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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 5, 2008

Sad note, lineup, Bray optioned

Ken Griffey Jr. was originally not in the lineup. His best friend, Frank King, died earlier today in Orlando at age 38 from complications from cancer.

"That's why I had him out," Dusty Baker said. "I talked yesterday in the meeting about playing for someone. He said that was what his friend would want. . . It was a big deal for him to play."

Griffey and King were close as brothers. I got to know Frank a little, very good guy. He was well-known around the clubhouse. He's survived by 14-year-old and 3-year-old.

"Everyone's asking me if I'm all right," Griffey said. "I worried about them. Melissa, my mom and Frank's wife were with him."

My thoughts and prayers are with Frank's family.

The lineup for tonight v. the Cubs:

Ryan Freel cf
Griffey rf
Brandon Phillips 2b
Joey Votto 1b
Edwin Encarnacion 3b
Adam Dunn lf
Jeff Keppinger ss
Paul Bako c
Johnny Cueto p

v. RH Ryan Dempster

Bill Bray was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. David Weathers was activated from the disabled list.

Bray took the news well. He pitched in the last three games.

"That's the first time I've done that in couple of years," he said. "I feel great today. I'm excited about that."


at 4:59 PM Blogger Chad said...

Bill Bray optioned? Makes sense to me. That 0.00 ERA kinda stuck out with all our other pitcher's ERA increasing more and more as the season goes along.


at 5:03 PM Blogger Kenworld said...

What? no makeing room this time with a mysterious DL injury for someone like say Hatteberg or someone else who has shown no sign of injury?

at 5:13 PM Blogger John said...

Bray isn't upset because he's going back to Louisville where they have a good ball club.

at 5:14 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

I'm anxious to see how Cueto looks after working with Mario recently? The kids good and seems like an excellent student to Mario's teachings. Here's hoping he has an outstanding outing.

at 5:15 PM Blogger _Sir_Charles_ said...

I'm constantly amazed by the decisions this F.O. makes. Bray did allow 2 hits last game. Yes. But he's also been flat out solid. He's got a ton of upside. He strikes people out and he's agressive. But Weathers is a management favorite apparently. He's been flat out horrible lately. He always adds fuel to the fire when he comes in. In fact, he usually starts the fire. Last year he was very lucky in the fact that the problems he started didn't come back and bite him in the rear. But people always state how "good" he was last year. Look, he wasn't good last year. He just looked good in comparison to the REST of our bullpen. But alas, as usual, the young guns take a back seat to the established vets well past their primes. *sigh*

at 5:17 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

This is a lousy lineup. For the 87th time, Brandon Phillips cannot hit Right handed pitching! Does the manager not even bother to look things like this up?

Career vs. RHP (avg/obp/slg)
.248 / .292 / .348

Career vs. LHP
.301 / .347 / .496

This year vs. RHP
.228 / .265 / .370

This year vs. LHP
.433 / .485 / .867

Batting him 3rd is fine against a lefty.

at 5:18 PM Blogger NVreds said...

14 & 3...man that's too bad, my thoughts are with them as well.

Bray seems to have taken it well, its good he sounds healthy

at 5:20 PM Blogger doerr906 said...

This team needs a major, MAJOR, shakeup, and this is all that happened?
Walt Jocketty supposedly noticed that there was an "atmosphere of losing" on this club.
Then, Jeff Brantley points out that there are several players who couldn't care less whether the team wins or loses.
Then, what needs to happen, and quickly, is to unload the losers.
By next season, they all need to be gone.
So, who can identify them, and will they be gone?
I doubt it.

at 5:21 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

so close dustbag...now flip jr and dunn and watch the runs fall from the sky like rain

at 5:22 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Someone made a great point on the radio yesterday. The whole Left-right-left-right thing actually may be hurting the Reds. If you stacked your left handed hitters against a RHP, it would make it harder for that pitcher to pitch around Griffey,Dunn,Votto, etc. to face guys like Phillips who struggle against RHP (unlike the Reds, other teams know this). When you rotate lefty righty every other guy, you're really doing that for when the relievers come in, at which point the game may already be over or significantly different from a score perspective.

at 5:30 PM Blogger Joe said...

I'm confused but then again it may just be a timing issue and Bronson has not had time to see the doc. Bray will be back up when Bronson has seen the doc...and gotten the ill bill of health.

I am glad they did not send Kent Merker out. With his history, he should have to pitch himself out of a position.

I hope a couple other moves are being contemplated....so there is room for Bailey and Bruce.

at 5:49 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

But Weathers is a management favorite apparently.

Excellent points Sir Charles. Weathers was thrown into an impossible situation last year. Many times he came in and got the save but only after giving up three hits, a walk, a run and leaving the bases loaded.

