The Reds have won five of their last seven games, and are currently in first place in the NL Central. They have taken respective series from the “favorites” for both the American and National League. Since last Monday, the Reds have scored 51 runs, which is the most in the Major League (and by a long shot, too – the #2 team for runs scored is the New York Mets with 43). We’re also in the lead for RBIs with 48. The Reds players have collectively put together 73 hits. Our pitchers have thrown 70 strikeouts and have given up 25 runs (less than half of the runs we’ve scored!) for a 2.74 ERA. Our on-base percentage is .353, and we have a .468 slugging percentage for a .821 OPS. All in 269 at-bats.
And those are just the numbers.
I’m certain you all were watching the game last night. What kind of Reds fans would you be if you didn’t watch our guys square off against the Cardinals for the first time of the year? It was the Cardinals’ home opener, and they came ready to play baseball. After feeling damn near defeated as we watched blunder after blunder in the Reds outfield (mainly by Choo) that cost us some runs, Xavier Paul pinch hit to score Jay Bruce and tie the game 4-4 in the eighth. After that, the guys were unstoppable. EVERYBODY WAS SCORING. Thanks in part to the wheels literally falling off of the Cards’ defense (seriously, I saw the wheels rolling around the warning track), the Reds scored nine more runs. NINE MORE RUNS, DO YOU HEAR ME? Of course you do, you were watching the game. In the first half of the ninth inning, approximately 95% of the “fans” at Busch Stadium left the park.
So far, the Reds are making this season fun. They remind me of the 2010 Reds – The Comeback Kids. Every game is entertaining because you never know what’s going to happen. If you had asked me at the 5th inning how I thought yesterday’s game would end up, I certainly would not have guessed that it was going to turn out how it did. Even in the two games the Reds have lost this season (both in extra innings, interestingly enough), the good guys have fought hard and made them exciting.
Another thing I love about this team so far is their support for one another. I’ve always believed that the Reds have a great, fun, friendly, supportive clubhouse. Mat Latos showed an excellent example of that last night. Shin-Soo Choo is the new guy, playing a position he has never played before. Last night was his first time playing in Busch Stadium EVER. He’s just trying to learn the territory, and it unfortunately resulted in those two errors. Mat Latos, class act that he is, pulled Choo aside in the dugout and gave him some friendly words – something along the lines of “Hey man, forget the errors, don’t worry about it.” I love that about these guys – you can’t sit there and blame your teammate because he made a mistake – it happens to everybody, and these guys know that. Now if only the fans on Twitter could be so forgiving.
Speaking of Twitter, it was an interesting place to be yesterday. Fans swearing off Choo, (probably) tweeting mean things to Dallas Latos about Mat, and then REJOICING WITH HAPPINESS when the Reds won. It’s a very bizarre situation. But nothing was more bizarre than the @BestFansStLouis Twitter page. If you haven’t checked it out, please do so. There’s a lot of foul language (and a shocking amount of racism) over there, so I’m not going to repeat anything, but let’s just say that no one knows how to insult their own team like the “Best Fans in Baseball.” I’m pretty sure a prerequisite of being a good baseball fan is supporting your team, but what do I know?
I can’t wait to see what the Cardinals have in store for us today and tomorrow – if the other two as exciting as last night’s game, it will certainly be a great time!
And here’s a really great drawing I did. Sometimes I can’t even handle my artistic talent.
My favorite part is the little red lefty smudge on the bottom.
…and I couldn’t be happier. Opening Day represents coming out of the long, cold winter to see our Boys of Summer take the field. Well, when I woke up yesterday morning, it was snowing. The snow couldn’t dampen my spirits though!
What did dampen my spirits, however, was losing in 13 innings. I’m not too worried about the loss though. Here are some of my observations.
Cueto pitched like a champion, and there’s nothing like 17 strikeouts (a new club record!) to give everyone a good feeling about our 2013 pitching staff. Thank goodness we were off today, because that bullpen needs a rest.
