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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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Monday, February 25, 2008


I just finished up my notebook for tommorow. The lead is on the lineup. My best guess (provided Jay Bruce doesn't win the center field job):

Freel/Hopper CF
Hatteberg/Votto 1B
Griffey RF
Phillips 2B
Dunn LF
Encarnacion 3B
Gonzalez SS
Ross/Valentin C

That's based on some things Dusty Baker said:

On who hits leadoff when Norris Hopper or Ryan Freel doesn't start: “I hope one or other would be in the game,” Baker said. “That’s my hope. I don’t know many teams that have three (leadoff guys).”

On the lineup in general: “It probably won’t be a whole lot different than last year. Without Josh Hamilton, it will be different.”

On who hits second: “It’s probably equally important who the second hitter’s going to be. That’s a big, big spot. It’s a smart spot, a contact spot, a move-the-ball-around spot, an unselfish spot. It’s probably one of the more spots in the lineup. It depends who’s playing, you don’t want it to be a power guy. Gonzalez, Keppinger, Hatteberg. You’d like a little more speed.”

On Brandon Phillips hitting clean up: “Brandon will probably hit third someday. But, right now, I need to him break up Junior and Dunn."

On lighter note, one of great things to watch this spring is Bruce taking good-natured guff from Adam Dunn.

Today, somne copies of Reds Report with Bruce on the cover were in the clubhouse. The headline is "The Next Big Thing." Dunn made Bruce sign four copies, including one for Baker. Bruce then had Bruce deliver it to Baker and tell him: "You know, I'm the next big thing."

Bruce takes it well.


at 1:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in case anyone missed it on the previous thread, here's the "Genius Post of the Day":

Jack in BA - "Any pitcher can get Ken Griffey out with regularity"

2007 stats and NL rank:

on-base pct - .372 (24th)
ops - .869 (25th)
hr's - 30 (tied for 14th)

Maybe Jack was talking about Ken Griffey Sr. - he's probably lost a lot of bat speed by his age

at 1:43 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Seems to me that if Jay Bruce is "the next big thing" then we won't miss Josh Hamilton at all.

How is Gonzo looking while taking his cuts so far this spring?
Have you been able to see any visible difference in his performance so far this year and last year?

at 2:00 PM Anonymous Red Faced. said...

John, great job on the potential lineup. We had a big discussion over lunch about it too and I think you are spot on with your lineup. The only thing that throws a wrench into it is what if Bruce wins out CF or if he doesn't win it out right but stays up with the club and splits time with the other outfielders. Who do you see leading off when/if Bruce is in the lineup? Or is it likely you don't see Bruce in the lineup with both Dunn and Griffey?

Bruce in the lineup throws everything else out of whack it appears but if he has an awesome spring and earns his spot I don't see how you can keep him out of the lineup just because there is no other true leadoff hitter. My feelings are you have to find somewhere else for our leadoff guys to play.

at 2:00 PM Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

John, just wondering which spring training games are going to be broadcast on WLW? I know there are only a few telivised games, but I always forget how antsy I am for the season to start. I need my fix! Will the game Wednesday be broadcast?

at 2:09 PM Blogger Mark T said...

That's got all the makings of a fifth place lineup. Hate to say it, but Griffey don't get it done anymore. There's a vacuum in the #3 hole.

at 2:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great - another year of our Best Hitter batting 5th.

Then, they can continue to pitch around him to get to EE. Let's hope EE can step it up this year.

When BP ends the year with 20 HRs instead of 30, and continues to lead in GIDP, and that horrific OBP, we'll see if anyone changes their tune.

See ya Adam, it was nice while it lasted!! Hopefully you hit FA so you can hit 3rd or 4th in a REAL lineup where you belong.

at 2:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Hopper would get the nod over Freel if it came down to just those two. But I do believe that Bruce will wint he CF job, and Dusty doesn't want to come out and say it, because it could make Bruce slack a little during the games. How could you not start the Minor League Player of the Year regardless of his age?

at 2:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark T

Poppycock. The stats say otherwise. You just jealous of his 36000 sq ft house? I am not. I couldn't afford the utility bill.

at 2:20 PM Blogger KY side of Cincy said...

John, I know Dusty and Junior are tighter than bark on a tree, but any chance he bats Dunn 3rd and Junior 5th? That would get Dunn (entering his prime, versus Junior exiting his [to be kind]) much better pitches to hit than he'll see with E5 hitting behind him.

at 2:22 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Wednesday's game is on WLW. They'll do sat. and sun. Through the 15th and then all games.

at 2:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow I am suprised all the negative EE talk from the fans. I mean 25 yr old who has hit .275+ 16+hr 70+RBI the past two years who is considered a weak link??? We must be guranteed a playoff appearence this year!

at 2:34 PM Blogger KY side of Cincy said...

Anonymous, if you're referencing my comment about Dunn seeing better pitches as a shot at E5, know that that wasn't intended as such. I'm sure you'd agree that Dunn would see better pitches if Phillips was on-deck than he will if E5 is on-deck. Right?

While I think Eddie is fine, and is numbers have been a pleasant surprise, I'm not sure I'm as ga-ga over him as you appear to be.

at 2:39 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

EE is one of the bright spots leave him alone.

at 3:26 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

So I've been in cincy for 9 day's now,(My grandmother died this week) I have had skyline twice,Larosas twice,and UDF twice.Can't go wrong there.

I'm looking forward to getting back to CO.The sun hasn't shone but one day since I got here,The weather stinks,everybody has that negative look on their faces, & there is nothing to do.Plus the slopes are waiting patienly for me to go tear them up.

The point I'm trying to make is,This City relies on this sports franchise to liven up the city,because we all know Mike Brown isn't try to help.

I love this city like no other but gosh,it is boring as hell.Without a winning ballclub the economy hurts,the fans hurt, and the franchise hurts.

Come on Redlegs 08' let's go get em'

at 3:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 3:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colorado Redleg makes a good point. The hope for a good sports franchise rests with the Reds as long as Mikey Boy is associated with the Bengals. However, we have one owner who doesn't care in Mikey Brown. Reds ownership doesn't have a clue. Many losing years to look forward to with the Reds and Bengals. Colorado sounds like a nice change of pace.

at 3:39 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

I read the article about SS, I disagree with Dusty, he thinks Keppinger has no shot at winning the job at short against alex gonzalez. Gonzo had 16 errors in 110 games Keppinger had 3 in 67 games. Jeffs bat is way better to.I mean Alex was a good player I just dont see why Dusty thinks he dont have a shot at the job.

at 3:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:38 is on target. No wonder everyone has a negative look on their faces in the Queen City. Just suffered through another losing Bengals season. The 8th losing season in a row for the Reds starts in just over a month.
Pitching brings championships and the Reds brain trust gets Fogg to bolster the rotation. Dusty is going to regret taking the job.

at 3:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This lineup means nothing. (Beyond April)

Last year as a team the reds were 8th out of 16 teams in BA, 7th in runs scored, and 9th in strikeouts.

Deffinition of "middle of the road." Even in the central that doesnt get it done.

I think you have to let guys like Keppinger, Bruce and Votto into the lineup, maybe not opening day but if the Reds want to finish above third, the same guys are not the answer.

Keppinger ss
Votto 1B
Griffey RF
Phillips 2b
Dunn LF
Encarnacion 3b
Bruce CF
Ross/Val c

Hatteberg of the bench and occasional start
Gonzo defensive replacement.

I love Hatteberg, but its time.

On opening day Baker will play vets, then ease others in. He doesnt want to put the presure of giving youngsters the job right away, then if they struggle, have to bench them.

