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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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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lineup v. Braves

Ryan Freel cf
Ken Griffey rf
Brandon Phillips 2b
Joey Votto 1b
Edwin Encarnacion 3b
Adam Dunn lf
Jeff Keppinger ss
David Ross c
Matt Belisle p

V. LH Jo-Jo Reyes

Jeff Keppinger was standing behind me as I was copying it down. "I like it," he said. "I like it."

Griffey volunteered to hit second coming out spring training.

"I don't know if he was serious or not," Dusty Baker said.

Said Griffey: "I'm just trying to move up to the leadoff spot."

The Reds face another left-hander tomorrow -- Tom Glavine -- so you could see the same lineup, although left-handers are hitting .500 over Glavine this year and right-handers are hitting .241.


37 Comments:

at 3:48 PM OpenID cecilburrito said...

Batting two guys in the leadoff spot will SURELY address our lack of production there, especially when neither of them are Patterson

Don't change the blooper John, this team needs a shakeup, maybe you're onto something :)

 
at 3:50 PM Blogger doomgoblin said...

Wow, that's definitely the best/most interesting lineup i've seen from Dusty. I'd flip Dunn and Jr for the obvious OBP difference, but other than that, pretty cool. I hope we put up some runs tonight.

 
at 4:16 PM Blogger Arden Dulou said...

Kepp behind Dunn... Votto #4... Junior batting second...

Better than Patterson batting #1.

As John said, unless the big 3 can't hit, nothing will help. Ok, replacing Patterson with Bruce will help..

 
at 4:47 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

way to shake up dusty...let's hope belisle can keep us in it

 
at 5:00 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I can honestly say this is a lineup I would never come up with given the 25 man roster.

Hope it produces more than 2 runs.

Im also hoping against hope that Belisle shows some assemblance of big league pitching and can get us into the 5th / 6th so the bull pen isnt abused.

Im starting to beleive this season is turning into a tryout for the 2009 Reds.

Locks are: (obviously)

Harang
Volquez
Cueto
Votto
Phillips
EE
Bruce
Cordero

Fringe players:
Kepp (shouldnt be fringe, but
trade value will be high.)
Agon($) depends on Kepp
Hairston
Freel($)
Arroyo($)
Bailey

I keep Keppinger no mater what, but if someone wants to deal a stud catcher for Kepp and youve got Agon tied up a couple more years.....maybe it gets done.

Everyone else can be gone or should be gone.

Good luck tonight boys, GO REDS!

 
at 5:05 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Hard to beat the Braves with only seven bats in the lineup. Dusty grossly overplays the righty/lefty matchups. I'm thinking Ross goes 0-4 with two strikeouts, a weak foul out and an inning ending, rally killing double play.

 
at 5:06 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

Dusty shook things up wow! He deserves a standing ovation, Im tired of losing lets kill from now on. Everybody LETS GO REDS LETS GO REDS

 
at 5:09 PM Blogger Pat said...

Bringing Bruce up before he's ready reminds me of all the talk last year of bringing Bailey up, because "he had to be ready".

Just because you have great numbers in the minors, doesn't mean you are ready for the big time. I think we need to trust our talent evaluators to judge whether a guy is ready.

 
at 5:15 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Atlanta's home grown philosophy has worked very well for them. ST Louis philosophy of going out and getting the players you need has worked well for them. It is just a matter of doing a good job at which ever you choose to do. I would prefer a mixture of both.
St CSA

 
at 5:17 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

any line-up without Patterson is an improvement, at least short term. But Freel is not your everyday answer.
ST CSA

 
at 5:34 PM Blogger John Fay said...

CSA: Good point. You can do it either way. But the Reds aren't going to buy there into contention when they're drawing 14,000 for the Dodgers.

 
at 5:38 PM Blogger Matt said...

I like the lineup. I think that beyond the the leadoff problem and splitting up lefties, trying to optimize a lineup is not all that important. This depends on the team but I think with this group, you can slide most of these guys around and it's not going to make a lot of difference. I'd like to think that moving Dunn to 6th would reduce the pressure on him but with his numbers, the pressure is infinity so the effect should be minimal. The reason I like the lineup is mostly just that it's different and open minded to change.

Freel is hot and he's earned some starts but let's remember that even Patterson had a hot spell. Freel is pretty streaky and his rough patches have been a culprit in the Reds' mediocrity over the years. In other words, he's probably a temporary cure.

I think Keppinger is the pick-to-click. I'm not sure if putting a walk prone guy ahead of a double-play prone guy is the wisest thing but I think Keppinger will get it done.

 
at 5:42 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

If Castellini articulates to the fans that they team is rebuilding around youth.. we..the fans will come regardless of the win-loss record

This halfway and in between aint gonna work much longer

you look at the "numbers" of many on this current team, it looks like they are not ready for the majors. Ill take the youngsters anyday..let em learn on the job

I would not trust our current talent evaluators

John what did you just type?

 
at 5:52 PM Blogger ryan said...

