Monthly Archives: October 2010

October 20, 2010

Joey Votto Recognized by The Sporting News

Joey Votto has been recognized by The Sporting News, and the Vote Votto campaign wasn’t even needed. This had better be just a prelude to his MVP award after the World Series.

Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto has been named to Sporting News’ National League All-Star Team in voting of his peers. He is the first Reds player named to that prestigious squad since OF Ken Griffey Jr. and IF Felipe Lopez were included in 2005.

Earlier this summer, Votto was named to his first All-Star team after receiving 13.7 million votes in the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote. He is a leading candidate for the NL’s Most Valuable Player Award and is a finalist for the Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Year Award Presented by Pepsi after leading the Reds to the National League Central Division championship while ranking among the league’s Top 3 in 11 statistical categories, in the Top 5 in 15 categories and among the Top 8 in 18 categories.

Votto led the National League in on-base percentage (.424), slugging percentage (.600), hitting on the road (.349), hitting vs RHP (.347), RBI ratio (4.8ab) and OPS (1.024). In the prestigious Triple Crown categories he ranked second in hitting (.324) and third in both homers (37) and RBI (113). In 2010, he became only the fourth player in Reds history to hit at least .320 with 37 HR and 113 RBI in a season (MVP George Foster in 1977, Frank Robinson in 1961 (MVP) & 1962 and Ted Kluszewski in 1954).

October 18, 2010

29 Other Baseball Teams Dodge Bullet

Tony LaRussa Signs with St. Louis Cardinals.

LaRussa manhandling defenseless petsDid you hear that? It was a huge, collective sigh of relief from fans of all Major League baseball teams outside of St. Louis, Missouri today. Tony LaRussa will not be taking his tired, team-hating antics anywhere else next year. No, LaRussa will remain a Cardinal.

The team announced the deal Monday and said it includes a mutual option for the 2012 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

You might think it a little odd to bring back a manager who so clearly lost the ability to motivate his team to play good baseball at the end of the 2010 season. But apparently, that failure was all due to bullpen coach Marty Mason. He was fired today just as LaRussa’s rehiring was announced. Because the reason the Cardinals didn’t get first place was because their bullpen sucked. Right. I’m sure the rest of the National League Central will be quaking at the thought of whoever his replacement is.

Still, everyone with the possible exception of Cardinals fans should be very happy that LaRussa and the Cardinals won’t be much of a threat next year.

October 15, 2010

Looking to 2011

As everyone knows, the Cincinnati Reds season ended last weekend. Strangely, it was a 3 full months later than we’d grown accustomed to. And now we find ourselves looking forward to 2011, but it’s somehow different. This time, we’re not only expecting the Reds to be a winning team, but to repeat their finishing of first place in the National League Central.

It’s amazing how much one year can change things. Just think of what this team accomplished in 2010. The last winning season had been in 2000.n They were looking at a losing streak in the double-digits. That’s Pittsburgh Pirates territory, right there. With a record of 91-71, the 2010 squad didn’t even come close to having a losing year.

The last time the Reds had been to the playoffs and won their division was 1995, fifteen years ago. Not only did the Reds break their losing streak, but they grabbed first place and broke their postseason drought, too. Perhaps most excitingly, unlike the 2008 Milwaukee Brewers, who spent everything of value in their minor league system just to win the wild card, the Reds spent nothing. Their farm system is loaded with too many major-league ready players, many of them pitchers.

Pitching wins playoffs, and the Reds didn’t win this year. But their pitchers are still young. Bronson Arroyo, at 33, is the oldest and most experienced, and he pitched a great game. It was the playoff-shy defense that lost Arroyo’s start. Edinson Volquez is the second oldest starter at 26. All the other contenders for the rotation are 24 years old or younger. And most of them now have playoff experience.

You’ve got to think that with the poor showing this year, the players will all be more motivated to return in 2011 and show that they can win a playoff game. It happened with the Philadelphia Phillies. Their first year of being in the postseason after 14 years away ended in the same result as the 2010 Reds: a sweep in the first round. The next year? The won the World Series.

And there’s no reason the Reds can’t duplicate that success.

Here are the primary contenders for the starting rotation next year.

  • Bronson Arroyo
  • Edinson Volquez
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Homer Bailey
  • Travis Wood
  • Mike Leake
  • Aroldis Chapman

Not to mention, there’s dependable back-ups like Sam LeCure, Matt Maloney, and Micah Owings should anyone go down. That’s 10 quality starting pitchers, which is about 9 more than the Reds had for the majority of the 2000s.

I’m already excited about next year. It’s a good time to be a Reds fan.

October 12, 2010

Looking on the Bright Side: a Poem

Though the games aren’t over,
The Reds are all done
Just three in the series
before the Phillies had won.

We wanted a pennent
for their excellent play
but for lots of reasons
things are better this way

At least…

We don’t need to schedule
the travel to ‘Nati.
The snubbing of Janish
can’t drive us batty.

The future is bright,
the dismantling delayed.
And Redsfest is only
two months away.

And though it is painful
when your tix you discard,
remember: at least
they beat out the Cards.

October 11, 2010

MVP Exchange Rate to Determine Award

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto appears to be a shoo-in for the National League Most Valuable Player award, but many don’t realize the important role the exchange rate plays in the decision.

“It’s tougher for a Canadian in this sport,” said Minnesota Twins’ Justin Morneau. “Not only do we have to be 1.01422 times the player of an American to be noticed, but we’re also relentlessly subjected to lumberjack jokes.”

Despite the iniquity, things are better today than they were just a few years ago for citizens of the Great White North. As recently as 2002, a United States player (USP) was worth one and a half Canadian players (CAP). Things have been much different since 2008, thanks to a soft USP.

“Five years ago things were even worse, eh?” said New York Mets’ outfielder and British Columbia native Jason Bay. “You’d think that no one would really care about the Home Run Derby, but you’d be wrong, hoser. Try not hitting any and see how your exchange rate drops.”

Baseball macroeconomists cite the undervalued Chinese player, pegged to the USP at 0.14988 as playing a role in this changing baseball economy, but most people don’t really understand what that has to do with anything.

“I saw that Votto play,” said Chicago Cubs’ starting pitcher Ryan Dempster. “When I wasn’t busy listening to Alanis Morisette and Glass Tiger. He’s definitely worth 1.01422 times the best American player out there.”

Most agree with Dempster. The real question is whether the beat writers can avoid choking on all these stale Canadian stereotypes long enough to do the math: how a whole season of Canadian Votto compare to one month of Venezuelan Carlos González with an exchange rate of 1:4,240.11.