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, […]

After Bryan Price’s recent outburst on the heels of the Reds losing seven of eight games, I got to thinking about other Cincinnati Reds managers over the years. Specifically, had anything like this happened before? It certainly could have but in these days of social reporting and networking, something like that makes the news instantly […]

[This post was written by John Ring, who is the Nation’s correspondent from Afghanistan, where he is serving the entire nation.] When the Cincinnati Reds hired Bryan Price to become the 61st manager in the history of one of baseball’s greatest franchises, I was just returning from a three-day site visit to a remote place […]

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 10, 1932: Donie Bush is named manager of the Reds. Bush had previously managed the 1927-29 Pittsburgh Pirates to great success (246-178, one pennant) and the 1930-31 Chicago White Sox to no success at all (118-189, 7th and 8th place of eight teams)

With the Reds, I suppose Bush demonstrated that it takes talent to win. The Reds finished last with a 58-94 record, 33 games behind the champion New York Giants. It also demonstrates the power of age when it comes to talent. The 1933 Reds had five future Hall of Famers on the team,tied with the 1932 team as having the most at any time in club history. However, none were in their primes. 42-year-old Eppa Rixey was 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 16 games (12 starts). 33-year-old first baseman Jim Bottomley batted .250 with 13 homers (.706 OPS), 25-year-old catcher Ernie Lombardi batted .283 with four homers, and 27-year-old shortstop Leo Durocher was traded after 16 games. 30-year-old outfielder Chick Hafey had a good year, batting 303 with a .772 OPS (122 OPS+), but it was nowhere near his best slugging seasons.

This was the season that the oldest Red to ever play participated. 49-year-old Jack Quinn pitched his last season, pitching in 14 games covering 15 2/3 innings, going 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA. His last two games came after his 50th birthday. Quinn and Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm are the only players with at least ten games in the season of their fiftieth birthday. Quinn was a spitballer who finished his career 247-218 with a 3.29 ERA in 756 games (443 starts). 1933 was Quinn’s only season with the Reds.

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October 30, 1992: Two weeks after becoming the youngest General Manager in baseball history (at the time), Jim Bowden pulls off a public relations coups by naming Tony Perez manager of the Reds.

Lou Piniella had resigned as Reds manager on October 6 to become manager of the Seattle Mariners. Piniella had won the 1990 World Series in his first season as Reds manager, having replaced Tommy Helms, who had replaced the banned Pete Rose on August 24, 1989. Piniella had helped the Reds erase the public humiliation of Rose and the Reds with the 1990 wire-to-wire Reds championship. An injury-riddled 1991 led to a 74 win season in 1991, but the Reds rebounded to win 92 games in 1972, finishing in second place, eight games behind the Atlanta Braves. However, Piniella had grown weary of the Reds/Marge Schott circus and took his popular management style to Seattle where he stayed 10 years, including winning 116 games for the 2001 Mariners.

Two days after Piniella resigned from the Reds, Schott fired Reds general manager Bob Quinn. and promoted Bowden eight days later. Despite being only 31, Bowden had worked in baseball front offices with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1984-88) and with the New York Yankees in 1989 before joining the Reds organization.

Hall of Famer Tony Perez was/is an all-time favorite of many Reds fans. Nicknamed “Big Doggie” the slugging first baseman was known for his clutch hitting, his 379 home runs, and his ability to keep balance in the Big Red Machine clubhouse. After being traded to the Montreal Expos before the 1977 season, Perez played for three teams besides the Reds for seven seasons before returning to Cincinnati as a free agent to play his final three seasons in a Reds uniform. He immediately became a coach and served on the staffs of Rose, Helms, and Piniella.

Having Perez available was an opportune moment for the Reds. From “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:

Many fans were upset about the resignation of Piniella, but the hiring of the popular Perez quickly rekindled enthusiasm. At the time, Marge Schott was under investigation by the commissioner’s office for her hiring practices and use of racial and ethnic slurs. While Perez was a highly-qualified candidate, cynics wondered if Perez was hired only to placate Major League Baseball.

