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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2015 Competitive Balance Lottery Results

The Competitive Balance Lottery for the 2015 MLB Draft took place this afternoon. Twelve competitive balance picks are awarded, with the first six taking place after the first round’s conclusion and the next six taking place following conclusion of the second round. Here are the results, per (Twitter links)...

Competitive Balance Round A


Competitive Balance Round B


As’s Jim Callis explained earlier in the week, teams that have one of the 10 smallest markets or one of the 10 smallest revenue pools are eligible to receive a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds (Round A) or between the second and third rounds (Round B).

Its about time the Cardinals got some help to become more competitive.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Daugherty: Reds, not Selig, should have final say on Pete Rose

I was going to name my next band Władziu Ziu Peddles…but Liberace’s Ghost is go!

If I were Bob Castellini and the Reds organization – and I most assuredly am not – this is what I would say to Bud Selig, right now, about Peter Edward and the 2015 All Star Game:

“It’s our game. If we want Pete Rose to deliver the game ball on a rolling stage with showgirls, slot machines and Liberace’s ghost, that’s what we’re going to do.

“We have groveled as you have tossed us crumbs. We have been thankful and deferential and bowed deeply from the waist. But now, you’re outta here, and we will do with The Hit King what we damned well please.’‘

What is Baseball going to do about it? Deny Cincinnati an all-star game for another 27 years?

...But fair is fair and enough is enough. A lifetime ban has morphed into a lifetime grudge. This is in the “best interests of baseball?’‘

I don’t want to list reasons why Rose should be released from purgatory, or suggest his crimes against the game were any less egregious than those perpetrated – allegedly—by juicers whose names are still on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Everyone knows all that already. Anywhere else but Cincinnati, it’s not a major concern. But this is Cincinnati, and we are next in line for the all-star bash. And we should decide what role our flawed favorite son plays in our party, not a commissioner who will have been retired seven months.

More than that, though. . .

It’s time. Pete Rose is 73 years old, and out of the game for the last 25 years. Selig should come down from on high, leave the crumbs for the pigeons and do the benevolent thing. While he still can.

Repoz Posted: July 16, 2014 at 04:53 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Monday, July 14, 2014

Knobler: Inside MLB’s Cuban Pipeline: It’s High-Risk, High-Reward

Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba.

Eventually, the players who leave the island establish residency in another country and are declared free agents. Workouts are scheduled, sometimes attracting 200 scouts and executives if the player is a big enough star.

Sometimes, a player may work out for a specific team, as Abreu did for the Reds when they wanted to see if he could play third base or left field (he couldn’t, at least not to their satisfaction, and with Joey Votto set at first base, they reluctantly dropped out of the bidding).

Eventually, a player signs pending a physical exam, which can be something of an adventure in itself. The Dodgers had to have someone drive Puig 1.5 hours across Mexico City to find an MRI machine. When the Reds recently signed pitcher Raisel Iglesias, scheduling the physical was almost a bigger obstacle than negotiating the contract.

“We were working on a tight deadline, and the kid couldn’t get a visa yet to come to the Dominican Republic or the U.S.,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty explained. “We finally brought a doctor from the Dominican, and a Spanish-speaking doctor we work with in Cincinnati, to see the kid in Haiti. But then they had to find an MRI machine in Haiti.”

It all got done, and now the Reds will hope Iglesias does as well for them as Chapman has. He was nearly as expensive, costing the Reds $27 million for a seven-year contract, even though he wasn’t as highly touted as Chapman (who got $30.25 million for six years in January 2010).

The prices keep going up, which only makes the decisions tougher.

“The gut feel has to be there,” said Don Welke, a top Rangers scout who has been to many Cuban showcases and was involved in the signing of outfielder Leonys Martin. “It’s huge risk, huge reward. As it’s turned out recently, whoever has taken the risk has gotten the reward.

“But some scout had to stick his neck out for every one of these guys. And you’d better darn well be right, because your owner is asking you why you want to spend so much on a guy you only saw in two workouts.”

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Aroldis sets MLB record with K in 40th straight game

His streak began on Aug. 21, 2013.

