This week’s respondents are Jason Linden, Bill Lack, Chris Garber, and Chad Dotson. Our Weekly Reds Obsession: What is your favorite Opening Day memory? Jason Linden: Last year was the first time I actually got to go to Opening Day and it was pretty great. The Reds lost, of course, and that was pretty predictive […]

Earlier today, Steve discussed Joey Votto’s MVP candidacy, and took a sweet little trip down memory lane. The votes have now been tabulated, and the winner announced. Your 2017 National League Most Valuable player is Giancarlo Stanton. Well, maybe he’s your MVP. My MVP is Joey Votto. Votto finished just two points behind Stanton in […]

Every night, as a kid, I listened to the Reds on 700 WLW. Every night. Without fail. Some nights, particularly those when the Reds played teams on the west coast, my parents would tell me to go to bed round about the sixth or seventh inning, just as things were getting good. “Awww, Mom! Come […]

You know, the kids these days love the youtubes. It’s not bad for the old guys, either, largely because there’s a treasure trove of old baseball games. Not just the classic games (like Game 4 of the 1976 World Series), but also some gems like the one below. It’s an early June NBC Game of […]

Final R H E Tampa Bay Rays (7-6)  4  7  1 Cincinnati Reds (4-8)  12  13  0 W: T. Cingrani (1-1)   L:  C. Ramos (0-1)   S:  None Box Score   |   Play-by-Play    |    Stats    |    Depth Chart    |    FanGraphs Win Probability The Good Channeling the Cobra, one Mr. Dave Parker, the Reds […]

I love the Cincinnati Reds. I shouldn’t actually have to say that, since I’ve been writing about the Reds — and demonstrating my obsession with this infernal team — nearly every single day here at Redleg Nation for the last nine seasons. But make no mistake: I love the Cincinnati Reds National League Baseball Club, […]

In today’s Enquirer there is a very interesting article by John Erardi concerning Dave Parker, Erardi’s criteria to make his ballot, and his Hall of Fame selections: It is Cincinnati native Dave Parker‘s 15th and final year on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot with the 600-plus voters of the Baseball Writers Association of America. […]

Baseball-reference.com’s blog has a couple of interesting tidbits of statistical information today that are Reds related.

With the Phillies’ signing Cliff Lee, they decided to research for starting rotations that would have had four starting pitchers making 30 or more starts each with ERA+ of 130 or greater. They found one, the 1997 Atlanta Braves, which had Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Denny Neagle, and John Smoltz in the rotation. Future Red Neagle was 20-5 with a 2.97 ERA, finishing third in Cy Young voting that season (in two seasons with the Reds, Neagle was 17-7 with a 3.89 ERA). The famous 1971 Baltimore Orioles rotation which boasted 4 20-game winners (Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, Jim Palmer, and Dave McNally) did not have any of their starters with an ERA+ of 130 or greater. Palmer had a 126 while the others were quite good (109, 116, 126, 117, respectively). That huge offense helped their outstanding pitching staff.

Baseball-reference.com found nine rotations that had three pitchers meet the criteria of 30 or more starts and ERA+ of 130 or higher, and one rotation was that of the 1925 Cincinnati Reds. The 1925 Reds finished in third place with an 80-73 record, 15 games behind the league champion Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds led the league with a 3.38 ERA, a half run less than the runner-up Pirates (3.87).

The three Reds’ hurlers that met the parameters were Pete Donohue (21-14, 3.08 ERA, 38 starts, 133 ERA+), Dolf Luque (16-18, 2.63 ERA, 36 starts, 156 ERA+), and Hall of Famer Eppa Rixey(21-11, 2.88 ERA, 36 starts, 142 ERA+). The fourth starter slot was split between Rube Benton (9-10, 4.05 ERA, 16 starts, 101 ERA+) and Jakie May (8-9, 3.87 ERA, 12 starts, 106 ERA+).

