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Tuesday, April 7, 2009
On the idea of the reds opening on the road

Yes, the weather was miserable yesterday, and yes, having the home opener a week later might lessen the chances of that kind of weather, but that totally misses the point of Opening Day.

Opening Day just wouldn't be the same after a week of games. What's great about Opening Day is the sense of newness and optimism. Every team is 0-0 and there's still that chance for the Reds to go 162-0. If they started on the road then all that is ruined. When the team comes back 4-3, 3-4, or 0-7 then why even bother? Then reality has set in. Opening Day isn't about reality. It's about hope and rebirth and the belief that this year anything is possible.

Posted by robbernard at 9:46 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Wednesday, August 8, 2007
*
Posted by robbernard at 12:11 AM in Baseball



Tuesday, August 7, 2007
On Barry Bonds

I won't bother getting in to the steroids and all that, don't feel like cursing enough at the moment to do that conversation justice so let's move on.

To quote Field of dreams:

Shoeless Joe Jackson: The first two were high and tight, so where do you think the next one's gonna be?

Archie Graham: Well, either low and away, or in my ear.

Shoeless Joe Jackson: He's not gonna wanna load the bases, so look low and away.

Archie Graham: Right.

Shoeless Joe Jackson: But watch out for in your ear.

Pitchers can only control the outside of the plate if there's a threat that they will come inside on the hitter. If the pitcher never comes inside then the batter's free to hang out over the plate and wait for that outside pitch he knows is coming. Suddenly the pitcher only has half the plate to work with and the batter only has to cover half the plate.

Now let's take a moment to examine the effects of the bleeping body armor Barry Bonds wears on his elbow and how it has affected his ability to "brave" the inside pitches so he can knock the outside pitches out of the park. The following table lists the playing year and the percentage of Bonds' plate appearances in which he was hit by a pitch.

YearHBP/TPA
1986.41%
1987.49%
1988.33%
1989.15%
1990.48%
1991.63%
1992.82%
1993.29%
19941.27%
1995.79%
1996.15%
19971.16%
19981.14%
1999.69%
2000.49%
20011.36%
20021.47%
20031.82%
20041.46%
20050% (only 52 plate appearances)
20062.03%

Now then, to further split things up, I feel there are two important dates we need to consider. Bonds first started wearing protection on his elbow in 1992. The armor evolved over the next few years, getting bigger, and bigger, and more complex and the last change appears to have come in 2001 when he got the behemoth he now wears. So let's take a look at the combined hit-by-pitch percentages for 1986-1991, 1992-2000, and 2001-Present:

YearsHBP/TPA
1986-1991.44%
1992-2000.75%
2001-Present1.46%


There's a pretty clear progression there. The more armor Bonds wears the more he's getting hit. He walks to the plate with enough armor to make Sir Lancelot feel at home and he doesn't seem as gun shy about getting hit. He's hanging in there on those inside pitches and getting plunked while he waits for a choice outside pitch he can hammer.


Of course this isn't 100% conclusive, I'd hate to rule out the possibility that as time went on more and more pitchers just started trying to put it in the jackass's ear.

Related: Editor & Publisher - "Barry Bonds' HR Record Tainted by Elbow 'Armor'?

Posted by robbernard at 12:43 AM in Baseball



Friday, March 30, 2007
*waits patiently*

3 days before Opening Day and I've finally got the Reds' Season Ticket office admitting I should have had my Opening Day tickets by now.

They originally said I should have had them 2 weeks beforehand. Then it was "you should have them by the end of [last] week", then it was "we sent them all out last Thursday or Friday so they should be there any time now", now it's "We have you down for 4 Power Packs, did you have Opening Day tickets" "Yeah" "Ok let me get your information and I'll call you back later today after I've found something out"...

*waits for their call*

Posted by robbernard at 11:12 AM in Baseball



Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Jim Bowden charged with DUI

The story from MLB.com

In his defense, I imagine he was only drunk because somebody told him the beers were potential 5-tool outfielders.

Posted by robbernard at 2:05 PM in Baseball



Friday, January 20, 2006
Bob Castellini

This man gets it. This man actually cares about baseball. He has a passion for the Reds. He actually wants to win. What a refreshing change.

Posted by robbernard at 4:20 PM in Baseball



Thursday, December 8, 2005
The past couple days have made me realize why I stopped reading sports message boards

They're mostly full of idiots looking to trash anything and everything in an effort to show that they're smarter than the people who run the teams for a living. Why bother to look at the full effect of a trade when you can crame it down into one dimension and feel superior? Did a trade just help the team in 3 or 4 different ways? Eh, doesn't matter, you can always cherrypick the stats and prove that your GM is a raving loon because there's no way the pitcher he just picked up will ever hit .300. I open up these pages and I just have an intense urge to get all Coulter-like and inform them of their stupidity.

Luckily the Enquirer's Reds blog is a bastion of relative sanity.

Posted by robbernard at 8:53 PM in Baseball
I guess I'm in the lowest quintile of outrage among Reds fans over the Casey trade

Honestly I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. Yes Casey consistently hit above .300 and yes he's a great person. He's also slow as molasses, has a penchant for hitting into double plays, and has no power.

And yes Dave Williams "only" went 10-11 last year and yes his ERA was 4.41 and yes, he's given up some homers. He got those 10 wins with the Pirates, a team that only got 67 total. And outside of PNC he was 7-4 with a 2.65 ERA. And let's remember Tony LaRussa has called this guy one of the best southpaws in the league. Let's not be so quick to dismiss this guy as a scrub.

This deal saves us 5-7 million dollars this year, at the very least that's enough to keep everybody else who's going through arbitration and it may even help us land another decent pitcher.

This deal also solves the outfield problem, allowing us to play all 4 of our outfielders.

