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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, June 29, 2007

Cardinals 4, Reds 2

Another eighth inning blowup. Marcus McBeth faces two batters, gives up two hits. Jon Coutlangus faces one batter, gives up one hit and the lead. Brad Salmon comes on gives up a couple of run-scoring hits.

The 2-1 lead becomes a 4-2 deficit faster than you can say Nasty Boys.

As I wrote earlier, I know the fans want Jerry Narron fired. But what were his alternatives tonight?

He could have pitched David Weathers two innings or used Todd Coffey or Ricky Stone instead of McBeth and Salmon. The league's hitting .301 off Coffey, and Stone had not pitched in a big league game in just about two years before Friday night. Stone did pitch a nice ninth. He'll probably get a chance in eighth with a lead soon. And why not.

The good news, Reds fans, is Bronson Arroyo (7 innings, 1 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 5 Ks) looks to have found himself.


at 11:09 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Same old tired story. I have had patience with McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus etc but somewhere along the line they have to produce!! Nice to see Arroyo appears back on track but this bullpen or as they 're sometimes known the pigpen (except for Weathers) must frustrate the starters big time!! UGh!!! What more can be said that hasn't already be said. Somebody step up and do the job anybody!! How about Hamilton maybe that would embarass someone into going the job.

at 11:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why in the world did Narron pinch hit for Arroyo anyway? Arroyo looked masterful. When is Narron ever going to learn that the 8th inning and the Reds' bullpen spell DISASTER? You have to keep Arroyo in the game at that point with the way he was pitching. I don't even want to know what his pitch count was, and I don't care. Then, Narron pinch hits with Juan Castro no less when there was nobody on base. This is complete and utter stupidity! I knew what was going to happen in the Cardinals' eighth right away. I was watching the game on the Cardinals' network and their announcers were practically salivating at the prospect of facing the Reds' bullpen, not Arroyo, in the 8th. The rest, as they say, is history. Narron went to his team's greatest weakness when it was totally unnecessary, and the Reds lose again as a result. Narron must go now. What he did tonight was inexcusable.

at 11:18 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Perhaps this is a good idea for Reds fans. We can stay through six instead of through three. And we should do it every night.


at 1:40 AM Blogger cincikid said...

A fan walk out would never work. Why? Because true fans don't go to the game to walk out. Besides what good would it do. They already bought the tickets anyways. Just silly.

at 1:54 AM Anonymous redifil said...

Here's a useful alernative for Narron: Resigning.
(The Reds are 69-96 since he and Krivsky got their extentions last year. Of course, they don't pitch, hit or field.)

at 2:33 AM Blogger Redsheart said...

John, don't you think that anyone should be fired? Why doesn't anyone take responsibility in this team? It's nobody's fault? Really?????? Don't insult us...........

I had said before, "Can we win with this bullpen, when Arroyo is out of his slump?" Cincinnati media needs to grill Krivsky or Castellini over the losing streak, PLEASE!!

at 3:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

McBeth, Salmon and Coutlangus are having an up and down season, but are getting major league experience for next season. McBeth has looked pretty good at times for someone who has only been pitching for 3 years.

at 3:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is a good idea for Reds fans. We can stay through six instead of through three. And we should do it every night.

Those people leaving early are still buying tickets and putting money into the owners pockets.

at 5:46 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you have a pitcher desperate for a win, you do your best to get it for him by bringing in your best reliever (Weathers) to close it out. McBeth and Coutlangus may turn out to be great one day, but they are unreliable. Any self-respecting club would have cut Narron loose a long time ago, particularly with a guy like Joe Girardi out there. Bob Castellini was at the game last night. I can't understand how he can watch this night after night and not make changes. Sad.

at 7:50 AM Blogger Bill said...

I have read lots of complaints by Reds fans over the years. Everyone focuses on this or that change that will turn things around. That's not not the way baseball works at the Major League level.

Major League baseball is played by entire teams over the long haul. All you have to do to win ball games is score more runs than the other team. On nights when your offense can't generate the runs, your pitching has to be better. When your pitchers blow up, you have to be able to score lots of runs. You don't have to do it every day. You just have to do it better than most or all the other teams over a longer period of time.

I don't care if Bronson Arroyo is back on track if none of the Reds starting players are hitting over .300. I don't care if Jr. Griffey is having his best year with the Reds if the bullpen can't hold onto 4 run leads, let alone 1 run leads.

Castellini and Krivsky are the only ones who can transform the whole team. They told us they could do that. Last year, it looked like they might have done it. This year has proved that they have failed.

Tweaking is not the answer. To win in baseball, you have to do everything better than most other teams most of the time. It might or might not be a good idea to get rid of Dunn, or Narron, or Griffey, or any other individual, but until Castellini decides he REALLY wants to win, nothing will change.
And, oh yeah, don't whine about money. Look at Oakland and Milwaukee.

