This weekend was a great one for baseball. The Reds swept the Brewers, we moved into second place in the Central, and we’re only two games behind the Cardinals. It was the #RedsTweetUp, Aroldis Chapman Bobblehead Day, and Mother’s Day all in one weekend. The Reds scored 22 runs against the Brewers this weekend, while only allowing half that. I’d say it was a pretty good few days for the Redlegs.
Friday night was the #RedsTweetUp (I can’t type it without a hashtag in front of it), and it was one of the best ones yet, in my opinion. We got to meet and chat with (almost) all of our favorite Reds bloggers and tweeters, and managed to get a little starstruck in a couple of instances. It was hard to pay attention to the game because we were having such a great time talking to everyone, and I even managed to overcome my social awkwardness/anxiety (thanks to my four pre-game Mt. Carmel IPAs)! The shirts were awesome, the people were great, and the Reds won. What more could you want out of an evening? (Side note about the shirts: This might seem like a really weird thing to be excited about, but did anyone notice how well the shirts fit? They are really quality t-shirts.) I want to send the biggest THANK YOU to Lisa Braun, who is both excellent at her job and quite a class act. I know I don’t speak for just myself when I say that if it weren’t for Lisa, not only would there have been a lot of people sitting around bored with nothing to do on Friday night, but the Reds’ social media community would not be as strong and influential as it is today. We owe a lot of our success in the Reds’ social media world to Ms. Braun, and I know that a lot of you would say the same. Also, she brought Angie a birthday crown to wear at the game. If that’s not the mark of a great lady, I don’t know what is.
There is a man coming out of Angie’s head. Hi Man!
The next #RedsTweetUp is June 9th, so you better join us if you know what’s good for you!
How about that win last night?! Something like that was exactly what the Reds needed to get back on track. It seemed that, in the first game of this series, the Braves got into the Reds’ kitchen, but hopefully last night’s game gave the Reds a boost of confidence to finish this series (and homestand) strong. I can’t remember the last time I saw back-to-back homers in the bottom of the ninth for a come-from-behind win. I’m telling you, this team is magical and it’s going to be something big – we just need all the pieces to fall together at the right time, and we’ll be absolutely unstoppable. The Reds are still tied for second place with Pittsburgh, which is something I DO NOT LIKE, but I think that we can get pretty close during the rest of this homestand. Angie and I are attending games on both Friday (WHAT’S UP #REDSTWEETUP) and Saturday, so there are two wins right there! I’m not sure how easy it will be to pass up the Pirates – they’re facing Felix Hernandez and the third-place Mariners today and they’re starting a series against the near-basement Mets tomorrow. I can’t really predict how that will work out, but it just might end up in our favor! The Cards are going to be more difficult to try to catch this week – they’re playing the LOLCubs for the next two games, which could easily put them a few games ahead, but then they’re up against the first-place Rockies, so I guess we’ll just have to see! Here’s the thing, it’s not like we’re in a tight pennant race just yet, so it’s all going to work out. That’s not even what I really wanted to talk about though.
What I really want to talk about is Dusty Baker’s 1600th managerial win! YAY DUSTY! I know that not everybody is a Dusty fan, but I am and I’m really happy and proud of him. Sixteen-hundred wins. That is a lot of wins, and 1600 of anything good is awesome (1600 killer bees, not so awesome). So, here is a list of things that I would want to have 1600 of.
1. Bagel Bites
OMG HI BB
Though not all at once.
This is currently my dream dress, if anyone is looking for ideas on what to get me for my birthday.
6. Twitter Followers
We just recently hit 800 followers, so let’s double it and make my dreams come true! There’s that little button on the right side of THIS blog that you can click on, or do it manually @rockinredlegs!
7. Games of golf
Let’s say I live to be 80, and let’s say that my golf-playing days are over when I’m about 70 or 75. If I were to get 1600 games of golf from some mysterious benefactor (HI MYSTERIOUS BENEFACTOR!), I could play a little over one game of golf every two weeks for the rest of my golf-playing days. I think that would be fine by me.
