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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, April 11, 2008

Pirates 1, Reds 0

Jason Bay's 423-foot home run off Jared Burton in the sixth was all the Pirates needed to beat the Reds on the night when a couple of well-placed gappers would have meant four or five runs for Redlegs.

“Burton pitched well except that one pitch to Bay,” Dusty Baker said. “That’s one guy who you don’t want to hurt you and he hurt you. That was one mistake was the whole ball game.”

The missed chances had Baker shaking his head. They left 12 runners on base. They loaded the bases in the first and seventh. Each time, Edwin Encarnacion, who came into the season hitting .488 with the bases full, popped out. Overall, the Reds were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

“We had a number of chances,” Baker said. “We had a runner in scoring position every inning through the seventh. We just couldn’t get that one hit.”

Edinson Volquez didn’t have his best stuff, He only struck out one, but he managed to throw five shutout innings.

“We keep getting that good pitching and we’re going to win a bunch of games in a row,” Baker said. “But it doesn’t take away the pain of tonight.”

The game was delayed 20 minutes at the start and 62 minutes in the sixth.

The Reds put four runners on base in the first and didn't score. Norris Hopper reached on an error. Jeff Keppinger hit into 6-4-3 DP. Junior Griffey was hit by a pitch. BPhillips singled. And Adam Dunn walked. But Edwin Encarnacion, a .488 career hitter with the bases full, grounded out.

The Reds blew another opportunity in the second. Paul Bako singled with one out. Volquez tried to bunt him over. Catcher Ryan Doumit's throw had Bako at second but Luis Rivas mishandled it. Hopper tried to bunt Bako in. Instead Hopper lined a bunt at first baseman Adam LaRoche, who threw to third for double play. Had there been no outs, it would have been as easy triple play.

“I just got under,” Hopper said. “In that situation I’m usually money. Hopefully, it won’t happen again.”


84 Comments:

at 10:26 PM Blogger JerBear said...

Where's the offense?!

It's alright if Dunn bats .194 and walks twice a game...but it's not allright when the guy hitting behind him, Encarnacion, is batting .161!

I'm not giving up on either...but I think until those two starting hitting somewhat consistently we'll have a lot of low scoring games. Hopefully the pitching can hold up.

 
at 10:39 PM Blogger sabr_blogger said...

If Javier Valentin was going to come into the game anyway (PH-ing for Burton in the 8th, I wish Dusty would have sent Patterson up to hit for Bako when they had two runners on back in the 5th. Could have made the difference in this close game.

John, any clues as to why Volquez' velocity was down tonight? I noticed it was 60 at game time. Maybe just one of those nights where the pitcher doesn't get as loose?

Thanks for blogging, in any case.

 
at 10:42 PM Blogger John Fay said...

He hit 95 at least twice. The mound seemed to giving him problems.

 
at 10:54 PM Blogger sabr_blogger said...

Thanks. Makes sense, you have to be able to push off to get full velocity.

In a way it's kind of encouraging to see him battle without his best stuff and not fall apart. He's still young after all and possibly still emerging from that "thrower" to "pitcher" stage, so I'll take tonight as a positive development.

 
at 10:56 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Type of game Reds have to win if anyone expects them to be .500 or better.

 
at 11:05 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Anyone care to tell me a little bit more about Dusty's "aggressive" style? At least 13 batters reached base tonight. Zero steal attempts, and zero hit-and-run attempts.

Call it "hindsight" if you like, but even the clueless TV team was calling for a hit-and-run in two situations. They were right. Dusty was wrong. Again.

 
at 11:08 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

So much for the sweep, well, no shame in losing 1-0. Tough game with the delay and all. Still can win the series, and I am expecting them to. After winning the fisrt 3 against ARI, PHI, and MIL, beating PIT 2 of 3 should just be a matter of executing.

I just hope the guys are pissed off about not hitting tonight, and take their frustrations out tomorrow night. Bronson will need the run support.

GO REDS!

 
at 11:24 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

Our offense has been offensive.

 
at 11:58 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Keppinger's double play in the first was on a hit-and-run. Keppinger sacrificed Hopper in the fifth.

Other than Hopper, Phillips was only threat to run in the lineup. He got on twice. Once with Griffey in front of him; once with a two out double.

The Pirates got nine runners. They tried to steal once adn got thrown out -- thanks to a pitch out, which Baker called.

 
at 12:15 AM Blogger kingseyeland said...

This team has to start hitting. All these years we've been griping about pitching, and now they can't put up runs consistently. Come on!

 
at 12:41 AM Blogger Zippy said...

Actually, the runner being thrown out at second wasn't thanks to the pitch out. It was thanks entirely to the runner over-sliding the base, since he'd initially beaten the tag. I guess Dusty must have known that would happen if he called a pitch out?

I didn't see a hit-and-run attempt on that double-play, and I don't believe anyone in the TV booth mentioned Phillips was running on the play. If true, then that was a good call on Dusty's part, even though it didn't work out, but seems pretty odd that Phillips was so easily out at second on a hit-and-run, and couldn't do anything to break up the double-play.

Everyone is a threat to run when it's a hit-and-run, so Dusty could have (and should have) tried it several times during the game. The speed of the runner is almost irrelevant, since it's pretty much a do-or-die play no matter who's running.

