The Reds have done this all before. They did this before it was too late; before the roster was pared down to the state it’s in now. This year’s 3-0 start after a 10-6 win to complete a sweep of the hapless Philadelphia Phillies today in the Businessman’s Special down at Great American feels so much like one year ago.
Except for one thing, you know these guys you love are on borrowed time. None more than Jay Bruce – and how unlikely was it at some points that we would ever do a post again about him having a multi-homer game in a Reds uniform? Bruce had a monster game today, rebounding from an error in right field that could have been a blemish on the day; Robert Stephenson’s big league debut as a starter.
His first home run was the type your friends text you about. It was an absolute monster shot off the M&M’s sign in right field that would have landed in the river in all likelihood if not for the sign. He would later add a single, and another homer to center for good measure to finish with five RBI on the day.
And although it’s bittersweet; although you know that the Reds front office would never allow them to compete even if this fairy tale start continues beyond the Phillies, there’s just something really nice about all this. To be able to enjoy it for a few days; to see guys like Bruce being the elder statesman for the Redlegs; it’s kind of odd and neat all in the same. As we get older – so do the rosters of our favorite teams. Nothing can last forever and there’s no telling how long something in baseball will last. You just enjoy the moment and file it away and remember on a given day that it made your day.
If there was any doubt, because the Reds organization had been saying all along that they won’t move Bruce until the return is right; the word and truth is out that they’re going to move him for pennies on the dollar. They’re looking to simply slash payroll, like the owner said they wouldn’t under his tenure. Not that this should come as a surprise. First it was Chapman, then Todd Frazier; then they tried to move Brandon Phillips, now the final blow to the fan base. They’re absolutely going to trade the guy who hit the biggest home run in many Reds fans lives back in 2010.
So while Jay Bruce tells reporters it’s not going to be a distraction, while Bryan Price sheepishly says he won’t speculate on who will play right field in the even of a trade (and then he goes on to talk about how Duvall, Rodriguez, and Scott friggin’ Schebler have all played right field), it’s a foregone conclusion of what is going to happen.
I’m so disgusted with this franchise. It’s not that Bruce is a particularly great player anymore. No one who has watched him the past few seasons would argue that. But there was simply no reason to deal Chapman, Frazier, and now Bruce for poor returns in succession in the manner they have and will. Bruce will be gone by opening day. They could have allowed the fans a little more hope and kept them together until the All Star Break. They could have delayed it longer and just rebuilt around their core.
Instead, we’re going to see them enter a purgatory like 2003 to 2009. That’s unacceptable. There are organizations out there who avoid it.
I’ve already made the decision I’m not going to spend my money to see the Reds play. If an opponent is in town who I want to watch, I’ll buy a ticket. I’m not spending the money to see Adam Duvall and a bunch of young pitchers who won’t be around the next time the Reds are decent.
The Reds have operated like a true losing organization for the past half year. I’m fed up with it. We’ll have a longer post to come when Bruce is actually dealt.
Jay Bruce finished his 2015 season with 26 home runs, 87 RBI, a .226 average, and a .729 OPS. He was essentially a replacement-level player with an 0.1 WAR.
Reds fans are clamoring; actually begging, to trade him for a bucket of balls and move on. I have a feeling the Reds will oblige.
I am not sure what happened here. In all of my years following the game of baseball, there’s never been a more enigmatic player I’ve like and followed than Jay Bruce. It’s been said many times on this page. When he was good and on a hot streak, there was often no one better in baseball. But he didn’t have many of those hot streaks in 2014 or 2015 that pulled you in and made you believe. In about 1200 plate appearances over the last two seasons, he was a .222 hitter with a .695 OPS.
We just can’t defend it. It makes no sense when you look at the player that once was. And although Bruce never reached his peak that some (including us) expected, Bruce hit 208 home runs in a Reds uniform (and a couple in the postseason) and had a .780 lifetime OPS with at times, a gold glove caliber defense in right field.
He was a good guy in the clubhouse, and a remarkably solid guy off the field. He was durable, and fun to watch. If indeed the sun has set on our favorite Reds’ career, it’s been a good run even if it never quite worked out how we figured.
We just wish we knew what took place for things to get so corrupted here towards the tail end.
