Seven Cincinnati Reds have won the National League Rookie of the Year. Frank
Robinson in 1956, Pete Rose in 1963, Tommy Helms in 1966, Johnny Bench in
1968, Pat Zachry in 1976, Chris Sabo in 1988, and Scott Williamson in 1999.
You gotta' know that Cincinnati's Frank Robinson's rookie or the year
counter part from the American League was Luis Aparicio, a slick fielding
shortstop from the Chicago White Sox. Both Frank Robinson and Luis Aparicio
were to be elected into The Baseball Hall of Fame. Robinson was elected in
1982 and Aparicio was elected in 1984. To this date, there are only two
other Rookie of the Year tandems from the same year to make it to the Hall.
The Rookie of the Year class from 1967 also accomplished this feat (Ex-Reds
Tom Seaver and Rod Carew both were elected to The Hall). Carew with the
Minnesota Twins in 1991; And Seaver, with the New York Mets, was elected in
The Rookie of The Year class of 1977 is the last tandem to get there. Andre
Dawson, just elected as a Montreal Expo in 2010 and Eddie Murray as a
Baltimore Oriole, was elected in 2003. The Rookie of the Year Award has been
earned by great first year players since 1947, but only given to each league
since 1949. "The Great" Jackie Robinson hustled and earned the first in
1947. Al Dark of The Boston Braves made the mark in 1948 respectively. You
gotta' know the next Rookie of the Year class destined to both make this
illustrious accomplishment will be from the class of 2001. Look it up and
see if you agree...
The next installment of "You gotta' know this!" will include an
ex-Red and a Cincinnati native involving the ever important runs batted in
statistic. It may just blow your mind if you are into baseball as much as I
am. Have A GREAT weekend! COMMENTS?
Whack Reds was in
attendance for the Cincinnati premiere of Barking Fish Entertainment's
4192: The Crowning of the Hit King at Newport's AMC Theatres on
Wednesday. It was nothing short of awesome. As Tony Perez, Marty Brennaman,
and Mike Schmidt spent time reminiscing about Mr. Rose; images of the Hit
King along with rare videos assisted their recollections. The documentary
drove viewers across the highway of Pete's accomplishments. Most of them
described by Pete himself.
Most of the information in the film was common knowledge to Pete fans such
as myself, but hearing the tales from Pete himself proved gratifying. His
uncanny attitude and selfless winning demeanor supplied a cadence to the
stories that was previously unavailable.
Nearly two hours in length, 4192 is a must-see film for any Reds fan
or baseball lover. Focusing solely on Pete's playing career, 4192
left out many other aspects of Pete's life. Hopefully one day, like the
film, people will focus towards his on-field accomplishments, records, and
determination instead of his off-field faults.
wasnít interested in that (off-field troubles),Ē
ďItís a baseball documentary. Itís not about my suspension or reinstatement
or the commissioner or gambling. I want everyone to see it. Send a copy to
heaven so Babe Ruth can see it.Ē
The DVD of 4192: The Crowning of the Hit King will be available on
9.14.10 (3 days after the 25th anniversary of Pete's record breaking hit).
Dusty Baker; what can I say? He is the most notable manager Cincinnati has
had since Jack McKeon (291-259 during '97-'00 with the Reds). Upon his
signing in 2008, I felt it gave the Reds some instant credibility. He took
over a franchise that was in complete shambles (514-620 during '01-'07) and
in the third year of his tenure, the Reds are coming together as one of
MLBís best teams. You would think fans would start to take notice, but all
we can seem to do is wait for him and the team to fail.
I myself, am a Dusty fan. I think a young team looks up to his leadership,
fire, and positive attitude. The two time all-star and 1981 Gold Glove
recipient had a very solid career as a player (.278 AVG, 320 2B, 242 HR).
The Reds skipper also served six years in the military (1969-75). So why is
it that every time I tune into a local sports show, all I hear is negativity
from callers and hosts? Donít give me that lame Kerry Wood and Mark Prior
bit. You have seen Dusty be nothing short of careful with the use of young
arms such as Johnny Cueto (averaged 173 IP in '08 and '09) and Homer Bailey
(113.1 IP in '09) early in their careers. Donít give me the ďheís not a
winnerĒ speech either. As a player Dusty was part of the 1981 L.A. Dodger
championship team and he currently owns a victorious 1363-1254 managerial
record. Between the three teams Dusty has managed (Giants, Cubs, and Reds);
one went to a World Series ('02 Giants), one was five outs away ('03 Cubs),
and the other is on the up and up for the first time in 15 years. The fact
that he has only managed three teams and you know who he is speaks volumes.
