Daily Archives: May 21, 2007

May 21, 2007

The Latin Love Machines Makes a Case for More Playing Time

I only caught the last couple innings of the game tonight, but they were the perfect ones to see. The CTS told me that when he tuned in with one out in the top of the first to find the Reds already down 4-0, he settled in to watch Bronson Arroyo get his comeuppance (remember, the CTS was kept up all night by that guy, too), entirely without any expectation of the team we love coming back.

But joy of joys! The Current Reds beat The Former Reds on the strength of a Javier Valentín two run homer in the eighth inning. It wasn't Javy's normal home run swing either. Usually he's all about that barrel chest of his, but this time, he uncoiled from head to toe, like he'd be winding up for that home run for a month.

Which is how long it feels like it's been since we've seen the Latin Love Machine really play. After the podcast last night, Jon and I were discussing how the Reds lack charisma this year. We don't have Felipe Lopez complaining about anything, the Adam Dunn/Austin Kearns interaction, or Rich Aurilia saying too much to the press. Griffey isn't talking and Javy isn't playing. Brandon Phillips is the awesome, but he's mostly a sweet kid who says the right things. Plus I bet people aren't anxious to talk to him lest they be blamed for breaking his hit streak.

Ryan Freel may be the only real character on the roster, and there's really only so long the average person can pay strict attention to Freel. It's like trying to track a fly buzzing around the room.

Long story short, it's good to see some of those old Reds characters again, but even nicer to see the smiling side of the scoreboard for a change.

Go Reds!

May 21, 2007

Narron Fired; Harding Is New Reds Manager

The Cincinnati Reds today announced that they have fired manager Jerry Narron and hired former Olympics star Tanya Harding as his replacement.

Reds’ owner Bob Castellini indicated that the inspiration for the move was supplied by Tony LaRussa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, a team with which Castellini was involved prior to purchasing the Reds. Castellini noted that in the aftermath of the death of Cardinals (and former Reds) pitcher Josh Hancock, LaRussa warned his players about members of the media looking for negative stories about Hancock’s death and said, “The first time I hear insincerity, I’m going to start swinging this fungo.”

In light of the Reds’ poor start this season, Castellini said, “We decided that we needed a leader cut from the same cloth as Tony LaRussa, someone who is not afraid to swing a fungo if that’s what it takes to get the job done.”

Harding is best known for an incident in January, 1994 when she was involved in a plot to injure rival figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Reds GM Wayne Krivsky explained, “What happened there was that Tanya’s ex-husband hired a guy to clank Kerrigan’s knee with a police baton. This was roughly the same time Tanya gained managerial experience, appearing in USA Pro Wrestling as manager for wrestler Art Barr.” Krivsky noted Harding’s lifelong involvement in athletics, including her managerial experience and her exploits in celebrity boxing and women’s professional boxing earlier in this decade. “She’s got a 3-3 record as a pro boxer. She saved a woman’s life in 1996, using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive an 81-year old woman who collapsed in a bar in Portland, Oregon. She’s shown that she plays the game the right way.”

Castellini was less subtle concerning the impact he hopes Harding’s hiring will have on the Reds. “We’re just tired of the same guys beating us all the time, it’s time we did some beating of our own. Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman best be looking over their shoulders, because Tanya and her fungo will be around. The same goes for Bill Hall - one good clank on the knee from Tanya and that’s one less Reds killer we have to worry about.”

Asked later if that also applied to Ted Lilly of the Cubs, Krivsky offered, “I’d say that it certainly might. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s early yet. Certainly, Lilly is a guy who has shown signs of being the type of player we would like to have Tanya address. But I’ll leave those decisions to the manager.”

The Reds also announced that Edwin Encarnación was being recalled from Louisville and would start at third base in the series opener against the Washington Nationals. “We won’t have any more problems with guys staying in the batter’s box after the ball is hit,” Castellini said, “Nobody is going to want to be a stationary target with Tanya around. We expect to see guys hustling from now on. This should show the fans we were serious when we said we would do whatever we had to do to bring championship baseball back to Cincinnati.”