Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning!

Finally! The Reds go through a game without an error, and guess what? It led to a win. Prior to tonight's game, the team had committed the big E in six straight games.

I think a lot of us Reds fans are fighting disgust with the recent play, though we all said "wait until June when the team starts playing how it is supposed to be playing" back when we were too shocked to have real hope for the season. April seems like such a long time ago, doesn't it? Sigh...

Pretend the offensive woes didn't continue this evening. We had an abfab performance by Eric "Chasing Wind" Milton and a lights outing by Todd "Vote for me for closer" Coffey. Remember, it was the pitching that has been so awful in the past eternity, though the offense has been among the best in the league during that time. So, let's get some perspective. The offense will not be this bad all year. And hey, even if Voodoo Albert doesn't work, we still have the Wild Card to look to!

Review: MLB Mosaic (Beta)

I downloaded Mosaic today to check it out during the Nats game (win! yay!); I won't be using it. Mosaic is a multiple game media player introduced to MLB.TV subscribers today. The pictures are so small that you can't even see who is up to bat. Who decided to have a microscopic six games at once instead of a nearly visible four? And why can't you pick which games you want to see at the same time instead of having a six assigned to you on a panel?

When I watch the Reds and Nats at the same time, I use Firefox for one and IE (bleh) for the other, and I can only make it work if I open the Firefox game first. But I can see those games. I guess I'll continue to do this until they make a Mosaic that doesn't make you blind trying to see a pinhead-sized ball on a two inch fuzzy screen.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Banana Phone

For those who don't know, the Banana Phone is the call-in show that Marty Brennaman and Steve Stewart, the Reds announcers, do during rain delays. There is only one rule for calling in: your IQ must be no greater than 75.

See, the Reds are getting new uniforms next year, and there has been talk that they are going to bring back the blue that appeared as the secondary color in the uniforms in the 50s and 60s, you know, the period when the Reds succumbed to Communist paranoia and went by Redlegs. Still had Red in the name, still the dominant color, right? Well, tonight, this NQB* woman calls in and asks if there was still going to be RED in the uniforms. She was worried that she would have to redecorate her house and get a new wardrobe.

*Not Quite Bright

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mystery Science Baseball 3000

Don't blame Barry for MLB's problems

For people who don't understand why Giants fans will always love Barry, read this article. It's a good one.

Congrats, Barry. As someone who had the privilege to watch you day in and day out, I say thank you.

HT: Giants Cove

Voodoo Albert puts Carpenter on DL

The move is retroactive to May 20. He's supposed to be back for the Reds series next week, so here's an extra pin for him.

Week Eight Wrapup: 715!

Voodoo Albert says this was an ok week to be a Reds fan, but a good one for Nats and Giants fans. Since Voodoo Albert was born, the Cardinals are 0-1.

Reds (28-22, 2nd place)

Walk off homers have a way of changing your outlook completely. Sunday's 5-4 win came as a result of Javy Valentin's one out, two run bomb in the bottom of the ninth inning, a moral victory as much as a W in the column. What had been a seemingly bad week all of the sudden was salvaged. Sure, crushing the Brew Crew in the first two games of the week made us all think that the offense we all have come to know and love was back. But then it disappeared completely in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game, and the team failed to score a single run until Ryan Freel hit one out in the first inning of Sunday's game, which saw three Reds longballs. A 3-3 week isn't a bad one.

We got rid of Dave "Sean is playing some rehab games next week" Williams and Cody "We didn't know you" Ross, but the roster moves did nothing to improve the team. Wouldn't D-train look fabulous in a Reds uniform?

Brandon Phillips is playing like earlier. Bye, bye, slump.

Reds Saint of the Week: Austin Kearns. 8-20 (.400), 2 longballs, 3 RBI, 5 runs scored. It's been like the Kearns Show instead of the Dunnandkearns Show since Dunn hasn't been showing up to the ballpark of late. Kearns certainly looks like he's from Kentucky in his profile pic, doesn't he?

Nats (21-30, fourth place)

I'm a big fan of this winning stuff. The Nats took three of four from the hated Asstros and had a four game win streak snapped by the Dodgers on Saturday, but they ended up winning that series, too, with Sunday's 10-4 victory. Talk about a hot team - these guys were 7-3 on this homestand, you know, RFK stadium, where the Nats seemed to never win. A 5-2 week is awesome; the Nats have now won three series in a row.

The Nats have the equivalent of a whole starting rotation on the DL but replacements Michael "Irish" O'Connor and Sean Hill had a heck of a week pretending they were real starters. Irish has earned a permanent spot in the rotation in my book, but we'll see if Hill can be as good as he was during Saturday's seven inning one run no decision.

It seems that Nick Johnson has come out of his slump. Apparently the Nats ex-hitting coach was in town this week to work with him.

Losing Jose Guillen to the disabled list isn't that big of a loss - Guillen hadn't been doing anything anyway, not at the plate and not in the field. Hey Jose, how has Soriano hit 11 out of RFK?

Ramon Ortiz has won three consecutive games. Whoda thunk it, eh?

Nats Saint of the Week: Alfonso Soriano. Alf had 11 hits in 27 bats this week (.407) with 3 HRs, 5 RBI, and 10 runs scored. He also walked three times and stole two bases. Too bad you can hear the clock ticking for him in a Nats uniform.

Giants (26-24, third place tie with San Diego and Colorado)

715! The idiot who got the ball didn't even think enough of the feat to be sitting in the stands to watch it, for he was standing in line for a beer when Bonds came to the plate and belted it out. Also, the Giants' radio announcer's mic went out as soon as the ball hit Bonds' bat, so no one heard the historic call on the radio.

The Giants have won 12 of their last 19, though they dropped two of three to the Deadbirds this week (Voodoo Albert has just been stabbed at the thought of this.) The team has been playing how everyone thought they would play, but the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks are doing just as well and both Colorado and San Diego are right on their heels. This division, which was so awful last year, seems to be killing everyone else this year.

Giants Saint of the Week: Barry Bonds. No offense to Omar Vizquel, who had a heck of a week, but it's not every day a man passes Babe Ruth.

