Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Awards Part II

Here are some more awards:

Greg Vaughn Award
(Best new hitter acquisition) goes to........

Jerry Hairston Jr. I almost confused him with Jerry Hairston Sr. Thank goodness he keeps that Jr. on the end. This is the one Dusty signing that didn't tank. He played well when not injured. Unfortunately, he only managed 80 games and 260 AB's. If he could stay healthy for an entire season, he could be useful. Too bad he hasn't played more then 120 games since 2002 and will be 32 next season. It was a good run for him but he is not the answer for next year's Reds. Having said that Dusty will resign him and Patterson and give them each starting jobs then be totally confused when the Reds only win 60 games.

Danny Jackson Award (Best new pitcher acquisition) goes to.......

Edinson Volquez. Coco was a close second. I know Coco had his ups and downs but it was recently revealed that he had a problem with his foot all year. Add that to his 136 ERA+ and having an anchor in the ninth to open up Weathers and Burton for the 7th and 8th, major trouble spots for last years Reds and Coco comes in a close second. Volquez is the winner. I would trade Josh Hamilton again in a hearbeat. I would give his stats but I have a feeling he will get another award.

Chris Sabo Award (Best rookie hitter) goes to.......

Joey Votto. Could make a good case that he is the Rookie of the Year in the NL. Here are his and Soto's numbers. Guess which one are his.

Player A: .297/.368/.506, 32 2b's, 24 hr's, 84 rbi's, 124 OPS+
Player B: .285/.364/.506, 25 2b's, 23 hr's 86 rbi's, 122 OPS+

Eerily similar. Votto is player A and looking at purely offensive stats, he is better. Soto plays a much tougher position on a team headed to the playoffs so he should win the award. I'm just saying that it is close. I think he isn't going to win because all the voters hate Canadians like Votto. I know I do.

Scott Williamson Award (Best rookie pitcher) goes to.......

Johnny Cueto. He had his ups and downs but at the end of the day, you have to remember that he is 22 years old, started 31 games and won 9 times, threw 174 innings while posting a 94 ERA+, and 158 K's. If he continues to improve, he, Volquez, Harang, and Arroyo could be the more formidable top 4 in the division. Owings, Bailey, and any other pitcher simply need to hold down the 5th spot and the rotation is set.

Johnny Bench Award (Best Hitter) goes to.......

Adam Dunn. I know he only played on the team until August 10th but he put up another monster year with 32 hr's and 74 rbi's in only the 113 games in a Reds uniform. His OPS+ of 130 is tops among regular players and his 197 OPS+ with RISP and 2 outs shows he got it done when it mattered. I love the big donkey, and I miss the big donkey.

Mario Soto Award (Best Pitcher) goes to......

Edinson Volquez. He was electric. His struggles after the all-star break took him out of contention for the Cy Young but he was still a legit all-star who could strike out 10 batters any start. Here are his stats: 24 years old, 32 starts with 17 wins, 196 inning with an ERA+ of 140, and 206 K's. Ridiculous numbers from a kid who is still improving. Another year of work under the tutalige of Mario Soto and he could be one of the top 5 starters in the NL.

Dave Miley Award (Most clueless manager) goes to.......

Dusty Baker. He needs to be fired now and replaced with a competent person. Hell, I will take someone with a pulse at this point. Anyone would know Bako and Patterson can't play baseball. O well, the blog will continue until my dream is realized and someone else is managing my beloved Reds.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Awards for the season part I

Now that the Reds season is mercifully over and another losing season is in the books let me hand out some awards. I will try to have some positive ones and not give all the bad ones to Dusty but it will be tough after suffering through this 74-88 debacle.

Onto the awards:

Eric Milton Award (worst performance by a Reds free-agent pitcher) goes to........

Josh Fogg. He was supposed to be a shrewd signing by former GM Wayne Krivsky. It turned into a disaster. His stats go as follows: 2-7 in 14 starts and 8 relief appearances, 7.58 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 17 HR's allowed in 78 innings. Batting practice pitchers put up better numbers.

Juan Castro Award (worst performance by a Reds free-agent hitter) goes to..........

Corey Patterson. Was there any other choice? 3 million for a 48 OPS+. The only personnel director who thinks this was a good move is Mike Brown. But at least he hasn't been arrested 50 times like Brown's players.