Now in his third season, the Reds are looking good and Dusty is still
looking for respect in the eyes of Wild Man Walker, Ken Broo, and various
other local sports personalities. Are we never happy or do we need to hunt
for reasons to criticize? I think it would be a great accomplishment just to
make the playoffs at this point, but fans and local media will destroy Dusty
if we fall anything short of a championship after only a half a season of
success. By no means am I saying that Dusty Baker is the best manager in the
world, I just wish fans would realize the mess that Bob Castellini inherited
and the strides made to compete in a short period of time.
The Reds have new ownership and a new established GM in Walt Jocketty. Dusty
is only a small piece of the cherry pie. Finally, we have players left and
right coming out of our own farm system like Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, and
Travis Wood etc... I have been a Reds fan my entire life and have seen
everything from terrible ownership to terrible manager hires. Take Bob Boone
for example if you want to talk about lineups (a famous pet peeve of Reds
fans). Can you remember Boone batting Adam Dunn leadoff in 2003? Enough said
for me. It's tough to recall such an uproar over a manager in Cincinnati
during recent history.
What a bunch of ingrates. Itís funny that Wild Man Walker and Ken Brooís
opinions are not shared with the national media. If you tune into
Baseball Tonight, you will hear more professional opinions and will hear
Dusty and his organization getting their due. I canít help but imagine that
if Joe Torre was in his third year of managing a small market team like the
Reds and was successful, he may be overly praised by these local
know-it-alls. You can take what you want from that statement and will
probably be right, just donít take away my Dusty Baker.
REDS WILL SEND FOUR PLAYERS TO THE 2010 MLB ALL-STAR GAME IN ANAHEIM, CA.
7.12.10 BY:MEH SCOTT, BRANDON, JOEY, &
THE CINCINNATI REDS WILL
SEND FOUR PLAYERS TO THE 2010 MLB ALL-STAR GAME IN ANAHEIM, CA.
For the first time in six years, the Cincinnati Reds will have multiple
players representing them in the MLB All-Star Game. Scott Rolen, Brandon
Phillips, Joey Votto, and Arthur Rhodes will be making the trip to
Disney's Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA this year. Since 2004 when the
Reds sent Sean Casey, Danny Graves, Ken Griffey Jr., and Barry Larkin; The
Reds have only had one player represent them each season in the mid-summer
classic (Felipe Lopez in '05, Bronson Arroyo in '06, Ken Griffey Jr. in '07,
Edinson Volquez in '08, and Francisco Cordero in '09). Despite being swept
by the Phillidelphia Phillies who will be sending three players to the 81st
All-Star Game (Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay) in a four game
series leading up to the break, the Reds remain one game in front of the St.
Louis Cardinals in the NL Central after playing ninety games. The 2010
All-Star Game will air Tuesday at 8pm ET on FOX.
After beating the Phillies twice in three games at Great American Ballpark
to end the month of June, the Reds left for their most arduous road trip of
the season; Four games at Wrigley Field, three against the New York
Metropolitans, and four at Citizen's Bank Ballpark to face the 2009 National
League Champs for the second time in two weeks. The Reds started the trip by
slaughtering the Cubs as they took three games and outscored them 30-8
during the series. In New York, the Reds stayed hot taking two games and
winning their fifth straight series since they were swept by the Seattle
Mariners June 18-20.
Despite Johnny Cueto (7IP, 4H, 1ER), Mike Leake (8.1IP, 9H, 5ER), Travis
Wood (9IP, 1H, 0ER, 8K), and Matt Maloney (6IP, 4H, 1ER) all pitching well
during the series against Philadelphia, the Reds managed to lose all four
games. The first three games were tied going into extra innings. The final
two games the Reds were shutout 1-0.
