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
CF Chris Dickerson (L)
RF Jay Bruce (L)

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 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.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Daggum Designated?

Bad news for those of you who like your catchers wearing overalls under their uniform or hound-dogging your wife while she's sitting near the bullpen - Daggum Ross done been designated. Colonel Dusty cited the need to get some youth, Ryan Hanigan, up with the club so that they could learn some advanced receiving techniques from Paul Bako. Bako, according to Dusty, is one of the finest receivers he's ever seen or penetrated. Just kidding Dusty, we know you're not a homosexual.

Before the trade deadline, there appeared to be some interest in Ross' services. The Marlins were mentioned, though that may have been it. The author is far too lazy to research the statements made. Wherever he goes, he'll be missed. The ribs in the base of every one's locker after a particularly tough loss, the NASCAR shot glasses which appear around holidays, that dead possum that used to live in the attic above the clubhouse. Next time you hear someone talkin' 'bout there Daddy or reminding you that the only good possum is a dead one, don't let 'em see you cry. That's why I only type in the privacy of my home, too many tears have been shed already this season. We'll be seeing you Ragweed, god speed. The Reds Rocket is retiring your uniform.

Reds Lose Again But Front Office Gains a Sharp-Looking Goatee

Harang made his triumphant return from his rehabilitation assignment in Russia, where he was moving giant logs through the snow. He looked a little unskilled at the pitcher position. He gave up 8 runs over 4, which included home runs allowed to both Geoff Blum and Michael Bourne (I'll gloss over the double allowed to Wandy). Michael Bourne is the Astros' 2006 Corey Patterson, without the high batting average. The author is confident we'll still see some choke holds by Big Ugly as the season winds down but that 3-12 record isn't what I was expecting coming into the season. But the Reds Rocket will focus on the home run by Ryan Hanigan in his first game of the season at the major league level. That's number one for the career, something which he will always remember: a 13-4 loss to a below average Houston team.

Also, Friday, we saw the arrival of noted evaluator of talent and all around super guy, Bill Bavasi. As I suspect the majority of you know, Bavasi was the GM for the Mariners for a few years. Before that he was in Anaheim, where his dad was able to get him a job. During his tenure with the Mariners he was able to establish, conclusively, that he does not understand the game of baseball. He knows the basics, like you hit a thrown ball with a stick, and probably some of the easier rules, certainly not the infield fly, but when it comes to what makes a person good or bad a the game, he's at a loss. He'll look them over, measure their skulls, challenge them to a race out in the parking lot and if they meet his strict standards, 4-year $35 million.

Certainly you wonder, as I did, what is he doing in Cincinnati? Did he seriously: 1) sign Scott Spezio to a 3-year $17 million deal (with a team option for 2007); 2) trade Carlos Guillen to the Tigers for Ramon Santiago and one of the many untalented Juan Gonzalezes; and 3) acquire both Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez from the Indians in two separate trades during the same season (one for Asdrubal Cabrera the other for Shin-Soo Choo) and retain his job? Must have been due to decisions like the free agent signings of Richie Sexson, Jarrod Washburn and Carlos Silva to 4-year deals. Oh wait, those deals were financially crippling and idiotic. At least Silva hasn't been released yet, he's just publicly blasting the offense for not carrying his 7.00 ERA. Bavasi was able to get Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed and Mike Morse from the White Sox in the trade deadline deal for Freddy Garcia. But, I guess Garcia was arguably the top pitcher on the market at the time and the returns are all piles of shit. The complete list is fun. Take a look and tell me if you think a super-intelligent space monkey or just a regular monkey (let's say a Rhesus monkey) would be needed to generate better results. I believe Rhesus monkeys have prehensile tails, so they could possibly type on a typewriter with both hands while holding their cigarette in their tail, which would probably increase productivity. Both would wear suits and derby hats.

So, unless there is some hidden benefit to constantly mis-evaluating talent and putting together the most expensive loser in history, what did Bavasi do during his time with the Mariners that would give any team, much less the Reds, the impression that he had any idea what he was doing?

That's the January 4, 2005 signing of Pokey Reese (with a club option for 2006, mind you) So, Bill looks like you do know what you're doing - let's get evaluating and make this team a winner.

Ow, My Soul - Astros 3-1

The Reds continued their impressive streak of playing poorly by dropping two more games to the Astronauts. On Friday, Cueto left with a lead, after throwing 150 pitches through 5 innings, but Masset gave up the first home run of the year to one, Humberto Quintero. The Reds Rocket is still undecided in its support for Masset, home runs allowed to weak-hitting catchers do not make the 'positive' side of the list. Regardless of Masset's charlatan nature, the team tied things up and sent it to extras. But Coco has decided that he doesn't pitch on Fridays, or if he is forced into action, refuses to pitch well. Dusty should have listened to him because, shit was he bad.

