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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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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why did he unpack his bag?

From the Reds:

TODAY'S TRANSACTIONS: Today the Reds recalled from Class AAA Louisville RHP Matt Belisle and optioned to Louisville RHP Todd Coffey.

#13: During on-field ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. tonight the Reds will retire the uniform jersey #13 worn from 1970-88 by shortstop Dave Concepcion...in tribute, Reds SS Alex Gonzalez, also a Venezuelan native, will wear #13 for tonight’s game.

RED HOT: Beginning July 3, the Reds have the best record in the National League (27-19, .587).

I know Coffey is whipping boy of posters on the blog, but I hope they told him in this in advance. That's a little harsh to me.


21 Comments:

at 3:37 PM Blogger Frank Robinson's Ghost said...

I agree that its is hard, and I hope he knew it in advance. But they called him up for yesterday's game because the bullpen was trashed and they needed possible length from the pen.

The bullpen has recovered somewhat, and they needed a starter for tonight's game. Who else on the 25 man should have gone down to AAA? Someone might claim Gosling.

 
at 3:39 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Coffey's "whippings" are well-deserved. Too bad they can't retire Coffey himself, along with #13 tomorrow. Stop kissing up to the players, John! Coffey has done his best Tomko impersonation and hopefully all the fans "yelling" about his call-up lead to a reversal of that inane decision, and Coffey doesn't need anyone feeling sorry for him. He knows what he needs to do to get back into the major leagues but he doesn't deserve ENDLESS "tryouts" up here.

We're in a pennant race, don't forget!

 
at 3:48 PM Anonymous ADMS said...

Whipping boy...yes. The guy gets paid more money in a year than most of us will see in 10, so we expect the players to perform to their best and to be professionals. At the major league level, he has not been the best available to the Reds. It's strange to feel (what's that word again) hope with the Reds and that sinking feeling when you see Coffey and Stanton trip and fall to the mound to give up 4 runs isn't in the future. I (probably) speak for many when I wonder out loud how and why he got that extension when the writing was on the wall that something was wrong with him pitching at a major league level.
At what time can we finally retire "The Inning That Will Remain Unknown" for the 8th inning? Maybe that's where the hope comes from!
I know for whatever reason Coffey pitches well in Louisville. When he arrives 100 miles northeast from there, he leaves something behind in Louisville! I think we have a term for those - professional minor leaguers.
The Reds are indirectly cutting the deadwood - it starts with Coffey and should continue from there especially in a couple of weeks when more minor leaguers can come on up.
I hope it isn't short-term, but isn't it fun to see the Reds winning and playing decent baseball again? This has been such a long season!
Now, all we need is to have some comfortable weather again and let's sell out GABP! A little extra money for some free agents and re-signs would help, right?

Question to John and the bloggers - if Dunn hits 50 HR and 110-120+ RBI and sheds maybe 10-20 pounds in the offseason for extra speed, do we keep him and pay the option?

 
at 4:28 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Justin: I'm not kissing up to players. Coffey and I had a bit of a run in before he was shipped out the last time over something I wrote. Guardado and I had it out a bit the other day.

I merely pointed out it was little harsh to bring a guy up for a day and send him out. Coffey's a great guy.

So kindly chill out. You're starting to wear me out.

Adms: I think the Reds pick up the Dunn option.

 
at 4:52 PM Blogger Dan H said...

I agree they should keep Dunn. I also believe Votto will be traded for pitching and either Keppinger or Cantu will platoon with Hatteberg at first in 2008. If keppinger and Cantu have strong finishes to the season it could enable the Reds to market Encarnacion for pitching as well. Keppinger's style of offense is what the team needs in their lineup in the #2 hole.

 
at 4:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John

Bruce and Votto have both shown that they deserve a chance to be up here and compete for a spot next year. There would be 5 players, Griffey, Dunn, Hamilton, Bruce and Votto competing for 4 positions. Do they keep Bruce in AAA next year and wait for 2009 when Griffey and Dunn's contracts are up? Do they bring Bruce up and platoon 4 outfielders? Do they move Dunn to 1st and trade Votto for veteran pitching? Do they pick up Dunn's option and trade him. Wouldn't these questions be easier to answer if Bruce and Votto had been brought up after the All Star Break?

 
at 4:56 PM Blogger Mark T said...

