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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nationals 12, Reds 7

It was an ugly, ugly night at the old ball park. I've written that before, haven't I?

Bob Castellini did talk to the team before the game. Jerry Narron at first said: "If anybody talks to anybody I think that's between the team."

Later, Narron said: "He was very encouraging, very positive, short and to the point."

Castellini is a positive guy by nature. But to say what he said and then have the team go out and play like it did has to have him shaking his head.

I don't know what he'll do, but you've got to think he'll do something.

As for the game, the Reds' first mistake was letting Kyle Lohse start. He was sick enough that he didn't throw at all from his last start until yesterday. The guy was coming off a start in which he gave up seven runs in 1 1/3 innings. Bronson Arroyo volunteered to start. They looked at moving Matt Belisle up a day. But Lohse said he talked his way into starting. "I thought I could help the team by going five ininngs," he said. "Obviously, it wasn't five very good innings."

The Nats also tried to give this one away. But after the Reds closed to 9-5. The bullpen gave up three in -- you guessed it -- the eighth.

Meanwhile, Gary Majewski's working on a 8 1/3 inning scoreless streak for the Bats. He's given up two hits, two walks and struck out 13 in that span.


35 Comments:

at 12:26 AM Blogger Redsheart said...

I'll root for this team as long as they are playing for the win. But what's up with Gonzalez? Is he even trying? He also has the flu?
I said yesterday that they should replace Stanton with a young arm, shouldn't make the same mistakes. But they did it again. If Krivsky still wants this team to win this year, he needs to give up Stanton. It's time to do something. And Lohse has other problems? He hasn't pitched well lately. Livingston or Bailey is probably better than Lohse. But I'm impressed with Kyle's and Arroyo's attitude. I'd like to support this team as a Reds fan...

 
at 12:38 AM Anonymous Red Faced said...

Tonight's game was a perfect example of what's wrong with the Reds this year... darn near everything. When a team is desperately underachieving like this then I'm afraid only major changes are going to turn it around. No matter what people say you have to start at the top and change coaches. You then weed out the unproductive guys and pull up some young talent to give a little competition and hopefully some fire to the team, because there is not fire in this team what-so-ever...NONE. Coffee - send him down, Stanton- waive him. Same for Moeller, if we are the only team with 3 legitimate catchers on the squad then that should tell us something. Let's see Bailey and Votto get a chance to prove themselves. Let Burton, Salmon, Coutlangus and Bray prove themselves in the pen with Weathers and Mejesky (sorry if I'm butchering some names here). No sense in speeding Eddie back from his injuring and chancing a setback now because we're obviously playing for next year. Milton can pitch long relief when he gets back and Lohse can be our #5 starter. If we can trade Dunn and get us a proven leader type player who can hit for average then I say lets do it. We really lack leadership on this team. Wow, what I wouldn't give to see Sean Casey still playing for the Reds. He should have been the team's next captain but instead the old regime sent him on his way for nothing. Oh well no sense in going there. We need guys who are fundamentally sound. We need guys who can hit for average. Does anyone recall how well the 99 team hit? Much, much better than this team. There's no comparison. We need guys who will throw strikes, limit their BB's and throw fewer pitches per inning than what we've been seeing lately. We need to see some hit and runs, sac bunts and a lot less strikeouts at the plate. Man strikeouts have absolutely killed us the last 3 seasons. I can hardly watch a game anymore because it's just so sad what I'm seeing. I truely feel like most of the guys don't care. It's about attitude and our attitude stinks right now. Things are not just going to magically change on their own fellas, moves have got to be made. Someone has to be the guy to stand up and tell it like it is. I don't see anyone in Red doing it though. I can't believe it's not even the All-Star break yet and I'm already anticipating the college football season. Just sad.

 
at 12:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reds deservedly the worst team in MLB. I wish to see they start fighting in the field, dugout or clubhouse to show, at least, some emotions. Otherwise, they represent nice sweet guys who as known getting nothing and coming last. Only Junior and Weathers represent some positive note. Krivsky and Narron do not showing any clue how and whom to buy for pitching and how to use them. 'Super basics' player at SS already commit 8 errors. What can you say more about their capability of arranging the winning team.