Art Shell Award (worst performance by a coach) goes to.......

Brook Jacoby. This team was known for their good hitting and terrible pitching. Dick Pole somehow fixed the bullpen just in time for Jacoby to stand by while our hitters regress. Griffey nose-dived, EE failed to progress, and, if not for the rookies who were untainted by Jacoby, they would have been the worst line-up in the National League.

Entourage Award (most disappointing season from a formerly good player) goes to.....

Ken Griffey Jr. Aaron Harang would be the easy answer but I blame most of his struggles on Dusty. Griffey never got going and has only been worse since joining Chicago. Not once have I heard his name discussed. We all expected a big season if he stayed healthy. Well he was healthy and failed to produce. His season reminded me of Entourage last season. Everyone expected big things, then every week revolved around one stupid movie. We don't watch Entourage for the acting. The acting is awful. We watch it for the partying and fun side of Hollywood.

Friday Night Lights Award (most under appreciated player) goes to.....

Adam Dunn. The man was an amazing baseball player who loved the game, his teammates, and the city of Cincinnati. That is very hard to find. I wish more people would realize this and appreciate it just as I wish more people would appreciate FNL. The best show in TV is relegated to Directv this fall because ratings were so bad and Directv offered to pay some of the costs. Now all I need is a friend with Directv.

That is all for today. Come back tomorrow for more. (you didn't think I would give you all of them now. I need to increase my hits from 8 to 16.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dusty's terrible moves

So many bad moves it is difficult to remember them all. Here is a quick list of the easy ones. Feel free to add any others.

-Playing Corey Patterson. This is listed first for obvious reasons. Dusty loves Corey and not because he is dating Dusty's daughter. Dusty had to come out against that rumor in the papers. Corey must love Dusty because he is on pace for almost 400 PA's and an OPS+ of 48 while making 3 million. The move was done because Dusty wanted it done. Now he keeps playing Corey hoping he will turn it around and make the investment worth it. I wish someone would wake him up and tell him the season is over and getting some rookies some extra AB's and experience would not be a bad idea

-Playing Paul Bako. Like Corey, this is another of Dusty's guys he brought in and continues to throw out there even though he is 36, and has an OPS+ of 58 while his heir apparent, Ryan Hanigan, has an OPS+ of 90 in very limited action. Maybe he should play more because John Fay did some checking and found the Reds are 14-8 when he starts and the pitchers have a 3.68 ERA. So Bako is a worse hitter and he calls an equal or worse game. Why is he playing again?

-Overusing some young arms. Volquez has pitched 200 innings. 24 year olds who, 2 years ago pitched only 120 innings, should not throw 200 innings for a 5th place team. Cueto is 22 and will pitch over 180 innings this year. These two are the cornerstone of our future. They should have been given more days off in September once the season was essentially over. Better to have them in September next year for a few more starts then overwork them this year.

-The San Diego debacle. Aaron Harang was ruined for two months thanks to Dusty's terrible decision making. Aaron threw 4 innings on 3 days rest. He went into a total tailspin after that and landed on the DL. Hopefully he will be back to 100% by the beginning of next year so he can return to his old form. Without him, the Reds will be in big trouble.

What else?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back with power and a look-back

After 8 days without power thanks to hurricane Ike, the blog is back and running. The Reds decided to celebrate me not being able to watch by playing good baseball. They won close games and the pitching has been fantastic. They look like they are playing against a bunch of AAA guys and guys who just want the season over. O wait, that is who they are playing against. It sure is easy to win when you are the only ones trying.

The Reds have clinched another losing season, making it eight in a row. Their record will look pretty good, somewhere around 75 wins, but don't let that fool you. This team hasn't played a meaningful game since June and the surge is not the result of trading Adam Dunn. Before Dunn was traded, the team scored 4.3 runs a game. Since then, they have scored 4.5 against September rosters and teams simply playing out the string. The real reason for the 22-16 record since the Dunn trade is the team ERA which was 4.65 before and is 3.81 since. WHen you allow nearly a run less a game, the record will improve. That is not rocket science.

