Bryan Price has never managed a professional baseball team. That is true. He has been a MLB pitching coach since 2001. Along the way he has accumulated a few awards. In 2011 he was Baseball Weekly’s Pitching Coach of the Year. In 2007 Baseball America named him Major League Coach of the Year. He joined the Cincinnati Reds’ staff in 2009 and has turned the pitching staff around. Under Dick Pole’s watch, the Reds’ pitching staff was nothing to write home about. Read the rest of this entry »
Like cockroaches in a fleabag motel, managerial wannabes come to surface wanting to manage a sure winner. Paul O’Neill is the latest to gravitate to the light in the wake of Dusty Baker being fired by the Cincinnati Reds. Really? I have already written about three other men supposedly being considered for the position, LaRussa, Bell and Riggleman. Click on their names to read the articles. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the third managerial ‘candidate’ to succeed Dusty Baker that I have written about. I first expressed my own opinion that Tony Larussa would be the best bet. You can read it here if you missed it. That was followed by David Bell, whom I do not view as a candidate. Here is what I said about him. Read the rest of this entry »
Who is David Bell and why does his name continually pop-up during managerial discussions? In case it didn’t land, that was a rhetorical question. Outside of Cincinnati, his name is not quite the household word. Ever since the firing of Dusty Baker his name has been whispered in hush tones all over the internet. Read the rest of this entry »
Apart from the fact that most Cincinnati Reds fans hate Tony LaRussa, he is the perfect candidate for the job which is currently available due to the recent firing of Manager, Dusty Baker. He is undoubtedly a Hall of Fame manager, already. Are you thinking he should just sit back in a rocker and rest on the ol’ laurels? Read the rest of this entry »
We, as Reds fanatics (where did you think ‘fans’ came from?) have watched two weeks of the season roll by in totally different halves. During the first part they won series’ against highly-touted Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Nationals whom many have picked to win the entire enchilada. By and large they looked very good while doing it.
Then came the second part. The dreaded Cardinals opened their home season with a loss to the Reds. It wasn’t just a loss it was a mugging. The Reds thumped the Redbirds 13-4 and looked to be on their way to a fantastic run. Then came game two of the series. Lance Lynn looked as though he were already in mid-season form as he struck out the Reds seemingly at will.
After a 5-1 loss the Reds sent Homer (No-No) Bailey to the hill in the rubber match. The Reds died quietly that night as Jake Westbrook pitched a shutout, 5-hit style deflating the spirit of Cincy fans everywhere. A 10-0 rout in a rubber game made the trip to Pittsburgh very gloom indeed.
The Pirates beat up on the Reds and brought out the broom, sweeping them by scores of 6-5, 3-1 and 10-7. In Saturday’s game Cincinnati lost ace Johnny Cueto for a few games due to an injury to his throwing arm. They chose to bring up pitcher Justin Freeman from Triple-A Louisville. Way to keep ’em guessing Dusty.
If you brought him up just because Cueto’s spot doesn’t hit until Thursday what are you thinking? Are you going to send him straight down and recall Tony Cingrani? Or, are you going to keep Freeman and send down a position guy?
Manager Dusty Baker has made some very questionable moves early on in the 2013 campaign. I don’t know where to start. How ’bout the beginning.
He should probably have started the season with Sean Marshall on the DL instead of waiting four or five games in. Instead he works J.J. Hoover as though he were a rented mule. He was bombarded and looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
The length of the leash on his pitchers is something else to discuss. To wit: Bronson Arroyo was pitching a masterpiece against the Cards, being perfect through five innings. He ran into trouble in the sixth giving up a double followed by a groundout. He faced Matt Craig and was deposited in the right field seats. Gone perfect game, gone no-hitter, gone shutout. Here is the problem.
If you have watched Arroyo for a few seasons you know of his proclivity of going from great to miserable in one or two batters. That is exactly what happened. Hits kept coming and without a strike from Shin-Soo Choo to the plate nailing Matt Holiday, they could still be hitting.