 
at 12:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reds deservedly the worst team in MLB. I wish to see they start fighting in the field, dugout or clubhouse to show, at least, some emotions. Otherwise, they represent nice sweet guys who as known getting nothing and coming last. Only Junior and Weathers represent some positive note. Krivsky and Narron do not showing any clue how and whom to buy for pitching and how to use them. 'Super basics' player at SS already commit 8 errors. What can you say more about their capability of arranging the winning team.

 
at 12:57 AM Anonymous Greg said...

John, I want your opinion. If the Reds say go 3-5 or 2-6 on this home stand, when they hit the road next week, is Jerry still the manager?

I'm not sure that will help, but ownership has to do something to show they care so people go to the games, and you can't really get all new players.

 
at 1:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds are a joke. They are the new Bengals.

 
at 3:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob C. has to be a bit embarassed,especially after the big promises.

 
at 6:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that this is any better, but when is Milton scheduled to come off the 15-day DL?

 
at 7:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time for a change. Narron continues to put in the wrong pitcher at the wrong time. They have a chance to come back and he puts in Stanton with his 6+ ERA for the 2nd or 3rd consecutive night again. This has happened far too often in the past 2 seasons.

Another play that got to me was the routine grounder to Gonzalez where he decided to go to third with no force out. This is little league stuff. Their heads aren't in the game.

Narron needs to go. Does Barry Larkin have any interest in managing?

 
at 7:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time for a change. Narron continues to put in the wrong pitcher at the wrong time. They have a chance to come back and he puts in Stanton with his 6+ ERA for the 2nd or 3rd consecutive night again. This has happened far too often in the past 2 seasons.

Another play that got to me was the routine grounder to Gonzalez where he decided to go to third with no force out. This is little league stuff. Their heads aren't in the game.

Narron needs to go. Does Barry Larkin have any interest in managing?

 
at 7:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ho hum....

 
at 7:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reds need to this the following things today:

1. Fire Narron. He's a nice guy and not a bad baseball man. But, starts like this get Manager's fired and it's time that there is a change in this clubhouse. It's about performance, wins, and that's it. He has not won and to not blame the manager is to not understand this game.

2. Cut Mike Stanton and promote Majewski. We got completely screwed on the Majewski/Bray for Lopez/Kearns deal. We DID. Anyone who argues otherwise based on Kearns and Lopez sub-par seasons doesn't understand baseball. First, you don't trade starters for middle relievers when the starters are even average. That trade is the defining trade of Wayne Krivsky's career. Make it worth something now--finally--by letting Majewski prove he was worth it.

3. Put Kyle Lohse in middle relief and send Todd Coffey to AAA. Coffey has good stuff. He's shell-shocked right now. Get him out of this pressure-cooker and let him learn to pitch again. He's a great young guy, but he's throwing batting practice.

4. PUT HOMER BAILY IN LOHSE'S spot! What the hell is wrong with this ballclub? Why are they so afraid of letting Bailey pitch here?????

5. Stick to ONE batting lineup that looks something like this:

Freel
Phillips
Griffey -- yes, back to 3!
Dunn
Hatterberg/Conine
Gonzalez
Encarnacion
Ross
Pitcher

6. Don't carry 3 catchers. Nobody does that. Find a speedy young guy that can give you some good at-bats off the bench. Right now, Valentin is the only good bat off the bench. Where is Lenny Harris when you need him?

7. Finally, and I'm NOT joking. This team needs a PR stunt and here is my idea: $3 beers!!!! Yes, do the math. How much revenue would this team lose if they cut beer to $3??? Do it. They can afford that. $3 beers is 1/2 of where it is now. It's reasonable. And I think it will attract more people to the ballpark during this long/hot summer and more people will buy beers.

My proposal here puts 2 new arms in the bullpen, brings up a starter, and buys this team some time with the fans by showing them some appreciation.

