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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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Thursday, July 5, 2007

New-look lineup

How do like this:

Hamilton cf
Phillips 2b
Griffey rf
Conine 1b
Dunn lf
Freel 3b
Gonzalez ss
Ross c

That's against RHP Matt Morris. "Different look, different feel," Pete Mackanin said. It's Jeff Conine's first start against at righty this season, according to Conine.

Further reasoning from Mackanin: Josh Hamilton's on-base is higher than Ryan Freel's. Freel's been better with runners in scoring position.

Barry Bonds is playing, and it's raining like heck right now, by the way.


at 5:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds a bit of the Dunn leading off logic...

I guess the key is that Freel does not walk that much. Hamilton tends to strike out more (one every four times up) we will see how long this lasts if Hamilton starts hitting no one on base home runs. For all his lack of speed, Hatteburg has been great as a lead off guy. Dare I say he has been better than Freel?


at 6:21 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Hopper is more useful than Conine. Put Hopper 1st and give him a green light to steal. Or do the same with Freel. Freel's had a rocky season but if he settles down he'll get on base and steal and be a good leadoff hitter. Hamilton leading off is as D-word as Conine cleanup. I hate Macnarron already. He's Winnie the Pooh II. Bob Castellini remains clueless.

at 6:25 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...

When does Burton's rehab asignment have to be over?

at 6:33 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Way to give the guy a chance, Justin. Hopper's on-base is .322 and he's been caught three times in eight steal attempts. Freel's on-base is .309 and he's been caught six times in 14 attempts.

What the managerial change points up is you've got to play the players you have.

This is no perfect lineup. Reds are 17-27 with Freel at leadoff, 5-14 with Hatteberg, 6-9 with Hopper, 3-2 with Hamilton and 1-0 with Phillips.

So why not try Hamilton?

at 6:44 PM Blogger steve said...


Could you find out who is the new advance scout now for the reds?

at 6:56 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Burton's rehab is up July 25.

at 7:01 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Checking on the advance scout. Mackanin had already done San Fran. They've played Arizona already, so it doesn't become critical till after the break.

at 7:16 PM Blogger Dano said...

Maybe its time to trade Freel.I love the hustle and all that but I think the Reds are better without him in the lineup.

at 7:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if it would matter if Petey Mack drew names out of a hat to make up the line up.

at 7:52 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

John, sorry but sluggers like Hamilton don't belong hitting leadoff and fossil-non-sluggers like Conine don't belong hitting cleanup and we didn't need to fire Narron if we're going to get more of the same nonsense day-in and day-out. And way to give Hopper a chance yourself! Give him an entire season before you conclude that he's an inferior leadoff hitter to Hamilton! Hamilton leads off with a single, that's great! But I don't hear any so-called baseball expert labeling Hamilton as a "singles-hitter!"

Now Tom agrees with you but Marty said "he has too much power" and although Sizemore of Cleveland hits first, Hamilton is not a speed-steal guy and as Marty said just now, down the road Hamilton is going to be the power-RBI man.

So, okay, if Freel BBs too little and strikes out too much, do we have any coaches forcing him to CHANGE (can't these pros IMPROVE year over year? Apparently not if they wear a Reds uniform, and I think you know WHY that is, at least these past 3 seasons).

at 8:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if we're going to get more of the same nonsense day-in and day-out"

We're going to get the same nonsense day-in and day-out until ownership hires a GM who can put a team together.

I agree, Hamilton is not a lead off hitter, but the Reds lack a good lead off hitter along with a bull pen, starting pitching, a catcher, decent defense, and a farm system.

at 8:28 PM Anonymous Brendan said...


After the game, see if you can find out what Morris said to Hamilton when he was on 2nd base the pitch before Griffey's two-run double.


at 10:56 PM Anonymous jc said...

i saw that also. thought maybe he was stealing signs. did not put him on his butt next at bat though.

at 11:03 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Well, well, well, will the real slim strikey (Coutlangus) please stand up? Nice team defense, nice attitude, very nice execution for everyone tonight. Obviously playing for Macanin is not a demoralizing snoozefest like it was for the prior regime, which makes it a shame that the big baseball genius didn't can Narron when the Reds were 8 games under .500.

Macanin gets all the credit for a team that suddenly is playing with a spark and with confidence and with hunger and desire and determination--all missing most nights under the old regime. Giving a professional and aggressive and determined and confident effort EVERY PITCH is what I want to see, win or lose.

If Macanin keeps getting that kind of performance then why not spend the big name manager bucks on a free agent pitcher instead and give Macanin a full season in 2008 to show what he can do?

See John, I haven't given up on Macanin, I just hate ALL Narron-lineup-creation approaches to the game. Most of baseball history, and for all of the best teams, the big RBI sluggers hit 3 and 4 and 5, with their speed at the top of the lineup, and slow guys NOT batting first and guys with 4 HRs halfway through a season NOT batting cleanup. I'd be surprised if you could ever find a good (winning) team that ignored such fundamentals.

Wins and good performances aside, as long as Mac keeps the Narron approach to the batting order, I don't want him back next week, let alone next year. It's not alright to use poor fielding TECHNIQUE so long as you catch the ball and it's not alright to use poor lineup-making technique even if you win a few games with it and I think it's Castellini's place to tell Mac that while Mac is the skipper he doesn't get to goof around with baseball fundamentals and if he wants to stay here he needs to put power where power belongs and speed where speed belongs in the lineup.

Freel or Hopper leadoff. Phillips, Griffey, Hamilton, or Dunn cleanup.

No Hatteburg leadoffs and no Conine or EE or Gonzalez cleanups.

Why would that be so unreasonable?

at 11:04 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Hamilton said Morris asked if he OK. Hamilton gave him the thumbs up. Hamilton said Dick Pole mentioned that Morris might have been being sarcastic since the pitch that hit Hamilton bounced.

at 11:21 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...

My bad, Salmon got sent down today, not Burton. I get those two mixed up.

at 4:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like for one because freel is not a very good hitter hustle or not freel is simply a role player who is best when used part time not a very good bat at all.

at 12:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...Reds won with the lineup last night. And Hamilton went 3 for 4 I believe. Seems like he did pretty well in leadoff, but that's just my humble opinion - oh, and now Marty's, as well as Thom's. ( That's if you listened to the Brenaman rpt after the game).

Anonymous Female in Cincy

at 9:41 AM Anonymous mikec said...

Think about from a purely looking ahead to the future view. Batting Hamilton first gets him probably an extra 4-5 at bats a week. Reds aren't doing anything this year. Bat him first, get those extra ABs and let him learn that much more.

at 9:45 AM Anonymous mikec said...

Also, I want to point out one other thing to the Justin Fernandez's of the world who want Krivsky gone. Another argument they make is he didn't resign Rich Aurilia.

Noticed this while the Reds were playing the Giants:

Aurilia: .251, 3 HRS, 21 RB1, 200 ABs, $3.5 million
Conine: .270, 4 HRs, 25 RBI, 150 ABS, $2 million

Yup, Krivsky's an idiot. How did he not bring Aurilia back. That's why the offense is horrible.

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