I hope the Reds pick up the Dunn option, and think they are smart enough to see the numbers, which speak for themselves.

And I frankly tire of this attitude that players who don't perform well can be trashed and bad-mouthed. They never give less than 100%, even if they don't do as well as they would like. They are human beings, and ought to be treated with ordinary respect.

 
at 5:09 PM Blogger docproc said...

I'm with you, John:

Chill, Justin.

 
at 5:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Radical idea for next year if the Reds pick up Dunn's option. Dunn, Hamilton and Bruce in the outfield with Junior at first base. What do you think?

 
at 5:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Brantley said what Reds Nation all felt. Hes a choker. At a baseball level, he pitches great when theyre trailing with no pressure, put him in a meaningful situation in the 8th inning and he implodes. At a larger level, he signs a multimillion dollar contract and can't get anyone out with any consistency. Coffey is the poster child for the Reds season gone wrong in 2007. HIm pulling rank on a reporter is hilarious. Take heart John, maybe he'll be your buddy when hes unemplyed in 2009. He has only himself to blame. JOhn- can you pull some strings at the Enquirer and get them to republish his enquirer Fashion spread featuring Tommy Bahama from last year. It's nothing personal, but when you play for the Reds , cash in a million dollar payday and perform at an embarassingly sub-MLB level, expect the wrath from the fans that you earned.

 
at 5:45 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Dunn is the most entertaining player on the team. When a ball goes into the left field corner, he looks just like a fat Rocky Balboa chasing a chicken.

 
at 6:13 PM Blogger docproc said...

Hey folks, I'm as unhappy with Decaf as the rest of you--but lighten up! John was just raising a point about treating a player humanely. Beating up John because you don't like Coffey makes no sense. Knock it off.

 
at 7:15 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Poor millionaire players. What a tough life, dealing with writers and blogging fans for such tiny salaries and no perks! (cough cough) If any player doesn't like criticism they need to either play better or find a new profession.

Adm, I hope they keep Dunn even if he adds 10 Big Macs to the chin and waistline in the off-season. If the Reds dump Dunn, they'll be sorry, and will take a large step backwards. I wish Dunn would be inspired more by Ted Williams than by Ronald McDonald but the year he's having this year is fine, and he IS the kind of player that belongs on a post-season team.

A-Gone needs to B-Gone next year. Keppinger, Encarnacion, Phillips, and Votto (I hope) should be our infield. Hatteberg is slowly convincing me that he'd be a nice player to keep, provided he doesn't start too many games or get put in the 4-hole when he does start.

Who I'd like to see NOT on the Reds next year besides A-Gon and Coffey:

Stanton
Majewski (if he's so damn good, trade him!)
Arroyo (see above)
Ellison
Gosling
Saarloos
Weathers (unless he finds self-discipline and does some conditioning--one chin on the mound at a time, please)

If Bray and Burton are for real, great! Harang is the ace. Now if we can find 4 starters in the off-season, hurray!

Bray, Burton, Guardado for innings 7-9. Okay, maybe we have to keep Weathers as "closure insurance"

The lineup of:

Hamilton
Keppinger
Griffey
Phillips
Dunn
Encarnacion
Valentin
Votto
(P)

with Hopper and Hatteburg on the bench...well that's a real nice offense. Can't wait to see Bruce up here too.

What a shame our pitching is as bad as the offense is good.

I hope AAA and AA have 3 starters for the Reds, because without 3 new starters, it's going to be another LONG season in 2008.

