Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
St. Louis 7
Cincinnati 9

W: T. Wood (3-3)
L: C. Carpenter (1-3)
S: F. Cordero (7)
BOXSCORE

POSITIVES
–I’m not sure what happened in the second inning, when he gave up two runs on three very hard-hit balls, but Travis Wood was excellent otherwise. Six innings, two runs allowed on seven hits. A good start, especially since St. Louis had their ace on the mound.

–Ramon Hernandez had two more hits, including yet another homer. He’s hitting .349/.393/.627. That’s just unreal.

–Drew Stubbs (.282 /.371/.468) had two more hits. Jay Bruce had two, including a double. Scott Rolen had two, including a triple (!). Chris Heisey entered as a late-game defensive substitution, and hit a homer.

–Brandon Phillips had a huge bases-loaded double that scored two runs and drove Chris Carpenter from the game (and he scored two himself). BP also led the league in big smiles and dugout dances today.

–Logan Ondrusek and Jose Arredondo (in his Reds debut) pitched excellent innings of relief.

Francisco Cordero won't take any crap from anyone (The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II)

NEGATIVES
–Well, you know where this is going. The Reds had a 9-2 lead going into the ninth, when Aroldis Chapman entered the game. Four walks, four runs, and one out later, the game was suddenly more interesting. Nick Masset came in to face one batter, and surrender one hit before CoCo shut the door.

That shouldn’t have been as nerve-wracking as it was.

NOT-SO-RANDOM
–Sweep! It was Cincinnati’s first home sweep of the Cardinals since 2007, and the first time they’ve beaten Carpenter since 2006.

–It just seems like the Reds got several monkeys off their collective backs this weekend, doesn’t it?

–Cardinals arrive in Cincinnati 1.5 games up. They leave 1.5 games back. Life is sweet.

–I had no issue whatsoever with the decision to bring in Chapman in the ninth. Aroldis had had two rough outings, but he’d been the best pitcher on the staff before that. He’s still the most talented pitcher on the roster. There is no reason not to believe that he can’t do the job there, and if you can’t trust a pitcher in a 9-2 game, they need to get rid of him.

Perhaps you can argue that Dusty Baker left him in the game a hitter or two longer than he should, but it was not a poor decision by Dusty to bring him in. Oh yeah, and the “fans” that were booing Chapman as he left the field are idiots. Period.

–I’ve never seen an organization with less class than the St. Louis Cardinals. I’d be embarrassed to be a fan of that team. To wit:

Francisco Cordero hit Albert Pujols with a pitch in the ninth inning. Pujols was the tying run, the count was 0-2, the lead had been cut to 9-7…yet the Cardinals stood in the dugout and screamed at CoCo as if he had intentionally hit Pujols. A Little Leaguer would know that no one would hit a batter on purpose in that situation, but then, the Cardinals are dumber than most six year-olds that I know.

Clutch Man Monie is ON FIRE

After the final out, a bunch of Cardinals stood at the railing, jawing at CoCo. It was a joke. CoCo stood his ground and yelled right back at them, which was kinda awesome. Then, after the game, Cordero said this about St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan, who was leading the dugout whining (I’ll use the paraphrasing left in the comments by Loyal Citizen Jason1972): “He doesn’t even play, he just sits there. Like I would put Pujols on and bring Holliday to the plate. Be smarter”

That’s great.

(For what it’s worth, one of the St. Louis beat writers — who is generally reasonable, even if he’s said some nutty things this week — tweeted this: “Cardinals are overreacting to Pujols getting hit. I don’t think it was intentional. Why intentionally hit Pujols there? Makes no sense.”)

–In 14 games at home this season, Ramon Hernandez is hitting .489 with a .520 OBP, 5 HR, and 12 RBI. Wow.

–Paul Janish has no business batting second, but he made a great defensive play today.

–When is everyone going to realize that Aroldis Chapman needs to be in Louisville preparing to be a starter? He has no business being a relief pitcher. What a waste of a wonderful talent.

–Wow, St. Louis may have the worst defense in the league. That’s a big difference between these two teams.

–I could not be happier. There are very few things which bring me more joy than watching the Reds sweep the Cardinals. Outstanding.

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.

Join the conversation! 173 Comments

  1. @cliff: That’s well done; I’d need to think about it, but I still don’t see Phillips signing for anywhere near 11M/year. Talk is cheap.

  2. The Reds cannot trade Grandal until Aug. 16, due to the Incaviglia rule.

  3. @ChicagoCardinal: I am surprised no one has responded to your comment yet. So, I’ll be the first…
    First of all, I appreciate your ability to debate rationally and can sympathize with with frustration with your typical mesage board poster.
    These are the points I diagree with you on:
    Nobody on here is saying that the Reds are going to run away with the division at this point. We are saying we are a better team right now and that our bullpen (save Chapman) and defense is definitively better than the Cards’ and that was the difference in the series. There is no doubt Pujols will be better, but all teams deal with slumps and injuries. It is my opinion that the Reds’ depth better prepares them to handle them than the other teams in the Central. IMO, this gives them the edge to win the dision, but in no way do I feel it will be a runaway. It should be a tight race all year. I still think the Brewers will make a three team race down the stretch. Of course there is added optimism on this board b/c of the sweep (you’ve got to beat the best to be the best), but that’s all it is; celebrating the sweep.

