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Preview: Self-Proclaimed Expert Baseball Analysts

Self-Proclaimed Expert Baseball Analysts

Named for ESPN's title for the greatest General Manager in baseball history.

Updated: 2014-07-28T11:38:17.628-07:00


Mic check. One. Two. Sibilance. Sibilance.


Is this thing on?

Like Tony Womack as a non-roster invitee, we're going to give this thing one last shot even though we're clearly several years past our prime.

To potential fans of The Washington Whatever-They'll-Be-Calleds,


I hope you like watching 5-tool outfielders.

Please take Griffey, Jim.

Alex Escobar released by Indians


Ohio's winning baseball team cut injury-prone OF Alex Escobar.

Who cares and what does this have to do with the Reds? Well, Alex was the "can't-miss 5 tool future superstar" who Jim Bowden would have gotten from the Mets in the failed trade of Barry Larkin in 2000.

Does anyone still give a shit?


It's hard to care about a team that goes through the same thing almost every year.

Junior injured
Larkin injured
Kearns injured
No pitching
No trades to help team
No worthwhile free agent signings
Glaring holes in at least two positions
Players gaining impressive individual stats (yet somehow, the team isn't winning - see Casey, Graves, Dunn, etc.)
Near last place

So I ask, does anyone have any reason to care about this team right now?

Or are we waiting until Spring Training Optimism kicks in again, which will no doubt morph into another hot spring, which will then morph into the June Swoon, followed by repeated injuries to key players and no deadline trades, and then another meaningless August and September?

Is that what Cincinnati baseball is all about?

Looks like it from here. Just an opinion.

The Fat Lady Sings


ESPN has officially downgraded Jim Bowden's title from "Expert Baseball Analyst" to the more accurate "Baseball Analyst." That means the ironic reference that is the title of this blog no longer makes sense.

So, like our beloved Cincinnati baseball team, this blog will slowly whither and fade away in the second half of the season.

Rounding third and heading for home...

The First Place Cardinals, Explained.


Almost any decent team in any given year can win if they somehow manage to avoid key injuries.

01 Diamondbacks, 02 Angels, 03 Marlins, 04 Cardinals.



I'm sure John is content tonight that, although his beloved Reds fell yet again, at least his favorite player Jim Edmonds shined as the Cardinals' catalyst...


Interesting stat (v 2.0)


I know I posted this yesterday and againearlier today. Wonder why it didn't show up...

In the pregame coverage before yesterday's game, ESPN said that the Reds are something like 15-3 in games when Junior homers.

Blown saves.


According to's Jayson Stark, if the Reds had Eric Gagne this season they'd be twenty games over .500 instead of six.

Do the Hustle


It takes a scumbag to play a scumbag, I guess.

Pirates 14, Reds 4


"It happens." -- Dave Miley

"Today was a long day." -- Dave Miley

"It's just one of those things." -- Echoed by several players.

"I felt good." -- Mike Matthews.

"These things happen." -- Danny Graves.

"He'll break out of his slump soon." -- Miley, on Griffey's 0 for 24 skid, 1 for 27 since his 500th.

"He'll bounce back." -- Miley on Mike Matthews.

"This is bullshit. Call a spade a spade and get some fucking pitching. Otherwise you can write yet another season off in June." -- John

"Hey. (long pause) The wait is over."


George's call was almost Joe Buck-esque in its complete lack of enthusiasm. I mean, he had like two weeks of warning to come up with a great call too. (actually he's had about three years of warning). But you have to cut George a little slack because he clearly doesn't pay attention to the games at least half the time. It's totally unfair to compare George Blande (get it? HAHAHAHAHA!) to Marty the Hall of Famer.

My big gripe, John, is that your link was through the Yankees web site! How dare you besmirtch the expertbaseballanalyst blog with their filth! use a generic url naming convention and you can interchange the teams. So is the exact same as your evil one. Even would have been better. My point is; since you used the Yankee link, that means you were navigating through THE OFFICIAL YANKEE SITE. Egads, John. You probably downloaded the Kevin Brown screensaver and ordered an A-Rod bobblehead too. I sentence you to two weeks of wearing nothing but a Drew Henson jersey.

