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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

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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Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates 10, Reds 4

It was going so well for the Reds right up until the Pirates scored eight runs in the top of the 10th. You could watch a 1,000 games and never see that.

I talked to Bob Castellini before the game. He sounded down. He has to really down if he saw this one. He reiterated that he isn't thinking aobut changing management.

When you lose by six, it's hard to boil the game down to two plays. But this one turned on two. Scott Hatteberg bunted into a fielder's choice to 9th. "My fault," he said. Jerry Narron was talking about the Reds being second in the NL in sacrifice hits before the game. But there are sacrifices and there are sacrifices. A pitcher getting down a bunt in 4-0 game in the 4th is different than trying to get down a bunt in the 9th off a closer with the winning run at first.

The second play was in the 10th. Nate McLouth got down a bunt with Jack Wilson at first. Chad Moeller threw to second. Wilson was easily safe, thus the gates were open for the melt down.

"That changed the whole inning," Narron said.

The last couple of nights it hasn't been the young players making the mistakes. Moeller, Hatteberg and Jeff Conine all were involved in bunt plays gone bad. Those are veterans who have played for winning clubs.

"This is as bad as I've seen it," Hatteberg said.


26 Comments:

at 11:18 PM Anonymous TGO said...

Was Castellini's comment re: management specific to Krivsky, or was it extended to the manager & coaches also?

 
at 11:30 PM Blogger JerBear said...

John you make a good point. I've been thinking the same things. It seems like the veterans are really making big mistakes now. I'd consider Alex Gonzalez a veteran too, and he has 8 errors already this year after committing 2 the other night.

I think the players are giving effort, but they are probably really pressing now.

This is a classic case of the snowball effect. Once things go bad, you try to hard, maybe don't relax as much, and it gets worse.

In a weird way, it's interesting to see how a team becomes the worst team in baseball. Especially this one. This isn't the Royals or the Devil Rays. It isn't a team littered with 23 year olds and a 25 milliong payroll.

It's somewhat fascinating how they simply cannot win games right now. They may not end up being as worse as KC or Tampa Bay, but this team is destined for 90 losses or more barring a miraculous turnaround.

 
at 12:26 AM Blogger George said...

I think an interesting question to ask Bob would be if there is a point at which he would consider changing management. He said two weeks ago that he felt the Reds were going to play their way out of their rut "very soon," but there is absolutely no sign of that happening. They simply do not know how to win baseball games. If Castellini doesn't make a move he will do terrible damage to his fan base. The Reds seem like they're becoming the Royals, and all the "tradition" talk in the world can't cure the damage that does. Where is the great communication from management that was promised by the Castellini group at their first press conference? Are they going to release a statement in this dismal time, even if it is a vote of support for Narron? Give us some hope? I think the poor SOBs in the stands deserve that at least. Steinbrenner does it in tough times, and it helps. You get a sense as a fan of what his POV is. You don't feel an abandoned or a sense of indifference. Where is the GM and/or the owner communicating to the public they're approach to the problem? Well, maybe they don't have one and are just shocked first-timers.

 
at 1:19 AM Anonymous yuk said...

I'm wondering how so many people still coming to the game?, probably only to watch Junior. Nothing else is left. This team is nothing in all aspects. May be they should watch over and over "Major Leaguers" and be slapped to wake up. They stink, shameful and complete waste. Probably the worst Reds team after 1990.

 
at 2:12 AM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

There's also a difference between bunting Aaron Harang (or Juan Castro, or Norris Hopper) and Scott Hatteberg (.370 OBP this year - 12 sac bunts in the Bush administration).

 
at 2:36 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

One play cost the Reds the most: Idiot Narron sitting Dunn. What an utter Dummy he is. Fire him!

 
at 5:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say again, catcher, catcher, however, with little in the minors (why?)it must be from the outside. Trade or release (any combination) Griffey or Dunn, Hattieburg, Lohse, Ross, Conine, Stanton, Coffey, Moeller, Gonzalez, Hopper. Keep Freel, Phillips,Encarnacion,Hamilton ( I don't care what the season brings for Hamilton, its been a breathe of life and pleasure). Bring up Bailey, Dumstrait, Votto, Herr, Valiaka and one or more of the young outfielders, Bruce, etc. Hope is better than despair. I am 50 year fan but this team drives me to insanity. Charles O.Campbell, COL USA retired.

 
at 6:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Chad Moeller even on this team. He was demoted to AAA last year and Krivsky signed him saying he ahs always liked him. Isn't that evidence alone that Kirvsky is an idiot for a GM. This is a business, there is no signing a never was player for a million so he can make poor play after poor play. It was fitting he struck out to end the game also. Chad Moeller was waived earlier this year and NOBODY claimed him. That shows what the other teams think. I have only seen him in about 5 games and he has made poor defensive plays in about 4 of them. He also can't hit which was known when Krivsky shoved his head up his **** and decied to sign this ex TWIN.

 
at 7:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds' season is lost. Castellini, Krivsky and Narron say status quo. Nothing defines Cincinnati Reds' baseball in 2007 more than that. On a brighter note ... oh, sorry, there is no brighter note. Thanks, Bob. Thanks, Wayne. Thanks, Jerry.

 
at 9:53 AM Blogger BubbaFan said...

