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Redlegs Review

A blog featuring news and commentary about Cincinnati Reds baseball. It's an affiliate of FOX Sports and the Yardbarker Network.

Updated: 2017-12-16T06:54:41.910-05:00


Remembering a Legend


Editor's Note - Wednesday November 15, 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of our beloved "Nuxy". Dan Howard, Redlegs Review staff writer, submitted this post to honor the occasion. This article, written as a letter to the editor, appeared in several newspapers in Eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia the week after Joe Nuxhall's death.The news of Joe Nuxhall's passing has deeply saddened me and, I'm sure, all Cincinnati Reds fans worldwide. I agree with Jamie Johnson, a radio personality at Reds on Radio affiliate WMDJ Radio, in Martin KY, when he said we all lost an uncle today. Being left-handed "Uncle Joe" and I had something in common. Yeah, he was an uncle alright, an uncle that made you actually look forward to his visits. An uncle that captivated me for nearly forty years, whose words either made me laugh, or cry, filled me with joy, or brought me to anger, depending on the situation he was describing. Oh the wonderful stories he shared! He spoke of men named Pete, Bobby, and Tony. He described of a Big Red Machine that was so powerful, it rolled over all who dared to stop it. "Uncle Joe" once talked about a skinny man named Davey who once drove a baseball so far it was considered a Goliath blast. All who witnessed it were seeing red. He told the story of a catcher named Joe who felled the mighty Athletics with one swing of his stick. I still get chills every time I hear that one. My favorite story was the one about a man named Johnny Bench, who thought he was so fast he could run around all the bases and get home without being caught. "He's gonna make it!" "Uncle Joe" shouted, "He's gonna make it!" "Uncle Joe" cried again. I just knew Johnny was going to make it, until "Uncle Joe" proclaimed "He's...not gonna make it!", and then described how Johnny was "gunned" down before he got home. My goodness "Uncle Joe" told thousands of stories similar to these and I loved every last one of them!     I prayed when I found out "Uncle Joe" had cancer, and thanked God with him when the operation was successful. Prayed again after his heart attack and was once again grateful to the Almighty when I heard his voice after the ordeal. When he told me he had finally had enough and was retiring, I wept. When the day of his retirement came I cried even more. Although he would visit less frequently over the past few years I was thankful for the visits I got. When I heard my "Uncle Joe" got sick earlier this week I just knew he would be O.K., and visit me again next spring.  At the end of each story "Uncle Joe" would close by saying that he was "rounding third and heading for home", but I knew he would return shortly with more stories. Unfortunately he rounded third for the final time and is telling his stories to another audience. I am eternally grateful that for forty of my forty-four years on this earth "Uncle" Joe Nuxhall was a part of my life. Although I never met him personally, I've known him all my life.Dan HowardKermit W.V.[...]

MLB Weeks 24 Through 26 - I'm Done


By Dan HowardStaff Writer First of all I sincerely appreciate all of your prayers during this difficult month I’ve endured. My sister-in-law’s death on September 2nd, at the age of 58, was a sudden shock. Then my aunt, in Reynoldsburg Ohio, suffered a series of strokes which nearly killed her. On September 26, six years to the day we buried my father, my mother had bypass surgery on her right leg to assist her circulation. Thank God she’s doing well aside from the usual surgical soreness. Her doctor said that prior to her surgery she had twenty-eight percent circulation going to her right foot, post-surgery, her circulation jumped to ninety-three percent. Mom will turn 76 in January. Aren’t you glad the baseball season is over? I sure am. Let’s see, at the end of the 2016 season, Cincinnati’s legendary broadcaster Marty Brennaman said to expect the Reds to win around seventy six games in 2017. He felt the experience gained, especially the pitching, during the 2016 campaign would propel the Reds to an eight win improvement for 2017.It didn’t happen.Cincinnati finished 2017 with exactly the same won-loss record as 2016, 68 – 94. It’s the first time since 1932 – 1934 our Reds suffered three straight ninety-plus losing seasons. Useless Trivia; the Reds lost over ninety games for five consecutive seasons from 1930 to 1934. I fear that futility may be repeated as long as Bryan Price remains manager.A few months ago, I wrote an article “Meh” where I express my disgust with Reds management. Apparently you fans have been agreeing with me. Reds attendance for 2017 was the lowest since 2009, and the second lowest since Great American Ball Park opened in 2003. Look at all the positives that came from the offense this season; club record for players with twenty or more home runs – six (Joey Votto, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez, and Zack Cozart.) Tied the team record with most players hitting at least twenty-five homers – five (Cozart finished with 24), and tied the team record for most players with thirty home runs – three (tied with 1956, 1970, and 2007).More Useless Trivia; the 1956 Reds went 91 – 63 finishing in third place, two games behind the N.L. Champions Brooklyn Dodgers. The 1970 Reds won the National League Championship, falling to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. The 2007 Reds finished in last place, just like this year’s team. The Reds fired manager Jerry Narron in mid-season, and decided not to renew Pete Mackanin at the end of the 2007 season, paving the way for Dusty Baker.Let’s examine the Reds recent history under a new manager. Sparky Anderson went to the World Series his first year, 1970. John McNamara won the West Division in his first year, 1979. In 1985, Pete Rose’s first full season as manager, was the Reds first winning season since 1981, and the beginning of four straight second place finishes in the National League West Division. Lou Piniella won the World Series in his first year 1990. Davey Johnson took the Reds to the National League Championship Series in his first full season as manager in 1995. Dusty Baker tasted the success of a division title during his third season, 2010, followed by back to back postseason appearances in 2012 and 2013. What confuses me so, is that how can Reds management be so content with such managerial ineptitude? Even the legendary Tony Perez got fired after posting a 20 – 24 record in 1993. I vehemently think the Reds upper management, maybe the entire organization, needs to apologize to Mr. Perez for that. Sure Jim “Leather Pants” Bowden was a knucklehead, but a whole lot of the blame falls on the late Marge Schott for allowing Perez to be dismissed.The only thing Tony Perez did afterward was to become a consultant in the Florida/Miami Marlins organization and win a couple of World Series with them. Ever hear of Miguel Cabrera? He wears the number 24 as a tribute to Tony Perez.I feel better now. Glad to get that off my chest.For what it’s worth, this wil[...]

MLB Weeks 22 & 23 - A Time of Reflection


By Dan HowardStaff Writer(Editor’s note: Since September 2, 2017 Dan Howard has experienced a death in his family, his sister-in-law, and his mother needs bypass surgery to repair an artery in her leg. Needless to say, Dan hasn’t had much time to write his usual weekly articles. This past Monday, September 11, was the sixteenth anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks which changed the world forever. Dan has submitted a combination of two past articles he wrote on those previous anniversaries. He desires your prayers during this difficult time.)From Sept. 12, 2014As Major League Baseball pauses to remember the most horrific terrorist attack on American soil, I thought I’d like to interject my own views about this unspeakable tragedy;Prior to 2001, September 11th was remembered as the date, in 1985, Cincinnati’s Pete Rose passed Ty Cobb as baseball’s all-time hit leader. The line drive base hit off San Diego Padres Eric Show was typical of Rose’s outstanding career. Who can forget the numerous standing ovations Rose received, finally letting his emotions come to the surface when Pete Jr. hugged his dad while Pete Sr. was standing on first base.Then came that fateful Tuesday morning sixteen years later.I woke up late that morning, around 10am, which was typical for me during a day off work. Four days earlier my oldest daughter, Taira, suffered a serious broken ankle as a result of a scooter accident and had spent the weekend in the hospital, coming home Monday the 10th around 9pm. Several trips to the hospital, 130 miles round trip, plus the stress of my daughter’s condition, took its toll on me so I took a few days off work. The first thing I did that morning was call the office for a briefing. The lady working in my place said, “Have you checked the news?” I replied, “No.” She continued, “You better, because we’re under attack!” To my disbelief, I tuned into Fox News and there it was, the World Trade Center with smoke billowing from a hole in its side. Choking back tears, I asked my wife to come see this. We both sat in stunned silence. Eighteen months earlier, during a business trip to New York City, as we flew out of LaGuardia, the last sight of the city from our airplane was both World Trade towers.My sadness turned to anger as I watched the second tower fall.The term “hero” is often bantered about to describe feats of athletic courage, as a supreme underdog defying the odds to defeat a better opponent. Heroic was definitely used to define the Reds 1990 World Series win over the Oakland Athletics. True heroism is when, carrying several pounds of equipment, fire fighters’ rush into a burning building in the hope to save lives. True heroism is when a law enforcement official stops an impaired driver to keep them from injuring others. True heroism is what keeps our country free through the sacrifices of the young men and women serving in the Armed Forces. True heroism took a man, beaten beyond recognition, forced to carry a heavy cross, to the top of a hill in Israel to give His life in exchange for our sins. From Sept. 12, 2016Fifteen years ago, on what seemed to be a perfect Tuesday morning, nearly three thousand individuals left their homes, and never returned. Fifteen years ago, the innocence of this nation, and the world, changed as unspeakable evil crept upon our shores in an event so aptly described as “a cowardly attack”.Fifteen years ago, time seemingly stopped moving as we watched in absolute horror the events unfolding in New York City, Washington D.C. and that field near Pittsburgh.Fifteen years ago, in the worst single day of our life, we saw the best of America as untold numbers of rescue personnel risked their lives in an effort to save others, unfortunately 411 heroes met the same fate as the ones they were attempting to rescue. Among the deceased included 343 New York City Firefighters, 37 Port Authority Police Officers, 23 New York City Police Officers and 8 Emergency Medical Technicians.Fifteen years [...]

