Poke the bear long enough and eventually the bear roars. Years of lambasting the Reds’ front office for standing pat, for playing it too close to the vest, for standing idly by while the rest of the baseball world danced, it all came to an end as the Reds front office went rogue—or the closest thing to going rogue the Reds do. Do something, Reds. So, they did.

Taylor Trammell was supposed to be the future, or at least part of a future we were promised, a down payment for all the losing. He did his part, making himself the darling of the Futures game in 2018 and walking away with the game’s MVP hardware. But, baseball’s top 30 prospect regressed in Double-A this season and, well, who knows, maybe the Reds got cold feet at the altar and just gave up on him, only to run off with the wacky bridesmaid in the form of a mercurial pitcher who—and let’s be kind here—has difficulty controlling his emotions on and off the field.

Maturity issues stick to Trevor Bauer like a noontime shadow, his meltdown on the mound over the weekend apparently the last straw for the Cleveland Indians. Terry Francona tried pulling the short con, acting as if he desperately wanted his troubled hurler, while his overlords were flipping through the rolodex, looking for takers:

“This guy pitches his (butt) off. He stays out there longer than anybody in the league. You can go on time; you can go on anything you want…. I want to fix it.”

When the news broke, I immediately thought of the Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Mixon. That’s not to say that Bauer is Mixon because he’s not. Not even close. Mixon viciously assaulted a woman. Bauer “only” harassed one. And then I thought of Alfredo Simon, because, of course. But, if there’s one thing we’ve all learned watching sports, it’s that when talent is involved, especially big talent —exceptions, excuses and exemptions invariably get made.

You can read here about his irrational and despicable harassment of a woman on Twitter, his frat boy salary negotiations with the Indians and the rest of his boorish behavior. My keyboard won’t go there.

Bauer, poster boy for the analytic revolution, prominently featured in Ben Lindberg and Travis Sawchik’s new book “The MVP Machine,” is a disciple of Driveline Baseball, the performance training facility, where players go to reinvent themselves. And Bauer has done just that, having turned himself into a viable Cy Young candidate in 2018, nearly a 6 win player. Sporting a 2.21 ERA and a 2.44 FIP, Bauer was the talk of baseball. Bauer hasn’t been “that guy” this season, but his WAR is still the equal of Sonny Gray’s at 2.7. So, there’s that.

And while all this was playing out in real time, the Reds were doing real physical battle with the Pirates, who once again showed everyone what happens when you pair a manager short on character with an organization short on ideas.

After another predictable head-hunting episode from the Buccos, still intent on doing war on Derek Dietrich’s noggin, Clint Hurdle was interviewed after the game and offered his own special managerial word salad, circling the wagons with the usual false jock bravado, the sound of towels snapping and the stench of AXE body spray hovering over the entire sorry proceeding. I half-expected him to break into a chorus of We Are Family:

Interviewer: You think this might have been tied in any way to the fact that you came in with a pretty long losing streak? And those guys were not that far ahead in the standings. It’s been a tough year for both of these clubs, is this kind of a late-in-the-season-trade-deadline-letting-off-some-steam situation?

Hurdle: I don’t know. You guys can figure it out from your perspective. You’re gonna see what you see and write what you wanna write. I just know our intent going out tonight was to win a ballgame and a lot of different turns happened along the way. So, the melee on the field is nothing you pencil in to start the game, let’s throw in one of those. Sometimes they take place and sometimes they happen. I’m sure they’ll be more information coming from the commissioner’s office later—everything’s on video. So, it’s not like you’re gonna go out there and do something thinking you’re gonna get away with anything and people are gonna think what they wanna think. As I said before, you can’t control what other people say, think or do. Our guys wanted to take care of each other once it all broke loose. And that’s what they did. They took care of one another.

This is what passes for “taking care of one another” these days. Closing ranks. Playing the “us against the world” card. And, nope, you sure can’t control what other people think or say when you not only fail to control your own players, but celebrate their knuckle-dragging behavior in the dugout along with them.

Baseball has known about the Pirates for some time now. Who they are and how they ply their dangerous trade. But the suits on Park Avenue look the other way, just like they do when the subject is fan safety. Just as a young fan will have to die from an unholy exit velocity screamer into the stands before the league gets serious about netting, so will a player have to die from a testosterone-soaked fastball up-and-in, retaliation for some violation of a ridiculous “unwritten rule” before anything changes. By then it will be too late.

There will be meaningless suspensions, of course, as there always are. A pitcher will get a five-game suspension and the team will push his start back a day, rendering the whole disciplinary exercise the joke it was when it was announced. Just another cynical nod to the public that this behavior is unacceptable. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball stole the spotlight from the NFL for at least one day. That’s why the Pirates are given carte blanche to incite. It’s good television. It’s even better marketing.

Let the Kids Brawl.

