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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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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Road 7, Reds 2

The Reds ended the road trip 2-7. Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians was a lot like the other six: It started well enough, but when given a chance to let it get away the Reds did.

That's how you get to be a 17-27 team. The Reds come home for eight games. Afterward, we asked the usual is-it-good-to-be-coming-home questions.

“It’s nice to get home,” Scott Hatteberg said. “But we said that after last road trip and we played poorly at home. We've got to play good at home. It was a tough trip. We played some good teams, real good teams.”

The teams the Reds play on the homestand -- Washington and Pittsburgh -- aren't what you'd call real good.

The Reds played Los Angeles, San Diego and Cleveland on the road trip. Those teams went into Sunday a combined 73-53. The Nationals and the Pirates were a combined 34-51.

So the time is right for making a move. But the question is: Are the Reds capable of playing well consistently? The answer so far is a big fat no.

And it doesn't matter where they play. The Reds are 8-12 at home – 4-10 since the first homestand of the year.

By the way, the bullpen is no longer problem: The relievers have a 1.42 ERA over the last four games.


at 6:07 PM Blogger George said...

I'll say the bullpen is no longer a problem when they protect some leads, John. They did a good deal of mop-up duty on the trip.

at 6:12 PM Blogger Tyler said...

I don't like looking at Washington and Pittsburgh and thinking "the Reds should win" because they haven't been able to play consistent baseball. On the upside though, it's definately good to see guys like David Weathers taking a leadership role in the bullpen. John, have you seen any everyday players stepping up and taking a leadership role similar to what Weathers is doing?

at 8:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently j. narron decided it was time to show fire(after 2 months into the season and last place). Why didn't we hire sweet lou? At least when his teams lose, you can tell he's p****d off.

at 9:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Salmon going to stick around for a while or will he be sent back down again to AAA? Hes pitching pretty well and should get chance to stick around.

Burton has also looked good since coming back from his rehab assignment.

Both guys have good stuff, they just need innings to help adjust to the majors.

at 10:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes big John it is obvious that the Reds are playing badly, and I am sure that you have informed the local fans that JB, Rose, Griffey senior, Tony and etc will not be in the lineup Monday.
Brewers 3-7
Astros 5-5
Cubs 4-6
Pirates 4-6
Cardinals 3-7
Reds 3-7

I have included this small chart and with the record of the teams in the NL central over the last ten games. This speaks volumes about the division. If the Reds fans are getting ugly because the team is losing, take a look at what the others are doing. It is obvious that many of the outspoken fans have never led an organization going through change. The Reds are a prime example of neglect and arrogance of the past. While many fans are screaming for improved management, and new skilled players,none of them have a clue as to where to go find them. What do they need first? If the front office goes out and signed 3 first line pitchers will that solve the 3rd base problem? Will the bull-pen suddenly find the strike zone? Or will a .320 switch hitter suddenly show up for first-base? No boys and girls change requires decision making, planning, and time. The current owner has a lot of pride but he is also a business leader and leadership, for those of you screaming for change, requires experience, patience and vision. This will be a tough season but I think the Reds were only 4 wins short of the division title last year. Now if you really want a dose of reality look at the Yankees pitching roster, recognize anybody in the bull pen besides the closer.
I will continue to have my heart broken and hopes unfulfilled but in the end I will see a world series at the Great American Ballpark.

George Jr.

at 10:22 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...

I am guessing that Majewski and Encarnacion are real close to being called up.

at 10:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds are essentially out of it, and it's May. Krivsky says Narron's not going anywhere, and apparently neither is Krivsky. So rather than blasting today's poor managerial decisions (such as batting Juan Castro 7th (he of .174 batting average) or bonehead plays (such as Ryan Freel getting picked off second by Paul Bird), I'll go out on a limb and tell you what I would do were I Wayne Krivsky:

1. Stop making excuses and pretending everything is ok. Be straight with the fans, tell them the plan is not working, the results are unacceptable and things are going to change.

