Sunday, July 27, 2008

Trade Talk and Patterson Live Blog

So after the way the Reds have played during this homestand, it is clear we are not going to make the playoffs (barring a 9 game winning streak in the next month). So the question the reds get every year are we buying or are we selling? The key move will be getting rid of Adam Dunn because he is in a contract year and will be expensive next year. I still am at a loss as to why we can't resign him. Let's look at the numbers:

Dunn makes $13mm this year, so saying he will command around 15-16mm next year, we are really only talking about finding another $3mm to keep him. Well first we have Grif rolling off the books at $8.2mm so there is quite a bit of free money to give Dunn $2mm and find someone to replace grif (or ask Grif to take a pay cut to stick around since he isn't worth that much money any more and may want to finish his career as a Red). Other options, Corey Patterson makes $3mm which seems high for a 9th inning defensive replacement who can't hit, trading Bronson while the market for him is still hot and free up $6.8mm, getting rid of Stormy Weathers who is on the books for $3.3mm (I say we trade Stormy to the Cubs and hope he helps them collapse and maybe we still have a shot this year).

So looking at it by the numbers, if the Reds do not sign Dunn it is a slap in the face to the loyal Reds fanbase. They are basically saying we would like to trade a good player for a bunch of cheap people and save money. While they will say these prospects make the team better in the future, do not be fooled. Once these prospects become better in the future we will trade them for more prospects. Dusty please stand up and say to Walt, we need Dunn because he is our best player (he will instead say, "lets trade him for some young guys I can mold into excellent bunting, free swinging, non-base clogging machines").

FYI Corey Patterson is starting today. Will give you live updates of his at bats.

So Patterson is batting first which makes sense given his .224 on base percentage (yes that isn't his average. Also lowest VORP on the team by 5 runs at -11.3)
HOLY CRAP Patterson took the first pitch. it was a terrible pitch but still nice to see.
Next two pitches he is swinging away. Thank goodness he takes the next pitch but it does bounce before hitting the plate. And he then flies out with a weak pop up to right. that will lower his batting average to less than the current .190 (i know batting average isn't a great stat, but since it is Dusty's bread and butter stat you would think an average below the mendoza line would keep this guy off the team. No it doesn't).

CP takes first pitch strike (i think he is reading this blog). Strike swinging, ball and then a terrible third pitch strike. I mean he looked like a complete idiot. WHY ARE WE PAYING HIM $3million. He's off the books next year, we replace him with any one of theses guys (http://www.hotchickswithdouchebags.com/) and use the money on Dunn. No one could argue that point.

This at bat is all the more special b/c the man he replaced tonight Jay Bruce, just got a pinch hit. Nice to have the bat out of the game.
First Pitch: Swinging all the way and foul. Good eye on the second pitch. Another lazy fly ball to right. So he is 0-3 on the day. Also Bako tried to lay down a bunt this inning. I hope it wasn't an attempt to move a runner to second down 8-0. We had a passed ball this inning that goes all the way to the screen, but runner stays on first. That's the sign of a well coached team, completely unaware for what is going on. I'm also guessing the first base coach (Teri Hatcher I believe) also was more interested in Seacrest than the game. Well I doubt I'll be around for CP's last at bat. I'll predict he doesn't get on base.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Trade Deadline Idiocy: Or how number 22 in the 2006 MVP Voting Becomes Untouchable

Mixing up here at FDB with a guest post. Reds were off yesterday and someone wanted to step in. Kinda like on Boose's favorite show Regis and Kelly, when they have those special guests while Reeg is on vaca. He didn't give me a pseudonym so we will just call him the mystery guest:

Please excuse this diversion from sending hugs out Dusty Baker, if you want hard hitting analysis of the Reds, I suggest you check out Grady’s “ESPN Featured Comment of the Day” from the 22nd. As we sit a week away from the non-waiver Trade Deadline, it’s nice to take a step back and look at all the insane trade proposals that the professional journalists report on and how we buy into the same hype of our own players. It’s only natural we at times become a bit clouded in our views of our own players, I mean just a few weeks ago Tom was hear discussing the merits of trading Jr. Griffey, because as we all know teams around the league are clamoring for a 38 year old aging slugger who before last season had not played in more than 130 games since 2000 and have an appropriately average 100 OPS+ and could potentially lose out on a Gold Glove to Manny Ramirez (assuming they played the same position and were both in the same league). Trust me Tom, I’m sure the Rays would be more than happy to give you David Price and his minor league contract for the right to Griffey’s 16.5 million dollar option next season. Of course we all know Tom’s true preference is to see Griffey hit 700 home runs at as a Red, which at his blistering pace of a home run per 26 at bats, should only take another 4.5 years (well worth the 16 million dollars). Naturally, this goes both ways and for as much unconditional love one city can have for a player there can just as easily be irrational hatred, as some around Cincinnati seem intend on shipping Adam Dunn out of town, though not in these parts of the intertubes. Before you think I just stopped by to just bash the “surging” Reds, rest assured I can well criticize the lunacy of my own teams fan base (if there is anyone still reading this will surely end that), in full disclosure I am a World Champion Boston Red Sox fan, the team that plays just down the road from the World Champion Boston Celtics. Just this offseason the knights of the typewriters spoke out and the screams could be heard in all corners of the commonwealth when it was suggested that we ship out the newly anointed heartthrob Jacoby Ellsbury – the 2008 lead off man with a Juan Pierre-esque .327 OBP, it would have been just stupid to trade him for one of the best pitchers of the last 5 years (but then trades have never been Theo’s strong suit), and who could forget how beloved 2008 All-Star MVP JD Drew was in Boston last year.

