Tagged with "Cincinnati Reds"
Barnum and Bailey: Reds Righty Puts On No-Hit Show
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey No-Hitter


For five seasons, Homer Bailey has been trying to solve the riddle, "How do I make the jump from phenom prospect to major league contributor?".


For five seasons, Bailey has struggled to answer that question, instead allowing others like Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake to make the jump ahead of him.


But in his sixth season, at the age of 26, Bailey has finally put it all together and taken a giant step forward in his development as a pitcher. Under the weight of a career high 32 starts and 204 innings pitched, Bailey has authored a season that has seen him produce a 13-10 record, a 3.75 ERA, and a 2.7 WAR. His ERA is likely a tick below where it should be, as his FIP (Fielder Independent Pitching) is sitting at 4.06, but it isn't far out of line.


Homer Bailey has finally arrived.


And what better way to blow the trumpet and declare your arrival that to close out your best season by firing  a no-hitter?!


Bailey spun a gem of a game on Friday night against the flailing Pittsburgh Pirates, facing just 29 hitters in the process. Aside from a a third inning error by Scott Rolen, a booted short hopper off the bat of Clint Barmes, and a walk to Andrew McCutchen in the seventh, Bailey was perfect for the night. Bailey would add 10 strike-outs in the game.


The no-hitter was the 15th in club history, but the first since Tom Browning's perfect game against the Dodgers in 1988. It was also the seventh in Major League Baseball in 2012, adding Bailey to a class that includes the following:


4/21/12 - Philip Humber - Perfect Game

5/2/12 - Jered Weaver

6/1/12 - Johan Santana

6/8/12 - Kevin Millwood, Brandon League, Tom Wilhelmsen, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge

6/13/12 - Matt Cain - Perfect Game

8/15/12 - Felix Hernandez - Perfect Game

9/28/12 - Homer Bailey


The Reds needed every bit of Bailey's mastery too, as the his Pirate counterpart, A.J. Burnett, was right on his game as well, throwing 8 innings of 7-hit ball, allowing just the one run and striking out 5. The loss drops the Pirates to 81 losses on the season, two away from their 20th consecutive losing season.

Small Market Short Hops: Joey Votto
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto




Yesterday, I took to Twitter and asked one simple questions:


Is Joey Votto currently the best hitter in baseball?


Well, I didn't get many responses to the question. Maybe it was due to my meager following on the social media magnate, or maybe it was simply due to most people's inability to argue the point. Of the responses I received, I saw the names Mike TroutMark Trumbo, Melky Cabrera, and Billy Butler thrown out there.


Certainly, both Trumbo and Trout have been outstanding for the Angels thus far, with Trout producing a batting line of .344/7 HR/30 RBI/47 Runs/21 Stolen Bases and Trumbo kicking the tires with a line of .313/18 HR/50 RBI/35 Runs. Trout has the inside track on the Rookie of the Year award and many could argue that Trumbo could have won it last year.


Melky has been on fire in San Francisco, making the Royals regret trading him for Jonathan Sanchez by batting .351 and leading all of baseball with 106 (!) hits through 73 games in 2012. He's been close to the sole source of offense for the Giants and a key to their reentry into the NL West race.


Butler is sort of another story. I love the uptick in power from Country Breakfast, and I wish that Royals fans were giving the hometown hero more of a push for the All-Star game in Kansas City this year, but even so his .296/15 HR/46 RBI is more adequate than top of the heap. Hell, he's even surpassed as a DH by David Ortiz in Boston.


So that brings me back to Votto. Here are his stat lines and rankings:


Batting Average - .353 - 3rd in MLB

On-Base Percentage - .478 - 1st in MLB

Slugging Percentage - .643 - 2nd in MLB

Doubles - 32 - 1st in MLB

Home Runs - 14 - 22nd in MLB

RBI - 47 - 18th in MLB

Walks - 60 - 1st in MLB


The only holes in my argument for Votto are the home run and RBI totals, where his numbers seem pedestrian compared with the league leaders, especially the dinger total considering he plays in Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. However, his doubles are at such a rate that sooner than later, more of those will start flying over the wall than hitting it.


In regards to the meager RBI total, consider these stats. Of his 320 plate appearances in 2012, Votto has come to the plate just 81 times with runners in scoring position and only 145 times did he even have another runner on base. He has 9 home runs and 42 RBI with runners on base. If the Reds could put someone on in front of him, He'd likely be a lot higher in the rankings. Oh, and Votto is hitting .429 with 2 outs and runners in scoring position.


Needless to say, Votto makes the argument for himself. He'll figure prominently in the National League MVP discussion when the season ends and he is more than justifying the large investment the Reds made to keep him there long-term.

Random Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB Contracts Cincinnati Reds Metta World Peace Ivan Rodriguez Brian Dawkins Military Fly-bys

Where did this weather come from?? Do you know your friends?? Really?? Two legends retire?? New Jersey Nets?? What, the Nets?? Yep. Even a Military Fly-by. All this in this weeks edition of……..