MLB Week 21 - A Catastrophe


 By Dan HowardStaff Writer   Record setting.Incredible.Tragic.All those and several other adjectives could be used to describe the unbelievable amount of rainfall in the Gulf Coast region of Texas this past weekend. Our prayers are definitely with those residents. My carnal mind just simply cannot comprehend the concept of over fifty inches of rain during a five day span in one region. CBS Radio reported, on Tuesday, all the rainfall would have filled Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. That’s amazing.I reside in Kermit W.V., a town on the western side of West Virginia that shares its border with Kentucky. The Tug River separates the two states. Kermit averages 44 inches of rain per year. The Houston area received more than that in five days. The Tug Valley region has had its fair share of flooding, 1963, 1977, 1984, 2003, 2004, and 2015 are some of the years the Tug had wandered from its banks. The 1977 flood is the one that all the rest are compared to. The total rainfall in the Tug Valley area during the historic 1977 flood was eight inches. The damages incurred totaled 175 million dollars. In today’s economy, that equals 711 million dollars. I can’t fathom the impact fifty inches of rain in five days would have on my town. The Texas flooding will be measured in billions of dollars.Baseball seems so insignificant. But we move on.I guess the Los Angeles Dodgers really are human after all.Barring a miracle, our Reds will enjoy another ninety loss season this year, our third in a row. (Sarcasm intended.)I love how the media affiliated with the Reds, bloggers, beat writers, and announcers (except Marty Brennaman) are trying to put a positive spin on an otherwise dismal season. No one, aside from Marty, seems to be putting the blame squarely on where it should be - Reds management.We all have eyes; we can see where the problem is.The offense is good, the defense great, the pitching sucks, period. The manager used to be the teams pitching coach. Even Common Core math agrees that two plus two equals four.October first can’t come fast enough. Oh well, Ohio State football starts this week. Have a blessed week. GO BUCKEYES!!!!![...]

MLB Weeks 19 & 20 - Halt and Catch Fire


By Dan HowardStaff Writer It finally happened. My laptop died. Es ist kaput. It ceases to exist. At present time it is on its merry way to the recycler. Probably wind up as a soft drink bottle.Good riddance, I’ve been having problems with that thing for months.Since I don’t have the dough to rush out and buy a new one, I’m dodging the boss here at work to get these articles out, which is why I have to combine two weeks into one post. It is nice to know that nothing has changed during the past two weeks. Despite the offensive productivity, especially in the last game at Wrigley Stadium (thanks Jeff Gordon), our Reds are still mired in last place while heading for a third straight ninety loss season. To say that 2017 is the best ever season in Scooter Gennett’s career may be an understatement. Aside from the four homer game in June, Gennett has tied the club record for grand slams with three. He’s set career highs in homers, 21, and runs batted in, 75. He can also be mentioned in the same breath as Babe Ruth. Both Ruth and Gennett pitched in the same game they hit their 20th home run of the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ruth was the starting and winning pitcher for the Yankees on June 13, 1921 against Detroit at the Polo Grounds, hitting his 20th homer as a pitcher and then his 21st home run after he had moved to center field.Useless Trivia; other Reds to hit three grand slams in a season are, Devin Mesoraco - 2014, Chris Sabo - 1993, Eric Davis – 1987, Ray Knight – 1980, Lee May – 1970, and Frank Robinson – 1962.September is going to be an important month for our Reds. I expect top prospect Nick Senzel to join the big club. If he performs well as a call up, I look for the Reds to try to move Eugenio Suarez in the off season. Remember, baseball is a business.I like the direction the Reds are heading, Jesse Winker, Senzel, Jose Siri, look like future superstars, or great trade bait to improve the Reds anemic pitching staff. I think they finally found the ball Phillip Ervin hit in last Thursday’s game at Chicago. It bounced off the moon causing the eclipse of August 21. O.K., maybe not, but I do believe that planes flying over Wrigley at that moment had to temporarily divert from their flight plan. If only the Reds had a manager to lead this young talent.Speaking of the eclipse, I, along with several others, expected it to get darker that what it actually did. We were not in the (dramatic pause) “Path of Totality” but we were in the 93% range. Yes the daylight did dim, slightly, similar to a brief cloud cover, but seven percent sunlight is still pretty strong. Just think, two historic events have happened in the United States in the past ten months that hadn’t occurred in at least 99 years, the Total Eclipse and the Cubs winning the World Series.Yes Virginia (and all the other states), there is a God!He put on a great scientific show for us on August 21. Uh, the boss wants to speak to me. Have a blessed week. [...]

MLB Week 18 - Who's That Guy?


By Dan HowardStaff Writer It’s going to be very interesting how Microsoft Word handles this name I’m about to input.Asher WojciechowskiJust as I thought, my laptop caught fire.What really bugs me is how MS Word puts a red line under a person’s last name. Don’t the software creators know that we’ll likely look up the proper way to spell someone’s name before we enter it in the program?In a word, Wojciechowski has been impressive. Three wins with one loss, four walks and twenty three strikeouts, where have you been all season?To date, he’s allowed nine home runs, three to the Toronto Blue Jays, three to the Los Angeles Dodgers, two to San Diego (last night 8/9) and one to the Washington Nationals. That’s a pretty impressive list. Look, many pitchers this season have been reduced to the fetal position by the Blue Jays and Dodgers.After seeing him run after his first career single, I think I can outrun Wojciechowski. It’s safe to say that Wojciechowski will be on the twenty-five man roster next season.According to Wikipedia, Wojciechowski is the sixteenth most common surname in Poland. This got me thinking, how many other famous Wojciechowski’s have there been.Greg Wojciechowski - Famous WWA wrestler a.k.a. “The Great Wojo”.Steve Wojciechowski - Duke University college basketball player, current head coach at Marquette UniversityAntoni Wojciechowski – Chess master from Poland, who tragically died of pneumonia Jan. 19, 1938Michele Wojciechowski – Award winning author, contributor to Parade magazine, stand-up comedian.Gene Wojciechowski – ESPN sportswriter and on-air contributor.Stanislaw Wojciechowski – Former president of Poland. One of the leaders for Polish independence, from Russia, in the years before World War I.In other words, quite a few.Its summertime, how do I know? Joey Votto’s becoming nuclear again.With eight weeks left until this season mercifully ends, Votto is slowly recreating the offensive numbers he had in this MVP year of 2010. Votto is currently seven home runs, and thirty RBI’s from matching two of those numbers.Speaking of home runs, the Reds currently have three players with twenty or more home runs, Votto, 30, Adam Duvall, 25, and Scott Schebler, 23. The team record for players with twenty or more homers is five, accomplished twice, in 1956 and 2008.With Eugenio Suarez at nineteen dingers, along with Scooter Gennett owning eighteen, I think this year’s Reds will match that feat. Zack Cozart has thirteen homers this year, so a club record sixth player may make the list.All for a last place team.Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 17 - Adam Ruins Me


