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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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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Reds 7, Cardinals 2 -- Dunn gets it done

Adam Dunn has equalled his 2006 September home run and RBI totals in tonight's game. Dunn homered in second and hit a grand slam in the third. He had two home runs and five RBI for all of last September. The slam nearly landed on the deck of the river boat in center. It traveled an estimated 471 feet, which was roughly the height of his first home run.

“Every time he comes up, you think you might see something like you did tonight,” Pete Mackanin said. “That’s what you come to the ballpark for. Those fans who saw that grand slam off the roof of that boat – I guarantee they’re going to be talking about it.”

Dunn's up to 38 home runs and 101 RBI. His career-high for RBI is 102.

I see no way in the world the Reds don't pick up that option at this point. Sounds like Mackanin sees it that way, too.

“Numbers are numbers,” Mackanin said. “Results are what count at this level. You look at over 100 RBIs, 40 home runs, 100 runs scored. It's hard to replace numbers like that. And he's a good teammate. He’s a solid guy. Everybody likes him.”


27 Comments:

at 9:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunn in left. Votto at first. Cantu traded. Problem solved.

 
at 9:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John I'm inclined to believe with you regarding the option (though I've only come to this conclusion recently after the Dye contract, etc.). This still leaves me wondering what the Reds long term plan is for the outfield. If the Reds pick up Dunn's option they have Dunn, Hamilton, Griffey, and Bruce that should all be playing every day. About the only way to do that is to keep Bruce at AAA next season. However, if Bruce performs well at AAA to start next season how do the Reds manage to get all of them playing time. All are of course left handed hitters so there are no platoon options (although none should be platooned anyway).

As I understand it if the Reds pick up Dunn's option he has a no trade clause until June 15. If Bruce is progressing well at AAA by that point what do the Reds do? Do they trade Dunn? Do they try to work out a long term deal with Dunn? With Griffey's contract could they trade him even if they wanted (C.Trent Rosecrans has speculated that he is untradeable b/c of that)?

Four players for three spots the numbers just don't add up so somebody has to feel the pinch. How do you see this all working out John?

-- Redbeard

 
at 9:39 PM Blogger Jeff Lehner said...

"I see no way in the world the Reds don't pick up that option at this point."

Here's hoping. It would be unwise to let that guy go and count on a guy (Bruce) who has yet to swing at a pitch in the big leagues to pick up the slack.

 
at 10:18 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Next year is JRs last contractual year with Cincy. Bruce can wait one year can't he? Or if the team is bad again only a half a year.

 
at 10:20 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

You are right. Dunn has surprised me this year. After last season, I thought he had to go but he has had the best year of his career so far this season. I guess we need him, even if he does play like a drunken monkey some times.

 
at 10:20 PM Anonymous Gary214 said...

Something tells me with Hamilton, we have a young Edmonds...with some extra speed. Unfortunately, he seems to be a young Edmonds with an older Edmunds habit of getting hurt! My point is this...don't count on those 3 (Griff, Hamilton, Dunn) absorbing all the playing time next year...there will be room for Hopper (at least I hope they keep this kid) and Bruce in the outfield! And hopefully, the cream rises to the top! PLEASE RE-SIGN DUNN!!!!

 
at 10:25 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

There's absolutely no way they DON'T pick up Dunn's option. There was never really much doubt, except among some bloggers and idiot sportstalk.

Dunn is an asset . . . whether that is in the lineup or, more likely, as two draft picks for turning free agent after 2008.

To just let him walk away to keep from paying the $13 mil never made an ounce of sense.

And Jay Bruce spends 60-75 days at AAA--regardless of his spring training.

But yeah, the immortal waiver wire deal of Jorge Cantu brings a No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 starter, or closer, they so badly need.

Good grief.

 
at 12:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Votto at 1st; backup Cantu
Phillips at 2nd; backup Keppinger
Keppinger at ss; backup Gonzales
Encarnacion at 3rd; backup Keppinger or Cantu
Dunn in Left;
Hamilton in Center;
Bruce in Right;
OF Backups: Hopper, Freel, Keppinger (Griffey likely traded for Pitching but who the heck knows what the front office is capable of doing?)

