Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reds, Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize Bid You Fond Adieu, Cardinals Sneak By 11-4

The Reds reminded us what the 2008 season was all about with three consecutive suck ass games in St. Louis. Nice job boys, way to finish things off strong. Arroyo and Harang were exhausted after a long season of not living up to expectations and both turned in sub par starts. Putting the absent offense into holes both Friday and Saturday. And today Pettyjohn was horrible. At least he has a human interest story featuring a debilitating disease to show for himself. What's your excuse Majewski? That goatee better be eating away the flesh underneath or the Reds Rocket is making no excuses for you.

Today, Votto and Encarnacion went deep, giving them 26 and 24, respectively, for the year. Not too bad considering the ages of those two fine fellows. But without a little baseball going on, picturing the positive future the Reds have in front of them isn't quite the same. Though it may give you Cincinnatians a break from thinking about the Bengals, which is something nobody should have to do.

For the playoffs, the Reds Rocket was a little pleased to see the Brewers slime in the back door. Makes the Central look good, two teams in the playoffs. Though the Cubs will soon be sitting home, complaining. And that is something everyone can enjoy. I'll be back soon to sign things off for the season. Maybe I'll try to keep the site active during the Reds' offeseason this year, but since I have no particular insight or connection to anyone with said insight, the posts get a little boring and, likely, redundant. 'Nothing new today, Reds are still sweet.' Nice season Reds.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cueto Not Too Goodo, Astros 8-6

Before showing some late spirit versus the Astros bullpen, the Reds didn't play all that well. Cueto gave up a bushel of runs before taking an early exit from the 2008 season. The Reds Rocket is still pleased with his rookie season performance. All the flair on the mound, tilting his hat upwards when he is unhappy with things. Nice job Johnny. Now maybe you and Volquez can catch the same plane and talk in Spanish about the the flight attendant's large rack.

Hairston made the game interesting with a three-run bomb in the 9th. And Patterson continues his march towards .205 with a 1st inning shot off nemisis Oswalt. This additional playing time has really paid off. However, the Reds left town with a series defeat. Something which this new team has become unaccustomed. Team lands takes on the Cardinals tomorrow in the final series of the season. They just finished beating up the Diamondbacks but that does not prevent my prediction of a nice, clean sweep to close things out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Love Means Being There On the Side Of the Road With a Pile of Garbage, Astros 5-0

The Reds stayed true to their word to only win 2 out of every 3 games for the remainder of the season. It's just too bad that it had to fall on Ramirez's turn because he's been pretty reliable. But Dusty's got his reasons and they will be followed or there will be consequences. 'I swear to you guys I will put Patterson out on the mound. I really will. Just try me. He'll be out there tomorrow sucking on the mound just like he does at every other facet of the game.'

Speaking of old pal Corey, there was an article on the official site where Dusty took some time to debunk the rumor that Patterson is engaged to be married to his daughter. Skip was pretty fired up about the whole thing, implying that, possibly, Patterson may not be good enough for his daughter. Which is crazy, we all know Corey is the cat's meow. Dusty, however, forgot to address the even more insidious rumor; that he sits down when he pees. That is something, which if false, needs to be cleared up.

The offense put the ball in play, knocked out 10 hits but couldn't push any of those runners across the pentagonal base. Bruce resumed his role as leadoff hitter. It is as if the team is in search of the lowest OBP and that player will be the one who receives the most at bats. The five hole is probably a better fit at this stage of his career but what do I know. Very little is the answer. Reds get the series tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Reds Agree With Astros' Proposal To Only Face Wandy For Remainder of the Season, Reds 2-1

The Reds Traveling Salvation Show continued its tour in Houston this evening. Keppinger knocked out three hits and Volquez picked up his 17th win with a nice 7 and a third. Dusty was correct in his decision to jank Edinson in the 8th and bring in Bill Bray to face the very dangerous Michael Bourne. If you allow him, he will beat you by himself. And Weathers plan to walk Tejada to face Berkman? Genius. These guys are finally using more than their hair to make decision out in the field.

The Reds also got their first taste of instant replay tonight. And, if you weren't in favor of its use beforehand, I am certain you are now. Votto's shot in the 7th hit the top of the wall, bounced into the stands and was ruled a single. Dusty meandered out, pointed to the wall, raised his hands to illustrate his uncertainty with the correctness of the call, then stood around with his hands on his hips. The umps were so impressed that they gathered together and decided to go try out the new software. After enjoying 2 hot dogs, a stadium-sized soda and a refreshing sit in the sauna, Gary Darling came back out and said that after looking things over, it didn't look like a home run to him. Those seats that the ball hit, are part of the field of play. Like the warning track. So, everyone just cool out and let's get back to the game. So, that screwed Votto for the second time tonight, the official scorer gave Wigginton a three-base error in the 1st, even though he didn't get a glove on the ball. Sure he looked, not only physically, but mentally retarded on the play but that is not the typical call given the particular scenario. Tough break Joey Jo-Jo, but Soto probably has the NL ROY locked up already.

Coco looked to wrap things up when Wiggington lined out to Janish, who flipped to second base to double off Reggie Abercrombie. But the the umpire manning second was just about to get the number from a nice-looking Texan who is in the process of going through a divorce. She's lights out, premium gas. He ruled Keppinger was off the bag, then his pals, without using the computer, corrected him because they were already late for their reservation at Chili's. Everyone went home happy. The Reds just want to keep winning so they can avoid the pitfalls of high draft picks next June. The deadline signing of Yonder was a pain in everyone's collective ass. Reds win again tomorrow, do it. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Reds Are Dirty Talkers and Fancy Walkers, Reds 7-5

The game began poorly, Harang giving up 4 runs in the first three innings before simmering down and placing a guillotine headlock on the Fish offense. His 7 innings gave the offense time to catch up against Nolasco. Votto hit a bomb, then the team went buckwild in 7th, dropping 6. There was some bad Marlin defense but a couple of clutch hits. Andy Phillips came off the bench with another late inning hit. Votto's RBI double gave them the lead and Phillips gave them a Cordero-resistant cushion with a two-run single. Big win in front of the 27 people at the GABP. Skyline all around.

With the recent hot streak, the Reds are looking more and more like a real ballclub. One that doesn't guarantee you will be furious if you bother to tune in. And, while we're at it, let's take a little time to show some respect for what Corey Patterson is putting together this year. I am borrowing this information verbatim from a comment from Mike on the Redleg Nation game-time comment log. Mike appears to be pretty sharp and much more willing to research things than certain blog contributors. So, if you have any questions in the future, I'll run them by Mike first.

All these seasons have a minimum 350 PA:

Worst Reds OBP of all time

OBP PA Year Player
0.222 378 1883 Pop Corkhill
0.238 367 2008 Corey Patterson
0.242 460 1906 Tommy Corcoran
0.246 354 1971 Dave Concepcion
0.249 482 1917 Dave Shean
0.250 365 1915 Ivey Wingo
0.251 501 1973 Bobby Tolan
0.251 434 1951 Virgil Stallcup
0.252 450 1932 Wally Gilbert
0.253 566 1948 Virgil Stallcup

The worst Reds batting averages of all-time

AVG PA Year Cnt Player
0.193 382 1984 Nick Esasky
0.196 512 1888 Frank Fennelly
0.201 551 1891 Germany Smith
0.202 367 2008 Corey Patterson
0.205 354 1971 Dave Concepcion
0.206 501 1973 Bobby Tolan
0.207 460 1906 Tommy Corcoran
0.209 421 1972 Dave Concepcion
0.209 594 1944 Eddie Miller
0.210 358 1973 Cesar Geronimo

The worst Reds OPS+ of all-time (*Timmons note from Wikipedia: For teams and average performers, OPS+ is a fair approximation of runs per out relative to the league average. Its cousin OPS and the expected form for a "OPS+" statistic, OPS/LgOPS, do not result in an estimated unit. From a historical perspective, LgSLG is usually around 1.2 times LgOBP, and so OPS+ essentially is based on 1.2*OBP + SLG. It is therefore more accurate in estimating runs scored than simple OPS, as the best-fit weight for OBP, based on comparison with Linear Weights results is around 1.8)

OPS+ PA Year Cnt Player
43 450 1932 Wally Gilbert
43 471 1930 Hod Ford
44 354 1971 Dave Concepcion
44 605 1970 Tommy Helms
47 367 2008 Corey Patterson
47 477 1953 Rocky Bridges
49 437 1997 Pokey Reese
50 551 1891 Germany Smith
51 385 1930 Leo Durocher
51 460 1906 Tommy Corcoran

And the worst OPS+ for OF in the history of baseball.

