So how bad is it? It snowed on April 9. In the first week of the 2018 season, the Reds lost as many starting players (2) as they had wins. Manager Bryan Price was still making some head-scratching decisions. Some were saying the season is over after just 8 games. It hasn’t gotten better, as […]

Who will be the next Reds Rookie of the Year? Will it be Nick Senzel? Jesse Winker? Shed Long? No one knows for sure. Most Cincinnati Reds who have won that award went on to have pretty good careers. There was Frank Robinson (1956), Pete Rose (1963), Tommy Helms (1966), Johnny Bench (1968). Pat Zachry […]

With Saturday’s loss in New York, the Reds guaranteed themselves yet another losing season. As of this morning, Cincinnati is 62-82. If they win every single one of their remaining games in 2017, the Reds will finish the season 80-82. If you read yesterday’s recap, you may have noticed this little nugget: Remember Y2K? Aaah, […]

For the first decade of the 21st Century, the Cincinnati Reds were not a successful baseball team. They played no postseason games; they won zero division titles; and they finished above .500 only once. In half of those years, however, they began the season in a manner similar to the 2017 Reds, winning more games […]

I engaged in a little fantasy over at Cincinnati Magazine: Let’s pretend for a moment that it’s late-October, and I’m the General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds. (First, take a moment to recover from the horror of learning that the Reds have handed GM duties of your favorite club to an unqualified baseball writer.) One […]

[This post was written by John Ring, who is the Nation’s correspondent from Afghanistan, where he is serving the entire nation.] It’s all quiet —- some would say too quiet -— on the Reds front. No news on Arroyo. Choo is gone. No trades. Nothing. So while we collectively ponder the state of the current […]

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Cincinnati 5 Milwaukee 6 W: J. Henderson (4-5) L: Z. Duke (1-2) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –Todd Frazier was 2-4 with a homer and two RBI. Jay Bruce and Joey Votto were each 2-4 with a walk; Bruce scored two runs and Votto drove in one. As noted below, Bruce […]

Over at Grantland, Jonah Keri has a pretty good piece on the Todd Frazier dilemma that will be staring the Reds in the face when Joey Votto returns (this weekend, hopefully). I’ve gone on the record as urging people not to worry; there will be plenty of ABs to go around, with Frazier playing all […]

November 16, 2000: In cost cutting moves, the Reds deal away popular semi-regulars catcher Eddie Taubensee and IF-OF Chris Stynes. The 1999 and 2000 Reds were some of General Manager Jim Bowden’s busiest transaction years. Trying to balance the team’s budget around the salaries of stars such as Barry Larkin ($5.3 million), Dante Bichette ($7 […]

November 3, 1934: The Cincinnati Reds purchase outfielder Ival Goodman and third baseman Lew Riggs from the St. Louis Cardinals. Both players had been caught up in the vast organizational talent that made up the St. Louis Cardinals organization during that time. Between 1926 and 1934, the Cardinals appeared in five World Series, winning three […]

It was a team of upcoming players; young talent in the infield and on the pitching staff, mixed with stable battle-tested veterans known for their leadership. It was team built on power in the outfield and in the infield with a corner infielder MVP candidate; a team with just enough speed to keep the opposition honest.

This upstart team was entering the playoffs playing a veteran juggernaut of it’s era. The veteran team was full of all-stars with a power-packed first baseman, a slugging OBP-minded second baseman, a slick fielding shortstop, and a versatile third baseman capable of high batting averages. The outfield had power and speed with a centerfielder that could cover lots of ground. The pitching staff was relatively young, but still veteran in nature with lots of choices in the bullpen.

Do the teams sound familiar? These teams could be the 2010 Reds and Phillies, but they’re not. I’m talking about the 1976 Reds and Phillies.

The 1976 Reds were THE BIG RED MACHINE, one of the greatest dynasties in baseball lore. The best team of the 1970’s in Major League Baseball’s toughest league and the toughest division at the time. Four times did the Reds face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the League Championship Series, but one time, in 1976, they faced the Philadelphia Phillies, winners of 101 games themselves, one fewer than the 1976 Big Red Machine. And, the Phillies themselves had won seven of twelve games that season from the Reds, the only team to have a winning record against the 1976 BRM.

The 1976 Cincinnati Reds

The Reds had Hall of Famers Johnny Bench at catcher, Tony Perez at 1b, and Joe Morgan at 2b. They had potential future Hall of Famers at shortstop (Dave Concepcion) and third base (Pete Rose). They had possibly the most feared slugger of the mid-1970s in left field (George Foster), perpetual Gold Glover in Cesar Geronimo in center field, and an all-star OBP, high average hitter Ken Griffey in right field. The Reds starting pitching staff was never as bad as the popular view was at the time, or at least manager Sparky Anderson knew how to handle them. Fred Norman and Jack Billingham were wily veterans, Gary Nolan had already re-invented himself into a Cy Young type pitcher twice if not three times, Pat Zachry was Rookie of the Year, rookie Santo Alcala won 11 games, and everyone thought that young Don Gullett was headed to the Hall of Fame. The bullpen led by Pedro Borbon and youngsters Rawly Eastwick, Will McEnaney, and Manny Sarmiento may have been the best in baseball. While everyone remembers their hitting (120 OPS+), even their pitching staff was dead on league average (ERA+ 100).

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August 31, 1904 From baseball-reference.com:

In a rowdy 3 – 2, 11-inning Giants win in Cincinnati, the high point comes in the 6th when New York catcher Frank Bowerman slugs a fan, a music teacher named Albert Hartzell, who has been heckling him. Police escort the catcher from the field. Bowerman will be released from custody tomorrow when the fan drops the charges. The Giants win the second game as well, 4 – 1, in seven innings, with the game shortened to allow the Giants to catch a train for New York. The Giants leave Cincinnati with a 15-game lead over Chicago in the National League.

Redleg Journal” (by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder) adds a little more: Hartzell, the music teacher, was a Northside resident who taught in the Cincinnati Public School system. Vice Mayor Harry Gordon ordered Bowerman’s arrest after the blow caused Hartzell to receive a cut in the jaw. Bowerman went on to play 15 major league seasons.

The doubleheader loss dropped the third place Reds into fourth place behind the Giants, Cubs, and Pirates. The Reds would rebound to pass the Pirates and finish in third place with an 88-65 record, 17 1/2 games out of first place. The 1904 Reds were a balanced team, finishing third in the league in earned run average at 2.34 and second in offense, averaging 4.41 runs per game.

The Reds used a five man rotation in 1904. Noodles Hahn was the staff ace despite suffering a “hard luck” season; he finished 16-18 with a 2.06 ERA. It was Hahn’s last effective major league season due to injuries (career: 130-94, 2.55 ERA). Teammate Jack Harper, who had jumped from the American League’s St.Louis Browns the previous season, had his best year going 23-9 with a 2.30 ERA. Rookie Tom Walker only played two full major league seasons, but this was his best one (15-8, 2.24 ERA). Win Kellum (15-10, 2.60 ERA) had the best season of his three year career. Bob Ewing (career, 124-118, 2.49) was 11-13 with a 2.46 ERA. As far as hitters go, the Reds were led by outfielder Cy Seymour (.313, 5 HR, 58 RBI, 134 OPS+). The next year was Seymour’s near Triple Crown season (.377, 8 hr, 121, rbi, 69 XBH, 191 OPS+).

August 31, 1974: The Reds pull within 2 1/2 games of the first place Los Angeles Dodgers with a 10-3 victory over the Montreal Expos in Cincinnati. Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench drives in seven runs with a grand slam home run and a bases clearing double.

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