The Grand Slam.

In nine seasons of covering baseball, I’ve seen several dramatic moments but Manny Ramirez might have topped them all.

One pitch. One grand slam. A 6-2 Reds loss.

And on Manny Ramirez bobblehead night, no less.

Ramirez was not starting because of a bruised left hand that was struck on Tuesday night by a Homer Bailey fastball. In a 2-2 game after Bronson Arroyo loaded the bases with two walks and a single to load the bases with one out in the sixth, 56,000 fans licked their chops with anticipation.

Dodger Stadium roared when Ramirez appeared from the dugout to pinch-hit. It was even louder after he demolished Nick Masset’s first-pitch sinker. The ball even landed in the “Mannywood” section. Everyone knew it was gone on contact.

Mannywood, yes…but it was pure Hollywood. No script could be written better – for Dodgers fans. Rarely have a heard a ballpark be louder. They say they have laid back fans here, but definitely not on Wednesday night.

“That’s stuff I had seen out of Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “You go home seeing what you came to see.

“It’s about as dramatic as you can get — a grand slam on your own bobblehead night. First he was in the lineup and then they scratched him. He came in, saw one pitch and hit a grand slam. You don’t get more dramatic than that.”

Arroyo, who played with Ramirez on the Red Sox, wanted to face him. They had never faced each other before.

“I played with the guy long enough that I probably have an insight on his mind than anybody else here for sure,” Arroyo said. “But it’s Dusty’s call. It’s his job, not mine. … I feel like I would have got a double play ball and we would have been out of the inning. That’s the way you think about it. I don’t think anybody was worried about his hand. I know Manny. He’ll take a day off if he gets hit like that even if his hand is perfect. Don’t ever think when he goes to the plate that Manny Ramirez is hurt, because he’s not. If he was, he wouldn’t be standing in the box.”

From Masset, who was trying to induce an inning-ending double play.

“That’s pretty much where I wanted to put the ball,” he said. It just didn’t sink the way it normally does. It was middle-in. I was trying to jam him, get a groundball and get out of the inning. I basically tried to go at him with my best stuff and it didn’t work out.”

The only good news to come out of the sweep in LA (0-12 record since 2006), was the Cardinals have also lost three straight. The Reds lost no ground on first place and remained 5 1/2 games back. But at 44-50, they are a season-high six games below .500.

I’m off for the Cubs series….plenty to discuss I’m sure. Have at it.

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33 Comments

Made me sick to the stomach seeing it live. I think I was packed and heading for the exit before the cheering Dodger blue even sat down. Congrats to the Dodgers on a solid win but it sure hurts seeing the way that this team is managed. I think with a different mind set we could of come out of LA with at least one win maybe two.
Jockety says he is focused in on making the Reds better…. well he start with Baker thats for sure, would even save the ownership a few pennies for their coffers.

I think I’m done. Watching Manny smack that ball over the fence and how the reaction of the fans make me sick. Not that I’m a sore loser (that’s another topic), I can’t wrap my mind around how people can take a guy who treats his former team the way he did, gets suspended for using performance enhancing and cheer him like he is great. He doesn’t care one bit about anything except himself. It takes me back to watching Barry Bonds do the same thing in San Francisco. This baseball (MLB) is messed up. If Bart Giamatti were still around, I would think he would have the guts to stand up and say enough is enough. Someone help MLB it has no morals or ethics. The union runs the show, the owners just want profits and the fans get a lesson in reasoning (ends justify the means). I don’t blame the Reds players. They are just not good enough to play with over priced teams.

Come on, Mark. Don’t tell me you’re suffering from Mannyism as well. It was bad enough seeing a report on Manny’s grand slam on espn.com FIVE MINUTES after it happened. :P
It was good stuff, though. Not good as in good for the Reds, but it sure was filled with drama. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get out of LA with one measly win. I for one think Masset is used too much. But hey, maybe that’s just me. *shrug*

Ouch!

Not Mannyism, redsrock. You don’t have to like what the guy has done or be a fan of him to appreciate the moment and how it unfolded. No way TV conveyed it better than being there in person. Fans at that moment made the place louder than any ballpark I’ve ever been to, and I covered games at the Metrodome for five years.

In that situation, it was something probably only Rodriguez, Pujols and Griffey (in his prime and even sometimes in late Reds days) could pull off in recent years.

I know. Sorry, I didn’t meant to come off of a butthole. I even agreed with you, it was good stuff.

I know. Sorry, I didn’t meant to come off as a butthole. I even agreed with you, it was good stuff.

