For his part, Reds manager Dusty Baker believes there’s a commonality to his group that makes them better collectively, and perhaps even easier to manage.
“I don’t know if it’s easier,” Baker said, pondering as he sat in his visiting manager’s office at Citi Field Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by a few reporters. “But consistency is a key over time [building a club]. I was on the Dodgers like that, I came in to a locker room that was like that. And most of the guys I played with had been taught the same way to play, came from the same mindsets on how to play.” Those Baker Dodgers teams, by the way, went to the playoffs four times in eight years, and won the 1981 World Series.
According to Baker, the Reds actually face a problem most teams would love to have, which is how selective they have to be in adding to a mix that’s mostly been developed as one.
“It’s actually harder to add players from outside,” Baker said of his team. “Some players, you can tell, come from places, for instance, take the Minnesota Twins,” and I wondered if Baker was going to single them out for abuse. Just the opposite, though. “Their players are fundamentally sound. Whereas some other organizations, you can tell that offense is the only thing that’s important, or defense isn’t important. You know, that’s more difficult, over time, to kind of change.”
But still, the Twins are 18-23, and production is production, right? Joey Votto, after all, would be a star on any team fortunate enough to have his 170 OPS+. Same with Homer Bailey’s 131 ERA+. How to quantify a collective edge? Mesoraco says you can’t.
“It’s hard to put a number on that,” Mesoraco said. “You have to have good players to win ballgames, first and foremost. And we have that. But at the same time, if everybody gets along, it makes things easier, as opposed to not looking forward to coming to the field, that kind of stuff can kind of wear on a team. Guys become individual players.
“But I think the main part is really having good players.”
Mentioned this is the Chris Sale thread, but by that time the healthy eaters had taken over, and this deserves its own thread, anyway:
Phillies broadcaster Rickie Ricardo told Sports Radio 94 WIP in Philadelphia on Monday morning that he delivered 100 Cuban pastries (two boxes of 50) to Chapman this weekend and when he saw the reliever in the clubhouse Sunday morning, Chapman had eaten about 18 of them. “He couldn’t breathe!” Ricardo said. “I looked at my partner, I said, ‘He’s ripe for the taking today.’”
. . .
Ricardo said the pastry has a “flaky-crust ... with cream cheese and guava and it’s baked, and it’s absolutely delicious.” “Now, if you eat more than two of these you’re clogging up your arteries—you’re a stroke waiting to happen,” he joked in the interview, saying the pastries are the “equivalent of the Krispy Kreme donuts when they come right out of the oven, it’s that kind of a thing.”
Asked about Ricardo’s story, Reds manager Dusty Baker dismissed the broadcaster’s claim that the pastries were to blame for his closer’s meltdown.
“That has nothing to do with what he did,” Baker said, according to MLB.com. “Look at him—does he look fat? I don’t pay any attention to that.
Babe Ruth would have done this, but struck out the side.
Odds of being attacked by a shark marlin: 1 in 11.5 million.
Pierre’s clout came leading off the bottom of the first for the Miami Marlins against the Cincinnati Reds.
Pierre’s homer was his first since June 23. He whooped when the ball went over the fence down the right-field line.
“I don’t know how to react to those things, so it’s just a spur-of-the-moment deal,” Pierre told reporters of his homer reaction. “That’s about the only time you’ll see me smiling on the baseball field.”
Pierre’s four-bagger came against Cincinnati starter Mat Latos,.
“Juan Pierre hit a home run off me—just my luck,” Latos said after the game. “I looked at him when he was running the bases and said, ‘What the heck happened?’”
...While Pierre’s power numbers are among the puniest in baseball history since the end of the deadball era, the 35-year-old Mobile native has stolen 603 bases to rank 18th on the all-time list.
Wow! If this continues…Daugherty will be writing for BPro by the year 2046!
Forget for a minute that the save statistic is a semi-bogus creation that serves only the player doing the saving, and the minion who represents him. Or that closers are the most overrated members of any baseball team, easily replaced and often interchangeable. I’ll see your Rafael Betancourt and raise you an Edward Mujica.