Before I lose anyone else, let me get to the crux of what I wanted to say, there is no place better for insane trade rumors than the city of New York, and the official mouthpieces of the city of New York, the New York tabloids. For example, today, Mr. George A. King III Link (hopefully you can work out the HTML on that Tom) floats the rumor that the Dodgers are interested in Robinson Cano for the package of Matt Kemp and Derek Lowe. Normally we would all laugh and say no way to the Dodgers give up one of their outfield anchors for the next decade for a career .338 OBP second basement, unfortunately, Ned Colletti is not a good GM, thank god the passionate Dodgers’ fan base drove DePodesta out of town (no need to go down that road). Anyway let’s start with the money, Kemp is not even arbitration eligible at this point, he’s got 1 year MLB service so you’ve got him for a couple cost controlled seasons after this, DLowe is a free agent after the season and you only owe him about 5 million for the rest of the season. Cano is owed 25 million through 2011,, and then there are club options at 14 and 15 or 2 million dollar buyouts, so minimum you are trading away Kemp cost controlled through 2012 for 30 million on a second baseman over the same period of time.

That should be enough of an argument against this trade, but from a baseball standpoint it makes no sense either, Lowe is not that good right now but gives you innings in a division with 3 pitchers ballparks. Kemp is only 23 years old and before he becomes a free agent he has the potential to become the centerpiece of a young outfield and strong offensive lineup with Russell Martin and James Loney. Instead you are going to give the Yankees their RF for the next decade at no cost financially to them, for an overpriced second basemen who you don’t need this year since you have Jeff Kent (who sucks but is off the books at the end of the year) – Cano started slow granted, but he’s at best a .340 OBP guy who will give you 20 HRs and 90 RBIs, Kemp is a 23 year old who can be a power guy and give you 120 RBIs and 35 HR’s a year and even though I could care less about SB, he’s the type of guy who can give you 30 SB’s a season – on the open market a RF of his caliber is good for 12-14 million for 4 years – and you have him for nothing.

So the point of all this, I guess it’s the New York Media and Yankees fans have taken a guy who one season “almost” won the batting title and every other season has floated around .300, a slow starter every season, who by virtue of playing on a star studded team in the biggest media market in the country has become a star himself and given a ridiculous contract, when if he were playing in Cincinnati he’d be just another player. I know the argument will be he’s better than the numbers and his defense is great, unfortunately 2nd base defense does not impress me enough to justify the rest of the hype. I don’t mean to pick on Cano because he is not a bad player, instead I just am decrying the insanity of the trade deadline where we take a player like Cano and have the Yankees fan side saying Lowe and Kemp are not enough to get him. I don’t know maybe it’s short sighted or the problems of having a huge passionate fan base that cares about players. Bottom line I would take Kinsler, Kendrick, Utley, Pedroia, Brandon Phillips, BJ Upton, Brian Roberts, and Dan Uggla before Cano, yet one fan base feels he’s untouchable.

Hopefully I didn’t lose you, but I really wanted to spark the discussion about how we overrate our prospects and “stars” to the detriment of what is probably best for the team. So Tom, if any team is willing to give up anything of value for Griffey forget about sentimentality and the memories and trade him, because just as Elton Brand, Josh Childress, and Brett Favre will tell you at the end of the day it’s just a business. It’s inevitably we are going to become attached to players, however, at the end of the day winning a championship with a team of Eddie House, James Posey, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen means just as much as winning one with Tedy Bruschi and Tom Brady (it’s like it’s something in the Boston water we cannot help but being smug). And with that trade Manny.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just When I think he Gets It

Dusty decides to not pinch hit for Cueto after he gets to 100 pitches, has looked like crap and the reds need some offense. All that makes sense since we want our young arms throwing 120 pitches. At least he is showing some faith in our beat up bullpen. That's a good long term strategy. Pleanty more to say about this. Reds did win, but see below for pleanty of reasons why Dusty should not be the coach of the Reds (ignoring the fact he replaces Dunn with Corey Patterson in double switch, then changes pitchers the next inning basically saying in a tie game I would rather have Corey "swing at the first pitch and really suck at baseball with worst VORP on the team" Patterson for the long haul then Adam "Best VORP on the team, hits many homers which could be very valuable in extra innings" Dunn. Moving on.

Even worse is after his decision to pinch hit last night and use Josh Fogg (who attempts to bunt 3 times and the third one goes foul for an out, so good decision). Well lets see how Dusty explains the bunt:

"The thing about it is, you've got a chance of getting a bunt down 7 or 8 out of 10 times, you've got a chance at a hit 3 out of 10 times and you've got a chance of hitting into a double play 4 or 5 times out of 10 if it's a sinker, slider type of guy. It's all about the odds and who's pitching against you, it's about the scoreboard, the inning, everything. We've been stressing (bunting) since I've been there. They bunt every day. They bunt one to the left side and one to the right side and if they don't get one down, they do it again and they keep doing it until they get one down."

Ok so first of all by the above logic where you have a 75% chance of getting the runner over and 25% of the time you don't get the runner over and he gets out. Either way you get 1 out. His defense of this is that if you swing away you have a 30% chance of getting a hit (and with many people 40% chance of a hit or walk which counts the same, but that is an argument for another day). That would move the runner over and not cost an out which is good. The problem is that you have a 45% chance of getting a double play and two outs (which is really bad and not even close to being supported by any statistical evidence I can find, here is the only thing I found which states since 1978 11% of no out runner on first plays have led to a double play which is a little below the ol Dusters argument http://www.diamond-mind.com/newsletter/en031022.htm). I'm going to assume that the other 25% would just be 1 out. Remember we are not trying to prove his statistics wrong (which they are), but rather use his statistics to see what the logical conclusion. Frankly at this point we aren't asking you to be right Dusty, just be consistent.

So in Dusty World you have 2 choices, take a bunt, move the runner over and get an out 75% of the time with the next guy having a 30% chance of hitting him home assuming he isn't clutch and hits much better with RISP. This leaves you a 22.5% chance of getting a run with one out.

Your other choice is to let the guy hit away and have a 30% chance of a hit followed by another 30% of a hit which scores a run without any outs (a 10% chance of run without any outs or a 5% chance of a run with 1 out (you have to remember that you will only get 1 out 25% of the time b/c of the 50/50 shot at a double play) which gives you a 15% chance of a run assuming that the only thing you can do is single, which is very stupid. All this is irrelevant because a whopping 45% of the time you ground into a double play which offsets any of the above chances of a run.

