Final tilt in a series of three jousts between the Reds (41-62) and the Padres (45-59) because 2016 baseball is exactly like two plague-ridden knights riding directly at each other at top speed holding giant poles.

Whelp, somebody isn’t in the lineup, and somebody else is.Because “day off,” according to the Reds, who think you are profoundly stupid.



1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (RF)
5. Brandon Phillips (2B)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Jose Peraza (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Homer Bailey (P)
1. Travis Jankowski (CF)
2. Alexi Amarista (LF)
3. Wil Myers (1B)
4. Ryan Schimpf (2B)
5. Jabari Blash (RF)
6. Christian Bethancourt (C)
7. Jose Rondon (SS)
8. Adam Rosales (3B)
9. Paul Clemens (P)


Homer Bailey returns today but I’m not going to type about that because I have to tell you what happened on my way to work today instead. It gave me a sense of what it might be like to play on this team.

You know it’s going to be a good story because it starts with my car bursting into flames. This happened to my Toyota about a month ago and I’m mostly mad because the neighbors said the flames were shooting out of the hood to heights of four feet and I missed it. I had been driving my nephews around all day and was dropping them off at their house, as aunts do, to be fed and have their education, clothing, and medical care paid for. I am grateful that no one was hurt and also that I happened to park away from the driveway, because “You set my house on fire with my children inside of it” is going to win every argument, every time. My brother-in-law also saw his life dream come true of seeing me hauled off in the back of a Green Township police car, so really, win-win.

I start there because it settled the issue of whether my husband and I would become a one-car household. He is a pilot and I am not, and when he drives his car it would sit forlornly in the employee lot awaiting his return, whereas mine is key to procurement of the things I need to run a household, such as raw chicken and heavy narcotics.

So now I’m unexpectedly the captain of his car, which I drove to my volunteer post as a USO hostess at the airport, and which–and it should not shock you that I’ve done this before–I managed to lock with the keys in the ignition, engine running, because when this girl seeks adventure, she finds it by trying to squat on all fours in a white pencil skirt in the middle of the blacktopped CVG employee lot on a 94 degree day, searching in vain for a hide-a-key.

This was my cue to call and text and call and text and call and text and call and text IN CAPITAL LETTERS Josh The Pilot, who of course had not yet unsilenced his phone from morning church services. I am a charter member of AAA, because when you are me, you spend huge chunks of your life peering in at keys sitting jauntily behind locked doors, tires with odd metal objects sticking out of them at alarming angles, and, as we just saw, smoking husks of 2005 Camrys.  But I was in a secure lot which is enterable only with a badge, a password, and a valid key Johnny’s Toys Birthday Castle, and my friends, there it was, true despair:  I was in a place where AAA and all its TripTiks couldn’t help me now.

Then I caught sight of the employee shuttle and realized that there were adults about, real adults, adults who unlike me remember to turn the CrockPot on after dumping the raw chicken in. I flagged it down, climbed aboard, and informed the driver, two TSA agents, one Delta captain, four flight attendants, and a baggage handler that my Master’s degree and I had just locked the keys in my car with the engine running. Yes, it was my car. No, not on purpose. No, I have not reproduced, for the good of the human race.

The driver, in her pity, dispatched a member of The Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport’s finest, and he came in his large scary car, opened his door, opened my door, got back into his car, which had been left unlocked, and drove away.

By now Josh The Pilot had unsilenced his phone and had called to find out who was dead.

ME:  First thing in the morning, we are getting a hide-a-key for the stupid Vibe.

JOSH THE PILOT:  We have a hide-a-key.


JOSH THE PILOT:  Somewhere in the house.

The up side is, we now know who is dead.

Well! Now I could start my day. I ran to security, and beeped as I walked through the metal detector, and was informed that SURPRISE!! They’d seen how well my morning had begun and were now going to offer, as a bonus, a random trip to the body scanner. That’s fine. It was Good Bra Day. Let them look.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. As we all know, the real danger in this nation stems directly from German Catholics with no sense of direction and a pair of figure skates which have somehow become tied to the Halloween tablecloth in the closet.

“I need your right shoe,” said the TSA agent.

“Why just the right?”

“There are some chemicals on it and we need to scan.”

That would be the GooGone Josh applied to the soles in order to remove the fresh chewing gum lying in wait for me at the Bars and Bells booth at Our Lady of Lourdes festival.  Cincinnatians! When shall we come to grips with the great evils gambling has visited upon us?