Yesterday, Bronson pitched well for 6 but, like Cueto, had a huge pitch count. At least he hit Carlos Lee with a pitch, so it will just be Berkman and Kaz Matsui killing Reds pitching for a while. Lee can turn his attention to the Panamanian Olympic team. I believe they have a baseball team and a one-armed man who runs the mile. He lost his arm in a machete match, which is Panama's version of boxing. But the offense just wasn't up to the task of Brian Moehler, someone who should be playing in Japan, like Tom Selleck, not shutting down the Reds offense for 7 innings. Screw you Moehler.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Reds Are Sunshine On A Cloudy Day, Astros 7-4

The Foggster turned in a start yesterday which was disappointing because he's just such a great talent. But the Astronauts offense proved to be just to powerful for the man with the low mental capacity. Too bad, we'll just have to wait 5 days for a better showing.

The offense showed up a little late for the party, picking up lots of hits but not bothering to push those runners in. It is almost like the trade of Griffey signaled the new goal of achieving the worst record in the majors. If that is the case, we'll consider the last week of play a resounding success. Success! Maybe they can draft some more big, fat guys who are unwilling to sign without a major league roster position. With Dunn's likely departure, that would mean 4 John Dalys, of varying ethnic backgrounds, in Reds uniforms (1 from 2008 and 3 for 2009) roaming the outfield, frying fish and drinking Rainier. That's a team America would love to support. Beat them gol-derned Astros tonight.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bailey Continues Impressive Streak of Living Up To Expectations, Brewers 6-3

Today when I was watching the game, I thought to myself, or maybe spoke out loud, that hey it's the 5th inning and Bailey is: 1) still in the game; and 2) has only given up 4 runs. I was considering that progress then, using my fine mathematical skills, I figured that equates to a 7.20 ERA. That's where Reds Rocket expectations have devolved when it comes to starts by the number five arm. So, for the rest of the season, if he gives up fewer runs than innings or pitches more that 4 innings, that will be a quality start, assuming that he doesn't get sent down. And, of course, all my figures were moot because Homeboy handed Jason Kendall a two-run single and went to the locker room to take a shit and read the comics.

Yesterday, Volquez looked even more like his arm is about to fall off the next time he makes a batch of his delicious guacamole. The boy's tired, he can't even fix the bill of his hat. So, hopefully Dusty keeps running him out there and demanding 7 innings or 110 pitches. I'm confident that he will.

On a positive note, Wonderchild Jay Bruce had a nice day at the plate today after everyone got high in the locker room before the game yesterday, figuring that they would still be able to hammer Dave Bush. Turns out that you must be sober, not necessarily a very good baseball player, but at least sober. And the Reds learned that the hard way. The rest of the offense is taking it easy for a few days, trying to decide if getting hits is worth the time it takes to prepare prior to the game. 'Shit Skip, you're telling me I have to be at the ballpark by 3 in the afternoon for batting practice?' Encarnacion has been allowed a couple weeks off to pursue, his other dream, the management training program at TJ Maxx. He's still learning how to motivate foreign and/or unskilled/uneducated employees who earn a low salary. Once that's under control he can start concentrating on his bat again. A-holes next, that's a team the loves to suck.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reds Reconsider Decision to Lose All Remaning Games, Reds 6-3

As the author predicted yesterday, the Reds continue to beat teams who play well, yet lose to teams that don't. Arroyo shut the Brewer offense down for 6 solid innings, picking up his 10th win of the season. Cue Van Halen's 'Eruption'.

After Manny Parra got yanked for poor attitude, Prince Fielder attacked him in the dugout like a big, fat, vegetarian bear. When I was watching the highlights last night, SportsCenter showed the replay five consecutive times before cutting to something else. And you know that they only cover things in that depth if they're really, really important. Apparently, Parra was under the impression that he was going to beat the Reds. That's your first mistake Manny. The second was eating one of the last 15 donuts that were left in the clubhouse. Those are for Prince and he'll kill you dead if you touch any of them again.

But enough about the opposition. The offense didn't get a lot of hits and one of the bigger ones was by the pitcher but it's still a quality win. Bruce went yard and Votto knocked in a couple. Nice teamwork Reds. Looks like the player's only meeting that was held before the last loss to the Nationals was a success after all. It just took a day to register. They were able to get some things off their chest, like Majewski wants to go back to his role of only pitching when the team is up or down 5 runs. Daggum Ross wants all-you-can-eat coleslaw in the locker room after the game. And Josh Fogg designed a new hat with is encrusted with jewels that he would like to wear on the days that he pitches. Captain of the offense, Corey Patterson, went to Dusty with the demands and was told that they would be considered. That's what teamwork will get you, a Reds victory. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reds Decide Season is Over Now, Nats 4-2

This author was in the middle of a long drive for the last two days, so was unable to watch the team lose for a second and third time to the Nationals, quite a pity. The new lineup, which features only players with batting averages under .270, seems to have a little trouble scoring the runs. But this series wasn't just characterized by no offense, it featured a nice variety of poor performances: there was the bad start by Bailey to open things up, then the bullpen meltdown Saturday, and finally, the inability to get hits off of Balester yesterday. Nice job team.

Today they get to return home, where they can be booed in person and blasted by the local on-air personalities. They should enjoy that. When Sabathia (I heard an announcer call him 'Slim' the other day which is a good nickname, like Curly) isn't pitching, the Reds have played well against the Brewers this year. And they typically follow really bad play with brief periods of good play. So, we'll just have to wait and see. Three with the Brewers then four with the Astronauts. A 7-game winning streak would make me, temporarily, forget the disappointment of a sweep at the hands of the Nationals.