April 2, 2014

Cardinals Most Wanted

Wacha! Wacha!

Wacha Wacha Wacha!

Tonight is the Cincinnati Reds’ first night game of the season, and the team has turned it into quite the event. For Opening Night, players will walk a red carpet and provide autographs to fans, the broadcast crew wears tuxedos, there’s a team calendar giveaway, and after the game there are fireworks.

It’s a fun time, and I’ll be sad to be missing it for the second year in a row. But I’ll be at home, watching as the  St. Louis Cardinals send Michael Wacha to the mound to try to avoid a sophomore slump. Of course, I’ll be envisioning Fozzie Bear everytime he’s shown.

In honor of that, here’s some of Fozzie’s best worst jokes.

  • Fozzie: OK, so a guy asks me ‘Did you take a bath today?’ and I said Why is there one missing? Wacha Wacha Wacha!
  • Fozzie: What do you get when you put chocolate pudding in your mother’s shoes? Give up? You get a spanking! Wacha Wacha Wacha!
  • Fozzie: Why do movie stars have lots of fans? Give up? Because they’re HOT!
  • Fozzie: What did the big dragon say to the mouse? Give up. Nothing! Dragons can’t talk!
  • Fozzie: Did I tell you the one about the man with the light bulb in his nose? He was lightheaded! Get it? Wacha Wacha Wacha!
  • Fozzie: Why are fish so smart? Give up? ‘Cause they swim in schools.
  • Fozzie: Why did the man put a sweater on his hot dog? Because it was a chili dog. Wacha Wacha Wacha!

Hopefully, the Reds’ offense will have a presence in tonight’s game. While they’re continued absence could become quite a joke, it would never be as endearing as Fozzie.

The first pitch is scheduled tonight at 7:10 pm.

April 1, 2014

Opening Day Gallery

The RHM crew had a surprise offer a few days before the Reds’ Opening Day: a couple first-base side tickets right near the dugout to see the Reds try to beat the Cardinals. It was too amazing to turn down.

We arrived a couple hours before the stadium’s gates opened and headed to the Moerlein Lager House to enjoy the wonderful weather in the outdoor park adjacent to the restaurant.

The Great American Ball Park light stacks appear above the Moerlein Lager House.

The Great American Ball Park light stacks appear above the Moerlein Lager House.

A few Moerleins and Hudepohls later, we headed into the stadium and found our seats. They were excellent.

Cueto jogs to the dugout after warming up.

Cueto jogs to the dugout after warming up.

Votto crouches at first as the pitch is delivered.

Votto crouches at first as the pitch is delivered.

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April 1, 2014

Opening Day 2014: Cardinals 1, Reds 0

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Cardinals (1-0)000000100153
Reds (0-1)000000000030
W: Wainwright (1-0) L: Cueto (0-1) S: Rosenthal (1)

Boxscore

Cueto checks the runner.

Cueto checks the runner.

The Cincinnati Reds opened the 2014 season yesterday with a shutout loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. It was the first time they’d been shutout on opening day since 1953.

Johnny Cueto started for the Reds and was excellent. Following a trainer’s visit to the mound in the first inning, Cueto was almost unhittable. His only hiccup was in the seventh inning when he allowed a solo home run to Yadier Molina. After that, the bullpen of Manny Parra and Logan Ondrusek took over, shutting out the Cardinals for the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, all that excellent pitching was wasted. The offense from the latter days of the 2013 season was in full force, as the team managed just three hits and no runs. This lack of production despite the Cardinals committing three errors, as if they were daring the Reds to take advantage.

The final tally of Opening Day 2014.

The final tally of Opening Day 2014.

The series continues on Wednesday after a break today, with Michael Wacha taking on Homer Bailey at 7:10pm.

March 31, 2014

Reds Opening Day schedule

Baseball is finally back, and Cincinnati, as always, has a party to throw. Here’s the full list of today’s events.

Opening Day – Monday, March 31 – Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 4:10 pm (gates open at 2:10 pm)

  • Opening Day Block Party: The third annual Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party kicks off at 11 am on Joe Nuxhall Way and Freedom Way. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Kroger, LaRosa’s and Queen City Sausage. Admission is free. Live music and entertainment provided by WEBN. All proceeds benefit the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy.
  • 95th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade Grand Marshal: Reds Hall of Famer David Concepción will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 95th annual Findlay Market Opening Day parade, which begins at Noon.
  • Ceremonial First Pitches: Reds Hall of Famer David Concepción and Reds and National Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin will throw out simultaneous first pitches.
  • National Anthem: Maggie Chapman, Creative Nation recording artist and Rolling Stone “Artist to Watch,” will sing the National Anthem.
  • Honorary Captain: Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley will serve as the Honorary Captain of the game.
  • Game Ball Delivery: Reds and National Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan will deliver the official Game Ball to the mound during pregame ceremonies.
  • Flyover: Two helicopters from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit will perform a pregame flyover.
  • Wounded Hero Recognition: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH 2nd District) will participate in a pregame ceremony to honor wounded veterans.
  • American Flag: Members of the Cincinnati Fire Department will hold the giant American flag in the outfield during the National Anthem.
  • Play Ball: Bob Kevoian from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom Show radio program will announce “Play Ball” to signal the start of the game.
  • God Bless America: Wright Brass, a six-member ensemble from the United States Air Force Band of Flight stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, will perform God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.
  • Hometown Hero: Sgt. Dallas Robinson of the Army National Guard will serve as the Cincinnati Bell Hometown Hero of the game. Sgt. Robinson is a native of Georgetown, Ky. and a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic bobsled team.
March 27, 2014

Reds choose Cueto for 3rd straight Opening Day start

Cueto long tosses before the gameIf you’d told me at the beginning of Spring Training that the Cincinnati Reds would be starting the season with seven people on the disabled list, I would not have believed that oft-injured Johnny Cueto would also be making his annual Opening Day start. By some minor miracle, Cueto has made it through the spring unscathed and will be starting on Monday.

Bryan Price didn’t want to leave anything up to chance, the next time Johnny Cueto pitches, it will be on Opening Day against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.

Price waited to make the final decision until after Cueto played catch on Wednesday, the day after an 89-pitch minor-league appearance. Only then, when Cueto reported no ill effects, did Price tell him he was the choice to start Monday.

“I’m comfortable now to make that declaration,” Price said. “He was very happy. When he’s healthy, he’s been our No. 1 starter legitimately for the previous four years. The problem last year was he was only able to make 11 starts for us, keeping him healthy is the key, which is why I was reluctant to name a starting rotation, especially when Latos went down early and Homer and Leake had their issues. With Johnny’s recent history, it was hard to make an early decision on who would start Opening Day.”

Tony Cingrani is scheduled to start the second game of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals, with Homer Bailey starting the third. By the end of April, it’s hoped that Mat Latos will be back and Alfredo Simon can be moved back to the bullpen.