Chapman surpassed Bruce Sutter, who did so in 39 straight games from June 1-Oct. 2, 1977.

Given the current environment, I would have guessed that this record was like five minutes old.  But 1977…that impressive.  I guess.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Oz: Thumb injuries to Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips shake up NL Central

I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of ThD. That’s Doctor of Thumbology.

The news wasn’t good for the St. Louis Cardinals and their cornerstone catcher Yadier Molina. Molina has a torn ligament in his thumb and will miss 8-12 weeks after surgery, according to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak.

Nor was it good for the division rival Cincinnati Reds, who confirmed Thursday that their star second baseman Brandon Phillips also needs thumb surgery to repair a ligament. The Reds say he’ll miss six weeks…

Both injuries figure to shake up the NL Central, where the Cards and Reds had both been making a charge at the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Heading into Thursday’s action, the Brewers were up two games on the Cardinals and two and a half on the Reds…

Unless the Cardinals make a move — A.J. Pierzynski and his smartphone are available — Tony Cruz figures to takeover the everyday catching duties. He’s played in 21 games this season and is hitting .255 in 51 at-bats. He’s been with the Cardinals since 2011 but has never played more than 51 games in a season.

The Reds have utilityman Skip Schumaker listed as their No. 2 second baseman, but back-up shortstop Ramon Santiago played there Thursday against the Cubs….

With the Cardinals and Reds hurting, the Brewers have to feel better about their chances of holding on to their division lead. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates, four and a half back and in fourth place, have to sense a great opportunity in front of them.

The District Attorney Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:17 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, injuries, pirates, reds

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Doc Daugherty: Joey Votto DL - Adam Dunn ?

Wrong for Each Other! Doc Pompous strikes again!

As The Club preps for a doubleheader that could set longevity records, The Morning Man says J. Votto will go on the DL today. The wonder is how much he will be missed.

The last time I suggested, “Not as much as you’d think,’’ I took the predictable bashing from the OBP crowd and the Walk Freaks. So be it. The fact is, losing Votto is not the blow it used to be, because Votto isn’t the hitter he used to be. That likely owes to the chronic quadriceps pain that keeps him from driving off his back leg.

He could be gone this time until late August. The Reds will have to find a first baseman. Period. They have no one in their weak-hitting farm system. They have no one on the 25-man who can play there every day.

Which brings us to today’s Essential Question:


A name that has popped up is Adam Dunn. TML has one thing to say about that:



You might see Dunn’s name and recall long home runs. I see it and recall Dunn in the clubhouse every afternoon, splayed on a leather couch, reading car magazines.

You might see serious longball potential for a Club that could use some, and a nice fixture at cleanup. I see a player who has never won anywhere. Who is too cool for school. Whose “work habits’’ here were not exactly a shining example for young players.

I wrote a column once, in the declining days of the Junior-Dunn Era, suggesting the Reds would be better instantly, if only they’d take the couches out of the clubhouse. Dunn ridiculed me, naturally. Then he got traded. Seems someone important agreed with me. Is it coincidence The Club started winning once Dunner and Griff left the building? Perhaps.

The couches are still in the clubhouse. They’re not used very much.

Repoz Posted: July 08, 2014 at 10:21 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Friday, July 04, 2014

Erardi: Billy Hamilton plays like greats he doesn’t remember

Where have you gone…Lefty Gomez?

Over the years, the same has been true with all the great center fielders, from Willie Mays to Jim Edmonds and Andruw Jones and the Reds’ Eric Davis.

But it goes back even farther than that.

I related an anecdote to Hamilton that dates back to 1937.

New York Yankees pitching great Lefty Gomez was talking to rookie center fielder Joe DiMaggio one day after a game the Yankees had lost on a deep drive that one-hopped the center field wall at Yankee Stadium.

Gomez: “How come you were playing so shallow on that one, Joe?”

DiMaggio: “I’m gonna make ‘em forget Tris Speaker.”

Gomez: “You keep playing there, you’re gonna make ‘em forget Lefty Gomez.”