George Grande: Worst Announcer in Baseball


Go here, watch #500, and tell me George Grande deserves a job:

Compare Marty's call to Grande's call. Grande is a fucking idiot.

Why Ryan Freel Is The Team MVP So Far


From Jerry Crasnick's column on

Freel asked [umpire Eric] Cooper if it's permissible to jump on the railing and then on top of the dugout in pursuit of a ball. Then he asked Cooper if it's OK to jump on the camera beside the dugout and use it as a springboard into the stands.

"Eric just looked at me and said, 'Do you have some kind of disease, bro'?' " Freel said. "Everybody here thinks I'm a little bit wacko anyway, but I don't care."

Peña in the ass.


I just looked up Peña. I can't believe he's only 22. The guy's been around for years and he sure looks older than that. But, hey, who am I to doubt a Dominican birth certificate?

Anyway, while I don't think Wily Mo will ever live up to whatever potential Bowden saw in him (good trade, though, since Drew Henson is now on the Cowboys), I agree with you that he's way better than Clark. Cruz isn't as horrible as I thought. Though, that's not really a compliment since I thought he was one of the worst hitters in the league. So I guess the fact that he's merely mediocre is something of a pleasant surprise.

Of course, none of those guys would ever start for any other contending team. Man, the Reds complete lack of depth is going to kill them. Thank Jeebus for Ryan Freel. They'd be in a distant fifth-place without him.

And I don't get the club's infatuation with Larson. The guy will never turn into a quality big leaguer. This is year four. Remember when they moved Aaron Boone to second base to accommodate this guy? Seriously. Time to cut the loss. He had a good two week run during some meaningless games in late 2002. That was it. His career slugging percentage is .294 That's just pitiful. For comparison, Dontrelle Willis's is more than 100 points higher.



Wily Mo Pena, despite my unbridled annoyance at his continued existence on this Reds team, is a far better hitter than Jermaine Clark. Clark is a bench player. Pena is an up-and-coming hitter with power potential, and if he gets really good, he could net this Reds team a proven starter. This team certainly doesn't need him long-term. However, he's not playing. Clark is. Clark should be riding the pine with Jacob Cruz (who seems to be getting the rest of the starts that Wily Mo should be getting).


Tim Hummel is good. Brandon Larson is not. Why does Brandon Larson continue to start?

Do we blame Dave Miley's ineptitude as a manager? I don't think so. I think he's operating on a mandate from above. Larson was supposed to get "ample" opportunity to play this year. He's gotten ample opportunity and he's sucked. Tim Hummel makes damn near every play and can actually hit the ball.

And Felipe Lopez. Come on. Is Ray Olmedo off the DL yet? Because this Lopez kid isn't worth shit.

At least Dan O'Brien got Gabe White back after the Reds traded him away twice. Whew!

6 shutout innings, five strikeouts and the win.


Go Bong.

I say "Chris Who?"


Bowden's "genius"