The prominent highlight of the four game series in Philadelphia was that of
Travis Wood taking a
game into the ninth inning on Saturday while facing Roy Halladay who
completed the feat earlier this season. After Wood allowed a double to
Carlos Ruiz leading off the ninth inning, he retired the next three Phillies
and sent the game into extras. Logan Ondrusek allowed the game-winning hit
in the eleventh, but the run was charged to Bill Bray, as the Reds lost
their third straight game in walk-off fashion. During Wood's
third major league start, he became the first Red to ever throw nine or
more innings of one-hit scoreless ball and not get the win.
After the All-Star break, it seems things may get a little easier for
the Reds at least through July. Beginning on July 16, the Reds will embark
on a seven game home stand against the Colorado Rockies (49-39) and the last
place Washington Nationals (39-50). Barring unlikely setback,
Stephen Strasburg will face the Reds on Wednesday, July 21. The Reds are
then off to Milwaukee (40-49) and Houston (36-53) for three games a piece
before ending July back at home against Atlanta.
7.9.10 BY:MEH ASKING FOR IT
WHACK REDS' ADVENTURE IN WRIGLEYVILLE
I arrived at Wrigley Field during the third inning of the Reds'
12-0 Cub beat down on Friday July 2, 2010. After battling traffic
for over an hour on I-90 while listening to 720 WGN, and passing US Cellular
Field twice because of an emergency pit stop, West Addison Ave. couldn't
have breezed in any more rapidly. It wasn't my first time in Chicago or my
first run in with Cubs fans, but it was my first and perhaps last visit to
With Bronson Arroyo on the mound and an early 1-0 lead, I ventured to the
will-call window at Gate 13 where two tickets in Aisle 126 were awaiting my
accession. Advancing through the gates briskly with little time to admire
the 96 year-old structure, I ventured to our seats behind the visiting Reds'
dugout. Our seats in row six were taken, but there were several right next
to ours. We slid past the two Cub fans (father and son) residing in our blue
chairs and sat down a few seats away assuming we would ask them to move, if
someone asked us to move, and so on. Several apparent Cub fans behind us
must have noticed our subtle hesitation to settle and offered unwanted
seating assistance. We explained that our seats were taken and were just a
few feet away, but they seemed to hear otherwise. Their comments surrounded
us not being blamed for wanting to move down to such nice seats. We never
showed them our tickets or moved from our seats, but they assumed we pulled
a fast one on a Wrigley Field usher and they thoughtfully never told on us.
Settling into my rusty blue chair, I began to soak in the mecca of baseball
that is Wrigley Field. To my right was the video-less hand-operated
scoreboard, the outfield's famous bleachers and rooftops on West Waveland
and North Sheffield Avenue, and the almost ad-free ivy. Peering left I
noticed the depth of the shaded lower deck at Wrigley, the exclusive retro
architecture, and Harry Caray's comical outline above the WGN radio booth.
The stadium was splendid as I expected, but I was there to watch the
first-place Cincinnati Reds.
I was presuming mass distractions during my visit to Wrigleyville, but had
yet to endure any. I was rooting for the rival, sporting their detested
former manager's shirt, and was surrounded by what some call the worst fans
in professional sports. With countless dreadful encounters with Cub fans
during the past in Cincinnati, I was expecting the worst. Frankly, I was
asking for it.
The second kind gesture that the gentleman seated behind us dished out was
during the top of the seventh inning. Both Bronson Arroyo and Ryan Dempster
were pitching well up to that point allowing only two hits each and the
score was still 1-0 with the Reds on top. With the bases loaded and no one
out, Dempster walked Arroyo and Brandon Phillips putting Cincinnati up 3-0.
The men behind us asked if we appreciated the "courtesy" runs that Chicago
gives Reds fans when we come to visit. I politely chuckled and said "Thank
The Reds worked the scoreboard operators that inning as they proceeded to
seven more times off Chicago pitching. Scott Rolen, Jonny Gomes, and
Ramon Hernandez both drove in a pair of runs during the Reds' nine run
demolition in the seventh inning. Noticing some fellow Reds fans rejoicing
obnoxiously, I remained quietly seated and respectively cheered as the Reds
placed the game out of reach. The overly excitable crowd of Cub fans was
silenced for at least a day. Leaving Wrigley Field rewarded with a 12-0
Cincinnati victory, not a murmur of detest or hardihood entered my ear
drums. I was surprised to say the least. At that moment I questioned the
negative brand that has been placed upon Cubs fans for so many years and
questioned my own prejudice against the Chicago Cubs. The thought would not
linger in my imagination for long.
