(Much needed) break time

One thing was clear during the Reds’ 9-7 loss to the Mets at Citi Field: it’s a very good time for them to disperse for the All-Star break.

The road trip ended with a 2-5 record, including two of three to a Mets team even more banged up than the Reds. Cincinnati is a season-high three games under .500 at 42-45.

Frustration bubbled over, especially for Joey Votto. The Reds first baseman was ejected in the top of the fourth inning for arguing a called strike three by home plate umpire Bill Welke that he felt was inside. Votto was allowed to vent at Welke for several moments before he was run.

It was the first ejection of Votto’s short career. Not a stretch to think it has something to do with his being called out on strikes six times during the road trip, including his last three at-bats in a row (twice on Sunday). Votto will return after the break, of course, but his 14-game hitting streak is on a permanent vacation.

“I’d like to thank Bill Welke for christening me with my first ejection,” said Votto, who had been ejected before in the minors. “I didn’t do anything or offend him in any way. I didn’t go below the belt. I had a basic disagreement with him as far as what was a ball and a strike. He’s a good guy. I don’t have a problem with Bill, at all. I just stood there a little too long and he ran me. He’s a good guy.”

Later in the game, Welke punched out Edwin Encarnacion on a called strike three in the eighth that stopped a rally. Good thing Encarnacion didn’t argue (the pitch looked high and inside to me)– the Reds were about to use up their whole bench.

The Reds could have used Votto’s bat at the end of the game. It was still winnable but a pair of seventh-inning homers against David Weathers proved to be the difference. After Fernando Tatis hit the second homer of the inning to left field, Mets fans became irate when the giant red apple didn’t pop out behind the center field wall.

Maybe Citi Field wasn’t ready for another homer so fast. Before Brian Schneider’s long ball that started the inning, the Mets had gone 80 innings without one. The last one was hit on July 2.

As bad luck would have it, the banged up Reds outfield caught another bad break. Right fielder Chris Dickerson left after four innings with back spasms. He’s day-to-day. Dickerson fully extended himself on an unsuccessful diving catch attempt on David Wright’s bloop single in the bottom of the third and seemed to need an extra moment.

It was a rough game for starter Aaron Harang: 3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER. He’s 0-5 with a 5.26 ERA in nine games since his last victory on May 25.

“I just didn’t have my location,” Harang said. “I was missing spots, falling behind and having to come back and throw strikes. They were out there swinging.”

Yep, it’s time for a break.

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Yep, the break is definitely a much-needed one. And, I only hope Coco doesn’t get hurt at the all star game. I’m literally crossing my fingers (well, not really. That would make it awfully difficult to type).
And I’m not worried that much about Harang. If I did have any worries, though, it would be that the NL is finally coming around and starting to figure out Harang. Hopefully I’m wrong.
It sucks that Bruce is hurt, but this may be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps it’ll make Jockity more aggressive in finding up a consistent bat to plug into the lineup. That’d be nice.
What do you think, Mr. Sheldon? What do you foresee happening from here on out until the trading deadline?

Ok someone PLEASE tell me why david weathers is still on this team…honestly… I am BAFFLED that no one in the front office can tell that he is one of the WORST pitchers in all of baseball. I dont care what the numbers say because numbers usually don’t tell the whole story in baseball. Whenever he pitches (even if he gets outs) batters are still hitting the ball extremely hard against him and our defense must make spectacular plays to save his ERA.

I would honestly rather have DANNY GRAVES on this team than david weathers…yea, I said it. By the way, if someone DOES want to argue numbers, and tell me why weathers shouldn’t be let go, please feel free. Because I’ll throw out the fact that over his past 4 1/2 seasons with the Reds, weathers has blown 40% of his save opportunites!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!

By the way I agree with redsrock that maybe the Bruce injury might be a blessing in disguise and he could come back better than before. If the Reds can get another bat, and get rid of weathers, I think they can make a good run for a central title. And possibly be a sleeper like the rockies a few yrs ago… But I’m hopeful for a positive second half! GO REDS!

