MORE IMPORTANT TASKS AHEAD…

REDS' CAP - WOODLAND CAMO

I would love to say that I’m really focused on the 2012 Baseball Season for the Cincinnati Reds, but that would be a lie.  I’m a Soldier and Veteran in the U.S. Army, and I’m just weeks away from an important mission in Afghanistan.  I’ll be busy enough to the point that I doubt I’ll have much opportunities to see more than an inning or two during Breakfast – there’s a better than 9 hour difference between AFG and the U.S.

By the time I return Home, the 2012 Season will be a thing of the past.   By the time I arrive Home, another Presidential Election will have come and gone.  I do wish the Reds well, but I wish my Soldiers – and My Country – a great year, and that includes everyone coming home safe and sound to their loved ones.  Perhaps, in some small way, I can relate a little to those great Servicemen (and women) who fought in Vietnam, as well as our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I say Vietnam more, because of all the historic accomplishments that were made from @ 1966-1972 by ballplayers like Rose, Bench, Morgan, Perez, as well as HOF’ers Aaron, Mays, Seaver, Gibson,  and more – while our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines were focusing more on the daily challenges of their mission; compared to that, baseball is just a game.  I might have the benefits to use computers and Email from time to time, but most of that will be used to stay in touch with my Family – when communicating back Home.  I’ll use most of my imagination – and dreams – to focus on the day when I can Return Home. 

I still enjoy the game of baseball, but the game for me will largely have to wait…until the Real Mission is complete.

With that in mind, Here’s to the Cincinnati Reds…Past and Present – with a Nod from the best of Reds’ Past: The Big Red Machine, and their Famous Starting Eight, to Include The Big Four (Rose, Morgan, Bench, and Perez).

ROSE 3B

GRIFFEY RF

MORGAN 2B

FOSTER LF

PEREZ 1B

BENCH C

CONCEPCION SS

GERONIMO CF

– What a Great Team, and such a Great time to be a Kid, and a Reds’ Fan (1975-76).

God bless you and yours, God bless all the Servicemembers and their Families who have ever served this Great Nation — and may God Always Bless The United States of America. 

1976 REDS - STARTING EIGHT

GOD BLESS THE USA!

A MOST FORGETTABLE 2011…

Father and Son - Yankee Stadium (Sunday, 12 June 2011)

Well (not a good start to this), 2011 was about as poor a season as the Reds could suffer.

To go from 1st Place with a 91-71 Record (.563) to 3rd place 79-83 Record (.488), you have to have lots of help and bad luck.  I’m too sick of the season to write much – Why start NOW?

Other than solid years from Joey Votto (.309 BA/29 HR/103 RBI), Jay Bruce (.256 BA/32 HR/97 RBI), and Brandon Phillips (.300 BA/18 HR/82 RBI), not much to cheer about. Let’s mention a great season from Fransico Cordero (5-3, 37 SV, 2.45 ERA).

Edison Volquez, in my opinion, is the Face of a LOSING season in Cincy.  Volquez had a very poor year, and he was paid well to be largely a minor-league mainstay, along with a minor-league attitude.  Reading his interviews, Etc., I don’t think that prima-donna gets it.  At least Bronson Arroyo, for his poor numbers, acknowledged his failures and pitched his heart out.  Volquez took an early-season swipe at the Reds offense – his frustration, to some degree was justified, but NOT after giving up 7 runs in less than a 5-inning LOSS.  Not once did I read about his acknowledgment that he failed the team and his fans in 2011 – Yes, prima-donna is right on the money.  I hope the Reds go for someone else instead of trying to resign this “Legend-in-his-own-mind,” as I still bristle that we traded Josh Hamilton to the Rangers for him…

Add the mind-numbing comment that Manager Dusty Baker, the one with 7 losing years out of 8 at the helm, made in considering Volquez as his starter for next year.  WHERE???  In Double or Triple-A BASEBALL???

Volquez - Performance Face for 2011 Reds (Pathetic)...

The 2011 Reds lacked heart and hustle, and they surely lacked in runs scored and timely pitching.  By the way, why not keep their new 1B-Prospect AND Votto, and build upon Phillips and Bruce, too.  Keep Arroyo around – I believe he has some solid seasons left in him, and Reds fans like the guy, and the feeling is mutual.  Make MLB in Cincinnati fun again…for both the players and the fans.  Build and Winner…”And they (many fans) will come.”  Here’s hoping that Mr. Jocketty and Mr. Castellini will resume the real drive to bring a consistent Winner back to Cincinnati…because 2011 – for Reds fans – was NO Fun. 

As a Reds Fan, I do want to make a Note of Congratulations…to the New York Yankee’s legendary Shortstop, Derek Jeter.  I was sorry to see Mr. Jeter drop just below a comeback year of hitting .300 (.297), but he still had a solid year (.297 BA/6 HR/61 RBI), and the Yankees are back in the Postseason.  Of course, Jeter became the first Yankee in their history to collect 3,000 hits – Derek Jeter is my son Will’s all-time favorite ballplayer, and we went to NYC and saw him collect hits #2,992 & #2,993 back on Sunday, June 12.  The new Yankee Stadium is a beautiful ballpark, and a tribute to Yankee History.