I guess I should have known that I would grow up to be a literature nerd since, as a child, my favorite scene of Beauty and the Beast is when Belle sees her library for the first time. Seriously though, look at all of those books. How could you ever be bored?!
Three cupcakes a week for a little over 10 years? Works for me!
10. People wanting to pay for my student loans
If 1600 people wanted to pay for my student loans, it would only come out to like $25 a person! OR, it would be $50 for each of my Twitter followers! Any takers? Guys?
11. Soft Pretzels
So far, three of my entries on this list are food-related. I haven’t had breakfast yet.
12. Free tickets to Reds games
20 years of free home games? I can handle it.
Ok, I gotta go. I’ve wasted enough of you good people’s time.
One week from today (May 10th) is the first #RedsTweetUp of the season! ARE YOU SO EXCITED? I know that Angie and I are, because it is quite possibly the only setting in either of our lives where we will ever be considered “celebrity bloggers”. We try to never miss a TweetUp because it is always a fantastic time. It’s a great way to put faces to Twitter handles and finally meet people we’ve only interacted with via “@”.
This particular TweetUp will be EXTRA awesome because it is #JoeyVotto-themed. When the #FaceofMLB contest was happening, we Reds fans totally rocked it. I am so proud of us, so I see this TweetUp as a way of honoring our hard work, dedication, and ability to find the pound sign on a keyboard.
Joey Votto is proud of us too.
For those of you who may be TweetUp first-timers, or just need a refresher in the details of how it works, for $30, you get a field box ticket to see the Reds face the Brewers and a #RedsTweetUp tshirt. I think that pretty soon, I will have a #RedsTweetUp tshirt for every day of the week. Here is the tshirt:
If you want more details of how to purchase the tickets, you can go to reds.com/tweetup! If you go to that website, you will get to see a very beautiful photograph of Mikey and I at one of last year’s TweetUps. #JoeyVotto might be the #FaceofMLB but #MikeyandI are the #FaceofRedsTweetUps. Feel free to use any or all of those hashtags in your daily life.
The wheels are falling off of this post pretty quickly, so I’m going to get out of here, but COME TO THE TWEETUP! I WILL BE THERE. Also, I’m pretty socially awkward so if I recognize you, I’ll probably stand around glancing towards you for a while until you come talk to me. So, come talk to me! Or I might just try to get a little drunk beforehand so I’m not as afraid to go up and talk to you. And now I’m experiencing anxiety at the thought of how I’m going to interact with you guys in the least awkward way possible. Don’t worry about it though – I’ll get myself on lock and come ready to have a SPECTACULAR TIME! Oh, and one more reminder – when you buy your tickets, make sure you tweet @LisaBraun to let her know so she can add you to the list!
Every season, it seems as if the Reds have a little quirky promotion or contest or cheer (I’m looking at you, “Woooo!”) that kind of defines the year; something that sends the social media world into a tizzy. So far this year, it’s the pizza.
The pizza promotion is (for those of you living under a rock) LaRosa’s deal with the Reds to provide a free small pizza (a $6.79 value) to every fan present at Great American Ballpark when the Reds pitchers strike out 11 batters or more per game. This year, the Reds pitchers are the Oprah Winfrey of pizza; “YOU GET A PIZZA! YOU GET A PIZZA! YOU GET A PIZZA AND EVERYBODY GETS A PIZZA!”
Now, here’s the thing – the Reds pitchers are ON FIRE this year. Our team has the most strikeouts in the National League at 195, and is one strikeout behind the Red Sox for most strikeouts in all of Major League Baseball. The Reds have had six free pizza games so far this year, and LaRosa’s has given away over $100,000 in small pizzas. This promotion is awesome, and delicious, and I love seeing people get up in arms about the fans’ enthusiasm for pizza. I, myself, had one of my free pizzas for dinner last night, have brought another free pizza to work for lunch today, and have one more free pizza waiting in the wings. This raises many questions.
