Monthly Archives: August 2013

August 13, 2013

Fan Accommodation

Saturday, we did something we haven’t done in years: decided in the mid-afternoon to make the drive out to Cincinnati for the 7:10 p.m. game. Even though we’re driving from Indianapolis, it used to be no big deal to make this kind of spontaneous trip, but a few years ago we started getting burned when games started selling out while we were in the middle of the 2-hour drive. #winningteamproblems

To avoid the whole scalper situation–or worse, the dreaded standing room only–I went to purchase tickets using my phone while my hubby drove. Buying tickets is painful on any device, so I won’t use this forum to bitch about that (though, honestly, how many CAPTCHAs does a person need to fill out??). I’ll just say that I eventually got through it with tickets in a section I’d never heard of. I believe it was 410WC.

Two things I later learned about section 410WC: first, the WC stands for “wheelchair.” I think the mobile interface could have been more clear on that. Second, it is an All-You-Can-Eat section. The mobile interface didn’t mention that part at all.

Regarding the wheelchair part, I understand that lots of people who don’t need wheelchairs sit in these seats all the time, and it’s just fine. I walked by dozens of able-bodied people in these seats while I was walking around the stadium and I didn’t judge them at all. That didn’t change the fact that I felt terrible about being one of them. I don’t even like to be a person sitting on a crowded bus; I couldn’t stand the idea of taking up a wheel chair accessible seat. So, we went over to fan accommodation to see if they could do anything for us.

“You paid extra for the All You Can Eat seats,” the woman said as she looked for reseating options. I think her name was Lisa.

It was only our second in-person game of the season. Funny (more like sad) how the popularity of the team has actually encouraged us to stay home more.

It was only our second in-person game of the season. Funny (more like sad) how the popularity of the team has actually encouraged us to stay home more.

“Yeah, about that: I didn’t mean to,” I told her. I didn’t go on to explain that I don’t see how I could ever really enjoy an AYCE section. I’m either going to end up feeling like I got taken advantage of, money-wise, or waddle out feeling bloated and full of self-loathing.

She presented us with a couple possibilities: a couple seats in the 400 level with the AYCE or upgrade to couple seats on the 100-level where you have to pay for your snacks like a chump. That’s the option we took, and since the only food the two of us ate the whole game was to share a bag of peanuts (and we brought home half of that), I think it was the right call.

So, while I give a big thumbs down to the Ticketmaster mobile interface (and frankly everything about Ticketmaster), I give an even bigger thumbs up to the Fan Accommodation folks at Great American Ball Park, who made it so we got to have this somewhat less distant view of a Reds win and who might just inspire us to make another impromptu visit soon.

August 12, 2013

Making room for Ludwick and other DL guys

A few familiar names are back on the Reds’ active roster at last, putting pressure on some different people for a change.

Ryan Hanigan came off the DL on Friday. He’d been out since July 11 with a left wrist sprain. To make room for Hanigan, they put Corky Miller on the DL with a “right quadriceps contusion” or, in other words, one of our heroes sustained a slight bruise to the upper arm. Lucky thing for the Reds that their catchers are so cooperative in scheduling their injuries to make sure there’s always someone for the rotation to throw at.

Jonathan Broxton made his first post-DL appearance on Friday. He’d been on the DL since June with a strain in his right elbow. He’s looked good in his appearances since then, and no one is complaining that they had to send down Pedro Villarreal to make room on the roster. (Well, Villarreal probably is, but that’s to be expected.)

Robinson trying for an inside the parker.

Robinson is out, even if maybe he shouldn’t be.. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The same cannot be said for Derrick Robinson, who was optioned to Louisville yesterday to make room for the returning Ryan Ludwick. He’s been filling in for Ludwick since the second game of the season. quoted Dusty Baker as saying:

“That was a tough decision to send Robinson back,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “But he will be back in a couple of weeks and on our playoff roster. His shoulder was bothering him some and we gave him a couple of days off. He was the only one who had options. Sometimes, you can’t make the moves that you want.”

That’s sort of surprising from Baker. He isn’t often so direct in saying, “there’s someone else I wish I could send down.” The same story on implies he was Xavier Paul he was talking about, who hasn’t performed as well defensively. But Paul was a hero yesterday, tying the game with a pinch-hit 2-run home run. And besides, he’s been doing better than Chris Heisey. Baker’s put him in more games (82 to 55), and Paul has hit better (.239 to .209).

