I’ve been doing some thinking…

* The Reds are holding a wiffle ball tournament on Saturday, August 14. It sounds awesome. If anyone wants to put together a team (3-5 players), Redleg Nation might be willing to sponsor you, complete with RN T-shirts as uniforms. Just let me know soon, either with a comment here or an email.

* So the Reds are 8-5 since the All-Star break, 13-11 in July, 57-46 overall. The Reds have had a winning record in each month, and they only have to win one of the next two to ensure a winning July.

We did this last month, and I think it’s instructive. Let’s say the Reds split the next two to finish July at 58-47. Suppose Cincinnati then puts up a 14-13 record in August, and a 15-15 record in September/October. Not unreasonable, is it? That’s just one game over .500 for the rest of the season, and it would give the Reds a final 2010 record of 87-75. I will take that, in a heartbeat; that would be an outstanding improvement over the last decade.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the Reds go 15-12 and 16-14 in the last two months. That’s 89 wins on the season. All of a sudden, we’re on the verge of 90 wins, and teams have won the World Series with fewer. In other words, the Reds really don’t have to play exceptionally well to be right in the thick of the race for the rest of the season. Calm down and enjoy it.

* Bill Simmons linked this old SNL skit last week: I had forgotten how hilarious it was. It’s The Sinatra Group, featuring Phil Hartman, Chris Rock, and Mike Myers. Good stuff.

* Are you going to get your Homer Bailey bobblehead this weekend?

* The “Kanye West/Imma let you finish” meme never fails to amuse me.

* Interesting piece in Esquire this week about a perfect bid on Price is Right and the controversy surrounding it.

* In fifteen years, Jordan Smith is going to look exactly like David Weathers.

* ESPN published this, and it made me sick: What’s lurking in your stadium food? The Great American Ballpark entry was disgusting.

* I quit golf for good three months ago, and I’ve never been happier.

* Check out this quote from Adam Dunn. That guy is my favorite player, and probably will be until he retires. I especially enjoyed the comment from Craig Calcaterra:

Dunn was routinely knocked when he played for the Reds for having a bad attitude and being lackadaisical. Every time he opens his mouth, however, he sounds like a remarkably grounded and healthy person…I can’t imagine not wanting a sensible guy like Dunn in my clubhouse.

* I saw Inception last weekend. I thought it was good, not great, though I loved the ending. There is some possibility that I was expecting too much, because of all the exceptional reviews. Probably, I need to watch it again.

* Walt Jocketty says he might not be able to work out any deal before the trade deadline. That’s probably a good thing. Unless ol’ Uncle Walt were overwhelmed by an opportunity to acquire someone who will definitely improve the team, no use in taking unnecessary risks. Of course, there’s one deal he REALLY needs to get done, right now.

* Little-known fact about me: I’ve been to a Phish show…and I loved it. And I wasn’t under the influence of any substances at the time.

* Obligatory soccer nugget: Hurrah! Fox Soccer HD is coming to DirecTV!

* Any suggestions for the RN Get-Together, now scheduled for August 28? Should we meet somewhere before the game, etc.?

* Yesterday was Marty Brennaman’s 68th birthday, and the Nation would like to wish the Hall-of-Famer a belated happy birthday. To celebrate, we’ll show you our favorite Marty moment:

Okay, this is an open thread to discuss whatever you want. Enjoy….

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 117 Comments

  1. Inception was very entertaining, stylish and innovative. But not in the “OMG, that was the most brilliant film ever!” category, though. So I’m in broad agreement with the Judge on this.

    I followed some advice to “not think too much about it and just enjoy it.”

    That worked for me and that’s how I would recommend it to other people as well.

  2. Hit Tracker has Brandon’s home run yesterday at 449 feet. It’s the third longest for the Reds this year.

    Joey Votto hit a 457 foot home run at GABP also against Milwaukee on May 18. Jonny Gomes hit a 451 foot homer against Adam Wainwright on May 15.

    It’s interesting to see how Votto’s home runs are dispersed across all fields, while Gomes’ home runs are primarily pull jobs.

    Josh Hamilton (485) has the longest this year and Adam Dunn (471) has the fourth longest.

    http://www.hittrackeronline.com/

    If you’ve never been to this site, be prepared to waste a couple hours of your day. Sorry.

  3. It’s best not to think about what you are actually eating.

    As for the Reds, I’ve been preaching the “winning the month” strategy since last year. Through the grind of a long season, I think it helps put things in perspective.

    Is this a 90 win team? I can’t say that they are. They’d have to go 33-26 the rest of the way. While it is conceivable, I think in reality the Reds are a .500 team that ripped off a 9-1 record from May 8 to May 18.

  4. Inception was amazing. i have yet to see a Christopher Nolan film that didn’t blow my mind at the end. The Dark Knight and The Prestige (highly underrated) were both amazing, but Inception blew both of them out of the water (haven’t seen Memento yet, though). Nolan can tell a film like no other.

