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!

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!

Snakes…I hate snakes!

indysnake

 

The Reds, fresh off of a four game split against the “competitive” Pittsburgh Pirates, head out on a crucial eight game road trip. And this isn’t your run of the mill road trip, this is your dreaded west coast road trip! Any of you familiar with the twitter community for the Reds, will remember that last years big west coast swing was the starting point of the “Reds Twitter Fam”. Also known as the slumber party, because most games ended at or near 1am EST. It starts with three at Arizona, two in Oakland, and finishing with a three game set at the ball park in Arlington.

 

Redlegs In The Empty Park!

Johnny Cueto is back, and healthy to take the ball for Dusty Baker on Friday night, posting two victories while sporting a shiny .086 ERA in his last three starts. Johnny over his career has started six games against the D-Bags…Backs! D-Backs! And has five wins to show for it, along with his 1.66 career ERA against Arizona. A .143 BA against, doesn’t really give us much cause for concern going into Friday nights series opener. That is until you really take a look at the lineup that the 2013 Diamondbacks offer up. Wade Miley counters for ‘Zona, with an ERA flirting around the 6.50 mark over his last half dozen starts. Players to watch against Miley on Friday? There’s nothing much more than a small sample size of our hitters against Miley, however, those that have faced him, have hit him with success.  Bruce is mired in an ofer streak against the D’Backs, and hitting behind BP, I’m going to hesitate a guess that he continues his torrid streak, adding to an already sterling start to his 2013 season. Cozart is 0-7 with 3k’s, so it will be interesting to see where Dusty lets Cozy hit tomorrow night as well. On the flip side, watch for Martin Prado to continue hitting Cueto well (.417, 1.200+ OPS in 12 career AB) and cause some grief on the basepaths ahead of Goldschmidt.

 

Tony Cingrani, and the Scowl of DOOOOOOOM!

 

The second game in the series promises to be fun to watch for most baseball fans, as Mike Leake and his outstanding 2013 season, square off against Cy Young candidate Patrick Corbin, who sports a 9-0 record to compliment his unbelievable 2.28 ERA thus far in the season. I look for recent trends to continue, as Leake has been approaching the potential he was drafted for, and D’Backs/Reds fans to be treated to an unbelievable pitchers duel. That being said, it will wind up being a 10-9, or 12-10, game and hopefully have our “Never Say Die” Redlegs on the winning side. With Corbin having never faced a batter in the Reds lineup, I look for Choo/Votto to cause him the most distress when it comes to our hitters leaving a mark. Unsettling numbers for this matchup? Leake’s ERA  is a hair under 8.00 in three career starts against Arizona. Maybe the good old Black Sleep will keep our batters knocking around AZ’s staff. “MANNY PARRAAAAAAAAAAA!”

 

Mat Latos, and the needed FUNKBLAST-ADE

Surprise, surprise, Mat will be pitching on another Sunday before a travel day. Stop me if any of this sounds familiar just yet. The best performance from a pitching standpoint on the weekend, may in fact, come from the guy who has faced this team the most. Mr. Dallas will be set to make his seventh career start against Arizona, going in with his 3.25 lifetime ERA against the team, and 41k’s in 36 IP. With the way our staff lines up to face Arizona, look for the bullpen to get a much needed breather over the next three days, heading into another off/travel day before facing the Athletics.

 

I predict a 2-1 series win, improving the overall 2013 road record to 20-17, and a big weekend for Devin Mesoraco. Bruce keeps it rolling, Votto gets back on track with his average, and we see a potential Cy Young duel on Saturday. Yeah, the Mike Leake game, try not to forget that Mike leads this team in wins AND ERA right now.

 

I’ll leave you with this. The real series preview, the Reds know there’s blood in the water!

 

The Latos Experience

About a month ago while cruising through my Twitter feed I came across a tweet from Sports Gallery in West Chester (@ASportsGallery) stating that they were having Mat Latos in store for an autograph signing! This jumped out at me in two ways: 1. I love collecting autographs! (Duh!) and 2. Anyone who has been on twitter and follows the Reds and their fans knows that Mat’s wife Dallas (@DallasLatos) is a riot to follow and there was a good chance she would be there too. (WOO!)  So I began looking into the details of the event. Not only was Sports Gallery about 5 mins drive from my work,  it was only $30 for Mat to sign any item I wanted to bring! I was on this like a Spider Monkey all jacked up on Mountain Dew!

Then my dilemma began, what do I have him sign? Ball? Card? Bat? Photo? I settled on ordering an 8×10 photo which could be framed and hung in my office at work for all my co-workers to be envious of. LOL! So now I had my 8×10 in hand, perfect blue sharpie selected for the signature…and the event was over 3 weeks away! Ugh. So the waiting began.

