1990 Reds, Forever in our hearts?

I remember growing up in Flint, Michigan I remember how much the 1984 Detroit Tigers meant to the state of Michigan. The excitement and pride surrounding that team was electric! Everyone was watching baseball that fall. People who were not really fans of the game were watching. Kids that grew up during that summer and the years following knew most if not all of the names of the players on that team! We were in love with the Tigers because they were hard working, blue collar guys in a blue collar town.

When I moved to Ohio in 2007, one of the 1st things I did was start learning about the sports teams! I began reading about the Reds, Bengals, Bearcats and even the Cyclones! (yes hockey, almost everyone in Michigan likes hockey!) Needless to say I was impressed with my new city’s sports history. You have to be impressed with the fact that in 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings, were established as the 1st professional baseball team!

Then I noticed that the Cincinnati Reds had won the 1990 World Series! As a baseball fan I knew this fact but I was pleased to see that the city has seemed to embraced the 1990 Reds just like we had embraced the 1984 Tigers! I noticed this right away when I was looking for autograph signing events all over the city and how most of them seemed to revolve around 2 very important parts of Reds history, The Big Red Machine and the 1990 World Series Champion Reds. While the Big Red Machine was a team that became legends and command respect accordingly. The 1990 Reds team seems to be closer to what the 1984 Tigers were to me. They seem more like a blue collar, working class team! I was so please to see how the players for that team seem to show up everywhere and the fans show up with them! No matter if it is Chris SaboTodd Benzinger, Tom Browning or those amazing Nasty Boys people show up in full force! The 1990 Reds players seem to be loved by all of the legions of Reds fans!

Case in point was a Chris Sabo signing that was held at Buffalo Wild Wings a week ago. I grabbed a baseball and ink pen and headed over to see what was going on. I expected a few people to show up but was pleased to see a line that stretched around the inside of the place! Then I remembered the Nasty Boys signing held at Sports Gallery awhile ago, tickets were selling for $200+ and people were lined up ready to go! Amazing show of support from the Reds fan base!

What I am trying to say is that I think that it is so cool how much the 1990 Reds mean to the people of Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. That team won a Championship 23 years ago this fall and they are still loved and adored by millions of fans all over Ohio and beyond!

Do you have any memories of the 1990 Reds or any Reds teams? Feel free to comment below or message me on Twitter at @garpike28

Have a great day!
Joe

Legacies and the game

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about legacies and baseball. It’s been something that I’ve seen brought up several times recently in particular in reference to A-Rod.

This brings me to a real question….Who has a legacy in baseball? What makes a baseball legacy?

Does A-Rod have a legacy? Why does A-Rod have a legacy? What makes him have a legacy?
He’s been a great player that’s true, but do all great players need a legacy?

Babe Ruth, he has a legacy. Lou Gehrig, he has a legacy. Barry Bonds has a legacy. Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson they all have legacies.

They are also players that defined a generation. I don’t meant they were among the best players to play the game during their generation.
THEY WERE THE BEST PLAYERS.

A-Rod? He’s a great, he’s got hall of fame numbers, truly he does! Does he have greatest of all time numbers? Not quite.
His post seasons have been either spectacular or awful (Career post season BA is .263) and while there was a stretch where he was ridiculous theres also been stretches wheres hes been between pedestrian and not very good.
His career Batting average is .300 right now. Which sounds really good until you consider the fact that since 2009 he’s hit .286, .270, .276, .272 and currently .273.
Again he’s been REALLY GOOD, GREAT, but not All Time Great with a legacy behind him.
Is it stats that define a legacy? like A-Rod? Is it title? Do all managers have a legacy? Do all players?
Whats Pokey Reeses legacy? Whats Hideki Irabu’s legacy?

Managers seem a bit easier, I think that most managers get a legacy, where as few players get a legacy.

I think the two I’ve been thinking about the most of recent are Dusty Baker and Brandon Phillips.

Dusty like it or not has a legacy in Cincinnati. He does. What you think of that legacy, where it ends up will be decided by the next two years.

Like him or not you have to remember that prior to Dusty this team had 58 other managers (58!)  Even with this being the oldest team in major league history that’s still what a new manager every 2.5 years roughly?