Johnny Cueto faced Randy Wells on Saturday and squealed through five
innings. Seated in section 505 miles away from our elite seats from the
previous day, I noticed Cueto's imperfections early on. Cueto was clearly
overthrowing, but managed to keep the Cubs from scoring after allowing seven
hits. A quality Cub team could have easily reciprocated the Reds'
annihilation from Friday, but they left a whopping 17 men on base during the
game only going 3-16 with runners in scoring position. Randy Wells snuck a
no-hitter into the seventh inning, but allowed five during his next 1.2
innings of work. Combined with Carlos Marmol, Wells and the Cubs limited the
Reds to only one run and walked away with a 3-1 win. Beyond their teams'
disgusting performance with runners on base, a double-digit distance between
themselves and first place in the NL central, and losses to the Reds in the
first two games of the series; Cubs fans had found something to cheer about.
Observing my hometown Reds from the "cheap seats" at Wrigley Field ($30)
contrasted exclusively to the experience from the day before. Banter was
prevalent and ongoing throughout the nine inning affair. There were put
downs galore concerning the Reds shouted by cowardly Cub followers
anonymously from behind. The Cub fans' enthusiasm considered admirable by
some, became a nauseating display of over-hyped achievement. Fans also
decided that day to embark on the idea of undressing Reds' manager Dusty
Baker. The jeers were unoriginal and quaint. Dusty himself explained his
relation with the Chicago fans who once called him their skipper prior to
ďItís tough, and the number one reason itís tough is because nobody lets
anything go of the past. Everybodyís still counting. I was here only four of
the 100 years. You talk to most people, they act like I was here the whole
100 years. And Iím only 61 years old.Ē
Cubs fans were able to place Dusty Baker's horrific four-year tenure behind
them that day. They were also able to forget about the 102 years they have
suffered without winning a World Championship. Thoughts of Steve Bartman and
that Billygoat were no where to be found. It seemed visions of sugar-plums
danced in their heads as they arrogantly ceremonialized their triumph. The
fans then burst into song. As "Go, Cubs, Go" blasted through the vintage
speakers at Wrigley Field, Cubs fans belted out every word. The song was
written during the 1984 season by Steve Goodman. The Cubs missed a World
Series opportunity that year as they lost to the San Diego Padres in the
NLCS. Goodman's jingle became the Cubs official victory song during the 2007
season in which the Cubs won the National League Central. The cultish and
harmonized unity was like something I had ever seen. There was little left
to cherish surrounding the celebrated Wrigley Field where so many greats had
Outside of Wrigley after the game there was more fun to be had by Cubs fans.
Comments from local bars' patios were aplenty. Random cracks and salty
ridicule filled the thick air as we boarded the Red-line train and headed
back to South Chicago. Dusty Baker and the Reds were criticized heavily
during the train ride. I defended the Reds and their manager tacitly, but
was careful to keep my disappointments undercover. My despair of the moment
would have been enjoyed by Cubs fans and I felt they had enough excitement
for one day. Upon exiting the train, I exposed my Duty Baker shirt that had
been hidden up against the wall.
As a baseball fanatic, my trip to Wrigley Field was a must. The retro
atmosphere reminds us of what is great about the game of baseball. Wrigley
Field defines simplicity while humbly honoring and commending the game's
integrity. It is sad and unfortunate that the men and women who fill the
seats at Wrigley Field 81 times a year fail to resemble what their
distinguished ballpark stands for.
The next day was observed for celebrating America's freedom. On the Fourth
of July, the Reds
defeated the Cubs 14-3 and won their third game of the four game series.
I witnessed the Reds' victory as I filled my belly with grilled chicken and
zucchini. The sweet taste of destruction complimented the grub like a finely
aged red wine.
I respect and admire several baseball players. One of
which is "The Hammer." I enjoy listening to my Dad explain what it was like
to see Henry Aaron play. One instant, I remember Dad saying, "The ball
just sounded different coming off Hank's bat. Like it was crushed. You just
knew it was gone."