Jeter now has 3,088 hits and a lifetime .313 BA, along with all his other great records, and 5 World Series Rings, too.  Here’s his Turn-Two Foundation website, for those interested:  http://derekjeter.mlb.com/players/jeter_derek/index.jsp – Of course, for all my great respect and admiration for Derek Jeter, I seriously DOUBT his lifetime hit record will come close to the Hit King, Pete Rose (4,256 hits).  Of course, Pete could learn a thing or two about public relations from Mr. Jeter.  One can still hope Charlie Hustle isn’t too old to change some ways…Hey, Johnny Bench’s tribute in September was something to remember – Johnny Lee Bench is the Greatest Catcher ever to play the game, and a pretty class act, too. 

Well (again), it’s getting later – As John Wayne would say, “We’re burning daylight.”  Much to do, and it won’t get done here.  Good luck to all the teams in the Postseason – I don’t really have a dog in this hunt — My Dogs (Reds) are OUT…until hopefully 2012.  So long for now…

Vaya Con Dios/ GOD Bless America!

Good facial description for Reds' 2011

Good facial description for Reds' 2011

 

Johnny Bench, Statue – Johnny Bench Night (17 September 2011)

DEREK JETER - HIT #3,000 (09 JULY 2011)

 

The Duke: "We're Burning Daylight..."

TAKING CHANCE, & REMEMBERING OUR HEROES – NEVER FORGET…

“TAKING CHANCE HOME” – I remember the night that Pete Rose collected his record-breaking 4,192nd base hit – back on 11 September 1985.  I remember later hearing the TV announcer say as Rose just moments before he got that hit in the first inning.  The words went something like this: “If you’re watching this game right now, and you have a lump in your throat, you’re only human.”

Well, this isn’t about Pete Rose, or baseball, or so-called heroes in sports, politics or matters of faith.  In all of those, the only one Hero to me that bears mentioning more than this subject, of course, is Jesus Christ  (See John 3:16, and more in the Bible).  Other than Him, the others pale in comparsion to this subject. 

This subject concerns a DVD movie on a special event (a true story – back in April 2004). I saw this last night, and I highly recommend it to you, though I suspect many who watch it will have more than a lump in their throat before it’s conclusion.  I certainly was touched by it, and I’m a Veteran of War and praying and speaking over Memorial Ceremonies and Funerals of far too many Soldiers – Heroes – who have died in defending our way of life.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s been a great honor for me to minister to those families, though I wish the heroes we mourn were still all alive today. 

The HBO DVD is based on Marine Lieutenant Colonel Strobl’s account of escorting the remains of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, who is killed during a firefight in Iraq – it’s called “Taking Chance.”  The movie starred Kevin Bacon as LTC Strobl – he volunteered to escort the body of a Lance Corporal Lance R. Phelps, USMC.  Tom Wopat of Dukes of Hazard fame plays an important, but small role towards the end of the movie, and Kevin Bacon stars as LTC Strobl; he gives, in my opinion, his very best performance by far.

Actually, the “Star” is LCPL Chance Phelps USMC.  Chance was a Private First Class at the time of his death, later to be posthumously promoted to Lance Corporal.  To me, the stars continue, as I think of SPC Isaac Nieves, SGT Christopher Webb, and 1SG Christopher Rafferty.  They are “My Heroes,” as they died serving their Country as well. 

You can find a very moving account of LTC Strobl’s mission here: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/04/taking_chance.html
–  May God bless the all the families of the many who paid the Ultimate Sacrifice in defending the Freedoms we take way too much for granted.

 

FOR:

LCPL CHANCE R. PHELPS, USMC (14 JULY 1984 – 09 APRIL 2004)

SPECIALIST ISSAC M. NIEVES, USA (05 OCTOBER 1983 – 08 APRIL 2004)

SGT CHARLES J. WEBB, USA (17 NOVEMBER 1981 – 04 NOVEMBER 2004)

1SG CHRISTOPHER C.  RAFFERTY, USA (18 NOVEMBER 1968 – 21 JULY 2006)

* And for ALL Our Heroes who have paid the Ultimate Sacrifice for Freedoms at
home…and around the world. 

* Semper Fidelis!

* Essayons!

NEVER FORGET!  May that ALWAYS be True – God bless you, and may God always bless the United States of America. 

PRO DEO ET PATRIA,

JOHN C. CAREY / CHAPLAIN (MAJOR), U.S. ARMY

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

EXTRA INNINGS – BIG RED COLLAPSE, PART TWO

I had to add this great piece from a Baseball Hall Of Fame Writer – the legendary Hal McCoy.  I got his permission to use him in a blog or two.  Great column, so here it goes…

To Err Is Human – But Four Times???

By Hal McCoy | Friday, October 8, 2010, 11:11 PM

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave thinking that I dare not permit the Cincinnati Reds hold the Yuengling or the Montecristo White Label because on this night they would sure drop it.

The best defensive baseball team in the National League kicked the baseball around Friday night like a World Cup soccer team and probably kicked away their chances to advance beyond the National League Division Series.

Four errors. Three hit batsmen. A mental mistake on a throw by third baseman Scott Rolen. Drew Stubbs getting picked off first base. No runs scored after the fifth inning. This was a meltdown to rival Three Mile Island, which isn’t that far from Philadlephia’s Citizens Bank Park.

It all added up to a 7-4 defeat to the Philadlephia Phillies on Game Two of the NLDS, put the Reds down 0-2 and on the Eve of Destruction, just one defeat away from quick extermination. It’s three straight wins or the uniforms, bats and shoes get put away until spring training.

