10/16/2011

For The Record

If the St. Louis Cardinals make the World Series, I won’t watch a single pitch. I’d say I was probably six or seven the last time I didn’t watch the Series. No interest whatsoever.

A Cardinals-Rangers matchup? Ugh. Who cares? It’ll be the lowest-rated Series ever, I’d guess.

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! 27 Comments

  1. This is my greatest fear: a Rangers/Cards WS. Even though I’d be forced to root against the Redbirds, I generally can never, in good conscience, root for anything from Texas. At least if that happens, I can watch my Caps games in peace now and not have to worry about flipping channels back and forth between hockey and baseball.

  2. I don’t mind rooting for Josh Hamilton, but I’m not watching.

    What galls me the most is that the Reds beat up the Cardinals head-to-head this year. Yet another dark horse team gets hot at the right time and wins it all? There’s a flaw in the system if all you have to do is get hot in September-October. Sort of makes the first few months of the year pointless. (I know it doesn’t, but still.)

    Another thing is how the Cardinals manhandled the Phillies in the NLDS, and now they’re beating up on the team that won their division. Now think back to how the Phillies manhandled the Reds last October. It’s sobering.

  3. This will be the only part of the playoffs that I’ll watch, and will be only to root for Josh Hamilton. He is the only reason I would root for the American League.

  4. sorry guys .. I am as big a Reds fan as you are going to find, but I am a Baseball fan even more. Except for the last couple of games, the playoff games have been really good this year. I’m rooting for the Brewers and/or the Rangers. Neither franchise has ever won a series and their fans are starving for a winner. Its been great Baseball to watch (even though I agree the ratings probably suck). If the Cards get in and the Series is competitive , so be it. The way I look at it , I’ve got a little over a week before the long long cold winter settles in and I’ll have to rely on the hot stove league for my baseball fix. Otherwise I’ll be sitting in front of the fireplace reading a good book(On the Kindle nowdays) and counting the days until pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear !

  5. I have to admit there have been some series which I didn’t see more than a few innings of: Padres-Yankees, Rockies – Red Sox, Mets – Yankees. Usually it’s when a big market team is beating up on an underdog. But I have enjoyed seeing teams win their first series or win their first in a long time in recent years: Angels, Marlins, 1st Red Sox and White Sox.

    If it ends up being the Cardinals pummeling the Rangers, I’m sure I won’t watch much of it. If it’s close, I’ll watch some and root for the Rangers. Although it would be painful to see Hamilton hitting the crap out of the ball. Best thing would be if the Brewers could beat the Cards.

  6. I am a baseball fan, so I do not care who makes the WS. The ratings whether Milwaukee or St. Louis. the Rangers is still the WS. The ratings on TV may not be good, but I still do not care. The junk about the Central being a bad division has got to stop and this is a good way for it to do just that. People are complaining about the Reds getting swept last year and that was last year, when a team making their first excursion into the post season in about twenty years was playing a team with much more experience. Dont you think that makes a difference?
    You are mad because a team gets hot and happens to beat a team that falls apart? In addition to the Braves falling apart, the Phillies lost a whole lot of games down the stretch. Hot teams against cold teams. It is also premature to think the Cardinals will make it to the World Series.
    Here is some news, these two teams have a few problems to solve in the off season, so do the Reds. How the Brewers will figure out how to catch the ball, I do not know. Without Fielder, will Braun be as good? The Brewers have two pitchers who are real good and then a bunch of journeymen. They will be weaker in the bullpen. The Cardinals will need a shorstop, someone to play third and replace Freese, because he will get injured. If they lose Pujols they can move Berkman to first, but then who plays RF? Cardinals have one starter who is above average, Wainwright is unlikely to be effective this coming season. I would be more worried about the Pirates as they will be a year older and more experienced. Lets wait until we see what Jocketty will do this offseason. All three teams will have some questions to answer and it should be interesting.
    In the meantime, enjoy baseball while they are still playing it.

  7. @redmountain: Again, the Cards smacking the crap out of the Phillies and Brewers is not just “getting hot”. Especially against the Phillies, there are structural reasons why the Cards dominated that series (and they did dominate it, the fact that it went 5 games was luck on the Phillies part and disastrous managing by LaRussa in game 1—and he’s learned his lesson and has managed perfectly in the NLCS, as much as it pains me to say [and as much as the petulant child Jaime Garcia is crying about it]). The Cards are set up extremely well to be a playoff team, and frankly, the Phillies are not, relative to what an outstanding 162-game team they are. You can’t have 3 of your 4 best hitters batting 1-2-4 in the lineup and sporting .600 OPSs against left-handed pitchers. In a 5 game series, that is inviting zero offense in innings 6-9, which is basically what happened minus LaRussa not opting for his lefties in game 1. (Yes, game 3 had a bloop hit, an IBB, and a homer from a guy who hadn’t had one in 3 months, but that was a bit flukey.) I have to say, as much as it irritated me to see LaRussa happy, it made me happy to see that jerk Manuel lose (“Howard is just as good as Votto”, what a joke you are Manuel).