Do something. Anything. Now.

 
at 7:34 AM Anonymous jc said...

i know that we have been here before....but this team is mailing it in now. i am a huge reds fan but to call these guys clowns is to besmirch the hard working men and women who don the grease paint everyday. night in and night out the little league blunders are astounding. as for narron...he has that look...you know the one that "dead man walking" look. i always liked the guy. i thought he did a heckuva job last year. managers go into slumps also because now he does not look like he could run the hekawi indian tribe from F Troop.
there are three right handed relief pitchers bringing it every night in Louisville. McBeth...Ricky Stone and Majewski.
Coffey needs to find himself and Stanton is probably finished.
Galvine, Smoltz and Avery were not ready for the Braves... but they bit the bullet. They struggled...and the next year they won the pennant...and the next year.... and the next year....and the next year. It is time for the kids.

 
at 7:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares anymore

 
at 7:43 AM Anonymous jc said...

one more note... as if i did not say enough. no pitcher is ready when they first get called up. no one.
glavine was 2 and 9 and then 7 and 17 with an era of 5. smoltz was the same.... about 2 and 9 with an era over five. avery also had numbers the same way...3 and 11.
two hall of famers and one who might have been if his arm did not go bad. anybody want to guess what maddux's first year was.

 
at 7:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you saying Narron is not the problem. You are right. But in the world of entertainment/sports, when the fans stop coming someone has to go. And it always falls on the manager. Besides, even though Narron is not the ONLY reason they are losing, he's by no stretch going to win them any ballgames with his keen decision making either. Make the fans happy and make a change. If they continue to lose, then so be it, at least you showed a willingness to change. And the preparation these players are showing, the inability to keep their heads in the game, shows a lack of motivation. If nothing else, the manager should be able to motivate his players.

 
at 8:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay so they won't get rid of Narron or Krivsky. Here is a last ditch notion. Fire the pitching coach and hire Don Gullett. He had a history of pulling off miracles before and that is one thing this team needs is a miracle.

 
at 8:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

why? why? why does Alex Gonzalez have 8 errors already? only had 7 in 111 games last year. And don't say, "it's because he gets to some many balls that other SS can't." could it be the lack of infield practice?

 
at 8:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John

I believe Mr. Castellini's comments last year after taking over this losing club was "We want to win and we want to win now". When is now???

 
at 9:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no reason this group of players should be playing as poorly as they are.

But, as usual, the bullpen and back of the rotation are the reason they're losing, along with the fact Krivsky thought a bottom lineup of Gonzalez and Ross (black hole) and one of the worst benches I've ever seen, would win games.

Poor job by Wayne Krivsky of putting a team together, poor job by Castellini of spending money (Lohse - $4mm??) and Narron for simply being a very poor manager all-around, and not having a clue about how to use a bullpen.

 
at 9:20 AM Blogger Teal'c said...

Everyone is talking about having patience and Lord knows, I'm a fairly patient person. BUT..and that's a BIG BUT, this team has no heart, no hustle and no leadership. Leadership starts at the top. It's time for ownership to put up or shut up. It's time for Wayne to pull the trigger on something. It's time for Narron to step up and admit that he hasn't been very good, take responsibility for this team, and resign. You can say what you want about the manager doesn't make throw, hit or field but ultimately he is responsible. Just as a captain is responsible for the actions and contact of his crew, so is the manager of his team.

Here are some things I would seriously consider, if I was Big Bob.
1. Give Narron until the end of the homestand to prove he can right the ship. If he can't, ask him to resign. If he won't, fire him or reassign him within the organization.
2. Shop Adam Dunn to the American League for either a right-handed power bat, closer or starter. He is just our generation's Rob Deer. He does not have the ability to drive in runs and he is a major liability in the field.
3. Make a committment to go young. Start shopping Hatteberg, Conine, Weathers, Valentin, Santos and Stanton. If there is no interest in Stanton, I would DFA him.
3. Shop Milton, once he is eligible to come off the DL. Atlanta, N.Y. and Tampa are possibilities. The Reds would have to eat some of his contract.
4. Bring up some of the kids. Let them get their feet wet. Time for them to show that they can help this team down the road.