Around the Horn

Curt "Jesus makes me get wins" Schilling won his 200th game on Saturday.

Derek "I'm a respectable Yankee" Jeter collected his 2000th career hit on Friday. The guy is only 31 and is scheduled to collect number 3000 sometime in 2011.

David "I should retire" Wells took a line drive off the knee that makes my own knee hurt just thinking about it.

Jered Weaver, younger brother of Jeff, pitched brilliantly in his Major League debut Saturday.

The Cubs are awful. Dusty Baker can't figure it out. The Pirates are awful, too. Jim Tracy blames the players. It's kind of like how my boss takes all the credit for our successes but blames us if something goes wrong.

The Asstros have been losing a lot recently. Woohoo!

Demon of the Week

The Fox Corporation. I hate everything Fox. It was bad enough that they have a Faux News Channel, but now they are dictating what baseball games I am allowed to watch on Saturdays. Because of Fox Saturday Baseball, those of us with MLB.TV or Direct TV are not allowed to watch the games of our choice until the Fox games are over. So if I want to watch the Reds play their 6:10 starts, I have to wait until the 4pm Fox game is over. For this reason, I will not be watching any baseball on Fox until I am forced to watch the playoffs on that channel. Nor will I watch any of its television shows, even though the few good shows I like are on that station.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Meet Voodoo Albert

Voodoo Albert's team, the Deadbirds, are seemingly unstoppable. Well, us Reds fans must do something about this! So here's Voodoo Albert, and I've stuck pins in him to stop this team from winning. Voodoo Albert will appear periodically on this blog in various predicaments. Any abuse you can give him is welcome.

Bang, zoom go the fireworks!

Saw my second Nats victory of the season last night, a game in which ¡Livan! pitched brilliantly and the offense took every opportunity to score. I am now 2 for 10 in games I have attended. Soriano hit another dinger, making this my third straight game for seeing him hit one out.

They released us from the captivity of the office yesterday at 3pm instead of the normal grueling 5pm, so I had a few hours to kill until game time. Choosing to have a couple of pints at Biddy Mulligan's on Dupont Circle, I witnessed a massive downpour at 4pm that left the seats at the stadium soaked. However, as quickly as the rain came, it stopped, and there was never any doubt that the game would be played. It ended up being a beautiful night, the first night you could go without a jacket the whole game. I bought the $7 cheap seats and moved to the $25 third base side, easy since I was one of only 22K+ who attended the game. Granted, it is Memorial Day weekend and a lot of the Suburbia who attend the games took off for Ocean City or Rehobeth (I wish I were at the beach, too), but you would think on a Friday night with the team on a hot streak there would have been more people. (Judging from the amount of time it took me to drive from my house to the cafe where I spend time on the weekends, there are plenty of people left in DC.)

The empty seats we chose to sit in were good ones, but we should have picked them two rows in front of us, for that is where a Nick Johnson foul ball ended its brief journey. Such a thrill it is to have a ball coming your way! First, there is the initial disbelief that it is actually heading towards you, then you get a rush of adrenaline. Your heart pounds, your muscles become tense, and you begin to prepare yourself to grab the ball. The beauty of the sphere sailing through the night towards you is apparent as the stitches become visible and you can see the words on the ball. You're not going to drop it. You're not going to drop it. You're not going to drop it! All but one of these moments in my life have ended in the same manner: disappointment. However, more than a decade ago, victory was mine as I snared a Joe Girardi ball while sitting in the green seats at Riverfront Stadium. Alas, such an outcome was not to be repeated last night, as the ball ended up in the glove of a ten year old kid.

The game's completion brought with it a four game win streak, which was snapped today on account of the Nationals having scored too many runs last night. They should have saved a couple for today.

I heart Ryan "Brooks" Zimmerman.

Oh yeah, one other thing. When your team is winning in the ninth inning and has two outs, you STAND UP AND CHEER until that final out is recorded. You don't just sit there.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fire Frank! Now! There's no crying in baseball!

Yesterday's tears proves that Frank is senile and needs to go. At a press conference after the game, Frank was CRYING because he had to take "catcher" Matt LeCroy out of the game in the middle of an inning. LeCroy was simply awful, nearly throwing the game away, literally. The Asstros were running on him at every chance because he couldn't throw a ball to a base to save his life.

The Reds have three catchers. Why doesn't Bowden try to get Javy Valentin? The Reds could use a reliable reliever, perhaps Jon Rauch. Hey, it would stink for the Nats to have to give him up, but this catching situation is desperate. What if Schneider, who is supposed to come off the DL today, gets injured again? A team can't function with one catcher. Not only is Javy a solid defensive catcher, but he also is a great pinch hitter and can fill in for Nick Johnson at first when he needs a day off.

Stupid Bowden.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Poor Cubs fans

As if their team weren't bad enough, now it seems Womack will be playing second base for them this weekend.

HA HA HA HA HA!

Trade Guillen!

He doesn't run out ground balls - he could've been safe at first in the first inning of today's game, then he lets a fly ball drop in front of him, and Wilson just scored. The guy is lazy, a whiner, and a gimp. Trade him!

I am done with Brandon Claussen

My patience with him has run out. We are a quarter of the way through the season and he has shown absolutely no sign of being a reliable starter. He has only had three quality starts in his ten outings this season and has given up twelve bombs. There are those who say "he's young" (he's 27 - he should be hitting his prime soon) or make excuses for him (take away this game or that one and his ERA's much better), but it's far enough along in the season to see that he isn't consistent, and he shows no signs of changing. Send him to the bullpen. Come on, Paul, get that arm working again!

Stupid is as stupid does, and last night he pitched stupidly. Again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm going out on a limb here

Regardless of what I said in the previous post, I want to say, and I've said it before, that the Nats are going to have a hot second half and be in contention in September.* You can quote me on it and make fun of me if I'm wrong.

*If Soriano isn't traded.

One way to tell that your team is bad

Are the Nats really so bad that WaPo has to do a three page spread on a player from the OPPOSING team? And the Asstros, of all teams. Biggio isn't such a bad guy, but I have to pretend he doesn't have Asstros across his chest.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Nats beat Asstros, Reds beat Sausages, Go Giants, beat the Deadbirds!

