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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, August 3, 2007

Day off with a purpose

Brandon Phillips is not in the Reds lineup tonight. Pete Mackanin said it was a day off and that Phillips hasn't hit Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell very well. But after Phillips met with Dick Pole, then Mackanin behind closed doors, I figured it had something to do with Phillips not running hard on the two double plays last night. "That might have something to do with it," Mackanin said. Mackanin left it at that. He likes Phillips as a player. He likes the emotion Phillips play with, but that emotion gets the best of Phillips at times.


at 6:13 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Well, I'm happy about any discipline issues being addressed quickly and forcefully by Mac. The players need a strong manager to handle the egos...after all, they are stars, on a path to great wealth (the young ones), and have to be very discouraged and frustrated with the you-know-whats upstairs but there's no excuse for sloppy or lazy play and I'm impressed that Mac will not tolerate any crap from even their best players.

Everyone needs to play hard, no mulligans for the stars, even when they're playing on the major league equivalent of the Titanic.

That said, trying to break a 5-game losing streak with your best speed+power combo guy not starting!


at 6:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the old quote about rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

at 6:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was at the game last night at RFK and was struck by the lack of energy on the field for the Reds. I coached Little League for a few years and some of these guys remind of the kids I coached; Santos and Encarnacion shuffle around; Phillips did a slow walk back to dugout after the double plays; guys walk back to dugout after bad AB lookinglike they are feeling sorry for themselves.

Pete needs to get some of them to grow up and act like professional baseball men.

at 6:32 PM Anonymous jc said...

you guys think that bobby valentine would put up with this loafing.
bobby valentine.

at 6:54 PM Blogger Adam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

at 7:02 PM Blogger Adam said...

It amazes that the Reds have "running out ground balls" problems. It simply amazes me. I follow lots of teams, and I never read about hustle problems. Ever. It seems the Reds need either a bunch of discipline in the clubhouse or need to blow up this team. It is absolutely ridiculous that these sorts of concerns are even issues on a major league roster. I am disgusted.

at 7:38 PM Blogger Mark T said...

Squeeze me ... should this not be a matter for the players to handle? Do we have no leadership?

at 7:56 PM Blogger jbench5 said...

Mark T is right on the button ... players no longer hold each other accountable. Different era. Just finished reading the Summer of '49 a couple weeks back, and it sounds like back in the day players got on each other quite a bit.

As we know, those days are looooong over.

John, just wondering, with stories you heard about the Big Red Machine, did they hold each other accountable? It sounds like Sparky left all the policing to players.

at 8:04 PM Blogger John Fay said...

First of all, a player could have said something to Phillips for all I know. I know someone said something to Hamilton when he didn't run out a ball in June.

But Mackanin has to show he's in control.

Finally, I didn't cover the Big Red Machine. But what I've heard is players disciplined themselves. But Sparky was the man. You need both.

at 8:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John- I know this is coming out of left field but Jay Bruce has torn up lefties in limited at bats in AAA. Hitting .350 with a .435 obp, granted only 20 at bats, but with the way this team tears up left handed pitching, how can you not want guys like him and Keppinger that have good numbers against lefties in the lineup?

at 8:06 PM Blogger jbench5 said...

thanks for the feedback, John ....

at 8:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another one out of left field- Future major leaguers Joey Votto hit a run scoring sac fly, Jay Bruce had a two run hr, and Jorge Cantu kept his hot bat going with a single for Louisville last inning. Bellhorn, Conine, and either Freel or Hopper need to go, they are not the future, we need to get a lineup set for next year.

at 8:55 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I'd leave Bruce where he is until September. Then I'd give him a taste of the big leagues. I'd have Votto up soon.

at 9:23 PM Blogger Leisure Suit Larry said...

Why was the pitching coach involved?

at 12:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, seems odd that he would meet up with Dick Pole reguarding how hard he is playing, unless it wasn't exactly about that. You'd think Pat Kelly or maybe Billy Hatcher(not sure if he handles the infielders though).

at 1:47 AM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

Nobody notices this, but Phillips has hit into about 4 billion double-plays this year. It's actually 19, but that's pretty absurd -- he's one behind his buddy Orlando Hudson for the NL "lead."

Phillips does some things very well, but a .323 OBP and a double-play rate that would make Sean Casey blush are not the signs of the only "untouchable" position player in an organization. A smart one, anyway.

at 6:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did this one guy on here think that Hopper has to go? From watching him play, if anything, he needs to play everyday, instead of Ryan Freel. As much as I like Freel, Hopper brings more to the table. He is the master at bunting his way on with push bunts towards first! I love it!! He has just as much speed, (if not more), and he acts like he cares. Jr. might be a Hall-of-Famer, but I think it might be best to let him go,and trade him. I wouldnt have a problem with Hopper, Dunn, and Hamilton being the outfield. Everyone wants Dunn traded, but it would be hard to replace his Hr's and rbi's and walks...he plays all the time, and has hardly ever been injured. Until Bruce or someone else is ready, keep Dunn and trade Jr. Is a coincidence that ever since we got Jr., this team has wallowed in or near the bottom, and has had hustle issues? If he wont hustle down the 1st base line, why should the other players? He needs to set more of an example! But it isnt his style.

at 8:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Reds management goals is to make you happy..

Justin again...this season is over and you need to come to terms with this fellow

I am impressed with Mac also Justin..in case you have not noticed his record is almost identical to Narrons.. Too funny

at 11:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Titanic was the largest and most sophisticated passenger steamship in the world, one of the greatest technological marvels of its day. With that in mind, it's not exactly an apt comparison to liken the Reds, who were predicted by most every expert to finish in last place, to be comparable to the Titanic in any way. In short, a losing Yankees team is the Titanic, a losing Reds team is the leaking sailboat your wife told you not to buy.
- Monroe.

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