In that time there had been 4 managers between Dusty and Jack McKeon the last manager to have the Reds In the post season and 6 total managers between them and the last post season win (DAVEY JOHNSON!).

Dusty helped bring this team out of the darkness and into the light, for that there should be a certain amount of gratefulness that any Reds fan will look back on Dusty’s tenure with.

For all of that though and the fact that he has gotten them two post season births and never advanced past the wildcard round will result in many detractors to Dusty bakers Legacy.

That’s why this next year and a half is important for him, and his legacy. He needs to get this team out of the first round, he needs a long post season run, he needs to be able to look back at his time while staring at his glistening World Series ring.  I swear this to you, if Dusty gets a world series ring then in 7-10 years we’re watching a Dusty Baker hall of fame speech.  Without it, we aren’t.  That ring is what separates him from a Lou Pinella (Statistically) and that ring will decide where he goes, home or the hall of fame.

Brandon Phillips legacy is interesting to me in another right.

Statistically he has started to over take Joe Morgan for so many Reds 2B stats its not even funny.  By the time his career is over he will have passed Joe for basically every meaningful statistic that there is.

Does that make him better than Joe?  Does that mean I’m going to have Brandon Phillips Toyota across the street from Joe Morgan Honda?

I don’t know about the dealership, what I do know is there is one key important difference between these players.

World Series.

Brandon is lucky in a way.  Unlike Dusty BP has 6 more chances at Rings.  With any luck we’ll see him put at least one on his finger, what will it take for him to cement his playing legacy ahead of Joe as the best Reds second baseman of all time? 2 Rings? 3?

What are your thoughts?

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

Reds Vs Padres

Tonight starts the biggest 10 days In the Reds Calendar (in my opinion)  The team has shown signs of life this homestand and at 3-2 on the homestand can still make a nice run of it.

However for that to happen they NEED to go on a tear.  The only way this will happen is for them to take the series against the Pods.  That is do-able. Arroyo, Cingrani and Leake are going for the Reds, which is a rewind of last weekend.  Do you really think that Arroyo and Leake get their heads kicked in again this week like last week?

I don’t.  I think that tonight buoyed by the Raucous crowd at Reds Social that Bronson rocks and rolls his way to a victory.  Cingrani and Leake will do the same.

From here we have 7 more games coming up with the Cubs and Brewers.  If this team does what it can do to those teams My prediction is we’re 3 games out or less at the end of those 10 games.

If this team doesn’t…..well we’re not going there.

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

Wild Card or BUST…

There are a few things I’d like to talk about in the post. Like Richard in his last post, some of this has been brewing restlessly in my brain like a Chipotle burrito has just been consumed. So bear with me, this may get lengthy.

I’m going to piggy-back on what Richard in his last post. There are many types of Reds fans that make up Reds Nation. You see what i said there? REDS NATION. We are a family. Obviously, not all of us are going to get along with one another, but at the end of the day, our main goal is to root on our Redlegs. Enough with the back and forth middle school arguments. It doesn’t make whatever point you’re trying to make any better. It just makes you look petty.

This is what I think needs to happen for the Reds to do something in the last 2 months and hopefully the playoffs.

Aroldis Chapman needs to be managed better. I’m not just talking about in close situations. I’m talking about in EVERY situation. He cannot sit on the bench for 4-5 days without getting regular game work in. His career stats speak for themselves.

0 days rest – 1.66 ERA

1 day rest  –  1.06 ERA

2 days rest – 3.72 ERA

3 days rest – 4.66 ERA

4 days rest – 5.49 ERA

I mean, it’s pretty clear to me.

We need Ryan Ludwick to be healthy. Honestly, I don’t see us making any noise in October if he isn’t healthy. We NEED a right-handed power bat. We NEED to have a stable LF position. We NEED Ryan to produce. I hate to put all of our eggs in one basket, but that’s kinda what we did when there was no move made at the trade deadline.

That’s it for now. I wanted to get a little into the suspensions handed out today, but I’m going to let that settle until dive head first into it. ( Get it? HEAD FIRST) Bahaha.

