September 9, 2006

Game 141: Pirates 1, Reds 9

Holy crap! They won!

Kyle Lohse gave up a run (earned) on seven hits through seven innings. Todd Coffey didn't allow so much as a hit in the eighth. Gary Majewski (he's back?) did allow so much as a hit, but not so much as a run in the ninth.

It was the night for my guys: Ryan Freel went 3-for-4 with a walk and a home run to lead off the game. It's his eighth home run (really his ninth), and I believe he's going to make it to double-digits. Maybe today.

Rich Aurilia must have laid off the pitches out of the zone, or at least made some authoritative contact with them for his 3-for-5 night with an RBI. And I understand Adam Dunn hit a home run.

Some young fella by the name of Javier Valentín had a couple homers, too. I like to think that his home runs were the reason that DreamHost went down last night: the power of the Latin Love Machine was coursing so fiercely through RHM that it took the whole system down.

This seems like a good time to bitch a little about David Ross. Acquiring Ross is one of the moves that people give Wayne “Kriv-dawg” Krivsky so much credit for. And Ross *has* had a hell of a year. But, you know, the Reds already had a powerful little platoon going behind the plate, and the net effect on the offense of adding Ross has been to deprive the LLM of his playing time. Acquiring Ross was half of a good move: the other half would have been trading him at the deadline for something we actually needed.

The win brings the Reds back within a game of .500 at 70-71. They continue to take their frustrations out on the Pirates today when Aaron Harang takes on Paul “I've never bothered to count the number of vowels in my last name” Maholm.

19 comments to “Game 141: Pirates 1, Reds 9”

  1. smartelf says:

    LaRue is the odd man out. I also like Valentin. Problem with LaRue is his numbers are terrible, his contract is hefty and he had that injury at the beginning of the season. Priority 1 in the offseason should be to unload LaRue for anything whatsoever, just to rid ourselves of that contract. Someone must be desperate for catching help and if we need to throw in a prospect to make it more palatable to the buyer so be it.

  2. Red Hot Mama says:

    Sure, LaRue’s numbers have been terrible, but he hasn’t gotten to play and he isn’t really as bad as those numbers. Trading him in the off-season would be a sure-fire way to get nothing for him. Kriv-dawg wouldn’t even get out from under the contract, since he’d probably have to take on some of LaRue’s salary.

    The answer is to trade Ross. The Reds should be able to get something good for him and they’d still be adequately covered behind the plate.

    Or rather, the answer *was* to trade Ross. Before 7/31. I don’t know whether they’ll be able to do anything with him in the off-season.

  3. smartelf says:

    Well, I respectfully disagree. GMs are smart enough to realize he is due to have a bounce-back season if given an opportunity elsewhere. Ross clicked over here… you don’t downgrade back to LaRue who has always been a #8 hitter with a propensity for massive strikeout totals. It doesn’t matter if we get nothing for him, we don’t want anything for him… we just want to escape that contract. A big market team won’t care about the contract and would be happy to get a proven catcher for nothing.

    You have a tendency to let your emotions cloud your judgement. You’ve had it out for Ross and Arroyo ever since they avoided your interview. I am sure if Arroyo got hurt you’d cackle gleefully about it. You are insulted when you shouldn’t be. The whole point of being a blogger is that you are an underground writer. You are not a mainstream media person… that would compromise your objectivity and make this more of a politically influenced spin machine, which unfortunately is what it is starting to appear like more and more. I understand you resent not getting officially acknowledged by Major League baseball or the Reds, but to let that alter your objectivity is flat out wrong and bad baseball. No crying in baseball, remember? Arroyo has been great this year and so has Ross, and you can spin as much as you want but the numbers speak for themselves… which of course is the beauty of this sport.

    -Smartelf aka Big Red Mechanic

  4. Red Hot Mama says:

    Aaron, I’d like to congratulate you on your impressive Reading Into ability. As in, “damn, you read a lot into that.”

    So what you’re saying is that I want to see more playing time for Javier Valentín as a result of my inferiority complex about not being officially acknowledged by Major League Baseball. And furthermore, that inferiority complex is ultimately making the writing on Red Hot Mama so politically biased that it is unreadable.

