Going Hunting

Color me wrong, but we’ve heard this song and dance before.
The Reds are going after (INSERT PLAYER HERE) and in the end nothing comes of it, almost ever. But then every once in a while something does. As a matter of fact a couple of years ago I believe we were one of the teams that was “In” on Hunter Pence. It did not happen then and it probably wont happen now.
That being said I’m not sure it should happen.

Hunter (Thats what his friends call him) is a very good player and its funny because when I saw the headlines today I got excited, I really did.  He has a name, a REAL NAME.  He is one of those guys that just the idea of him suiting up for the Reds is intriguing.  One of the things I cant help but think about is how hes a young ball player and still has tremendous upside.

But He’s not.   I dont know why but thats the image I always have is that hes 26, 27.  He’s 30.  Its often said that a ball player will have their peak year at age 27,  In Pences case they were wrong, he was 28.   At age 28 Pence had a .871 OPS  with 22 Home Runs and a .314 BA.  The Next year? .743 OPS and a .253 BA.  This year? .778 OPS and a .277 BA.

It gets a bit bleaker though, June? .756 OPS and a .264 BA.  July?.636 OPS and a .253 BA.  The one thing to keep in mind here?  In his 10 games post all star break he is raking.  .432 BA and a .961 OPS.

What does all of this mean?  Basically, in my mind Pence is not currently the top tier player he was a couple of years ago.  He has a name and with that name comes expectations.  Expectations that I don’t think he can live up to at this point.  That being said I would LOVE to be proven wrong.  If he comes to cincy which is still doubtful to me I hope to god he rakes and rakes like its 2011 again, I dont see it happening, but I hope I am wrong.

That being said heres another trade target I’d love to get your opinion on.  July he hit .280 with a .931 OPS had 4 2 baggers and 3 home runs in that time in only 13 starts.  he would be cheap and would not cost much from this team at all.  Why you ask?  He’s Chris Heisey.  Put him in Left every day until Ludwick comes back.

Honesty though, if you feel like they have to do something, please for the love of god let me continue to bang the Drum on Logan Morrison.  .274 BA .829 OPS  4 HR in only 31 starts and hes still young at only 25.  Do a deal for him and you have an outfielder for the next several years.

What do you think?

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

Advertisements

Rambling with the best of em

Welcome Back!

First off, welcome back Mark Berry!

Mark Rejoined the Reds this week after a bout with cancer, he rejoined the team last night at 3B and looked to be in great shape doing it!

Me typing stuff

It feels like forever since I’ve had a chance to blog, I wanted to get some super serial blogging done over the weekend as I’ve had topics I’ve been percolating on for sometime. However life got in the way,  Here I am now, you’re welcome (jk).

Petition

I’d like to petition the MLB to play the giants every game!  11-0 and currently 7-1. Wowsers.  I’m looking forward to Greg Reynolds Debut tonight.  He’s been lights out in AAA and to be honest I really like to see guys come up and do well.  Its a nice story when it happens.  It appears (I could be wrong) that against the giants is the best place to get his start.

Bio Genesis-Genesis is allowed NOT!  (Its a line from Star Trek) 

Geoff already said most of what needed to be said on this subject so I will try not to tread over his words as I like what he has written quite a bit.  My remaining points are pretty simple.  In his year plus of denying he did anything wrong Ryan Braun claimed in many round about ways, through misdirection and implying that his tester had tainted his sample.  He never quite said it but he made it pretty clear that he didn’t do anything wrong and that this tester was out to get him.

Now we know that was untrue, he drug this guys name through the mud (no pun intended) and in the end if I remember correctly he got him fired.  This guys name has been mudd for the last year or so and now he is vindicated.  If you go back to all of the podcasts that we recorded on the subject of Braun they always ended with me saying “Explain to me how an improperly stored sample can miraculously get synthetic testosterone in it”. That was always my statement to anyone who claimed he didn’t get off on a technicality.

Pitching matchups

This weekend is going to be interesting!  We have some darn good pitching matchups with Latos vs Greinke and Bailey Vs Kershaw.  How exciting is that?  We are facing a surging first place dodgers team that has two of the best pitchers in the game with two of our best pitchers.

Interesting Note

I met the awesome Big Red Redemption the other day!  Its always nice to put a face with a name!  He was super cool and hopefully we’ll see more from him here on the site in the coming days!

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

 

The Ryan Braun Saga

 

Major League Baseball announced the suspension of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun today and, of course, I have my opinions about the situation.

The details are as follows, according to MLB.com: Ryan Braun has admitted to violating MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  His suspension is immediate and is without pay, meaning Braun will miss the remainder of the 2013 regular season (65 games), any potential post-season games (it’s the Brewers, so most likely none), and lose somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.2 million for those games.

But that’s about where the clear details end and the path to trying to understand everything gets twisted and tough to plot out, but let’s give it a try.

 

What Violations Did He Admit To?

