Thursday, April 30, 2009

Volquez Lights Out, Reds 3-0

Volquez was absolutely dominant last night, so why shouldn't he commission a charicature of himself throwing a bolt of lightning. The answer is there is no reason he shouldn't do that. The artist forgot the lettuce coming coming out from under his hat and the face looks more like a black Abe Vigota, but at least the team colors are right.

Volquez's start was so good, my description of it is carrying into a second paragraph. Contrasted with his Atlanta start, where he became the first pitcher in '09 to walk 5 batters in one inning, his control was impeccable. Only one walk over his 8 innings and that was of the very dangerous Jason Michaels so that he could get to the virtually free out of Berkman. That guy's never hit Reds' pitching. If the offense wouldn't have taken so long to score one run against Doug Brocail, we likely see Volquez out there for the 9th. He's usually thrown 106 pitches through five innings and Dusty's running him back out there for the 6th. He'll just have to do that next time.

The offense, other than superstar Laynce Nix, didn't show a whole lot again. Rosales did knock in a couple of runs in his first start of the season, to thunderous applause. Phillips, after finally showing signs of coming out of his dreadful start, was sitting on the bench, which seemed curious. But Dusty proved to be one step ahead of me, saving Phillips for the 8th inning with runners on. He delivered by lining out weakly to second to end the inning. Dusty has thought everything through. Just because he a player regularly hits a ball hard for the first game all season doesn't mean he isn't very tired and in need of a break. And conversely, just because a batter is 0 for 40 doesn't mean that he won't be out there every day, killing the team with runners on base. That's what makes Dusty the genius he is and everyone else, especially those who question him, stupid. Nice win team, have a nice trip. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reds Wandied, A-Holes 8-3

For the second time this season the Reds were hypnotized by Cosmonaut pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. I had thought that one win per season was all the Reds had budgeted for Wandy. Turns out I was wrong and the Reds guaranteed themselves a losing homestand against two teams, at least at this point in the season, they should be beating.

Harangor Papa Goulash as his kids call him, wasn't great yesterday but the defense certainly didn't do him any favors. After giving up a single to super-talen Kaz Matsui to open things, after Matsui stole second, Votto made a couple of errors and poof, like Charles Manson once he gets out on parole, Matsui was standing at home plate. McDonald later misplayed a double in the four-run 5th. Papa Goulash exited after said four-run fifth and flew down to Guatemala, where he destroyed a village with his great strength and rage.

On a more positive note, Phillips hit the ball hard three time yesterday. A double and a bomb, with a solid fly out to center in between. Maybe, he's remembered how to use that bat. Also, Laynce Nix, back to his much more accustomed pinch-hitting role, also hit a bomb. Way to not play terribly like the rest of those bozos.

Finally, we saw the arrival of Adam Rosales for the first time in 2009. He spent some time with the big club in '08 when the rosters expanded and, as I recall, struggled with big league pitching. However, work with Tom Emanski over the offseason seems to have paid off. At the time of his call he was hitting .431/.479/.754 with the Bats. Not too bad. Adam is 25, from Chicago and, when permitted, prefers to wear suspenders instead of a belt. Nice to see you. Now let's hit a little bit. Eddie will be back in two weeks and will be sniffing around 3rd base again. We here at the Reds Rocket, as you may know, are Encarnacion fans, even with averages under .140. So, you'll have to show us as much as you show Dusty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Enjoy It While You Can Oswalt, Astros 4-1

I realize that he didn't actually get the win last night, but, under ordinary circumstances when he wasn't facing Cueto, Roy Boy probably pitched well enough to win one for the A-holes. But let this serve as a warning to you, Oswalt, when you're going 1 and 23 against the Reds to bring your record back down to .500, no one is going to feel sorry for you. Fuckface.

Anyway, the Reds went into the 9th last night tied at 1 apiece. The offense was anemic but Cueto was very good. For your daily Brandon Phillips update, he did get a hit, which is positive. He also grounded into a double play to end one of the Reds few threats. Chris Dickerson, who actually had a positive impact on the game, throwing Tejada out trying to stretch a double, had to leave the game when Tejada attempted to even things with a head butt at second base. That kind of production is hard to replace. I guess the Reds are just going to have to rely on Laynce Nix to strike out 12 out of his next 16 at bats.