By Dan HowardStaff Writer@DaHermit16 I’m slowly becoming a fan of Adam Conover’s show “Adam Ruins Everything”. The show is based on the host, Mr. Conover, factually debunking several false ideas concerning certain themes.One of my favorite episodes was the one about Christmas. I, myself, have conducted several studies about the commercialization of the most sacred holiday of them all, the birth of our Lord Jesus. There are many myths about a certain Santa Claus, of which I’ll not discuss in this baseball forum. Let’s just say “Google it.” On his “Adam Ruins Football” episode, Mr. Conover stated that rarely the best football teams make the Super Bowl, and the percentages are even smaller in baseball. You know, he’s right. From 1903 to 1968, the team with the best record in the National League and American League met in the World Series. Sometimes the team with the better record did not win the Series, as in the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 1954 Cleveland Indians, but neither team had to navigate two separate tiers of playoffs to get to the World Series. Useless Trivia; the 1909 Chicago Cubs went 104 – 49 (.680) and finished second, 6.5 games behind league champion Pittsburgh Pirates (110 – 42 .724). In that season three teams lost at least 98 games, the Brooklyn Superbas (later Dodgers) 55 – 98, St. Louis Cardinals 54 – 98, and the Boston Doves (later Braves) 45 – 108. Then, in 1969, baseball split into a four division format. This added an extra level of playoffs, a best-three-of-five series between each league’s division champions. Usually the league’s better team made the Series, although there were a few exceptions, like the 99 win Cincinnati Reds of 1973 losing to the 83 win New York Mets in game 5 of the League Championship Series. The Mets pitching got hot at the right time and took manager Yogi Berra to within one win of the World Championship, falling in game 7 of that year’s World Series.The 1974 Reds won 98 games, and lost the West Division by four games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1980 the Baltimore Orioles won 100 games and lost the A.L. East to the New York Yankees by three full games. During the last real, and arguably the best pennant race ever, the 1993 National League West was won on the last day of the season by the 104 win Atlanta Braves getting by the 103 win San Francisco Giants.More Useless Trivia; the 1993 San Francisco Giants were managed by Dusty Baker. Yeah, that one.I wonder how the Reds would have fared the past four seasons if Baker stayed as manager.The “Knock-Your-Socks-Off” moment; since baseball adopted the Wild Card in 1994, twenty-three teams have finished the regular season with at least 100 wins. Of those teams only three, you read that right, teams went on to win the World Series, the 1998 and 2009 New York Yankees, and last year’s Chicago Cubs. During the same time frame, Wild Card teams have won six World Series.Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers fans, you have been forewarned.This year the Reds are 8 – 1 versus Pittsburgh, 36 – 62 against everyone else.I like the acquisition of Scott Van Slyke. His dad, Andy, is probably still scratching his head over Reds right fielder Paul O’Neill gunning him down at third base in game 2 of the 1990 National League Championship Series. That was when Reds baseball was fun. Cincinnati baseball will be fun again when the sign “Under New Management” appears in the Reds clubhouse. Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 16 - 0.167


By Dan HowardStaff Writer What an unusual way to begin an article. What does 0.167 mean? It’s the Reds winning percentage since the All-Star Break. Two wins in twelve games. I don’t know any self-respecting Cincinnati Reds fan that is happy about that.The Reds are saying they’re rebuilding, I can agree with that to a point. However, Zack Cozart and Scooter Gennett are having career years. Joey Votto has struggled a bit since the Midsummer Classic, but his average is still hovering around .300. Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler seem to have developed into pure power hitters. Eugenio Suarez, Billy Hamilton, and Tucker Barnhart are becoming defensive assets. In my humble opinion, this team is already built. The problem, of course, is pitching. Somewhere, buried deep in the archives of this website, is an article touting the greatness Bryan Price has with pitchers. The December 2012 article was called, “Is Bryan Price the Best Pitching Coach in Baseball”. Four years as manager and with the Reds teetering on their third straight ninety loss season, I think we all know the answer to that question.To be fair, Price hasn’t had the horses he had during that 2012 season, with Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, and a very young closer, Aroldis Chapman. This may not be much of a statement, but that was undoubtedly Cincinnati’s best pitching rotation since 1990. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe any of those pitchers ever missed a start in the 2012 season. Is it remotely possible that anyone could have coached the 2012 Reds pitching staff?Maybe if Price didn’t have the pressures of being the manager, and take the time necessary to develop the young corral of Reds arms. Who knows?Blame it on the perpetual twelve-year-old living inside me, but I firmly believe that with the right people at the reigns, this Reds team could compete for the playoffs next season. You can stop laughing now.Useless Trivia; did you know that the Reds have never made the postseason in any year that ends in a four, seven or eight. It’s true. Here’s a breakdown;0 – 1940, 1970, 1990, 20101 – 1961 2 – 1972, 2012 3 – 1973, 2013 4 – None 5 – 1975, 1995 6 – 1976 7 – None 8 – None 9 – 1919, 1939, 1979 Ah, the beauty of simplicity. Have a blessed week.   [...]

MLB Weeks 14 & 15 - The Long and the Short of It


By Dan HowardStaff Writer Nice to see that Yankees superstar Aaron Judge took the time to visit with a Houston little leaguer prior to the All-Star break.Did I mention that I hate losing to the American League?When I was a child, there were three certainties; 1) You had to pay taxes, 2) You were going to die eventually, and 3) The National League will win the All-Star Game.Useless Trivia; from 1960 to 1987 the National League won 26 of 31 games (with one tie). Since 1988 the American League has rebounded to win 23 of the last 30 games (also including a tie in 2002). At 43 wins apiece, this marks the first time since 1964 that both leagues are tied in wins.It looks like Bobby Abreu Syndrome has befallen on another Home Run Derby Champion, Aaron Judge, who is a scintillating one for twenty-one since his dominant victory at the Derby.The Long of It; Reds Homer Bailey looked like he may have figured it out in his wins at Coors Field against Colorado, and his impressive performance in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks.The Short of It; in Bailey’s two starts against the Nationals, Washington has scored a combined thirty-two runs. The Los Angeles Dodgers have surpassed hot, they have now become nuclear. The Dodgers are on pace to win 111 games this year. With that pitching staff, they may do it.Do you think it’s possible that Joey Votto wins the Triple Crown this season? Don’t laugh, it could happen. As of today, July 18, prior to the Arizona game, Votto is tied for second in home runs – 26, two behind Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, sixth in runs batted in at 68, just five away from the N.L. leader Nolan Arenado of Colorado, and eleventh in batting average at .308, 36 points behind the Nationals Daniel Murphy. Although the distance between Murphy and Votto seems insurmountable, Votto usually gets hot in the second half of the season, so anything is possible.More Useless Trivia; the four-game sweep of Cincinnati by the Washington Nationals marked the first time in Nationals/Montreal Expos history that they swept the Reds in a four-game series at Cincinnati. The Expos swept the Reds in a four-game series at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, July 20 – 23, 1989.Did you know that the Montreal Expos never won a game at Crosley Field? Cincinnati won all six games at Crosley during the Expos first season in 1969, then the Reds won four straight prior to the move to Riverfront Stadium in 1970. The Expos swept the Reds during their first visit to Riverfront for a two-game series in August 1970.The thirteen home runs Cincinnati’s anemic pitching staff gave up in the Nationals series tied the most homers allowed by Reds pitching in a four game or fewer series since the Chicago Cubs blasted thirteen homers in a series at Wrigley Field June 27 – 29, 1961.And so, it goes…and goes…and goes.Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 13 - Slightly Better