Again, Casey is a good guy. I wish him nothing but luck against everybody except the Reds. But being a good guy will only get your club so many wins. Deciding whether to keep a guy based on whether he's a good guy and popular in the community is a bad way to run a ball club. That's the Lindner way of running a ball club. That leads to losses.

As much as people love to bash O'Brien, this trade doesn't fly in the face of logic. There seems to be solid enough reasoning to back it up. It does solve at least one problem for the Reds and it's far too soon to label Dave Williams a bust, he has potential.

Posted by robbernard at 11:26 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Boy, the Reds radio promo people aren't even trying anymore

Heard on the radio: "Tonight at 7:35: The Red and Brewers play 9 because the schedule says they have to."

Posted by robbernard at 11:04 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, July 28, 2005
Tampa Bay - the new Montreal

Though things have been bad in Tampa Bay for so long that I don't know that "new" applies.

The attendence at tonight's Royal's-Devil Rays game: 8,308

The average attendence of the A Dayton Dragons last year: 8,361

Posted by robbernard at 11:28 PM in Baseball



Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Miley and Gullett out

Dave Miley and Don Gullett have been fired.

Let's take 'em one at a time...

Miley: He wasn't the reason the Reds were losing. He was however one of the reasons they couldn't turn it around. He just seemed to no longer have any authority in the clubhouse.

Gullett: Now Gullett I think was one of the reasons the Reds were losing. He's skated by on his reputation as a guy who can turn around the career of a has-been pitcher for quite some time but really what has he done in the last few years? He hasn't turned around a has-been in quite some time and he doesn't seem to have done anything for the young pitchers we've had the last few years... not to mention Milton. There have been too many problems with the pitching staff for too long for Gullett not to go.

Now, looking to the future...

It'd be hard to have a firesale. Anybody making enough to dump for salary reasons isn't good enough to trade (I'm looking squarely at you Milton).

I don't see any trades coming immediately. This is a vastly underperforming team, on paper they should play a lot better than they have. I think the front office would like to see how they do under new management for a while and then really come to a decision around the trade deadline.

If things are still this bad at the deadline then Randa's the most obvious choice to trade and they'd bring up Encarnacion.

Beyond that... if they trade a pitcher it'll be Mercker.

And at some point the outfield situation still needs to get worked out. If an outfielder goes I suppose the most likely is Kearns, but the rumor-du-jour is that Casey will go, allowing Dunn to move to first. So who knows?...

Posted by robbernard at 1:44 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Friday, June 17, 2005
Mwahahaha!

In his second game as a Met Danny graves gave up 3 runs in 1 inning. His ERA as a Met is currently 13.50.

Posted by robbernard at 9:27 AM in Baseball



Thursday, June 9, 2005
Must not read too much into it...

... must not read too much into it... I mean, the Reds offense has look good for a few days but it's just the Devil Rays.

Posted by robbernard at 11:45 PM in Baseball



Tuesday, May 24, 2005
So Graves is gone...

...good riddance. Bad performance is one thing, but to get indignant when people call you on it is quite another.

He forgot that you don't burn the bridge while your car's smack dab in the middle, hanging off the edge at 45 degrees.

Posted by robbernard at 12:26 AM in Baseball



Thursday, May 19, 2005
Somebody has some splainin' to do

So... sports winners wear red.

How the hell do you explain this year's Reds then?

Posted by robbernard at 11:43 AM in Baseball



Friday, May 6, 2005
This post won't make Danny Graves happy

BOOOOOO!!!!! You want respect? Try to achieve the level of a goddamn rookie level pitching staff!!

Posted by robbernard at 10:37 PM in Baseball



Wednesday, May 4, 2005
And now from the schadenfreude department...

It seems Barry Bonds has had a third operation on his right knee.

Posted by robbernard at 12:44 PM in Baseball



Sunday, May 1, 2005
New baseball steroid policy proposed
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig asked players to agree to a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders and a lifetime ban for a third violation under what he called a "three strikes and you are out approach" to doping.

In a letter sent this week to union head Donald Fehr, Selig proposed a 100-game ban for a second offense. He also asked the union to ban amphetamines, to have more frequent random tests and to appoint an independent person to administer the major-league drug-testing program.

"Third offenders should be banned permanently. I recognize the need for progressive discipline, but a third-time offender has no place in the game," Selig wrote to Fehr. "Steroid users cheat the game. After three offenses, they have no place in it."

Under the rules that began this season, a first offense gets a 10-day suspension, with the penalty increasing to 30 days for a second positive test, 60 days for a third and one year for a fourth. For a fifth positive, the penalty is at the commissioner's discretion.
...
Selig said he will make alterations for 2006 to the drug-testing program for players with minor-league contracts, who are not covered by the collective bargaining agreement. Currently, the minor-league penalty starts at 15 games for a first offense and then escalates to 30 games, 60 games and one year, with a fifth offense bringing a lifetime ban.

"These changes will include tougher discipline, including a permanent ban for a third offense, stricter regulation of amphetamines and greater reliance on independent experts," Selig said.

--ESPN


To say that I have no great love of Bud Selig falls into the category of mindblowing understatement but this is something I can wholeheartedly support and I have to give him credit for it. There's no reason that somebody should be able to be caught taking steroids 5 times and still be in the game. Let's hope the union steps up and protects the majority of its members who obey the rules.

Posted by robbernard at 4:01 PM in Baseball



Monday, April 11, 2005
Add one more to the steroid pile

This time it's Rockies outfielder Jorge Piedro.

