Getting Healthy…

First off, before I get into the main purpose of this post, I would like to defend the tweets I made yesterday about my feelings on Dusty Baker. I have never been a huge Dusty fan. I don’t hate the guy, but there are a lot of things I dislike about his coaching style. Honestly, does he even have a coaching style? Whatever. So, I may not agree with the decisions he makes, but he’s obviously the one being paid here. But just because he’s the one calling the shots doesn’t mean I, or anyone else for that matter, has to agree with his decisions. I am fan. It is my right as a fan to disagree with my teams doings if I so please. You have the right to disagree with my opinion. That is also your right as a fan. What kills me is some people’s inability to debate a topic without getting personal or downright intolerable. I’m always up for a good reds/baseball/sports debate, but you get to a point in an argument when both parties are only going to feel stronger about their side, no matter what anyone says. I don’t ask that you agree with everything I say, but at least be open-minded enough to think about it.


It looks like the Reds will reinstate Chris Heisey off of the disabled list on Tuesday, barring any setback. In his first two games with Louisville, Heisey is 4-7 with a double. I haven’t really seen any inclination as to who they will send back down once the call is made, but my best guess would be Lutz. I like Lutz a lot. I think he has a very high ceiling when it comes to his potential. I also feel like more time in AAA will allow him to work on his mechanics a little more. We’ll see. Having Heisey back in the lineup will give the Reds a little more pop against LHP. Since the series is in Oakland and the DH spot will be available, I would imagine that’s where you’ll find Heisey in the lineup. But then again, Dusty may use it to give a couple players kind of like a half-day off.

Sean Marshall has continued his progression in effort to get back from the disabled list. Marshall went on the DL May 24th with shoulder tendinitis. Sean long tossed both Wednesday and Thursday and is hoping to be “pitching from flat ground by the end of the week”. While on the DL Marshall and coaches have watched video to spot some flaws in his delivery that may have contributed to his pain and he has worked to improve it. Marshall’s comeback date is TBD, but most are hoping for right around the All-Star break. In my opinion getting Marshall back and getting him back healthy is going to a huge asset to the Reds down the stretch.



As most know, the boys are shipping off to the west coast for an 8-game road trip. 3 in Arizona, 2 in Oakland, then 3 more in Texas. It’s hard to guess what the Reds will do on this trip. All three opponents are playing pretty decent ball and we know how well we typically do on the west coast (barring good trips last year). Hopefully, we turned over a new leaf last year and we’ll add to our already winning road record.

The game I will be most focused on is Saturday’s match up against the Dbacks. Mike Leake vs. Patrick Corbin should be a great game to watch. Corbin comes in with a 9-0 record and a 2.28 ERA that, is well, pretty damn good. We know how great Leake has been lately, but we also know how bad he CAN be. Same for Corbin. How many times has he faced a lineup as potent as the Reds before? This one could be an amazing pitchers dual. It might not. But I’m sure it won’t disappoint.


That’s all I have today folks.


Shout out to my guys over at Midwestshades for letting me give away a couple pairs of shades.


As always, comments are welcome. Questions may be answered. Concerns may be looked over.


TWITTER: @ItsARedsThing


Struggle Bus…

This has been a rough week or so. We’ve lost 3 of our last 4 and 7 of our last 11. Everyone has been saying that the Cardinals can’t keep this pace up and that they have to come back down to earth eventually. Maybe we’re the ones coming back down to earth. Maybe we’ve just hit a rough spot in the season. There are a lot of maybe’s out there for this team. Some blame the players. Some blame the coaches. Some blame the beer prices. The fact is, this team has far to much talent to be playing the way they are.

The past weekend series vs the Cardinals was a disaster. I’m saying that in the best way I can put it. Yes, we did at least win one of the games, but even that win had it’s rough spots. Why does it seem like any time a professional team in Cincinnati gets put on national tv, we show everyone just why we shouldn’t be. Last nights loss was a poor display of baseball by both players and coaches. I have watched little league games with less fundamental mistakes. Why couldn’t we bunt? Why didn’t we know how many out there were? Why wasn’t our third base coach doing his job? These are never questions you should be asking after a game with your biggest rival, and the team you are chasing above you in the standings. My biggest issue with last nights game is the use of Chapman. WHY CAN’T HE PITCH MORE THAN 1 INNING?!?!?! You wanted to make him a starter for this season, yet there’s no faith in him to pitch 2 innings? At this point, is he going to be worse than any other option in the bullpen? So, use him in the 9th to get to the 10th. Understandable. Why couldn’t you make a double-switch so that his spot in the lineup wouldn’t come up 2nd in the bottom of the inning? It’s little things like this that make it hard to defend Baker. Just another series he was out-coached and out-classed in.