That's the best core offensive team at this point.

Too bad the pitching is nowhere near as good, and won't be for 2-3 years at minimum.

 
at 1:55 AM Blogger Phill said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one not looking to rush Jay Bruce to the majors. We have outfielders..plenty. There will be room enough if someone gets hurt or after Griffey is done. Just don't be disappointed if he ain't on the starting line up next seasons start.

 
at 5:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you clowns lost your marbles..Dunn has one good game and he becomes your "second coming"

Lehrner..Cheviot..excuse me but our record is what..we need him for what?

You have power in Griffey, Encarnacion, Hamilton, and Votto

Teams aint coming into GABP and beating us with homers..they are beating us because they play the game of baseball correctly.

Stick Keppinger or Hopper in Left Field and use the money from Dunn, Milton etc to get some pitching.

Yeah we need Dunn so we can once again have a record of ten games under 500.. Oh Please

 
at 6:05 AM Blogger Irondog said...

John

The Reds need four good outfielders. The way this game is played, speed is a need and not a luxury. Hamilton and Hopper give us speed. Dunn and Griffy need 2 days off per week(Don't we all) Jay Bruce can come up later when his defense is better.

 
at 7:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" department, if the Reds played at the clip all season they have under Mackanin (34-28, .548), they'd be 79-65 and leading the division by 5 1/2 games.

 
at 8:17 AM Anonymous Money Mike said...

I dont care for Dunn that much, but everyday I watch him I get and more respect for the man. Where else do you get 40 hrs and 110 RBI...if we lose Dunn where are we going to get those numbers back from. You can count on Bruce the majors definetly arent the minors. You remember the hype surrounding Branden Larsen...well that turned out great didnt it. Pickup Dunn and worry about the lineup card later. So for the Bruce lovers, i like him but he doesnt have my love, just wait I mean the guys 20 we have some time with him.

 
at 8:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Krivsky attempted to restructure this team he stated.....you will not win a division by outscoring people 7-6 every night. He was right, the Reds place in the standings verifies that statement.

What part of being one of the best home run hitting teams in baseball during 7 consecutive losing seasons do we not understand?

With a limited budget, the Reds must spend their money on pitching and count of the young, inexpensive players to carry the offensive load.

 
at 9:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how the manager stated he wants to see major leaguers not platoon guys. While a platoon is good when you don't have high caliber guys, the Reds have a bunch of high caliber guys now.

Everyon etalks about how many lefties the Reds have, but if factor the all lefty outfield plus Votto at first, the rest of the position players are right handed. If Phillips can continue to play with the power he has shown, I see no reason to force a righty in the outfield.

If the Reds can trade over the winter Hatteberg, Cantu, or Freel in some combination for a good #3 pitcher I would call it a win-win situation.

Now if we can get teachers in the minor leagues so to produce more young talent...

Adrian

 
at 10:43 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

A plate of cheese Coneys will bring a No. 3 starter before Hatteberg or Cantu, but nice dreamin'.

Many of you keep saying take the money saved from Milton, Dunn, Griffey to get pitching. From where? For whom?

Keppinger deserves to be the starting shortstop over Gonzalez, especially making Gonzalez a $4 million backup? Be sure to get those Coneys all da way.

Simply amazed at the number of people who want to hand Bruce, Keppinger and Hopper starting jobs based on a grand total of 227 big league games (not all starts) covering five combined seasons.

In other words, a season and a half over three players. Unreal. Which is why it won't happen.

 
at 10:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought with the size of gabp ithink we can trade dunn and griff and use hopper and bruse cause every one who comes to the park is a home run hitter even pitures?

 
at 12:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Redlegs

Let's take a look at what the reds have done since adding Hopper and Kep to the lineup. Increased the output in the first two positions and the reds have a winning record. Amazing what can happen when people get on base and can hit for average.
Sure they may not be able to duplicate that success next year, but I would chance those two at the top of the lineup over Freel and Gonzalez. How about packaging them for a fungo bat and some tofu or Brooklyn or Chicago style pizza. Please!!!
There is potential here for a quality starting lineup. Get some pitching (let Cueto and Bailey take there lumps, does anone recall what Atlanta did with Smoltz and Glavine. Check out Glavine's firt year record.) and we could have a chance
Philmann

 
at 12:37 PM Blogger Ron said...