I like Choo. I knew I would, but yesterday confirmed it for me. He was responsible for our only run of the game, albeit on a pass ball. But, from what I can see so far, he’s got hustle, and Spring Training showed he can hit, so there we have it. Obviously, there is still a lot of baseball to play, but I’m optimistic about Choo. As a side note, I met a lady in the beer line who said she didn’t like Choo because she misses Stubbs. Everyone is entitled to an opinion (after all, this is baseball), but if you give missing Stubbs as a reason for not liking Choo, you need a better excuse. I know where you’re coming from – in the past, I’ve been the first one to hate players because they were traded for a different guy, but it’s a little bit immature. And as Annie Savoy says, “Baseball may be a religion full of magic, cosmic truth, and the fundamental ontological riddles of our time, but it’s also a job.”
Finally, Ludwick. He’s having surgery for a shoulder injury he sustained while sliding into third yesterday, and he’s on the 15-day DL. As we can all speculate, it will certainly be longer than that, but I’m confident he hasn’t been messed up too bad. It’s crazy how so much can change in a day though. They’ll announce who gets called up tomorrow, and I think it should be Lutz. He’s big and fast and has a hot bat, and I just have a good feeling about him. All we can do is guess at this point though, and if it can’t be Lutz, I think it will probably be Phipps. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow!
I’ll shut up now, but I’ll end saying this: the Reds may have lost yesterday, but the best thing about baseball, and what it imitates about life, is that there’s always tomorrow. GO REDS!
Here are some of our better photos from yesterday.
Four more days to opening day! I am so excited, I might die. Last night, I was going through my closet and planning my Opening Day outfit, down to the handbag.
You guys might not know this about me, but I love to golf. I would golf every day if I didn’t have a pesky job keeping me indoors all the time. Not only do I love to golf, I love to watch golf. As in, I like to watch it so much that I have favorite golfers, and I am anxiously awaiting the Masters. I don’t know if this seems weird to you, since I don’t really know you guys that well, but most of my friends consider this to be one of the most boring aspects of my personality.
Hopefully you guys like golf too and find this post helpful and interesting. Since we have four days left, and one of my favorite things in the world is wordplay, I’m going to be sharing with you a bunch of items available for sale to add some Reds pizzazz into your golf game. (You get the wordplay, right? Four, fore?) (Also, just FYI, in all my years of golfing, I’ve never actually shouted the word “fore” in earnest on the golf course. Probably because I’m not a good enough golfer to put anyone in any real danger.)
Onto the swag!
OMG LOOK AT THIS GOLF BAG
This here is the big ticket item. I want this so bad, I can smell it. Like, the scent of golf bags is dancing in my nostrils right now. I am almost drooling because I want this so bad. This looks magnificent, and it would seriously make my life complete. I am considering contacting this outfit to see if they want to work out some sort of endorsement deal. I will write about this golf bag every day on my blog in exchange for a free one.
THIS TOWEL WILL GET YOUR STUFF ALL CLEAN
The golf towel I currently own is pink with a frog on it. I would not trade my pink froggy towel for anything, but this Reds golf towel will make me consider it. Although if my endorsement deal works out, I’ll have a Reds golf bag and the Reds golf towel would be overkill. Anyway, I like that towel! That is a nice towel.
DIVOT TOOL/BALL MARKER
I tend to make a lot of divots during my average golf game. Mostly because I’m not very good. This would come in very handy. I want it.
I just really want these. Really badly. TRI-COLOR. I’m very good at keeping golf balls. I tend not to lose them. Send them to me!
UMBRELLA BECAUSE IT’S GON RAIN
I make it kind of a general rule not to golf when it’s raining. Or do anything when it’s raining. I hate the rain more than anything. BUT, if I had to golf in the rain, I would be 100% totally all about this umbrella.
