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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 4, 2007

I'm back

I sort of took Redfil's advice -- "John, take a few days off and get a clue." I took yesterday off. I looked for a clue but didn't find one.

I saw about three pitches of yesterday's game. I'm a bit surprised that Bruce didn't get the call-up. I thought an at-bat here and there and couple of starts might do him good.

The situation is getting critical for Pete Mackanin. I think he needs a good September to have a chance at the job. The club is 0-3 in the month so far, but more discouraging is the fact they're 0-2 with Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang on the mound.

As for Jason Ellison, I don't know.

I apologize for unposted comments. The people who usually post them when I'm off were off yesterday.


at 10:37 AM Blogger cincikid said...

I enjoy your insight and your opinions. It would be great if there wasn't such a delay in posting the comments, so we could discuss the topic. I feel just by doing this would greatly increase your posters and viewers. If your worried about the childish language and unwanted listeners just drop the "anonymous". That way you can block or kick out those posters. I also like CTR's Blog. But his blog will be gone and you will be our only source.


at 11:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wrap my mind around the fact Ellison is still on this team. Going 1 for 19, send him packing already!

at 12:35 PM Blogger Phill said...

In my opinion Ellison is fine, as a defensive replacement. Nothing else except maybe a pinch runner. Maybe we can all await the day when Pete pinch hits Ellison for Hamilton...

at 12:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - Could you please comment on the Hanigan call up? I think there are some questions as to why he was called up and not Jorgensen?

at 12:55 PM Anonymous ADMS said...

Boy, if the Pittsburgh and Saint Louis series weren't the cold shower, yesterday's Mets disaster was.

I know everyone has been screaming it all season about how the management just doesn't seem to care about the fans (they just want our money) and our loyality...which is stretched very thin since 2000.

So, we get the ball rolling again after winning 6 in a row against some decent teams and we actually played some decent ball. How are we rewarded?
- The nightmare in Pittsburgh
- King Albert in Saint Louis taking swipes at our team MVP (or co-MVP with Harang)
- 30,000+ at GABP on a nice hot day on Labor Day - no Kepp...not even as a pitch hitter. When someone is batting close to .370 after 100+ ABs, play him.
- Stanton entered the game. I swear I saw a cheese coney wrapper stuck to his shoe. Maybe it was the heat playing with my mind...
- Griffey and his 400 foot "must be admired" singles
- Dread when Griffey and Dunn come to the plate with two on and two out.

It wasn't bad enough that GABP was Wrigley South. However, anyone at yesterday's game must wonder what was going on in the 120s and 130s sections (I was in that area) with all of the Mets caps and the chants of "Lets Go Mets." WE SHOULD BE SICK AT THIS POINT!

Now...the brainpower at GABP strikes back.
When the season falls apart, what do they do?
Welcome Home Coffey!
There have to be SINGLE-A players better than this washed-up train wreck that seems to be memorizing the trip between here and Louisville every month or so.

I think I'll lose my mind if I hear the phrase "Coffey pitching, Ross catching."

I don't always agree with everything Justin posts (and the inning-by-inning "Pete Gets Fired Watch" was pushing it), but I agree with him on one thing. I'm done with Pete. Unless he grows a set and yells from the heart of Fountain Square that he is being jerked around by buddies Bob and Wayne, he has to be responsible for this horrible turn of events and breakdown of the team...you know...what got Jerry canned?

Also - for someone who is 41, how about that Alou moonshot? What was that line from "Major League" - "Last time I faced him, he hit one that hasn't landed yet!" I don't think they showed it at the park, but does anyone know how far that upper deck shot went?

(I don't go anonymous...I use my initials...)

at 1:08 PM Anonymous TGO said...

John, did you ever get a chance to ask about Carlos Guevara and why he spent an entire second season in AA?

Here is his career minor league stats:
2003 Rookie/A: 50.1 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 9.5 K/9
2004 Dayton-A: 56.2 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 14.3 K/9
2005 Sarasota-A+: 51.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 11.4 K/9
2006 Chattanooga-AA: 77.1 IP, 3.72 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 10.4 K/9
2007 Chattanooga-AA: 62.0 IP, 2.32 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 12.6 K/9

at 1:57 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

I couldn't wrap a squirrel's mind around why Ellison would ever be ON the Reds for a nano-second, let alone stay on the team, let alone hit with a runner in scoring position. EVER.