By this logic you should ALWAYS bunt with a runner on first. Assuming the above facts are correct (which they aren't) there is no reason to ever swing the bat with a runner on first given your are going to get 2 outs half the time 1 out a quarter of the time and 1 run the other quarter. I do love his attempt at statistics, but the only thing worse than Dusty going with his gut is his attempt to use "statistical" analysis. There no reason this man should be in the big leagues, minor leagues or little leagues.

This also ignores the fact he is taking valuable time away from working on hitting the ball out of the ball park or other places that don't ensure you give up one of your 27 precious outs to work on bunting. That is a story for another time. I can't believe I'm sitting in my Mom's basement, and he is running the oldest professional baseball team of all time.

I Was a Good Kid

I've often wondered what I did as a youngster to deserve the torture my parents' inflicted on me later in life. I always did my homework, rarely talked back and did the dishes every night without compliant. By most accounts I was a pretty good child, who has grown up to a functioning member of society. All these things make me wonder, why as a youngster my parents felt compelled to allow me to become a sports fan. Even worse than that, they failed to encourage me to become a fair weather fan, who supports the best team year in and year out, making claims like "I've always liked the Yankees because they my uncle is from New York" or "I didn't really like the Cowboys but was a Troy Aikman fan so I supported them in the 90s." No I was raised to love the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals and the University of Louisville Cardinals. 3 teams which have inflicted untold amounts of emotional damage on me over the years. Not a single championship from any of these teams in 18 years (sorry I'm not counting the Ladybirds dance championships, if that makes me wrong I don't wanna be right).

After last nights terrible showing by our $5 bajillion closer (why you would pay good money for a closer when unless you have rivera is beyond me, but I clearly am not smart enough to run a professional baseball team as well as the Reds), the season is essentially over. This got me to thinking if kids who grew up without sports ever felt the same type of pain over what they love. Is it possible to feel completely devastated if the lead in Swan Lake tears his knee on a cheap shot by the understudy in the biggest performance since Stanley Robinson was doing lines at the Super Bowl? Do grown men dedicate entire websites and countless hours to trying to get the director of their local actors theater fired b/c he isn't following basic rules of theatre? I would argue that non-sports fans avoid the pain we in Reds nation have felt since the one game playoff in 99. Though looking back that 99 season was quite a ride.

So I guess my point is, my parents really did a number on me. Sadly I still care. Sadly I look forward to football season and read articles about Chad Johnson coming back thinking, "maybe we can sneak up on some teams this year". I hear rumblings that UofL basketball has another amazing team and this is our year. I hear Coach Kragthorpe (view his resume at http://www.firekragthorpenow.com/) has a team which could potentially qualify for the Toronto Bowl played December 5th (you will soon learn there is one coach out there that I hate far far far more than Dusty).

I guess we endure the above pain in hopes of the one moment when things finally break right and all that pain is erased by the joy of winning. I guess we like caring about something so silly as sports. The only problem is doing so leads to so much pain and frustration. Well bring it on Dusty, because I can take it. I've lived through worse and hopefully once you are long gone from the Reds organization and Dunn is being elected into the hall of fame as a Yankee we will have a team that is done rebuilding. A team which will make up for all these years of pain and for once I'll feel better than the kid who walks out of Swan Lake. I guess that is why we beat on, in hopes of higher highs, but knowing we will have lower lows than our non-sports fan counterparts.

We are still only 9 games out of the WC so if we can rip off a winning streak it isn't hopeless (yes there is still more pain to be inflicted upon me this year)

Monday, July 21, 2008

11 Out of First and 9 out of the WC

Without a major run we will be in trouble this year. While I haven't given up hope (well more so than I normally do), we should look at the way this team has played of late and realize we have all the pieces to make a run next year. I keep fighting the same fight with Dunn (who leads the team in VORP, OPS and HRs), who many will argue strikes out too much, which is much worse than hitting into an out because I guess it counts for more by making the pitcher use more than 3 pitches. Also his batting average is low which off sets his OBP b/c singles are better than base clogging. Lastly his homers may be good, but he isn't clutch and his home runs are just selfish attempts to score runs with one swing of the bat. Let me know if I didn't summarize the argument against Dunn properly. For a much better argument for keeping Dunn see our friend C. Trent http://www.thelotd.com/ctrent/.

Watching tonight's game, hopefully we can whip the Padres (eventhough Give Up A Lot of Homer Baily is pitching back to his prior form). If we can start winning series and get to .500 hopefully people will realize we are VERY close to turning the corner and stop rebuilding. Why not shoot our wad next year and see what happens.

That brings me to the age old question. Would you rather have a team like the Marlins that win a World Series every few years and then sells the team (assuming this happens to a team where people actually give a whomp about baseball) or the Dodgers who are normally in contention but haven't won since Curt Gibson. Thoughts? Frankly at this point I just want to win so give me the Marlins and a WS.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dusty May Be Reading Moneyball

There were rumors that he had a copy on his desk early this year. Now he should have read it about 10 years ago, but maybe its a start. Here is a quote from Dusty which shows that while he does not get it, he may be coming around. When asked why Grif is batting in the 3 spot:

"It’s something over time he’s earned. I know people say play him here or put him there, but he’s like Dunn, their averages are low, but their on-base percentage is high. Their on-base percentage is better than some of the guys that are hitting for high averages. I know they get paid to hit, but it also helps to get on base and put the pitcher in the stretch. Most starters don’t like being in the stretch.
"I still wish their averages were higher, you want everything, but you look around baseball and the league, you don’t see a lot of everythings. I’m seeing a lot of low averages and some with high production. A lot of strikeouts."