    As far as the Cueto/LaRue thing goes, no one here “celebrates” Cueto’s ending of LaRue career. We just don’t blame him. First, LaRue was a long time Red that never did anything to invoke ill feelings. By all accounts he was a likable guy. He just wasn’t good enough to be an everyday starting catcher like was used here. Point being, no one wanted to see a man lose his career (although he didn’t have much left in the tank anyway). Second, the “atercation” had almost completely died down without incident, until Carpenter decided to go after Dusty. THIS is what got it all started back up resulting in Cueto being pinned against the backstop surrounded by Cardinals. He is a pitcher who relies on the health of his arm for a paycheck, so he kicked his way out of trouble. It was an unfortunate by-product the LaRue took the brunt of it.

    As far as Phillips’ culpability, yeah, he probabably deserves some. If I were a Cardinal fan, he would be public enemy #1. However, from our perspective, he just said what we all were thinking. Every time the Cardinals came to town the complained about something (and Carpenter was usually in the middle of it). They complain that the mound isn’t right or that the baseball weren’t rubbed up properly or they got a bad call, etc, etc, etc. No other team has ever come into GABP and launched any of the same complaints. And then after the fight for Carpenter act so innocent, when he was right in the middle of it all (he said he didn’t know what he was going to tell his kids) is hypocricy at it best. That’s what has brought about the hatred of Chris Carpenter (and LaRussa for that matter).

    As far as yesterday’s incident goes, I don’t think anybody really knows exactly what happened with CoCo and the Card bench. Just going by what is being speculated by Cincinnati media, it appears that Laird and maybe Duncan took issue with hitting Pujols and CoCo didn’t take kindly to their issue. To your point, maybe CoCo did start it, I don’t know. I don’t know why he would (he’s never done it before), but I’m not ruling it out. I just don’t care. As a fan of the Reds, I like that he stood up for himself and the team. And there are Cardinal fans (granted, you are not one of them) that do believe he was intentionally hit, which is ludicrus.

    • As far as the Cueto/LaRue thing goes, no one here “celebrates” Cueto’s ending of LaRue career. We just don’t blame him.

      Well done across the board RCR. I understand compeletly why St. Louis fans hate Cueto and BP in the same way Reds fans don’t like Carpenter and LaRussa. But what is the team going to do? Give him a scarlet letter “K” (which would actually be kind of cool for a pitcher)? Nobody praises him, nobody of any taste is proud that it happend, and that day isn’t going down in the history books as a good day for anyone. And at the end of the day… bad things can happen to people when you fight. That’s a known risk when you step on the field for that kind of thing. It’s a shame but it doesn’t make it less true.

      As a Reds fan I can say BP ran his mouth and Cueto ruined a man’s career (though we’ll never be in the position to know if he was intentional or just scared). I’d like to see a St. Louis admission of Carpenter’s and LaRussa et al’s oversensitivity and making issues out of nothings that contribute to the problem. “The daily dramas she made from nothing, so nothing ever made them right.”

  4. @ChicagoCardinal:

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I’m a little surprised that the Cards have played as well as they have, with Pujols not hitting and Wainwright out. That said, I don’t agree that “The Cards cant play much worse.” Lance Berkman is OPSing 400 points higher than last year, and higher than his best seasons ever. That doesn’t usually happen at 35. I expect he’ll drop off. Pujols will pick it up, but overall, I expect the Cards’ offense to drop off some — they’re hitting 20% better than they did last year.

    The bullpen, I agree, can’t get any worse. But neither can the defense. The difference is that the defense isn’t going to get any better.

    As for the post-game, are you implying that Cordero, out of the blue, just started screaming at the Cards dugout? That’s what it sounds like. I’m comfortable believing that Laird/Duncan were lipping. For no reason. That’s pretty standard from the LaRussa-era dugout.

    On to the Cueto thing: I’m going to sound like a real jerk here, but I can’t think of a better way to say this: I don’t believe that Cueto ended Jason LaRue’s career. Jason LaRue’s long career was over last year, regardless. Naturally, he is looking for a reason, and he blames Cueto. (I have NO clue how you can say that Brandon Phillips’ “ACTIONS CAUSED ACTIONS THAT ENDED SOMEONES CAREER?” that’s just goofy.)

    There was a baseball fight. The Cardinals were active participants — including Jason LaRue. So were the Reds. Johnny Cueto was placed in a very dangerous position, and he did what he felt he had to do to get out of it. I understand why some feel differently, but I’ve never read the rules for a fight.

    Do I regret that LaRue got kicked in the head? Sure. I don’t want anyone to get hurt. Especially in those stupid baseball fights. But I honestly don’t think Cueto did anything wrong. And even if I did, I certainly don’t think I’ve “failed mankind” by not appending an asterisk to every statement I make about the Reds, noting my moral outrage about a moment in time last August.

    In any event, this is as far as I’m going to go. You’re clearly emotional about this topic, and a little over the top. Thanks for posting.

  5. @Matt WI: @Chris Garber: Well said.

  6. funny thing just read on FB (paraphrased)…some people put their credentials after their name… Jack Sprat, PhD; Dr. John James, DDS; Jim Shoe, CPA….it should be Chris Carpenter, WLB.

  7. Under LaRussa, the Cardinals have developed this us vs. the world mentality that is now full blown paranoia. Conspiracies abound, ulterior motives are a given, and personal responsibility is last on the checklist. For those letting Pujols off the hook, I disagree. This guy was whining about the strike zone all weekend—heck, the FIRST PITCH of his first at bat yesterday he was jawing at the ump. He routinely stands in the baseline on put-outs, endangering the runners. Don’t be fooled, he drinks the Kool Aid too.