Having Keppinger bunt was a bad decision. Keppinger has been one of the team's best hitters, and, as the TV guys kept pointing out, he has excellent bat control and is a perfect hit-and-run guy. Bunting a runner to third would have been a different story, but having him bunt Hopper to second was foolish. If you're not going to hit-and-run with that combination, then what combination ARE you going to try it with?

 
at 12:45 AM Blogger Mutaman said...

"Call it "hindsight" if you like"

If anybody had tried to steal and had been thrown out, Zippy would have been all over Baker for trying to steal. The ultimate second guesser.

 
at 1:56 AM Blogger Zippy said...

Muta,

What's your evidence for that accusation? Ever heard me complain about a failed steal attempt? No, I didn't think so.

In fact, in the very post you're responding to, I said that if the Keppinger double-play was actually a hit-and-run, then I think Dusty made a GOOD decision even though it didn't work in that case. When he makes a good call, I'll be happy to give him credit whether it works or not. I just happen to think he makes mostly bad calls.

Apparently, all you want to do is criticize me, but you're not paying any attention to what I'm actually saying.

 
at 2:09 AM Blogger Zippy said...

Correction: your "hindsight" quote came from my first post. It was my second post where I said a hit-and-run was the right call whether or not it worked. But my point still stands -- I'll give Dusty credit when he deserves it, whether or not things work out.

I don't know how many times I have to say it before you'll notice what I'm saying: the outcome of a play isn't what determines whether it was good or bad strategy. A bad strategy can have a good result, and a good strategy can have a bad result. I have no interest in second-guessing Dusty after a play is over. I only first-guess him, and I'm confident my strategic decisions are smarter than his. Obviously, I don't know how many of my decisions would have worked out, but I'm confident that my choices would be more successful than his.

 
at 2:44 AM Blogger ankurv5 said...

I just got in. Can anyone give me an unbiased summary of the game.

Get 'em tomorrow!

 
at 3:59 AM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Hi, Zippy, I was wondering if I could drop out of med school and be your protege? You're a genius! I only wish Dusty and every other manager in the major leagues could learn from your infinite wisdom!

Thanks!

 
at 3:59 AM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Hi, Zippy, I was wondering if I could drop out of med school and be your protege? You're a genius! I only wish Dusty and every other manager in the major leagues could learn from your infinite wisdom!

Thanks!

 
at 4:02 AM Blogger Ron said...

Zippy apparently knows a LOT.

Who says he/she should start his/her own blog...

Zippidy Do Da!!!

Good lookin out JF. Funny how some cats 'know' so much from the tv.

Ha. Bet you believe everything on FOX news too, huh?!

Redlegs!!!

 
at 4:23 AM Blogger Santa said...

Can we get Zippy comments muted please. Tired of them.

Thank you.

Go Reds.

 
at 7:45 AM Blogger pablopicasso said...

Zippy sure sounds a lot like a closet Cubs fan.

 
at 7:58 AM Blogger Brick said...

It's like the lady with the bloody nose said, "if it's not one thing, it's another!"

Usually the Reds are all hit and no pitch. Now that we've got the pitching, we can't hit!

 
at 9:20 AM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

Despite the loss, it was encouraging to see another decent start by Volquez. He didn't have his strike out stuff but still keep the Pirates at bay.

Leaving a ton of guys on base as the real culprit of the game. My guess from what I saw, some guys didn't go with where the ball was pitched.

As someone said in a earlier post, to move over .500, you have to win the series against teams like the Pirates.

 
at 9:28 AM Blogger Frank Robinson's Ghost said...

It seems counter-productive for a poster (such as Mr. Zippy -- nice comics reference) to not only second-guess the manager constantly, but to make absolute statements of fact about what happened in the game (i.e. no hit-and-runs, no sacrifices, etc.)and then argue with the beat reporter who points out when he is wrong.

Anyhow -- pathetic offense. pathetic. Dunn, EE, and Votto/Hatte have to start hitting.

Otherwise, Dusty will have to get more agressive and start sending guys like Bako, Valentin, Hatteberg and Keppinger to steal third with two outs. Right, Z?

 
at 9:29 AM Blogger Mark T said...

KevinFtMyers - you keep jinxing us! One game at a time, hope for a win, don't count on it, be pleasantly surprised.

Team could really use some right-handed power. Lefties are going to kill them this year. It's an Achilles heel.

 
at 9:31 AM Blogger Frank Robinson's Ghost said...

Didn't it rain just a bit last night in Pittsburgh? That might have something to do with a conservative approach to the running game.

Also -- I seem to recall that Hopper tried to sacrifice Bako in from third, but screwed it up royally. Dusty should know that Hopper can't bunt, right?

 
at 9:35 AM Blogger smtides said...

Zippy, the new Jack. It's perfectly legitimate to criticize managerial decisions, though it's not exactly heroic to do so in hindsight, ON EVERY DECISION, even those that work.

But Zippy's lack of credit on the pitchout call (because he slid by the bag?!?!) is so far off the charts it exposes the rest of his agenda.

Time to move on. Trying to have a discussion with him is as much fun as putting your face in a fan. He's already completely hijacked one game thread a la Jack.

John, please don't let this guy hijack every game thread by repeating the same crap over and over and over.

 
at 9:51 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

This is a game the Reds should have won..

Something still missing from this team. This is the game a Gerardi type manager would not have allowed his team to lose.