 

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

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The All Encompassing Preaching Post

Obligatory

I’ve had two posts brewing in me for a couple of days.  (What does brewing a post feel like you say?  Basically imagine eating a big burrito and what that does to you) Those two posts are about 1)Fans, and the different types of fans. and 2)Scapegoats.  What follows are those two posts fully blended into one long long posts.

Preachin’

Ok I may get a bit preachy toward the end of this part, but its worth it I promise.

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of “Die Hard” fans get mad at…well non die hard fans.  It got me thinking about myself and what type of fan I am.  Obviously I am a Die hard fan or I wouldn’t have started a podcast, twitter account and blog solely devoted to the Redlegs.  What other types of fans are there?

1)Casual-This would describe my mother for example.  She likes the Reds a lot, she will venture down the ballpark every so often and if they are already on television she will watch them, she wont make a point to watch but wont complain about them being on and may get into it.

2)Dire Fusty Casual-They cant stand the manager, everything is his fault, or its the owners fault, or its the 3rd basemans fault, its always someones fault, its always the same persons fault to no matter who that person was.  It was Jack McKeons, Ray Knights, Dusty Bakers, Dave Mileys and Jerry Narrons fault no matter the situation or score.  When they win its never because of that person it is always because the team overcame that person.  Generally the last manager they will feel like did a good job with this team was either named Rose, Pinella or Johnson.

3)Dire Fusty Hardcore-They know the stats, they know every person whose arm dusty has broken, they know every person who was on Dustys Giants WS team and why that person made it easy mode for Dusty to reach the world series and they will never believe that anything Dusty does will help the team win.

4)Griffeys Gotta Goers-You could change Griffeys name with anyone else here if that person make a ton of money and doesn’t hit a home  run every at bat to them they are underperforming no matter what.  Coincidentally they also usually think we can trade Mike Costanzo and a rosen bag to the Tigers for Justin Verlander straight up with the tigers eating most of his salary.

5)Super Positive-This was me growing up (and to a certain extent still now) Down by 6 in the 7th?  SWEET ONLY NEED 2 RUNS PER INNING TO TIE IT UP!  Super upbeat, super positive, always happy go lucky and may or may not tweet in the 9th inning down by 10 #RedlegsNeverSayDie (Ok its still me).

6)BallPark is a Party and Everyones invited- They go to the game because its something to do on a Friday, or Saturday.  They want to have fun, they want to enjoy themselves and they don’t in the end really care what the score is as long as they have fun.

Heres the thing, there are 6 types here to go with flat out Die Hard.  I could have listed pessimist as well, but I think I covered that with the “Dire Fustys”.  In the end all 6 types, plus the pessimists and the Die Hards are Reds fans (and you probably fall into more than one category).  They are, whether they live in California or New York, Cincinnati or Chicago or Seattle they are Reds fans.  The time they invest into the franchise be it watching television, going to the game or listening on the radio is valuable to them.  The money they spend on the MLB at bat, or hats, or shirts, or pennants is just as good as the money spent by the hardcore.

There is no reason to jump all over each others crap.  I don’t like the wave, or really the woo, or cheering for pizza when down by 100 in the 8th inning.  I don’t do those things.  (Although I should say I’ve been Wooooing for years at the ballpark, its the old wrestling fan in me.  I usually do it when its time to cheer, not in random out of place moments which is I think the part that most people have problems with).  That doesn’t mean that others cant though.  The wave got going yesterday and neither me or my father participated.  Those around us? OH YEAH! They loved it!  They were hoping for more times around the stadium!  I didn’t yell at them because its not my place.  It didn’t annoy me because again its not me having to do it.

Were it the bottom of the 8th Friday or today might it have annoyed me?  Perhaps.  I thank god didn’t have to witness either of those travesties in person.  Now all that being said my main point if it has been lost somewhere in this long long long ramble.  Everyone is there own fan, there is no reason to not only accept this but to embrace it.  Don’t let someone elses fandom get you down! Be happy! enjoy the team (or not) and enjoy each other for the different fandoms we all bring to the table.

Scapegoating

I’ve read more times than I can count that Baker/Jacoby/Cozart/Votto/Frazier/Bruce/Insert LF/Insert Catcher/Choo is the problem.  Who really is the problem?