  8. And for the record, LaRue had multiple concussions in his career prior to the brawl. To say that Cueto ended LaRue’s career is like saying Ken Norton gave Muhammed Ali Parkinson’s. Like Chad said, show us the rule book for a fight.

  9. All the stuff with the Cardinals–I don’t know. They are a very strong team with a few holes–so are the Reds. I think the Reds have the upperhand at the moment, but geez, it is May. Depth is going to play a role and the Reds have that over the Cardinals. I think otherwise, there’s a long way to go and we can’t see for sure what will happen next–which is what makes it fun. I don’t see either team running away with it.

    As much as I want to celebrate the sweep, my bigger concern is Chapman. The Reds have to do whatever it takes to get him sorted out. This is reaching a desperation point on a guy with the biggest ceiling this team has seen in forever; I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I don’t know why the Reds are not getting him to Louisville or heck, Dayton, even, with a mechanics expert who speaks Spanish and can calm him down and get him sorted out.

  10. On Chapman, did anyone think to call for a slider or changeup the entire friggin’ outing?!? Gheesh. It’s the most obvious thing to do, it’s what catchers always do to break the rhythm of a pitcher who can’t locate a certain pitch. Chapman more than proved he was incapable of making an adjustment, so you have to force it on him. The horse (fastball) was dead, stop kicking it.

  11. @ChicagoCardinal: As to yesterday’s brouhaha, all of the reports I have seen indicate that the Cardinals’ bench started yapping at Cordero after Pujols was hit. I have not seen anyone from the Cardinals deny this. If they did, please point me to that denial, and I will reconsider my view of the situation.

    As it stands, though, the unrebutted evidence is that the Cardinals’ bench began barking at Cordero after he hit Pujols ON AN 0-2 PITCH WITH HOLLIDAY AND BERKMAN ON DECK. To suggest that Cordero would intentionally put on the tying run, with those two coming up, is beyond stupid. If they were complaining that he was pitching inside, that is similarly beyond stupid. It’s part of the game, and while I have seen plenty of Cards posters (including at the STLToday website) assert that LaRussa tells his team not to pitch inside, the facts indicate that they do pitch inside. Currently the Cards are second in the league in HBP, and they typically finish in the top half of the league in that category (13th, 8th, 8th, 3rd, 2nd, 9th, 6th, 7th, 5th and 2nd, going back to 2001).

    So either the Cards’ bench thought he threw at Pujols, or they are simply mad that Cordero was trying to pitch inside, when that “shouldn’t be done” (even though the Cards do it as well). Either way, that is no reason to bark at Cordero, and I have no problem with Cordero barking back after the game was done. If they don’t want to get barked at, they should keep their mouths shut.

  12. @ChicagoCardinal:
    I’m not going to debate who started what, or whos fault it was, cause none of us will ever know exactly what happened. But from what you saw, did you see Duncan pointing at his head while he was screaming at Cordero? Can that be taken in any other way than to mean that they are already planning on throwing at someones head?

    About last years fight, yes Phillips started it. I dont have any problem with what he said, but it was foolish for him to continue the shin guard tap the very next day against that team. I dont have any problem with how Molina reacted to it. I dont condone what Cueto did, but I understand why he might have. But I was at that game. It had all settled down, Baker was walking back to the dugout, when Carpenter started screaming racial obsenities at him. When he responded, La Russa joined Carpenter. That is what resulted in Larue getting kicked in the head. If Carpenter hadnt included racism in his shouting, it probably would have ended before that.

  13. @Sultan of Swaff: If he can’t throw his fastball for a strike, I don’t know how he can throw his slider or (non-existent) changeup for one. With runners on he’d be just as likely to bounce a slider all the way to the backstop.

    This really isn’t a complicated situation. The solution is INCREDIBLY simple: Send him to the minors. Low-A if you have to. I would be PERFECTLy fine with Chapman spending the rest of this season down on the farm working out his issues and getting ready to be a starter next season. With Cordero pitching well in the last year of his contract, our bullpen is perfectly fine without Chapman. our rotation is fine right now without Chapman. If we completely destroy his confidence by continuing to misuse him just so we can get media attention from a radar gun then this could be disastrous. But if you just send him down and focus your entire pitching coach staff’s energy on straightening him out for the next 10 months everything will be fine. He clearly has the ability, he just needs to be handled correctly and up to this point this organization has almost criminally misused him and is endangering his career. It is very un-Jocketty-like and I blame Castellini, but this “slump” if you can call it that is the perfect excuse to rectify the situation without losing any face.

  14. @Doug Dennis: I agree on the Cards/Reds analysis. Some people seem to think that the Reds are 10 games better all of a sudden, and I don’t see that.

    On Chapman, this is way out of Price’s league. It *is* desperate, and it’s in the realm of sports psychologist potentially.

  15. Methinks Chicago Cardinal came to say his piece rather than engage in discussion. Oh well.

  16. Everyone ready for the stupid Cubs coming to town tonight? I am. I’m looking forward to watching Homer pitch against them.

    We need to keep the momentum going. Remember that the big sweep didn’t do the Cardinals any good in the long run.

    The Reds can’t relax – they have four CRITICAL games the next few days because of the ensuing difficult road trip.

    Celebrating the weekend is great. But now also is the time to turn our attention back to the business of beating the Cubs and Pirates.

    Go Reds!

    • Everyone ready for the stupid Cubs coming to town tonight? I am. I’m looking forward to watching Homer pitch against them.