And it all started so well on this night.

ON THE SECOND pitch of the night from Roy Oswalt, Brandon Phillips crash landed one into the upper deck in left field, ending the Reds’ string of 30 straight scoreless innings in Citizens Bank.

Then they made it 2-0 in the second inning without a hit because Phillies’ second baseman Chase Utley made two throwing errors.

It became 3-0 in the fourth when Jay Bruce it one into the upper deck in right and it blossomed to 4-0 in the fifth on Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly and they had rid themselves of the spectral ghost of Roy Oswalt.

IT LOOKED GOOD, Oh so good for the Reds. Bronson Arroyo was in control – four shutout innings and a 4-0 lead. It was money in Citizens Bank, right.

Then it eroded like the mud slides on the Pacific Coast Highway.

This is how it all slipped away, mostly because the ball kept slipping away from Reds’ defenders:

THE THIRD: Phillips, who had three hits, singled. Orlando Cabrera singled and the Reds had first and second with no outs. Votto flied to left, Scott Rolen struck out, Laynce Nix struck out. Rolen is 0 for 7 with five strikeouts in the two games.

THE FIFTH: The Phillies had two outs and a runner on first. Shane Victorino grounded to Phillips at second. The ball bounced off his chest for an error. Placido Polanco grounded to third and the ball bounced off Rolen’s chest for an error. So the Reds two best defenders, two guys who could win Gold Gloves, made back-to-back error to fill the bases. Chase Utlley drilled a two-run single, cutting the Reds lead to 4-2.

THE SIXTH: Arroyo walked Jason Werth. After Jimmy Rollins popped out, manager Dusty Baker pulled Arroyo for Arthur Rhodes. Arroyo, angry at himself for the walk or for being pulled from the game, tossed a cup of water across the dugout. Rhodes got the second out, striking out Raul Ibanez. After Werth stole second, Rhodes hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch.

Logan Ondrusek replaced Rhodes and he hit pinch-hitter Ben Francisco, knocking off his batting helmet, to fill the bases. Baker stuck with right-hander Ondrusek against left-handed Shane Victorino and Ondrusek walked him, forcing in a run to cut the lead to 4-3.

THE SEVENTH: Aroldis Chapman arrived and after he slipped two high-velocity fastballs past Utley he hit him with a pitch – nicked him or grazed him. It looked as if he might not have been hit, but neither catcher Ryan Hanigan nor Baker argued, so it must have hit him – the third hit batsman of the night.

Chapman absolutely embarrassed Ryan Howard, freight training three fastballs past him for a strikeout. Werth grounded to third, an easy out at first. But Rolen decided to try for a force at second and Werth was called safe. Phillips argued. Baker argued. The umpire won and the Phillies had runners on first and second with one out.

Rollins lined one to right, directly at Jay Bruce. Easy out, right? Well, Bruce never saw it, lost it in the lights. The ball whizzed past him and he was charged with an error as Utley scored. But did he he? It appeared he missed third base but nobody in the Reds dugout caught it.

Meanwhile, center fielder Drew Stubbs retrieved the ball Bruce lost in the lights and fired to Phillips, the cut-off man. But he dropped the ball for another error as Werth scored to put the Phillies in front, 5-4. Two errors on one play. Two errors for the night by Phillips, who had four errors ALL SEASON.

Game over.

Four errors. Three hit batsmen. Six walks. Stubbs picked of first base. Two hits to start an inning but no runs. A bad choice on a throw by Rolen. A ball lost in the lights. It all adds up to a major problem for the Reds.

And Johnny Cueto becomes the savior – the guy who pitches Game 3 Sunday against Cole Hamels. Win or go home. As simple as that. Then they can try to figure out how to beat Roy Halladay Monday in Game 4.

 

About The Real McCoy

Hall of Fame baseball writer Hal McCoy has retired from the Dayton Daily News after covering the Cincinnati Reds for 37 years. Hal’s blog, though, will continue to be a must-read for Reds fans. He’ll share his thoughts on the team this season and will file updates from Great American Ball Park. You also can catch Hal in print every Sunday in his popular Ask Hal column.

*** LETS GO, REDS!  I want to see a Winning Column about you on Sunday Evening!


banner_reds_570x215.jpg 

 

 

 

BIG RED COLLAPSE (SO FAR)

Well, I knew the Reds had a big hill to climb against Philly, BUT tonight should have been a Reds’ Win.  Unfortunately, we got a Big Red Collapse.  Okay, Roy Halladay pitched a once in a lifetime masterpiece on Wednesday (Game 1), but the Reds looked like a winner tonight…until a bunch of errors and 3 hit batsmen.  They gave this game to the Phillies, as far as I can tell, as well as most other Reds’ fans.  Bronson Arroyo deserved a MUCH better outcome than the team gave him tonight – he pitched a great game.  Not a Halladay performance from game one, but he had the Phils baffled…until errors by Rolen and Phillips let them off the mat.  Sad tale…

With all due respect, it’s high time for Scott Rolen to begin looking like the great player he’s been all year, but he’s going out with a whimper, not a bang.  Another hitless game, and a big error that led to putting Philly back in tonight’s game.  That’s not the Veteran leadership the team needs right now, and he needs to get back in the game at GABP in a couple of days…or the 2010 Reds season will be history.  I know Rolen’s pride is hurt, as is Phillips and the rest of the team, and Rolen and Votto and the gang are total professionals – so they need to get REDS HOT at GABP this weekend.