What this has to do with baseball, of course, is that I now feel pity towards this team as it heads to work today, rather than my usual anger and contempt, because look– sometimes even when you’re trying your best, you just step in gum and lock your keys in your car and don’t get so much as a quarter return at Bars and Bells. And what we need to do in these situations is to avoid panic.

We need to find a competent adult with a big scary car and a coat hanger. And a day off.


Homer’s numbers are easy to not-copy, not-paste today. We should have pitchers arising from the dead from every team, every day.

Paul Clemens 4.82 18.2 14 1.66 No
Homer Bailey 0.00 0.00 0 0.00 Yes





Walt Jocketty makes small children cry.

57 Responses

  1. msanmoore

    +1000 for what may be your most entertaining intro yet. And a bonus +50 for noting Jock makes kids cry. Now if only you’d stick to baseball, but I know you’re a girl and don’t understand the game … (removes tongue from cheek).

    Thanks for the entertainment and smiles. Let’s see if Homer can throw 90 or so MLB caliber pitches today and give us a chance.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Aw thanks! I’m going to have a very, very sad godson when the Bruce news makes it to him, so I needed some happy.

  2. David

    Dear Mary Beth

    You’re a hoot. Thanks for the funny. I hope no small animals were hurt in the writing of this post.
    Since you are writing the game post today, the Reds are sure to win.

    And thanks for the volunteer USO work. You probably made somebody’s day today.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Certainly not the poor cop’s, who had to stand there for fifteen minutes in his long black pants trying to pry open a Vibe which doesn’t have power windows, power locks, or power anything.
      (and thank you!)

  3. I-71_Exile

    Awesome story!

    My wife has a similar ability to defeat even the most robust “keep keys from being locked in car” features. Once she locked her car, opened the trunk, tossed in the keys because she needed two hands to carry some package, took out said package from the trunk, and then slammed it shut.

    BOOM. Take that Mazda engineers! Also, Master’s Degree.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      That’s just about the only thing I haven’t done. Although this car-running-lockout was an improvement over the last one– I didn’t discover it until I returned to the parking garage at the end of the day. Which probably wouldn’t have gone over too well with airport security.

      • I-71_Exile

        BTW, I’ve said it before, but I’ll type it again: I love your writing. You have a way of bending words to your will. 🙂

      • Mary Beth Ellis

        Many thanks! Please pass this on to people making money decisions on Book #2. (Here’s Book #1, if you’re interested in that kind of thing):

  4. Patrick Jeter

    “…whereas mine is key to procurement of the things I need to run a household, such as raw chicken and heavy narcotics.”


    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Some people find the raw chicken part shocking, but I need to up my protein intake. Don’t judge.

  5. I-71_Exile

    Eight minutes to the deadline…

  6. Darrin

    I’m not expecting much from Bailey today, but I’m glad to see him back on the mound after all the work he’s put in during his recovery. Good luck to ya Homer.

  7. james garrett

    I don’t think you can put much into what he does for the balance of the year.His health is more important then anything else and can he be counted on next year.He is back on a major league mound and that is a good thing after the long road back.

  8. james garrett

    Yes please do we wouldn’t want anybody to think this kid can play.

  9. VaRedsFan

    Bailey with a hit…sure missed his bat

  10. preacherj

    “I need your right shoe.” of course you do….

    That just cracked me up.

  11. Mack Ashley Potter (@RedlegFanatic)

    Homer looked much better vs the bottom of the order.
    I hope he settles in and has a nice return.
    That blast off Peraza’s bat makes me feel a little better about the Frazier trade.
    At least we know he “can” go yard. Hadn’t recorded an extra base hit until today.
    Needs to play more. That was a BLAST too.

    • Patrick Jeter

      He’s hit a lot of balls over 100 mph. All you need is the right trajectory and about 95-98mph and you get a homer.

      He’s certainly got homer power, as most major leaguers do, but his swing and approach are geared towards contact and grounders/liners.

  12. Mack Ashley Potter (@RedlegFanatic)

    With what the Indians were willing to give for Lucroy and how the Reds have waited for the right deal, Cincinnati should get a haul out of Bruce. Hopefully from the Dodgers, they have a boat load of talent in the system. I’m expecting 2 top 10’s and another top 30 prospect out of Bruce.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Are you kidding? Bruce is nowhere near as valuable as Lucroy, nor is he on as good a contract.

      If he got a single decent prospect that would be a win.