    As far as Adam Dunn, I admit that I have grown to love him now that he has found himself in Washington and would pray to anyone if Jocketty could put up a trade to put him back in GABP’s leftfield where he belongs, but you have to admit, his last few years on the Reds were not the best. He only went for the home run, and that’s all you expected him to do when he came to the bat. Plus his defense was just bad. Now he’s moved to a bigger ball park and learned to actually go for a single, and not just a homer.

  5. Marty expounding on CubStink in the audio clip. Excellent. And so true. CubStink is why they will never win and the Reds should avoid bringing aboard ex-Cubs at times.

  6. Interesting Esquire article on the Price is Right. And yet, I find myself thinking: I can’t get that worked up about winning two showcases. Good to know that Drew Carey still uses the F-bomb without hesitation though. 😆

  7. @Barnes: …at all times.

  8. An old friend (Cubs fan) has tix for the Aug 7th game in Chicago in the bleachers. If I wear Reds paraphernalia, how much trouble am I asking for in there? I was at one other game in the upper deck in late summer last year when nobody cared, but only wearing my Reds hat. And… if I catch a Reds homerun I’ll scream “Redlegnation Rules” over and over.

    • @Matt WI: I’ve been to a lot of Reds games at Wrigley, and the fans are usually pretty good natured — if you’re not a jerk, they probably won’t be jerks to you. But they are fair-weather fans, and they’ve had a ton of empty seats lately. You should be okay, although I’ve never sat in the bleachers. Bring a dummy baseball that you can throw onto the field if you catch a Reds home run. They won’t let you rest until you throw something out there.

  9. As for Homer Bailey bobblehead day, I was facing quite a dilemma. The game was moved to a FOX regional game, but unbelievably Indianapolis was scheduled to receive the Detroit/Boston game! I though I could just go to the game, but I saw that it’s a virtual sellout, and my wife has been having some minor health issues lately.

    However, after an email writing campaign, FOX made a late switch to give Indy the Reds/Braves game. It’s ridiculous that it was even in doubt. The Reds are by far the #2 team here (behind the stupid Cubs), and the AL doesn’t even register.

    Anyway, long story short, Indy gets the Reds Saturday, and all is right with the world.

  10. @Matt WI: This link doesn’t directly address your question about wearing Reds gear, but does provide first-hand testimonials from the bleachers.

    http://deadspin.com/5288450/why-your-stadium-sucks-wrigley-field

  11. As for stadium food: I don’t partake of it. Not because of health issues, but because of the price. Just eat before and/or after the game!

    And did you know that many MLB stadiums (including GABP and Wrigley) allow you to bring in soft-sided coolers with food and certain beverages? I’ve done it many times in both locations, and the people around me are surprised to see it — but it’s right there in the stadium policies that you can do it. Avoid the concessions!

    The NFL is outrageous, however. At Lucas Oil Stadium, you can’t bring anything in, and prices are even MORE outrageous than MLB games. My wife usually smuggles a baggie of Cheez-Its deep within her giant purse.

    • And did you know that many MLB stadiums (including GABP and Wrigley) allow you to bring in soft-sided coolers with food and certain beverages?

      I do this all the time, too. You can take any food in that you like: sandwiches, fruit, snacks, even fast food. You can take non-alcoholic beverages, as long as they are unopened and in plastic bottles. It’s an incredibly great way to save money at the ballpark.

      • I do this all the time, too. You can take any food in that you like: sandwiches, fruit, snacks, even fast food. You can take non-alcoholic beverages, as long as they are unopened and in plastic bottles. It’s an incredibly great way to save money at the ballpark.

        I don’t go to a game anymore without taking a little cooler full of drinks. Especially when I take my wife and two boys. I can take a 6-pack of bottles in there for the price of 1 drink at the ball park. Huge money saver there. I usually try to eat before going to the game, but can’t pass up at least one Skyline Coney. I usually get an ice cream or soft pretzel late in the game to complete the night.

  12. @Barnes: Thanks. I’d like to think I was part of the reason, but I’ll never know for sure.

  13. Marty is so on it. I may not be able to participate in the Aug 28th get together. I am still trying to work my way to it, but it is not looking good.

  14. @Steve: ESPN had BP’s HR at 480 feet. But what do they know.

    • ESPN had BP’s HR at 480 feet. But what do they know.

      Hard to imagine ESPN over-hyping something. Hit Tracker is pretty scientific about it, I’ll go with them in this case.

  15. @Barnes: @renbutler: Thanks guys. I’m not exactly a picking fights kind of person. I just wondered if the Bleachers housed a different kind of animal to be aware of. Gotta figure that being 10 games out has to put a damper on things. And, at least we can join forces in hating the Cards for a day.