This week finally rolled around… Monday… Tuesday… Wednesday… Finally Thursday! Latos Day as I had been calling it for a past few days was upon us! I was stoked! the hours I spent at work seemed to drag on and on! Finally it was time to go! Hopped in the car and headed over to Sports Gallery! this sign greeted me as I drove into the parking lot:

Latos1

My stomach actually began to flutter! I was about to meet not just one of the starting pitchers of the Cincinnati Reds but, the #1 starter in many fans hearts! Now I have met sports figures and various other celebrities in my years of collecting autographs but I was actually a bit more excited about this one! So I got out of the car and headed up to the store to pick up my line number, good gravy I was number 132! This was going to take forever! Oh…wait…they are already on 79…maybe not as long as I thought!

I passed the time waiting by talking with other fans and checking out what they were getting signed. Saw alot of people opting for the Official Major League baseball and jerseys. Still a few more had bats and various other Reds items that were covered in signatures! I was starting to doubt my 8×10 choice but stood strong and stuck with it! After a bit my number was called! I was ushered through a set of doors of a conference hall that had been set up for the event and there they were! Ryan Hanigan and Mat Latos were about 10 feet in front of me! Mat looked to be having a great time talking with the fans in the line in front of me signing there items, taking pictures with them and thanking them for coming! He seemed particularly excited about the person that placed a limited edition bottle of Liquor in front of him to sign of course!

Wanna Drink!? LOL!

Wanna Drink!? LOL!

Then it was my turn, I got a bit flustered handing off my camera to a lady who would take a pic of Mat and I,  but I managed to hand my photo to Mat and while he was signing it in bright blue sharpie I asked one request “Could you please add #TeamLatos under your signature?” to which he comically responded “Me and Twitter do not get along. I don’t want to have anything to do with Twitter, so I can’t do that for you, sorry”. While this kind of stumped me for a moment, I understood. I moved around the table and got a wonderful photo taken with Mat, He said thank you for coming out and I was on my way with my treasure in hand! I don’t think I stopped grinning all the way to the car! The event that I had been waiting for 3 weeks was complete and I had a great memory and photo to show for it!

Me & Mr Latos

Me & Mr Latos

My Precious!

My Precious!

I have no idea if the Latos family will read my little ol’ blog post but if they do I would just like to say Thank you so very much for doing the event tonight! It was so cool to be able to spend even just a moment with Mat on his day off, and I will hang my photo with pride in my office! May #TeamLatos long live in Cincinnati!!

Thanks and have a blessed day!

– Joe G –
Autograph Collector Extraordinaire

Questions? Comments? Love it? Hate It? Feel free to comment below or follow me on Twitter @garpike28

My Son & I: A Minor Experience

On Tuesday of last week a friend of ours called and asked if we would like His 4 Dayton Dragons tickets for the game that night. Of course I said yes, my renewed love for baseball this season has become somewhat of an addiction. I am now trying to get baseball tickets whenever I can, listening to Reds games on the radio, turning on the Reds game when I can.  It is a wee bit sad really. lol. Anyways… I quickly called and messaged a few friends about going to the game but everyone was either working (lame),  had something else to do (lamer) or just didn’t want to go (WHAT!?). So I decided to take my son, Aaron, even though it was a school night. (Yeah I am a cool dad!)

From the moment we left my son was peppering me with questions. Where are we sitting? Are we there yet? Who are they playing? Are we there yet? Can I get a baseball to get signed? Are we there yet? Can I get candy? Are we there yet?
Finally,we arrived at Fifth Third Field! This being our first time there, we were in awe! This is a nice stadium! Our seats were 15 rows right behind the Dragons dugout so we could see everything perfectly! Everyone we ran into was really nice and helpful. It started out as a great night.

Then the game began…ouch. Dayton got behind quickly, so Aaron began to lose interest but he really wanted a baseball! LOL! So just after the 5th inning we decided to walk around and check out the park. We made our way around and found the Team Shop. My son started freaking out when he saw that one of the players would be signing in the shop after the game. (Yes he is just like his father, I was a bit excited at the thought of an autograph as well!) We purchased a baseball and was told to come back  at the end of the game and Ismael Guillon, who is also on the 40 Man Roster of the Cincinnati Reds, would be signing that night! Well now that we knew that an autograph was coming, neither of us could focus on a game where the team we were rooting for unfortunately was losing! We were counting down the innings! We finally made a break for it in the bottom of the eighth inning! Hah!

We got to the Team Shop and were first in the autograph line! Aaron, ball in hand, was pacing while I was watching the game on the big TV in the Shop. Aaron was dying by this point. Then the last out was made and the game was over. Aaron was overjoyed when into the store, lead by a team employee, came Mr. Guillon! Ismael sat down and said hello to Aaron who was grinning a mile wide. Aaron handed his ball to Mr. Guillon, who signed it right on the sweet spot and gave it back to Him. Aaron was so excited and very careful not to smudge it. We then made our way out of the Shop and headed off to the car. On the way Aaron looked and me and said “Thanks so much for bringing me Dad!”

I want to say thank you to the whole Dayton Dragons organization for making our first game at Fifth Third Field a very memorable Father and Son night! We will be back soon!

-Joe G-

Father & Son   Ismael Guillon