Monthly Archives: April 2011

April 21, 2011

The Daily Brief: They’ll Win Again, Right?

Last Game
The Cincinnati Reds lost for the fourth time in a row, this time to the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1. Bronson Arroyo started and miraculously turned in a quality start, but it wasn’t enough. The only offense was provided from a double from Joey Votto. But the Reds are still in first place, despite having a .500 record at 9-9. It’s a share of the Central, as most of the teams are tied with them, but it’s a share nonetheless.

Next Game
The Reds will turn to Mike Leake to stop the losing today and prevent the sweep by the Diamondbacks. Daniel Hudson will start for Arizona. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:35 pm EDT, and the game will be televised on the MLB Network.

Bailey’s Start Pushed Back
Although Homer Bailey’s last rehab start for the Louisville Bats was a success, his next start will be pushed back a day or two.

“Just a little bit tired,” Bailey said today. ”My pitch count doubled (from last time). Why go out there and pitch if my shoulder is tired? We can wait a day or two and we’ll be fine. It’s like if you haven’t run for a while and you go out and run five miles, the next four days you’ll be sore. You need to take a day or two.”

It’s not being described as a setback, but it will keep Bailey from the big-league club for longer. And we all know the Reds could use some reinforcements.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Last week when the Reds won a game, it was manager Dusty Baker’s 250th win. He has done that with all three teams he’s managed, a feat that has been accomplished by just 10 other managers.

April 20, 2011

Mike Leake Follow-up

A couple days ago, Cincinnati Reds starter Mike Leake was arrested for shop-lifting. Today, there was a report from Cincinnati’s WCPO Channel 9 that Leake had paid for the shirts.

The report is written oddly, like that of a middle-schooler trying to write a paper and sound impressive by using a thesaurus for every mundane word. For instance, the article starts by stating, “delicate negotiations will be undertaken shortly to hopefully remedy the Mike Leake imbroglio to everyone’s satisfaction.” Okay. I’m sure that couldn’t have been worded in an easier to read manner.

But getting past that, here’s the meat of the story.

A reliable source tells me that Leake did indeed pay for T-shirts some time prior to yesterday’s episode. And only in the process of clumsily trying to exchange them, did he run afoul of, if not the law, then certainly the dictates of common sense.

That Leake somehow thought that he could affect what is termed an “even exchange” without benefit of a store employee presiding over the transaction.

So this source is saying that Leake previously paid for the shirts and walked in the store later to exchange them without talking to a store employee. It sounds ridiculous, but given that this is a world where a diner can sue a restaurant after eating an artichoke, it’s certainly possible. But if true, what a dummy Leake is.

April 19, 2011

Game 17: Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4

Diamondbacks (7-8)1010210005101
Reds (9-8)012000010450
W: Galarraga (3-0) L: LeCure (0-1) S: Putz (4)


Ouch. Make the losing stop!

Listen, I know it’s early and everything, but I’m tired of the losing. Remember when the team started out by winning their first 5 games? Remember how they seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut, hell-bent on storming back to the postseason? Yeah, that was awesome. I want that team back. I want that confidence and determination back. For the last few games, it’s been nothing but a faint memory.

The Cincinnati Reds lost again tonight. The return of Brandon Phillips to the lineup helped, as he drove in a run, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the lackluster pitching. Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto can’t return from the disabled list soon enough.

Sam LeCure started and at least did better than any of staff ace Edinson Volquez’s starts. So there’s that. And LeCure also blew the pants off Travis Wood’s last start. LeCure went 5 1/3 innings and allowed 5 earned runs. It’s so messed up to think that’s an improvement.

Still, the season is long, and the Reds will bounce back. Hopefully soon. This team isn’t fun to watch right now.

April 18, 2011

Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Arrested

Mike Leak was arrested April 18 2011Now, if you follow baseball, you see your share of arrests. Not as many as if you follow football, but nary a season goes by when someone isn’t booked on a DUI. You even hear your occasional domestic violence or attempted rape charge. But this is the first time I can remember someone being arrested for shoplifting.