Coco had his first shaky outing of the year. I request to see only the Cordero who closed the Reds' first win of the season versus the Mets. He looked like he was popping Eric Gagne's cocktail of "vitamins." Someone needs to remind him that he is, I believe, the highest salaried player on the team and he only pitches about 3 innings a week. Win the next two Reds or it's just going to be Mr. Redlegs and his mistresses at the game.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Owings Gives Braves Blanket Infected with Yellow Fever, Reds 8-2

The Reds Rocket suffered a service interruption over the weekend. Likely due to sabotage or, much less probable, non-payment of costs owed. Every morning I pass a large group of, apparently, Indian guys, walking to work. I'll just yell my technological questions out the window and I'm pretty sure they'll be able to help. Regardless, pseudo-action shots of Micah Owings were withheld for that reason. Hopefully the readership didn't find some other unknowledgable, non-Cincinnatian with whom to discuss the Reds. The Reds Rocket doesn't have a strong retention policy in place.

The Reds, looking over the weekend very similar to what the unenlightened envisioned prior to the season. Apparently, the team doesn't like playing in front of numerous supportive fans. So, if you're going to continue to show up to games, do the tomahawk chop or cheer for Volquez 10 walks, no frustrated murmurring. You can just continue to boo Ramon Hernandez.

Regarding, Volquez, he had a little trouble with the strike zone on Friday and took the loss dispite giving up just one hit. There is no one in the Braves lineup, other than maybe Larry Jones, who should be walked under any scenario. But, if you really can't make the ball go straight, even if you want it to, what can be said. I attribute it to the subpar tunafish sandwich he had before the game. Next time maybe he can just drill 7 batters instead of walking them. I liked Chipper's quote regarding the Escobar flare-up, he's just an asshole, ignore his reaction. That jog from the bullpen is the most exercise that Weathers gets during the season. He's going to need a couple of days off to recouperate.

On Saturday, Arroyo must have had to spend some long hours at the office because it looked like his carpal tunnel was acting up. Those billing statements aren't going to transcribe themselves Bronson. The offense wasn't doing much and the result was not positive.

Yesterday, however, everyone looked much better. Ray Jay went deep twice and Owings went 7 solid innings for his first win of the year. Despite scoring 8 runs, Encarnacion still managed to go hitless. For those of you crunching the numbers, that makes him 8 for 59 this year, 18 strikeouts with a slugging percentage of .203. He has drawn 13 walks, which isn't too bad but has only scored 2 runs and will probably have to start getting at least an occasional hit unless he wants to take his semi-annual trip down to Louisville. At least the bottom half of the offense appears to be showing signs of getting going. Gonzalez hit his first bomb of the year and Hernandez's average has climbed up to a acceptable .255, though he's still not hitting with much power and has a lower OBP than Encarnacion. But, the Reds Rocket is competent everything will get worked out and the offense will soon be running like the finely oiled machine Dusty has so masterfully assembled. Reds hand Oswalt loss number two tonight. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reds Hold Press Conference, Accept Central Division Pennant, Reds 7-1

Since it's clear to everyone who watched the Reds during their 10-game road trip that they are the best team in the Central, the division decided to forego the formalities and just give the Reds the decorative banner now. That's Reds Press Secretary Big Tom McInerney, feature to the right. Actually, his wife prefers if you drop the 'Big' part of his name and just call him Tom.

Harang looked dominant again yesterday holding the Cubs to a single unearned run over 7+. He out dueled crazy-ass Zambrano, which is nice to see. What would be more interesting would be to put those two into a wrestling ring. I say interesting because it would inevitably result in Harang popping off Big-Z's head like an olive in his 5th inning martini. There is nothing Harang likes more than decapitating Venezualans. Weathers came in after a Mike Fontenot single in the 8th and looked (you choose) suprisingly/expectedly dominant. Then Nick Masset mopped things up in the 9th.