    An impressive analysis, to be sure. My desire to see our GM buy low and sell high, thereby providing playing time for last year’s most productive catching duo in the sport has nothing to do with Krivsky’s missed opportunity to help the pitching staff and everything to do with my own missed interviews.

    That’s particularly insightful, Aaron, since I was never once turned down for an interview by David Ross. You must have seen right through the facade of the interview-request-that-never-was straight to my insecurity about the interview-refusal-that-might-have-been. And how keen an observation to construe Bronson Arroyo into the situation, when his name was never once mentioned in the original post or the follow-up comments.

    Truly, yours is an analytical skill to be coveted by all.

  5. smartelf says:

    The productive catching dup, was not due to LaRue, it was m,ainly due to Valentin…

    Valentin + Ross > LaRue + Valentin

    do the math.

    Also, don’t pretend not to lump Ross and Arroyo together in your biased bashing of the tandem… you’ve done it time and time again. The one that comes to mind is when I joked that you must have been the one to send Arroyo the ten roses, and you said no it was his lover Ross.

    You are right, I was not just going on your comments in this particular thread, I am holding you accountable for the trash talking that has gone on for months now against Arroyo and his catcher Ross, because your agenda is clearly spinning the storyline to put them in negative light. The evidence is all here on your website, and if I really had the desire and inclination I could win this debate easily. But I have better things to do.


  6. Red Hot Mama says:

    Wow, where to begin? Whether to begin? On one hand, this must be getting tedious to about everyone. On the other hand, who else is even reading? I guess I’ll go for it.

    [quote]The productive catching dup, was not due to LaRue, it was m,ainly due to Valentin…

    Valentin + Ross > LaRue + Valentin

    do the math.[/quote]

    Here’s the numbers for the 2005 catchers:
    LaRue: 110 games, 361 AB, 14 HR, 60 RBI, .260 BA, .355 OBP
    Valentin: 76 games, 221 AB, 14 HR, 50 RBI, .281 BA .362 OBP

    Javy is better, but you’d have a hard time selling that the productivity had nothing to do with LaRue.

    Though fun, these number are irrelevant. I never said Ross wasn’t better than LaRue. I said that LaRue and Valentín were good enough that what the team could get for Ross would be worth more than Ross himself. Here’s some math for you:
    Keep Ross = 3 catchers – playing time for Javy – decent pitcher
    Trade Ross = 2 catcher platoon that worked very well in 2005 + decent addition to the rotation or bullpen

    We could ditch LaRue for nothing, as you suggest. That equation would look something like:
    Dump LaRue = 2 catchers with enough playing time

    It would get Javy in the game more, but there would be no addition to the pitching staff, and no real change to the payroll, since the Reds would have to pick up part of LaRue’s salary.

  7. Red Hot Mama says:

    [quote]Also, don’t pretend not to lump Ross and Arroyo together in your biased bashing of the tandem… you’ve done it time and time again. The one that comes to mind is when I joked that you must have been the one to send Arroyo the ten roses, and you said no it was his lover Ross.[/quote]
    I don’t have to pretend: I’ve never done it. Ross is not one of my favorites, but I can’t think of a single time I’ve bashed him. I’ve made fun of Arroyo for having Ross as his binky, but that’s all about Arroyo. It’s not Ross’s fault.

    RE [url=]the comment about the roses[/url], I never said anything remotely resembling “lover.” Again with the reading in.

    [quote]You are right, I was not just going on your comments in this particular thread, I am holding you accountable for the trash talking that has gone on for months now against Arroyo and his catcher Ross, because your agenda is clearly spinning the storyline to put them in negative light. The evidence is all here on your website, and if I really had the desire and inclination I could win this debate easily. But I have better things to do.[/quote]
    Yeah, I talk trash at Red Hot Mama. I have an entire category dedicated to it. I’ve clearly identified Arroyo as this season’s team goat and have enjoyed taking pokes at him. So what?

    This is a fan blog. I’m not obligated to give an unbiased view of anything. If people want that, they go to the newspapers. The half-dozen people who come here come to read my opinions. I don’t like Arroyo. That’s my right as a fan.

    I don’t think you could win any “debate,” because I don’t even know what you’re trying to say.

    Is this a debate over whether it’s better to trade LaRue or Ross? If so, I’m prepared to call it a difference of opinion and leave it at that. You’re still wrong, but I’ll leave it alone.

