Monthly Archives: December 2006

December 31, 2006

RHM Retrospective: March

Ah, March. Spring training is really rolling and everyone's getting in that baseball spirit. Is there a more exciting time of the year for a fan of a team that consistently doesn't go to the postseason?

The Crack Technical Staff rolled out The Red Hot Diaries at the beginning of this month. Since then, we've had 59 diaries, 25 of them Barry Bondswritten by the notorious HMZ. Geki is a distant second with 12, and Zeldink is third with 10. You guys gotta pick up the pace if you're going to compete with the Crack Hard Facts Staff.

Barry Bonds entertained us all with his newfound sense of humor about himself. Dressing as a woman? Classic!

On a much more sober note, Reds' pitching coach Vern Ruhle was diagnosed with cancer. He stayed in Sarasota for treatment during the season, and last I heard he was doing well. Tom Hume acted as interim pitching coach through the season.

Back on RHM, we were re-rolling out the Human League and the neat feature that links every instance of a player name to their HL profile. Might not much matter to you, but as the person who no longer had to set those links, it changed my life.

March was the first time I started smack talking with Cubs. Prior to that, I only smack talked with Cardinals. In some ways it's easier: there's a lot more material with the Cubs. In other ways, it's harder: it's hardly fun to say a team stinks when they're already saying it themselves.

Remember when Book of Shadows came out exposing Barry Bonds' steroid use. Good month for Bonds.

In Redsland, the Race for Second Base was on! Before spring training was over, the Reds would have no less than nine players with major league experience playing second. This is what we get from Krivsky.

Speaking of weird things we get from Krivsky, Michael Gosling beaned Sean Casey in the head during this game in spring training. The concussion countdown is on with Mr. Casey, so it was a scary moment.

After much planning, the family and I joined the team at spring training. No sooner did I get there, but the Reds traded Wily Mo Peña for Bronson Arroyo. Little did we know what a huge deal that would turn out to be.

Jason LaRue had the arthroscopic surgery on his knee that would open the door for David Ross to establish himself at the beginning of the season. Oh, that fateful scoping!

Spring training wrapped up and I went home. It was time for real baseball to start!

December 31, 2006

RHM Retrospective: February

Since there were so many highlights in 2006, and since it makes me feel special and important to put up a bunch of posts, I'm going to break this retrospective down by month. Now we continue to February.

The Reds got a new General Manager! After Jim Beattie was reported to have won the job (and apparently had, until the very last minute), he who would later be referred to as “Kriv-dawg” swooped in and snatched it out from under him. Sort of the same way he snatched Juan Castro before Quinton McCrackenanyone else had a chance to sign him.

Many of us remember Krivsky's early signings as successful, perhaps lucky, moves. But even early on, there were signs of the bafflement that was to come. Two words: Quinton McCracken.

Episode 1 of the podcast (soon to be renamed, btw) was released. As my first foray into the world of broadcasting, it was 1 minute and 55 seconds of audio agony.

This is the month I wrote a fake news story. It wasn't a particularly good fake news story, but it was special in that it was the first time a lie I'd published was reprinted on another blog as fact. I stuck to much less feasible fake news, if I wrote it at all, after that.

The Reds released Josh Hancock for showing up to camp overweight. Hancock, affectionately known as “Snax”, went on to sign with the Cardinals.

Discussion of whether the Reds would remain in Sarasota popped up in February. I understand that now the team is definitely staying put thanks to the city of Sarasota agreeing to build a new facility.

The Reds had their first exhibition game against the Tigers of Kia. If my counting is correct, a massive three of those starting nine are in the organization today. The Tigers would kick some Reds' ass.

December 30, 2006

RHM Retrospective: January

The retrospectives are a hit in the diaries lately, nicely filling in for the fact that Ryan Freel has completely failed to get arrested so far this off-season. And since I don't really have anything to say about the fact that Aaron Boone signed with the Marlins, it seems like a good opportunity to remember some of the best moments of 2006, by Red Hot Mama standards.

January is not typically the most exciting of baseball months, but January of 2006 brought a few interesting tidbits and some big organizational changes to the Queen City.

Bob CastelliniThe world met The Georginator for the first time. I know for a fact that at least one employee of the Reds used it to make crank calls. Ah, fame!

The Reds got a new owner. Bob Castellini immediately started wooing the fanbase with his willingness to speak in public about the team and apparent knowledge of which sport his team played. The 2006 Reds under Castellini would still fail to make the postseason, but this time they did it with flair.

The Red Hot Mama made an appearance at the Reds Caravan stop in Indianapolis. If by “appearance” you mean “showed up at the free event and asked questions at the open mic.” I also briefly got on t.v.

You know, it's funny how history repeats itself. Griffey's broken his hand this year, but in January, we were talking about Dunn's broken hand. No one was worried that Dunn's broken hand would cause him to miss half the season.

The search for a General Manager was on! Just think: if the Reds had chosen anyone else, we'd be suffering a severe dearth of catchers right now.

December 30, 2006

KC2HMZ’s 10 Greatest Moments In Reds History

Because it's almost time to bring down the curtain on 2006, and this is a time we tend to look back at the past (as well as ahead to the future…that's why they put Janus on the calendar, folks!), I've decided to help offset the shortage of Reds-related news during this holiday season by posting this, my list of the ten greatest moments in Reds history.