      We need to keep the momentum going. Remember that the big sweep didn’t do the Cardinals any good in the long run.

      The Reds can’t relax – they have four CRITICAL games the next few days because of the ensuing difficult road trip.

      Celebrating the weekend is great. But now also is the time to turn our attention back to the business of beating the Cubs and Pirates.

      Go Reds!

      Boy, do I agree…it’s like winning a big game in the NFL, it doesn’t help if you beat a great team one week, if you lose to a terrible one the following week.

      Focus is important. Tonight is important to keeping their eye on the ball, no let down.

      It’s going to be cold and nasty tonight down at GABP…probably won’t have a big crowd.

  17. @Dave Lowenthal:

    I think Friday’s nights game was the key. That come from behind win I really think got the reds thinking that they can play with these guys. Then you look at Sat game, had Janish and Rolen make those two plays in the 8th odds are we shut out the Cards and Johnny C pitches a complete game. Then on Sunday if AC was where he should be (Louisville) he never comes in and we not only throttle the Cards we beat their “Ace”. So while the “lead” may not be 10 games, I think this serious did help. My concern is how we play the next 4 at home. All four should be wins, but lets not forget what happened to the Cards after they swept us last season….

  18. @Sultan of Swaff:
    According to Gameday, there were a few sliders/changeups mixed in, but not many.

  19. One other thing on the hitting Pujols issue…I’m not saying they’re equal in impact or talent, but did anyone hear one person on the Reds squad complaining about Hanigan getting hit on the hand on Friday? I didn’t think so…

  20. I’m most concerned about the Pirates…god that feels strange to say. We completely handled the Cubs last time around, and now that our offense is back in full force and hopefully Gomes is on the bench we should be able to handle them even more easily this time. But the Pirates are a tricky team that always seems to play us really hard, even when they’re AWFUL – which they aren’t this year. They’re not really GOOD, but they’re certainly better than they have been. And that 1-3 series a few weeks ago was just embarrassing. Three straight series sweeps (and an 8-game winning streak) is an awful lot to ask for, but boy if we could pull that off going on the road to Cleveland and Philly you couldn’t ask for more confidence.

  21. Gentlemen,

    Apologies for the layoff in response. I sent my original note at 3am… and I’m sorry, @jdm00, if 11:30 the next morning (while at work) isn’t soon enough to prove/disprove that my goal was not to hit and run… but I can assure you, that it was not.

    Most of what I have read in response to my statement has been fair and reasonable. It held true to forum form (minus jrob45601 who impressed me with some sincere honesty, albeit with some brand new information to me) by becoming less agreeable the further it got away from my post… but again, pretty amicable statements, and I do appreciate that.

    A couple of things.

    I agree that LaRue was nearing the end of his career… but a guy that earned his stripes by being a good/solid guy and player for 10+ years, does NOT deserve to have his career ended even 1 year early… especially when 1 year, equals 1 Million… the final million, that of all players, a catcher would have “earned”, if any player can “earn” a million dollars for playing. That guy was as much a Red as a Cardinal… so that’s not homer-ism from me…

    I also agree that there are no free passes on the Cardinals’ side either, with regard to the bruhaha. Granted @jrob45601, I have NO IDEA where you would get that Carpenter yelled RACIAL profanities at Dusty Baker. NO ONE on EITHER side has ever said that. Ever. And that, in a town like St. Louis, would have come out. I can guarantee. So I’d like to put that, of all things, to rest, once and for all. Chris Carpenter is a fiery guy. He’s also the single best teammate to exist in a Cardinal uniform in 20 years, never ONCE accepting praise for solid play (deflecting to his defense and teammates), and never, at least not publicly, blaming a loss on his team’s porous defense, which cost him yesterday. He, alone, set the tone for Wainright, Matt Morris (post Daryl Kile) and all of the Cardinals’ pitchers that roll through that organization. Dude is no racist.

    He may very well also have been a prime culprit in what led to the secondary fight that day. I will acknowledge that as well.

    My only other “correction”, and this is at jdm00, who, again, I don’t blame you, b/c you are quoting mis-information from the non-research (evidently) based ESPN writer who spouted the stat.
    Tony LaRussa is NOT against pitching inside. He IS an advocate for pitching inside… and also, regardless of what he (or Dusty) may say, they both advocate the retaliatory hit.
    What he is AGAINST, and this is what he says ALL the time, is the HIGH AND INSIDE pitch. As a Cardinal fan, I can attest… and they cover it… and the announcers showcase it. When a Cardinal pitcher goes high and inside… legitimately (which was not overly the case with Pujols, and I wouldn’t claim it to be)… LaRussa literally burns a hole in the soul of that pitcher, immediately, from the dugout. They show it. He is SEEEEEETHING at his own pitcher. Hands on hips. Not in showman’s way, but in the “F*, that guy is going to get an earful in about 4 minutes”, kind of way. UN-ACCEPTABLE.
    The “hit batters” stat that the ESPN article quotes is true, and is also irrelevant to the topic. Our pitchers aim for sides and a**es. Sorry. Haven’t missed but a few games in 12 years (thanks to Tivo at 1am w/o commercials), and I state the gospel.

    Regardless…
    My assertion remains that Cueto was celebrated as a hero yesterday… long before he made a pitch, or a nice play, or got a hit. He personally feels as though he was as well. He is a centerpiece of this rivalry now, and he likes it. Unfortunately, I put him at the centerpiece, as a coward, and someone who both the Reds fans and he, should be, maybe not embarrassed about, but certainly not proud of, in that role.