    Is this a debate over whether I’ve bashed David Ross? I guess you could present links to times I’ve done that, except you can’t, because I haven’t. Plus you have better things to do. And even if you could, so what? I can say whatever I like about baseball players within the confines of slander and libel legislation.

    Is this a debate over whether I dislike Bronson Arroyo? If so, yes. You win. I’m not sure why that pisses you off so much, but you win.

  8. smartelf says:


  9. smartelf says:

    Well, I guess what it comes down to is I actually want the Reds to win, and to do that we need a good team. Not nice guys, not people that keep interviews and are polite and charming, and certianly not guys who girls feel are cute… we need winners and people with killer instincts. We need guys like Pete Rose, Ryan Freel, and yes, Bronson Arroyo.

    But yes, basically I just wanted you to admit you are not offering sound baseball advice, you are trying to entertain and make jokes.

    Yes, you did say Ross was Arroyo’s secret admirer in a comment thread about the roses Arroyo received before the game… so that revealed your negativity not only focused on arroy but his catcher as well. Anyhow, when baseball advice such as trades is offered it should be done with complete objectivity. I didn’t say your website and writing needs to be objective, but your trade advice was not a joke, you presented that as a serious baseball idea, and for that I must debate you, because again, I want this team to win, and LaRue is certainly not the answer or the solution.

  10. Red Hot Mama says:

    Again, I find myself at a loss for where to begin.

    I guess you’re implying that I don’t want the Reds to win. I think you’re confused by the fact that I care about more than just winning alone. But I assure you that just because I don’t think winning is everything doesn’t mean I don’t want to see my team win.

    Furthermore, you say “We need guys like…Bronson Arroyo.” Did I ever say that Arroyo shouldn’t be on the team? I’m pretty sure I didn’t, because I don’t think it. I said I don’t like him and that I enjoy making fun of him. Not liking a guy is not the same as not wanting him on the team. Quite to the contrary: without him, I wouldn’t have a goat.

    When you say that “when baseball advice such as trades is offered it should be done with complete objectivity,” (which is a BS statement, BTW: there is no “should” in baseball fandom) what you really mean is that it should be done with the exact same objectives in mind that you have: to get the best players to win. Sharing your objectives is not the same thing as being objective, though, ironically, in this case I did share your objectives. I think the team would have better players overall trading Ross for a good pitcher than by trading LaRue for nothing.

    It is absolutely not true to imply that I’ve misrepresented my biases in any way. I have always been forthcoming with which players are my favorites and which are not. But even if it didn’t, it wouldn’t matter because I’m under no obligation to do so. While I most certainly try to entertain and make jokes, and while I expect that no one who is in the business of using baseball advice is reading RHM, the idea of trading Ross is one I seriously believe in for exactly the reasons I’ve outlined three times now.

    And for the roses comment, again, no I didn’t. And I’ll tell you why: I wouldn’t try to insult Arroyo by implying that the two were lovers because I wouldn’t find that to be particularly insulting. Since I don’t have a problem with homosexuality in general, it wouldn’t be an insult to Arroyo to imply that.

  11. smartelf says:

    OK, I took the trouble of tracking down the post in which you insulted Ross and Arroyo:


    And yea you didn’t use the word “lover” but the implication was there. Anyhoo, we know you resent Arroyo making Ross his personal catcher, that much we’ve established. You seem to forget that Arroyo flat out told the media that he was not on the same page as LaRue when they tried working together.

    Arroyo is a smart guy and likes to call his own game. If you read his comments he says stuff like “I pitched around him” or “I didn’t want to pitch around him”…. that in itself indicates he is thinking way more than most our guys who just simply try to throw strikes all the time, which is not a strategy at all unless you are pitching batting practice, which is what they wind up doing inadvertently.

    Anyhow, if you are going to insist this team would have been better off with LaRue instead of Ross, despite LaRue making ridiculous money and Ross having an outstanding season, I guess this debate is over as far as I am concerned, because logic has been thrown out the window. What pitchers were traded at the deadline that you wish we had gotten? David Wells? Greg Maddux?

