Thursday, July 31, 2008

So Long You Old Son of a Bitch

The Reds Rocket has had a hard time disguising the bias in favor of Griffey. I grew up in Washington, witnessed the awful Mariners teams where Griffey was the only watchable player, and when the Reds acquired him in 2000 it didn't matter that Jared Fernandez and his shitty ass knuckleball were going to be the opening day starter. But he got hurt and when his body finally healed he had aged. The first half of last year was a terrific thing to watch but his power disappeared from July on, until a torn coin purse ended the season in September. This year his bat looked slow. The swing's the same but it seemed like the only balls he hit hard were offspeed or mistakes. And I hope, defensively, that he just lost balls in the lights or whatever, rather than was simply not interested, or unable, to make a play in right.

Reds fans did get to see the first 600th career home run hit by a Reds player (though I am just as interested in 610, the one which hits Sammy Sosa, his corked bat and jheri curl right in the balls). And, fortunately, as a small concession, all the players traded to the Mariners in the deal are either out of the league or their current team wishes they were out of the league (Tomko: 2-8, 6.79 ERA; Cameron: speedhead, followed by .227/.316/.465 in 71 games). But the Reds didn't win. His salary was a luxury that current attendance numbers don't support in Cincinnati. The return of Masset and Richar looks suspiciously like a salary dump rather than an acquisition of parts necessary to build a championship baseball team. The Reds have a second baseman who is under contract until 2012. One who hit 30 home runs last season and doesn't have visa problems. And we know Masset isn't going to take Fogg's spot in the rotation. The Foggster's lights out.

This site doesn't do sentimental well, but, regardless of that listed above, I'm going to have to find a new line in the Reds' boxscore to read first. Enjoy Chicago and check with Ken Williams to see if he might be interested in another Reds outfielder, one that runs pretty fast and may or may not have an on-base percentage under .220. That's the piece needed to beat the Angels in October.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fortunately Wandy Pitches Every Fifth Day, Reds 9-5

It certainly appears that the Reds management is content with their team and the moves to be made at the deadline are going to be limited. Still there's a few hours and several friends which are likely nervous for that which is upcoming. But the team was able to put that aside tonight to tee-off on a piece of garbage. Nice job guys, Wandy Rodriguez is a real talent.

The offense came alive with 9 runs in support of our main man Volquez. Keppinger's errors kept things close in the 7th but that's just as a favor to the sponsors. You can't have everyone turning the game off to catch reruns of WKRP. It's not good business. Junior extended his hitting streak with a 3-run bomb and El Burro hit dos bombardos and Eddie added one as well. The 17 hits were nice but the author would have prefered a couple of those to be spread out over the last two nights. You remember those games, the ones where the Reds were horrible, like the movie Dante's Peak which seems to be on every time that I want to watch TV. My van is stuck on this bridge which is on the verge of being swept down stream by this high water! Now it's being swept downstream, where is Pierce Brosnan and his Forest Service Truck, nowhere in sight!

On to Washington tomorrow to beat up on the AAA team the Nationals continue to send out to the diamond. Fortunately for them, at least there are no Wandy's on their roster. Team continues the winning streak tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Denny's Late Night Menu Proves Too Alluring For Reds Offense, Osholes 5-4

The author read that after the win today, Oshole is now 20-1 against the Reds all time, which isn't too bad. He just spent a month or so off squirrel hunting in the Ozarks, so his arm was tired from all the skinning and it showed tonight. After Cueto's laborious first inning, the offense showed a little heart. Bruce and Griffey singled before a Phillips walk loaded the bases. And the Grande Burro knows what time it is once those lights go low and bases are get loaded, business time. That's why he wears those business socks, as the saying goes.