Dramatic is not the word to use Mark, it is stupidity. How in Gods green earth can one place a fastball in the spot that Masset did any better. Right down the heart of the plate, not one inch either way. Come on Mark, does this guy not know that Ramirez was going to go downtown on that pitch? Does he not know that Manny was waiting for that pitch? Why not a braking ball, or if you need to come with the heater, make sure it is in on the hands. Oh, that is the problem here, they are now afraid to go in there because it would look like they were throwing at him, being hit by Bailey the night before. So what, throw in there anyway. This is one of many reasons this team is now 44-50. What would Bob Gibson do in that position, throw up and in to the right hander with heat, down and away with a breaking pitch. Never in the middle of the plate like that. Just plain stupidity if you ask me. What else could this team do to lose ballgames? Monday, Phillips kills a rally with his foolishness. Baker makes mistakes all the time to kill opportunities, like leaving Ownings in the game to long on Monday. Playing Taveras when he is not getting the job done. I would rather see a youngster come up from Louisville, and give him an opportunity than watch Taveras swing at pitches in the dirt, and watch fastballs go right down the middle. I am sick of this team, it is to bad that I am a fan for life. The love the Redlegs, but I hate this club.

Mark,

I would like to know what the mood of the team is, following the dagger from Manny, and entering the weekend series with the Cubs. What’s your take on the atmosphere in the clubhouse, etc?
The fact is, that they are still only five games out, and no matter how disappointing they currently play and how much we all may expect them to finish the same way they have the last few years, the season is surprisingly not over for them.

I would like reassurance that the guys realize that. I know Dusty does.
Thanks.

Any rumors of trading or picking up for a good third baseman . That’s definitely a weak link. How about Scot Rolen? He’s from southern Indiana, and I’m sure Toronto is looking to dump.

Mark………what is going on here? If the Cardinals can land a player like Holliday, being in a similar marketplace in Cincy, why can’t we land him? This is B S to say the least. What is Jocketty doing, taking vacations or what. Yes, we are 6 games out, but we still have time. In 1964, the Cardinals were 14 games out and overtook the Phillies and the Reds on the last day of the season to win the Pennant. We have no push at all from top to bottom of this great organization. The players move around looking like the world is coming to the end, and Baker just sets back and allows his players like when Phillips did not run out a fly ball the other night in L A, he needs to get in their face right then and now. Jocketty probably missed the piece we needed to have as an opportunity to be competitive. I know that Hollidays contract is up at the end of the season, and giving up prospects for 70 more games is not worth it. But it is worth it to the Cardinals though, and why? Because they have progression in there hearts, they have the ability to do those things that not many other clubs are willing to do. They want to do whatever it takes to win, and I take my hats off to them. We just keep dropping the ball, that is the bottomline here. Mark, it is getting old, we need change, and that does not include Obama’s change.

I think if the Reds were ever going to trade up we would have done so by now. We do have a ton of solid hitting prospects making their way up. The problem is by the time they get here the pitching will be shot. You guys keep saying that the Reds are just 5 out. Don’t you see who is in front of us in the division? There is no chance for us to win the division much less play competitive in the playoffs we showed our readiness by how we performed against the Brewers and the Dodgers. We needed to sweep the Brewers out of the gate to even have a remote chance but instead they kicked our teeth in and now the team is playing with their heads down. I was at that game…. the Manny grand slam yes Manny is the best hitter steroids can make right now in baseball but it wasn’t skill that got the grand slam it was an 82 mph sinker that stayed up in the strike zone. I would imagine that just about anyone who has played ball at any level could have at least ripped off a double from that floater. You will never here me praising his name or any other (even if it turns out to be a Red) player who fails a drug test in the big leagues. The penalty should be automatic one year suspension and all previous stats being removed from the record books. Second penalty should be a lifetime ban. That’s how I feel about it. This is a Reds blog for crying out loud and not a “let’s show our appreciation to other teams and players that make us look like little league”

I think if the Reds were ever going to trade up we would have done so by now. We do have a ton of solid hitting prospects making their way up. The problem is by the time they get here the pitching will be shot. You guys keep saying that the Reds are just 5 out. Don’t you see who is in front of us in the division? There is no chance for us to win the division much less play competitive in the playoffs we showed our readiness by how we performed against the Brewers and the Dodgers. We needed to sweep the Brewers out of the gate to even have a remote chance but instead they kicked our teeth in and now the team is playing with their heads down. I was at that game…. the Manny grand slam yes Manny is the best hitter steroids can make right now in baseball but it wasn’t skill that got the grand slam it was an 82 mph sinker that stayed up in the strike zone. I would imagine that just about anyone who has played ball at any level could have at least ripped off a double from that floater. You will never here me praising his name or any other (even if it turns out to be a Red) player who fails a drug test in the big leagues. The penalty should be automatic one year suspension and all previous stats being removed from the record books. Second penalty should be a lifetime ban. That’s how I feel about it. This is a Reds blog for crying out loud and not a “let’s show our appreciation to other teams and players that make us look like little league”