    And while someone mentions no rules for fighting…. you are right… except for the other 6 people that were roughly where he was in that meelee… and amazingly kept the knives on the bottoms of their shoes to themselves. I’m just saying.

    Thanks for the thoughts and the ears fellas.

    I’ll check in later to read the comments if there are any.

    • Carpenter is a fiery guy. He’s also the single best teammate to exist in a Cardinal uniform in 20 years, never ONCE accepting praise for solid play (deflecting to his defense and teammates), and never, at least not publicly, blaming a loss on his team’s porous defense,

      So we ignore Carpenter ripping his SS (Brendan Ryan) a new one in front a live audience for having the audacity to change his glove before an inning started? I think there are cracks in the “best teammate ever” campaign. He’s done too much else complaining to reasonably accept he’s a stoic warrior.

      My assertion remains that Cueto was celebrated as a hero yesterday… long before he made a pitch, or a nice play, or got a hit. He personally feels as though he was as well. That sir, is impossible to know. Impossible, and therefore not particularly worth offering as evidence. How you can you know what Cueto feels?

    • Chris Carpenter is a fiery guy. He’s also the single best teammate to exist in a Cardinal uniform in 20 years

      Brendan Ryan might disagree with you. That said, I’ve never heard that Carpenter made racial comments to Dusty, but that he singled him out with a profane command.

  22. thank you for the positive reviews everyone.

    @Matt WI: i agree about cocos money already being spent, i think i may have made a point about it. (not sure i was extremely tired and havent actually re-read my entire post) one of the larger points i meant to make, however, was that with monie, renteria, lewis, gomes, rolen, cairo all coming off the books in the next two years, with arroyo following in 2013, we have more flexibility than just the 12M in relief coming from cordero. a quick breakdown, in rough figures:

    Hernandez- 3M
    Renteria- 2.1M
    Lewis- .9M
    Gomes-1.5M
    Cairo- 1M
    Rolen- 7M
    Arroyo- 11.7M

    these are not entire contract values, rather the amount of money that will come off the books after their final year. thats a total of roughly 27.2M coming off the books, with about 15.5 of that coming off before any BP contract even started. so you can look at it two ways:

    1.)substitute phillips contract for cordero, leaving you that 15.5/27.2 million solely to offset the increasing salaries

    2.) assuming the CoCo money is what you are using to generally offset the salaries, you have that extra 10M (and then 22M) (this is after taking about 5M from the extra pool of money i theorized to offset cuetos contract in addition to votto/bruce) to resign phillips, then about another 10M after 2013 to dedicate to bailey/stubbs/etc.

    then theres changes in income for the team, which are impossible to project.

    sorry if it just feels like im ranting now.

  23. @ChicagoCardinal: I think you’re grossly exaggerating Cueto’s “celebration” before this series. No one, and I mean NO ONE, in Reds country is puffing their chests out or patting Cueto on the back for his role in that fight. I think the sense of hostility between the teams is good for the rivalry and makes everyone play better (some better than others *cough*Brandon Phillips*cough*) but no one in the Reds organization or their fan base was “celebrating” Cueto as some kind of Cardinals killer because he kicked some guys in the face. He was punished by the league and we were all fine with that. He deserved the suspension and he served it. That was a year ago and now all we care about his how he pitches, which so far has been SPECTACULARLY. So that’s the beginning and ending of it for Cueto as far as I’m concerned.

    As for LaRue, I’m sorry his career was ended, but no one made him jump into that fight. People get hurt in fights. That’s why they’re called FIGHTS. But it was not a “career ending injury.” It was a concussion, which is just an injury. But when you’re at the end of your career and you’ve already had a few concussions, that’s when you just fold it up and say you’re done. It’s not like Cueto took a bat to his knee or something. LaRue got off the bench, jumped into the middle of a fight (and I mean MIDDLE of the fight…he was right in the thick of it) and got hurt. That’s as much LaRue’s fault as it is Cueto’s. So Cardinals Nation needs to stop acting like such victims. It really does just sound like sour grapes at this point. You think you’re the better team? Prove it. But don’t act like your’e somehow classier than the Reds. It’s just not true.

  24. @ChicagoCardinal: Nice statement. I do have a question, and please don’t take it as sarcastic. If Chris Carpenter did not yell a racial profanity at Dusty, what on earth did he yell ? After he yelled what he did, his friend Scott Rolen chased him and assaulted him. The disciplinary committee, which knew what Carpenter said, handed him a stiffer punishment than Rolen and others who had thrown blows or wrestled someone to the ground. Yet Dusty, who is at the end of the day a pretty reasonable person, said publicly that he was disappointed with the punishment for Carpenter, it was too lite.

    This is unprecedented. You just don’t get penalized for what you say in a brawl (unless you’re a manager who starts things up again). They study the videos to look at who threw blows, who slammed someone to the ground, etc.
    They don’t ask who said that someone has had sex with his mother.

    About Cueto. “Why did he start spiking people in the face ?” He’s not a martial artist, he was lying flat on his back, pushed there by the weight of 50 men and trapped. No one can say they know they wouldn’t use their legs and kick in that situation.

    Finally, about BP. If I were a Cardinal fan I’d hate him. But for the record, he did not make his WLBs statement to a reporter, a reporter overheard him in the clubhouse. That same senile reporter thought he heard Jonny Gomes singing something and later retracted his statement, admitting that he didn’t know what Jonny was singing. It was classy of LaRusa to help defuse that.

