Scout: Are the Reds playing hard?

We always have loved observations from Major League scouts, especially when they are talking about our favorite ball club. In this particular excerpt, we furrowed our brow.

A scout and an executive volunteered in separate conversations Wednesday that the Reds are not playing hard — an odd development, considering that manager Dusty Baker is known for getting the most out of players. The scout said that first baseman Joey Votto and right fielder Jay Bruce were the only Reds consistently running hard to first base. …

At least our two stars aren’t dogging it, yet. But we thought we rid our clubhouse of this lackadaisical style of play when Dunn and Griffey left. If we’re Dusty Baker and I catch the slightest inclination of guys not going hard, I tell them to fucking hustle and get the lead out or we find someone who does.

This is a young team and playing hard could make the difference between finishing with 85 wins and finishing with 75 wins. This is surprising when you heard all spring about how this team’s energy seemed to radiate from the field when their play was observed.

  • I think Brandon Phillips is guilty of the Dunn-Giff syndrome. I like Phillips a lot for his personality and glove-work, but his approach at the plate and lazy baserunning irritates me. Unfortunately, Dusty Baker is not the type of manager that is going to reprimand anyone for not running out that ground ball to first. In addition to Votto and Bruce, I wouldn’t overlook Dickerson. He runs hard to first.

  • Dickerson and Hairston are hustle guys. And when I read this, Mr. “I’m the Captain” Phillips is the first guy I thought of.