    The truth is we got Lophse and Schoenweis and both have been very good so far. We gave up hardly anything. In all our deals we gave up hardly anything. Why trade a guy leading the league in homeruns at his position? He obviously has taken a liking to GABP and the Reds, and to trade this guy would be sending the wrong message to the clubhouse and it would have caused a lot of uproar in the fanbase as well. To suggest it was dumb not to do this, is dumb.

    As for your numbers of comparison, in which you conveniently use LaRue’s last year performance in which he was obviously aware that the better he did the better his contract was going to be, because he was heading towards free agecy, you forget to compare strikeouts. This team strikes out way too much as it is, and LaRue is one of the worst offenders. Ross has very reasonable strikeout to walk ratio for a power hitter.

  12. smartelf says:

    Finally there is the matter of handling the pitching staff. LaRue is an extremely egotistical guy. I’ve seen him in interviews. He was pretty much outraged that the manager dared make him second fiddle when he was batting less than a buck 50 and I really really think this guy has a deficient IQ. Maybe I am wrong, but I would really like to see one of his so-called game plans. No pitcher has ever really flourished with him. I would have really liked to see how Harang would have done with Ross instead of LaRue. Maybe Harang would be a cy young candidate right now. I must go back to the comment by Arroyo who is without question our best pitcher this season. If he doesn’t like LaRue’s style, than neither do I. LaRue has been with this team several years now, and we always have the worst pitching staff until this year.

    I really didn’t want to have to attack LaRue like this, but your ridiculous trade idea sort of forced my hand. Anyhow, obviously we have differing opinions. Next year I want Ross-Valentin as the catching tandem and I want LaRue traded or released. I went on a limb by predicting we would get better by subtraction when we unloaded Casey, and I feel the same exact way about LaRue. I think he is a detriment to the clubhouse because he desperately wants to be a starter. he will never be happy riding the bench. Ross and Valentin have said and done all the right things like true team players, and LaRue has come off as selfish, indignant, and has performed terribly. Nontheless, I think someone will give LaRue a starting job, maybe the Astros or Texans, since he is from Texas.

  13. Red Hot Mama says:

    So, when you say you “took the trouble of tracking down the post in which you insulted Ross and Arroyo” do you mean you “clicked the link RHM provided six posts ago”?

    Seriously, count back and look. I gave that link from the get go to demonstrate that you were reading in an insult that just wasn’t there.

    And while you’re on that comment six back, notice that I said “Is this a debate over whether it’s better to trade LaRue or Ross? If so, I’m prepared to call it a difference of opinion and leave it at that.” Because at the time you weren’t so keen on comparing Ross and LaRue, but that seems to be your focus now.

    If you’re prepared to back off all that baseless and indefensible “you only want to trade Ross because you’re mad at Arroyo” crap, then it’s just a difference of opinion and we can leave it at that.

  14. smartelf says:

    I didn’t notice that link, because I was reading fast… if it was a URL I would have noticed it. Anyhow, I still don’t believe you are being objective, because any objective mind would see that Ross is WAY better than LaRue, that is why I am actually giving you the benefit of the doubt by saying this is just more sour grapes because of the snubbed interview. Obviously I can’t read your mind, I can only go on the basis that there have been a lot of snipes at both Arroyo and Ross. In the case of Ross maybe it is because he won the job and it has cost Valentin ABs and starts. If you just want Ross traded for pitching then I think that is simply a horrible suggestion for the many reasons stated above. This team has made a huge step in the right direction and Ross was a big part of it.

  15. Red Hot Mama says:

    Dude, if you want to say I’m stupid for wanting to trade Ross, that’s normal sports talk stuff. By all means, go ahead. You’re wrong, but go ahead.

    It’s this quasi-psycho-analysis stuff that’s weirding me out. You’re absolutely convinced that I’ve got this vendetta against Ross, but you have provided zero evidence. Unless you count a single comment, which you yourself admit isn’t actually insulting but just an “implication.”

    You seem to have an obsession with Arroyo standing me up, and you’re bound and determined to read it into everything. But, in fact, I’m far less obsessed with that than you are. If you’d open your mind to the possibility that I genuinely think that trading Ross could have worked out, you’d see that the evidence is on my side.

    It’s not impossible that a rational person would like this idea. Crazier ideas have been given consideration: trading two position players for two middle relievers, for example.

