Reds Insider
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, January 25, 2008

I'm off

I'm heading to Steamboat Springs early tomorrow for a week of skiing. I'll have my trusty iPhone. But unless something major happens, don't expect any posts from me.

The folks in the office will post when news happens and moderate comments.

Feel free to argue among yourselves until I return.

Here's a topic for you: Where do you think the Reds will finish in the Central and why?


at 11:31 PM Blogger RPA said...

where will the reds finish in the central?

not in first, as long as belisle and affeldt are in the rotation and stanton is in the bullpen.

at 2:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd to say first, but sadly I think the Cubs improved as did the Astros. I think I see us in 4th behind Chi, Mil, and Hou. I hope we can beat St.L.

I just think their are too many unprovens. Our starters beyond the top two are extremely iffy. The loss of Hamilton will hurt no matter what anyone thinks. I think Bruce will produce, but there is going to be an adjustment period.

The decision to stick with Bailey-Cuetto-Volquez-Affeldt is probably guaranteing 4th place, and 3rd at best. Personally, Iwish wed been able to get Bedard, but I understand all the youth movement craze. I think he could have made us a contender. I think the other guys might help us more in 09 and up, but not so dramtically next year.

at 2:57 AM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Great question to leave us on, and truthfully, Why the heck should we know? Can any of us actually predict how Bailey, Cueto, and Volquez will perform next year? Can any of us say with 100% assurance that Dunn and Harang won't get hurt next year? If you are optimistic about this team, you can expect them to be one of the top two offensive teams in the division, as that is not a stretch, they've done that the last couple years. Then there's the pitching. If the starters gel and produce a combined 4.5 era, this is a playoff team, if the 4 and 5 spot struggle, this team struggles. If Weathers, Cordero, and the others in the pen struggle, this team struggles. The offense seems to be something you can almost bank on, depending on injuries to Phillips or Dunn. The staff however, will determine what this team does. All in all? I say this team pushes for the division, makes some trade deadline deals, re-ups Dunn, and finishes second, but doesn't get the wild card. Too many things have to go right for that staff. However, they are a solid offensive team, with up and coming pitching, so expect progress.

at 3:14 AM Anonymous Eriknevada said...

honestly, 2nd or 3rd, but it depends on what deals they make in season, and what injuries we have. to everyone: we can trade for starting pitcher at the deadline. harang arroyo bailey, belisle volquez is all RH rotation that sucks, we need LH which is why affeldt is a good signing quit going insane this team will be fine, 1st is possible for the 1st time in a long time at least they will contend a little, at least it will be an entertaining yr!

at 7:44 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Aside from Harang and Cordero..every pitcher on this team
(including Weathers) is inconsistent.. if not downright terrible

No predictions from me though

But I will be at the games..in my cheap nosebleed seats enjoying the game and my wonderful view of the river

at 8:39 AM Anonymous redfuture said...

So long as the talent is utilized correctly I think they will be in position to win a playoff spot as that last 3-game series opens. That's a good thing! Better that then to win it early and coast to the finish and then lose that competitive edge at the wrong time. Games in April are just as important as the September games. There is no time to fool around with experiments during the early season. The talent evaluators have to put their collective butts on the line and don't divurge from starting the most talented pitchers, be they RH, LH, mature, or young. That said, the chosen 5 must be selected in conjuction with the bullpen. A would-be starter has to go to the bullpen if at least 5 reliable RPs are not there already. Here is the bullpen:
Cordero, Weathers, Burton, Affeldt, Coutlangus, Bray, Cueto. Cueto (possibly Valenzuela) is the long man and spot SP.
Here is the rotation: Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, Volquez, Bailey. Yes, Matt will have to do better than he did last year. If you had to bet your life on some SP with over 170IP and over 5.00ERA to improve, he would have to be your man because he has great stuff AND great command of that stuff. If you don't have faith in Volquez and Bailey there was no reason to trade for one and avoid trading the other. They both will throw up some impressive heat and they will win more than they lose because they are going up against other team's #4 & 5 pitchers. Heck Bailey was 4-2 in very limited time last year even though he pitched some games with injury.

at 8:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will finish well down in the division...ahead of Pitt.!The loss of Hamilton will prove to be another huge mistake.The addition of Walt J. is the best move in 2 years.And we may now get better,W.K. has failed and is only a spokesman.(thats Good)

at 9:05 AM Blogger Joe Farfsing said...

Take all 6 teams, write them down on a ping pong ball, and throw them into a BINGO style hopper. That's honestly the best way to prognosticate. Ok maybe 5 teams; Pittsburgh is no good at all. Chi had best chance I guess; good lineup and some pitching. Mil has good-great lineup but starting pitching just isn't good at all when you consider their horse (Sheets) can't go a whole season and their pen is brutal. Gagne?. Hou is improved 1-8 but after Oswalt there's nothing else in rotation. StL may battle Pitt for last. They may have to hit their pitchers 5th instead of 8th this year. Reds have a lineup as good as Mil, rotation is better up top and worse at end then Mil and a better pen.

Ok, so if I were venture a guess I'll say: Chi, Cin, Mil, Hou, Stl, Pitt.

at 9:48 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

redfuure..you should be a politician with all the stories you create.. only in your mind may I add

"Talent being utilized correctly"

Thats the issue.. Aside from Harang and Cordero..this pitching staff is poor.

I know guys ..all these wonderful pitchers are gonna have breakthrough years and last year was an anomaly.

They just have to do better because a bunch of bloggers say so

Your successful starting rotation is a pipe dream.

No predictions from me

at 10:16 AM Anonymous Red at the Beach said...

I'd say we come in 4th, behind the Cubs, Redbirds, Beermakers, and Astros.

On paper we are better than the Bucs but we will see.

Have fun in Steamboat, John, and try not to break a leg or blow a knee. Best time of year to get out west skiing, I am jealous!

at 10:54 AM Anonymous mikec said...

John wiht you gone I'll have absolutely no way to entertain myself.

This is a very difficult prediction. I think the Reds should pretty easily be able to beat out the Pirates and Cards.

Houston improve but actually has worse pitching than the Reds. And if Tejeda doesn't play because of the steroids investigation they have a pretty weak starting lineup too.

So I'll take the Reds over the Astros too.

That leaves the Cubs and Brewers. THat's where it gets tricky because all three teams have unprovens.

So I'll break it down position by position for my take:

Catcher: Cubs have a youngster named Soto who is unproven. Brewers have the massively overrated Jason Kendall. Reds have Ross/Valentin. Ross actually has better offensive numbers than Kendall (except Kendall has a slight edge in OBP). As does Valentin. And at this stage in Kendall's career, Ross is far superior defensively. Since Soto is unproven. I give catching to the Reds. I put Brewers second. Cubs third.
First: Tough one between the Cubs and Brewers. Derrek Lee or Prince Fielder. Because Lee is a gold glove defensive first baseman, I call a draw. Reds are third even if Votto exceeds expectations he won't be as good as those two.
Second: Brandon Phillips has the edge by quite a bit over Mark DeRosa and Rickie Weeks. I rate Weeks second and DeRosa third.
Short: J.J. Hardy is better offensively. Gonzalez is better defensively. I give this slight edge to the Brewers. Reds are second. Ryan Theriot has more speed than either, but he's not as good of a hitter as either and he's not as good as Gonzo defensively.
Third: Clear edge here to Aramis Ramirez and the Cubbies. He's a better hitter and fielder than Edwin Encarnacion and Bill Hall. Hall is in his third position in as many years. Edwin is a better hitter (even though Hall absolutely KILLS the Reds). And since there's nothing to rank Hall's defense at third, I give Edwin the edge for second place. Hall is third.
LF: Lots of offense here between Soriano, Braun and Dunner. I give the edge to Soriano because of his speed and defense. I call Braun and Dunn a tie since we don't know about Braun's outfield defense and he doesn't have a full season to prove himself.
CF: This is WAY up in the air since the Reds don't yet have a centerfielder and the Cubs have unproven Felix Pie. For now, I'll give it to the Brewers with Mike Cameron. Then I've got to call it a tie for second for the other two because there just isn't enough data to judge on.
LF: I give the edge to Griffey. Fukudome is unproven. He could be Hideki Matsui or Kazuo Matsui. I give Junior the edge over Corey Hart. I give Hart second.
Bench: With Freel/Hopper, Keppinger, Hatteberg and Valentin/Ross, I give first to the Reds. Cubs are second. Brewers don't have much behind the aging Craig Counsell.
Top starter: Tough call here. Judging on te numbers though, I give it to Harang. Put him on the Cubs last year and he wins more games than Zambrano. Zambrano is second and Sheets because of his injury history is third.
#2 starter: Ted Lilly gets the edge. Never thought I'd say he was a good No 2 starter, but he is. Then Bronson (if he was on a better team his win/loss would be better. His ERA is much better than Suppan). Than Suppan.
#3 starter: Here's where it starts to get REAL IFFY for the Reds, who have held their own so far. I rank them Gallardo, Rich Hill and then Belisle.
#4 starter: None of Carlos Villunueva, Edinson VOlquez/Homer/Affeldt and Jason Marquis do much for me. Not enough data to make a decision really. I give the edge to Marquis because he's proven. Then call it a draw for second.
#5 starter: Big time questions here for everyone but the Brew crew. And Dave Bush doesn't do much for me. So I call this one a total draw between Dempster/Lieber/Marshall, Edinson/Homer/Affeldt/Cueto and Bush.
Closer: Edge here goes to the Reds by a wide margin. Gagne was flat horrible with the Red Sox. Cubs don't have a closer if Dempster becomes a starter and Dempster is iffy anyway. I rate the other two as a tie for second.
Setup #1: Between Howry, Turnbow and Weathers, Howry has the best numbers. BUT he may be called on to close. Because that question looms, I rank them Weathers, Howry, Turnbow.
Setup #2: I go Riske, Burton and Marmol. Riske gets slight edge. Then Burton.
Rest of the pen: Look at the three teams. They're all bad. I call it a draw.

