Monthly Archives: May 2011

May 31, 2011

Batting Bruce fourth for all the wrong reasons

Here at the Red Hot Household, there are several phrases you hear during Reds games, such as:

  • Damn, Joey Votto can hit!
  • Shut up, Thom


  • Why is Scott Rolen hitting fourth again??

For, you see, we do not approve of having the guy who hasn’t been able to hit the broad side of a barn since he returned from injury batting clean up. Love the guy, and he’s a great presence. All I’m saying is a guy can demonstrate his intangibles from the 6 hole.

You’d have to be in a coma since April not to realize the Jay Bruce is on-freakin’-fire right now. Not only was the dude the player of the week, but he’s also been the massive bright spot on a team that’s been pretty much in the dark lately. He’s the clear choice to protect our reigning MVP.

But that would put two lefties next to each other in the order, you might say. You might, like Dusty Baker, think that the two will be easy prey for the opponent’s lefty specialist. But here are three reasons that doesn’t matter here:

  • Both Votto and Bruce can hit lefties. Like, better than anyone can. John Fay says, “Votto was leading National League in hitting against left-hander at .426 going into Tuesday. Bruce was fourth .381.” (Baker’s response to that was to not understand it and pretend it wasn’t said, which is his typical response to statistics.)
  • Which, for those of us who have difficulty following a line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, means that it would NOT be effective for the opposing team to use a left specialist against them. The opposing team would either realize this and not even try, or they *would* try and would ineffectively burn through a pitcher. And given the number of extra innings games the Reds seem to be getting themselves into lately, baiting the other team to burn an extra pitcher can only be a good thing.
  • Finally, even if it did work in the opposition’s favor to put in the LOOGY (even these studs get out more than half the time), it would have worked in ONE inning. A team that leaves an average of 7.2 runners on base per game gets plenty of ABs (if not so many RBI), making that one inning less that pivotal.

Besides, you’ve known since little league that you bat your better hitters higher. And no, Dusty, that doesn’t mean have him lead off. Oh lord, you’re going to have him lead off, aren’t you?

May 31, 2011

Jay Bruce Wins National League Player of the Week

Bruce at the plate

Jay Bruce has been the brightest spot for the Cincinnati Reds during a tough stretch in the month of May. And his outstanding offensive showing has been awarded.

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period of May 23-29, 2011. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

The Reds slugger led the Majors with 13 RBI and 25 total bases, and was tied for first with four home runs last week while hitting .353 (12-for-34) in seven games. His 12 hits ranked second among National Leaguers while his .735 slugging percentage was fifth and his six runs scored were sixth-best. The 24-year-old Texan had four multi-hit games on the week, including two three-hit performances. On Monday, May 23rd, Bruce went 3-for-4 and provided Cincinnati its only offense with a three-run homer in a 10-3 loss at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. On May 25th, the 2005 first round pick (12th overall by the Reds) in the First-Year Player Draft went 3-for-8 with a home run while driving in three runs as the Reds dropped a 19- inning marathon to the Phillies, 5-4. The next day, Bruce went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Reds dropped the third game of their four-game set in Philadelphia, 10-4. The left-handed hitting Bruce homered again on May 29th, going 2-for-3 with a solo shot as the Braves edged the Reds, 2-1 at Turner Field in Atlanta. Jay’s week continued a torrid month of May in which he now has 12 homers and 32 RBI. His 31 homers since August 2010 are tops in the National League. This is his second career weekly award, having previously won for the week of October 3, 2010.

Other noteworthy performances last week included Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (.529, 9 H, 7 R), right fielder Corey Hart (.400, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1.200 SLG) and right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 14 SO); Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Raul Ibañez (.303, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 10 H); outfielder John Jay (.444, HR, 12 H, 5 R, .444 OBP) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Lohse (2-0, 1.93, 14.0 IP, 11 SO) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (.500, 2 HR, .938 SLG) and right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens (2-0, 0.57 ERA, 15.2 IP, 9 SO); Washington Nationals outfielder Mike Morse (.375, 4 HR, 10 RBI, .958 SLG); New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (.519, 14 H, 8 R, .536 OBP, 2 SB); San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez (.440, 11 H, .462 OBP); right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster (2- 0, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP, 10 SO) of the Chicago Cubs; left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 17 SO) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Arizona Diamondbacks reliever J.J. Putz (0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 4 SV); and Florida Marlins right-handed starter Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO, 8 SO).