No, let’s fix on the notion that closers are one-inning, certain-situation ponies. Because that’s where the Reds are getting ripped off.
...Obvious question: When the most crucial outs in a game occur in the eighth inning, or even the seventh, why shouldn’t your best relief pitcher be used then?
There are any number of reasons not to mess with convention. Most involve ego and confidence and “roles.’’ Baker says the roles allow him and pitching coach Bryan Price to warm up the proper pitcher. He says no one knows until afterward which inning is the most important.
Agreed. So why do we assume it’s always the ninth?
“The toughest thing to do is close out a team,’’ Baker said.
No. The toughest thing to do is come into a one-run game in the late innings with two on, none out and keep it a one-run game. Starting the ninth with a lead and clean bases is not as hard. So what’s keeping teams from thinking that way?
You are widely considered the greatest catcher in major league history, which makes you more qualified than to weigh in on the subject: With his steady improvement at the plate, combined with his prowess behind it and the championships he’s helped the Cardinals win, do you feel that Yadier Molina is worthy of having a plaque next to you and Fisk and Yogi Berra at Cooperstown?
(Molina) is really one of the best defensive catchers that you’ll see, and he’s swung the bat, he’s raised his average but the way to get to that level is you’re going to have to either lead the league in home runs, drive in 100 runs, you’re going to have to put offensive numbers up that will give even more credence to what people are saying. It’s just hard, it’s really hard to combine the two things together, the offense and defense. You know, there’s only, like, 13 catchers in the Hall of Fame (13 major leaguers, 3 Negro Leaguers), so you really you’re only getting one every decade, so it’s not like it’s something that is going to happen and we don’t have any good catchers, we have a lot of great catchers. You’ve got guys who put up offensive numbers like (Buster) Posey and (Joe) Mauer, which give them even more focus, but Yadier is just a tremendous catcher and when he starts putting up numbers, and he’s steady all the way around, but in order to get that glitz and glamor and solidify that even more, it’s going to be looked at as great, Gold Glove and offensively he produced. He’ll produce in that line-up, he’ll do a great job for them the rest of the season, he’s such a good, clutch hitter.
Since you hung up your spikes, have you, either through performance or potential, ever seen a line-up that reminded you of those Big Red Machine teams of the ’70s?
I’m a little biased on that (laughs), when I think about Pete (Rose), Joe (Morgan), Tony (Perez) and George (Foster) with the home runs and then you’ve got Davey (Concepcion) and Cesar hit .300 and you’ve got (Ken) Griffey (Sr.), it’s just hard for me to believe that we will see that. You can pay money and get a lot of talent, like the Angels with (Mike) Trout and (Mark) Trumbo and Pujols and (Josh) Hamilton and (Howie) Kendrick, you see a line-up that really has some potential to make it happen, but I just don’t see that happening again. In my mind, I’d rather keep it that way and as a result I’m not sure that we can compare them, and that’s just the way that it is and I’m biased, obviously, you can tell that, but you can buy a lot of teams but to be able to assemble the team the way we did, I don’t think so.
I don’t know if Jay Bruce regrets the tweet he sent out after the game Tuesday night. Reds media relations director Rob Butcher declined to ask Bruce if he’d speak to me, from St. Louis early Wednesday. I’m guessing Bruce isn’t happy with himself. He’s not a confrontational guy. He’s very pleasant, almost all the time. It was out of character for him to tweet this:
I appreciate all the tweets, good and bad, actually. You guys are what drive the game. I’m obviously not hitting as well as I’d like to, yet. I actually feel sorry for the people on here who feel that it’s necessary to try and put me down on twitter. It really just explains further who you are, and there are obviously things in your life that you’re unhappy about and you take it out on me via twitter..I suggest you look into talking with a life coach or something to help you get over whatever you have going on in your life. There is obviously a lack of something going on, and I hope you guys get it straightened out, because you all sound like idiots Everyone have a good night. Haha
It doesn’t matter that Bruce’s generalization isn’t entirely off point. It shouldn’t be irrelevant that his retort is warranted. It is, though. It is irrelevant. The so-called “social media’’ are made for jocks, who don’t want to deal with media heathens. They can say what they want, and to whom. It’s an a la carte presentation of who they’d like their fans to believe they are.