  13. Patrick Jeter

    That Votto K just now was perfect example of what I’ve mentioned in my last two articles about Votto…

    When umps are calling the up-and-away strike, Votto is basically helpless (by Votto standards).

    • Darrin

      Are there stats floating around out there that compare how many times a three hole hitter leads off an inning….seems like votto leads off more innings then most.

  14. DHud

    I thought this Peraza scrub was supposed to be so incredibly lacking in power that he would never be a major league ball player

    Also, I missed the preface because I’ve been 10000 feet in the air all afternoon, but my dad says they announced on the pre game that Bruce will stay a Red?

    • Patrick Jeter

      If they announced it, they were just speculating. Bruce appears to be very much on-the-block still.

      However, I doubt he gets traded because the Reds always have unrealistic expecations on returns.

      • I-71_Exile

        The Chapman trade is a painful outlier, but I agree in general.The Reds organization seems to like nice guys—especially home-grown nice guys.

  15. james garrett

    Just a thought but if you were Bruce would you take a fair market value extension of 3 or 4 years?I don’t know what that would be but I am guessing in the 14-15mil per year range.

    • msanmoore

      If you were the Reds would you offer that?

  16. james garrett

    Let me criticize our offense today so they can wake up and score some runs.We are terrible on offense.All we need is a couple more,just like last night,and the game is over.Lets go.

  17. james garrett

    Hard to complain when you score but 7 batters saw 19 pitches and had 4 hits.Probably just my hang up but these kind of innings just bother me when I feel with a little more discipline we blow the game open.

    • VaRedsFan

      I don’t follow. Votto singles on the 2nd pitch, Duvall singles on the 2nd pitch, BP singles on the 3rd pitch, Suarez grounded out on a full count, Peraza pooped out on 0-1 count, Tucker singled on an 0-1 count. Then Bailey made an out on the 1st pitch. Not a thing about that inning shows non discipline

      • pinson343

        Yes the big outs were by Suarez and Peraza, and they were on pitches in the strike zone. Suarez had to swing on 3-2.

  18. msanmoore

    Pitcher’s equivalent of a TOOTBLAN right there …

    • Darrin

      Somebody had to get it out of the way

      • msanmoore

        Yep – painful to watch that unfold, but can you really hate Meyers any more than you can Votto or Goldschmidt or Rizzo or Freeman?

  19. pinson343

    Excellent tag by Homer to get a big out and then a bonehead play to give them a run.

  20. james garrett

    The Pads ran wild on him all day.Probably part of his game that still needs some work.He will better next time in holding runners on.

    • pinson343

      I’ll save a longer comment for the recap but the most important news on Homer was good today.

  21. james garrett

    Come on guys you aren’t trying to convince we only swung at strikes that inning.I am not watching the game but I know we show no plate discipline other then Votto as a general rule.But hey like I said it just maybe my hang up.

  22. VaRedsFan

    Lorenzen works his way out of the bases loaded jam.

  23. james garrett

    Lorenzen has great stuff but he can drive you a little silly sometimes with his control but he is one guy that can get out of trouble.Good job.

  24. pinson343

    Lorenzen not sharp today, maybe because of the 2 innings on Friday. Big pitch was 3-2 strike to Blash. Homer was ahead with 2 strikes on Blash and didn’t go after him, leading to that run in the 6th.

    Schimpf got on by not moving his elbow on a pitch that was almost strike. Thee rules say that on an HBP, you have to make an effort to get out of the way, but I’ve never ever seen that called.

  25. VaRedsFan

    Series #5 in a row!! Congrats Homer and welcome back.

  26. pinson343

    Cingrani doing a whole lot better getting it done with his number 1.

  27. james garrett

    Get the lead,get to the 6th or 7th,turn it over to the pen and we win.Yeah I know the eight was a little scary but Lorenzen came through.What about Cingrani going one two three with 2 K’s in the ninth?

  28. TR

    A big win for Homer. A good western trip and another series win. And Peraza was in the game and got a big hit.

  29. james garrett

    I just looked at the video of Peraza’s homer and it truly was a blast.A no-doubter if you will.

  30. I-71_Exile

    And July is a winning month for the Reds! How about that.

    • TR

      Agreed. Thom does not have a soothing voice which most good announcers have.

  31. JB WV

    Like to see Lorenzen get another look as a starter next year. Strong guy, heck of an athlete with a nice array of pitches that need a little more polish. Great movement.