So hitting points (low is better)
Reds: 15
Brewers: 17
Cubs: 19

Reds: 14
Cubs: 15
Brewers: 17

Reds: 29
Brewers: 34
Cubs: 34

Now there is a good chance my Reds bias creeped in a little. And this isn't really a scientific way to do things. But I can see the Reds finishing first.

PS: I have way too much time on my hands and did not know how that would all work out.

at 11:17 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

St Louis

Cubs a strong favorite, Milwaukee has enough on offense to overcome their shitty pitching and finish 2nd.

Cards will be better than most seem to think as long as Pujols can stay healthy. TLR may be a douche, but he almost always has his teams in contention and they've got Carp coming back to shore up the staff.

I expect something similar to last season from the Reds, minus the horrid start. Hang around till mid-August then fade down the stretch. High hopes for the young guys, but when you're running Matt freakin Belisle out there as your #3, you're not going to be a serious contender.

I think Houston's offseason has been pretty much a disaster considering the trouble Tejada is looking at right now, and he ain't 1/2 the player he once was anyway.

Pirates assume their customary position in the basement.

at 11:45 AM Anonymous J_Diggety said...

here are my predictions:
If healthy Bailey has no less than 12 wins and a sub 4.50 era.

Cueto spends most or all of the year in AAA, along with Maloney.

Volquez could either head to the minors ne the long man in the pen or End up the #3 starter by the end of the year.

Affeldt will be nothing special but solid, in whichever role he ends up in.
Hopper starts the year as the centerfielder and leadoff hitter.

Bruce spends a lot of the year in AAA unless Dunn is dealt in June.

I think the Reds fall just a little short (within 5 games) of the play-offs this year.

all this could change of course, I still think there is a chance EE is traded to the Giants for more pitching.

thats all I got for now.

at 12:03 PM Anonymous jungfu said...

If you tell me that they unload Griffey, put Bruce in right and Hopper in center, start Bailey, Volquez and Cueto, then I will believe that they have a chance to compete.

at 12:07 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

Their playoff contention is NOT going to happen by magic. Its going to happen due to huge upgrade in the place that needed it most. The improved relief pitching positions:
Closer: Cordero is far better than Weathers who was good but miscast.
Setup Man #2: Weathers blows away Majewski & Coffey.
Setup Man #3: Affeldt blows away Gosling and Cormier.
Setup Man #4: Cueto (or Salmon or Valenzuela) blows away Santos & Saarloos.
Status Quo roster pitching positions:
Setup Man #1: Burton will be very effective even at only 75% of last year.
Setup Man #5: Coutlangus MUST at least match last year.

Admittedly, there is a worrisome roster pitching position:
Setup Man #6: Bray hasn't proved anything to me yet! I think Staton is through due to age and lack of 'roids. That leaves room for the potential LH bright spots of Tyler Pelland or Pedro Viola.

Jack (as in Webb of Dragnet) would say, "Just the facts Ma'am". In this case the facts are not available until October. That's why they call it prognostication. All I can tell you is that I am not "blue" about the upcoming season. Rather I am very optimistic and looking forward to it. If I could accurately predict the future there would be no reason to play the season. It will be fun finding out if the promise is real or not. At least one of Bruce, Bailey, Votto, Volquez, or Ceuto will produce. If all of them fail then someone we are not even talking about will come out of the minors and make a big splash. As I have stated before, the Reds have a flood of rookie talent this year, not just a trickle as in past years. Not only that but the flood looks like it will continue for the next several years.

at 2:23 PM Anonymous wanderinredsfan said...

The idea that 'we need a lefty starter' is not defendable. Look around the central at the right handed-bats and tell me that we still need a lefty starter (aka, Bedard). Milwaukee has one lhb in their starting 9! As for the other contenders; are we truly concerned about Fukodome, Ankiel, and Berkman? These are the lone lh batters on these teams to worry about. Why alter your starting rotation for 1 or 2 batters out of 9? The lack of lh batters in the central bodes well for the Reds, who have a plethora of dangerous lh bats (Griffey, Dunn, Bruce, Votto) and a predominately right-handed staff. I say leave the lefty pitchers in the pen for close situations, but let the innings-eaters be strong rightys.

at 2:44 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

The Reds will finish 3rd. And I know why too. Over the past 17 years, the Cardinals have won 1424 games, the Astros 1410, the Reds 1317, the Cubs 1289, the Brew Crew 1240, and the Pirates 1232.
1st-Cards, 2nd-Stros, 3rd-Reds, 4th-Cubs, 5th-Brew Crew, 6th-Rats.

at 2:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to say 2nd and challenge for a wild card spot. Bottom line, this division is the weakest in all of the MLB. To say that the Reds do not have a chance in this division is absolutely way off base. Each team seems to have its one stud pitcher, aside from the Pirates, but really what on any other team in this division honestly is way above what the Reds have? Having a rock solid closer on this team last year moves Weathers back to the 8th and this team maybe finishes .500. The interesting thing will be the development of Homer Bailey, can Matt Belisle establish himself as a solid #3-4 starter, and the most important in my mind will be the improved play by EE down at 3B. Overall, this team is vastly improved and does have a realistic shot at challenging some of the upper echelon teams in the division and weak National League. I see this team more ready in 2009 than 2008 however.

Matt in Columbus

at 3:51 PM Blogger HoosierRedsFan said...

Jack, did you have the Rockies in the Series last year? I didn't think so. Anything is possible. Go Redlegs!

at 5:16 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

If you want to trade Griffey for a starter, the Reds can pencil in Bruce in right and Freel or Hopper in center. Only if, and that a big word if!!!, Griffey would accept the trade. I know that Baker said and Big Bob too, they both loves Griffey, no trading Griffey now or ever.
If the Reds could make a trade with the Angels for one of their starters, the Reds can make the season interesting. But, with the team now, no way the Reds can make a run for the title.

at 5:17 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Grizzly by your logic the Tigers would finish last in the AL Central.

at 6:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds will finish 1st. Mark it down. The Reds were good enough to finish first last year, if not for the 8th inning meltdowns and they shored that up with adding Cordero. Also, Bailey and Volquez will strut their stuff this year along with Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Yes my friends, can you say Cincinnati Reds 2008 NL Central Division Champions?

John C.
Las Vegas

at 6:10 PM Anonymous Joe said...

I am just glad to be reading the comments and the opinions of Reds fans! First things first: we will miss Joe Nuxhall, but we have great entertainment with the Cowboy, Marty and Thom.

I'm more upbeat about our young and unproven pitchers than I have been in recent years. Anybody remember the hopes we had for Paul Wilson a couple years ago? You have ot like the upside of Votto, Hopper, Keppinger and Bruce. How about having a player like Brandon Phillips just coming into his prime? If any two of the quartet of Bailey, Cueto, Volquez and Maloney come resonably close to the expectations being held out for them, we should do better than last year from a starting rotation perspective. Who can argue that the Reds have not upgraded the pen? That being said, Griffey will get 600, Dunn will do his typical numbers and EE is on the verge of breaking something, our hearts or our expectations! God I am happy baseball season is almost here!

at 6:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to say in the top 3 of thd division but time will tell when it comes to the young pitchers. I think its funny how people say the loss of Hamilton will be so huge. The guy only played 90 games and people think the Reds traded a young Griffey. As usual people just don't look at the facts.

at 7:42 PM Anonymous NVred said...

the cubs are probably getting first, the next 3 teams:cin, mil, & hou are going to battle it out for the next 3 spots, why is everyone so high on the ass-tros, all they did was sign a huge ? in tejada. Their closer is legit, but according to a lot of fans thats not that big a deal for us so why should it be for them. Mil has a questionable bullpen, unlike last year, and their rotation is really only slightly more proven than ours. hou has a worse rotation than us, and their line-ups probably worse too.
I know you can never count the cards out, but this is the year I am. lets see, our rotation is better, our lineup is better, and our bullpen is better. they are way overdue for a losing season, especially since carp isnt back until june & mulder would be lucky if he could produce like arroyo
this is the end of the cards...for now. jocketty saw the wrinting on the wall.

cubs have no pen but make up for it in lineup/rotation
so hou looks like us except a worse rotation (worse than us thats bad!)
mil looks like us with a worse bullpen (same team as last year with downgraded bullpen)
cin is never as good as they think they are (the reds
cards have garbage
pirates have garbage

Jack - the reds aren't going to suck just because a bunch of bloggers say so, that argument goes both ways


at 9:40 PM Blogger maus said...