Posted by robbernard at 5:29 PM in Baseball



Monday, April 4, 2005
Extended thoughts on Opening Day

My brother drove in from West Virginia last night to go to the game. This was our fourth straight Opening Day. (Methods of obtaining tickets: 02 - waiting in line failed, got off of ebay 03 - online 04 & 05 - waiting in line) He had to go straight back afterwards so we each drove. We got Downtown at about 10:45 and had no problem parking. $10 a couple blocks from GABP. We got lunch at Empress Chili's new downtown location and, not really caring about the parade headed down to the ballpark.

We had great seats, somewhere between Center and Right Center, front row below the smoke stacks. We watched the Mets take BP for about 40 minutes and then went to check out the new Hall of Fame. ($5 admission if you've got a ticket.) It's really pretty cool.

We got back to our section just as the National Anthem started and the B2 flew over. Things started badly with Matsui homering but Dunn answered in the bottom half of the 1st with a 3-run shot that with a few more feet would have cleared the Sun Deck. (I'm visible in this picture.) Mets came back to tie things up and things were quiet for a while. Pedro struck out quite a few Reds, but the score remained 3-3. Then Weathers and Mercker came in to promptly give up 3 runs in the 7th. (Piazza doubled off the wall pretty much right in front of me. If I'd wanted to get thrown out I probably could have touched it.) The Reds came back with one run in the bottom of the 7th and Wagner and Graves came in to shut the Mets' bats down for two innings.

And now we come to the ninth. This folks is why you NEVER leave a ball game early. Brandon Looper comes in to save the game for the Mets with a 2 run lead. Kearns singles. Dunn launches yet another into the Right-Center stands. Tie ball game. And then Randa comes up.

High drive to Left Center field!

"Is it gone? IT IS! AND THIS ONE BELONGS TO THE REDS!!!"

Go home, you're done. Hit the showers, but thanks for the runs. You bum, you got rocked, so just beat it. You got the hook so go home.

Hey pitcher, so I guess that was your fastball, I don't think you could get it past my grandma.
I'm confused, was that your changeup or your slider.
Doesn't matter because you couldn't get it by her.
Ball 1, outside.
Ball 2, up high.
You threw a strike and he yanked it out of the yard.
Yeah, now you gotta go home, you're done.
Hit the showers, but thanks for the runs.
You bum, you got rocked so just beat it.
You got the hook go home.

--Blessid Union of Souls - Go Home

It's odd, earlier in the game a hit had skittered between Randa and Aurillia and the people near me were ready to give up on him. He hits the first walk-off homer in Reds Opening Day history and suddenly he's a king. :)

It took a while to get out of town. Ended up taking Central Parkway north, zigged around the ole' Alma Mater and got on 71 at McMillan.

The one downside of the whole thing is that when I got home I found that my Tivo had recorded the game on ESPN instead of FSN so I ended up with the Pirates-Brewers game. Really would have liked to have the game to watch again. :(

All in all though it was an absolutely fantastic experience. It was soooooo worth the hous spent in line waiting for tickets. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. If you haven't been to Opening Day in Cincinnati you haven't really been to an Opening Day.

On WLW after the game someone noted that Baseball is sometimes thought of as an older person's game, a game that teens and 20-somethings have just lost touch with and observed that the turnout at today's game just didn't show that. And I have to agree. In my entire row I don't know that there was one person over the age of 30.

This should be an exciting year of Reds baseball. Can't help but get a '99 vibe off this team and the excitement surrounding them.

The names have changed but the game's the same... so grab your glove and let's play ball!
Everybody's coming downtown to watch them play... America's past time
Everybody's coming downtown just to say... hey, hey!
Everybody's coming downtown to watch them play... America's past time
At Great American Ball Park
There's a whole new game in town, everyone's invited down.
Because where one generation ends there's a new one about to begin.

--Blessid Union of Souls - Play Ball

And now a few pics.





View from our seats/Mets BP





B2 Flyover





First Pitch


The Outfield Trio


The traffic on the way home

Posted by robbernard at 9:11 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Saturday, April 2, 2005
T-Minus 48 hours...

...till the start of the baseball season. :)

...whoops... daylight savings time... make that 47 hours.

Posted by robbernard at 2:10 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Friday, March 25, 2005
Hal McCoy: Leaning towards not voting for Bonds & McGwire fore Hall of Fame

The AP has a story in which a little less than a third of Hall of Fame voters were polled and asked whether they'd vote Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire into the Hall. Of those who showed an inclination one way or the other McGwire only had 55.6% support while Bonds had 80.8% support.

Dayton Daily News Reds beat writer Hal McCoy's thoughts:

"Right now I'm sort of sitting on the fence, but leaning toward not voting for McGwire or Bonds because they cheated," said Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, himself a member of the Hall's writers' wing.

"McGwire had the opportunity to say something, but didn't. To me, that's sort of like pleading the Fifth Amendment and not denying he did it," he said.

--Yahoo! News

Posted by robbernard at 12:53 PM in Baseball



Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Call it schadenfreude

This made my day when I heard it last night.

Coming off knee surgery and caught up in baseball's steroids scandal, Barry Bonds said he may not play at all this season -- despite standing on the doorstep of the sport's most hallowed record.

The San Francisco Giants slugger also said he was physically and mentally "done," and blamed the media for at least part of his troubles.
...
Bonds, leaning his head on a crutch and repeatedly saying he was tired, spoke after a 11/2-hour session with Giants trainer Stan Conte.

"Right now I'm just going to try to rehab myself to get back to, I don't know, hopefully next season, hopefully the middle of the season," Bonds said. "I don't know. Right now I'm just going to take things slow.

"I'm 40 years old, not 20, 30."

--SI.com

Posted by robbernard at 11:38 AM in Baseball



Thursday, March 17, 2005
Congressional hearings on steroids

Oh look, it's politicians grasping for the limelight.

Steroids are a problem for Baseball but there's really no reason Congress should be involved. This is between Baseball, the players and the fans.