News flash to Lefty: They’ve already forgotten you—or at least Hamilton has; he didn’t seem to recognize the name, and I’m not sure he even recognized the name of DiMaggio, either—but he laughed at the story, because he got the point.

Almost four score years later, the Gomez-DiMaggio story still resonates.

Hamilton has gone to most of the Reds pitchers and told them that he’d like to play shallow.

“They’ve all said, ‘Do it,’” recalled Hamilton. “Cueto and Homer (Bailey) have told me point blank, ‘If they hit it over your head, it’s my fault.’ That gives me the confidence to play shallow. The pitchers hate the cheapies. They’d rather give up something hit hard than a broken-bat blooper.”

Repoz Posted: July 04, 2014 at 06:11 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: history, reds

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Career minor-leaguer Jumbo Diaz called up after losing 69 pounds in offseason

The nickname came because at one point he was in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and they had two players named Jose Diaz. To make it easier, the hefty pitcher became “Jumbo.” But knowing that his weight was part of the reason he wasn’t getting called up — despite a 1.66 ERA in 2013 and good stuff, including a 96-97 mph fastball — Diaz decided to make a change last winter.

What happened to calling guys like this ‘tiny’ or ‘slim’?  Where have you gone ironic nicknames?

And I’m not sure I’m buying that teams are turning away guys with sub two ERAs who can throw 96 for aesthetic reasons.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 22, 2014 at 03:50 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: nicknames, reds

Thursday, June 19, 2014

MLB’s New Home-Plate Rule Had Its Lowest Moment

The bases were loaded—this was a force play. Bucs catcher Russell Martin received the throw, tapped home plate with his his foot, then got out of the way of the sliding Devin Mesoraco. Mesoraco was ruled out; Bryan Pryce argued, and after a lengthy chat with the replay office in New York, umpires overturned the call.

Natty Fan Posted: June 19, 2014 at 01:40 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: catcher collisions, pirates, reds, rules

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Marmol leaves Reds to take ‘mental break,’ is uncertain of return date

“He just wants to take a mental break,” Kinzer wrote. “Physically he is fine. He was still throwing in the mid ‘90s.”

Get well soon Carlos!  You are always an exciting guy to have around as long as you are on someone else’s team.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 18, 2014 at 04:10 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: apparently this is a thing, carlos marmol, reds

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dodgers fan arrested for Cincy trespass

‘‘Apparently, he’s been obsessed with the Dodgers for a long time,’’ she said. She said she didn’t believe he had any weapons, but said another attorney would probably be appointed to represent him on the burglary count, which could carry prison time upon conviction.

Sexton is known online among Dodger fans as ‘‘Troy From West Virginia’’ for video postings about the team and its players, including his admiration for former Dodger relief pitcher Joe Beimel and coarse retorts to critics of young Dodger star Yasiel Puig.

There sure is a lot of crazy going around these days.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 12, 2014 at 02:39 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mental health, reds

Friday, June 06, 2014

Daugherty: How healthy is healthy enough for Joey Votto?

Is there a Doc Daugherty in the house? (readies Ewald tube)

We only know what we see. Here’s what I see:

Mike Leake, making a third consecutive start Thursday, with a stiff neck he incurred last Sunday night against St. Louis. Getting knocked around, not using the neck as an excuse. “Hopefully, that tightness will just go away,’’ Leake offered.

“He competed his tail off,’’ Price noted.

I see Jay Bruce, playing 18 days after minor knee surgery. Not tearing it up, but doing what he can. Taking a further step back, I saw Brandon Phillips play half of last season with a bad wrist. All that did was mess up a very good personal year Phillips had going. But Phillips played, because the Reds were better with him in the games, even if he wasn’t all he could be.

Votto has been out almost three weeks. Price said Votto’s “soreness’’ is darned near gone. Awesome.

...To be clear: Votto didn’t want to go on the disabled list. Price says he’s the one responsible for keeping Votto on the mend, instead of in the lineup. And Votto’s durability isn’t suspect: He played in all 162 last year, and in 161 two years before that. But how healthy is healthy enough, and when does Votto get there?