Social media are also a bomb waiting to go off. One detonated in St. Louis Tuesday, right in Jay Bruce’s fingertips.
...They’re perfect for people who want to release their Inner Snark, with absolutely no consequences. Not every Twit is a guy in mom’s basement, with a laptop, an opinion and a bag of Cheetos. It just seems that way. At least a website such as Deadspin, which prides itself on snark and distance, uses bylines.
If you are Jay Bruce, you shouldn’t be reading tweets, not when you spent April hitting just one home run and had a league-leading 40 strikeouts. It’s a little like a 5-year-old playing with matches.
Lesley’s ex-wife, Chiho Svimonoff, told the website that the former athlete had been living in a nursing home, where he was receiving dialysis for kidney problems, for the past seven months. According to Svimonoff, the “Little Big League” star was rushed to hospital on Saturday night, and later died there from kidney failure.
Lesley made his Major League debut on July 31, 1982, pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984 and let go from the team in 1985.
The former 6-foot-6-inch athlete went on to showbusiness, appearing on the Japanese game show “Takeshi’s Castle” in 1986, and furthered his credits in a number of movies in the 1990s, including “Mr. Baseball,” “A Boy Called Hate,” “Big Monster on Campus” and the 1994 film “Little Big League,” in which he played an angry pitcher.
Mr. Choo? Did I stumble onto Spankwire.com by mistake or something?
DUSTY BAKER WAS the president of the Shin-Soo Choo Admiration Soceity even before the Korean-born outfielder put on a Cincinnati Reds uniform.
And now that he wears a Reds uniform Baker has added to that admiration. He calls him Mr. Choo.
“I knew Mr. Choo could play,” said Baker. “I coveted Mr. Choo when he played for Cleveland and he was killing us. He is a ballplayer and the environment here is conducive to most guys playing excellently.”
Mr. Choo, Mr. Choo, what can you do, Mr. Choo? He has been on base 18 times in his last 23 plate appearances, that’s what he can do.
HE IS HITTING .387 and leads the league in on-base average (.535), hits (29) and has reached base at least once in all 20 games he has played. And, of course, he not only gets hits, he gets hit.
Choo not only leads everybody in baseball with his 10 hit by pitches, he leads every team in baseball. None of the other 29 teams have a total of 10 hit batsmen. And a bruised Choo concerns Baker.
“I have concern, because they are throwing him inside and evidently they think that’s his weakness,” said Baker. “If they throw you inside you are going to get hit. Most of the time he doesn’t really, really, really get hit hard. Most of them are glancing blows, but getting hit is getting hit.”
SOME QUARTERS wonder why Cincinnati pitchers haven’t retaliated, haven’t taken aim at opposing center fielders or opposing stars to protect Choo.
“Nobody is trying to hit him,” said Baker. “You don’t want to put him on base in front of the guys batting behind him (Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce). Mr. Choo needs to get out of the way a little better.”
VOTTO WAS THE least concerned about his homer drought — he had one until hitting one Saturday and another Sunday. Nor was manager Dusty Baker concerned.
“I can understand the concern about not hitting home runs, but I don’t feel obligated to hit home runs to quell everyone’s concern,” said Votto. “I’m not concerned about the home runs. The Reds pay me to be good. That’s all I try to do and if I go through a little bit of a homer drought I try to fill in with other things.”
Votto reached back into the history books to talk about his situation as a star player and removed several familiar names.
“Pete Rose hit a ton of singles and everybody considers him great,” Votto began. “Johnny Bench hit a touch lower with the avereage but hit a ton of home runs as a catcher. Frank Robinson, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan — all kinds of different versions of guys who were great and did things differently. And I look at those guys as shining examples of how hou can be a good player in different ways.”