2009 has to start in 2008, if not 2009 will be 2010.

Vets are insurence in case the youngsters struggle.

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 3:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colorado Redleg makes a good point. The hope for a good sports franchise rests with the Reds as long as Mikey Boy is associated with the Bengals. However, we have one owner who doesn't care in Mikey Brown. Reds ownership doesn't have a clue. Many losing years to look forward to with the Reds and Bengals. Colorado sounds like a nice change of pace.

3:38 PM

at 3:47 PM Anonymous J said...

I'm baffled by the obsession with having a "leadoff type hitter" hitting leadoff. If Bruce is as good as he's supposed to be, then he needs to be somewhere in the lineup every day. Period. Can you imagine the Cardinals debating whether to start Pujols or a more typical leadoff hitter like Hopper? Can you imagine the Red Sox trying to decide whether to start Ortiz or a more typical leadoff hitter like Hopper? This is the kind of backwards thinking that kills the Reds year after year.

at 3:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bengals sell out 8 games, what 60,000 people? = 480,000

Reds avg 25,000 81 games = 20mil 250thou

If the Bengals played 81 games, they wouldnt sell out either.

Supply and demand

at 3:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since 1991, the Bengals have had one season with a winning record, sounds like a losing dynasty to me. The seats are sold, people were not filling the seats at the end of the season.
The Reds last playoff 8 years ago was a one game playoff for the wild card game and the Mets drilled them. Yes we have alot to look forward to with our two inept professional teams.

at 3:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you imagine the Reds only playing 8 games? Youd have to inherit season tix to get in to a game! Cincy belong to the Reds!

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 3:57 PM Blogger KY side of Cincy said...

Jeff Keppinger will never be an everyday player. I can't believe you guys are serious in suggesting he should play SS. Unreal.

This town's fascination with short-on-ability long-on-hustle white guys cracks me up. Obviously it traces its roots back to #14, but the long line of fan favorites like Stillwell, Branson, Oester, Boone (both), Stynes, Freel, and now Keppinger crack me up. All the while big, more talented guys are perceived as under-achievers like Dunn and Paul O. It is comical.

There is a reason that Keppinger didn't stick in Kansas City. There is a reason at nearly 28 years old he has all of 400+ AB's. He has no range, his throwing motion makes my stomach hurt, he is aloof (to be kind), and he is neither powerful nor fast. Sounds great.

I mean it is flat-out comical. He is, at best, a 25th man. Any suggestions besides that aren't rooted in fact nor logic...it's pure and unadulterated Cincinnati little-man fandom.

at 3:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a disfuctional lineup!!Giving Hamilton away looks to be a major screw up !WHY is W.K. still in this town? W.K. is an inept A$$,Walt J. has been hired because of this guys failure.Why not get rid of him and make a ton of Reds fans happy ?? His credibility is zero!! WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY........COACH

at 4:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the talk about the young guns and the promise for the future who plays what position. DOESN'T MATTER. The Reds have one starting pitcher, Harang. Girley man Arroyo and the rest will get hit hard regularly. The Reds front office obtained no other starting pitcher(s) during the off season. Another long, boring and losing season for the Reds.

at 4:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marty B. and Jeff Brandtley like Keppinger every day, Theyve seen / been in a few big league games. The idea cant be too rediculous.

-Kevin in FT Myers

at 4:06 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

ky side of cincy

yet Keppinger outhit Gonzalez by 80 points and made less errors?

at 4:10 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

there was a reason Tony Romo was perceived as a backup quarterback..he never got a chance ky side

keppinger dont look as pretty as Gonzo making those plays..but make him does..his range is fine and ill take a pete rose singles type hitter any day dude

at 4:11 PM Blogger KY side of Cincy said...

Kevin, you have a link to an article where Marty and Jeff suggest Keppy is an everyday player?

Jack, you appaer to be horribly knowledgable, so I'm shocked you're putting any stock in: a) 200 AB's; b) a guy who still has only 400+ career AB's. I believe it was Teddy Ballgame who said discount a player's first 1,000 AB's because he hasn't been figured out yet. If he keeps hitting beyond that, you have something.

Defense? If you're going to make a case that Keppy is even in the same ballpark as Gonzo at SS that I'm flat-out shocked. He has no range. His arm is sub-par. Oh, and by the way, Gonzo is regarded in the top 3 of ML defensive short-stops. Are you honestly not giving him a pass on last year with his son on his death bed? Really?

Unreal. Again, no speed, no pop, no range. Sounds awesome. Tell me again why the Mets and Royals cut him loose?

at 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm...it doesn't take a genius to figure out their lineup. Why don't you try your hand at naming the rotation and the bullpen!!!!

at 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to make an "error" when you never get to the ball.

at 4:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Can't we all just get along. I used to love reading this blog but now it is getting more and more personal and less about differences in opinions. Why not state your opinion and back it with some facts instead of ALWAYS ripping some other blogger or focusing on WK. I hope things improve! Dan L

at 4:16 PM Blogger KY side of Cincy said...

Jack, his range is not fine. He is a statue. Check the numbers on his defensive range....not good.

Did you just compare him to Pete Rose? Really? I know he falls into that little white guy with no skill but tons of effort category, but jeez, now it's just a flat-out comparison. Holy hyperbole alert.

Maybe we can get Chris Stynes back and the west side fans can go all goo-goo ga-ga over him again too. That'd be sweet.

at 4:18 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

anon 3:33,I plead the 5th.That way, I don't get kicked off here.Did you know your cap button is ALWAY'S ON!Annoying!!!

I was born & raised in Cincy Making me a fan off all my hometown teams.Not Denver's,but I like the teams out there as #2's.It's my town to dude.

My grandmother was in alot of pain at a old age,therefore she's in a better place.There'a a good place for good people.

And I hope the reds get better,not just for our sake,but the whole greater Cincinnati area.

Point Made!

at 4:19 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I don't understand how a guy hits .332 with a .983 fielding pct at SS automatically loses his job to a lifetime .248 hitter with a .963 FP. I believe that he and Hopper were both in the top 5 in the NL in hitting for the second half of last season.

Keppinger may not be flashy but he sure got the job done last season.

at 4:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keppinger every day is not an article. This was said last season by Marty during a broadcast, and Brantley whole heatedly agreed. Specifically they thaught he should start at third over Encarnacion. Radio broadcast (obviously) but those of you that get FSN Ohio wouldnt of heard. Im in Ft Myers and was listening on XM radio. (Day game)

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 4:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

CSA, because Kepp could leadoff, Dusty likes a leadoff hitter. Freel nor Hopper are it. We aint signing Patterson or Lofton. Gonzos great, thats not the argument. Just not enough spots in the lineup. Kepp @ third and Gonzo @ SS is fine w/ me too.

-Kevin in Ft MYers

at 4:24 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Gotta agree with KY Side. Don't understand this fetish for scrappy overachievers. I mean, everybody loves an underdog; I do too and they make for some interesting stories but talent is important.

I like Keppinger and he may find spot as a regular if he continues hitting like he did last year, but not at SS. And Batsfan, I have to respectfully disagree about comparing errors for Kepp and Gonzo. That is only part of the picture. Range and even positioning is much more important. We need a good defense with our questionable pitching.

Someone on here mentioned the other day that "range is subjective". Not so. It can and is being measured, and of course observed as well.

And I like the nomination for "Genius Post of the Day". Maybe a nomination for Keith Olberman's "Worst Person in the World" would be in order as well.

at 4:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hudepohl any relation to deez man?

at 4:31 PM Anonymous mgarner543 said...

