Monday, June 30, 2008
The Euro Cup ended on Sunday with Spain winning in a mostly boring 1-0 game. Too bad one of the best tournaments had to end with one of the worst games. Now soccer is essentially over until August. Only a few World Cup qualifiers between now and then. I guess it is time to focus on the most important fall sport, football. More on that in the coming days.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
An answer to the comment about last night's post: The commenter did cherry-pick some stats but a quick check of the NL East and Central, the NL West is terrible, shows that the Reds are 9th out of 11 in OPS on 2-0 counts. Only the Brewers and Nationals have a lower OPS on 2-0 counts.
Also, the Reds have a great pitches per plate appearance thanks to Dunn, the player I stated yesterday they have to keep long term. If he leaves with Griffey, who is all but gone already, the Reds would be dead last in pitches per plate appearance. Also, those two learned discipline long before Dusty got here. I sense a lot of first pitch swinging next season if Dunn and Griffey are gone.
The offense, overall, has been horrible, at least by Reds standards. Normally the Reds are near the top of the league in runs scored. Not this year. The big failure has come with RISP and two outs. They are hitting .197/.322/.308/76 OPS+. Awful. Another odd stat is the Reds are actually worse the second time through the lineup then they are the first. This means the pitcher is making better adjustments then the hitters because their OPS+ goes from 98 to 80. I blame some of that on coaching, or lack there of.
The pitching, outside of Volquez, has been rough. Harang and Arroyo, the presumed top two in the rotation entering the season, are a combined 7-17 with ERA+'s of 99 and 68. Not great numbers from your ace and #2 starter. The bullpen is 15th in ERA, much better than previous years, but the starters are 26th. The starters need to pick it up for this team to have any chance this year.
If the Reds win tonight and sweep in Cleveland, all may not be lost. But losing tonight and a losing series this weekend would all but end it.That's alright. Only 63 days until college football starts.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
-Dusty needs to go. His swing first and don't take walks approach is making the whole team a bunch of hackers. It is amazing how many players go up there swinging early in the count. They don't watch a few balls to get in a rhythm. They hack at an offspeed pitch and ground out on a 2-0 count. The bad players(I know that should be all of them but I am talking about Bako, Janish, Patterson, Ross, etc.) need to watch a few pitches and see if they can get a hitters count. Swinging at the first or second pitch guarantees an out. Waiting could result in a walk or seeing a better pitch. Phillips does the same thing. he swings at awful pitches way out of the strike zone because he is a power hitter and it is selfish for him to take a walk. Thanks to Dusty, Bruce and Votto have started hacking at bad pitches. A competent manager would allow them to work count and learn instead of swinging and running back to the dugout after a groundout ten seconds later.
-The following players are not cut out for the major leagues right now: Janish(OPS+ 19), Patterson(OPS+ 45), Bako(OPS+ 76), Arroyo(ERA+ 68). I don't know what you do with them although it was thought that Arroyo could be traded. Anything more than a few maple bat shards in the head would be great.
-Sign Dunn long term. I knwo this may be unpopular but he will get about 14 million and there is simply no replacement for him. Griffey comes off the books this year so signing Dunn won't kill our payroll. We will have players making the minimum in RF(Bruce), 1B(Votto), and at least 3, maybe 4 SP's(Volquez, Cueto, Thompson, Bailey). No one else besides Cordero makes eight figures. When Griffey leaves we can move Dunn up in the order so he could have a decent hitter batting behind him when he walks 100+ times a year. Dunn at 3 and Bruce at 4 would be amazing. Dunn will reach base 38% of the time and Bruce, who is a doubles machine, could drive in him and whoever else is on base.
-Let the kids throw 110 pitches every 5 days. No more. Give them a chance to get deep into a game and then, no matter where they are in the game, take them out once they hit the limit. No point in putting any more stress on their young arms when the game don't matter. Let them get experience and knowledge so we can contend next year with 5 ready to go starting pitchers.
-Give Harang a rest. The SD outing killed his arm. Put him on the 15 day DL and give him a few weeks off. The Red Sox did it with Beckett last year and he came back much better. Harang can still turn his season around and win 12 games but he needs a break to get his mind and body right.
That is all for now. I'm sure I will have more after another debacle tonight.
Monday, June 23, 2008
"Can’t wait for batting practice tomorrow to see if Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi approaches Adam Dunn to apologize for ripping him on a radio show. I hope Dunn does what Ron Oester once did to former Reds GM Jim Bowden and turns his back if Ricciardi sticks out his hand.