The offense appears to be nearing acceptable even if you subtract the 4 hits by Votto, as his 4 hits aren't really a surprise. Wilmy, Dickerson and Ramon Hernandez (?) all picked up two hits yesterday. In fact the only starter, other than Harang, who didn't get a hit, was Encarnacion in the 4 hole. Batting clean-up for the 2009 Reds seems to be accompanied with some bad mogumbo, though the Reds official site has an article about Eddie 'embracing' the role. Phillips went 1 for 3 with a walk and his average skyrocketed to .184. So, everyone is happy as the Reds return home to tomahawk the savages. Get your commemorative Reds 2009 Central Division Champions tote bags before they sell out. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cueto Pitches So Well He Doesn't Mind Posing For Picture with D-Bag, Reds 3-0

The picture featured to the left is actually from a website named 'Major League Bling.' The said doucheberg is, likely, the proprietor of the establishment as the website also includes pictures of him and, in addition to Cueto, So Taguchi and Henry Blanco. Those guys don't give their time to just anyone. But, as stated, Cueto had time after the game. He dominated the Cubs for 7 innings and, rightly, felt pretty good about himself. That brings his ERA for '09 down to a very reasonable 2.55 and he's averaging slightly under a strikeout an inning. Nice job Johnny.

The offense was sluggish again last night against Ted Daffodil. The first run was scored after the Cubs put on a clinic about how not to defend against a bunt. After Gonzalez laid one down, Lilly negligectly to throw it to first base. Cueto bunted and also reached (in addition to the solid outing, Cueto also went 2 for 2 at the plate, season average .400). Then power bat Willy Taveras hit the sac fly and that was more or less that. Votto added a run-scoring double and Ray Jay hit his second bomb in two days after taking some time to recover from his Morgellon's disease or a hurt wrist, I don't recall. Big win Reds as it ensures a winning road trip. A win today and they take all three series, how about that? Reds! Reds! Reds!

Side note 2 - From 4/21, I forgot to mention, if it needs stating at all, that the Reds Rocket is a strong supporter of cats biting groundkeepers on television, especially those who work for the Cubs. I was actually listening to Marty and Cowboy at the time and then watched the replay when I got home. Cowboy goes, 'I don't care if it's a rat, a bird, or a cat, if an animal gets on the field it's funny...and now it's biting him and he's holding it by the tail'

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reds Lose? Cubs 7-2

I typed 'man shrugging shoulders' into Google for a picture to go along with the surprise of the caption and this guy came up. First of all, looks like he's from the Ukraine, which is neither here nor there, but second, he doesn't look so much, surprised, as saying something like 'you couldn't handle this baby.' Like a Martin Lawrence movie where he accidentily tries to pick up a transvestite. Regardless, of whether he may actually be surprised in the photo, if he was in attendance at last night's game, or getting the satelite feed in the Ukraine, I am certain that he would have been surprised at the Reds' poor play.

The Cubs looked like they may actually be a pretty good team this year. Harden was solid and the offense, even one full of Hoffpauirs, Theriots and Fontenots, looked pretty good. Owings, outside the first inning, didn't look great. But the high point was the reintroduction of Ray Jay into the lineup. His second bomb of the year briefly give the Reds the lead. I will assume that means he's finally getting on track, which would be a nice boost with 4 starters, not including the pitcher, with an average below .200. Brook Jacoby is a miracle worker. Reds play better today, hammer Ted Lilly.

Side note - before the Reds started yesterday I was listening to the Blue Jays/Rangers game and the Rangers' announcer said that, due to some violation by SkyDome, last night's game was one of two where the stadium wasn't allowed to sell alcohol. There were only like 5,000 Canucks at the game. Where's the Molson, eh?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hey Bronson, I Think Your Hair Looks Cool, Reds 4-3

Reds wrapped things up in Houston last night, taking three out of four from the Astronauts. Arroyo picked up his third win, with seven very solid innings. But it was the offense, featuring lineup number two, who picked him up in the 7th. After Arroyo decided that since he pitches for the Reds, he'd better let both Carlos Lee and Berkman hit a couple of rockets, the team offense rallied off, first, piece of garbage Mike Hampton, and then old pal Geoff and finally Tim Byrdak. 'Good spot for that fastball Timmy', is what the you heard Votto saying as he crushed the pitch off the left center column, scoring two. Hairston was thinking about what type of omelet he'd like to have for dinner and got thrown out at the plate. Didn't matter, the 4-3 lead was plenty for the reliable Reds pen. Though, pitching a 60-year-old everyday, even if it is Arty roads, may not hold up all season.