  16. August 28. A couple thoughts.

    How about Rock Bottom before the game? Maybe around 4 or 5. The beer is good and the snacks are large.

    HofbrauHaus would also be OK. Nice atmosphere. OK beer.

    Another possibility would be the bar at the Hyatt. Close to GABP and they have Barrelhouse on tap.

  17. Where is a good place to check what area you are in for the Fox Baseball game?

    Fort Wayne is probably stuck with Detroit who has relatively few fans here. Northeast Indiana is similar to Indy I would say. With the Cubs most popular and the Reds probably a fairly close second. I have seen LOTS of Reds gear around the area this year. As for me, I am still wearing the same ratty hat that has endured numerous losing seasons.

    Go Reds

  18. WJ is not going to trade for Stephen Drew, simply because he’s happy with what he has right now at SS.

    We could use another quality LHed relief pitcher, but apparently the price for such a pitcher is high, so forget it.

  19. Every time I hear Adam Dunn speak, he is indeed grounded and healthy. He’s not full of himself, and has a good sense of humor.

  20. Paul Janish.

    Gets a lot of love on the Reds blogs. No question he is a fine shortstop. However there is no compelling reason to believe that he is a major league hitter. Stats look pretty good this year. But the sample size is small. However in over 2000 minor league plate appearances his OPS was only .733. Major league total, .614. And he’s 27 years old. So there’s no reason to expect a lot of improvement.

    I’m not a Cabrera fan. But I’m afraid we’re stuck. Maybe we should have kept Keppinger.

  21. @pinson343: His quotes to Fay seem to indicate that he is not looking for any offensive help. While I think that is a mistake, given our lack of true leadoff hitter, the Reds lead the National League in runs by 20. Had they not been shut out 13 times (or whatever it is), they’d have an even larger lead in that category. No sense in wasting prospects, I suppose, if what you have is working.

  22. There is no substance available on the black market or otherwise that could make Phish sound good to me.

  23. Left handed relief. Travis Wood.

    This seems like a no brainer. There has been talk of sending Wood back to Louisville when Homer and Aaron are ready. Meanwhile we look at Scott Downs and others to supplement Superman (AR) as a late inning lefty reliever. I don’t get it. Wood would be perfect in that role. Chapman is not ready. No command yet. We don’t need a left handed Cordero. Maloney is average to below average. Wood has nothing more to prove in AAA. He’s the guy.

  24. At present, I am the only one going on August 28th. I forgot the kids would be back to college and my sister and her hubby won’t be here yet. Still trying to see if I can get a couple buddies to come with me.

  25. @Truman48: Yes, I believe Fort Wayne is getting the Tigers this week instead of the Reds. I frequent a sports broadcasting message board that posts maps of FOX’s coverage, but I haven’t seen an official map for this week.

    • @Truman48: Yes, I believe Fort Wayne is getting the Tigers this week instead of the Reds. I frequent a sports broadcasting message board that posts maps of FOX’s coverage, but I haven’t seen an official map for this week.

      Actually, Truman, I just checked the WFFT web site and their programming guide says that they will be carrying Braves/Reds on Saturday!

  26. I have a team of 4 or 5 20-year olds from Zanesville interested in playing in the Wiffle Ball Tournament.

  27. What..no mention of Dunn’s sneaking out of the dugout recently to go up and visit with Bob Uecker during the game (Dunn wasn’t in the starting lineup that day)? When asked if he had permission, he said he and Uecker were old friends and since Uecker was back from his surgery, he wanted to come up and say hello. If he was fined, he said it was no problem, he’d pay it..Here’s a link. Just read today that Dunn was not fined..

  28. If I were closer I’d be all over that wiffle ball tournament. One of my great regrets from high school gym class was that I never hit a homer playing wiffle ball. Not that I was bad, but I never took one deep. Some day I must make up for that great tragedy…

  29. Mets take a 3-0 lead against the Cards!

  30. On the trade deadline, mlbtraderumors.com says that “The Rays, Twins, and Phillies are the most motivated buyers. The Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Blue Jays are the most motivated sellers.”

    They also say that the Rockies current 8-game losing streak has pushed them from buyers to sellers as the deadline approaches, so that would introduce some additional players who weren’t available as recently as 1 week ago.

    I doubt left-handed 3rd baseman Ian Stewart would be available given his age and that he is under team control the next 4 years. However, he’s in a near platoon situation at 3rd base, he’s also played some 2nd base (last year) and he’d be a better multi-day backup plan at 3rd than Miguel Cairo. The Rockies would probably be more interested in moving Mora or Barmes, neither being an upgrade over Cairo.

    An interesting name on the pitching side. Matt Belisle has a 2.64 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 61.1 relief innings. He has struck out 61 and walked only 12 batters. His OPS splits vs lefties (.576), righties (.615), home (.611), and away (.594) are all consistently good.