Amid the trade rumors, and the slumps, and the hot streaks; Jay Bruce is carved in Cincinnati baseball history books now with an elite number next to his name. He’s ninth all-time on the Reds career home runs list, and last night off of Adam Kennedy he lined a line drive out of Petco Park to reach the feat. It was not a majestic tape measure blast; although he did hit the piss out of it.
The home run of course snapped one of those typical 1 for 21 Jay Bruce disappearance act slumps. If he could just eliminate those he would be a star. He would probably have the contract Joey Votto has and go on to continue to climb the all-time list. He’ll soon pass Eric Davis (203) and Ken Griffey Jr. (210) if he can get hot. There’s a good chance Bruce is dealt this offseason for no good reason other than the Reds want to trim payroll and ‘want more consistent production’ out of their right fielder.
It was the only game that the Reds scored in a 2-1 loss. Against Adam Friggin’ Kennedy. This has really been a tough year, I can’t say it enough. There has been little to no magic after that abbreviated hot start that saw them jump out to 4-0.
Last night I gave pause and thanks that Jay Bruce somewhat etched his name in stone as one of the best Reds ever; in the same way I feel that Adam Dunn was one of the best Reds ever. Of all the players who have crossed the white lines and worn the Reds uniform, the guy has hit more home runs than most of them. That’s to be commended.
If the Reds are torn apart sometime in the next 48 hours with key members of this core from the playoff run stripped from the roster and fan base, then let it be written that the Redlegs went into the sea of red that is St. Louis and shut out the best team in baseball for the second night in a row, winning 1-0.
It was so baseball. These guys going out and in the midst of all kinds of rumors that have them shipped all over teh globe; they go out and play a sound game to beat a much more sound team.
Anthony DeSclafani threw seven shutout innings and improved to 6-7 on the year. The Reds collected just two hits.
And maybe; just maybe, this is the type of win that tells ownership it’s not time to let the sun set on this group yet. Maybe they look towards next year and aggressively decide that by adding a key arm or two to the rotation, they’ll have the lineup to attempt to make a run at things.
But if not – if they do decide to sell off these guys who were being rumored in deals before the game started tonight – it was perhaps one last signature win to remember them by. It’s the kind you don’t forget.
I really hope that the sun hasn’t set on Bruce’s Reds career. There’s no doubting he is an enigmatic player. But Bruce is in one of the best stretches of his career. Since May 16th he’s hitting over .310 with an OPS well north of .900 and a slugging percentage over .550, all hallmarks of a quality middle of the order hitter.
In a perfect world, Bruce continues to progress and the Reds don’t get quite the offer they hope to by broadcasting to the baseball world that he can be had. They work out a reasonable extension for him to remain part of the solution in Cincinnati – players like Bruce could make the ‘rebuild’ just a bit shorter. Plus, I still want a reason to go to the park. Bruce is at the core of the guys I have a personal attachment to. He has 197 career regular season homers as a Reds player. If you get an offer that brings a top tier prospect, make the deal. If not – you don’t trade a productive player like Bruce just to trade him.
I am a bit puzzled at why the Reds have made Bruce so willingly available but a guy like Todd Frazier whom is under team control similarly until 2017 is not available. You can’t have it both ways. Both should fit the profile of a guy who can be moved, or neither. The Reds have no viable replacement for Bruce being roadblocked in the minor leagues, so I just don’t see a reason to up and move him.
That said, the things are falling into place as I thought they would. The perfect storm for Bruce to be moved. The Reds aren’t very good, the All Star Game is completed, and Bruce is playing pretty well. This is kind of what I saw coming down the pipeline back in March. I think we’re seeing Jay Bruce’s final days as a Red, and it kind of sucks.
It’s kind of shitty being the fan of a small market team. There are teams in the game who have the ability to keep a homegrown talent if they so choose. It seems like the Reds are following some unwritten rule, almost conforming to think because it’s time to rebuild, you move a multiple season All-Star corner outfielder just to get something done. And for the fans, it does suck. We’ll see how this plays out, and eulogize his career in Cincinnati properly should we have to in the near future.
It didn’t look like a paid attendance of 33,379 on a decent but cloud-covered night in the Queen City when you looked up in the stands. But those who turned out to see the Reds take on the Marlins in this mid-June contest got what they wanted, a Reds win. The Reds are now 2-0 this season when we attend the game.