Paul Janish Yanish, Ryan Hanigan, and Darnell McD all picked up at least one hit, Janish had two. And McD made a sweet catch in right. I'm not claiming to be a Dusty Baker-type genius, but might not be a bad idea, at least while they're hot, to get Janish and Hanigan in the line-up with a little more frequency. But, I will defer to what Dusty feels is best. That guy's got a lot going on upstairs. Nice series Reds. Beat the shit out of the Cubs and their hip and whiney fan base starting today. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reds Fly to Moon, Beat on Astronauts Like Superman Two

The Reds continued their strong play on their first, and longest, road trip of the year. Pounding on the Astros like there were children in those suits. For those of you who think that Mr. Redlegs would be above wailing on children, don't know Mr. Redlegs. No age discrimination when it comes to issuing savage beatings.

Ramon Hernandez made me feel bad about all of those dead squirrels I had mailed to his house with a 9th inning shot off Papa Grande. But as Dusty would say, there's no taking back a dead squirrel. That's one of his favorite expressions. Hernandez (who also added a single today!) took a 1-2 pitch from Papa Grande Valverde on a line out of the yard to prevent Oswalt from winning his one thousandth game against Cincinnati. Tough break Roy Boy. I'm sure that made for a long drive home from the game in your bulldozer. Asshole.

Saturday, the team looked less good, so we'll gloss over the offense looking both mentally and physically handicapped against Wandy Rodriguez, and move on to today's victory over the Astronauts. The offense looked equally awful for six innings against some guy I had to look up in my nerd book. Paulino? Never heard of you but I'm sure you're no Brandon Backe. That guy's lights out. But then the Astros' bullpen decided that they'd rather spend Sunday dinner as losers. I respect their decision. Geoff Geary walked a guy, gave up the aforementioned single to Hernandez, which is simply unforgiveable, fielded a bunt and threw it into the stands, then gave up a two-run double to a pinch hitting pitcher. Nice outing Geoff. Now maybe you'll agree to start spelling your name like a regular guy named Jeff.

Not to overlook Owings' rocket off the wall but we all know he can rake the yard. If the Reds need a pitcher to carry the offense, at least they're man enough to admit it. Said Alex Gonzalez after the game, "The idea of using a wooden stick to hit a rounded piece of leather, confounds me." Way to step up Alex.

Overall, positive weekend for the Reds. Volquez's line looked better but he sure does like pitching with runners on base. Thankfully the out factories which proceed Carlos Lee were more than willing to bail him out of the bases loaded jam he created each inning. Win number two is still win number two. Reds take the third of four tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reds Let Brewers Have One, Milwaukee 9-3

Manger of the year candidate, Dusty, decided that it's too early the suck all of the hope out of Milwaukee. The Brewers, as one of the more likeable members of the Central, will, as the season progresses, be relied upon to beat such hated organizations as the Cubs and Cardinals. We'll even include the Astros in that mix, though they're terrible.

So, Dusty called off the dogs. Owings, who looked very much like a pitcher at the plate, didn't throw all that poorly. Actually, I take that back. Two home runs allowed to Mike Cameron in a career is too much. One game? Come on Micah. And he was assured of the loss through a spectacular meltdown by the bullpen. Might as well get it all out in one night rather than spreading a fine layer of shit/shittiness over the season schedule. Burton, let's never give up a hit to Jason Kendall again.

One of the few positives was Dickerson's shot to right at which time the Brewer's broadcast, which gets a better signal than Cincinnati over the MLB internet package, took a commercial break and showed a graphic under Looper stating that Mike DiFelice was in the game. Maybe that had something to do with every single player on the field wearing the same number. I like Jackie and the widow Robinson, but I think even they would agree it's a little confusing. Regardless, nice work by number 42. I look forward to seeing you in left, only, and I'm serious here, when a right-handed pitcher is on the mound. Those are Dusty's rules and there's no flexibility. Reds to Houston Friday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Arroyo Sharp, Hairston Powerful, Reds 6-1

The Reds continued on what will eventually be a 159 game winning streak last night against the Brewmasters. Arroyo's mixture of slow and slower curveballs frustrated Milwaukee, who eventually gave in and accepted defeat. There's just no beating the Reds, it's better that they learn that now rather than later in the season. Manny Parra? Come on, you'll need to do better than that Sveum.