Did Hatteberg decide to bunt, or was that called from the dugout?

 
at 9:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea to sit your biggest run producer last night. He just homered on Thursday (which in baseball terms might mean that he's about to get hot), he hit lefties better than righties last year, but hey, let's sit him for Norris Hopper. Sure would have helped to have another run in the 9th so you didn't have to go to extras. But lets keep backing this manager anyway.

 
at 10:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got tickets for tomorrow, don't even know if I want to go, this team is that bad. Not even entertaining.

 
at 10:44 AM Blogger Aaron said...

Narron telling Hatteberg to bunt in that situation is idiotic. I know its easy to look back with hindsight, but you basically took the bat oout of the hands of arguably the hottest hitter on the team. A guy that never strikes out and is for sure gonna put the ball in the field anyhow. Why bunt him and make him hustle down the line when he has no speed? To avoid a double play? That is managing out of fear. You also remove the possibility of a game winning double or simply a line drive single to set up the win. The chance of the sacrifice working is not worth taking the bat out of Hatterberg's hands.

Narron is so out of sync right now it is translating to players not executing. Weathers has failed time and again when you put him in a tie game. I thik this is his third loss in such a situation this year. Give him a lead and he is great. Give him no lead and you are in trouble... and Narron stretches him and makes him go 2 innings? Horrible. Like I said yesterday he cannot handle a bullpen.

What we are seeing here on all levels is stubborness and refusal to adapt and change philosophy. The owner refuses to discuss a management change, and the manager refuses to change tactics. When they do make a change it is WEEKS too late. Coffey should have been demoted weeks ago. Livingston should have never been sat down. Milton should have been DFA'd last season. Etc. etc.

This team is a shambles and the players are down because they no it is an impossible situation to thrive in. All they are hoping for right now is a tiny winning streak to shut the fans up temporarily. That isn't going to shut us up however. We want Narron fired, we want Krivsky and Castellini to admit this thing is a lost cause and make some bold moves. We want Dunn traded because he is a huge defensive liability and the king of strikeouts. Unfortunately home run distance doesn't give us bonus points. Replace him with any line drive hitter with a glove and you'd get almost the same production because of the ballpark factor PLUS you'd save a bunch of runs defensively. We could easily parlay Dunn into a line drive hitter PLUS prospects. Griffey should be traded also. We know he's not going to be here next year and his stock is high right now. Lets move him and start developing the replacements. Hamilton is an everyday player as soon as he comes off the DL. Now is the time for radical changes.

 
at 12:31 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

A little REDS (retREaDS) math:

NARRON = DUMB (0)
KRIVSKY = CLUELESS (0)

NARRON + KRIVSKY = WORST TEAM IN BASEBALL (0)

REDS - NARRON - KRIVSKY = HOPE

Do the math Bob! Wake the heck up! More hope = more fans in seats. By the time the Reds are 20 or 30 games under .500 a new manager will have no chance to save this season. Only the weak division keeps this comatose squad of under-motivated, undisciplined, distracted, agitated, poorly-lead and ridiculously managed players in "it" (but not for long).

Come on Bob. You owe the fans change now, this is long-past stupid now. You should have fired Narron two weeks ago!

however slim now (a new manager would have played Dunn last night and it's probable the Reds would have scored more than 2 runs in 9 innings with Dunn in the lineup (4 Ks and 1 HR = a Reds win last night but no...but apparently the boobs who own the Reds want to wait until the Reds are 20 or 30 games under .500), hope is the only reason to spend more money on Reds tickets this year. fans should vote with their feet until Castellini does the proper math!

 
at 12:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't bunt at the end of games to win, you bunt at the beginning when they don't expect it. Plus, I find it amazing how so called professional baseball players can not lay down a bunt that was taught in little league. I laugh every time I see one of these guys goof it up and it happens alot! Narron has to go and so does the GM!

 
at 12:52 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Justin, I don't get how you can say Krivsky is clueless. He gambled and got Hamilton, Phillips and Arroyo. Aruguably behind Junior the Reds next best three players this season. And no one would have predicted how bad Stanton and Coffey have been. That's been what has killed them.

Krivsky has just been shockingly inactive this year for some reason. He's still a smart GM, and I have confidence he'll get this team straightened out eventually (just not this year).

I was thinking about this today. Reds management must have one of two outlooks right now:

1) The team has the talent to compete, but are underperforming. If that's management's outlook, the solution would seem to be fire Narron because it's his job to make the team play to its potential.

