This has been a somewhat heightened few days for Reds fans. Over the course of the last two games, against the Cubs and Indians, a few Reds pitchers have had their choice of pitch location questioned in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
For starters, Matt Garza of the Cubs blasted into Reds Ace Johnny Cueto after the game where Cueto threw a pitch over David DeJesus in the 6th inning while the Reds were leading 4-0. Was the pitch intentional? Maybe. After all, Garza lost his cool and plunked Todd Frazier after giving up a home run to Jay Bruce in the third inning. The Reds are getting pounded at the plate – getting hit-by-pitches enough to rank them fifth in the majors. Maybe Cueto has had enough of it and decided to let teams know the Reds won’t stand for it anymore? When Garza suggested that Cueto should “grow the hell up”, perhaps that is exactly what Cueto has done in an effort to protect his team.
The result of this incident has yet to be seen. The Reds and Cubs play each other again in two weeks at Chicago, where the Cubbies might get some beer muscles at the Wriggly Bar (where they also happen to play baseball games). Garza’s comments are nothing short of confusing when he states “He’s (Cueto) lucky that retaliation isn’t in our vocabulary here” but adds comments like “If he has something to say about it, he knows where to find my locker and definitely I’ll find his” and “If Cueto has any problem, he can throw at me and I’ll definitely return the favor” (which to prove that “retaliation” is CLEARLY in the Cubs’ vocabulary).
So there’s that. Reds at Cubs June 10th – 13th. It looks like Cueto will pitch on Tuesday, June 11th whereas the Cubs send Garza to the mound on Wednesday.
Then there’s the Chapman saga. Everyone knows that Chapman has thrown the ball like Ebby Calvin LaLoosh. I’m confident that Mr. Red and crew have been told to stay away from the Diamond Club seats when Chapman pitches for fear of them catching a ball in the earhole. So when Chapman flings a ball over Nick Swisher’s head in the ninth inning, I don’t see why it would be a cause for longterm concern between the two teams outside of the fact that the pitch was near Swisher’s head. Multiple players/coaches on the Indians have said they didn’t like it, but they’ve also commented that they didn’t think Chapman was doing it on purpose, so I don’t expect any fireworks tonight as the Reds try to finish off the Indians. However, if the Reds have the lead late, I AM interested to see if Dusty “RELEASES THE CHAPMAN!” on the Indians again.
Overall, I’m ok with the Reds buzzing opposing hitters. There are only so many HBPs that Choo can take before the Reds are going to have to look for another leadoff hitter. Perhaps this is the pitching staff (finally) standing up for their hitters and letting other teams know that hitting a Reds won’t go unpunished. The Cubs may not have a large enough vocabulary, but I think the Reds do.
Joey Votto’s Intensity
Joey Votto. The (stupid) debate rages on about what he gets paid to do and what he doesn’t get paid to do. In my opinion, he gets paid to play baseball, which he does very well and very intensely. Now, Dusty Baker is saying Joey might be a little too intense after Votto let some words fly in multiple games after striking out that I wouldn’t want in my comment section (because my mom reads this…). What does this mean for Reds bloggers and Twitter GMs everywhere: a new (pointless) debate! Should Joey be told to tone it down and watch his mouth?
The easy answer for Joey is this: Get better at what you do so you don’t make any outs at all, then you won’t have to spout off curse words. I’d expect that is Paul Daughtery’s suggestion to the problem though, so I’ll have to go another route.
I will enjoy watching baseball games at home with my daughter and, no, I don’t want to have to explain certain words to her before she (and I) is ready. However, I won’t blame Joey if he lets them rip. After all, isn’t it just as much the broadcasting network’s issue? They are the people who decide to put microphones all over so we get an up-close concert of woos, beer vendors and off-color language. Yes, I love hearing the crack of the bat and pop of the mitt as much as the next guy, but I don’t think I need to hear when the batter passes gas or, more commonly, expresses his frustrations after striking out. Asking Joey (or any star player) to change his approach to the game is ludicrous to me. Let them play and celebrate/be frustrated however they want to best fit their game. If you have a problem with hearing that aspect, I suggest contacting Fox Sports Ohio, 700 WLW or hitting the mute button quickly.
Using Your Fame For The Powers Of Good
Most of us know that Ryan Ludwick’s nephew has been fighting cancer. He’s been mentioned a few times by Jim Day and the crew during Reds Live, during interviews with Ludwick and had a hashtag used by baseball fans (not just Reds fans) to show support for his fight. Now his family is holding an auction to raise money and Mrs. Ludwick has been spreading the word via Twitter from her account – @Joanbologna. Twitter is a fantastic way of spreading information and knowledge and gaining support when you need it and I applaud the Ludwick’s for using this forum and Ryan’s baseball fame to raise awareness/knowledge/money for Cody and his disease. Check out the items up for auction – everything from baseball items to a round of golf to handbags!
That’ll Be Five Maple Syrups, Please
Finally, it’s been brought to my attention that Canada has issued new currency and many people believe it smells like maple syrup. I am aware that Canada is the second-ranked country for Head First Slide readers, so I’d like to know if the new features to the currency are true. Bring the reports, readers from the Great White North!
Feel free to comment about anything I’ve covered in this long novel of a post or make something up completely on your own, as long as it’s clean. If it’s not clean, feel free to Tweet me at @GeoffreyHoman. Thanks for reading!