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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, May 12, 2008

Baker on Cueto, Patterson

Dusty Baker met with Johnny Cueto before Monday's game. The message was simple: When catcher Paul Bako puts down a sign, throw the pitch he asks for. Cueto shook off Bako quite a bit in Sunday's start.

"That alleviates him having to do a bunch of thinking and concentrating and delivering the pitch," Baker said. "This way he can be more committed to making that pitch. All he has to think about is making that pitch and locating it."

Baker has full confidence in Bako.

"That's Bako's strong suit," Baker said.

Edinson Volquez, the Red other young right-hander, rarely shakes off Bako.

ON PATTERSON: Baker was asked if he's thought about moving Corey Patterson down in the lineup.

"Yeah, what makes it kind of rough is you don't want to me left-handers in a row," Baker said. "That's what I'm trying to stay away from. He's going to get going. Guys usually end where there (career) average is. . . we don't have a bunch of speed. You need speed, especially in close games."

Patterson is hitting .196 with a .252 on-base percentage. He has five steals but he's been caught three times.

Ryan Freel, hitting .313. with a .356 on-base, will be in tomorrow against left-hander Mark Hendrickson.


56 Comments:

at 6:19 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

always rationale and excuses for poor play, mistakes and losing

like the Bengals, a few bright spots aside, this team sorely lacks talent direction, and focus

 
at 6:21 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

- I can understand that Castellini doesn't want to eat another $10.5 mil with Baker. So I guess he is going to have to eat Patterson's $3.5 mil. They only way Baker is not going to play him is if he is not on the team.

+ Keppinger where he belongs.

= The crawl to 600 continues.

ST CSA

 
at 6:30 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

Hey here's an idea Dusty. Sit Patterson on the bench. It doesn't matter if it's clogged with lefthanders. Heck while you are at it I can think of another couple of lefthanders you can clog the bench with also.

Yeah, that speed of Patterson really helps us since he's rarely on base. Give me a break.

 
at 6:31 PM Blogger Zippy said...

I wonder what Dusty would do if he had a roster that included a bunch of great left-handed hitters, like maybe a young Bonds, a young Griffey, Joe Morgan, Ted Williams, David Ortiz, and Willie McCovey -- would he have someone like Juan Castro batting second and Brandon Phillips batting cleanup just to avoid having too many of those lefties hitting back-to-back? I suspect he would.

Something else I wonder... would it be possible for ANY other manager to have a worse record at this point? If Scott Hatteberg had been made player-manager (which actually might not be a bad idea), could the team possibly be worse than it is? In fact, I think the team would be much better off, and $3 million wealthier....

 
at 6:35 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Wow, I usually never hope a guy gets hurt, but it sounds like thats what its going to take for Dusty to get off this Patterson @ leadoff BS.

From the other thread:

"we lost Josh Hamilton..offensively we are not much different than last year"

"Volquez and Cueto are essentially rookie pitchers..only real addition is Cordero whom we dont use..the Foggs ,Affeldts are no better than what we had last year."

"we went 72-90 last year ..why expect different results this year."

"sorry..the talent really is not there... thats a fashionable excuse for people that have become accustomed to losing"


-JBA

JBA, JBA, JBA,

Heres a homework assignment, just like in school, if you complete your assignment you will learn something.

Take
Harang
Volquez
Cueto
EE
Kepp
BP
Votto

now go to baseballreference.com
and compare these 3 pitchers, and infielders with those of any team in the central, and then in the NL. Granted, some of these guys dont have history yet, and I know its a little beyond your baseball experience to see beyond the box score, but these guy will match up with anyone.

They need the right coaches, they need some veteran leadership, (they have NONE), and they need to learn how to win.

But to think they are not talented is just a gross oversight of baseball ability.

The only advice I can give you is to look at ALL of the numbers, not just the ones casual fans are familiar with. If you dont understand the abreviations click on the help link.

All of those numbers when woven together, like different accounts of the same event, create a complete picture.

Heres an analogy:
Is a racecar with a flat tire and a broken fuel line not a racecar?

It wont win anything, but if you get the couple of problems fixed..
its back in the race.

The Reds are a race car, and the problem coaches and players are the flat tire and broken fuel line.

Your approach to baseball is like saying the racecar with the broken parts isnt a racecar at all because its not winning the race.

Its just not black and white like that.

 
at 6:37 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

- BAKER:
"He's going to get going. Guys usually end where there (career) average is."