By Dan HowardStaff Writer Although our Reds won four of seven games last week, I still stand by the comments I made in last week’s article. This team will continue to mire in obscurity as long as Bryan Price remains manager. I can’t believe any self-respecting Cincinnati Reds fan young or old can think a fourth straight losing season including a potential third straight last place finish as acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. As I approach the beginning of my fifty fourth year on this third rock from the sun, I’ve been taught many things by many people. One such lesson was delivered by Hall of Fame Reds radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman, who, a few years ago, when former team owner Carl Lindner sympathetically heard the cries of the Reds faithful, including me, and gave an aging Barry Larkin a contract extension instead of trading him. Brennaman said, during a game, that the Reds needed pitching, and although he understood the outcry of the fans to keep Larkin, we fans need to understand that baseball is a business, and if this team was going to succeed then the money used to tie up Larkin would have been better put to use in acquiring a much needed quality pitcher. The result was nine straight losing seasons from 2001 to 2009.Lesson learned. With that in mind, how’s things been with Homer Bailey lately?Look, I was excited when Bailey was called up to the big club in 2009. He showed real dominance in his debut against the Cleveland Indians. Sure, the two no hitters were impressive, but was it enough to give him a contract that has held the club hostage for the past three seasons? Seems that a portion of that money could have been used to keep Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman, both of whom have won World Championships since leaving Cincinnati. Just sayin’.Before you say I don’t like huge contracts, keep in mind that I know Joey Votto makes more money than the Gross National Product of several countries, but Votto is being productive. In my humble opinion, if the Reds keep losing, Votto may be playing elsewhere by the end of this month.Just sayin’. (Part 2.)Useless Trivia; This past week Joey Votto was voted National League Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career and his first selection since May 2013. In 7 games last week Votto hit .524 (11-21), with three homers, six runs batted in, tallied a 1.095 slugging percentage, along with a .630 on base percentage.All Star Notes; Zack Cozart was elected by fans as the starting shortstop on the National League All-Star team, while Joey Votto is an All-Star for the fifth time. This will be Cozart’s first All - Star Game. Cozart is also the first Reds player to start since 3B Todd Frazier in 2015 at Great American Ball Park and is the first Red to start at SS since Hall of Famer and 12-time All-Star Barry Larkin made his fifth and final Midsummer Classic start in 2000 at Turner Field. Votto was an All-Star for four straight years from 2010-2013.Reds head athletic trainer Steve Baumann will serve on the National League’s medical staff.I wonder why no Reds pitchers were selected to the All-Star Game.Just sayin’. (Part 3)Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 12 - Meh


By Dan HowardStaff Writer It’s happened. After nearly fifty years of loyal Reds support, it’s happened.The 101 losses the 1982 Reds suffered didn’t do it. The nine straight losing seasons from 2001 to 2009 didn’t do it. Blowing a two games to none lead to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series in 2012 didn’t do it, although I don’t believe the Reds nor the city of Cincinnati have recovered from it. But this year’s Reds have succeeded where others failed. On the brink of a fourth straight losing season, they’ve made me completely and totally indifferent.Gagging a three-run lead Friday night was bad enough but Saturday’s complete meltdown was the straw that broke the camel’s back. An 18 to 3 bludgeoning at the hands of the Washington Nationals was a complete embarrassment for all Reds fans. Sure, it marked the return of the one hundred six-million-dollar man Homer Bailey, who did little more than pitch batting practice to the boys from our nation’s capital. Bailey’s line one and two thirds innings pitched eight runs all earned which calculates into a 43.20 earned run average. He’ll probably pitch a perfect game in his next start. O.K. maybe I’m a little, no, a lot, harsh. Yes, I’m glad Bailey’s back. I hate the fact that Bronson Arroyo is injured and likely will never pitch again. The news on Brandon Finnegan, who only pitched three innings in his return from Disabled List since the end of April, is not good. The offense has improved dramatically from last year. The defense stellar, even without Brandon Phillips. The running game is among the best in all of baseball, yet this team is mired at the bottom of the National League Central because of an atrocious pitching staff, and a managerial staff, including the front office, that seems to care less.If they don’t care then why the heck should I? My son, David, works at a local bank that purchases season tickets for the Reds. They awarded him with four tickets to the August 26th game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was very excited to tell me and was looking forward to taking me and his brothers to the game. After what I’ve seen since the first of June, I would encourage him to return the tickets. I could find something else to do on that Saturday afternoon. Like watching the grass grow.Yeah, I know that’s the Homer Bailey bobblehead giveaway event. It would be more effective if the head would completely turn around, as if to watch baseball’s leaving the playing field. I’m beginning to think that Bob Castellini and Bengals’ owner Mike Brown are related. Mike Brown’s football ownership philosophy is simple, field a mediocre, at best, team and the fans won’t care, they’ll sell out the stadium every week. Brown pockets the money, not only from concessions and attendance, along with the incredibly large television revenues.Then Brown made a huge mistake. He hired Marvin Lewis as coach. All Lewis did was make the average players play well above their potential and the next thing you know, the Bengals were making the playoffs. Sure, they fell in the first round, but they got to the playoffs, didn’t they? Can you see the point I’m making? Lewis is one of the best coaches in the National Football League, and I’m a huge fan of his. Imagine if he coached the Houston Texans with their talented offense, and stingy defense, they’d be Super Bowl contenders every year. If butts are filling the seats at Great American Ball Park, then why should the front office care how the team performs, as long as income meets expenses, Castellini can laugh all the way to the bank. He’ll deal with the manager in October. Maybe Brian Price will get another extension.Meh.    Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 11 - Had Enough Yet?


By Dan HowardStaff Writer@DaHermit16 This is starting to get sickening.Since the Reds were 19 – 15 back on May 10, they’ve lost twenty-four of their last thirty-five games, including two rounds of losing at least seven straight games. Pathetic. Maybe Bryan Price knows things on Dick Williams and Bob Castellini. Can you think of a better reason Price hasn’t been fired yet?Bronson Arroyo injured his elbow during Sunday’s ninth straight loss. I’m surprised it wasn’t his neck getting strained watching all the home runs he’s given up this year. And I’m a Bronson Arroyo fan.In all seriousness, Arroyo is like a second pitching coach on the Reds staff. Maybe that explains it. It was great to see the Reds legends during Pete Rose’s statue dedication this past weekend. George Foster looks like he could still play. After reading “The Machine” a book about the 1975 Reds by Joe Posnanski, I have a deeper appreciation for Foster. In the face of verbal abuse, mostly from Assistant GM Dick Wagner, Foster remained steadfast, daily reading his Bible. Wagner thought Foster, a devout Christian, was weak. Foster was a home run and RBI machine for several years, Wagner completely dismantled the Big Red Machine. Joe Morgan looked frail. Keep him in your prayers.I enjoyed Rose’s speech Saturday. He mentioned the diversity in the Reds lineup during those Championship years. He spoke of Morgan, the best second baseman ever, Johnny Bench, the greatest catcher, Dave Concepcion, the best Venezuelan player, and Tony Perez, the best Cuban player. He also mentioned that Ken Griffey wasn’t even the best player in his family, to the laughter of the thousands in attendance at Great American Ball Park. The Dodgers Cody Bellinger may have the sweetest swing in Major League Baseball. He’s certainly distanced himself from the rest of the National League rookies this season. If he keeps up this pace, he’ll be mentioned in MVP voting. Useless Trivia; Boston’s Fred Lynn became the first player in Major League history to win his league’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season, 1975. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki also won both awards in his first season, 2001.Just think, it’s only two-and-a-half months until Ohio State football begins.Can’t wait. Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 10 - No Consistency