I love Keppinger's fill in duty as much as anyone. He did a very nice job filling in for Gonzalez while his son was near death. Unfortunately, KY side of Cincy is correct, Keppinger is a utility player that only makes a NL roster because he is respectable at multiple positions. He is the new Ryan Freel (who everyone has been riping in recent blogs). He has horrible range and only gets to balls hit directly to him, Gonzalez still is considered one of the best fielders in all of baseball.

at 4:33 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

chevy.. it amazes me again that certain fans on this blog accept and defend mediocrity

keppinger outplays gonzalez, he makes less errors and he outhits the dude by .80 percentage points. And he does so for almost half of a season,, not just a week

Gonzalez was considered an average shortstop that could make great plays occasionally..yet very streaky.. Thats why he was let go in Boston.

I dont know if its lack of knowledge or failure to research, but for those of you that have made Gonzalez out to be the 2nd coming of Derek Jeter, you simply are wrong

hugh Pole,,the difference between keppinger and Freel.. Keppinger can hit..Freel cant

at 4:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

by who?

at 4:36 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Oops forgot to end my post with "too funny".

Anon 1:25, the Ken Griffey Sr. bat speed remark is a classic.

at 4:37 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

garner i was either at..or watched everygame that Keppinger played at SS. You simply are wrong dude. And quit with this packaged comeback that he is just a fine utility player "filling in". He carried this club almost the entire second half of the season.

at 4:38 PM Anonymous firefly118 said...

PLEASE ANSWER A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS FOR ME! First, why would we hit Phillips in the 4 or 5 hole and not leadoff? Just because a guy hits 30 homers, doesn't mean he shouldn't lead off. Your leadoff guy will see good pitches to hit, and lest we not forget that Phillips is probably our fastest guy (30+ steals). Second, don't we have to play Jay Bruce. After all the hype, and the flat out denial to trade him for better pitching, he has to be your guy in CF. It makes no sense to pass up big league pitching that could win now, just to have your BELL COW on the bench or in the minors for another year. If Phillips hits leadoff, and everyone else slides down and then you plug Bruce in the 3 hole. Wouldn't that be a more devistating line up?

2B Phillips
1B Votto
CF Bruce
3B Encarnacion
LF Dunn
RF Griffey
SS Gonzalez
C Who ever (Ross/Valey)

at 4:38 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

hugh still defending mediocrity I see

at 4:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know people will rip me for this but what about this lineup

Griffey or Dunn
Griffey or Dunn

Dunn and Griffey both have high on-base pct. and it breaks up the lefties. Just a thought
Dan L

at 4:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its amazing the Reds were able to land such an elite player like Gonzalez. Either Krivsky is awesome, (which none of you beleive)and Theo Epstein is dumb (which nobody beleives) or Gonzo is a tad overated. I mean how did the big market teams let this guy go to Cincinnati?

at 4:42 PM Blogger cmessmer said...

The couple of comments mentioned FSN Ohio/Cinci raise a question. Normally the TV broadcast schedule is long since announced by now. I notice that this hasn't apparently happened yet. I checked some other teems and nobody is showing what games ar on TV. Have I missed something? According to the Reds site, only like 5 games will be on TV!


at 4:43 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

It amazes me that the same individuals defend the same players that have contributed to the same losing team for the past seven years

4:40 anon..you mean the same epstein that took his club to the world series last year? without gonzalez ?

oh well..nite nite everyone have a great evening

at 4:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thats a good lineup

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 4:44 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

I never said anything about Keppinger and Freel and I also submit that research is what would help you understand the difference in Gonzales and Kepp as a major league shortstop. Errors and batting average are "archaic" stats that are good for what measure but don't tell the whole story. And if you don't like statistics, listten to scouts, they'll say the same thing about this SS "controversy".

Don't understand why people keep bringing up football examples. Different sport, not that many parallels. "Too funny".

PS no relation to Deezman. Was that supposed to be an insult?

at 4:46 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

4:40 the only thing i remember about Gonzalez is his cussing and throwing his bat every time he struck out with players on base. Or when you trend it out committing twice the number of errors that Keppinger did

at 4:48 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

.330 hitters are everyday players in my book not necessarily at SS. The scouts stuck him with a utility tag and he so far has proven them wrong by hitting everywhere that he has been. What makes you think that baseball scouts are all geniuses and never wrong. The scouts, I would say are wrong a great deal of the time. Look at all the "can't miss" guys who never make it.

Maybe he quits hitting at some point, but until he does he is making fools of the scouts and the fans who tag him as a utility only guy.

I am not down on Gonzalez because of last season. But Keppinger deserves a legit shot.

at 4:48 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

hugh do u mean the other intangibles like the team taking off and playing great with Keppinger at short on a full time basis? do you realize we had a swing of almost a plus 40 games with keppinger at shortstop HUGH .

is that what I should be looking for

at 4:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must have missed the story about a recent dieoff in the equine population of the Greater Cincinnati area ... but the way some keep beating a dead horse, there must have been one. How many times does someone need to try and make the same point. If someone doesnt agree with your point the 15th time its posted, do you really think a 16th time will help? Or maybe it takes a magical 20. You know, I didnt agree with you the first 19 times, but now that you've said it 20, it must be right. How about people try and make a point once, then let it go. Unique idea I know ... I might have to say it 19 more times to be effective.

at 4:50 PM Blogger Brendan said...

Firefly: How can you pencil a guy with no major league AB's into the # 3 hole? That's unbelievable!

In my opinion, Baker is playing this Bruce thing perfectly (I never thought I'd say that). If he says that he should be our starting CF, Bruce might be pressing during spring training and the first bad game he has, this blog will be filled with negativity. More than it already has. By saying he expects Hopper or Freel to be the starter, he's simply sheltering Bruce for a bit, which is exactly what a manager should do with a rookie.

at 4:50 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

the football intangible was this hugh..and I know u cant comprehend..but all the "scouts" and "pros" for years thought Romo was a backup..and lookm what happens when he gets a shot/..

the team was winning, keppinger was making less errors, and hitting for a much higher average..go with a roll until he proves he cannot do it

at 4:52 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

anon 4:49 please quit being so negative on our blog goodnite all

at 4:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are 149 games on FSN Ohio, the ones that aren't include the Saturday Fox games and the 12:35 business day specials.

at 4:54 PM Anonymous mgarner543 said...

43 games started (47 total) at shortstop is "half the year"??? so he played a quarter of the year at shortstop, and only played it because there were no other options. Every baseball person I have ever heard talk about him has always said that he can hit, but he is an average fielder at best, and he has no position because of a weak arm. Obviously, he should be given the SS job because he had a hot run last year and carried a losing team...but since jack is an expert player evaluator Keppinger is the answer. You are entitled to your opinion as much as I am and mine is that I will side with the talent evaluators that say he is a utility player. I would love if he turned into a stud at SS, but I dont see it, I see the second coming of Ryan Freel.

at 4:55 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Hey, I like Keppinger. Like I said, if he continues to hit like he has he could earn a regular spot somewhere. He's just not a good enough fielder at short and that is widely agreed upon and backed up by stats as well as scouting and observation by knowledgeable baseball (far more knowledgeable than I am).

And there is no way ONE player can carry a team like you are suggesting, even if the player is hot. I'm sure Kepp CONTRIBUTED to the second half surge but there were plenty of other factors, he and Hopper among them.

at 4:56 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Keppinger carried the reds with 32 RBI in the second half? Come on. Dunn had 48, Phillips 47, Encarncion 40, Griffey 34.