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Ken Rosenthal believes the Reds are keeping Bauer and going down the same path as they did this year, going year-to-year, aimlessly making it up as they go along.

MLB Network’s Joe Girardi thinks the Dick Williams is playing three-dimensional chess, looking to flip Bauer for a bigger payday with another team that just didn’t match up well with the Indians. They didn’t.

But this fact remains: the Reds now have a pitcher playoff-bound teams like the Yankees covet. The Yankees rotation is shambolic, having imploded against the Red Sox last weekend. And now, CC Sabathia is on the IL and another young starter is running up against an innings limit. The Yankees desperately need quality starting pitching and the Reds would probably love to have Clint Frazier and who knows who else New York might be willing to part with to get what The Bronx believes is the final piece of the World Championship puzzle. And make no mistake: the Yankees are under extreme pressure from fans and the New York media to get it done this season.

Trade or no trade, either way, you have to love that it’s the Reds who might have thwarted the Yankees. Makes a body feel all 1976 all over again. So, at least there’s that.

“I’m going to miss all my teammates here. This part of the year is amazing for me, being with this team with my teammates and the city leaving a lot of love… You know, I don’t do the things in the community to try to stay here. I do them because I know there’s a lot of kids outside, they needed help, and people like me, that god bless with a lot of different things coming from Cuba with nothing to get a lot of things in the United States. That’s the reason I try to go now in the community and help the community and help the kids, they don’t have the same opportunity that I have right now. Because when I come from Cuba I have nothing and thank god I have a lot of different things in the United States and that’s part of my family and all my friends—we like to help people. That’s made me feel good and I do it for that reason.”

Those are the final words of Yasiel Puig—El Guerrero Rojo—who despite his reputation, has been nothing but a joy in a Reds’ uniform. Now, he heads north up Interstate 71 while troubled Trevor Bauer heads south, passing each other in the trade deadline night.

Baseball shouldn’t make a fan feel dirty. But after last night, all I want to do is take a shower.

84 Responses

  1. Don A

    Rosenthal is spot on! I will always be a fan, but I am frustrated by the trades! Starting pitching was not the problem, it is inconsistent offense and the bullpen, yet, we only made the offense worse while not making any improvements to the bullpen!

    • Jon

      Replacing Puig and scooter (who is not hitting) with van meter and ervin( aquino) will not make the offense worse.Not too mention Puig and scooter were not coming back.

      • LWblogger2

        I don’t know. I hope Aquino shows something awesome but I don’t think he’ll be as good as Puig. I really hate to say this but I see Juan Francisco and Willy Mo Pena. He’s a better defender than either of them at least.

      • Pete

        LW – I’m more bearish than you, I expect Aquino to fail. You know what a leap it is from AAA to MLB. But…….if somehow he proves us wrong, he could prove us wrong in a huge way.

        Last night he looked totally 100% over matched. No way to sugar coat it. Was it nerves or is it he is not MLB material? Too soon to say, obviously, but opening night the show didn’t get rave reviews. He’s a Red so I know both of us are pulling as hard as we can for him, just like every other player on the team.

    • doofus

      Are you not helping the bullpen by trading for a starting pitcher that is leading all of major league baseball in innings pitched?

    • Doc

      Having another starter, or should I say ‘a starter’,who can consistently pitch more than five innings per start makes the bullpen better.

      • Chris

        In fairness, no way does Bell let Bauer pitch as many innings.

  2. Klugo

    The Reds FO feel like Trammell wasn’t the answer. I tend to agree. Unfortunately there really isn’t much out there next yr in the form of OF upgrade. Puig and Ozuna are the best on the market. Didi really the only worthy SS available. I think getting an impact player at either of those positions would open the box. (Not to say we couldn’t use some form of bullpen and C upgrades too). Without trading more pieces, the kids in the clubhouse will sink or swim and probably the team with them.
    Williams didn’t trade Bauer. Yet. If things don’t go as planned, he’ll be a tradeable asset next deadline. My biggest fear is how he will fit into the clubhouse.
    The Pirates made their bed. Amir Garrett tried to singlehandedly put them in it. Call him Mother Goose.
    Puig is a lot of things. Genuine being prominent among them.

  3. CFD3000

    The Pirates are a mess right now and I’m just glad they’re in the Reds rear view mirror in the standings and, at least for a while, on the schedule. Onward – there are games to be won.

    Baseball, and winning (or trying to) are a business as well as entertainment, so Puig and Gennett and Roark move on while Trammell and Moss become footnotes in Reds history. But I’m hoping those three free agents to be left a little behind with the rest of the Reds. Roark’s professionalism is worth emulating, and Gennett’s enthusiasm and prankster approach is needed in every clubhouse.