I’m finding it harder and harder to make excuses for Dusty Baker. I try not question his management decisions because, well, he’s sitting in the dugout and I’m not. But at this point in the season, he’s not making it easy for anyone to defend him. You can tell me all about how we have a stretched bullpen. Blah blah blah. You can tell me this bullpen just isn’t as good as last years. Blah blah blah. The fact is, our starters are busting their balls off getting us into the late innings only to watch the mismanaged bullpen implode on call. Mat Latos should easily have 9 wins and should be a front runner in Cy Young talks. Yet somehow, no one seems to know how to hold a lead anymore. Our bullpen has blown a save in 4 straight Sunday games. We almost have to pray that our starters go at least 8 so that Chapman is all we have to get anxious over. I’m not going to dissect each inning of last nights deboggle. All I’m going to say is that this team, and thats managers and players, needs to get its sh*t together and get it together soon. We beat the teams we’re supposed to, then look pathetic against teams with a record .500 or better. Guess what, the Marlins, Mets and Cubs aren’t going to be available to beat up on in October.

This team has a very high ceiling. I hope we find a way to get to the top this season. Do we need to make a trade already so that we have a little damage control? I have faith in this team. As I said last night, I went to bed a Reds fan and I woke up today a Reds fan. That will NEVER change.

I’ll be doing a contest later this week with Midwest Shades. Stay tuned to twitter for details. check out their site in the meantime.

Twitter: @ItsARedsThing


Well, Hello There…

It has been quite some time since my last blog update. The last thing I remember is predicting a sweep in the NLDS vs the Giants. Well… We all know how that turned out. Reds take the first two games in San Fran, and then come back to Cincinnati and lose three straight games at home. Something we hadn’t done at all in the regular season. To say I was disappointed would be a fairly dangerous understatement. As I sat in the sun/moon deck on that fateful thursday afternoon, I pleaded with the baseball gods to not let this ship sink so early. But, as Buster Posey crushed that grand slam to the bleachers in left field, I realized our city’s dream would soon be crushed. So, on my own birthday, I walked out of GABP with my head down. I couldn’t look at the sadness on everyone’s face as we all realized we wouldn’t be back here until Opening Day of 2013. Life goes on.

Here we are, closing out the month of May and the Reds are yet again one of the best teams in baseball. Holding the second best record to the Whiney Birds in St. Louis. We have many strengths and a few weaknesses. I’ll touch on a few today.


Fab 5

I believe our biggest strength is our Starting rotation. Our starters have a combined 3.11 ERA which is second in all of baseball (STL 2.61). When Cueto hit the DL in the middle of April, Cingrani hit the ground running and made his case for the 5th spot in the rotation. By the time Cueto was ready to come back, Dusty had the hard choice of picking between him and Leake. These are issues I’m sure Dusty is completely fine with having.

Team Hitting

Last year the Reds were in the bottom third of baseball with a .245 avg. with RISP. This year they’re in the top third at .279. DatDudeBP leads the NL with 43 RBI’s. Votto is 2nd in the NL in avg at .354. Votto (.477) & Choo (.450) are 1-2 in the NL in On-Base Percentage. Votto leads the league in runs (43). Votto is 2nd in hits with 69 (only because Segura had 6 last night). Bruce leads the league in doubles (17). Votto (44) and Choo (38) lead the league in walks. Oh, and Votto leads the NL in OPS. with a solid 1.031. I feel like Votto may be earning his paycheck.



Unfortunately, maybe our biggest strength last year has become our biggest issue in 2013. The bullpen is almost a full run higher with a 3.51 ERA. Besides Sam Lecure, you just don’t know who’s going to show up to pitch. Ondrusek has struggled. Broxton has struggled. We’ve even seen some inconsistency in Chapman. Obviously starting pitching is more important, but in close games, you have to be able to have faith in your bullpen to get to 9th.


This is a special team. More special than last years squad. They come to the field and expect to win every game. Whether it’s Votto amazing us with his bat, or Brandon showing us why he is the best defensive second baseman in baseball, you can’t help but love these guys.


Next Saturday, June 8th, the Reds will be hosting the next TweetUp (name has been changed to Social Media Night). If you haven’t participated in one of these yet, I advise you to do so. You will have a great time. You will meet a bunch of awesome people. And, you will get a sweet t-shirt. GO GO GO.

That’s all I have for today. I promise I will get back to doing these on a regular basis.

As always, comments are welcome. Questions may be answered. Concerns may be looked over.


TWITTER: @ItsARedsThing

It’s A Red October Thing…

  Hi guys. My deepest apologies for not writing in quite some time. I’m assuming you don’t live under a rock considering you’re using the internet and that you know the Reds are in the Playoffs. Now, two years ago, that statement was such a big thing for the city. The fact that we were playing baseball in October was a huge deal. This time, it means a little more. This city expects a little more. Actually, this city expects A LOT more. We’re not going to settle for hosting a playoff game for the first time in over ten years. We want to host a WORLD SERIES game. Anything less than that, most Reds fans will be disappointed.