2) The team is flawed and doesn't have the talent to compete. If that's the case, you have two options a) Bring up the youngsters and see what you've got b) Try to make trades to make the team better.

My guess is Castellini and Krivsky are still uncertain which camp they're in right now. But they need to decide quickly.

 
at 12:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

First...I don't think bunting against a major league closer should be considered easy, by anyone. I don't have a complaint with moving the runner over in that situation...but doesn't it seem like Narron has a habit of sitting players that just start to find their stroke again. Dunn just hit his first homer since early May and almost rocketed another one that just went foul...why break any potential momentum with an off day? There should be no "days off" until a decent winning streak is put together. I still believe this team is way better than its playing...but hope is fading fast.
-MB

 
at 1:26 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Everyone hoping for a Narron-Krivsky change, who would you hire to replace them? While I don't agree with all of Narron's moves, is there a much better replacement out there at this point of the season? How many DFA's will management be able to "eat"? While I'm not positive on the dollars,Cormier is close to 2 mil, Stanton would be the same, Milton 9 mil, Narron (this year & next at $??) that's about 15 mil , quite a good chunk of change for management to give away. Patience, although its hard this year and actually for the past 6-7 yeras of losing ball, to right this ship is needed. With that it would be nice for management to give us a sense of what direction they are taking to right this ship. Is this year just a bridge to the future, meaning we just hope to be competitive in the NL Central while our farm system grooms the replacements?

 
at 1:51 PM Anonymous Reds fan in Florida said...

I think less and less of Castellini with each passing day.

He lied about building a winner and is too small of a person now to admit he made mistakes with WK and Narron.

Now due to his low charachter we are doomed to a future of the Wayne and Jerry comedy show 162 times a year.

For those still holding out hope that Homer and other kids will arrive to save this disaster of a franchise, you are setting yourselves up for dissapointment.

Nothing good can come of this team while Krivsky and Narron are in charge.

 
at 1:54 PM Blogger Brad said...

That was awful. Sometimes teams don't score that much in overtime in basketball! You can find more Reds coverage at Thenewsroom.com and even get paid to embed our free video clips and articles on blogs like this one. For more info head over to http://www.thenewsroom.com/categories/
Sports/Baseball?c_id=bh

 
at 2:26 PM Blogger Pat said...

The last post talks about bunting being taught in the little leagues. I wonder if any of those little leaguers could kill you with their fastball?

 
at 2:27 PM Blogger Rick said...

John-

Why did you not take narron to task for a) benching dunn b) not pinch hitting dunn for hopper in the ninth or c) walking adam laroche to load the bases for jason bay? This guy's an idiot. why does no one call him out?

 
at 2:59 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Dunn was 2-for-18 off Maholm. Dunn struggled in Sept. last year after playing everyday from April-Aug. Why not rest him against a lefty he hasn't hit?

 
at 3:09 PM Blogger Rick said...

john-
ok, that was one of my bullets. so how about the other two? Narron;s not responbile for pinch hitting dunn in the ninth because he hasnt hit well against the starting pitcher?

And to cite 2 for 18 as a reason not to play a guy doesnt make sense. how many games is that? 5 or 6? So what. It's hopper or dunn. And the fact that maholm is a lefty doesnt wash -- dunn hits better against lefties. And do you really think that sitting dunn for a game on May 25 will make him a better hitter in august and september?

seriously, john, do you not fel obligated to take narron to task when he makes terrible decisions? it's his job to put the best players on the field. it's your job to hold him accountable for his actions and not just let him blame the players for everything.

 
at 3:24 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Krivsky made a few great moves, true. Too bad for him he lost his Midas touch. As to who would replace Narron and Krivsky...how about Imus and OJ?

ANYONE.

Just dump the losers now. They had their chance, and they failed.

No other owner in Baseball would tolerate the way this team is playing (and losing) while keeping retREaDS here and more talented players in Louisville.

 
at 5:18 PM Anonymous mikec said...

How has he lost the Midas touch? He just picked up Hamilton this winter. It takes time to build a team into a winner and with the handcuffs of Milton and Griffey's salary what can Krivsky do? Krivsky is not the problem and to say he is clueless is ridiculous.

The only knock on Krivsky is his inactivity so far this season -- and really he's brought up Burton (who he smartly took in the Rule 5 by the way), Salmon and Majewski who have improved the bullpen.Oh yeah and by the way he also claimed Coutlangus on waivers last year. Pretty much everyone who is doing anything decent for this team except Griffey and Harang is a Krivsky acquisition.

And here's a question for the Krivsky haters. If this season is lost (which it appears to be). Why not give Bailey a full year at Triple A? Why bring him up if he isn't completely ready when no matter how good he is this team won't make the playoffs?

 
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