    And then there’s Yasiel Puig. A giant man-child with a temper and a big heart and a love of life that made fans of so many so fast. I had dinner at The Gruff, across the Roebling bridge, after a late game this May, just me and a buddy and the closing staff. They said that Puig had been in a few times, always positive, always approachable, and just as happy to hang out with a beer and a pizza as you’d guess from what you see on TV. It was no act and we could all learn from that. It’s a short ride on this rock and he reminds me that grumpy and pessimistic are a waste of my precious time. So I’m going to swing a little harder and lick an occasional bat and embrace the day a little more wherever I am and I hope the Reds take some of that forward too. I won’t miss the Reds leaving town this week from a cyberstats perspective, but I will absolutely wish all of them well. And if Yasiel Puig ever wants to play for the Reds again I’ll be happy to root for him just as hard as he fought for his teammates. And even if he doesn’t I hope he plays great and keeps having fun. I’ll miss that guy. Go Reds!

    • Hotto4Votto

      I’ll miss Puig too. Maybe the Reds can try to sign him as a FA.

    • TR

      Nice comments about Yasiel Puig. A Cuban-American who has seen both sides of life, appreciates what he has, and is concerned about other people. I wish him well.

    • Indy Red Man

      Awesome post! To be fair….a big part of me thinks Puig was playing 100% all the time because he’s in a contract year, but I don’t know? I just know he never struck me as a Adam Rosales type of hustler when he with LA. I still really enjoyed him and the Reds are going to miss his defense from RF!

  4. Don A

    Another thing, David Bell should be suspended for the remainder of the year, He is proving to be a hot head and his actions during Tuesday’s incident were pathetic! Garrett is not much better, and deserves at least a month off (I would not have complained if he had been traded yesterday). And yes, the Pirates need to be addressed also, It is time for MLB to drop the hammer on this stuff!

    • KDJ

      Not sure if Bell is a hot head or a stunt double. Unfortunately, I have very limited coverage here. Nonetheless, the episodes I have seen run like this:
      A player gets hot while Bell watches from the dugout.
      The player’s anger/frustration escalates.
      Bell runs out between player and ump with much animation and yelling.
      Bell gets tossed; player stays in the game.

    • doofus

      David Bell has made it clear in actions and words all season that he WILL stick up for his players. Your comments make it clear that you believe he should keep his mouth shut and sit on the bench with his hands folded on his lap when opposing pitchers throw at his player’s heads, correct?

      • Don A

        It is one thing to stick up for your players and let your opinion known, it is another to leave the clubhouse after being ejected earlier in the game and trying to physically attack the other manager. Not acceptable behavior.

      • doofus

        This whining about Bell’s actions remind me of the accusations that U.S. Grant had thrown at him for his drinking. Lincoln replied: “Find out what brand of whiskey he drinks and have a barrel sent to each of my generals. I cannot spare this man, he fights!”

      • doofus

        Hurdle is a coward. He incites his players to be punks, then hides behind them. He deserves to have his ass kicked by any opposing manager.

    • LWblogger2

      Honestly? I think the brawl is less of an issue than the bean-ball wars. I really do. Most of it is pushing and shoving and there is usually very little that’s actually enough to merit an assault charge. Honestly, if it were me, I would have wanted to fight too and I’m not a fighter. Just a matter of “Let’s stop with a small group of guys (pitchers) fighting our battles. Let’s just go and settle this nonsense right now and if you don’t want to ‘go’ then this needs to be the end of it.”

  5. Pete

    I’ll have my review next year about this same time. Great writing as always, I can feel your fingers pounding the keyboard.

    • Don

      I agree with you Pete, need time to know if the trades were right move or not.

      Team needed to know if players with no options in 2020 can be MLB starters or not.
      Ervin and Aquino.

      Puig and Gennett were blocking the ability to know if any one or more of JVM, Ervin and Aquino can be anything more than a MLB backup or AAA all-star.

      I do not agree that there was no plan. This seemed like the plan in Dec 2018. If the 1 year FAs played great and were in playoff hunt play out the year. The veterans played the team to a 6/7 under 500 record and 11th or 12 place out of 15 in the NL and 4th in the division.

      So if the team is 6 under at the end of the year the prospects have played 500 ball which is better than the veterans.

      Any game closer to 500 than 6 under means the team improved the last 2 months of the year.

      • Pete

        I’ll eat my hat if this team isn’t a in real competition for a WS Championship from this day through next season barring an injury calamity. This is a very talented team and it appears well run from the top down. Heck, Richard I’m now convinced.

        I think the Reds will be much more results driven and this will hurt some feelings. If your favorite(s) isn’t measuring up and they can find an upgrade, I think they’ll make a move — at least I hope so. Talent comes before personality – Reds have a big $ investment and this can change things. I’m loving it!

    • RP

      I personally LOVE the idea of keeping the best players and not “fan favorites”. It’s what great teams do. This is as excited as I have been for the Reds in years.

