Monthly Archives: July 2007

July 27, 2007

Shoutout to Reds Country

My first week on the new job has kept me pretty busy, so I'm a little late sending some love to my homeboys in Redsland.

Deaner at Blue Collar Baseball makes an argument for moving back the walls at Great American Ball Park. I can't agree with the part about slugging being expensive--the Reds can't drop a series without hitting a cheap up-and-coming slugger with it--but the unwillingness of good free-agent pitchers to come to town seems relevant.

Redleg Nation has started a Reds podcast. Welcome to the party, boys!

I love to see the phrase Latin Love Machine popping up again. Thanks, Shawn.

July 27, 2007

Thank You, Contributors

July 27 and there's no big Reds' news to report as I sit here in front of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which got turned on during the rain delay and now can't seem to get turned off. Thankfully, we've got some great contributors here at Red Hot Mama keeping everyone up-to-date on the goings on of the team, such as:

David Hasselhoff's pecs have finished saving the day for SpongeBob and now the game is on. Now just to wait for some big Reds' news.

July 26, 2007

Standings–Just In Time

The Reds picked a great series to win three-out-of-four, since taking the series from the first place team not only brings them to just a scant 12.5 games back, but also pulls them out of last place. Thank you, Javy!

In honor of this achievement (no really, it's not a coincidence), the Crack Technical Staff has added division standings to the right-hand sidebar.

So take in the not-last-placeness of it all. The Cubs are next; maybe it will last.

P.S. If you haven't made it into the comments from yesterday, you should check out HMZ's description of Javy's other pinch-running performance and BubbaFan telling us that Dumatrait is coming up.

July 26, 2007

Why do you continue to pay attention to the 2007 Reds?

As I write this diary, the current poll on the front page asks that question - “Why do you continue to pay attention to the 2007 Reds?”

Back in 1967, as a young boy, I attended a minor-league doubleheader here in Buffalo and saw a Triple-A rookie catcher hit a mammoth homer to win the nightcap for the home team. Some guy named Johnny. He's now in the Hall of Fame.

The next year, 1968, I flipped on a TV set early in the season and there was that same guy on TV, having been promoted to the majors and now catching for the team that was the Buffalo Bisons' parent club back then.

So, I sat down and watched the game. The first Reds player that I saw bat drew a walk, but he didn't actually walk. He ran, and he didn't stop at first, he kept running all the way to second. Some guy named Pete. I was ten years old and delighted.

There would be plenty of times after that when I was far from being delighted. Like later that year when they traded the shortstop, Chico Cardenas (better known as Leo) to the Twins who turned around and won the AL West a year later. Or when they fired the manager, Dave Bristol, at the end of 1969 and hired “Who the hell is this Sparky Anderson guy?” to replace him.

I guess winning the NL pennant in 1970 delighted me. Losing the World Series didn't, and neither did falling to below .500 the following year. But then in '72 they won another NL pennant. Delighted. Lost the World Series again. Not so delighted.

In '73 they won the division again. Delighted. But Dave Concepcion busted his ankle and missed the NLCS, and the rotten Mets won the series 3-2 with Darrel Chaney going 0-for-9 at shortstop. Not so delighted, but I will always believe that with Davey the Reds would have made it to the World Series that year too - and it was great to see Pete kick Bud Harrelson's ass.

The second-place finish in 1974…four NL All-Stars including three starters and they can't even beat out the lousy Dodgers? Grrr! But at least the Dodgers didn't win the World Series either.

Then came the back-to-back world championships in '75 and '76. Yep, absolutely delighted. Maybe this Sparky guy's not so bad after all.

Screwed out of postseason play in 1981 because of the stupid split season playoff format during the strike year. Not so delighted. In fact, I'm still furious about that one…and about going 61-101 the following year.

Bunch of second-place finishes under some guy named Pete. Four years in a row as the bridesmaids in the NL West. If it were anybody but Pete…

1989, so long, Pete. Thanks for the memories. But…Lou Piniella? A former Yankee is going to manage the Reds? Sacrilege!

World Championship in 1990. OK, maybe Lou's not so bad after all. I had my broom ready, but after the series, I couldn't find any Oakland fans to hand it to. Before game one they were everywhere, but they all vanished like if you shined a Q-Beam on a thousand cockroaches.

Some defense of the title. 74-88 in 1991. Second place in '92, if only Sabo had stayed healthy…if only we still had Myers…and then they go and pull the second-dumbest trade in Reds history (after F. Robby) and let Paul O'Neill go to the Yankees! Definitely not delighted.

Surprise division title under Davey Johnson in '95. Delighted. Until the smartass Braves fan I worked with at the time walked up the morning after the NLCS and handed me a broom. Grrrrr! I still hate Wohlers. What's he doing in a Reds' uniform in 2000 and 2001? Not delighted.

Twelve years since the last playoff appearance for the Reds. Not delighted, but still here. I am not and never have been a fair-weather fan.

And now, 12-8 under Pete McCanWin. There's light at the end of the tunnel once again. Hopefully it's not the headlamp on the locomotive that's been bringing us the horrible eighth-inning trainwrecks.

Why do I continue to pay attention to the 2007 Reds? Two reasons:

1. Because I have way too much time and emotion invested in this franchise to ever give up on it.

2. Because it still beats the hell out of being a Cubs fan.


July 25, 2007

Go Kepp!

Yippee! Settle in in front of the Reds game after the kid's open house at the day care center and what am I treated to see but a line-up that seems to be a direct response to the podcast (Edwin Encarnación at third, Jeff Keppinger at short) and the same Keppinger bringing the Reds' lead to 4-0 in the third.

It would be a great evening if not for the fact that my kid is insisting on setting up his own open house games around the house and making us play. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to find the ball under the cup when a six-year old is the one mixing them up.

Heck, it's a great evening anyway.