This is the type of game a Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan would not have lost

Its early..I think the team will do better than last year..but the necessary fire and aggressiveness still is lacking on this team

I have spoken to chemistry before..and the Griffey-Dunn permeation is very apparent. Griffeys statistics are great, but there aint no fire in the dude and the same goes for Dunn

This is why this is a .500 team at best

 
at 10:15 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Is it time yet to look for a right handed hitter with some power who can play LF and/or first base? Still lots of fixing needs to be done on this team.
ST CSA

PSSSSt, Dusty, Weathers is your mop-up man. Not a ninth inning pitcher in a one run game.

 
at 10:22 AM Blogger ben s. said...

I like Weathers in terms of being a veteran leader in the clubhouse and all, but I think if the Reds want to turn the corner then he needs to go.

It seems like he always has to work the bases loaded. Last night he got lucky with Nady flying out to right...9 out of 10 times Nady, knowing he was getting a fat pitch to hit, would have drilled that same pitch for a double or worse.

Again, I like Weathers for his intangibles, but man alive...I just do not think he is going to be a solid set up guy. He simply cannot find the strike zone, and when he does, the opposition tattoos him all over the field since his stuff is slower and has less movement at this point in his career.

 
at 10:27 AM Blogger Bruce said...

Man I'm going to stop coming here after Reds loses. They can't win them all guys and some of you are way too negative and probably need another hobby or a girlfriend or else you're headed for an early heart attack or something. They're still over 500 :)

 
at 10:41 AM Blogger John Fay said...

I disagree with most of what Zippy says. But I don't block post becasue I disagree with what people say.

It was a tough loss last night. But those happen in the course of a year.

A Joe Girardi-type manager, Joe Girardi, is 6-5 with the Yankees and there $230 million payroll.

What killed the Reds last night was top of the lineup -- Hopper, Keppinger and Griffey -- going 1-for-12. And EE leaving the bases loaded twice, something he rarely does.

 
at 10:53 AM Blogger Joe said...

I don't think ZIPPY should be zipped up. I think his second guessing is obnoxious and arrogant. But the response he generates is entertaining reading.

ANKURV5: For Gods sake, don't drop out of medical school to become a protege of ZIPPY! We need more good docs and fewer second guessing, arm chair managers in baseballdom.

 
at 10:55 AM Blogger Red Faced said...

Last night's game was extremely disappointing. So many chances to drive in runs and no-one came through for the Reds. No matter who you are playing a good team wins these games. They find a way to drive in runs, someone steps up and makes a play. The fact that it was against the cellar dweller Pirates makes it a very bad loss in my book. The entire Reds team should expect to win this kind of game. As Reds fans we should expect no less as well.

Unlike Mr Zippy I'm not going to blame Dusty for this. There are times when the players have to make plays ad they are just not doing it. There are BIG bats in this lineup who are not driving in the runs they should be. Instead of pointing fingers at Dusty, I'd rather see Dusty pointing fingers at some of the players.

 
at 11:05 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

I like Zippy and his insights.

This team will do better this year but they should have won that game last night

To me ..it still appears that this team is somewhat complacent

John..I am beginning to like dusty baker..he seems far more focused than he was in Chicago..again maybe he has learned and grown

Yet, in games like last nights..either the manager and/or some players have to light a fire and make things happen

Thats all that I am suggesting

 
at 11:19 AM Blogger Zippy said...

I should have known better than to try to say something intelligent on this board. One of the reasons the Reds keep losing year after year is that very few people in the organization feel any serious pressure to do anything the slightest bit risky or out of the ordinary, which is why they hire "safe" choices like Baker -- a guy who openly admits he doesn't care about pesky little things like on-base-percentage and has no interest in playing young stars-of-the-future unless he has no other viable option. On Monday, he had two of the team's weakest hitters (Freel and Castro) hitting first and second, and he gets away with this because, well, he's the manager, so who are we to question his wisdom? Castro hitting 2nd rather than 8th ought to be a GIANT red flag that this guy doesn't know what he's doing, but you folks don't seem to care. (And if Castro had been on base four times, I'd STILL say it was dumb move, but, as I've said many times, sometimes dumb moves work out.)

Nobody really expects much from this organization anymore, and that's exactly what the organization gives us, year after year after year. John Fay is in a perfect position to help the team improve by being critical when it's necessary to be critical (or at least staying out of the way when an "uppity" fan is pointing out the obvious flaws in Dusty's decision-making), but instead he goes out of his way to try to justify Dusty's bad decisions by pointing out all the "good" decisions Dusty has made, such a pitch out that kinda-sorta worked the way Dusty wanted it to, or a hit-and-run that I'm still not sure actually happened, or a sacrifice bunt that made very little sense. In a bigger city the press would be all over Dusty to justify his decisions and they'd be quite critical of a team being able to score zero runs with 13 runners on base (against the lowly Pirates, no less), but not here. Here, you're all content to wonder whether David Ross has any options left, as if the Ross/Bako issue will really make any significant difference in the long run. Anyone who offers any new sort of criticism is ridiculed, taunted, and marginalized. Increasingly, I think Cincinnati fans are getting exactly the team we deserve. Until the fans (and the media) start to have big-market expectations and begin to put a little pressure on the powers-that-be, the Reds will never be anything other than a small-market also-ran.

 
at 11:43 AM Blogger 24/7 said...