Here’s Mr. Shelton’s story on the collapse tonight by Cincy, who is now down by 2 games to none:

Reds lose ball, game, unravel in Philadelphia

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — Just when the Reds seemed poised to redeem their series with the Phillies, a series of debacles has them down 0-2 and one loss away from elimination.

A four-run Reds lead evaporated with seven unanswered runs, five of them unearned, during a 7-4 loss to the Phillies in Game 2 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park. The Reds committed four errors in the game — two in the fifth inning and two more in the seventh. All brought runs in.

The biggest gaffe of all came when Cincinnati was holding a 4-3 lead with one out in the Phillies’ seventh. Jay Bruce missed catching Jimmy Rollins’ seemingly routine fly to right field — the ball floated past his outstretched glove for an error. Center fielder Drew Stubbs backed up Bruce, but the two runs easily scored as Brandon Phillips bobbled the cutoff throw for a second error.

“You could tell with the lights,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Jay’s played golden glove outfield and he didn’t come close to catching that ball. From being an outfielder you can tell when a ball gets in the lights. Definitely, that ball got in the lights at the wrong time.”

The mistakes disabled the Reds’ best bullpen weapon in lefty Aroldis Chapman, who started the seventh. Chapman appeared to hit Chase Utley on his hand with a 101-mph fastball, although replays indicated no contact.

With one out, Jayson Werth grounded to third base, but all were safe as Utley slid safely ahead of Scott Rolen’s fielders choice throw. Baker argued the call by umpire Ed Rapuano to no avail.

“My catcher didn’t say anything,” Baker said of the called hit-by-pitch. “As it turned out, I heard that it didn’t hit him. The play at second, from where I was, it looked like he was out. I don’t know what the replay showed, but Ed Rapuano is one of the best umpires around.”

After Rollins reached on the Bruce error, he later scored on a Carlos Ruiz fielder’s choice play for a two-run Philadelphia lead.

“That was a very unfortunate inning for us,” Baker said. “Things didn’t go right for us, actually went terrible. … In my mind, we lost the game, but we outplayed them. We ended up giving them most of their runs.”

Such an outcome seemed unfathomable as the Reds took a 4-0 lead on Phillies starter Roy Oswalt through five innings. The Reds put the leadoff man on base in each of the five innings against Oswalt and had four of the runners score. Phillips, who was a triple shy of the cycle, was the catalyst three different times against the Phillies.

After the Reds were no-hit by Roy Halladay in Game 1, Phillips got their first hit of the series right away with a leadoff home run to left field on a 2-1 Oswalt pitch. It ended a scoreless streak of 30 innings for the Reds at Citizens Bank Park going back to July 9.

In the second, on leadoff batter Laynce Nix’s grounder to second base, Utley’s throw pulled Ryan Howard off of first base for an error. After a Stubbs one-out walk, Ryan Hanigan grounded into a potential inning-ending double play at shortstop, but Utley’s second throwing error sailed wide and allowed Nix to score.

In the Reds’ fourth, Bruce led off by crushing an 0-1 Oswalt pitch into the second deck of the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead. Phillips, who singled in the third inning, started the fifth with a leadoff double to the left-field corner. After pinch-hitter Paul Janish’s sacrifice bunt, Phillips scored on Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly to deep left field for a 4-0 lead.

Oswalt was finished after five innings with four runs (three earned) on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. After being 23-1 vs. the Reds lifetime before 2010, he has lost three straight starts to them — regular and postseason combined.

Two-out mistakes in the middle innings by the Reds let the Phillies back in the game.

A pair of defensive miscues by Gold Glove fielders cost Reds starter Bronson Arroyo in the fifth inning. A runner was on first base when Shane Victorino grounded to the right side. Phillips attempted a sliding stop and bobbled the ball for an error. Placido Polanco followed with a sharp grounder to third base that bounced off the top of Scott Rolen’s glove for another error that loaded the bases.

Utley laced a two-run single to right field for a pair of unearned runs that made it a two-run game.

The Phillies did not notch a hit in the sixth but managed to score a run. Arroyo issued a leadoff walk to Werth and exited with one out. Arthur Rhodes entered and struck out Raul Ibanez on three pitches but drilled Ruiz on the left knee with a 2-2 pitch. Logan Ondrusek replaced Rhodes and loaded the bases by hitting pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the helmet flap. A Victorino walk forced home a run.

Arroyo pitched 5 1/3 innings with one of his three runs allowed being earned with four hits, three walks and two strikeouts.

(Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.)

Okay, I refuse to get completely down on these kids from Cincinnati – 2010 has been a far better season than I was hoping for them.  I would MUCH rather see them down two games to none in th BUT they have to keep up the fire from here on out.  They’ve created this hole – NOW is the time NOT to panic, BUT Game 3 is Do or DIE. 

The Reds need a Win in Game 3 – for Respectability and for their Fans.  I have faith in my team, but they must get it done – on both sides of the field.

Two more words…GO REDS!