He doesn't seem to have the velocity or location this year so I too am puzzled. And, why Bray?

at 6:02 PM Blogger Joe said...

Bray will be back very soon, I hope!

If Soto is the key to turning Cueto around, we should see signs of it tonight. If he is the cure, Jockety should rent Soto an apartment and keep him in Cincy for a few months.

at 6:11 PM Blogger redsfaninchitown said...

Gang, don't get too excited about any major shake-ups here. Remember last year when the team was in the same tailspin and management did nothing. It's way to early for a trade of Griffey and Dunn and they won't bring up Bailey and Bruce unless someone gets hurt. This team is playing for next year already and all the posturing of management that they want to win now is BS. The reason Krivsky was fired so early has nothing to do with wins and losses, it has everything to do with giving Jocketty time to make moves this whole season to be ready for '09. If they really cared about winning in '08 something would have been done already. Maybe I'll be wrong but.....

at 6:11 PM Blogger Dave said...

I was thinking the same thing the other day about the lefty-righty thing. If the Reds could get a couple of lefties in a row against a RHP (or visa-versa) they might actually gets some runs in, instead of stranding the base runners all the time. You get a favorable matchup and gets someone on base then with a few on and 2 outs you more than likely don't have a favorable matchup.

at 6:19 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

uhh john? wheres tom shearn?

at 6:20 PM Blogger barc1954 said...

Mr. C. said upon firing the losing would stop immediately.Now the losing has gotten worse is it not time for Mr. Jocketty to go also.He is not winning and has done nothing other than option Bill Bray back to Louisville.That move will save the season.Krivsky should see his firing as a blessing in disguise.Maybe he'll find a job with a team where ownership and management knows what baseball is all about,He should smile all the way to the bank!

at 6:31 PM Blogger unblogger said...

Bray will be back. Weathers is up only so that the Brass can showcase him and possibly trade him.

Does anyone really think the Reds will win or lose more games because they have Weathers instead of Bray?

at 6:35 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

"Bill Bray optioned? Makes sense to me. That 0.00 ERA kinda stuck out with all our other pitcher's ERA increasing more and more as the season goes along."

Four innings pitched, 6 hits and 3 walks and I don't know how many inherited runners scored but it hasn't been pretty. Kind of shows you stat freaks, how statistics can be skewed doesn't it?

By the way, I don't know how Johnny Cueto will fair tonight. I expect the Reds will lose again, but he will be fine, if not tonight very soon.

at 6:36 PM Blogger unblogger said...

The whole lefty righty alternation is more to do with the pitchers approach than anything else. Alternating them every other hitter forces the pitcher, starter or reliever, to change his approach on every batter, which make it more difficult for him to get into a rhythm.
I'm a lefty, and I know when I was pitching, I would rather see four rightys in a row than lefty/righty/lefty/righty.

at 6:37 PM Blogger David Hartman said...

Junior's in the lineup tonight? Even with the death of his close friend?

Why? I mean, after all, all we've read on this blog all season long is how he and Dunn don't care. This is an easy excused absence. Could probably milk it all the way through the funeral if he played his cards right.

Unless all the people who never played above high school but contend that guys whose jocks they're not even worthy to sniff are just going through the motions might possibly be wrong.

I'll have to chew on that one awhile.

at 6:52 PM Blogger Steve said...

Let's penalize someone who has done well and continue to reward those who are stinkin' up the joint. This right-lefty lineup is starting to bug me. Watch Cueto lose 1 to 0 tonight.

at 6:57 PM Blogger Greg said...

for some reason i have a very positive outlook on tonight's game. i see jr doing well as well as BP... not sure why, i haven't had this positive of a feeling since earlier this season.

the only reason it sounds like bray was sent down is b/c he had options left ... no need to get angry... it is what it is.


at 7:00 PM Blogger BRIAN said...

I'd have to say that the reason Bray was optioned was because he'd been used 3 days in a row and would be unavailable today.

at 7:01 PM Blogger Jeff said...

Obviously, Texas was very high on Volquez. It took Hamilton to get him. The reports I saw stated that Hamilton is who they wanted all along.

at 7:31 PM Blogger bolero said...

Bray's hometown is Virginia Beach. The BATS are in Norfolk (sister city to VB) for a 4 game series. He will have hundreds of family and friends at the games. He will be back up in a week or so.

at 8:06 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

2 2rbi games in a row, please Dunn, come alive, your over due.

at 8:19 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Thank you Mario Soto, Cueto looks like a different guy tonight.

at 8:37 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Nice throw Dunner, way to charge in on that ball too.

Notice the Cubs 3rd base coach didnt hesitate to wave Theriot in?

at 8:42 PM Blogger Aaron said...

