Monthly Archives: September 2010

September 30, 2010

Sounds Like Tony La Russa’s Work to Me

You may remember the other night when the Cincinnati Reds clinched the 2010 National League Central Division. They were happy, the fans were happy. There was champagne and beer spraying all over the clubhouse. Oh, and some victory cigars were passed out by Orlando Cabrera, too.

Apparently, some killjoys with a knowledge of Ohio state law phoned in some complaints upon seeing those stogeys.

Five people called a statewide smoking ban complaint hotline, Merz said. Those complaints were sent to the city health department today for investigation. [Bob] Castellini will get letter soon notifying him of the alleged violation.

Now, the Reds get to look forward to having a health inspector come within 30 days.

It does make you wonder, though, if one cranky, unpleasant manager in the Central with a law degree might have been watching and been one of those 5 callers.

September 29, 2010

The Daily Brief: Reds Clinch NL Central via Walk-off Homer

Last Game
It seemed like it took forever, but the Cincinnati Reds finally clinched first place in the National League Central last night, winning in, what else, walk-off fashion. Jay Bruce was the hero, hitting the first pitch he saw in the 9th inning out of the park to straight-away center field to give the Reds the 3-2 win over the Houston Astros and the Reds their first division title since 1995. And then there was a lot of partying in and around Cincinnati.

Next Game
Now that the Reds have clinched, they’re back to playing meaningless games at the end of September, right? No? Ok. Well, the Reds still have 5 more games to play before the season’s over, and they’ll be trying to secure home-field advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. Johnny Cueto starts tonight against Nelson Figueroa at 7:10pm EDT.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Jay Bruce’s walk-off, first-place clinching home run last night was only the 5th such shot in all of Major League Baseball history. The four others were Bobby Thomson for the 1951 Giants, Hank Aaron for the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, Alfonso Soriano for the 1999 Yankees, and Steven Finley for the 2004 Dodgers.

September 28, 2010

Reds Clinch NLC

Jay Bruce clinches the divisionThe Cincinnati Reds clinched the NLC Division tonight with a walk-off home run from everyone’s second favorite left-handed slugger, Jay Bruce.

From the first pitch, the game had a buzz. When the team left on the road trip, the discussion began about whether the team would clinch on the road, and when they came home with a magic number of 1, Reds fans were bursting with anticipation.

Enter the Cardinals. They were in an ugly position yesterday. Probably the single-most unpleasant thing they could have done to the team was to lose and leave us to awkwardly begin celebrating in the middle of an off-day, but that would have also meant eliminating themselves with a loss against the Pirates. Happily for everyone, they saved their crash-and-burn at the hands of the Pirates until tonight. They lost 7-2 tonight.

So the team was set up for high drama. The fans were on the edge of their seats from the beginning, and they were scrutinizing every play with the highest of expectations. Drew Stubbs’ double off the wall in left field almost brought a groan that it didn’t have that extra 18″ it needed to go over the wall.

Edinson Volquez was great. Aroldis Chapman brought the heat. Scott Rolen did his RBI thang. But even so, the Reds found themselves tied with the Astros going into the ninth inning. Did the fans in the stands realize at that point that it was a karmic necessity for the team to go into the bottom of the ninth in that situation? I don’t know. But it was clear as soon as the ball left Jay Bruce’s bat that there couldn’t have been a better way to win.

Five more games remain in the season, and the Reds will be trying to gain some advantage in the home-field, though probably not as hard as they try to prepare everyone for the post-season, which they are now most definitely going to.

I could get used to typing things like that.

September 28, 2010



September 27, 2010

Off-Day Frippery: Why I don’t want LaRussa

Back near the beginning of the season, before the Reds had established themselves at all and it was Dusty Baker asking the Reds about a contract extension instead of the other way around, I took the opportunity to talk about what I wanted in the Reds’ next manager. Admittedly, a lot of it was direct pokes at Baker’s shortcomings, but all of it was heartfelt.

LaRussa counts the World Series he should have won this decadeLike, the next week the team suddenly starting tearing it up and the discussion of the Reds next manager was the last thing on anyone’s mind (except Baker’s).

Fast forward to September. The magic number is one, and I need something to distract me from whether the Cards are going to lose to the Pirates again just before the Reds have a chance to play at home after a lengthy road trip, and thusly provide a premature and vaguely unsatisfying clinch.

The tables have turned on the managerial situation: Baker hasn’t destroyed a pitcher or said a single stupid thing about clogging bases in months. He still can’t write up a decent line-up card, but with all he has to work with, it hardly matters. Between the team’s success this year and the fact that his contract is up for renewal, we may not be seeing him again next year but for an opposing team’s dugout.

And if that happens, what then? I had the horrifying experience of having a fellow fan suggest that Tony LaRussa would be a good addition.


What’s doubly horrifying is that before this season, I might have agreed. But that was before we got a front-row seat to the bitching-and-moaning, the political involvement of questionable appropriateness, and his patented Willingness to Throw his Players under the Bus in the MediaTM.

If the falling out between him and Ozzie Smith wasn’t warning enough, the falling out between him and Scott Rolen is a sounding trumpet. How anyone couldn’t get along with Scott Rolen, I don’t know. He’s like a friggin’ saint over here. I’m pretty sure he actually glows with the light of goodness and truth.

Of course, rumor has it that another falling out, this one between him and Walt Jocketty, was the event that landed the latter with the Reds in the first place. And if that’s the case, there’s probably nothing to worry about for next season.

But I need something else to worry about other than the Cards giving their best prom date impression. LaRussa wouldn’t look any better even in the dress.