Phillips' HR, Votto (08OCT10).jpg

This SHOULD have been one of the Main Focusing Pictures of The Game…NOT the errors and LOSS.  Phillips 1st Inning HR, and Votto’s congrats – Reds need more of this, and timely relief pitching, and NO errors, unearned runs…(Picture courtesy of Enquirer.com).

 

 


ROSE, BENCH, MCENANEY - 75 WORLD CHAMPS (24SEP10).jpg 

Reds Fans need a picture like this upon completion of Game 3…or 2010 will be OVER – Rose, Bench, and McEnaney upon Winning the 1975 World Series in Boston. 

AND THE 2010 N.L. CENTRAL DIVISION BELONGS TO THE REDS!!!

YES!!!  Jay Bruce bottom of the 9th Inning’s Walk-Off HR wins the game for the 2010 Cincinnati Reds – They are in their first Playoffs since my 18 & 17 year-old Sons were only 3 & 2 years of age! 

GOODNIGHT!  It’s been a LONG TIME.  Not much to write tonight, except, Congrats Dusty Baker, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and the Gang – Very PROUD of you Boys.

2010 Playoffs ahead – Only one thing to say…GO REDS!!!

 


JAY BRUCE - TAKE A BOW (28SEP10).jpg

BRUCE, VOTTO, AND GANG – TAKE A BOW!

 

ROSE, BENCH, MCENANEY - 75 WORLD CHAMPS (24SEP10).jpg

                      COULD THIS BE A REDS’ OCTOBER???  GO, REDS!!!

 

 

GOOD & BAD – THANKS CARDS; WAKE UP, REDS!

Well, the MLB day started hopeful, then ended with frustration.  Yeah, yeah – the 2010 Seasson has been great, but,…

The Reds are snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory, losing their second game in a row to the Padres, 4-3.  Same final score, two different losses.  Had they won last night and tonight, Dusty Baker could have rested all his starters.  They would have clinched the N.L. Central Division.  Instead, the Reds continued their struggles against the San Diego Padres.  WAKE UP, REDS

Joey Votto came back from his sinus infection with a flourish, going 2-for3 with his 36th Home Run and his 2 runs batted in give him 108 RBI on the season – Votto has a robust .325 BA.  Unfortunately, Scott Rolen was 0-for-5, and Johnny Gomes, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips  didn’t do much to help out the team – they were a combined 3-for-17.  The team had 10 hits and 5 Bases on Balls and only 3 runs to show for it.  Even pitcher Travis Wood, who pitched well overall, was 2-for-3 with an RBI.  Drew Stubbs was 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Cabrera joined Rolen, Gomes, Bruce, and Phillips as ballplayers who could really use a solid day each at the dish. 

The Reds need to score big Runs tomorrow.  They need to clinch these final two games ASAP – that’s military lango for “As Soon As Possible.”  Again, Dusty wants to rest his Vets who are getting the job done.  Great, but the Reds need to Win the Division first – that’s my take. 

And Scott Rolen needs to get it done at the plate and at third base tomorrow.  The Veteran is due – I’m hopeful the man, who’s had a solid year thus far, is UP to the challenge.  Something tells me Rolen can “get it done,” too. 

LET’S GO REDS!!!

 

Votto Cover - SI (25SEP10).jpg

THE HUNT FOR A REDS’ OCTOBER – YES, TIME TO GET MEAN!!!

 

 

ROSE SI COVER - APR74 (25SEP10).jpg

VOTTO’S SI COVER REMINISCENT OF ANOTHER REDS’ SI COVER

1990-10-29_Chris_Sabo.JPG

MAYBE 2010 WILL BE ANOTHER 1990 FOR THE REDS – HEY, WE CAN DREAM…

 

 

REDS – PROUD AND CONCERNED – TIME TO STEP IT UP AGAIN…

It’s a Beautiful Saturday in Maryland - this old Soldier has just finished a nice run over the past 90 minutes – – getting slower and older, but the beautiful blue skies and the 60-70 degree weather is strength to the bones, and to hopes in the world of sports, especially to one who has found the beginning of the 21st Century a little dry and faded. 

Not this year:  College Football is in the air, and I’m cheering on my Crimson Tide of Alabama, and looking to old favorite Buckeyes of Ohio State as well.  Hey, what else can a transplanted Ohioan do? 

This yearFinally – the Baseball Reds of Cincy are finally back in the thick of a pennant race – for the first time in a decade, and the first Winning Season since 2000.  Votto, Rolen, and Comany have kept Reds Fans excited over the 2010 Season.  Now, the bats have gotten a little cold, and they’ve let the Cards dream of a dramactic comeback – time to put their hopes and the stories of choking Mets and Phillies from baseball years, decades gone by to rest. 

I put much, but not all of this message on the Baseball HOF Writer Hal McCoy’s regular blog on the Reds.  Hal McCoy and the great sportswriter of the Dayton Daily News, and this was in response to his Friday article on rookie pitching sensation Arnold Chapman’s first Major League loss – to the Houston Astros.    

 

September 18, 2010 9:33 AM |

Okay, I believe the REDS are going to pull this out, and win the division, but Cordero needs to get his stuff together, and pitch great relief again, and Rolen and Edmonds need to act, behave, and play like the strong Veteran influences they’re supposed to be – now is NOT the time to wither away, and Votto & Company would benefit from their leadership.