He hit 50 points higher than Gonzalez, not 80. I'm bias against distorted facts. Jack, you have these strong opinions that state as fact. I

But a lot your facts are your opinions.

at 4:58 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

so garner how come he did such a great job at SS. his arm was fine as was his range maybe the baseball people are wrong

what is..is

at 5:01 PM Anonymous j said...

Brendan -- how is it going to help Bruce to shelter him during spring training? If he's in the starting lineup on opening day, he's going to notice it, no matter what Baker has been saying. If he's on the bench on opening day but inserted into the lineup on day 3 or 4, is he really going to be relaxed just because he wasn't starting on opening day? I don't think so. He'll be nervous the first few times he starts, then he'll get over it. Nobody is going to give up on him if he goes 0 for his first 10 ABs, and he knows it.

My philosophy is this: you play your best players as often as you can. I don't know why everyone insists on over-thinking things so much.

at 5:02 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

john.. you are a gonzalez griffey apologist and have been.

John what the hell does RBIs have to do with carrying the team

john the griffey deal was terrible for the reds.. you cant accept this too bad

john the team played much better with Keppinger playing short..yes or no

I am rather simplistic John

at 5:04 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

John Fay said:
"He hit 50 points higher than Gonzalez, not 80. I'm bias against distorted facts. Jack, you have these strong opinions that state as fact."

Actually he hit 60 points higher than Gonzalez, but then who is counting?


at 5:07 PM Blogger Brendan T said...

I'm not saying that Baker should bench him. I'm just saying talk is cheap, so why put added pressure on him? If he plays well in ST, then he's the starter.

at 5:09 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Didn't Keppinger hit primarily in the second spot? Hardly fair to compare his RBIs with the guys in the RBI slots.

at 5:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 241 AB, Kepp only struck out 12 times. In 419 career at bats, he has struck out 25 at bats.

That Baker may support Gonzo is not real surprising based upon his reputation from Chicago that he favors "veterans" -- in fact, his liking of Hopper over Bruce is evidence of that...

The Reds will never win anything with Gonzo starting every day -- his offense is too weak & he makes too many errors on defense. He has an OBP of .325 last year, which was probably near a career high. Last year I saw plenty of high-light plays by Phillips -- none by Gonzo.

Nothing against Gonzo (just Kepp is quite a unique offensive talent when given a chance), but those of you who like Gonzo so much belong in the same camp of those people who liked Conine so much last year.
Gonzo is a career .969 fielder.

at 5:11 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Jack, regardless of what kepp did last year, we were 72-90.

There is absolutly no hope. Everyone who doesn't start is better than everyone else we have. Can't they see that?

If we would only change everything, then we would have something

at 5:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As to those of you who defended Conine so much last year -- you may wish to note that Conine is unemployed this year....

at 5:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

50 points aint bad, its not 80, but, Dusty wants a leadoff man, thats how this started,(with my lineup 3:44) Kepps probably the closest thing unless you convert Phillips. Hopper is a good bunter, but sooner or later you have to drive in a couple. Freel, sadly i think is on a down turn, fans love him, but has been the leadoff man, never with league leading success. Let someone else try.

I had no idea when i put Kepp at SS it would cause such a lively debate, but again, Gonzo is fine, BUT CANT BE A LEADOFF MAN! Only 9 guys get to play, if this were the AL we wouldnt have a problem. (DH)

Again, Id be happy with Kepp @ 3b and Gonzo @ SS

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 5:12 PM Anonymous mgarner543 said...

His batting is what kept him in the lineup, but his lack of range is why Gonzalez went back in the lineup at short when he came. Everyone agrees that Keppinger was a great story last year, and that he can handle the bat. That has never been the issue. But why does every baseball person think he is a below average fielder? Surely everyone can't be wrong.

at 5:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Gonzo starting, the Reds were on pace to lose around 115 games or so....

at 5:13 PM Blogger reaganspad said...



Ah yes, spring.....

at 5:15 PM Blogger Kyle said...

This is what it should be:

(if without Bruce)


(with Bruce)


at 5:16 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Jack: I don't care if Keppinger or Gonzalez plays. Or Griffey. I just don't you making points with wrong infomation. You rip players on this blog. You rip other posters. You rip me. But any time anyone challenges you you get snippy.

All ask is that everyone play nice and support opinions with correct data. And, yes,I know the Reds record is over the last seven years.

at 5:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


-Kevin in FM

at 5:18 PM Blogger Brendan T said...

Dusty hasn't been here 7 years, Reagan.

at 5:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brendan didnt get it! LOL

at 5:21 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

DUNN should play only on Tuesdays.

Why is Phillips at 2nd base? Shouldn't he be a rover, like in softball, kind of a 10th outfielder?

Is there really a conspiracy that Ryan Freel has to take the first pitch? Is that really Freel in his uniform, or that guy who lives in his head.

Which one gets paid by the Reds? Or does one of them secretly work for the Cubs?

Really, and the Jock. He is a Cardinal. You think they really fired him, or is this some sorta LaRusa mind control over our Beloved Reds. Just to keep us down and in our last place... place.

Dang, just when we were on the verge of a 73 win season, we fall for the old hire the Jock trick.

I hate it when that happens

at 5:22 PM Anonymous j said...

Brendan -- But Baker just said he hopes either Hopper or Freel is in the lineup every day. To me, THAT is putting a lot of pressure on Bruce. It's like saying "unless you put up monster numbers in SP, you're not our starting center fielder. We don't have confidence in you." Why not just say "The kid is going to be given every opportunity to start, but we've got other options if he's not quite ready." If he can't handle a little pressure like that, then he isn't going to be very good anyway.

at 5:22 PM Blogger Brendan T said...

John, I think you forgot that Jack in Blue Ash attended/watched every Reds game last year. Apparently that makes his opinion impenetrable. It's not like EVERYONE else who spends time here on this blog watches or goes to games.

at 5:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you saying that Gonzo's last year was an aberration defensively, you should check his career stats. His career fielding is .969 & his fielding last year was .962. Last year was much closer to normal than many of you would like...

By comparison, Kepp was .989 fielding last year -- any loss of range that those of you allege was made up by less errors --

Of course, Gonzo will start at SS -- Baker likes him & he is the manager. It sounds like Baker will start Hopper/Freel over Bruce too. Conine started a lot of games last year too & that does not make it the best decision.

at 5:26 PM Blogger Brendan T said...

I think Baker saying that about Freel/Hopper has more to do with having a true leadoff hitter on the team and less about Bruce.

I agree with you though, your response would've been even better for him to say. I was just stating that I'm glad he's not saying "Jay, here are the keys to the franchise, it's yours".

at 5:26 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Here's a question for you: Keppinger started 43 games at short. What was the Reds record in those games?

at 5:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would bat Bruce 3rd firefly? No major league at bats yet. I don't think he'll be ready this year for that.
Kepp will be in the lineup often even with Gonzo at SS because of off days and injuries and match-ups. This will work itself out.
Dan L

at 5:27 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

And Keppinger, why would the Bengals want him anyway. He is too small to play QB. What was his time in the 40 at the combine? How many reps did he have at 225?

And what does International Harvester have to do with Football anyway?

Who invented liquid soap and why?

Back to the serious baseball stuff John. When are all these guys gonna quit spitting?

at 5:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin in Ft Myers -

the spread is 80 points when comparing Kepp's .330 last year compared to Gonzo's career .249 average and career .295...

Of course, Gonzo had an up year...