Houston and St. Louis will be much better next year, than they are this year, and so will Milwaukee...

KEEP DUNN OR LEAVE WITH HIM!!!

 
at 7:38 PM Anonymous Nick in Toledo said...

What's up with Jeff Brantley doing tv? I thought he was doing radio?

 
at 8:01 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

No one is trashing players for failing to go 5-5 or shut down opposing bats.

But failing to throw strikes (nearly every Red) and failing to work on your conditioning (multiple chins should be a point of shame for the chunksters) AND failing to play the game intelligently and with discipline is the only issues I've had with players.

If you're a relief pitcher, you either need to throw strikes or go to the minor leagues. PERIOD.

If you're getting a million bucks to play a kids' game professionally, you need to leave the music and the over-eating and the other hobbies you might have on the sidelines between February and September (and hopefully October someday again), and learn how to run the bases and field your position and back up the play at the plate and hit the cutoff man, etc...if learning a game that most kids MASTER by high school (fundamentally) why should you be paid 6 or 7 figures to perform in the Show? The number of major leaguers who can't bunt is absolutely RIDICULOUS.

It's not asking too much of the players to care enough to try to make the post-season. Is it?

If any of them don't have the goal of reaching the playoffs (at least) then they can go play somewhere other than the HOME OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL.

The Reds are playing exceptional baseball right now. I don't see any failure to hustle but I still see plenty of poor plate discipline and awful pitching (failing to throw strikes). There's also a large LACK of talented arms. That's a fact. I'm sure the untalented pitchers try real hard but, sorry, that's not good enough if you can't at least throw strikes and execute on a major league level (not on an All-Star level, just with professional competence) you belong in the minor leagues (at best).

Just give 100%. Why would any Reds fan not DEMAND that of players, every game (not just most but EVERY game)?

Wow, Gary in Cincinnati's e-mail, that Marty just read...holy cow! What a jerk. Marty is a GREAT BROADCASTER and he's almost never wrong in his assessment of the Reds... It just goes to show you how cool Marty is--instead of burying the most critical e-mail he's probably ever received (the guy told Marty to leave Cincy) he read it on the air!

Long live Marty, Joe, Cowboy, Lil' Marty, and free speech!

Marty and Nuxy are THE best team of broadcasters I've ever heard (including 1960s-1980 in the NYC market with lots of talent there).

 
at 9:46 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

11-1...Very niiiiace. I like!

Belisle? So good.... Even after HR single single made it 11-2...

Wow! Nice job! Welcome back to the SHOW.

And here comes the lousy bullpen to make things INTERESTING...ugh!

11-4 and still no one out=business as usual in the late innings.

The Reds MUST ADDRESS this problem, as they're not going to be taking a 10-run lead into too many 8th innings, not this year, and not next year, and not in any season!

Stanton is NOT the answer.

Unless the question is: how can the Reds avoid making the playoffs again in 2008?

 
at 10:59 PM Blogger Redsheart said...

John

Coffey is young. He has a good future, I guess. But Stanton is old... He needs to retire. We shouldn't use Saarloos and him in the winning game. Why did Pete bring Weathers in the top of the 9th? Burton threw only one pitch.

DFA Stanton. We lose a large amount on a contract with him. But I'd rather lose money than lose the game...

 
at 12:54 AM Anonymous ADMS said...

After tonight's game, and given how well the Reds have been playing lately, it's so much easier to see the weaker links.

I just cannot imagine Stanton being a Red in a day or two. It is borderline insanity to put him in a game. This was supposed to be a NO STRESS situation for him - just come in, get a few outs, and get out. WAY TOO MUCH TO ASK! When did he come in - 11 to 2 I believe? That's a relief pitchers' dream!

What a night to hit 591 with his dad in the stadium. Great night to be a Reds fan.

I'm glad to read that many of you want to keep Dunn in town given his continued power surge. Hamilton. Junior. Dunn. If the three stay healthy, that should give other teams night sweats.