Posted by robbernard at 5:36 PM in Baseball , Politics/Government



Thursday, March 10, 2005
More on the Enquirer's overreaction to the Reds being up for sale

This from WCPO's John Popovich:

The Enquirer can say that TV stations overreact to bad weather, but today, the paper has overreacted big time to this story. The banner headline on the front page reads.. "REDS UP FOR SALE". Inside, the headline is "Lindner loyal to keeping the Reds in Cincinnati". Then there's the lead editorial.."Make Sure our Reds stay here". Here's how it concludes..."This is the time for every fan, every politician, every child who ever skipped school to watch the Reds on Opening Day to let baseball know that this team must stay in this town. Not just for this season; not just for the life of the lease; but for the next generation and all the ones after that. The Reds belong in Cincinnati forever.

Opening Day sold out in 12 minutes....isn't that proof enough?

Every time somebody thinks about selling a portion of the Reds, there's panic that the team is going to move out of town. It's pure garbage! When the Expos went looking for new location, who was out there? There was Norfolk that has a minor league ballpark and Washington which changed its mind a couple of times. No established team is going to move, especially one with a new stadium and a long term lease. If teams were so free to move, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota would have moved a long time ago. Every time the Indians got new ownership, there was talk of a move. That's because they stunk on the field and their stadium was run down.

Why do you think they made the movie "Major League"? There was some truth in that movie. They never moved.

--Popo's Sports Blog

Just imagine the Enquirer's reaction if there were actually the chance that the sale would have slightest effect. They'd have a coronary.

Posted by robbernard at 3:59 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Reds up for sale

Ok, so the majority (but not the controlling share) of the Reds is up for sale. Do we really need three different stories and an editorial from the Enquirer on keeping the Reds in Cincinnati.

It seems rather desperate when there's no reason at all for it.

Posted by robbernard at 1:06 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Poor Barry Bonds

It's so tough being a cheater, people keep asking you about your cheating, forcing you into rambling 40 minute rants on how great you are, how the media is out to get you and how Babe Ruth had it so easy because he was white.

Barry Bonds has done more damage to baseball than anything Pete Rose ever could have.

Posted by robbernard at 11:50 AM in Baseball



Saturday, February 19, 2005
Reds Opening Day

Got my tickets.


A few thoughts:

If you're the guy half a mile back in the GABP line, you shouldn't be expecting tickets.

If you show up after 6AM at any location where you don't know that they're doing a lottery then you're just not trying.

If you show up at any location where they're not doing a lottery 25 minutes before they go on sale, not only will you not be gettting tickets, you don't deserve them.

The manager at my Tickets.com outlet had exactly the right attitude. The fans devoted enough to sit on the hard floor for 8 or more hours SHOULD have priority over the people who stroll in at 8:00 or 8:30.

And now it's time to sleep.

Posted by robbernard at 10:04 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Friday, February 18, 2005
Geez...

I'm trying to figure out where to go to buy Reds Opening Day tickets and it's not going very well. I called around earlier in the week to find out which stores were doing first-come-first-served and which were doing a lottery for place in line. I call around today to confirm and every one that said they were doing first-come-first-served is now saying they're doing a lotto and the first place I called that said they were doing a lotto is now saying they're doing first-come-first-served.

Lord only knows what the policy will be 10 minutes from now.

Posted by robbernard at 5:36 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, February 17, 2005
Sheesh!

Whatever you do, don't listen to the advice in this article about getting Reds Opening Day tickets.

1) They suggest that the kid camping out for 96 hours could just get them online. If you trust that you'll be able to get tickets by your computer you'll be sorely disappointed. You'll most likely find yourself waiting in a digital waiting room, frantically clicking "Refresh" for 20 minutes at which point you'll find that they're sold out.

2) The kid waiting in line for 96 hours says he won't even be getting the best seats available. That's just stupid. He says he has to look at the economics. I pray to God he's not an economics major because if he is he's not graduating from college. He could get the best available, sell them on eBay and then buy the cheaper seats he wants. That would actually make him money.

Posted by robbernard at 12:31 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Monday, February 14, 2005
Barry Larkin retires

He's hung up his glove after 19 years with the Reds and joined the front office of the Washington National.

I'm with Hal McCoy on this one. it's a disgrace that the Reds couldn't bother to try and find a place for him in the front office and left him to the Nationals.

Posted by robbernard at 11:18 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Well, that does it...

Sega is officially out of the sports game market, selling their sports game subsidiaries to Take 2 who signed a deal with MLB this week to be the exclusive 3rd party baseball game developer.

Earlier, of course, EA took the NFL and ESPN away from Sega.

Posted by robbernard at 1:34 AM in Baseball , Technology/Internet



Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Reds sign another one

I think you have to be happy about the Reds signing Rich Aurilia to a minor league contract. He's struggled offensively for a couple years but you know he has that offensive potential and it's nice having a more experienced option at short than Lopez and Machado. Plus he gives them another utility infielder option and the 600k price tag is quite a cut from his $3.15 mill last year.

Posted by robbernard at 1:03 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, January 13, 2005
Steroid testing in baseball

Major League Baseball and the Players Union have agreed to a stricter drug testing policy. The new agreement includes more frequent random steroid testing and an actual punishment after the first positive test. Before a player testing positive only had to get treatment, now they face a 10 day suspension.

It's about bleeping time.

Posted by robbernard at 2:20 AM in Baseball



Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Looks like Nuxhall will do at least 6 games next year
Joe Nuxhall probably will add ballpark No. 57 to his list.

Nuxhall and Reds chief operating officer John Allen are working out the details, but Nuxhall will continue to broadcast games next season, and he'll probably do the games from Washington's RFK Stadium and Boston's Fenway Park.