                                                                                (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)By Dan HowardStaff Writer Last week, we thought the Reds may have turned the corner and figured this thing out by doing something that hadn’t been done in fourteen years, sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game series. Cincinnati swept the Cardinals on May 5 through 8, 2003, the first season at Great American Ball Park.For years it seemed our Reds cowered in fear while facing the Cardinals, to the point that, on August 4, 2013, I wrote a very controversial article, called “Cincinnati Yellows” describing the way Cincinnati seemingly wilted against St. Louis. You can find the article in the archives section of this website.Useless Trivia; the last time St. Louis swept our Reds in a four-game series at Cincinnati was from July 8 (Doubleheader) – 10, 1949. At Crosley Field.Then came the dreaded West Coast Road Trip. Three straight losses, more so bullpen meltdowns, in Los Angeles, where the Reds seemingly haven’t won a game at Dodger Stadium since the mid-1970’s.I think you all know who I blame for this, yet he remains the manager.As I said in my first article of this season, I still like the acquisition of Scooter Gennett.If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season to pick any Reds player to become the first player in franchise history to smack four homers in a game, Scooter Gennett would not have been on the list. Ted Kluszewski didn’t do it, neither did Frank Robinson, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Frank McCormick, Pete Rose, Heinie Groh (1919 club leader in homers – 5) Ernie Lombardi, Eric Davis, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Kal Daniels, Greg Vaughn, and Joey Votto, ever hit four home runs in a game.Come to think of it, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and George Herman “Babe” Ruth never hit four homers in a game. Of the seventeen players in MLB history to hit four homers in a game, Gennett, has the fewest career homers, 42. He hit nearly ten percent of his career home runs in one game.Bobby Lowe became the first player to homer four times in a game on May 30, 1894, against the Cincinnati Reds.I guess the Reds pitching staff was just as bad then as it is now.More Useless Trivia; on July 14, 1902, while playing for the Corsicana Oil Citys in the Texas League, Jay Justin (J.J.) Clarke hit eight home runs in ten at bats in a 51–3 victory over the Texarkana Casketmakers. Rumor has it that the right field fence was only 200 feet from home plate. Hey, a home run is a home run no matter the distance.My dad worked for a casket maker, Boyertown, in Columbus, Ohio from the mid-1960’s to 1972.I once played an amateur baseball game on a football field. The ground rules stated that any ball hit over a telephone line in right field was a home run. Needless to say, we lost the game. All of us was trying to launch the ball over that darned line.Speaking of amateurs, for the thirty-sixth straight year, I’ve not been picked in the MLB Amateur Draft.Maybe someday. Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 9 - The Reds are Playing Like....


By Dan HowardStaff Writer Stool, guava, dung, $&!#, poop. Any way you describe it, our Reds are playing that way.Last week I wrote about the streakiness of this season, then last week Cincinnati goes out and promptly lays a, uh, egg. Had it not been for Devin Mesoraco’s walk off homer in the tenth inning last Friday, the Reds would have been winless last week.Mesoraco has a thing about hitting walk off homers versus Atlanta. Remember the blast he hit off Craig Kimbrel a few years ago.I’m writing this while standing because my butt is still sore from the 17 – 2 beat down last Monday at the hands of the merciless Toronto Blue Jays. Speaking of last Monday at Toronto, the 17-2 loss, Cincinnati allowed a season high 17 runs and gave up 23 hits in a game for the first time since giving up 25 hits in a 17 – 9 loss versus Atlanta at Riverfront Stadium on May 1, 1985. The 17 runs were the most scored by the Blue Jays in a game this season and their 23 hits were the third-most in franchise history.Useless Trivia; in that 1985 game against the Braves, every position player collected at least two hits, led by Chris Chambliss with four. Braves bolted out to a 12 – 0 lead after two innings, 13 – 1 lead after three. John Stuper was the Reds starting pitcher, giving up five runs on five hits in only one-third of an inning. The late Frank Pastore took the brunt of Atlanta’s onslaught allowing seven runs on ten hits in one and a third inning.The Reds finished second in the National League West that year. And the next year, and the next, and the next. Four straight second place finishes from 1985 to 1988.In case you were wondering, that was Toronto’s first ever sweep against the Reds.Prior to last Friday’s dramatic 3-2 win in 10 innings, the Reds had lost 225 consecutive games in which they trailed by more than one run in the ninth inning or later. It was the Major Leagues’ longest active losing streak.Devin Mesoraco became the first Reds player to hit a game-ending homer without appearing in the first nine innings of that game since Laynce Nix hit a home run off the New York Mets Manny Acosta in the 11th inning on May 3, 2010.That win was number 1099 all-time against Atlanta.That was a warm and well-deserved reception Brandon Phillips received in his first at bat back in Cincinnati after being traded to Atlanta last offseason.With apologies to Ron Oester but Brandon Phillips was undoubtedly the Reds best second baseman since Joe Morgan.Phillips is the Reds all-time leader among franchise second basemen in hits (1774), doubles (311), home runs (191), and runs batted in (852). Phillips is second, by a mile, to Joe Morgan in stolen bases. Morgan had 406, Phillips had 194.At 42 – 16, the Houston Astros may be baseball’s best team.More Useless Trivia; on July 4, 1979, the Houston Astros defeated the Reds 3 – 2 to take a 10.5 game lead over Cincinnati in the N.L. West. The Astros collapsed after the All-Star break while Cincinnati caught fire. The Reds clinched the N.L. West on the final weekend of the 1979 season.Just keeping it real, Astro fans,Isn’t it about time for the NBA season to end?Have a blessed week. Keep up the heat, Nashville Predators!!![...]

MLB Week 8 - Streaky Season So Far


By Dan HowardStaff Writer What a topsy-turvy baseball season this has been.Our Reds began 2017 winning seven of the first nine games, followed by losing eleven of the next fourteen, then winning nine of eleven to push their record to 19 – 15. The seventeen-inning marathon loss at San Francisco started a Cincinnati seven game losing streak. Now, prior to the start of the Toronto series, at Memorial Day, the Reds have won five of the last eight to run their record to 24 – 25. Two-and-a-half games out of first at Memorial Day isn’t bad, considering that no one seems to be running away with the division, yet. This will be Joey Votto’s second time playing in his hometown. Votto grew up about 10K’s from Rogers Centre. That’s a little over six miles in our units of measure.Some of us old fogies can remember that the United States were supposed to convert to the metric system on January 1, 1980. Even older fogies stopped it. The first time I ever drove into Canada, a section of the road I was driving on, Route 3 from Leamington to Winsor Ontario, had a posted speed limit of 80. God Bless Canada I said as I pushed my car to eighty miles per hour. My wife reminded me that it’s kilometers per hour (50MPH).Buzz killer. I think it’s safe to say that, in a few years, Joey Votto may become a member of two baseball Halls of Fame.The Reds are 2 – 4 all time at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. It’s still early in the season when the Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins are in first place.I think the Brewers are for real, by I don’t expect them to win the division. The Twins will likely succumb to the Cleveland Indians by mid-June. For what it’s worth, I’ve been expecting the Houston Astros to do this well for a couple of years now.Ironies of Ironies Department; the Washington Nationals clinch the National League’s best record, the Reds win the Wild Card (let me dream, thank you). Dusty Baker’s former team versus Dusty’s current team.The same thing could be said if the Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants make the postseason. O.K. if you want to get technical, add the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. Baker played for both teams in the seventies, and eighties, winning a World Championship in 1981 with the Dodgers.Useless Trivia; when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s record, Dusty Baker was in the on-deck circle. The late Craig Sager, was one of the first reporters to greet him during the mob scene at home plate.Way Back Machine; speaking of being in the on-deck circle, when the New York Giants Bobby Thompson hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, walk-off home run against the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Ralph Branca, Willie Mays was on deck. Yeah, that Willie Mays.The Reds are the only team in the Major Leagues with at least four players who have hit ten homers each, including Scott Schebler (15), Adam Duvall (13), Joey Votto (12) and Eugenio Suarez (10).Not impressed with Billy Hamilton’s mad dash from first to home last Wednesday at Cleveland, scoring on Zack Cozart’s single. I used to do that all the time, on Nintendo.I won 130 games one season playing Ken Griffey Jr.’s Nintendo 64 baseball game. Won the world championship that year in seven games versus the Boston Red Sox.Congratulations to the Reds’ Class A affiliate Dayton Dragons, which over the weekend vs West Michigan recorded its 1,200th consecutive sellout at Fifth Third Field. It is the all-time consecutive sellout record for any professional or amateur sports organization.Don’t tell anyone, but if he keeps this up, Adam Duvall may be in the conversation for National League MVP, along with Joey Votto, at season’s end.Have a b[...]