    As to the NLCS, the Cardinals are simply a better team than the Brewers. If you look at the players on each team, I am not sure how the conclusion can be otherwise. The Cardinals had a lot of injuries this year; to absolutely key players, not to scrubs. This list dismisses David Freese, but the guy can hit; as can the big 3. All four of those guys missed significant time. It’s scary when those 4 guys are all in the lineup—compared to the Crew having 2 hitters, one of whom has difficulty hitting lefties; and all of the Cards 4 hitters are good against both lefties and righties, which simply cannot be overlooked in a short series. Plus, a big deal is being made about the trades to get bullpen help for the Cards, but the truth is, they had a good bullpen already, once LaRussa pulled his head out of his rear end and figured out which pitchers were good. Once they cut Batista and Franklin they got rid of a lot of their problems.

  8. Nice job by Roenicke, by the way, to start the absolute worst possible option in Marcum. Narveson was the obvious choice, but he had to go with “the guy who got him there”, even if he hadn’t had a good game in about 6 weeks.

  9. In the immortal words of the Old Man from A Christmas Story: “Dadgummit, blow out!”. I don’t care if it’s only the bottom of the third. King Kong ain’t got sh*t on David Freese.

  10. I haven’t watched the World Series in its entirety since 1993 or so. For me the sport just hasn’t been the same since the strike.

    I peek at things when there’s a team in it that has a long-suffering fan base so I’ll probably peek in if the Rangers are doing well. Last year watched bits since it was two teams with long-suffering fan bases.

    It’s painful to watch the Cardinals dominate as much as they have. This will be their 18th pennant, and 6th since 1981 (that’s about 20% of the pennants… I guess only the Bankees can top that)

  11. I didn’t realize we were measuring our fanhood here, but I typically don’t change hats in the postseason and root for teams that I’d normally not give a crap about, just to keep watching baseball. I’m a Reds fan, and if the Reds aren’t there, I’d just as soon watch a winless Colts team.

    I haven’t watched a World Series in its entirety since 1990. I peek in now and again, and I try to catch the last inning of the deciding game, but frankly Reds baseball is exhausting enough without having to pretend I like some other team for a couple weeks because my own team can’t get it together but once a generation. And I’m definitely not in the mood to see the most arrogant team in professional sports either continue their arrogance or cry wee-wee-wee all the way home.

    All that said, I hope Josh Hamilton and the Rangers crush the WLBs. Been a while since the Cards were miserable. Maybe they’ll lower the mound in Arlington and stick all the baseballs in a dehumidifier and blink the scoreboard at Albert when he bats.

  12. Freese was like Chris Sabo in the 1990 WS.

  13. I’ll watch bits and pieces but will probably get drawn if it’s close. My problem is the lack of a rooting interest. I generally root for the NL team. I don’t like LaRussa or Carpenter, but otherwise don’t especially dislike the Cardinals.
    But their fans have become a pain in the butt, so I probably end up rooting against them.

    If the Cardinals win, I’ll take consolation in a WS win by the NL Central. I’m tired of hearing things like how easily Toronto would win the NL Central, or how easy it will be for Theo Epstein to win in the NL Central. Plus my father, who doesn’t have many years left, is a lifelong Cardinals fan.

  14. I personally am glad the Brewers did not make it to the WS because that would just show what the REDS MISSED when they didn’t go hard enough after both Grienke and Marcum. That could be the Reds and instead it was the Brewers. I hope Uncle Walt has some tricks up his sleeves this offseason cause the Reds NEED IT BADLY.

  15. There’s an object lesson for the Reds in all this. The Cardinals organization has proven time and again they are willing to try anything to win. They took a wrecking ball to their bullpen mid-season and added 5 players at the trade deadline. Couple that with a manager who plays to win every pitch, and this is the result. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to lead the league in most offensive categories while striking out the fewest number of times. Their success early in games vs. the Brewers also highlighted how well their scouting was.
    It pains me to no end to type all that, but it’s the truth. But if there’s a silver lining, you know there’s usually a hangover effect for teams that go deep into the playoffs. Let’s hope that’s the case for the Brewers and Cardinals in 2012.