The Reds are the worst organization in baseball and an utter joke when it comes to lineups, game tactics, managing minor league call-ups, player development, putting guys on the DL when they didn't have to, and even drafting (they draft SS and C first when it's PITCHING that they need, continuing to allow their competition to get more young arms--and then they fail to sign some of their drafted pitchers...but that's the least of their immediate problems).

No other team in the Majors screws up as often or in so many ways.

I don't want to see MacNarron back here in 2008. Ditto for Krivsky. And how I wish a baseball man would buy the Reds (or a baseball woman).

The real Reds, the real manager, the real GM, and the real owner were on display beginning with the Tuesday bungle in Pittsburg x 2.

Any prolonged winning streak will be followed by losing 6 of 8 now! Much of it due to MacNarron.

But the buck stops at the produce aisle, and Mr. Salad Shooter is 99% useless!

at 2:10 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't know why Hanigan got the call instead of Jorgensen. It may that Jorgensen is sixth-year agent after the this season. I think Guevara was probably held back becasue of all the relievers the Reds shuffled back and forth.

And Justin: How about one of your 1,000-work posts on how the Devils Rays and Pirates are better organizations the Reds.

at 3:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heeeey Justin, the first rule of the draft is you don't draft what you need now! duh

at 3:40 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Heeey anon, the consequences of drafts held 15, 10, and 5 years ago is that the Reds NOW have nearly no quality pitching! DUH!

The Reds have needed pitching since the days of the nasty boys.

at 5:03 PM Blogger Jim said...


I hate to say it, being a life long Reds fan. I think we're at the point where we have to hope for a complete train wreck for the rest of the season. Anything short of that and I'm afraid ownership will delude itself into thinking they can win on the cheap in a bad division. I think Pete Mackanin has done well with the talent he has and the limitations that have been placed on him, but he should not be back. I think the GM has made consistently bad baseball decisions and should be gone. Do you think Ryan Franklin and Justin Germano might have helped this yer. The GM didn't.

at 6:06 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

John, if Tampa Bay weren't in the NL East, they'd have a better record than the Reds this year.

The Pirates have had many more injuries than the Reds this year, and yet are only a few games worse (right now, wait until the end of the month!)

Happy now?

at 6:19 PM Blogger John Fay said...

And, if a bullfrog, had wings it wouldn't bump it butt on the ground.

You base everything on right now and you constantly make blanket statements that aren't bases in the fact. The Pirates haven't had a winning season in 12 years. Tampa Bay loses 90, 100 games every year. Lou Piniella quit when he couldn't turn it around there.

at 7:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


The last winning season the Reds had was in 2000. Just out of curiosity I ran some numbers comparing the Reds to the Pirates from Opening Day 2001 to the present day. Since Opening Day 2001 the Pirates are 485 -622 for a .438 winning percentage. Since Opening Day 2001, the Reds are 488 - 622 for a .439 winning percentage. The Devil Rays play in the AL East. Their record I'm sure is worse, but their competition is much stronger. The numbers would seem to bear out that at least for the last 6 years there's not been alot of difference between the 2 organizations.

at 9:02 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Once again you prove you haven't got a clue Justin Fernandez.

First, the Royals, Devil Rays and Pirates are all far worse franchises. You could make a good case the Orioles are being run worse right now.

Forget the record now. You're saying they are worse franchises. One season does not a franchise make.

You want an owner who is a baseball man? What do you call Castellini? What exactly is a baseball man? I crackpot fan like you with no clue? Castellini has been a previous baseball owner. He knows the game. And he isn't treating this team like an investment (he's not opening the bank either, but he seems like he will).

at 9:39 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Mikec, you have a right to your opinion. Apparently in your arrogant little world, anyone with whom you disagree has no right to an opinion!

17 years of shoddy baseball in Cincinnati, and you want to make excuses?

I think you and the Reds' GM richly deserve each other. You're okay with losing, and losing-stupid.

We'll see how the Reds stack up against Tampa Bay and Kansas City going forward!

at 9:58 PM Blogger John Fay said...