But Cueto served one up to Geoff Blum, a change that Bako nicely referred to as the worse one he's seen in quite a while. That's the way to encourage those young arms. It was a pretty bad pitch, which, of course, is obvious because Geoff Blum was able to hit it hard. Berkman was surprisingly quiet, which is disconcerting. The author wishes he would have gotten all of the inevitable hits out of his system tonight, since the Reds are planning on winning the next two game and can't have him screwing things up. It doesn't need to be said but a lineup with Kaz Matsui, Blum, Darrin Erstad, and Brad Ausmus should not be able to beat another major league team. Even one with Corey Patterson on the bench. Think about that tomorrow you bunch of maroons. Beat the Astronauts.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Foggster Makes Rockies Wish They'd Retained His Services, Rockies 11-0

If only the Rockies brass would have agreed to Fig Newton and Capri Sun clauses in the contract proposed by the Foggster's agent this offseason he could still be pitching in Colorado. No matter how hard they tried, you could tell they missed him. And now they're out of luck, he's a Red for the remainder of the season or at least until he gets a more serious head injury or is traded to that professional team in Ecuador.

The Reds are in the process of teaching a valuable lesson about the relative unimportance of sports, in, as they say, the grand scheme of things. Go outside, get some fresh air. Spend some time with friends or Photoshopping Dusty Baker's face onto an image of a shirtless man riding a horse in your parents' basement. There are many things to do when you don't have to sit yourself in front of the tv for three hours on a Sunday afternoon watching Reds players attempt to overcome their general disinterest in being good at the game of baseball. And the Reds Rocket for one is happy with their decision. Nice work you guys, that sweep at the hands of the Rockies really drove things home for me. See you in Houston.

Guest Contribution: The Big Red Rant 07/22/08 by Petey Hendrix

The author would like to present another contribution from guest writer Petey Hendrix. He was nice enough to write what you see below, on his own time and email it to me free of charge. His only request was that the Reds Rocket find a homoerotic photo of the Reds manager-extraordinare, Dusty Baker. Check, Petey.

The Chicago Cubs now have a roster that reads a hell of a lot like the credits of a gay porno: Rich Harden, Kerry Wood, Reed Johnson, Chad Fox, Kevin Hart and Felix Pie (pronounced FEE-LICKS PIE). They must have to really concentrate on visualizing Loni Anderson circa 1978 so as not to let their bats go soft.

Many folks have worried in the blogosphere that if the Reds trade Griffey or Dunn this week, they won't have a serviceable outfielder besides Corey 'Can't Play in Porkopolis' Patterson. I would like to remind folks that if we make a trade, any team would be happy to send along whatever AAA or 'AAAA' outfielder(s) they have spare to give us a few serviceable months service.

The Reds are 11.5 games out, and *(edited to reflect current shittiness) just got swept at home by a team that, after the sweep, is 10 games under .500. It hurts, but this season is officially over. Let's jump on the trade market in a big way immediately. Anyone who is not under contract for next year needs to be re-signed or jettisoned. Here's whom I'd trade for whatever we could get: David Weathers, Jeremy Affeldt, Matt Belisle (I'm giving up on him, as his ceiling is as a 3rd starter), Josh Fogg (a great sign-and-trade idea by Krivsky), Mike Lincoln, David Ross, Javier Valentin, Jerry Hairston, Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. Griffey is not likely going anywhere, but an offer to play in Wrigley Field for a first-place team for two months would be hard for him to turn down. I would also trade Bronson Arroyo for a decent prospect. I am not sold that he's a $10M pitcher, and that's the price tag for next year - assuming he doesn't honor all other competitors' coupons.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Reds Offense Competitive in Games With Rockies

The woman pictured to the left was supposedly enjoying the Rocky Mountains much like I have enjoyed the Reds' play against the Rockies the last two days. That explains the St. Bernard. Nice work you bunch of crumb bums. Now I have to listen to baseball analysts, like Testes Destrade, talk about what an exciting second half this is going to be for Rockies fans. They are 12 games under .500 and therefore unlikely to make the playoffs. It will only be exciting if you think a 15 game deficit in September is fun. They've just got all the tools.

But you can't tell that to the Reds. Volquez's gangrenous right arm continues to worsen, he left after 4+ yesterday. And Bailey, 15 hits in less than 5 innings? That is a fantastically awful performance. Sure Griffey didn't risk a torn ligament hustling for fly balls out there in right but he told you that before the game and he hit a bomb off the devistating Jorge de la Rosa to knot the game at 1. He's helping Bruce to learn centerfield by allowing him to be in charge of both center and right. It should pay off in the long run. Bruce did have two assists tonight.