According to the statement by MLB, Braun was suspended for “violations”, not just “a violation”, but didn’t detail any of them.  It’s easy to assume that his violations included the steroid use highlighted by the Biogenesis clinic in Florida, which also implicates almost two-dozen other players, but where do they end?  Has Ryan Braun admitted that his positive test in 2011 that was successfully appealed was actually a legitimate positive test?

 

65 Games Is An Odd Number For A Suspension

First time offenders, which Braun would “technically” be since his positive test in 2011 was thrown out, receive a 50 game suspension.  Second time offenders get 100 games.  Braun landed with 65 games.  Revisiting the question of what Braun admitted to, if it was JUST his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic, he should’ve received 50 games.  Accepting a higher number leads me to form an uneducated and mostly-uninformed assumption that he admitted to more than this current scare, and the only thing that comes to mind is his 2011 positive test.

 

Does The Punishment Fit?

I think this what doesn’t sit well with me.  Just so we understand each other, I’m somewhat of a baseball purest.  I don’t like the designated hitter, I still believe Hank Aaron has the All-Time home run record and the best players on the field should be in the Hall of Fame regardless of how many off the field mistakes they make.  That being said, I see a lot more “book” that should’ve been thrown at Ryan Braun for his admitted violationS of MLB’s steroid policy.  For starters, if the assumption that Braun admitted to using in 2011 are accurate, then it should be an obvious decision to take Braun’s 2011 MVP award away, despite precedent set after Ken Caminiti admitted to steroid use during his MVP season.  The difference is that Caminiti freely admitted his steroid use in 2002 – six years after his 1996 MVP award and three years after his retirement from baseball.  Braun will return to play in 2014 and only admitted his use after being non-cooperative with an investigation last month and finally being painted into a corner by his SECOND exposure as a steroid user. 

On his path to this suspension, Braun has sworn his innocence and fought to beat the rap as a cheater and a fraud.  To do so, he trampled on the career of the sample handler who, by most accounts, did everything as he should according to the policies and procedures in place. 

For most of us, $3.2 million is a lot of money.  Ryan Braun is due to make $120 million over the next seven seasons, which makes that $3.2 million seem like small fries.  On top of that, Braun has been battling hand injuries for most of the 2013 season, playing in less than 2/3rds of the Brewers games during a disappointing season.  Giving Braun the remaining 60ish games to heal during a season where the Brewers are going nowhere is akin to taking Joey Votto out of a 10-0 game in the 6th inning (as done tonight in SF).

In other words, the penalty dealt to Braun for being a cheater amounts to very little unless they take away his claim to fame for his post-career years – his steroid helped MVP award.

 

What To Look For Now

As far as Braun is concerned, I would watch to see if he has surgery to correct his hand ailment.  It will be interesting to see if it is noted that Braun would most likely have had the same season-ending surgery (if it happens), thus nullifying the suspension Braun has been given.  If ever a person has gotten off easier after admitting to multiple steroid policy violations, I have yet to see it.

I would also watch to see what happens when the other steroid needle drops.  With almost two dozen names involved with the Biogenesis clinic, including Alex Rodriguez, something is sure to happen. I guess it is the benefit of admitting your faults first, but when the other names drop, I wonder how much attention Braun will keep as time passes for his infractions. Probably not much.

 

How Does This All Make YOU Feel As A Baseball Fan?

I asked this question before starting this post and the overall theme of the answers revolved around anger towards Braun.  One response asked if any of us with “normal” jobs would still be employed if we violated our contract or employer’s substance policy. Another believes the sample handler should file a civil suit if Braun did, in fact, admit that the test in 2011 was a correct positive. Brewer-fan respondents expressed their disappointment and sadness that the player that they had believed in and trusted was a liar and a cheat.

All-in-all, @CaughtOffBase nailed it when she said that the biggest loser in this situation is baseball.  Unfortunately, with all the other names involved with this latest exposure, I think baseball stands to lose even more if they don’t bring the hammer down hard.

 

 

 

 

As always, thanks for reading. I can assure you that no performance-enhancing drugs of any kind were used in the typing of this blog post.  If anything, this 11-0 shellacking of the Giants is a performance-hindering situation, so thanks for making it through this babble. Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or Tweeting to @GeoffreyHoman.  And remember, don’t do steroids and don’t Woo!

 

 

MERCHANDISE! HOLY COW!

Hello all!

This post will be short, sweet and to the point!

For a very limited time we are selling T-Shirts.

Our super awesome new logo (Designed by Graphic Artist Extraordinaire Kevin Johnson) is on a T and available to you for the next two weeks.

http://teespring.com/h1spodcast

We did this in conjunction with our good friends at In The Gap Shirts (@inthegapshirts)  and all proceeds from it will be going toward Team Madison.

This will probably be the only time we ever sell a T, so if you would like to get one hit em up while you can!