Believe what you want. I believe if Votto insisted on playing, he would be playing. Superstars call shots everywhere, even in little places like Cincinnati. A manager is not going to say no to that guy, nor should he. Especially when the guy in question is as valuable as Votto is.

Price’s logic is, he wants Votto healthy enough that the injury doesn’t recur. OK. But at some point, as a player, don’t you have to grin and bear it?

...Like it or not, the sports ethos is to play with pain. Teammates respect it, owners expect it. It’s almost a given. Pain is in the contract. Even in early June, few players are in perfect health. By August, no one is.

The Reds can’t wait for Joey Votto to be perfect, or even close to it. They can’t afford to let a team currently 13th in the NL in runs scored squander any more good starting pitching. Because if they do, in very short order it won’t matter when Votto comes back, other than for his own numbers.

How healthy is healthy enough?

Only Joey Votto knows. Meantime, he’s progressing well.

Repoz Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:35 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Thursday, June 05, 2014

McCoy: Jay Bruce: 500 RBI and counting

Exactly, counting.

Jay Bruce sat on 499 career runs batted in for a long time — and he sat on it and sat on it and sat on it.

He had 499 when he went on the disabled list on May 6. He returned to the lineup on May 23. He played eight games, had 34 at-bats, before he drove in No. 500. That came in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night and then he later drove in No. 501.

BRUCE IS ONLY the fifth member of the Cincinnati Reds to reach 500 RBIs at the age of 26, joining Johnny Bench (855), Frank Robinson (800), Vada Pinson (700 and Adam Dunn (572).

“It is special to me because it mean I have at least semi doing my job since I’ve been here,” said Bruce, a perfectionist who is never content, even when he is on one of his hot spells. He always believes he can do better, always works toward that end and says his goal is to be one of the best players in the game.

“It is humbling at the same time when I see the guys who are on that list and some of them had 800 RBI by this point. So it keeps you knowing where you are on the totem pole. It is a checkpoint for me. It was No. 500 and hopefully a lot more to come.”

Repoz Posted: June 05, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rosecrans: Does Stephen Strasburg ‘want a piece’ of Mike Leake?

Or as Kevin Millar said last night: “I don’t know if Stephen Strasburg will ever be as good as Mike Leake.”

Does Stephen Strasburg still “want a piece” of Mike Leake? We may find out tonight.

The former Little League teammates face off as big leaguers for the first time tonight, and in 2010, Strasburg’s college catcher said Strasburg was looking forward to facing Leake for the first time.

From Dave Sheinin’s July 26, 2010, story on Strasburg in the Washington Post:

In early June, just days before Strasburg would make his extraordinary big league debut, a story about Leake appeared in USA Today, in which Leake recalled playing alongside Strasburg as kids, and said, “He was overweight, pouty and used to cry.” Leake further mused that it would be “a nice little competition” to face Strasburg in the majors.

Back in San Diego, Erik Castro, Strasburg’s catcher at SDSU and the best man at his wedding, read the story and—knowing how it would make Strasburg burn—immediately called him to see if he had seen it. Strasburg had seen it, all right. And he was steaming.

Leake was officially on The List.

“It really fired him up,” Castro said. “I was the first person to talk to him about it. He got so fired up. He wants to pitch against [Leake]. He said some other things that aren’t appropriate to put in a newspaper. But he definitely wants a piece of that kid.”

Repoz Posted: May 20, 2014 at 09:14 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: nats, reds

Monday, May 19, 2014

McCoy: Reds: What’s wrong? Nearly everything

Two days that shook the Reds world.

Everybody bemoans the loss of both Jay Bruce and Joey Votto, absolutely a crushing blow to the middle of the batting order. But Bruce was not producing when he went down and Votto was not hitting for power or driving in runs before he went down.

After losing a slew of one-run games, a league-leading 12, four of their last five losses have been by 5, 11, 5 and 9 runs.

