Monthly Archives: July 2005

July 31, 2005

Hero Dunn to Rescue Again

SAN DIEGO, CA -- Adam Dunn, recently lauded as a hero for his efforts to retrieve the ball from Edwin Encarnación's first home run, demonstrated his heroic traits again today during lunch.

“We were having roast chicken and mashed potatoes, but they were really bland,” said teammate Jason LaRue. “I looked around for some salt, but it was all the way at the other end of the table.”

LaRue mentioned the lack of seasoning in passing, but never expected Dunn, whom he was sitting next to, to step up the way he did.

“It was just amazing,” recalled LaRue. “He shouted down for the guys at the other end of the table to pass down the salt, and they did it.”

Dunn downplayed the incident. “I knew how important it was to him, and it was getting kind of late in the meal and you didn't want him to have to finish the potatoes bland.”

“I just called down to the end of the table -- I didn't know who was closest to it, but one of the guys heard me talking about the seasoning and the importance of enjoying your meal and blah, blah, blah. I asked if he could send down the salt and he said yeah, he would do it.”

Dunn also got the pepper.

“I hadn't even asked for it,” said LaRue. “That just shows what a heroic guy he is.”

July 31, 2005

Behind the Blog: Joel Luckhaupt

After a start to the 2005 season marked by high expectations and disappointing returns, laughs were few and far between in the Cincinnati Reds blogosphere.

But on May 14, the timbre of one Reds blog changed when Reds and Blues published its first bit of fake news. The shift can be attributed to the courageous efforts of one man. Today we tell his story. This is Behind the Blog: Joel Luckhaupt.


Though he wasn't the first blogger writing fake news, thanks to his networking connections, Joel immediately enjoyed the highest-profile. His first foray into the arena, New Reds Products on May 14, was widely lauded. It was a triumph of great graphics and snide jabs. Joel was off to a prodigious start.

“Joel's post was hilarious,” said JD Arney of Red Reporter fame. “The Reds really should market those products.”

Soon though, as they often do, growing egos and flaring tempers began to get in the way of success. The first major conflict began over a nickname for a backup catcher.

“I was the first to call him the 'Love Machine,'” Joel said, “I made that name.”

The Red Hot Mama sees it differently. “He called him a rotund Puerto Rican love machine,” explained Mama. “That is so not the same thing. It has no rhythm, no melody, no alliteration. It took me changing it to 'Latin Love Machine' to make it great.”

As time went on, more problems began to crop up. The humor pieces began to grow out of control as the word count skyrocketed. The first few articles were between 500 and 600 words, but the most recent pieces have all been over 1000.

The exponential trend line projects that by the Reds' last game on October 2, Joel's humor articles will be 2500 words long, which will almost qualify him to write for Redleg Nation.

“Brevity is the essence of wit,” said Reds former pitching coach Don Gullet. “Joel has to keep his word count down. He has to learn to write to contact.”

But the words aren't the only problem. The graphics have been falling off as well, as this picture of Adam Dunn as the lead singer of Van Halen demonstrates. Notice how he looks more like The Greatest American Hero than a studly rock star, as was the intention.

image image
Does this look like
David Lee Roth to you,
or more like…
A bumbling hero wannabe?

“PhotoShop crashed while I was working on it,” Joel said. “The first version looked much better.”

So what's next for the fading humor star that once shone so bright?

“I don't think I have anything to prove,” Joel said. “I've always had what it takes to be an everyday humorist. I'm thinking about going pro, and when I do I will crush and dominate my competition. As long as I don't have to hurt anyone's feelings while I'm doing it.”

His fans wonder whether it is too late for Joel to reclaim his former glory. But no one knows better than baseball fans that the season is long and that anything can happen.

“Certainly he provides a veteran presence among bloggers,” said Reds interim manager Jerry Narron, “His leadership is invaluable even if his stuff isn't what it once was.”

July 30, 2005

Four Wins. On the Road. In a Row. Wow.

It all starts with the 1-2 of Aaron Harang and the Latin Love Machine, Javier Valentín. Harang (listed at 6' 7″) and Valentín (listed at 5'10″ but realistically more like 5'5″) represent the largest height differential between a pitcher and catcher in baseball history.

OK, I made that up, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they're in the top ten. It must be very difficult for an opposing pitcher to switch between such drastically different strike zones when they're next to each other in the line-up. It should have been easier tonight for Pedro Astacio since the two were split by Little Eddie Encarnación (6'1″), but Astacio sure wasn't making it look easy.

The LLM had a big hit in the fifth with a 2-RBI single that brought the Reds' lead to four and followed that up with a solo shot in the ninth to straight away center field. According to Dan Hoard on FSN Ohio, Javy's homer was three feet longer than Adam Dunn's longer shot in yesterday's game. Three feet is approximately the same distance a person could probably toss Javy, if a person were inclined to do such a thing.

Javy wasn't the only one involved in the home run game, though. Sean Casey hit his fifth of the season in the fourth. Yeah, Casey. Didn't see that one coming.

On the scary side of things, Austin Kearns left the game immediately after reaching base on a walk in the fifth with soreness in his hamstring. May he have a speedy return. Ryan Freel came in to pinch run for him and remained in the game, running around like a maniac in right and later in center field. He had probably already gotten kind of dusty while running the bases, but he got himself good and grass-stained by the end of his first play in the outfield. What a pain in the ass it would be to do Pigpen's laundry, huh?

With that win, the Reds not only give themselves their longest winning streak of the season, but also scratched themselves two games out of last place. Tomorrow Eric Milton tries to keep it rolling for the sweep, and I'll post the smack talk that I alluded to yesterday. (It's taking longer than I anticipated to figure out the stats I'll be using, but when it's all said and done, I'll have graphs and everything.)

Go Reds!

July 29, 2005

Three Wins. On the Road. In a Row. Wow.

Before I go to be -- I mean, go out partying with my wild party girl friends, I'd like to give out a few quick kudos:

  • Congrats to the Reds who, after their win and Pittsburgh's loss, are now a whole game out of last place.
  • Congrats to Little Eddie on his first major league home run. I'm loving the new hair.
  • Congrats to Adam Dunn on his two home runs tonight. And he did it without the benefit of a cutesy nickname from RHM. Impressive.
  • Congrats to Luke Hudson who wasn't too bad over five innings and got the win. Good job Love Shackleford, Matt Belisle, and Randy Keisler, too.

And a few quick other things:

  • As much as I hate to say it, Randa actually looks pretty good in blue.
  • I'm not an anti-Aurilite, but sometimes I just wish he wouldn't open his mouth. Rich, honey, don't do this. Your words can alienate your team and fans, but they can't make demand for your services materialize out of thin air.
  • It's been over two weeks since I've gotten to do any smack talking, and the Reds don't play the Cardinals again until the middle of September. But I think I've come up with a new, totally unexpected target for my smack. Tune in tomorrow to see if I go through with it.

Great game tonight. I look forward to seeing more tomorrow. If I've recovered from my partying, that is.

Go Reds!

July 28, 2005

Reds Haikus

After two series splits, I'm feeling the zen. Let's enjoy some Reds haikus:

The catcher throws wide
The delivery so slow
Freel has stolen five

LaRue's two-bomb game
Why do we see him rise up?
Latin Love Machine

He improves every day
I still miss Randa

Second, short, and third
Aurilia rocks them all
You want to buy him?

Since the All-Star Break
Reds win nine in fourteen tries
What is going on?