In his career against the Cincinnati Reds, tonight’s starter for Philadelphia, Roy Oswalt, is 23-3 with a 2.81 ERA. He’s the quintessential Reds-killer, and for many years he combined with Lance Berkman to give us all nightmares. This season, Oswalt is 13-13 with a sterling 2.76 ERA overall. Since joining the Phillies mid-season, Oswalt has […]

July 4, 2003: Luke Price, age 3, goes to his first Cincinnati Reds game, only to see Jimmy Haynes and the Reds lose to the New York Mets, 7-2, in the opening year of Great American Ball Park.

With the ballpark area still under development, Luke and his father, Steve, from out of town and not sure where to leave the car, park nearly two miles away from the ballpark. Luke, being age 3, refuses to walk, and father, Steve, is required to carry his young son to the park. Oh, my…at least the temperature is only 86 degrees to go with the normal midwestern high humidity.

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The Reds signed Orlando Cabrera to a free agent contract in the off season in an effort to strengthen one of the Reds’ biggest offseason question marks; that is, who plays shortstop or maybe the question was actually whether Paul Janish would hit enough to be the regular shortstop?

Janish was the default regular after oft-hurt Alex Gonzalez was dealt to the Red Sox in a post-trade deadline deal for minor leaguer Kris Negron last August. The Reds have been searching for a shortstop since the retirement of Barry Larkin following the 2004 season. Felipe Lopez gave us one good offensive season in 2005, but we’ve since gone through Gonzalez, Royce Clayton, Jeff Keppinger, Ray Olmedo, Juan Castro, Danny Richar, Enrique Cruz, William Bergolla, Rich Aurilia, Pedro Lopez, Jerry Hairston Jr. , Adam Rosales, Drew Sutton, and even Brandon Phillips has played there since Larkin retired. We even had current Reds’ shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s brother, Jolbert Cabrera, stand there for nine games in 2008.

I don’t know why, but I’m hearing Johnny Cash‘s “I’ve Been Everywhere” in the background; or maybe it’s REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It;” maybe it’s Billy Joel‘s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” I don’t know, but…

Am I the only one missing Barry Larkin?

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Baseball Prospectus online (www.baseballprospectus.com) and writer Steven Goldman posted some analysis today focusing on Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter, who will be a Hall of Famer, is known to be terrific offensive player and clutch player (whether you believe in “Santa Clutch” or not), but is sometimes maligned as being weak in the field (despite some popular legend). One common New York joke is that is many balls go “pasta diving Jeter” as if it is some specialty dish ordered in a popular New York bistro.

The story contained an analysis of the batting averages hit to (and through) the Yankee infield over the past several years, and compared it to major league averages. Without going into lots of detail (susbscriber story, I believe), Baseball Prospectus took the analysis and broke out the detail to a level where only right handed hitters were calculated (analysis shows 70% of ground balls by right handed hitters are pulled to 3b or SS, with majority going to shortstop).

Much more about Reds shortstops, below the fold:
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