Someone must send a message to this team that only 100% effort all the time will be acceptible.

 
at 9:38 AM Blogger docproc said...

John:

Can you explain why Majewski isn't up here already? He needs to be logging those scoreless frames in Cinci (in the 8th inning), not down in Louisville.

Sure would like to see him log them against the Nationals, too, in light of how Lopez and Kearns are playing in this series.

 
at 9:53 AM Blogger Justin said...

John,

I must say that I thought the Reds surely would turn things around against the pathetic Nats (projected to lose over 100 games this year) this series who had come in dead last in the NL in wins, batting avg, and also HR's I believe but so far it's been the same old BS. It looked like Lohse and Coffey were serving up BP last night. Alex Gonzalez with 2 inexcusable errors, one which allowed Stanton to come on (which I knew was trouble already) and give up 3 inherited runs and kill any chance of a rally.

What will it take for something to be done? I don't even know if a 2-6 home stand against poor teams like Washington and Pittsburgh would even be enough. It just looks like this team doesn't care anymore. I initially didn't want Narron to get fired, but I'm thinking someone like Joe Girardi would be a huge motivator and positive influence in the clubhouse. I'm also all in favor of giving Majewski, Bray, Bailey, and Dumatrait promotions because they honestly can't do any worse than Lohse, Milton, Stanton, and Coffey are right now.

 
at 10:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, you should ask Jerry Narron about Scott Hatteberg's lack of hustle & failure to "play the game the right way" this week vs. Washington. In the 8th inning Monday, he hit the flyball into right-center that Nook Logan & Austin Kearns misplayed. The ball rolled to the wall & if Hatteberg had been going hard, he winds up on 3rd with a gift triple. Instead, he assumed it would be caught & settled for a gift double. There is a big difference between being on 2nd base & being on 3rd base with less than 2 outs. He represented the tying run. Luckily for him, Valentin homered & his lack of hustle didn't hurt the team.
In the 3rd inning last night, he was on 1st base with Junior batting. The Nationals employed thier shift, with 3 infielders on the right side & Ryan Zimmerman, the 3rd baseman, lined up at shortstop. Griffey hit a hard grounder to the right side, the pitcher broke toward 1st base in case he needed to cover & the shortstop & 3rd baseman both went to cover 2nd in case the Nationals tried for a force out or even a double play. Hatteberg should have seen that 3rd base was wide open. No one was covering & as he rounded 2nd base, he went past Zimmerman, so there is about no way Washington could have thrown him out. I know he isn't the fastest guy, but he is a veteran & should be much more heads up than that.
Thanks,
John Burroughs
Hyde Park

 
at 10:33 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Last time I stated my opinion on the matter the GM took exception to it and said in no uncertain terms that Narron was safe.

 
at 10:56 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Majewski hasn't gone in back-to-back games since his sister funeral. But the way he's pitching, I'd get him up here and let him make that step with the Reds.

 
at 11:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring the Louisville team to Cincinnati and and send thes over paid bums to Louisville, honestly could the Bats do any worse?

 
at 12:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,
Is there any hope that the team is considering getting rid of Stanton. I don't know if that would fix things but it would at least send a message to the fans that the team is not crazy. He really is worse than Danny Graves when he was DFAed two years ago. At least Graves got a save every now and then. He is also much older and has less liklihood of actually reverting to a decent pitcher. I understand with Coffey because he has good stuff and is younger and can be better, but the amount of games Stanton has been in has obviously caught up to him and he is garbage, pure and simple.

 
at 12:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Usually I don't blame the manager, but at the beginning of the season Narron complained 'we need relievers who can throw gas'. Well he has that with Burton and Salmon and who keeps coming in? Stanton and Coffey. You got what you wanted, let them throw! And could we please trade Adam Dunn for something good? I mean, 30+plus homers and 200+strikeout guys are a dime a dozen.

 
at 12:21 PM Blogger Randy said...