  31. How can you go to a baseball game and not get the food. I gave up worrying about the quality years ago, heck if you went into the kitchen of most resturants you would become kinda ill. Unless I see a huge outbreak of food deaths at a ballpark I will be a risk taker…

  32. In the Cards-Mets game. Interesting to note starting pitcher Hawksworth is batting leading off the 6th inning with Cards trailing 4-0. I bet Tony would be pinch-hitting here had he not used all of his pitchers yesterday.

    Go Mets.

  33. I may have to make my own thread on this over the weekend but will see what response I can get on here now…

    Me and a buddy are taking our oldest boys (ages 6 and 7) to Pittsburgh on Monday for the Reds-Pirates game. We have decided to try and make one trip per summer (both of us are school teachers) to a ball park we haven’t been to. This year, we opted to make the 6.5 hour drive to Pittsburgh for our inaugural journey.

    What all should I know about the city and getting around the ballpark? I have never been to Pittsburgh and thus, have never been to PNC park. How is parking, traffic, etc.. around the stadium? I expect a light crowd considering it is a monday night and it’s, well, the Pirates!

    • You will love the ballpark, in my opinion better then GABP. Given you are going on a Monday night, parking should not be an issue. Depending on when you get there, they have these inclines that go up and can give you a great view of the park. Also, at that location you use to be able to park your car in the parking garage and if you wanted to, take a riverboat over to the game. How much time before the game were you looking at?

      I may have to make my own thread on this over the weekend but will see what response I can get on here now…Me and a buddy are taking our oldest boys (ages 6 and 7) to Pittsburgh on Monday for the Reds-Pirates game. We have decided to try and make one trip per summer (both of us are school teachers) to a ball park we haven’t been to. This year, we opted to make the 6.5 hour drive to Pittsburgh for our inaugural journey. What all should I know about the city and getting around the ballpark? I have never been to Pittsburgh and thus, have never been to PNC park. How is parking, traffic, etc.. around the stadium? I expect a light crowd considering it is a monday night and it’s, well, the Pirates!

    • @Chris

      While it’s the casino’s web site, this gives you a good map look of the stadiums and freeways around PNC and such.

      http://www.theriverscasino.com/maps-a-directions

      I may have to make my own thread on this over the weekend but will see what response I can get on here now…Me and a buddy are taking our oldest boys (ages 6 and 7) to Pittsburgh on Monday for the Reds-Pirates game. We have decided to try and make one trip per summer (both of us are school teachers) to a ball park we haven’t been to. This year, we opted to make the 6.5 hour drive to Pittsburgh for our inaugural journey. What all should I know about the city and getting around the ballpark? I have never been to Pittsburgh and thus, have never been to PNC park. How is parking, traffic, etc.. around the stadium? I expect a light crowd considering it is a monday night and it’s, well, the Pirates!

  34. @Chris Wilson:

    That info is all good to know. I would have assumed you couldn’t take anything in with you.

  35. @Chris Wilson: I’ve never been, but my brother loves that place. He’s doing a similar thing about going to different stadiums. Someday I’d like to do that too.

  36. @Chris Wilson: You’re right, the crowd probably won’t be too heavy. For parking there are lots between PNC and Heinz Field or there are garages right across the river. I’m not positive, but I think the lots cost either $10 or $15. I don’t remember the garage prices. If you park in the garages, you can just walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge to get over to the ballpark. The bridge features a saxophone player who frequently claims that the Pirates stink because nobody gives him money, lol. The incline that dn4192 is talking about is the Duqesne Incline. You have to go up to Mt. Washington to ride them. PNC is a nice park. The Pittsburghers love the view of the city behind the outfield. If you’re not too grossed out by the health and sanitation article and want to try some local cuisine, somewhere in the park there is a Primanti Brothers. They have sandwiches with meat, cheese, cole slaw, and fries all inside the bread.

    • somewhere in the park there is a Primanti Brothers. They have sandwiches with meat, cheese, cole slaw, and fries all inside the bread.

      If this is true, it’s a must do. I’ve had this in Cleveland and not Pittsburgh. But these sandwiches in Cleveland are awesome.

  37. @Chris Wilson: PNC is gorgeous. Love it. My in-laws recently went there for a game and complained about the lack of parking immedietly available by the stadiums (Heinz and PNC) due to a newly constructed casino down there. Said they walked what felt like a mile to them. They may be slightly exaggerating, but just though I’d pass that along since you’re bringing young kids. Hopefully someone closer can give you more specific info.

  38. @Matt WI: My previous comment is awaiting moderation, but I just google mapped the area and it appears my in-laws were looking for some very specific parking spaces around the new casino area. I defer to Big Red’s comments.

  39. @Matt WI: Wow, I didn’t realize the casino was getting that much business. If so, then I would go for the garages across the River on Ft. Duquesne Blvd. Of course, a Monday night may mean less business at the casino, too.