OK...new day! Lets go reds. Lets take these next two games and go home on a winning note. It's not over yet boys. The season can still be a productive one. Productive meaning a playoff year. I like the lineup. Kepp even said he liked it. Votto is hitting fourth maybe that will help, i think so. COME ON REDS!!!! Lets pound out about 10 to 15 runs tonight. Hopefullt Belisle will throw well.

 
at 5:59 PM Blogger ryan said...

Cheviot.....Freel is our man at lead off. He should have been there from the very start. Does anybody remember the spark Freel lighted under our butts in the last couple years? He's our lead off guy and I personally love him. He has been nothiong but good for us. Ryan Freel BABY!!!!! The Reds lead off guy for the rest of the year and years to come.

 
at 6:00 PM Blogger KingsPoint said...

Finally, Dunn's where he belongs...no higher than 6th, and Patterson's where he belongs...out of the lineup. If Bako was in the lineup, it'd be perfect.

 
at 6:14 PM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

"CSA: Good point. You can do it either way. But the Reds aren't going to buy there into contention when they're drawing 14,000 for the Dodgers."

I'm glad you said this, John. I've been pretty shocked at the attendance at some home games this year, and here on the blog I've seen people who are at least claiming that their frustration with the Reds is causing them to not want to spend money on them. Not going to games is certainly any fan's right, but, if a community decides that it doesn't want to support a team (not just with words or on television, but in person), then they have to accept that the owner/owners will have less money to spend to improve the team. That forces the smaller-market teams to build through the draft and farm system, requiring the patience that many fans say they're out of. It's a vicious loop, and Cincinnati definitely seems caught in it.

 
at 6:31 PM Blogger Mark T said...

Dusty obviously knows the importance of having an OPB man in the two hole (or does he? Batting Patterson first?), so he should have Dunn in that spot and Griffey down in the lineup. But the problem with that is Griffey's superstar status. Can't move him down.

 
at 6:42 PM Blogger firefly118 said...

Pat @ 5:09p

If producing in the minors the way Bruce is doesn't warrant being ready for the big time, then what does? Does he have to hit .500 and average a homerun a game? That makes no sense to me, if you are dominating in the level you are in, then it is obvious you move up to the next challenge. The Bruce v Bailey comment doesn't fly either, two seperate issues. One is a pitcher, the other an outfielder, there are a lot of different circumstances between the two. Besides, I don't believe we rushed Bailey, just didn't use him right. He needs to be in the pen and get experience here, especially in the rebuilding process we are in........

As far as trusting our scouting team or our evaluators.....how confident are you? It doesn't say much for them with the teams we have fielded over the last decade.

It is time for the Reds to get rid of the old mentality and move into the now, like most of the other franchises. I thought we had by hiring Dusty....man was I wrong!

 
at 6:44 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Correction:

CSA: Good point. You can do it either way. But the Reds aren't going to buy their way into contention when they're drawing 14,000 for the Dodgers.

 
at 6:45 PM Blogger redfuture said...

John. Is Dunn's value in terms of draft compensation as a non-returning free agent already established? Hopefully it isn't readjusted if has a sub-par year. I assume that he will be considered a Type 'A' free agent. Do you think that the Reds can get greater value for him by trading him after June 15 rather than taking the additional draft choices next year? If his free agent 'type' status is already established let's relegate him to a platoon player.

 
at 6:47 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Castellini has shown that he will spend the money necessary to get winning ballplayers. Unfortunately a lot of it was wasted. With the money freed up by dumping some of these guys (I know that it will take at least til the end of the season) perhaps we can sign a couple of guys in the off season to help make us competitive. At this point winning is the only way to put the fans back in the stands. Start winning and then increased attendance will generate the revenue needed to stay competitive with a mix of home-grown and brought in talent.
St CSA

 
at 6:48 PM Blogger NVreds said...

I agree with john CSA/JBA the reds are going to really suffer this year in ticket sales, based solely on the losing. With the contracts he will be paying the team is probably going to be thin on money, plus these players they would just go out and get? thats what krivsky did THIS offseason and look what we got. If you ask me I don't think there really is a quick-solution for this team. I personally would be doing what dusty is doing and start looking toward the future by using a lineup with votto/EE/phillips in the middle. I was thinking that would be moving towards the future which i agree with, but that doesnt mean we need to bring up bruce (whose SO :BB ratio makes me think he will probably hit around .250/.260 when he does come up later in the year, wouldnt save out season, wouldnt be a good leadoff, but would be decent numbers for a 20yr old).