Votto started the game off right with a double to right to score Hairston, who had walked. In the 3rd, also following a walk, this time to Tavares, Hairston deposited the thrown ball behind the outfield fence, for the first, of certainly many, home run of the season. The Reds added three more, but since they didn't matter to Arroyo, I don't need to discuss them.

Dusty filled up the lineup card with second team members, Paul Janish Yanish and Hanigan behind the plate. I'm sure many of you, like me, saw there was going to be no Alex Gonzalez or Ramon Hernandez and wondered where the the runs were going to come from. Those guys, hitting .000 and .105, respectively, at the bottom of the order, are hard to replace. But the Reds perservered and, hopefully, we'll see the return of both of those guys today. First sweep of the season today as we get to see what Micah Owings' arm is all about. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, April 13, 2009

No Suprises Here, Reds Victorious 7-6

On-base machine Encarnacion decided to diversify from walking every at bat and take Gallardo out of the yard with teammates occupying all of the bases. Eddie's slam capped a 6-run 3rd putting the Reds up for good and providing Volquez with a much-deserved victory. Five innings with 100 pitches thrown and 6 runs allowed, if that doesn't entitled you to a 'w' I don't know what does. Now that he has that first win out of the way he can get back to pitching effectively.

Ray Jay Bruce also decided it was time to remember that he's wicked sweet. He put the team on the board in the first with a rocket to right. But the real stars tonight were the charlatans from the bullpen. Four innings of scoreless relief was simply outstanding. Burton and Rhodes worked relatively uneventful innings before giving way to Weathers. Sensing that interest was waning and viewers would be tempted to turn over to one of the weightloss or dancing shows, he loaded up the bases with two-out in the 8th before tricking Hardy to rip one to center, right at Tavaras. That second and a half from the time the ball left the bat until the time Wilmy settled underneath provided a glimmer of hope for Brewer fans before punching them in the heart. Coco then closed things out. He looks as if he may have grown weary of the talks of his being overpaid for such a specialized role. That makes two saves in two opportunities.

Nice to see Big Frucking Nasty again, though where was the backbreaking home run allowed following his quick first inning of relief. I still recall the numerous times I thought 'that was a nice inning, lets save the rest of the arms and leave Coffey out there for the 8th/9th' which inevitably immediately proceeded a walk and a monster shot out of the park and an exit from the game to beat the hell out of the locker room. Reds take the series tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Eveyone is Very Impressed With Aaron Harang, Reds 2-0

The Reds finished out the weather-shortened series with Pittsburgh on a high note, with a nice, clean 2-0 victory over the P-rats. Harang was economical, treating the Pirate offense with much disrespect. Kyle Lohse and his tiny, novelty beard, also threw a complete game shutout, but Harang's was first. So, suck it Lohse. And that is the pitching performance that the Reds Rocket is going to expect for the rest of the season, from everyone.

Phillips went yard in the first and that's all the offense bothered with for the day. They new Harang was on and they could focus on eating sunflower seeds and playing pinochle. They got runners over to 3rd a couple of times but weren't too concerned with pushing them across. And hey, first triple play of the season, nice job Eddie. When the Pirates think about that, they can remember hte 3 hits they got over 9 innings. But, as they say, you can't put your arms around a memory.

Reds hit the road for the longest road trip of the year with tour stops in Milwaukee, Houston, and Chicago. I can't wait for the beating they're going to lay on the Cubs. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reds Say 'Forget Your Early Season Optimism, We're Getting Blown Out By the Pirates' Bucs 10-2

Cueto's first start of the season receives mixed reviews from the Reds Rocket. He struck out 9 over 6 innings but also got knocked around by a Pirate offense which features, not only Jack Wilson, but two DeLoage brothers. One of whom is putting up Alex Gonzalez 0 for the season numbers. But he, Cueto, didn't get much in the way of offensive support either. The Reds didn't get their first hit until Phillips' single in the 4th. Eddie followed that with a roller to right but Votto was thrown out of home. After that the team packed it in. Though, two members of the offense who have been quiet early, Phillips and Bruce produced the two runs (Phillips scored twice, Bruce knocked him in both times). That's the kind of effort we're looking for out of you two.

