Game II in a series of III between the Reds (41-61) and the Padres (44-59.) I’d like to take this opportunity to look in on how the Cubification of Aroldis Chapman is working out:

So we’ve got that going for us.

Last week an Indians fan reached out via Twitter to pat me gently on the back and offer sincere condolences over the absolute world-ending mishandling of the Chapman trade. “How you doin’, bud?” she said. “Can I get you anything? Some tea, glass of ginger ale?”

Thanks, Reds. Thanks for making my life such that an INDIANS FAN feels sorry for me.

1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Brandon Phillips (2B)
7. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Anthony DeSclafani (P)
1. Travis Jankowski (CF)
2. Ryan Schimpf (2B)
3. Wil Myers (1B)
4. Matt Kemp (RF)
5. Brett Wallace (3B)
6. Alexi Amarista (LF)
7. Jose Rondon (SS)
8. Derek Norris (C)
9. Christian Friedrich (P)

Tomorrow is Homer Day. Today is Disco Day.


Christian Friedrich 5.00 68.1 57 1.60 At this point everyone remotely associated with Major League Baseball, up to and including Rob Manfred, has been implicated in a Jay Bruce trade
Anthony DeSclafani 3.09 55.1 46 55.1 YES ABSO– oh wait, we already have him. This was unlikely to stop the front office from attempting to obtain him, however.


To cheer me up against the endless spew of dumb which has emanated from social media this past month, I watched a movie about the sinking of the Titanic. Not that one. A good one. It’s called A Night to Remember, and it is art.

I don’t know how I missed seeing this movie; I’ve been fascinated by the Titanic since childhood. It is sublime. As a writer, I was drawn into the director’s choices to avoid telling and focus on showing, which is no small task in a dramatic, well-known story like this, which has a very bad and very famous ending. Rather than spend ten minutes on  splintering decks, for example, the movie shows unattended, freshly baked loaves of bread sliding from their racks. They were made in normalcy, but weren’t needed for the breakfast service which never took place.

Based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Walter Lord and produced in 1958, the film was limited by facts and the technology of the times, and it is much the better for it. Without CGI to crutch against or a Sweet Valley High romance to “improve” one of the most starkly tragic tales in all of Western Civilization, A Night to Remember simply tilts the camera a bit and lets human nature unfold. As a result, I felt more drawn into a story which I already knew well.

My irritation with the James Cameron cartoon version of the sinking stems from the same disgruntlement I have with canned rock music at college football games and shrieking sound effects in baseball parks:  You are “improving” something which requires zero improvement.  It is arrestingly human in and of itself. Giant computer renderings of boilers and DAY-Os ricocheting across the outfield only distract from the natural unfolding of what’s already there. Don’t tell me I need to be amused by this game before me or feel sad about these lives lost. I can find the detail for myself, and thus experience it more intently, if you don’t insist on blinding me with neon signs and strobe lights.

One of the film’s rare stumbles showed the inside of what was ostensibly a first-class playroom for small children. It depicted a rocking horse skittering across the floor. The note rang stereotypical and false– “Lazy. That’s a bit much,” I thought, especially since the viewer was already shown actual children in peril. And sure enough, I found out later that Titanic didn’t even have such a nursery.

Likewise, something deep within the average sports fan rebels when presented with the likes of the Pro Bowl and mascot races. They seem manufactured and an empty distraction from the actual story at hand because they are.

And that is why the Reds, with all their fireworks and bobbleheads, stand 23rd in a league of 30 in attendance. I’ve been told by out of town fans that the Reds are among the best in fan relations, and I’m sure they are. But the story we’re currently told on the field isn’t a good one right now. We know the ending, and we don’t want to see it.

You can see the all of A Night to Remember here. Give it a watch, and then another watch with commentary from Titanic historians on the Netflix DVD version:

(This video is fascinating, btw, if you would like something more uplifting in your lives this afternoon than resigning yourselves to the fact that Thom Brennaman hath returned unto us. Pardon the circusy title graphics, which I hate, as nothing says GOOD CHEESY TIMES, EVERYBODY!! like the horrific deaths of 1503 people.)


That’s deep, man.  Really makes you think.


Fox Sports Ohio was playing a rebroadcast of a Reds-Mets game from 1978 while I was at the gym last week, and it was more compelling than the 2016 game which had just finished.

46 Responses

  1. msanmoore

    James Cameron owes me 3 hours of my life back …

  2. seat101

    I have a sinking feeling about tonight’s game. When I was at the grocery store. a display fell and I got hit in the head with some iceberg lettuce

    Some interesting trivia, David Sarnoff was working in a telegraph station on Long Island. He picked up the Morse Code broadcast from the rescue ships that were looking for the Titanic. He rebroadcast those signals across the Western Union telephone line all across the country. It was the first nonmilitary report of the news out of line of sight as it happened.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Isn’t that interesting? Some ships didn’t even have wireless. It was state of the art tech back then!