    If you’re interested in talking about stupid ideas for moves, perhaps now is a good time to mention Jeff Weaver.

  16. smartelf says:

    Weaver beat us twice as a Cardinals. Ask them if they’d like to get their 1.87M back which is all they paid for Weaver who was prematurely dumped by the Angels. At the end I am going to calculate if he was the difference between the Cardinals and us, and I have got to tell you its gonna be close. But you are right I did lose some objectivity about Weaver.. and I ADMITTED IT, in my blog. That is right, I actually apologized for recommending Weaver during the off season. However, when he was designated and avail. for pennies on the dollar, that was the time to grab him, and I will stand by that.

    I can’t believe you now want me to go through your blog and search for snipes against Ross. When they first got him, you were openly incredulous, as I recall, and your panic in regards to losing Javier Valentin was very overt.

    I really don’t have time or obsession about psycho-analyzing your writing, but almost everyone is affected by their sub-conscious, and we know you LOVE Valentin, so its not hard to imagine that your advice could very well be something that results in Valentin getting more playing time. In fact you brought this up right when Javy hits two dingers, so of course it must have been going through your head that if Ross was traded Valentin would be getting more ABs, maybe even named the starter.

    Also, as far as obsessing on Arroyo, that is YOUR department.. why is he the goat? I just don’t get how our best pitcher can be the goat. Its not even funny its so ridiculous. Ryan Franklin would be a far better choice. Or maybe goat means something other than what I thought it means. I thought it ws the guy most responsible for the teams failures.

  17. Red Hot Mama says:

    I’m pretty sure I out-and-out said that I’d like more playing time for Valentín. Still doesn’t mean I have it in for Ross.

    BTW – Here’s where the Ross signing was announced on RHM, in URL so you can actually find it: [url=][/url]

    Somebody might have been openly incredulous, but it wasn’t me. I was in Florida and unavailable at the time. Geki wrote that bit.

    Here’s the second time Ross is mentioned on RHM, when I recount talking to him in person:

    Here’s the third time, when we talk about LaRue starting the season on the DL:

    Found anything derogatory yet? Didn’t think so.

    Ooh, here’s a time when I make the “implication” that he should have gone to the All-Star game:

    Here’s an [url=]interesting quote[/url] from June 30 to the effect that LaRue isn’t so bad: “In a marked departure from recent years, the Reds’ staff ERA with Jason LaRue behind the plate this year is is 4.23, compared to 4.66 for David Ross and 4.68 for Javier Valentin.”

    Surely that’s evidence in your favor. Or it would be, if I had written it. But alas, it was HMZ.

    You haven’t got an iota of evidence that I have any problem with David Ross. Going through my blog and searching for snipes would produce nothing. Admit it! You’ve been pwned!

    As for why Arroyo is my goat, it’s because he stood me up. I know this is going to warp your brain, but imagine a world in which people’s personal opinions of each other are based on how they are treated by one another and not how well they perform their job.


  18. smartelf says:

    Alright I concede the argument about you having it out for Ross, ok?
    I thought you did post something when that trade was announced, I must have read someone else’s blog (Geki perhaps). I definitely thought that snap about Ross and the flowers was an indication you were angry with them both. Apparently I was wrong, and I apologize.

    Those ERAs are totally misleading because LaRue handles Harang exclusively. Ross has had to handle Milton and a bunch of 5th starter scrubs. Valentin mostly handled Elizardo Ramirez. So that evidence is totally moot, whomever compiled it. A better comparison would be to look at ERAs of the relivers only with these catchers, that way LaRue doesn’t get the advantage of being Harang’s personal catcher only.

    I still think trading Ross is a terrible idea, especially at the deadline when we were very much alive and well… that would have been a ridiculous change in chemistry. The main reason for our collapse was narron calling on Franklin and Majewski, and the offensive struggle on the west coast trip. The starting pitching has been good.

    Thank you for defining your version of “goat”. I really thought you were implying he is the reason the team won’t make the playoffs.

    Can we kiss and make up now?

  19. Red Hot Mama says:

    And not a moment too soon: it’s time for me to go to bed.

    “Goat” in this case is just “scapegoat.” Means a person to heap ridicule upon, not necessarily a person who deserves it.

    Of course, in Arroyo’s case, he’s totally got it coming.