the girardi thing is absurd. baker won three of them nl manager of the year things girardi got in a LOSING season. fay is right. the reds didn't win because they didn't hit a lick at the top or with men in scoring position. still, jack is right. the reds gotta win that one. your stud on the mound, maholm is asking to be beat on, and you can't get ONE around? not acceptable, and probably the reds' worst game of the year.

what holds true is, if the pitching is what it appears to be headed to, the reds will win a lot of games. if volquez, cueto and arroyo are holding up and keeping us in games via 7 innings, may will be the month of the reds. we can't hit because we're a lefthanded team where the righties are hotter, with kepp, phillips and bako vs. griffey and patterson.

we know eddie is good with men on.

we also know eddie is clutch via cowboy's wingtips stuck in his windbox.

because of that, i think once dunn hits, eddie hits. hopefully he hits TODAY, but maybe that's the type of pressure he needs to stop him from thinking so hard.

weathers has not looked good at all. i know dusty is gonna do the right thing for his player and keep giving him opportunities in big spots, but he's a liability at this point in the season. i'm seeing more and more why the reds feel good about their 46 million gone. not that i doubt if he will get it together, but it's just a matter of when, and i don't know if it's as soon as it needs to be for an 8th inning guy.

i was reminded that belisle had back problems in the pen, so that makes things harder for him to get up to the big club. the more i think about it, the more i think the reds will wait for a rotation spot to come open for bailey, rather than put him in the pen. they seem to want him to pitch every 5 days, go 7 innings and throw 90 pitches. with that, it's gonna be tough to fill roles in that pen with just bill bray the only desirable candidate left with mlb experience. i actually would have liked to have seen dusty trust coffey in an 0-0 game. not a situation he's been in in awhile, and could have shook up his mindset a little. not that putting coffey in isn't baseball suicide at this point, but if it works it could pay big dividends.

 
at 12:03 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Zippy, I expect that Dusty will make good and bad decisions throughout the year... and that at the end of the year the good will out weigh the bad.

You crucifying the man for EVERY decision is ridiculous, and more indicative of the "typical Cincinnati baseball snob" than of anyone/anything else on here.

Go look at what other managers do, and I pretty much guarantee that they make about the same amount of mistakes as Dusty.

As far as us being "small market also rans" because we're "getting what we deserve" because we don't all hold audits on every single decision made by Dusty... how asinine. If you agree with the "large market" teams that hold their baseball managers under a microscope, then that says veritable volumes about your problems... and here's a hint.... they are all self-induced.

You obviously think so highly of yourself and your opinion that you have appointed yourself as Lord High Executioner and Judge & Jury of Dusty and the Reds.

So just who in the hell do you think you are anyway?

You are nothing more and nothing less than ANY of us.
We are fans of a baseball team, not the Spanish Inquisition.

So why don't you give it a rest Torquemada... lighten up Francis... and enjoy the game of baseball like it was meant to be enjoyed.

It's not meant to be the "Be All End ALL", life or death on every decision game. It's meant to be an enjoyable past time.

A game.

 
at 12:05 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Sometimes I wonder if a beat reporter can get too close to the player's or manager, which then diminishes their objective reporting skills. Mark Curnutte is one who comes to mind.

 
at 12:17 PM Blogger T-Mac said...

Apple vs. Oranges comparison of the game is to state that the Reds would have won the game with Rose, Bench, Morgan and Perez (4 Hall of Famers no less) while the present team (with 1 hall of famer while in Seattle) did not.

Really?

 
at 12:17 PM Blogger Zippy said...

The Girardi thing? Ok, I know what's about to happen here -- suddenly, everyone is going to start jumping on me because I'm demanding a Joe Girardi type. But I never mentioned Girardi at all, and have no idea whether I'd want him or his type. I'm not sure why Fay brought him up. (Actually, I just noticed the Yankees have a grand total of two stolen base attempts this season, while the Reds have 10, so I'd say Dusty has actually done a better job in that regard.)

 
at 12:23 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Mark,

If they lose tonight i promise I will shut up with the expectations / predictions. Last thing I want to be is a Jinx :)

I am plesantly suprised with the Reds and am enjoying the heck out of the season so far.

Im just the type that expects alot from my sports teams, and am always looking to the next few games and breaking them down and figuring chances and expectations.

Zippy,

Its not John Fays job to directly or indirectly influence the Reds orginization. The orginization is well aware of the fans displeasure with all of the losing seasons. Thats why Mr Castellini has hired Krivsky, Jocketty, and aproved more spending for players and scouts, and player development in places like the Dominican.

Your long winded blogging nor John Fays articles in the Enquirer will do much to sway their decisions one way or another. You may like to think it would, but this is the real world.

Im sure you know the long history of the Reds franchise and that of baseball in Cincinnati. The fans are loyal, not complacent, and to suggest that the Reds havnt been good because the fans "accept" losing is rediculous.

Stick to Dusty criticism, at least your only half wrong with those.

GO REDS!

 
at 1:49 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Dusty will always evoke strong opinions on both sides but I have to say it has been refreshing to see him mix things up. How often did we clamor for some of that last year? Two weeks is not enough time to evaluate how well Baker is doing.

I appreciate almost everyone's comments and insights on here including Zippy's but I think this team still has major issues on the field which will prevent them from winning 81 games.

 
at 2:09 PM OpenID UWSPUNKVOCAL said...