  3. George

    Your appreciation of that movie is “tell”. Mine is the original “King Kong” in comparison to todays CGI filled movies, that love story is great for its time. My warped sense also runs to music, John Cash “I walk the line” is a true love song from a man to the his life.
    Enough, the Reds are at the deciding point. I still think that if Homer shows the needed results in 2 – 3 starts he should be the one to go. I also still believe that a Votto trade to Boston with the Reds picking up part of his salary, would work. What could he do with the left field wall as a DH replacing “Big Poppy”.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      “Walk the Line”= ACTUAL country music

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Interesting that multiple sources are reporting an imminent deal between the Braves and Padres, Olivera for Kemp. Apparently the deal is so close that Olivera was pulled from the lineup of his AAA game but Kemp is still included in the Padres lineup. Of course that could change before game time.

  5. Dan

    23rd out of 30. In a city like Cincinnati were every remaining fan knows it all even more so than the manager, general manager, and owner. I guess if they start listening to each and every one of us we just might be looking at 30 out of 30 because nobody can agree on what the team is about, their direction, or the real needs.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      That’s a good way to put it…I get the sense they’re just panicking and patching.

  6. Darrin

    Good to see peraza getting a day off.

  7. vegastypo

    “Thanks, Reds. Thanks for making my life such that an INDIANS FAN feels sorry for me.”

    As someone who attended Ohio University and put up with no end of the glorification of the Browns and the Indians, I suggest this reply.

    “Yes, the Reds are having a tough time right now. Thank God we have some World Series titles to our name. Tell me again, how many do the Indians have?”

  8. Mike Adams

    I really appreciate how the writers of RLN and commenters use stats and metrics in the discussion of players, games, competition, trades, coaching, management, etc.
    I wish there were a definite way to know if all the promotions and bobbleheads actually increase attendance. I am four hours a way and make it to a few games each year. You fellow RLN’ers who attend more, and converse with fans more—have you ever heard anyone say whether their attendance was based on promotions? Any who said they would not have come to a game if it weren’t for a promotion?
    Sometimes at games, I find promotions, kiss cams, mascot video races, etc., actually take away from the game experience. To quantify my own preference, the game is 99.999% of why I attend, even if the Reds are not doing so well. Major league baseball is major league baseball!

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I’m glad to hear it’s not just me. I tend to be sensitive to situations with lots of noise and people and sometimes I wonder if this reaction is just ascribable to me being a hothouse flower.

  9. preacherj

    THOM!: excellent job by Votto to tag up and advance there.

    Chris: yeah, runners are taught to do that.

    Calm down, Thom……..

  10. preacherj

    Tucker got robbed on a fine defensive play there

  11. Mack Ashley Potter (@chadj7474)

    Disco looking better with every start. I have been drafting him since coming off the DL and he hasn’t disappointed yet. That Latos deal lookin better and better. I hope Rookie Davis turns into a good one. Or we just gave away the best closer in the game. Could you imagine what Yankee fans would do if they had to trade Mariano? They would have burned downed the city. lol. Life isn’t fair.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      The Disco deal was a good one, I’ll give them that.

  12. Mack Ashley Potter (@chadj7474)

    Just open ur mind, and go with me here…
    Is it possible, that with how the Reds have played since the break, as good as both the starting pitching and bullpen have been, getting Homer back, etc, etc, that the Reds think they can contend for a Playoff spot in 2017 and Bruce is going no where?

  13. Darrin

    Garrett had some serious control problems tonght, 6 walks in 4 2/3. Schebler 2-3 with his eighth triple. What was the scouting report on his speed?

  14. james garrett

    I don’t doubt the Reds front office thinks they can compete for a playoff spot next because its the same front office that continued to roll the dice and roll the dice thinking the same way Failing to develop players and hanging on to the same guys year after year is why we are here right now.

  15. Mack Ashley Potter (@chadj7474)

    Votto is just a great hitter. Tony Gwynn with power. I don’t know how else to put it. Eventually he will put together a strong 1st & 2nd half and win a batting title.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I heard that sharp crack on the radio with that single he laced. He just… sees it.

    • Matthew Habel

      at least he has some company on the bench with Suarez taken out

      • Mary Beth Ellis

        I want them to start a book club.

  16. preacherj

    Billy hit it hard. Just right at the SS. Funny thing was, even though it was scalded, he was standing on first before the out was recorded. Billy is fast.

  17. yorktownred

    Wow. Would love to see Iglesias stay healthy and back in the starting rotation next year.

    • Mack Ashley Potter (@chadj7474)

      I was just thinking the same thing. I hope so much his arm strength holds up and is able to be in the rotation all season. He is going to be so good. Johnny Cueto good, if not better. But if not…he has to be the closer no?

  18. Mack Ashley Potter (@chadj7474)

    Verlander threw 8 innings of shutout ball with the Tigers leading 1-0.
    Ausmus leaves Verlander in for the 9th to try for the CG SO.
    Verlander struggles in the 9th, giving up the lead 2-1.
    Ausmus still leaves Verlander in the game to finish the inning.
    Tigers score 2 in the bottom of the 9th to give both Detroit & Justin the win.
    Oh..the beauty of baseball!

    Ausmus is the type of manager the Reds need.

  19. Darrin

    Not a great effort to catch that one

  20. preacherj

    Not the biggest shock, unfortunately

  21. dan

    Adam Rosales getting revenge on his old team.

  22. dan

    Jumbo is the epitome of Reds pitching scouting. Hard throwing pitcher with location problems. Can only throw a fastball down the middle of the plate. Sounds like every other Reds pitcher.