OPS+ PA Year nt Player
17 427 1886 Jim Lillie
35 371 1989 John Shelby
43 363 1985 Marvell Wynne
45 416 2001 Peter Bergeron
47 367 2008 Corey Patterson
49 472 1886 John Cahill
51 428 1954 Bob Talbot
52 461 1977 Rowland Office
52 582 1890 Bob Gilks
53 389 1893 Jimmy McAleer
54 481 2005 Corey Patterson

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Extra Extra Reds Are Awesome (but lose to Brewers), 8-1

The Reds decided to drop the finale to the Punky Brewsters today but still took another series from a team with a record over .500. For those of you still keeping track, that makes 5 consecutive series wins. And with the 1 game set tomorrow versus the Marlins, the final home game of the year, it will soon be 6 straight. Not bad from a team which gave up about 2 months ago.

Arroyo was out of tune today, giving up 6 over 6 innings to the impotent Brewer offense. Bruce was out of the lineup with a sore paw. That left the outfield in the capable hands of Patterson, Cabrera and Hairston. This lineup keeps getting more and more interesting. Dusty is going to put on his gameday batting gloves tomorrow and man center. He still knows how to lay it down. Dick Pole is playing shortstop. He has above-average range and isn't afraid to do the little things to help the team win.

The two previous games had a much more positive outcome. The team pounded 7 bombs Friday night, which ties the season high. Two by both Votto and Bruce, making the Reds the only team in the Majors with two rookies with 20 or more homers. The future appears bright but I may remember making similar comments about this time last year. Saturday featured the team finally figuring out how to beat Sabathia: allow his defense to let him down. Cueto was efficient with his pitch count, lasting a full 6 innings. The Reds' Dominican pitchers understand the importance of pitch economy. All three games did feature a Paul Bako-less lineup. The impact upon the pitching staff appeared negligible. Tomorrow Reds batter Fish and fry them in a pan. Fry it up!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pujols Remembers He's the Best Player in Baseball, Cards 5-4

Even with the additional motivation of playing for the National Society of Kittens Trapped in Tea Cups the Reds couldn't quite finish the sweep of the Cardinals. It's going to be hard facing those cats and their sad little faces tomorrow.

Volquez, again, struggled with his control and elevated a fastball with a couple runners on board and Big Al took him out of the yard. But he kept the Reds in the game because when he bothered to keep the ball over the plate, the Cardinals weren't hitting it very hard. The offense was paced by the hot bat of Adam Rosales, who broke his career high of hits in a game (1, done twice) by picking up a RBI single and later a double. That guy is alright. But the reappearance of Paul Bako in lineup didn't provide the spark expected. The key is to keep running him out there, the hits will come. Of that, I am confident.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meet the Winner of the Feed Your Child To Aaron Harang Competition, Reds 3-0

I guess it depends on how badly you want to see the Reds win. If the answer is very much, donate your kid to the Reds and Harang's trainers will feed it to the giant monster for nourishment. There are some very proud parents this evening as Harango tossed a complete game shutout for win numero cinco. The author's limited vocabulary makes description of the recent starting pitching simply, er, unpossible. Reds starters good. Harang large and in charge.

Harang's dominance tonight was only rivaled by the quality of the offensive lineup Dusty ran onto the field tonight. No Eddie meant Andy Phillips playing third base and hitting in the clean-up slot. And he really made a monkey out of me, getting the Reds on the board first with his second bomb of the year. Bruce followed him up with a solo shot of his own. Then Janish capped things with his first big league shot. Paul's big bat has been in hibernation since his first week with the club. After that he determined that he was okay with being overmatched and has been a pretty efficient out-making machine. I would like to introduce the term "outomaton." Feel free to use it frequently in conversation. Your friends will be intrigued by your creativity. But that's all in the past, Janish rakes.

The win tonight increased the Cardinals streak of many losses, to seven, which is a very nice number to wind down the season. St. Louis fans can still call into national radio shows and talk about what great managerial work LaRussa has done with the team that he has. The Reds Rocket will concede that Tony's alright but no Dusty Baker. That's a manager you can set your watch to. Reds sweep tomorrow and you'll love it. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reds Enjoy Special, Fried Cardinal, Reds 7-2

The Reds continued their late season surge by picking the Cardinals' weakened body off the ground and hitting it with one of those big, red plastic bats. They are a bunch of heartless bastards. After playing it cool against Braden Looper for 5 innings, Encarnacion doubled in three in the 6th, then the gang picked up a single run in the 7th and three more in the 8th. No big deal, the Cards have given up for the season and are content to take beatings in the remainder. The Reds are willing to accept the free wins.

Arroyo set a career high in wins with his 15th tonight. If you subtract the 1 IP and 10 earned runs allowed at Toronto on June 24th, when he was up late curing and smoking that moose that Votto killed, and the 7 he allowed in 1.1 innings against Atlanta on May 4 when he took full advantage of the free soda during his tour of the Coke plant and was unable to get any sleep, and you've got yourself a 3.79 ERA as opposed to the 4.57 he's currently at. Regardless, pretty solid numbers. Now if he would just give in a pull that weave of his back into a ponytail you'd have the coolest guy in the Major Leagues. He's got two more starts, keep it in mind Bronson. Team continues to dominate meaningless games tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reds Celebrate Despite, Wait, Because of Corey Patterson. Reds 2-1

Reds fans were treated to two consecutive extra-innings victories on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday ended when everyone's new favorite player Micah Owings doubled in Dickerson in his first at bat, first appearance on the field, as a Red. It was pretty sweet, however, I do not look forward to the letters to the editor, 'Why don't we just use Owings on offense, like Rick Ankiel? He hit well in college and it would be a very easy transition.' That, of course, is stupid. The author is considering getting an Owings jersey. On my current budget, with the big RazorGator money backing me, it may become a reality.

Today, the Reds only bothered to pick up three hits. A Votto single and then two bombs, one by Bruce and the other in the 10th by Patterson. He smoked it, right off the foul pole. I still took the time to inform the Diamondback supporters that Patterson really is the worst bat in the National League. Maybe in the majors. I think that made the loss sting a little bit more. That made David Weathered a winner and Coco the saver for the second night in a row. We all went home happy, thinking of how we will, many years from now, recall seeing the major league debuts of both Roenicke and Pettyjohn.