I took my wife, sister, and dad to the game. When my dad and I were walking down to our seats the PA announcer came over the loud speaker and asked for a moment of silence in honor of fallen Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim. The announcer said Kim had been killed in the line of duty earlier in the morning, marking the first police officer killed in the line of duty since 2000. Very sad story and solemn start to the night.
It was a great night though, the weather held up and my family had a great time. My dad said it was the best seats he had ever had and a perfect start to Father’s Day weekend. If this is the last game I get to attend with my dad, we had a great time.
I banked so heavily on Christian Yelich having a big year for me in fantasy baseball, and he’s hitting .233 on June 19th’s ending. He went 1 for 4, and was rang up looking to end the first inning just after this picture was taken.
Proud to say I got to see Giancarlo Stanton play during this legendary season he’s having. He went 0 for 4 though.
The fastest man in the big leagues aside from Billy Hamilton, Dee Gordon. He’s hitting .355 and leading the National League in hitting in stark contrast to Yelich.
Mike Leake was real good last night. He had a no-hitter into the 6th inning when Derek Dietrich singled to break it up through the left side. Leake went seven innings, allowed only two hits, walked three and struck out seven. Leake improved to 4-4 on the year.
It’s been such a frustrating season. But last night, the Reds had the magic going. As I watched them and the innings wore on and they squandered opportunities with bang-bang plays at the plate to win the game; I knew in my heart they were going to win the game.
They overcame two big home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Tyler Collins that looked like the dagger.
The Reds got three scoreless innings from some guy named Donovan Hand – a guy who hasn’t thrown in the big leagues in a number of years. And look at the names the Reds are running out of the pen out of nowhere: Hand, Carlos Contreras, Ryan Mattheus, Burke Badenhop. It’s not like these are guys who have came up through the Reds system. If you think back to when the Reds were a good team, they had the same bullpen arms the whole year pretty much. They had dependable guys and you knew the names and there were several guys who had came up through the system together. That has faded away.
But on this night the Reds were just meant to win. Frazier hits home runs 21 and 22, including a dramatic blast that won them the game.
After the rain delay, it was hard to remember it was Johnny Cueto and David Price who started this game. But the story was more about Frazier, Bruce and the unlikely late-night magic of the Reds.
The Reds season is a mess, and they’re going to blow this thing up. But on this Sunday, Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce turned back the clock.
Cueto threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine for his fourth victory of the year. It kind of stinks because days like today are just auditions for a contender.
And we can’t begin to figure out Jay Bruce, we’re absolutely done trying. We cut him from one of our most important fantasy teams late last night. It figures that he would have a day like he did today. There’s probably no salvaging things for Bruce long-term in a Reds uniform at this point. He either plays poorly and he’s a goner, or he plays well and the Reds move him shortly after the All-Star game. You look at the calender, and it’s June 7th. It’s possible that Jay Bruce could just have over a month left in a Reds uniform, and it’s kind of a sad realization to accept that he’s never going to become a franchise cornerstone.
What? You thought we wouldn’t recognize this holiday in the Queen City because a guy is hitting .225? That’s a .225 on the rise, to be exact!
On May 27th, the day that Jay Bruce made his splendid debut in 2008; he’s always been pretty close to money in the bank. Last year he went just 1 for 4 and did not leave the yard in Los Angeles against Zack Greinke. But Bruce has homered four times on this date in his career, and has a couple huge performances to his name on the day he made his big league debut.
You look at the slate tomorrow and everything is coming up Bruce: Right hander on the mound in Kyle Kendrick – CHECK. Game in Cincinnati, where Bruce has been significantly better in his career – CHECK. Afternoon getaway game where Bruce seems to do most of his damage – CHECK. Date on the calendar is May 27th – that too.
Can’t believe Jay Bruce has been in the big leagues seven years now. Time absolutely flies. Here’s to Bruce finding the seats tomorrow with at least one and continuing to enjoy May as his best historical month. And maybe the Reds can win two in a row for what seems to be the first time in two weeks.
If indeed this is the last Jay Bruce day we are to celebrate with #32 in a Reds uniform, we want it to be a memorable one. We’re calling it now, Bruce gets a couple of knocks and homers. Reds win.