  6. Big Ed

    I’ll take the Bauer-as-bad-teammate stuff with a grain of salt. The Twitter “harassing” (uh, just don’t look at it) is not warm and fuzzy, but who could ever guess that a 28-year-old baseball player in the age of social media is a lot more self-centered than you would want your own son to be?

    I heard Mitch Williams on MLB one night, admiring the recently passed Gary Carter. Williams was probably in his mid-40s, talking to the others on the set of about the same age. He said something to the effect that “You know, all of us turned into pretty good citizens. We finally grew up, and we take care of our families, support the community and act like responsible adults.” Then, in an awed tone of voice, Williams said, “Gary Carter was like that when he played!! He was being nice to people when he was a rookie!”

    I think by and large that athletes are self-centered, because it takes a lot of internal focus to get where they are. (Hello, surgeons? Film/TV stars? Politicians?) At some point, maybe after changing enough diapers or nursing a wife or parent through a bad medical issue, the athletes grow out of it. Bauer is an intelligent guy who sees baseball through a different lens, but I suspect that he will get along fine with the other good baseball minds like Votto, Derek Johnson and Caleb Cotham.

    • Don

      Puig was a hot head, wildcard, uncontrollable whom was a bad teammate according to the press which is the Dodgers traded him.

      Reds and Reds fans no have nothing but good things to say about Puig and that those reports are totally wrong.

      Now the same press/experts say the same thing about Bauer.

      No clue what will happen with Bauer but need to let things play out……..

      • LWblogger2

        Don’t like the trade for a couple reasons but you speak the truth here. 100% agree

  7. Tom

    In my humble opinion I think the Reds did not improve themselves with the deadline trades. Unless there is something we all don’t know about Taylor Trammel, it was a high price to pay for a pitcher. I was thinking that Trammel was going to be a part of the youth wave in 2020 or soon after. In Trevor Bauer we have a pitcher with a good track record on the mound. However, starting pitchers only play every 4th or 5th day, and these days, pitch an average of 5 or 6 innings. And, pitching arms are so notoriously fragile that any pitcher could end up with an arm injury. I think Puig started slowly in part because he was pressing to impress his new teammates and perhaps cold weather is not his best climate. For the last month he has been very productive. Maybe they should sign him as a free agent this winter. The Red’s offense is what has held this team back this year. And, it will not be getting better without Puig and I see no real help on the horizon for the offense.

    • Indy Red Man

      I know Trammell is hitting .236 in AA. That’s all I need to know.

      Somebody quoted Moneyball yesterday and it fits…..”If he’s a good hitter, then why doesn’t he hit good?”

      • LWblogger2

        Sigh… Ok well… Trammell’s slash line: .236/.349/.336 in what has been a very down year offensively. League average for the Southern League however is a pitcher-friendly .241/.316/.362. So his avg is a mere 5 points below league-average, his OBP is 33 points above league average, and his slugging is 26 points below league average. His overall OPS is 7 points above league average. His home ballpark tilts pitcher-friendly in relation to an already pitcher-friendly league. So, he’s a slightly above average hitter in his league with above average speed and defense (aside from his arm) and at age 21 is over 2 years younger than the average player in that league. You can’t look at BA in a vacuum, especially in the minors where there are drastic differences between leagues, even at the same level.

        It might end up that he won’t hit in the future but most scouts and analysts seem to think he will.

      • Pete

        My concern is yes Trammell is slightly above average for a hitter; for a LF in particular, he needs to do better especially with the power numbers. It’s a situation where we either have to trust, or hope, the FO knows what it’s doing. Hey, this one could come back to bite and bite hard but it may take a couple of years to know.

        Williams was interviewed during the game last night. First time I’ve had the pleasure, I came away impressed. Struck me as very thoughtful, smart and realizes how the evaluation and development of players have changed. Could the Reds actually be ahead of the curve, I also believe this may have played a major part in the Bauer deal. I hope my first impressions are correct.

    • Indy Red Man

      I get it with Puig. I think he had potential to be better then he was with the Reds.
      You have to remember this though:

      Homer/Kemp $20 mil
      Scooters $10 mil
      Roarks $10 mil
      Puigs $9 mil
      Wood ?
      Bauer ?

      That’s a lot of jack! They should be able to afford a pretty nice hitter or two this off-season!

  8. Matt WI

    Very nice piece, Richard. Very nice.

  9. Seat101

    This is frustrating. You say you will not tell us what Bauer allegedly did but give us a link that supposed to tell us what he did. The link is very vague and then provides another link to another article that might tell us exactly what Bauer did.

    On the other hand I smell virtue signaling all over the place

    • Pete

      Social media can be a cesspool, enter at your own risk. I follow baseball for the action on the field and a diversion from the “real world”. Go Reds!