I wanted to respond to Mr. Anonymous "if you don't agree with me, you don't know baseball" point-by-point:

1. Fire Narron: I don't disagree mostly based on his management of the pitching staff. But two months is right at the cusp of being too early.

2. Your short-sightedness on the Kearns/Lopez trade neglects some facts: the principals have been hurt, we got a pretty good young starting pitcher in the deal, and we saved a lot of cash that we used to re-sign our #1 and #2 starters.

3. Coffey does need to go back down.

4. Again there are a lot of factors fans arent considering when it comes to Homer Bailey. a) his arm strength needs to develop to pitch long into games over a long season; b) if he comes up and struggles and we have to send him back down we burn one of his option years and we all know what a roster full of players without options does to us; c) if he's as good as we hope he is we have to start worrying about length of major league service as it relates to arbitration and free agency - the clcok starts ticking the minute we bring him up. With all those factors and considering we are likely to be fighting for last place anyway, do you really want to use this lost season on Homer as a knee-jerk quick-fix?

5. As many teams have won the World series with a set lineup as with one thtat changes often. If you win with a changing lineup the manager is hailed for keeping his players fresh. It's only when you lose that people complain. Reds fans are stuck in the 70s if they think the solution is a set lineup - especially if you want to stack your lefties on a team that can't beat a left-handed starter.

6. On one hand you praise Valentin and on the other hand you're against three catchers. The fact that Valentin is out most valuable bat off the bench is the REASON we carry three catchers. And yes other teams do it.

7. The only PR we need is winning.

We were not a very different team coming into the year than we were last year. Let's not make stupid short-sighted decisions that will adversely affect our future.

 
at 12:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds need to do what the Indians have done twice in the last ten years, accept that the team sucks, get rid of all your high, over-priced veterans, play all of your kids, and see who pans out. The Indians have done it twice, and it's WORKED twice.

Dunn is the most marketable player we have. Find the best package of prospects you can and ship him. If the ChiSox want Griff, let's see what they've got on the farm.

You can make all the "Dunn drives in 100 runs" arguments you want. It doesn't change the fact that the team ISN'T WINNING. We've sucked for seven years now. This calls for drastic, Indian-esque measures.

Get younger. NOW. Play the young guys. NOW. Yes, they'll suck at first, too. Bailey, Dumatrait and Livingston will get knocked around. Votto and Bruce will struggle and spends weeks at a time in slumps...but they'll get better. They'll learn the game. And in a year or two, we'll have a young, talented, CHEAP team that will be the envy of the division.

I am so sick and tired of finisihing in the bottom half of a lousy division and only getting 1/4 to 1/2's season of baseball. There's no need to watch a Reds game beyond June. Ever. Blow it up, collect the insurance money, and get better. Quit limping along like a twenty year old dog with two bad legs. Put the damn thing down and find a puppy.

 
at 12:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The party line on not bringing Bailey up is that they don't want to "rush" him. Don't want to put too much "pressure" on him. Well, check me if I'm wrong, but when the entire organization is telling you that you're their #1 priority, that the future rests on your shoulders, and that they won't put you in Cincy until they're sure you'll be the next Sandy Koufax the minute you hit the field...isn't that a hell of a lot more pressure than just bringing him up, giving him a chance, and saying, "Do your best. We're behind you?"

 
at 1:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always hear about how Dunn sucks and that he should be traded for something good, but why would a team trade something good for a guy who people say sucks?

 
at 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your exactly right. I seriously doubt that another team would give anything for a guy who is leading the majors in strikeouts and is in option season on his contract.

 
at 2:54 PM Anonymous TGO said...

Re: Randy's comments

1. He's been the manager one season and two months. The team record since the 06 all-star break is terrible.

2. There's a lot of arguments on both sides of the trade, but I wouldn't use the money for Arroyo/Harang argument. Neither were free agents this year, and the extended deals they got bought out 2009/2010 free agency years.

6. How many teams in the past 5 years have carried 3 catchers?

 
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