I got up Monday, went outside and came back into the house wondering who the hell turned up the air-conditioning outside?? It was cold. But, as a transplant New Yorker, I went back outside in my shorts and t-shirt and went about doing my errands for the day.

It was in the 40’s in Jacksonville, Florida, well below the temperatures it has been during the months of February and March. We have had an unusually warm winter, with no threat of hurricanes this season. Wow, remarkable.

If your up North, sorry about the snow storms, especially in Ithaca, New York. They got hit bad.

Do you really know your friends???

He’s not a sports personality, nor is he an athlete. None of you know this individual. His name is Sean, and he is a mail handler where I work at. I have talked to him while on a break or at lunch, from time-to-time. He seemed liked a nice guy until last Monday. On April 16th Sean robbed the Sun Trust bank on Beach Blvd in Jacksonville, Fl. He walked up to a teller, gave her a note that said “I am armed.” The teller gave him money and he left the bank. Sean, on a tip from an individual who seen his picture in the Florida-Times Union, was arrested on Tuesday. Everyone at work was shocked, as this individual seemed to be a nice person. One of our co-workers lived across the street from him and he seemed okay outside of work. That is a picture of him robbing the bank.

What I am leading to is that regardless of whether a person is a athlete, coach or your own neighbor or friend for a long time, you can possibly never really know the individual as well as you think.

Major League Baseball and the players’ association have informed teams and agents that there will no longer approve personal-service deals and special “milestone” bonus clauses in future contracts with players and teams. A-Rod, Albert Pujols and Ryan Zimmerman have contracts with either milestone clauses and/or personal-service clause.

Congratulations go out to the Cincinnati Reds who won their 10,000 game in franchise history. The Reds join the Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals.

I didn’t do anything!! Yeah right.

Thug Metta World Peace better get a big suspension for his flagrant foul on Hayden. I don’t give a flying pig, what Kobe says or anyone of the so-called NBA analysts say about how Metta World Peace is such a nice guy. The guy is a thug and should be dealt with. Take a look at the clip.

His new name should be Metta Thug You!!

In case we forget, how about Ron Arrest, oops Artest going into the stands.

David Stern issued a 7 game suspension for Metta World Peace. Not a big enough statement. Suspend him for the rest of the season, that would have said something to him and the players in the league.

He is considered one of the greatest to ever play his position. Denver Bronco Safety, Brian Dawkins, announced his retirement after playing 16 years in the NFL. No one played longer at safety than Brian. The “Wolverine” played for the Eagles and Broncos and finished his career with 17 fumble recoveries, 26 sacks, 37 interceptions, 42 forced fumbles (most ever by a defensive back), and 98 pass breakups. Dawkins was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 2000’s and had nine Pro Bowls.

Our hats off to Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez who retires after a 21-year career with the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Houston Astro and Washington Nationals. He had 2,844 hits, 311 homeruns and 1,332 RBI’s. An MVP winner in 1999, Pudge also won 10 straight Gold Gloves and went to 10 consecutive all-star games.

New Jersey Nets played their last game in New Jersey this past Monday. As a Net fan from their days in the ABA, I am glad they are leaving the State. The Nets should have never left Long Island, but at least they are coming home. Okay, maybe not on Long Island where they played their first season in the NBA, but to Brooklyn New York, which will only be a LIRR away.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wished the Nets "good riddance" on their way to Brooklyn. To that I say kiss my ass. You and your sorry ass State could have supported the team for all these years. Even though the Nets suck, when they had the two great teams that went to the Finals they didn’t draw until the Finals. So keep inhaling the foul smelling shit that comes out of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

During my time in the military, I have seen many air-shows and fly-bys. But never have I seen anything quite like this. Check out this fly-by..

Til Next Time






Are Votto And Cain Deals Signs of Change Or Insanity
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Cincinnati Reds San Francisco Giants Matt Cain Joey Votto




One has a league MVP trophy. The other has a World Series Ring. On Monday, both of them inked big money deals to keep them with their current teams for the foreseeable future.


The Giants inked pitcher Matt Cain, a potential free agent after the 2012 season, to a six-year deal worth $127.5 million. The deal includes a vesting option should Cain pitch 200 innings-pitched in 2017, the last year of the deal, or a combined 400 innings in 2016 and 2017 and doesn't go to the disabled list in 2017 with an elbow or shoulder injury.




Meanwhile, Joey Votto and the Reds decided to top that, when Cincinnati signed the All-Star first baseman to a 10-year pact worth $225 million. The deal will keep Votto in a Reds uniform through the 2013 season, and includes a full no-trade clause. Votto, now the top first baseman in the National League, is formerly being paid like it.


Both deals are huge coups for the home teams, keeping both players with their original teams for what would appear to most meaningful years of their careers. That said, neither can be considered much of a deal. Votto will become the highest paid hitter in the National League, while Cain will be the highest paid right-handed pitcher in baseball and the third highest this side of CC Sabathia and Johan Santana.


While you have to applaud teams making the effort to keep developed talent in house, you have to wonder if the cost to both teams makes the contracts worthwhile overall.