I agree with most -- 3rd or 4th and Cubs team to beat.

The good news....I have been looking forward to this season more than I have any other since 2000. Reason...it's going to be like Christmas. All this young talent -- we don't know what we're getting!

How many of you were very excited by Homer's debut last year? I know I was. Well multiply that by about 4 because were going to see Bruce, Cueto, Volquez, Maloney and probably others all debut this year. I'd even count Homer's appearance (injury free) as a debut too. Can he really hit 98 on the gun?

I think Spring Training is even going to be exciting. Can we petition the Reds broadcast ALL of the spring games (instead of just the weekend). Who's with me???

at 9:59 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Reds are in 1st place in August. The team will start out the year over 500, playing inspired for Dusty, and young kids pushing for jobs. The team stands pat on trades now, but by the All Star Break, they are able to add pieces for the push. And we are playing meaningful games in Sept.

J_diggety has EE going to the Giants for Lowry???

From Rocco "The Reds sending the Indians Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Majewski, Sean Watson, and Chris Valaika for the Indians Cliff Lee and Andy Marte. I'm not sure if there is any truth to it, but it was interesting."

I like these kinds of deals because they do not gut our team and I like both Lowry and Lee.
I really would prefer to see EE stay with the Reds for the first half of the year. His swing is too long causing slumps, but there is a nice upside

at 7:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never posted here before but i must say I find this blog very amusing. Don't get me wrong folks I love my Cincinnati Reds but aside from signing that closer from Milwaukee nothing has really changed that much

Perhaps in your hearts you feel that the pitchers will be better and these prospects will be superstars when they come to the major leagues but I am afraid your emotions and desperation for a winner are tainting reality. I like Harang and Arroyo but aside from those two starting pitching still is very bad and who knows how goofy arroyo will be

I have never seen such a bad group of middle relievers as I did last year and I don't see much improvement in this area aside from some of you claiming they will be better I don't think this team finishes higher than 3rd place Thank you

at 8:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cubs and Brewers are so much better than the Reds. St. Louis is better too. 4th in the Division is the best the Reds can do. They're "competitive" for fourth against Hou and Pitt, woo hoo!

Under .500 again too unless multiple pitchers make big progress (and not for just a month or two but all season).

If the Reds pick their rotation (after Harang) by a healthy open competitive process in spring training, then maybe the Reds reach .500. If Bailey and Cueto and Volquez can step up, if Belisle can be better than he ever has, well that's where hope for 3rd place and a .500+ finish lies.

Stanton, Coffey, Majewski should be given spring training ONLY to prove they deserve to be in the big leagues.

The double, triple, and quadruple chins on this club need to get in shape (for once) or leave! The slobs list includes Stanton, Weathers, David Ross, and Dusty.
Other guys carrying way too much bodyfat are Gonzalez, Coffey, Cordero, and Belisle. It's as if Castellini and Krivsky think that Luis Tiant and Fernando Valenzuela had success because they were obese. Control problems on the mound begin with control problems at the dinner table guys!

Anyone wonder how clogged Baker's arteries are at this point? Gil Hodges wasn't that fat before having a massive coronary...

And does Harang really need all 270+ pounds? Fat around the gut does not add speed to a fastball or break to a breaking pitch, never has, never will. Too much distance/endurance running will weaken leg muscles used for explosive moves (see: Jose Rijo late in his career) such as pitching so what the Reds need to do is improve their strength and nutrition coaching somehow.

The Sloppy Joes will finish 4th in the Central again this year. We can hope for a less aggravating team though. No musical chairs with the lineups each game and fewer blown leads and a better ERA from the rotation.

Still, it's a real shame we have no Japanese pitchers and no great signings out of the Dominican Republic. Our foreign acquisitions needs to ramp up. And we need to devote ONE draft to pitchers (especially all of the top 10 picks).

Why the Reds can't aggressively try new things to improve their club remains an annoyance. If we can just stay close to .500 all year, and not play lazy passive baseball (steal more, everyone runs out all hits to first, etc), then MAYBE this team will prove me wrong this year.

Still...how anyone can pick the Reds to beat out Chicago or Milwaukee in the divisional standings is unbelievable. Those two teams are truly "competitive."
The Reds have many glaring weaknesses left un-addressed this off-season.

at 9:00 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

6:09 anon

they did not shore up their 6th, 7th, and 8th meltdowns by signing a closer

weathers is nearing the end of his career ..he is very erratic.

People in here are assuming that all of these middle relievers that were quite poor last year are somehow gonna have a miraculous turnaround

No matter what inning they pitched in they frankly ..stunk..and did so all year it was not an aberration

the 6th 7th and 8th inning killed this club last year and it aint much better this year .. sorry..

If anything we traded away a great defensive center fielder that has some pop in his bat

reaganspad "the kids" could just as easily be turned off by Dusty Baker and play terribly..please don't assign your love for the retread Rusty baker to the entire team

I see 7 losing seasons in a row and only a marginal improvement this year.. although I wont predict a finish

at 9:10 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since 2001 the Reds record is 514-620
They may be in 1st place by August 1 reaganspad but by Sept 15th they will be 8 games back

at 9:34 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

hey gang

Odell Thurman is getting reinstated

The Bengals have hired a new defensive coordinator

the Bengals will get a stud defensive tackle in the draft

I just know they guys will play great for the new defensive coordinator and by December we will be in 1st place

at 10:13 AM Anonymous J-Diggety said...

no not for Lowry, he would have about an ERA of about 6.00 in GABP
The giants have said they're going to be monitoring Joe Crede to see if he's healthy, so they should at least have some interest in EE. Some sort of munti-player deal that nets Cain/Lincecom(sp?) is what I was refering to. The Giants still need a lot of help on offense at the corner infield spots, so something with Votto could also still be possible.

What about Bruce and Belisle for Beddard?
just wanted to get a few people going on here with that one.

at 11:59 AM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

I'll say third behind Milwaukee and Chicago (not necessarily in that order) I just think those two teams will be at the top.

at 12:45 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

I'll let everybody know next Sept. if this is a playoff team or not.

at 12:53 PM Blogger AtlantaRedsFan said...

With the changes made I expect a much more ballanced team I love are pitching more and more every year! What we got for Hamilton is both scarry and a sleaper move!
Only thing that really bothers me about it is what Hamilton meant to Reds fans and the positive attitude it brought to them. I think that helped the team! Only team that I am worried about is the BrewCrew The cubs will find a way to lose Astros will lose there pickup and the rest don't even compare Reds finish no worse than 2nd

at 12:56 PM Anonymous mikec said...

J-Diggety: No way the Orioles do that deal. They want Bruce and one to two more top prospects. Not Bruce and a middle of the road starter. I know Belisle could be good, but at this point that's what he is. His ERA in the AL East would be well over 6.

at 1:03 PM Anonymous mikec said...

Anon 8:05: The Cubs and Brewers don't have glaring holes?

Look at both teams' bullpens. They're probably worse than the Reds now that the Reds have Cordero. The Brewers weren't that good last year and they lost Cordero (replaced him with an ineffective Gagne) and their best setup man in Linebrink. The Cubs are worse.

Both have question marks in the outfield.

at 1:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bedard would sign a 5 year extension before the trade. It would be worth to send Bruce to Baltimore. Outfielders are easier to replace than finding a No.1 starters. Go for it Mr. C, gets us a winning ballclub this year. Then worry about next year, next year!!!

Bill in Lexington

at 1:36 PM Blogger big rich said...


at 1:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's simplify things "Reds fans". Let's take a look at the relief pitching last season. 0 for 23. That was the save conversions for the entire bullpen last year other than David Weathers. Weathers had 6 blown saves himself. That's 29 blown saves. If the Reds recouped less than half of those, just 14, their record would've been 86-76, and won the division. Adding Cordero was huge. The emergence of Jared Burton is huge. Guys like Bray and Coutlangus and possibly Affeldt (if he doesn't crack the rotation) can lock it down. The bullpen will be significantly improved over last season (not a hard thing to do), and assuming the offense and starting pitching stays the same as last year (I think both will be better) then this is at least an 86 win team. I don't see the Cubs or anyone else in the division who significantly improved themselves in the offseason. If the Cubs get Bedard as rumored, then they would be the clear favorites. As it stands now, I see a three team race, Reds, Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central. I will stick with my prediction the Reds will win the division, based upon what I outlined here of the bullpen and the Dusty factor and the emergence of Bailey, Volquez, Bruce and Votto. Those four might not be superstars yet, but they will be better than Milton, Lohse, Hopper and Hatteberg.