For those of you interested and who have not been, the following is a brief description of Chase Field to broaden your baseball horizons. I have now been to 6 games, so I am an expert:

-The park is nice, the roof is always closed except for very early and late season games.
-They have venders, most with ponytails (pony-tail!), selling, among other items, snake rattles, which are fit-inducing. So, the ideal gift for children. I think the objective was to see how much of the game can be spent using the rattle like a maraca. The children next to me Saturday fared well, maintaining a consistent rattle for 8 and a third of the 10 innings.
-All the photos of the Diamondbacks on the JumboTron have the players looking very thoughtful, pensive even, and either looking off into the distance or slightly to the left and up at the sky. Like they were saying, hey what's going on in the sky is very interesting. I bet you wish you could see it. 'Hey, there's Mitch Hedberg' Chris Young says.
-The crowd at game time is at least a quarter opposition and by the 5th inning one half. It did not take John Rauch long to be unanimously despised. Arizonans do not relate to his neck tattoo.
-Mark Reynolds is one of the worst players in baseball and do not accept a response stating otherwise.
-In Arizona, Dusty does not respond to fans yelling 'Hey dumb fuck, get Volquez out of the game. He's thrown 118 pitches.' He just ignores you, not like in Cincinnati.
-And finally, Corey Patterson is awesome at all ballparks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reds Lose Because of David Eckstein, Reds Rocket No Longer Supports Reds, D-Bags 3-2

The author was in attendance last night, as I will be the next two nights, and let me tell you, nothing like watching David Eckstein in person. Because if you thought he was awful on television, well, he's also pretty awful witnessed live at the ballpark. He scored two runs, one on a chopper off the plate that Harang tossed into right field and the second on a wild pitch following an eighth inning walk. I wasn't wearing my 80-year-old man portable radio headphones at the game, so I was unable to hear the announcers talk about his scrappiness, the little things that he does to help his ballclub win. But I know they were, I'm pretty sure Mark Grace is retarded. Like hit .150/.205/.190 and play a below-average second base. You can suck it Eckstein.

Harang looked like he's back on the snake diet, eating an entire goat once a month. It saves his trainers time and gives his boiler an even more distinguished look. You just have to be careful to keep your hands away from his cage. He'll rip your arm off and beat you to death with it if you get between him and a meal. But it appeared to have paid off. The big monster was perfect through three and left after 7 after allowing just the one unearned run on four hits. Unfortunately for him, his strong start coincided with the offense's decision to help Brandon Webb get back on track. Living in Arizona, I have bombarded with articles asking what is the deal with Brandon Webb? He was pretty good and recently he hasn't been so good. He was pretty good again last night. The local news stations all wanted to be the first to ask him how it feels to win 20 games. 'You know, it feels pretty good.' That's right folks, you heard it here first, Brandon Webb says wining 20 games feels pretty good.

Once Webb was finally out of the game, the Reds did put together a mini rally against Brandon Lyon. Eddie, Valentin, and Patterson (?) singled to load the bases up for Keppinger, who knocked in the Reds' two runs of the game. But Jerry Jr. struck out to end things. Way to go Jerry. Volquez goes up against an aging mullet tonight. I'll be wearing my Kal Daniels jersey in the right field bleachers if anyone wants to call me a jerkoff or punch me in the stomach.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bring Me The Usual, 15 Miller Lights Coming Up Mr. Weathers, Brewers 4-3

The author tuned into the game late today, just in time to see the lead the Reds carved out against Sabathia erased by Stormy. We know what that means, double fudge ice cream sundae, fried, then served in a 70 proof bourbon sauce. Enjoy yourself tonight, there are only a few leads left to blow this season. Have to take advantage of the opportunities when they present themselves.

Hairston Jr. provided the offense today, taking a Sabathia pitch into the left field seats. And Bronson Arroyo, what can we say about the boy of late other than lights out. He went 7, allowed only two unearned runs and left with his 15th win well within reach. For the majority of the second half, he has been, with all Reds bias tempered accordingly, one of the better pitchers in the National League. Maybe he should be allowed to slander/mention things he heard Dunn say in the locker room and occasionally spout off about what management needs to do to create a contending ball club. I am fairly certain he knows at least as much as Bill Bavasi when it comes to winning ballgames. When he was in Boston, the majority of the post-game concerts with Epstein were along those lines. The songcraft that went into all those alterative rock hits about the business of baseball was amazing.

Day off tomorrow while the team makes the trip to the desert. I have volunteered to show them some very nice cacti.

Big Frucking Nasty, I Won't Hesitate To Call You My Big Frucking Friend

With the news coming across the wire yesterday that Todd Coffey had been designated, we knew his time in Cincinnati was running short. Well, today, in a move which shouldn't surprise anyone, our pal Big Frucking Nasty was claimed by Milwaukee. The Brewers, citing the need for relief help as the impetus for the move, appear to be unaware of what Nasty brings to the table. He'll show you his 40 time coming out of the bullpen. He'll 4 and a half Whoppers before every game. He may even make time with your special lady. But when it comes to helping your bullpen, er, I think you Brewers are thinking of someone else.

After a more or less solid 2006 (81G, 60K's in 78 IP but 85 hits allowed) where he even got the opportunity to act as closer for a little while, 2007 and 2008 were not up to the newly increased expectations. He wa shuttled between Cincinnati and Louisville last year on a regular basis but still found the time to give up 12 bombs in a little over 50 innings. This year he was treated with less patience, only lasting 17 games with an ERA over 6. Dusty just doesn't have the loyalty of some of our other skippers. Here's the timeline:

- April 19, 2005: major league debut
- September 5, 2005: receives t-shirt from teammates which reads "Bun in the Oven," later revealed to be his favorite gift he's ever received
- May 5, 2006: first Major League win
- June 22, 2006: ate 16 bowls of spaghetti at local all-you-can-eat buffet. Is told that it is a record, has his photo taken, framed and hung on the wall. It is still there.
- August 8, 2006: first Major League save
- October 22, 2006: wins 2006 World's Most Attractive Man competition, few are suprised
- May 22, 2007: grows goatee which is believed to be the source of his success
- May 25, 2007: shaves goatee which is believed to be the source of his ineffectiveness
- September 5, 2008: argument with fan over whether or not Coffey is a "fat fucker" has to be broken up by pitching coach Ted Power. Coffey later concedes that the fan was probably correct
- September 9, 2008: designated for assignment by Cincinnati
- September 10, 2008: signed by Milwaukee

You will be missed Todd. He sure to tell everyone in Milwaukee that you prefer Big Frucking Nasty. That might be something which doesn't show up in your bio.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Reds Will Ruin Your Season Out of Spite

The Reds, as The Reds Rocket will finally concede, have little for which to play for the remainder of the season. It gives the young guys a chance to get some big league action to see what holes the thinktank will have to address during the offseason. But, fortunately, they seem to be unaware of this fact. Two series with contenders, two series victories. I assume that Sabathia will eat his 15 pre-game hamburgers and dominate the offense tomorrow but if he doesn't last 9 - game over, Reds sweep.

Ramon Ramirez was solid again. He showed some weakness in the first before settling in and lasting six and exiting with only one hit allowed. I know my favorite nerds aren't enamored with his arm but he has looked pretty sharp. He appears to have locked up the fifth starter role for the remainder of the season. So, we'll get the chance to see if the league catches up to that 89 mph fastball. The picture above is new arrival Jon Adkins. He has middle of the road stuff which has allowed him to bounce around the league but tonight he was the beneficiary of a poor outing by main man Burton. One third of an inning, one win for the season. I look forward to your next third of an inning, which of course, will result in another victory.

The offense was not too bad tonight against Suppan, who for some reason, gives the Reds the fits. He confuses them with all of his fancy talk. Encarnacion sandwiched a two-run bomb around a couple of nice-looking errors. There was nothing routine about that pop up to third. Bruce followed up Eddie's bomb with one of his own. Then Phillips grew weary of the lengthy game and shut things down in the 11th. This was after his technique of bunting the ball with exposed fingers backfired, breaking one of his digits. He needs those fungers to show off the many impressive rings he has accumulated since coming to Cincinnati. "Shit man, how am I supposed to point out the snitches with this big ol' brace on my hand? Fuck." Looks like it might be Danny Richar time at the five position. Assuming he didn't lose his passport picking up his first hit today. Zing, Danny you know we're kidding. You're alright. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Reds Can Do Without Innings One Through Eight, Reds 5-4

For the second consecutive night the Reds took things easy against a mediocre starting pitcher only to let loose against an otherwise reliable closer. I know it was Solomon Torres, who's like 65, but he's been the anti-Gagne for most of 2008. He loaded the bases for Keppinger who brought home the tying and winning run with a double off the left field wall. Being the equal opportunity Corky Patterson blog that we are, he kept things going with a knock off the pitcher prior to Kep's at bat but that shouldn't surprise anyone.