Well to address that we must ask when did the problem start?  June.  May? 19-8. June 12-15. July 14-13. So June was our problem child and our basis for which to start.  (Can you believe they were above .500 in July?  Sure didn’t feel it).

Lets look at the outliers, I think we can all agree that hitting has been the problem right? Ok now that we all agree lets see.  In may the team had a .265 BA and a .781 OPS which is not spectacular for a player but actually pretty good for a team.  June?  .234 BA and .675 OPS.  July?  .260 BA and .730 OPS.

Team ERA has been pretty low too.  2.71 in July!  TWO SEVENTY ONE!  That brings us to the question in June and July who struggled? We talked a bit about this while recording the other night, but as I sit here I’m pulling most of these numbers blind so I’ll give some opinion on them as I go.

Lets go batting order shall we?  Choo

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP IBB BAbip
April/March 27 27 129 101 20 34 8 1 4 11 17 19 0.337 0.477 0.554 1.031 0 10 1 0.385
May 26 26 124 96 20 23 4 0 6 9 23 32 0.24 0.411 0.469 0.88 0 5 3 0.293
June 26 26 122 98 14 22 6 0 2 6 17 26 0.224 0.364 0.347 0.711 2 5 0 0.282
July 25 24 108 94 17 31 7 0 2 7 12 15 0.33 0.417 0.468 0.885 0 2 0 0.377
August 2 2 8 7 2 2 0 0 1 2 1 3 0.286 0.375 0.714 1.089 0 0 0 0.333

Conventional Wisdom was that Choo isn’t playing as well now as he was in the earlier months.  That appears to be fals.  He fell off in May and June but July turned it on with a .330 BA and .885 OPS!

Ahhh everyones favorite Scapegoat Zach Cozart

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP IBB BAbip
April/March 25 25 110 101 12 21 3 0 4 12 4 13 0.208 0.234 0.356 0.59 4 0 0 0.198
May 23 23 108 97 13 27 8 0 1 11 5 17 0.278 0.305 0.392 0.697 1 0 0 0.317
June 26 26 110 101 17 25 7 1 2 8 4 19 0.248 0.287 0.396 0.683 6 2 0 0.284
July 25 23 95 87 10 20 4 1 1 5 4 21 0.23 0.258 0.333 0.591 1 0 0 0.284
August 2 2 6 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.2 0.333 0.2 0.533 0 0 0 0.333

So Cozy has had a rough season at the plate.  His May was actually quite respectable and his june at .683 OPS is actually pretty respectable as well!  July on the other hand was rough for Zach.

Joseph Daniel Votto

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP IBB BAbip
April/March 28 28 132 103 17 30 3 1 4 11 26 29 0.291 0.439 0.456 0.896 3 2 4 0.366
May 27 27 124 103 28 40 7 0 6 16 20 19 0.388 0.492 0.631 1.123 2 1 5 0.436
June 27 26 115 101 11 30 5 0 4 11 14 21 0.297 0.383 0.465 0.848 2 0 2 0.342
July 27 27 117 94 17 27 8 1 2 11 20 24 0.287 0.402 0.457 0.859 3 0 2 0.352
August 2 2 9 4 3 3 0 0 1 3 5 1 0.75 0.889 1.5 2.389 0 0 0 1

Well we all know JDV has been sucking right?  Wait a tick, his lowest batting average month is .287?  He still had a .859 OPS in that time?  Well that argument went out the window.

Phillips

Split+A24:Q29 G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP IBB BAbip
April/March 27 27 122 110 14 31 6 0 4 24 9 17 0.282 0.331 0.445 0.776 3 0 1 0.297
May 26 26 117 103 23 31 7 0 5 20 6 17 0.301 0.35 0.515 0.865 4 4 0 0.306
June 21 21 93 86 4 18 0 0 2 17 6 16 0.209 0.269 0.279 0.548 2 1 2 0.235
July 26 26 110 100 13 24 6 0 2 21 6 11 0.24 0.291 0.36 0.651 4 2 2 0.247
August 2 2 9 8 0 3 1 0 0 1 1 3 0.375 0.444 0.5 0.944 0 0 1 0.6

Well he’s the savior right?  He has the most RBIs so he must be.  Wait he batted what in June and July?  Holy Frijole!  His OPS was what?  .548 in June?  WOW.