The Reds finally won a series! Woohoo! Get out the brooms! Which Brandon Claussen will show up tomorrow?

Nats beat the hated Asstros! Woohoo! Tomorrow we get Oswalt. Ick. Here's to him giving up another seven or eight runs in the early innings!

Reds-Brewers pre-game note

From MLB.com:
Hoping to bolster a slumping bullpen that was supposed to be a strength, the Brewers added veteran Minor Leaguer Joe Winkelsas to the mix on Tuesday and designated Justin Lehr for assignment.
A 32 year old reliever from AA. I say bring him on! Seriously, Winkelsas? If he does play, I won't be able to control my laughter every time his name is mentioned. Winkelsas.

Let's hope Dana pitches as well as Bush did last night!

The Giants crushed the Deadbirds

Score was 9-2. Always nice to see that team lose big. Jamey Wright pitched a great game. Mark Mulder, not so much. I watched the whole thing. Those West Coast games are always making me late to work the next day!

The Giants are on a roll. They've won six of their last seven, including that monstrous sweep of the Asstros in which they outscored Junction Jack's team 34-5. Here's to continuing this domination over the Deadbirds so the Reds can shave some more of that 3 game deficit the Pujolses have on them.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Week Seven Wrapup

Albert Pujols. Albert freaking Pujols. The Deadbirds suck without Albert freaking Pujols. It's too bad that Pujols is a nice guy, because he makes it tough not to like him. But he plays for the Deadbirds, and the Deadbirds are the enemy, taking over first place in the NL Central.

Reds (25-19, 2nd place)

Nearly getting swept by the Pirates is not a way to be a winning team. Winning two games in a week is not a way to be a winning team. Having Stormy Weathers blow your one run leads is not a way to be a winning team.

David Weathers is NOT a closer. It's time for Coffey.

Dave "We lost Sean for this?" Williams won his campaign for assignment designee! I'm thinking Rick White may be running for another assignment designee position soon.

Watching Junior swing a bat brings a tear to my eye, such is the beauty of that arc he creates. Grand slams are awesome.

Reds Saint of the Week: Todd Coffey. No runs given up by the Java Man in three innings pitched this week, which saw him earn his second career save and the first of hopefully many for 2006. Java Man is now 2-0 with a sparkling 0.70 ERA for the season.

Nats (16-28, 4th place)

A 3-3 week is pretty good when you're not winning all that much. Dropping two to the struggling Cubbies isn't a way to get your team on track, that's for sure. ¡Livan! pitched well on Sunday, even in the first inning. Irish O'Connor has done a wonderful job and has earned a permanent spot in this rotation.

Nats Saint of the Week: ¡Livan! Number 61 went 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA for the week, pitching 14 innings and giving the old bullpen a break. You can't help but love this guy. He was my favorite pitcher back when he had on a Giants uniform, even though he did go 0-2 and pitched poorly during the 2002 World Series. He's still my favorite Nats pitcher, and it was so nice to see him pitch a good game on Sunday.

Giants (23-21, 5th place)

Not only did the Giants win 5 of 6 this week, they swept the Asstros, not only winning the three games, but absolutely crushing the Asstros in all of the games, 10-1, 14-3, and 10-1. Gotta love it when the Asstros get crushed like that. (It'd be nice to see the Nats do it this week.) Hopefully, this week is an indication that the Giants are finally going to start playing how they are supposed to be playing. It is odd that in a division whose 2005 winner ended up only two games over .500, the last place team is two games over at this point in the season.

Of course, the most notable accomplishment of the week was 714. I'm rooting for number 715 with Bonds' heir in the house as the Giants play three against the St. Louis Pujolses. Sir Albert will one day pass Barry on the all time list, insha'allah.

Giant Saint of the Week: Barry Bonds. 714. 'Nuff said. Barry haters, eat your hearts out. Oh, and Russ Springer and the Asstros fans who cheered him when he threw at Barry, screw you.

Around the Horn

The Mets will be starting their ninth starter this week. Rumors are flying that the Mets want to pick up Assignment Designee Williams. Can the Reds get Wagner for Williams? He could set up for Coffey. ;)

Kerry "Arm's made of rotten" Wood made his first start of the season against the Nats this week. He didn't throw all that well, but the Nats did their best in the ninth to try to take that L from him. Chief got lucky on a bizarre play to end the game.

Interleague play saw an increase in attendance by 26.4%. There were even people at the Nats games over the weekend.

Red Hot Mama got to see the ghetto of Major League Baseball. At least they put up some green paint around RFK. Now she knows that I really do wear Reds shirts with my Nats cap when I go to games.

The Pirates suck.

Tony LaRussa proves he is the jerk that everyone says he is in his ongoing public feud with the Wizard of Oz.

Speaking of Deadbirds - Albert Pujols: could he really hit 80 this year?

Demon of the Week

Pirates fans and Pittsburgh media. Unable to face the reality that their team Sucks, they threw fits when Bronson Arroyo made some comments saying he should have beaten a team like that. Wake up, Bucco fans. Your team really is awful. And give us Casey back.

The curse is broken

My own personal curse, that is. Yesterday I witnessed the Nats actually winning a game. Prior to that, I had been 0-8. Maybe the tide will turn. You never know. ¡Livan! pitched like ¡Livan!, even in the first inning, so that's a start.

It was nice to see some people at the ballpark this weekend. On Friday, there were 30,000 fans. Sunday there were about the same, and there were a lot of O's fans, but at least there were people in the seats. I sat in various places during Sunday's game until finally settling into my ticketed seat in right field in the fifth inning. I kept moving because O's fans were being obnoxious, but I gotta give them one thing - they know how to cheer. That's right - Nats fans don't know how to cheer. Some people say "there's nothing to cheer about" but that just shows they don't know how to do it. You cheer when a pitcher gets two strikes on a batter. You cheer to start a rally. Cheer on a 3-2 count when you know the runners are going. Cheer to get your pitcher out of a jam. I'm puzzled, too, by the sound people who play the clapping music over the loudspeakers. They'll play it once and stop, so it hasn't even registered with most people that they are supposed to be clapping. I'd gladly do the job if they offered it to me, for I grew up a Reds fan, and Reds fans know how to cheer.