The offense is non-existent. On Sunday, they put the first batter on base five times in the first seven innings. In two of those innings they put their first two runners on base. Only in the first inning did they score. They were 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

...Fans want changes. That’s understandable. But there isn’t much that can be done. There is no help in the minors. Making a trade for one player isn’t going to help and at this juncture of the season it is difficult to make blockbuster trades.

Some believe that it is time to take a wrecking ball to the roster and start over, that the current core group has been together long enough to live up to expectations and there are no results.

That’s something that needs to be done in the off-season, if that’s the way the decide to go. And most of the core group is making too much money to tempt other teams to take a chance on making big trades. If they wanted to trade Joey Votto or Jay Bruce or Brandon Phillips or Homer bailey it would be difficult to shed their big contracts.

Other teams would love to pry Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon and Tony Cingrani from the Reds. But that’s their one strong suit right now, the one part of the equation that is more than doing its job.

So, for now, what you see is what you’ll get. And right now that isn’t very much.

Repoz Posted: May 19, 2014 at 06:26 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Athletics Claim Jeff Francis Off Waivers From Reds

The title says it all (except for Joe Savery getting optioned). The Moneyball gang is getting back together!

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 18, 2014 at 06:15 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, reds

Maffie: On Rockstars and Flamethrowers

Tony Cingrani, Japandroids…and another reason I’m going to miss Getting Bent.

The Japandroids are a band that almost wasn’t. Consisting of only a drummer, David Prowse, and a guitarist, Brian King, they just barely meet the requirement of being a band at all. Yet, by pounding new life out of aggressive drum lines and wild electric guitar riffs, they minted one of the best summer albums of all time (at least, according to Rolling Stone). The duo from Vancouver almost left their music in a garage up north after they received a chilly reception from the local crowd. Their first album, Post-Nothing, made them a champion of the indy music scene, but it was their second, Celebration Rock that made them for real. A single listen to Celebration Rock reveals why they made it: The Japandroids play loud. They play fast. And they never gave up.

One of the most iconic images of the 2013 Reds season is of Tony Cingrani snarling on the mound. His feral, semi-insane scowl leaves you wondering if he is going to throw a pitch or charge the batter’s box. That raw emotion is appropriate for a pitcher who described his philosophy as “go after everyone like you’re closing.”

Yet Tony Cingrani is a pitcher that almost wasn’t. We think of Cingrani as the flamethrower who routinely sends batters back to the dugout, another K in his belt, but this wasn’t always the case. In his first year at Rice University, Cingrani posted an 8.59 ERA in six starts and walked more batters (16) than he struck out (13). At the end of the year, Cingrani walked into coach David Pierce’s office and asked him a tough question:

“Do you even want me back in the fall?”

...Celebration Rock is an album to blast while driving up the Pacific Coast Highway. Its fast and unrelenting pace conveys the white-hot adrenaline rush of finally … finally overcoming the barriers and naysayers who said you’d never make it.

When Tony Cingrani takes the mound today, he’ll be snarling, blowing out his cheeks and glaring at the batter in front of him. In front of tens of thousands of fans cheering and jeering. All the cameras and lights. Think of that feeling – the I’m going to throw this ball through a brick wall and there is nothing you can do about it – that comes from years of battling adversity to get up that ten-inch hill.

It’s also the feeling that you never want to leave. That no one would ever want to let go. If you could record it for people to play over and over again, well, it’s the type of song that would make you a rockstar.

Repoz Posted: May 18, 2014 at 09:58 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: overrocked rate, reds

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hero cat coming to Sam Lynn Ballpark

Tara, a local cat belonging to the Triantafilo family here in Bakersfield, has drawn national media attention for her heroics in thwarting a dog attack on her preschool-age buddy, Jeremy. Tara and her family will be appearing at the Bakersfield Blaze home game on Tuesday, May 20th , and throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

283 wins over road dogs.

depletion Posted: May 16, 2014 at 08:21 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cats, reds

Friday, May 09, 2014

Keri: With Runners On Base, Joey Votto Lets Too Many Good Chances Go By

Doc Keri runs the tests.

So what’s going on here?