RFK, where the Nationals, formerly the Montreal Expos, are to play, will be the 57th stadium Nuxhall has played in or broadcast from. Nuxhall played in Fenway but hasn't done radio from there.

"We're not sure exactly how many games I'll do," Nuxhall said. "But it looks like I'll do Boston and Washington."

Said Allen: "We want to give Joe a chance to add to his total (of ballparks)."

--Enquirer


It's nice to se that they seem to have smoothed things over.

Posted by robbernard at 1:25 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Monday, December 27, 2004
Reds sign Eric Milton

Who would have thought they'd be willing to put up the money for a 3 year, $25.5 million contract?

Posted by robbernard at 5:43 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Reds' dealings: Part 2

Boy, for the longest time there was nothing and then all of a sudden... WHOOSH! The Reds picked up Kent Mercker yesterday, agreed to a one-year contract with D'angelo Jimenez today, and also today signed free agent Joe Randa, formerly of the Royals, to play third. The addition of Randa means Kearns won't need to switch to third, once again leaving 4 outfielders to fill 3 slots.

And believe it or not, they actually seem to be adding payroll.

It would be awfully hard to argue that these moves haven't made the Reds a better team. The rotation should be better with Ortiz, the pen almost HAS to be better with Weber, Weathers and Mercker, we actually have an honest-to-God third baseman and they've stood pat at C, 1B, 2B and in the outfield.

The only real questions remaining would be:

1)Who wins out at short, Machado or Lopez?

2)Who fills out the rotation?

and...

3) How does the outfield surplus work itself out?

Posted by robbernard at 5:12 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, December 16, 2004
Reds dealings

Ramon Ortiz, David Weathers and Ben Weber in, Dustin Mosely out.

So far I'm fairly happy with what they've done. Both the rotation and bullpen should be stronger.

Posted by robbernard at 11:23 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Monday, November 22, 2004
New name for the Expos

It's official, the Montreal Expos are now the Washington Nationals.

City and team officials announced at a Monday press conference at Union Station that Washington, D.C.'s baseball team will be named the Nationals.

The name change comes almost two months after Major League Baseball announced that the team was relocating from Montreal to Washington, D.C. The team will play its home games at RFK Stadium during the 2005 season.

With team president Tony Tavares and interim general manager Jim Bowden in attendance, the Nationals also revealed a new logo and uniform color scheme, which is red, blue and gold.

--MLB.com


I like it. It's definitely better than the Senators.

Posted by robbernard at 2:37 PM in Baseball



Wednesday, October 20, 2004
To illustrate just how bad my baseball playoff ennui is...

Tonight is game 7 of the ALCS. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Red Sox have come back from being down 3-0. It's just about the best setup for a game you could ever expect to have. And yet I can barely get up the interest to watch it tonight.

Posted by robbernard at 11:36 AM in Baseball



Monday, September 27, 2004
Pirates-Reds

Went to yesterday's Pirates-Reds game in Pittsburgh. Boy, those Pittsburgh fans are an excitable bunch. You'd think they'd never seen a halfway decent play at shortstop before.

--Addendum--
Primanti Brothers makes a very good sandwich.

This was my first time at PNC Park. It... how do I say this... has a more cohesive feel to it I think than GABP. There was a lot of local flavor, but tempered with non-local chains like Outback and Quaker Steak & Lube. The view in the outfield is definitely better, but it's not really something that could've been replicated in GABP, doing so would've required the stadium to be in a different city and state. I prefer GABP's scoreboard, PNC's seemed awfully dark (And GABP's ribbon scoreboards are a nice feature but it's not a big plus considering they only devote ~10% of them to scores and the rest to ads.) PNC's outfield away-game scoreboard though is head-and-shoulders above GABP's. You can actually see what the situation is, not simply the inning, score, and pitcher. If you're paying attention you can actually know that Boston just doubled in the runners from 2nd and 3rd with one out rather than just seeing that they tacked two more on the scoreboard. PNC seemed homier. Looking back I'm thinking a lot of it had to do with the blue color the stadium was painted. GABP's white seems to make it a lot more sterile and I really wonder what the stadium would feel like if only it were repainted.

Posted by robbernard at 11:00 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Saturday, August 7, 2004
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Baseball owners will be asked to approve a three-year extension for commissioner Bud Selig that will run through 2009, The Associated Press learned.

The extension will be presented for a vote when owners meet in Philadelphia on Aug. 19, a high-ranking baseball official said Friday on the condition of anonymity. Approval of the extension appears certain and could be unanimous.
...
Selig had said in the past that he intended to leave at the end of his current term, but he hinted at a change in his stance during the All-Star Game, saying his time in office has "at least 2 1/2 (years) and maybe more to go."

--Selig extension would go through 2009

Posted by robbernard at 5:14 PM in Baseball



Friday, July 23, 2004
*grumble*

*Warning* What follows is a short fantasy baseball rant. If this doesn't interest you, and it probably won't, simply move along down the page.


WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?!?

I go up against the #1 team in the league. I beat them 12-7. I go up against the very worst team in the league and they beat me 12-6. Now I'm up against the #2 team in the league and I'm hanging right in there. Is it too much to ask for my players to show a little consistency? How can every single player on my team know that I'm playing another bad team and that it's time for them to start sucking when they don't even know they're on my team?!

Posted by robbernard at 1:05 AM in Baseball



Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Note to the National Leage

You haven't done it in the past 8 years, but do you think that maybe in the next 8 years you could think about maybe WINNING ONE FREAKING ALL-STAR GAME!!!

Posted by robbernard at 12:35 PM in Baseball



Friday, July 9, 2004
Pete Rose called upon to manage professional baseball team

Well, Pete Rose Jr. anyway.

Posted by robbernard at 12:58 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Friday, June 4, 2004
Because I liked how I said it elsewhere...

