The trade deadline rapidly approaches, and I expect the rumor mill to start spitting out nonsense at any moment. The Reds could use some help in a couple of areas, and we’re already hearing that they’ll look for relievers (again), but get ready for the silly season. That’s not why I’m gathering you here today, […]

Thank God for Tony Cingrani. The lefthanded rookie hurler kept the Redlegs from getting swept out of Washington, DC with a true gem this past Sunday. Six innings of work, no runs, 11 strikeouts and a win. And this didn’t come against the Marlins or Cubs, either. Reds and lefthanded pitchers who are successful don’t […]

October 13, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings lose to the Chicago White Stockings for the second time in the season, 16-13. From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder: The two defeats to the White Stockings ended hopes that the Reds had of being considered champions for the 1870 season. Asa Brainard held the […]

October 6, 1870: The Cincinnati Red Stockings score 13 runs in the final three innings to erase a 15-5 deficit and beat the Forest Grays of Cleveland, 18-15. It was the biggest comeback win of the year for the team that finished 67-6-1.

October 6, 1880: The Cincinnati Reds are expelled from the National League for selling beer during games and for renting the ballpark to amateur teams on Sunday.

At the time, not all players were not protected by the “reserve clause,” the ruling that binds players to teams. The teams could protect five players (normal roster size was 11) and teams generally protected their pitcher, their catcher, and three other players while other players were essentially free agents at the end of each season. The Reds didn’t protect future Hall of Famer King Kelly, which proved to be a mistake, and they attempted to protect Cal McVey, who instead of being protected, retired. Another star they protected, Deacon White, held out for a better contract. At first, it was a badge of honor to be protected, but then the players realized the teams were using the Reserve Clause to hold down salaries for the unprotected players were signing bigger contracts than the “face of the franchise” type players. The Reds were the first team to fall because of player reactions to the Reserve Clause. The 1879 team that went 43-37 and was expected to contend in 1880, instead limped home at 21-59. The team was losing money and resorted to selling spirits at the ballpark and leasing the ballpark for Sunday use, of which both items were banned by the National League.

The NL ignored the Reds’ practice until the more puritan northeastern teams took issue and started to complain. The Worcester Ruby Legs, who had just joined the league for the 1880 season, complained the loudest and the league sought to reinforcement the two rules. The Reds refused to sign an agreement and were bounced out of the league with the Detroit Wolverines taking their place. The result was that Cincinnati did not have a major league team in 1881 (the only year) and was a founding member of the American Association for the 1882 season in a league often called the “Beer and Whiskey League” for seemingly obvious reasons.

October 6, 1882: The Cincinnati Red Stockings in the first World Series game ever, well, sort of, 4-0, over the Chicago White Stockings in an unauthorized game in Cincinnati.

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July 22, 1995: Former strike replacement player Rick Reed makes his Reds debut and pitches 6 1/3 no-hit innings in a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The players had gone on strike during the 1994 season with a couple of surprise teams in first place. The Reds had an injury filled 1993 season and finished in fifth place in the National League Western Division with a 73-89 record. The divisions were realigned for the 1994, the Reds were healthy, and the Reds were in first place in the National League Central Division when games were halted on August 11. The Reds were 66-48, 1/2 game ahead of the second place Houston Astros. Meanwhile, the Montreal Expos were having their best season ever with a 74-40 record, good enough for first place in the National League East. After a couple of weeks the owners voted to lockout the players and cancel the remainder of the season. Only two owners voted against this: Reds owner Marge Schott and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos (Orioles were second in the American League East).

There was still no agreement between the players and the teams as the 1995 spring training season began. The major league owners decided to hire strike replacement players and proceed with the season. There was much disagreement from baseball management on how to approach the situation. Here’s a report from Jason Robertson at Baseball Almanac.com

Baltimore did not field a strikebreaking team that spring. Team owner Peter Angelos refused to do so due to some connections with other union(s). The Toronto Blue Jays planned on playing regular season games in their spring training home in Dunedin, Florida, due to Ontario labor laws preventing the use of strikebreaking employees. Bob Didier filled in as manager for Cito Gaston during the strike. Tom Runnells was named interim manager of the Detroit Tigers, after Sparky Anderson refused to manage the team and continually insulted the quality of players and the integrity of baseball that spring. Due to Quebec labor laws, Montreal was the only team that could hire strikebreaking players from outside the US or Canada, giving them a larger pool of players to choose from.

