Archive for September, 2004


Breaking the Law

Okay, not quite, but a record is going to be broken. Adam Dunn just tied Bobby Bonds with his 189th strikeout of the season. Mark Prior has been sharp, but the Reds will get to him the second time through the lineup. I just feel it.

***UPDATE***

Adam Dunn did it. He’s now struck out more times in a season then any other player ever.

Mark Prior is in rare form. Ten strikeouts through five innings. Harang is hanging with him though. It’s 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth.

***UPDATE***

It’s 9:00 pm here in Michigan, and I can still hear Cubs fans crying in Chicago. That’s what happens when you run into the BIG RED MACHINE, baby!!



First Blood

He’s far more dangerous then a Paratwa assasin armed with a Cohe Wand.

His name is Adam Dunn.

And he just went yard. Number 45. Reds 1, Cubs 0. Maybe Austin Kearns can book a tee time and go play golf with Mark Prior next Tuesday.

***UPDATE***

Cubs fans have to be frothing at the mouth right now. Austin Kearns didn’t just come up big once, he came up big twice. A one run, two out double in the ninth, and then a two run shot in the twelth. And now my Reds have won 6 of 8.

Adam Dunn struck out twice, and is now one strikeout short of Bobby Bonds record. I think the record is about Dunn in for (har har).

And I hope Cubs fans don’t take this personal. If we were playing the Giants or Astros, I’d be saying the same things. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.



Century

Adam Dunn just hit a two run jack. That now gives him 100 RBIs on the season. He scored is 100th run last night. One more dinger, and he’s at 45. What a season for the big guy.

The Reds are taking it to the Cubs. I love it.

***UPDATE***

Alright, the Reds held on to win. Dunn went two for five, and he did get a strikeout. And Giants fans can give us Reds fans a pat on the back, since they won and are now tied with the Cubs for the Wildcard.

Afternoon game today. Rookie Luke Hudson, who’s been awesome this year, takes the mound for the Reds.



Adopting a Playoff Team

While the Reds decimate the Cubs, and end their playoff hopes, I started thinking to myself about how the Reds season is ending soon. It will all be over on Sunday, and I’ll have to wait through the long, cold Michigan winter months until I get to see my beloved Reds don their uniforms again.

But I have something that might surprise Reds fans. You might not have heard of it, but there’s a thing called the “Post Season” where there’s several “Playoff Series” to determine a “World Series Champion.” You may have heard about these from your dad, or maybe even your grand dad.

Okay, maybe it hasn’t been that bad, but it has been since 1995 since the Reds made the post season, and even longer since the Reds won it all (Thank you Marge Schott). The Reds actually won a series against the Dodgers in 1995 before losing to the Braves. Who would then go on to win the World Series.

So as a baseball fan, I’m going to adopt a playoff team, and root for that team throughout the entire playoffs. I probably won’t write much about them, because I’ll leave that to the experts, who I’ll get to shortly.

How do I go about picking a playoff team?? Let’s go through an elaborate process of elimination. First off, as a Reds fan, I hate it when the Reds lose, so I’m going to eliminate every team that looks like it will make the post season that beat the Reds during the season. That eliminates all the National League teams.

It also eliminates Oakland, who was an interleague opponent of the Reds. Plus, according to Joe Morgan, the A’s can’t manufacture runs, so they can’t win in the playoffs. Let me just say, I loved Joe Morgan as a player, and stop at that.

I’m not a Yankee hater, but rooting for them seems so easy. Same goes for the Red Sox, who I also dislike for making the 1975 series competitive. They had no chance because they can’t win the World Series, so they should have just rolled over and gotten swept. They’re not allowed to win, so they’re not worth rooting for.

So that leaves the Twins. It’s perfect. Nobody expects them to do much other then be a door mat for the Yankees. But they’re my team. I also know it pisses Brian off, because he still won’t let 1987 go.

So when Johan Santana takes the mound, I’ll be there cheering every strikeout. Same goes for Radke, and that Canadian kid who can hit the snot out of the ball. I’d also like to see Torii Hunter rob Gary Sheffield of a tater by climbing the wall.

But I must confess, I’m not a Twins expert. Heck, I’m not a Reds expert. So I’m going to defer to the experts. For all your Twins coverage be sure to check out a man who really needs no introduction, Aaron Gleeman. He’s been talking up Johan since his middle relief days, and is a good fan as well. And also be sure to check out Seth Speaks.