No matter the reason, hiring Perez was like gold to the Reds fan base. However, like fool’s gold, the joy was short-lived. In February, 2003, MLB suspended Schott for one year from Reds day-to-day operations and fined her $25,000 for making racial and ethnic slurs. With a new management team in place and high expectations from everyone after the 1992 rebound year, the Reds lost nine of their first 11 games to start the season. They rebounded to cross .500 at 19-18 and then went on west coast road trip where they lost six of seven games dropping them to 20-24. Bowden called Perez and fired him over the phone. From “Redleg Journal:”

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October 28, 1996: The Cincinnati Reds acquire former all-star outfielder Ruben Sierra from the Detroit Tigers for two minor league prospects, pitcher Ben Bailey and outfielder Decomba Conner. The Reds were looking for some outfield help after the 1996 season. The Reds had finished first in the 1995 National League Central Division with a 85-59 […]

October 27, 1997: Just twelve days after releasing Steve Parris, the Reds re-sign the 30-year-old starting pitcher, who proceeds to have the best three seasons of his major league career and help anchor the pitching staff for the 1999 Reds team that won 96 games, the most Reds wins since the 1976 Big Red Machine […]

October 24, 1879: The Cincinnati Reds, an organization in disarray, are disbanded by Reds president, J. W. Neff, in a move that destroys a team of promising young players at one of the more critical points in early baseball history. The 1876 and 1877 Reds were abysmal teams, finishing the seasons with records of 9-56 […]

September 22, 1903: “Turkey Mike” Donlin ties a major league record by tripling in four consecutive at bats during a doubleheader split with the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati.

Donlin’s first triple came in the last at bat of a first game 12-7 Reds loss and then he tripled in his first three at bats of the second game Reds 8-1 victory. For the afternoon, Donlin had six hits in seven at bats. For the season, Donlin’s only full season in Cincinnati, Donlin batted .351 with 25 doubles, 18 triples, 7 homers, and 67 rbi, a .420 OBP, and a .936 OPS (155 OPS+). He was second in the league in OPS, triples, home runs, and runs created. He may be one of the best Reds’ talents you’ve never heard of and a piece of one of the greatest collections of Reds outfield talent in Reds history.

Donlin was quite the character. The Reds signed him as a free agent in 1902 while he was in jail for assaulting an actress. When he was released, he finished the 1902 season by playing in 34 games and hitting .287. He was one of baseball’s best players in 1903, and was hitting a robust .356 in 1904 when the Reds traded him to the New York Giants. His OPS+ at the time of his trade was 162, so he was producing. However, Donlin was also an actor and would frequently take leaves of absence during his baseball career to pursue his other craft. Over 12 major league seasons, Donlin batted .333 with an OPS+ of 144, but he played only 1049 games (averaging about 85 per year) during his career.

The 1903 Reds finished in fourth place in the National League with a record of 74-65, 16 games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates. Center fielder Cy Seymour was a hitting machine for the Reds, batting .342 with 25 doubles, 15 triples, seven homers (OPS+ of 134) and third baseman Harry Steinfeldt had his best season as a Red, batting .312 and leading the league with 32 doubles (OPS+ of 136). Hall of Fame first baseman Jake Beckley had another good season in his last year with the Reds, batting .327 with an OPS+ of 126. In seven seasons with the Reds, Beckley batted .325 with 251 extra base hits, 530 rbi, and an OPS+ of 128. Hall of Fame manager-outfielder Joe Kelley also played well, batting .316 with a .402 OBP (OPS+ of 124) playing a utility role in 105 games for the Reds.

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I don’t know what to make of this, but I thought it might trigger some interesting discussion. From a Hal McCoy Q&A over at DDN: Q Isn’t the problem with the Reds the manager (Dusty Baker), as it has been since Jack McKeon was dropped? — Will, Dayton A Let’s see, since McKeon they’ve had […]