For every blown lead Weathers has, you can back that up with a time in which he kept the lead. Weathers is a gamer, but he doesn’t throw 95+ and his slider isn’t quite as good as some make it out to be. The thing is, he’s getting old. But, he offers great leadership. People like to focus on the negatives because that’s the easy way out, but the truth is that Weathers has helped the team tremendously this year. He’s had some hiccups as of late, but give the man a break. He’s one of the reasons why we’re 3 games under .500 unstead of 12 or 15.

Jay Bruce is my favorite player (okay, I know that sounds like I’m ten years old) and I’m heart broken that’s he’s hit for such a low average this year. But, that aside, Redsrock is wrong to say his injury is a blessing in any form or fashion. Before WJ ‘improves’ this team, he’s got to know what he’s got. Since the end of April, which was an injury-free but lost month, we haven’t been able to keep our base team on the field: Votto, Phillips, Gonzalez (honorary), Encarnacion and Bruce, serially out of action. How can we tell what we need? What we can afford to give up? What our next couple of year’s payroll is going to be? And so forth. Those of you who want some big-name bat, who would you give up, and who would you give up on? If we get Rolen and he costs $11 million next year, we’re gonna lose two of our younger players, maybe three to salary concerns, no matter who you trade to get him. I like playing GM as much as anybody, but it’s not as easy as go-get-him. Okay, rant over. I’m mostly upset that Bruce got hurt. But a ‘blockbuster’ trade that breaks up the young core of this team will hurt me more than JB’s fracture.

How can we tell what we need? All we have to do is look at the scoreboard night in and night out, realizing that we struggle to put up runs even when the entire team is healthy.
And you’re looking too much into my comment concerning Bruce. I’m not saying it’s good that he’s hurt (I’m a fan of Bruce as well). I only meant that hopefully Walt gets more aggressive. You don’t have to land a major trade to get better. Small trades for players such as DeRosa are good. I agree with you, gutting our minor league for rent-a-players isn’t a good idea. I want Bruce back on the field as soon as possible.
Not many people will agree with me on this, but I think Bruce has more upside than Votto. Bruce is already better defensively (and will only improve), and he already hits home runs. Once Bruce gets everything together, he’s going to be a .300+, 100RBI+, 35-40+ home run type of player. I really do have that much faith in Bruce.

RR, i think that about Bruce, as well – or, at least, hope it.

I have a question for Mark. Do you think the Reds are going to be making any sort of significant move during the break? I fall in the “optimistic” Reds fan category, and I think that this team has a lot of fire and can compete until September. I also believe that we need to wait until the end of the year to start criticizing Dusty, as this team is struggling, but still very much alive.

Weathers is a one out pitcher and the batter he is facing better not have anyone on base either. The upside of Weathers is that he is good clubhouse material and would make a great bench coach…. he already pitches like a batting practice coach. He is at the end of a long injury riddled career his best days are behind him and for anyone to think that this guy is a legitimite bullpen pitcher needs to recheck their meds.

Unparllaeled accuracy, unequivocal clarity, and undeniable importance!

I personally think this season is already lost. The way the REDS limped through this final road trip before the break showed me how little talent, and how little heart this team has. The REDS should, and probably will become sellers rather than buyers in the next couple of weeks. This will probably mean that Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang will be traded to teams that still have a little fire in their bellies and still have a chance to succeed. The worst part is that they’ll probably get next to nothing for these guys….. prospects….. players to be named later….. utility infielders….. pinch hitters….. guys that are good in the clubhouse… etc, etc, etc. So they should just leave Stubbs and Heisey in AAA so they can learn the signs and learn how to run the bases. Obviously AAA players don’t know how to do these things yet right Dusty? By the way, how many stolen bases does Drew Stubbs have right now? How many does Willy Taveras have? What is Chris Heisey’s batting average right now? What is Jay Bruce’s batting average? Admittedly, the pitching in the big leagues is much tougher than in AAA, but any athlete should be judged by his performance, not his reputation. Just like in the real world if you can’t get the job done there are plenty of others who can.