Did anyone see that Cantu homerun last night? We could have used that last night. Not trying to be a hater of course. We will come through. GO REDS!

 
at 2:10 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Kevin,

If it isn't part of a beat reporter's responsibility to raise these sorts of questions and help push the team in the right direction, then whose responsibility is it? Interestingly, Fay seems to have no problem going out of his way to DEFEND the manager, and to criticize ME, which clearly isn't in his job description. But I guess you don't mind when he goes beyond his job description, so long as he's agreeing with you?

ALS,
I agree with you about beat reporters. That would seem to be the case here.

jdeez,

I most certainly have NOT criticized every decision Dusty has made. I've said that I think he's gotten most of the TOUGH decisions wrong. He gets most of the easy ones right. Example: I had no problem with using Burton yesterday, despite the fact that Burton lost the game. That was a perfectly fine choice. And, as I've said numerous times, if indeed the Keppinger DP was a hit-and-run, then I think Dusty made the right call. I'm just not convinced it actually was a a hit-and-run.

However, the fact is, I think most managers DO make a lot of bad decisions. Using closers exclusively in the 9th inning with a lead, for example, is idiotic, but most managers blindly do it. Example: we lost a 3 to 2 game in 10 innings on Tuesday night and our best relief pitcher NEVER GOT INTO THE GAME. That's objectively stupid, but nobody bothers to question it because Dusty did exactly what every other manager would have done. (I'm not trying to open up a debate about closers; I'm just using this as one example of a nearly universal baseball strategy that simply makes no sense whatsoever.)

 
at 2:11 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Someone else mention Girarid, Zip.

What I try to do here is correct what I see as disregard for the facts. That's why I posted the thing about the hit and run. Baker mentioned it specifically because the were playing for one run because the forecast indicating the game would probably called around 9.

One things like the squeeze call and whether they ran enough last night, you may be right. You may be wrong. There's no right or wrong answer.

 
at 2:33 PM Blogger Greg said...

zippy.... this comment explains dusty's calll for kepp to bunt...

"We were trying to push that one run across," Baker said. "We tried to hit and run. We tried a number of things. We bunted guys over we wouldn't normally bunt over. They told us it was going to come at 9 p.m. and stay the rest of the night. We were playing for five innings."

i also believe hopper started running on a 3-1 count for griffey or phillips and the pitch ended up being ball 4... so .... there's another steal attempt that ended up with a base on balls...

get over yourself man, this team has a lot of wins ahead of them.

 
at 2:35 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

I did not see Cantu's home run but I did see Kyle Lohse had another fine start. This from CBS sports:

Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse logged another strong performance Friday at San Francisco, surrendering his first two runs of the season, but pitching well enough to win his second game. Lohse gave up eight hits over 5 1/3 innings, with two strikeouts and a walk. He opened the season with 15 consecutive scoreless innings, a streak that ended when Rich Aurilia and Brian Bocock each drove in a run in the fourth. "I had good stuff early but then I lost control of my fastball," Lohse said. "It started getting it up in the zone."

Mr. Fay. What is your take on Lohse? Why did he seem to struggle here? Was his salary what caused Philly not to sign resign him?

 
at 2:45 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Lohse was wildly inconsistent with the Reds last year. They never conisdered bringing him back because he was asking for a lot money. The Cardinals only signed him when the bottom of the market fell out.

 
at 2:59 PM Blogger Zippy said...

John Fay,

I'll take your word for it that someone else mentioned Girardi and you weren't responding to me at that point, but I can't find any recent references to him in anyone's comments.

I completely disagree with your "there's no right or wrong answer" theory. Whichever strategy yields the highest chance of success is right. Any other strategy is wrong. If Baker decides to pinch hit Harang for Phillips in a key situation (perhaps he has a "hunch"), isn't it fair to say that this is a WRONG decision, no matter what the outcome? True, Harang could theoretically hit a home run, and Phillips could potentially make an out, but it's silly to say there's "no right or wrong answer" to the question of whether Harang should pinch hit for Phillips. Likewise, either the Reds do or don't increase their chances of scoring by running more. I'm convinced I know the right answer. You aren't. Fine, but that doesn't mean there isn't a right answer lurking out there somewhere.

You may think you're merely correcting a disregard for the facts, but you've gone out of your way to say things like "the manager makes 100 decisions every game" and point out that Dusty called a pitch out that sort of worked -- as if I'd ever suggested otherwise. And you also went out of your way to let everyone know that you generally disagree with me, as if I've been repeatedly making incorrect factual statements, which simply isn't true. You've never bothered to mention the times you've agreed with me, while you've gone out of your way to say that you generally disagree with me. Clearly, you're doing more than just correcting misstatements of facts. You're actively advocating your pro-Dusty position. And if you're going to do that, then I'm going to say you also have a responsibility to point out Dusty's mistakes, which have been numerous.

Did you ever point out that hitting Castro 2nd was objectively silly? I doubt it. But when I say Dusty makes a lot of bad decisions, you go out of your way to point out that a manager makes 100 decisions every game and they can't all be right. That's advocating a pro-Dusty position; it isn't objective reporting.

 
at 3:12 PM Blogger Zippy said...