There appears to be some reason for concern regarding fairly reliable member of last season's cowpen, Mike Lincoln. He got hammered for the second time in two outings. I heard him discussing overgoing a procedure to undo the extensive surgery that made him one of last innings feel-good stories. Maybe he decided to go through with it and that's probably his prerogative. So, we'll wish him the best. Reds win today behind big ugly.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Votto Helps Remind Reds Oliver Perez is Awful, Reds 8-6

We here at the Reds Rocket have long been Oliver Perez detractors. It likely has something to do with how well he typically pitches against Cincinnati despite his aforementioned awfulness. Regardless, he returned to form today. I'm sure the Mets will be happy with for the life of the $36 million they're paying him.

Votto looked pretty sharp again today. After looking like he got kicked in the head by a mule in his first at bat, he recovered, and hit a three-run bomb for the second day in a row. That homer, which followed main man Darnell McDonald's two-out rbi single, put the Reds up 4-3. After giving allowing the Mets to tie things up, Paul Janich Yanich, of all people, picked the team up with another two-out rbi single. That's why he's on the roster, his bat. I'm pretty sure we can disregard his first two at bats and his outright refusal to allow Perez to walk him.

So, evidently Arroyo wasn't full of shit when he said he was ready to go. He, of course, brought the pre-made salad mix but even showcased a little velocity. Did I really see 91 mph flash up on the screen? That guy can bring the heat. Nice first win of the year. Mets, get the hell out of town. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Even With Hat Slanted Slightly Askew, Volquez Off, Mets 9-7

Volquez's first start of the season wasn't exactly the dominating performance I was looking forward to seeing. But that's what he gets for raising expectations last year. He should have worked into it. 17 wins in your first full season is not the way you do things. While I am certainly in favor of taking the bats out of the hands of Brian Schneider and Luis Castillo, the top of the Mets order got to see Volquez for the third time by the fifth inning. Those guys are predatory in nature.

The Reds offense showed some times of not being completely inept, which is certainly a step in the right direction. Though, I may be off base, but the strategy of leaving runners on third base with less than two outs as the Reds have utilized to great success in year prior, may not be the most effective approach to wining games. But, as I've said many times before, I'm certainly no expert. You get Laynce Nix quality late inning at bats early in the season and it's going to pay off. You just wait, Nix is just waiting for the games to start meaning something.

Arroyo gets the ball tomorrow afternoon in the final game of the set. In interviews he's said that he now regrets taking that temp data entry position over the winter. Carpal tunnel's the shits. Trainers fitted him with those bowling glove-looking braces and he should be ready to go tomorrow, tossing out some of the grade-A salad. Reds salvage the final game tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Getting To Know - Dusty Baker

There is not much debate that Dusty is the finest skipper in the history of the game but what, other than being friends with Hank Aaron, makes him so great? I wouldn't get any sleep, and I've got a full day of incredibly important television to watch in front of me, if I went through the whole list. So, we'll just stick from the motivational stuff from Spring Training.

Dusty on developing young talent:
When the kids first come up from the farm, I bring them over to Casa de Dusty. I've got a tent set up in the back yard and every day, every goddamn morning, those boys are up at 9 a.m. working that skillet. I tell those boys, seriously son, you got a lot to learn. How you going to hit a big league hook if you can't even poach an egg. Bring me a couple slices of honey dew too, that's part of the learning process too.

Dusty on life:
You can't just go around choking people. It's just life boys, no matter how much you want to. You think Dusty wouldn't like to choke a few people? I'll tell you what, I can think of more than a few. I've got about 35 people in my mind right now and you know what? You set them in front of me, I'd be choking them right now, right here with all you people around watching.

Dusty on Hank Aaron:
You know, when people ask me, what's one thing that people don't know about Dusty Baker, you know what it is? I am close personal friends with Hank Aaron. Oh yeah, we go way back. Many people forget, when he hit number 715, you know that night I'm talking about in Atlanta? The tv broadcast shows those two guys running out on the field as he's rounding the bases, you know what I mean? That's me. Me and my homey Big Ass Fritz running out there to congratulate old Hank on breaking that home run record. Then we all went out after the game and got ice cream. I remember I had a sundae and Old Hank got a banana split with an extra banana, just like he did after the 714 he hit before that. Good old Hank.

Dusty on Frankenstein:
Shit, I hate fire too.