Think of Pete Rose with the Phillies in 1980 and Gary Matthews with the Cubs in 1984. Matthews was called “Sarge” during his playing days – Guess who gave him the nickname? The same one he credited with being a great example on the field, in the dugout, and clubhouse as well – PETE ROSE. Hall of Fame Third Baseman Mike Schmidt gives Mr. Rose the ballplayer the same credit, and more – he has given Rose credit for making Schmitty aware of his talents and helping him to become a more complete player. 

Both Charlie Hustle and The Sarge led their teams – with good seasons, but they were both obviously on the downside of their careers.  Still, their presence was felt – and voiced when necessary – no doubt Rose’s voice was loud, booming, and a challenge, while I’m not sure of Matthews.  The Result:  Rose’s hustle and heart helped lead the Phils to their first World Series since 1950, and their first World Series victory EVER.  Matthews’ play and example got the Cubbies within runs and innings to fall just short of a trip to the Fall Classic since 1945 – they still haven’t been to the World Series since that date.   

The point is – Rose and Matthews were LEADERS.  Mr. Rolen and Mr. Edmonds need to do the same, on and off the field. Our Veterans, both with World’s Championship Rings, need to “Step It Up NOW.” I realize Scott Rolen is having a great year – I hope Mr. Edmonds follows his lead, gets better, and contributes more on the field to the Reds’ run while with us.  Scott Rolen has been a solid player all year, and I appreciate his hustle and heart during the 2010 All-Star Game – great headfirst slide.  Had that been done by a Red since Rose and Sabo?  I have my doubts…

Scott Rolen MUST continue to be a strong factor in the Reds Winning in 2010.  I appreciate the fact that it definitely sounds like he’s a better family man than Pete Rose has been known for being.  That will always be a strong factore with me, as I believe a good man must be a solid example on and off the field of sports, business, or for that matter, Soldiering  One’s Family Life says a lot to me about the measure of a man or woman.  I glad that Mr. Rolen finds more time with his family, and it sounds to me like he’s not far from calling it a baseball career – I can say that, as an old Soldier, I wish I had more time with my Boys before they go off to College, and on their own.  As it is, my time with them under my roof is almost done – enjoy your family while they’re young, Mr. Rolen.  You’ll never get lost time with them back, and no honors can replace that. 

BUT…2010 is almost done, so keep up the Good Work.  Rather than just marvel along with Mr. Edmonds on a hungry and young Astros team, you guys need to show those Astros what a young and hungry Winning Team looks like.  I know I’m not a ballplayer, but I’m a fan, and I’m encouraging and challenging you as such.  I want to see my Franchise back in the Postseason on a regular basis once more, and you guys can help do that. 

I remember the Red’s motto from 1975-76 World Championship years – saw this on banners, posters, advertisments.  Based on the legendary Jerry Reed song, It went like this: “When you’re hot, You’re REDS’ HOT!”  Well, it’s time to help this franchise get Hot once again, and PLEASE don’t get hurt/ knocked out of the season in the process. 

Mr. Rolen, I hear of a leadership that’s not led by many words or flag-waving, but by example.  Sounds like a Stan Musial – Joe DiMaggio-type leadership, and those Hall Of Famers could play.  So…that’s great – just keep it up, pick up Jim Edmonds along the way, and Lead The Way Home to the Postseason…and BEYOND.  GO REDS!!!


ROSE, PHILS - Up Close (18SEP10).jpg 

CHARLIE HUSTLE LEADING THE PHILS…

The Sarge - Gary Matthews (18SEP10).jpg

GARY “THE SARGE” MATTHEWS – GLORY DAYS…

ROLEN - Rockies_Reds_Baseball (18SEP10).jpg

SCOTT ROLEN HUSTLES – LEADS BY EXAMPLE…

1980 NLCS - HUSTLE (18SEP10).jpg

 

 

 

1980 NLCS - HUSTLE, 2 (18SEP10).jpg

CHARLIE HUSTLE LED BY EXAMPLE, TOO – ON THE FIELD, SCORING BIG RUN

(GAME #4 – 1980 NLCS)

 

***  I enjoyed Mr. Shelton’s blog on MLB.com – I hope he doesn’t mind my using it here, and the timing to my thoughts couldn’t be better, as I just read this minutes ago

 

Reds following Rolen’s lead to verge of playoffs

Veteran’s postseason experience could be key for young club

CINCINNATI — Scott Rolen would love to be able to say he had all of this figured out.

When the third baseman got traded last July 31 from the Blue Jays to the then out-of-contention Reds for three players, he didn’t just return closer to his Indiana home. He’s now with a first-place team on the verge of making the playoffs.

“This time last year, a lot of people thought it was an odd trade,” Rolen said. “I was excited about it because it was back to my comfort zone. It’d be a better story if I said that I was looking at that team and I knew it was going to be great. I’m sorry I can’t get there for you. I got the chance to come as close as I could to home. [Reds GM] Walt [Jocketty] and I, we had a history. He thought I could come here, fit in and we had a good young team. I’m in.”

Great American Ball Park is less than a three-hour drive from the 35-year-old Rolen’s home in Bloomington, Ind. His family, which includes his wife, a five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son, spends homestands with him in Cincinnati and can be in Indiana during road trips. Off-days and nights after day games can offer some stolen moments to see his kids’ soccer games or tuck them into bed. That wasn’t as easy from Toronto, and would have been much harder had he played on one of the coasts.