People miss Bowden. With Dan O'Brien showing no evidence that he's any better, some days, even I miss Jim Bowden. But lest we forget Bowden, let's talk about his "genius," then. Bowden traded for THREE pitchers for the stretch run in 2002. Juan Encarnacion for Ryan Dempster, David Espinosa for Brian Moehler, and Pedro Feliciano, Brady Clark, and Raul Gonzales for Shawn Estes. Encarnacion is a great hitter on par with Jose Guillen, if not better. Feliciano turned out okay for the Mets, and Brady Clark now qualifies as a "Reds nemesis." But that's not the issue. The thing is, Bowden knew squat about pitching. (Well, he DID bring us Pete Schourek.) All three of his acquisitions in 2002 were total washouts. Bowden knew even less about hard-nosed players. He just wanted flashy guys who had "potential." Brady Clark? No, Alex Ochoa!!!! Bowden's a guy who, with a straight face, will tell people that his best trade was not for Ken Griffey, Jr., but for Wily Mo Pena. Under Bowden (and Bob Quinn, to be fair) the Reds cultivated two starting pitchers I can remember: Jack Armstrong and Brett Tomko. Both were inconsistent and ultimately got washed out of the organization (Armstrong out of baseball). Bowden drafted Brandon Larson, traded Elmer Dessens for Felipe Lopez, and brought in more useless 5-tool players than any other GM in baseball. Ruben Mateo. Ruben Rivera. Alex Ochoa. So many, in fact, that I make fun of him every time I post in the Reds MLB forum with the User ID "jimmy5tool." Bowden traded Stan Belinda and Jeffrey Hammonds (two keys to the 1999 team that did so well) to Colorado for Dante Bichette. Bichette spent half a season grounding into double plays before Bowden traded him to Boston for Chris Reitsma, who is no longer here and didn't exactly bring a pennant when he was here (although Dan O'Brien's Reitsma-for-Bong trade is still stupid). Bowden got Griffey. Nothing brilliant there. Griffey wanted to come home and made that public WEEKS before the trade was consummated. Griffey was a 10-and-5 guy, so basically Griffey made that deal happen. Bowden just did the paperwork. And Bowden burned the Mariners GM by giving way less than he should've. As a result, the Mariners didn't trade with Bowden again. Bowden traded Dmitri Young for Juan Encarnacion, who got us two futile years of Ryan Dempster. Bowden dumped Gabe White for Manny Aybar, then traded Aybar to the Marlins for a minor leaguer who never surfaced anywhere. He then traded Pokey Reese to the Rockies for Gabe White. Bowden let Greg Vaughn go to free agency. Bowden basically ran Pete Harnisch out of town. Bowden dumped any player he could from the 1999 team, and the word "leadership" meant nothing to him. Bowden shaped the Reds team we know today, which is great, but we fans had to sit through 5 years of losing to get here. The ineptitude of Bowden is best exemplified by Bob Boone and his coaching cronies, the loss of Ron Oester from the organization, the loss of Ken Griffey, Sr., Tony Perez, and so on. I could write a book on Bowden, and I practically have here. Bowden would trade for what he thought the team needed, and he had no fear. He was a little reckless, didn't care about people's feelings, and usually talked out of both sides of his mouth. But at least Bowden would pull the trigger. Dan O'Brien won't. But the most telling thing about Bowden's "genius" is this: He can't find another GM job. Was Bowden better than O'Brien? Ask again in 10 years and see how much ruin O'Brien brings to the organization, his own reputation, [...]

Regression to the mean


Is this the Reds third annual slide back to crappy reality or is this just a bump in the road to a successful season? I don't know. My gut feeling is that the good times have come and gone. You can't allow more runs than you score and maintain a winning record. That just doesn't happen. And now the team is closer to fifth place in the central than first. But it's all correctable. They need a starter now. The Reds now have a worse team ERA than the Devil Rays or Tigers. They're in 26th overall. Hell, they need two starters now. I don't know who to trade and I don't know who's available. But that's the only solution to saving this season.

However, even without a deal for a pitcher, there's still some hope. There is still one huge difference between this team and the 2002 and 2003 teams that collapsed in June and July: No Bob Boone. That simply can't be understated.




Hits From A Bong


2/3 of an inning into Jung Bong's Cincinnati Reds career and I'm beginning to agree with John on the Reitsma trade.

Didja get that memo, Dan?


Hi Dan. What's happening. Yeah. We seem to have a problem with your general managing.

1. Joe Valentine is not major league ready. He's not even AAA ready. You need to send him down and get another pitcher...mmkay?

2. Brandon Larson and Wily Mo Pena are prime trade bait for a pitcher. You need to package them and get a starting pitcher...mmkay?

3. If you think Felipe Lopez is a major leaguer, I'm gonna have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you on that.

4. Austin Kearns is HURT. He has BEEN hurt for over a week. He should be on the disabled list, and from there he should rehab in Louisville until he gets his act together, not sitting in the dugout taking care of the roach problem. In the meantime, you need to acquire another outfielder.

5. Jason Larue wouldn't know .220 if he saw it from .100 points away. If he can't hit .200 and throw out 50% of base-stealers, he doesn't belong on this team. He makes $2 million and doesn't do anything. You don't need $2 million to do nothing. Just take a look at my cousin. He's broke, don't do shit.

Thanks Dan.

Mulder, Zito, Harden this week


So the good news, I guess, is that Junior will probably hit his 500th homer in Ohio at Cleveland.

Now that he's tied with Dunn and Pujols for the Major League lead in homers, is it finally time to stop being cynical about the whole trade or should I still keep expecting the huge injury every time I see video of him running?