The National League Player of the Week, Jay Bruce, will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at

Enjoy that watch, Jay! And I hope you’ll have a player of the month award to add to the collection soon.

May 30, 2011

“100 Days of Summer” Prizes for Ohioans

At last the Red Hot Family returns from a long weekend in beautiful Milwaukee. We’ll have some pictures of Miller Park to go along with the discussion of the win (2-out-of-the-last-3? That’s what I’m talking about!) tomorrow, but for now I am recovering from my vacation and being glad that Fox Sport Ohio has a content going on now that you’ll be interested to read about. — A

CINCINNATI, OHIO – It’s almost summer, and what better time to get outside, hit up a baseball game and enjoy the sunshine. FOX Sports Ohio and the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) want Ohioans to have a fun and safe summer. That’s why they have teamed up once again. This summer, FOX Sports Ohio is excited to give away a prize a day for 100 days with the “100 Days of Summer” sweepstakes, presented by ODPS.

Beginning this Friday, May 27th through Monday, September 5th, viewers state-wide can visit to enter to win a daily prize. Simply complete the online form and automatically be entered for the entire 100 days.

A new winner selected each day for 100 days will win a Road Safety Kit along with a $25 gift card to a home improvement, sporting goods or car care location. The first drawing will be made this Saturday, May 28th. On the 101st day, September 5th, one grand prize winner will win a flat screen HDTV and a FOX Sports Ohio prize pack.

“FOX Sports Ohio and ODPS have built a great partnership over the years in promoting driver safety messages,” stated Alex Slemc, Director of Marketing, FOX Sports Ohio. “The 100 Days of Summer sweepstakes is a fun and exciting way to celebrate summer and promote safe driving.”

FOX Sports Ohio fans will be reminded of safe driving practices and the “100 Days of Summer” sweepstakes during FOX Sports Ohio telecasts, online at, and through the network’s social websites, including Facebook and Twitter.

“Our media partners are critical to the Department’s mission of reducing injuries and saving lives,” said Karhlton Moore, Executive Director of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. “We are excited and proud to team up with FOX Sports Ohio to help educate the public about these important safety messages.”

For the complete rules of “100 Days of Summer”, presented by ODPS, visit

May 29, 2011

What’s Available and What Isn’t?

Last year, the main controversy for the Cincinnati Reds erupted over Brandon Phillips comments about the St. Louis Cardinals. I think that “whiny little bitches” characterization has proven to be true.

This year, Phillips took to the Twitter airwaves, and everyone expected something to come of it: he is a bit of an impulsive person at times. But no, the Twitter controversy came from none other than pitcher Sam LeCure.

I don’t know what to say folks. I desperately want to pitch and I feel like I’m wasting space as I’m sure you all do. Im ready if they call

LeCure tweeted this Saturday after another extra-innings lost when he wasn’t used and a bullpen arm was desperately needed. To that, Reds manager Dusty Baker said the following.

He was available without all his weapons. What I mean by that with that strained right forearm, he could only throw fastball, change-up. That’s not available to me. To me, I like his enthusiasm. I like him. But now is not the time for heroism.

Obviously, that’s bullshit. Baker’s being a hypocritical asshole. You can’t say this isn’t the time for heroism while at the same time you’re sending Carlos Fisher out to ostensibly ruin his baseball career. LeCure having two pitches available in extras is way better than destroying Fisher’s arm. However, Bake didn’t choose that option. In both of the last two extra-innings games, he opted for Fisher.

The team is spiraling into the madness that the Chicago Cubs fell into during Baker’s last season there. As good as Baker was for the Reds last season, I’m beginning to think he’s as wrong for them this year. His refusal to consider new ways of evaluating player data reeks of an anti-intellectualism that will inevitably doom this club, perhaps this year more than any.

LeCure tweeting that may have been out of line, but it sounds like the team didn’t communicate effectively with him about why he wasn’t being used and the team was losing. For being a player’s manager, it sounds like Baker screwed the pooch on this one.

In the same conversation, Baker also said, “I don’t read tweets.” If there’s ever been a telling sign about a manager’s refusal and inability to adapt to changing situations–something that’s required of every successful major league baseball player–that’s it.

May 28, 2011

Miller Park: Home of the Brewers


The RHM clan headed to Milwaukee, WI this Memorial Day weekend for some fun. We stopped at a Milwaukee Brewers game for our first visit to Miller Park.

The place is very nice, and the tailgating experience is unique. More details wil l come, including a panoramic photo of the park. For now, here’s the view as we approached from the parking lot.