August 31, 2011
I know we just linked to a story on The Hardball Times, but how could we pass up the opportunity to recognize such an important occasion as the passage of 10,000 days since the 4,000th hit of one Mr. Pete Rose.
Of course, by the time his hit his 4,000th hit, he wasn’t even playing in Cincinnati anymore, but whatevs. Montreal doesn’t even have a damn team anymore, let alone a rose garden outside its hallowed walls.
If you know much about Pete Rose’s career, you’re probably aware that he was one of baseball’s great compilers. He became the all-time hit king because he’s also tops all-time in at bats, plate appearances, and games. He’s the quantity king. When he tallied his 4,000th hit, it came in his 3,259th game. In all baseball history, only two others ever played in that many games, Hank Aaron and Carl Yastrzemski. That’s one reason why Rose got 4,000 hits.
I don’t, frankly, know all that much about Pete Rose’s career (at least in baseball; some of the crazy shit he’s done since his playing days are all too crisp in my memory), so this is some interesting stuff. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, head over to The Hardball Times.
August 31, 2011
Apparently Albert Pujols fancies himself an insult comedian, or at least a mean big brother, with his antics in Milwaukee yesterday:
It happened with the Brewers hitting in the second. With one out and no runners on base, Yuniesky Betancourt hit a pop foul down the first-base line that drifted toward the stands. Pujols pursued it immediately and tracked the ball about 30 yards before making a difficult-looking over-the-shoulder catch.
Honestly, the play itself would have been noteworthy. But then, when Pujols stopped his momentum, he locked eyes with a gentleman standing along the railing with his arms extended. Pujols approached the fan, stuck out his glove in what appeared to be an invitation to take the ball, and then snatched it away and returned the ball to the infield.
I guess you have to entertain yourself somehow until you become a free agent. There’s a video here from MLB. (I’d embed it except MLB sucks)
Can you imagine what would have happened if the tables were turned and Brandon Phillips had done that to a Cardinals fan in St. Louis? Chris Carpenter’s head might have exploded.
Not to give BP any ideas or anything. The Reds visit St. Louis this weekend.
August 30, 2011
According to Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times who likes to look into these kinds of things, this weekend’s series against the Cardinals will be meaningful above-and-beyond the respite it offers the Reds after this series with the Phillies. It will mark the 200th time that Dusty Baker and Tony LaRussa has matched up as managers.
He is quick to point out, however, that that unfortunate case of the conjunctivitis-cum-shingles that LaRussa had earlier this year may throw off the count a little. I’d expect that the number of innings managed by each is also somewhat less than the 1,800 you might expect, what with all the rain delays and bench-clearing brawls.
As you can probably ascertain from the title, the story, 10 things i didn’t know about managerial match-ups contains no fewer than nine other managerial match-up tidbits for your reading enjoyment. I’m hopeful the next one will look at the number of different ways LaRussa can bitch about things. I’m sure he’s coming up on 200 there as well.
August 29, 2011
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker catches a lot of flack for all sorts of things, from his lineup construction to playing veterans over young guys to letting pitchers pitch for too damn long. Some of it is warranted, and some of it isn’t.
But since the non-waiver trade deadline came and went, some Reds news has seeped through the cracks about one failing of Baker’s that may prove his downfall: a disagreement with General Manager Walt Jocketty. And Redleg Nation has put it all together.
The post starts in the off-season before this one when Jocketty signed Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria. The things Jocketty said about how he viewed those players fitting in with the team were quickly shot down and never really implemented by Baker.
I think a majority of us were extremely disappointed with the relative inaction of the Reds last off-season, and our skepticism has been proven right by the team’s performance this year, falling short of their 2010 season. Walt Jocketty’s moves were small bore, at best. You can debate the merits of Lewis, Gomes, Renteria and Janish all you want. But when even the meager steps taken by the GM are deliberately sabotaged by the manager, you have a recipe ripe for failure.
It’s true. The post fails to touch on the most recent difference of opinion between the two: Yonder Alonso. When Jonny Gomes was traded, it was ostensibly to make room for Yonder Alonso to take over in left field. But Baker cancelled that after three games in Wrigley Field.
This situation is clearly something that needs to be addressed in the next off-season. It might even be more important than whether Aroldis Chapman is a starter or reliever.
August 28, 2011
It took them 14 innings, but the Cincinnati Reds persevered over the Washington Nationals today to propel themselves to a winning season for the first time since, oh, I don’t know. 1990?
Johnny Cueto contributed half of those innings, allowing two runs (earned) on nine hits and a walk. He also struck out 11, which is fairly awesome. He wasn’t the one to get the win, though, as you probably could have figured out from that 14 inning comment in the first paragraph. Aroldis Chapman, Nick Masset (those extra innings were his fault), Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arredondon, and Bill Bray also did their part. Bray eventually got the win.
Fred Lewis, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Yonder Alonso had the RBIs for the game, and they were all great, but Alonso’s was a pinch-hit homer that tied up the game in the bottom of the ninth. Very satisfying.
But Votto’s home run in the 14th may have been even more gratifying, seeing as the Nationals has intentionally walked him in his previous two at-bats. The folks on Twitter were calling tat “Votto-matic,” but I’ll go a step further and declare it “Votto-erotic.”
Tomorrow, the Reds take on the Phillies at 7:10.