This piece was submitted by Chris Esberger, known in our comments as Chuck Schick, and we’re happy to run it here at Redleg Nation.

As we enter the dog days of the Reds 15th losing campaign over the past 20 seasons, I thought I would offer my special mix of random, mostly worthless facts and clown-like observations. I genuinely appreciate the great writing that permeates this site and the talented contributors who create such tremendous content. I believe that Patrick Jeter is actually a rocket scientist, while I am a former McNicholas Rocket…..who finished 135th out of a class of 152.

While there may have been a few non-institutionalized people not related to Walt Jocketty who entered this season with a sense of optimism, most Reds fans seemed to approach the season as a six-month root canal endured while watching a perpetual loop of Buddy’s Carpet Barn commercials. However, I decided to approach the season with a Vichy-like pragmatism.  IT’S OK TO BE BAD IF YOU’RE DEVELOPING FOR THE FUTURE…which of course is why 71 year-old Brandon Phillips has played every game that he wasn’t sedated and the Ghost of Alfredo Simon is still flying on charters, staying in 5 Star Hotels and collecting major league meal money.

I entered the season with four objectives for the Reds:

  1. Develop the pitchers.
  2. See If Billy Hamilton can achieve an OBP that matches Jumbo Diaz’s weight.
  3. Wait for a frustrated, embittered Bryan Price to don a short sleeved white dress shirt and parade around GABP like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. The climatic confrontation scene with Jim Riggleman taking place on the Toyota Home Run Deck…like Dr. Richard Kimble and Dr. Alec Lentz at the end of The Fugitive. Somehow, Gapper dies in the melee.
  4. Hope that, in a fit of desperation and dearth of ideas, the Reds marketing department creates a Bobble Head series that honors “The Holy Trinity” of back up catchers (Bill Plummer, Dave Van Gorder and Dann Bilardello).

As we sit here 5 months later, Objective #1 has been discussed more than the Kennedy Assassination; I am still hopeful that Objectives #3 and #4 can still come to fruition. I would like to address objective #2….Bill Hamilton.

Clown- Like Observation #1

Just counting games in which Hamilton has played, the Reds are 34-40 in games in which Billy Hamilton gets a hit. That is a Miley-Esque 74 win rate. They are a dreadful 16-29 in games in which he doesn’t get a hit….which is a 104 loss pace.

Listed below is how Billy Hamilton has performed during wins vs. his performance in losses:

OBP 0.378 0.277 36.46%
STEALS PER GAME 0.78 0.275 183.64%


Here is how Hamilton stacks up against a random assortment of players in Runs per Plate Appearance:

2016 DEXTER FOWLER 0.1508
2013 SHIN SOO CHIN 0.15
1975 PETE ROSE 0.1465
1975 JOE MORGAN 0.1674
2001 BARRY BONDS 0.1942
2016 KRIS BRYANT 0.1842
1996 BARRY LARKIN 0.1866


In summation, Hamilton has certainly improved his offensive skills and has become an extremely value component to the Reds success…..he also is a huge contributor to their lack of success. When he performs offensively, they are borderline decent. When he doesn’t, they are Saved By the Bell-The College Years awful. In general, one man doesn’t make that much of a difference….he does.

Random, Worthless Fact #1

In 2016, J.J. Hoover allowed a home run every 46 pitches.  Aroldis Chapman has allowed a home run every 418 pitches.

Clown-Like Observation #2

If Joey Votto had hit a home run every time he came to the plate this year (through 9/6) he would have 883 RBI.

If Addison Russell had hit a home run every time he came to the plate this year he would have 934 RBI..Despite having 42 fewer plate apperances than Votto

If Anthony Rizzo had hit a home run every time he came to the plate this year he would have 1,033 RBI…while only having 21 more plate appearances than Votto.

I guess having guys that get on base does matter.

Random, Worthless Fact #2

The Reds have a losing record every day of the week this year…..except Saturday. They are 12-10 with a positive run differential of 33.  They’re not bad on Fridays (10-12) and Tuesdays (9-10).

Sunday is obviously still viewed as a day of rest, as the Reds are 7-15 with a negative 45 run differential. Mondays (6-13) and Wednesdays (8-13) are Hall of Bad inductees as well.

Closing Clown-Like Observation

When the Reds lose, they average 3 runs per game and give up an astonishing 7. The Maginot Line was a more effective deterrent.

In victory, the Reds have averaged a whopping 6.40 runs and only give up a stellar 2.94.

What does any of this actually mean? When they’re good, they’re pretty good…and when they’re bad they’re Tracey Morgan as Hamlet bad.

Here’s to the Future.

Join the conversation! 28 Comments

  1. Clown-like observation #2 is the exact kind of thinking and analytics that the Reds front office and many “old-school” baseball fans (to include the Brennamans) don’t want to hear. If Votto was such a great hitter he’d have more RBIs regardless of runners on base!