The difference between Baseball and Hockey/Soccer is like the difference between a good drama and The Fast and the Furious.

The drama has tension and expectation and excitement when it's appropriate. The Fast and the Furious has plenty of action but it's the same damn thing repeated over and over for 106 minutes until you just want to want the misery to end.

I'm sure they're all great fun to play/act in but for my personal viewing I'll stick to the Baseball/drama side of the equation.

Posted by robbernard at 3:49 AM in Baseball , Movies



Sunday, May 23, 2004
Back from the Reds game

A great game tonight.

I have to give credit to the sound crew. When Clemens intentionally walked LaRue in the 3rd they came back with the Simpsons line "Clemens is in no condition to pitch sir, he thinks he's a chicken". It was brilliant in its appropriateness. They've also gotten much better at timing the boings and glass breaks that follow fowl balls than they were back at Cinergy.

Posted by robbernard at 1:10 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Holy cow

The Reds have a new way for you to buy tickets. Before you had to have them shipped to you, pick them up at Will Call, or pick them up at a tickets.com outlet. They now have a service called Tickets@Home where you can print out your own tickets on your own printer and bring them to the ballpark.

To pick your tickets up at Will Call or an outlet costs $2.50 for Order Processing.

Now what do you think it would be to print them out yourself? Probably less, right? Considering that you have to use your own paper and ink and they don't have to have one of their people handle the tickets and hand them to you, that would make sense.

Is it the case?

NO! They charge $4.25 to print out your own tickets!

How can that be? In what conceivable way could it cost them more to have you print your own tickets than to have them print them themselves and pay a person to stand at a window and hand them to you?!

Posted by robbernard at 1:39 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Friday, April 30, 2004
A note to the players on my fantasy baseball team...

STOP GETTING INJURED!!!

I'm talking to you Pettitte, Nomar, Kearns, and LaRue!

That is all.

Posted by robbernard at 2:09 AM in Baseball



Monday, April 12, 2004
Not even giving them a chance

Phillies fans were letting their pitchers know they stink even before they'd thrown their first pitch.

Posted by robbernard at 12:15 AM in Baseball , Miscellaneous



Saturday, April 10, 2004
The topsy-turvy world of the first week of baseball

The current first place teams are Tampa Bay, Detroit, Anaheim/Oakland, Florida, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles. Oakland was the only team to finish in first in their division last year. All together they finished a combined 148.5 games out of first and an average of 21.2 games back.

Posted by robbernard at 2:05 AM in Baseball



Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Let's be clear here

This is not Opening Day. I do not recognize any game played prior to the first game played by the Cincinnati Reds as Opening Day.

Posted by robbernard at 11:35 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Saturday, March 27, 2004
Gone

Church retreat Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, so again not much this weekend. In the meantime, if you're looking to spend a lot of money on Reds Opening Day tickets and want to sit next to me here's your chance. :)

Posted by robbernard at 12:27 AM in Baseball , Miscellaneous



Friday, March 26, 2004
Reds Trade

Reitsma to Braves for reliever Jung Bong and minor league pitcher Bubba Nelson.

Can't get too worked up about this trade. Nelson is ranked as the Braves' third-best prospect and O'Brien seems to think Bong could be a starter so it's not like the Reds got obviously screwed on this one. Chris Reitsma's a good guy. Sad to see him go, wish him nothing but the best.

Posted by robbernard at 2:47 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, March 4, 2004
It's official

It's baseball time again. Reds are on the radio, scores are arriving on my phone. And to top it off the Reds are so far undefeated in 2004.

Posted by robbernard at 3:53 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Tuesday, March 2, 2004
R.I.P. Marge Schott

She had her problems, there's no denying that, but she loved Cincinnati and the Reds and was generous with her money. It's sad to see her go.


"Marge was a paradox," said Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken. "While there is no excusing some of the indelicate things she said, there was a kindness to Marge that made her a woman of the people."
...
"Selling the ball club was a blessing in disguise for the community as a whole," Brennaman said. "Look at all of the contributions she's made since then. She has never gotten enough credit for all of the money she's donated to causes in this city."

Cincinnati knew - and benefited from - the good Marge. While many in the Queen City reviled her for her racist remarks, many others revered her for her charitable contributions.

"Marge has done more than any other citizen to improve the quality of life in Cincinnati," said Bill Heckman, president of the Children's Heart Association.
...
[Gregg] Hudson marks his third anniversary as the zoo's executive director in April. He admitted that when he came to town and before meeting with Schott, he had "all of the stereotypes in my mind."

He figured he would be meeting with a woman who was rough around the edges, prone to making inappropriate remarks and tough to deal with.

"She was a lot of what everybody thinks," he said.

"She called me honey.

"She was brash. And smoked a lot of cigarettes.

"But the thing I never really knew is that she had this huge heart. She loved animals and children. She did great things for this zoo.

"And this city."

--Enquirer

Posted by robbernard at 4:31 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Saturday, February 14, 2004
Bwah... bwah... bwah... Holy crap...

Looks like A-Rod to the Yanks for Soriano. It'll put the Yankees payroll north of $200 million. That's more than 4 times the Reds' payroll and more than 6 times the lowest payroll last year.

Posted by robbernard at 6:46 PM in Baseball , Miscellaneous



Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Reds pick Steve Stewart to replace Nuxhall

Cincinnati.com says Stewart's the one.

#3 announcer at WBAL for the Orioles, I said earlier that he sounded too "generic" for my taste. Oh well, I'm willing to give him a shot. I hope he's better live than the clip they had up at Cincinnati.com.

Posted by robbernard at 2:55 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Sunday, February 1, 2004
Thoughts on the possible replacements for Joe Nuxhall

Cincinnati.com's got mp3s up for 6 people in the running to replace Joe Nuxhall in the radio booth with Marty.

