Thank God for Tony Cingrani. The lefthanded rookie hurler kept the Redlegs from getting swept out of Washington, DC with a true gem this past Sunday. Six innings of work, no runs, 11 strikeouts and a win. And this didn’t come against the Marlins or Cubs, either.
Reds and lefthanded pitchers who are successful [...]
Major League Baseball is once again forcing the World Baseball Classic down our collective throats.
For this, we can be most ungrateful. And this “Classic” comes from the same entity that gave us a tied All-Star Game, the designated hitter and day/night doubleheaders. I omit the time Major League Baseball took away Vida Blue [...]
Redleg Nation is the spouse in a bad marriage screaming, “I don’t know who you are anymore!” Up and down the lineup, this team looks nothing like the club we fell in love with last year. Fans are screaming for divorce. Or at least a separation from Dusty Baker. But, if you think you’ve [...]
John Erardi does it again today, with a short interview with former Reds great reliever, Wayne Granger:
The Reds’ acquisition of second baseman Joe Morgan before the 1972 season is regarded as the crowning glory of the late Reds’ general manager Bob Howsam, because it laid the groundwork for the speed-and-power of the Big Red Machine.
But the forerunner of that deal – and arguably the best deal Howsam made up until that time – was before the 1969 season. He traded an aging but still popular superstar, Vada Pinson, for center fielder Bobby Tolan and relief pitcher Wayne Granger from St. Louis.
if you ask most Reds fans older than 50 what they remember of Granger, they’d probably say for giving up a grand slam to Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dave McNally in the 1970 World Series, which the Reds lost 4 games to 1. It is the only time in World Series history that a pitcher has hit a grand slam. Even Granger brought up that pitch when he was asked what were his most indelible memories from his three years as a Red, all of them pitching for the late Reds manager Sparky Anderson.
“Sparky came out and said, ‘Throw strikes,’ and so I did,” recalled Granger. “It was a strike, all right, but it was probably the worst pitch in baseball history.”
“I gave up some game-winning home runs when I was here,” he recalled. “I probably cost us the pennant in ’69.”
Continue reading Wayne Granger
Asterisks (*) in this case indicate that neither item turned out to be true…
December 9, 1965: Future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for prospect outfielder Dick Simpson, all-star starting pitcher Milt Pappas, and star reliever Jack Baldschun. The Reds traded former and future MVP Robinson for they thought he was an “old 30″ after thinking he was in decline* (notice the asterisk again).
Reds owner Bill DeWitt worked for legendary baseball general manager Branch Rickey as an office boy at age 14 for the St. Louis Cardinals and later followed him to the St. Louis Browns. Rickey, best known for his role in developing farm systems and his leadership in the integration of baseball through Jackie Robinson, had learned an important Rickey adage, that it was better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late. He took that role in trading Robinson for other talents. I described the players the Reds received in trade (Pappas, Baldschun, and Simpson) the way that I did because, in theory, it’s quite likely that DeWitt made a quality trade. He was addressing a Reds need (pitching), he was trying to make room for the Reds future (Tony Perez and Lee May) and he felt that Deron Johnson would be able to repeat his 130-rbi seasonal performance. Coupled with the fact that Robinson wasn’t playing at the same level he had from 1961-63, he thought Robinson was in decline.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: Robby is an Old 30* and Vida Blue becomes a Red*
For November 29th, three brief notes of historical significance….
November 29, 1966: According to baseball-reference.com’s bullpen section, on this date a Chicago circuit court jury awarded pitcher Jim Brewer $100,000 in damages as a result of an on field fight with former Reds second baseman Billy Martin back in 1960.
I have seen various [...]
November 14, 1889: After nine years of expulsion, the Cincinnati Reds are readmitted to the National League.
While it’s commonly known that the Cincinnati Red Stockings were considered to be the first “professional” baseball team in 1869, the Red Stockings were disbanded after 1870. Cincinnati did not field a team in the first “National Association” which existed from 1871-1875. The National Association is not considered today to have been a Major League, but the NA did morph into the National League in 1876 and the Cincinnati Reds did field a team in this first Major League from 1876-1880.
However, these Reds teams were bad baseball teams, producing records of 9-56 and 15-42 in their first two seasons. The Reds went and signed some quality free agents and improved to 37-23 and 43-37, but was still losing money, and released the players. Piecing together a team for 1880, the Reds went 21-59 and attendance collapsed. To build revenue, the Reds resorted to selling alcohol at the ball park and leasing the park on Sundays to other local teams (both items prohibited by the National League) and the team was expelled from the league.
Cincinnati did not have a professional team in 1881, but Cincinnati representatives were instrumental in founding the American Association in 1882. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were one of the better organizations in the AA and had contending/winning teams in every season except for one from 1882-1889. Meanwhile, the National League had also expelled teams or did not field teams from New York and Philadelphia for different reasons, leaving the NL without teams in three large metropolitan areas.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: Cincinnati’s Major League Tour