The guy is a career .250 hitter. Is that what Baker wants out of his lead off hitter?

+ It is not raining. Getting hard to come up with positive comments to keep my posts fair and balanced.

ST CSA

 
at 6:37 PM OpenID alphatheta678 said...

Dusty, you just kind of lost me there. Even if Patterson DOES get to where his career average is, that career average is still
.256/.296/.413 - and that's not good.

This Baker character DID play baseball before, right? I am truly starting to wonder if he understands.

 
at 6:47 PM Blogger Closer Doug Bair said...

Like everyone else, I am also at a loss as to why Dusty continues to plug a square peg, i.e., Patterson, into a round hole at the top of the order. Dusty's rationale is "speed," but Patterson has been thrown out 60% of the time this year and he has made some indefensible baserunning errors when he happens to get on base. If Patterson continues to over near the Mendoza line, something will have to give on this issue, because they can't continue to run him out there every other day.

 
at 6:54 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

we were going to go to the game tonight just to see Cantu..then Julie and I both said simultaneously..nah we have better things to do

Florida's payroll is what 22 million?

 
at 6:55 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

CSA.. I like your new method of reporting .. 4 stars my friend

JAB

 
at 6:55 PM OpenID alphatheta678 said...

John, what are your thoughts on Dusty's obsession w/ Patterson leading off? I know Baker is not a big believer in OBP, but shouldn't he realize that a guy who, over the course of his career, has made an out in 70.4% of his ABs is not a leadoff hitter? It's not as if we're talking about a rookie who has only been in the league a few weeks, Corey's sample size is large enough to show he just cannot get on base.

Your thoughts?
~Mike

 
at 6:56 PM Blogger jeff said...

JBA, CSA, do you guys post on message boards anywhere? There are some good ones around that you can sustain a conversation instead of having to get approval and having this broken up debates between different blog posts. I personally hang around the ESPN boards. MLB.com has others and there's a few independant ones floating around.

 
at 6:56 PM Blogger Redsfansince72 said...

Why oh WHY does Baker not get that Patterson is not a lead-off hitter that gets on base CONSISTENTLY>>??
Why not play Hairston or Freel with them hitting and getting on-base, instead of giving the other team 4 easy outs a game from the #1 spot in the batting order with Patterson????

AND why did Baker wait till after the game to tell his pitcher not to shake off his pitches being called by his catcher?? I would have gone out there and told him myself during the game!!

 
at 7:02 PM Blogger Don said...

It's one thing to even have Patterson in the lineup on a semi-regular basis, but it is unthinkable to have him leading off.

That fact that the Reds are paying Patterson $3 million and the fact that Baker was the one who pushed for the Reds to sign him in the first place means that Patterson is going to get more than his fair share of chances in this lineup. Obviously performance, or lack thereof, isn't much of a factor in Patterson's playing time. The Reds are in a position now of feeling like they have to justify his signing. He will play at the expense of the team's success.

 
at 7:05 PM Blogger anti-media said...

Did W.K. hire the most incompetent man available ?? He is Jerry N. !!Can someone explain why we have Cory P.,in the lineup ???

 
at 7:18 PM Blogger JF said...

Cantu, 1-1 in 2008 against the team that "didn't need him."

That last place team.

Who dumped him so that the first place team could pick him up and use him.

Right now Cantu is out-hitting Junior and Dunn.

Genius Reds front office!

Still up for that name change from The Reds to The Magoos!

 
at 7:20 PM Blogger Reds Fan in Indy said...

Maybe it's just me, but common sense tells me that if a player is doing well, you should play him until he isn't; NOT the other way around. Corey patterson shouldn't be starting, let alone batting lead-off. Ride the hot bats and see if that pulls our offense out of this slump.

 
at 7:24 PM Blogger JF said...

Okay, a 2-spot in the first, no problem. Come on Reds, fillet these fish. No pick offs, no batting out of order, no lazy base-running, no swinging at balls over your head or in the dirt, no fielding follies...let's go Dusty McNarron, how about actually firing these guys up for once?

 
at 7:35 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Patterson finishing up around his career averages is exactly what we're afraid of!

 
at 7:46 PM OpenID MrGemsbok said...

Patterson said something along the lines of, the leadoff hitter is no big deal because he only leads off once a game. OK. If this is true, why not have the pitcher batting clean up. After all, he only hits cleanup once a game, too

 
at 7:47 PM Blogger INDYREDFAN said...