At the beginning of the season I felt the Reds did not have players to hit the roles to be competitive. The season has proven me correct. The team is better with Hopper playing regularly and leading off, he is the only legitimate lead off hitter available. Keppinger needs to bat second because he handles the bat very well and can move a runner. His position is shortstop regardless of all those who say he cannot play the position. Phillips with his combination of speed, hitting, and power, is a natural to bat third (that means Griffey moves). Encarnacion continues to improve with the bat and in the field and needs to stay at short. Votto seems a lock for the future at first. Hamilton's best position seems more likely to be right field rather than center (again indicating a move for Griffey). That leaves Dunn in left unless Bruce is ready to take over that position.
The other issue that was apparent from the beginning is the need for another front line starting pitcher. Trading Griffey, having Milton's dollars available, and potentially not picking up the contract for Dunn makes signing a #! or #2 pitcher a reality. That makes Bailey a #3, Arroyo a #4, and #5 open for competition. The next step is to EXPECT that all starting pitchers complete seven or more innings. The bullpen becomes much more reliable if they only need to cover 2 innings. Belisle returns to long relief where he did well.
This is a plan that allows for individuals to play roles in which they can thrive and the team can win. It eliminates individuals being stuck in slots that prevent placing a winning team on the field. The Reds need to return to putting pressure on the opponents by having people who can manufacture runs at the top of the batting order and having three to four starting pitchers who will consistently restrict the number of runs scored against them. ERA's need to be under 3.60, not above 4.50. Finally, I would bring Gullet back as pitching coach. He did more with less than Pole has ever done.

 
at 2:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Signing a #1 or #2 pitcher?? From where? Mr. Redlegs is right. There's not too much high-quality pitching available. Not too much is a euphemism for NONE.

No matter what the Reds do in 2008, there's no guarantee it will work. Jay Bruce might have a Ryan Braun type-year or an Alex Gordon type year...who knows? But if he stays in AAA, that will just be stupidity on the part of the Reds. He's ready.

Yet, the pitching problem is not going to be completely solved over the next two off-seasons even if the Reds dangle Junior, Dunn, and Phillips (whom they better not trade) as bait.

So 2010 is the earliest to expect a "competitive" team. And extrapolations aside, the Reds would not be leading the division by 5 1/2 games if Pete were here from opening day. He's just another Narron, a real "genius" when the Reds have a big lead, and a bungler in close games and with lineups.

 
at 2:11 PM Anonymous Denny Crane said...

Griffey is the one who needs to be traded, but no one will take him. A winning team will put (as Pete Rose once stated) a lot more asses in the seats than watching Ken Griffey Jr loaf his way thru another season. Griffey only plays to pad his stats. Where else but Cincinnati could he still hit 30+ homers? He couldn't care less whether the team wins or loses.

What is all the hoopla about 600 HRs in the era of the home run. Sure its a lot of HRs but what does 600 mean? That he is still 10 behind the legendary Sammy Sosa? To compare Ken Griffey Jr to baseball's best is an insult to the Willie Mays's, Ted Williams's, Hank Aarons, Frank Robinsons's, Babe Ruths, Stan Musials and so forth. So much talent and so little effort and desire, what a waste!

 
at 2:22 PM Blogger Champ Summers said...

I love all the armchair GM's out there. My guess is its not that easy. This line up that line up, c'mon. This isn't your fantasy/roto team. There is a lot more to putting togther a team than stat lines.

We need pitching and so does everyone. "Lets just trade in my '98 Camry for that Eddie Bauer Expedition." Pitching is in demand and supply is low. That is why we overpaid for Milton and thats why we'll overpay again in the FA market.

 
at 2:31 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Good to see Buck Coats get a little playing time instead of Jay Bruce. He could be the left handed equivalent of Jason Ellison. Good to see the K-man is always trying to improve the ball club.