Could $100,000 worth of free pizza be sent to a Third World country or local homeless shelters? (Seriously, just for one or two games a season – instead of giving away the pizzas to fans, could they donate 40,000 small pizzas to shelters around the area?) If the Reds continue gathering this many strikeouts throughout the season, will LaRosa’s be able to keep up with the demand? Will the Cincinnati Reds bankrupt LaRosa’s? Am I going to never want to see another LaRosa’s pizza again by the end of the season? I think my biggest question is, as someone who has worked in all facets of the restaurant biz, are the people who answer the phones and the servers in the dining rooms ready to lose their marbles? (Can you just imagine having to hear, “I’ll take 7 small pizzas and I have my Reds tickets so that makes them free, right?” 30+ times a day? I would have to be institutionalized. If you are a LaRosa’s employee, please let me know your personal feelings about this.)
I love this promotion, and I can’t wait to see how many more 11+ strikeout games the Reds can play. SO MUCH FREE PIZZA.
“I love you, pizza.” – Tina
“I love you too, Tina.” – Pizza
Hey guys! Happy Monday and welcome back from an exciting weekend! I hope you all had a lovely one – I know I did! Quite a bit of stuff happened in the baseball and non-baseball worlds this week. Let’s start with Boston.
As you all know, 3 people were killed and over 170 were injured in last week’s Boston Marathon bombing. It was terrifying for many reasons, one of which being that such a deplorable act took place in a venue of sportsmanship and athleticism. Since then, the country has united to show their support for those in Boston, and I know I’m going to tear up writing about it, but one of the factors that contributed to such unity is baseball.
The comparison has been made countless times, and I believe it is one of the truest sentiments out there – the reason people love baseball so much is because it imitates life. There is always tomorrow, everybody gets their chance, and possibly most importantly, if the going gets tough, you’ll always be able to find a support system. The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees is one of the biggest in baseball, yet after the bombing, the Yankees organization, fans, and players showed their support for the people of Boston. This cartoon by Bill Bramhall is going viral:
Furthermore, the Yankees honored Boston on Tuesday night by bringing a long-standing Fenway Park tradition to Yankee Stadium – they played Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” during the third inning. It wasn’t just the Yanks though – the song that is synonymous with baseball in Boston resounded through ballparks all over the country. Even here at home, the #RedsDJ played the Boston anthem during the Reds-Phillies game on Tuesday.
All of this is proof that this game we love is bigger than us. Rivalries are fun, entertaining, and one of the reasons to show up to the ballpark, but when the tough times come, the players and the fans are able to put the silly stuff aside and unite to show their support for one another. Baseball is like one big crazy family – sure, you might be embarrassed of your drunk uncle or afraid of that creepy great aunt who always calls you by your sister’s name, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about love and support.
Baseball is the game that shows the spirit of America. Whether it be during the singing of the National Anthem at the beginning of every game, Sam the Bald Eagle flying around at Great American Ballpark, or the resounding chants of “USA, USA” at every ballpark in America on Friday, after videoboards all around the country revealed that the suspect had been captured, our favorite sport is a beautiful representation of the freedom and opportunity in the United States. Now that the culprit has been identified and is in the hands of the authorities, the city of Boston can begin to heal. Whether you see baseball as a distraction from the harsh realities of the world, a community of good people who rally when the times are hard, a fun few hours of entertainment during summer nights, or a little of all three, I’m sure you can agree that, like the aforementioned crazy family, baseball will always be here through the good times and bad.
Before I end my thoughts about Boston, and continue to wax way more poetic than is appropriate at 8 am on a Monday morning, I just want to mention one last thing about all this business – former Red, current Red Sox player (Sock? Is that right for the singular of “Sox”?), and all-around class act Jonny Gomes paid tribute yesterday to those who lost their lives by using a bat that was engraved with the message “Boston Strong” and the names of the victims of the bombing. You can read about it on USA Today by clicking here.