Last game with the Rocks tomorrow before the big trip to Houston followed by some quality opponents after that. At least Dusty seems to prefer to play the winners, how else can a 2-3 record against the NL West be explained? It cannot. So, expect a win in convincing fashion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ah, Shabba! Reds 9-5

America's team fell down early, again, but like the last two nights bounced back and then held on, even after Coco meandered out of his corral. Nice job boys, Arroyo offers you a modest fist pump in recognition of your solid play. And also for his fifth consecutive win. 9-7? That rocks it. Rocks it like a masochist. Cue the guitar solo from a Creed album.

Eddie went yard to provide the lead, then Donkey went crackers in the 7th and the game was more or less over. He's got a bad case of the previously diagnosed, Home Run Fever. I say more or less because Big Frucking Nasty was given the opportunity to pitch shitty for the first time since his call up. And shitty pitch did he ever do. Three hits before his quick exit to the locker room, Burger King, and finally, his car to weep into his four Whoppers. God damn that handsome bastard and his inability to record outs at the major league level. Rockies in tomorrow and even Pete Coors Junior and the mountain streams of Colorado will tell you that they suck it. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Look Guys I've Got a Glove on My Head, Reds 4-3 in Extras

The author took a day off yesterday, not that they are particularly uncommon, but this time it was not due to laziness or a CSI marathon on Spike (those guys are sharp and cool, at the same time) but disappointment. Coco went coo-coo again, surrending three runs in the 9th to the Padres, who, as stated many, many times previously, eat shit. This was after Griffey broke his annual fast and contributed. This was also after Homeboy took the time to pitch into the 7th, registering his first quality start of the season. "Listen Pole, those skanks behind the dugout aren't going to wait around for seven innings for me to get to the club." Hopefully he still blasted the coaches when they suggested he run a few windsprints after the game. You've got to lock games like that down Coco.

But the team bounced back today against Peavy. Cueto struck out 10 over 6 but still left down 3-0, at which point I decided to start supporting a new team, but Bako dribbled a single up the middle and Votto pinch-checked in the tying run. Yeah Reds! Then several innings of solid relief work was concluded when Keppinger picked up the Reds' first extra-base hit and finally ended things. Majewski struck out two batters in the 11th and got the win. That makes him 1-24 as a Red. Nice job by the Polish Nightmare. He has ascended the list of Reds to be first administered the debilitating testicular disease the Reds Rocket germ laboratory has been feverishly developing. Win the series tomorrow and all threats, idle or otherwise, will be rescinded. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Bad news from the Reds official site, Foggster's down! Hit by a pitch during batting practice when he wandered in front of one of the batting tees. 'Hey has anyone seen my other sock? Do you think I can just wrap this towel around my foot like this.....Yow!'

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Volquez And Fogg Switch Bodies After Gypsy Curse, Hilarity Ensues

On Saturday, the Foggster picked up his second win of the season and got that ERA down to the low 7's and then Sunday Volquez only lasted 5 and gave up 5. Wha' happened? Sure, the Foggerino's been hot, which means lasting at least 3 innings per start but you, or I anyway, think that if he can shut down an offense surely our pal Edinson can do the same. I will give you a list of excuses from which to choose: 1) his rest was screwed up because of the All-Star weekend 2) he's seen Batman 28 times since Friday night 3) he's afraid that "human corpse" he hit with his Bentley last night may have still been moving, or perhaps walking upright and carrying a bag of groceries. I like the last option. You just never can tell with those people always either lying dead on the side of the road or living until you run them over with your car.

The offense was still above average the last two days, lots of late runs on Saturday followed by 5 today. Donkey looks like he really wants that full service car wash he's been promised for every bomb that he hits. He's got Homerun Fever, which is a very cool term that I plan on using often. As stated previously, lots of games with shitty opponents coming up. And Dusty Baker-managed teams don't lose to shitty opponents unless you count his time with the Giants, Cubs and Reds, during the first half, at least.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mr. Redlegs Engages in Fisticuffs with Mets

Old reliable Coco let everyone down on Thursday, handing the Metropolitans the win in the 9th with an unbelievably poor performance. 6 hits in one-third of an inning? Looks like the All-Star Break training regiment of huffing gasoline and refinishing his parents' basement really paid off. At least he locked things down yesterday.

