We are, who we are.

I apologize profusely that this blog has fallen so far from what it started out to be,
I take a good chunk of responsibility for the lack of updates, and a general departure
from online posts. I feel like we’ve put so much into the podcast last season and early
this year, that it just seems like we’d be subjecting ya’ll to the same information.

But take this first post for the 2014 season as a starting point. We’ll do better to
keep you all in touch with our series previews as the season goes along.
All of that out-of-the-way, the Reds instagram account has had a contest running for
the last month. Each day is a new Reds related post, that has your personal touches
(and unbelievable filters).

This past week, I added what was only my second contribution, when it was a culmination
of sorts for everyone else. What being a Reds fan, means to me, or how we got here.

So let’s do a little history lesson, a quick rundown of how I got here.
Baseball is in my blood. My grandfather had one hell of an arm, and in the early 50’s
was in fact invited to the St.Louis Cardinals spring training. Personal circumstance
brought him back before he ever really got a shot, and instead started a family
with my Grandmother. My dad and his brothers all played baseball, so I grew up around
an entire generation of baseball players, and I cannot overstate how those summers would influence me as not just a baseball fan, but as a person.

Yeah, I know, hiss and boo because I have family ties to the enemy.

My mom’s side also has strong Pittsburgh roots, so feel free to run me out-of-town any
day now. And it was her father, my Grandpa Traverse, that really brought me into the
game. We would go on these province wide road trips that usually involved camping
myself and my three sisters in a pop up camper with both grandparents. It wasn’t the
trips, the swimming, the bonfires, or the wilderness hikes that I remember with
absolute clarity. It’s the late nights after everyone had gone to sleep, laying in a
bunk with my Grandpa, listening to Tom Cheek call Toronto Blue Jays games on the radio.
Where most kids had a lullaby, or stories to safely send them off to Neverland, for me
it was Kelly Gruber, Jesse Barfield, Tony Fernandez, Dave Steib and Tom Henke. I was
raised to cheer for the boys in blue. The sounds of the crickets chirping, the wind
playing the creaks and groans of the camper like a terrible orchestra backdrop to the
boys of summer. That’s where I came from. A good Canadian kid, that couldn’t skate, but
learned to throw a curveball.

I would split my summers between both grandparents’ towns. My Pops on my Dads side,
would tell me how the only player worth following was Pete Rose. He never slowed, he
never gave anything less than 100%, and how he’d kill a guy to win, and almost had at
one time. He never explained just how influential the Ray Fosse play was in defining
Charlie Hustle, but it’s something I still point to as a character moment for Pete.
At the same time, my Dad is a lifetime Phillies fan, so the Pete Rose influence for me
started early. It’s just that he was wearing a different jersey than I associate with
him now. My dad wanted me to be a third baseman, desperately, he’d send me out during
my practices to take grounders at third. My bruised and beaten arms and chest left a
lot to be desired, this is also why I gravitated to the outfield, the ball seemed far
less of a sociopath when it was hurtling back to earth, and ultimately my glove.

My relationship with my Dad early on was exceptionally destructive, his lifetime of
having an angry father took its toll, and had direct impact on his own four kids in
return. Don’t get me wrong, I do not begrudge or blame my dad for how he’d physically
reprimand us early on, it was all he had known. But this is also the catalyst for the
relationship and bond we share now.Dad entered anger management, where we’d have family sessions and openly discuss our feelings. With three sisters, I often felt left out of
the loop on time with either of my parents, mostly my father.

In 1995 my dad and I took our very first, and certainly not last, trip to a live ball
game. I had been to a few others, but with my Moms folks, never my own dad. We would
drive the two hours to Toronto, and talk about everything. How to read a ball off the
bat, what school was like. We began to develop a relationship that my own father came
to realize, he had always wanted with his own. My grandpa died in the winter of 1995,
one of two moments I have ever witnessed my hardened Dad cry. And not like, one of
those solitary tears and it’s over type deals, a full on emotionally devastated cry.

We had finally begun to cultivate a relationship ourselves, and it made my Dad realize
just how much he had missed out on as a kid growing up. So our baseball trips became a
yearly event, often times outside of Canada just to visit different ball parks. Our
first big road trip was to Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. I was enamored with Jim
Thome, and so badly wanted to see my favorite ball player live. And after a four-hour
rain delay, and a nine-hour drive home, I would be stuck waiting for another few years
before that came to fruition.

Our second trip, was to see the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Needless to say, I was fully behind the boys in blue that day. I detested the
stadium. From the trough style urinals, to the belligerent ticket lady that refused to
give me the Budweiser giveaway, because I was under the age of 21. The entire
experience left me disappointed.But hey, deep dish makes everything better.