How can you say the Reds have little heart when we have literally battled the entire year with an incomplete lineup? Volquez, Votto, B-Phil, Gonzo… you name, they’ve been injured. Despite all the injuries, we’re 3 games under .500. I simply don’t understand how some of you can go ahead and sum up the season as over with. Just doesn’t make sense to me….

Well it’s because other teams, teams with heart and talent have had injuries too and are still either in the race or leading the race. Do you think the Reds are the only team with injuries? Open your eyes. This team is incomplete. They have a budding superstar in Joey Votto, a gold glove 2nd baseman who hits about .270 in a good year, serviceable but not great, and a phenom 5-tool outfielder who went up like a roman candle then came down like a scud missile, Jay Bruce. The pitchers are talented but highly inconsistent. And besides, no pitching staff can win without hitting. Ryan Hannigan is sitting the bench, probably because he’s outhitting Hernandez and is a better defensive catcher too. But hey, he’s a veteran and that means more to Dusty than life itself. They’ve also got the absolute worst 3rd baseman in all of baseball who happens to also be a brooding head case who can’t hit either. But for whatever reason Reds management wil go to the mat for this guy over and over. I could go on forever with this rant but when it’s aimed at the sheeps and lemmings it’ll never sink in anyway. So Peace.

Yeah, you’re right about everything. The team is complete, a lot of times Dusty is frustrating, and other teams are hurt as well. But, we’re not out of the race. That’s why I can’t understand why you seem to think the season is already over. *shrug*
Oh, and calling people sheep isn’t a very clever comeback. Besides, I’m more of a goat… or a sloth.😛

Buy or sell? Five games out is borderline, for this time of year. Fortunately, we’re only 3 back in the loss column. But can we sustain a 7-10 game win streak? Not with Dusty as manager, putting guys in the 1-2 spot with low OBP. Heck, Hannigan should be hitting second with his OBP. But he sits on the bench while we painfully watch Taveras try to live up to his ridiculous contract. Stupid is as stupid does. This team continues to disappoint, one year after the next. I just hope Jocketty doesn’t go out and pick up another mediocre “proven” player. That’s all we need.

Wow. Ridnaway you are way over the line and completely wrong in a lot of what you said above. I need to back up Redsrock here by saying that these Reds are alive and want to win. There is more fight in this team than any of you know. Hernandez is a veteran presence, yes, and the reason Dusty plays him every day is because he’s one of only a few veterans we have on our whole roster. That’s why Weathers goes out there every other day and pitches pretty solid baseball for the most part, and Dusty continues to run him out there. You guys are crazy in thinking that Dusty is a bad manager. A team that puts all rookies out on the field would have such a harder time consistently winning baseball games. The reason there are talks that players like Rolen might come to the Reds is because our upper management, and probably Dusty, realize that we need some more veterans on this team. We are 5 games out, and I am in no way saying that we should trade any major pieces of farm system, but this team could use an older figure such as Rolen, a .300 hitter. Go Reds, and here is to a successful second half!

P.S. I truly believe that Edwin can still become a solid player in this league, as was shown in a small dose by his triple and home run Saturday.


Thanks.😛 I’m still not sold on Edwin, though. I want him to do good, because he’s played rather poorly once you add all of his stats up. But he’s young, and hopefully he’ll turn into the solid player we all want him to be.

As much as I want the Reds to be in contention I have to say we are out of it. Look at what we are facing in just our own division: We are behind 1) St. Louis 2) Milwaukee 3) Chicago 4) Houston. How do we match up in our division? Rather poorly in my opinion 1-3 have better pitching and better hitting. The only team that we should be able to beat are the Astros. If by some chance the Cardinals become plagued by injuries and say the Brew Crew as well we still can’t beat Chicago as they sit right now. Besides all 3 of those teams are going to go out and spend bucks for good upgrades. What are we going to do? Pick up other team discards like we did from the Nationals last week (Nationals worst team in baseball mind you released a player and we snatched him up immediately…. that sends a signal to the entire organization on how desperate for talent and a discount price we are at).