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that pitcher Mike Leake was booked on a charge of theft today around 2 p.m:

Leake, of Ludlow, was arrested after Macy’s department store loss prevention employees stopped the Reds pitcher today after they say he took $59.88 in property from the store.

Police said the incident was caught on security cameras at the Downtown Macy’s.

The theft is listed as a misdemeanor. Cincinnati police didn’t immediately respond to e-mails asking for more information about Leake’s arrest.

If found guilty, the charge could mean as much as 180 days in jail. But who knows if he’s guilty. They aren’t giving any details yet, and for all we know he might have accidentally walked out with something. I know I’ve almost done it.

Despite the mugshot, the story does not say Leake was stoned at the time.

April 17, 2011

Navigating the Reds’ Injuries

During the last week, I was away for several days on a business trip and lost touch with the Cincinnati Reds a bit. Well, I didn’t lose touch with how they fared–smart phones make sure you can always know the score–but I did lose track of all the injured players. So here’s my rundown with all of them, including an update on their recovery status.

First, the guys who are still with the team.

  • Aroldis Chapman – Chapman was taken out of a game early after his fastball was topping out in the low-to-mid 90s. That’s definitely cause for concern, but the team thinks it’s just a combination of being used in 4 out of 5 games and a little bit of shoulder inflammation. Chapman hasn’t appeared in the last 4 games, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him reappear to face just a batter or two soon.
  • Juan Francisco – Francisco left Saturday’s game early after pulling up with a leg cramp after a basehit in the 8th. Well, that’s what it appeared at first. When he still was limping today, the club realized it was more than a cramp. That’s the extent of the information on his injury.
  • Brandon Phillips – Phillips missed his third consecutive start on Sunday due to a groin injury. Despite stating he’s unavailable, the Reds and manager Dusty Baker have stated that Phillips won’t be placed on the disabled list. “He’s getting better. We don’t have to rush him back,” Baker said. “We don’t think we have to DL him, either. This (cold) weather isn’t helping.” Baker has always shown a preference for being safer than sorry with day-to-day injuries, and it’s hard to fault him for doing that with Phillips here in April.

So currently there are 3 people on the Reds’ Major League active roster that aren’t able to be used. Nothing like being short-handed. No wonder they’ve struggled so much with the Pittsburgh Pirates. When will reinforcements arrive?

  • Jose Arredondo – The reliever was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the end of Spring Training. He’s currently rehabbing in AA and allowed 1 earned run in 1 2/3 innings pitched Sunday.
  • Homer Bailey – Bailey started for the Louisville Bats Sunday and was very sharp. It took him 62 pitches to go 5 shutout innings. He struck out 2 and walked one. He’s ahead of fellow injured starter Cueto in his rehab, so Bailey’s likely to return to the Reds’ rotation first, but it probably won’t be until late April.
  • Jared Burton – Burton had his first throwing session since being shutdown with shoulder inflammation. The oft-injured reliever will be needing a rehab assignment once he’s healthy enough to throw.
  • Johnny Cueto – Cueto started for the Bats Saturday night. He last 3 1/3 innings, allowing 2 hist, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, and 4 strike-outs. But the most important bit from that outing is this quote from Cueto himself, “I feel good, no pain.” Cueto will start at least twice more for the Bats to get his pitch count up before being ready to be activated. Late April is the target time.
  • Fred Lewis – Lewis is currently on rehab assignment with the AA team, too. He went 1-4 with a double on Sunday. He’s on track for a late April activation, too.

So there you go. The Reds are fairly banged up, with 3 guys on the 25-man not available the last few games, and 5 guys on the disabled list that could certainly help the team–Bailey and Cueto especially. Late April seems to be the vague projected magic date that these guys will start being activated. I’m confident the Reds will still be in contention by then; I just hope no other injuries will have happened.