Our third big trip, was to Veterans Stadium in its final year of hosting the
Philadelphia Phillies. I wish I could explain how excited my Dad was. A Phils, Eagles,
and Flyers fan, walking down Broad Street. At that point, I realized just how important
our road trips were. It didn’t matter where, because it was taking us to these
historically significant stadiums, cities, and seeing the teams that hundreds of
thousands of fans shared a love with. I saw Jim Thome play that day. But it was the
first time I saw the Cincinnati Reds in person. Years previous, we had been part of a
Scout Troop that visited Wright Patterson in Dayton, and while there a marine handed me
this rolled up paper. Years later, I would find it again. Great American Ball Park
plans, art work, blue prints.

It’s weird how this works, huh?

Our next three trips were back to Chicago, to see Frank Thomas, and the White Sox. If
you know me, you know my heart is broken into three pieces for baseball. The pale hose,
Jays, and our beloved Redlegs. I saw the Sox receive their world series rings, my dad
and I waiting in line outside of USCF for four and a half hours to ensure we got our
replica rings as part of the first twenty thousand through the gates. They had brought
Aaron Rowand back for the ceremony, and I teared up. It happens, baseball is so deeply
rooted in our hearts, that tugging at the strings of the old ticker happens a little
more easily. They lost to the bastards from Cleveland that day, Freddy Garcia pitched
like garbage but I finally experienced a chance to see my team celebrate a World Series.

We went to Detroit a few times after that, some minor league ball parks in Michigan, and finally back to Chicago in 2010 to see the same White Sox retire Frank Thomas’ number. Crying in baseball #2. I love the Big Hurt, and always will.

We’ve been through 12 years of baseball road trips, and in 2011, my dad and I made a trip to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds Museum and Hall, a weekend long series against the Barves, and a Jonny Gomes bobble head later, we had our most memorable trip to date.

Friends from Wisconsin, Toronto, Michigan, and all over made the trip that weekend. We had 10 of our closest friends all in one place. After the Friday night game, and I will never forget this, Dad and I stood out on the concourse in center field above the Reds bullpen, the stadium lights the only thing left in the stadium. Dad turned to me and said one of the few things that ever really caught me off guard.

“These trips, make losing my Dad a little bit easier. Thank you”

I never realized how important it was until that moment, and even two years after our first trip, when we made our third pilgrimage to Cincinnati, I cannot express how full my heart is, knowing that while these moments have meant the world to me as a fan, they mean more to my Dad as a father.

Baseball is my heart, I share it with my best friends, my family, and the love of my life. So while we get ready for another season, I urge everyone to reflect on the moments that defined them as a fan. How they came to be Reds Country.

What’s your story?

Cincin13 081 Cincy20112 086 Random Mobile 031Cincy20112 023

Link

Just as the title says, I collected a bunch of the suggestions from a whole bunch of Reds fans earlier this afternoon. Put together a little jam session for everyone to get them through until first pitch! Get it cranked! LETS GO REDS!

New Podcast, Show Notes and Peter Edward Rose

Hey all the new show is up up up! Get it here or iTunes, stitcher, blackberry, xbox music, or really anywhere that fine podcasts are served.

First off huge apology, we had a What Would Pete Rose Do for this week and in all the rush to record I forgot it. So here it is in digital form as well as next show we’ll record it for posterity.

1)Aside from the Fosse incident what would you say is your all star moment?  Winning run 12 th inning 1970 game In Cincy

2)There are 3 ways to get elected to the game, fan vote, manager pick and player vote. Is one more of an honor or more special?   player vote is more special than the others

3)Do you think interleague play has taken something away from the all star game now? yes I do

In this show we talk a lot about trade targets for the Reds if you’ve been following me on twitter you have to know by know my favorite is HERE aside from everything else he is coming off a injury that kept him sidelined through the month of may and into June, that means that in general you should be able to buy low on him.  While he is playing now and playing well he has not lived up to his hype for his current team and should be available for the right price.

Add in controlling him until 2017 and he seems like a real nice fit in left.

This week we had Mr In the Gap himself Kevin Martindale on, as always he charmed gregs pants off (theres a reason we did this week by Skype, it got disturbing last time) and was very funny.  If you haven’t yet please check out the in the gap site on spreadshirt http://inthegap.spreadshirt.com/ and follow on twitter @inthegapshirts for the latest news and new shirts!

Please remember all profit from ITG goes to good cause.