  40. PNC…awesome park. I’ve seen two games there. My wife and I wanted to take a road trip there this year, but it doesn’t look like it’s happening.

    Wiffle Ball Tourney – So tempting. My brother and I used to play every day in the summer when we were kids. I was always the Reds and he was the Cardinals. Our “stadium” was Cherry Yards because there was what we thought was a cherry tree in the neighbors yard and if you dove for a ball in their yard it hurt to land on them.

    Baily Bobblehead – I’ll be at the old ballyard Friday and Saturday this week cheering on our FIRST PLACE Reds.

    “* I quit golf for good three months ago, and I’ve never been happier.”

    CHAD, have you considered Disc Golf? I gave up ball golf years ago for the safety of others, but I LOVE disc golf now. The greater Cincinnati area has something like 27 courses.

    For the record, I think I’m completely fine if the Reds don’t make any moves at the deadline. There just isn’t anything out there that excites me or makes me think it would be THAT much of an upgrade over what we have. Drew is probably the exception, but as has been said here, Walt probably isn’t going to repace Cabrera, and I can understand that as much as it drives me crazy.

    Love the Kanye jokes.

  41. CARDS LOSE! CARDS LOSE! CARDS LOSE! HO-LY COW!

    Sorry, just channeling my inner Harry Caray.

  42. Primanti Brothers….mmmmm…I want to go to that place…again.

    @BIGred053:

  43. @Greg Dafler: I don’t want the return of Belisle. With Rhodes, Bray, Danny Ray and Chapman, the Reds have enough potential lefties for the pen without trading for an arm. Frankly, I think that Burton has pitched well enough in AAA to improve the pen from the right side if need be.

    The Reds’ bullpen has logged the 10th most innings in the NL, which is pretty good. Rhodes, Cordero and Masset are the only three on pace for more than 70 IPs. It may be nice to get another setup type guy to give Rhodes and Masset some days off, but is that really the biggest hole?

  44. @Nathan in Lebanon: It’s good stuff, but talk about unhealthy, haha. I go to school at Pitt and there is a Primanti’s on campus, but I limit it to only a couple of trips a year.

  45. the reds called the brewers about hart

  46. @lukeukcrazy: If that were to happen, it better work out well in the end. I’ve been banging that drum for a few weeks.

  47. @Steve: From Pannini’s? Good stuff.

    • @Steve: From Pannini’s? Good stuff.

      That sounds right. There is an old one right by the baseball stadium and others around town. Fries and slaw in the sandwich itself. Yum.

  48. @lukeukcrazy: Could probably get Hart for Alonso straight up, since Fielder’s got one foot out the door. 2011 is Arbitration 3 for Hart, and he will be a free agent for the ’12 season. He’s played LF before. His wrist health is obviously a concern, that would absolutely have to check out before a deal could be made. He’s said he doesn’t want to leave Milwaukee, but he’s from Bowling Green, Kentucky, so Cincy might work for him. Good player. Better than our current options. I’d have the doctors look at his wrist a couple of times two or three different ways. The plethora of up and coming first basemen around the league limits Alonso’s market value some.

  49. Part of the ballpark experience is eating bad food. Not just any bad food, but hot dogs, peanuts, cracker jacks, etc. Peanuts aren’t bad of course unless you eat too many, which you do.

  50. I didn’t mean to imply that the Reds should target Belisle. I was just noting that the former Red was looking like he could be changing addresses if the Rockies do indeed become sellers.

    Some Reds pitchers of note in the minors:

    Chapman (lhp) – 7 straight appearance w/o allowing a earned run. His last 6 outings he’s allowed just 1 walk. Last 7 games: 7.1ip, 6 h, 3bb, 10k. Looks like they’ve also been getting him used to throwing on back-to-back days out of the pen.

    Horst (lhp AA) – probably not ready to make the jump, but we thought the same things about Jordan Smith. His last 10 games: 13.2ip, 10h, 3bb, 20k, 1.98 ERA.

    Burton (rhp) – hasn’t allowed a run in 9 July relief appearances. 12.1ip, 6h, 4bb, 14k.

    Russ Springer (rhp) – Has only allowed 1 hit in 6 relief appearances. 5.2ip, 1 hit, 1 bb, 5 k.

    I don’t see the Reds going after any middle relievers that would be any better than their options in their own minor league affiliates. I doubt they spend the resources (money or prospects) on another closer like Soria or anyone else who may be available.

  51. Whiffleball is such a great sport. One summer in college, a group of fraternity brothers and I played almost everyday. We kept stats and everything. Since it was summer, the parking lots were generally empty and we used empty 12 pack boxes for bases. We alternated between two lots depending on which one was empty. Busch Light boxes were used for Busch Stadium and the elevated lot was Coors Field where we used Coors Light and Keystone boxes. I must brag that I led the league in HRs that year.