17 years of shoddy baseball? So your standard is anything less than a world title is shoddy. The Reds have been bad the in the 2000s. But look at their record in the 1990s: sxio seasons of .500, finished first three times and third three times.

at 10:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you look strictly at the winning percentages over the last decade, then the Reds clearly have a better organization than Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Tampa Bay. However over the last 10 years the Reds only have a .475 winning percentage. That would seem to indicate that the Reds organization hasn't been run well for close to 20 years.

at 10:05 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

If you take four teams in a given season and compare them STATISTICALLY, you can argue that the team with the BEST STATS should also have produced better results than the other three teams...

The Reds have better stats than Pittsburgh, KC, and TB. TB's win-loss record is skewed by being in the AL East. And KC and TB are in the AL, so they get an extra offensive quality start (sorry Livingston) each and every 9th batter to the plate, all season long...and so do their opponents...

So...while it's hard to compare AL and NL squads and statistics can be used to prove almost anything....


KC 62-75
REDS 62-76
Pitt 60-77
TB 57-81


TB .268
Reds .266
KC .264
Pitt .261

The REDS offense is clearly better with 8 guys than TB and KC with the DH "kicker" because the .002 batting average "superiority" would disappear if you subtracted Reds pitcher's hitting and Tampa Bay's "9th hitter."

Reds 181
TB 158
Pitt 131
KC 91

Big superiority here. All those HRs, and look at the results!

KC 4.43
Pitt 4.74
Reds 5.02
TB 5.61

KC has far better pitching and some young arms and promising recent trades bode well for 2008. KC is going FORWARDS. The Reds are going BACKWARDS, in terms of pitching.

Poor personnel moves (Ellison on the team at all, Hamilton on the 15-day DL for a 4-day tummy ache, etc) and lousy managing (too much resting of young hitters, Conine batting cleanup, screwy Narron lineups...) and the overall lack of pitching quality...tell MOST but not all of the story.

But it's BRAINLESS to bleat about how TB, PITT, and KC are "FAR WORSE" than the Reds.

It's untrue this season, and it's untrue organizationally speaking.

No franchise out-blunders Cincinnati.

The truth hurts! No wonder some of you are so touchy!

Cleanup in Produce!

at 10:20 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

John Fay, you're quick as a whip to jump in and flail away, aren't you?

Just tell me how many times from 1991-Present the Reds made the playoffs. Give me that FACT.

How many times?

Fact please!

Shoddy baseball includes firing Lou Pinella. The Reds made plenty of incredibly bad moves after 1990. Lindner was a horrible owner too, but the bottom line is that if you go 17 years without making the playoffs, EVEN IF SOME OF THOSE YEARS WERE NOT SHODDY, the Reds organization is pretty INEPT.

The whole point of my opinion was that the Reds organization is the worst in baseball.

Not making the playoffs once in 17 years is not the SOLE fact behind that opinion, but a big one!

I enjoy hearing facts in any attempt to prove I'm wrong. It's just too bad so many on here think they can analyze-by-lame-insult.

Keep tinkling up a rope!

Having a great team and screwing it up is a sign of far more INEPTITUDE, organizationally speaking, than merely fielding a team that does not win.

That's too sophisticated a concept for some here, apparently!

at 10:23 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

A one game playoff for the playoffs does not count as THE PLAYOFFS.

Can't wait to read "oh we played the Mets in the playoffs" lunacy!

at 10:28 PM Blogger John Fay said...

They made the playoffs in 1995. They finished first in the 1994. The year the World Series was cancelled. They lost in a one-game playoff in '99.

I'm tired of your long, rants full of UPPER CASE proclaimations. You're on probation. Nothing long than one screen gets posted. No all caps. I'm offcially worn out. You're very passionate about the Reds. But you never let the facts get in the way of good rant.

at 10:29 PM Blogger Jim said...

Jim Bowden took over as GM in 1993. The guys drafted by Ol Jimbo would have start coming up around 1997 or 1998. With the exception of Kearns and Dunn I can't think of any other every day major leaguers that this organization has produced in that time period. Marge wanted a winning team but had no idea how to build an organization that could sustain itself with a good minor league system. Either Bowden was too much of a toady to explain it to her or she was too stubborn to listen. (probably a little bit of both). Lindner thought bringing in Griffey and resigning Larkin was enough. Again, no substantial investment was made in scouting or player development. Castellini seems to recognize the problem, but in my opinion hasn't put his money where his mouth is.