Now the reason you also want walks aside from "getting the pitcher in the stretch" is also "it puts a runner on base and thus makes it more likely that he will score a run." So we aren't completely there, but he does acknowledge that despite the strikeouts Dunn is very productive. Does this give us hope that we will keep him... Not enough. Will post after the game (unless I get bored).

Watch Greg Norman Try to Give Away the British Open while Others Refuse to Take His Gift

So since the turn our Hero has gone three over (and almost four had he not hit an amazing putt at 14). We have Pink Pants Poulter making a run, which proves my point that you can never go wrong wearing tight pink pants when the pressure is on. There is that tall sweedish turkey in the hunt as well. Everyone knows that tall white people cannot be trusted (seriously think about it, Cherokee Parks, Eric Montross, Bryant Reeves, need I go on). Padrig is actually starting to right his ship, so looks to be a boring finish where the Irishman takes it. Will be back in a few holes. Sorry for the lack of the live blog, but the Big Deal Temporary Living Quarters doesn't have a laptop so I have to run up and down the steps to get my faithful readers my biting wit. I'm willing to make the sacrifice b/c I know you are hanging on my every word. It would be a disservice to you and more importantly a disservice to literature if I didn't post all my rambling thoughts.

So Norman birdies but so does Paddy (as we now call him apparently). Looks like it is going to be difficult to see the "shark" (which is a funny nickname given his inability to strike when there is blood in the water) take this one. I think I'm pulling for him here though. Would be nice to see him come through at his age. Also that stupid Traveler's commercial with the umbrella is about to make me go insane. If I have kids, I'm going to make sure to tell them if an old man with a big red umbrella comes up to you and offers you a ride report him to the police. It is just sound wisdom. Reds start in a few minutes, so needless to say I have a big day ahead of me.

Norman Goes out in 40

So as expected, I wake up to find that Norman has choked through the front nine on his way to a 40. What was unexpected is that everyone else isn't very good and he still holds the lead. This reminds me of all those tournaments where Tiger is around even or 1 under and the field is about 5-6 behind him. I've always said, we would have a very exciting final day if Tiger weren't there. Well now we have it and frankly its a little embarrassing. I'm convinced Tiger may be able to win this tournament in his current state (assuming they let him use a golf cart since that would have no bearing on his ability to play golf according to the Supreme Court).

Reds looked great last night with Fogg only giving up 1 ER. He has been great since coming back and is becoming a decent 5th starter. We are 8 out of the Wild Card and 10.5 behind the Cubs so it is still a long way to making the playoffs. We do have the team in place, but not sure we have enough time. If we could keep this team together next year (which would be possible by just re-signing Adam "THE BEST PLAYER ON YOUR TEAM" Dunn, but we know that won't happen. He will be traded this year for a bunch of prospects as we are told the Reds are rebuilding for the future (which when these prospects become good will be traded for more people to help prepare for the future)). The fact people don't realize Dunn is a very good baseball player did help us last night when the Mets intentionally walked Brandon Phillips to pitch to Dunn. They pitch to Grif (who hit it hard but right at Wright playing the shift), walk Phillips (who while good isn't Grif or Dunn) and then pitch to Dunn who drills the first pitch to left for a single setting off our big inning. We got Volquez up today, lets hope to keep the good times rolling and win our first series out of the break.

I'll be back periodically for my Watch Greg Norman Try to Give Away the British Open while Others Refuse to Take His Gift Blog (I'm still working on the name).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Update During the Game

So the Reds proved (using a small sample set of qualitative evidence, which one would hope can win the day with Dusty) that walks and home runs can generate a significant amount of runs. That 5th inning had 2 hits and 4 runs all which isn't too shabby. Donkey keeps cloggin up the basis. Bronson got lucky to get out of the last inning by getting a DP out of nowhere. Reds have looked terrible on the basepaths with Bruce caught on a pick off and Dunn getting lucky to avoid the catcher throwdown.

Also flipping the channels and saw Mario Lopez hosting a show called "Pet Star" which is a talent contest for people's pets. Is there anything this man would refuse to do?

So Bronson is coming back out for the eighth. He may get out of it ok, but I will say now that I don't really like this idea (unless Dusty told him he can go out there until he lets up a baserunner, which I'm ok with). I could be wrong, it happened once in my life, but didn't think he looked great last inning and with the way Bray has pitched might make sense to give it to the bullpen (something I didn't think I'd ever say about the reds pen)

So I was wrong, lets hope Coco can close this beep out (i say we start playing bray more to see if he can become and everyday closer). Nice inning by Cisco (I'm now going to call him Cisco when he comes through and Coco when he pitches like Ice T's wife). Anyone notice the Reds seeing a lot more pitches the last two days. Do you think Dusty read the blog over the all star break and has decided to take our advice. Lets see if this continues before making any definitive statements, but we've gotten pitch counts high very quickly and forced the Mets top two pitchers out of the game early two days in a row.

Back With First Half Comments

So we are over half way through the season. The reds are 8 games out of the wild card and rumors are swirling that we are going to get rid of our best player (Adam "clog the bases" Dunn). Seems like just another year as a Reds fan, but the frustrating part of this year's season is that we finally have pitching and a few bats so a run at the NL was not out of the realm of poss ability. While the Reds are poorly run and refuse to spend money properly (see Eric Milton, Eddie Guardado and in a few weeks we will add Coco Corderio to that list), this year we can point to a few instances where the captain of the ship steered us directly into an iceberg.