The season is not over by any stretch of the imagination. I do think a bat is needed if the Reds are to make a run at the division title. With the the injuries that this club has had, being 5 games out at the break is not too bad.Russhttp://wight4256.mlblogs.com

It’s over for the Reds this year. We’d have to have a Dodgers like first half in our second half and we just don’t have the pitching or hitting to pull it off. My hopes for the Reds this year is either to go completely bust and have the worst record in baseball so we get a great draft pick or hit the .500 mark for motivation into next year. I’ll always root for my Redlegs but it will only lead to greater frustration holding out thinking that they can contend this year. Yes we are only 5 games out but look at the direction we are going and look at who is in front of us. The Cardinals and Cubs in particular are only going to get better as the year goes and the Brewers are a far superior team than us as well our saving grace at possibly beating out the Brewers and Astros are that they will probably toss in the towel before us and have plenty of veteran players to offer the rest of the league. The astros are one of those teams I just don’t understand. They are in Houston the 4th largest city in America and yet they play like they are in a small market.

We are split down the middle of hope or no hope, buy or sell. I am personally split on it, too. How about another tack: who do we keep and who replace? Keepers: Phillips, Votto. Replace: Taveras. On the cusp: Hernandez, Gonzalez, Dickerson, Bruce, Gomes, Nix, and especially Encarnacion. I think (hope) Encarnacion’s a keeper, and Bruce, and maybe Hernandez (who hits with men on base which Hannigan hasn’t); and the rest can go. If the Reds could put up a lineup of Dickerson, Phillips, Votto, Gomes or Nix, Bruce, Hernandez, Encarnacion and Janish or Hairston every game for a month, I’d be really excited to see if they could get back in the race. Since that won’t happen, I’m sticking to my original thought and deadline on this thing: if on July 19th, we’re no worse than 3rd in the division, at least at .500, and no more than 4 games out, buy. Otherwise, sell. And meanwhile, look for another Volquez-Hamilton type trade that works out great for both teams.

Bruce isn’t going anymore. And also, you can’t just plan for a Volquez/Hamilton trade. We knew both players were good (especially Hamilton), but I don’t think many of us thought they’d be the superstars they are today (especially Volquez).

Good News. Good News. At least I’ll take it that way. Bud Selig mentioned Tuesday that reinstating Pete Rose was under review. The biggest obstacle are the sports writers. So many of them have an ax to grind with Petey. What he did was wrong but certainly not worse than taking steroids and heck he has more than served his 50 game suspension.

If they brought Pete Rose back as manager today I’d play my life’s savings on the Reds making the playoffs this year at Vegas and Id go down to the stadium the next day and buy season tickets.

Meh, just because he was a good player doesn’t mean he’d be a good manager. I honestly don’t remember what his record was while coaching Cincy. Honestly, I just want MLB to let the man attend events and get into the Hall of Fame.
At GABP they have a garden called the “Rose” Garden. Very sly of them, since they can’t directly name something after Pete.

Pete Rose was a very good manager. 4 years and I believe that the Reds were in 2nd place each of those years. And the team at the time had no body to mention. Pete just like as a player new the opponent and adjusted the teams strategy each day to conquer the opponent.
It is one of those things that I think is missing in todays game. There is an over emphasis on velocity and pitch type but lack of attention applied to doing the things that you know can annoy and distract your opponent. Taveras is a key in point several games this year that I was at he was out there first pitch swinging at a time when his batting average was .220. If you are facing an opponent like say Chris Carpenter or a Johna Santana (admitedly two completely difference pitching styles) both know for their control the batter shouldn’t go up with the attitude of swinging for contact on the first pitch, rather, the attitude and the thing that Pete brought to the gave that just doesn’t make the fine print is that you shrink the strike zone and the goal isn’t necessarily to get a hit but to make the pitcher throw you as many pitches as possible. Nothing frustrates a pitcher more than a hitter that fouls the ball off 10-15 times an at bat.
There is no stat that I can find to back up my claim but I am willing to bet that batters that face a pitcher after he has just thrown 20 pitches to the previous batter have a very high batting average.