  16. @Sultan of Swaff: It occured to me while watching those Brewer/Cards games that the Cardinals are like the Patriots of baseball. They just run whoever they want out there behind an MVP and a crotchety coach and by God, they just keep winning. But I still hate the Cardinals so much.

  17. @Matt WI: I was actually about to respond to Sultan’s last point with a football analogy as well. Except that I was going to call the Cardinals the Steelers… a thorn in Cincinnati’s side… a team we want to call a rival but can’t… a team who no matter what happens, who gets injured/suspended, they always seem to find a way to get to the promised land.

    And I can’t stand it.

  18. Last WS I watched start to finish, Diamondbacks/Yankees.

    Last WS I cared less about than this one, the Cards last appearance and/or White Sox/Astros – man that was a snoozer.

    Give it up for LaRussa, he and his “protein shakes” make any hodgepodge of hitters and pitchers competitive.

    I hate to say this but I REALLY want Tony LaRussa in the Reds dugout being our d*#che and not theirs.

  19. As a fan of almost seventy years, I’ll have the Series on but with the commentary muted. Read a book during the commercial breaks or check something interesting on the net. Will be pleased if the Rangers win W.S. #1 instead of the Cardinals #11.

  20. @Aaron Lehr: That’s a good one, it works.

  21. Maybe also having the Cards winning the WS would aggrivate Castellini and Walt enough to actually care this offseason. I swear if we stand put again, I am officially gonna take the year off from the Reds.

    • Maybe also having the Cards winning the WS would aggrivate Castellini and Walt enough to actually care this offseason. I swear if we stand put again, I am officially gonna take the year off from the Reds.

      I feel the same way pretty much. I took time off from the Reds until last year, about July I started to have some hope. But if they either do nothing or make moves designed to make uninformed fans *think* they’re doing something, I’m going back to not paying attention.

  22. @Sultan of Swaff: Agree pretty much 100%. I was thinking today that the Cards go in to the season expecting to be in the post season while the Reds and the Brewers et al sort of make their best moves and hope to contend.

    And as you pointed out the Cards changed (several things, several times)on the fly while the Reds seemed to view it as a set piece process and hoped their guys would come around enough in time to contend.

    We talked a lot here about Walt and Dusty seeming to have trouble keeping on the same page this year. However in the final analysis in at least one sense they were two peas in a pod. Walt was reluctant to pull the trigger on anything but a “big” (or maybe more accurately profound) move; and Dusty was just a reluctant to make any really significant changes in how he used the guys Walt provided him.

  23. I need some help here. Everyone has said the Phils were going to win because they had the pitching and pitching is the key. They said the Brewers were tough because in the offseason they went out and added two studds to their rotations. The Yankees numbers wise had good pitching, and yet none of those teams made it to the WS. But a team with Kyle Lohse as one of it’s key pitchers did? The same Kyle Lohse that some even here were trashing this past season. So…if pitching is so important, why are the Cards and Rangers playing in the WS?

  24. @dn4192: You’re right. I think everytime a team is successful everyone feels the need to pinpoint the exact reason for their success, when the reason is probably lots of little things that all combine in just the right way.

    Last year the Reds were absolutely dominated by the Phillies. Some (including me) said it was because the Reds didn’t have a top flight ace to match up. That was probably 1 reason, but there are lots more… like consistently getting shut down by their aces, and having a particularly bad time of it in game one. Our offence was anemic during the entire series. Does that mean we have a bad offense? No. Because the playoffs are such a small sample, anything can happen and it gets blown up. We think it’s indicative of what will happen in the next playoffs, but it’s not. We say it’s important to “get hot”, but that’s probably just part of it. As Dave has mentioned, perhaps the Cards were built to matchup well with Philly. Did they go into the season trying to do that, or did it just sort of fall into place.

    We can try all we want to position ourselves as best as possible to perform in the postseason, but the next time something else will be the difference between winning and losing and we’ll think that’s the end all be all of postseason success.

  25. @dn4192: A team isn’t just its pitching, as this postseason has shown. But let’s not underrate the role that Dave Duncan has had in the Cardinals consistent success. The Kyle Lohse pitching for the Cardinals is not the same as the one who pitched for the Reds.
    Also, without Chris Carpenter, the Cards lose game 5 to Halladay and the Phils. That showed the importance of an ace.

    Otherwise, I can only repeat what’s already been said. The Cards GM recognized their flaws and aggressively addressed them at the trade deadline. And LaRussa is a nutcase but a winning manager. There’s a rhyme and reason to his whining.

  26. As I have always said, I would take Tony L. as our manager in a heart beat, because when it’s all said and done, all that matters is winning. And if you look at his track record he wins.

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. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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Baseball - General