For the mid-market Reds, inking Votto to a deal that averages $22.5 million for the next decade becomes a hurdle to overcome. Cincinnati ranked 19th in MLB in team payroll in 2011, with a total of $76,181,685 committed to players. By committing so much to Votto over the next several seasons, the Reds become handcuffed in what they can do when trying to keep second baseman Brandon Phillips in town or to further address their pitching needs.


For the upper-end Giants, who ranked 8th in all of baseball in player salaries, the splurge doesn't hurt them immediately. However, one has to wonder what impact the Cain signing will have on any future deal with two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, who ultimately will demand a better deal when his current pact ends after 2014.


One has to applaud the desire of smaller market teams in keeping their players locked up. Teams like Tampa Bay, and more recently Kansas City, have been making an effort to keep their talent developed in some of baseball's best farm systems in house. But those teams made conscious decisions to get their players while they were younger, giving the players the finances they would feel appreciated with while also keeping flexibility for other moves in the future.


And in the end, these deals are all about the future. Hopefully for the Reds and the Giants, who kept their grip on two of baseball's brightest, they didn't lose their handle on fielding a contender 3-4 years from now.

Five Minute Frags - The Curious Case of Dontrelle Willis
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB Dontrelle Willis Florida Marlins Baltimore Orioles Cincinnati Reds Detroit Tigers



Pitching is a finicky profession.  When you are in a groove, everything just seems to fall into place. However, when the magic dries up and the funk sets in, things can unravel quickly.

Such has been the case with Dontrelle Willis.

It seems like only yesterday that Willis was bursting onto the scene with the Florida Marlins in 2003 and captured the attention of baseball fans across the country. Dubbed “The D-Train”, Willis would go 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA and 142 strike-outs on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year award and making his first All-Star game appearance. He would follow that up by going 10-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 2004.

Still, Willis would have his biggest impact when he burst out of the gate in 2005 and became the first, and only, Marlins pitcher to ever win 20 games in a single season, posting a league leading 22-10 record with a 2.63 ERA and 5 shut-outs. While his efforts were stellar, and we would garner his second All-Star game appearance, Willis would finish second in the Cy Young voting to Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals who went 21-8 with a 2.83 ERA and 213 strike-outs.

On top of the pitching world, no one could have predicted that Willis would never again post a winning season in the majors.

Willis would follow-up his Cy Young push by going 12-12 in 2006, but watched his ERA balloon from 2.63 to 3.87. More importantly, his walk total jumped from a solid 55 to 83 and hits per nine inning from 8.1 to 9.4. 2007 would see a similar increase in all three departments, with the ERA moving to 5.17, the walks to 87, and the hits per nine jumping to a staggering 10.6.

The struggles encouraged the Marlins to include Willis in the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers, but the move didn’t fix the issues and Willis continued to struggle. Since 2008, Dontrelle Willis has now pitched in six different organizations (Detroit, Arizona, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and now Baltimore), but has won just five games combined during the last four seasons.

So what ever happened to make the D-Train jump track? Perhaps it was the hurky-jerky motion that scout and analysts always said he wouldn’t be able to maintain. Perhaps, at 23-years-old, success just came too early and too easily for the youngster to deal with the weight of loftier expectations.

So instead of being in the middle of his prime and pitching as one of the best lefties in the game, Willis is now with his second team of the spring, having been released by the Phillies last week and recently signed by the Orioles. Instead of being an accomplished starter, Willis is trying to reinvent himself as a reliever with the hope of figuring it all out again and regaining the confidence and swagger he used to portray.

Still, at 30-years-old, Dontrelle Willis hasn’t quite reached the end. He still has the time to catch that lightning in a bottle once again. But to do so, Willis must realize that his chances are running out and he needs to take advantage of this opportunity with Baltimore and run with it. No more anxiety excuses, no more stops and starts. Just one day after another to the mound and hope that it all clicks.

Because the next stop for the D-Train is retirement.



Other Fragments:

-          Baseball fans, specifically the ones in Cleveland, will want to keep an eye on Ubaldo Jimenez in 2012. Jimenez followed up a spectacular 2010 season with a dud in 2011, and ultimately found himself shipped out of Colorado. While the jury is still out on what to expect from the former stud, at 28-years-old Jimenez may be close to the same boat that Willis found himself in. Another rotten egg in 2012 may be the start of the downward spiral.


-          Chipper Jones has decided that 2012 will be his last. The future Hall-of-Famer (and I have no problem saying that) will retire after the season, his 18th in a Braves uniform. Jones, while having excellent statistics, especially for a switch-hitter, will always make people wonder if he could have been better had injuries not robbed him of significant time in 2005, 2006, and 2010. Still, it was his style of play that took a beating on his body, and no one will ever fault him for leaving it all out on the field.


-          The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners have each flown to Japan to begin their tour of the country and get ready for the season opener in six days. It is hard for me to understand how we can no longer justify opening the season in Cincinnati where it all began, but we can kick off the year for America’s Pasttime overseas.

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