  52. Glad that Matt Belisle is finally pitching well but we don’t need him, not with our surplus of solid RHed relievers.
    Burton would be on the roster of most teams by now.
    Plus coming back to Cincy might spook Belisle.

    I made a statement about LHed relief and a good reply was Travis Wood. But it’s not clear that Wood will be assigned that role, I don’t know the plan with him.

    With Leake, the plan seems to be to push back enough of his starts so that he will start right thru September.

  53. ^ This was before Miller Park was built, else we could have put to use the Miller Lite and Milwaukees Best boxes we had.

  54. @Greg Dafler: Haven’t followed AA this year, didn’t know about Horst.

    WJ has talked about getting another veteran guy in the pen, I think it will be Springer and not a trade.

  55. @pinson343: No wonder people are always complaining about the cost of major sports! If you have money to blow, more power to you. But most of us don’t like to spend money on that kind of thing. I like to get a little more value for my money, personally.

  56. Corey Hart, wow. If he’s healthy, that would be a major addition. I’m glad to hear that WJ is looking for another bat. He might pull off another one of his last-minute surprises.

    Our offense has good stats but needs to be more consistent. And we’re all afraid (very afraid) of Votto, Roeln, or BP getting hurt and being out for an extended period. We don’t have the depth to handle that.

  57. @renbutler: I don’t actually eat a lot at baseball parks now, too expensive and I’d get sick (too old for it). But what I do eat is the usual baseball game junk.

  58. Oswalt approved the deal and the Phillies sent Jonathan Villar, J.A. Happ, and Anthony Gose to the Astros. Then the Astros flipped Anthony Gose to the Blue Jays.

  59. “his last few years on the Reds were not the best.”

    Well let’s see, Adam Dunn’s last 3 seasons in Cincinnati:

    2006: .234/.365/.490 114 OPS+
    2007: .264/.386/.554 136 OPS+
    2008: .236/.386/.513 130 OPS+

    So, his worst year, and two years that weren’t as good as his 2004 or 2005 season, but were still very good offensively.

  60. @lukeukcrazy: That sounds unsubstantiated to me. Link? There’s nothing on MLBTradeRumors.com or ESPN. In fact, it is contrary to Fay’s post. “As far offensive help, Jocketty isn’t pursuing anything. ‘Not really,’ he said. ‘I don’t see many offensive guys who can help us. Nothing has stood out.’

    I would be shocked if the Brewers and Reds swapped in division for a guy who isn’t a FA until next season. By the way, it wouldn’t be hitting that the Brewers get, it would be a hard throwing pitcher like Bailey.

  61. @David: I’d say either or. Yonder fits if they want to move Prince (sounding more and more unlikely, at least by this non-waiver deadline), but otherwise, yes, the Brewers are pitching poor. Throw out the divisional aspect and you have a pretty good trading partner.

  62. @David: i found it on sports illustrated website

    • WJ said he almost made a deal and it went off here is where I found it

      never mind

  63. @David: I don’t see a trade for a big bat happening. But you can’t go by WJ saying: ‘Not really. I don’t see many offensive guys who can help us. Nothing has stood out.’

    WJ talks but what he says and what he’s doing aren’t necessarily the same thing.

  64. @pinson343: Right. I mean, nobody knew the Reds were in on Chapman until it was over. The Rolen deal was supposed to be dead, then it happened. Words are cheap at the moment.

  65. And after listening to WJ for the last few years, I interpret “Not really” as “Not definitely”.

  66. With the view that the Reds will be shuting Leake down here soon, my question is why? As long as he feels okay why not let him continue to pitch? Let him maybe miss a start here or there but let him pitch. I came across this bit of info that would lend me to think if he takes care of himself there is no reason why he can’t pitch the rest of the season;

    “Retired players generally scoff at the idea that a major leaguer should throw only 100 pitches. “I used to have that many by the second inning,” joked Sam McDowell, who pitched for the Indians from 1961 to 1971, winning 122 games and leading the league in strikeouts five times.

    McDowell and another fireballer, Sonny Siebert, who threw a no-hitter for Cleveland in 1966, both said they had games in which they threw more than 200 pitches. Nolan Ryan is said to have thrown 259 pitches in a 12-inning game in 1974.

    “I don’t believe in taking a pitcher out unless he’s in trouble,” said Siebert. “If a guy is young and in shape, the number of pitches shouldn’t be a problem.”

    Said McDowell: “The more you use a muscle, the stronger it gets.”

    Len Barker, who threw a perfect game for the Indians in 1981, questioned today’s philosophy. “If a guy is throwing good, why take him out?

    “I had games where I threw 145 to 175 pitches. They pay relievers millions of dollars, so they have to justify using them.”

    • With the view that the Reds will be shuting Leake down here soon, my question is why? As long as he feels okay why not let him continue to pitch?

