2013 Reds / Editorials

Rise To The Occasion

“Sometimes you have to be hit in the face with a skunk three or four times before you smell it.”     —Bill Parcells

Feel free to attach meaning where you find it … last night’s game, the Red’s seeming willingness to do their Golden Retriever roll over act against that Club Who Shall Not Be Named, or even our fearless leader’s continued confounding managerial style.

I choose all of the above. Your mileage may vary.

It was all there on display at GABP last night. The hanging curves, followed by the hanging heads. The disciplined bats in the top of the first. The Swings Gone Wild video on an endless scoreboard loop at the bottom of the inning and onward.  Fast-forward to Joey Votto’s final boxscore: two hits, one a HR, two walks—and all of the Reds’ scoring. Somebody gets it down at the ballpark by the river. But, Joey isn’t paid to be the hitting coach, is he?

I was standing under the Stacks during The Brawl at the beginning of August 2010. The Reds would be swept at home and most of us filing out of GABP after the final game of the series thought the season was slipping away. So, the lesson would seem to be: beware of jumping to conclusions on August 3rd.

Nevertheless, the next four games will tell us everything we need to know about the 2013 version of Cincinnati Reds. People have pointed out that records against teams above .500 have little bearing on how a team will do in the playoffs. But, if Baker’s Boys don’t rise to the occasion tonight and tomorrow, if they don’t take personally what the Oakland A’s did to them last month on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s hard to see them even making the playoffs. Four games mean nothing in the context of the Big 162. It will give us one helluva indication, though.

Put the players under the microscope. Put the onus on Dusty. Blame the owner for his blind spot where Baker is concerned. Hold Walt accountable for failing to pry 35 year-old rental Marlon Byrd and his 133+ OPS from Sandy Alderson, who, like most GMs, had spotty cell phone service for days leading up the trading deadline.

Come to think of it, just blame Verizon.

At this point, it’s a moot point. We are long past the fierce urgency of now, as implausible as that sounds.

I’m heading down to the ballpark in a few hours. I won’t sit. I’ll walk the ballpark, circling the diamond, stalking and watching, fretfully, for the following three hours, then the following three games. It’s time for all of us, players, coaches, owners and fans to get up on our collective feet.

Time to rise to the occasion.

19 thoughts on “Rise To The Occasion

  1. I definitely agree with the fans rising to occasion. I know the Reds are pretty tough to watch right now but the fans can’t quit yet, if we are totally out of the playoff race by the end of August then you can quit caring then. The Reds still have two more months to prove who they really are.

  2. We’ll be at the park tonight too, RF. Section 109 closest to the field up against the wall, stop by and say hi. As for the Reds last night, it would be nice to see a player call a closed door meeting and be a leader. This team doesn’t work the count and seem out of the game after only a half inning. Time for the boys to show they are men and step up to the plate!! See ya there!!

  3. ” I won’t sit. I’ll walk the ballpark, circling the diamond, stalking and watching, fretfully, for the following three hours”

    Well, Richard I also hope you can find an empty seat in the lower level. But sometimes in sold out games like this you just have to settle for the upper level seat you paid for.

  4. But seriously, good stuff. Hopefully we can respond like the teams of 2010/12 knew how to do.

  5. Reds GM Walt Jocketty expects Ryan Ludwick (shoulder) to return next week.
    Ludwick has been out since Opening Day with a right shoulder injury, but moved his rehab assignment to Triple-A Louisville on Thursday and is finally close to being activated from the disabled list. He batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI last season and will provide a much needed upgrade over Chris Heisey as the Reds’ starting left fielder.

  6. How about everyone just relaxes a bit tonight and enjoys some baseball? Its a long season. You wouldn’t judge a player by 7 games. You definitely shouldn’t judge a team. Are there recurring problems? Sure. But show me a team who doesn’t have em. You can’t, because a team like that doesn’t exist.

    Yeah, last night sucked. Hard. But, the Cards don’t get to start with a 10 run lead tonight. We have 2 more months left boys. Lets wait on the sweeping judgements and hand wringing until the final chapter is closed. If we spend too much time worrying about one game, we might miss something special that this team has the potential to accomplish.

    • How about everyone just relaxes a bit tonight and enjoys some baseball? Its a long season. You wouldn’t judge a player by 7 games. You definitely shouldn’t judge a team. Are there recurring problems? Sure. But show me a team who doesn’t have em. You can’t, because a team like that doesn’t exist.

      Yeah, last night sucked. Hard. But, the Cards don’t get to start with a 10 run lead tonight. We have 2 more months left boys. Lets wait on the sweeping judgements and hand wringing until the final chapter is closed. If we spend too much time worrying about one game, we might miss something special that this team has the potential to accomplish.

      Pretty much this.

  7. Dusty certainly rose to occasion when he filled out today’s lineup card. Dusty wasn’t lazy when he filled in Jack Hannahan’s name in the spot Frazier usually hits in….Hannahan gets to hit 6 because he DESERVES it.

    • @CP: Well yeah, why do you think Izturis gets to hit 2nd when he starts? All the positions have their proper batting order slots they can hit at. That’s Book 101.

  8. Well let’s hope Cingrani can throw strikes on a regular basis tonight and be the “stopper” the team says he is. The Cards will make him throw strikes I assure you. Votto will do what he does get on base and make the sp work. Let’s hope the butt whipping cincy got last night will wake up the others and put a fire under there butts!!! As far as Dusty goes he’s such a tool. Sick of seeing him and his dumbass toothpicks!!!! Let’s go redlegs!!!

  9. Reds recalled RHP Pedro Villarreal from Triple-A Louisville.
    Villarreal has a 5.08 ERA over 15 starts at the Triple-A level, but will serve as bullpen depth. The Reds optioned right-hander Curtis Partch in a corresponding move.

    What the heck do the Reds see in him. He has a 5.08 ERA at AAA? Is there not one better option than this stiff?

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Honestly, I have wondered that myself. I know he’s on the 40-man roster. Though I’m not sure why he hasn’t been removed and someone more likely to contribute added (Ashley added and then called up to replace Corky please).. but oh well.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Oh, or for that matter I would enjoy DFAing Hannahan and calling up Hessman from AAA. He’s got power and at the very least can be an effective PHer. .237/.325/.491 in AAA this season. If you don’t call him up, then what’s the point of having a 35-year-old on your AAA team?

  10. I assume Villarreal only there as a place holder until Broxton gets back.

    Zach Duke, who has pitched well at Louisville and has some history of success in the majors, would have been a better choice, but would require moving someone off the 40-man roster.

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