Whatever the team wished they could have done, they’ve got Ludwick on the roster now and with him comes all Reds fans’ hopes for a division run. Finally we’ll have a right-handed hitter and a guy who can maybe knock in a run once in a while. But don’t try to take it all on yourself, Luddy. We don’t need you to add shoulder problems to your list of potential ailments.

August 7, 2013

Corky Miller exits with injury

Get well soon, Corky.

Get well soon, Corky.

OK, it’s just a bruise, but Corky Miller left the game this afternoon after the fifth inning with a right quad contusion. I didn’t see it for myself, but it sounds like it was sustained during a collision at the plate with Alberto Callaspo.

Callaspo was out, by the way. 😀 Also, Miller was one of the offensive heroes of today’s game. It’s not relevant to this discussion, but it is awesome.

The catcher’s spot has been gimpy for a while now. I mean, Corky is an awesome guy and all, but the Reds are in trouble when they’re bringing up a 37-year old to play backstop.

Fortunately for the team, Ryan Hanigan was already slated to be returning to action for the next series against the Padres this weekend, and both catchers have another day off tomorrow for their injuries to heal.

I don’t think we can count on this luck holding out, though. All the trouble we’ve had with offense, and it may yet be the catching situation that turns out to be the Achilles heal of this team.

August 6, 2013

Putting the pressure on Ludwick

Cingrani plays a water gun battle against some kids at King's Island

The Reds were pretty smart about whom they sent out to Reds Day at King’s Island. The attendees, like Cingrani here, were the ones who performed the best most recently and therefore least likely to draw scorn.

Yesterday was Reds day at King’s Island. It seems like every year that they have this event it coincides with the team foundering.

To Reds’ fans’ credit, I only saw five or six “they should have been practicing instead” comments in response to the photo album on Facebook. There were another four or five “why do they hate us?” kinds of comments and a few “Fire Dusty!” comments for good measure.

I only noticed one, “Don’t worry, Ryan Ludwick is going to come back and fix everything” comment. That one may be the scariest of all, because I think that a lot of people are hoping for that, whether they say it out loud or not.

Trouble is, Ludwick is not having an easy time of it in his minor-league rehab. He’s currently 2-for-28 with 3 walks in his rehab assignment. He’s not exactly looking like a savior at the moment.

Much to my surprise, I ran into a business associate this weekend whose husband knows Ludwick personally. The two of them arranged to see him play while he was in Indianapolis with the Bats. I, too, attended one of his games, albeit sitting on the overcrowded berm rather than behind home plate, and got to witness his utter lack of hitting for myself.

By the way, I checked in with her again after she talked with Ludwick. She reports that he’s more frustrated than anyone. Of course, he’s not unaware of the hope that the fan base is putting on him.

So, I guess I’m writing this as a warning about getting your hopes up too much. There’s still time for Ludwick to go on a tear before rejoining the team, but the poor guy hasn’t played since Opening Day. None of this is his fault.

Till then, here’s hoping that a quick two-game series at home against a team that is as jet-legged coming to Ohio as the Reds were going to California will turn around the team’s momentum.

Mat Latos (RHP, 10-3, 3.37 ERA) takes on Dan Straily (RHP, 6-5, 4.41 ERA) of the A’s. First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

August 5, 2013

You can’t win ’em all

OK, I understand that the Reds aren’t going to win 162 games this season. And I realize that a loss is a loss no matter how much you lose by. But this series against the Cardinals has me wanting to dig a hole and hide.

The Reds may well make it into the postseason thanks to the two wildcards, but it’s hard to hope for much more than that when they get demolished by the Cards who just got demolished by the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen may now be the inexorable force-of-will determining the destiny of all of baseball.

This kind of talk doesn’t help anyone, though. And there’s plenty of negativity on the internet already, especially since I know the Reds are at King’s Island today. Fans hate seeing the players having fun, especially when they got trampled the day before. Even as we speak, the keyboard keys used to type “maybe they should be in the batting cages instead” are being worn out from overuse across the tri-state area.

So, now seems like a good time for a little whimsy. The Wooo guy has a new song with sage wisdom for us all:

There’s also an acoustic version. It’s maybe a little less cool, but the lyrics are easier to understand.