“Everybody was more worried about Joey than we were,” said Baker. “Water seeks its own level. If you can hit, you can hit. Sooner or later you’ll start hitting. You just don’t stop hitting. He’s not old, he’s not fat and his eyes are still good. Most of the time when you stop hitting your eyes go bad, you get fat around the mid-section, your reactions get slow and you get old. He is a long way from any of those.”
And then there’s this conversation with eternity…
“The two RBIs were big,” said Baker. “Now we have to get Bruce going with a coule of home runs (he has none) and some RBIs (he has eight). Bruce is in the position (fifth in the batting order) where he gets a lot of opportunities, probably as much as anybody in this league with the guys hitting front of him — Choo, Votto and Phillips.
“The home runs are fine, but RBIs are finer,” Baker added. “RBIs are it. You see that when we get a lot of two-out RBIs we score a lot of runs. When we don’t score it’s because we aren’t getting those two-out RBIs. The team that gets the most wins usually gets the two-out RBIs.”
The Reds’ honorary bat boy last night was Teddy Kremer, who has Down syndrome and a wealth of enthusiasm for the team. He asked Frazier to hit a home run for him before the third baseman stepped to the plate in the sixth, the Reds already up on the Marlins 9-1. So Frazier did. Simple, right?
The thing about Votto is that he still is on base more than half the time he goes to the plate, a .521 on-base average with 22 walks. It is difficult to hit when pitchers nibble at the plate, refusing to offer tantalizing pitches to hit.
“That’s what I used to do,” said manager Dusty Baker. “We’d get 18 hits and I’d get none, then we’d get six hits and I’d have four.”
ABOUT VOTTO’S batting average, Baker said, “I’m not really worried. It’s only 50 at bats (47, actually). It’s hard to explain. Everybody is going to have his turn and Joey will have his turn because water seeks its own level.
“We feel fortunate that we have Brandon Phillips and some other guys swinging good in the middle of the order,” Baker added. “Joey will have his turn to carry this club. He’ll be fine.”
That goofuss-hatted rumble scene between The Dusty Bashers and The Jay Cocks in Gangs of New York was tops!
THE MOST PUZZLING criticism comes from the fact that with runners on second base and first base in the eighth inning, Baker had Brandon Phillips bunt to move the runners to second and third. Of course, the Angels walked Joey Votto intentionally, which raised the howls, “Because Dusty took the bat out of Votto’s hands.”
Well, that’s merely Baseball 101, especially on this day. And wasn’t that an oh-fer hanging around Votto’s neck after the game?
... And Baker had a legitimate explanation for ordering Phillips to bunt.
“Even if I don’t bunt with Brandon they’d probably walk Joey, pitch around him, anyway,” he said. “We couldn’t take a chance on Brandon hitting into a double play. If Brandon has one fault, it is hitting into double plays because he hits the ball hard on the ground a lot.”
Phillips led the team last year in GIDP’s with 19 and hit into 15, 14 and 21 the previous three years. He did it 26 times in 2007.
“The game was a lesson in futility on both sides as far as scoring runs,” said Baker. “A tough day for both sides — a bunch of strikeouts, missed opportunities.
“Leaving runners on based plagued us early last year and this spring (during exhibition games),” he added. “It seems like it is all over baseball, not just us leaving runners on third with less than two outs. Strikeouts get you nothing and we just have to get better at putting the ball in play. There are those who say strikeouts aren’t important, but they are important if you want to play winning baseball.”
I once got stuck behind something called The King Frost Parade...almost made me want to get a bent twig and go fishing. Again, almost.
To Cincinnatians, the parade is about more than just baseball. The parade is steeped in tradition that goes back nearly 100 years.
The parade is somewhat of a holiday in Cincinnati.
“This is Cincinnati’s unofficial holiday,” said parade chairman Neil Luken. “I mean it’s kind of, you can say, Thanksgiving or Christmas. You just say Opening Day and people concede that with a holiday.
There is electricity in the air.