The only reason Manny Ramirez can do that kind of stuff is obvious. I’m sorry if I offend Manny fans- but this makes me sick. Even though I’m a Tribe fan & really shouldn’t care, I do. – http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/
-TC

I don’t know if Mark is going to have a post for today or not but man our pitching in the clutch has really stunk lately. Either our pitching is way over hyped, our manager doesn’t know when to pull a pitcher or a pinch of both. If we can’t score 6 runs it looks like we won’t win another game. How many games in row has it been now that we have given up 6 or more?

@hollowman: Manny took illegal stuff, yes, but he’s an amazing hitter either way. You still have to swing the bat and make contact at the same time. Roids or no roids, he’s one of the greatest hitters in the game. I am in NO way a Manny fan (and, Mark, my comment yesterday was meant mostly towards ESPN and their passionate love for Manny) but you have to accept how great of a player he is.

Nope not me. I can’t accept it. I feel like Reggie Jackson. He cheated. He might as well be up there with a corked bat. I was a Manny fan when he was with the Red Sox but once he joined the Dodgers I was no longer a fan to begin with. Then once he popped positive I lost all respect for him as a hitter. Besides my comment was mostly towards this being a Reds blog and not a praise how great Manny thou art.

It does seem in the era of those that tested positive for steroids that he is getting a pass. Alex Rodriquez is now satan in the eyes of most sports writers but for some reason people like Mark still idolize the cheater that is Manny Ramirez. There was almost no negative press aside from woa are the Dodgers for having to “suffer” without Manny. Manny goes down in my book as just another Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens, and whoever else fails a drug test.

So back to the point of this blog do you think our pitching was over hyped or that the team has given up?

Pitching wasn’t overhyped. Harang should have bounced back, and compared to last year he has. But he’s still not the same. You can tell. Arroyo is just Arroyo. He’s been exactly who I thought he has. Volquez has been hurt, Homer is up and down and so is Micah. Cueto has been wonderful all season except for the past three games or so. Bullpen has been fabulous the entire year. There’s no overhype.

Overalll I agree compared to everyone else we have solid bull pen pitching. I don’t think Harang is ace material though. I think we need one more starter of a high caliber or for Volquez and or Cueto to break through and become an ace. I think either one of them has the potential but the big concern for me is that both of them might be injury prone. I read a scouting report online that indicated that both of them have a pitching delivery flaw that historically leads to arm problems down the road. I didn’t really believe it until Volquez injured himself.

The great news for the Reds though is that our minor league teams as chocked full of talent that are just right around the corner. We have 4 outfielders in AAA that could be starting at MLB, a shortstop in AA that has excellent offensive skills two additional firstbasement that we should be able to trade away for additional quality pitching as well.

I must of missed the comment of Mark shutting down for the Cubs series. I’m guessing from his posts that he stayed in LA to follow his team the dodgers. Rumors floating around about Harang and Arroyo being floated as trade bait and Encarnacion headed to Toronto as part of a deal to get us Rolen. I see all those as pluses depending on what we get aside from salary and what we have to give up in order to seal the deal for Rolen.

“I’m guessing from his posts that he stayed in LA to follow his team the dodgers.”
……… Mark said he wouldn’t be around for the Cub’s series.

How about this idea? Nobody goes to any games until the front office gets their thumb out of their butt and does something good with this team. Now that’s an idea. There was a day and time when the Reds had a sense of pride, now what do we have? A cheap front office who won’t open up the coffers to make this team a competitor. The fans are tired of the “we’re rebuilding” nonsense. I vote that the front office either get some players that can make a difference, or maybe even better a skipper who actually has some baseball knowledge.