The thing that frustrates me about patterson is the reds could have signed Kenny Lofton for about the same money. He batted 296 last year and had a 370 obp. Plus he might have gave some needed leadership.

 
at 7:47 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

From reds.com, look what Patterson said!

"People want to make a big deal of it," he said. "That's fine. It's their opinion. I think it's overrated. The leadoff batter bats first only once. After that inning, it's always a different leadoff hitter. Most players, no matter where they hit in the lineup, it's not going to dictate the type of player they are."

Yes you leadoff only once, jackball! But you are always followed by run producers, so stop with the faulty logic and get on base!

 
at 7:52 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I see Dunn brought his big bat tonight!
Funny

 
at 7:54 PM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

How about Adam Dunn not running out his ground ball??? You NEVER assume a ball is foul.

That would have been it if I was manager. I would have yanked his @$$ out IMMEDIATELY!

 
at 7:55 PM Blogger m2 said...

John Fay,

Any idea what role Baker will fill when his contract with the Reds is terminated this year or next (he is under contract for 3 years)? My point is I don't see him getting picked up to manage another MLB team after his debacle in Chicago and now here. Further, I don't see him as a batting coach or certainly not pitching and don't think him a good evaluator of talent.

 
at 8:00 PM Blogger gannfan said...

Why the perplexity over Dusty's managing?

Does anyone really expect him to manage a baseball team?

He seems to be doing the same thing he did here in Chicago...play veterans, and play favorites. It worked well for a couple of years, then the situation changed but Dusty didn't.

If history is any predictor, he'll keep doing the same thing win or lose.

 
at 8:00 PM Blogger JF said...

That's really Arroyo in platform shoes on the mound tonight, and Harang pitched game two in NY, right?

 
at 8:08 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

"we were going to go to the game tonight just to see Cantu"

Wow, you really need a hobby if someone that lousy brings you to the park.

 
at 8:13 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

"The leadoff batter bats first only once. After that inning, it's always a different leadoff hitter."

I just cant believe somebody with a job in major league baseball would think / say that. I hope someone close to him has said:

"Um Corey, you sounded kind of stupid saying that!"

 
at 8:13 PM Blogger Jeff said...

I bet if you followed anyone on this blog around their workplace and recorded what we said to others, you could probably point to several things each of us say in any given day that would make us look like we don’t know what we’re doing.

The funny thing about baseball is if his players perform, the manager is a genius. If they don’t, he’s a moron. Unfortunately, they manager has less control than some of us would like to believe.

 
at 8:26 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Hey! There's the other problem with Cantu. Thanks for the run Jorge.

 
at 8:38 PM Blogger Mike said...

Well...Thom and Brantley are doing TV..Marty has the AAA guy..Jim Kelch working with him for the next 4 games...Kelch has but one problem...he is a Steve Stewart sound alike!!..whom the Reds didn't like and showed him the door. Fans didn't like Stewart either. So, monatone and all on the radio..the TV sound was turned back up. But TV tonight is great with Thom and Jeff..1st time we didn't have to turn the sound down to avoid George... TV wins tonight..no comparison!

 
at 8:43 PM OpenID bashbrother12 said...

John , in a piece written by Hal Mccoy today and the question was asked something along the lines of was it time to trade dunn and griffey and bring up bruce and hal responded by saying that dusty baker has told him that jay bruce will be up soon have you heard anything about this ?

 
at 9:06 PM Blogger robdicken said...

I am not sure why anyone falls for Jack or CSA...they are the SAME PERSON!! Don't be fooled, people! They post 2-3 minutes apart each and every blog and EVERY TIME they post!

On a side note...GO KEPPINGER!! 2-run homer to put them ahead!

And thanks for the run earlier, Cantu!!

 
at 9:06 PM Blogger smtides said...

Man, it's almost shocking how quickly Patterson has become the new whipping boy for Reds fans.

I almost feel sorry for the guy. He hasn't hit well, but neither has ANYONE else in the Reds lineup not named Keppinger.

Taking Patterson out of the lineup or even off of the roster isn't going to fix the Reds.

 
at 9:11 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I saw that. Guess it comes down to how you define "soon." I'd have Bruce gassing up his car tonight.

I'll post something I wrote for the paper. I think Bruce could help the Reds in their struggles against lefties. He's hitting .370 against lefties for the Bats.

 
at 9:24 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

I think Rob has a point. CSA and Jack are one in the same, kinda like Coffey and Majewski.