To the rest of you,

You can keep insulting me if you like, but it isn't going to change my opinions or stop me from speaking my mind. It's like trying to convince Dusty to put a slow runner with a high OBP in the leadoff position. He'll never do it no matter how many times he's criticized for not doing it. (I'm sure Baker would have had Morgan leading off, Geronimo hitting 2nd, and Rose hitting 7th. But I digress.) If I'm blocked and can no longer post here, then so be it, and you can all go back to living your blissfully uncontroversial lives without having to endure being "forced" to read my criticisms. But repeatedly insulting me is just a waste of your time.

Notice, I've refrained from attacking any of you or saying I'm tired of listening to you blather on about the same points over and over and over. It would be nice if you'd do the same, even though you disagree with me. But that's your call.

 
at 3:15 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Glad to see the hater's are still out here. Have you watched the games? Have you seen this team's pitching? If you can't be optimistic now, you'll never be. When this team makes the playoffs you'll be the guys saying, "just gonna get swept anyway, no playoff experience and too young of pitching, and no clutch hitting". ENJOY THE GAME THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

 
at 3:18 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Here's where it came from Zippy-
JackBlueAsh said...

This is a game the Reds should have won..

Something still missing from this team. This is the game a Gerardi type manager would not have allowed his team to lose.

This is the type of game a Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan would not have lost

Its early..I think the team will do better than last year..but the necessary fire and aggressiveness still is lacking on this team

I have spoken to chemistry before..and the Griffey-Dunn permeation is very apparent. Griffeys statistics are great, but there aint no fire in the dude and the same goes for Dunn

This is why this is a .500 team at best

8:51 AM

 
at 3:22 PM Blogger hebs said...

Lohse turned down a 3-year, $21 million offer from the Phils, and accepted $4.5 mil. from the Cards.

 
at 3:23 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

The Reds lost the game in part last night by screwing around with bunt attempts. With men on 1st and 3rd and only 1 out, you shouldn't be bunting. You swing away and get that runner in from 3rd, period. Whether that was the manager or the player's decision is unknown. What makes it worse was that they fouled off the first attempt and stuck with it. They knew it was coming.

Bunting Hopper to 2nd in the 5th inning with nobody out and your best hitter at the plate was also silly. That put Hopper at 2nd with Griffey up against a lefty (which he struggles against) so essentially it was man on 2nd and 2 out. Keppinger was capable of a hit there without giving up the out.

The Reds have been hurt by bunt attempts far more this year than they have helped. There's a good time to bunt, and a bad time to bunt. Both cases above were bad.

 
at 3:26 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I said and will continue to say that there was no right or wrong decision on the squeeze play. Harang got down a bunt two innings earlier. You don't need to make a great bunt in that situation. As long as you make contact, the runner scores.

Last night, you said the didn't hit and run all night. When, in fact, they did. Had they not attempted a hit and run I would have let your statement stand.

What amazing me is someone with assumed identity -- your name's not really Zippy, is it? -- can go on a blog and rip a manager or a player up and down, then get offended when someone questions their opinions.

As I've told others, if you don't like the blog or you don't like me, there's nothing saying you have to read it or post.

 
at 3:33 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Hopper bunted on his own.

And Zippy, I'm not discouraging from posting. I think they add greatly to the debate.

 
at 3:34 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Ross went 0-for-2 with 2 walks.

 
at 3:37 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Hopper bunted once and fouled the ball off. The manager had the chance to communicate not to bunt again. Bako doesn't run well enough to make it home on a bunt attempt unless it's a perfect one. With 9 ways to score from 3rd with less than 2 out, you don't mess with the laws of probability.

 
at 3:42 PM Blogger kevin in west lafayette said...

I like reading short posts. I hope nobody takes that personally....ok...maybe I do!

 
at 3:53 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Zippy -- You state that John pointed out that he doesn't generally agree with you but if you take a look at other posts, the majority of the folks her tend not to agree with your points.

As for John's view of Dusty, I've seen no indication that he's is Dusty groupie. It seems to me he’s just trying to be objective and give him a fair chance. On the other hand, it’s clear that you do not like Dusty Baker and you are looking for every decision that doesn’t work as evidence to support the notion that he’s a bad manager. The fact is if you followed any major league team closely for 11 games, you could point to several in-game decisions made by that team’s manager that didn’t work out and say that were “bad decisions” (certainly that’s easy to do after the fact). It doesn’t make them bad managers, though. Time will tell if Baker is a good manager for the Reds. You certainly can’t make that assessment in two weeks. Personally, I was not in favor of hiring Dusty Baker, but he’s the Red’s manager nonetheless and deserves a fair chance.

 
at 3:58 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Frankly..I think Zippy makes a great deal of sense. I think he is one of the smartest and most articulate bloggers on this board

I am just not getting involved because my focus is just enjoying the team and watching them progress.

By the way..for those of you that said you can evaluate talent by watching the TV..sorry you are wrong

We sat three rows behind the Reds dugout last Sunday and watched Volquez..Much better in person, even the little things like his arm speed when he throws his changeup is evident..No comparison

Enjoy this evenings game .GO REDS

 
at 4:13 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

I have to agree with Zippy on the whole Castro batting 2nd. Dumbest move I've seen since Narrow was here. Castro shouldn't bad period for this team. A defensive replacement maybe but not someone whow should pick up a bat. I'd release Castro and bring up Cabrera to give us some right-handed pop. Perhaps he could share time with EE until he's back on track?

 
at 4:17 PM Blogger Zippy said...