This recent run of success will only make Dusty look better, which as we all know, is bad for the Reds. Over the next few days we will relive some of his worst decisions. After that, we will wrap of the season with some awards and look forward to next year. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Football picks

Since we all know the Reds will sweep the Adam "I am the reason my team doesn't win" Dunn, let me make some picks for the interesting games of the weekend:

South Florida will handle Kansas tonight. Kansas has played such a terrible schedule the last 2 years, losing their only big game to Missouri last fall. USF looked bad last week but they were on the road in front of a very hostile 50,000 people. The friendly confines of Tampa will help them.

Wisconsin will struggle with Fresno, but still win. This game reminds me too much of Wisconsin-UNLV from last year. They travel cross country to play the biggest game that school will have all year. The Badgers will look bad but still win by a TD or so.

Georgia will beat the other USC. Spurrier will hang around for a half but Georgia, injuries or not, is too good in the end. If Georgia somehow loses, that does not bode well for the SEC.

Half of America will fall asleep during the Michigan-Notre Dame game. No points will be scored. The over/under for this game is 37.5. And I like the under. Wake me when it is over.

If I were a betting man, I would do a two team parlay with Auburn, giving 11 to a terrible Mississippi State team and the Georgia Tech money line over Va Tech. The Hokies have no offense and the Jackets have been good in both of their games. This should pay about 4.5 or 5 to 1.

As for the NFL, who really cares. I do like that I can bet on NE and either they win, and I get money, or they lose and I am happy. Maybe that will make my Sundays interesting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reds finally winning

Well it took the Reds being eliminated from the Central race for them to start playing well. They have won 8 of 11 thanks to the young guys stepping up. Bruce has a ridiculous 1.400 OPS in his 8 September games and Votto is at 1.222. Corey Patterson is even having a great month with his .296 OBP, easily his highest of the season, and his 7 hits in 8 games makes this month better then June and July hitswise. His 47 OPS+ is threatening Gabor Paul II Bako and his plummeting 55 OPS+ for worst on the team for players with over 200 AB's. If he went by Gabor and not Paul I would like him a lot more. Bako has been horrible recently going .135/.214/.162 in his last 11 games yet he continues to start when Cueto and Volquez are on the mound. Dusty doesn't want to start Hanigan because Bako has caught those two for all of 5 months and he doesn't want to mess with that. Someone should tell him these guys are professional baseball players who really don't care who is behind the plate and starting Hanigan will set us up better for next year when, godwilling, Bako is gone. Once again, Dusty amazes.

On to football. HUGE game this weekend between the Trojans and Buckeyes. Should be a dandy for a few quarters until USC pulls away in the second half. If I were a betting man and gambling were legal, I would take the Trojans as long as I wasn't giving up more then 14 points. USC has won a ton of big games under Carrol and they are nearly invincible in the Colesium. OSU is a nice little squad that has struggled in big games on the road recently. USC 31-OSU 14.

As for the NFL, a bunch of boring games last weekend(saw that one coming) with only the Carolina-SD game being interesting. Hopefully we will get a few more good ones this week but I doubt it.

Here is a link to another Ryan Parker song(he did the Jay Bruce almighty one). This time it is about the silver lining now that Brady is done for the year.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Weekend Thoughts

Another season, another disappointment for the friends of fdb. I haven't commented on the UofL Cardinals terrible performance a week ago at home against UK, because I was just too angry. After taking a week to think about it, I'm still too angry to talk about it. Kragthorpe should go, it is clear. He has taken a national contender and turned them into a CUSA also ran. I will no longer waste my breath as clearly UofL has decided it is a basketball school. Football is expensive to maintain anyway, and it is difficult to recruit. I'm glad I no longer have to watch the Cards games on Saturdays and can focus on other teams. Also can try to make some money (if gambling were legal) by taking USC and going against ND (trust me it will work out for you).

After what I saw on Sunday, I'm now forced to go against one of my rules regarding yelling at one of our 4 fans. We received a comment praising the work of Kimo Von Whateverhisname, when he took out Carson Palmer at the knee. After watching fans cheer as Brady limps off the Field this weekend, I must say something. There is one thing to cheer for your team and hope the opposing team doesn't play well. That's fine, you always want to win and if that means your opponent pulls a Kragthorpe (or Dusty) and just sucks that's fine. But cheering for someone to seriously hurt his chance to ever play again is downright sick. Maybe it is people who have never competed in sports, but athletes all have a healthy respect for each other (and yes this includes divers. I would never cheer for anyone to hit his head on the board risking serious injury. That would just be sick.). You never want to see someone knocked out of a contest due to injury. I would equate cheering as Carson Palmer is taken off the field to someone standing over Big Ben as he lays on the ground after his motorcycle accident cheering. I don't like Tom Brady and want the Patriots to lose everygame, but I don't want some freak accident (or malicious cheap shot, however you see it) to be the reason. Tom Brady is a fantastic athlete who works very hard at his craft, to hope this is taken away from him is like wishing Michelangelo would have fallen from the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Sorry if I offended FDB nation, but you can't seriously want your team to win soley by destroying someone else's livelihood. Could you?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Another glorious weekend

