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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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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mets 5, Reds 2: (Pete's big test)

Pete Mackanin talked a little bit this week about how the true test of a manager is how he and his team reacts to losing three or four in the row.

Mackanin's test is coming early. The Reds lost three of four to the Mets in Shea. The Reds are 6-4 under Mackanin. That's the best 10-game start of any the Reds' last eight interim managers.

But all the good karma of the 5-1 start is leaving quickly. Mackanin was thinking about that as the loss to the Mets played out Sunday.

“I found myself in the last few innings – the guys were in the mode: we’re not going to win this game – it’s a process," he said. "Certainly, that was one my thoughts: If we do lose two or three in a row, how do we snap out of it? Prolonged slumps are what kills you in this game.”

The Reds go to Atlanta to start a three-game series tomorrow. The Braves won't be an easy club to get it going against. They've won four in a row and seven of eight.


12 Comments:

at 7:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freel is struggling too much to bat leadoff. As well as Phillips plays in the 4 hole, I think Dunn provides better protection for Griffey.

 
at 10:12 PM Anonymous Sparky's Ghost said...

The Reds are currently 13.5 games out of first in the central. The Baseball Prospectus (check them out) estimates their chances of reaching the playoffs at 0.06% (that's six one-hundredths of a percent). Why do fans and the media in a small market town talk as if the goal is to make the team win a few more games this year ("Pete's Big Test")? Is it really that exciting to see if they can finish, what, ten games out maybe? Eight if things really fall right?

Or is Pete's real worthwhile test actually "can he convince his GM to let him develop the next good Reds team", regardless of win totals? The answer is yes. But the question gets clouded by fans getting all caught up whether the team finishes fifth or sixth this year. Is that really a question that you're going to even remember (or care about) the answer to three years from now?

You guys wonder why you're an also-ran most years. The answer is right under your nose. It's your mouths. When you clamor for management to "win (as many as possible) now!" you are really saying "make sure we don't win the division any time in the next decade!". Think about it.

 
at 12:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sparky,

Some teams do compete every year. Apparently, you have always lived in a small town & have a small town mentality if you accept losing.

 
at 12:59 PM Anonymous Sedi said...

I do have to say, I do like the candor that Mackanin brings to the table. He's pretty mattor of fact without being overly zealous and down on the team.

Is he the long term solution for this team? I don't think so, regardless if he's able to pull them back to .500. His experience doesn't dictate the job to turn this around full circle as a Manager. Do they need a big name? Not necessarily, they just need someone with a winning demeanor and no excuses attitude.

 
at 2:27 PM Blogger hammer said...

John,

can you please tell me the manager's thought process behind sitting Edwin 2 of 4 games? especially in a lost season, he needs his at-bats. Do we really need to see Norris Hopper, who has no MLB future other than 4th OF or Conine, a professional guy who should be retired already? Either play him or trade him. He was the Reds future 3 months ago. Now he is treated like the team's whipping boy.

 
at 4:37 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Norris Hopper has no MLB future apart from fourth OF??? It could as easily be said that Encarnacion has no future other than backup infielder. I don't know and you don't know whether these guys will improve but with the present roster mess created by the Reds refusal to play DUNN at first base, Freel has to play, and it's either at third or in the OF. When Hamilton comes back, the OF will be DUNN Junior and HAM, Freel will either sit (a waste) or play third (and EE will sit--not necessarily a waste). I agree though that there is ample "deadweight" on this team that needs to be moved out. Being a good veteran is nice but Conine is the Red's (younger) version of Julio Franco. Starting Conine has been pure aggravation. He offers nothing that DUNN at 1B wouldn't offer much better, and Hopper and EE and Freel deserve 100% of any remaining starts while Conine should get 0%. Same goes for Hatteberg. Even an old scrub will hit a few HRs and win a few ball games for you each year but the path to the playoffs does not and will NEVER run through starting Hatteberg or Conine. Upper management appears clueless about that!

 
at 7:34 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Valentin, Encarnacion, and Lopez...might as well have 4 pitchers batting at the bottom of the order! Bases loaded and nobody out and the Reds chance to put the game "away" in the first inning goes "poof" with pop out strike out strike out.

PATHETIC.

Next year I really don't want to see those three players in Cincinnati unless they're buying tickets and sitting in the stands. How anyone can be down on Hopper and high on Enchokenacion? .261 and 6 HRs is NOT what a WINNING team has as hot-corner production even at this "early" stage of the season.

NEWS FLASH TO EDWIN: 99 out of every 100 third basemen mired in AAA ball could do better, so let's go. See the ball, hit the ball you know!

 
at 8:02 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Livingston is now 2-2. Can he play third base?

 
at 8:43 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Livingston's 3-3. Next stop: hitting LEADOFF

Seriously, there is only one reason the Reds didn't play like this under Narron.

That reason:

NARRON

 
at 9:24 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

4-4 ? Unreal. At 6'3" maybe First Base for Bobby between starts? LOL

 
at 12:48 PM Blogger hammer said...

Justin,

Norris has done nothing to warrant time over Encarnacion or any of the other Reds starters. Heck, other than some success at Louisville in 06 his Minor league numbers arent much either. The reds were high on Edwin and he did nothing in 2006 to disappoint with the bat. The Reds are out of it and dont we need to see whether Edwin is the 3B of the future or not? If youre so hard up to get Norris time, trade or sit Freel, a 31-year old who is what he is and has no upside. What good is jerking Edwin around now and going into 08 with the same questions as 07? Trust me, Norris is not the answer to be a starter in the OF.

 
at 10:08 AM Blogger MattCT said...

The Reds need to target a top-notch setup guy who would fill the role of closer in Cincy. Dunn and Hatteberg should draw attention from Det or LAA for Zumaya/Rodney or Shields and a young arm. The Reds are 2nd in HRs so Dunn would not be missed and Jay Bruce and Joey Votto would fill the void. LAA especially would like Dunner.

 
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