Even after the Thursday night implosion, the author remains optimistic. Arroyo continued his four game effective stretch and more importantly, the offense, which was spotty for much of the first half, chased Santana after 4+ and did the same to Maine last night. Both are above average major league starters, Santana, even with the "disappointing" 8-7 record, is probably the best and the Reds beat them around. And with the upcoming schedule, after two more with the Mets, featuring two traveling shit heaps from the NL West coming to town, looks like the Reds' time is finally at hand. Dusty has wisely been biding his time.

Today's game features my favorite Reds starter, the Foggster!, who, from this date forward, will have his typed name followed by an exclamation point, and my least favorite player in all of baseball, Oliver Perez. So, we'll chalk this one up in the win column, it's not like the Reds are going to struggle with Perez or Fogg! is going to be ineffective. And even bigger news, with Burton's injury, Big Frucking Nasty is back in Cincinnati. Nice to see the handsome gentleman again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Volquez Sharp, J.D. Drew Asshole

Okay, maybe he wasn't all that sharp but Dioner Navarro sure looked overmatched and he's not Jason Varitek. But he floated a 2-0 fastball to Morneau and Drew took him out to right to tie the game at 2, prior to going on for another couple hours. The pitch to J.D. wasn't terrible and didn't look like it was getting out but did, so, I guess who cares what it looked like. The author did enjoy McCarver's discussion of the 'pitch of the islands' during Volquez's stint on the mound. In between innings Joe Buck told everybody about the 'itch from the islands' he got on his last trip to the Caribbean. Joe Buck knows how to party.

In allowing the bomb, Volquez put himself in position to pick up the win for the National League. That is until B. Wag entered and exited with the game tied at 3. Nice job Billy, I'll direct all the reporters to your locker. The remainder of the team continued their well-deserved rest. Take it easy boys, especially you Corey Patterson. Rest up, Dusty will need you for the second half run.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Guest Contribution: The Big Red Rant by Petey Hendrix

Hey gang. The author received a contribution in the Reds Rocket inbox, which, outside of changing small number '1's to apostrophes which Blogger thought appropriate, I have left alone. Since All Star Weekend allows me to go back on my 20-hour a day sleep schedule, something filling up the page, which is grammatically correct for a change, works well for everyone. Or me anyway. It certainly looks like a lot of words and contains one of my favorite words 'Porkopolis'. Enjoy

Ha, ha, ha. Daryl Thompson took the wrong subway. Wow, never heard that before. First time it¹s ever happened to a new player in a major city.

It would be a cute thing to expound upon, but Daryl has nothing to be ashamed of, for a very simple comparative reason: DUSTY BAKER DOESN'T KNOW WHAT STREET HE WORKS ON. Literally? Yes, I would bet that he does not know that the legal address of Great American Ball Park is 201 E Pete Rose Way. But the street number is not the important part here, as we are not discussing how to deliver the Reds manager a Hawaiian Pizza (he no doubt orders it with extra pineapple, just for the amusement of picking pineapple chunks off unsuspecting friends' slices using his ever-present toothpick).

What IS important, is of course, the Pete Rose part. Is Pete Rose important to Cincinnati fans? Maybe a little. Just enough to name a major thoroughfare after him and forgive him of nearly every sin imaginable, even a few that require a clever imagination and a donkey to properly execute. Why? Hustle. Rose won over fans instantly, not with his immense talent, good looks, no charisma. For those of you scoring with us at home, he has never had any of these qualities, not that he didn't smell fabulous after a shared shower with Bernie Carbo and a generous splash of Aqua Velva - by Mennen. Gosh, it's hard to re-read the end of that last line without singing the catchiest two-note jingle in American history ­but I digress.