Well the Reds managed to stave off a sweep by the Pirates yesterday. And all i took was getting Fogg, Patterson, and Bako off the field. Funny how that works. I wish someone would have thought of that months ago. All we can hope for is to beat the now reeling Cubs. The fans, voted here as the most annoying, are panicking because their constantly overworked starter, Fat Z, has tendonitis in his shoulder and Harden has a dead arm. Fat Z's "tendonitis" is more serious then it sounds. A starter who goes from a 96 fastball to an 89 fastball, as he did in his last start, has more wrong then tendonitis. Harden is always injured and one has to assume that he will not pitch another meaningful inning the rest of the year. The Reds will get a chance to play spoiler in front of a "home" crowd. Home is in parenthesis because there is no way more than 30% of the fans will be rooting for Cincinnati. Most will be dressed in blue, drinking bear, yelling obnoxiously and pretending like they care about what is going on.

The real fun this weekend happens on the gridiron. Two full days of football. Saturday's games aren't all that great but. hey, I'll take mediocre college teams (Vandy vs. South Carloina) over that snoozefest between the Giants and the Racist Nicknames last night. Look out for the 'Dores. They must be a top 20 team if they can win a game in the SEC. From what I hear, only about 15 teams qualify as good enough to beat an SEC team and 11 of them are already in the conference. The highlight of Saturday's games should be the West Virgina - East Carolina game. And if you think I picked that game just to post that picture, then you are right.

Sunday's games offer a little better matchups. I, and about 20 other people in the country, am interested in the Cincinnati-Baltimore game just to see Chad Ocho Cinco play. Other then that, I wouldn't mind seeing Brett Favre play terribly to knock him off his high horse and the Patriots to get caught violating the integrity of the game. Probably not going to happen but a man can dream can't he. Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bats in playoffs, Football is back

The Reds are still playing but the real story is in Louisville where the Bats are looking to actually win something of substance for the organization. They are in the playoffs so there haven't been any September callups. Not that it would do any good to expose those guys to the terrible team and awful manager currently residing in Cincinnati. Football is the real story.

The NFL kicks off tomorrow, one week after its better counterpart began. Here's looking forward to another boring season of the same styles, players, and plays being done over and over until two teams play in the Super Bowl. No ingenuity, no rivalries, and boring football make the NFL inferior to college. And yes, the players may have more skills, but college ain't too shabby. I would rather watch A+ drama and B+ skill then D+ drama and A+ skill. Anyway, here are some predictions

AFC Championship: Colts over Chargers. I refuse to pick Bellicheat. Hopefully he will be out of the league by then because he violated the integrity of the game and called into question 8 years of football. This won't happen because Shady Brady and the boys are a cash cow for the NFL. I think the Colts will be healthy this year and ready to reclaim their spot at the top of the AFC. San Diego plays in an awful division and has the best player in football. They should always be at the top.

NFC Championship: Cowboys over Saints. Like the Saints to rebound and the Cowboys are loaded at almost every position.

Super Bowl: Colts over Cowboys. Peyton won't lose a Super Bowl. He will have two weeks to watch film while Romo will have two weeks to party. Plus the game is in Tampa. It will be like Super Bowl XLI all over again.

Offensive MVP: Tomlinson. He is just too good. You think Atlanta would like to have him instead of the Dog Killer right now.

Defensive MVP: Patrick Willis. He is way too good to be on that awful team.

AFC Rookie of the year: Darren McFadden. Will have great numbers in a limited role.

NFC Rookie of the year: Matt Ryan. Winning 5 games on that team should get him MVP votes.

Biggest bust: Andre Woodsen. We went from potential first round pick to jobless in 8 months because he has the slowest release ever recorded. Only Michael Vick fell faster in one summer.