We are on a break

I am not in Chicago this weekend, nor will I be in Cincinnati for the home stand.

It’s vacation time for me so I will leave it up to you to comment on the week-plus that was or will be. Please keep it civil like you usually do.

I’ll be quite curious to see where things are with the Reds when I return. I am going to be back on the case Aug. 16.

Until then, take it easy…


Mark, enjoy your time off. Maybe the Reds’ll reel off eight in a row and get back in this thing. Or maybe we’ll be watching Andy Dalton’s debut with the Benagls next Firday. But, we’ve banished despair until the end of August, so we should have no trouble keeping it civil.

One day at a time, one day at a time, one day at a time, ahh, who am i kidding, i’m hanging by a thread here. Cmon Reds, I don’t want to go to football just yet. I don’t want to deal with my fellow fans and their love of Tebow. Put Orton in.

I love the Reds and I think it’s great that the organization is at least trying to make the playoffs these days, but they just don’t seem to have it all together at the same time. It’s hit and miss (sorry for the pun Drew Stubbs) too much. I am thinking it’s just a formality at this point. The time to replace Bronson and get a 3rd baseman who can play more games is here.

Well, so much for a sweep in Chicago. Alonso, much like Gomes, an offensive left fielder.

I wish the NL had a DH cause Alonso can”t play LF at all,that play Fri. on the inside the park hr was sad to say the least.

you take it easy for the rest of us, because our team is making it difficult for us to take it easy.

Monday am: 2-4 for August. For Curt to get his goal (18-10), the Reds need to go 16 and 6 for the rest of the month. DFor my 19-9, 17 and 5. Looking bad. However, Dave Sappelt’s called up and plays the next day! It’s like Dusty’s been switched with a pod person. He never plays call-ups, does he? Alonso – hard to see him as a regular left fielder, but we’ve had some wild ones out there. Who was it caught a fly ball bare handed?

It came to me: Greg Vaughn

I believe it was Kevin Mitchell, but I can understand the mix up. Both were big, offensively-minded left fielders who played for the Reds only a couple years apart. My recollection of Dusty is that he always plays call ups or new acquisitions as soon as possible to get them involved and feeling a part of the team. What most people grumble about (not me) is that he usually fails to play them consistently thereafter.

D R-O, of course it was Kevin Mitchell! Thanks for the correction. Now, who was the fellow who flipped a coin with Marge for a pay raise? He wasn’t much of a fielder. And then there was Gary Redus. But riddle me this: if Alonso cen’t really play anywhere but 1st, (or if Sappelt or Heisey play themselves into a lock in LF), who do you trade? Did you see where Daugherty called for trading Joey now, in his column this Sunday?

I don’t recall the player in the coin flip incident, but it certainly rings of vintage Marge. I think it might make sense to trade Votto in the offseason, depending, of course, on what you might get. Two reasons: People naturally disagree, but I’m convinced the contract he signed a year ago was another way of signalling that he was out of tiny Cincinnati as soon as possible. And: the biggest rumor, as you no doubt heard, was Votto to his hometown for Bautista. I’d do that in a heartbeat. Clears the way for Alonso at first, puts a big, right-handed rbi bat in the middle of the lineup, which is now even more seriously lacking with Rolen’s future in doubt, and leaves Heisey and Sappelt to scramble for the crumbs of playing time leftover. Surely, that is the proper thing for Heisey. Sappelt, we’ll have to see. But I was surprised at all the accolades thrown his way after a mediocre 1 for 5 debut, though I quickly acknowledge the improved defense, significantly from what we’ve viewed recently, with him patrolling left field. Something drastic like this may have to be done. People will naturally be pissed. But there is precedent for this, The team that became the Big Red Machine went to a World Series in 1970, and rhen had a similar down year in 1971. A blockbuster trade ensued with Houston that saw fan favorites Lee May and Tommy Helms depart. In return, came Joe Morgan, starter Jack Billingham, and outfielder Cesar Geronimo, three indispensable cogs of the machine. The bellyaching was forgotten with three trips to the World Series in the next five years. We might only dream that history repeat itself.

Alright, this is getting unheathy: last night I dreamt of Devin Mesoraco. The Reds called him up and Dusty pulled Hernandez and inserted Mesoraco in the middle of a Rockie’s at-bat! Curt, you and I may need a special mercy dispensation so we can despair before Sept.1. What’s the Reds’ (Black) Magic Number (in this case, Reds losses) before they can’t make your goal of 18-8? The answer is 4. Hold on another week, and we can go into full wait-till-next-year mode.