At least Weathers saved 30 games last year. The guy who has no business on this roster at this point is Kent Mercker, who is 40 yrs old and looking horrible in the past few outings. I would have NEVER let him break north with this ballclub but alas he managed to throw like 6 quality innings in spring and apparently that's all it takes, because what other logic can keep an old clunker who wasn't very good two years ago when he last played ahead of a dynamic young arm? It makes no sense... and it is such poor logic that has led to this club's current predicament of having the worst record in the league.

at 8:48 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

That ball in right should have been Griffey's all the way. BP is running his guts out to get to that ball and Griffey comes trotting up as a spectator. Griff should have called BP off and taken it, he then also would be in a posistion to throw if a runner challanged, which BP would not have been.

Worst outfield in baseball.

at 8:57 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Why do these Reds hitters when they get a lead, they start swinging at first or second pitches? Its like they get a few hits to start the game and think its a free for all.

When you get up on a pitcher early like they did, they need to start going deep into counts and making the pitcher work.
If your behind, you hit any pitch you think you can get wood on. With a lead, you relax, get selective, be sure.

Hitting 101

at 9:03 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Nice inning pitched by LINCOLN. See you go with young guys in the bullpen, not washed up 40 year olds and you just might have half a chance. I'll be anyone here A thousand bucks (or maybe a hundred to better fit my budget) that Mercker does not survive this season. His ERA will balloon into the 5's and his arm will fail him just in time to prevent his ERA from reaching double digits. No other club in the majors would have kept him on their roster... but these are the Reds where comraderie comes before talent.

at 9:11 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Runners on first and third 1 out and Griff pops out when ahead in the count 2-0. That summarizes the season right there in a nutshell. No its not just Griff, but he is the leader and slotted to be a major RBI producer on this ballclub.

at 9:17 PM Blogger Aaron said...

I smell a blown save coming here. Cubs gifted the Reds three runs immediately in this game, then they manage only 2 more on a Dunn homer, then choke away that last opportunity to add insurance. Here comes the dreaded 8th inning. Who gets the call: Mercker, Weathers? I don't think Cordero even gets a shot here. I hope I am wrong.

at 9:20 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Four innings pitched, 6 hits and 3 walks and I don't know how many inherited runners scored but it hasn't been pretty. Kind of shows you stat freaks, how statistics can be skewed doesn't it?

No. Stat freaks would be looking at the same thing as you, WHIP. Non-stat freaks are the ones looking just at the ERA. Bray was not pitching well.

Phillips against right handers strikes again.

at 9:27 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Weathers survives the 8th? I am shocked. Now its up to the 46 million dollar man.

at 9:30 PM Blogger Aaron said...

You are talking about 3 innings pitched. Not much of a sample size. Are you gonna argue Mercker has more upside or even value right now than Bray? Bray can only get better as he aclimates to the major leagues. Mercker can only get worse, and in fact has begun the progression downward already after some early initial success. You would think fans that remember the Nasty Boys would place more value on young strong arms than washed up vets, but then again 1990 was a long time ago.

at 9:45 PM Blogger Aaron said...

That walk to load the bases was Bako's fault. 2-2 and he sets the target 6 inches off the plate, where Cordero hit it perfectly... but it was well inside.

at 9:47 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Wow Fontenot: goat of the game. blew the double play ball that led to the Reds early runs, and now gets thrown out trying to score on a WP when his run is meaningless.

at 9:50 PM Blogger Aaron said...

If its this hard to win a game the other team does its best to hand you on a silver platter, you know its gonna be a long long season.

at 9:05 AM Blogger robdicken said...

By the way, I don't know how Johnny Cueto will fair tonight. I expect the Reds will lose again, but he will be fine, if not tonight very soon.

Way to stay positive!! Glad you're here...you provide lots of insight for this team with your constant pessimistic attitude and negative remarks.

And like always...you're wrong! Reds won, Cueto pitched decent, and Weathers pitched a good 8th inning. Glad to see him back, to be honest.

Someone made a great point on the radio yesterday. The whole Left-right-left-right thing actually may be hurting the Reds. If you stacked your left handed hitters against a RHP, it would make it harder for that pitcher to pitch around Griffey,Dunn,Votto, etc.

I have been saying this for weeks and was basically told I was stupid for posting a right-handed lineup on here because "Dusty Baker isn't going to listen to you." Jack gave me a gripe about it, then proceeded to talk about Griffey, Dunn, Hamilton, and Cantu some more. I am willing to take bets on who he talks about NEXT!! Any takers?

Who cares if Dusty Baker won't see it? I am here to discuss the Reds, not hear diatribes about Griffey, Dunn, Hamilton, and Cantu.

Thanks for pointing that out though, Richie! Glad someone else is on the same page as I am!

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