    • @ChicagoCardinal:

      I was sitting about 15 feet from the fight, between the Cardinals on deck circle and home plate — essentially ground zero.

      The skirmish was pretty much over – before the Cueto/LaRue incident occurred – both sides were returning to their dugouts.

      Then Chris Carpenter *clearly* went out of his way to restart the fight by yelling something at Dusty Baker (I couldn’t hear the content). Whatever he said, it was sustained and enraged Scott Rolen so much that he charged Carpenter.

      Yet later Carpenter played the innocent choir boy to sustain his holier-than-thou “how can I explain this to my son” image.

      That’s total BS. The worst parts of the fight, as well as the injury to LaRue, simply don’t even occur without Carpenter’s provocations.

      While I don’t agree completley with how Brandon Phillips or Jonny Cueto behaved, there is zero doubt in my mind that the worst role that day was played by Carpenter.

  25. Why is Chapman still on the Reds?

  26. @Dave Lowenthal: Sorry, hit submit too soon—I mean on the Reds *roster*. They can’t seriously do anything but farm him out somewhere….can they?

  27. @Dave Lowenthal: They’ll get to that right after they address Gomes. 😀

  28. @Dave Lowenthal:
    Between injured players not on the DL, Chapman and Gomes, this team wastes more roster spots than the Pirates.

  29. @Dave Lowenthal:

    He sells tickets?

  30. @ChicagoCardinal:

    Fine–don’t pitch up and in. Where is the line? It’s not like Pujols was hit in the head. It him in the arm, and he leans over the plate. What is the line? And does it matter if it’s a ball that gets away from a pitcher, as that one so clearly did yesterday? Apparently not.

    As for Carpenter being the world’s best teammate, if you’ve watched all the last games for the last twelve years, you’ve seen the histrionics that he goes through on the mound when there’s a bad play made in the field. Someone already posted the link to the Brendan Ryan bit from last year. I have to say, your saying that he never blames his fielders makes the rest of your arguments pretty suspect, when it’s clear to anyone who’s watched the Cards that Carpenter is on those guys constantly.

    You can take as long as you want to respond. I honestly don’t care.

  31. @brm7675:
    Winning games sells tickets. Watching Chapman and Volquez walk 4 or 5 batters every time they pitch makes home fans boo. At least Volquez takes 5 innings to walk 5, whereas Chapman only takes 5 batters.

  32. More on Carpenter: To me, I saw everything I needed to see when he went after Hanley Ramirez after Ramirez broke up a double play by sliding into home plate a couple weeks ago. Guys break up double plays all the time with hard slides (see Pujols in the 9th inning yesterday), yet Carpenter takes such offense to it when someone else does it that he gets into a confrontation with the guy on the field? Really? (And spare me the argument that it was because it was his catcher, as if that somehow makes it different from a 2B or SS getting taken out.) This is the problem I have with Carpenter in particular; he takes offense at things that, if the Cards did them to the other side, would simply be good, aggressive baseball.

  33. This in from John Fay:

    The Reds placed Aroldis Chapman on the disabled list with the left shoulder inflammation. Jordan Smith was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.

  34. @eastcoast redsfan:
    I have been saying for a couple weeks that he looked hurt. This doesnt prove that I was right, it could just be to get him away from everyone for a couple days to clear his head, then allow them to fix his mechanics away from game situations. I hope that’s the case and they get him figured out quickly. If he is actually hurt, they should be very cautious, take extra time before he starts to rehab. This will give them time to evaluate the bullpen as it is without him, and maybe push the “prepare for starter” button a little sooner.

  35. @eastcoast redsfan: Saw that. Not surprising at all. I don’t think it’s just inflammation of the ERA either, his velocity was down again yesterday.

  36. @pinson343:
    Ya, according to FSN, he was more often at 93 than 98-100.

  37. @jrob45601: “Maybe push the “prepare for starter” button a little sooner.” I hope so.

  38. @pinson343:
    This all depends on how the bullpen performs while he is out. If they blow leads in the 7th and 8th innings, or give up big hits to lefties, it will just give them an excuse to keep him in the pen.

  39. I was going to say – ask Brendan Ryan about the good teammate comments.

    The team can’t shake the WLB moniker if they continue to whine every time they come to town.

    IMO, fans aren’t cheering Cueto and treating him as a hero for his role in the fight. No one (obviously realizing that I can’t speak for “everyone”) is happy that the fight devolved into kicks. Most Cincinnati fans believe his side of the story and aren’t casting stones at those involved in the fight. He is not going to get run out of town, though I certainly understand the perspective of Cardinals fans, and I would imagine if I were a fan of St Louis, Phillips and Cueto would be my favorite Reds to hate.

    IMO, fans are cheering Cueto’s 2011 home debut. Up until a week ago, Cueto had been on the DL. His first start of the season came in Chicago, and he pitched 6 great shutout innings. Homer Bailey returned 2 days earlier, and the starting rotation has pitched MUCH better since those two were activated from the DL earlier this month.

    Is Carpenter still dealing with the hamstring injury that he suffered in spring training?

  40. And they replaced Chapman with Jordan Smith instead of a lhp. They made such a big deal about needing him in the bullpen because he was lh, why not callup a lhp?

  41. @Greg Dafler:
    Arent the only lefties on the 40 man Herrera and Maloney? Neither have exactly inspired confidence. I have always thought Dusty made a much bigger deal about multiple lefties in the pen than anyone else.