“Everybody seems real excited. Everybody’s kind of pumped up,” explains Luken. “Everybody thinks the Reds are going to do real well this year.”
Monday will bring an organized chaos to Findlay Market as 189 marching bands, floats and other entrants make their final preparations for the 94th Annual Opening Day Parade.
...The parade will last about two hours. If the parade lasts any longer, Luken says spectators will begin to lose interest.
This year’s Grand Marshal will be member of the Big Red Machine, George Foster. Matt Latos and Bronson Arroyo will also be on hand along with 100-thousand spectators.
I just wanted to tell you I’m a big quitter, too! And I quit!
In 2011, [Jim] Riggleman, in the final year of his contract, 75 games into the season, resigned as manager of the Washington Nationals when the team would not give him an extension. Riggleman believed then, and he believes now, that he was simply a lame duck manager. So he quit. The Nationals, with a 38-37 record, were possibly headed toward their first winning season since arriving in Washington and Riggleman didn’t want to be there anymore if he had no future in the organization. It was a puzzling decision that perhaps nobody but Riggleman really understands to this day.
“As I’ve told many people, it wasn’t the smart thing to do,” Riggleman said. “But it was thought out and it had been going for awhile, but it wasn’t the smart decision. But I thought it was the right decision. That’s the consequences sometimes. Things don’t work out perfectly as you hope. I got to live with my decision.”
In 12 years as a major league manager Riggleman compiled a 662-824 record (.445). One of his teams lost more than 100 games. Only once in the six seasons he managed for a full year did his team win more games than it lost. Only one of his teams made the playoffs. Yet three times Riggleman was asked to manage on an interim basis. It spoke of the respect people had for him in the game. He might not have been the guy to take you to the World Series, but he was a good caretaker. If there was a team in shambles, Riggleman was the right man to calm the waters. Hand him a mess and Riggleman was the man to clean it up. It’s a thankless position, but one that’s appreciated in the game.
Yet Riggleman’s chances at another major league managing job, perhaps even a major league coaching job, appear grim at best for the moment. Most of the goodwill he amassed seems to have washed away.
“I do know that there’s some people in baseball who are ‘Hey, Jim resigned and we have no interest in him,’” Riggleman said. “I knew that was going to be the case with some people. I respect their thoughts on that. I know why I did what I did and I can live with it.”
“They said I wasn’t a good fit,” Dibble told Times reporter Eric Sondheimer in a text message on Tuesday night. “I just got a job calling Angels games for Compass Media. In giving some early notice I couldn’t continue as head coach after the season, I was asked to step down immediately.
No ordinary minor league team, the [Havana] Sugar Kings were the Cincinnati Reds’ International League Class AAA affiliate based in Havana for six and a half seasons in prerevolutionary Cuba. Though the team’s existence was brief, the Sugar Kings drew a strong following in Cuba and became a springboard for Latin American players. [...]
Fulgencio Batista, defeated by Castro’s rebels, fled the country Jan. 1, 1959. Revolutionary fever reached its peak at the Gran Estadio that year at midnight on July 26 - the Castro- and Che Guevara-led movement was celebrated on the July 26 anniversary of the rebels’ first attack - during a game against the Rochester Red Wings. Revelry included fireworks and gunfire, and stray bullets grazed two members of the teams.
The Red Wings’ third-base coach, Frank Verdi, was struck, as was Cardenas, the Sugar Kings’ shortstop. Neither was seriously injured, but the game and the series were canceled.
“It was an itchy time,” said [Cookie] Rojas, who played for the Sugar Kings in 1959 and 1960 and is now a broadcaster for the Miami Marlins. “You never really knew what was going to happen.”
The season, though, continued, and that fall, the Sugar Kings had their greatest success when they claimed the International League crown. They then faced the American Association champion Minneapolis Millers, a team that included Carl Yastrzemski, in what was known as the Little World Series. The seven-game series, played in Cuba because of the cold in Minnesota, was attended by Castro and won by the Sugar Kings in seven games.
