career, we get the feeling that this might not end well. It might end with a high speed chase. It might end with Chapman suddenly not wanting to play anymore. It could end with him waking up one day, and it’s all gone – just like Mark Wohlers. It could end with Chapman fading into Miami Marlboro-smoking obscurity. But you get the feeling that this wild ride could someday soon come to it’s sudden and abrupt end.

That’s because talents like Chapman often fade and flicker just as quickly as they burst onto the scene. We’re simply trying to enjoy this while it’s here, because it might not be long for the baseball world.

Reds Name Bryan Price Manager

So I guess people want me to weigh in on Bryan Price being named manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Do I have to?

It’s not that I am not happy or excited about the move, a move that was pretty predictable from the day Dusty Baker was fired. It’s just that I’m not yet ready to start talking Reds again. Like what happened a few weeks ago never happened.

My initial feeling on it is that Price is a guy who will not let the team relapse greatly into a third or fourth place team. If you go out and appoint a Barry Larkin (what I wanted) or a Paul O’Neill, there’s a chance that it takes the team to the next level. There’s probably an even greater chance that one of those guys puts you in a Dale Sveum tailspin and you finish in the bottom half of the division. Price won’t let them fall from grace too badly. That doesn’t mean they’re a playoff team next year automatically, either.

Of the available guys, Price knows this roster group as well as anyone on the planet not named Dusty Baker. That will bode well for future success. Other factors like how the man constructs a lineup and how he uses his bench, along with his in-game decisions will be important. I love what he’s done with this pitching staff in a hitter’s park. It’s clear he’s never going to have trouble in that area.

The most exciting part of the move is that Aroldis Chapman might actually finally become a starter (I knew hanging onto him in fantasy baseball keeper leagues would someday serve a purpose). All indications are that Price is on board with trying this. Whether Chapman ends up back in the bullpen at some point and the experiment gets ditched, it’s still something that needs experimented with if the Reds are ever going to take the next step. They need another dominant arm, and arms like Chapman aren’t available at a low cost. When you have one in your pen who could possibly start, you have to try it.

It’s not a sexy hire. It won’t have anyone selecting the Reds as the team to beat next season. They’ll still fight an uphill battle. But Price was probably the best guy for the job, and he seems to be a likable, genuine individual who the fan base will get behind. It’s also unlikely that the pieces get shuffled too much. He’s not an outsider. If you like the current nucleus of Reds, you’re in luck. They’re safer with Price at the helm than if a new guy was appointed and wanted to start bringing in his type of players.

I’m behind Bryan Price and wish him all the success in the world.