    • Richard Fitch

      It is very frustrating when you have to do a little homework to find the truth you don’t want to face. I sympathize.

      Virtue-signaling? Sure, go ahead with that if it makes you feel better. I’d like to tell you that I have a daughter and Bauer’s behavior infuriates me. I’d like to tell you I have a son and I’d like to set an example for him about how to treat women–or simply other human beings in general. But honestly, it’s more selfish than that for me. You see, it’s doggone dangerous shaving in the morning when you can’t look yourself in the mirror.

      Thanks for sharing, tho.

      • RojoBenjy

        Would you have enjoyed having Mickey Mantle on the team you root for? Darrell Strawberry? Both of these guys physically used women quite often, sometimes during the game. It just wasn’t made public at the time, so we keep our good feelings.

        Would most of us have survived the public opinion litmus test had all of our stupid comments we made in life been made public?

        I am not going to be sanctimonious enough to act like I’ve never said or done anything I wouldn’t be ashamed of if it went public.

        The thing you can question about guys like Bauer is how stupid does one have to be to not realize that all this stuff is being documented? Keep it to yourself, Trevor.

      • Seat101

        You make a moral judgment yet declined to state clear evidence of the reason(s) for making the judgment.You provided a link which was no more clear then your description. I thought you’dwant to add another link to help us make up our own minds rather than relying on your moral compass

        If Bauer’s behavior is so repugnant, why are you unwilling to share it?
        For what it’s worth, I too have children. Why do you assume I cannot face myself in the mirror? Again, a moral judgement based on no evidence…But you should talk nice about yourself

      • I-71_Exile

        With Seat101 on this one for what that’s worth. This was a hit piece chock full of virtue signaling with a smidgen of white knighting mixed it. That said, it was well-written as all of your pieces are. You are a talented keyboard jockey, Richard.

      • Chris

        I’m with Seat101 on this one too. In fact, you tend to throw your opinion out there on who is the moral police. With all due respect, I agree with Bauer’s opinion in respect to the make believe that people are tending to play these days. I think it’s completely immoral to let your 3 or 4 year old kid decide what sex they want to identify as, but Hollywood disagrees with that notion. Not everything is black and white anymore, apparently not even one’s sex; to hell with basic biology, right?

      • citizen54

        I read the Bauer Twitter “harassment” and it wasn’t half as bad as people are making it out to be. Bauer seems have conservative views which probably doesn’t mesh well with some of the liberal sports writers out there. As a result he has been vilified for a harmless trash talking Twitter exchange which he did not instigate.

      • Richard Fitch

        Yes, I am making a moral judgment. I get to do that, as do you. The evidence is there, but you’ve chosen willful ignorance as a defense. Saying I’m at fault because I’ve chosen not to lay out the case of abhorrent behavior that has already been chronicled ad infinitum by others “to help you make up your own mind” is disingenuous.

        You’ve already made up your mind. Bullying a women relentlessly on social media and recruiting your followers to go after her as well is not a dealbreaker.

        Or, as someone else said, Mickey Mantle and other great athletes were abusive to women–so what’s a fan to do? Carry on.

      • citizen54

        @Richard Fitch

        Would you mind singling out the specific tweet(s) than you found abusive to women? Seems like you have your mind made up so you should have specific evidence to back up you claims of “abhorrent behavior.”

    • citizen54

      I agree with you Seat101. I just assumed Bauer was a terrible person based upon all of the negative press he has received until I actually read what he wrote. Seems like there is a lot of pearl clutching going on regarding Bauer.

  10. Matt WI

    I’m all for giving Bauer a fresh start… but did anyone else see the ESPN article this morning in which he dropped that “I probably should have been on the IL” this season? That didn’t feel good to see! In fairness, here is the full context of the quote as given: “It’s been really frustrating. One of the things I’m most proud about is I haven’t missed a start this year through two months of probably needing to be on the IL and probably should have missed some starts. I was able to get myself ready and take the ball.”

  11. Don

    Bell was wrong 2 nights ago to confront the umpire on the Puig strike and get thrown out of the game. That was the hot head/selfish move which the Reds team should make some type of punishment themselves.
    He left the dugout knowing that he was going to be tossed. This action contributed to the bad atmosphere that the Umpires allowed to fester and grow. Does anyone think that the umps were going to protect the Reds after Bell did what he did on Puig strike? That was a very immature action on Bell’s part.

    The umpires allowed the situation to escalate partly due to Bell’s action on Puig’s strike call. The Umps should have gone to the pirates dugout when Votto was motion about not throwing at players heads and the Pirates players were congratulating the pitcher for throwing at DD.

    The umps should have cleared the dugout of all the players whom were out of the game and were not going to play in the game (other starters) for both teams to calm the situation down. This would have stopped the screaming matches and put themselves back in charge.