2. Fire Narron, replace him with: (a) Joe Morgan, (b) Johnny Bench, (c) Ken Griffey, Sr. or (d) Joe Girardi, and tell the new manager to get tough and manage with urgency (read: manufacture runs, play small ball, squeeze bunt, hit and run, and yank relief pitchers who walk runners).

3. Trade Adam Dunn to an American League team for a #1 starter (e.g, C.C. Sabathia) and super pitching prospect (read: a young Philip Hughes or Homer Bailey).

4. Designate Kyle Lohse, Eric Milton, Jeff Conine and Jeff Keppinger for assignment.

5. Call up Homer Bailey, Bobby Livingston and Mark Bellhorn, and activate Bill Bray or Gary Majewski from the DL.

6. Name Bailey and Livingston the #4 and #5 starters for the remainder of the year.

7. Reduce the price of Reds' tickets to whatever the Bats' charge. If the Reds are going to field a AAA team, that's what fans should pay to see the team.

8. Hire clowns to juggle and do magic tricks between innings. Distracting the fans may assuage their discouragement about what's going on on the field.

at 10:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, I don't look at these games as should wins. We look at bad teams and think the Reds should win. Pitt and the Nats are probably saying the exact same thing about the Reds.

at 11:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of Reds fans (& the Reds front office as well?) take some glee at how bad Bowden's team is, but they are just 1 game worse than we are. Sure, these are games the Reds need to win, but I gotta believe the Pirates & Nationals look at the Reds in much the same way. Even Pittsburgh is ahead of us.

at 11:56 PM Blogger Redsheart said...

Hmm... They shouldn't be damaged by today's game. I do hate bullpen meltdown. That was ugly loss. Weathers will be available tomorrow. I hope Krivsky and the team will do the best job!

at 9:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read your recap of Sunday's game. I agree that the out call on Freel at 3rd in the 8th inning was pivotal. But I'm getting tired of these games where the players/writers are using an umps call as a crutch. Why not mention the blown call when Grady Sizemore was thrown out stealing 2nd in the 4th inning? The Indians probably blow the game open right then.
Same thing earlier in the trip when Arroyo walked in the winning run. It was close & thats all we heard about. Why not mention that when the Reds scored both of their runs in the 1st inning that game, it came after Brandon Phillips took a 2-2 pitch that certainly looked like strike three. It definately was a better pitch than the one Arroyo threw, but it too, was called a ball. Phillips doubled in a run on the next pitch & Dunn followed with an RBI single. If Phillips is called out on strikes, the Reds are probably shut out & Arroyo never gets a chance to walk in the winning run.
Close & missed calls go both ways & only losing teams focus on them.

at 9:25 AM Blogger Tyler said...

I for one don't want to see Jerry Narron fired during the season. The reason being is there is a 99% chance that this season is a wash anyway, and if the Reds have any hopes of hiring a top flight manager, their chances are better if Narron is fired right after season's end so the new guy can start fresh for '08.

I would want love to see Joe Morgan in '08 for the following reasons:
1.) He's a Red
2.) His playing career automatically demands respect in the clubhouse
3.) He can teach the Reds how to run the bases, a lost art in Cincinnati
4.) He is a national baseball icon
5.) He would cost a lot of money. This would be a sign to the fans that the Reds are committed to running a top flight organization.

at 10:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bullpen was good the first week and then had a month long meltdown. One more good week does not make a season. Other than Weathers, there is no one who pitches consistantly enough to be trusted with small leads late in the game. Yes, John - the bullpen is still the #1 problem on this team and will keep us from contending in this mediocre division unless something (or someone) emerges to help.

at 10:36 AM Blogger cow town said...

Just a heads up for Columbus area Reds fans.

An email from the Bats this morning confirmed that Homer Bailey will start against the Clippers (ring your bell!!) tomorrow afternoon.

I plan on doing my Ferris Bueller impersonation.

at 11:46 AM Blogger Tim Lones said...

