Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reds Rocket All-Star Game

The Reds Rocket, as the big, meaningless exhibition game was held locally, was fortunate enough to be brought along to provide transportation to parties with greater financial wherewithal. After the three hour introduction, the game turned out to be very watchable. There were lots of Reds on the field, all, of course, doing very little to help the National League win the game. Actually, that may not be entirely accurate. Sure, Rolen, Votto, Phillips and Bruce were a combined 0 for 8 with 4 strikeouts (Bruce added an error, however, the only error was forgetting that Miguel Montero had entered to the game to play catcher) but they flashed a little leather. Phillips handled a couple of tricky hops in the late innings, Joey Blue Shoes hit the ground to field a roller and Rolen made a nice play in the hole before exiting in favor of the guy who used to be Pablo Sandoval. If he's not 5'11" and 300+ pounds he has no spot on my field. 

Rolen got the start due to the dearth of eligible National League third base candidates and looked more overmatched then I remember him ever looking. He led the field in bad swings on breaking pitches. I counted three in two at bats. Not bad. At least he's doing something memorable out there. But none of that really matters as the team for which they played won, ensuring the Reds home field for their inevitable World Series trip. I opted not to join the rest of the crowd and boo Fielder for his decision to leave Justin Upton, who was universally despised locally no more than 2 months ago. I'm sure as the summer wears on and the Diamondbacks start losing in bunches they'll remember their hatred for, possibly, the only interesting player on the field. They can always travel to Milwaukee and throw water on his family. First class all the way.

The team gets one more day off tomorrow before starting all over again with the Cardinals on Friday. Last time St. Louis visited Cincinnati, they left a broken and defeated team. Nothing suggesting that won't happen this time, other than the general poor play of the Reds heading into the break. But, now they've got their heads screwed back around facing forward and are ready to make up that four game deficit in the Central standings. Coco's going to do his best to not harm the team, at least for the next month or so, and Cueto gets the start Friday. He had a very fine first half and the month break at the beginning should serve him well as the season wears on. On a related note, I read on a baseball gossip site that there is some talk of the Reds inquiring on Usbaldo Jimenez, which, despite the 3 mph drop in his fastball this season, is an interesting idea. Jocketty even said publicly that he's checking around to see what can be had to increase the chances of reaching the post season. Maybe Jim Edmonds is available again to come to town, not play, then trash Cincinnati and the organization in the news. I like that idea. Three analysts and Kevin Millar agree that the Reds are numero uno. Can't argue with those numbers.

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