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, The Woo and Pizza

 

So Brandon Phillips Said…

…he was upset about Joey Votto’s contract He said he still is “scarred” by getting less than half ($75M to Votto’s $200M) of what Joey “MVP” Votto received in his latest contract.  I get that.  I understand why Phillips is upset, but I also understand why he didn’t get “MVP money” like Votto.  Brandon Phillips has been the man in a Reds jersey for years, but now he’s not the Face of the Team or even close to being the highest paid. So what is the problem with BPhil being a little hurt about having the Reds pay Votto a mint and give him the “$75 million leftovers”?

Nothing.  Baseball is about a lot of things. Among them: History, statistics, pride, ego…  And let’s face it, BPhil has a lot of all four of those things.  So why is it a problem that he wanted Votto-money and was hurt by the Reds front office when he didn’t get it?  If you feel like you are one of, if not THE, best employees at your bi-weekly paycheck, don’t you want to be paid like it? Don’t you want the respect (and responsibility) that comes along with the high dollars?  I would, and I can surely understand why the Golden Glover would, too…

 

Yeah, But It’s JOEY VOTTO

That’s true. Not many ballplayers play like Votto has and few deserve Votto money.  However, BPhil is getting $125M less than Votto.  Just over a third of the total money and he is hardly “just” a third of the player Votto is.  Again, I agree with BPhil and understand why he was/is upset. I wonder what Joey thinks about the stuff Brandon said about the money being thrown around…

 

“It Made Me Like Him Even More”

That’s what Joey Votto said about BPHhil’s comments.  If Votto isn’t upset, how can you be as a fan?  The only person left to have a reason to be upset is Castellini himself, but I doubt we’ll hear his reaction.

 

What About Team Chemistry?!?

What about it?  Is it better for Brandon Phillips, who is one of the core players on this roster, to keep things as rumors or clubhouse chatter?  Look what happens when bloggers get a hold of certain topics that may be best kept in-house.  Things get blown out of proportion and the situation is worse than if the players would’ve just talked about it in the open.  Plus, the only two characters in this story that have any impact of the team chemistry are Phillips and Votto, and Phillips HAS TO feel better after airing his feelings and Votto has calmly and non-spotlightishly (that’s a Head First Slide trademarked term, by the way) commented that he doesn’t care.  Votto feels like Phillips’ comments have nothing to do with him. If the two participants don’t care, why would anyone else?  It’s almost like the players realize that baseball is also a business whereas fans only see it as a sport.

 

So What’s The Outcome?

Well, as of the time of this typing, the Reds are leading the Pirates 5-3 and Phillips has 3 RBI while Votto has been on base three times.  What is the worst that the situation can cause?  The Reds clubhouse splits, the team falters, the offense sputters and the Reds lose game after game – basically the last ten games before the All-Star break.  What’s the best that can happen?  The Reds clubhouse feels a sense of relief, has a weight lifted off their shoulders and starts hitting the ball and the team tears off a dozen wins in a row.  The actual outcome?  Probably somewhere in the middle, but I’d be willing to Pete Rose that the results are closer to the latter rather than the former (that means I think the team will pull together, relax, and win some ballgames).

 

My Final Analysis

Good for you, Brandon Phillips. I’m sure it’s tough getting “only” $75 million to play a kid’s game, but I’m glad you realize the team still invested a LOT of money in you to perform on the field and that the fans appreciate your game and love seeing you on the roster.  As anyone who has held something inside for a while knows, your relief is probably great and your opportunity to back up your feelings is fantastic.  Get it done, BPhil. Prove your words.

 

A Few Other Thoughts

I haven’t heard the “Woo!” in a few games, which is a good thing. Maybe the larger crowds are drowning out the dim-wits or maybe the infamous “Duane” has had car trouble, but the absence of the Woo! is a good thing…

…but the crowd continues to care more about a free $3 pizza than the Reds actually winning a game.  Luckily tonight is not one of those nights when the pizza-lovers cheer stupidly while the team is down late, seeing as the good guys are up by two in the 9th.  I love the promotion as much as the next guy (that may not be true because I wouldn’t cheer like a rabid dog because of an 11th strikeout when the Reds are losing), but it needs a severe amendment.  Make the offer only good after a winning effort, LaRosa’s. You know it’s the right thing to do.

Speaking of the right thing to do, if you don’t like LaRosa’s or have an issue with the promotion in general, take the advice of @TylerAlonzo and @CatLatos and gift your ticket stub to someone less fortunate than yourself.  The success stories that they retweet after pizza games are awe-inspiring.  #HatsOffCin to you, Reds fans!

 

As always, thanks for reading.  I’m sure you’ve got an opinion about my opinion, so in my opinion, you should leave your opinion in the comments section below. Or drop your opinion on Twitter at @GeoffreyHoman. Either way, it’s my opinion that your opinion matters to which of my opinions I write about, so let me know your opinion!