Blog Archives

July 16, 2014

The All Star game and Todd Frazier

In case you were wondering why all the baseball teams just suddenly stopped playing and the most recent score on your phone sports app is from Sunday, that’s because it’s the All Star break. The game was last night, with the National League losing to the American League 5-3, thanks entirely to the terrible pitching by the St. Louis Cardinals.

It was also the last All Star game for Derek Jeter. However, that was not because he was going to be a human sacrifice following the game as I originally thought. Apparently, he’s decided he sucks at baseball now and wants to quit instead of going after Pete Rose’s hit record.

That also was not what the game and the break has been about for me. No, for me, it’s been Todd Frazier blossoming on the national scene. First, he was selected to participate in the home run derby. This is the first time I’ve sat through an entire derby–three hours of batting practice, counting the rain delay–and it’s thanks entirely to Frazier. He was that much fun to watch.

After his initial round of only 2 home runs, I figured he was done. But then Yasiel Puig hit no home runs in his 5 seconds of trying, and Frazier tied with Justin Morneau. After Frazier won the tie-breaker, he advanced to the second round and easily dispatched Troy Tulowitzki 6-2. In the semi-finals, Frazier narrowly squeaked by Giancarlo Stanton 1-0.

That made Frazier the National League Home Run Derby champion, which is pretty cool. Sure, he was easily dispatched by the defending champion Yeonis Cespedes, but it was quite enjoyable to see Frazier competing with his oldest brother throwing the pitches.

Frazier walked in his lone at bat during the All Star game. And hopefully, we’ll get to see him and many more Reds take the field when the game comes to Cincinnati next year.

July 8, 2014

Votto back to DL earlier than I expected

I hope he still wears high socks while he's on the DL.

I hope he still wears high socks while he’s on the DL.

The Cincinnati Reds put first baseman Joey Votto on the DL today. From

The Reds placed their first baseman on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with an injury to his left quadriceps muscle, and they returned catcher Brayan Pena from the paternity leave list. Votto last played on July 5 and went 0-for-4 in a loss to Milwaukee.

Manager Bryan Price has said that he didn’t expect Votto to be at 100% all season, so it was common knowledge. And yet, General Manager Walt Jocketty didn’t see the need to be overcautious and do silly things like arrange for a back-up first baseman. Why bother when the team already has an overabundance of infielders and offensive threats?

I didn’t see this coming though. Even though we all knew Votto needed to go on the DL, I really expected the team to limp along with 24 active players until after the All-Star break. Kudos to the team for failing to fulfill my lowest expectations.

June 10, 2014

Welcome back, Joey

Votto about to swing at the pitch.

This picture of Votto about to swing is symbolic of the “swing” he’s about to make at this whole “coming back from injury and waking the Reds the hell up” he’s about to try.

After 25 days of a quadriceps strain, Joey Votto is finally back!!

Will he be the silver bullet that pulls this team together? He wasn’t before the injury, so I don’t know why he would be now.

I’m excited anyway. I guess if I have to see a team lose, I’d rather watch Votto lose than the triple-A guys. (If I wanted to watch a triple-A team, I’d watch the Braves. They’re the youngest team in baseball, with an average age of just over 27, but they’re still leading their division. Maybe I *should* watch the Braves.)

Speaking of triple-A guys, to make room for Votto on the 25-man, the Reds optioned Donald Lutz.

May 22, 2014

Daugherty carries Jocketty’s water

I was going to make a microprocessing fart funnel, but I realized the world already has Paul DaughertyYou can tell that Cincinnati Reds so-called General Manager Walt Jocketty is so ineffective by the fact that Cincinnati sports columnist Paul Daugherty is defending him.

RHM favorite Paul Daugherty has decided that Jocketty is awesome and should be praised instead of criticized until he does something to earn his paycheck.

Props to Walt Jocketty.

Good job, helping The Club to three playoffs and two division titles in four years. Thanks for bringing in S Rolen, without whom the Reds don’t win the 2010 division title.

Yes, Jocketty has been the GM when the Reds have returned to the playoffs. That is true. Rolen was a valuable addition in 2010. Unfortunately, he killed the team in 2011 and 2012. The Rolen trade was a short-term boost that was a good move in 2010 that became a bad one later. Rolen is both a plus and a minus for Jocketty’s record.

Thanks for dealing for Mat Latos, who when healthy is a bull and a very solid No.2.

Hell, Latos might be a number one when healthy. That was a gutsy trade. I remember being excited about it when Jocketty made it back in 2011.

Thanks for A. Simon, acquired for nothing, off the waiver wire.

It was a no-risk move when Jocketty picked Simon up from the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. Without Simon, the team’s record this year would be even worse.

Daugherty forgets to mention the trade for Shin-Soo Choo in 2012, but since that coincides with Jocketty’s failure to replace Choo, I understand the omission.

Basically, Daugherty’s grand defense of Jocketty boils down to things the GM did years ago. Those things were good, and my criticism of Jocketty is made in comparison to those. In Jocketty’s first years with the Reds, he was active and competent. His moves addressed weaknesses and strengthened the team. But after the trade for Choo in 2012, Jocketty has become passive and incompetent.

Including the pickup of Simon as an example of a shrewd move by Jocketty does more to show his lack of them now. Have there been no other players available on the waiver wire that could’ve helped this team? Have there been no minor trades that Jocketty could’ve made to bolster the upper minors? With 29 other baseball teams, I find that hard to believe. There was someone out there who was available cheaply and at little risk who would have been better than an unable to play Joey Votto. Jocketty just isn’t trying.

May 19, 2014

Who is the fattest team in MLB?

The Content Marketing division over at Best Tickets sent me an email recently with a link to their Unofficial 2014 MLB Player Census.

I gave it a click, and–I won’t lie–it starts out pretty rough. First you get to hear about how the author isn’t really a baseball fan, being much more in to football and basketball (how original).

Then you get an informative lesson in why there are more pitchers than other position players (“This is likely due to the fact that pitchers do not play every single game of the year.”–Stop it! You’re blowing my mind, man!)

But just when I was ready to blow off the whole thing, I realized I’d scrolled all the way to the bottom checking out the graphs.

So I guess that means I ought to share this little time-waster with you, too. If you go check it out, you’ll learn:

  • There are 19 players who throw left-handed but bat right-handed, and they’re paid the least of all the throwing/batting handedness combinations.
  • The Colorado Rockies are the tallest team, but only the 11th-heaviest team.
  • There are only 5 players from Canada, which makes them the 8th biggest contributor of players to MLB. It would have been 7th, but Puerto Rico got counted as a separate country. It would be 9th if you counted Texas as its own country, which seems pretty reasonable to me.