Reds fans love the guys who hustle. First it was Rose, then Chris Sabo, then Chris Stynes, then Ryan Freel. Heck, Freel is fabulously popular with fans despite multiple alcohol-related police encounters to his credit, along with advertising online his sexual availability to discreet ladies: looking for a woman to enjoy the morning with. Can be married or single,disease free is important. Read the whole ad here: Cincinnati is a conservative town, yet they universally LOVE Ryan Freel, despite his foibles and flakiness. Perhaps not as much as sorta-single sluts in the Sunshine State, but they do love him and Farney, the midget that lives in his head. Yes, really:

Why? Hustle. OK, why do they love hustle? Because hustle doesn't cost a damn thing, and EVERYONE can do it, despite their level of baseball talent. Hustling is the one thing ANYONE can do. And it's the right way to play the game, as every manager, coach, and father in America can tell you. In a blue-collar town that for decades was known as Porkopolis, fans have rooted hard for nearly 140 years for their boys in uniform, and all they ask is one thing: hustle. Not World Series rings, a winning record every year,big personalities, nor big bats. All the Reds fans have ever wanted was a team that had a shot at the pennant and guys trying their best. And for the last five years or so, they've been deprived of exactly that.

Why isn't this team hustling? Because of loafing players and the fact that Dusty Baker doesn't know what street he works on. He doesn't think hustling is important. Does hustling have value to Dusty? Yes, just not enough for him to do his job by speaking up about it. And he's not media-savvy enough to know that his inaction is damaging the franchise by alienating the fan base. And make no mistake: Reds fans are now venomous. They are angry about the losing, bitter about being lied to by a series of penny-pinching owners, and disappointed that this generation of players can't be bragged about to future generations. That last one's a biggy, as even though few current Reds fans don't even realize it, they'd love to have some accomplished team they could use to shade themselves from their parents' beaming pride in the Big Red Machine of the mid-seventies. But all of that can changes instantly. All you have to do in Skyline Country is try, and try hard. It helps if it at least appears that you're trying. It will kill you with these fans if they think you are giving less that full effort.

And THAT is why things are heating up so precariously for Dusty's warriors. Fans hate seeing Ken Griffey, Jr. watch his home runs, especially the two this year that didn't clear the fence. The same is true of Adam Dunn, who watches all of his bombs. Brandon Phillips is not without blame, and Edwin Encarnacion would be smacked in the head by ME if he were close enough. Ed E has even been yanked for not hustling (by a previous manager with larger testes), yet sure enough, just last week he was nearly thrown out at second while trying to stretch a double into a single, even carrying his bat with him halfway down the line. And how about in May when Javier Valentin hit a laser off the wall in the right field corner that he thought was a homer? He stood at first base with an embarrassing single that might have been a triple, and Dusty admonished the player gently, privately after the game. And nothing changed. Why? Because Dusty doesn't really care about hustle, at least not enough to say something about it AND MEAN IT.

Wow! Dusty Baker doesn't know what street he works on. Cincinnati is not New York, where winning is everything, or Chicago, where Wrigley Field (instead of winning) is everything, or San Francisco, where the finale of Project Runway is everything. No, in Cincinnati, especially on Pete Rose Way, hustling is EVERYTHING. My mother can hustle, and she is a little old lady in a wheelchair with leukemia. She ain't quick, but you can sure tell that she's trying. It's about effort.

In a business where public perception is key to a healthy fan base, especially for a recently-meager franchise, here's how you fix things, Dusty: you go back in a time machine about 40 games, and you take the pariah that is our crappy-fielding, occasionally-hitting, roster-spot-hogging, third-string catcher and you make an example out of him. You rip him in the clubhouse in front of the youngsters with great vengeance and furious anger. You release him ­ unceremoniously ­at a press conference. Javier is a talented hitter, but with two better defensive catchers on our roster and a youth movement in place, we simply cannot afford to instill anything less than a stellar work ethic in our future stars.