MLB Week 7 - Fading Fast


By Dan HowardStaff Writer With the second leg of the Triple Crown just past, I thought I’d interject a little horse racing humor. Considering how poorly the Reds are playing, if I don’t laugh about it, I’d probably start crying.Seven straight losses, eight losses in the past nine games, when is it all going to end?The pitching has been awful during this swoon, the defense mediocre, but the offense has been decent, scoring five runs in each of the games at Wrigley Stadium (just a dig at the Cub fans), followed by six, twelve, and four runs in the Rockies series.It’s getting about time for Joey Votto’s annual hot streak. He usually warms up around June 1st.Useless Trivia; In the ninth inning of the Reds 9-3 win on April 18 against Baltimore, reliever Drew Storen became the fourth Reds pitcher to strike out all 3 batters in an inning on just 9 pitches. Storen joined Hod Eller on August 21, 1917 versus the New York Giants, Rob Dibble on June 4, 1989 against San Diego, and Carlos Contreras (remember him) who fanned three Pittsburgh Pirates on nine pitches on July 11, 2014. What makes Storen’s feat even more incredible, is the fact he used the same baseball! Talk about saving money.DUH moment; Over the last two seasons, the Reds’ twenty Major League debuts are the most of any team in either league.Eight Reds players already made Major League debuts so far in 2017, all in April. The eight are pitchers Barrett Astin, Rookie Davis, Amir Garrett, Sal Romano, Ariel Hernandez, outfielders Jesse Winker, and Phillip Ervin, along with catcher Stuart Turner.Speaking of pitchers, the twenty pitchers used by the Reds this season tie the Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres and the Baltimore Orioles for third most in the Major Leagues behind the Seattle Mariners (25), the Los Angeles Angels (21).On a side note, I suspect you readers have noticed a difference in the way these articles are appearing on our website. Allow me to explain, Jimmi Adair, the founder of Redlegs Review, decided to bring aboard a new publisher for the website, me. For future reference, this decision by our C.E.O. to give me the “keys to the kingdom” may not exactly become resume material for his future endeavors, but with his own career at Junior Baseball blossoming, he felt that now was the time to see what others could do with this website. I sincerely appreciate Jimmi’s trust in my abilities, or the lack thereof, in doing this.So far, this website hasn’t burst into flames…. yet. Smoked a little a couple of times, but no fire.True story; a close friend of mine who was a Radio Shack manager once told me that a customer called needing the cup holder repaired on his computer. Puzzled, the manager asked what cup holder, to which the customer replied, “You know, the one that pops out when you press the button, I accidentally broke it with my coffee mug.”Have a blessed week. GO NASHVILLE PREDATORS!!![...]

MLB Week 6 - Going Down


By Dan HowardStaff Writer Last week we were touting the highs of the Reds success, this week a totally different story. Sure, it got off to a decent start, splitting the series with those “Darned” Yankees. That was a great catch by Eugenio Suarez leading to the double play that ended Tuesday’s 5 – 3 win versus New York. Then there was the 3 – 2 win Thursday in the first of four at San Francisco.Then someone pulled the plug.Did any of you stay up to see the end of Friday night’s/Saturday morning’s seventeen inning marathon, ended by Buster Posey’s walk off homer. Neither did I. Blame that on being fifty-three years old. Sleep is a wonderful thing.It was nice to see Johnny Cueto in his usual dominance last Friday. Eight innings pitched, two earned runs, and six strikeouts. Kinda made it worth letting him go in lieu of our one hundred six-million-dollar man Homer Bailey.Have we missed any of Homer Bailey’s starts this year? No, in fact, Bailey hasn’t pitched since August 28, 2016 at Arizona. In defense of Homer Bailey, he may be a consequential victim of circumstance. Let me explain; growing up in La Grange, Texas, Bailey was a talented pitcher, possibly considered a “can’t miss” prospect. It’s possible he was overworked in Little League, middle school, and high school. In some cases, if a team has an ace pitcher, some unscrupulous coaches will overwork their best pitchers to win games. Hopefully that wasn’t the case with Bailey, but with him having not pitched for the better part of three seasons does makes me wonder.Former Los Angeles Dodgers closer, Dr. Mike Marshall, has an outstanding conditioning program for youth baseball pitchers.Useless Trivia; During the 1974 season, Mike Marshall pitched in a Major-League Baseball record 106 games.Many years ago, while listening to the Bill Cunningham Show on WLW radio, one of his guests was an orthopedic surgeon, I can’t remember his name, who explained that the human arm and shoulder was not designed to throw a baseball in the ninety mile an hour range so common today. He said that if it were not for the muscle structure which slows the arm after the pitch, the arm would spin approximately twenty times due to the torque used to throw the ball. He also mentioned that the proper way to throw the ball is underhanded, or, as the old timers called it, the submarine style. Former Pirates/Reds reliever Kent Tekulve is quite possibly the last pitcher to consistently throw in that style.Have you ever heard of rotator cuff problems with fast pitch softball pitchers? Do you know any of them having Tommy John surgery?And so it goes. Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 5 - Where Did This Come From?


By Dan HowardStaff Writer Ha! Made you look! In case you’re wondering, that’s an Aston Martin Vulcan, the British built hyper car that will set you back only 2.3 million dollars. Don’t expect to see any on the highway, they’re a track only car.Baseball is beautiful in its simplicity, a marvelous wonder of dexterity, grace, and pure athleticism. Much like the car in the picture.Then there’s the Atlanta Braves.If anyone would have told me, during Spring Training, that five weeks into the season the 2015 World Champions Kansas City Royals would have the worst record in the American League, followed closely by the Toronto Blue Jays, along with the three time champs this decade, the San Francisco Giants having the worst record in baseball, I would have recommended that you have a checkup from the neck up.If you told me the Reds were going to be in first place, I’d be calling a psychiatrist for you.I’m pleasantly surprised to see the offensive explosion, along with the good pitching during this past week. I hope it lasts.Blast from the past. The dominance the Reds showed over the San Francisco Giants this past weekend was nice, but why didn’t you do that five years ago, during the 2012 Division Series.In my opinion, Cincinnati still hasn’t recovered from that series loss. Without a doubt, the Reds were the best team in the 2012 season, but they couldn’t close the deal when it counted most. Beginning with the 2008 season, the Reds are 39-24 versus San Francisco in the regular season, the best winning percentage of any Giants opponent in the past nine seasons.Useless Trivia; the Reds 31 runs scored in the 13-3, 14-2 and 4-0 sweep against San Francisco was their highest total for any three-game series since they scored 32 runs from August 19 – 21, 2005 versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.Speaking of hot; Arismendy Alcantara produced hits in each of his last seven at bats, with five singles, one double, and one triple, the longest by a Reds player since Steve Selsky had hits in seven straight plate appearances last September. More Useless Trivia; no Cincinnati hitter has produced hits in more than seven consecutive at bats since Bip Roberts had ten consecutive hits in as many at bats from September 19 – 23, 1992. Hard to believe that was twenty-five years ago.Our Reds’ five game winning streak snapped by Monday’s 10-4 loss against the New York Yankees was their longest of the season and matched last year’s high, done twice from August 16 – 20, and September 9 – 13. During this winning streak, Cincinnati pounded opposing pitchers with a .358 average (62-173), scoring 42 runs, and an ERA of 1.60.Let’s hope the winning ways continue. Have a blessed week. [...]

MLB Week 4 - The British May be Right


By Dan HowardStaff Writer A couple of weeks ago NBA commissioner Adam Silver was asked his opinion about top teams resting their players, while the scum sucking bottom feeders, like the Los Angeles Lakers, would seemingly purposely lose to try to improve their draft standing. Silver’s reply was thought provoking. He mentioned the English Premier League, arguably the top soccer league in the world, relegating, in other words, kicking out the three worst teams in the league every season. He wondered aloud if a system like that would work here in the United States. The way it works in England is that the bottom three teams are replaced the following season by two of the top teams in the Football League Division One, the third is determined by a playoff. What does that have to do with the Reds? If relegation was in place last season, the bottom three teams in baseball were, the Minnesota Twins, the San Diego Padres, and our Cincinnati Reds. Relegation would probably work well in the NBA, with the scum sucking bottom feeders, like the Los Angeles Lakers, getting bounced to the D League while being replaced by the best of the D League. As far as resting players, the answer is simple, reduce the number of playoff teams from sixteen, over half of the league, to eight. Less teams in the playoffs mean better competition for those spots, seems simple, eh? You probably can tell that I’m not a scum sucking Lakers fan. In researching relegation for this article, I was quite surprised to find out that relegation was used during the amateurism era of baseball from 1857 to 1869. Of course, that portion of the amateur era ended when Harry Wright founded the Cincinnati Red Stocking baseball club in 1869. Without a doubt, amateur baseball is a strong as ever, with nearly all youngsters who play cast a hope of one day turning profession, as I did when I played from 1975 to 1982. Completely Useless Trivia; one of my teammates on an All-Star team I played for in 1982 was Willie Blair, who pitched for several major-league clubs during his professional career. Instead of Eric Thames petitioning MLB to play every game against Cincinnati, I believe that his Milwaukee Brewers are requesting that they play all 162 games against the Reds. Amir Garrett’s 12 strikeouts in his most recent start, a 2-0 loss on Monday April 17 vs Baltimore, tied the modern franchise record for strikeouts in a game by a lefthanded rookie. Dennys Reyes also had 12 strikeouts on August 20, 1998 at Pittsburgh. Useless Trivia; Gary Nolan holds Cincinnati’s modern club record for strikeouts in a game by a rookie 15, completed on June 7, 1967. Have a blessed week.[...]