Did y'all notice the new green paint with the section numbers running around the stadium? It's great having owners!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

714!

Sweeeet! Congrats, Barry, love ya! Hate the press!

Ruth was a jerk, too, but no one ever claims that his accomplishments were nothing.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

0-8

Yep, that's my record this year for Nats games. I haven't seen them win a single time out of eight games.

Last night I realized that the way of calculating wins and losses for pitchers needs an overhaul (ok, not really.) Irish O'Connor pitched a great game, giving up only two runs in the most anticipated game of his life (he's from Maryland, grew up a Baltimore fan, went to George Mason U), but the offense couldn't score and F-Rod (does the F stand for Felix or what inevitably comes out of your mouth when he pitches?) really put the game out of reach with his usual pathetic pitching performance. F-Rod was the real loser.

Not going to tonight's game, but will be there tomorrow with Red Hot Mama sitting two rows behind me. Of all of the seats in RFK, what are the chances of that happening?

Friday, May 19, 2006

We won last night, y'all

I just realized that now when I read Jerry Narron's quotes, I can only hear that awful drawl he has that makes him sound like an idiot. I can't bear to hear him speak because it sounds like we have an uneducated fool for a manager. I know that's not the case, but I can't get over it!
...bloop single to left field put the Reds ahead during a four-run seventh inning.

Not the easiest way to get it done, was it?

"Well, no," manager Jerry Narron said. "Anyway you can ... we got down so much early in the game, it might have given everybody a chance to relax a little bit."
Can you hear it?

Baseball!

Finally! I get to go to a ballgame tonight. The Nats are returning after 11 days on the road; it seems like an eternity since they've been here. (It's only been 12 days since my last game, but since work has been really shitty over the course of the road trip, and since baseball is my respite from the monotony of the office, it feels like I could have travelled to the sun and back since that last game.)

The Nats take on the Orioles for what I hope to be the first real game of an intense and bitter rivalry. Of all the crap that Peter Devilos has pulled on the Nats, I'd like to see the Nats burn his team each and every game. I, like many people in the DC area, used to like the Orioles. I spent my first two years in Washington going to O's games before I boycotted them on account of Angelos' attempts to keep us from getting our own team. If he hadn't been such a jerk, I still would have gone to a couple of games a year at Camden Yards. It is, after all, a great ballpark.

Bring 'em on.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pittsburgh talks trash about Bronson

...what Oliver Perez did was plenty good enough.

Good enough for the Pirates, who would roll on to another laugher against the Cincinnati Reds, 7-2, last night before 14,897 at PNC Park.
I don't believe Pittsburgh has a right to say anything like that. The Pirates are the joke of the National League. The Reds should be ashamed of losing twice to this team.

Kudos to Bronson for telling it like it is. The offending comments?
"I didn't have the greatest stuff coming out of the bullpen, but it's still no excuse, man," Arroyo said. "I mean, to get off to a start like that against a team like this, especially after we hadn't won for four days in a row, it's [bad]. This can't happen, period."

Arroyo added he was not uncomfortable in facing the Pirates for the first time after pitching for them in 2000-02.

"If I can't stand on the mound and feel comfortable against that lineup, then something's wrong with me."
The Post-Gazette says "Arroyo mocks Pirates' lineup after getting tagged." Apparently, all of Pittsburgh is up-in-arms for the comments. I guess the truth hurts.

I will mock the Pirates every chance I get for the rest of the year, and I don't care if Casey is playing for that pathetic excuse for a team. If they can't face reality, they deserve no respect.

They're baaaack...

hopefully! They should have swept that Pirates team. At least they were able to overcome Williams' suckiness today for the W. Now, let's keep those bats going!

Don't forget to vote!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Adam Dunn at the plate

And most other Reds, too. Especially with RISPs.

Dear savior, save us from this horrible skid

I'm not sure if the Reds losing had something to do with it, but I've been a bit under the weather, both figuratively and literally. They're doing construction in our office and a bunch of us have been shoved into cubicles in what used to be the organization's conference room, and a lot of people in the office are having problems on account of the dust. OSHA probably would shut the place down, but none of us has the guts to call. It's a small organization, and they would somehow find out who it was. So, short story long, I've had a headache for about a week with sore throat, bitterness, moodiness, fatigue, and desperation for a new job. I've also had a dearth of inspiration and lost all of my creativity and haven't had anything to write about. I didn't even do the wrapup from last week, which I enjoy doing because I go through all of the internets reading things I missed from the last week.

WILL IT EVER QUIT RAINING? I noticed the swirling hurricane over Lake Michigan finally seems to be breaking up. I hope we get this game in; I really need a win.

A little faith in the American people has been restored...

Minor League team to hold Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night
Inspired by a Los Angeles Angels fan who filed a lawsuit against the club because he did not receive a red nylon tote bag as part of the major league club's Mother’s Day promotion last May, the Altoona Curve have announced that they will be holding Salute to Frivolous Lawsuit Night as part of their Sunday, July 2nd game at Blair County Ballpark.

The Curve’s salute to all ridiculous lawsuits ever filed will include the following:

# A Pink Tote Bag Giveaway to the first 137 men in attendance ages 18 and over
# The first 137 women 18 and over will receive lukewarm coffee so they will not burn themselves
# The first 137 kids will be given a beach ball with a warning not to ingest it
# Angels merchandise and novelty items given away throughout the game
# Honoring some of history's "Most Frivolous Lawsuits" during the game

A grand prize drawing in which one fan will receive a “clue” and their own frivolous lawsuit.
Altoona is an affilliate of the Pirates.

This is awesome. If I lived near Altoona, I would definitely attend this game.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Come on Nats

Irish did well, Chief blew it. One out to go, and he just had to give up the longball. A grand slam, of all things. I am thoroughly disgusted.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Some dude from Atlanta...