Veterans leading by example is the ONLY way that work ethic is instilled. Javier has repeatedly shown less than a complete effort between the lines, and that's not how we do things in Cincinnati. This is a storied franchise, with a great history, playing in front of some of the most passionate, well-versed fans the game has ever known. Every fan in the ballpark knows you have to hustle on every play. Every fan who paid their hard-earned money for a ticket deserves to see the best effort we can put forth during a ballgame, and Javier has shown himself on multiple occasions to be incapable or unwilling to put forth that effort. We thank him for his service, and we wish him luck in the future with another franchise. He has been designated for assignment, and has played his last game in the Reds system. I apologize to the fans, and I promise that lack of hustle will not be tolerated on my watch. That's not how we play in Cincinnati. Boom. Message sent. EVERY Cincinnati fan now in Dusty's corner. Veterans suddenly hustling. Talk radio in Cincy rallies behind the new manager, and the fans eat it up. Also, there is political coverage for any fallout from eating Javier's salary­ the smallest salary the Reds would have to eat to make this point. Then Dusty goes privately to Griffey, Dunn, and Phillips to ask them each, "Did your daddy teach you that you should hustle? 'Yes.' Well, your daddy ain't here to beat your ass, but I am. Every game. The next time you admire a home run while still in the batter's box, I'm gonna pinch-run for you when you're rounding first. And if you ever again stretch a double into a single by not hustling, I'm yanking you straight out of the game and benching you for a week. Now get the hell out of my office once you're done apologizing, and don't come into work tomorrow unless you're ready to play the game the right way. 'Sorry, Dusty. It won't happen again.' Damn right it won't, or next week your shirt will read 'Pittsburgh.'

Ken Griffey, Sr. may have taught his son an iconic swing, but what he taught him about hustling was ineffective or inadequate. I can teach my son Junior's swing, but I can't show him many game highlights, because Junior is always dogging it. That might be Senior's fault, it's definitely Junior's fault, and it's entirely on Dusty's shoulders, because Junior is still the face of the franchise. Dusty doesn't like to call out players, but that is EXACTLY what is needed for him to do his job. But he's 'a player's manager', which means that guys like playing for him, and he cuts them slack. But this is a roster filled with underachieving veteran slackers prone to long slumps, during which we witness multiple players hitting .105 for a few weeks at a time while hustling rarely. Hitting .105 while hustling is a tough stretch. Hitting .105 while loafing is horseshit. And if you can't speak up to your own players to fix THAT, then you're not a player's manager, you're a tremendous sissy.

Hustling matters in Cincinnati. This team doesn't hustle. That needs fixed. It's the manager's job to fix it. I doubt Baker has the guts to fix it. So, Dusty, next time you hop into a car to drive you to the Stadium, you might want to check the address first. It will not only help you avoid an embarrassing Daryl Thompson-type delay, but it might help remind you what it takes to win over the fans in Cincinnati. They already know the address of the stadium they paid to have built. It shares its name with the right way and the ONLY way to play baseball in Cincinnati ­the Pete Rose Way.

Hi I'm Chris Rose and I'm a Gigantic Tool

As much as all of the hoopla and tearful remembrances of Yankee Stadium bring me to the verge of aneurysm, the All-Star Game makes for at least an interesting watch. Joe Buck's on the mic and my homeboy Tim McCarver came through with a gang of Tangueray. Hey look, there are some assholes from GM. Nice work you guys putting together this parade. I just wish I was there so I could get loaded and take part in some sort of Red Sox chant and watch the all time greats ride around in the back of the brand new and improved Chevy Silverado. Chevrolet: An American Revolution

The Reds were, surprisingly, poorly represented at the festivities joining teams like the Giants and Nationals with just the one representative. Fogg and Patterson are just going to have to understand that strong performances are often overlooked when they take place in a smaller market. The one rep, Volquez, should be getting the start today. He's not only made more starts than Sheets but his numbers are universally better. But, I'm unaware of the circumstances involving the decision, especially on short rest. So I'm probably okay with it. Sure it sucks that the lord above, in his infinite wisdom, chose to relocate Hamilton to Texas, but Volquez has been great. Keep it up kid, don't let anyone convince you to bend the bill of your hat.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bailey Gives Pitching Effectively a Try But Reds Lose, Brewers 3-2

The author tuned in a little late to the game today, late enough to miss the Reds runs and the Sabathia bomb. Prince and C.C. could team up to create a moderately successful tag-team duo. They would probably be bad guys and would have to rely upon a gimmick. Maybe they could be from France and put down the U.S.A. 'You and your country make us turn up our noses in disgust. Americans are very weak.' Boooo! Go back to France you frog eating bastards.