Don't make the cut

Steve Stewart: Does radio for the Orioles - He just sounds too generic to me. There's nothing distinctive about his voice.

Joe Sunderman: Xavier basketball play-by-play - I get a generic vibe off him to. I'm not getting a sense of a persona behind his play calling.

I think connecting as a person and not just a voice is even more important than being good at calling the game and I just don't think Stewart or Sunderman have that.

Tracy Jones: Talk show host on WLW - I can't see him doing play by play. He seems too opinionated to call the game day in and day out. Much more suited to a discussion-type format.

Ok, but not quite

Dan Hoard: Fox 19 sports anchor and voice of UC sports - I like him, I really do, but I just don't think he's right for Reds baseball. I just don't think his play-by-play "fits".

I'd be happy with 'em

Chris Welsh: Works the Reds games on TV - He's probably the most like Joe in the way he speaks and calls the game. He'd be a worthy replacement for Joe. I wouldn't be at all upset if he moved from TV to the radio.

Jeff McCarragher: Play-by-play for the Norfolk Tides who employed Marty before he joined the Reds - I like this guy. You've never heard of him but I like the way he sounds. He doesn't sound white bread, he doesn't sound bland. I get the feeling there's a person behind his voice unlike Stewart and Sunderman. He's not as much like Joe as Welsh is, but it seems he'd bring an enthusiasm for it, that he really gets into the game. I really think he'd work well.

Posted by robbernard at 4:57 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Tuesday, January 6, 2004
The Enquirer's coverage of the Pete Rose situation

Pete Rose admits to betting on baseball. How does the Cincinnati Enquirer cover it? They've got one story by the Enquirer, one with opinions from Fay Vincent, the LA Daily News and 2 from Knight-Ridder and one story from The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press.

This is the Cincinnati Enquirer, you know, the big paper in the city where Rose spent the great majority of his career as a player and manager. Would it have killed them to do a little more of the coverage of the story themselves.

The Dayton Daily News meanwhile managed to do 4 different stories themselves with 2 more from the Cox News Service.

Posted by robbernard at 1:16 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Monday, December 8, 2003
Gotta take exception to an ESPN article here...
Congratulations, Bud Selig, you're off the hook for the All-Star Game tie.

The baseball commissioner is looking like Winston Churchill next to the six commissioners responsible for concocting a system that prevented the No. 1 team in college football from playing in the national championship game.

--ESPN.com
Bud Selig will never... NEVER be off the hook for that monstrosity of an All Star Game.

Posted by robbernard at 4:15 PM in Baseball



Friday, December 5, 2003
More on Miley

I'm happy he got the job. Good teacher, good with our young guys, history of winning, knows the system, etc... I'm very leary though of the argument that "he's been in the system for 24 years so deserves it". Being in the system for a long time doesn't equate to deserving the job. Being good at the job does. Giving jobs to people just because they "deserve" it isn't how you put a winning team on the field. There are a lot of good reasons for Miley to be the Reds manager. Having earned it by being around for a long time isn't one of them.

Posted by robbernard at 12:00 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, December 4, 2003
'Bout time.

Reds name Dave Miley new manager.

I'm happy with this. The Reds are a young team and Miley's good with the youngsters. He knows the organization and has a history of winning as a managager.

On a side note, Paula Faris from the press conference video is pretty cute.

Posted by robbernard at 11:35 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, November 13, 2003
Baseball to start testing for steroids

More than 5 percent of the players in the majors tested positive for steroids this year leading to automatic testing next year. It's about time. The players who play by the rules shouldn't be punished for not going the route of the Bonds's of the sport.

Posted by robbernard at 7:10 PM in Baseball



Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Rookie of the Year

I just voted for Rookie of the Year at MLB.com's This Year in Baseball Awards site and I didn't vote for Hideki Matsui. Does this mean that I can be expecting a tirade against me from George Steinbrenner soon?

Posted by robbernard at 2:57 AM in Baseball



Thursday, November 6, 2003



Sunday, November 2, 2003
GOOD NEWS FOR THE YANKEE-HATERS

The Yankees may bring Jim Bowden on as "minor-league director".

Which would mean that within 5 years the Yankees' system would be nothing but failed 5-tool outfielders.

Posted by robbernard at 8:06 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Sunday, September 28, 2003
THE REDS PR COULD BE RUN BY A MENTALLY DEFICIENT MONKEY AND IT WOULD BE IN IMPROVEMENT.

That being said I'm glad Larkin's coming back.

Posted by robbernard at 11:50 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Monday, July 28, 2003
IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE HOPE THING THIS COULD BE THE BEST DAY EVER.

Bob Boone and Jim Bowden are gone. Here's hoping Reds management get's the best people, not the most loyal people, and that Gammons turns out to be on crack with all his talk of a firesale.

Would have gotten to this earlier but I was at the game today.

Posted by robbernard at 10:56 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Monday, July 14, 2003
SAUSAGES ARE PEOPLE TOO!
"People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has come to the defense of Pittsburgh Pirates player Randall Simon, who faces a misdemeanor charge for using a bat to hit a woman dressed as a giant Italian sausage. . . . 'We empathize with Mr. Simon for wanting to put an end to that grotesque spectacle,' said an unnamed spokesman for PETA. 'Vegetarians and vegans in the crowd were doubtless offended by the sight of animal carcass forms dashing across the field.' "--ScrappleFace.com, July 10

"PETA has written to Milwaukee Brewers President Wendy Selig-Prieb, renewing its request that a fifth contestant be entered in Miller Park's famous 'Sausage Race' in light of the recent incident in which Pittsburgh Pirate Randall Simon attacked the 'Italian Sausage' with a baseball bat. Traditionally, four participants dressed to represent various meat sausages race from the outfield to home plate, and last year, PETA requested that a vegetarian 'soysage' be included in the race. Now, PETA recommends that, in order to set a nonviolent example to offset the recent brawls and 'beanings' in MLB, the Brewers should field a Sausage Race participant that does not represent the violence inherent in meat production, which includes castration, debeaking, dehorning, and throat-slitting."--PETA press release, July 10

--From BOTW.

