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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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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Reds 5, Braves 4 in 15

The Mac Magic continues. The Reds are getting two-out hits. They're making plays. They're 9-4 under Pete Mackanin. And for the first time 57 days, they're not alone in last place in the NL Central.

And you starting to believe the season isn't lost? The players are.

“We’re a good team,” Brandon Phillips said, after he drove in the winning runs and saves the gmae with a leaping grab to start a double play on his day off. “Our record is bad. But we're a good team. We’re starting to put it together. We’re learning from each other. Pete’s doing a good job. He said: ‘Go out there and have fun. If you don’t want to play and win, we'll find someone else to do that.’”

Mackanin is trying to keep the one-game-at-a-time approach. But with the kind of roll the Reds are on, that's not easy.

“It's premature to get overly excited about it, although the only way for us to go is to get excited about it,” Mackanin said. “Run with the thing and believe we’re on a bit of tangent here. I like to believe, ‘all right, we’re going to be good the second half.’”


12 Comments:

at 9:16 PM Anonymous Joe said...

Just what we need; Brandon Phillips to step up and become the clubhouse and team leader. Also change helps with Junior to right field and Pete takes over. Winning those series is a key and let's at least get a split in Miami.

 
at 10:15 PM Blogger jbench5 said...

John,

What can this stretch be attributed to, do you think?

From a distance, the players seem to be playing with more confidence and more energy. (Not sure if "playing harder" is accurate or not. But maybe players give more effort for some managers than others ...)

Or is it really Mac Magic? Is he putting players in a better position to succeed than Narron did?

Or is this the team we were supposed to see all along?

 
at 10:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad the Reds won, but so far as I can tell, none of these wins are related to Mackanin's managerial decisions. This guy is supposed to shake things up ... try new things, right? If that's the case, then why is David Ross getting any starts? and why is Stanton used ever? Both of these guys are simply taking up roster spots other guys deserve. In addition, Mackanin has dismissed the idea of moving his best fielder in the infielder (Brandon Phillips) to shortstop, probably his most natural position. As for the Reds awful bullpen, I would call up Homer and see if he can be Don Gullett, Jr. At least that would give the Reds one more power arm.

 
at 8:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds are finally on a roll. Good to see. One has to hope, however, that this latest uptick doesn't prevent Krivsky from squeezing the trigger on some major trades designed to improve the club in the years to come. Adam Dunn, Kyle Lohse, Stormy Weathers and Hatteberg should each fetch a solid prospect, and Dunn might even yield a Fausto Carmona, who knows? As for Homer Bailey, I'd like to see him back up, but not as a starter, but instead, as a reliever. While his control has been awful lately, the Reds need a second power arm in the pen so Mac has another power option. Bailey cannot possibly be worse than Stanton, who should have been DFR'd (designated for retirement) about a month ago.

 
at 9:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone here pay the slightest bit of attention to what's going on? If you're going to move Phillips to shortstop, what do you do with Rodriguez? Ross plays because there is no one else in the organization to catch. Would you rather have Moeller or Valentin every day? Stanton has a two-year deal and can still get lefties out if used properly. And Homer Bailey as a reliever? The organization has repeatedly said how much it is protecting his arm, keeping him on a regular schedule, and you suggest to bring him to the majors as a reliever and possibly pitch every day or every other? I'm glad some of you aren't running this team or it would lose 120 games every year.

 
at 9:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:48,

You have perhaps the best 2nd baseman in the league. Why would you consider screwing that up and moving him to SS when you already have a good SS?

And who would you replace Ross with? While Ross doesn't hit for avg, actually it sucks, he brings an awful lot to the position that will never show up in HIS stats.

 
at 9:59 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Mac has made some good decisions (five infielders yesterday) but more importantly Mac is EVERYTHING Narron was not...he motivates, instills fear, he gets the players to play with confidence and desire. Why Narron was totally unable to keep morale up might be a mystery (he is reportedly everyone's cuddle-buddy-best-friend-nice-guy blah blah blah) but the Reds under Mac are a professional team who play hard and even when they screw up don't get down on themselves for long.

Under Narron, the Reds were a rudderless sail-shredded ship sitting in the dead calm of abysmally low morale. Under Mac, the Reds are cruising. Nothing is going to get the Mac team down, nothing is going to stop them from coming out the next day and getting it right.

Look at Stanton. He stunk and then Mac sends him out in the 9th and he strikes out the sides. Personally I don't think Stanton deserves to be higher than the old-folks' home softball team but Mac MUST get some credit for whatever he told Stanton and for putting him out there in a must-perform situation, and he performed. I'd still like to see Stanton retire RIGHT NOW but it is Mac doing things that have the Reds winning--it's not luck and it's not just the players "waking up" or whatever. This is Mac's influence and as long as he keeps doing his thing, I think the Reds can play with any team in the NL, and although they might not make it to the wildcard, I'd be shocked to see this team finish LESS than 15 games over .500 under Mac's part-season in command.

And if Mac does that and then gets fired, I'll boycott the Reds AGAIN in 2008.

The Reds had three big problems and now that Narron is gone they have two left: Castellini and Krivsky.

Let's hope that K&C can avoid dumb trades and poor hiring decisions and stay out of Mac's way.

 
at 10:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds are in the midst of their 1st hot streak of the season. You might say they were overdue. If you play enough games, it is inevitable that you have a nice stretch. I think the managerial change helped, but I think almost any reasonably qualified person could have been named manager & gotten similar results. Teams almost always play better immediately following a change. Lets give it some time before we start getting too carried away. They were bound to start winning more, too much talent here.

 
at 11:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Ross gets at bats because he can manage the pitching staff. The pitchers ERA is much higher when Valentin catches.

Plus, Ross throws out potential base stealers at one of the best rates in major league baseball.

While his batting average is patheitc, baseball fans who understand the entire game need to look beyond those numbers.

 
at 11:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 9:48 P.M...,... you are a moron! If you knew anything at all about baseball you would know why Bailey is at Louisville, Stanton is in the bull pen, Ross is catching, and why Phillips isn't being moved to shortstop.
why don't you leave the baseball comments to your wife or children!

 
at 1:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mackanin's reasonable lineups (Gonzalez doens't bat 5th any more), and management of the pitching staff is the difference. He also has the guys fired up which Narron was terrible at.

 
at 1:46 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think the success is combination of Mackanin's touch -- his style is different than Narron -- and success building on success. They are winning games the didn't win under Narron -- for whatever reason.

 
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