I have to stop because I am crying because I want all of this stuff. Also, it is the last day of work for me before Spring Break, and my schoolchildren are getting out of hand. BUT LISTEN, if you have any of this Reds golf stuff, can you please send me a picture of you with it? I KIND OF WANT TO DO A REDS GOLF ITEM GIVEAWAY. LET ME KNOW IF YOU THINK THIS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA. Ok, gotta go.
Hey guys! Have you heard? There are only five more days left until Opening Day! Is anyone concerned about the weather on Monday? First I heard it was supposed to be 56 and partly cloudy, then my weather app told me that it’s supposed to be in the mid 40′s, and THEN I heard somewhere (Twitter? The news? I don’t know, sometimes I get my sources messed up) that it might rain? DOES ANYONE KNOW FOR SURE?!
Another thing: have you heard about the new food at the ballpark? I can’t afford any of it, but it looks delicious! I don’t have a personal take on the food, but here is Jamie Ramsey’s post, not only because I am lazy, but I also WAS NOT INVITED AND A LITTLE BITTER ABOUT IT. CLICK HERE FOR FOOD.
Finally, it’s countdown time! (Am I the only one who, whenever I hear, read or write the word “countdown”, automatically hears that Beyonce song playing in my head?) Since we have five days to go, I thought I would do a Top 5 of some great high fives! Have you ever heard the tip to a perfect high five? If you watch the other person’s elbow while high-fiving them, you will have the perfect high five every time! (For more of Tina’s fascinating life tips, please write a letter to your favorite television station urging them to give me my own talk show.)
Okay, on to the high fives!
Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips
Jay Bruce leaves Johnny Cueto hanging
Todd Frazier and Xavier Paul either missing or following through
BP going in for the real thing
Joey Votto and Xavier Paul
Look! Xavier is totally looking at Joey’s elbow!
And, just for good measure, here is a gentlemanly handshake
Have a great day, and stay tuned for tomorrow! GO REDS!
In today’s installment of Countdown to Opening Day, I’ve written six (count ‘em) haikus about Reds baseball, and baseball in general. Six haikus, one for each remaining day until Opening Day.
For those of you not well-versed in Japanese poetry (Get it?! “well-versed”?! Poetry? LOLOL! Am I being too much of a Literature nerd for my own good right now?), a haiku is a poem composed of three lines, following the syllable count of 5-7-5. So, here you go.
Opening Day is
Joyous in Cincinnati
Here we go, Redlegs!
The crack of a bat
Fresh green grass on the field
Reds baseball is back!
Batting practice with
Everyone’s favorite guys
Ground ball to center
Brandon Phillips Shin-Soo Choo
Jay Bruce Mat Latos
Reds beat the Angels
Opening Day prediction
Seven runs to three
On Opening Day
The parade is fun although
A bit tedious
Thank you for letting me indulge my tendency towards creative writing for today. Here is a picture:
I really don’t know what’s going on here, but whatever. He looks excited.
Have a great Tuesday and remember, there are only SIX MORE DAYS!
Hey gang, sorry to have been quiet for the past week or so. Last week, I was graced with the most vicious stomach bug known to man, and I’m still not entirely positive I don’t actually have some sort of parasite. Doesn’t matter though, because it is one week to Opening Day, and there’s a whole lot to talk about!
First and foremost, Mark Sheldon reported yesterday that our beloved third base coach, Mark Berry, has been diagnosed with cancer in his tonsil and lymph node. According to Sheldon, Mark is optimistic he’ll beat this disease and is still deciding whether to undergo surgery or radiation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark and his family – we’re sure that his positive attitude and modern medicine will ensure that he’s cancer-free soon. Read Mark Sheldon’s original post here.