If it weren’t for the cheap tickets I’d agree with you owsley33. The Reds tickets are cheaper than most minor league games that I have gone through. We are fielding what we can afford that is obvious. I remember when the Brewers were the annual “are they going to sell the team and move to another state” Since the “wonderful” Bud Selig was commissioner and owner of the Brewers at the same time look what he did for the Brewers. They compete annually now somehow. The Reds meanwhile try to do the same time by building a new ballpark and we can’t even get the allstar game in town. I’m betting the stinking yankees and mets get an allstar visit before the Reds. There are only a handful of teams in baseball that will ever be competitive year in and year out and that is the way the folks running baseball want it. Ever since the inception of free agency teams like Cincy have to get lucky and have a perfect storm in order to make the playoffs.
so if we are going to boy cott Reds games we need to boycott the whole system until we have something in place similar to the NFL and NBA that would prevent the Yankees from buying all the best players year in and year out. Just the albatross of knowing that the yankees want your best players is bad enough to cause you to start tanking now a days. That’s my two cents.

hollowman I see where you are coming from, but the fact is the teams that have the most money don’t always win the world series. Remember the phillies, marlins, white sox, diamondbacks maybe? The fact of the matter is this “rebuilding” from our farm club process never works, look back over the years and you will find that you have to spend some money to atleast make the playoffs and I think thats all the reds fans are looking for every once in a while. As of april 2008 by the way the reds were 23rd in revenue ahead of the brewers, marlins, twins and rays. They seem to be able to reach the playoffs every once in a while.

That is true I call those teams the token few. My point really is just the fear of knowing that the Yankees are gunning for your stars is problem enough. In what 3 years knowing that we have to pay joey votto 100 million to keep him out of new york or boston just doesn’t seem right to me. If every team had the same cap baseball would be equal and a fairly balanced league. Why basball is to good for a salary cap is beyond me. Since the NFL and NBA have gone the way of the cap they have far exceeded baseball in the realm of national pastime. You can tell by the percentage of players that are not american on the teams how the interest level in baseball is waning at the lower levels.
I’m just saying that if baseball wants to be considered a truly competitive league and grow its fan base they need to look at teams like cincinnati and make a way for them to be on equal footing with Boston,New York, Los Angeles.

The difference between the leagues, I believe, is the relative strength of the players’ unions, and the fact that local tv revenue is so much more important for baseball teams than football, which creates the great disparity in baseball team revenues. Nevertheless, HH, we’ve gotta believe we can capture the magic of up-and-coming players all at once, mix in some veterans and make the playoffs, like those token series winners. Now, it’s not gonna happen this year. I’m no longer split on that. And I no longer care who gets Holliday, or for whom the Reds trade. It’s all about Spring Training next year and who’s ready and who’s healthy. We’re more than one player away, more than two or three probably, so there will need to be roster moves over the winter. But right now doesn’t matter, unless a great deal falls in our lap. I really thoght things might turn around on this road trip – I was looking for 4-2, dreaming of 5-1. Instead, 0-6! Who’d a-thunk it? No magic this year. Oh, well. Now, we can relax, and maybe enjoy the fall call-up in September and give the kids a look.

Meanwhile, I hope we’re not looking at DL-time for Owings and Dickerson! Sheesh!

I’m so freakin sick of top 15 draft picks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is interesting to see such a lack of interest in our supposed star studded pitching staff. No takers on Harang, Arroyo, Weathers, Rhodes, or Cordero just yet. It is going to be very difficult for the Reds to unload Harang and Arroyo (and yes both have got to go if the Reds are going to move forward) with their top dollar salaries. If i’m not mistaken both are scheduled to make 12.5 mil next year. Cordero deserves to play and yet we never have relief opportunities for him. Dusty should play him at least once a week just to keep him fresh even if not in a save situation. Anyhow our best bet is Arroyo to the Yankees or Dodgers and Harang to the Angels. We shouldn’t even be that picky about what we get in return… focus on single A and AA ball because Louisville is pretty much stacked with pro ballers. Based upon performance and salary I say the Reds should scrap everyone except Votto and Hanigan on offense (Phillips is way over rated on offense), keep Cueto, Volquez as starters move Owings to the bullpen as a long reliever and start calling up Louisville. If Louisville was to play a game against the Reds today I’d bet my money on Louisville for 2 out of 3.

I wonder when we are going to here on the status of Owings and Dickerson. If anyone hears anything post it in here please…

I may be promoting myself to Captain Obvoius here, but in games where the opponents score 4 or more runs this season, the Reds are 8-44; 1-26 since June 1; and 0 for the last 10. That’s just weird.

Wow! Yeah I’m guessing our pitching wouldn’t look so bad right now if we could simply hit the ball every once in a while. I hope that this information is obvious to Dusty as well and realize that there is no room in our lineup for defensive stars that swing the bat like a blind covered four year old swinging at a pinata. First things first I would say good bye to Encarnacion and good bye good riddance to Gonzalez and if we can’t get a trade off them up for free and go ahead and call up Wes Bankton to run third base for the rest of the year and see what he can do and also install Drew Sutton full time at short and stop this constant switching nonsense. Let the rookies play because the veterans have proven all they want is a pay check.

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