The most impressive thing about Kepp to me is only 12 strikeouts in 241 at bats.... that make's his average not a fluke -- this guy knows how to put the ball into play.

I think the Reds would have traded Gonzo this past year if anyone would have taken him off their hands, with the emergence of Kepp...

I think Jack's analogy of Kepp to Tony Romo is a pretty good one for those of you who say that he must be a back-up.

at 5:32 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

And come on, why does he go by "Dusty" ??

Is he in witness protection?

at 5:34 PM Anonymous j said...

Brendan -- I understand he wants a "leadoff hitter" to hit leadoff. But, as I said in an earlier post, I think that's a stupid approach to deciding who plays and who doesn't. If Bruce is the next, say, Larry Walker, you don't start Hopper over a young Larry Walker just because he isn't a typical leadoff hitter. If you've got a young Larry Walker on your team, you stick him in the lineup somewhere -- anywhere -- even if it means having your catcher hit leadoff.

at 5:36 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

If the Reds trade Bruce, can they just exchange his last name (which is really a first name) for a true last name, like Smith or something.

Do you think some announcers, who are not Marty, will have problems calling him Bruce Jay?

at 5:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 5:40 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Gonzo starts cause he makes $3 mil a year. Really not much point in arguing about it. We will just have to wait and see how Baker handles it if Gonzo gets off to a bad start.

Do you think Castellini is getting tired of over paying some of these guys?

at 5:43 PM Blogger Brendan T said...

I don't disagree IF he shows that he's the next Larry Walker. I just don't like getting too excited over a prospect, too many Brandon Larson flashbacks, I suppose.

I'm sure this won't be much of an issue for too long considering there will probably be an injury somewhere in our outfield by May.

at 5:43 PM Blogger Matt said...

"John what the hell does RBIs have to do with carrying the team"- Jack in BA

Do I really have to point out the absolute absurdity of this question?

at 5:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starting AGON cause he makes 3mil is an old Reds regime mentality. You may be right, but I hope they are past that and play to win.

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 5:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoever posted about everyone's rbi's during the second half only secured the play keppinger arguement. who was getting driven if? keppinger. because he was reaching base with a hit in almost every game. it's hard for dunn or ee to rack up them rbi's without hopp and kepp getting on


at 5:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think the other question to ask in addition to W/L is to compare the team ERA with Kepp in as SS, when compared to Gonzo in as SS. I don't know those #s, but if they are comparable, then that ends any argument that Gonzo should play over Kepp because of defense.

I think one will find that the Reds won more games with Kepp in as SS than Gonzo -- Gonzo played almost every game in the first half & the Reds were on a record pace for losing games & the Reds pitching was dead last in the league. I think one will find that the team ERA and won/loss was better with Kepp playing....of course, I making that assessment b/c the Reds won more games in the second half & had a better team ERA in the second half...
Of course -- I am just speculating - I have not crunched the statistics....

at 5:45 PM Blogger John Fay said...

21-22 with Keppinger at short.

I think he'll get a lot of at-bats. But I think Gonzalez will the SS.

at 5:46 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

If we changed Keppinger's home town to San Pedro de Macoris, wouldn't that automatically increase his armstrength?

Keppingeriez. Now that is a short stop. Debate ended, but can we get it through the ML Players association?

Or is this scrabble growth hormone? That is a lot of scrabble points with that z in there

I smell a challenge

at 5:49 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Do you think Keppinger has the talent to be the next American Idol?

Could he get Tuesdays off during spring training to audition?

at 5:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, when looking at w/l, one should exclude those games that both Gonzo and Kepp played -- where Kepp played a position other than SS ...when doing the w/l comparison...

at 5:52 PM Anonymous j said...

Brendan -- He can't show anything if he's sitting on the bench. He needs to play, and if he gets off to a slow start, he needs to continue playing. If he's a bust for an entire season, then it's time to reevaluate. But let's find out NOW rather than having him sit around doing nothing, and then find out LATER that he's a bust. It's not as if sitting on the bench for a year is going to improve his swing.

at 5:53 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

John, this thread started out taking about Jr. and his "regularity"

Can't he take something for that or would that have to be reviewed by congress?

at 5:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you know team ERA when comparing Gonzo at SS with Kepp at SS?

What was the Red's record with Gonzo at SS?


at 5:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, when considering the Reds' record with Gonzo, exclude games that Kepp also played -- if that is possible -- so that Kepp's offense is not considered in those games...

at 5:57 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Good lord what a ridiculous, meaningless stat:
Team ERA when 'A' is playing SS vs when 'B' is playing. Does it matter who is pitching and against whom? What about which direction the wind is blowing and how many people are in the stands?

at 5:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real question shouldn't be Keppinger over Gonzalez. It should be why aren't the young guys going to get a shot to play. If this organization that we all love are going to continue to play mediocre vetern players with no up side over guys with potential, then we will never win.
Other teams play their young players and let them develope and take their bruises. also, this team hasn't been patient when they have brought young players up.

Does anybody really beleive we can win, even in the nl central, with Belisle, Fogg, Affeldt in the rotation and Hopper, Hatteberg playing everyday. Just look at other teams rosters and see if these five guys would crack a starting lineup on other teams.
Play the young guys and we may contend soon!

at 5:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many more posts do we need from Reaganspad?

at 6:03 PM Blogger John Fay said...

There's no question the team played better when Keppinger was at short. But Burton was picking the 8th then. EE was back from AAA and playing well. Hopper was was playing well, too.

Kep v Gonzo is great to debate but there's no right or wrong answer.

And, no, I dont have ERA breakdown.

at 6:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't compare Bruce to Brandon Larson

at 6:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree there is no wrong answer with Kepp/Gonzo. That is the position battle we should be least worried about. You can't go wrong either way. 1st/Center/rotation is where I hope Dusty doesn't get his way.

at 6:11 PM Blogger Jon said...



at 6:13 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Yea really anonymous 6:07.... why would you want Dusty to have any input on who plays 1B, CF or makes up the rotation?

That statement makes the Kepp/Gonzo debate worth fighting for

at 6:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because it seems Dusty wants to play Hatte/Hopper and not the young starters. If I were Krivsky, and in the last year of my contract, I would want to at least show the owner we will be better. Not keep finding leftovers from other teams to start.

at 6:20 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

I think certain individuals have been using my name and causing trouble thats what I think

John I think EE had been back for sometime. As I said before it was not just Keppinger, it was also players like Hopper that infused energy into this team

Reaganspad dont care he just likes to follow me around and snipe at my posts..god love him

When is the new system gonna be in place when we have to use our internet addresses to sign in. I get attacked but I am not here half the time

at 6:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:59 Looking at the mlb depth charts, I could find only one team where Hopper may start. That is the Twins, but I have no idea how good there young kid projected to start is.
It is interesting that Chris Denorfia is listed 1st in center for the A's.

at 6:33 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

at 6:37 PM Blogger jdeezman said...


Way to lay the smackdown reaganspad and John Fay!

Now you have our friend Jack barking at shadows!!!
"I think certain individuals have been using my name and causing trouble thats what I think"!
Coward can't even take responsibility for his own screw ups.

There was a report on WLW of Gonzo going to get an MRI today... something about his knee hurting when he ran hard, but that the team was downplaying it...
do you have any information on that?

at 6:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you take r and rbi divided ab then they were pretty even offensively last year
Kep-16% of ab scored a run
Kep-13% of ab had rbi

That is if you believe Dusty that it is about runs scored and not about on base pct.

at 6:42 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Thanks Jack, God does love me, but for the life of me, I can't see how we win 60 games this year?
Can you help me out?