Go Reds!!!! Then go Twins!!!!



Impact Players

Nobody questions the fact that the Reds have been “out of it” for quite some time. Nothing is more of a drag then having your team be out of the playoff picture going into September, and that’s what Reds fans have had to deal with for quite some time now.

But that doesn’t mean that the 2004 Cincinnati Reds can’t have an impact on the playoff races. They’ve won four in a row, and they’re Red hot (pun intended). They’ve scored 21 runs in their last two games, and came back against one of the best closers in the game, John Smoltz, on Wednesday. Once they finish up their series against the Pirates this afternoon, they head to Wrigley, to face the Cubs in a four game series.

Now unless you live in a barn with no TV and no radio, you know the Cubs are knee deep in a race for the Wild Card. They hold a thin half game lead over the Giants, and at this point, it’s even up for both teams.

So I’m going to shout out from the mountain tops, “Reds, make an impact. Beat the Cubs!!!!!”

Also of note, the Reds have had some great individual performances of late. Austin Kearns went crazy on Saturday, going four for five with a homerun and five RBIs. He bumped up his batting average 16 points in that game alone. Kearns is a vital cog next year, and we need him back. Go Austin!!

And yesterday, it was catcher Jason LaRue pushing home four runs.

And last but not lease, Adam Dunn now stands at 183 strikeouts. He didn’t play yesterday, and I seriously hope they don’t shut him down just because he’s going to break an inconsequential record. For Adam, it will be the first of many records he breaks, so what’s the big deal. Plus I want to see him hit some other inconsquential milestones, like 100 runs and 100 RBIs. 45 homers would be nice as well.

So don’t forget, go REDS!!!! Beat those Cubs.



Offseason Fun – The Duel

A challenge has been issued. A duel will take place the likes we haven’t seen since Aaron Burr ended Alexander Hamilton’s life.

There’s an ongoing debate between Brian and I. It revolves around Sparky Anderson. Brian, for whatever reason, feels that the 1984 Tiger’s team was Sparky’s best. He says this with a straight face, and without the assistance of narcotics despite the fact we all know…….

……THE 1975 REDS TEAM IS SPARKY’S GREATEST!!!!!!

In the words of Kurt Angle, it’s true. Damn true.

So the best way to resolve this is to have an online debate. Brian has accepted this challenge (his response was actually, “Whatever,” but I take that as an acceptance), and over the course of the offseason, we’ll analyze and compare, position by position, which team is better. So it’s the 1975 Reds vs. the 1984 Tigers. I’m stoked.

I’m a science fiction junkie. I love Stainless Steel Rats, the Grey Death Legion, and Ender’s Game. And I was jacked up when my copy of Star Wars, the Widescreen DVD edition, came in the mail today. I’m so jacked, that I’m typing really fast so I can go check it out, right now!!!!

The Reds just blew a four run lead. It really doesn’t matter whether they stick with the starter, or go to the pen. It’s all bad. Adam Dunn has two hits though. But don’t forget, the ability to destroy a planet, is insignificant next to the power of the force.

***UPDATE***

The Reds came back and won!!! On John Smoltz no less. I stopped hitting refresh too early and went to bed.



Dunn Deal

Contrary to any rumors you may hear on other websites, I would not marry Adam Dunn if it were legal in Michigan, or Ohio.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t praise him for his breakout season. The most impressive part of last night’s game was that he played, and didn’t strikeout. So he’s stuck at 177, twelve short of Bobby Bonds record.

He did drive in a run, and scored, so he’s extremely close to having both 100 runs and 100 RBIs on the season. Throw in 106 walks and 42 homeruns, and you have what I consider the team MVP. Anytime you approach a 1.000 OPS, and your name isn’t Barry Bonds, you have to be happy with your season. Thirty win shares+ (he’s at 29 right now), isn’t anything to scoff at either.

Sean Casey is right there with him though. After a tough 2002 season, he bounced back some in 2003, and despite turning 30, Casey has stepped things up this year. He has as good of a chance as scoring 100 and driving in 100 as well. He’s a winshare behind Dunn, and his OPS is a touch under .950 and has only 33 strikeouts in 523 at bats. The Reds have about as good of a one-two punch as any team out there.

So, just wait until next year, when Austin Kearns and Ken Griffey, Jr. play the entire season!!!!! The Reds will rule again!!!! They may give up eight runs a game, but they’ll score nine.