John C. (#1 Reds fan)
Las Vegas

at 2:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John C ..Las vegas

gimme a break on your "what ifs"

we have added a closer and all of a sudden you are claiming that our relief corps has been fixed? I saw nothing outta Majewski, Bray, Stanton, McBeth, Coffey etc..

Coutalngus got worse as the season went on. Burton had 2.5 good weeks and you are psyched ..Too funny

what if Arron Harrang gets hurt this year?

what if Phillips has a terrible year?

what if Jay Bruce is a superstar minor league player and hits 225 in the majors?

what if ken griffey gets a hurt ..again..again..and again x8

just what if all our relievers are really terrible and last year was truly indicative of their true ability? Oh my God!!!!

I could go on and on .. what ifs work both ways

at 4:07 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

We are first and foremost 'fans' of the Reds. Fan is short for 'fanatic'. Maybe its time we looked at the definition: Fanaticism is an emotion of being filled with excessive, uncritical zeal, particularly for an extreme religious or political cause, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby.
I plead guilty of all those things and glad of it. It doesn't say anywhere that we have to be realists, that's our work-a-day world. To be fair, it doesn't say anything about optimism or pessimism either. Any outcome within the division can be predicted and defended, perhaps extenuating circumstances are required but it can happen. It depends on which pieces for the entire NL Central come together and which don't. But if I am going to be enthusiastic, zealous, and excessive about something I'm doing it optimistically. So I say that all the pieces fall the RIGHT way, that is for the Reds. Reds win the division, Reds win the division, Reds win the division. So there, I said it. The great thing about being a 'fan' is that I'll simply wait till next year if they don't do it.

at 7:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said redfuture. BY reading the posts on here, I thought I inadvertantly wondered onto a Cubs or Brewers fan site! I'm a Reds fan, always have been and always will. The champagne will taste just that much sweeter for us when the Reds win it all again someday than it will for some of those bandwagoners on here.

John C. (still #1 Reds fan)
Las Vegas

at 7:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record..

Us optimists (The REAL fans) said the Reds:

1) would get a big name manager

2) Get Walt Jocketty

3) Spend some money this offseason to improve the team.

Looks like us optimists are 3-0 and all you pessimists are 0-3. I like my chances with my "what ifs" compared to yours. (I also don't hide behind an anonymous like a coward)

John C.
Las Vegas

at 8:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

MLBTRADERUMORS.COM is reporting Bedard has been traded to Seattle. I guess that went up in smoke. Lets' hope for a small miracle.

Bill in Lexington

at 8:50 PM Anonymous tutorkey'sfavoriteson said...

i get so tired of hearing about how krivsky hasn't helped the team and how this is wrong and that is wrong. i'll bet rockies fans were just as critical of their pitching last year before the season started. here's the deal...harang is only getting better, he deserved cy young consideration...he is the real deal. arroyo is a 3 at best, but here's the key...why is it we don't believe bailey, cueto, volquez or maloney won't step in and be that dominant young pitcher other teams seem to develop. krivsky deserves the credit for that because he picked 2 of them up and held on to the rest of them. i'd like to see the following next year...bruce cf, phillips 2b, griffey rf, dunn lf, encarnacion 3b, votto 1b, gonzalez ss,ross c. a bench of freel, keppinger, hopper, valentin, hatteberg and castro. pitching of harang, cueto, arroyo, affeldt, and bailey, with 7th inning belonging to burton, 8th to weathers, and closing to cordero. other relievers include belisle, stanton, and bray. competition would certainly help things as coutlangus and coffey may push stanton and belisle out. belisle may push one of the youngsters to triple a, but it's unlikely unless he comes to camp ready to compete. this team would not be ready to compete for the central. i am not a fan of dusty baker, as a lifelong reds fan who remembers the hey day of the big red machine it is not in me to root for a dodger. of all the great things castellini has done, hiring baker was a huge blunder. i hope he wins a world series, but will be a fan of the team and hater of the manager. i'm going to say the following...cubs, brewers, reds, cardinals, astros, and pirates is my prediction for the central.

at 9:09 PM Anonymous tutorkey'sfavoriteson said...

and another thing...the reds don't need to make the bedard or blanton deal. what they need to do is develop those young pitchers, take their lumps and they can be stars in a couple years. i would like to see the reds move the following players for whatever they can get...gonzalez, hopper, coffey, majewski, stanton, belisle, and ross. i'd rather see mcbeth, valentin, keppinger, dickerson, and coutlangus get more playing time than the ones we'll likely see playing.

at 9:13 PM Anonymous redsfan4life said...

Looks like Bedard is heading to Seatle...Good job Wayne not selling the farm to get 2 years of service.


at 9:39 PM Blogger maus said...

Sounds like Bedard's going to Seattle:


I just proposed a Junior trade on the Seattle web site. Maybe we can catch them in an overpaying mood!

at 10:27 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

redfuture..now you are acting foolish..

this team may make a couple of small strides next year..and i hope they do.. yet..when you consider the miserable record over the past seven years, I would suggest to you that your prediction of division champs borders on psychosis rather than fanaticism

Take some small steps dude..go to the ballpark..sit in the nosebleed sections , enjoy the scenery, listen to Marty on the radio and have a cold one

I know ill be watching the scoreboard to see how great Josh Hamilton is doing while Bruce struggles in center field, Freel runs into another wall and Griffey misses half the season once again

Ill be very appreciative of the comedy team of Valentin and that other catcher of ours that bats around 200

And lets not forget about the Coffey Stanton Countlangus Macbeth Majewski Bray show that takes place every 6th seventh and eighth inning when Harang is not pitching

Redsfan bring your fanatic tail down to the ballpark ..we can enjoy the comedy of errors , have a laugh and a great afternoon

at 10:57 PM Anonymous NVreds said...

What ifs:

Yeah they work both ways but lets add the law of averages, all of JCs suggestions wont happen, and all of 2:52 anons wont happen either, some of both of your arguments will happen, and that puts us in better shape than we were a year ago, so I'm positive. Most of the time if a rookie can show some skill especially in the majors then they can repeat it at least somewhat. Something is going to work in our favor (law of avg), So its crazy to say that bailey, burton, bruce, keppinger, hopper, volquez, EE, phillips, cueto, coffey, belisle are all going to suck it up just because its not 100% they can improve....give ME a break

NV fans unite!

at 3:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As sports fans you can play the "what-if" game all day and night and it will amount to nothing.

The fact of the matter is that the Reds did try to improve themselves with the addition of Affeldt (a solid pick-up), adding a talented young pitcher in Voloquez, and getting a legit closer in Cordero (we could debate on whether he was worth it or not, but compared to what the Reds had in the past...).

It is also true that the Reds will be relying on a lot of young talent that is unproven: Bailey, Cueto, Voloquez, Bruce, Burton, Votto, Coutlangus.

So in the end who knows what will happen. All I have to say is that if you can't be optimistic in January when can you be?

Because it's January 28th I will say the Reds win the NL Central.*

*Opinions expressed here are subject to change once reality sets in and optimism fades.

at 5:32 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds finishing higher than 3rd in the Central is as ridiculous as saying they'll finish ahead of Mil or Chic or that Hous will finish ahead of any team except maybe Pitt.

The Reds have improved in the off-season but with a rotation of one and a relief corps of 2 (if we're lucky) proven consistent winners the results can be anywhere from close to .500 and in 3rd or 4th to dead last in the central.

If Bruce, Votto, Keppinger, Hopper, and all the young pitchers don't step up plus some miracle doesn't turn Coffey, Majewski, and Stanton from horrible to "okay" the Reds are a lock to finish behind St. Louis too.

Progress here is measured in decades, not years. By 2010-2019 the Reds will begin making the post-season again, provided they're not dumb and dismantle their young core of future stars for 1-year free-agent wonders that may or may not have a decent year.

But if the Reds are to become a quality team, big changes still need to be made in terms of


Those three departments right now are a joke here. We've got a fat slob for a manager and a bunch of bloated out of shape mound mounds who either can't throw strikes or can't keep the ball inside the park.

Nothing resembling a Red Sox-quality J-league signing.

No one resembling Jose Reyes or Hanley Ramirez anywhere in the organization.

While the NL keeps getting better by strides the Reds continue to take halting baby steps forward.

It's not enough.

And for the 100th time, the team should have a fast shortstop who can steal bases.

When will Castellini stop wasting money on fat slow mediocre or washed up players? When?

Even if the Reds stay healthy this year, there's not one reason to think that they will beat out any NL team for the wildcard.

No chance of winning the division at all this season.

And how is Houston better than St. Louis? The Reds are much better than Houston and there's very little chance that the Reds finish ahead of St. Louis even without Carpenter coming back for the redbirds.