Now, onto the happiest news I’ve received since Brandon Phillips told me he was taking me to Chicago – AROLDIS CHAPMAN WILL BE CLOSING THIS SEASON!!! This was revealed sometime late last week when I was certainly drifting in and out of consciousness, clutching a Powerade and a trash can. Last year, Chapman put up stellar numbers as our closer, and when I heard that there was a chance that he’d be in the starting rotation, I was devastated. The question of Chapman as a starter or a closer has been buzzing around Reds fans and the organization for years, and I thought it was very clearly solved last season when he converted 38 out of 43 save opportunities. In my opinion (and this is all still very hotly contested), if Chapman entered the starting rotation and pitched an average of 6ish innings every five days, not only would we end up having to shut him down by late August, but he would only last in our organization for a few years. With all the effort, strength, and power that Chapman puts into each pitch, paired with his youthful inexperience, his arm would be wrecked prematurely. BUT IGNORE ALL THAT BECAUSE IT’S NO LONGER A CONCERN! It’s obvious to me that the closer role is the right role for Chapman, and I’d be happy to grab a beer with you and discuss it at greater length if you have an opposing opinion. That, or I’m always down for a good, old-fashioned back-and-forth in the comments.
Finally, IT’S TIME FOR THE COUNTDOWN! We have seven days left until Opening Day, and I’d like to post some kind of lovely picture for each day of the countdown. For our first day of the countdown, here is a picture of Ryan Hanigan and Todd Frazier embracing.
Have a great Monday, and GO REDS!!
For the first time since he’s been a member of the family, our own little Baci will be attending Bark in the Park on Tuesday, April 16! Look at how happy he is!
So thrilled! And handsome! This is pretty exciting since we’ve never been to this particular event before, and we can’t wait to see all the doggies. The only thing now is that we need to figure out how to dress him. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! All we know at this point is that he hates wearing stuff on his head. Just look at this:
HE’S MISERABLE. I don’t know, maybe we’ll get him a bandanna, or a little t-shirt, or something to put on his collar or leash. All I know is that he probably won’t win the costume contest. He also doesn’t know any tricks except humping his bed, so he’s probably disqualified from that competition as well. He might have a shot at the smallest dog contest though! He is all fur and weighs a hefty six pounds. Anyone out there have a dog smaller than Baci who will be attending?
Anyway, as first-timers, we are very interested in what to expect, so if any of our readers are attending the first Bark in the Park night, please let us know! Tell us how to dress our dog! Will he win the smallest dog contest? I heard a rumor that the dogs are to relieve themselves in the visitors dugout – can anyone bust or confirm this myth? I guess my biggest question is, will my dog suffer a heart attack when the fireworks go off? If you have the answers to any of these questions, or just opinions or experiences about the event that you would like to share, please hit us up – either in the comments, on Twitter, or by email at email@example.com. ALSO PHOTOS ARE ENCOURAGED! If you want to send us a picture of your furry fan, please do because I love looking at pictures of peoples’ dogs. Seriously, if you send me pictures of your dog, I will put them on this blog. That’s how much I care about dogs that are Reds fans.
Ok, at this point it has become clear that all I really want to do today is look at pictures of dogs, and have an excuse for posting pictures of my own, so I’m going to skedaddle out of here, but if you need any information about Bark in the Park, you may click here. Make sure you order your tickets soon because they sell out like scary fast, but definitely buy them because you wouldn’t want to miss out on your chance to meet Baci Redlegs in real life, right?!?!
Ok, bye guys.
Hi Guys! Welcome back from your lunch break! I don’t have a whole lot of time to chat today, but I just wanted to check in and say hello.
Spring Training – yes, the games don’t count, and are typically not indicative of what’s going to happen in the season to come, but I wasn’t the only one hoping we’d win at least one game against the Indians, right? Side note: it alarmed me when I heard Marty and the Cowboy call Drew Stubbs’ name for the other guys. That’s going to take some getting used to.
#JoeyVotto – everyone is doing an excellent job at getting Joey Votto’s name out there! It’s a little too soon, but I get the feeling that he is going to be the Face of MLB this year. In general, Reds fans are the best fans, but we’re especially good at this social media stuff. And seriously guys, some of the stuff we’ve all been tweeting is HILARIOUS. Comedy gold.
Baseball Movies – I found this little listicle on Buzzfeed this afternoon. Enjoy: 29 Reasons Why Baseball Movies Are the Best.
