Game 2 of 4 against the Padres this fine evening. If only we could Brexit this bullpen, amirite? Amirite? Huh?

I’m not rite. Like most natural disasters and flaming heaps of despair, there is nothing amusing about this bullpen. Except when they get this giant trumpeting introduction on the Jumbotron and the crowd reaction is:  ”       .”

Tonight’s starting pitchers, Cody Reed and Colin Rea, sound like co-stars in an 80’s movie about amusingly rebellious high schoolers that also involves a ski resort and at least one slow clap. So we’ve got that going for us.

1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Brandon Phillips (2B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Billy Hamilton (CF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Cody Reed (P)
1. Travis Jankowski (CF)
2. Wil Myers (1B)
3. Matt Kemp (RF)
4. Yangervis Solarte (3B)
5. Melvin Upton Jr. (LF)
6. Derek Norris (C)
7. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
8. Adam Rosales (2B)
9. Colin Rea (P)


My man Joey Votto returns to the lineup tonight after, I am told, barfing up everything he’s eaten since preschool. The ladies don’t necessarily like to think of Joey as such, but it don’t bother me none. He probably puked up the parts of a Mini that cut him off in traffic and the remains of at least two umpires.

Normally I’m drawn to yay-players, morally upstanding guys who sparkle and fizz with genuine love for the game and the fact they get to play it, every day, for money.  They bubble around the dugout like an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a shaken Champagne bottle– your Sean Caseys, your Brayan Penas. Votto fizzes for no man. He grows a terrifying beard, he vanishes it. Do not startle Joey Votto. He might sit down with the MLB Network dressed like a Mountie. He might rip your kidneys right out.  You never can tell.

The Nibbles interview was particularly outstanding because Joey Votto, when occupying the media spotlight, usually radiates the impression that he’d  very much like to murder everyone within listening distance, up to and including himself. (In a recent interview, his stated long-term goal for this season was, I believe, to not give any more interviews.) When he recently delivered a walk-off victory, he stood peacefully and allowed the dumpation of two buckets of Gatorade– no shoving, no playful running from the shower, no “You GUUUUUUYYYYS!” He stoically accepted his fate as a soon-to-be soaked first baseman.

When he does choose to emote, it is via some extremely un-Canadian yelling, which entertainingly juxtaposes the vulnerability that made me emotionally adopt him in the first place: His battle with grief, anxiety and depression in the wake of his father’s death in 2009. This is a complex person, a highly intelligent man–one member of the Reds media staff told me he saw him on the bus reading a book about brain chemistry while the rest of the team zoned out on various electronic devices–and that, I think, works against him while slumping. Dude lives in his head.

Smarts and strong undercurrents of emotion aren’t part of the box score, but they are part of the baseball story. I like reading The Constantly Unfolding Tale of Votto the Mighty.


Cody Reed 5.14 7.0 9 1.29 Probably one of those guys who hovered over your game of Pac-Man and laid quarters on the window of the machine and distracted you right after you went into the tunnel
Colin Rea 5.02 71.2 54 1.36 As a totally tubular entity


When the press refuses to dig in and tell the people what they really need to know


I wonder how much he hates these.



About The Author

Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis is a freelance writer and college teacher who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Her home site,, has existed in at least some form since 2003, and Mary Beth has been a regular columnist with one publication or another from the age of 16. Her first book, Drink to the Lasses, was published in 2006. She currently teaches college, runs personal wine tastings, gives literary readings, and stares into the middle distance.

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41 Responses

  1. redsfan4life

    Blake wood is back and Kyle Waldrop was sent out. Back to a four man bench. Bullpen hasn’t been that taxed the last few days. I don’t see a need for eight relievers.
    I would have sent Ramirez packing.

  2. cfd3000

    Nice to see Votto back in the lineup. I’m betting some ad guy from Toronto has already approached Votto’s agent about an endorsement for Canada Dry Ginger Ale and it’s curative powers for the elite athlete. I’m also betting the agent’s response was, to paraphrase, “Um, no.” Go Joey. Go Reds.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Speaking of the 80’s: Clearly Canadian is back. He NEEDS to pitch that.

  3. Scott E. Disney

    Heard Giants asked Reds about Bruce. Are there any intriguing prospects in SF system? Are they a good partner for Reds? It seemed like they didn’t have too much in terms of prospects, maybe I’m wrong?