I know some people still hate Dusty Baker and will criticize every move he makes. In my own personal opinion, he’s not the best manager for our organization. I think there are other managers out there that are more suited to manage the type of roster we have. With that being said, we did win 97 games this year. One win away from the best record in baseball. No matter how dumb his line up looks through your eyes, it’s worked almost 60% of the time. If that isn’t good enough for you, you should probably find a new sport.

I’m very proud of this team. There will be a lot to remember from this season, even before we win the World Series. The emergence of Chapman as our lights out closer. Our original starting rotation pitching every game but one (that was only because of a double-header). Cueto being the Cy Young candidate all season. Mat Latos emerging as our dominate number 2 guy. Bronson Arroyo being well, Bronson Arroyo. Leake holding his own with a solid 8-9 record. And we can’t forget Homer. There are a few memories from the Reds that will stick with me forever. Sitting in the backseat of a car, watching Homer Bailey throw a no-hitter on my phone will be one of them. I don’t even know how to describe that feeling. I only wish it could’ve been at GABP, in front of Reds fans.

Our offense was our offense. Getting hits and scoring runs when we needed to. Todd Frazier provided a huge spark, playing wherever and whenever we needed him. Filling in for both Rolen and Votto when they went down with injuries. He’s probably not going to win Rookie of the Year, but he’s definitely a contender for TEAM MVP.

The biggest piece to this playoff contending team is by far our bullpen. Going from 11th in the league last year with 3.55 era to 1st this year with a 2.65. It’s hard to be confident handing the ball over to a relief pitcher in the 7th inning when you’re only up one run. We did that. We did that with confidence. Marshall, Broxton, Ondrusek, Arredondo, CHAPMAN. Then of course when we were down and needed some help we had Hoover, Simon and Lecure to mop up and give us a chance to come back. We are where we are because of them.

San Francisco is a very good team. They have a very good rotation starting with their ace Matt Cain. They have a good offense led by batting champ Buster Posey. Their Achilles heal is their bullpen. They fell in the middle of the league with a 3.56 era. I think if we can get to their bullpen early, this will be a quick series.

SWEEP. That’s my prediction.

As always, comments are welcome. Questions may be answered. Concerns may be looked over.


TWITTER: @ItsARedsThing


One City. One Team.

After reading a blog post of a close friend, I decided to somewhat piggy-back off his point.

This is a huge weekend for Cincinnati Reds fans. Our baseball team owns the best record in all of baseball. And they’re playing the best baseball this organization has seen in a long time.

This weekend, let’s come together as a single fan base. Whether you like a player over another, or are completely against a move Dusty makes, CHEER FOR THE TEAM. This team has done more than enough to get this city behind them. DO NOT boo a player for making an error. DO NOT boo a player for striking out with runners on second and third. DO stand behind this team no matter what happens.

This could be the biggest weekend in the Reds season. We could potentially put ourselves 6.5 games ahead of the Pirates. And that’s without our best player.

If you cannot grasp the severity of this weekend, you don’t understand baseball.

When the Reds take the field tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday afternoon, I don’t want a single fan sitting in their seat. This team deserves your support. They HAVE earned it.

One City. One Team.


The Boys Are Back In Town…

I don’t know about you, but this guy certainly isn’t a fan of the extended All-Star break. Feels like baseball hasn’t been played in a month. And what a way to kick off the second half of the season than to welcome our favorite whiners into town. Tony LaRussa seems to be everywhere the Reds are and he’s not even an active member of baseball. I know, he snubbed two of our guys that were with out a doubt two of the biggest snubs in AS history. Here’s how I see it:

– The fans have the first say in who makes the starting line up. So, it’s actually our fault as fans that BP didn’t make it on the first wave. You can be mad that he wasn’t tagged as a player or manager pick, but then you also have to be mad at yourself for getting it to that point.

– As much as I hate the guy, LaRussa had a pretty valid point as to why he didn’t pick Cueto. He may have one of the better ERA’s in the NL, but he was scheduled to pitch 2 days before the game. He would basically just be wasting a roster spot. Obviously TLR isn’t going to go out of his way to call Dusty and let him know that, but why would he? I wouldn’t expect Dusty to do it if the tables were turned.

So, go ahead and be mad about our AS snubs. I’d rather be focusing on the second half of the season where the Reds have to fend off the division-leading Pirates. Pittsburgh has the easiest second half schedule in the division, maybe in all of baseball. The Reds have an easy one as well, but this division may come down the last week. Remember the last day of baseball last year? The Braves and Red Sox collapse. The Cardinals and Rays squeaking in. Then the Cards go on to win it all. This year’s season finale could be just as exciting. I’m hoping the Reds aren’t involved. Only because they have a comfortable 6-8 game lead already. A man can dream can’t he?