John Fay,

I don't even know you, so I don't know if I like you or not. What I do know is that you've gone out of your way to try to defend Dusty and undermine my arguments, while claiming you're simply correcting my errors. If I was wrong about zero hit-and-runs, then of course you should say so. But adding something about a pitch out working or saying that a manager makes 100 decisions during a game is doing more than simply correcting factual errors, since I never made any claims about that. You ought to at least admit that much.

I'm not offended when people question my opinions. I happen to think you're being dishonest about your motives (perhaps you're not even aware of your own motives?), so I said so. Is that offense? I don't think so. Now, I have indeed been offended by a few other people here, as I think some have acted in a juvenile way toward me -- insulting me personally rather than focusing on the substance of my posts. I do find that somewhat offensive, and I make no apologies for it.

As for "ripping the manager up and down" under and assumed name - isn't everyone here operating under an assumed name? Are you only allowed to say NICE things about Dusty under an assumed name? And is the purpose of this forum to discuss the Reds, or to discuss Zippy? I don't think I've done anything inappropriate here, but many of the other posters have spent a lot of time criticizing me (under assumed names, no less). So aren't they the ones you ought to be chastising?

And I can't help but wonder why you feel the need to correct my errors, while other people's errors (such as someone claiming the decision let Cueto hit for himself "worked out," when in fact nothing about that decision worked at all) are left standing until I correct them. Also, I can't help but wonder why you don't feel compelled to point out the times I'm RIGHT. Again, it seems you have a clear pro-Dusty bias, but you're not willing to admit it.

 
at 4:20 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Thanks for helping me make my point, Jack.

 
at 4:27 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

On the issue of the non-hit and run in the fifth or sixth was really simple: Dusty's an idiot.

No, no, I'm kidding. At the moment it happened I didn't agree and it certainly didn't appear that Keppinger agreed as he went into the dugout after his sacrifice. But something happened right that instant--you could hear the rain pounding against the stadium mics for TV.

Then I knew.

Tie game, middle of the order coming up, game is close to being official, rain has been coming down, rain is now starting to pound, and all you need is ONE run. Get it. Get it now, just in case this thing gets called.

 
at 4:28 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Another point on the hit-and-runs:

Soaking wet grass, murky, muddy infield--no traction for pitchers, fielders and baserunners, slow infield, slower base paths . . . .

You would hit-and-run WHY?

 
at 4:40 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Thanks, Jack.

Jeff,

I tried to address that point earlier. The fact is, I think most managers make a TON of bad decisions, but nobody calls them on it because they're so universal, or because guys like John Fay say "there's no right or wrong answer," and a lot of people buy into that philosophy. The example I gave was using closers almost exclusively in 9th innings with leads. The Reds lost a one-run game in extra innings and their best relief pitcher (who was well rested) never threw a single pitch because he's called a "closer." This is a classic example of a bad decision that almost every manager would make, and they'd all be wrong. .

The thing is, if you've got the most talent in the league, you can get away with these things and still win. If you're a small-market team with less talent, the only chance to make the playoffs is if your manager out-manages other managers, and I don't see that happening here. He may be a great motivator, but you can't hit Castro second or have one of your best hit-and-run guys laying down sacrifice bunts and expect to make the playoffs.

 
at 4:47 PM Blogger kybosh2 said...

I sure hope Dusty decides to start Gonzo at short and play Keppinger at third upon Alex's return. I know EE started out slow last year, but I still think we will be better all around with Kepp in there. I also can't wait to see bray back in the majors.

 
at 4:55 PM Blogger John Fay said...

For the record, Zip, I agree with you on the closer thing.

 
at 5:17 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Zippy – It is very easy to sit in the cheap seats and point out bad decisions after the fact. If Cordero pitches in the 10th inning and the Reds score in a subsequent inning, who do they pitch in the bottom of the 11th and possibly the 12th? Cordero? How many two-plus inning outings do you expect him to pitch when he’s likely to appear in 50 or more games? Closers should be used at the end of the game when the team has the lead. It makes absolutely no sense to bring them in with the game tied in the top of the 10th when you have no idea how many innings are left. Try coming up with a better example to illustrate your point of how major league managers know less about baseball than you.

 
at 5:40 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Zip,

Forget the issues and specific instances and arguments. What is really iritating is that you seem to have an overwhelming need to be right and for everyone to admit it. Why else "chase" other posters around this blog trying to force them see it your way.

Make your points, if someone disagrees, so be it.

It is the end of the world?

Maybe they are stupid, maybe they are wrong, are you going to lose sleep over it?

It sure seems like you do.

Everyone on here is a baseball fan and has been one their whole life, you arent going to change their minds about what they believe, right or wrong.

Give it up, move on, who cares?

GO REDS!

 
at 5:56 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Zippy said...
Kevin,

"If it isn't part of a beat reporter's responsibility to raise these sorts of questions and help push the team in the right direction, then whose responsibility is it?"

Zippy, I would say its Krivsky or Jocketty's responsibility.

Im sure John will take the high road on this but if he did respond he would probably say his editor does not expect him to "push the Reds in the right direction" as part of his responsibilities. It may be an exciting or romantic way for a beat writer to veiw his posistion, but the reality is, ...well, its just not reality.

 
at 6:17 PM Blogger smtides said...

LOL, now Zippy is a lone martyr, falling on his sword for the entire Reds fanbase.

Zippy, who thinks that because not everyone agrees that every decision that Baker has made in the 10 games he's been the manager has been a complete disaster means we've all accepted mediocrity.