It certainly is hard not to be romantic about baseball.
Ok, that’s all for me for now! I hope you’re all having a fantastic day and that your Monday isn’t too horrible. Also, the weather is supposed to be really nice today! Go outside and do something! Drink alcohol on a porch, go for a hike, or read on the grass! (These are all things I’m planning to do today.) I’m procrastinating getting back to work. I totally am. Ok, leaving now.
1. You’re starting to see everything in baseball terms. When your friend talked about getting to second base this weekend, all you could think of was Brandon Phillips. (Really dude, that’s messed up.) Furthermore, the answer on your crossword puzzle today was not the Mesozoic Earned Run Average. (Get it?)
2. Numbers take on a different meaning. Instead of driving down State Route 32 on my way to work, I was riding on State Route Jay Bruce.
3. You keep seeing all of those Cincinnati Reds commercials, and they’re bringing a tear to your eye.
4. You know the date and time of the first Spring Training game.
5. You’ve already downloaded the 2013 MLB At-Bat app.
6. Your favorite baseball/sports blogs are getting a spike in page views, because you’re constantly checking them for new information.
7. You have Goodyear, Arizona saved as a favorite city on your weather app.
8. You’ve already taken your jersey to the dry cleaner’s in preparation for the big day.
9. You’re watching baseball movies every night before bed, and quoting them in your daily life more than usual.
10. MLB Network is your lifeblood right now, and you’re counting down the days to the Reds’ feature on 30 Clubs in 30 Days. (Hint: it’ll be on in less than 30 days.)
11. You have frequently found yourself falling into a Reds internet black hole. You just wanted to remind yourself what Joey Votto’s BA was last year, and before you knew it, you were looking at pictures of Marty Brennaman’s wife on Google Images.
I mean, she’s really pretty but…just…what is this? I’m at a loss for words here.
12. You’ve actually started reading the reds.com email newsletter. I normally just delete them, but now they arrive in my inbox and I’m on them so quickly, you’d think they’d contain the answer to eternal life.
13. You’re starting to think you’re seeing the players out in public. I could have sworn I saw Todd Frazier at Kroger the other day, but just as I was about to tweet it, I remembered that he is in Arizona. Now I understand why the guy seemed so freaked out when I asked to take a picture with him. To be fair, I think calling the authorities was a little excessive, but I guess you haven’t lived until you’ve been in Kroger jail for harassing a fellow customer because you thought he was Todd Frazier.
14. You find yourself watching weird stuff on Fox Sports Ohio just on the off-chance that you’ll see something about the Reds. I watched two hours of UFC Ultimate Submissions last week, but that commercial with Thom Brennaman at the Benz dealership was totally worth it.
15. You went to Joe Morgan Honda just to be close to greatness. You promptly left when you realized that even though it’s Joe Morgan’s, it’s still a car dealership, and that’s somewhere no one wants to be.
16. You’re watching gangsta rap videos just to see people wearing part of the Reds uniform.
17. You’re convinced the Russian meteorite was actually a rogue Chapman fastball.
18. You’ve already started planning your Opening Day itinerary, right down to the foods and alcoholic beverages you’re going to sneak into the ballpark.
19. You’ve gotten really into the #JoeyVotto thing, even though you don’t really know what it is or why. (Seriously, can someone explain it?)
20. You’re promising yourself that you’ll actually follow Spring Training this year. (You won’t.)
21. You know what the number is for the Vegas over-under for the Reds 2013 season.
22. You’re telling everyone who will listen that “This is the year!”
23. You’re trying to find ways to work Cincinnati Reds baseball into every conversation. You may or may not be failing miserably.
Roommate/Significant Other: Hey, can you pick up toilet paper on your way home from work?
You: Sure! Say, that reminds me – you know who uses toilet paper? Ryan Hanigan.
Just stop – it’s getting awkward for everyone.
Ok, that’s enough of this nonsense. Baseball will be here before we know it so get back to work!