Unpredictable things do happen in baseball but barring massive injuries or slumps by Chic and Mil (lasting for months) the Reds will simply fail again to put a team on the field that is competitive in terms of making the playoffs--but that's because rebuilding can take many years, as can changing organizational blindness and ignorance, of which we still have PLENTY here!

at 7:26 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...


simply ..if the "what ifs" balance out we are right back to square one

its not like this team is bordering on being good for many years and this "something working in our favor" is past due

this team has stunk for 7 years and we just might go from terrible to fairly bad is more like it

I have not made any predictions but will do so now..

At the very most a 3rd place finish behind the Cubs and Milwaukee..But with LaRusso in St Louis still managing ..maybe even a 4th place finish

at 10:54 AM Blogger 24/7 said...

i keep hearing about how bad this bullpen/team was and because of it they will be just as bad

first off, coutlangus is NOT making the team. did you see how awful he was the 2nd half? and how he can't locate his pitches? at any rate, there's no room.

majewski or coffey
affeldt if he flames out in s.t.
stanton on a short leash
valenzuela if he makes the team
salmon has to be ahead of coot. he actually throws strikes

no room

thats four steady arms. 100% increase from the 2 we had last august.

the only guy in the mix that might be a bum and done as a player is stanton. everybody else has stuff at least. no more, no less. no saarloos, santos, gosling, etc

about stormy- he was very solid and not erratic at all for 4 months. being the only arm down there may do that to you.

keep in mind he's a career SETUP man

to the cubs and brewers lovers

reds went 9-9 vs the cubs on a 90 loss team

reds went 8-7 vs the brewers

they were 6-3 vs the brewers and 7-5 vs the cubs before sept. callups.

with no pen. no dusty. no cordero. no affeldt. no votto.

to those who think the hamilton loss is the end-all...hamilton played 90 games and less organizational baseball than jay bruce

who do you want to spot start if someone is hurt or fails, johnny cueto or tom shearn? maloney or saarloos?

the cubs have ryan dempster. and their pen is prone to a meltdown or few.

harang was 3-0 vs zambrano

the brewers seen gagne in boston, surely heard the roids talk, and still signed him. not a good look.

we have THEIR closer. that is a big inter-divisional swing.

the reds could win the division or finish 3rd. but so could the cubs and the brewers.

at 11:58 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

"thats four steady arms. 100% increase from the 2 we had last august."

That's one way of looking at it, but to play devil's advocate...

Cordero and Weathers are coming off of career years and are likley to regress toward their statistical norms.

Bray has never been solid over an extended period by any stretch of the imagination.

And wouldn't your argument against Hamilton's value also apply to Burton?

Bullpen better than last year? Yes.
But I think the lack of starters 3-5 will easily negate that improvement and don't expect much improvement if any in team ERA.

at 12:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i tink teh reds will be good this year. harang is a cy young pitcher. affeldt is a good lefty cordero will be great. feel will be back from injury and hopefilly we can tarde that bum dunn and put hopper in left lead-off bunts are soooo much more gritty than solo homers. and if freel or griffey get hurt then keppinger can play out there too he played LF last year so you know he can do it. he could proablby pitch if we needed him (LOL)!!!!! maybe we can trade arroryo and belisle for bedard or santana?? the twins and Os need ot get rid of them and we need more leftys and not so many rightys. I CANT BLEIVE we traded hamilton for some stupid worthless no-name pitcher!!!!! maybe we could sign milton back i know he was TERRILBE but let me hear me out...we need more leftys and hes a lefty and he DID throw a no-hitter a few years back so maybe if we give him a chance he could bounce back im just sayin...

cubs (booooooo)
brewers (they always suck last year was a fluke)

skeeter in columbus

at 12:45 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

24/7 we essentially had one steady arm all last year..that being Harang

I met David Weathers.. a great funny dude. But he was right in the middle of many meltdowns and he certainly is not a closer. Almost every ninth inning he pitched in was a nail biter effort on his part

Burton had a couple of good weeks.. Salmon might have had one or two consistent appearances

The rest of the pitches were inconsistent and/or stunk..the entire year

Cordero hopefully helps the 9th inning ..but that inning really was not the problem..It was the 6th 7th and 8th innings. Affeldt..may or may not make our middle relief stink less

Sorry 24/7 I am not calling the majority of our pitchers bums..but they stunk last year and you hoping and/or saying they have the stuff to be better ain't gonna make it so

13 games outta 1st place last year
514-620 the last seven years

Quit making excusess

at 12:57 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

I just love the critics. Jack (our fav) says that Bailey is horrible and has no curveball.
The MLB site says:
"Bailey, the Reds' No. 1 Draft pick in 2004 out of high school in Texas, landed at No. 9 on MiLB.com's Top 50 overall and No. 4 among pitchers. Boasting the best fastball and best curveball in the organization, he barely retains his rookie status for 2008 after going 4-2 with a 5.76 ERA in nine big league starts last year."

Hmmm believe Jack, or somebody who knows? I will take Bailey's curveball

at 1:02 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Love of the critics continued. Anon 8:05
Possibly the loggest post ever?

"{And we need to devote ONE draft to pitchers (especially all of the top 10 picks)."

Glad that we didn't do that in 2005 and now have the #1 of the Top 50 young players in the game (Bruce).

at 1:28 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Critics Cont. Anon 2:52 PM
1) "nothing outta Coffey"
2) "Burton had 2.5 good weeks" 3) "what if Phillips has a terrible year?"

#3, He did. 2 years ago. Was called a malcontent, and DFA'd. Traded for $20 in beads. Now he is Barry Larkin

#2 Did you watch Burton at all? 43 innings, 28 hits at 2.51 ERA is a lot of work in "2 1/2" weeks

#1 Coffey was in consideration for the most valuable pitcher on the team in 2006. Coffey was 14-11 with 3.58 ERA
(6 wins, 8 saves)-
(7 losses, 4 blown saves)
Harrang was 16-11 with 3.76

Coffey had a bad year in 2007, and pressed. He had 2 very good years in 05 and 06. serious in offseason workouts (lost 20+ pounds)Coffey futures: Buy

at 1:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it stands right now, this is how I see it in September:


at 1:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue for the Reds is rookie pitchers. Therefore, the issue for the Reds is the catcher (and the pitching coaches.) On the field, the catcher makes all the difference for a rookie pitcher.

If Ross or Valentin step up or if the Reds get a savvy vet catcher, I'd say the Reds are in contention at the end of the season. (#2 central)

If it's the same old Ross/Valentin, then the Reds are #4 central.

Joe Torre of the Yanks said,

"It's important that the young pitchers have somebody they can lean on," Torre said. "Jorge grew up in a hurry, as far as I was concerned. He went from this guy who would overact sometimes emotionally -- not that that was bad, except he would fight himself a lot -- then all of the sudden, especially these past few years, [he's turned into] this maturing leader of a pitching staff."

"That's quite a feather in your cap when you can do that -- not only have the veteran guys count on you, but to have kids come up and trust you the way they do."

Tyler Clippard, rookie pitcher said "Jorge knows his way around Major League hitters as well as anybody, and he made it easy on me as far as calling pitches and stuff like that, which is real nice to have to take the thinking out,"


at 1:46 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Hey Doom and Gloom.
Which year do you think that Weathers will revert to since 07 was a "Career Year" ???

2007 3.59
2006 3.54
2005 3.94
2004 4.20 (3 teams)
2003 3.08
2002 2.91
2001 2.50
2000 3.07
1999 4.65
1998 3.21

Now I know that 1991-97 he had an ERA of Horrible, but I sure do not see him reverting back to 1993

at 2:53 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Jack keeps mentioning that we will not be good in 08 because we have been bad for 7 years. 2008 is our best pitching staff in 7 years:

01 Dessens 205 innings
02 Dempster 209 innings
03 Graves 169 innings
04 Wilson 183 innings
05 Harrang 211 innings
06 Harrang 234
Arroyo 240
07 Harrang 233
Arroyo 210

Matt Belisle pitched 177 innings in 2007 which would have made him our best starter in 03.

Unlike Dessens, Dempster, Graves and Wilson, Belisle is still with the Reds. Will be somewhere from #3 to #5 starter this year.

That is a big BIG change in talent from 2001-04, where our best pitcher had a career innings year, now 2 are out of the game, and the other 2 are relievers

consistantcy at starting pitching (200 innings) is the key to winning

at 2:55 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

Didn't take the time to look at Weathers numbers, pretty impressive. As far as ERA, he'll probably slot right in there @4.00.

But the numbers don't tell the whole story with his year last season. ERA might have been around his career norm, but he was very effective, even when he gave up runs it didn't seem to get the Reds beat all that often. Not the same guy I remembered from the year before, when it seemed he was in the middle of a lot of big innings that got the team beat. I expect to see something in the middle of his 06 and 07 this year, ERA about the same, but not quite as efficent as last year.

As for Coffey though...sheesh. The guy was decent for about 2-3 months in early '06 before he imploded and hasn't been the same since. Seems to me it's between his ears. Remember John Reidling?