MLB Week 3 - Insanity or Genius?


Dan HowardStaff Writer Ok, ok so what do I know anyway? A couple of weeks ago, when our Reds were rolling at 7 – 2, I complimented Bryan Price for the way he handled the pitching staff. Yeah, I spoke waaaaaay too soon. His genius two weeks ago has quickly faded to insanity. You probably see where this is going, and its way past due. I don’t know if Price is holding the Reds hostage, or he knows deep dark secrets on GM Dick Williams, advisor to the GM Walt Jocketty, or owner Bob Castellini, but the time has come to show Bryan Price the door. Can he turn it around? What do you think? He’s has the “keys to the car” for a little over three seasons and what has been the result? Eighty-six losses in 2014, ninety-eight losses in 2015, followed by last year’s ninety-four losses. Two weeks ago, during what has become the only podcast of the season, Jack Ward and I remarked how this season felt different, seemed different, even had a different smell to it. Bryan Price somehow put sawdust in the engine of this version of the Red Machine. Useless Trivia; crooked used car dealers would put sawdust in the engine of a used car, hoping to pawn it off to an unsuspecting customer. The sawdust made the car run real smooth through the test drive and for several miles after the customer bought the car. When the sawdust burned off, the problems began. Thankfully most every state in the union have “Lemon Laws” to protect consumers. Anyone know a good “Lemon Law” lawyer? I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back was last Friday, when our Reds snatched defeat from the jaws of victory thanks to Red Killer Anthony Rizzo smashed a game tying three run homer off Michael Lorenzen, followed by Kris Bryant’s sacrifice fly giving Chicago the win. Speaking of Jack Ward, he was among the masses freezing their, uh, butts during that game. Jack said the temperature seemingly dropped about 75 degrees during the game. One inventive person tried to start a fire during the game, but it froze. Zack Cozart is having such a good season, thus far, it’s a shame to think he’ll be playing elsewhere by August. I think the Cubs and Cardinals have turned their seasons around. I wish I could say the same about the Reds. Have a blessed week.  [...]

MLB Week 2 - Still the First


Dan HowardStaff Writer Memo to MLB – Can the Reds get a do over from the beginning of this recent homestand? Last week I wrote that I expected the bubble to burst, just not this soon. Despite the home woes during the Milwaukee series, our beloved Reds are still in first place, barely. It’s been a while that the Reds have been in first place this late in the season. Did I mention that this is only the second week of the season? The pitching has been decent, the offense, with a few exceptions, has been lacking. The Cubs and Cardinals are struggling, anyone weeping over that? For what it’s worth, I hate the new no pitch intentional walk rule. It hasn’t sped up the game one second this season. In fact, I think games are taking longer now. With the forthcoming series with the Baltimore Orioles starting Tuesday night, our Reds are 133 – 182 all-time against foes from the American League. Old Geezer Notes; When Bronson Arroyo had his season debut last Saturday at St. Louis he became the first Reds pitcher to start a game at age 40 since June 8 and 9,1945, when 46-year-old Hod Lisenbee (6/8) and 40-year-old Boom-Boom Beck (6/9) faced the Cubs at Wrigley Field on consecutive days. Useless Trivia; no pitcher age 38 or older had started for the Reds since Joe Nuxhall in his final start for the club in September 1966, when he was 38 years old. Any of y’all know anyone named Hod or Boom Boom? Rumor has it that Milwaukee’s Eric Thames is petitioning Major League Baseball to play the remaining games of this season against Cincinnati. As I’ve said many times in the past couple of seasons, how’s that 106-million-dollar contract paid to Homer Bailey working out? The “Thank You for Playing, There’s Lovely Parting Gifts at the Door” award goes to Jesse Winkler. Winkler was called up to play in Saturday’s game against the Brewers and he didn’t disappoint, hitting a double and driving in the go-ahead runs during the Reds 7 – 5 win. After the game, Winkler gets sent back to the minors. Ah, the life of a player with options. In case you were wondering, Sunday’s game against the Brewers was Bryan Price’s 500thas manager. And so it goes…. Have a blessed week. GO REDS [...]

MLB Week 1 – Who’d Thunk It?


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Nine games into the 2017 season and the best team in baseball is… (drumroll please) our Cincinnati Reds.

At 7 – 2 the Reds are off to their best start since the World Championship season of 1990.

The optimistic twelve-year-old living inside me believes the Reds can win it all this year. The fifty-three-year-old working class stiff that I am knows the bubble is bursting soon, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts. Remember this is the youngest team in the majors.

Second Coming of the Nasty Boys? After the first ten games of this season Cincinnati is second in the National League in Earned Run Average – 2.73, lowest ERA after the first ten games since 2.63 in 1990.
Look, I know I’ve been very critical of manager Bryan Price, but let’s give credit where it’s due. Last year he boldly proclaimed that he handpicked the pitching staff, and it failed miserably. He did the same this year and he looks like a genius.

I guess nobody told Amir Garrett that he should be intimidated by National League hitters.

Garrett’s twelve inning scoreless streak ties the second longest streak by a Reds rookie pitcher. Billy Rhines has twelve scoreless innings back in ’90 – 1890. Reds rookie Wayne Simpson began his career by tossing fifteen scoreless innings in 1970.

Do the Reds miss Dan Straily? Do you?

Monday night the Reds relief corps of Michael Lorenzen, Cody Reed and Wandy Peralta combined to retire 21 straight Pittsburgh hitters. It was the second time in two seasons relievers pitched seven perfect innings. Last May 30th Cubs relievers retired 21 straight Dodger hitters in Chicago’s 2 – 0 win. Before that game, the last time the feat occurred was on June 23, 1917 when Ernie Shore retire twenty-six straight batters in relief of Babe Ruth, yeah that one.

Maybe Bryan Price should try to find a place to put Michael Lorenzen in the lineup so he can hit every day.

I expected Zack Cozart to be traded during the off season. I’m glad they haven’t…...yet.

I really believe that if our Reds are struggling by the trade deadline, this team could resemble a Double A team on August 1.

Although he has a .286 batting average, Reds left fielder Adam Duvall has more strikeouts, 13, than hits, 12.

Brandon Finnegan also has 13 strikeouts, as a pitcher.

It looks like Joey Votto is off to his obligatory slow start. Expect him to warm up around June 1.

Please keep former Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and Hall of Famer Lou Brock in your prayers. Brock, who, in October 2015, had his left leg was amputated at the knee due to complications from diabetes, announced on April 13, that he has bone cancer.

Have a blessed week. GO BLUE JACKETS!!!