Pete was a good manager. The day he arrived from Montreal (and stretched a double into a triple with a head irst slide in his first at bat) was the end of the bad eighties. And they were bad – make this decade seem like a picnic. However, Pete does not deserve a plaque in the Hall. He dishonored the game – why reward him with the game’s only honor? He’s all over the museum part of the Hall – they don’t treat him like a non-person. But no plaque. Why should they? He bet on baseball – he bat on his team. His actions threatened the integrity of the game that had given him every dollar of income he’d ever had. Betting is not okay. You hear ‘Well, he only bet on the Reds to win.’ Doesn’t matter. You bet, you lose, and when you owe money to the man, he’s going to collect one way or another. What if he’s wants inside injury information? Or, worst case, a thrown game. Why should a fan ever have to wonder about an odd roster move, or strange in-game decisions? That’s what Pete did. He’s banned. He should remain banned. Honor his accomplishments, but not the man.

See… this is where I’m split. I realize off-field integrity is part of getting into the Hall of Fame, but I’ve never understood that. To me, your on-field accomplishments should be the only thing the committee looks at. Because that’s what the Hall of Fame is, a shrine for the best players in the history of baseball. Rose is obviously one of the better players, so he should be in the Hall of Fame. But hey, I guess that’s why I don’t have a vote… *shrug*

maxblue.. I appreciate hearing your side of the argument it is an age old on and most people aren’t going to be persuaded one way or another because of their vested feelings on the subject. I feel that gambling for better or worse is not illegal in this country hasn’t been for some time and for someone to gamble even on their own team is completely different than someone fixing a game for money such as what the whitesox did back in 1919. I wold say ban Pete Rose forever if it were ever proven that he fixed games. If you are going to keep a ban on Pete Rose you are saying that anyone who plays baseball and also plays fantasy baseball should be banned from the game as well since fantasy baseball holds the same argument that you mention above in questioning roster moves. I wonder just how many professional sports figures play fantasy leagues for the sports even if under an alias name? Saying hat gambling should be illegal for professional players is an unsustainable argument since most states are becoming more and more dependent upon the revenues generated by that industry.Steroids is different. Alot of these substances are controlled substances,illegal, have negative long term affects, and change physical appearances. Of course the argument for banning steroids long term just might be unsustainable as well especially with the onslaught of untraceable variations.
My thought is that Pete is a better spokesmen for baseball than Manny Ramirez,Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens combined.
It is sad that these things happen to our heroes it really is. Once they age and no longer run the bases and have the standing ovations they turn to other things for that adrenalin rush.

And on another Pete Rose note why the NL can’t win the alls tar game. Hustle. They take the allstar game as a celebrity event instead of as a competition. My favorite sport event of all time was Pete Rose taking out Ray Fosse in the allstar game. I believe he broke his jaw on the play. If a similar circumstance would of occurred in this years allstar game the runner would of been tapped out as he was walking towards home plate. I think that they should just cancel the allstar game and turn the event into a home run contest and a fan voted in favorite player.

RR – I see your point, but believe that the Hall plaque is an honor, not a lifetime achievement award. So Hollowman is right, it depends on how you look at it, and you and I look at it differently. I’ve used this analagoy before: if our miliatry’s most decorated soldier later served in the State dept and was found to have spied for a foreign power, on his death, would you bury him in Arlington Cemeter? It’s a good analogy, but a little overblown for baseball, which is either not as important or waaaaay more important than national security. Two last things on Rose: first, he lied over and over, and then did what I hate most, told a half turth, and then another half truth, confessing by inches. Why should I believe he only bet on the Reds to win? In fact, I don’t believe it. Second, he would be a great ambassador for the game, certainly better than all the druggies Hollowman listed. It’s a shame he’s outside the game but I don’t know how you let him back without fearing the worst. Meanwhile, there are today’s reds. Hope Bailey pitches his best game of the year, and all the boys corked thier bats over the break!

I agree with you on Rose. I think he bet on them to lose as well. He probably did it about half and half, and of course he will likely never admit that he bet on them to lose (if in fact he did). If it comes out that he bet on them to lose, I would no longer wish for him to be in the Hall of Fame.

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