The Oester incident: Bowden told Oester he had the managerial job in 2001 and made a money offer. Oester said he’d like a day to think about it and Bowden said OK. Then, that day, Bowden gave the job to Bob Boone without calling Oester. Boone said he’d take the job and didn’t care about the money.
So when Oester appeared with members of the 1990 World Series champions not long after that, when Bowden walked up and down the players lined up on the first-base line, Oester turned his back when Bowden reached him."The Jays have lost 7 or 8 and the Reds should win at least 2 if not a total sweep. I also hope Dunn hits 4 homers and stares down J.P.'s suite everytime he crosses home plate. Although it wont matter as long as Patterson is still out in CF. And yes, I know he hit a homer this weekend but that is his only contribution in the last 2 months. 20 outs for one homerun is not a good ratio. Bronson Arroyo can do that. Now if only Dusty could see that.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
At last the Euro cup will be going on to provide some entertainment. Today's game was great as Germany defeated Portugal, one of the pre-tourny favorites and the team with the best player in the world, Christiano Ronaldo. Now Germany is in the semis and will be favored over their next opponent, either Croatia or Turkey. Should be a good game tomorrow because both teams have nothing to lose, especially Turkey who came back from 2-0 to win 3-2 on Saturday. Sunday is the next big game when two heavyweights Spain and Italy face off. That will be the biggest soccer game of the year thus far. It will be much better than watching Dusty blow this upcoming Reds road trip.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
If we could somehow work a trade for Matt Kemp or Russell Martin while they are in town it would be of great help since we need a good catcher and an outfielder to replace Patterson. Although knowing Dusty, he will try and get Pierre so he can but them both at the top of the order and guarantee no one will be on base for the middle of the lineup. But at least they have speed. I say we win 2 of 3 before heading out for a disastrous road trip. I have a feeling it will be a bloodbath in NY, Toronto, and Cleveland. Unless of course Dusty is fired and that has as good a chance of happening as this.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Other things on TV today: That whole playoff thing should be fun to watch. Pretty level playing field except for Tiger's 64-5 lead in tournaments won and 13-0 in majors. I'll take Tiger by 3 with an even to Rocco's +3.
Also, Euro 2008 continues with some teams getting eliminated. Poland-Croatia and Austria-Germany today with both being played at 2:45. Germany and Croatia will probably move on. Although, there is always the chance that Austria and Germany will team up and take over the rest of Europe until the US comes in and kicks their ass. If I were Poland, I would be worried if I heard tank noises during the game. I'm just saying it wouldn't be the first time.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I started college in 2001 and at that time Boston was a long suffering sports city who had not won anything since the 80's. They had some die hard Red Sox fans and a few Celtics fans still around but nothing too over the top. For the most part they acted like any other fan base by complaining about their managers, front office, bad karma. They were better than Yankee fans. Then, Bill Bellicheat started winning. They went on an amazing run that, at the time, made no sense. Now it does make sense because they were cheating the whole time. In response, many Red Sox fans who couldn't have named any Patriot except for Drew Bledsoe, suddenly became huge fans. This seemed to be just a blip on the radar because after winning the Super Bowl they failed to make the playoffs the following year and the Red Sox continued to choke, most famously blowing Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. When this happened a few more Red Sox fans came out of the woodwork but that is to be expected. They were just another suffering fan base. I enjoyed them more than Philly fans and Yankee fans.
Then 2004 happened. The Patriots became a dominant team and suddenly, everyone from Conn, RI, NH, VT, ME, and Mass were Patriot fans. This annoyed me because none of them could name a Patriot from before 2002 except Drew Bledsoe, and he was gone. This trend continued into the fall of 2004 when the Sox got bailed out by the Yankees choke job and some amazing luck. The fans came from everywhere to celebrate the breaking of the curse, only these weren't people from New England. They were people from elsewhere whose brother went to school in Boston(who didn't have one) or their Dad lived there 20 years ago and has always been a fan even though this had never been mentioned. Everyone became a fan and the Red Sox were shoved down everyone's throats, culminating in Fever Pitch. Sox hats were everywhere, as were T-shirts, sweatshirts, flags and anything else you can imagine. The Patriots continued to win, albeit with a little help that was unknown at the time and the bandwagon kept growing. Boston fans still took the "us against the world" angle even though they had the largest bandwagon since Pittsburgh in the 70's.