Come on Affeldt!

 
at 9:24 PM Blogger Joe said...

CSA: You are doing a real good job with the +/- comments. I offer this help with the positives comments with all sincerety:

Ground crew looks to have done an excellent job tonight!

Looks like they replaced the light in the right field grouping, should help Jr.

The grass sure looks good in HD!

There is a real cutey behind the Reds dougout - three rows back.

Not many foul balls tonight - maybe the Reds can use the money they are saving for Patterson's buyout! (I think that's positive but its your call)

 
at 9:26 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

i am enjoying this fella from l'ville broadcasting with marty. he sounds like he's been doing this for quite a while, excellent job on the homerun calls in the 7th. hope he gets a shot with a team in the bigs

as for dusty's comments re: cueto shaking off bako...i would think that dickie pole should've been out there telling the rook to knock that business off as soon as they noticed it. what the hell else is there for? i wonder if the language barrier causes a problem.

 
at 9:33 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Cantu is STILL one of the Reds biggest contributors CSA... I can see why you like him so much.

 
at 9:36 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

2nd game in a row that Jr's D has hurt us, although Freel needed to stay out of the way yesterday. This game is too close for comfort! Come on Co Co the Monkey!

 
at 9:42 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

nice d out there jr...about gave me a heart attack with that second one

 
at 9:42 PM Blogger PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Players or Coaches to get rid of:
Baker
Patterson
Coffey
Fogg
Griffey Jr.
Dunn
Ross
Valentin
Hatteburg
Jacoby
Any comments?

 
at 9:49 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

This one belongs to the Reds.

 
at 9:49 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

alroight csa/jba...b ehonest, you were rooting for a cantu blast to tie it there werent you?

 
at 9:50 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I really believe after watching Griffey he may need his eyes checked. Hes not squaring many balls at the plate and on both those bobbled balls in right, the balls hit in the heel of his glove, a sign of him misjudging the ball.

Maybe this is his problem.
I would hope so anyway, weather he stays or goes its better for the Reds if he plays better than he is playing now.

John has there been any indication of that possibility? Do ball players get their eyes checked annually?

It certainly would explain alot of things.

 
at 10:01 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Yes, if you followed some of us around at work, you'd hear some comments as dumb as Patterson's. In fact, just read some of the comments here.

 
at 10:04 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

P.J.A. Jr,

I agree with your list accept for Dusty.

WK was fired becaused the team he put on the field was not winning.

So by firing the GM your basically saying the problem isnt the manager, its the players, if not, why not just fire the manager?

So my guess is Dusty will fulfill his contract giving Jocketty / Baker 2 more years to get this team into the playoffs.

If WJ makes some good moves and the Reds still dont achieve a winning record then Dusty will be gone AFTER next year.

2008 fugedhaboudit
2009 .500 or Dustys gone in October
2010 (if Dusty still here) Playoffs or Dustys contract is not renewed.

Not saying this is right, but I am trying to be the voice of reason.

 
at 10:09 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Joe, I like your "positive" comments for CSA.

How about "Harang certainly looks better than (former Indians pitcher)Don Mossi".

 
at 10:21 PM Blogger mentalmidget said...

presidentjohnallenjr,

Yes, I have a comment. You forgot to mention the hitting coach, Brooke Jacoby, pitching coach Dick Pole and bench coach Chris Spier. They gotta go, too!!!!!

 
at 10:34 PM Blogger will said...

what happened to our daily cantu update?

 
at 11:09 PM Blogger pootyhead said...

+ Cantu had two hits
-He got caught stealing. Did not produce any runs with the hits. Then that makes 'em meaningless hits.
- He had a error(even edwin can't throw that bad) that led to runs.
+ He's a Marlin

 
at 8:53 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Kevin..two weeks ago you were telling us the Reds were going to the World series and diminished anyone that disagreed with you


Voice of Reason?

 
at 9:29 AM Blogger robdicken said...

That Cantu is one HELLUVA clutch player, isn't he?

We could sure use his rightie-on-rightie pop in our lineup, right?! Especially since he can't hit lefties!!!

 
at 10:37 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

thank you Pootyhead,
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
ST CSA

 
at 12:04 PM Blogger robdicken said...

Kevin..two weeks ago you were telling us the Reds were going to the World series and diminished anyone that disagreed with you


Voice of Reason?


I don't remember any of that...I think you're exaggerating a little, JBA.

Calm down before you choke on a peanut in your cheap seats!

 
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