The Life Coach

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
April/March 28 28 125 115 15 29 7 0 1 11 10 40 0.252 0.312 0.339 0.651
May 26 26 115 107 14 31 11 1 7 24 7 27 0.29 0.33 0.607 0.938
June 27 27 118 109 15 32 6 0 10 21 7 31 0.294 0.331 0.624 0.954
July 27 27 112 100 19 28 7 0 4 18 8 31 0.28 0.339 0.47 0.809
August 2 2 9 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 0.222 0 0.222

We all known Jay is the streakiest hitter on the Reds he’ll have one good month out of the year and a whole bunch of bad ones just look at his May!   Wait…..Well June just makes it 2 months….Wait July makes it 3 months. Well Shizer. No seriously, The Narrative that Jay Bruce is streaky and only good for one month can go away for now, he’s been one of the most consistent hitters on the Reds the last 3 months.

Frazier

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP IBB BAbip
April/March 27 25 108 96 13 23 5 0 6 19 10 27 0.24 0.315 0.479 0.794 3 1 1 0.266
May 25 23 100 82 9 18 5 1 0 12 13 23 0.22 0.34 0.305 0.645 4 3 0 0.295
June 25 24 100 87 9 22 3 0 3 6 9 20 0.253 0.35 0.391 0.741 2 4 0 0.297
July 24 24 98 89 8 22 8 1 1 12 7 20 0.247 0.316 0.393 0.71 1 2 0 0.309
August 2 1 6 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.167 0 0.167 0 0 0 0

Well Frazier has obviously sucked right?  Cause he cant hit his way out of a brown paper bag right!  Wait, nope not accurate either.  He’s still not had a bad OPS and while I’d like it to be higher he has by far not been the worst player on the team these last two months.

LF

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP IBB BAbip
as   LF 111 472 419 49 ## 22 3 10 42 40 95 0.248 0.32 0.387 0.707 6 5 3 0.298

I don’t have the heart to pull all of Left Field.  I just don’t, it would take an hour to grab everyone.  But seriously take a look at these numbers.  Then ask yourself if you penciled in Ludwick every day, how much better would they be?  They’d be better.  Absolutely, he’d have a few more Home Runs, and he’d have probably twenty to thirty points higher Batting average bringing his OPS up a bit, but Ludwick would not make this team that much  different.

Mesoraco

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP IBB BAbip
April/March 15 13 55 45 6 11 3 0 0 5 9 9 0.244 0.364 0.311 0.675 1 0 3 0.297
May 14 12 52 47 5 11 3 0 2 7 4 13 0.234 0.288 0.426 0.714 0 0 0 0.273
June 18 14 60 55 4 12 1 0 2 7 4 9 0.218 0.267 0.345 0.612 1 0 0 0.222
July 20 17 73 68 5 20 4 0 2 10 4 13 0.294 0.329 0.441 0.77 5 0 1 0.333
August 2 2 7 7 2 3 0 0 2 3 0 1 0.429 0.429 1.286 1.714 0 0 0 0.25

Mesoraco had a horrendous June, His July on the other hand?  Pretty friggin good!  Nice BA, had a couple of homers, respectable OPS.

Where am I going with all of this?

Basically, Theres no one player that has had an off month or two and the last couple of months?  They aren’t any one players fault.  The majority of this team has found a way to be frustrating together.  My other point?  Narratives don’t always equal fact.  Anyone in politics can point that out, you get a narrative started like Votto doesn’t look right or Bruce is streaky and it can get picked up and ran with.  Killing the narrative when it is not true or is no longer true is the hard part.

In order for this team to have a successful august (we’re only 3 games in) They have to play better all around.  We need .350 Joey back, we need .290 Phillips, we need Cozy and Frazier to play to the back of their baseball cards and we need Choo and Bruce to not drop off at all.

Those things can happen! THEY’VE HAPPENED BEFORE! THEY CAN HAPPEN AGAIN!!!

Thanks for reading,

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @HFSPODCAST