Leaving RBI aside, Votto’s power numbers have shrunk a lot over the past couple of years. Since his 37-homer MVP season in 2010, Votto has hit 29, 14 and 24 bombs, with just four so far this year. Using isolated power, a stat that gives a better read of a player’s pop than slugging average since it focuses only on extra-base hits, we see that Votto posted a career-low .186 IP mark last year, ranking a less-than-elite 44th among 140 qualified batters. He’s down to .169 IP this year, just the 72nd-best mark in the majors. If a hitter feels he can do less damage when he swings, he’s probably going to swing less often. Votto is one of the brainiest, most self-aware players in the game, so it’s no surprise to see him swinging less often than he has in the past, both with runners in scoring position and the rest of the time.

It’s hard to tell how aggressive Votto might be in the future, given what the numbers tell us. Go back and peruse those charts again. The two biggest drops in his swing rate (with runners in scoring position or otherwise) — and the only two times in his career that he’s been more passive than league average in RBI situations — have come in 2012 and this year.

In 2012, Votto suffered a painful knee injury, one that sapped his power dramatically until it knocked him out of the lineup for 50 games; of course he’s going to swing less often when he’s both playing in pain and not hitting the ball as hard when he makes contact. As for this year, it’s May 9. Votto has seen only 52 pitches in the strike zone with runners in scoring position, and just 36 of those were fastballs. We should probably wait until we have a larger sample of at-bats before we break out Tom Smykowski’s mat.

So yes, Daugherty’s belief that Votto has become more passive passes not only the eyeball test, but also the hard evidence test. Still, Votto doesn’t deserve this much criticism. We’re talking about a player who’s on track to reach base more than 40 percent of the time for the sixth straight season. He’s an excellent defender at first. An infield popup for him is like a Halley’s Comet sighting for the rest of us. And while he might be swinging less often than he used to, even that trend might prove to be much less pronounced than it looks right now.

Joey Votto remains one of the best all-around players on the planet, whether or not he ever makes the ghost of Hack Wilson sweat.

Repoz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:59 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, sabermetrics

Friday, May 02, 2014

Brewers’ Carlos Gomez gets robbed, has his revenge against the Reds

Carlos Gomez is the type of guy who always seems to find himself at the center of something. On Thursday he was integrally involved in the the two best plays of the night.

The Brewers’ sparkplug-slash-nemesis of those who defend all rules that are unwritten hacked at the first pitch of the game from the Reds’ Homer Bailey and seemed destined for his 17th extra base hit of this young season, but Billy Hamilton had other ideas. Hamilton raced into the gap in right-center, dove into the air and snagged Gomez’s liner. It wasn’t all good news for the Reds – Hamilton reportedly sprained the third and fourth knuckles on his left hand and will miss a few games – but it was another reminder of the many ways his speed can impact the game, and of how quickly a player who was exclusively a middle infielder until last season has taken to centerfield

In the bottom of the inning, it was Gomez’s turn to flash both his athleticism and his leather. This time Joey Votto swung at the first pitch he saw from Brewers starter Marco Estrada and drove it high and deep to center. Gomez raced back, drifted to his right and then curled back to the left before turning his back to the wall. One perfectly timed leap later and a certain Votto homer had become a harmless flyout:

Gomez, being Gomez, exulted and pounded his fist into his glove, but Votto, to his credit, appeared to take no offense. Instead he flashed two fingers towards center, not in order to flip the international bird to Gomez but to remind him, as if he needed it, that he’d robbed him before, to end a game last July.

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 02, 2014 at 08:16 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, reds

CBSSPORTS.COM:Watch rare video footage of the 1919 World Series

Just click the link and watch, its worth 4 minutes of your time. though no sound.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Erardi: Why Reds fans shouldn’t jump off the bridge

Sabermetric bridge reamers are go!

One of the things I like about the modern analytics in baseball is that it has the potential to keep us knee-jerkers (by this, I refer to myself, and almost everybody else in the mainstream media – print, radio and TV) from jumping off any bridges after 25 games.