I like Stanton's chances of rebounding better than Coffey's and that ain't sayin much.

at 3:11 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...


if you were to read the scouting reports on the Bengals players..like the Reds..many had exceptional college careers and had great potential.

like certain Reds players..there are also Bengal players that have had very good years in the past..either with the Bengals or with other teams ( see Dexter Jackson)..see how bad Dexter Jackson and others are currently performing

To continue..In the offseason, like the Reds, either through the draft and/or trades ..the Bengals make what seems to be great additions

At times..the Bengals..like the Reds change coaches/managers

Yet, baseball..like football is a team sport. And obviously something has been terribly wrong with both these franchises the past 15-16 years.

If I was to get on a blog and quote stats, scouting reports, and place emphasis on past performance..and proclaim that the Bengals were going to win the AFC next year ..most would think I have lost my marbles

You can call us "doomer and gloomers". Conversely, I would suggest to you that you sit down take a deep breath and deal with the recent realities of this franchise

Have you lost your marbles?

at 3:17 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

mr doom and gloom,

burton had nor has any injury problems. hamilton did.

you're right about bray. but it's been an extended time since he's been this close to 100% also...majewski either fwiw

weathers may regress a little, but losing his stuff? its just hard to foresee. he's not a "specialist" like stanton, he's a career setup man who moved to closer on a bad team at age 37 and posted a 3.59 era and 1.2 whip. he's got more in the tank

cordero can pitch, and he was the best available closer this offseason. the reds played the best odds possible

i don't think improvement in one area is negated by the other. if anything, an improved back end will help the rotation. guys will be able to leave the game instead of hanging around and giving up more runs because we can't hold a lead.

the rotation isn't settled but bailey/volquez/cueto/maloney and belisle in his 2nd year starting is more promising than lohse/milton/shearn/dumatrait/santos


remember the law of averages. we have a bevy of players with more mlb ability and high end talent than resume.

that means some will pan out like i say, and some won't pan out like you say.

so 5-7 of bruce, bailey, cueto, volquez, maloney, votto, ee, belisle, bray, majewski, coffey, and burton will work out...at least.

thats better than what we had.

and your 7 year theory is off base. the reds have different ownership, marketing, management, approach, scouting and development, and most importantly, PLAYERS.

for once can you make a constructive suggestion about why the reds will be bad based on the 2008 team that has been assembled thus far? i'm sure you won't ignore the positive moves the reds have made.

at 3:34 PM Anonymous J said...


again..have you forgotten you have been saying almost the exact same thing about the Reds at least for the past three offseasons on various blogs?

What happened?

Good luck

at 3:50 PM Blogger Malt Man said...

at 2:55 PM Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

I like Stanton's chances of rebounding better than Coffey's and that ain't sayin much.

I got to meet Stanton yesterday (at a signing he did in NJ), and let me tell you, he looks great! Definitely dropped some weight and looks like he’s in much better shape than last year. He’s still got a little bit of a gut, but he’s never been (and probably never will be) shredded with six-pack abs…

If he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think he can’t rebound from last year. The guy still knows how to pitch: I think he’ll be fine.

at 5:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd estimate the chances of winning the NL Central:

Cubs -- 30%
Brewers -- 30%
Reds -- 25%
Cards -- 10%
Houston -- 3%
Pittsburgh -- 2%

The wildcard could come from the Central also.

at 6:05 PM Blogger Joe said...

As it stands right now, the Cubs are looking strong. It would be a good year if the Reds finished 2nd or 3rd in 2008. A lot of unprovens with the ranks of starting pitching once you get beyond Harang. Bruce and Votto, projected to play significant roles, are also unproven. But, if by chance the Reds get decent performances from three or four of the young arms,EE has a breakout year some are expecting, Phillips follows with another 30-30 or better and Dunn does his typical 40-100-100 deal, this could be a very promising year. Either way the Reds are at the corner and they need to collectively turn that corner.

at 6:09 PM Anonymous J said...

24/7 your "bevy of players " stunk last year and they wont be much better this year

thats right..I am sorry since you say they will..they will..Too funny

my 7 year thing was an anology..not a plan get some reading specs.

The point I was trying to make is reaganspad gets all excited every offseason and tells us how wonderful the Reds are gonna do..but it never pans out for him.

I don't want to make this into a Bengal vs Reds discussion..but the Bengals also have some pretty good players .. see Palmer, Chad Johnson TJ etc..

Bengals were in the playoffs 3 years ago ..how bout the Reds? I believe its been 7 years

at 7:50 PM Anonymous tutorkey'sfavoriteson said...

it's a lock that we can belabor this forever. many make good points, except when you say bailey is a dud...i believe bailey will prove to be a great pitcher in this league. first and foremost not only does have good stuff, he has the right demeanor. it takes as much mental preparation as physical in the majors and bailey has it. while i'm not a fan at all of dusty baker (remember he's a dodger), I do hope he can get the most out of the veterans. that's his claim to fame and i hope he can bring it to the reds. while i know these are multi-million dollar players, they are employed and working for the team. making baserunning errors, mental errors in the fields (not hitting cut off men, throwing to the wrong base, playing out of position) swinging at the first pitch and taking away the running game, etc. is just not good fundamental baseball, and should be unacceptable. the reds have been notorious about that over the last few years and thank goodness jerry narron and his "play the game the right way" is out of town. the last cincinnati manager who would bust a players chops was piniella. see what he did with the cubs last year? maybe dusty will do that, but until that happens it really doesn't matter what players come in. the reds certainly have a ton of question marks this year, but there should be a ton of upside to the youngsters. i absolutely can't wait til opening day and if they win 60 or 120, i'll be right there pulling for them every day. if they don't make the playoffs i will assume they're going to until mathematically they're eliminated. then i'll watch them on tv to see what farm hands are coming along for 09. i'll be on top of the world with a world series win, ecstatic with a world series appearance, thrilled to win a playoff series, excited if we make the playoffs and having a great summer as long as baseball season is in session. go REDS!!

at 8:20 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

you're "j" now? just checkin..

the only players that stunk were coffey, majewski and at times bray. the latter two coming off injuries. pitchers take awhile, i don't know if you heard.

again...you say, but you don't say WHY

a theory isn't a plan, it's an explanation for a circumstance.

i.e. the reds will suck in 08 because they have for 7 years and the bengals haven't won a playoff game

"the bengals were just in the playoffs"...you were just bashing the bengals at 3:11 pm and now you prop them up to lay it to the reds

all proclamations. no answers. sounds like a politician.

at 8:56 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

What's with the Bengals discussion? It makes no sense to include them or any football team in a discussionm of the Reds.

I really can't understand how guys like Reaganspad are savaged by Jack and his ilk when he at least he has well formed arguments. Is it just because he is not a total cynic? What kind of argument is it that just harps on the last 7 years and the Bengals?

Enjoy your 30 games Jack. You must be a masochist to watch such a poor team that has no hope.

at 9:28 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

I've spent so much time exposing the postives of the pitching staff that I've neglected the hitters. There is less controversy about the hitting as most fans agree. I really think that Dunn is poised for a breakout year! Sounds funny doesn't it to say that about a man who has 40+ HRs four straight years. Adam is now entering his prime at age 28 so I'm looking for 50+ HRs and 120+ RBI. Griffey told a kid at RedsFest that his goal is to hit 700 HRs. That means he needs to play at least three more seasons after this one. In order to do that he will need to sign a new contract somewhere (it won't be here) after the 2008 season. Thus for the first time since 1999, Junior has to play for a contract!! Translation: expect 25+ HRs and 90+ RBI in only 120 games. Dusty will rest him every 5th game or so. EE is going to blossom in the #4 hole, as he's already proven to be a huge clutch hitter. Expect 25+ HRs and 110+ RBI. What do I need to say about BP, he's got game. Brandon will have to bat in the 2nd position but we can still expect 25+ HRs and 85+ RBI. AGon mans the 7th spot better than most with 15+ HRs and 70+ RBI. The weak spot is Ross/Valentin batting 8th but they'll still give 20+ HRs and 70+ RBI. Please use Ross as much as possible because of his defense & game calling even though he swings and misses way too much. Belisle's BA against with Ross in 16 games: .275; with Valentin in 11 games: .348! It was nearly as remarkable with every pitcher other than Arroyo believe it or not. Now, now, we come to the fun part; projecting Bruce & Votto. Joey has to bat leadoff because there is no-one else to do it! Yeah, Hopper will leadoff the 60 or so games that he starts, but Votto has to do most of the others. I saw Joey have a good 2-strike approach last September with an uncanny ability to lift excellent pitches over the infield for hits. Also he'll hit his share of HRs, 20+, when ahead in the count and drive in 70+. Plus he has better than average speed. Bruce will play about 130 games and battle with AGon over the 6th & 7th positions. Jay will hit 20+ HRs and 80+ RBI. So there you have it. You can see why the Reds have at least the 25% chance of winning the division that 'sportshandicapper' mentioned earlier.

at 9:36 PM Anonymous NVreds said...