Mike Stanton, Rheal Comier, Chris Hammond, Estaban Yan, Joe Mays, Sun Wu Kim, Kyle Lohse, Kirk Saarloos, Victor Santos, Chris Mihalik, Rick White, The Lizard, not to mention the ridiculous contract extensions to Todd Coffey and Ryan Freel and paying at least twice what Alex Gonzalez is worth.
How did keeping Jerry Narron around so long and continually lying to the fans and media improve the ball club?

okay lets be fair, Phillips was a great addition. Hamilton and Burton look good. When was the last time a starting catcher finished the season with a sub .200 batting average? Who signed him?

I think firing the minor league staffers will turn the club right around. Good Job K-man.

 
at 3:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lord, if I was GM, I'd let Dunner walk. How about we quit obsessing over all of our offense, and WORRY ABOUT PITCHING?! Griff, Hamilton, Votto, Phillips, etc. can all pick up Dunner's offensive production [not a whole lot is clutch either, just homers]. We need his money for pitching. We have NOT won with Dunn, so why not try without him? If we were to trade him, we wouldn't get what we exactly wanted. But, if we let him walk, we'd get 2 or 3 really good draft picks for him, and we could draft from a pool of lots of good candidates. I'd rather see Hopper play left. He's fast, good defense, hits well. Tell Dunn to complain about a double switch.

 
at 3:22 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Keep Dunn, DUMP GRIFFEY! Very easy choice, if you can find someone to take him.

 
at 4:26 PM Anonymous Monroe said...

Everyone wants pitching.
This is what will be out there: (a few others might crop up if their options aren't picked up ... and those guys are just as lame.)

Starting Pitchers

Shawn Chacon PIT
Matt Clement BOS
Bartolo Colon LAA
Scott Elarton CLE
Josh Fogg COL
Freddy Garcia PHI
Livan Hernandez ARZ
Jason Jennings HOU
Jon Lieber PHI
Kyle Lohse PHI
Rodrigo Lopez COL
Wade Miller CHC
Eric Milton CIN
Kenny Rogers DET
Curt Schilling BOS
Carlos Silva MIN
Kip Wells STL
Jaret Wright BAL
Victor Zambrano BAL

If the Reds are going to pick up QUALITY pitching it will have to be via a trade and they'll have to get lucky like they did with Arroyo.

And to the geniuses who bash Griffey ...

AVG .283 | HR 30 | RBI 92 | OBP .384 | SLG .519

if those stats are from being "lazy," I'll take a team full of lazy anyday.

 
at 5:34 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

Yes, Dunn gets his option picked up and yes Griffey is back next year as well.

Dunn has put together a very solid year (I have been asking for the Reds to trade him all Year by the way) but he's really turned it on (for Dunn) the last couple of months. I have always liked Dunn but the last 2 years and the first half of this year I was disappointed by what I saw as a lack of production with runners on base. Dunn has done an excellent job and I feel he has put together a very solid year. So yes his option gets picked up for next year.

Griffey will still be chasing 600 by the start of next season so he'll stay and help pack the house for a while. Hopefully the team gets off to a good start and the fans keep coming in after 600.

Now what may likely happen is that either one gets traded before the trade deadline next year and Bruce gets a call up then.

Or what no-one wants to say or hasn't thought about is that the Reds actually trade some of their young talent for some quality pitching. The team will likely get better value for youth and we might just have to come to terms with the fact that we have to give a lot in order to get a lot.

I hope that Keppinger and Hamilton both stay. I'd like to see Votto and Bruce playing next year as well but I wouldn't be surprised if we look to move one of them in order to get us a top-notch starter. It just makes sense guys. Pitching is the key to having a successful season, a key to being a playoff contender. We obviously need some starting pitching help as well as a closer. We have value in our farm system and I believe we are going to have to part ways with some of it in order to get the pitching we need.

What do you think John? Who has more value Bruce or Votto?

 
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