“On the off-day [next Thursday] after Milwaukee, I’m going home to be with them and meet the team in San Diego. I couldn’t have done this in Toronto,” Rolen said. “[My daughter] Raine was starting school. I can drive home. I’m three hours away. I can fly home. I’ve driven home on off-days when she is in school. We’re together as much as we can possibly be together. When I was younger, I loved playing on the road. I couldn’t wait to get on the road. Now, I second-guess myself every time I’m on the road, like, ‘What am I doing?’ “

Last winter, Rolen and the Reds re-worked his deal to defer some of his $11 million salary while adding two more years that pay him $6.5 million in each of the next two seasons. His career will conclude in Cincinnati — no matter what.

“I have a complete no-trade clause all the way through. I plan on using it,” Rolen said. “We’ll see how first grade goes and second grade goes. If we can’t catch a break, we’ll home school. We’re going to stay together. That’s the way we like to do it.”

Rolen’s happy home life has equated to a happy work life at the ball yard. He entered Friday batting .292 with 19 home runs, 79 RBIs and a .366 on-base percentage in 120 games. His defense has been superlative enough to warrant a shot at an eighth career National League Gold Glove.

Rolen was on an MVP-candidate pace in the first half of the season, with 17 homers and 57 RBIs. He’s only gone deep twice with 22 RBIs since the All-Star break, but is batting .297 with a .373 OBP over that span. He missed 10 games dealing with a hamstring injury and was out the past two games with neck and back soreness.

With an eye toward helping a young team take a big step forward in 2010, Rolen’s leadership skills were a large part of the thinking behind the trade that brought him to Cincinnati. His style doesn’t fit the traditional view of a leader. There is no flag-waving, no pep talks, no playing the father figure to younger players.

No, Rolen got his leadership chops the old-fashioned way — he earned them. And he expects his teammates to do the same.

“He’s one of those guys that leads by example,” Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs said. “His presence is felt even when he’s not speaking. All of us see what he does on the field. He’s played a long time at this level and still treats it like a he’s a rookie almost. He’s out there playing hard, running hard on every ground ball, grinding out at-bats.”

Rolen’s presence has clearly benefited the Reds, who are 93-60 in games he’s started over the past two seasons. This season, they are 16-17 when he’s not in the starting lineup.

Reds outfielder Jim Edmonds, 40, is seeing Rolen’s imprint on a club for the second time. The two played several seasons together with the Cardinals and went to a pair of World Series together in 2004 and ’06.

“He’s really dry and not overly loud,” Edmonds said. “He’s not yelling and screaming. He’s one of those guys that, when he says something, it means something. That’s kind of what you need.

“No-nonsense. Basically, you have your guys that play every day and you want them to be serious most of the time, play the game and show everybody how it’s meant to be played. Then you can have a castoff to the side or a bench player that’s a little wild or out of control. A team jels that way.”

Rolen’s postseason experience will be invaluable come October for a Reds organization that hasn’t been in the playoffs since 1995. Aside from Rolen and Edmonds, only pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Arthur Rhodes, shortstop Orlando Cabrera, utility man Miguel Cairo and catcher Ramon Hernandez have played in the postseason. The vast majority in the clubhouse will be experiencing it for the first time.

“You can’t talk about it. You just have to live it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Then you talk about it if you’re not living it right. That’s the only time you talk about it — if you’re not living the moment right.”

How others rate the Reds’ chances is of little concern to Rolen. He plans to enjoy the postseason, which can only happen by playing free and loose.

“When you get that chance, we’re just all going to throw our gloves in,” Rolen said. “I had two great lessons with postseason experience. [The] 2004 [Cardinals club] was the best team I ever played on. [We had] veterans all the way through, up and down the lineup. I thought we were the best team in baseball, but we were swept by the Red Sox. I remember telling my wife when I got home, ‘I’m not going to win a ring. I don’t know what kind of team we have to have, but I won’t be able to do it.’

“In 2006, with 83 wins, a terrible record in September, backing into the playoffs and we’re supposed to be eliminated in the first round and we kind of walked through it. We didn’t have lights-out hitting, pitching or chemistry. We just got there. Pitchers pitched, hitters hit and fielders fielded for three weeks and boom — ring. What I learned from that is just get there. Let’s not worry about who is matching up with who and what’s the best draw. Just get there.”

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

VOTTO, ROLEN, GOMES, BRUCE, ETC - FUNNY (18SEP10).jpg

 

 


LETS GO, REDS FANS! GO TO THE BALLPARK, AND SUPPORT YOUR TEAM!!!

Okay, Fans - There are those of us who have always believed that, if the Reds build/have a Winner…the Fans will come.  Okay, the Reds are, at least, 7 games up in First place, and they now have 83 Wins.  They’re an exciting team to watch, but – darn it – Reds Fans NEED to SHOW. 

I know it’s been too many years since the Reds have given fans reason to fill the ballpark, but now they’re UP.  Do you want that to continue, or do you want to return to LOSING?  *

*** The following paragraph comes from a soty written by a St Louis Sportswrite – his name is Bernie Bytes.  The article can be found on: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/article_37732a84-c0e1-11df-a686-00127992bc8b.html – here’s the telling paragraph:

“Another booming crowd in Cincinnati on Tuesday night, as 16,973 Reds fans flocked into the Great American Ball Park. The Reds attracted 12,061 on Monday night. Over their last eight home games, the Reds have averaged 20,859. Why doesn’t Cincinnati care about their first-place team? Why are the Reds drawing such embarrassingly low crowds? The Reds players deserve much better than that. In St. Louis, it’s a different story: the fans that have produced an average of 41,000 per game deserve a better team for their support.”