Management has to decide what they want to see happen over the next 5 years and make the hard decisions that will get them there. That means rebuilding their minor league system and getting rid of their under-performing high priced players. Whole team. Long haul.

at 7:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What took Krivsky so long to bring up Stone? He's been pitching lights out for quite awhile for the Bats. He and Uncle Bob, the produce guy, have been awfully quiet through this friggin nightmare of a season. I've been waiting for one of them or both to apologize for this joke of a team but it seems that there is no accountability on this club from the top down.

at 9:25 AM Blogger Mark T said...

As Krivsky knew last year when he traded for Bray and Majeski, good relievers don't grow on trees. The trade hasn't worked out - Majeski may be finished. But he knew then what we are all seeing now - without pitching in innings 7-9, you can't win.

at 9:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah alternatives are not great. But at some point you also have to look at the coaching. At somepoint you have to show improvement in coaching also. Narron would be a great roving minor league instructor,because he has shown he lacks the instincts and feel for managing a game.

at 10:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am done with the Reds. Narron is an idiot. I am sick of watching them on tv every night when it is the same thing over and over again. Even went and saw them in person. There is NO hustle, no emotion, no enthusiasm. My beagle could manage better than Jerry. HE AND DICK POOLE need to go. The sooner, the better!

at 10:27 AM Anonymous Gary214 said...

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the theory behind Arroyo's decline that he had a tired arm? Makes sense, and with the extra day's rest last week, and keeping him at a relatively low pitch count, his past two starts have been like Arroyo of early 06. So, taking him out with a 113 pitch count made sense. Again, I DO NOT LIKE NARRON AND DO NOT THINK HE BELONGS IN THAT JOB!!!! But in last nights case, he played the cards he has been dealt, and sans Weathers, we do not yet have a RELIABLE major league capable releiver in that pen!! I think last night was the 18th game the pen has lost this year...convert a reasonable percentage of those, and this would be a different season!

at 10:51 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Yeah, a walkout is a great idea. If you're an idiot. You still gotta buy a ticket (and park) to get in before you can walk out. What good does that do? You bought the ticket, team is paid.

They tried this in Baltimore last year and all it did was get some publicity for a radio station and change nary a thing, except for a handful of people who, upon further review, lit a match to some of their own money.

If you do this, never, ever bitch about the price of going to a game again.

at 10:53 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Narron should still be fired. Yes, he has limited bullpen options and Arroyo had thrown 113 pitches so it was time to come out. But the team doesn't play with any urgency (2 runs off of a guy with a 5.30 ERA?), they make silly errors, miss the cutoff man, baserunning blunders and there's no accountability. The Reds need a tough guy, not someone who just says "oh well, go get em next time."

at 11:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Narron is a decent manager, he just isn't the right guy for this current team. He needs strong player leadership to offset his lack of Pinella explosiveness.

One defense of Narron: Billy Martin couldn't win with this team's bullpen. He might of gotten Dunn to hit to the opposite field, but he can get these guys to pitch.
Second defense: Though as the skipper the buck stops with him, but at some point the pitching coaches need to be held accountable for what Marty and Jeff I.D. as a lack growth in the young pitchers. They are going backwards not forward.

One slam of Narron: Just show emotions when your star players refuse to do the little things to win. I am talking about opposite field hitting/bunting when the shortstop is playing second. STUFF THE EGOS! The young are learning from them, make the stars be accountable.

Second slam: The bullpen has really made his bullpen decision making worse than ever. He has lost any feel for when to pull guys.

Nothing I mentioned can't be fixed by Narron or those above him by releasing ineffective coaches. Narron needs to learn he has to get more fire and change his style if he wants to keep his job. Who was the best manager Griffey had? Pinella. Coach Narron, time get the Hulk out if we lose tonight in same manner as last night.

Jasper, IN

at 12:56 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Always love the criteria of a manager is to throw fire and brimstone, as if that makes up for limited-ability players and those who are fundamentally retarded. Yes, Narron should throw sheet-fits every 3-4 days. That'll stir 'em up. Teach 'em how to throw a second pitch. Teach them how to hit the other way. teach players with guaranteed contracts who's boss.

Yep, the wherewithal is fire and brimstone.

Of course, Piniella learned this in Tampa. After a while, why waste your breath?

at 1:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to John Fay's iniitial question, "Marcus McBeth faces two batters, gives up two hits. Jon Coutlangus faces one batter, gives up one hit and the lead. Brad Salmon comes on gives up a couple of run-scoring hits. what were his alternatives tonight?"
Simple, leave McBeth in even though he gave up two hits. His first hit was a bloop and the second was to Pujols. You need to let pitchers pitch their way out of trouble. Narron is constantly pulling pitchers after one or two batters, never letting them get out of thier own messes. The only way to build confidence and to find out who to keep using is to let them pitch complete innings. This is especially true since the Reds are so far out of it. And stop being a slave to the lefty/right matchup!

at 5:40 PM Blogger jbench5 said...

To those pointing to Milwaukee as an example of a small-market team doing well, keep this in mind: They are doing it with a lot of home-grown talent, talent that didn't "get it" overnight. Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, et. al, were raw when they first came up and Brewers' fans had to suffer through a lot to get to this point.

Get used to it Reds' fans ... this is path the Reds are on, and hopefully in two years the Reds will be battling the Brewers in a hotly contested race featuring plenty of home-grown stars.

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