Daily Archives: July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012

Cueto-gate 2012: LaRussa is a lawyer

Following up yesterday’s post about the snub by Tony LaRussa of Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Enquirer reporter John Fay wrote about a new rule in the most recent collective bargaining agreement called the “Sunday Pitcher Rule.”

(ii) Sunday Pitcher Rule. Any starting pitcher elected or selected to the All-Star team who makes a start on the Sunday immediately preceding the All-Star Game (“Sunday Pitcher”) shall have the option to participate or not participate in the All-Star Game. If such starting pitcher elects to participate in the All-Star Game, he will not be permitted to pitch for more than one inning, and he may also inform his manager that he should be removed from the game if he reaches a certain pitch count (irrespective of whether he has completed one inning), provided such pitch count is reasonable. If a Sunday Pitcher who was originally named to the team elects not to participate in the All-Star Game, he will be replaced on the roster but treated in the same manner as other All-Stars who are excused from participation, and he will be encouraged to attend and be announced at the All-Star Game.

Basically, this means that no pitcher should be skipped when being picked for the All Star game because he happens to start the Sunday before the break. In that case, it’s up to the player, not the manager picking the roster.

In case you don’t remember, Tony LaRussa, the guy who got to pick the players to the game after the fans, players, and coaches, had this to say about why he didn’t pick Cueto.

“If Dusty (Baker) had been more interested in Cueto being on the team, then he wouldn’t be pitching him on Sunday. Cueto probably would be on the team if he wasn’t pitching Sunday.”

Sounds like LaRussa broke the rule, right? I mean, he himself said that if Cueto weren’t starting on Sunday, he’d have been picked. Cueto’s agent has charged as much, but Major League Baseball is apparently supporting LaRussa.

Major League Baseball senior vice president Katy Feeney said that the fact that Cueto was scheduled to pitch on Sunday actually was well down the list of considerations….Feeney said that pitching on Sunday “maybe was the final consideration,” for a pitcher not to be included on the club. “That’s just one of the reasons,” Feeney said.

That’s not the most spirited defense. It strikes me as trying to say two opposite things at once. MLB is basically admitting that starting on Sunday was a consideration while also attempting to claim that they didn’t break the Sunday Pitcher Rule. I don’t think you can claim both.

Of course, LaRussa has a final quote in the article about the matter.

“I know the rule,” said La Russa, tersely.

Now why does that remind me so much of Tracy Morgan’s old impression of Star Jones on SNL?

July 2, 2012

MLB Network to air 14 hours of All-Star coverage

This press release comes from MLB. It’s going to be quite an extravaganza.

Secaucus, NJ, July 2, 2012 – MLB Network is set to cover the 83rd MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City with over 14 hours of coverage starting Monday, July 9. MLB Network’s:

  • Greg Amsinger
  • Sean Casey
  • Peter Gammons
  • Brian Kenny
  • Al Leiter
  • Kevin Millar
  • Dan Plesac
  • Harold Reynolds
  • Alanna Rizzo and
  • Chris Rose

will bring viewers behind the scenes and on the field with access to batting practice, player and manager interviews, media day and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet.

Coverage begins on Monday, July 9 at 1:30 p.m. ET at the All-Star player and manager media day, followed by a special 90-minute Intentional Talk: All-Star Edition with Rose and Millar on the field at Kauffman Stadium at 4:30 p.m. ET, MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition live from batting practice at 6:00 p.m. ET, and a highlight-filled MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition after the State Farm Home Run Derby.

On Tuesday, July 10, MLB Network will exclusively telecast the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, hosted by Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds and Alanna Rizzo, at 4:00 p.m. ET, featuring all of the 2012 All-Stars, MLB All-Star Ambassador and 13-time MLB All-Star George Brett, and NL and AL All-Star team managers Tony La Russa and Ron Washington as they make their way to Kauffman Stadium for the All-Star Game. Following the parade, MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition will air live on the field at 5:00 p.m. ET, including a special interview by Harold Reynolds with George Brett, leading up to and immediately following FOX’s coverage of the 83rd All-Star Game starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition in Kansas City will be presented by Firestone.

“Mind Your Manners,” the second single by electro-inspired hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang, from their critically acclaimed full-length debut album BREAKFAST, will be featured throughout all of MLB Network’s 2012 All-Star Game programming and promotions. The song samples the now buzzed-about Swedish group Icona Pop!.

MLB Network will round out its All-Star Week coverage on July 11 with the exclusive live telecast of the 25th annual Triple-A All-Star Game. The game will be called by MLB Network’s Paul Severino and MLB.com draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo, with reporting from MLB Network’s Sam Ryan, live from Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, NY, home of the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.

MLB Network’s 2012 All-Star Week Programming:
All times ET and subject to change. Check MLBNetwork.com for updates.

