Blog Archives

July 1, 2014

Halfway through 2014

Price finished his first half-season as a manager with a 43-38 record.

Bryan Price finished his first half-season as a manager with a 43-38 record.

When the Cincinnati Reds completed their sweep of the San Francisco Giants this last weekend, they had reached the mathematical halfway point of the season. They’re record at that point? 43-38.

What a difference a week makes. Before the trip to San Fran., I doubt anyone would’ve guessed the Reds would be 5 games over .500 at the halfway mark. Four game sweeps do wonders for the ol’ record.

At that overall pace, they’d have a record of 86-76 at the end of the season. That’s unlikely to win the division or to secure either of the wild card slots. It’s difficult to guess how they’ll play the rest of the way, though, as the team is playing its best baseball of the season right now.

If I had to guess, I would expect the team to fall back to earth and meander their way to the finish line. Aside from the starting pitching and a couple offensive players, the team isn’t good enough for the postseason.

Of course, some well-placed and well-timed upgrades to the bullpen or the offense could really turn things around, but we know that’s not happening. The Reds’ so-called General Manager Walt Jocketty will fail to make any trades down the stretch, as he’s failed to do so many times before.

I’m happy to see the Reds playing entertaining baseball again. Unfortunately, there’s a nagging voice in the back of my mind that won’t let me believe it’s for real.

June 18, 2014

Tell the world’s “Best Fans” we’re not going to take it any more

Devin Mesoraco is great and having the best year of his short career. But does he have an All Star advertising campaign like this?

That really speaks to me. Of course, Lucroy has a lot of ground to make up. As of the last release of vote totals, he’s almost 900,000 votes behind Molina.

June 12, 2014

Joey Votto’s Back

Joey Votto plays a mean first base.

Joey Votto’s back.

Finally, Joey Votto is back.

He’s been back for only two full games, but it feels closer to a healthy Votto to me.

For those two games, he’s batting .286, getting on base 37.5% of the time, and slugging .429. And that’s not counting the double and single he had in today’s game.

It might be wishful thinking, but given how terrible and unentertaining this Reds team has been, having one guy that’s fun to watch feels like a god-send.

Welcome back, Joey. I’ve missed you.

June 6, 2014

Grading the draft’s first day

Howard pitches for the University of Virginia

Nick Howard, the first pick by the Reds for the 2014 draft.

The first round of Major League Baseball’s 2014 amateur player draft happened yesterday, and Jesse Spector of The Sporting News graded each team’s selections.

Spector begins with a disclaimer.

Here’s the thing about draft grades, though: 10 years ago, the draft featured eight first-round picks who never played a day in the major leagues, including No. 1 pick Matt Bush and No. 8 Wade Townsend. Mark Reynolds, a three-time 30-home run hitter, went in the 16th round.

What follows, then, is a series of grades that are stupid, but that also come with the knowledge of their stupidity.

And how did the Reds do?

Nick Howard (No. 19) is part of the Two First Names Club, so there are some people who will not trust him, but this is part of the Reds’ philosophy, as they selected Philip Ervin in the first round last year. Hopefully he’ll be able to avoid Tommy John surgery. Stanford shortstop Alex Blandino (No. 29) is the compensatory pick for Shin-Soo Choo, so, hey, no pressure, right?

Yay! The Reds got an “A”! I’m sure we’ll all look back on this grade in 10 years time and nod with satisfaction. Especially if Howard avoids Tommy John surgery.

May 22, 2014

Daugherty carries Jocketty’s water

I was going to make a microprocessing fart funnel, but I realized the world already has Paul DaughertyYou can tell that Cincinnati Reds so-called General Manager Walt Jocketty is so ineffective by the fact that Cincinnati sports columnist Paul Daugherty is defending him.

RHM favorite Paul Daugherty has decided that Jocketty is awesome and should be praised instead of criticized until he does something to earn his paycheck.

Props to Walt Jocketty.

Good job, helping The Club to three playoffs and two division titles in four years. Thanks for bringing in S Rolen, without whom the Reds don’t win the 2010 division title.

Yes, Jocketty has been the GM when the Reds have returned to the playoffs. That is true. Rolen was a valuable addition in 2010. Unfortunately, he killed the team in 2011 and 2012. The Rolen trade was a short-term boost that was a good move in 2010 that became a bad one later. Rolen is both a plus and a minus for Jocketty’s record.

Thanks for dealing for Mat Latos, who when healthy is a bull and a very solid No.2.

Hell, Latos might be a number one when healthy. That was a gutsy trade. I remember being excited about it when Jocketty made it back in 2011.

Thanks for A. Simon, acquired for nothing, off the waiver wire.

It was a no-risk move when Jocketty picked Simon up from the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. Without Simon, the team’s record this year would be even worse.

Daugherty forgets to mention the trade for Shin-Soo Choo in 2012, but since that coincides with Jocketty’s failure to replace Choo, I understand the omission.

Basically, Daugherty’s grand defense of Jocketty boils down to things the GM did years ago. Those things were good, and my criticism of Jocketty is made in comparison to those. In Jocketty’s first years with the Reds, he was active and competent. His moves addressed weaknesses and strengthened the team. But after the trade for Choo in 2012, Jocketty has become passive and incompetent.

Including the pickup of Simon as an example of a shrewd move by Jocketty does more to show his lack of them now. Have there been no other players available on the waiver wire that could’ve helped this team? Have there been no minor trades that Jocketty could’ve made to bolster the upper minors? With 29 other baseball teams, I find that hard to believe. There was someone out there who was available cheaply and at little risk who would have been better than an unable to play Joey Votto. Jocketty just isn’t trying.