My second half predictions:

The Reds offense IS going to take off. Votto will of course be Votto, but I feel like Bruce and Phillips are about to hit their offensive and you’re going to see one of the best 3-4-5 combo’s in the NL. The starting rotation will be just as good as they’ve been in the last month or so. The achilles heal of this team will of course be the bullpen. Chapman HAS to restore the confidence he had before his four game meltdown in June. If he does, our boys will run away with the division. If he doesn’t, we may be apart of the fireworks in the last week.

As always, comments are welcome. Questions may be answered. Concerns may be looked over.


TWITTER: @ItsARedsThing

Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

The Reds wrapped up a 4-3 road trip (as predicted by myself) yesterday when they took the rubber match against the Yankees. That series win came after splitting 1 of 2 from both the Braves and the Mets. While the Reds were busy taking 2 of 3 from the Yanks, The Cardinals were busy getting swept by the scorching hot Dodgers. What does this mean? It means our Redlegs are only 1/2 game out of first place.


INCONCISTENTCY – Jay Bruce has the ability to be one of the best players in baseball if he wasn’t so streaky. Before legging out an infield single that Derek Jeter bobbled in his last at bat, Bruce was 0 for his last 16. In his 2nd and 3rd AB he struck out looking at the exact same pitch. Now, the first time you can make the argument that it was a ball, but if you just struck out on that pitch, why look at it go by in the same spot again? Hopefully coming back to GABP will straighten him out a bit. He has a .361 avg. at home vs. his .213 avg. on the road.

RISP – The Reds are the 29th worst team in Major League Baseball at hitting with runners in scoring position. This is just appalling to me. Votto (.414) and Hanigan (.333) are the only players hitting above .250. Who do you blame for this? The players? The coaches? I’m not pointing any fingers, but something needs to be done.

CHAPMANIA – I’m a little torn on Chapman becoming our closer (if that’s actually official or not). Though I’d much rather him be the closer than the set up man, I STILL WANT HIM TO BE A STARTER. I feel like him being the closer is a step backwards from him becoming a starter. I understand it’s going to take some work getting him into a starter mentality, but how long are we going to wait? We signed him to be a starter. We pay him starter money. What am I missing here?

LINE UP – Why do we keep running the same line up every night and expecting different results? Cozart is batting .165 in the leadoff spot. That sounds good. Let’s keep him there. Phillips is batting .274 in the 4-hole, which wouldn’t be too terrible, but he’s batting .239 w/RISP. Last time I checked, the main duty of a clean up hitter was to drive in runs. So, where does Phillips belong in the line up you ask? How about 1st. Last year he hit .350 batting at the top of the line up. Why Baker/Jocketty hasn’t realized this yet, I’m not sure. So, who bats clean up? My suggestion, Jay Bruce. I don’t understand why Dusty is so against batting left handers back-to-back. My last bit on the line up: why does Ryan Hanigan not bat higher in the order? He has the highest avg. on the team excluding pitchers. I understand he’s not a 1-4 hitter, but he could easily be 5th or 6th. I guess Dusty has a rule that you can’t bat catchers higher than 7th.


ABOUT TIME – I guess Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick got together and decided they both wanted to start playing baseball. Heisey is 10 for his last 24 (.417) and Ludwick is 4 for his last 11 (.364). PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep hitting!!!

JOHNNY ROCKET – After a no-so-great last outing in Atlanta, Cueto comes back to his CY YOUNG-like self with a fine performance against the Yankees. He went 7 innings with 2 ER, 5 K’s and 2 walks. Overall he’s 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA. If he doesn’t have some early Cy Young consideration than something is wrong.

MVP – Is it to early to make a case for Votto to be MVP? In the line up that he’s in and the way he’s still able to produce is beyond me. I know his stats don’t jump out at you when you compare him to Matt Kemp or Josh Hamilton, but he just get the job done day in and day out. Without Votto I think this team would be a bottom feeder in the division.

The Reds have another full week of games with Atlanta coming into town for a 4 game set, followed by a weekend series with the Rockies. My prediction: we split the series with the Braves. Then sweep the Rockies. The Reds are only a half game out of first and aren’t even playing their best baseball; In my honest opinion. I think they’re getting everything together and we’re going to see it this week. 5-2 home stand is my prediction.

If you go to a game this week vs. the Braves make sure you show some love to Chipper Jones. This will be his last stop in Cincinnati before his Hall of Fame career is over. You have to commend an athlete who stays with one franchise his whole career. You see that happen less and less these days.

As always, comments are welcome. Questions may be answered. Concerns may be looked over.


TWITTER: @ItsARedsThing