Top 5 Dusty Moves of the Year
5) As was documented many times throughout this blog, his insistence that Corey Patterson not only belongs in the major leagues but should play at times (I believe he has a video of Dusty urinating on a girl who is 13. Dusty don't worry you can get off so please send Corey packing)
4) Asking EE to try to bunt twice early in the season only to see him hit a game winning home run after failing to play "small ball" and "manufacturing the run"
3) Even worse than the prior mistake, he refused to learn from his mistake and asked Adam Dunn (who leads the team in home runs) to bunt. Dunn did the EXACT SAME THING. If he asks another one of our hitters to bunt again he must be fired.
2) Asking the Harangatang to pitch 4 innings on 2 days rest leading to 'Tang playing terribly the rest of the season and eventually finding his way onto the DL
1) Sadly we must leave this spot blank, because despite all the prior terrible moves we must leave this slot open for the moment he trades Adam Dunn for Tom Crahan (who was an amazing bunter in little league), a bag of peanuts and Bronson Arroyo's new CD

So the above about sums up where we stand on the year. Not as strong as we should be and another disappointing year where Reds fans are asked to wait until next year once the "rebuilding" is complete. The Reds rebuilding has taken longer than the Big Dig (which is now complete.

I'll be around all night tonight drinking beer watching the reds game on the computer for the Big Deal temporary living quarters in Marietta, GA. Given that I'm living in the burbs and know 0 people in this town I've got nothing better to do. Also if Norman is still in the hunt on Sunday I'll write a live blog for the last 9 holes of what will most likely be another historic collapse

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We Stink

Well nice to see us blow a lead not once but twice. I blame much of it on Coco's nickname (and some on his pitching ability). Too angry at this point to add much value. I still don't understand why he didn't pull Coco before the lead was blown (as one of the comments noted). I really think Dusty just gave up on the game after it was tied up. He had enough baseball for one day and his brain hurt. Nice to see Ross get 3 (and should have been 4 walks if they hadn't blown the call on ball 4). I'm sure he was told to "get more aggressive" up there and try to bunt single to "manufacture" a few runs during that last at bat. As I said I'm too angry to add much value.

I'll bang out my first half thoughts from work tomorrow. Also since I don't know how to create a poll. Please suggest any non baseball related material for me to address in the comments. How long til college football?

Thanks to the Fans

Thanks for your comments on my rant. I can now officially use the plural when referring to the fans of FDB. We appreciate all the support.

Random comment from George during today's Reds game. Jay Bruce Almighty is up with 2outs and we hear "Bruce has not only been hitting well, but has been extremely good hitting in the clutch. He has 10 hits in 42 plate appearances with 2 outs." So it is one thing to just spout out that someone is clutch with no statistical evidence, but George actually points out the numbers. These same numbers say Bruce as an average below .250 with 2 outs, his average on the year is .287 so he is actually not "clutch" as defined by George.

Will post more after the game. Thought my loyal fans needed to hear this.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An LOL Won't Kill You

Hope all is well my friend and loyal reader. Sorry for the delay in posting as I've been moving to the deep south which takes time. Now have the ability to blog from work, which will lead to many more posts. Speaking of posts, I've heard from a number of you that my posts are too long. These same people had the balls to also complain that I've taken a few days since my last post. Now does anyone else think that instead of whining about my lack of posting maybe you could take your lazy butts and scroll down a bit to read some prior ones which were too long. I'm just saying. And while i'm on the subject of trying to alienate my only 5 fans, would a little comment or email of support kill you turkeys. I mean just type LOL when i have something funny or Great Post Tom, I think you raise a very interesting opinion. Frankly you could write, Tom you are a jackass and make no sense or how many beers did you have before you long poorly typed and incoherent paragraph on the texting? All these are preferable to silence.

So moving on. We are at the allstar break. I'll write my thoughts on the first half of the season either today or tomorrow so keep a watchful eye on the blog. By the way how did Dunn not get invited to the all star game but that terrible turkey on the marlins. i mean i know he was nervous but that was embarrassing. o well at least a member of the Reds wasn't the reason i had to stay up until 2am to watch the national league kill our shot of a world series title by giving away home field advantage.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Reds Win Despite Dusty

Two great games in a row despite the lovely DBakes. He takes Fogg out after a strike out in the 6th in order to allow his bullpen to allow 3 runs. Seriously, he strikes out a guy and for some reason you take him out of the game and give up a LOT of runs. Thank god we have very good players and they make up for Dusty sucking at life. Nice to see that (and also having Keppinger in the game again who was just terrible with an 0-10000 performance)

Sorry for the lack of recent posts, i've been on vacation lately. So other non-Dusty sucks so much related materal should be related to my hatered of Keppinger and also my thoughts on the texting. First to Keppinger, who is just terrible. He played tonight while Dunn was on the bench. So we bench Adam Dunn who hit a homerun of about 1000000 miles last night to make room for such a bad player. We won despite this. If we can win the next two (and yes i understand that involves "Give up a lot of" Homer Baily beating CC Sabathia) that will leave us 5.5 out of the wild card. if we can pull that off we should be buyers and not sellers going to the end of the month. Lets hope that happen

Now many people know my theory regarding the texting. Only single people and guys/girls who cheat on their spouses text. For some reason after I got married the texting became very popular among the single people. I have no idea why, but any single person I know is all about texting these women about the "dating" or the "making out". I have no idea how it works and frankly am ok no knowing how to text. All i know is that any married man who texts end up in the newspaper b/c he was sending texts to his girlfriend while his wife was at home. on the single people, for some reason i was able to fine a wife without the texting. now all single people will go out, make out (or not at that point), text a few times, go on another date and then eventually become boyfriend/girlfriend. I just don't get it, but for some reason if you want to find a date, you have to do the texting. Please let me know if i'm wrong, but I'll gaurentee that if you see someone texting, they are either single or cheating on someone.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Quick Dusty Thoughts Before Non Baseball Thoughts

Heard from some of my fans that there is a little too much reds related stuff in my posts so only a few Dusty related items before moving to more interesting topics.