    • Indy RedMan

      They have this big corner outfielder Mac Williamson that looks pretty good! He’s up with them now and hit 2 HRs in 24 atbats. He’ll be 26 next month….6’4 240 lbs. His ops is .831 this year at AAA and .859 for his minor league career with a .368 obp. Obviously it would a lot more then him but he could be Duvall lite possibly?

  4. msanmoore

    Keep repeating … Reed is young … take 4 deep breaths … Reed is still young …

  5. Indy RedMan

    Another run you can charge to Suarez! The ball was hit hard but he didn’t even have to take a step? Anybody but a hack turns that into an easy 5-4-3?

    • msanmoore

      Or at least one out … almost like having Edward Scissorhands again.

  6. redsfan4life

    Suarez is the worst 3B I have ever watched in my 40 plus years of watching baseball.

    • Indy RedMan

      Edwin Scissorhands was just as bad? I wouldn’t sit in the first 5 rows down the 1st baseline when he played? It could be dangerous?

      • msanmoore

        Yep … EE was worse. Suarez is a legit infielder … EE had to play there because they didn’t have anywhere else to put him. Kind of like Prince Fielder for the Rangers.

      • redsfan4life

        EE was mostly throwing errors. Suarez can’t field the ball at all. It looks like he is scared to death of the ball. I know a error is a error though.

  7. msanmoore

    So this Rea kid is the next Cy Young, no?

    • redsfan4life

      He has a chance to become a Cy Young winner as long as this ump does all his starts.

  8. msanmoore

    Strike 3 called … oh wait, the ump is clueless about the strike zone (again)

    • msanmoore

      I’ve got to stop using Pitch FX … it just raises my anxiety level.

  9. Indy RedMan

    Reed needs a 3rd pitch? They might as well just let him take his beatings with the Reds this year and next. If you improve at AAA that doesn’t mean anything. Igesias if iffy as a starter durability wise but I would put Lorenzen back in the rotation eventually. He’s def got the arm and the build to be a workhorse! I’d call KC about Ventura too! He’s immature but 25 yr olds throwing 99 don’t grow on trees! They could use Bruce or Cozart!

    • VaRedsFan

      They have enough pitchers with 4+ ERA. They need hitters

      • Indy RedMan

        They couldn’t possibly score enough to compete with this pitching? I’ll take as many great arms as I can get. I’m sorry but I didn’t see anything special from Stephenson. All 3 of the lefties need a lot of work and Raisel can’t handle the innings to start? Get used to being 10+ out from the Cubs before May is out for many years to come!

  10. VaRedsFan

    Price ejected. Someone watching want to explain?

  11. msanmoore

    “Liberal strike zone”??? It’s been wildly inconsistent. FX had that as a strike, but so was ball 2.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Get the lead 4-3….so let’s walk the leadoff man next inning. He scored naturally

  13. Indy RedMan

    Bad team scores 6 straight innings on our “ace” of 2015 and “ace” of 2016. Its a tough time to be a Reds fan

  14. I-71_Exile

    I think the bunt love must be mixed into the Reds Gatorade.

  15. Indy RedMan

    A bunt attempt…wow how exciting!!! Its not like Hamilton could every just steal 3rd on his own or anything? Glad to see Dusty is long gone…lameduck Price is practicing being somewhere else during a Reds game but we still have another inept joker to carry on the tradition!!

  16. VaRedsFan

    Hamilton single/SB, Barnhardt walk….so let’s try to bunt the fastest guy in the league to 3rd…..all kinds of awful there.

    • BigRedMike

      Sacrificing in a game with a lot of runs and many innings to go in that situation is not good baseball. Reds just cannot help themselves

  17. VaRedsFan

    Maybe our best hitter will bail them out.

  18. BigRedMike

    Just wait to see how great things will be with Iglesias and Lorenzen in the bullpen

  19. Indy RedMan

    I’m had enough of these sad sack losers for a while. I need to spend more time catching up on my yard, etc anyway. Lack of execution and planning at every single level….I’ve had enough. See you guys in August maybe? Preseason football is completely worthless but I can’t handle watching them try to bunt Hamilton over.

  20. BigRedMike

    walk on 4 pitches to lead off the inning

  21. Brian Dunn (@surrfinTexas)

    I’ll never get tired of Adam Rosales sprinting everywhere, no matter what team he may be on next month, A+, you can’t buy effort or attitude at the store.

  22. BigRedMike

    Failure at every level

    Hoover should not be on a MLB roster

  23. Whoa Bundy!

    If Hoover and BP were race horses they’d be shot.

  24. Greatredlegsfan

    The Dead Arms Society is back!