There you go.  I would follow my own advice and go see a game or two, but I’m just a little too far away – try near Washington, D.C. – How many of you Reds fans have that for an excuse???

The Reds rolled again, 7-5.  Jay Bruce rescued Fransico Cordero – he’s been shaky, to say the least – over the past week.  Jay Bruce, the rightfielder, robbed Adam LaRouche of a HR in the 9th Inning – that kept the Diamondbacks from tying the game.  Mr. Cordero owes Mr. Bruce a very nice dinner tonight – to say the least.  He’s been great in the past month, but this past weekend, and tonight’s game – have not been so great.  The Reds deserve more…so let’s go, Cordero.  Pitch better, and help lead Votto, Gomes, and Company to the Playoffs! 

And Fans – Let’s go to the Ballpark!  The Reds need your support…

Take care, all – God bless you and yours, MLB, and may He Always Bless the USA!

 

 BIG RED MACHINE – RIVERFRONT STADIUM, 1976

1976 REDS - Starting 8 Fielders (29DEC08).jpg

great_american_ballpark_aerial.jpg

 GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK, 2002 – NOW (AND FIRST WINNING REDS TEAM – 2010)

RIVERFRONT STADIUM – HOME OF THE REDS, 1970-2002


  RIVERFRONT STADIUM, 1970-2002 (15SEP10).png 


RIVERFRONT STADIUM Patch, 1970-2002 - Small (15SEP10).gif 

  

 

AND THIS ONE BELONGS TO THE REDS – WIN #82!!!

YES!  THERE WILL BE NO 10TH LOSING SEASON IN A ROW IN CINCINNATI REDS BASEBALL!!!

Logan Ondrasek just struck out Kelly Johnson, ending the game that results in a great finish with a 7-2 Reds Win.  The Win makes the Reds 82-62, and hopefully the Cards will keep stumbling as the Reds pick up steam – hopefully. 

I said I would be HAPPY with the Reds finishing the season at 82-80.  I AM Happy, but there is obviously some unfinished business – since the Reds have definitely brought FUN back to the Queen City. 

The final numbers:  The Reds had 7 runs on 12 hits with one error.  Branson Arroyo got his 15th win, equalling his best ever.  The Reds slugged 5 HR, led by Jay Bruce with 2 in his first 2 at-bats.  Welcome back, Jay – you were missed. 

After a great weekend, highlighted by remembering those we lost on 9-11-01.  Saturday night, Pete Rose was welcomed back to Cincinnati – thanks to the graces of MLB, Rose was allowed on the field, and it was so GOOD to see him in a Reds jersey again, with the familiar ROSE 14 on the back.  I understand he’s been very contrite lately – many say “too little-too late.”  I just hope he has learned a lot, and shows more humility in the future. 

 It was GOOD to see Rose’s wife Carol at his roast – I hope they’re working things out.  Hey, that’s just the committed married man in me – he needs to stick with the lady who has stood by him through all the betting mess and years from baseball, so Pete owes her.   Okay, enough on Pete. 

These young Reds of 2010 have been great, and give credit where it’s due.  I’ve blasted Mr. Castellini, his GM Mr. Jocketty, and Manager Dusty Baker many times.  Well, they ALL deserve praise and great credit, especially if they do make the Playoffs.  Bruce (2), Stubbs, Votto (MVP-Worthy), and Cabrera all went deep for the Reds.  I’m so PROUD of this team.  I’m going to end it on this note, with a few pictures. 

So…Where is Marty Brennamin?  I really wanted to hear, “And This One Belongs to the Reds”  at the conclusion of this game.  Well, I’ll settle to Win #82.  Here’s hoping for many, many more before 2010 is history.  Maybe the last win will seal a World Championship – Hey I can dream, right???  :-)

GOD BLESS AMERICA, & THE 2010 CINCINNATI REDS, TOO!

 

4192 - 1B, Garvey (11SEP10).jpg 

THE HIT KING – 4192, 11 SEPTEMBER 1985, RIVERFRONT STADIUM (PADRES’ STEVE GARVEY IN BACKGROUND)

 

ROSE - 4192 ANNIVERSARY (11SEP10).jpg

WELCOME BACK, PETE!  11 SEPTEMBER 2010 (Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio)

 

BRUCE, PHILLIPS - 3 HR NITE (13SEP10).jpg

AND A WINNING SEASON BELONGS TO THE REDS!!!  NOW, 82 WINS AND COUNTING – – WHAT FUN!!!

 

AND…ALWAYS – A PAUSE TO REMEMBER — MAY WE NEVER FORGET…

9-11 POSTER -- GOOD (13SEP10).jpg

As Always, A Commitment From Our Men & Women In Uniform.  In Tribute to those who lost their lives on 9-11, and those who have paid the Ultimate Sacrifice for Our Freedom – As well as for those in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9-11 until now. 

9-11 Flag Hand Off, Fireman - Soldier (13SEP10).jpg
 

May GOD Always Bless and Protect The Unitied States of America – Take care…

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.