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Red Reporter has done a great job of ruining my weekend by linking to this New York Times article from 1995. Don’t go read it on an empty stomach. Remember when Jim Bowden was GM of our beloved Reds and he traded David Wells to the Orioles for speedy center fielder Curtis Goodwin? Goodwin, of […]

I was given a five-minute quiz on Sunday and I failed miserably… I was to guess the winningest pitchers of all time by letter. That is, which pitcher whose last name began with “A” won the most games, which pitcher whose last name began with “B” won the most games…all the way through Z. I […]

Summarizing the Redleg Trade Review series, today I’ll list my ten worst Reds trades ever. You can search all the trades that were reviewed by going to the Redleg Nation search engine at the upper right corner of the page. I don’t know if it’s a matter of perspective or exactly why it seems this way, but it sure seems that we’ve made a bunch of, let’s just say, not-so-profitable trades over the years.

1. December 15, 1900….Christy Mathewson traded to the New York Giants for pitcher Amos Rusie. I’ll make it simple: Christy Mathewson is one of the five best pitchers of all time, winning 373 lifetime games. He won one with the Reds. Amos Rusie is also a Hall of Fame pitcher. He won 245 lifetime games, zero with the Reds.

2. December 9, 1965: Frank Robinson is traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Baltimore Orioles for Jack Baldschun, Milt Pappas and Dick Simpson. Unfortunately, this is one of the most famous baseball trades of all time with no good light shining on the Reds.

3. December 13, 1934: Johnny Mize is purchased by the Cincinnati Reds from the St. Louis Cardinals.
April 15, 1935: Returned to the St. Louis Cardinals by the Cincinnati Reds following previous purchase.
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Summarizing our Redleg Trade Review (for all stories, type this in the search window in the upper right portion of your screen). Here’s what I think are the best Reds trades ever.

1. November 29, 1971: Joe Morgan is traded by the Houston Astros with Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Denis Menke to the Cincinnati Reds for Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart. The trade that kick started the Big Red Machine and brought us Hall of Famer Joe Morgan.

2. June 13, 1938: Bucky Walters was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Cincinnati Reds for Spud Davis, Al Hollingsworth and $50,000. Bucky Walters becomes the best pitcher in the National League, winning an MVP (there’s was no Cy Young Award) and the Reds win two National League championships and win one World Series.

3. February 19, 1919…. Reds traded 1b Hal Chase to Giants for C Bill Rariden and 1B Walter Holke. Trading the bedeviled Chase away from the Reds probably made way for their 1919 World Series victory and kept them from being the team that may have thrown the Series.
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July 21, 1995: Deion Sanders traded by the Cincinnati Reds with David McCarty, Ricky Pickett, John Roper and Scott Service to the San Francisco Giants for Dave Burba, Darren Lewis and Mark Portugal.

July 31, 1995: Traded a player to be named later, Dave Tuttle (minors) and C.J. Nitkowski to the Detroit Tigers. Received David Wells. The Cincinnati Reds sent Mark Lewis (November 16, 1995) to the Detroit Tigers to complete the trade.

The Reds had finished the strike-shortened 1994 with the best record in the Central Division, 66-48, one half game ahead of the Astros. The Reds led the league scoring with 5.30 runs per game, and their pitching staff was third in fewest runs scored, allowing 3.78 runs per game…that’s almost a 1 1/2 run per game differential. The Reds were leading the way in 1995, too, with a 6 1/2 game lead over the Astros on July 21st.

The Reds had taken the lead through a strong offense; they finished second in scoring this season behind the Colorado Rockies, but their pitching was allowing about a half run more than the year before. Continue reading