The same thing happened Monday against the Phillies. Through seven innings Arroyo was throwing a three-hit shutout. He surrendered a hard hit single to Donomic Brown and getting two outs. Chase Utley was sent to pinch hit for Cliff Lee.
Instead of removing Arroyo and bringing in Chapman to flame Utley, Baker chose the opposite. I don’t know if everyone knew what was coming, but I did. Utley, who is a bona fide Reds killer, took Arroyo deep and tied the score at two. Utley has hit 17 HR in only 58 games against the Reds. I had the same sick feeling in that AB that I had when Albert Pujols hit a grand slam against Dave Weathers a few years ago.
Baker should get T-Shirts printed saying “It isn’t easy being me”, because it couldn’t be. He gets second-guessed more than most managers. I don’t have evidence to support that indictment but the gut tells me that. Some of it is unsubstantiated but the majority is squarely on him.
I am a Reds fan through and through, I bleed red, seriously. If I feel the need to call out Baker I am going to do it.
What say ye?
Did you ever have one of those days when it seemed as if everything went right? It was like some spiritual or universal force was guiding your every move. Would you call that a perfect day? All went well, nobody close to you was sick or dying.
Lew Burdette had two days which were similar to that. One was his and the other one he was watching. My father said Burdette was nicknamed “Fidgety Lew” because he never kept still for a moment. He was on the mound that Tuesday night, May 26, 1959 in old County Stadium when diminutive southpaw Harvey Haddix pitched 12 innings of baseball perfection. Seriously, 36 up and 36 down, no runs, no hits, no walks, no HBP, no errors. The man pitched a perfect game (for 12 innings, not 9), yet he lost 1-0 in the 13th inning.
You may have heard that at some point, but you probably were not told that the winner of the game pitched pretty well himself. Burdette won the game that night by going 13 hard innings for the Milwaukee Braves and staying until the end. His line that night showed 13 IP, 12 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO.
So, you may ask, what has that to do with Burdette and perfection? He watched his counterpart twirl 12 masterpiece innings and stayed the course for the win. He saw what it was like for someone to flirt with perfection.
Fast forward a year to August 18, 1960. The same venue as the last, Burdette’s home yard, County Stadium. This time it is the Philadelphia Phillies, fresh off a three-game losing streak at the hands of the Pirates at Forbes Field.
“Long” Gene Conley was slated to start against Burdette who was last seen four days earlier throwing a five-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants.
Conley was also a power forward in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. He was huge in baseball terms.
Burdette had retired the first 13 Phillies he faced and was working in the fifth inning of a scoreless game. With one out and the bases empty, centerfielder Tony Gonzalez came to the plate. The only bad pitch of the game for Burdette, and one that shall live in infamy, hit Gonzalez and he was the first runner for the Phillies. Third-baseman Lee Walls came up next and hit a ball hard to Eddie Mathews. He threw the ball to Joe Adcock at first, who then fired to shortstop Johnny Logan who tagged Gonzalez.
Burdette never allowed another runner. In the home half of the eighth inning with the game still scoreless, Burdette leads off the inning. He hit a hard grounder down the left field line and raced to second with a leadoff double. Center-fielder Billy Bruton came up next and rifled a grounder down the right field line for a standup double which scored Burdette, and consequently the only run of the game.
In the top of the ninth Burdette had retired both Jimmy Coker and Ken Walters leaving only Gene Conley standing between Burdette and a no-hitter. Manager Gene Mauch pinch hits for Conley, sending Bobby Smith to bat for him. Smith hits an easy fly to right-fielder Hank Aaron who easily makes the catch to preserve the win, complete game shutout, no-hitter and nearly a perfect game for Burdette.
What a night! Not only did he pitch a masterpiece, he scored the only run of the game, and was 2 for 3 at the plate.
The box score will show that Burdette faced the minimum of 27 batters. The AB however, will reflect only 26 since Gonzalez HBP didn’t result in at AB and he was wiped clean with a twin killing.
I wonder how much thought he put into the game in ’59 when he was watching Haddix fiddle with baseball immortality.