...arrived at this blog via a search for "Washington Nationals suck." O'RLY? And you think a 15-19 record is stellar? I don't see "Atlanta Braves" at the top of the standings. The Nats are only 3.5 games behind the THIRD PLACE Braves. I say we sweep!

(BTW: the reason s/he got to this blog through that search is that there is a link to Yankees Suck.com in the left side bar. I never said that the Nats suck. I believe they can turn it around.)

BRAVES SUCK!

Whenever I'm having a crappy day at work...

...I just click on this link and smile.

The magic shot still rings

Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post says it perfectly:
It was the kind of swing that replays on television screens and in minds for the rest of the night, a sweet blend of bat meeting ball, the perfect timing of a gifted player using his God-given tools. Ken Griffey Jr. at his most sublime, driving a pitch to center field, a home run.
Not only do you feel it for the rest of the night, sometimes a game like that stays with you into the next morning, the next day. I woke up with the excitement of that swing as strong as it was when I went to sleep last night (and a difficult time it was getting to sleep after that shot woke me up completely.)

Baseball - a more potent drug you will not find, the highest highs, the lowest lows, the sweetest sensations of joy and victory, the bitter taste of crushing defeat. Last night's game had it all, from David "Violent thunderstorm" Weather's second consecutive blown save to Junior's magic floating sphere.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

OMG, did that really just happen?

Griffey! You couldn't write a script any better than that one!

Why Marty Brennaman is the best announcer in baseball: he just said, "their general manager, who was whooping and hollering behind the dugout like a 12 year old child, has to go home with his tail between his legs."

Two blown saves in two nights to prevent two pitchers from getting their sixth wins. I hate this bullpen. David Weathers just sux.

I hope Harang and Arroyo take turns holding him down in the clubhouse.

(Yes, I manage to detach myself from the Nats when they are playing the Reds. Last night's game was full of plenty of good things for the Nats. Zach Day pitched very well, his second consecutive strong game, leaving me to wonder if the Nats have found a reliable fifth starter. In addition to Day's pitching, can I just say that Chief rocks! Finally, another bad outing by Eischen means another step closer to getting rid of him.)

Magic Peanuts

I bought two pounds of peanuts last Saturday. Why? Because I was sick of paying six bucks for beer in the stadium, so I brought my own. Only I had to figure out a way to sneak them in. So it was peanuts. See, you are allowed to bring in food and water at RFK (as you can in some other ballparks), so I went to the grocery to get some of those pay-by-weight peanuts. Before I left, I grabbed two bottles of Sierra Nevada Summerfest, stuffed them into a brown bag, put it into a ziplock bag, and stuffed the bag with peanuts. When I got to the ballpark, I had the bag of magic peanuts in plain view as I entered the stadium, no questions asked.

The thing is, I didn't need two pounds of them. I only needed one pound. So I still have this bag of peanuts nearly a week later. Now, as I watch Bronson go for number 6, I eat them for dinner.

Of all the frivolous lawsuits

Some things about this country that produced the greatest game on the planet really irk me. Frivolous lawsuits are on that list (filed by both individual wackoes AND corporations. Yes, that includes you, Charmucks.)

L.A. Psychologist Who Didn't Get Tote Bag at Mother's Day Angel Game Files Lawsuit
A Los Angeles psychologist who was denied a tote bag during a Mother's Day giveaway at an Angel game is suing the baseball team, alleging sex and age discrimination.
He's a psychologist? Maybe he should see himself! What is wrong with this jerk? While you're at it, why not sue Hallmark for selling Mother's Day cards? Or how about the women who benefit from breast cancer week? Or how about suing all of the kids who get things during the kiddie promotions?

I sure hope a sensible judge is on this case to toss it right out.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I still hate this bullpen

Harang should, too.

What is it like when two teams you like play each other?

Well, I just found myself not saying "Drop it! Drop it!" like I do with popups to opposing teams, as if some how, magically, shouting at my computer screen is going to make the Reds get a break after popping out with a runner in scoring positon.

Hey Nats fans!

Reds fans already know this because of Red Reporter's post on it, but I'm trying to spread it to other teams. Brew Crew Ball has come up with a minor league splits database. It's great - go check it out.

Dude. I'm concerned about ¡Livan!. I mean, aren't we all, but how long do we have to put up with this before somebody says, look, there is something wrong with him. Maybe we should be starting a reliever to pitch the first inning and have ¡Livan! come in for the second. I'm just saying...

More stuff on Bowden

Does anyone remember when Joey Eischen played for the Reds? I have no recollection of him in a Cincinnati uniform. I guess he's just one of many Bowden Reds obsessions. Capitol Punishment gives a link to Bowden's trade record as well as some more commentary on that stupid article Bowden wrote today. Running down the list, I can only cringe at some of them.

We do have to credit Bowden for Lopez, Encarnacion, Griffey, Dunn, and Kearns, so not everything he did was wrong.

FIRE BOWDEN!

The perfect article for this series

Reds and Nats fans alike will take great (dis)pleasure in reading Bowden's latest column in the Examiner.
In the past, I have never been afraid to trade proven major league talent for unproven minor league talent that can help your organization in the long run. For example, I traded Dave Burba for Sean Casey; Jeff Shaw for Paul Konerko; Elmer Dessens for Felipe Lopez; Rob Bell for Edwin Encarnacion; John Smiley for Danny Graves; and Jeff Brantley for Dmitri Young. All of those deals received immediate public criticism. However, all worked out in helping build for the future. The deals all reduced payroll and all produced good young players that would help for years.
Umm...what planet is Jimbo on? Last time I checked the roster, only Lopez and Ed-E were on it. Did I miss a World Championship team in the last decade or something? Did Konerko or Dessens or Graves or Young get us a World Series ring? (The Reds, NOT the White Sox.)

FIRE BOWDEN!

Hat tip: Curly W

Adam Dunn to use pink bat!

Can you imagine, mighty slugger Adam Dunn strolling to the plate carrying a pink piece of lumber? Well, you'll see it! On Sunday, May 15, Dunn and about 50 other players will take their ABs with pink bats in hand. It's part of MLB's program to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Sunday is Mother's Day.