...My epiphany with sabermetrics occurred when I wrote way back in the late winter of 2004-05 that Eric Milton could be a valuable addition to the Reds’ pitching staff because he gave up solo shots instead of three-run homers. I wasn’t seeking to defend Reds general manager Dan O’Brien for acquiring Milton, I was trying to explain why Milton might work.

I was peddling an old-school bromide. And I was dead wrong.

Meanwhile, the sabermetricians were predicting that fly-ball pitcher Milton was going to be an abject failure in Great American Small Park (a tip of the cap to fellow Beyond the Bases guest Paul Daugherty for that one), and they were dead right.

Of course, the sabermetricians were only half-right when they predicted in late July 2009 that newly acquired 34 1/2-year-old Scott Rolen was going to fail as a Red.

He certainly didn’t fail in the first half of the Reds’ breakthrough 2010 playoff season. In fact, the leader-by-example changed the culture of the Reds’ clubhouse (bye-bye, Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn), and led the Reds to their first postseason in 15 years.

But, yes, Rolen surely did fail as a power-hitting third baseman in his last 21/2 seasons here.

So, it turns out that both “sides” – Reds general manager Walt Jocketty and the rest of the Reds’ brain trust in one camp, the sabemetricans in the other – were right.

More often than not, that is how it works. That’s what I mean by the gray areas. There are a lot of gray areas in baseball. Things aren’t always what they seem. When it comes to baseball, as Yogi Berra once said, ya’ don’t know nothin’.

Be careful about hanging onto to what you learned as a kid or what you assume to be true - except for the core values. (Memo to RBI-citers: RBI aren’t a core value. They’re a reflection of how many guys are getting on base in front of you.)

Be open to the truths to which objective analysis can lead.

Repoz Posted: April 29, 2014 at 04:21 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, sabermetrics

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Woman files lawsuit saying she was raped by Reds P Alfredo Simon

A woman who says she was raped by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon in April 2013 filed a civil lawsuit in Washington D.C. Superior Court on Thursday….

The woman testified before a grand jury on May 9, according to Harwood. On May 15, assistant U.S. attorney Sharon Donovan informed the woman’s attorney that a decision had been made and scheduled a meeting for the next day.

There she explained that her office would not be pursuing charges in the case, said Harwood.

“It’s definitely one of those cases you just can’t seem to wrap your mind around it, for me and the advocate,” said Harwood. “While I understand their position, I think I would have made a different decision.

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: April 24, 2014 at 09:09 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Saturday, April 19, 2014

OAG: A Conversation With Baseball Legend Johnny Bench

The one where Dennis Menke becomes Dennis Mickey.

BL: Johnny, you’re working with the Topps baseball card company. Do you remember receiving your first card after you reached the majors?

JB: Surely you jest. Of course I do, my goodness gracious. That’s what made you a major leaguer. So I loved it. I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now I say “Look at me.” You could carry ‘em around, “Here, have my card.”

BL: In the 1970s the Reds went to the World Series four times, winning twice, and went to another two National League Championship Series. Your first full season with the team was 1968. How quickly did you realize you were part of an extraordinary team?

JB: Well, in 1970 we started off the year 70-30. In our era, I’m playing with Tony Perez in ’68, Pete Rose, Tommy Helms, Vada Pinson. And we were close. We were really close. It just seemed like we needed one more thing to make it happen. In 1970 we started off with Lee May hitting and we were just dominating.

We had teams say, “Why don’t we just give it to them now?” And then we were 32-30, and yet here we were 32-30 to end the year and we won 102 games. I mean, it was just phenomenal. And then when we failed a little bit in ’71 the trade was made for Joe Morgan for Cesar Geronimo for Jack Billingham. Dennis Mickey came over and Ed Armbrister. And that’s when we really got it. We had a swagger. That’s when Joe had a chip on his shoulder and Pete Rose was Pete Rose. And we had a Gold Glove center fielder and Gold Glove shortstop in David Concepcion. We had Ken Griffey. I mean we had other teams come out to watch us take batting practice. They’d watch us take batting practice. It was that kind of ball club.

Repoz Posted: April 19, 2014 at 07:03 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, reds

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