July 1, 2014

Halfway through 2014

Price finished his first half-season as a manager with a 43-38 record.

Bryan Price finished his first half-season as a manager with a 43-38 record.

When the Cincinnati Reds completed their sweep of the San Francisco Giants this last weekend, they had reached the mathematical halfway point of the season. They’re record at that point? 43-38.

What a difference a week makes. Before the trip to San Fran., I doubt anyone would’ve guessed the Reds would be 5 games over .500 at the halfway mark. Four game sweeps do wonders for the ol’ record.

At that overall pace, they’d have a record of 86-76 at the end of the season. That’s unlikely to win the division or to secure either of the wild card slots. It’s difficult to guess how they’ll play the rest of the way, though, as the team is playing its best baseball of the season right now.

If I had to guess, I would expect the team to fall back to earth and meander their way to the finish line. Aside from the starting pitching and a couple offensive players, the team isn’t good enough for the postseason.

Of course, some well-placed and well-timed upgrades to the bullpen or the offense could really turn things around, but we know that’s not happening. The Reds’ so-called General Manager Walt Jocketty will fail to make any trades down the stretch, as he’s failed to do so many times before.

I’m happy to see the Reds playing entertaining baseball again. Unfortunately, there’s a nagging voice in the back of my mind that won’t let me believe it’s for real.

June 18, 2014

Tell the world’s “Best Fans” we’re not going to take it any more

Devin Mesoraco is great and having the best year of his short career. But does he have an All Star advertising campaign like this?


That really speaks to me. Of course, Lucroy has a lot of ground to make up. As of the last release of vote totals, he’s almost 900,000 votes behind Molina.

June 12, 2014

Joey Votto’s Back

Joey Votto plays a mean first base.

Joey Votto’s back.

Finally, Joey Votto is back.

He’s been back for only two full games, but it feels closer to a healthy Votto to me.

For those two games, he’s batting .286, getting on base 37.5% of the time, and slugging .429. And that’s not counting the double and single he had in today’s game.

It might be wishful thinking, but given how terrible and unentertaining this Reds team has been, having one guy that’s fun to watch feels like a god-send.

Welcome back, Joey. I’ve missed you.

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.

June 6, 2014

Grading the draft’s first day

Howard pitches for the University of Virginia

Nick Howard, the first pick by the Reds for the 2014 draft.

The first round of Major League Baseball’s 2014 amateur player draft happened yesterday, and Jesse Spector of The Sporting News graded each team’s selections.

Spector begins with a disclaimer.

Here’s the thing about draft grades, though: 10 years ago, the draft featured eight first-round picks who never played a day in the major leagues, including No. 1 pick Matt Bush and No. 8 Wade Townsend. Mark Reynolds, a three-time 30-home run hitter, went in the 16th round.

What follows, then, is a series of grades that are stupid, but that also come with the knowledge of their stupidity.

And how did the Reds do?

Nick Howard (No. 19) is part of the Two First Names Club, so there are some people who will not trust him, but this is part of the Reds’ philosophy, as they selected Philip Ervin in the first round last year. Hopefully he’ll be able to avoid Tommy John surgery. Stanford shortstop Alex Blandino (No. 29) is the compensatory pick for Shin-Soo Choo, so, hey, no pressure, right?

Yay! The Reds got an “A”! I’m sure we’ll all look back on this grade in 10 years time and nod with satisfaction. Especially if Howard avoids Tommy John surgery.