I want to simplify the reason we have so many people posting different lineups: We have terrible offesive chemistry. There is no right lineup.

I would start puting the future in the middle of the lineup more, and apparently dusty agrees.

 
at 6:52 PM Blogger JF said...

Musical lineups are detrimental. This is just Narron with a toothpick.

 
at 7:13 PM Blogger ST fan said...

Roster still has the redundantcy problem problem with Freel/Hopper being similar and Votto/Hatteberg being similar. Votto is the clear choice at first; take your pick in CF. But replace the 2 nnon-choices on the roster with more useful guys, different types. I don't think Jocketty should wait another day to do at least THAT.

 
at 7:34 PM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

Will the Reds score a run tonight?? For that matter, will they get more than 3 hits?

Sure doesn't look like it after 2 innings. If they get shutout again, is it Dusty' fault?

 
at 7:43 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Dusty obviously knows the importance of having an OPB man in the two hole (or does he?)

No he doesn't. Anyone who even knew what OBP was would not bat Patterson leadoff.

If producing in the minors the way Bruce is doesn't warrant being ready for the big time, then what does? Does he have to hit .500 and average a homerun a game? That makes no sense to me, if you are dominating in the level you are in, then it is obvious you move up to the next challenge.

Bruce isn't dominating his level. His OBP is .324 and he is striking out 1/4 of the time. These don't translate to major league prowess. He needs more time. HOwever, he would do better than patterson.

 
at 7:57 PM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

Boy, does Griffey's bat look sloooooow. It's sad to see. He used to have such a quick bat.

 
at 8:02 PM Blogger Aaron in SC said...

Here we go......making Jo-Jo Reyes look like Sandy Koufax....Fire Brook Jacoby!

This team is horrible. Belisle actually looks pretty good (so far) and Jo-Jo Reyes is making us look like idiots.

C'mon boys, step it up and take some responsibility.

 
at 8:04 PM Blogger Aaron in SC said...

Scratch that on Belisle...back to back hits and nobody out in the bottom of 4th.....trouble brewing!

 
at 8:18 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

John,

If the Reds would lower their prices on tickets and especially food & merchandise they would double or triple their current revenue. Instead they have excess inventory and low volume sales. However it doesn't fit with the Bud Selig business model of baseball that only looks at the marketplace being the monopolistic ballpark rather than the true marketplace of the region the team serves. Example, a nice button down shirt with Mr.Redlegs logo, $105.00 Price at Macy's for same style shirt minus logo, $30-45. Cost of Large Pepsi to Reds/Vendor, <$.50, sale price 5.50. Yes it may be what other teams are charging but other teams such as the Cardinals are drawing 40k on a weekday day game. Bottom line is the Reds need to rethink their overall business plan.

 
at 8:24 PM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

The Braves broadcaster had a great line. "Why does Dunn just hit that outside pitch to 3rd and the Reds would have first and third." On the next pitch, Dunn pulls a low inside pitch right into the shift for a double play.

Do the Reds have any players that know how to hit the ball the other way? Even Jeff Keppinger has become a pull hitter. His this what Brook Jacoby teaches?

 
at 8:29 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I would have pinch hit for Belisle in the 5th, he is pitching well, but its only a matter of time before he gives up another run or two. And the bull pen has been solid.

Man on 1st and 2nd may not happen again tonight. I would have run Hairston out there.

And Belisle just gave up the run i was refered to.

 
at 8:31 PM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

Not a very good outing by Matt Belisle. They have hit some absolute ropes off him. 3 for 3 bad outings. Goodbye Matt, hello Homer!

 
at 9:18 PM Blogger Dave said...

Agree with many that the SuperStars do stupid stuff but expecting Dunnster ($13 million dollar man) to listen to a coach making $100M - ain't gonna happen.

He's tooo smart.

 
at 9:18 PM Blogger rb said...

things i suspect the reds lead the majors in:
singles off the wall

three runners reaching base in the same inning without scoring

striking out to end the inning with the tying and or go ahead run in scoring position

making the double switch, which is certainly the worst and most overrsted move in baseball strategy
nothing like telling the other guy in advance which relief pitchers he needs to have ready

playing the righty lefty game and consistently being outmanaged while doing so


it is so frustrating whatching the ownership, coaches, and players screw up this franchise. oh well there is always the bengals for comic relief

 
at 1:23 AM Blogger Aaron said...

Griffey is moving the wrong direction in the lineup. He needs to be 5th or lower with his subpar batting avergae and zero speed. He is so much the antithesis of a #2 hitter its a mockery that Baker would run out out this lineup today. THis team is bad, very bad... and I am afraid we haven't hit rock bottom yet.

 
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