The Reds play in easily the worst division in baseball while Tampa Bay and KC play in arguably the 2 best. The Reds of the last several years would have had a hard time posting any better of a record than KC or TB.

at 10:56 PM Anonymous ADMS said...

John -

I think I have the clincher to the whole "Worst Managed/Run Team" argument. Two words:

"Montreal" and "Expos"

It takes a certain talent to totally destroy a sports passionate city like Montreal (really - go to a Maple Leafs/Habs game,) but the running of the Expos into the ground was epic. Please mull the following -

A regular "where are they now" on some of their pitching prospects, like Randy Johnson and a certain Met that notched number 3,000 on Monday.
Teammates included Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Moises Alou, and even Frank Robinson as a manager at the end of the team's stay in Canada. Heck, they even had our Tony Perez and Pete Rose (for what...15 minutes?)
Intense fan support all through the 80's and up to 1994 and then we all know what happened after that.

Their fans were thanked by constant guttings after 1994. They were playing in a stadium way outside of any city core with a roof that never worked, construction equipment in deep center field, green pavement that doubled as turf, little to no French TV coverage, and after the purchase of the team by MLB, the realization that the Expos were gone for good. It's been said that coaches and managers had to whisper in the dugout since there was no fan noise and their signals and conversations echoed all over the concrete dump.

There's really only one baseball team out there that makes World Series or Bust - the team that appears to be part of ESPNs payroll - the Yankees. Of course they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to lose each year, but oh well. We need to model ourselves after a Minnesota minus the billionaire owner that doesn't spend a dime. Most years, it seems they have the right combination of pitching and hitting to keep their now-ancient stadium at least 3/4 full and very loud. Teams in a constant "we're rebuilding for next year" mode get in that rut - Kansas City and Pittsburgh anyone? - and they become feeders for the rich teams.

Oh yeah - remember when the Expos became the Nationals, there still wasn't a firm stadium deal in DC. There were still the questions of a downtown stadium near the Verizon Center in Chinatown (I used to live in the DC-area and remember the neighborhoods) or the dreaded SE-DC river plan in what is nicely put a really bad area of town. They still have ownership and fan problems...Vegas anyone?

We might be in a down time with our beloved Reds, and our history shows that we are a better team than what we've seen lately. However, we still have a team in a newer stadium with fan support. It could be a lot worse...

Je me rappellerai toujours le base-ball à Montréal!

at 11:18 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Yeah, I forgot about 1995. My error!

Bottom line: it takes more ineptitude to take a great offensive team with "borderline" pitching and turn it into the 2007 Reds than it does to merely field a team that makes a poor season mark.

15 of 17 years since 1990 without a first place finish (or tie).

That's a fact. I won't let that fact get in the way of your exhaustion.

You can take "probation" and your fat undeserved ego and mediocre blog hosting skills and personal attacks on me...

...and stick them all up the tunnel leading to the clubhouse!

at 11:23 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Oops, meant 14 of 17 not 15 of 17...last post. Thanks for saving me time. I'll gladly not contribute here any more after tonight. You're power mad, and your standards are silly. You prefer "short and stupid" to "long and a bit wrong." I make 10 points, get one fact wrong, in a typical post, and you and others want to pretend I got all 10 wrong. That's lunacy.

Have it your way. Enjoy your "kingdom" big guy!

at 11:26 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

ADMS...the Marlins and D-backs have won World Series recently. How are they "rich teams" that feed of the KC and Pitt type franchises.

Washington is a pretty ill organization too. But the Reds would have kept Zimmerman in AAA for 1 or 2 years longer, and they did "okay" against Cincy this year, didn't they?

Again, messing up a good team take a greater lack of skill than merely field an Expos or Nats or Pirates...

Why is that concept so "resisted?"

at 10:22 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

THE REDS STINK! AND HAVE STUNK FOR TOO LONG! Who cares about Pittsburg or Tampa Bay? they stink too. By the way, the Reds are very much in the race for "Worst Record in the National League" and are not too far off of the "Worst Record in Baseball".

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