So, it looks like Dusty's got things rolling. It's too bad that he Dusty Baker'd the Reds for the first five months of the season. Now that the post season is out of the question, he can relax, wear a do-rag under his hat and really get to managing the shit out of this thing.

Volquez worked hard for 5 and a third, striking out 10, mixing in a couple of home runs. One by Jason Kendall who rakes, so he can't feel too bad about that. Then the bullpen kept the Brewers from extending things for the remainder of the game. Coco Cordero opted to keep runners off the basepaths. Bor-ing. Where were the walks and infield hits to which we've grown accustomed? Next time. The author has decided that the feeling after wins is preferable to losses, so let's keep it up. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Reds, I Give You Diamonds, You Give Me Disease....Wait a Minute, Reds Win 4-3

The author would like to begin things by giving a heart felt thank you to Cubs closer Kerry Wood. Wood has never seemed particularly unlikeable, compared to other members of his team. He has monster talent, a string of Dusty-inflicted arm injuries (hey-o!) and still isn't a complete asshole. But if he's going to surrender a series victory to the Reds, I'm going to enjoy every second of Cabrera standing at home plate waving his hands and juggling oranges while the winning run crosses the plate. For those of you swept up in "Bingle Fever" you missed quite a ballgame. If an opening day loss to the Ravens doesn't return your loyalty to the Reds, well, come on back. Optimism only increases anxiety.

The Reds blew the Cubs out on Friday, getting Arroyo his 14th, then felt bad and handed it back to Chicago on Saturday. Though they did show some late heart. They learned a lesson during that game, that if they're going to score 9 runs they must allow 8 or fewer. Dusty went over it with them after the game. They felt more prepared for today's game. I know they looked awful until the 9th but if you've learned anything this season it's that you can't give up on the Reds offense. They'll treat you right. That and they prevented Harang from losing another game that he probably didn't deserve to lose. I say probably because RBI doubles allowed to Ronny Cedeno will not be tolerated. So, for those of you keeping track, that's the 7th loss in 8 games for the Cubs down the stretch. We all knew they had it in them, though, at this late date it may be difficult to play themselves out of the playoffs. Another first round loss will be just as painful and enjoyable. I'm still rooting for a regular season meltdown.

On to the bad news, it appears that my computer is no longer functional. Fortunately, I have a backup but no Photoshop. So, in the interim perhaps some readers would like to create some artwork for the site. Suggestions include: Rick Ankiel receiving a lobotomy; the Brewer mascot giving birth to a pineapple; the St. Valentine's Day massacre recreated with past and present Cub media personalities (I'd recommend at least one of the corpses be Len Kasper); Bronson Arroyo playing guitar with the Doobie Brothers, the Michael McDonald version; or Alan Thicke in a Reds uniform. I'd been meaning to do the final suggestion for quite a while. Anyway, Breworms tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Guest Contribution: Petey Hendrix 9/7 Edition

For this edition Petey addresses the answer to the question, "Of all the active major league general managers, whom is the biggest doucheberg?" The answer, obviously, since Steve Phillips is retired from the front office, is our old pal Bowden. See if you can correctly answer to the next portion of the Jim Bowden multiple choice quiz; to by successful, a person in his (Bowden's) position must have: a) frosted tips; b) a segue; c) a voracious appetite women who hung around the Reds locker room in 1985; d) all mentioned.

Six Degress of ‘Ol Leatherpants by Petey Hendrix

Let’s play a bit of Reds player movement history, taking a look at what surprising pedigrees we find when we delve into players past…ignoring cash considerations, let’s see what players remain from deals past…

Let’s start with Bill Bray, who’s damn good. We got him in “the trade” with the Washington Nationals in which Jim Bowden tried to unload two injured pitchers to “stick it” to the Reds: Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Wagner for Bill Bray, Daryl Thompson, Gary Majewski, Royce Clayton, and Brendan Harris. Good news gang: it looks like we stuck it to ‘Ol Leatherpants instead! Almost as much fun as screwing over Bowden, check out how we initially got Felipe Lopez: a 4-way trade in 2002 that had Reds then-GM Bowden giving up Elmer Dessens for Lopez. So one could say, in part, that we got currently-25-year-old Bill Bray for a now-retired Elmer Dessens, and screwed Jim Bowden in the process. Good times.

OK, let’s talk Nick Masset. Not great, but solid so far, and better than paying Griffey to stand in the batter’s box, admiring a double that he’ll stretch into a single. We got Masset and IF Danny Richar for Griffey. Griffey we got for Mike Cameron, Brett Tomko, and a couple of throw-ins. But Cameron we got straight up for Paul Konerko. And Konerko we got with Dennys Reyes for Jeff Shaw, whom we had signed as a free agent. So Nick Masset and Danny Richar are actually leftover by-products of Bowden lying to free-agent Shaw by trading him away after he signed for a hometown discount. Pretty cool. Even cooler if Bowden remains the Nationals’ GM, and Masset no-hits them next year.

Tired of JTM commercials? They couldn’t make Bronson Arroyo look worse in my eyes, nor on my grill. But he’s a bit of a parlay acquisition, himself: Bronson was acquired for Wily Mo Pena. Pena was acquired in a trade with the Yankees for Michael Coleman and Drew Henson. And the Reds got Coleman and Donnie Sadler from the Red Sox for Chris Stynes. And the Reds got Stynes and Jon Nunnally in 1997 for Scott Service and Hector Carrasco. I always liked Hector…whom we got in 1993 with Gary Scott in exchange for Chris Hammond. So Chris Hammond eventually got recycled into Bronson Arroyo. That’s solid.

Quirky: Scott Service pitched for 9 organizations over a 12-year major league career, yet was only traded once.

Try this one: We got Matt Belisle by trading away Kent Mercker…then we re-signed Mercker. Not great, but it earns an ironic smirk.

Also quirky: The Reds traded Paul O’Neill for Roberto Kelly. Worst trade the Reds ever made, according to some. Then they traded Kelly for Deion Sanders, whom they traded for Dave Burba, whom they traded for Sean Casey. Casey was unceremoniously traded for Dave Williams…which stunk. But we traded Williams for a righty reliever prospect named Robert Manual, who tore up AA this year at age 24 to the tune of a 1.37 ERA and 0.810 WHIP in 45 games. He’s now with AAA Louisville. Say what you will kids…it’s pretty tasty to still have a hot prospect in our systems as the result of a bad trade in 1992 for a player who is now 46 years old.
So…thanks, Leatherpants! Your residue remains. We’re grateful your sweaters are gone.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Eh, Nice Hit Eh, Eh....Reds 8-6 Weiners





















Propelled by the injury of teammate Josh Fogg, the Reds fought one out today against maybe the worst big league lineup I've ever seen. Mientkiewicz hitting third had to be a joke and a good one at that. And it almost worked, Pirates, but you it didn't win and now you leave Cincinnati as partial losers. Get out of town.

Fogg pulled up lame running the bases and had to exit. That is a killer. Word is that the man with the golden arm has a yank in his crank region. Now who's the team going to turn to when they need 4 innings and a 6 run deficit?

There were many points of interest regarding the offense today. You may have noticed an important name cog missing in the eighth spot in the batting order, that's right Dusty gave Corey Patterson the day off. Starting in his place, for the first time in his career, was Wilkin Castillo. He scored the go-ahead and got his hand stomped by Craig Hanson. Nice first start Willie. Votto had a fine game, knocking in a couple. He must be wearing denim under that uniform, because he's been hot. Red hot. And Canadians wear a lot of denim, that's why I mention that and not another fabric. Bruce hit a rocket into the empty stands but it's the Pirates' staff that deserves the real credit. Apparently they're not willing to concede the offense is the worst part of the club. Keep up the good work gang. Garbage-eating bears limp into town tomorrow. Give them a shitty-looking haircut while they're in a weakened state and can't fight back. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reds Lose To a Bunch of Pumpkin Eating Hippos, 6-5

Those who weren't wearing patriotically-themed hats and shaking tiny American flags at the TV during the Republican National Convention, were treated to a fine ballgame by your Cincinnati Reds. That part where the hippopotamus seated in the left field bleachers ate that pumpkin was probably the highlight. I have a hard time recalling what else happened but I'm pretty sure it didn't conclude with the Reds dropping a second consecutive game to the Pirates. A team, to reiterate, had lost 10 consecutive games before making the trip to Cincinnati.