And now for something completely different! TODAY IS OUR SECOND BIRTHDAY! Two years ago, I decided to start a Reds blog, and it’s turned into this bizarre creature you see before you today. Since our inception, we have remained the #1-ranked Reds fan blog according to mlblogs.com, which is just absolutely baffling to me. I cannot thank you guys enough for continuing to read whatever ridiculous, sometimes hilarious, and almost always idiotic musings I come up with on a regular basis. As I’ve mentioned before, I am just shocked that people who aren’t my mom read my blog, so from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. If I could make a cupcake for each and every one of you, I would, but I don’t have the time or resources to make that many cupcakes. Now, if YOU want to send US cupcakes to thank us for being a weird, high-pitched, nasally voice of Cincinnati Reds baseball, email me and I will give you a shipping address. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Rockin’ Redlegs’ birthday than with a trip to the ballpark, so that’s what I’ll be doing tonight. COME SAY HI. Speaking of birthdays, I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that it is my brother Mikey’s 19th birthday today. Happy Birthday, Bro Nuxhall.
Finally, since last Monday, the Reds have won 6 of their last 7 games and have scored a total of 38 runs. IN A WEEK. These guys are good.
Have a great day, send us cupcakes, and I’ll see you at the ballpark tonight! GO REDS.
Personally, I had a lovely weekend. I drank beer, I played golf, I ate Taco Bell, and I saw Jamie Ramsey out in public. In the world of the Reds, however, it was not all booze, bogeys, and burritos.
The Reds lost. Like a lot. They seemed to try their hardest, but somehow, it was not enough to keep the Pirates down. The Pirates are one of those teams where it’s easy to get overconfident because you’re not sure if anyone on their roster actually exists, but if you get too comfortable, they’ll ride it. The problem lied in our pitching, for the most part. I heard the Cowboy say yesterday, “Losing two games with back-to-back starts by Cueto and Latos is something that does not happen.” It wasn’t their fault. Johnny Cueto looks like he’s got some kind of tricep injury, and we’re still waiting to hear back from the doctor on that one. Mat Latos struck out six batters in 6 2/3 innings, yet the Reds still managed to lose 10-7 yesterday. The bullpen is taxed. It seems like that’s been a recurring theme so far this year, and, while not for lack of trying, we should be able to get a solid 7+ innings from our starters. Yesterday, Broxton and Chapman gave up a total of 5 runs.
The Reds are now on a five-game losing streak. Hopefully, a good, solid homestand will be enough to get us out of this little slump, but between the Phillies and the Marlins for the first two series, it might be easier said than done. What won’t help is the prospect of losing our #1 starter, but there is interesting news coming from the farm. Yesterday, Tony Cingrani pitched 2 innings of scoreless ball and then was promptly shut down. The speculation is that, if we need him to start on Thursday, he’ll have three full days of rest. Cingrani is absolutely killing the game in Louisville, and has yet to give up a run. Dusty mentioned last week that Cingrani was his first call in the event that they need a starter, and it is happening sooner than anyone would like it to.
Here’s what Tony Cingrani looks like in case you don’t know.
There was more terrible news in the clubhouse this weekend. After hitting two home runs on Friday night, Brandon Phillips was off on Saturday to attend the funeral of his grandfather. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brandon and his family during this time, and if we know Brandon (which we do), we know that his grandfather watching over him this will inspire him to work even harder every day.
Do you know what today is? It’s Jackie Robinson Day! Yes, the day where we have no idea who’s who on the team because they’re all sporting #42. It is the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first Major League game, effectively breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. In an effort to keep the memory of the man who did so much for minorities in baseball, the world (?) is hosting a worldwide Twitter “thank you” at 9:42 am ET. I think it’s a little bizarre since Jackie Robinson doesn’t even know what Twitter is because he is dead, but hey, anything to commemorate a great, right? You can participate by using the hashtag #Jackie42,
I think that’s it for me as far as all the weekend news goes, but let’s put it behind us and make sure we’re out at the ballpark this week to support our team!
Oh, one last thing – tomorrow is Bark at the Park, and Baci has to go naked because we didn’t get to make him an outfit. OUR DOG IS GOING TO BE NUDE, THIS IS A DISASTER. Any advice on quick dog outfits you could give us would be excellent.
Since today is a much-needed off day for the Reds, I want to do something a little bit different. For some reason (possibly due to lack of proper hydration, my dress being a little too tight, or just general idiocy), I’m blocked and am having a really hard time thinking of something to write. I have a few different ideas, but I can’t seem to move them along. As a result, this post will be a hodgepodge of some different stuff. I apologize if it’s long. Sometimes, once I get started, I can’t stop.
