June 22, 2005
CINCINNATI, OH -- After a blow-out at the hands of the division's last-place Reds, several Cardinals tried to show their solidarity with a gesture that turned out to be as embarassing as the loss.
Larry Walker, Abraham Nuñez, Mark Grudzielanek, Einar Diaz, Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Scott Seabol all visited a local barber shop to get matching haircuts. Each player had his hair cut close, with the first letter of his first name shaved into the back. However, when the players arrived at the ballpark this morning to show off their new do's, the media was quick to point out that the letters spelled out “LAME ASS.”
“That describes their game pretty well,” said Reds catcher Javier Valentín.
June 22, 2005
I think it took longer than most people expected for the Miley era to end in Cincinnati. But I remember when Dave Miley first started. So many people were excited. The media talked about the fierce loyalty the players had for him. The community demanded his contract extension. How quickly times change.
Miley did just fine when this team had a captain, and I suspect that the lack of player leadership had a big part to play in his loss of effectiveness. I have no evidence of how the relationships that run a ballteam work, but I can imagine that a manager needs the legitimacy lent by a player liason who believes in him and, lacking that, is doomed to failure.
The good news is that Miley has already demonstrated that he can be effective in the right circumstances. Should those circumstances present themselves again, I'm confident that he'll be right back on his feet. The big question mark is whether Jerry Narron will be able to do what Miley could not. From the few sound bytes I've heard from him, he seems to be more confrontational, which affords him more opportunities to communicate one-on-one with players, which could reasonably fill in some of the gap left by the lack of a true player liason.
If nothing else, Narron is someone new with new ideas about how things should be done. His newness alone ought to make a difference in the short term, and we saw that difference last night. What struck me about last night's game was that I did not once think that the Reds were doing anything phenomenal or playing above their heads. If anything, we still saw some goofy mistakes. But even if this team is hitting only 90%, only 75% of their potential, we ought to see them winning all the time. They've got that kind of skill.
It's almost time for the game and I need to get my smack-talkin' fake story up. I'm looking forward to a great game this morning. Go Reds!