Okay, maybe I do remember a schizophrenic start by Volquez, striking out 13 Pirates, but leaving after giving up 4 runs during two innings where someone flipped his switch from "dominant" to "hittable". Outside of the 4th and 6th innings, he was super duper. But the bovines in the bullpen couldn't contain the potent Pittsburgh offense and Andy Phillips wasn't interested in putting the ball in play with the bases loaded. We did get to see Castillo's first hit as a Red, who was that guy the Reds traded to get him? A performance like that makes it hard to recall. Reds go on a salvage mission tomorrow, the author predicts success.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Harang Getting Angry, Harang Smash, Pirates 3-2

I'd hate to be the bedside table at the Harang residence tonight. He's going to turn all green and punch that table until it splinters, then maybe break through a wall of the house and run down the block in cut-off jeans. I just hope he didn't get a flat tire on the way home from the park or else he's going to have to go down to the ravine again tomorrow and retrieve it.

The author had not realized, prior to the game, how poorly the Pirates have been acting as a baseball team. Leading up to today, they had lost ten games in a row. The Reds haven't even put together a streak like that, yet. There's still time. But that didn't stop the local offense from turning back into a turd sandwich once the Giants left town. Ian Snell es muy horrible. That was some play by Patterson in center, taking the homer away from DeLoage, but he came to his senses by the time he came to the plate with runners on first and third with one out in the sixth. Now that's Corey Patterson. Chris Dickerson continues to hit it like a Dickerson, now if the rest of you would join in. Beat the Pirates the next two days.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Brooms Are Welcome In Cincinnati, Reds 9-3

Nice weekend for Reds fans. We got to see the debut of Ramon Ramirez, something I'm sure you've been waiting the season to witness. He pitched well enough to win (despite allowing a career-beginning bomb to leadoff shithead Randy Winn) before asshead(s) Bray and Lincoln gave the deficit back to the Giants. But, as we've seen so frequently this year, seemingly every day, Corey Patterson came to the plate with the game on the line and knocked in the winner. We'll omit the sarcasm from this one sentence, well done Corey. At least you followed your big hit up with today's 0 for 5, hey really nice job man.

Sanwiched around Saturday were nice offensive showings on both Friday and Sunday (Saturday was also a strong offensive game, but we're moving on from the description of Saturday's game). Eleven scored on Friday, covering up the lackluster performance by Volquez. Eddie E. hit a grand slam and Dickerson doubled, homered and drove in four. Those guys know what they're doing with the bat. And then today, Votto went 4 for 4 with 4 driven in and Arroyo looked like Ronnie James Dio and rocked it. Two run double, stolen base, and 7 quality innings. He looks like the guy that came up with a finger sign for the devil to be displayed at concerts which really rock. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Red Rant by Petey Hendrix - August 28 Edition

The author was thinking the other day that one thing this site lacks is a poetry section devoted solely to Corey Patterson. Fortunately, we have guest contributor Petey Hendrix who recogned this omission. Good work Pete.

Corey at the Bat

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the ‘Nati Nine that day;
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Jolbert died at first, and Bako did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go. But Dusty had a wish
“I’ll send my secret weapon up to stand proud at the dish,”
He thought, "If only Corey could but get a whack at that —
I paid three million bucks this year, to get Corey and his bat."

But Edwin preceded Corey, as did Javy Valentin,
And the former was “not clutch”, the latter a girthy bean;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat;
For there seemed little chance of getting past Corey’s at-bat.

But EdE lined a single, to the wonderment of all,
And then the Latin Love Machine, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Javy safe at second and Edwin hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats or less there rose a hearty boo;
None of the Reds fans could believe was Dusty was to do;
We expected a pinch-hitter, to face the lefty specialist
But Corey, mighty Corey, was being sent up to the dish.

There was ease in Corey's manner as he left the on-deck circle;
He tugged his pants up heartily, he sadly looked like Erkel.
And when, responding to the boos, Dusty still stood pat,
Despite the trust of all Reds fans, still stood Corey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were rolling: three righties rode the pine!
To give Corey one more chance to top the Mendoza line.
Then while the relieved reliever exhaled heartily a sigh,
Marty snarled into the mic, “Why do they keep this guy?”

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
The gall of this owner, GM and manager does awe.
They send out their releases filled with promises that pledge
To give the youngsters playing time, to help them hone their edge.

But now with the game on the line, perhaps a win to earn,
To whom does go the at-bat with the lessons to be earned?
Not a youngster, as they promise, while they swear to you they care
Instead, Dusty sends up Patterson…it hardly does seem fair.

But toothpick in hand, he’ll defend himself, as Baker tends to do
With lovely prose that gives one pause, but simply is not true
He prattles on about how Corey’s the best choice that day
Nonsensically, truth rides the pine: “He hits lefties better anyway.”

Sneers have erupted on Reds fans’ lips, their teeth are clenched in hate;
They’d all give blood, each one of them, to have a youngster at the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Corey's blow.

And then with undue haste and verve the Cincy masses groan.
As Corey swings at the first pitch, no matter where it’s thrown
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in ‘Nati — mighty Corey has flied out.

Original By Ernest Lawrence Thayer
Bastardization by Petey Hendrix

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fogg Strong Like Ape, Reds Weak Like Girl - Astros 4-1

The Foggster was pretty outstanding today, turning in a, wait for it, quality start! Big performance by the man with the tainted brain but the Reds still lost. Fortunately, with the limited arms due to Cueto and, a lesser extent Bailey's, injuries we'll get to see Josh again tomorrow and then again on Friday and Sunday. On Saturdays he rests.

Oswalt's voodoo curse continues to hex the Reds offense with bad mogumbo. They did get 6 hits, which is pretty good considering both Patterson and Bako were in the lineup, and briefly held the lead but in the end the one run is rarely enough to win. Keppinger stayed hot, looks like he's remembered the general idea when batting is to hit the ball in the places where fielders are not presently located. He'll have to carry things for a while.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whoa Nelly, Let Me Tell You 'bout Bronson Arroyo, Reds 2-1

The Reds waited most of the season before logging their first complete game but boy what a time for it tonight. Sixteen games under .500, playing an Astros team which has been all but eliminated from contention, super talent Wandy Rodriguez pitching for the opposition. It was certainly, well, something.

Dusty's post-game comments indicated that he was considering removing Arroyo at the end of the 8th. That sounds very much like something he would say, he adheres to a very strict pitch count for his starters, so I'm not surprised. But Arroyo pleaded his way back onto the field for the 9th, retired the remaining Astros and sent everyone home happy. Chris Dickerson, contrary to reason, continues to find his way onto base. Two more walks and a hit tonight. He's really doing a fine job as the Reds' leadoff hitter. He reminds me of a young Corey Patterson, without the strikeouts, low average/on base percentage and at least some ability to hit lefties. We'll call him Corey Junior.

But it was Ryan Hanigan's second home run of the season which provided the margin of victory. I suspect, with his above average bat, he's played himself out of the regular catching role. Paul Bako is just too important to this young staff. A healthy bat is just going to screw things up, your job is to catch, only, all base hits are to be rollers into the outfield. None of that fancy "extra" variety. We'll ignore the 10 strikouts against W to the Andy. The Reds were just setting Houston up for the inevitable defeat. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Please Disregard Reds' Record, Play, and Management

With the Reds' season winding down and their performance becoming increasingly unwatchable, you, Cincinnati Reds fan may feel that there is little reason for you to attend games, you know, in person. I just can't follow the action without Thom Brennaman blathering into my ears. Boy does he blather. But, the front office wants you to disregard the price and, the near certain poor performance by the home team, and keep showing up and spending your money on the hot dogs and Dusty Baker endorsed erectile dysfunction medication.