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

 

Diary of an Angry Reds Fan II

First Off

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to call this,  I was in between a new “Diary Post” and a  new version of my series “In Defense of”  Enjoy.

Annoyance

First off Yes, I am annoyed.  I think that any fan has a right to be annoyed at this point.  This is a team that has one of the best records in baseball and its losing to scrub teams like the Mariners and Brewers.  Heres the thing I do not have unrealistic expectations.  I don’t! I get it!  If a team has a .600 winning percentage they will win 3/5 games.  If a team has a .400 winning percentage they will win 2/5 games.  Its statistics, its math, its pure numbers.

So when someone says “you need to beat the teams you should beat”  they usually mean “well you should sweep the Mariners and you should sweep the Brewers”  That’s not realistic.  Based on pure statistics alone you have to know that won’t happen. That doesn’t mean you cant hope for it, pray for it, even try your best to use the force to make the ball slip out of Cargos frigging left hand so it goes over the wall and your team has a chance to close down an elusive friggin win.

What it does mean is just a bit, temper expectations.

This is where my problem lies right now, and my problem is two fold.  Problem 1) is this team is just not winning ball games.  Games like today where you give up 2 runs you should be able to score 3.  THREE RUNS DOES NOT SEEM LIKE YOU ARE ASKING FOR A LOT.

I think that’s a large part of the issue here.  In these 4 games they’ve lost to “Sub par” teams its been by a combined 7 runs.  On Saturday they outscored Seattle by 9 runs which means if you just look at runs scored for this series of games The Reds have actually outscored opponents by 2 runs!  They’re 1-4!

A Different Annoyance

This brings me to part 2.  I’ve hinted toward it a bit up top, We as fans need to step off the ledge just a bit.  Look I get it,  I will guarantee if you heard the expletives out of my mouth last night when Cargo grabbed that damn ball from over the damn wall you would know my passion and just how upset I was.   Passion does not have to mean jumping to ridiculous conclusions or becoming bandwagon fans!

Theres no reason to trash the team or make statements that I’ve seen today like “Votto Failed again”  AFTER HE WALKED WHEN WE WERE DOWN 2-0 IN THE 9TH!  The thing is I saw this post on twitter multiple times.  I thought the first person was joking!  By the 3rd I said theres no way all of them are joking, right?

My “Favorite” today was something along the lines of “Well I’m not emotionally invested in this team because theres no way they play in October and if they do they wont go anywhere”.  No offense but the bandwagons full.  Don’t bother getting on come October if this team is in the post season. For that matter don’t bother telling me or anyone else about how you knew in july they weren’t going anywhere if they don’t make the post season or if they get eliminated in the playoffs.  1)Its that type of self congratulatory and self defeatist attitude that makes it unbearable at times to be a fan 2) If you’re not “Emotionally invested” then why do you bother to watch/read/listen/tweet about the team?

I know this part seems preachy, hell it probably is but for those of us who live and die with this team for those of us who listen/watch to every game and for those of us who fill up GABP every chance we get its unbearable to hear this type of self defeated attitude.  Don’t get me wrong, be you’re own fan.  If you’re a “#FIREDUSTY” go ahead, be a fire Dusty!  If you’re a #RedlegsNeverSayDie, great be a Redlegs Never Say Die! If you’re a #WeDontPayVottoToWalk, First I’d like you to ever so politely articulate you’re point on how him having a lower OBP will help this team, go ahead, put it in the comments section below, after that its cool, be a “We Don’t Pay Votto To Walk” guy!

But don’t constantly get on and jump off the bandwagon.  I know I made a joke about this last week, but its real, there are fans out there like this.  Don’t be one.

That being said, I’d prefer not to leave this on a down note.

I’ve been listening to a lot of “How did this get made” a great podcast that talks about really bad movies and rips them to shreds.  Every so often they talk about good movies and praise them, usually over the top action films like Crank or Fast 6.  I looked them up after greg and I had a discussion on last weeks show eviscerating The Matrix Sequels.

They did a show on “Street Fighter” and reminded me of two of the greatest cinematic moments in history.

The first is a scene with Bison (Raul Julia in sadly his last work) and Chun Li in which Bison delivers the greatest movie line in history…Watch, you’ll know it when you see it….funny I post this on a Tuesday night.

The Second is the greatest speech in film history.

Now tell me will the Reds want to go home?  OR WILL THEY WANT TO GO WITH GUILE?!!!!!!!!

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

Getting Healthy…

Aside

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.

ROAD TRIP OUTLOOK

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.

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TWITTER: @ItsARedsThing