Maybe we play KEPPINGER!

I think he should start in Right Field in front of Griffey. Did I do that right Jack?

If only KEPPINGER could pitch....I think he could also be the bullpen coach.

Jack, have you personally seen KEPPINGER dunk a B-Ball? I bet he can drill the three and has a wicked cross dribble.

Do you think Hillary carries Ohio if she can just talk KEPPINGER onto her ticket?

at 6:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the numbers,

Gonzalez played in 110 games last year... 393 ABs... 55R, 55RBI, 16HR

Keppinger played in 67 games last year... 241 ABs... 39R, 32RBI, 5HR

Factoring those numbers over a full 162 game season one comes up with the following...

AGon = 578AB (AB/GP x 162) = 3.57AB per game.)
JKepp = 582AB (AB/GP x 162) = 3.60 AB per game.)
AGon = 81R (R/GP x 162 = .50 runs per game.)
JKepp = 94R (R/GP x 162 = .58 runs per game.)
AGon = 81RBI (RBI/GP x 162 = .50 rbi per game.)
JKepp = 78RBI (RBI/GP x 162 = .48 rbi per game.)
AGon = 24HR (HR/GP x 162 = .15 HR per game.)
JKepp = 12HR (HR/GP x 162 = .07 runs per game.)

(*ASSUMING* both Kepp and AGon had been able to play 162 games at the same statistical pace they played in their 67 and 110 games respectively.)

There is really no appreciable difference in Runs and RBIs, which is really what the game is about, am I right? Or am I looking at this too much from a totally fantasy point value aspect?

-Paul in El Paso-

at 6:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see a lot of passion on the blog these days.It's fine to be positive but we can't blame people that are frustrated.We have stuck and last yr. we were a joke for most of the season.W.K. said in May "our bullpen will be fine" how can anyone support a GM that far off?? WE were 70-92(unacceptable)..W.J. is our biggest upgrade lets give him a chance!! H IN HYDE PARK

at 6:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notes: Gonzalez to undergo MRI
Shortstop does not believe left knee is seriously damaged...


at 6:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 6:57 PM Blogger AFMike said...

This all makes for great entertainment. Jack, I am very sorry for my spelling, I will be the first to admit I am not a great speller. You keep saying that Boston go rid of Gonzo because of his abilities. Not so my good man. Boston has been after Julio Lugo for many years now. Most of the people around Boston wanted to keep Gozo.

I want to see many of the young guys get into the lineup and I believe they will at some point. The only problem I have at this point with the lineup you put out John is that Votto should be the starting firstbase men. Hatteburg is a decent guy and can help, but it's time for Votto.

I think the Reds should make you happy Jack, as I believe they are capable of playing .500 ball. They have some talent that needs to be brought along and hopefully that will happen.

at 7:01 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

The comment I left before, I said, the Reds should trade Keppinger and Freel for Lowery. One person left a message. I was trying to find out why Keppinger is the next Mike Schimdt. The Reds should trade him now for pitching, any pitching. Gonzo is the shortstop now and next year. Case closed, but I am sorry for his son health.

at 7:02 PM Blogger docproc said...

Wow, this blog has gotten out of control.

Sorry, John. Love your reporting.

at 7:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack & CSA,
Your goose has been cooked on the Kepp/Gonzo debate. Let it go...move on.

at 7:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 7:08 PM Blogger reaganspad said...


Watch out Wayne, Keppinger is after your job too.

at 7:11 PM Blogger KY side of Cincy said...

Wow, I like the convenience of comparing the best stretch of Keppinger's career to certainly the most trying of Gonzalez's. That seems logical...no wait...maybe it doesn't.

I'm no Gonzo apologist (or maybe I am), but flip the cards over to give yourself a more accurate picture.

Here is a stat to wrap yourselves around:
Keppy has played SS 390 innings in his career...or roughly 43 games. In that time he has 124 assists and 2 errors. Therefore, he gets to 2.9 balls per game (124 + 2 / 43).

Gonzo has played 8,018 innings at SS in his career...or roughly 891 games. In that time he has 2,982 assists and 148 errors (3,130 chances). Therefore, he gets to 3.5 balls per game.

Not much you're saying? That .6 balls per game equates to 97 extra balls per season that Gonzo gets to that Keppy doesn't. This doesn't take even take into account the fact that Gonzo's arm is much better.

I honestly can't believe we're having to have this discussion with "baseball" fans. Unreal.

at 7:23 PM Blogger Brandon said...

Man this unraveled fast.

All I want to say is Keppinger will find his at bats if someone hits then they find a way in the lineup. Gonzo did drive me insane the first half when he wouldn't even dive for a ball but he started doing that later on in the year.

EE out at 3rd is kind of silly he is a great clutch rbi guy, John is there a site you can look up 2 out rbi's and runner in scoring position BA's?

Bruce will be in a Reds uniform this year be it at the start or sometime later trust me on this one its a long year and he will get some lumps in the majors.

On the rotation if Fogg and Affeldt are not in the bullpen and Bailey and Volquez start I will be a little worried about how much talent they really have.

at 7:33 PM Blogger Fkdrad said...

If Gonzo is shut down following tonights mri, look for Paul Janish to get a lot of early playing time at short. He is a better fielder than Keppinger and has some pop in his bat . He needs more AAA time to work on his hitting, but he is quietly getting a lot of attention this spring.

John: Have you noticed Alvin Colvina. I had a chance to watch him hit today. He was showing some power. He has lots of knocks from the Rockies about his toughness, but at 6'4" 215 he is physically the best looking catcher in camp....it will be interesting to see his progress the next few days.

at 7:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

KY Side -

3.5 chances per....what?

Gonzo had a .962 fielding percentage last year, which is close to his career average. What you got from Gonzo defensively is what one usually gets out of him. That is NOT good.

You probably thought Conine was deserving of batting 4th in the lineup last year too....

at 7:52 PM Anonymous NVreds said...

jack - if kep were the starting SS you'd probably be rattling off everything negative about that, I know you'd bring up the 400 ABs and no experience and the fact that the sample size was small...sorta funny.

I personally would like to see gonzo start, play well, then get traded. I also think phillips should be our SS @ somepoint in the future, because a decent 2B is easier to find (ex: Kep).

at 8:05 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

It's A-Gon's job to lose.

Kepp's best shot at winning a job is at 3rd base.One thing the reds lacked before A-Gon was here was solid defense up the middle.Phillips turned out to be a steal and is now a marquee player,so No problem at 2B. Krivisky went out and got A-Gon to shore up the other 1/4 of the infield.We all know how Krivisky likes to get's his money worth out of his signings(ex. Stanton,Coffey,Narron, Lohse, )

So as long as A-Gon is playing good baseball,I expect to see him playing SS.But things change,ask Coco Crisp about that one

at 8:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! 2 hrs later and EVERYONE is still MISSING THE POINT. KEPPINGER for GONZO ONLY BECAUSE HE CAN BAT LEADOFF! The stats are very close, Gonzo a bit better in some BUT HE CANT LEADOFF.

"Do you understand the words comin out of my mouth" :) LOL!

The argument should be, whos a better leadoff hitter, KEPP / HOPP / FREEL NONE should play center over Bruce. So where do they (KEPP) play?

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 8:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone must be thinking!

Jeopardy them plays....

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 8:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still thinking?

at 8:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone? Helloo

I feel the guy still talking after the cell call drops!