The team of trained monkeys working in the front office have put their hairy skulls together and come up with some give-aways, aimed at both the casual fan as well as the hardcore nuts interested in receiving free crap. This installment focuses the popular recreation of your favorite player with Parkinson's: bobblehead dolls.

1. August 29, Wilkin Castillo: received in the Dunn trade, the Castillo doll prominently features his versatility, something being widely marketed to fans to account for the, seeming, pile of crap acquired in the deal. Pictured above, he's playing the position he's sure to excel at for years to come: left out. He can play 7 positions but doesn't appear to be able to hit at any of them. He did put together a .254/.305/.358 line at AAA Tucson before hopping on the bus and heading to Louisville. Reds fans will certainly enjoy finally having a Wilkin in the organization. It's been too long.

2. August 31, Steve Marriott: all Reds fans will remember Marriott, not only as a founding member of the Small Faces but throughout the 70's for his work with Humble Pie. The Pie rocked it, even if Peter Frampton was in the band. Baby I Love Your Way, was still a long way off. Steve died when he fell asleep with a cig in his mouth and burned the castle he lived in to the ground. But I don't need to tell any of you that, you're Reds fans.

3. September 6, Skyline Chili: Everyone's favorite sponsor and Cincinnati landmark has finally been made into a clay doll which you can either: 1) keep on you desk at work so people will ask you about it ;or 2) keep it in the box in the basement so it will retain its value until your wife donates it to Goodwill. Gub'nor Skyline will be on hand to entertain both the young and old and present you with your very own case of diarrhea. It's a Skyline specialty. Stake out a latrine early or your car will require an extended cleaning the following morning. It's Skyline Time!

4. September 21, Chris Sabo: to my surprise, Sabo has already been captured in bobblehead form. It may have something to do with the fact he played on the 1990 team or his goggles. Or, just is likely, it may be due to the fact that he is fucking crazy. My favorite Sabo anecdote comes secondhand from Ken Griffey, to the senior. A few years ago, when Griffey was a roving instructor, he was watching an affiliate's game from the press box. The game was suspended for rain and everyone left the field, except for Sabo. For the duration of the downpour, he remained in the chair in which he had been seated during the game, which was outside the dugout, getting completely drenched. Griffey witnesses Sabo sitting in the rain and says to the others in the press box that, obviously, Sabo is nuts but also went on to tell the story of the first time he met Sabo, during Spring Training in 1988. Apparently, prior to the game Sabo got dressed in his game uniform, sat in a chair, and spit an entire mouthful of chaw on himself. He didn't say anything to the rest of the team, just sat there and spit on the chest of his clean uniform for 20 minutes. This was the first time that many of the veterans had ever met him. Rumor has it, he also got a 1600 on his SATs. He's Cincinnati's very own Squeaky Frohm. The real-life Sabo will be there with the bobblehead, explaining some of the more confusing concepts of thermodynamics. He'd also be happy to show you his goggles, which, due to the advances in contact lens technology, he can finally wear on his testicles.

5. September 22, Squeaky Frohm: Squeaky's always been girl who knows how to have a good time and that's something that Reds fans can really get behind. Is it hot in here, or am I crazy?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Punch Myself In the Face With My Fist, Rockies 4-3

The Reds held a million dollar bash this weekend in Colorado. Convincing lead reduced to three to keep audience interest on Friday; good start by Volquez followed by bullpen implosion Saturday; and team diagnosed with severe case of shittiness on Sunday. It may be worse than we thought, I think you should see a specialist.

Five errors boys? You can't even blame things on Patterson or Dick Pole. Special designation for Ray-Jay Bruce, 0-5 with 4 K's and two errors in right? You'll notice the disbelief by my use of the question mark. That is truly an awful game but, this is probably the year to get it out of your system. Actually, that's probably good advice for the whole team - if you're planning to have a horrible game at any point during your career, this is the year to do it. I know that Votto has been talking about setting the single-game strikeout record, with 7, next time the team goes to extras. Go ahead pal. And B. Phillips, we know you like to party, go ahead and drink that bottle of cough syrup before you take the field. You won't just be leaning on the home runs. Arroyo can throw at every member of the Pirates order who said that his album of well-crafted covers of popular music was less than fantastic. And Corey Patterson, you can continue to play like Corey Patterson, for the rest of the year. It's not going to effect your minutes or innings, whatever the expression may be.

Cueto's early exit was both unexpected and troublesome. How is Dusty going to wear his arm down to a stump if he's going to experience "tricep tightness" beforehand? Suck it up, kid and while we're at it let me tell you about the major league pension. Fortunately, Castellini summoned the Veggie Jet to fly him post haste back to Cincinnati for medical evaluation. We'll hear more tomorrow. Until then, Vinny Foggerrini is just going to take the mound every day, which he is fully capable of doing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reds Lose Quickly, Enjoy Big Sandwiches on Jack Nicholson's Boat, Cubs 3-2

The Reds don't really care for matinee games, just too early. How is, Nick Masset, for example supposed to hit the town, pick up some skanks, bring them back to the hotel for Miller Lights in the hot tub, and still make it to the ballpark by 7 am for pregame preparation? It's impossible. Fortunately, it didn't appear that the offense was affected. The two runs today doubled the series total, so that's certainly something. Way to be well below average guys. At least Votto's bomb went pretty far. Maybe it conked a homosexual on the head when it landed beyond the right field wall. You know, because Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood is home to a large homosexual population, therefore the chances of a homosexual getting hit with an home run would be proportionately greater. That would hurt something fierce.

The Foggster treated us to a short outing today, only lasting 4 innings. At least he was able to fit in a couple of bombs, including one by Big Z which proved to be decisive. Actually, if I were a major league pitcher, I think I'd feel worse about the fact that DeRosa went yard. Because he's a pile of trash and rooted against the Michael Phelps in the Olympics. Maybe he should find himself another country if this one's so bad. Traitor.

Prior to being lifted for pinch-hitter, Adam Rosales, Fogg informed Dusty that he had pissed his pants on the mound and his other pair was left on the bus. It happens some times, Josh. But no way anyone was getting him to go back out there for the 5th. The 60 pitches he threw were about the maximum he should be allowed anyway. There is still a good portion of the season left and we need to save his arm.

On a final note, I realize that the picture above is old and I've already used it, like the majority of the pictures which accompany posts, but, as was stated by an astute commenter at the time, that sandwich sure looks tasty.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cubs' Record is a Load of Rich Creamery Butter, 2-1 Victory

For someone with a tattoo like that, Lilly sure pitched like he needed to prove that he's not the pansy his name implies. However, the only thing he proved is that he will do all in his power to find a way to lose close ballgames. Two runs allowed when you're up against Bronson Arroyo is going to be at least one too many, even if those two runs were only accompanied by two hits.

The Reds offense was highly successful, pounding out four hits for the game. Hanigan doubled, pushing that batting average above .230, he may be the Reds' future backstop after all. The winning margin was provided by an Encarnacion double and a Jolbert Cabrera sacrifice fly. The team took a game off from getting a runner to third with less than two outs and not scoring. They work on that in practice every day. 'Okay guys, we've got a runner on third, the infield is back, conceding the run. What do we do in this situation?' The answer, of course, is swing as hard as you can at all pitches you see. Let the guy behind you in the order worry about it. Sad news, again, as everyone's favorite player, Jerry Hairston to the JR, is back on the list of the disabled. Good news for Adam Rosales, bad news for everyone who loves a versatile player making a strong case that he's not washed up after all. We'll see you next year at the AAA All-Star Game. Nice win, or should I say series, as no way the Fogg/Zambrano match up tomorrow doesn't fall in the Reds' favor. You guys make me so proud. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Big Red Rant by Petey Hendrix - 8/19/08

The most recent post by Reds Rocket step-child Petey Hendrix addresses the future of the 2008 Reds team that you all have come to respect and enjoy. The author may not agree with all proposed action, and has not conceded the season to the other undesirables in the Central, but it's nice to see someone thinking about next season. Additionally, there is both an Ike Turner reference in the text for you to look forward to. I'll give Castellini a call on the vegetable phone at his office tomorrow and see about that opening in the front office.

