April 9, 2006

The Eighth Commandment

Clearly, we're only a week into the season, but I find myself wondering what exactly manager Jerry Narron wants out of Ryan Freel.

  • Game 1. Freel doesn't play. Reds lose to Cubs, 16-7.
  • Game 2. Freel starts at second. He scores three runs, one more than the Reds' margin of victory. He steals three bases. The Reds beat the Cubs in grand form, 8-6.
  • Game 3. Perhaps hoping to just continue riding the electricity he provided the day before, Narron sits Freel. The Reds win over the Pirates 5-6.
  • Game 4. Freel starts at second and goes 2-4 with a walk and a run scored. No stolen bases. Reds beat Pirates, 6-7.
  • Game 5. As apparent reward for his lack of steals, Freel starts at second and goes 3-4 with a walk and three runs scored. He steals two bases, and the Reds beat the Pirates 9-11.
  • Today, the Reds dropped one to the Pirates, 5-3. Freel was utilized only to pinch hit for Tony Womack in the eighth inning. He walked and later scored.

You'll notice that, despite the fact that the Reds have not lost a game this season that Freel has started, and that every game in which Freel has stolen a base has been won by the Reds by more than one run, Freel has sat the day after every day he's stolen a base.

Don't get me wrong: I'm glad that Tony Womack is holding his own at second, and I certainly don't want to see Freel getting himself hurt. But what's the message Narron is sending here? I don't think anyone has done more this week to prove how vital he is to the team, but Freel still found himself on the bench the day before he would have gotten a off day anyway.

Maybe Narron's trying to teach him that stealing is wrong. He's said he is a religious man, after all.

7 comments to “The Eighth Commandment”

  1. Geki says:

    No mother effing comment.

  2. DPardue says:

    I think what the Reds really need to compete is another second baseman or five.

  3. joeberk says:

    When you have more second basemen than Lynyrd Skynyrd had guitarists, you have too many second basemen.

    On the other hand, if all four of the second basemen played cowbell, you still wouldn’t have enough cowbell.

  4. Red Hot Mama says:

    I don’t think there are enough second basemen left in the league to cure our fever for more cowbell.

  5. smartelf says:

    Ryan Freel is an alcoholic. So am I so I don’t mean to disrespect him. But he is gonna need to get regular rest to stay hydrated and in game condition. These numbers would not translate to a full season of 150+ games worth of ABs. Believe me I want Freel in as many games as possible, and definitely in any type of playoff situation he must go in the lineup. But we have plenty of quality depth that will allow us to rest him and keep him healthy and optimized all year. So instead of going nuts we need to acknowledge that the coaching and managerial staff know these players than we do. They aren’t idiots, they just have more information than you do which is what dictates their decision making.

  6. smartelf says:

    Incidentally I meant to say “functional alcoholic”… which simply means he thrives on alcohol and can get his job done. Nontheless he will have a tendency to dehydration.

  7. Red Hot Mama says:

    Maybe you guys ought to use Gatorade as a mixer. Nip that dehydration in the bud.