While walking through The Hall of Fame, Dad and I both confirmed that
Henry Aaron is the only true home run king, but I still expected to see
something about Barry Bonds. Some sort of recognition for his record
breaking season (73 HR) or his all time record (762 HR). I didn't see much.
What I did see were Willie's glove from the great catch he made against the
woeful Indians in the '54 series at The Polo Grounds. The game ball from Tom
Browning's perfect game. The seven hats from Nolan Ryan's 7 no-hitters. Joe
Morgan's glove he wore during the magical MVP season of 1976. I even saw a
scouting report about a young pitcher named Tom Seaver written by a scout
named Tommy Lasorda of all people. Interesting and magical moments all
documented in this great shrine dedicated to the greatest sport we have. One
thing had not changed; I spent nearly 8 hours just soaking in the great
history as I had done 10 years earlier.
It is obvious that The Hall of Fame is making a point. The Hall shared the
same outlook about the real home run king as Dad and I. Then there was the
honorable "Chasing the Dream" exhibit dedicated to "The Hammer." Hank has a
whole wing dedicated to his beginning and ending of achievement. He was the
last Negro League player to play in the majors. He started off as a clumsy
shortstop and became one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of all
time. I saw his home run baseballs numbered 713, 714, and 715. I saw the
cleats that he wore while hitting those milestones. Helmets and uniforms,
you name it, it was there. Gold Glove trophies, MVP trophies, even business
cards from his many car dealerships from Atlanta were all there. Bricks and
porch posts from the home he grew up in. I touched the porch post and will
remember it forever. Mr. Henry Aaron has much clout, as much clout as his
bat and quick wrists provided as a player. He is respected by all who ever
played the game or watched the game with keen observations. Barry Bonds has
no such respect. It became completely obvious as my walk through the Hall
There is a section of the 2nd floor representing all 30 teams in major
league baseball. A clubhouse setting with each team having a glass display
with their own locker. Each locker displaying significant uniforms and such
worn by significant players during significant events during those
respective teams' recent history. For example, a home run ball, hit by D.T.
Cromer was in the Reds locker. It was from the last game of the season
confirming that the Cincinnati Reds were the first team to not be shut out
during an entire season. Several interesting and magical moments were
captured in those different lockers. Then I saw one that really stood out.
Another home run ball.
It was at the bottom of the San Francisco Giants locker. I read the display
and said to my Dad, "You gotta' take a picture of this!" It was the
all-time record breaking ball from Barry Bonds career mark of total dingers.
Finally, a Barry Bonds moment solidified in the Hall displayed at the bottom
of a team locker. I thought it was a perfect location. Upon further, closer
examination, I noticed it was a "Tom Terrific" display because the ball had
asterisk cut out of the logo with a precision knife. The Hall Of Fame
recognized Bonds but with a special flair. Bonds record was tainted and the
Hall displayed it as such. Things change, as they always seem to do. One
thing remained constant, that the hall agrees with many of us, Hank is the
home run king forever undaunted by the unfortunate steroid induced period in
I am prepared to visit the hall again, but I think I will wait until another
change comes. The induction class of Pete and Joe will come along sooner
than the juicers will. I hope and pray anyhow. 4,256 and 755 forever,
The last time I visited The Hall of Fame was in 1999 and 2000. Back then it
was all about the record breaking season of 1998. They called the exhibit,
"The Great American Home Run Chase of 1998." That exhibit involved the Mark
McGwire and Sammy Sosa showdown. The chase involved the two National League
giants in little uniforms pursuing the all time record for home runs in a
single season. The home run record of 61 accomplished by the balding Roger
Maris in 1961.
The exhibit location was in the center of The Hall of Fame Gallery where all
the plaques of the tremendous Hall of Famers reside. The McGwire and Sosa
display included baseballs, bats, cleats, and uniforms from their record
bashed and juiced enhanced seasons. I remember back then thinking that those
two guys would eventually be enshrined there with their own plaques. I even
thought out loud which team hat McGwire would wear on his plaque, Oakland or
St. Louis? (Frank Robinson wears an Oriole cap on his plaque.) Upon arriving
in the gallery for the first time since 2000, ten years later, more changes
were going to come. The two muscle enhanced machines were nowhere to be
McGwire and Sosa were replaced by American League dignitaries sculpted out
of wood beautifully, The Great Babe and The Splendid Splinter. The amazing
wooden statues were an honor to see on craft and merit alone. It was as if
The Hall of Fame was reminding us of greatness instead of honoring two
frauds who had rescued attendance during a time Baseball had endured some
trouble. Now it seemed like it was out with the old and in with the older. I
applauded out loud explaining to Dad the whole scenario rather proudly. Upon
continuing our journey through The Hall, I asked Dad who he expected to see
more of, "The Hammer or Bonds?" I had an idea and we were soon to find out
for the better.