It wasn't easy. Also, I limited it to events that happened during my time as a Reds fan…so stuff like Johnny Van Der Meer's consecutive no-hitters isn't here because that stuff was before my time. OK, here goes…the first three were no-brainers:

1. Reds Sweep Oakland in 1990 World Series - Nobody, and I mean nobody (except maybe the Reds themselves) gave the Reds a prayer against Oakland in the 1990 WS. Everybody you talked to was sure the A's were going to clobber the Reds. One person - only one - asked me if I thought so too. She didn't like the answer, either. I told her, “Well, don't bet your house on it.” Eric The Red - Eric Davis - set the tone in Game One with a homer in his first at-bat of the series. The Reds never looked back. So Dawn, if you're reading this - I was the guy in Good Guys West who told ya so. Hope you enjoyed the Series!

2. Reds Sweep Yankees in 1976 World Series - No offense to anyone who's a Yankees fan, but I live in the Buffalo area…I'm a Reds fan…and because of the Yankees it's almost impossible to see a Reds game on TV here. Due to this, I hate the Yankees, and enjoy watching them lose almost as much as I enjoy watching the Reds win. So imagine how much fun it was watching the Reds beat the Yankees four times in a row to repeat as World Champs following…

3. Reds Win 1975 World Series - This was the one featuring Carlton Fisk's famous homer in Game Six, but the Reds overcame a 3-0 fifth-inning deficit to win Game 7. Ken Griffey Sr. scored the last two runs.

4. Johnny Bench's game-tying homer leading off the ninth inning of the 1972 NLCS against the Pirates. I can still hear Al Michaels on WLW radio: “Change hit in the air to deep right field! Back goes Clemente!! At the fence!! SHE'S GONE!!!”

5. Pete Rose Collects #4192 - Charlie Hustle lines a first-inning single into right center off the Padres' Eric Show to break Ty Cobb's record. There followed a standing ovation that went on for a full seven minutes. A much better September 11 (1985) event than the one that comes to mind when that date is mentioned now.

6. On Fathers' Day 2004, with his father and his son watching from the stands, Ken Griffey Jr. takes Matt Morris deep for his 500th career homer.

7. Tom Browning's perfect game against the Dodgers in 1988.

8. Tom Seaver's No-Hitter - How perfect it was that the cover of the Reds program in 1978 was a tribute to Tom Seaver. Almost a year to the day he was traded to Cinci from the Mets, Seaver pitched the only no-hitter of his career, a 4-0 win over the Cardinals.

9. Pete Rose ends the 1970 All-Star Game (played in Cinci) by annihilating AL catcher Ray Fosse at the plate.

10. June 2, 1989 - Eric Davis saves the hard one for last, getting a triple in his final AB as he hits for the cycle.

Here's hoping 2007 brings something to add to the list. To Amanda and Jon and all of you out there, best wishes for a Happy and prosperous New Year!


December 30, 2006

A Bubba Crosby Retrospective

Well, this is the time when people traditionally get soddenly retrospective. No, not Friday night without a date. New Year's - the time of endings…and new beginnings.

This year saw the end of Bubba Crosby's four season stint with the New York Yankees, and the beginning of a new opportunity with a new team - the Reds. So, for my first Red Hot Diary, I'd like to look back at the highlights of Bubba's career as a Yankee, as a way of introducing him to Reds fans. Without further ado:


#10 March 22, 2004 - Bubba hits an inside-the-park grand slam. The third base coach gives Felix Escalona, who had been on 1B, the green light, and Crosby, by then only a few feet behind Escalona, thinks the sign is meant for him. And he makes it.

#9 April 9, 2004 - Bubba homers in his first at-bat as a Yankee. The game was hopelessly out of reach - which is why he was in it - but he gave the fans something to cheer.

#8 September 24, 2005 - A fine diving catch.

#9 May 11, 2006 - Grand theft Bubba! Bubba robs Mike Lowell of a two-run homer. (Gotta have the good gloves in with Shawn Chacon on the mound.)

#6 September 23, 2005 - Another great diving grab. Bet he had grass in his teeth after that one.

#5 May 15, 2006 - Bubba makes a leaping, tumbling circus catch, landing hard on the warning track. Mike Mussina is grateful: “You can't make a better play than that. It turns a double and guys running all over the place into a sac fly.”

#4 July 14, 2006 - Mariano Rivera was on the mound with a two-run lead, but it looked like the game was slipping away. It was Bubba to the rescue, with this great play. Yes, it ended up a WebGem.

#3 April 26, 2006 - Three-quarters of the world is covered by water; the rest is covered by Bubba! Bubba made a couple of nice plays in this game. Though the announcer thought he was Johnny Damon.

#2 April 11, 2004 - The Crosby Clambake. Bubba's first start as a Yankee. Mike Mussina had struggled to earn his 200th win, but Bubba almost single-handedly won it for him. He made a great catch and homered. (Actually knocked a piece of the facade off the upper deck!) Then made another nice catch.

#1 September 19, 2005, The Bubba Crosby Game - With the Yankees desperately trying to catch the Red Sox in a brutal stretch run, Bubba Crosby hits a walkoff homer, bringing the Yanks to within half a game of Boston. Alex Rodriguez's reaction, both on the field and later, talking to the press: “Holy (bleep)!!!” (Bubba had a great night all around. While the rest of the team struggled against Eric Bedard, Bubba went 3 for 4. He scored two runs - 2/3 of the Yankees' offense for the night. And helped get the remaining run in.)

Bubba's provided Yankee fans with a lot of memorable moments. It was tough to pare it down to ten. Here's hoping for even more great moments with the Reds.

Happy New Year!