New kid on the block

Looks like Reds fans will get to see highly touted prospect Cole Hamels when the Phils come into town on Friday.
Team officials met yesterday to discuss the future of pitcher Cole Hamels, and there were strong indications they have decided that the prized lefthander will make his next start in the major leagues.
I hate to see pitchers making their Major League debuts get rocked, but I think the Reds need to give him a big "welcome to the Show" party on Friday, launching a few "what not to dos" over the outfield fences as sort of a big league lesson, you know, just helping him out.

For more Phils info, check out Balls, Sticks, and Stuff.

Update: I posted this about an hour before Lancaster did, so he's rehashing my news, not the other way around! ;)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Trash talking with myself

Me, Reds fan: Why'd the Nats even bother to show up? I mean, they are the third worst team in the Majors, and the Reds are the second best.

Me, Nats fan: Second best? What about those errors? I mean, your shortstop alone has made 8 errors!

Me, Reds fan: You want to talk about errors? How about that second baseman playing leftfield?

Me, Nats fan: He's not much worse than your leftfielder, and he hits a lot more often.

Me, Reds fan: Oh, you mean Soriano's .298 average compared to Dunn's .248? What about Dunn's .404 OBP to Soriano's .336? Or Dunn's 11 homers to Soriano's 9? Or Dunn's 29 runs to Soriano's 18?

Me, Nats fan: That's only two homers fewer. It's higher than everyone else on your team.

Me, Reds fan: Yeah, well what about the Reds' 46 longballs to the Nats' 37? Or the Reds' team average of .267 to the Nats' .251? Or the Reds' 176 runs scored to the Nats' 138? And how about the records? 21-11. What's your pathetic record? Didn't you guys get swept by the AAA Fish?

Me, Nats fan: Well, you lost two to the D'backs!

Me, Reds fan: They're in first place!

Me, Nats fan: Ooh, look at that - that guy with the huge ears just hit into a double play! He looks like Happy, the Baby New Year, from Rudolph's Shiny New Year! What's up with your offense?

Me, Reds fan: At least we have an offense!

Me, Nats fan: Well, look who just scored first! Hmph!

Me, Reds fan: Just wait. Y'all will get crushed. Can we please see Eischen in this game? We'd like to pad our NL leading home run total a bit.

Uno, dos, tres, veintiuno!

Have the Reds become trendy yet? They've been in first for awhile. Isn't it about time the bandwagon loads up?

In light of a brief conversation on Cubs attendance over the years, I thought I'd take a moment to explain my marketing idea to increase Reds attendance. To the right, you will see my unique and original idea on a marketing campaign which portrays the Reds as "cool" and "hip." I call it the iBall campaign. Get it? iBall? Eyeball? You know, go see the Reds?

What? You mean someone else has already come up with ads like this? Who?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Off day? What do I do? What do I do?

Fresh off the heels of taking Red Hot Mama's Number 1 fan survey today (yes, I am a Number 1 fan), I am discovering now that my psychosis goes beyond the ridiculous, as I don't know what to do without a game to watch, since both the Reds and Nats have the day off before Washington hits the Queen City for another sweep. (OMG, am I going to start trash talking with myself?) Sure, I have the Rockies - Deadbirds game on now with the sound turned down and French music playing (how do we live in this day of multimedia without going insane?), but it just isn't the same, even if a team we really want to lose, the Deadbirds, is losing. (I still haven't forgiven Dinger and Company for shutting out the Reds last week.)

I just sent my letter and resume to an international organization for the perfect job, at least at this point in my life. The organization is located in Berlin; if I were to get it, I'd be in Berlin the last week of June and would miss the second half of the season. Well, I wouldn't miss it; I'd just have to watch a lot of archived games and I'd look forward to the day games so I could watch them at night. I'm probably even obsessed enough to get up before dawn to watch the West Coast games. I know baseball is a game of superstition and jinxes, so I probably shouldn't mention anything, but if there is any power in good wishes and prayer, I could use more people rooting for me to get this job.

There is baseball in Berlin. They have teams like the Flamingos, Sluggers, Roadrunners, Challengers, Raptors, Rangers, Marines, and Herzogtum. Whatever that means. No, I don't speak German. Yet. You can be sure I will be attending some of these games. The language thing kind of reminds me when I was learning French and would watch Les Expos on the Montreal channel in college. Circuit! Circuit! I suppose it's odd that I watched so many Expos games and now follow the team religiously here in DC. That's fate, right? Hopefully this job is, too.

Note: Rockies beat Deadbirds, Giants playing Asstros. West Coast games make me get no sleep. Go Giants!

How's Beantown, Wily Mo?

In today's Boston Globe: Peña could become very big attraction
It's an odd sight. You look around the field when the Red Sox set up on defense and you have appropriate-sized people at all the positions. The first baseman is a little short and the third baseman is taller than most, but nothing really jumps out at you until you get to that patch in the middle of the outfield, and there's Wily Mo, looking like a Ford Excursion parked in a lot full of Mini Coopers.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Election year 2006 - the candidates series













Please see this week's wrapup below.

Week Five Wrapup: Not a fan of losing

Oh, it was not a good week. The Reds were 4-3, but the Nats were 3-4 and the Giants were a woeful 1-6. What's more, I am going to be forced to root against the Nats once again Tuesday-Thursday verses the Reds this week.

Reds (21-11, first place)

Sweeping the Deadbirds was a sweet, sweet feeling! Take that, Sir Albert and Company!

Maybe Reds fans are just spoiled, but I consider the 2-3 roadtrip that followed to be a bad one. Yes, the Reds did get some good pitching (though not in Sunday's win, oddly), but the bats were silent in many of the games, including the shutout handed to them by the Rockies in Coors "Supposed to be a launching pad" Field. Granted, both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks were first place teams during the week, but so are the Reds!

Stupid errors! They aren't going to remain in first place if they continue to commit the atrocious errors they perpetrated this week. Lopez led the way with three errors; Encarnacion had one; Hatteberg had one; Freel had one; Phillips had one; Aurilia had one. That's eight errors in five games. Sounds like Little League.