“I’ll be honest. When I first heard they might make him a starter, I said, ‘Oh, my God. They’re going to take the most dominant left-handed closer in the game and put him in a role that has a lot of ifs, ands or buts,’” said Smoltz, the future Hall of Fame starter—or is that closer?—over the phone from San Francisco, where he is covering the World Baseball Classic for MLB Network.
Added Smoltz: “[The Reds] still have a real good bullpen, but if he starts, they’re going to have to bring him along in a way where they’re going to discover quickly that this won’t be the guy who throws 97, 98, 99 mph for seven innings, I don’t think. He’s got to learn his cruising speed, and he has to learn a lot of other things.
“You move him out of that closer’s role, you run a risk. People say that if it doesn’t work, they can just put him right back in the bullpen. I don’t think that’s a fair assessment.”
Translated: The odds of Chapman—or anybody else—becoming another Smoltz aren’t the best.
...“One of the things that makes this so complex is that we haven’t had a guy from the left side who has the potential to do something intriguing on both ends [as a closer and a starter],” Smoltz said. “He has had such tremendous success at a young age in the role.
“As a starter, the unknown is that you are putting him into a situation where he’s had no success. There also are [no starting innings] for Chapman, and that is such a huge topic now.
“So when you think about how the game is evolving, you’re going to have to treat him the way you treated [Stephen] Strasburg and all of those other young pitchers.
“As a starter, you’re not going to get the full fruits of a Chapman for some time, based on the theories that exist today.”
But I want to see if Aroldis can be the next Randy Johnson…
“I’m waiting to hear [the decision] so I can feel better, concentrate more,” Chapman said. “I don’t think [it’s a distraction] because when you go out there to pitch, you can’t think about that. But it still would be better to know what they’re going to do.
“The truth is, if they were to make the decision, I would want to be the closer,” Chapman said, “but it’s not in my hands.”
Chapman said he relishes the role of closer because of the rush of pitching in the ninth inning. Baker said he’d planned to speak with Chapman about it after he’d pitched.
A: On Sept. 1 the Reds are in a three-way tie for first place and Aroldis Chapman owns 19 wins. How will the fans react when it is announced Chapman is being shut down for the season? — Dave, Miamisburg/CentervilleBeavercreek
A: A lot of assumptions are in that question. First of all, it is tough to win 19 games out of the bullpen, which is where I believe Chapman will be. And by Sept. 1, the Reds will have a six-game lead in the National League Central. There isn’t one team in the division that can keep up with them, let alone two. And when Johnny Cueto has 19 wins, they won’t shut him down.
Q: If Aroldis Chapman makes the rotation, barring injury, where do you see the next opening in the rotation for Mike Leake. — Will, Independence, Ky.
A: If you’ve been listening and reading between the lines, manager Dusty Baker wants Chapman right where he was last year, right where he blew everybody away — as the closer. My prediction. No “ifs” about it. When the season opens Chapman will be back as closer and Leake will be in the rotation. If that isn’t the case, then I wonder if the Reds really are trying to win.
Q: Name the four best Reds first basemen you have covered and rank them? — Mike, Arlington, Va.
A: You’re trying to get Joey Votto mad at me, aren’t you? I’m going with Tony Perez as No. 1 because Votto is just beginning his career, but it is good enough for No. 2. Pete Rose doesn’t qualify. Didn’t play there enough. No. 3, for me, is Sean Casey. No. 4 is Dan Driessen, and I have to throw in a couple of honorable mentions in Hal Morris and Nick Esasky.
Arizona’s Kirk Gibson offered his hand to shake, and Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker kept his to himself, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert wrote Monday. The managers had what was described as a “testy” meeting at home plate over whether to use the DH in the Diamondbacks-Reds’ Cactus League game.
As the home team, the D-backs had the privilege of choosing. That’s the rule for spring training, even in a game with two NL teams that don’t usually use the DH during the regular season. Arizona wanted right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who has spent his entire career in the AL where pitchers don’t usually hit, to get some batting experience during a game. Fair enough. The Reds wanted to use the DH so Shin-Soo Choo could get some plate appearances without having to play the outfield. He’s nursing a sore quad. Sounds right.