    The umps lost control of the game and allowed the jawing to continue to grow.

    The actions of Garrett and Bell were not acceptable but I can understand the heat of the moment this being done, this is not condoning what was done. The umps are there to prevent this and should have done more.

    Garrett should get 1 or 2 games and Bell should get more but not rest of year.

    Umps should get a week, Pirates pitcher whom throw at DD should get the longest suspension. Pirates players whom came onto the field and congratulated/cheered on the pitcher as he left the field should also all be suspend for the same 1 game.

    MLB should put an NBA type rule in place. Any player whom leaves the bench area or bullpen is an automatic ejection from the game and have a next game suspension. If your foot leaves the top step of the dugout or the bullpen gate opens, you are suspended. All players on the team should be suspended for same game and no changes are allowed to the 25 man roster for that next game, Team must play short handed and if they do not have 9 players they forfeit the game.

    League then reviews what occured and increases the suspensions for those whom are more involved.

    • doofus

      Don,

      is Clint Hurdle, the manager, supposed leader of the Pirates, responsible for anything?

    • Michael W.

      I respectfully disagree with most of this. David Bell was protecting his player. Of course he went out of the dugout knowing he was going to get tossed as the rules clearly state that if you argue balls and strikes, you are ejected. Now I don’t necessarily agree with how he went about protecting his player, that is a different story. Your clean up hitter is out there acting like a fool in the biggest spot of the game, bases loaded, down 8-3 at that point, with a real chance to change the game. If I was the manager, I would have gotten tossed too in that instance to keep Puig from getting the boot. That is part of the manager’s job.

      The umpires and major league baseball are to blame for what happened later in the game. The umpires should have took control of the game way before it got that bad. Major League baseball is well aware of the Pirates antics and how the “police” the game like 3 year olds. The day baseball gets rid of these STUPID unwritten rules will be the turning point to baseball regaining their “America’s Favorite Past Time” tagline.

  12. Hotto4Votto

    I was unaware of the online harassment and transphobic comments. That’s not acceptable behavior and there’s no excuse for it. Hopefully he’s learned from this and had enlightening follow up conversations since and will make the necessary changes moving forward.

    The arbitration stuff, while immature, isn’t a big deal to me. Sometimes people’s humor doesn’t grow beyond their college days. And to be fair, Bauer’s not that far removed from that age range.

    Most of his transgressions seems to stem from immaturity. Hopefully he’ll grow up and make more thoughtful choices. And if he does I hope the Reds fans can be understanding. I know I’d hate to be forever judged by my choices in my late 20’s.

    • rex

      It may have been just an attitude toward the Cleveland organization in general, maybe not even their fault.

      I will just be optimistic that all of those remarks were just subtle protest of a young man.

      Maybe he has a chip on his shoulder, what better way to show the world that you are the boss than toe the rubber and blow everyone away.

      I just hope that 5 years from now Trammel doesn’t make me drink more beer than I should.

      • vegastypo

        Bauer had a chip on his shoulder in Arizona. Seems as if I recall the Diamondbacks wanting to change his delivery, and he wanted no part of it.

  13. Jim Walker

    Once the Bauer acquisition loop closed with the trade of Tanner Roark, the Reds ended up with Jameson Hannah instead of Taylor Trammell.

    Hannah was drafted #50 overall in 2018 out of Jr College versus Trammell being #35 in 2016 out of high school. The difference in their ages is just over 1 month. Both guys are leftie/ leftie as hitters and throwers. Both are outfielders seen as potential MLB CF.

    Hannah is currently at class A+ where he his OPS for the season is so far is .723. Last year at A+ Trammell had an OPS of .781 and notably failed to achieve a second half promotion to AA. He has scuffled most of this year at AA with a .686 OPS at the time of the trade.

    Maybe the Reds traded down in OF potential or maybe they traded laterally. Only time will tell.

    • Pete

      In the final equation the MiLB teams work at the behest of the primary MLB team. Dog wagged the tail yesterday, nothing really to see here. The Reds made a call and will have to live with it, good or bad. Like any other player move.

      • Jim Walker

        I think Trammell was essentially a lottery pick for the Reds back in 2016, more of a very high ceiling athlete than clearly established baseball prospect. The Reds paid the price required to keep him from going to college as a football player to find out what level of baseball player he would be.

        When Trammell’s progress slowed and some warts started appearing, they sold high on him. On the backend of the process the Reds ended up with a guy who appears to have a legitimate shot at being an MLB OF.

    • SultanofSwaff

      The Reds have more info on Trammell than anyone. by all accounts he has excellent character, so this had to be a purely baseball decision. I’ve been in agreement with the new regime on nearly everything (save for Peraza/Peralta still being on the roster), so they’ve earned my trust here.