Monday, July 9:

1:30 p.m.: All-Star Media Day
4:30 p.m.: Intentional Talk: All-Star Edition at Batting Practice
6:00 p.m.: MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition at Batting Practice
Post-Derby: MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition

Tuesday, July 10:

4:00 p.m.: MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet
5:00 p.m.: MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition at Batting Practice
7:30 p.m.: MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet (abbreviated)
Postgame: MLB Tonight: All-Star Edition

Wednesday, July 11:

7:00 p.m.: 25th annual Triple-A All-Star Game
July 2, 2012

Game 78: Reds 3, Giants 4

W: Casilla (2-3) L: Arredondo (4-2)


The Reds seemed to be on a roll after winning the last two games against the Giants but some shaky pitching punctuated by a very amateurish error in right field ended this one in a loss.

Bronson Arroyo was the starting pitcher for the Reds and his line is better than his performance felt at the time. In 6.0 innings, he allowed 2 runs (earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks. Logan Ondrusek came in for the seventh and gave up a run on a hit and a walk. Sean Marshall put in a no run, 2-hit eighth, and then the Reds tied it up, necessitating a ninth inning man.

It’s easy to blame the loss on what happened next, but let’s not forget that the top-of-the-inning rally was rolling along with no outs. Shockingly, Ryan Hanigan struck out. Then not shockingly, Wilson Valdez struck out. A Zack Cozart line-out left the bases loaded and the rally flat.

Jose Arredondo was the ninth inning man. He promptly got Ryan Theriot to ground out and Melky Cabrera to strike out. But then Buster Posey hit an automatic double, and after an intentional walk to Pablo Sandoval, Angel Pagan sent a high fly ball to right field. Jay Bruce ran back for it and hovered around the warning track, but then the ball dropped just behind him. Turns out he thought he was at the wall when he was actually still a few feet away. That’s what the warning track is for, buddy.

But frankly, even if he’d caught it, it wasn’t like a win would have automatically come with it. It just would have sent the tied game into extras, which are notoriously hard to win on the road. In spite of Bruce’s level of embarrassment, it may be better in the long run that the guys to just got on with their get-away day.

The bases did clear briefly in the sixth inning when Giants’ pitcher Ryan Vogelsong took exception to an inside pitch while he was bunting and decided to go talk it over with Arroyo on the mound. The play-by-play on Reds.com calls it an “on-field delay,” which is about right. Not too much interesting happened and it was over shortly.

Joey Votto wasn’t available yesterday, having inflammation in his knee, and that was really apparent when Miguel Cairo batted for himself in the top of the ninth. He actually got a hit, though, and brought in the tying run.

It was Todd Frazier who was the offensive star, though. Between the time the line-up card was made and the time the team actually took the field, Scott Rolen was scratched with back spasms and Frazier got the start-not-start. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and 2 of the Reds’ 3 RBI.

Ryan Ludwick had a pretty good night, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. The other hit belonged to Bruce who also scored a run.

The loss at the hands of the first-place NLW team brings the Reds’ record to 43-35. Tonight the team goes on to face the second-place team in the NLW, the LA Dodgers at 10:10 p.m. Homer Bailey (5-6, 4.42 ERA) takes his best shot against Chad Billingsley (4-7, 4.18 ERA).

July 2, 2012

Daily Brief: All-Stars announced; Phillips, Cueto snubbed

Last Game
The Reds lost a heartbreaker to the Giants last night, 3-4. They’d tied it up in the top of the inning, but the Giants pushed the winning run across with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Jay Bruce apparently thought he was at the wall when he was really a few feet away, causing him to badly misplay the high fly ball that he ought to have caught easily. It wasn’t exactly an all-star play.

The loss earned the Reds a 2-2 split in the 4-game series against the Giants. It was better than I expected.

Next Game
The Reds head to LA to take on the Dodgers. Homer Bailey (5-6, 4.42 ERA) takes on Chad Billingsley (4-7, 4.18 ERA). Both pitchers are coming off rough outings, but Votto is day-to-day with inflammation in his knee, so I’d put Billingsley at the advantage. First pitch at 10:10 p.m.

All-Stars Among Us
The All-Star rosters were announced yesterday. Representing the Reds will be Joey Votto (voted in), Jay Bruce (selected by players), Aroldis Chapman (selected by players), and no one else (selected by manager Tony LaRussa, imagine that).

Obviously snubbed are Brandon Phillips and Johnny Cueto. Cueto wouldn’t have been eligible to pitch anyway, which is the excuse La Russa gave for not choosing him. You know…in the proud tradition of only sending the players who are likely to play to the All-Star game.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Votto is the first Reds player to be voted in as a starter to the All-Star Game since Ken Griffey, Jr. in 2007.