Tonight’s attendance: 17,378. Smallest home crowd since May. AHHH I dont feel one bit sorry for BOB or WALT.. they laid a egg during the off season and during this miserable season.. and they expect smart Reds fans to still go out of their way to watch this garbage night in and night out?? the team has quit on Baker.. time to FIRE the WHOLE coaching staff and bring up the coaches from Louisville. AT LEAST Rick Sweet KNOWS what the young guys can do.. and they will play harder for him than this lack of focus team now!! Congrads BOB and WALT for screwing the team and Reds fans over after a good 2010!!!

You might be right about the team, though with ample exaggeration, but you are dead wrong about ascribing the attendance drop to fan displeasure. The vast majority of attendees are not lovers of the game or even of the team, like you and I. They are there for the social occasion. To see and be seen. Moreover, attendance always undergoes a natural dip at this time every year. A few kids are back in school. But thousands of others are returning home from vacations to prepare for the coming new school year. That drains the summertime attendance bump provided by vacationers. Part of the natural cycle. I’m sure Bob and Walt aren’t losing any sleep.

I hate saying this, but I just can’t refrain, Dusty needs to go. He won’t be back next year.

And I’m not so sure about Rick Sweet. He certianly couldn’t teach Alonso to play left field, or couldn’t teach Frazier or Stubbs how to bunt. I like Sweet, but let’s not act like he is the next head coach here ok?

Wednesday am: Here’s an idea – play Willis in left! He can hit, and he can’t bunt. Fits the mold perfectly. Gadzooks, he’s pitched well enough for a handful of wins and has squat to show for it. What to make of this team? My Black Magic number is down to 4. As promised, no despiar till then.

Thursday am: Today’s episode of The 60-second Naturalist: ‘Tap tap tap sniff sniff tap tap tap sniff sniff mmmmm chomp chomp – the blind squirrel finds a nut!’

When I get back here on Monday, the Reds will be 7-6 in August, mark it down.

Curt, you’re a gentleman and a scholar; and I hope you’re right. Now, I’m hearing different things on Dusty. Is this the last year on his contract or does he have a year left?

He has one year left, I was misinformed.

Curt, give us an update – are the Reds 6-7 for August? Headed for 18-10? Will Milwaukee ever lose (enough)? Do we hope? Is Sappelt the answer in LF? Will Dontreele be in the rotation next year? Enquiring minds want to know.

6-7 in August, the 18-10 seems like a stretch now, but if you win 3 out of every 4 you can get there, so it’s not probable but it’s possible.
Milwaukee will not lose, they are going to the playoffs. You think the Reds schedule is weak, the Brewers play the Cardinals six more times and the Phillies four times, that’s all they have left against winning teams, not to mention they still have 22 out of 41 at home and we know how they play at home.
Sappelt probably isn’t the answer, but they should try him. I still think that is where they go in free agency, for sure.
Dontrelle won’t be back next year, unless they want to make him a lefty specialist out of the pen to fill in to Chapmans spot, which as we all know, really isn’t a spot. With Chapman, Cueto, Arroyo, Leake, Bailey, and Volquez for next year, there’s just really no spot for him next year.
The Reds goals should be to finish .500, then maybe catch the Cards if they struggle, that’s about it.
You know what they say, every team will lose 54 games and every team will win 54 games, it’s what you do with the 54 inbetween. Does anyone actually say that? ha. So technically, the Reds are 5-8 in those other games, need to finish 31-10.

I don’t know if anyone today uses the 54 marker, but what I clearly recall from those distant days of Sparky Anderson was he spouting a variant of that point: in a typical season, the very best clubs will lose 60 and the very worst of them will win 60. It’s what you do with the remai ning 40 or so. We stand today within about a game of that standard, but whether it’s your 54 or Sparky’s 40, it’s a daunting task.

Curt, I notice Woods isn’t on your depth chart for next year’s rotation. I only mention him because he’s a lefty. How much playing time does Mesoraco get once the September callups bring him to Cincinnati?

Ya, I don’t know where Wood fits in right now. If Walt swings a trade to get Volquez and Bailey out of here or something like that, then Wood could take the fifth spot. For now, he’s not in the equation.
Mesoraco will probably get three starts a week, with Hanigan getting two, and Hernandez getting one. I would have to imagine they would just use Hernandez like a pinch hitter. Need Mez to get acclimated to the pitchers.

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