    • RojoBenjy

      Jim- I am hopeful that Hannah is a clone of, (and maybe ends up better than?) Trammell. It makes TT loss bearable for me. Especially if the Reds already knew they were going to get Hannah when they let TT go, it makes me feel so much better about the whole day.

      I read on the MiLB page that Hannah was at Dallas Baptist?

      Lastly, eager to see who PTBNL from Giants will be.

    • LWblogger2

      As I posted above though, yes a down year but we can’t look at any MiLB numbers without looking at the averages across the league. He’s scuffling and is basically a league average (or a pinch better) hitter in relation to the Southern League. He’s also 2+ years younger than the average player in that league. You ask me, he’s going to have a better MLB future than Hannah.

  14. Pete

    “From the #Reds: “We have added Bauer to the roster and selected from Lou the contract of OF Aristides Aquino (#44).”

    From a C. Trent Rosencrans tweet

    The paperwork has been processed! #44 is a very good uniform number.

    • Jim Walker

      And Aquiño has a bit of that whippish look of Eric the Red at the plate too.

      • David

        Aquino is a bigger man than Eric (physically). Eric was such a remarkable hitter in that he had such tremendous bat speed.

        Aquino will struggle at first, with the breaking balls, etc. But I think this year at AAA he has really learned how to make adjustments with his approach at the plate. He has done about all he can at AAA, and now has a chance to prove himself in the ML.

  15. SultanofSwaff

    The playoffs are a crapshoot. I think the Reds are revamping their strategy to pass on the Cubs/Astros model of tearing it completely down to the Cardinals/Dodgers model of trying to get there as many times as possible and let it ride. All month leading up to the deadline my brain has been in sell mode but I’m willing to concede that these last two months will be a refreshing change. It’s almost a do-over of the 2004 season where instead of waving the white flag and conceding to a St. Louis team that went on to win it all they are instead reinforcing the team.

    • Richard Fitch

      Because the playoffs are a crapshoot, it’s seems antithetical to me to want to go all in on one or two shots, when tearing it down again means years of replenishing a farm system and more years of losing in-between. But, the fan base is starved for postseason. I get that.

      • Jim Walker

        The difference is that complete tear downs are replaced by a ongoing renovation. The entire organization has to be more agile and flexible in its decisions and actions. Windows are shorter but more frequent with players are turned over more quickly. It is back to the old axiom of move a player a year too soon rather than a year too late.

        The bet is that fans won’t be long aggrieved when some favorites depart so long as the team stays in a position of reasonable contention for the playoffs.

      • Richard Fitch

        I guess the problem I have with this scenario, Jim, is that ongoing renovations are awfully difficult to do if you do not have the resources of the Yankees or the Dodgers. The Tigers, White Sox, Braves and soon the Giants and Nationals–all bigger markets than the Reds–have to deal with the reality of rebuilding every few years. The trick, IMO, is to extend that window as long as possible. Where we agree is the need to continually churn the roster to keep the window open longer. But, I fear the Reds will always have to deal with a window that eventually closes.

      • Pete

        Richard, you said these guys are good, I quit worrying. I like to think of us as the Tampa Bay Ray with actual money. Or Oakland A’s, take your pick.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree Sultan. After 5-6 years the Reds have decided that mañana needs to be a finite point on or just over the horizon and not a vague point in the more distant future dependent on a lot of pieces falling together in sync and staying together long enough to open a 3-4 year window only to rinse and repeat.

      Stay as close as possible at all times and when the cards fall right go all in. The rubber will meet the road for the Reds when all the top 5 overall draft choices and similar leverage in following rounds they’ve had since 2016 are played out.

      • doofus

        I was thinking last night that they might have Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Tony Santillan pitching at the GABP in a year or two.

  16. RedNat

    my opinion is that the reds would have had a better chance of making the playoffs this year with Scooter at second and Puig in right field than with Van meter and Aquino fielding those positions. it seems like we are sacrificing this year to “see what we have ” for 2020. I think we are really going to miss Puig’s defense in particular for the rest of the year.

    • RojoBenjy

      You are correct. This is not about 2019.

      I would submit, however, that now that VanMeter and Aquino are going to see playing time, that it actually increases their slim chance for playoffs in 2019. Especially if Bauer performs, and Wood steps it up.

  17. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Now, with no more acquisitions but Aquino, I believe the Reds still have plenty on the team to be at least competitive this year if not next year.

    I won’t go into pitching. I will assume they will be just as good the rest of this year and next year.

    I mean, with the OF of Senzel, Winker, Ervin, and Aquino, I can understand taking that group against anyone else.

    On the infield, I don’t believe anyone will take Votto’s contract, and I don’t believe the Reds will let Suarez go. So, we are looking at C, 2nd and SS.