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December 8, 1987: Four years and one day after making him the Reds first big free agent acquisition, the Reds trade outfielder Dave Parker to the Oakland A’s for starting pitcher and future Reds ace Jose Rijo and reliever Tim Birtsas.

Parker’s best Reds season had come in 1985 when he finished second in MVP balloting after hitting .312 with 34 home runs and 125 rbi, 42 doubles, a .551 SLP, and a .916 OPS (149 OPS+). He led the league in rbi, doubles, total bases, and intentional walks. He finished fifth in MVP voting in 1986 when he hit .273 with 31 home runs and 116 rbi, again leading the league in total bases, but his OPS+ slipped to 117 (OPS was .807). He slipped a little more in 1987 when he hit .253 with 26 homers, 97 rbi, and a .744 OPS (92 OPS+) and his defensive performance had also been declining now that he was 36 years old.

Parker still had a few more productive years remaining and finished 11th in MVP voting in the American League while with the Oakland A’s in 1989 (.264/22/97 with .741 OPS) and 16th in MVP votes with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1990 (.289/21/92 with .781 OPS). His final season came in 1991.

The Reds had young outfielders in place ready to replace Parker, namely Kal Daniels, Eric Davis, Paul O’Neill, and Tracy Jones. All the outfield prospects were at least a decade younger than Parker and all were talented players.

For Parker, the Reds received their next ace pitcher in Jose Rijo. Rijo had reached the majors at age 19 with the New York Yankees in 1984, but had struggled in his first four major league seasons, going 19-30 with a 4.75 ERA (83 ERA+) with the Yankees and Oakland A’s before joining the Reds.
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December 7, 1983: The Reds signed their first “major” free agent of the free agency period when they signed Dave Parker to to a three-year contract.

While with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Parker was one of baseball’s biggest superstars of the late 1970’s. Parker won the MVP for the Pirates in 1978 when he hit .334 with 20 homers, 32 doubles, 12 triples, and a 117 rbi. He led the league with a .585 SLP, a .979 OPS, and a 166 OPS+. Parker had finished third in MVP voting in both 1975 and 1977 while receiving MVP votes for five consecutive years from 1975-79. As a right fielder, Parker was known for his powerful arm and won three consecutive Gold Gloves from 1977-79.

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In my (admittedly biased) opinion, it is a crime that Barry Larkin was not elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame last year, in his first year on the ballot. His second go-round is at hand, as the 2011 ballot was released to members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Monday. Mark […]

When Joey Votto won the 2010 National League MVP Award, it marked the 12th time that a Red had won the Award since it’s inception in 1911 (no award was given from 1915-23 or in 1930).

Reds winners are listed below, and in deference to Joey Votto’s quote about batting average (“we all know that batting average is kind of an overrated statistic”), I’ll use more modern metrics for their performance.

1938, Ernie Lombardi, catcher, .342 batting average/.391 OBP/.524 SLP
1939, Bucky Walters, pitcher, 27-11, 2.29 ERA, 137 K’s
1940, Frank McCormick, 1st base, .309/.367/.482
1961, Frank Robinson, outfield, .323/.404/.611
1970, Johnny Bench, catcher, .293/.345/.587
1972, Johnny Bench, catcher, .270/.379/.541
1973, Pete Rose, outfield, .338/.401/.437
1975, Joe Morgan, 2nd base, .327/.466/.508
1976, Joe Morgan, 2nd base, .320/.444/.576
1977, George Foster, outfield, .320/.382/.631
1995, Barry Larkin, shortstop, .319/.394/.492
2010, Joey Votto, 1st base, .324/.424/.600

You most likely know about most, if not all, of these guys. Lombardi, Walters, and McCormick were stars that played with the 1939-40 Reds teams. Robinson was the best player of the late 50’s/early 60’s and played on the 1961 World Series team. Bench, Rose, Morgan, and Foster were stars from the Big Red Machine World Series teams. Larkin was a star from the 1990 World Series team, and Votto broke many Reds hitting records from this past season.

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