Dusty Rant
So we saw again last night that pitching your ace on 2 days rest for a meaningless game in June is not a good long term plan.  The Harangatang tired and found it difficult to hit the strikezone and we went down in flames again.
Also why is Keppinger playing on a major league baseball team.  I know Dusty "has a feeling he is going to get hot soon", but the fact he is hitting below the Mendoza line since returning from the DL and hadn't hit the baseball in his last 23 ABs going into last nights game might indicate "he sucks".  Now if we had a huge hole in the infield i would understand playing him, but we have Harriston Jr (who is still hitting the ball well), Bruce and Edwin.  I just don't get it why Dusty relies on his hunches that people will "Get hot" when they just suck.  
So now we need to win the next two to take the series and keep some hope alive in a division which is now extremely competitive.  
For the future, I say we lock Dunn up for the long term and build our team around him.  Frankly we don't need any more prospects and are about 2 years away from being very good with the guys we have.  If we can get something for Grif go for it, but i don't think that is possible so why not just ride this season out (maybe add a young catcher or reliever if we can get it) then make a run at the central.  If we can keep Griffey around for a few years so he is a red when he hits 700 that would be fun.

Non Dusty News
So thinking about what non dusty news would interest my fan, I thought it would be fun to think of the 5 greatest moments in RR/RR Challenge History.  Please let me know your thoughts.  As a straw man here are mine:
1) CT and EV wanting to drag Easy's fat carcass through the sand to win $5,000.  if the producers hadn't stepped in there is no doubt in my mind that they would have drug Easy to the finish line and then fought over who got his share of the prize money
2) Wes going into the inferno about 20 times with that worthless girl Kacey and then winning.  he was clearly on performance enhancing drugs, but it was amazing how much people hated him and yet he still won.  (Quick tangent- if they did a drug test after a season, do we think anyone would pass.  Also how many different drugs would they find among all the contestants?)
3) The day i learned that Beth was born before 1970.  see here (also she was in Son in Law which is funny)
4) Timmy pulling what many thought was an amazing upset over Abe in the glass smashing challenge only to learn one of his sheets of glass didn't break all the way.  We later learn that he had shards of glass in his knees to the point he couldn't walk for a few days.  They showed a musical montage of his time on RR 2 and his many challenges which made the Big Deal Palace a little dusty.  
5) The battle of the sexes season where the men completely destroyed the women in every challenge.   Also the women were completely unorganized and petty while the men had a rational approach to selected who got eliminated based on penalties.  It got to the point of being sad watching the women fight and hate each other while the men proceeded to destroy them week in and week out.

So those are my off the top of the head top 5.  Let me know if you have others. 

Monday, July 07, 2008

Off Day Thoughts

I've finally recovered from my marathon blog (which was too long for the blogspot spell check tool to work, sorry about that). I agree with Drew that we will need something more relevant, so will wait for either the reds attempt to lose 100 games and get Dusty fired, if we have a chance to tie for the wild card or division lead, any playoff games or the series premier / finale of an amazing reality show (keep your eyes peeled for the live blog of RR/RR Challenge premier). Let me know if there are other events which you think warrant the live blog action.

Other thoughts which I couldn't incorporate in yesterday's blog:
-there should be a separate section of hell for people who take your clothes out of the dryer before they are fully dry
-why didn't Nadal wear his capris pants?
-so if it is true that they put two sets of parents in the same box, do we think they changed the rules when mary peirce played in the final. her father was insane, so if he sat next to anyone else's parents I think we would have heard about it. Odd way to split up tickets, do we think this could work in any other sport?
-with college football around the corner, just wanted to let you know that i'm also not a huge fan of kragthorpe, so some of the rage will be directed at him
-why isn't grif on the all star team. i mean if it is supposed to showcase the best in baseball why not put a future hall of famer who recently went over 600 hrs. I mean is there really that much new york, boston and chicago bias that good players (or even the best outfielder of his generation) don't get enough national attention to get into the all star game
-does anyone outside of new york or boston give a whomp about a random regular season game between the two. we get it, boston feels inferior to new york as a city. they take pride in their sports teams. they didn't win for a long time. boston made a comeback against new york a few years ago (which was a wonderful baseball game that many enjoyed). since then the rest of the country doesn't care about your "rivalry". we just don't
-is the Hamilton for volquez trade the best one in a long time, where both teams got exactly what they needed

That's all for today. will come back with thoughts after tomorrow night's game. plan to set up an email account so you can send us any feedback directly. Also will have a top ten list (bringing it back to the Dive316 days) of Dusty's best moves. We will appreciate your thoughts.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Live from the Big Deal Palace

Here we are live from the Big Deal Palace (all 700 square feet of it). I've got the reds game up on one computer, the Fererer match on the big screen and the blog up on another computer. I'm going to have to buy a lot of carbon credits to pay the enviroment back for all the power i'm using today. I would have been here for the begining of the game, but old Time Warner had a bit of trouble with the superweb. After some yelling, we are up and running.

The plan was to give the good people in cyberspace what it is like to watch a Volquez start. The young kid who has inspiried hope in the hopeless Cincinnati fans. Well he was cruising through the first two innings with 1 hit, but the third has not been so kind. The umpire has an extremely tight strikezone, which has led to a few walks, one hit and three runs. We got out of it with a double play (our second attempt at a double play this inning). We are going into the bottom of the third and i'll be here to give you guys a sense of life as a reds fan with breaks only for commercials and to walk the Finch (my dog, not a bird who I take on frequent walks).

Back in a few with more updates (granted NO ONE is reading this real time so there is no need to consistently update, but I got to practice for the time FDB really takes off. Given my success with the Dive316, I'm sure this will be an internet sensation soon).

Bottom of 3rd
Bottom of the reds line up saw three up three down. Don't look know but we are getting no hit. Don't want to jinx it but he has a NO HITTER through three innings. I'd tune it to watch this no hitter. On the tennis match, Federer is making it competitive after being down 2 sets to 0. If i were a betting man and betting were legal, I'd find a way to hammer Federer in an in game running line. He has had 1000 chances to break and been unsucessful. While i know little about tenns, i do think the term "regress to the mean" may apply. If he keeps getting chances in these last 2 sets he can come up with a HUGE come back.