Dan Howard

A Harsh Winter


by: Dan HowardStaff WriterAs I begin my first article of 2017, I must open with an apology to you, the loyal readers of this blog. My Redlegs Review colleague, and best friend, Dr. Jack Ward, and I gave a brief explanation in our last podcast, published after the World Series, in case you didn’t hear it, I’ll explain.On Friday, October 14th, 2016 while preparing to do our weekly podcast which was going to be a recap of the Divisional Series and our predictions for the upcoming League Championship Series, I phoned Jack, who said we needed to postpone the broadcast because his wife, Cindy, was experiencing some health issues and had to go to the hospital. Due to the complexity of her health issues, Cindy, an organ donor recipient, and diabetic, needed to be admitted to the University of Kentucky hospital, where the doctors are familiar with her illness. The bad news came the next day. Cancer. Cindy was promoted from this life to eternal glory on Tuesday, October 18. Four days later, on Saturday, October 22, another dear friend of mine, John Cassell, went to run an errand for his wife. Upon his return, he found his wife, Virginia, dead of a heart attack. She was 47. Both deaths had a profound effect on me. As I noted before, Jack is my best friend, John is like a brother to me. Baseball was by far the furthest thing from my mind.I spent the next month’s doing what I’ve should have done for the previous 29 years of marriage, I got closer to my wife, children and grandchild. In the months that have passed, both are coping. John, a recent Kentucky State retiree, is working at a local bank. Jack, who retired from the Postal Service in 2015, has returned to doing sports play by play for a radio station, along with his church pastoral duties, and working on a music career. He wrote and performed a touching tribute to his wife on his Facebook page. One of his songs will be used for our podcast theme music.Speaking of Facebook, the new season of our Redlegs Review podcast will be available on Facebook and You Tube beginning next week.Now to baseball;O.K., Cubbies, you’ve got your World Championship, please GO AWAY!For argument’s sake, the seventh game will likely go down as the greatest final game ever. It’s second in my book, behind Game 7 of the 1975 World Series.Game 7 in 1991 was a classic too, a 1 – 0 tenth inning win for the Minnesota Twins over the Atlanta Braves.Can you imagine what a party that will be when they unfurl the Championship banner at Wrigley on Monday, April 10th.I guess Cub fans do have some morals, at least they didn’t try to burn Chicago to the ground, like the Tigers’ fans did in Detroit back in 1968 and 1984.Kinda makes the couch burning tradition at West Virginia University seem juvenile.With the Cubs series win, the Cleveland Indians now own the longest championship drought in baseball, 68 years.The Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League own America’s longest championship drought, last winning in 1947. That’s 69 years.Our beloved Reds title drought stands at 26, and counting.The Reds “Quest for 70 Wins” begins Monday, April 3rd.I guess the Reds aren’t retiring Brandon Phillips number any time soon, since Scooter Ginnett was wearing it during Wednesday’s spring training finale.For what it’s worth, I like the acquisition of Ginnett. Along with reliever Drew Storen.Looks like 70 wins this year may be attainable, barely.Now for some fearless, and likely wro[...]

Checking in on Postseason Prognostications


by: Jack WardStaff WriterI predicted that Baltimore would beat Toronto in the Wild Card game. Close…but I missed that one when former Red Edwin Encarnarcion hit a walk off in the 11th inning.I predicted that Boston would beat Cleveland. Not looking good with Cleveland up 2-0 as I write this article.I predicted that New York would beat the Giants. Wrong again, but again a close call with the Giants hanging on to win 3-0 behind Madison Bumgarner….again…arrghh!! I did predict the Cubs over the Giants. The Cubs are up 2-0 heading into San Francisco. I so hate the Giants. I hope they lose tonight. I am so tired of hearing about the even year playoff success. I am so tired of Madison Bumgarner dominating in the playoffs. I hope that Jake Arrietta has a great game for the Cubs tonight and puts this thing to bed for Chicago. I don’t especially like the Cubs but I like the Giants even less.I predicted that Washington would beat the Dodgers. I don’t know how that series is going to unfold. The Dodgers are in the driver’s seat with their game one victory. It kind of puts the pressure on the Nationals. I’m rooting for Dusty Baker.Poor Clayton Kershaw. He just has the worst luck of any great pitcher ever in the post season. He was just awful against the Nationals in game one. He couldn’t throw his curve over the plate. He couldn’t locate his fastball. He hung his slider. I don’t get it. I have watched him pitch dozens of time in the regular season. He is confident. He has that “I’m going to beat you and there’s nothing you can do about it” look in his eye. He is just not the same in the post season as in the regular season. You can see it in his demeanor. As soon as he takes the mound in the playoffs he has this “what’s going to go wrong next” look in his eye. It’s like he is waiting for something terrible to happen…and it does! But this time he pitched well enough for the Dodger to win, just barely. Good thing for him that Max Scherzer pitched worse than Kershaw. And thanks mostly to Kenley Jansen’s five out save, along with three other guys out of the Dodgers bullpen that kept the Nationals off the scoreboard. I picked Baltimore to beat Texas. But Toronto took care of that task. Texas just did not have the starting pitching to win in a short series. And once Cole Hamels threw batting practice to the Blue Jays in game one I knew Texas was finished. By the way….I was so happy to see Cole Hamels get shelled. Remember how he would just toy with the Reds for years? I won’t forget how he shut them out the Reds playoff’s at GABP in 2010 like it was a man against boys. Have a nice winter Cole…at home or on the beach or wherever you are going to spend it.Well, this is supposed to be about the Reds…but they aren’t playing anymore. My in-laws love to watch the Reds on TV. They never miss a game. But they don’t keep up with standings or playoffs. I doubt if they even know what the Reds record was. They asked me the other day if the Reds are going to be playing anymore? It broke my heart to tell them. “No…. They didn’t make the playoffs.” My father-in-law said “I knew they were pretty bad this year.” That’s sad for my in-laws. They watch “wheel of Fortune” and the Reds every night. That was their routine. They love the Reds so much that they will watch them win or lose. Now that’s the kind of fans the R[...]

MLB Week 26 – Ninety Times Two


by: Dan HowardStaff WriterIt’s over, finally.I actually watched the Vice Presidential Debate last night. Best night of sleep I’ve gotten since attending my last postmasters meeting.A couple of years ago, while shopping at a local retail pharmacy, I saw a compact disk specifically designed to help individuals sleep. I thought it was a recorded postal meeting. The second straight ninety plus loss season, the first since the 1930’s, has come to a merciful conclusion. My Redlegs Review contemporary, and dear friend, Jack Ward did his annual season recap in his article, so I won’t be redundant. I’ll just add a few thoughts.Joey Votto should petition Major League Baseball to begin the season on June 1, that’s when he seems to start hitting. Two years in a row. Whoops, I guess I was being redundant, I wrote that a few weeks ago, sorry.The Jay Bruce trade paved the way for Scott Schebler to earn his spot in the lineup, and he didn’t disappoint. Since August 2, Schebler batted .295, with seven doubles, one triple, eight homers, and 32 RBI. In his last 43 games, from August 15, Schebler batted .336. Jay Bruce who?Adam Duvall & Joey Votto became the third set of Reds teammates to amass 31 doubles, 29 homers, and 97 RBI. Johnny Bench and George Foster did it in 1977, while Lee May and Tony Perez accomplished the feat in 1969.Neither the 1969 nor the 1977 team lost ninety games.Jose Peraza tallied the third highest batting average for a Reds rookie player. His .329 average trailed Hal Morris’ .340 in 1990 and Cuckoo Christensen .350 average in 1926. Neither the 1990 nor the 1926 Reds lost ninety games.Useless Trivia; the 1926 Reds finished at 87 – 65, in second place two games behind the National League champions St. Louis Cardinals managed by Rogers Hornsby. The Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series. It was the first of 19 National League and 11 World Championships for the Redbirds. Joey Votto became the second Cincinnati Reds player to produce a .320 batting average and a .430 on base percentage in a season. Joe Morgan did it twice, in 1975 and 1976.Neither the 1975 nor the 1976 Reds lost ninety games.See the pattern here.In 1978, Sparky Anderson was fired after winning ninety games, as was Dusty Baker after the 2013 season.How can the Reds upper management justify re-signing Bryan Price after three years of futility? Price’s managerial record is 208 – 278, a scintillating winning percentage of .428. For Price to break even in his managerial record through 2018, the Reds need to average 99 wins the next two years. Memo to self; the Reds haven’t won 99 games since winning 102 in 1976.For argument’s sake; if Bryan Price want to get to a career .500 percentage by the end of 2017, the Reds need to go 116 – 46. Memo to self-2; the Reds single season record for wins is 108 in 1975.Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman said, during his “Ask Marty” segment on Sunday’s season finale, that he expects the Reds to improve next year. When you’re at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. But when will that happen?40 Years Ago; Sunday October 3, 1976, Reds pound the Atlanta Braves 11 – 1 to earn season win 102. The sad part of the day was that Ken Griffey went 0 – 2 to see his batting average fall to .336, losing the National League batting title to Chicago’s Bill Madlock who went 4 – 4 in the Cubs 8 – 2 win aga[...]