Nice start from Bailey today. He managed to strike out four batters and really should only have been charged with the one run. Bill Bray needs to retire Gabe Kapler, always. Maybe every time that Kapler succeeds against a Reds pitcher they can be exiled to Japan, like Kapler. That would teach Billy for his tomfoolery.

The offense was quiet, but that was expected off of C.C. He's as good as he is fat. And Hairston went down again, which is bad news. With him and Keppinger at the top of the order, the OBP of the team goes through the roof and then when the middle of the order feels like it, they can drive them in. So, we reach the All Star Break. One Red, Volquez, and the rest of the gang gets to take a few days off to go out on their yachts (Griffey) or eat at Red Lobster (everyone else). The author isn't sure what kind of mid-season report is warranted but I'll think it over and get back to you tomorrow. 46-50 isn't so bad considering some of those stretches during the first half.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Brewers Love Reds Victories, Reds 8-2

The author apologizes for the absence, the blimp has had some technical issues. A 15 mph breeze may not seem like a big deal to most people. Fortunately, the fine people at Linksys tech support were nice enough to be of no assistance in resolving the issue. I suppose that if I lived in India and had a doctorate in thermodynamics I wouldn't be very interested in helping dipshits configure their parents' wireless network. 'You're going to have to speak about half that speed and stop assuming that I am not an idiot.'

Regardless of my inability to access the internet, my eye remained keenly trained on the Reds' three game winning streak, or at least the box scores the next day. That last one in Chicago was pretty sweet, the delicate Ted Lilly got lit up. It was nice to see the media's full coverage of a major league first, two 7 home run games in onee season. Oh wait, it was buried under Moises Alou's tenth injury of the season.

And the trip to Mil-a-wau-kay has also begun well. The Foggster was his usual dominating self, yesterday, before the bullpen faltered and the offense, or more accurately, the Brewers' defense, showed some heart. They just weren't going to allow themselves to win the game. Nice play in center Mike Cameron. I think someone behind the plate had access to a strobe light which activated his epilepsy. Where's Gabe Gross when you need him. Today's performance was even sweeter. Volquez dominated, Donkey was hitting bombs, and Gagne continued his mastery of not getting outs. Hairston reached base 5 times, with 4 hits and David Weathers even added a scoreless inning before the game got out of hand. Looks like it's Skyline Time, I'll take the human feces covered with some chili and cheddar cheese. Sweep is impending, Homeboy versus C.C. No doubt about it. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cubs Are Awesome, I'm Joking - Cubs 7-3

The author remains optimistic that the Reds will leave Wrigleyville with a winning records, despite the performance today. It was a two-pronged disappointment, Harang all over the place and a Ryan Dempster victory. Dempster can celebrate both the victory and his election to the NL All-Star Team with Chris Capuano because that's the type of second half he can look forward to. Capuano own the copyrights to the 10-3 start followed with a strong 2-10 down the stretch. Dempster's got that sort of talent.

The offense was quiet, with the exception of the 4th which was just a big tease. Like Mr. Red pictured to the left, the offense has the Cubs right where they want them. With his official retirement in favor of Mr. Redlegs and his distinguished moustache, Mr. Red has had some time to refine himself in the kitchen. How's does bear steak with deep fried bear fritters sound? Sounds great to me. Reds tomorrow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Reds Release Broomman From Subterranean Prison, Reds 6-5

Four game sweeps are an uncommon occurrence around Cincinnati, even with a division full of Pirates and Astros. But, the Reds were able to close things out today against the Washington National offensive juggernaut. Coco made things interesting, with a little bit of good old fashioned Canadian laziness by our first baseman friend from the north. 'I'm not aboot to get in front of that ball, right. Eh.'