Speaking only for myself, I think players, not managers, win games. And until the Reds start hitting better, it's going to be hard to stay above .500, no matter what Dusty does or doesn't do.

 
at 6:35 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Jeff,

Please tell me how the Reds were advantaged by having their best relief pitcher not throw a single pitch in a 3-2 loss. The Brewers had already used their best relief pitchers, so it's entirely possibly the Reds score 4 or 5 runs in the 11th inning and just about anyone could have finished off the game at that point. But we'll never know, because we never got to the 11th inning, and our best relief pitcher never threw a pitch in a one run loss. That isn't smart. But it's exactly the way most managers think.

 
at 6:39 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

kevin..no offense ..but you certainly have made an effort to force bloggers to see things your way the past couple of months

I have found zippy to be very informative and enlightening

His insights are quite refreshing

as both John Fay and zippy have stated..attack the posts but dont attack the blogger Kevin..thank you

interesting how i was lambasted when suggesting that this team would improve to.500

 
at 7:13 PM Blogger pootyhead said...

I agree with Grizzlyfox, Zippy is Jacks second post name. Eerily similair takes on things. Both attack John when he corrects them,everyone here accepts losing etc etc. Weird.

 
at 7:14 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Ok, Kevin, then why do reporters often pepper managers with questions about their strategic decisions? What's the point of that? Just idle curiosity, and nothing else?

 
at 7:30 PM Blogger Zippy said...

That's right, Pooty, if two posters disagree with you in similar ways, the only possible explanation is that they must be the same person.

 
at 7:33 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Zippy – Again, you’re basing you opinion on hindsight, something managers don’t have available to them. Using their best reliever in the 10th makes it necessary for the Reds to score runs in the 11th. If they don’t score runs in the 11th, then Cordero would have go three innings which won’t happen. In all seriousness, do you really think there is much of a chance the Reds would have scored 4 or 5 runs in the 11th. Given the current inconsistency of their offense, I think it’s more likely it might have taken another two or three innings before they put any more runs up.

 
at 9:37 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

jeff...actually managers have hindsight we will never have...its called experience

 
at 10:38 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Jeff,

Exactly what evidence do you have that I'm using hindsight when I say that a team's best relief pitcher (who's well rested) should always be used in close games? I've been complaining about this for at least 10 years; I didn't just start saying it after Tuesday's loss. But I guess you would know otherwise, since you know me so well.

The point I'm making is that if the Reds never get to bat in the 11th inning, as they didn't, we'll never know how many runs they might have scored. It's pretty simple logic, really. If you've got a good player, use him when you KNOW he'll do you some good, rather than saving him for a situation that might or might not ever exist. It's like leaving your best hitter out of the lineup every single day so you can use him in a pinch hitting situation in the 9th inning, should such a situation arise. We don't accept this "logic" for hitters, so why should we accept it for pitchers?

 
at 10:55 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Zippy said...
"Ok, Kevin, then why do reporters often pepper managers with questions about their strategic decisions? What's the point of that? Just idle curiosity, and nothing else?"

No Zippy,
Because without insight from the players and managers, a beat writers account of the game is nothing more than a glorified box score.

Do you think its so a newspaper guy can show a Major League manager "the error of his ways" and embarrass him into managing right?

 
at 11:31 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Kevin,

I think a lot of those questions are asked because reporters believe teams and managers should be accountable to the fans, and they know the fans can't ask these questions themselves. I think many of them expect to have a positive impact when they demand answers to difficult questions. It's the same reason a White House reporter will repeatedly ask tough questions of the president; it isn't just to fill space in a news column, it's because they want the president to know he's going to have to answer to the people whenever he makes a decision. I think the same argument applies to many reporters.

 
at 8:36 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Zip,

I agree 100% on accountability, and yes the reporters ask because the fans cant, but because its what the fans want to read in the column.

You obviously have a pretty good handle on situational baseball, but I think you dont understand players and managers and their psyche.

The way a manager manages comes from a lifetime of experiences, sometimes 50+ years of being around baseball. Although baseball is a numbers game in analysis it is NOT a numbers game to the managers and players on the field. It is a game of anticipation, of feeling, of hunches, of risks,and of guts.

When guys are around that type of game for as long as Dusty they develope a kind of "baseball DNA".

That DNA is what influences every decision they make, and no matter who asks him why, and no matter how the fans feel about it, its not going to change. It is just naive to think otherwise.

Back to accountability, a manager is accountable to the GM, the GM to the owner, and the owner to the fans.

The managers measure of success? Wins and loses. How he manages and deciscions he makes are only relevant when applied to W/L. HOW a manager manages is a constant variable which does not change. He will manage the way he did before he was hired, and will manage the same when Cincy is in his rear view mirror. If they are winning, his decision making will take a back seat to that, if they are losing, the REASON is irrelevant, because you can not change it, the manager will simply be fired and a new manager hired.

The point: A GM does not need Zippy, KevinFtMyers, or John Fay to shed light on his managers successes / failures.

Having said that, I think its great for you to point them out on this blog, or for John to point them out in his articles, I only disagree that John is somehow the conscience of the franchise or that his line of questioning, no matter how tough, will influence the orginization.

This will be my last post on this, if you must have the last word, so be it, I will of course read your post(s).

Cordially,
KinFM

 
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