No more donkey, no more Junior. Well, at least the replacement players will hustle.

So what does the team look like for next year? I think I’ve got a pretty good glimpse already: THE SAME. Let’s break it down:

Current Reds
C Ryan Hanigan (R)
1B Joey Votto (L)
2B Brandon Phillips (R)
SS Alex Gonzales (R)/Jeff Keppinger (R)
3B Edwin Encarnacion
LF TBD
CF Chris Dickerson (L)
RF Jay Bruce (L)

Bench:
IF/OF Ryan Freel (R)
OF Norris Hopper (R)
IF Adam Rosales (R)
C Wilkin Castillo (R)

SP Edinson Volquez (R)
SP Aaron Harang (R)
SP Johnny Cueto (R)
SP Bronson Arroyo (R)
SP Micah Owings (R)

CL Francisco Cordero (R)
RP Bill Bray (L)
RP Jared Burton (R)
RP Nick Masset (R)
RP Homer Bailey (R)
RP Daryl Thompson (R)
RP Danny Herrera (L)

Where are the holes that Walt Jock-ER-TEE (pronunciation key by George Grande) will have to fill with his giant GM phallus? Well, there are positions to be addressed (think left field, not Cleveland Steamer), and there is the clubhouse. I often think the clubhouse talk is all garbage, but in this specific case, we have yet to eradicate the loafing, aloof poison that was Junior and his influence. That’s going to cost us extra money.

Catcher Ryan Hanigan ain’t gonna cut it, and the free agent class is limited. I say we bite the bullet here and sign Pudge Rodriguez to an overpriced, too-long, 2-year deal. This will give a great influence to Hanigan, as well as the young Reds starting staff. He will also bring veteran leadership and a working knowledge of the Spanish language. Yeah, that does make a difference to Volquez, Cueto, Cordero, Alex Gonzales (maybe), and Edwin Encarnacion. And it’s about time the Reds get a Spanish-speaking catcher who can order chicken mole without having to explain that his mustache is NOT a shout-out to Hitler (Javy, we still love you and your giant, dumpy body.)

That still leaves us a little lefty-heavy in the lineup (Votto, Bruce, Dickerson), so a righty-hitting OF is the next step. We could even get a first baseman and stick Joey Votto in LF if the player was right. Walt will likely make a go at the too-old Jim Edmonds to play center. But Jim is too old these days to be an everyday starter at age 39. So we have to throw Edmonds into the geezer free agent bin, along with Moises Alou, Frank Thomas, and Cliff Floyd. We’ll also need to avoid “headcases”, as we need veteran leadership, not spoiled, moping millionaires. So out of the picture go Manny Ramirez and Milton Bradley, which is a shame. Those two sluggers would treat pitches in Great American Ball Park like Ike Turner preferred his ladies: lightly battered.

That leaves us with a select group of two players by my measure: 1B Mark Teixeira and LF Pat Burrell. Both would kill pitching at GABP. Pat plays LF about as well as Adam Dunn…or Joey Votto. Meanwhile, Teixeira is an excellent first baseman, sporting a .996 fielding percentage in over 800 games. Votto in LF and Teixeira at 1B is an upgrade defensively.

There’s your 2009 Reds starting 8:

CF Chris Dickerson (L)
SS Jeff Keppinger (R)
2B Brandon Phillips (R)
RF Jay Bruce (L)
LF Pat Burrell (R)
1B Joey Votto (L)
3B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Pudge Rodriguez (R)

We’ll need a lefty bat for the bench to match our new star pinch-hitter, Micah Owings (R), who carries a career .895 OPS. That’s a big, sexy number that reminds us of el grande burro.

Maybe that’s enough…but it seems a little light to me. But that’s a pretty cheap and easy way to get there, as Pat/Pudge or Tex/Pudge will likely combine to make about as much as Griffey/Dunn did. I wish Pudge was Mexican, so I could make a Tex/Mex joke here, but the truth is that Pat/Pudge and Tex/Pudge are funny sounding enough that no joke is necessary. I’d also like to see Arroyo & Alex Gonzales traded for a lefty starter, but I don’t see that happening.

How will Walt do this offseason? Well, it’s hard not to defer to the success he’s had and trust him. Then again, I trusted Ryan Freel to drive me to a strip club once, and that quickly became a total Training Day situation. So my judgment simply can’t be trusted…which is why it seldom is.

Help us, Obi-Walt Kenobi. You’re our only hope.

Reds Refuse To Do Me Any Favors, Lose to Cubs 5-0

Before the game today, Dusty outlined a new strategy for the team. The usual game plan of getting a couple of hits before stranding runners at the corners was set aside for the let's tire out the sensitive Rich Harden by making him pitch for a full 7 innings. That means no hits or base runners of any kind, those give him the opportunity to take a break. Pick up the rosin bag, make a couple of throws over to first, it gives him a chance to catch his breath, something the Reds bats weren't going to give him the opportunity to do today. Unfortunately, Dusty's strategy, though genius in design, was not all that effective in application. The two base runners just seemed to make Harden's job easier, breezing through 7. I really thought he was on to something.

Tough break for Cueto, who was quite fine on the mound today. Only the 1 run allowed and that one shouldn't have happened. Eddie was thinking about the American diving team, who were participating in the medal final at the time of the game, and forgot to look Soto back to 3rd. They don't have diving in the Dominican or else Eddie would have been wearing that Speedo on tape delayed prime time television. Tough break for Cueto, he really didn't deserve that twelfth loss tonight. Lincoln knew the plan, so those 4 runs allowed in the 8th didn't make much difference to him. Bray was working with house money, so slow rollers aplenty. How about beating the Cubs the next two days? You guys can lose to all non-Cub opponents for the rest of the season.

Reds Rocket Endorses Razor Gator

Hi friends, Tim Timmons, proprietor of the highly successful The Reds Rocket sports weblog. Recently, The Reds Rocket marketing department introduced the "talent" to some new friends, friends with sizable checking accounts. After a brief negotiation period where it was agreed that Tiffee would receive a Cuisinart and six months of Kempo Karate lessons, a binding contract was formed. These people go by the name RazorGator and would like to sell you and your mama a ticket to an upcoming sporting event of your choice. All you do is give them some of your money and in exchange they will provide you with admittance to the venue where the event is being held.
So, let's say I, Tim Timmons, would like to go to a Cincinnati Reds baseball game - which is unlikely because I don't live in the state and am "legally obligated" to remain in the state in which I currently reside - and Reds tickets are not available because the Reds are hugely popular, America's Team, if you will. At that point, I want you to remember Timmons', your friend with an unblemished record of veracity, endorsement of RazorGator. You'll get your tickets behind the visitor’s dugout where you can remind Mark DeRosa how poorly he plays baseball for a full nine innings. You will be amazed what verbal abuse can do for those of you with self esteem problems. That is something of which I would be proud to be a part.

Whether it’s MLB tickets, World Series tickets or hard to get tickets to just about any other major sporting, concert or theater event, just know that The Reds Rocket endorses Razor Gator for great selection and safe, secure purchasing. So there.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Reds Give In, Sign Alonso - Reds Rocket Finally Gets Around to Writing About It

The Reds selected an interesting player out of the University of Miami - Yonder Alonso. But every knows about that because it was close to three months ago. For the privilege of having him, inevitably, disappoint Reds fans, Yonder wanted, reportedly, $7 mil and a spot on the big league roster. Faced with the prospect of either, going back to Miami (where we know collegiate athletes are treated poorly by both the locals and co-eds) or playing Independent ball and staying on Alex Rodriguez's sofa, he backed down and accepted the Reds paltry $4.55 million offer last Friday. Sure he'd have wear a Sunday dress and a little eyeliner while occupying A.Rod's apartment but just think of the money in rent he'll be saving.