Yes, the Reds were trounced at home for the second night in a row 11-2 by those pest Giants. Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam and Baby Giraffe Brandon Belt homered for the second straight night.
But Bruce hit a hanging pitch from Ryan Vogelsong into the seats, singled, and almost homered in his first at bat, flying out to the wall in right center. He looked a little better.
This was Bruce’s 188th career homer, all as a Red. This was game number 1001 in a Reds uniform. We are hoping that the final chapter has not been written for Bruce in a Reds uniform. We’re almost to Memorial Day; and it’s simply time to get going. Time to circle the wagons. Ride or die time. Now or never.
Each game represents sands in the hourglass. Every pitch, every at-bat. As Mo Egger recently pointed out, it’s not a young player finding his way, nor is it an aging veteran we are discussing here. This is an integral part of the Reds core.
This is a guy we love. But the numbers never really lie. Here’s to the baseball Gods bringing some of that magic to Jay Bruce’s bat from here forth and sending him on one of those customary hot streaks that only Jay Bruce has (we’ve all seen them) which makes us question the bane of our existence and defies everything we had seen before it.
Jay Bruce went 0 for 5 tonight – striking out three more times, and ending his night with a horrible at-bat with the bases loaded that could have won the Reds the ballgame (they inevitably lost in the next inning). Bruce is down to .164 on the year; and while the ‘it’s still only April’ crowd can be heard, we’re starting to wonder if Jay Bruce as we knew him; the perennial All-Star Jay Bruce, is never to be heard from again.
Our greatest fear seems to be realized with Bruce. It is that; an offseason and time off simply does not fix a player trending the wrong way. Some can rebound, and some continue to corkscrew. While it should normalize to his career 24.6%, his strikeout rate sat at 32.8% before factoring in three more strikeouts tonight. Normalizing to strikeout a fourth of the time is by no means good.
In short, right now Jay Bruce looks like a 12-year old kid who went to the batting cage; and that kid’s parents are very poor. He’s put his quarter in the machine and he’s going to swing the damn bat. It doesn’t matter if the pitching machine is serving them up high or not. He contains no regard for where he’s hitting the ball or his surroundings. He’s going to swing as many times as he can before the quarter tells him he’s out of swings.
We see a dead-pull hitter right now, who is so deep in his own mind; we wonder if he can right this ship. What in the Hell happened to the .300 hitter who came out of the minor leagues using the entire field? Where did he go? Where did his regard for a good approach go? The legendary hot stretches are waning, and the slumps are becoming prolonged. His everyday play for the last year has been a slump.
We could show you his stats for his last 153 games – but we don’t want to. We don’t want to see it for ourselves because it might shed more light on a horrifying reality. A reality that; at 28 years and 22 days of age, one of our favorite players ever is done. A player that was supposed to lead the Reds into the next generation with his talent has somehow had his best days move behind him.
We are rooting for you Jay – we hope you find whatever has become lost.
This might have been the last one – so I hope you enjoyed today. Actually, take away the ‘might’. If you’ve followed the game long enough, you know in your heart this was the last time that this current core will take the field on Opening Day in Cincinnati as a group. Today almost told us that much. It was a beautiful win, a great start to the marathon that honored Opening Day in the city it should most be honored in. But on more nights then not, the Reds aren’t going to get the type of outing Johnny Cueto provided them with.
When they don’t have that type of performance, it could be a rough go for them. And it was almost a tough day anyways with their lack of a set-up man. When Andrew McCutchen homered to that little spot in right center that he always seems to sneak one out to in Cincinnati (he kills the Reds more than Billy Hall ever did), it seemed like the Reds were going to waste Cueto’s great outing and Bruce’s laser into the Moondeck in right.
Todd Frazier would have none of it – he hit a ball into the upper tank in left in the bottom of the 8th off Tony Watson that would claim the day for Cincinnati. It came after Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto singled to apply some pressure to the lights out reliever.
And one more time, the core of Bruce, Votto, Phillips, Mesoraco, Frazier, Cueto, Chapman had one once the Cuban came in and dominated the ninth inning like he usually does. But if things go bad like we think they might – the Reds will make some moves and some of the veteran faces we’ve all grown the love and attachment with won’t be here on this day next year.
So we appreciated today for what it was, a great memory that we’ll always have and at least a day in first place in this season where the world seems to be doubting the Reds.