Some of this week's offensive horrors were alleviated by Sunday's slugfest against the D'Backs, in which Dunn, Hatteberg, Kearns, and Encarnacion went deep. Encarnacion's proved to be the game winner, since David Weathers was awful and loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, giving up a run in the process.

The highlight of the week was Aaron Harang's gem against the Rockies. Red Bull threw 8.1 innings of one run baseball, striking out a career high 12 to temporarily take the Major League lead in Ks. Harang is now 5-1 and starting to get some national attention. Yes, skeptics, this guy is for real.

Reds saint of the week (formerly known as player of the week): Austin Kearns. Kearns is playing how everyone always said he could play. This week he went 12-26 (.462) with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 4 RBI, 6 runs, and a .962 OPS. His seven game hit streak was stopped on Saturday, but he started a new one on Sunday. It's nice to see the other half of the Dunnandkearns Show swing the bat like that.

Nats (11-21, fourth place)

Swept by the AAA Fish in a two game series. Ugh. Were beaten really badly on Thursday, 11-3. Ugh. Simply Uggly.

Beating the Mets in one of two games was an accomplishment and helped the Nats go 3-4 this week. Hey, it's better than 2-5, 1-6, or 0-7, right?

Yes, the Nats took two of three from the second worst team in baseball, the Bucs, but they blew a sweep in the 11th inning of Saturday's game, which I watched in despair.

The offense was pathetic. Soriano went 6-33, Guillen 6-33, Johnson 5-27, Vidro 5-20, and Clayton 3-23, and those who did alright still didn't do spectacularly, as Zimmerman was 8-27, Byrd 7-25, and Schneider 7-21, the best clip for the week. That makes the regulars 47-209 for a measley .225 average for the week. You can't win too many games with that type of production.

Nats saint of the week: Ted Lerner. Why not? No one else did anything well this week, except for maybe Jon Rauch, who did not give up a run in five appearances this week. Or Irish, who was 2-0, though he did not pitch great in today's win. Hopefully Lerner's first move will be to fire that guy whom Marty Brennaman refuses to call by name. If so, Ted will earn his second player of the week honors.

Giants (14-17, last place. Groan.)

What is with this team? 1-6 for the week at a time when two other teams in their division run off 8 game win streaks? And then they lose their most productive player, Moises Alou, to an ankle sprain? Oh, I am so disgusted with this week's play that I don't even want to talk about it.

I will say one thing, though: 712! 713!

Giants saint of the week: Jason Schmidt. Schmidt was the only bright spot in this entire week, throwing a complete game shutout, giving up only five hits and striking out seven Brewers. It was only Schmidt's second win of the year, but it was a return to form. Hopefully, he'll throw a few more games like that in the immediate future. God knows the Giants need them.

Around the Horn

After seeing the Rockies up close this week, I am still wondering how they are winning. Jeff Francis pitched well on Tuesday to shutout the mighty Reds in homer haven, but the Reds pounded the team the next day. Still, they sit atop the NL West after sweeping the Asstros. (Thank you, Rox! Now do it to the Deadbirds!)

The Deadbirds swept the AAA Fish, who were fresh off of their two game sweep of the Nats. The Marlins just aren't picking the right time for their few wins.

Both the blessed Red Sox and the hated Yankees pulled off sweeps this weekend to stayed tied for first place. Someone start pounding the Yankees, please. Torre earned his 1000th Yankee win.

Big baby Billy Wagner pissed off his ex-Phillies teammates by whining about how they were against him. Like they wanted him to screw up and lose games for them? What is he smoking in the Mets clubhouse? Wah!!!

There were a lot of injuries to key players this week. Here's the injury report: Victor Zambrano is out for the season; Cristian Guzman is out for the season; Darin Erstad 15 day DL; Moises Alou 15 day DL; Rich Aurilia 15 day DL; Chris Burke 15 day DL; Sidney Ponson left a game early; Gary Sheffield's wrist is keeping him out of the lineup; Milton Bradley 15 day DL; Joe Randa 15 day DL; Ben Sheets misses a start, Prince Fielder leaves game early. I'm probably missing some, but it wasn't a healthy week for MLB.

Demon of the Week

Jose Guillen. Or at least his girlfriend. What kind of crackwhore goes to a shady check cashing place to cash a $12,000 check? And then she gets mugged carrying around $10,000 in her Louis Vuitton purse? And why do those places carry that much cash? Hey, Jose, have you ever heard of a bank?

IT'S A BASEBALL GAME, FOR CHRISSAKES!

I'm angry. I've never been angry after a baseball game before, but last night's 11th inning loss may have been the last straw for me. I've been to seven Nats games this year - they've lost all seven. (Granted, I was rooting for the Reds during three games, but come on!) I was pissy after the game, and some drunken Marines who were shouting country songs on the Metro exacerbated that anger. My mood was further soured when I got home and found out the Reds lost their second consecutive game.

I lost my voice last night screaming in desperation, as if my weak voice could make up for the lack of cheering by soulless suburbia who attend the games, sitting there like they are watching a golf game or something. This was an awesome game for a baseball fan; it had a bit of everything. Yeah, I'm not just sick of the losing. I'm also sick of the pathetic Nationals fans. It was a beautiful Saturday night, yet only 29K+ showed up, and those who were there just sat on their rumps during rally attempts. I got a few dirty looks when I started shouting, "Come on, suburbia, get up and cheer!" Half the stadium emptied out when the score was tied at the end of the ninth. Some six year old kid turned to me and said "That's enough" during the second inning when I was clapping. In some of the other games I've attended, I've heard people tell others to sit down, to shut up, and to "annunciate your cheers." I am starting to understand why this city lost two baseball teams.

I think a letter to the editor of WaPo is in order.

Fire Frank! Fire Bowden! Fire Paciorek! Fire someone, anyone!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Second inning nightmare

Stupid errors.

Why is this man so angry?

Wouldn't you be, too, if your team was so awful?