      This issue has been covered ad nauseum. In addition to the Verducci finding, which is interesting but fairly superficial, there are dozens of articles and studies on this by Baseball Prospectus, Bill James, Rob Neyer, Tom Tango and the writers at Baseball Think Factory, among others.

      I put essentially no stock in what old pitchers say about the weakness of the next generation (I’m assuming you read something in a Cleveland paper). Looking only at those ex-Tribe pitchers, I find their comments especially odd/irrelevant:

      Sonny Siebert didn’t make it to the majors until he was 27 years old. He also didn’t throw many pitches, even compared to modern starters. He never topped 241 IP, and was only over 200 four times.

      McDowell threw a lot of pitches, most likely averaging around 125 a game in his age 27 season. But what he seems to forget is that he was never the same again after that season, and was effectively washed up at age 29.

      At Len Barker’s peak usage, he threw less than 110 pitches a start. So he doesn’t know what he is talking about. In any event, he was hurt at 28 and done for at 29.

  67. @pinson343: Wow, just wow. I like Hart and what he’d be able to do in the 2-hole. I really wish his intro music was “Sunglasses at Night.” Instead, it’s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” by Caged the Elephant.

  68. Looking ahead for the Reds, I see 3 tough road trips. All of them involve at least one West Division team.

    A 9 game West Coast road trip is coming up August 17 thru 25 at Arizona, LA, and SF. I’ll be going to one of the SF games.

    A critical road trip takes place
    September 3 thru 9: 3 games in St. Louis followed by 4 at Colorado.

    Finally, we have a short but dangerous West Coast trip close to the end: September 24 thru 26, 3 at San Diego.

  69. Did the Blue Jays really just trade Brett Wallace to Houston for Anthony Gose?

  70. @dn4192: What I read on a “reliable” Reds site (forget whether it was Fay’s or mlb.com) is that the Reds are not going to shut down Leake, they’re going to stretch out his starts so he can stay in the rotation until the end of the regular season. Right now, for example, he’s getting 8 days between starts.

    I’m not at all sure that he’ll pitch effectively that way.

  71. The big West Coast trip coming up in mid-August reminds me of the 2006 Reds. This team is better than that one was, especially after The 2006 Trade, but they were sitting pretty at this point, leading the wild card chase.

    The collapse came with a late August road trip, losing 9 of 10 in SF, LA, and SD. There was a crushing 16 inning loss to LA in there, at which point most of us felt it was over.

  72. @Travis G.: yes and Jorge Cantu got traded to the Rangers for Omar Poveda and Evan Reed

    • yes and Jorge Cantu got traded to the Rangers for Omar Poveda and Evan Reed

      Poveda is coming off tommy john surgery

  73. @Travis G.: I just saw that. AMAZING deal for Houston.

  74. @dn4192: The concern is less about Leake this year (though he could hit a hard wall), but is much more about NEXT year. There is ample statistical evidence to refute what grisly veterans believe. Once you hit a certain baseline, then no, the innings don’t matter as much. But when you increase the load significantly from one year to the next on a young arm, you signficantly increase injury risk the year following the innings increase. No way they should risk that golden arm, even for the playoffs.

    • Where might one find this statisical information?

      @dn4192: The concern is less about Leake this year (though he could hit a hard wall), but is much more about NEXT year. There is ample statistical evidence to refute what grisly veterans believe. Once you hit a certain baseline, then no, the innings don’t matter as much. But when you increase the load significantly from one year to the next on a young arm, you signficantly increase injury risk the year following the innings increase. No way they should risk that golden arm, even for the playoffs.

  75. Now the Astros are pushing hard to trade Berkman to the Rays

    • Now the Astros are pushing hard to trade Berkman to the Rays

      because Brett Wallace is going to become the 1st baseman

  76. @dn4192: The number of pitches thrown in a game is a different issue from the number of innings thrown in a season.

    For a veteran pitcher, a lot of innings in a season is OK. For a young pitcher, you have to consider the maximum number of innings he’s thrown in a season so far. This is Mike Leake’s first pro season.

    Jim Bunning was asked about this in an mlbnetwork interview. I expected a macho reply, instead he gave a reasonable one. Young pro pitches used to spend more years in the minors, he said, building their arms up there. By the time they came up to the majors, their arms were developed enough to throw a full workload of innings.

    One difference from “the old days” is that in the old days most MLB players did not attend college, so they started their pro careers early.

  77. @dn4192: Google search the “Verducci Effect.” It was named after a sports illustrated writer who first found the effect. I don’t mean to suggest it’s infalliable, but organizations are pretty protective of their assets based on some of this. There are also some who don’t believe in it. I can tell you that Homer Bailey was flagged as being at risk this year.

  78. The Reds organization has had a bad history with dead young arms,
    from the 1960’s with Gary Nolan, Sammy Ellis, and (sort of) Jim Maloney (who wasn’t so young any more) into the 2000’s, with all those early draft picks who never reached the majors.