Then this NBA season pushed it over the top. The same fans who had jumped on the Patriot bandwagon in 2001 and the Sox bandwagon in 2004 needed a new team to go crazy over and shove down everyone's throats. The Celtics, helped by the second worst trade in NBA history, came to life. Now, anyone with any connection to Boston was a huge Celtics fan. The bandwagon gerw exponentially after the Patriots choked in the Super Bowl. They couldn't name a single Celtic from 2006 other than Paul Pierce but they were huge fans. They booed the team, didn't fill the arena, and wore paper bags over their heads last season but, this season they were huge fans and never lost hope. If you questioned them on this they would take offense and say you were jealous. These are not real fans, they are LA fans. They jump on whatever team is good and if they go bad, they move on. It sickens me.
Now, everywhere you go, people wear Red Sox, and Celtics hats, not so much Patriot hats now that all those Super Bowls are tainted. They talk about the great players Big Papi, KG, Tom Brady and the genius of Terry Francona, Doc Rivers, and Bill Belicheat. Nevermind that they couldn't name the previous coach because they weren't good under that coach so why would they care. I can't wait until these teams fall off, which they will because sports are cyclical, and all the new fans run for the hills. If I were a real Boston fan, and I know they are out there and actually not that bad, I would hate these people. They give all Boston fans a bad name and make people like me hate the entire city. But I'm sure it is just because I am jealous of the most obnoxious fan base in America. You have now passed Philly. At least Philly fans don't shove their teams down my throat and claim they are the greatest team ever. Congrats Boston fans, you are now the worst. I can't blame this Laker fan. I would have punched him out of principle.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Reds Sox come to town followed by the Dodgers before we hit the road for 9 tough games. The Reds could easily be 15 out in two weeks and ready to start trading some people. I just wish someone would take Patterson, Bako, or Dusty but no other organization is that stupid.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Another reason to watch Euro Cup right here. Seems like as good a thing to root for as any.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Tough home stretch and the Reds need to start off strong. They are facing a 24 year old rookie named Mitchell Boggs who has never started a game. Hell, 6 years ago he was pitching for Dalton High in Northwest Georgia. The Reds should pound him but we have had trouble in the past against rookie pitchers. Also, Wainwright went on the DL so we miss him which is another good break. Taking 2 would be good while a sweep would be huge. Unfortunately the Reds will still pitch to Pujols so he is going to get 4 HR's and 8 RBI's. I propose walking him every time he bats no matter what. Let the HGH boys Ankiel and Glaus beat us. Unless they got a new shipment, the Reds would be better off.
Quick food note: Is there anything better than Hamburger Helper? I say no. I love it and have tried every kind on the shelves as well as a few new ones from my inside source. Double Cheeseburger Macaroni is the filet mignon of HH. 4-cheese is closer to a T-Bone and Lasagna is the basic strip. I have a new one tonight and it is called Cheesy Ranch Burger. Looking forward to it. Sloppy Joe is later this week. If you have another suggestion, let me know.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Onto soccer. The poll shows a substantial amount of readers, 3, want me to talk about soccer. Well one of the largest soccer tournaments, European Cup 2008, started this past weekend. This is a tournament involving 16 teams from across Europe. They are divided into 4 groups of 4 teams and after a round robin, 2 teams from each enter an 8-team tournament. Europeans love their soccer and this tournament includes most of the best teams in the world save for Brazil, Argentina, and England(who failed to qualify because they could not earn a tie at home against Croatia last fall). ESPN is showing every game on either ESPN, ESPN2(most are on here), and ESPN Classic. Each day belongs to one group the first 2 weeks meaning 2 games a day, one at 12 and the other at 2:45. Watch if you want to hear great fan support and even better soccer. This is how crazy they are about this tournament.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
As for the Belmont, I am a little glad Big Brown lost. Dutrow, besides being a consistent cheater, was an ass. He has been suspended every year he has trained because of illegal doping and insulted and made up stories about previous triple crown contenders. I love that karma came back and bit him in the ass. Pat Forde summarizes it very well here. Maybe now he will keep running and we can see him get beat again by Curlin in the Classic. Speaking of Curlin, he runs next Saturday at Churchill in the Stephen Foster Handicap. Should be fun to watch last years Horse of the Year return to the site of his disappointing third place at last years Derby. I don't think he gets third again.