Why do the Pirates get no sympathy from me while the Royals get a fan? Well, I'm holding a grudge against all of those people who said the Pirates were going to finish above the Reds.

So, take that, Pirates! Every loss of yours is sweet! (Unless you are a Pirates fan who did not say the Reds would finish beneath you, then you have my sympathies!)

Some notes on the Nats defeat of the Bucs:

Nick Johnson hit two bombs. In RFK. What's this about the fences?

Bucs Dugout
does not have nice things to say about the Nats and Zach Day. Zach Day dominated the Bucs, so ha!

Bo Derek was spotted in the crowd wearing a Nats cap. She normally roots for the bad guys, so this is a marked improvement.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee, who have unfortunately been the Nats television announcers this season, just had this exchange:
BC: Albert Pujols has just hit his 16th homer of the year.
TP: He's really good.
Can we say "duh?"

It could be worse.

Yes, Nats fans, it could be worse. Despite Washington's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad start, we have a little thing called hope. See, Royals fans have none of that. The box was opened long ago, and this season is lost forever. Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star writes today about hitting his breaking point. Poor Joe says:
Ten years, we’ve watched the Royals try out softball pitchers, get hit in the back with relay throws, fall off bases on pickoff attempts, jog toward dugouts while fly balls drop behind them, slash payroll, send out incorrect lineup cards, injure themselves in home-plate celebrations and sacrifice innocent young pitchers at Yankee Stadium.
Dear Joe, we feel your pain. Fortunately, the Nats have players. The Nats have Jose Vidro and Nick Johnson and Jose Guillen and John Patterson and Chad Cordero. The Nats have a new owner and are building a new stadium. What do the Royals have? Doug Mientkiewicz? Yes, Nats fans, we still have hope, and here's to a three game sweep of the equally pathetic Pirates to jump start a nice, lengthy winning streak. (Don't forget to get your Crud Light cap at the ballpark tomorrow!)

So I'm jumping on the Kansas City bandwagon, because it's empty now. I'm going to check their scores every day with the hope that maybe they'll start playing like a Major League team. I'll root on Mark Teahan and Ambiorix Burgos and Jimmy Gobble. And know, dear, pathetic Royals, you have someone cheering for you out there.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, that's what power rankings mean to me

The Reds come in at number 4 in this weeks ESPN power rankings. It's about time.

On a sort of related note, the Reds no longer lead the Majors in runs scored. That honor goes to the Cleveland Indians, who have scored 189 to Cincy's 165, and the hated Yanks are right on the Reds heels at 161. So, let's score 20 tonight against a team that should never have existed in the first place. We'll make up the rest tomorrow.

The Nats, sadly, are ranked at number 28, just ahead of the Pirates and Royals. Not good company to be in. What does ESPN have to say about that?
The Nats host the Pirates in a three-game series this weekend. Yes, it'll be snooze time at RFK.
I'll be there, anyway, rooting on the last place Nats with my new Crud Light Nats cap.

Red Bull Express

Go to MLB.com, scroll down, look at the lefthand column, and see the wonderful picture posted on the strikeout leaders box. At number #1, with 45 Ks, is Aaron Harang! The names beneath him? Martinez, Glavine, Capuano, Schilling. That's not bad company.

The numbers: 5-1, 3.78, 45 K. Last night verses the Rockies he struck out 12, a career high, the second time in this young season he has hit a career high. I told you to put him on your fantasy team!

Attention Reds fans! What do you think of the nickname "Red Bull" for Harang? He needs a nickname, and he certainly is a workhorse, a bull, if you will.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Rockies get rocked









If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?

Losing one game is not the end of the world

Attention Reds fans! I am starting a write-in campaign for Brandon Phillips. As much as I like Freel, Phillips is the second baseman. Please take the time to write in Brandon Phillips when voting for All-Stars. Vote 25 times with each email address you have!

While I was watching the blessed Reds get shutout by the Rockies and the Nats blow an awesome comeback in the ninth inning last night (yes, at the same time on the same computer screen), a friend of mine was dining next to Bono, Condi, and Queen Nour at Galileo. When your baseballholicism is interfering with your social life (and your opportunity to see God in his shades up close), is it time to get help?

It's the winning, though. It's addictive. I can't help it. I neeeeed my fix of baseball every night. Yes, the Redlegs lost last night, but it was not due to pitching. Brandon "Two-headed" Claussen had one bad inning and some other pretty good ones. We all know that the Reds are not going to lose over the course of the season for a lack of offense. It's all about the pitching, and even in the losses, we are getting decent pitching. A review of the nine Reds losses.

  • Last night verses the Rockies: 3 runs scored, and one of those was a guy picked off of first who reached third on a throwing error by Aurilia. Stupid errors. Claussen only walked two and didn't allow a longball in the longball capital of the world. Quality start.
  • April 30 verses the Asstros. Reds lost 3-2. Elizardo Ramirez gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and two walks, including two longballs. Another quality start.
  • April 22 verses the Brewers. Reds lost 11-0. Yeah, Claussen gave up those four longballs in a row. This one was brutal.
  • April 18 verses the AAA Fish. Reds lost 12-6. Eric Milton was awful and went on the DL after that.
  • April 16 verses the Deadbirds. Reds lost 8-7. Arroyo's only bad outing of the year. David Weathers blew the save, feeding a longball to Sir Albert for his third homer of the game.
  • April 15 verses the Deadbirds. Reds lost 9-3. Dave Williams. 'Nuff said.
  • April 12 verses the Cubs. Reds lose 4-1. Claussen. (This is getting repetitive.)
  • April 9 verses the Pirates. Reds lose 5-3. Stupid error rears its ugly head. Dave Williams gives up two earned runs, gets a quality start. Belisle comes in to give up two runs. Not a bad day of pitching.
  • April 3 verses the Cubs. Reds lose 16-7. This one was a fluke, I tell you.
Five out of the nine losses exhibited decent to good pitching. Everyone loses. Dave Williams earned an ounce of patience with his outing on Tuesday; still, I am losing patience with both him and Claussen. You can't contend with two pitchers.

(Bonus points if you get the reference in the title.)