puts a cap on Reds' bats
spotlight: Scott Rolen
would help, but Reds still good
Arigato Vote Joey Votto
has career day
REDS REPORT COMMENTS?
Things change. Just as they always seem to do. The seasons change. Our
routines change. Over the course of time, even we change. Then, isn't it odd
that we are not prepared for those changes. We become so comfortable with
the routine that a little change shakes us up a bit. I have become gripped
to the tradition of things, especially in the great sport of Baseball. It
has been my one constant. The thing I can count on from early spring to late
fall. Last week I ventured to Cooperstown, NY to visit the mecca of Baseball
with my Dad. It was my third visit but it had been nearly ten years since my
last. I should have expected it but The Hall of Fame has changed also. Some
for the good and some for the bad. As a Cincinnati Red die hard, some
changes were a little unnerving.
While on our way to the Hall I enjoyed explaining some of the highlights of
the museum to my Dad. Like the Joe Nuxhall baseball from his first game as
the youngest major leaguer to ever play during WWII. Then there were game
balls from the back to back no hitters from Johnny Vander Meer. I also
bragged about the "First Professional Nine" mural that would surely still be
there at the entrance of the 2nd floor "History of the Game" exhibit. Though
it had been several years since my last journey, I was certain they would
still be intact. They were not. Change had fallen like a dark shroud over my
passion. I could not find them and was saddened until I sought out some
A Cooperstown attendant explained that there is a rotation of archives and
it depends on the donors of those artifacts. Sometimes those exhibits are
requested by family members and are on temporary or permanent leave. It all
depends on several factors and a lot of displays are rotated accordingly. I
grudgingly accepted the changes and moved on. Now, I was ready for other
changes on full alert. There would be more changes for different motives
undoubtedly because Baseball has changed quite a bit since the late
After a disappointing
loss to the Phillies on Tuesday that included the end of Arthur Rhodes' 33
scoreless appearances streak, the Reds beat Roy Halladay as they took the
series from the Phillies on Wednesday. Joey Votto attempted to rescue his
club with a game-tying three-run homer during the bottom of the ninth inning
on Tuesday, but Arthur Rhodes failed to retire any of the four batters he
faced in the tenth as he allowed three runs. Mike Leake allowed six runs on
seven hits during his six innings of work as the Reds
lost to the Phillies 9-6.
Wednesday afternoon, the Reds were seeking redemption. Riding the momentum
created the previous night at GABP, the Reds scored four runs off Roy
Halladay during his eight innings of work. Halladay allowed thirteen hits
and struck out ten, but Jay Bruce's two-run shot in the eighth was enough to
put the Reds
permanently up 4-3.
After defeating last year's National League Champs two out of three games
and leaving town for their roughest road trip of the season thus far against
Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia; the Reds continued their grit against
the Cubs on Thursday. Travis Wood pitched two-hit scoreless ball through
seven innings during his major league debut, but left during the eighth
after walking the first two batters he faced. Nick Masset came in for Wood
and quickly allowed both inherited runners to score tying the game at two.
During the tenth inning, Drew Stubbs hit a fielder's choice scoring Miguel
Cairo from third base. The run scored easily as Jay Bruce broke up the
double play attempt by taking out Starlin Castro at second base. Closer
Francisco Cordero allowed two men to reach base in the bottom of the tenth,
but ended the game inducing a 6-4-3 double play. The Reds
beat the Cubs 3-2.
Whack Reds will be traveling to Chicago early Friday morning to witness
Bronson Arroyo pitch against Ryan Dempster at Wrigley. We will also be
rooting on Johnny Cueto as he faces Randy Wells on Saturday. Expect a full
report from Chicago and don't worry, unlike Mike McConnell, we won't be
staying there. Go Reds!