Gibson wouldn’t budge. The DH was not used. Choo didn’t start as a precaution. Baker didn’t shake hands.
Here’s Gibson’s take, via Gilbert:
“It was a good locker room talk. Read between the lines.”
And Baker’s, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
“We didn’t have a very pleasant encounter at home plate,” Baker said. “That’s how it goes. It’s over.”
This is why the DH needs to be universal. No more arguments ever!
Bronson Arroyo spent most of the spring losing an argument with a flu virus and made his debut Saturday against the Chicago White Sox.
“He’ll probably get hit hard today like most veterans do their first time out,” said Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker. “I remember (Hall of Famer) Don Sutton used to get hit hard, real hard. Rich Reuschel got hit hard.”
WHEN THE SEASON begins, it is a rare day when Arroyo gets beat up and he is as reliable as a BMW starting in the morning.
“To me, he is more reliable than anybody in baseball,” said Baker. That’s because Arroyo has started 323 games without missing a start and has pitched 200 or more innings seven of the last eight years and the year he missed he pitched 199.
“His is a quiet reliability because he doesn’t have the Justin Verlander stuff, doesn’t have the strikeouts. I’ll take his usual 15 wins and 200 innings any time,” said Baker. “And when he gets on a roll, well, he can get on a roll as good as anybody.”
And Brandon Phillips will enjoy just standing around 2B…
BRANDON PHILLIPS made a rare error at second base Wednesday that led to three first-inning runs after he made a comment late last week to a visiting TV guy who supposedly said on the air that Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney deserved the Gold Glove. Barney won it, although more than a few people thought Phillips deserved it. Barney probably won it for going 141 straight games without an error.
Said Phillips, “If that’s what it takes, I can go a whole season without making an error. I’ll just quit trying to get to balls that other guys can’t get.”
...QUOTE OF THE DAY: “My goal is to get a pension from every Major League team.” — Pete Mackanin, former Reds coach/interim manager, former Phillies bench coach and now a scout for the Yankees.
it looks like TLC will not be airing a second season of Pete Rose’s reality show, “Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs.”
John Kiesewetter, who writes about television for the Cincinnati Enquirer, notes that TLC aired the final two episodes of the first season on a Sunday morning and shifted it to a channel called Destination America… a representative for TLC told Kiesewetter that there are no plans to air repeats of the first season.
Dusty’s Trail plotzed out after 26 torturous episodes…this one seems endless.
JAY BRUCE ALWAYS talks about wanting to be the best hitter in baseball (the talent and ability is there), but continues to be perplexed by his long periods of streakiness — periods where he hits well enough to win Player of the Month and long periods where he struggles to put solid wood on the baseball.
Asked if there is any way to help him, manager Dusty Baker said, “First you have to help yourself because there isn’t anybody up there swinging but him. He has a chance. He is still trying to figure some things out or not to figure things out. That’s the dilemma as a young player — when do you be natural and when do you be smart? Sometimes you try to figure things out that don’t need to be figured.
“It is not easy being a young player and I can see the frustration on his face and I feel his frustration and pain,” Baker added. “What gets him in trouble is he fouls off too many pitches. If he didn’t foul them off he wouldn’t get into so many strikeout situations. He has to learn to center the ball more.”
A couple of years ago, I asked Brandon Phillips how he felt about being called a hot dog because of the extra flair he likes to flash on the field and he smiled and said, “Tell them to pass the mustard.”
After winning the Gold Glove two years ago and winning it three times, Phillips didn’t win it last year and he believes it was because some managers don’t like the Oscar Mayer in him.
“It shouldn’t have anything to do with personal likes or dislikes when it comes to personality,” said Baker. “It should come down to who is the best at that position. But it is a natural thing that people vote for who they like.
“I’ve talked to him about it (toning it down) and Joe Morgan has talked to him about it, but after a while you quit talking about it and realize that’s him and hope he just tones it down some.”