    Take your gypsie-magic nonsense and get out of here!

    • Well if Votto hits a HR every 8 times up on average he should have 110 RBI or so…therefore the Brennamans are correct

      • I do not follow.

        Where are you getting a hr every 8 ABs and that equating to 110 RBI?

      • Hope you aren’t serious. You want Votto to hit over 80 home runs a season?

    • It seems to me the point being of making an extrapolation of a ridiculous argument like Votto hitting a HR every AB to one where he hits one every 8 to come up with a realistic total that could justify proving an point to counteract a ridiculous defense of great hitter that does not need to be justified in the first place.

  2. Thanks for the entertaining post! A big concern I have regarding Hamilton, in addition to OBP, is his durability. Last year in appeared in 114 games. This year 119 so far (and this number probably will not get much larger). Given his style of play I really worry if in the future he can be counted on for more than 130 games in a season.

    • This is an excellent point. There are questions whether his body can hold up over a season. I don’t think we can definitively say he can’t, but it’s a concern.

      • How many of the real difference making plays he now completes would not be completed if he dialed back his effort even a couple of % to try and avoid injury? I have no idea or opinion, just wondering.

        • No idea. But, I bet Reds fans would chastise him for not hustling and a lack of heart. See how cynical I’ve become?

    • And everything that makes him so valuable defense and speed will surely decline, are 28 year olds typically faster than there were at 25?

      • Maybe… you can’t say that for cerainty. Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock come to mind. I think it depends on his frame and if he maintains his current physique.

      • Well Usain Bolt at 30 is still fairly fast. But yes, from what I understand the fast-twitch muscles fibers go first. Not that I would know personally.

  3. Votto would have more RBI if there were more Reds on base in front of him. Cozart is 10 for his last 80 AB’s.

    • How is it possible that Zach Cozart had batted ahead of Votto the majority of games he has played for the last 5 years. There is no one on the team at any level that should allow this. Heck, same for BHam. There must be someone on this team that gets on base more than him.

      • Tucker Barnhart, With the second half Billy had it would be insane not have him hit leadoff, sad to say Zach Cozart might cost the Reds with below replacement level play the 2nd half, destroyed a borderline allstar season with a tanking of 2nd half

  4. Excellent first column, Chuck! (Can I call you “Chuck?” 😉 ) Hope to see more in the future.

  5. That is some nice and original humor. You’ve got talent, maybe Dayton level, but keep at it, don’t be discouraged by bumps and hurdles. Only a few have fingers that write by themselves when the owner sits down at the keyboard. Good luck!

    • Dayton level compared to what?

      • Yes, whether the current generation here likes Hal McCoy (Dayton Daily News) he is in the writers’ wing of the National Baseball HoF. Ditto for two of his bosses/ one time mentors in Dayton, Si Burick and Ritter Collett.

      • Dayton rules, the birthplace of aviation, NCR, the Peace Accords, and, and…. GO FLYERS

      • I think Dayton Dragons as compared to MLB … At least I think that’s where Mark was going with that.

  6. Bob Steve needs to throw strikes and keep the pitch count down tonight

    And the rest of the Reds need to pull their heads out of their rears

  7. I maintain as I have all year that Brandon Phillips is still one of our top players. He has battled injuries all year and has still managed to put up decent numbers. No, he doesn’t walk that much so what? He doesn’t strike out that much either. Should he be batting in the 4 or 5 slot? I’m not a baseball player nor an expert but I would prefer seeing him in the 6 or 7 hole myself. When Bruce was here he was constantly defended when injured. Same with Votto Why is it then that Phillips doesn’t have writers coming to his defense? Is it simply because we want to see younger players? Becareful what you wish for because the youthful guys may not be nearly as good as the ones in which in they replace. The young guys will get there day, but until then, this is one Reds fan that will enjoy watching Brandon Phillips go out there and prove the skeptics wrong.

    A couple of nice articles by Sheldon up on today as well. One about Phillips and all the injuries he has endured this season and another on Price’s opinion on limiting inniings for pitchers.

    • The problem is we are going to lose close to 100 games with BP contributing. I think this is the first season his contract is bigger than the return and that is only slightly. I wish he had accepted the trade in the off season of which I am comfortable there were at least 2 and maybe more he shot down. There is not any difference losing 97 games with him playing a really good 2nd base and hitting .285 or losing 103 games getting a look at the youth to see who is going to be our next 2nd baseman. There is a slight difference about 12 million dollars of payroll. I don’t blame BP he earned the right of refusal but if as reported in a couple of different places the hold up was when the deferred money would be paid shame on Mr. C and his troop of clowns.

  8. While I don’t always agree with Judge Smails’ clerk, I enjoyed this article a lot.

    Very clear that Price is a Dusty disciple when it comes to Sundays.

  9. I enjoyed this. Thanks.

  10. Nice read. A lot of good humor in this article.

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