I was pretty stoked to read this:


to be mentioned with the rays as far as prospects go is something to be proud of, since their farm system is far and away the best. Look out for the rays this year by the way....

at 10:17 PM Anonymous NVreds said...

Hug Da Pole has a point
screw the bengals this is a reds forum.

their defense needs more than just one D-lineman, so unless they trade the dolphins for glenn dorsey one player on that def isnt doing anything.

At least the reds stay out of jails

at 7:19 AM Anonymous redfuture said...

I've spent so much time exposing the postives of the pitching staff that I've neglected the hitters. There is less controversy about the hitting as most fans agree. I really think that Dunn is poised for a breakout year! Sounds funny doesn't it to say that about a man who has 40+ HRs four straight years. Adam is now entering his prime at age 28 so I'm looking for 50+ HRs and 120+ RBI. Griffey told a kid at RedsFest that his goal is to hit 700 HRs. That means he needs to play at least three more seasons after this one. In order to do that he will need to sign a new contract somewhere (it won't be here) after the 2008 season. Thus for the first time since 1999, Junior has to play for a contract!! Translation: expect 25+ HRs and 90+ RBI in only 120 games. Dusty will rest him every 5th game or so. EE is going to blossom in the #4 hole, as he's already proven to be a huge clutch hitter. Expect 25+ HRs and 110+ RBI. What do I need to say about BP, he's got game. Brandon will have to bat in the 2nd position but we can still expect 25+ HRs and 85+ RBI. AGon mans the 7th spot better than most with 15+ HRs and 70+ RBI. The weak spot is Ross/Valentin batting 8th but they'll still give 20+ HRs and 70+ RBI. Please use Ross as much as possible because of his defense & game calling even though he swings and misses way too much. Belisle's BA against with Ross in 16 games: .275; with Valentin in 11 games: .348! It was nearly as remarkable with every pitcher other than Arroyo believe it or not. Now, now, we come to the fun part; projecting Bruce & Votto. Joey has to bat leadoff because there is no-one else to do it! Yeah, Hopper will leadoff the 60 or so games that he starts, but Votto has to do most of the others. I saw Joey have a good 2-strike approach last September with an uncanny ability to lift excellent pitches over the infield for hits. Also he'll hit his share of HRs, 20+, when ahead in the count and drive in 70+. Plus he has better than average speed. Bruce will play about 130 games and battle with AGon over the 6th & 7th positions. Jay will hit 20+ HRs and 80+ RBI. So there you have it. You can see why the Reds have at least the 25% chance of winning the division that 'sportshandicapper' mentioned earlier.

at 7:56 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

24/7 every single pitcher that the Reds had last year.. aside from Harang, Arroyo..on occasion and David Weathers were pretty darn bad..all season long no matter what inning they pitched... coffey, stanton, sarloos, loshe, majewski, bray, etc. just stunk the most of all the stinkers dude

the Bengals have been terrible and I will bash them.. yet if someone wants to compare them to the Reds..fact of the matter is that the Bengals made it to a playoff game 3 years ago..the Reds have not been to the post season in 7 years

The Reds should improve a little this year..

yet.. you and others that gush every offseason dont seem to realize that the Reds have been terrible for the past 7 seasons and they aint gonna win the World Series this year

tutokey..Bailey does not have great stuff..He lacks a major league breaking ball..bigtime

Hugh D Pohl..Reaganspad ..has the same hope and gushing expectations every off season.

Yet, his "well formed" arguments prove to be wrong every year

Fans like you and reaganspad are in denial and seem quite satisfied with having a losing baseball franchise. I am not a cynic..I just want us to have a good baseball team

I will enjoy my 30 games this year..it will be fun to see this team improve a little bit. But if you and others on this blog think that they are gonna win the division and/or the World Series.. I got a bridge located in Brooklyn that I can sell ya

at 11:04 AM Blogger reaganspad said...

J. I have not been in the Reds blogs the last 3 years. More like the last 3 months. I enjoyed C.Trent's blog before coming here.

As far as the Bengals... they do not have enough OSU players (let Derek Anderson become a Brown).
By the way Dennis Weathersby would be enjoying Hawaii in 2 weeks had he not been ganged down. How do you predict that, or Stenson? You can't

at 11:30 AM Blogger reaganspad said...

Last 7 years position players (I like the Bagwell method of measuring rbi's and runs) HR's listed for sex appeal
100 100
01 Griffey 22
Young 21
02 Boone 26
Dunn 26
03 Dunn 27
Guillen* 23 331
04 Casey 24 99 101 324
Dunn 46 105 102
Pena* 26
Griffey 20
05 Dunn 40 107 101
Griffey 35 92 301
Lopez* 23 97 291
Pena 19
Kearns 18
06 Dunn 40 99 92
Phillips 17
Griffey 27
Ross 21
07 Dunn 40 101 106
Griffey 30 93
Phillips 30 107 94
EE 16
Gonzo 16
Ross 17

In years 2001-03, we had no 100 RBI or Runs scored guys. compare that with O7.

over the past 7 years, our pitching has improved to 5 guys competing for 2 spots versus signing Jimmy Haynes and praying the other team falls asleep from his pace.

And offensively, we have more firepower than ever, with 4 of the top 50 young players on the verge of contributing (Bruce, Votto, Bailey).

Gee, I have no idea why to be optimistic for 08.

I have no idea how someone can compare 01-04 teams with 08. it is just ignorant.

at 12:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

C. Trent is back!

at 1:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll buy that bridge if you promise to jump off it.

at 2:35 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

reaganspad with all the improvement you speak of during the years you speak of ..what..in fact was our record last year?

72-90 ... they even regressed from the year before.

Once again you are using the term "on the verge" Too funny..let me know when they verge in and actually produce

I am optimistic that they will take a small step and improve a little bit.. a little bit

at 6:20 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Santana is gone to the Mets. The Mets got a good deal for him. Cheap, I would say. I can't believe that the Reds couldn't come up with a better deal. The twenty-five millions a year must have been the answer. Gomez is the only decent prospect.
On the Bedard deal, the hold up is with Jones hip.
How about a deal, Griffey Jr. for Clement and a pitcher. I know, just dreaming. But with the extra cash, the Reds could afford another pitcher like Benson. Boy, what a beautiful wife.
But, if the Reds had Hamilton, Hopper and Bruce in the outfield, the Reds would have a extra twenty-five millions in their pockets. Twenty-five millions can buy some decent pitchers.

at 7:06 PM Anonymous NC in the Mid said...

Alright, I have read this blog regularly and I really enjoy listening to everyone and talking some ball.

Jack - You make some valid points along with everyone else. Your right, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but you don't have to belittle everyone and be so condescending all the time. We love the game and we want the Reds to be good. We know the past.. blah ..blah .. blah... but we see being a fan as not wavering and looking for the positive while trying to set the negatives aside.. Whats wrong with that? .... now my opinion.

I think the Reds are good enough to "compete" in the Central but I think the Brewers and Cubs have slightly better teams.

Cueto, Bailey, Votto, Bruce, Maloney and Volquez are all extremely exciting players and something for Reds fans to finally look forward to from down on the Farm... If only 2 of these players contribute to this team at their "potential" this team is better. That is not to much to speculate Jack?

This team will be one of the better offenses in the NL. THERE IS NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. .... but hitting does not win titles....

IF.. IF some of these young guys can step up on this starting rotation, we have a legitamate chance to win this division. I truly believe that, if they struggle... We are done. Period. We simply do not have the quailty depth after Harang. This organization choose to go with the young guys instead of going for a solid #1 or #2 starter. They will rest the fate of 08' on that decision.

I say were in the top 3 come September.. enjoy the season fellas, I know I cant wait for it to start... Go Reds!

at 9:46 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...


I am just as much a fan as you or anyone else. I am not belittling anyone..if the truth is upsetting to you ..I am sorry

I am not going to get into specific players..its not necessary. Whether it be football or baseball, etc, every offseason is a time of hope, enthusiasm runs high

You have fun with your "what ifs"..I say..show me and I will start believing

at 10:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We kick butt this year. End up taking the division, and then gliding through the playoffs to the big show, where it's us and the Red Sox in a rematch of 1975.

at 1:30 AM Blogger NC in the Mid said...

Jack, its funny how you act like we are a bunch of 8 year olds.. You do not hurt my feelings anymore than my dog does.

The fact is you enjoy the attention you get and your main goal is to rain on our parade.. you have been running out the same old tired argument for weeks... so what if we want to talk about the "what ifs" and recent news.. If you want to be so negative take out an add in the "Sound off"

at 10:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally, I would predict a third place finish for the Reds (behind Milwaukee and Chicago, respectively). But when we're trying to speculate on the Reds' 2008 season, let's not forget the Dusty Baker Factor.

I don't know whether my opinion is in the minority or majority, but I was not pleased with the choice to hire Baker. I'll give him credit for being a good motivator and so-called player's coach, but I think this guy has proven more often than not that he is lacking when it comes to managing the pitching staff and game.