The scouts seem to like Alonso's bat and also his above average raft-making skills. He was born in Cuba, so you see that is a very, very funny joke. He's patient and projects 25-30 home run power. They seem to allude to some defensive deficiencies and general oafishness on the base paths but I will accept that. Just put him in left and trade him for a bunch of nobodies his contract year.

The question then is what to do with the current young first baseman, who is having a fine rookie year on an, er, less than superb Reds team. There has been some discussion of moving Alonso across the diamond to take over third but then what happens to our buddy with the chin-strap beard? And in doing my due diligence, which makes the time spent seem very official and important, he Alonso hasn't played third in a while and was likely moved because of his lack of range and bare minimum ability to play first. So, we'll have to see what the organization decides to do. Better to have too many players than not enough. That way, management can trade the ones which will turn out to be great and hang onto the parts which will be league average or below. I look forward to that day. Thanks for joining the team Yonder, I hope it won't be too much trouble.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reds Show Cardinals Their Dance Moves, Reds 7-3

The Reds shook off Friday and Saturday to come back and take game number three from the Cardinals today. Volquez handed it to both Kyle Lohse and his goatee. Looks like he, Volquez, has decided that he's not that tired after all. He's dueling Lincecum for best performance by a National League pitcher on an embarrassingly bad team. I think he's got him.

Looking at the Sunday paper statistical breakdown of NL offensive cateries, the Reds Rocket was interested with how many Cincinnati players show up in the bottom fifth of the list of batting averages. Quite a few. Through Friday, the team leader, with the qualifying amount of at bats, was Phillips at .267. The biggest disappointment was Eddie Encarnacion at .248. For someone with such a nicely manicured chin-strap beard, 2008 has been a struggle. Looks like his approach to pull every pitch while swinging as hard as he can and drawing no walks has been less effective than one would think. Maybe he'll reconsider things this offseason when every member of the hitting staff is tossed in the dumpster outside Great American. In fact, I think that's the final give away of the season. The first 5 fans receive a member of the coaching staff. 'Ah man, Brook Jacoby. Can't I have Billy Hatcher?'

Reds head to Chicago Tuesday to face the Cubs' sensative number two starter. The Reds will unquestionably sweep the series. Today's win was, as they say, a springboard victory. That's what beating Kyle Lohse will do for your offense. Enjoy that well-deserved day off tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oh, I See What 's Going On Here Fogg, Pirates 5-2

There was an even better picture of Fogg in his Pirates uniform but for some reason I was unable to get it to open. It looked like he was reacting to a punch in the gonads. But you'll just have to take my word for it, or rely on my mastery of the English language to explain it. Additionally, doesn't the photo to the left look as if Fogg is left-handed. Though it's likely just some sort of camera-related problem, I like to believe that the morning of the photo he either: 1) forgot which hand he uses to throw; or 2) decided that from now on he will be Josh Fogg - left handed pitcher. I picture Josh Fogg - left hander throwing with an old-style full windup. No leg kick with the arms a'swinging.

The Foggster wasn't great last night but he was at least tolerable, for 4 innings. Then he lost interest. But the offense didn't really give him a lot with which to work. He's going to need at least 7 runs before he can get comfortable out there. Solo shots by super talent Corey Patterson and Bruce, are just not going to cut it. One more today with the Pirates before traveling back home to beat up on the red birds. Ian Snell has been super brutal, let's get a win against him tonight.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reds Give Winning A Try - Feels Pretty Good, 5-1

Last night, the team decided that maybe it was time to start winning some games again. Sure, the roster is full of guys with the first name 'Who the Fuck is...' in this case, Chris Dickerson. Dick made his debut as replacement donkey, doubled, stole a base and scored a run. Consulting the nerds from BP again, "Dickerson has the potential to play once a week in the bigs, but he could also spend his prime years becoming a local hero in Louisville." The future is bright in Cincinnati.

Volquez returned to 'friend' rather than continuing the enemy role he'd been utilizing for most of the second half. He pitched 6+ solid innings and picked up his 14th win of the season. The new and improved Reds lineup even provided 5 runs, which is likely the most we'll see for the remainder of the season. With Votto out of the lineup, that means Javy Valentin at first, a position which he is not particularly suited and for some reason, Patterson has been able to cement himself as the center fielder for the remainder of the season. But maybe he can establish some modern record for futility. I can't wait until he gets enough at bats to qualify for league leader. Phillips hit a bomb in the first, which provided the margin for victory. We also got to see the first hit by Adam Rosales, who I had thought that I remembered as a shortstop, not a first baseman as listed on the official site. I must be thinking of another Adam Rosales. So, now that a team has a taste for victory, no reason not to beat the Pittsburgh LaRoches again today. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Reds Say Adios To Grande Burro

The front office continued their dismantling of the explosive, no, that other word, anemic, Cincinnati offense, by shipping old pal Adam Dunn to the Snakes for a pitcher with a ruined arm and two future players, preferably also with ruined arms. After Griffey was unloaded, Dunn took his spot as the longest tenured Red, that is really quite an honor. We'll miss you and your comically undersized wife.

As we know, Donkey liked to hit bombs but didn't really care for singles, playing left field or first base, hitting with runners on base, Chinese food, brunettes, venereal diseases, heavy midday traffic, songbirds or fat asses. And despite all his success, it seemed like he never really lived up to the expectations created during the partial 2001 season where he hit 19 bombs in 66 games. That's what you get for playing well immediately, asshole.

The following year, 2002 as it works out, he found his way into the lead off slot, stole 19 bags, and reached base 40 percent of the time. And then from 2004-2007 he became the only player in team history to hit at least 40 homers. Three of the four years, he also drove in 100 and scored 100 times. Those are pretty impressive numbers and he's an affable guy, so why is everyone on his case all the time? He is treated by friends of the Reds as the if he is the reason that Cincinnati is always breaking my heart and making Tiffee weep into his cheese omelet every morning. Probably has something to do with the strikeouts. Probably also has something to do with taking a first pitch grooved fastball every at bat to ensure he starts down 0-1. I'll blame hitting coach Jacoby, you can't trust a guy named Brook.

The ascertainable part of the acquisition is represented by a guy by the name of Dallas Buck, which, the author will admit is at least a pretty cool name. He was a Beaver and was overworked during his time in Corvalis. The 2008 nerd write-up in Baseball Prospectus contained the phrase "briefly labeled as a top prospect." That indicates that the decreased velocity caused by chronic pain, requiring surgery, may impact his future as a big league pitcher. Makes sense to me but, again, I'm not part of the Cincinnati think tank. I think the scouting on this one may have fallen to Bavasi. 'Injury history....no I don't see anything here. I do know that my folder has a picture of an elephant skateboarding on the front.'

Buck did make it back in time to post some modest numbers at, first, low A South Bend and then one start at high A Visalia. His overall numbers look a something like this: 1-5, 3.55 ERA, 10 G (9 starts), 50.2 IP, .242 BAA, 6 HR, 11 BB, 28 K. The troubling number, obviously when dealing with major arm surgery, are the strikeouts. Last year, 8.14Ks/9 IP, this year, 5.04. So, that's probably not worth a donkey on its own. We'll have to see what scraps are left in the Arizona farm system which, being the no-good tricksters that they are, has been systematically eliminating all young talent for most of the season. I'm sure Dusty loves Eric Byrnes - he runs pretty fast and is close to devoid of skill - maybe they can get a piece of that action.

So, we'll have to see what eventually comes of this trade. The Reds Rocket has remained, at least, a modest Donkey supporter. Somewhere around tepid. A long time ago, he came over to our house to attend a party. The party featured a big sandwich, so you know it was on fire. We'll miss you Donk, as well as the recollections of the three types of meat and cheese on that oversized hoagie roll.