  42. It is completely ridiculous that this team took so long to make this move, but at least they made it. I’m sure Chapman is going to rest and then have a very long rehab stint.

  43. Before someone else (cough*dave*cough) reminds me that losing the 40th man wont hurt us, I totally agree. I wouldnt trust Willis to get big league batters out any more than I do Chapman at this point. But if team management uses the roster as the only reason to not give Willis a shot, someone please direct them to DRH’s stat sheet from the last 2 years. I really dont understand how he is still on the 40 man.

    Oh, and Dave, just playin with you. It is and always has been a bad arguement for keeping a player in the minors.

  44. If they would callup someone other than Smith, I assume that DRH is the 40th man on the roster. However, unless there is a need to put someone else on the 40-man, they likely aren’t going to risk losing a player in the organization (by waiving DRH) just to cut the 40-man roster to 39.

  45. @Greg Dafler:
    I wouldnt simply waive Herrera, or anyone else, just to get to 39. I was just saying that using it as a reason to keep someone in the minors because he is not on the 40 man, is just not a very good reason.

  46. @Greg Dafler: I think if Herrera hadn’t gotten beaten up in his last outing he might have gotten the call. i’m not crazy about Smith, but I’d be more comfortable putting him in with a 7 run lead than I would be Chapman right now so I guess it’s an improvement. PLEASE let this be the beginning of the “Handling Aroldis Chapman Appropriately” era.

  47. @Greg Dafler: Arredondo is more effective against lefties than righties. I’m glad they called up Smith rather than the left handed options.

  48. I don’t understand why everyone is so against giving Willis a chance. Get the D-Train out of the station and on the tracks. Whooo-whoooo! (train sound 😀 )

  49. I feared this might happen. We started out with sensible chatter and it’s turned a little uglier. I guess that’s alright. As I said before, I mean no offense, and I consider myself to be a guest on your site, so I will continue to attempt to not incite.

    I can’t address each topic, so I’ll do my best to offer a Cardinals’ fans perspective of the most oft stated.

    Carpenter. Fiercest competitor I’ve ever seen. What I stated was that he has made it status quo, on this team, for pitchers to NEVER throw a teammate under the bus. His reactions on the field have been documented… and compared (By Bob Gibson) to what Gibson did when he played.
    They B. Ryan incident, which I did not like either, b/c I like Brendan Ryan (as someone who does not know a person at all, can), was a culmination of what has been claimed to be by the team, many, many, many mental lapses. He did not “switch gloves” as was stated here. He went to the restroom and couldn’t find his glove. A minor difference, I know… but a distinct difference philosophically. BRyan was evidently a very flighty guy who never really took much seriously (like being on time to meetings) and that rubbed the veterans the wrong way, and is the reason they traded him for a bag of balls and Trapper Keeper this off-season. We TRULY miss his glove. (I guarantee, even Carp does.)

    I can accept that they were giving Cueto the big ovation b/c of it being his first game back at home… although, he has pitched one game, so I don’t put a terrible amount of stock in that. But again, it’s conjecture, and if he’s not celebrated on here for kicking… then what else could I possibly ask of this group?

    Carpenter was punished for re-starting that fight, btw… but there would have been something more said, had it been racially motivated. And Rolen, his friend, initially did what I would have done to my friend in that situation. Attempted to keep 55 guys, all of which he knows well, out of a fight. There was no rage, like one person said. That’s unfair to Rolen to say that he charged with rage, when he quite obviously didn’t. Authority.. purpose.. yes. Rage? no.

    In the end, I’m glad this rivalry has developed. Our Cubs rivalry is boring b/c they typically aren’t very good. I heard more from them when YOU beat us, then any other time. (Remember, I live in downtown Chicago) It’s rather comical.

    If you guys would like to read a pretty level-headed commentary on the situation, my favorite STL-PD writer, Bernie Miklasz had all of this to say, today.

    He and I agree on a lot of points.

    PS – to the guy who got on me for the UP and IN comments. You didn’t read my post very well. I was clear that the ball from Cueto was not what I considered UP and IN. I also said that the Cards should have had little/no beef with that.

    And as a mea culpa… it appears as though there was evidently barking from the Cardinals side. IMO, unwarranted. I gleaned this from the article below.

    Keep beating up the Central, and hopefully it’ll be a 2 team race.

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/article_00cfa69a-7fce-11e0-8d6f-001a4bcf6878.html

  50. @RiverCity Redleg: I think it’s because he has performed terribly the last few seasons.

  51. @RiverCity Redleg:
    Until this season at AAA, in the past 4 or 5 years, he has never been better than below average for more than 2 appearances at a time. More often than not, he looked somewhere between what Volquez and Chapman have looked, trending more towards Chapmans last 4 outings.

  52. @RiverCity Redleg:
    But hey, if they put a train animation on the scoreboard to go along with some audio and the smoke stacks going for when he enters games, he can be my long reliever. (provided Dusty would use him in the traditional definition of long man, and not in the 9th inning.)

  53. @ChicagoCardinal: This part is obviously directed at me:

    “PS – to the guy who got on me for the UP and IN comments. You didn’t read my post very well. I was clear that the ball from Cueto was not what I considered UP and IN. I also said that the Cards should have had little/no beef with that.

    And as a mea culpa… it appears as though there was evidently barking from the Cardinals side. IMO, unwarranted. I gleaned this from the article below.”