If he can get the Reds to the World Series as he did with the Giants, more power to him. But I fear we're in for the underachieving Cubs version Baker displayed in Chicago.

Time will tell. I hope I have to eat my words.

at 11:50 AM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

NC in the Mid,
You said it better and with less animosity than I did re: Jack's tired line. As fans I think most of us want to be optimistic. Not sure I understand the negative approach if you are a fan, but I accept it. Just need to say something new once in a while that does't involve criticizing someone else.

I said earlier third place is my optimistic prediction for this year. I think it is possible to win the division but not likely. Remember the Tigers a few years back when their pitching prospects blossomed and their veterans carried them as well. That could happen with the Reds.

They could also bomb completely and end up in the cellar or just above Pittsburg. Or is that a dreaded "what if" statement?

at 1:09 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

dusty baker- 3 time nl manager of the year

that's thrice compared to girardi's once

not sure who people wanted the reds to hire but this guy's resume says he can turn it around in a hurry and get you to the world series....

ain't that what all us impatient reds fans want in the first place?

at 1:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

jacks a jerk sometimes but the tired lines i see in here regarding the Reds doing well are just as bad.. hug d pole its a blog and debate is ok..sorta gets tiring hearing about how well the reds are going to do when they do so bad year in year out

reds aint gonna finish higher than 3rd or 4th place

at 2:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

On an unrelated note, has anyone heard when (and how) Opening Day tickets will go on sale?

I've tried contacting the Reds ticket office but they are inexplicably vague on the matter. I'm just curious whether anyone has heard any rumors from reliable sources.

at 4:07 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Hugh D Pohl

If ya have a kid that you love dearly..it may be necessary at times to chastize and punish the child for not behaving.. etc.. Thats part of being a parent..it does not mean ya don"t love the kid

I am just as much a fan as anyone on this blog. Being negative and apprehensive at this point in time does not make me any less of a fan

Yet,I would suggest to you or anyone else, that guarded optimism is best when you consider the performance of this franchise

at 4:36 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...





at 6:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack:You have it right,why should we blindly think this team will be any good!We went down hill last year!W.K. said in May the pen would get the job done.What a Joke !I'm thrilled he will now be GM in name only!With Walt J. we have a chance to finally improve!!!! COACH

at 6:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack In Blue Ash,
This blog would do just fine without you. In fact I think you only bring the collective IQ of the post down.

So please get off yourself.

at 8:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently started a site that may be of interest in light of the recent steroid news


at 9:20 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

How will the Reds open the 1st two season games versus Brandon Webb and Danny Haren. In 2000 Bowden drafted Espinosa, Moseley, Sardinha, Snare, Gil, Kaiser, Williams, Mottl & Fletcher instead of Webb by the 8th round!! Then in 2001 'Ole Leatherpants' took Sowers and Gillman ahead of Haren in the 2nd! To top it off, Jocketty's rare mistake was to trade Haren, Calero & Barton for 26 year old Mark Mulder who broke down after one Cardinal year!!! So glad we have some talent evaluators here now and including O'Brien's stint here. I'm predicting wins for Aaron and Bronson with newcomers Votto & Bruce leading the way.

at 7:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing Pirates and Houston are in the Central too.

Almost guarantees Reds don't finish last!

.500 is a pipe dream for 2008.

Santana should have been a RED.

Blog censors are physical and intellectual slobs, no doubt. Jack in Blue Ash, keep fighting the good fight.

at 8:34 AM Anonymous NVreds said...

Let me just chip in my view of this team before the season: I don't care where they finish, I just want to see an entertaining season. If they are better, and they will be better perhaps a lot better, then I'm 100% satisfied, Even though I think jack is wrong in most of the ways he analyzes this team, his best point is how bad this team has been. That means this team hasnt experienced what its like to win consistently, and probably needs a little taste of it before they figure out what to do with it. Situational hitting will be key, something our players seem to have never heard of. we're getting closer and have at least a shot at being a surprise team. Be a little optimistic!

Who cares where they finish, watching the youth get better, the rooks play, how the vets try to improve, and the reality-TV drama of the starting rotation/bull-pen will be all I need to enjoy another season. For the first time in a long time we have something to watch, thats all that matters.

at 8:54 AM Anonymous DoesntMatter said...

If they only censored you once Jack then there is a slight possiblity you made a mistake posting...its odd they would post the message criticizing the staff and not your other message (as long as it wasnt profane)

at 10:41 AM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Rumor is that the Reds are talking trade with the White Sox for Brain Anderson. He could play centerfield or wait until next year to take the place of Dunn or Griffey. Another lefty too.
Yes, Jack, you have the right for your opinions.

at 11:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not predisposed to be positive about the Reds. I've resisted jumping on the bandwagon in past years and typically have predicted a mid to lower level finish in the division. A lackluster pitching staff and unproven field management has precluded any delusions of grandeur for the past decade.

I'm almost afraid to say that I have a different feeling about the Reds this year. Given the relative mediocrity of the NL central, the presence of an experienced manager, the emergence of some young talent and a discernable (if modest) improvement in the pitching staff, I'm going to go out on a limb for the first time in many years and predict that the Reds will challenge for division honors.

Here's how it happens:

1) Dusty Baker brings some energy to town and the Reds get off to a good start, winning 30 out of their first 50. They begin to believe in themselves.

2) Harang and Arroyo continue solid outings at top of the rotation. A couple of the young bucks emerge to solidify the back end. Some combination of Bailey, Volquez, Belisle, Affeldt and Cueto combine for 20-25 wins.

3) Jay Bruce and Joey Votto make significant contributions, immediately improving the Reds' depth and Baker's flexibility.

4) An improved bullpen proves good enough to no longer be viewed as the Reds' Achilles' heel.

If they can stay healthy and get even modest success from their # 3-4 starters look for the Reds to not only win more than they lose this year, but to contend for the top spot in the NL Central all the way to October.

at 11:56 AM Blogger reaganspad said...

Redsfuture. REALLY interesting you bring up the Mulder Trade. 5 seasons averaged 30 starts per year with the A's and had 22 complete games.

Mulder was much better than Bedard is now at time of trade. The Cards with Carpenter and Harren would be NL favorites.

They spent all that in the trade for one season so far


at 12:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, phillips is on the team. I'm cool.

at 12:50 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

For those who were crying for Bedard, did you see his rumored salary demand for a contract extension?

7 Years, $100 million, $14.3 million a year.

at 1:10 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Nv Reds..

I dont think that my critique of the Reds has been off target.

Unless there is a miraculous turnaround..middle relief on this club stinks and just because certain people in here say these pitchers will be better in 2008 dont make it so.

Aside from Harang, there is absolutely no consistent starting pitching on this team..and i love Bronson arroyo when he is on his game

We have no catcher, we just traded away one of the best defensive outfielders in the game

You and others feel that because some of these rookies coming from the minor leagues have potential that this team is all of a sudden gonna be competitive..

And by the way I hope you are correct

But the bottom line is.. at this point in time..my analysis is correct.. all you offer is suggestion and big "what ifs"

thank you for your continued interest

at 6:31 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

The Reds missed out on Julio and Ensberg today. They both signed minor league contracts. If the Reds had these players, they would have more options for trades.

at 8:33 PM Anonymous redfuture said...

Can we all agree that the Reds will:
Lose at least 60.
Win at least 60.
Its those other 42 that are tough to predict. The luck of the draw probably carries the same weight as a couple players having good years versus average years. Here's hoping that there are a few 3-game series opponents who score 2, 4 and 6 runs while the Reds score 3, 5 and 7 (not 7, 3 and 5)!

at 9:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the relative mediocrity of the NL central WHAT??? Milwaukee and the Cubs are so much better than the Reds it doesn't matter what they are to the rest of the NL.

I'm going to go out on a limb for the 1,000 time this years and predict that the Reds will challenge for LAST PLACE.

Here's how it WON'T happen:

1) Dusty Baker is worthless, the reds lose 10 out of the first 12, they being to believe that they're as bad as realistic baseball fans say they are;

2) Harang and Arroyo continue solid outings at top of the rotation, which means Harang wins 2 of his first 3 starts and Arroyo leaves with a lead in each of his first 3 starts but some fat slob middle reliever blows the lead;

3) Jay Bruce and Joey Votto make significant contributions, immediately improving the Reds' depth and Baker's flexibility, yet this only makes the Reds lose by fewer runs;

4) An improved bullpen proves good enough to no longer be viewed as the Reds' Achilles' heel because the starting pitching is so pathetic that now the rotation is the teams' achilles' heal;

Despite staying healthy the Reds contend for the top spot in the NL Central all the way to April 30th, and then they remain in last place until finally overtaking the streaking Pirates in June for 5th, and Astros in September for 4th.

And that's the way it's going to happen.

at 9:23 AM Anonymous Mike from the $5 seats said...

I wonder if Carson Palmer can pitch...

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