Friday, June 06, 2008
If Bronson can win tomorrow we should sweep because Harang and Volquez are not losing to the Marlins. Keep it rolling and hopefully we can see a triple crown tomorrow. Horse racing needs it badly even if it has to be that arrogant blowhard Rick Dutrow.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Quick note on Patterson and his defense:
I never said he was a bad fielder. As a purely ninth inning defensive replacement and pinch runner, he is alright. According to baseball-reference.com his Range Factor per nine innings is 2.85 while the league average is 2.69. That means he gets to .16 more balls per game. If he played every inning of ever game left he would make 16 more plays then the average CF. I'll let those fall in order to keep him out of the lineup.
O by the way, he has an OPS+ of 47. 100 is average. No defense could ever make up for that.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
TOP 4: No on, 1 out. Myers is dealing. We need to work his pitch count so he can't go the entire game without giving up a hit. He needs to get tired so we can score. Work the count like Bruce did last time when he saw 6 pitches. Patterson swings AT THE FIRST PITCH! The second baseman never moves. Another great way to show Bruce what pitches Myers has. This is insane. I can do what he did; watch one pitch, swing at the next 2. #&@* the heck! Give me another shot.
TOP 6: No on, 2 out. Still no hits. Wait for your pitch or at least see 3 strikes. First pitch swinging. Lazy pop fly all the way to the shortstop. I have nothing else to say other than he is the worst player ever. I can barely stand up at this point. Another shot.
TOP 8: man on first and second, 1 out. Need to avoid the double play. Takes the first then fouls off 2. Now he can't bunt them over. That is what he should have done. He is going to get out anyway why not do what he is good at and advance the runners. Strike out on a pitch 3 feet down and away. The on deck batter dodged because it almost hit him. Good thing Patterson swung at it. I just threw up on the keyboard. Now I need a new r, s d, f e and c key. One more shot. Where did that dog go? My feet need a workout.
GAME OVER: Thanks to the 24 year old Joey Votto and Edinson Volquez, and no thanks to the terrible, 28 year old, .195 hitting Corey Patterson the Reds won 2-0. I am off to pass out. I think I have an inner ear infection because I keep running into things. O well I will deal with it tomorrow.
UPDATE: Not only is Patterson starting in center but he is batting second. SECOND. Are you kidding me? Right in front of Bruce virtually guaranteeing that no one will be on when our hottest hitter comes to the plate. Dusty must be doing this now because if he did this in Cincy, Corey would be booed mercilessly. Dusty could easily start Janish at SS and Hairston in center, avoiding this totally, if not for Corey possessing pictures of Dusty and a bunch of tranny whores.
In honor of this display of immense stupidity by Dusty I will be LIVE blogging during Corey's ABs for all 10 people that read this. I know you are excited.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Now a thing about Philly fans. I hate them. I really do. It is not prejudice because I have known dozens of them and they are all obnoxious, mean, illogical fans. They have booed Santa Claus, Mike Schmidt, Dr. J, hometown boy Kobe Bryant when he won the MVP, Donovan McNabb on his draft day, any home team when they are losing at halftime or lose the game. They also cheer when opposing players leave on stretchers, throw batteries at opposing players, throw snow/iceballs at players, and even shot a flair gun during a game. They say they are just "passionate" but you can be passionate without hurting or humiliating other fans and teams. I guess they have reason to be mad with teams in the 4 major sports yet not winning a championship for 25 years. Cincinnati only has 2 major sports teams and they won one in 1990. New York and Boston, the two cities Philly fans wish they were, have combined for about 30. Ok, that may be too much but who cares. Philly still has 0. I just wish their fans would realize this and quit acting they their teams are the greatest and all others suck. There is a difference between obnoxious and passionate. Philly fans, learn the difference.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Dusty is still trying to screw it up with double steals and squeeze bunts but it isn't working. The squeeze only worked because Hairston is good and got an offspeed pitch he could handle. If that had been a fastball, it would have been a disaster. Dusty also pulled Griffey early on Sunday ensuring he would not hit #600 at home. I know he was due up sixth in the bottom of the 8th but you have to leave him in just in case he comes back up rather than subbing him out and telling the fans they won't get to see history. Way to show appreciation to the fans who showed up all weekend waiting for the hometown boy to make history.
Now the Reds have four in Philly and four in Miami. Going 4-4 or better would be huge. We are getting close to catching Houston for third in the Central thanks to the Pirates taking the weekend off and Houston taking the week off. I foresee a 5-3 road trip with a 2-2 split in Philly and a 3-1 series win in Florida. Philly is winning a scoring a lot of runs but the Reds played them well earlier this year and should be able to win the 2 games with Harang and Volquez on the mound. Florida is struggling bad, losing 5 of their last 6. As long as Bruce is playing everyday and Patterson is nowhere near the team, I am optimistic.