"trade Adam Dunn for a number 1 pitcher..eg:Cleveland's CC Sabathia"

The Indians would never do anything like that..They do'nt need Dunn..They have enough hitting..

at 12:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish the Yankees would tell Girardi that Joe Torre is staying in the Bronx so the Reds can hire Girardi and can Narron.

at 12:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what firing Narron is going to do for this team. He's not made an error or given up a lead this season. This is on the players. People act like Joe Morgan and Lou Pinella are anxious to come here and manage, they aren't. The Reds aren't going to pay top dollar for a manager, and they shouldn't. Players win and lose games, not managers. As bad as this division is, they actually can get back into the race. They only need to win 3-4 more games per month than they lose the rest of the season and the'll be over .500, in contention.


at 12:46 PM Blogger Robert said...

I love how the people in Cincinnati want everyone on the team DFA'd or traded because of a poor outing.

And please quit asking to trade Dunn. He's irreplaceable in the lineup. The guy hits 40 homers a year with 100+ RBIs. He may still strike out a lot, but the point is...who would replace him and drive in the same amount of runs? Possibly Norris Hopper? Or wait...maybe we should have DeWayne Wise come up and he can do that.

Get with the program, please! When your team is LOSING...you DO NOT trade your best players. Common sense, folks. Common sense.

at 12:51 PM Blogger RBare38 said...

Dunn for a #1 starter and a super prospect? Are you kidding me? You don't think the other teams see the defense, strikeouts, and complete lack of run production? If Krivsky could have gotten that for Dunn he (Adam) would have been gone a long time ago. The fact that he does not fit the contact/defense type of player that Krivsky wants tells you he is still here because there is zero market for the guy.

at 1:03 PM Blogger Laura said...

Why does everyone want a new manager? The bullpen isn't going to get better because of a new manager. Productive hitting isn't gong to improve because of a new manager. I'm not amassive Jerry fan, kind of ambivalent. Still, unless you're simply going for the pure shake-up factor, I can't see it making a huge difference.

at 1:56 PM Anonymous ADMS said...

I'd love to see Dunn hit 40+ HR and have over 100 RBIs, but last year, I think he only had 92. How does one have so many homeruns but under 100 RBIs? It's the team in front of him that didn't get on base.
However, over the past several seasons, he has been a nightmare with the inning-ending strikeouts and the rally-killing mistakes. It seems like each pitcher just waits for a full count with two outs, then they will throw him a breaking ball in the dirt and he'll swing at it. His defense is average at best, along with this speed. I'm all for trading him to an AL team for some pitching.
I don't understand why people are saying that we can't get on Narron for this slump. The manager is the eyes, ears, and mouth of the team. He makes the lineup, rewards those who play well, benches the slackers, talks to the media, and so on. How many times have we seen him staring into space in the dugout during another meltdown? How many times have we wanted him to start getting in people's faces about the same pitching meltdowns and stupid errors and strikeouts? He comes across as not giving a ****. His little blowup about Freel being called out at third - too little, too late.
I'd love to see Joe Morgan or another Cincinnati great in the dugout, but the awful treatment and release of Perez still lingers. 44 games?
Interesting observation I heard over the weekend. Is Conine here on a one-year deal? I found out in Philly, he had a really bad reputation for barely playing until it was time to talk contract and that's how we got him.
Great idea - really - AAA prices at GABP. Come August, it might turn into buy one, get three tickets free. Remember the last season in Montreal? I'm thinking that will look like Times Square compared to our park in the fall.
Morgan. Bench. Heck, Brantley. HELP!!!

at 3:30 PM Anonymous mikec said...

People want JOE MORGAN as manager? Now that is just plain frightening. Star players never make good managers. Morgan is so arrogant as a broadcaster he'd be horrible as a manager.

But Narron needs to go. Not because of any one decision made but because he does not have the ability to inspire his team.

at 4:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunn will probably only get you a #2 starter at best.

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