Top of 4th
Lead off single. Volquez looks like crap so this should be a long game.
Another single and we just learned Jose Rijo (or as my grandma called him jose rose) coaches for the nationals. How could he not work for the Reds? i mean he is our only good pitcher since mario soto. Sac bunt by Balistar, which moves the runners over (I havn't looked it up, but am generally ok with the pitcher bunting given most can't hit. This is something i don't understand, wouldn't a pitcher know the most about hitting having the advanatage of being able to think like the enemy. Also they get 4 days off, why aren't tehy taking more BP? Just don't get it).
Great play by Phillips to save a run.
2 outs with Belliard up, who hits an easy grounder to Keppinger.
Nadal holds. he's up 6-5 in the 4th. Lets see if Roger can force another tie breaker.

Bottom of 4th
Hariston fly ball to left. he's hitting the ball hard today (and has been since returning from DL). He needs to play everyday, especially since Keppinger is not good at baseball. Dusty has said he has trouble keeting Keppinger, Hariston jr and Boose's favorite player happy. Is keeping crappy players happy a part of being a good manager.
Speaking of Keppinger, he just grounded out to second base.
Federeer is in a tie break. Great first point.
Grif clogs up the bases with a walk. i think we should pinch run and try to manufature a run.
Phillips up. Reds announcers are trying to claim that David Weather belonged on the all star team a few years ago. i'm all about pulling for the home team, but seriously. the man's nickname is stormy weathers.
Phillips hits a line drive into left. Here comes the donkey
Nadal is serving for the championship. wow, didn't think this would happen.
It is a SHOT TO RIGHT. DUNN TIES IT UP AT 3!!!!! HOW THE HELL CAN WE TRADE HIM!!! that is how you play baseball, get a walk, a single and a dong. Can we build our franchise around this guy!!! New life here in the palace (i.e. my parents basement)
Ground out inning over. Great way to get back in this thing. lets hope Volquez can pull his head out of himself.
Federer has fought back to 5-5, this would be crushing to Nadal. 6-5 rodger set point.

Top of 5
Strike out to start inning
Grif showing some wheels in right to snag it
Nadal comes out of nowhere to hit a great passing shot and is now serving for the match.
3up3down. nice to finally see the real Volquez.
Rodger blasts a passing shot to stay alive. Too much excitment right now. Federer now has a chance to serve for the set. Nadal hits it long and we are going to a 5th set. I know you guys are all excited. Ok my mom is calling from upstairs. gotta do some laundry. back in an inning or two (will pause the tennis match to still give you some real time excitement)

Bottom of 5
Leadoff walk. Double by ross scores one. Volquez bunts the runner over and a groundout scores a run. Up 2 runs. nice to see. lets hope our ace can hold it together for a few more innings and turn it over to our stellar bullpen.

6th Inning
Volquez throws gas and gets a quick 3 up 3 down. Fly out, strike out ground out. Great inning for him. Reds load the bases, but fail to score showing our great ability to keep as many runners on base as possible. We did pinch hit for Volquez and wasted his at bat with Valentine's ground out.
Rain delay at 2-2 in the fifth set of Wimbeldon

top of 7
bray on, gets out of the inning only giving up a double. not a bad outing, lets hope for one more inning. Jimmy roberts is giving us a talk over highlights to bring us up to speed on the past 2 weeks. Not bad. lets hope to get 2 more in the bottom of 7 just to make it safe

Bottom of 7
We are back live after doing some laudry and walking the finch. reds strand two more in the bottom of 7th and we don't look so great. Rain delay is over and we are all set to bring you what hopes to be the last few games from london and 1.5 innings for the reds (but i doubt it).

Top of 8
Nadal is tied with federer 3-3. Kearns is first up. so the all stars are announced and Grif is left off the team which is extremely frustrating. i thought if you were old, the fans owed it to you. o well Volquez made the team and if he played in New York he would be the clear favorite to start. Since he isn't doubt he gets more than an inning in the middle of the game. Kearns grounds out.
Meat up with a base hit to right feild. Federer takes a 4-3 lead holding at love. Last player to come back from 2 sets down was 81 years ago. wow.
loduca up. he bunts and looks like we got a double play.. wait they have called it a foul ball. Dusty is out to discuss. Umpire deliberating on if this is a foul or out. Home plate umpire says it is fair, first base ump says it hit his leg. from replay he is clearly out. Looks like the reds may get it. so the call is that he didn't touch it, but the double play doesn't count. this is odd, either it is a fair ball and dp or foul and we go back to do the play again. Lets hope this doesn't matter in the end. sorry the last sequence was completely incohearent, but frankly i'm still confused.
So bottom line 2 out, runner on first with Pena at the plate. Lets just strike him out and move on. (Nadal ties it up 4-4) Willy Mo does what Willy Mo does and strikes out. 1 more inning

Bottom of 8
Federer holds.
Jon Rauch coming on for the Nats (from Louisville and a grad of Morehead State)
Edwin hits a bullet into left
Votto hits it down to second and LoDuca drops a ball my nephew should have caught. Tough error for the nats. so we now hve 2 on with no out. lets see if we can strand a few more runners
Ross gives up a free out by bunting the runners over. We now have Jay Bruce up because he didn't start to make room for keppinger and harrison jr which makes sense.
Nadal holds
Bouncer to the first baseman, throws home and edwin is tagged out. He went down without a fight. we do know that dunner would have run him over.
Nadal loses two straight break points. i think federer is a robot similar to the guy from T2. he holds.
bloop single to right and votto taps the plate. thanks for proving my point that he should play everyday. nice to have the 3 run cushion.
Keppinger up and i predit an out...and he flys out to go 0-5 for the day. here comes coco corderio
Harriston jr on to try and drive in the runners