So, is EE trade bait, or is A-Gone just that?

 
at 1:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason Coffey, Belisle and several other pitchers this year did better at Louisville was because they were working with a better pitching coach. Maybe they relate better to Ted Power than Dick Pole. I think this would also explain Arroyo's slump this year. Arroyo said at some point he wasn't preparing the way he used to. Isn't the pitching coach's job to set the prep schedule for the pitchers? Pole's reputation as Greg Maddux's guru sounds great, but his track record as a coach doesn't seem to be as good. Wasn't he coaching for the Royals in the mid-90s? They had some pretty bad pitching around that time. Maybe Pole isn't communicating with the staff

 
at 4:29 AM Blogger Redsheart said...

Pole's Coaching career

Pole began his coaching career in the Cubs' minor league system in 1983, and joined their major league coaching staff in 1988, working as pitching coach for Don Zimmer. Pole remained in that capacity through 1991, during which time he oversaw the development of Greg Maddux.

Maddux credits Pole as a major influence, and a significant contributor to his success. In a 2005 interview, he said, "I remember when Dick Pole told me one day, ‘Why don’t you stop trying to strike guys out? Just try to get them out, and you’ll probably strike out just as many guys, if not more. He was right. I’ve always tried with two strikes just to make a pitch and get the guy out. You get a lot of strikeouts just on accident."[5]

Pole returned to his roots as pitching coach for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1992, then spent 1993-1997 on the coaching staff of the San Francisco Giants, under Dusty Baker. Pole next worked as bullpen coach for Boston in 1998. After that, he was pitching coach for the Anaheim Angels in 1999, for the Cleveland Indians from 2000-2001, and for the Montreal Expos in 2002. He re-joined the coaching staff of the Cubs in 2003. He is currently the pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds, taking the job in early November 2006. When Pole was coaching the Cubs under Jim Essian and the Cubbies were in a deep losing streak, he was summarily fired by the Cubs. As he was leaving he remarked"well I guess this losing streak must be my fault". That remark is deeply embedded in Cub history and Trivia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Pole

Team's ERA

1993 SF as starter 3.72ERA as Reliver 3.44ERA
1997 SF as starter 4.25ERA as Reliver 4.75ERA
1998 BOS as starter 4.36ERA as Reliver 3.86ERA
1999 ANA as starter 5.20ERA as Reliver 4.03ERA
2000 CLE as starter 5.13ERA as Reliver 4.33ERA
2001 CLE as starter 5.26ERA as Reliver 3.70ERA
2002 MON as starter 4.04ERA as Reliver 3.85ERA
2003 CHC as starter 3.69ERA as Reliver 4.16ERA
2007 CIN as starter 4.94ERA as Reliver 5.09ERA

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?team=CIN&year=2007

Well, he is not good as a pitching coach...

 
at 7:55 AM Anonymous bh said...

The last few games have demonstrated that the real problem with Adam Dunn has nothing to do with Adam Dunn. It's really just simple math. If you put guys in the lineup ahead of him batting over .300, he suddenly starts hitting three-run homeruns instead of solos. Don't complain about Adam Dunn not hitting with men on base if the manager puts guys batting .250 ahead of him.

Reds relief pitching has been bad, but Reds management has been horrible at managing the Reds offense. Will Valentin, hitting .290 be replaced by Ross, bouncing around .200 when Ross is healthy?

Starting Ross continually after June 1 is one of the biggest mistakes the Reds have made this year, but I haven't heard anyone on this blog mention it.

Can you really even consider putting Keppinger back on the bench and playing Gonzales at short? If you want to win, you play the guys who will help you win.

I also agree with Justin on Coffey. These are millionaires playing a boys game. It's not like demotion to AAA is a layoff without pay. There are plenty of folks in Ohio who aren't ballplayers who can tell about that.

bh

 
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