-K in FM

at 8:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to why the rants against W.K. !! Our record in 07--70-92/worse than the Nats/terrible talent evaluations !!Most of all its his anti-fan personality !! Bob C. can't have his GM being so disliked given the inept job performance!! I agree...WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY MAD IN MASON

at 8:48 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

KY side, you are right on target. Frustrating that this debate is even going on among baseball fans.

SS is the most important defensive position on the team. In the 1960's in an admittedly pitchers era, there were starting SS that hitas low as .167 and .180 carried only for their gloves (see Ray Oyler, Mark Belanger, Dal Maxvill).

I have not heard anybody on here say that Keppinger is not a good hitter or that he is not capable of playing SS in any circumstances. My own point is not even that Gonzales should start over Keppinger (though of course I think he should). My point is that starting Gonzales, who is legitimately widely regarded as one of the best defensive SS in the game, is not a STUPID move on the part of Dusty and Krivsky, in facxt it is a highly sensible move.

Not to sound condescending, but there are numerous resources out there these days that any fan has access to that give multiple perspectives from statistical/analytical, to scouting publications and even the much-maligned mainstream media. If someone is only interested in scratching the surface and thinks things like errors, batting average and RBI are the be-all and end-all of baseball analysis, that's no crime. But if you are going to participate in a discussion on a forum that does have people that have looked at things at a higher level, then you should be prepared to give some facts and logic to back up your rhetoric.

Too many comments are personal attackes about the players and management, not BASEBALL arguments. Arguments like Dusty "ruins young pitchers", "like to play veterans", Krivsky is stupid, Krivsky is arrogant, Jocketty wouldn't be here unless Kriv was incompetent, so and so is playing only bvecause they make so much money, Dunn is lazy, Griffey doesn' care, isn't injured as much as he says. The list goes on and on. No facts to debate; no baseball discussion, it's all based on personal attacks. I guess some people enjoy that.

John I enjoy your reporting and insights and respect your efforts to point out the foolishness and mean-spirited nature of some of these posts. And Reaganspad, you are a funny guy.

at 8:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

WK hasnt made the big time trades / deals you would have liked? Made some bad ones? Sure all GMs do.

He didnt make the big trades because he wanted to keep Votto, Bruce, Bailey, Cueto. Now you want to fire him before we even get to see these guys play?
Thats just bass ackwards.

Hes made his play, now let it play out. If they suck hes gone, simple right?

But lets see, shall we?

If these guys are great and the Reds are really good, how would you feel about him? Please, understand the proffesional game, and a teams evolution over the course of several seasons.

Kevin in Ft Myers

at 8:53 PM Blogger redfuture said...

We get caught up in projecting the lineup, and I'm more guilty than most, but history shows that its not repeated very often anyway. Here is a look at the number of lineups they've had over the last several years. Also note who the leadoff hitters were.

Year lineup most next 3rd LeadOff
orders often most most Hitters
2007 119 7 4 4 Freel, 58; Hopper, 45
2006 140 4 3 3 Freel, 106; Lopez, 22
2005 127 6 4 4 Freel, 87; Lopez, 62
2004 132 7 4 3 Freel, 105; Jimenez, 43
2003 135 7 3 3 Lopez, 33; Jimenez, 30
2002 129 5 4 4 Walker, 84; Larkin, 57
2001 132 8 5 4 Walker, 46; Larkin, 31
2000 117 5 5 4 Reese, 92; Stynes, 46
1999 94 18 12 6 Cameron, 82; Reese 76

at 8:57 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Wanted to align the columns a bit better.

Year lineup most next 3rd LeadOff
....... orders often most most Hitters
2007 119..... 7........ 4........ 4........ Freel, 58; Hopper, 45
2006 140..... 4........ 3........ 3........ Freel, 106; Lopez, 22
2005 127..... 6........ 4........ 4........ Freel, 87; Lopez, 62
2004 132..... 7........ 4........ 3........ Freel, 105; Jimenez, 43
2003 135..... 7........ 3........ 3........ Lopez, 33; Jimenez, 30
2002 129..... 5........ 4........ 4........ Walker, 84; Larkin, 57
2001 132..... 8........ 5........ 4........ Walker, 46; Larkin, 31
2000 117..... 5........ 5........ 4........ Reese, 92; Stynes, 46
1999 94..... 18...... 12...... 6........ Cameron, 82; Reese 76

at 8:58 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

KY Side, just for fun I decided to run the 97 outs saved by playing someone with Gonzo's range versus Kepp's ability to get to the ball.

Leaving out differences in errors, Keppinger would have to hit about .420 to make up for the extra hits that would go through the infield. I think that demonstrates in an admittedly crude way, the importance of defense at the short stop position.

at 9:00 PM Blogger Champ Summers said...

DocProc, this place is very out of control

Hugh, i respectfully disagree. Reagan's posts are sooo unfunny. At first funny but now overboard even if that is the point.

Kevin, no replies because there is nothing to reply to. When Kepp gets in their, hopefully around 300AB's he is best suited for the 2 or 7 hole.

If you've been paying attention Kepp is taking ball in the OF. They are toying with the super sub idea to get him in their as much as possible.

He'll get the lefties at 1B unless Votto proves he can handle them. He'll spell EE and BP on occasion and fill in for Gonzo especially if the knee thing becomes more than just a sore knee.

This is a 162 game season. Everyone will get their chance.

at 9:06 PM Anonymous SE KY GUY said...


Votto played some left field in the minors last year. He was decent but far from spectacular. I'd probably rate him better than Dunn in fielding. Any chance he sees time in left?

at 9:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

SE KY Guy,

I realize you addressed to John, but if I may, Dunn is the Ironman of the Reds, rarely missing a game, he cant play anywhere else, (maybe 1st but why?) So you would have to sit Dunn to get him in, that wont happen. Maybe on Dunns day off but those are few and far between, and I think Freel Hopper or Keppinger get the start before Votto (in LF). Not sure why hes getting the reps.

-Kevin in FM

at 9:17 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Champ, I see your point about overdoing it and I suppose I shouldn't encourage him since it's getting old, but I thought Keppinger as Hillary's running mate and American Idol was pretty damn funny.

at 9:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


Better suited for 2 or 7, yes, but it still doesnt answer the leadoff question. I dont know why but everyone keeps missing that.

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 9:43 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Just from listening to the various cryptic Wayne and transparent Dusty comments we can begin to piece together their roster strategies. No doubt they have already devised varied strategies dependent on the several eventualities. These eventualities revolve around, stud progress, under/over-achieving veterans, injuries, standings, and the trade market. It's obvious they want to have a legitimate leadoff hitter so much that they are reluctant to play Bruce. They probably would not mind keeping Bruce at AAA until September. However they will not be willing to endure mounting losses while Bruce hits .350+ with a HR for every 10 ABs at Louisville. Anticipation of this will cause them to play Griffey nearly every day, thus exposing him to higher chance of injury. All this to open a spot for Bruce while keeping their precious true leadoff hitter in the lineup.

at 10:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late in the day for this.
I noticed a post from today about the leadoff hitter being overated as he only "leads off" once in the game in most games. This is true but a leadoff hitter is really just a nickname for the batter in the no 1 slot. It has less to do with with being the first batter to the plate or "leading off" and more to do with batting in front of 2,3, and 4. While he may only "lead off" once, he bats before 2,3,4 every time. He must have a good OBP to be in posistion to be driven in by those hitters AND a good BA to drive in 7,8 hitters when possible. Baseball 101 for sure, but not evident to poster earlier today.

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 10:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Keppinger will never be an everyday player....There is a reason that Keppinger didn't stick in Kansas City (yeah, he wasn't ready YET).