Dusty on fishing:
Fishing's a lot like baseball. If you got a big fish with a strong arm, you just keep running that fish out there every five days. Or say, you got a smaller fish that can run pretty fast. That fish may not be good enough to marry your daughter, but shit, you can't teach speed. That fish is going to hit lead off every day for the entire fishing season. That's what I like about fishing, all the different types of fish you can catch.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Harang Will Humble Mets Next Time

The Reds opened the season with everyone's favorite sufferer of gigantism hitting the hill. Papa Harang held the Mets in a stanglehold for five innings before retiring to the clubhouse to eat three pizzas and two of Mr. Mets' children. They were illegitimate, so weren't really people, no one was too concerned. But, the offense was nervous and unable to perform and he took home the first loss of the season. He'll keep it on his mantle so he can remember the feeling and make sure this doesn't happen again.

The offense, predictably, without new leadoff extraordaire, Wilmy Taveras heading the lineup, struggled to get much going against Senor Santana. Don't worry, he'll be back soon, bunting four times a game and playing a strong center field. In his absence we'll get to see what new pal Darnell McDonald has to offer. My guess is quite a lot. He may have taken a couple of bad routes on balls hit his direction and committed the team's first error of the season, but we here at the Reds Rocket are expecting big things from the kid. You don't get to be a 30-year-old journeyman without having a high level of ability.

As pointed out by one of the many astute readers of this weblog, yesterday, we also saw the departure of Jonny Gomes. There's a chance he'll clear waivers and accept the demotion to Louisville but I wouldn't count on it. What I will count on is that American Championship ring of his being on ebay in a couple of years. So, looks like we'll get to enjoy the presence of Lance Nix. The true scouting report on him is that he is not below average at all aspects of the game but a fine gentleman who knows how to treat a lady right. And, in the end, that's all that really matters.

The Baseball Tonight highlights consisted of Bruce baiting Wright into rounding third before nailing him at the plate followed immediately by highlights of Ray Jay taking three straight fastballs from Santana, all very near to down the middle of the plate. *Correction, Votto. They're still Assholes. He put a nice swing on that double off the wall, so we're still expecting a big season from the right fielder. And Ramon Hernandez had a nice debut, showing that all those projections of a poor defensive catcher and eroding offensive skills were misplaced. He is actually left-handed and has one of the more unique Palsies, which hopefully explains the throws to second. Ryan Church can have that stolen base if he wants it that bad. Ramon has bigger things on his mind. He's anticipating running for City Counsel. He has you, the people of Cincinnati, in his mind and, in his heart.

So, even with the loss, we remain optimistic for the season. And George Grande, great to here that velvet voice of yours again trailing off and not making any sense. As a side note, both Dunn and Griffey went yard today. Traitors. Day off tomorrow. Volquez Wednesday. Nice to see everyone again.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hello Friends

Mr. Redlegs reminded me that the Reds Rocket was suffering from a lack of new content less than two days from the beginning of the 2009 Major League season. So, the generators were fired up and and all systems are go based upon the following write-up from our nerdy friends at Baseball Prospectus:

" that the Reds have something of a stating rotation they can count on going forward, the Reds may finally close the book on this long, misguided era."

That sounds like reason for optimism. Hooray for Reds.

We said goodbye to several good friends at the end of the 2008 season and during this last off-season but look at all the new faces: Willy-Wilmy Taveras made the trip over from Colorado (from Prospectus "the Rockies tried to trade him, but when they realized nobody was interested, they just let him go") and he will undoubtedly be outstanding leading off and playing center. And how about Jonny Gomes in left ("for the most part he has been a strange combination of a strikeout-prone slugger with a touch of speed and poor defensive skills who gets more at-bats than he deserves") Okay, sounds great. Let's see if we can't find a way to get him 400+ at bats. And look new catcher Ramon Hernandez (Hernandez clearly isn't what he was in the late 20's, but Camden Yards loves its righty hitter and might have camoflauged a more precipitous decline). Nothing not to like there. Where do I order the Ramon Hernandez Fat Head for my dining room wall?

A more appropriate greeting for the returning members is forthcoming. But based on the busy offseason, the team should be expected to contend in 2009. Anything less than 74 wins is going to be a serious disappointment. Reds! Reds! Reds!