Win share information is courtesy of Hardball Times.



Mo’ Plate Action

The Cubs came into town and took two of three, but at times it was an exciting series. The win was a huge (and I mean HUGE) game for Willy Mo Pena. Two dingers, and an awesome outfield assist to save a run. The Reds jumped up on Willy Mo’s big back (he is a big guy) and Mo carried them.

Sunday’s game wasn’t quite as great. The Reds got off to a nice start with an RBI by Mr. Future Hall of Fame Adam Dunn, but it went downhill from there. Pitching, pitching, pitching. I said it three times there, but the Reds have none.

Adam Dunn had a tough series. He went 1 for 10, and struck out five times, getting him ever so closer to the single season strikeout record. But that’s okay. If Adam Dunn had 30 walks, and not 104, I’d be a little more concerned. Give the 24 year old some time. With failure comes knowledge, and even though he’s failing in the worst possible way (a strikeout is the least valuable thing you can do with a plate appearance), we have to hope in the next couple of years, he’ll tag some of those close pitches, and start jacking sixty homers a season.

The Reds go to Atlanta. I’m going to miss them by a week (business travel), but even if I was going to be there at the same time, I probably couldn’t make the game.



Who is Blade Stevens?

You haven’t opened an Ayn Rand novel, and I’m not an Objectivist. I’m a Reds fan. I bleed Red and long for the days when Lou Pinella was manager, and gulp, Marge Schott was the owner (that was tougher to write then I thought).

And I now have a nice forum to spout (best word for it) my views on the Reds, baseball, and life in general. I’m a good friend of Brian, who writes over at Tigerblog, and he and our other good friend Jay, of Grousehouse Media fame, helped put this together for me.

But back to the original question. Who is Blade Stevens? I’m a semi-pubilc figure who owns my own business, and for reasons I couldn’t even begin to list here, would like to remain anonymous. So, I had to come up with a pseudonymn. And that’s when I had a flash from the past.

A long, long, long time ago, Brian and I made up a baseball game using two six sided dice. It was pretty basic, but actually worked out quite well. He was the Tigers and I was the Reds, and we’d play at times together, but mostly on our own. Then we’d meet up, compare stats, and play the World Series, which means one of us (the loser) wasted a ton of time, because that was basically the funnest and most competitive part.

On each team, we had a guy who had special attributes, which allowed for modifiers when we rolled the dice. Brian, being as vain as he is, named his player after himself. I, on the other hand, got creative and came up with a name of my own.

So, I introduce to you, the five time NL MVP of dice baseball, Blade Stevens. One season he jacked 54 homers, and this was back when mid-30s led the league. He was a stud.

But I digress. Since blades have sharp edges, you get the Reds Cutting Edge. My little home on the web.

Now you’re probably sitting back there, and you’re asking yourself, “If he grew up in Detroit, how did this punk become such a rabid Reds fan?” The answer is simple enough. I lived in the Cincy area until I was five, and moved to the Detroit area. My dad was a major Reds fan, so I grew up a Reds fan. We didn’t get to see them play too often, but the funnest part of the morning was sitting down with dad and checking out to see how the Reds did in the boxscores. By that time the Reds were losing (early 80s), so it wasn’t quite as cool as the Red Machine days, but it’s a fond memory.

So, that’s me. Just a few quick facts, and I promise from here on out I won’t get too sentimental on you, and will stick to baseball, and an occasional dig on Brian. My favorite player is Adam Dunn. The guys a stud, and one day it might be him who’s entering the 700 homerun club (congrats to Barry Bonds for hitting his 700th last night).

My favorite website is Reds Daily. JD Arney is a spectacular writer, and I really enjoy keeping with the Reds by stopping there often. If my website could become half of what his is, I’d do somersaults across my lawn. I also enjoy Tigerblog, even though the only thing Brian and I agree on is who the greatest manager of all time is. The only thing we argue about is who Sparky’s best team was.

But, I have to say I like Tigerblog because Brian is helping me out. If you enjoyed his 1984 Tigers diary, he’s going to the exact same thing for the 1975 Reds next year, so you’ll be able to relive the days of the Big Red Machine. I’m excited. I’m jacked. I’m doing somersaults on my lawn.

And the neighbors are calling the cops. Shit.

Have a great weekend folks. And GO REDS!!!!!



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