    I just re-read both of your posts, and you make it clear that you did not think Cordero (not Cueto) tried to hit Pujols. You don’t say anything about whether or not you considered it to be up and in (which discussion only came about in your second post), let alone that the Cardinals should not have had an issue. You did say the following:

    “Cordero hit Pujols. Fact. NO ONE thinks he hit Pujols on purpose. I certainly don’t, nor does anyone who gives it rational thought. But when your (200+ MILLION DOLLAR) man gets hit, you react. Period. As would have (I believe) the Reds, if Votto had taken one off the wrist. I can’t prove that, so we’ll call that just my opinion.”

    Saying that they react, and that you would expect the Reds to react as well, does not seem to be the same as saying that the Cardinals should have “little or no beef” with him getting hit.

    Thanks for insulting my ability to read, though. (And for admitting there actually was barking from the Cardinals dugout.)

  54. @ChicagoCardinal: It was a good read until this: ” But just once I’d like to see the Reds react to a victory as if they’d actually won something before.”

    I’m sorry, but A) What is he talking about? B) Who won the division last year after spanking the month of August after the fight? C) Does acting like you know how to win sound like this: “I think they didn’t rub the baseball correctly?” “Arroyo might be cheating.”

    Once again, whatever the Cardinals do is class, whatever other teams do is bush. Check and check. Sort of undoes the advice about shutting up and just winning.

  55. @jdm00:

    Dude. Everyone on here is pretty cordial. And I’ve gone out of my way to be. You only want to try and incite. I’m not taking the bait. However, I will point out, for the benefit of everyone else, so that they understand your research abilities, for future conversations.

    Since you “re-read both of my posts”.. and according to you, I “don’t say anything about whether or not I think (the pitch to Pujols) was up and in”… Well, let me cut and paste the portion, that you missed, evidently… twice.

    “Tony LaRussa is NOT against pitching inside. He IS an advocate for pitching inside… and also, regardless of what he (or Dusty) may say, they both advocate the retaliatory hit.
    What he is AGAINST, and this is what he says ALL the time, is the HIGH AND INSIDE pitch. As a Cardinal fan, I can attest… and they cover it… and the announcers showcase it. When a Cardinal pitcher goes high and inside… legitimately !!!!!!(which was not overly the case with Pujols, and I wouldn’t claim it to be)!!!!!… LaRussa literally burns a hole in the soul of that pitcher, immediately, from the dugout.”

    I threw the !!!!!’s in there, just so you wouldn’t miss it a third time.

    My point is that all it takes is one ESPN writer to get it wrong, the blogger posts it, you drink the kool-aid, and then suddenly Tony LaRussa is against pitching inside. It’s just not true.

    I won’t “insult your ability to read” anymore, although I never felt that I did. You have taken care of that for me. Twice.

  56. Yes, that line is in your second post, which I pointed out is where you discussed the “high and inside” pitch. My apologies for not picking out that parenthetical. Mea culpa. (I note that saying it was not “overly” up and in doesn’t clarify it much for me. Was it up and in, just not excessively up and in (as overly means “excessively”), or not up and in at all? Still not clear from your post.)

    Look, if you don’t think I’ve been cordial, I apologize. If you want to call me an ESPN “Kool-aid drinker” (oh, if you only knew) and making a grand statement that the rest of the board should disregard my “research,” feel free. It goes a long way toward your self-declared stance that you aren’t here to incite anything, which is pretty clear from your statements that the Reds need to “act like they’ve won something before,” your chastising Reds fans about Cueto, or your statements about the end of the game on Sunday. But don’t hold yourself up as the dean of civility who is not inciting anything, because there’s nothing but incitement in that post.

  57. @ChicagoCardinal:

    I apologize if you don’t think I’ve been cordial, or am trying to incite something. Life is too short for internet message board arguments. I will just agree to disagree with some of your points and leave it at that, and get back to talking baseball.

  58. @jdm00:

    Bro.
    Again.

    I did not make the statement “act like they’ve one something before”. Show me where I ever murmured that. You’ve got to stop missing full sentences and inventing things. You have to live here and you’re doing yourself no favors in the credibility departed. Your skimming and reacting.
    Matt WI pulled that quote from an article by Bernie Miklasz, that I posted, and said that the article was a good read, except for that line.

    But as far as everyone else is concerned… you are the ONLY person that has come to me with beef from comment one, and I’ve done my best to remain cordial with you. You want a fight. I want a conversation. You attack. I deflect/diffuse. I am certainly not the Mayor of Cordialville or whatever you called me. That is funny though. (PS – you win. This is Reds forum and I’m a Cardinals fan. Do you really think I operate under the illusion that I could come out ahead in the court of public opinion here? No, man. So… you win, if that helps.)

    The Cardinals, by and large, are a classy organization, as are, I presume, the Reds. I love Jocketty.
    I love that both teams have players that like to agitate, and that both teams have the mentality of being combative as a response.
    I don’t hate Reds fans or the Reds… but it sure makes for some good baseball and theatrics.

    I stated my peace about Cueto and was more than satisfied with the legitimate responses that were given by the posters here.

    I respectively wish the Reds well, and wish for all that it is a 1 or 2 game race when the Reds head to STL. Big series are fun series. That’s what it’s all about.

  59. Ha! Sorry. won, not one. That hurts.

  60. My mistake in attributing Miklasz’s (sp?) comment to you.

    Really, I have no worries about my “credibility” as you keep bringing up. It is a message board, after all.

    Like I said, my apologies if you felt I was not being “cordial” to you. Other than that, as I said in my last post, life is too short for arguments on the internet.

Comments are closed.

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.

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2011 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap, Whiny Little B******

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