Keppinger is a great player who is better than Gonzo and is just a late-bloomer. He deserves to be allowed to compete for the starting job. He outfielded Gonzo last year at SS, and he hit .332 in more than 200 ABs, so he's the real deal, and he'll be even better this year, so Gonzo can sit his fat no-steal, over-rated field ass on the bench where he belongs before the Reds finally wake up.

The Reds will NEVER EVER be a +.500 team with Gonzo as a starting SS and hitting 8th.

The lineup should be:


And if Baker doesn't play the young talent, then we'll lose another 90 games this year.

I can't stand this idiotic love affair with Gonzo and Hatteberg when NO TEAM EVER MAKES THE PLAYOFFS with mediocre talent at first base and short stop.

Keppinger and Votto and Bruce = more wins

Gonzo and Hatteburg and Freel/Hopper = same as 2007

Utter crap.

at 10:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize I publish alot of posts, but have found it theraputic. If i am not making sense or am off topic please let me know.

A point about range,

Agons range is probably better than Kepps, and getting to balls and keeping them in the infield although not making an out can diminish fielding %.
If Kepp doesnt get to a ball he cant make an error as pointed out in an earlier post.

Having said that, range can be improved.

This is done with deffensive allignment, backed by scouting reports on hitters and spray charts. Also there are drills that increase agility and throwing acuracy after deep plays.

IF Kepp were to get SS he could get better, but the only reason to do this is to get him in as a leadoff man.

There is alot to be said about Gonzalez's talent but how much is athletic ability, and how much is baseball intelligence?

One can be taught, the other can not. Where does Keppinger fall?
Is he slightly out of posistion or just cant get to some balls.

Jack, you have seen him live, on several occasions, what is your assesment?

I'll look for your post tommorow.

Good Night

-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 10:56 PM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

Wow 160 comments just on a predicted line up. It's gonna be a serious rumble when the final 25 man roster is out.

I am standing and clapping for reaganspad and his post throughout the comments. This place needs a good dose of humor when it gets somewhat touchy in here.

at 11:16 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Thanks redsfanwoody...but hard as I tried, the post of the day:

"Jack, you have seen him live, on several occasions, what is your assesment?"

and so another day of blog ends. sleep well Jack, the fate of Reds Nations awaits your next post.

Jack, are you related to Dave in Millersburg?

at 11:26 PM Blogger Dave from Louisville said...


How is Sergio Rule V looking? Do you think he has a snowballs chance in hell of making the 25 man roster?

at 11:39 PM Anonymous Darwin Harding said...

I am sure John Fay will be happy with all the ridiculous, repetitive nonsense on here today.

at 11:53 PM Blogger Champ Summers said...


C'mon. Sergio has no chance. Your question should be... How does Sergio look? Has he impressed enough to get management to deal for him. This is the only way he stays in the organization...or some ungodly illness overcomes the 9 guys ahead of him.

at 12:05 AM Anonymous Red Faced said...

The way I see it is: we are in much better shape with all these options and questions heading into the spring and even into the season. I don't know who will lead off, I don't know who will start in center and I don't know who will be on the 25 man and who will be in Louisville to start the season. But one thing I do know is that competition is good for the team. There's a lot of talent on this team, some of it unproven sure but the talent is there and much more so than in previous years. I guarantee there are going to be guys sitting on the bench opening day who think they should be starting and they are going to be playing their tails off trying to get there and the starters will have to pick it up a notch to stay there.

Same goes for the rotation. I'm not saying we have the best rotation in the league but the level of competition is much higher than it's been in a LONG time.

All in all it should be an interesting spring and an interesting season. I for one can' wait. And of course we'll all be here complaining about the moves that weren't made or the ones that were and didn't turn out. And we'll all have to eat a little crow when we look back and realize Jack was right all along.

at 1:26 AM Anonymous BigRedOne said...

National media calls the Reds the "once proud franchise" and after reading all the posts of negativity here I see why. What I don't understand is how after 30 years (1970-2000) of being relevant and competitive, the fans and the media have written off the Reds, one of the crown jewel franchises in baseball after 7 losing seasons. Simply, pathetic. Well, I for one never lose hope, never lose pride, never lost my love for the Reds.

John C.
Las Vegas

at 1:43 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto Darwin
Ditto John C.
God help you JF. It's only beginning. I hope you don't pull the plug
TimW in SC, aka UKRedsFAN

at 3:49 AM Blogger BATSFAN said...

Did the Bats really get Kevin Barker?

at 7:05 AM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

This entire thread of Gonzalez vs. Keppinger rants is inane, and I'll tell you why:

There is one, and ONLY one opinion that matters when it comes to the Reds starting SS, and that's Dusty Baker's. And, judging from his comments, it seems pretty obvious that Gonzalez will be starting at SS. I assume that he sees Keppinger as a versatile ballplayer with a good bat, and that the Reds will be better served having Keppinger available to back up at SS, 3B, 2B, and maybe some OF. That gives the Reds roster flexibility that they wouldn't have if they locked Keppinger in at one position. I see Keppinger's versatility as the main factor in the potential trading/release of Ryan Freel.

Now, can we please get back to ranting about the 100% unfounded belief that Jocketty takes over for Krivsky after this year or something? (That one's stupid, too, but it's always amusing)

at 7:19 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

John .. a couple of things

allowing bloggers the opportunity to kick other bloggers is not a good idea.. this blog will turn into a game. you, as moderator, having a bloggers email addy and the ability to kick the blogger, should be sufficient control

I initiated the discussion about Keppinger vs Gonzalez many months ago. I am glad I helped to provide fodder for your Enquire article John

Regarding Ken Griffey John, Ill provide you an analogy. Ill sell you a 50k car that breaks down every 4th day.

Al in Ohio.. I can assure you that if Castellini was satisfied with WK..Joketty would not be here

at 9:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

7;19 Jack @$$ at ???You will be banned.....FIRE KRIVSKY Trade for Blanton or else 5th place luzzers again in CINCY....CASHTILLINI $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

at 9:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

please remove 9:02, forever!

at 9:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 9:19 AM Anonymous Red Faced said...

Perhaps blogger can block posters by ip address or post their ip address with their post so that it's easier to tell who's posting under multiple names?

Red Faced from some of these posts.

at 9:26 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John if you follow Jacks advice you he would also be able to be kicked off. And Jack you weren't the one to start the SS debate. That was going on long before you came on the scene.

at 9:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could we please have a stop on fire Krivsky posts.

In case you havnt noticed, spring training / season is about to start, so hes not getting fired now. It is such a waste of space.


-Kevin in Ft Myers

at 9:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fire Krivsky posts, probably the LEAST insightful posts on this site. Please bring some intelligent opinions about the team on the feild, as that is the focus this time of year.

-K in FM

at 9:48 AM Blogger Champ Summers said...


I am very upset with you. As a writer it is your responsibility to credit important sources in your pieces. Nowhere did I see Jack in Blue Ash quoted in your article.

You disgust me sir!

at 10:04 AM Blogger John Fay said...

My apologies. I had no idea that the was Gonzo-Keppinger debate going on out there in Redsland until Jack pointed out on the blog.

at 10:19 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

John..i think you are taking this blog way too personally.. But I like you and respect the job you do in our town.. so snipe away if it makes you feel better.

But..John outside of this blog..nobody really cares about the Keppinger/Gonzalez thing..seriously

at 10:21 AM Anonymous POSITIVE PETE said...


at 10:34 AM Blogger Champ Summers said...

Apology accepted...

Maybe we can move on.

If thats ok with Jack, of course

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