The “save” didn’t become an official statistic in baseball until 1969, although it had been tracked for years. The definition of a save itself was defined in 1960 by Chicago sportswriter Jerome Holtzman but it has been redefined, examined and criticized since. (The first official “save” went to Bill Singer on Opening Day 1969, who […]

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 […]

Over at The Hardball Times, Chris Jaffe has an interesting piece on the best players of the “wild card era” who have never played in a playoff game. Two 2010 Reds are mentioned, along with a prominent former Red (and another former Red). It’s worth a read. Chad DotsonBlame Chad for creating this mess. Chad […]

So, how did the Reds of 2010 stack up vs. other Reds teams in Cincinnati history? Major League baseball tracks the roots of the current Reds franchise back through the Reds/Redlegs/Red Stockings to 1882 when the Red Stockings were charter members of the American Association. In case you don’t know, there have been other Cincinnati […]

Baseball-reference.com has another nifty little feature this week. On each team’s franchise encyclopedia page, it now includes the season’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) leader. In this way, you can check out the best players for any team ever in a particular season, and it just so happens that the best teams usually have high totals for a leader and the worst teams typically have low totals for the leader.

Perhaps it’s the “80/20 rule” where 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people? At least, that always seems to be true, so it’s probably true in baseball too.

For those who don’t accept these kinds of measurements, you’re not alone and not unappreciated. That’s why I continue to list Triple Crown stats in my comments, too. Anyway, Bobby Abreu doesn’t know what WAR is either and he seems to have had a pretty decent major league career. In fact, he’s 121st on the all-time WAR list, ahead of such luminaries as Will Clark, Willie Stargell, Darrell Evans, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, and Hank Greenberg.

Meanwhile, here’ the 10 highest WAR-rated Reds single seasons, along with the team’s finish:

1. Will White, Pitcher, 12.5 WAR, 1882 season, 55-25 Reds season record, .688 percentage, 1st of 6
2. Joe Morgan, 2B, 12.0, 1975, 108-54, .667, 1st of 6
3. Mike (Elmer) Smith, P, 11.4, 1887, 81-54, .600, 2nd of 8
4. Will White, P, 11.0, 1883, 61-37, .622, 3rd of 8
5. Dolf Luque, P, 10.1, 1923, 91-53, .591, 2nd of 8
6. Joe Morgan, 2b, 10.0, 1972, 95-59, .617, 1st of 6
7. Joe Morgan, 2b, 10.0, 1976, 102-60, .630, 1st of 6
8. Joe Morgan, 2b, 9.9, 1973, 99-63, .611, 1st of 6
9. Jesse Duryea, P, 9.8, 1889, 76-63, .547, 4th of 8
10. Billy Rhines, P, 9.4, 1890, 77-55, .583, 4th of 8

Well, we have Joe Morgan and a flock of early pitchers. Morgan must have been pretty good. Let’s go 11-20:

11. Bucky Walters, Pitcher, 9.3 WAR, 1939 season, 97-57 Reds season record, .630 percent, 1st of 8
12. Jose Rijo, P, 9.3, 1993, 73-89, .451, 5th of 7
13. Joe Morgan, 2b, 9.1, 1974, 98-64, .605, 2nd of 6
14. Jim Maloney, P, 8.7, 1965, 89-73, .549, 4th of 10
15. Frank Robinson, OF, 8.5, 1962, 98-64, .605, 3rd of 10
16. Cy Seymour, OF, 8.4, 1905, 79-74, .516, 5th of 8
17. George Foster, OF, 8.2, 1977, 88-74, .543, 2nd of 6
18. Ted Kluszewski, 1b, 8.1, 1954, 74-80, .481, 5th of 8
19. Eric Davis, OF, 8.0, 1987, 84-78, .519, 2nd of 6
20. Noodles Hahn, P, 7.7, 1902, 70-70, .500, 4th of 8

Next 10: Tony Mullane P 1886, Ewell Blackwell P 1947, Frank Robinson OF 1961, Frank Robinson OF 1964, Will White P 1884, Barry Larkin SS 1996, Don Newcombe P 1959, Mario Soto P 1982, Fred Dwyer P 1896, Ted Breitenstein P 1897.

Of the top 30 finishers, only five played on losing teams, with Soto’s 1982 being the far worst.

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February 2, 1999: Greg Vaughn is traded by the San Diego Padres with Mark Sweeney to the Cincinnati Reds for Josh Harris (minors), Damian Jackson and Reggie Sanders.

July 31, 1999: Juan Guzman is traded by the Baltimore Orioles with cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Jacobo Sequea (minors) and B.J. Ryan.

October 28, 1999: Greg Vaughn is granted Free Agency.

October 29, 1999: Juan Guzman is granted Free Agency.

December 13, 1999: Greg Vaughn is signed as a Free Agent with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

January 8, 2000: Juan Guzman is signed as a Free Agent with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The Reds had finished first in the first two years of the newly created National League Central in both 1994 and 1995, but then finished at .500 in 1996 and below .500 in both 1997 and 1998. After having the second highest payroll in the National League in 1995, the Reds’ payroll was being continually slashed and Reds General Manager Jim Bowden was having to find creative ways to bring quality players to the Reds. The Reds often opened spring training with a myriad of players hoping to catch lightning in a bottle and showing a return to form to get another chance in the major leagues.

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April 5, 1996: Eduardo Perez is traded by the California Angels to the Cincinnati Reds for Will Pennyfeather. November 10, 1997: Dmitri Young traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Cincinnati Reds for Jeff Brantley. February 5, 1998: Roberto Petagine is traded by the New York Mets to the Cincinnati Reds for Yuri Sanchez […]

Here’s part two of the 1st week of July series. It just seems that so many interesting things happen to the Reds during this time. Once again, research taken from “Day by Day in Reds History” by Floyd Conner and John Snyder and “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder.

July 3…1967…a brawl erupts between the Cardinals as Bob Gibson brushes back Tony Perez with a pitch. Perez flied out and said something to Gibson on the way back to the dugout. Both benches emptied, and just as peace was restored, Reds’ reliever Bob Lee (6-3, 230 lbs) came flying into action and vicious fights broke out all over the field. Lee’s nicknames were “Moose” and “Horse.” St. Louis policemen armed with billy clubs had to stop the onfield battle. More than a dozen Reds players had to be treated for cuts and bruises.

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