Top of 9
Nadal holds. getting late in london where apparently they didn't learn about the lightbulb so we are trying to beat darkness to get this match in.
coco hasn't pitched in four straight games in over a year. after blowing one last night, lets hope our millions come through here. Pop up to short left
1 out
Also how do they let two guys wearing RF hats sit right in front of nadal's family. did they scalp the other tickets in the box or does he only get 2 tickets?
Federer holds again and Coco strikes him out (by the way if my nickname was the same name as Ice'd T's wife, i'd think about changing it, but that's just me).
Two out hit, so looks like we will have a little excitment with ronnie belliard up
Nadal holds on an amazing point. with coco getting him to two strikes
Ground ball under the glove of Votto and the inning lives on. Great job there Votto, what you lack with your bat you make worse with you glove. Tieing run at the plate
Nadal has 2 shots to break here
Deep groundball to keppinger who can't make the play. infeild hit run scores
Nice, go ahead run at the plate. Austin kearns has hit a few dongs in this park.
Again ahead 0-2, lets close this out. Base hit into right and another run scores, we got a 1 run ball game.
Dusty stares blankly at the feild (maybe shouldn't have pitched the guy for 4 straight days when he looked tired last night).
Nadal breaks Federer! WOW!
Dick Pole (our pitching coach, not a fake name I swear)
Will Nieves up, needing a single to tie it. Nadal serving for the win
another 2 strike pitch coming. throw it in the dirt (and he does for a ball)
Come on Cisco (a way cooler nickname than Coco)
Full count and runners will be going. And he finally gets the STRIKE OUT!!!
FIREWORKS GET GOING! First 4 game sweep since 2006. Nice win guys.

Final Thoughts
So what did we learn by the live blog.
1) live blogs are very hard and take a long time. you really do either need to live in your parents basement or make it your full time job
2) The reds have a chance if we can play like this all year (and get the right line up out there)
3) Dusty actually didn't do too much to screw us up this series. hopefully he realizes if he just stays out of the way we may be able to do some good things here
4) lets see how we play against the cubs before getting excited about making a run at the WNBA crown here.
5) Federrer is human afterall. i'm shocked

Any thoughts on the live blog. do we like it? should we do it again?how should we improve it? Have a great sunday everyone, i'll be by on monday for some random thoughts

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Fresh Point of Veiw

With Boose finally beginning to focus on that little test he has at the end of the month (paternity), I have decided to take the reigns for a bit. I also just finished a four year run with Fremulon New York and since I no longer work 1,000 hours a week there is some free time in my life.

As background, I also have nothing against Dusty Baker as a person, but think there is no way he should manage my kids little league team much less a storied franchise like the Reds. Our record to date speaks for itself. I mean you could argue we are "rebuilding", but after 18 years without a playoff appearance I think we are done with "rebuilding." It seems to me that we have enough pieces in place to make a run at the terrible National League. With Cueto, the Harangatang (I've been trying to get that nickname to take off for years), Volquez and Bronson, we have a decent rotation. Yes we could use someone who could be described as "not crappy" in middle relief, but have a decent (if not extremely over priced) closer. As for our bats, we have Grif (who showed us last night he still has a little gas left in the tank), the Big Donkey (one of the best nicknames out there), Jay Bruce, Corey Patterson (I really think he has turned the corner and after bunting the other day in a pitch hit appearence and reaching second on an error. I mean that showed some skill that doesn't show up in the stat sheets. Baseball is about more than how many more runs you score than the other team, heart and guts play a huge portion) and frankly only need 4 other serviceable guys to have a strong line up. It is also extremely helpful to play in the Canada of professional baseball leagues, where a .500 record puts us in the hunt. Only reason I can see why we aren't there is good Ol' Dusty. So we will blog on in relative obscurity until he is removed from power and major league baseball's oldest franchise can move itself back into the national discussion (we have been last on the highlights of sports center the last 3 days, which is pathetic given we came behind a hot dog eating contest, the blue jays highlights and some great banter between the two hosts).

Alright, I know we have won two straight and hopefully we can put together a "winning streak" before the break. Tomorrow's post will actually reference the game of baseball, but wanted to let you guys know where I'm coming from. Other sports I plan to cover over time include Olympic sports (love watching 'merica against the rest of world), college football & basketball, soccer, real world road rules challenges and frankly anything else on TV. Any suggestions from any one of the blogs 12 readers are encouraged. Look forward to a long hard fight to remove Dusty and we will not rest until he is back in the studio at espn (and then we may likely complain about that).

Much Love,

T. Tremendous

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My Last Post for a While

Well I need a break. I stutter my words, my hair is falling our in patches, and my pee smells like tuna. I think it is time to turn the blog over to someone else for a while before Dusty kills me. The new contributor will begin in the next few days and is no where near as good as me. He is merely a place holder for a month while I wait for this movie to come out. I know, you are devastated and sobbing uncontrollably. Me too. Except I am drunk. But before leaving, let me give you a few links that will put a smile on your face in this time of sadness.

I guess I'm not the only one making fun of the Red Sox bandwagon. Maybe it is because of people like this.

Those crazy Canadians.

Ouch.

Little college football talk. This one is about the terrible schedules some teams(cough, SEC, cough) have played the past few years. Here is one about this seasons schedules, both difficult and easy.


And finally, this video speaks for itself.

A bad team to watch

I came to the conclusion on the ride home from watching the Reds lose to the Pirates that I just watched two bad teams. Neither one has a chance to compete right now. The future looks good but then again, it always does. Bruce looked great with his two homers and Dunn continues to play well but it is not enough. Mental mistakes, poor coaching, and bad swings have brought this team to the edge of falling our of contention. 10 games remain until the all-star break. Anything under 5-5 and the fire sale begins. Anything over and hope will remain. It would also help if the Reds could put together a few games where they get both good pitching and good hitting instead of always having one without the other. A hit with runners in scoring position would also be a plus but that may be asking too much. More tomorrow as well as a big announcement. I'm sure my dozen fans will be on edge.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On the edge, about to jump

Last night may was horrible. Watching Corey Patterson end the game with his flyout sent me to the edge of the building. I have been against him since the first post and still, he continues to torment me. I can't take it anymore. If he is still on the team when I show up in Cincy for the game tonight, I may have to take a break and let someone else write for a while. I will just have to go wait in line for this to come out. More after I get back from the game tonight.