    Then there’s Edinson Volquez.

  79. For prematurely dead arms, I forgot to mention Mario Soto. That was really a shame, he was great. Pete Rose insisted he could pitch on 3 days rest, which he wasn’t used to.

  80. Miguel Tejada is headed somewhere.

  81. did anybody hear abot that fan who wore a lebron jersey at the indians game
    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/38459999/ns/sports-baseball/

  82. @pinson343: to the padres for Cory Luebke and Simon Castro

  83. @lukeukcrazy: actually for Josh Bell

  84. @lukeukcrazy: Mlbtraderumors says it’s Tejada to the Padres for pitching prospect Wynn Pelzer.

    Don’t think Tejada can help the Padres much.

  85. It was that 35 year old knuckle baller Dickey who shut out the Cards today.

    Glad the Reds didn’t face him, hitters claim a knuckle baller can put you in a slump for a week.

    • Glad the Reds didn’t face him, hitters claim a knuckle baller can put you in a slump for a week.

      I’ve heard that, too. But I also heard someone ask Cal Ripken if that was true and he said no, that hitters have very specific game plans each day and that one day wouldn’t affect the next. Probably some truth to both sides.

  86. @pinson343: Hope your theory works on the bad guys this week.

  87. I think the team that should go and get Adam Dunn is the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox have a long history of big, lumbering sluggers – many of which became fan favorites. Dunn could step into his future and be the primary DH, negating his defensive problems. Dunn would also be a nice compliment to Paul Konerko in the middle of their lineup.

  88. That is great news that Fox Soccer Channel will be in HD.

    I would like to see Dunn go to the Yankees, he would put up great numbers in that lineup and ball park.

  89. @RiverCity Redleg: I played wiffleball every day from about age 11 to 18. We played fast pitch, and man is it hard to hit. Just by holding the ball a certain way, you can throw a curve, screwball, riser, and sinker, all without ever breaking your wrist (i.e., you throw everything like a fastball).

    I also played in two different National Wiffleball tournaments (Southeastern region). Came in 2nd in one and 5th in the other. Problem was in the first one I threw abut 600 pitches in a day. I felt great, and that was the last time I have ever pitched…tendenitis, career over. Jim Bunning would call me a wimp.

  90. So Oswalt will give the Phils a couple extra wins. It’s interesting…but I still think the Phils will not make the playoffs.

    They aren’t as good as Atlanta and trail by 3. I like Atl there. And I like SF as the wild card team, for the reasons LVW gave a few days ago…they are ahead of the Phils now and their team has Posey and Bumgarner…they are better than their record, as those guys haven’t played more than a month or so.

    Conceptually, Philly could beat San Diego for the wildcard. But I still think it is not that likely.

    I see this as a good deal for the Reds, as he does not go to St. Louis. And as usual the media misreported the prospects. (When they aren’t getting the actual trade wrong, e.g., Cliff Lee.)

  91. The Twins acquired Matt Capps from the Nationals for top prospect Wilson Ramos.

  92. Keith Law says the Brewers are not selling because they are close enough to contention.

    Is that a joke?

    48-55 and 9 games back behind 2 teams?

    • Keith Law says the Brewers are not selling because they are close enough to contention.Is that a joke?48-55 and 9 games back behind 2 teams?

      Probably Matt’s explanation is right, that they’re thinking about next year. I’m a little in the dark about the Prince Fielder situation: why are people assuming that he’ll definitely be dealt.

      In any case, I’m not going to judge whether they’re being foolish or not. But one team that had a “never say die” attitude every year, no matter how far out of it they were, was the Astros of recent years. Twice or so when they seemed way out of it they refused to sell and came back to make the playoffs. Another time they almost made the playoffs.

      People were talking about how they were hurting themselves in the long run, which of course is showing now. You have to say that the first couple of years they did this, when they actually made the playoffs, you HAVE to say they made the right move.

      But then it became a pattern, and is largely responsible for their current mess.

  93. Maybe we should trade for Josh Thole. He seems like a good player.

  94. @Dave Lowenthal: It might be less about really competing this year as much as next. You’re right, two teams might unrealistic to catch. But, they’re playing over .500 in June and July after a horrible April and May with lots of blown saves. Again, with that lineup, if they could get a modicum of pitching, they can make noise. Hart and Fielder will be there next year if they want them, why not see how things shape out? Fielder may also end up being a waiver clearing trade. Who knows. Milwaukee is flawed, but not a bad team.

  95. The White Sox are on the verge of getting Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson and another pitcher.

  96. As a kid, used to love to play wiffleball one on one against my best friend. It was really more of a home run derby. We played in the front yard. If you hit it over the house it was a home run. However, if the pitcher could run around the house and catch the ball BEFORE it hit the ground it was an out. My buddy actually did that to me a couple of time. Knew I shouldn’t have hit it that high! lol

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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