    What about VanMeter? I looked yesterday; he played 2nd base mostly in the minors, 2nd and 3rd. I wouldn’t have a problem putting him down there at 2nd. Or, Senzel at 2nd, and VanMeter in the OF. 2nd done.

    With Jose, I would hate to give him up, but if we can get a better offensive player, so be it. The thing is, with him, the reason why I like him is, everytime I’ve heard the stat, he’s always been near the lead if not leading the league in BA-RISP, something this team has lacked in for years. So, I could understand keeping him. SS done

    At C, I believe we can get some better offense there giving Casali more time. I still have no problem going 2 C’s, though. C done.

    So, I could see the Reds pretty much going with what they got. But, I would like to see them get more offense. And, the Reds are going to have a load of money to spend on getting someone in here, also. I don’t see many pieces to trade with, though. And, I didn’t see much offensive help at 2nd and SS on the FA list (maybe Yasmani at C, but not much else, but, boy, the Brewers paid out their nose to get him this year. Some others had some good numbers but were older). I saw names but no one interesting enough to go after, I believe).

    So, that’s going to be the big question for me. How do we get better offensively if we don’t have much to trade with and there’s no one on the FA list at positions of 2nd, SS, and C who we could use? Past that, the only other things I would like to see are, in no order of priority:

    – Shore up the pitching – make sure we have a combination similar to this year
    – Develop the minors – get some instructors down there to develop the youngsters. Especially the pitchers at higher levels. Video work, development, anything.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Two things:

      1) We probably wouldn’t be able to do just one trade. For example, with these recent trades, you could spin it as:
      – we let a pitcher go (Roark), got an OF back (Hannah)
      – we let an OF go (Puig), got a pitcher back (Bauer).
      (not considering filling in the other pieces like Trammell, etc.)

      I believe that’s trading would have to go if we bring in anyone , pretty much position-for-position.

      2) MLB trade rumors is confirming Aquino is up here.

    • RojoBenjy

      Look for the younger players—who are still hungry—to provide a spark for the next couple of weeks.

    • VaRedsFan

      They can get better offensively by doing almost nothing. Nearly everybody on the team is underperforming their baseball card. The current players need to get better. Maybe it’s the hitting coach?
      Teams break out when the players outperform their career averages. (Hardly no one hits their career average from year to year. You need a group of 4-5 to outperform their career numbers.

    • RojoBenjy

      Yes. For those shaming Bell for going after CHurdle, this is a good reminder that the Cubs made it fashionable. Now maybe Joe Torre and MLB will do something.

      Option A
      “Clint, it’s time you think about the future. Retirement isn’t always a bad thing…”

      Option B
      “Clint, you’re being suspended from MLB for the rest of this season and next.”

      Option C
      “Clint, we’re suspending Kela for (cough) five games. Watch it next time, will ya?”

      Option D
      (Crickets chirping)

      Which do you think will happen?

      • LWblogger2

        I think C but Hurdle gets 1 game. If suspensions have been announced already, I haven’t seen them yet.

  18. Scott C

    Reading the article about Bauer is really sickening. I don’t believe that kind of harassment of another human being is acceptable at all. He might not have actually done the things that Mixon or Simon did but it is that mindset that leads to expressing the thoughts into unacceptable action. It is going to be hard to root for him but I hope that he has grown up some and realized his mistakes. We will see.

  19. Earl

    It was a point that Bryan Price was not protecting his players trying to stay above the fray when this Hurdle Pirate behavior was going on before, so now you got your hot head manager doing his best Lou Piniella imitation. I guess we need to find a happy medium on these things.

    Reds are pretty flush with outfielders, it will be some time to see if they dealt Trammell too soon or not. One thing on that lower BA that Trammell had at AA is that he is still getting on base, that was the thing I noticed. Sounds like his throwing arm might have been the thing that got him to the front of the line to go.

    As for Bauer, there are so many divas anymore in pro sports, it’s hard to like very many of the players. I suppose if we knew now what some of the old guys were like off the field, we wouldn’t like them either.

  20. RojoBenjy

    Dear respected RLN writers and moderators.

    Some of the discussion in this thread is absolutely political and volatile in nature. If you read carefully you’ll notice that at least one of your own has participated.

    Please keep the respect of your readers and clean this up.

    Will Doug give you one warning?

    • Pete

      I’ll second that, no religion and politics. I try to avoid those conversations with all my strength.

      • RojoBenjy

        In a baseball forum—absolutely.

    • LWblogger2

      I generally don’t chime in on stuff like this but I’m in agreement here. No matter what the political stance, this is a baseball forum. Maybe a link or two about “controversial behavior” but let the content of the link drive things and let the discussion happen in that forum.

      I keep my political views to myself for the most part. My friends and family know where I stand on things but I am off social media in general due to all the crap and constant trolling by those on the fsr left and those on the far right.

      Freedom of expression is great but political views probably don’t belong on a baseball blog.