Tag Archives: Jay Bruce

As Time Runs Out….

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I didn’t see Jay Bruce’s possible last game as a Red on Saturday night. And I would kind of prefer it that way. I didn’t miss much, as Bruce went 0 for 4 and the Reds lost in 10 innings 2-1 in San Diego.

But I tuned in today. To see Homer Bailey pitch, and just to see some last glimpses of Jay Bruce in a Reds uniform. I think this will be Jay Bruce’s final day as a Red. It makes me incredibly sad. Jay Bruce has been my favorite Reds player ever. He’s been in my living room every night through the Spring and Summers and into the Fall for the last near decade.

So much of my life has changed as he’s grown up in a Reds uniform.

In 2005 I remember the day he was drafted. I was living in Cincinnati for the second summer in a row. I was driving on I-275 when they were talking about the Reds second round pick on 700 WLW. Jay Bruce, a kid out of Texas.

Then came his meteoric rise through the Minor leagues. I moved back to Columbus to be closer to my fiance. He became the #1 prospect by Baseball America. The excitement was as high as I ever remember for a Reds prospect.

The night he made his debut, I owned a condo and lived with my then fiance. I got off work and make the trip up I-71 because I wanted to see the beginning. He knocked three hits all over the ball park and was on base five times. I went back the next evening too; and he got two more hits. Things were still exciting. The Reds were bad, but they were on the climb up the hill. You could feel it. The darkness was soon to come to an end with Bruce at the core.

In my own life, I was still young but finally starting to grow up.

In 2010 on that September night when he homered off Tim Byrdak and the Reds clinched; fewer sports moments have ever been happier for me. We’ll always have that moment no matter how long time goes on in baseball.

There will be many more moments not mentioned here in between that Bruce granted us as fans. All the home runs at Great American. Never a stale moment in the clubhouse. Always a consummate professional. The Reds went to the postseason three times. Bruce played better than any other Red in those games. They came up short.

Now sitting here today watching as I finish giving my first kid a bath and waiting on my second to arrive, I see him in uniform in the dugout in the ninth inning in San Diego talking to Joey Votto. There is a feeling of closure. It was two friends talking in the dugout after a decade of playing together. You could almost see them saying ‘man the times, they were good.’ The sense of relief like an era has closed; and Jay Bruce getting traded is definitely the door slamming shut, is there.

Jay Bruce and I are no longer just kids growing up.

You’ll always remain my favorite Red Jay Bruce. It’s so hard saying goodbye to the players you build a personal attachment to because they’ve been with you through life’s up’s and down’s and their own.

I used to find myself believing that someday I would take my son to the ballpark to see Jay Bruce as an aging veteran playing right field for the Reds. It could have easily happened, we just all ran out of time.

Jay Bruce homers in quite possibly his last Great American Ballpark At Bat

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It’s time to do the ‘it’s Jay Bruce’s last week as a Red’ narrative thing again, once again. This is so annoying and frustrating. The Reds shouldn’t be ditching Bruce at this point. He looks elite again, having his best season ever. He hasn’t really hit that ugly month-long cold streak either.

But I digress. The Reds will probably move Bruce in the next week before the trade deadline. The Reds will be heading West, so that means that Bruce played what was likely his final game at Great American Ball Park as a Redleg yesterday.

In what was his final at bat, you know; if it was:

The Redlegs lost a shootout 9-8. Bruce knocked in four which brings his RBI total to 73. He has 21 home runs on the year, and an .871 OPS. Ah, I hate that I wasn’t there. But I’ve said my goodbyes a dozen times already.

Do your damnedest, Dick Williams.

A Cubbies-Redlegs Summer Matinee

Today I went with three friends to see the Reds host the Cubbies on a getaway day. The Cubs won this game 9-2. The seats and weather were great, and we saw a bunch of cool stuff. It was the first time I’ve made it to a game this season, and I just got a new camera.

Click through the jump to see too many photos from today.

Continue reading A Cubbies-Redlegs Summer Matinee

Jay Bruce destroys Colby Lewis, continues tear

Man, who is this guy?

This guy who looks like the 23-year old kid again with power to all fields, with 16 homers and 55 RBI. This .282 average, .921 OPS bat?

Reds win 8-2 in Arlington in a game that Colby Lewis was supposed to handle their lineup easily, in a game where the Rangers and people around baseball were chalking this up to be a ‘gimme’.

I can’t believe now that Bruce is in the midst of a career year and probably the best offensive player on the roster; that the Reds are going to just move him. Say it ain’t so!

Jay Bruce is still as good once as he ever was

Ah man, we still love this guy. Old favorites die hard. This was definitely one of Jay Bruce’s longest home runs at Great American Ball Park. He slugged number 14, and drove in runs 43 and 44; in the Reds 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati.

He’s arguably been the Reds best offensive player. With an OPS over .900, we kind of hope as his swan song in Cincinnati (if they’re not going to keep him as part of the ‘next’ core) that they do him the honor of letting him be the Reds only All Star.

He’s definitely looking like the player he always should have been offensively, even if advanced metrics tell us he’s somehow worth less than an empty trash bucket in right field. I actually saw with my own two eyes – Bruce made a nice defensive play in right field Saturday afternoon. So WAR and it’s defensive judgements can just suck it on this one.

Jay Bruce gets a milestone at Great American Ballpark

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With two home runs tonight, Jay Bruce hit career dingers 127 and 128 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, becoming the all-time leader; passing Adam Dunn. We’ve said it many times; Bruce has had an enigmatic career with flashes of brilliance. At the end of the day, it’s hard not to realize he’s accomplished quite a bit in a Reds uniform.

It looked at that point like it would be a happy ending for one night in the Queen City; but Tony Cingrani and the Reds pen full of shitheads had other ideas. The Reds would go on to lose this ballgame 8-7 in 12 innings on a Francisco Lindor home run. Lindor is really a helluva a little ballplayer.

You can see Lindor’s game-winning home run off Keyvius friggin’ Sampson by clicking here. That ball had some giddeup on it.

The Reds try to get swept tomorrow in the Battle of Ohio Series. It won’t be easy, as Corey Kluber gets the start and he’s Jekyll and Hyde awful, but I think the Reds have it in them.

The Reds; and Jay Bruce are sucking me in again

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[Box Score]
[Cincinnati.com]

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.

The Cincinnati Reds are going to Trade Jay Bruce

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.

The deal reported to be almost done only fell through because of Michael Saunders’ poor medicals.

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.

Has Jay Bruce played his last game as a Red?

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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.

Jay Bruce hits milestone home run #200

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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.

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Jay Bruce survives the deadline

I woke up to tweets like this:

And around dinner, kind of like back when rapture was supposed to happen; the deadline passed and we caught this:

What a day of roller coaster emotions. I thought this was going down, then I thought it wasn’t. Then it looked like it was. I think we’ll come to find out the Reds came very close and their owner blocked a trade of Bruce.

He was after all, the guy who gave us this:

I’m very thankful for whatever amount of time I have left to watch Bruce as a Red. His last couple months; let’s call it six weeks or so, have been six of the better weeks of his Reds career.

One More for the Core

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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.

Jay Bruce hit his 17th home run of the season off a very good John Lackey, and Aroldis Chapman locked down his 21st save of the season.

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.

Jay Bruce’s last (Cincinnati) ride?

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Every time Jay Bruce homers, I wonder if it’s the last time I’ll see him round the bases in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Tonight in Cincinnati, he hit a monstrous clout to right center for his 15th home run of the season. It allowed the Reds to beat the Cubs 5-4. Bruce also doubled and is now hitting .255 on the season.

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.