My first thought for today was to write another Big League Beverages post. The one in the link there is almost two years old, and it recently came to my attention that there are only like three players on that list who still actually play for us. I thought to myself, “Perfect! I’ll find some drink recipes, give them clever Reds-themed names, and I’m done for the day!” That was not the case. Since I work at a school, can you imagine that there is a block on websites that discuss alcoholic drinks in great detail? Sounds ridiculous, but oh well. I’m going to come up with something eventually, because that was one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written, and I would love to update it to honor some of our newer players.
“Tina! I love you and your writing and you’re really pretty and I can’t bear to see you like this! IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO HALP?!?” – You.
Well, dear reader, as a matter of fact – there is! Do you want to be part of something mediocre? I think it would be just absolutely fantastic if you commented (below), tweeted (@rockinredlegs), emailed (email@example.com), snail mailed (not gonna give you my home address, but if you can somehow figure it out, feel free), or sent a singing telegram (this is the preferred method of communication) of some contributions for my newest edition of Big League Beverages. You can give me a clever name for a cocktail, one of your favorite cocktail recipes, a player who you think deserves to be immortalized in alcohol on my blog, whatever you want! Then, I can assemble it all into a lovely blog post, giving credit to all of you wonderful folks, and I will be very happy. If you don’t want to do this, that’s mean and I’ll just have to do the whole thing myself. Wah.
Since my hopes for a blog post about Big League Beverages were squashed for today, I came up with another great idea! I wanted to profile the great craft beer selections at the ballpark. If you know me, or don’t know me, you probably know that I am an avid connoisseur of craft beer. It’s literally my second favorite thing – my list goes 1) Reds Baseball, 2) Craft beer, and 3) Bagel Bites.
BUT GUESS WHAT?! I was thwarted again by my pals over at Red Reporter. They recently posted this list which is literally EXACTLY what I wanted to do. This guide is an excellent read, and not only gives a great list of the craft beers you can find at the ballpark, but also provides little reviews so you know what you’re getting yourself into in the event that you haven’t heard of/sampled any of the particular beers. When I went to the game on Opening Day, I tried the Madtree PsycHOPathy, and it was so fantastic that I had three. I’m a huge supporter of local breweries, so I thought this might be a good time to mention that Madtree Brewing Company is celebrating the grand opening of their taproom this Saturday at 5 p.m. From what I can gather, it’s going to be a great event and there will be beer and a food truck and all other kinds of exciting stuff. You know what else will be there? ME! So, if you’re heading over there, make sure to say hi! Check out their website: www.madtreebrewing.com, and you can follow them on Twitter too! Shameless local brewery plug is over. (Also, can you guys tell I’m kind of in need of a drink? It’s been a long week.)
Finally, I just wanted to alert you to something beautiful happening over at Better Off Red. I freaking love when people do this – Jamie Ramsey wants you to send him pictures of yourself looking ugly. I’ve seen a few other websites do this, and the “pretty girls with ugly faces” thing has gone viral. I think it is one of the funniest things ever. Check out his post and that lovely mug of his here. I’ve been known to send some ugly pics of myself to friends, so just maybe I’ll send one to Jamie, if the world and the internet can handle it.
In closing, remember the episode of “Hey Arnold” where they cleared out a nearby vacant lot to build their own baseball diamond? They named it Gerald Field.
I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but I’ve spent enough time on this monstrosity, and if I don’t start doing my real job soon, I might end up with all the free time in the world to write blog posts! (Because I’ll be fired, get it?)
Have an excellent off day – do something lovely and productive with your evening! We’ll see our boys in Pittsburgh tomorrow!
Hey guys! I don’t want to talk about that loss yesterday, and I don’t really have a whole lot of time, but I just wanted to pass this along. Buzzfeed has created a proof that declares Billy Hamilton to be the fastest man alive, and I have to say I agree with their assessment.
Let’s get ‘em in St. Louis today! GO REDS!
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.