Volquez considered pitching ineffectively for the 3rd and 4th but, in the end, decided against it and turned in a quality start in route to picking up his 11th win of the year. And today we got word of his official addition to the NL All-Star team. Now he won't have to sell that scrap gold that's been lying around the house, even though the process couldn't be easier and rates are at an all time high. Congratulations good sir. Pick up that last win and you're looking at a starting position. Unless Francona made a deal with Clint Hurdle to include the rest of the Red Sox roster on the National League team. '...and the starting pitcher for the National League, Alex Cora!'

B. Phill picked up a couple more hits, has his average over .290 and Grande Burro ate a trough of hay and hit a rocket out of the field of play. Hairston, Junior continues to make me feel like an asshole. Okay, okay you're a solid player. I feel very bad for how I treated you prior to the season. At least Corey Patterson remembers what the scouting reports say about him. Nice home stand team, 5-2, following a winning road trip? Who are you guys? Enjoy the day off at the water park. Just a warning, Dusty swims with his shirt on. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Phillips Eats Green Berets for Breakfast and Right Now He's Very Hungry, Reds 3-2

The author knows that when you read the pitching probables today and saw that Harang was getting a couple extra days rest in favor of the recently recalled Josh Foggerino your reaction wasn't "Fuck, Josh Fogg? I'd rather have typhoid" but rather, "Fogg? I've seen some good things from him at Louisville. Now he's getting out nearly one third of the batters he faces." And that was the appropriate reaction. Foggster went six innings and allowed just a single run. Of course that run was driven in by the pitcher but Fogg is takin' what they're givin 'cause he's workin' for a livin'. Looks like we're going to see part two of the Josh Fogg experiement in about 6 days which will, of course, be followed by his unconditional release.

Bruce made a nice catch in center, teaching Kearns to turn National, and the offense knocked out 13 hits against, really, a team that is only going to win about half their games at AAA. Elijiah Dukes aggravated a previous self-inflicted knife wound to the knee (You think you bad, bitch? I'll beat you dead with only one patella), so it just got a little worse. Still, the game was close and the El Guapo couldn't close things out in the 9th. Fortunately, teams seem to overlook the fact that Griffey is hitting a shade over .240 (thanks to the two hits today) and B. Phill is hitting everything he sees. Fine with me, increases Junior's OBP and Phillips gets to add some more stats to arbitration case. Nice win, sweep tomorrow with Thomas Edinson standing on the rounded dirt. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Nationals Just Bad Enough For Reds to Win, 5-3

After losing 2 of 3 to the Pirates, the author was beginning to worry that this may be a similar set of games to those last year which really broke my spirits and crushed my soul. I remember 2 out of 3 lost to the Pirates, then swept by the Nats at home. But B. Phill decided to postpone the eulogy with a very nice game. Since when does anyone in this lineup get a hit with runners on and two outs? Sit him down, son.

Cueto won his 7th of the year and has his ERA down to the mid-4.00s, which is where we like to see it. He made the Nationals lineup look like it was the worst lineup to take the field this season, which of course, it is. Even with Kearns and his .190 average off the DL, not too many people of which to be be scared. Teddy Roosevelt was throwing BP and was unhittable. Continue beating the Nationals today, that is really an awful, awful team. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Javy, I've Got a Secret (I can't get anyone out), Pirates Win?

After behaving like a team that is managed by the great Dusty Baker for a few days, the team fell back into the old trap of leaving runners on base and failing to get a hit which will bring a runner to home plate with fewer than two outs. It all started in the first, Griffey, you're telling me that you can't hit a fly ball anywhere to the outfield on a 3-1 pitch from Zach Duke? Jerry Hairston's playing his heart out here, and we all know he's got a learning disability. You know how hard it is for him to remember to run the bases counterclockwise? Mark Berry has to remind him that there is an ice cream cake in the clubhouse, should he score a run. That's good coaching.

Volquez turned in his second consecutive weak start, not making it out of the 6th (against the Pirates). The author is hoping that this isn't a rerun of Arroyo 2006, 9 wins by the break, 14 for the season, 11 consecutive starts without a win? Edinson may not sell out tents at the fair with his cover of With Arms Wide Open but the author remains confident that his early success wasn't just an unfamiliar league. Also, David Weathers should not pitch in any game where the Reds are up or down by 4 runs.