I don't know about you, but I prefer my sausages testicle, beak and horn free...

Oh, and one more line from PETA: "Perhaps Randall Simon was simply expressing his frustration at the fact that the vegetarian hot dog was not allowed to compete. By allowing the peaceful "soysage" in the race, you could possibly avoid future player-meat confrontations."

Posted by robbernard at 2:59 PM in Baseball



Thursday, July 10, 2003
IT'S CURRENTLY 9-1 ASTROS OVER THE REDS IN THE 2ND

I have only 4 words to say...Fire Bob Boone Now!

Posted by robbernard at 9:25 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, May 29, 2003
FIGHTING CRIME THROUGH BASEBALL
For David Horton, a kiss was much more than just a kiss. It was his ticket back to jail.

Horton, 24, attended a Reds game May 7 with his girlfriend, even though he knew authorities were looking for him because he had failed to show up in court to answer a drug-related charge.

Police had been unable to find him -- until the couple turned up on the "Kiss Cam" at the Reds game.

In 1999, Horton was convicted of felonious assault for stabbing two men. He was given a four-year prison sentence and served 2 years before he was granted judicial release.

He was paroled Oct. 21, 2002, but had to stay out of trouble and report regularly to his parole officer.

Horton, however, was arrested March 27 and indicted in Hamilton County for trafficking and possession of cocaine. He is accused of selling 48 grams of powder cocaine and having another 454 grams of the drug on him.

Horton didn't tell his parole officer about the new charge, but the officer found out and put out a warrant for his arrest. Horton was released from jail when he made bond on the drug charges, but failed to appear at his next court appearance.

Horton was sitting in the front row at Great American Ball Park with his pregnant girlfriend as the Reds played the St. Louis Cardinals. In between innings, the couple decided to participate in one of the schmaltzy features at the stadium by smooching, hoping to be featured on the "Kiss Cam."

Unluckily for Horton, they were captured by the camera and shown on the scoreboard video screen.

Even more unlucky for Horton, his picture on the big screen was seen by the wrong person -- his parole officer.

"Out of all the coincidences, we had 20 or 30 thousand people at the ballpark and who do they put on the kiss cam? And then who is there but his parole officer," said Richard Goldberg, Horton's attorney, Wednesday after a hearing before Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Melba Marsh.

The parole officer, Goldberg said, contacted a Cincinnati police officer at the game. They found out where Horton was sitting, walked to his seat and arrested him.

Horton refused to leave at first, wanting to see whether the Reds held on to their 2-1 lead. The Reds eventually won 4-2.

"They took him away and his girlfriend was left sitting there with an empty seat," Goldberg said.

Now, Horton may have lots of time to watch baseball games -- on television.

In addition to the time he faces for a parole violation, the drug charges against Horton carry a maximum prison sentence of 18 years.

--The Cincinnati Post

Posted by robbernard at 10:25 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Tuesday, April 1, 2003
BUSY, BUSY, BUSY

Attended the first ever Opening Day at Great American Ball Park yesterday. Very few bad things to say about it. The first base concourse was impossibly crowded, but that will be fixed when the rest of the complex is completed, and the scoreboard was awfully hard to see from the 1st base side starting at about 6. I'm also not a huge fan of the new Mr. Reds race, guess I kinda preferred the old low-tech way, and it's kinda hard to find the Big Red Smokeys. Other than that I really have nothing bad to say about the stadium. It's pretty much better than Cinergy Field in every area I can think of. Took something like 100 pictures. May have some of them up later.

Posted by robbernard at 7:20 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Saturday, February 22, 2003
WHEWW!

Thank God for teamwork. Section 532, Row R. I'm going to Reds Opening Day!

Posted by robbernard at 11:42 AM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Tuesday, December 10, 2002
IT'S ABOUT TIME

Selig (or as I prefer to call him, Satan) has finally gotten around to meeting with Pete Rose about his possible reinstatement. I've been arguing for quite some time that whether you think he deserves to be in the Hall or not, not even acting on his request has been a great disservice.

Posted by robbernard at 3:17 PM in Baseball , Cincinnati



Thursday, October 31, 2002
In the spirit of Evil, I give you Bud Selig

Ok, let me just get my first bit of opinion out of the way...

I live in Cincinnati. I've been a Reds fan forever. As can be expected, I like Pete Rose and think that it's a travesty that he's not in the Hall of Fame. I don't necessarily want him to be able to actually work in baseball or anything, but there's no excuse for the all-time hits leader to not be in the Hall of Fame.

That being said I wouldn't even mind if the powers-that-be would make a decision one way or the other and stick by it, but I'm getting sick and tired of the hypocrisy wafting out of the office of Bud Selig. Ok, you won't let Pete on the field for the last game ever at Cinergy field. I don't like that, in fact I was there standing with 40,000+ people as we chanted "Pete, Pete, Pete", but I could accept it as a part of a principled stand. But then Mastercard drops a bright shiny dime on the floor and the Commissioner's office suddenly has a change of heart and is willing to trot Pete out for the money. What a bleeping load of cr@p! If what Pete did was so bad as to warrant him never setting foot on a Cincinnati field again then the same should be true for the World Series. To deny Cincinnati fans the opportunity to honor Pete and then to pull him out of storage for a sponsor just shows how much more Selig cares for the almighty dollar than the fans of Cincinnati. It's just a travesty.

Posted by robbernard at 3:29 PM in Baseball



 
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