It’s rare that I find myself dumbfounded. One time was certainly the moment a few months ago when an old friend from college told me he was gay. I was pretty awestruck when I realized that Christina Aguilera had gone way past Britney Spears on the attractiveness scale (something I never thought possible).
This brings us to the Mitchell Report; I wondered which Cincinnati Reds I would see listed there. I expected to see Ron Gant, perhaps Bret Boone. It wasn’t just the huge, muscle-bound guys that were listed, though. There were many pitchers in the report (especially that were tied to the Reds), most of them in the twilight of their careers. There were also a lot of thinner guys, many of them that hit for average rather than power – chief among them was Hal Morris.
If you had me list a group of Reds players for the past 20 years that would be suspected of purchasing (and the assumption is that they then used) steroids or HGH, Morris would have been near the bottom of that list. He just didn’t fit the body type I’ve associated with those products. It’s time to rethink our assumptions about who (and how many people) in baseball may have ‘roided up to stay competitive. It’s clearly not as obvious as we once thought. Which means steroid / HGH use was probably more prevalent than we ever thought.
It just goes to show you that people will do anything to stay competitive or maintain their livelihood. I think that the use of those drugs was wrong and must have been seen as cheating in the minds of those that took them. I can’t say that I blame those players or that I can understand the choices they were forced to make. The whole thing is unfortunate. My hope is that MLB finds a way to test, agrees on a policy to test, then enforces the rules. That way we can all move on and put this era behind us.
Josias Manzanillo (I do not remember this guy at all)
I found myself profoundly sad when I saw the news that Joe Nuxhall had died yesterday. I was in the middle of singing for some Ohio State vs. Michigan pre-game festivities and I saw on a television above the bar that Joe had died. I forgot the words to the song and had to stop singing for a few seconds to get my bearings. In those few seconds, I reflected on Nuxhall and his significance to the Cincinnati Reds as an organization and “fan base.” There are few people in baseball that are the embodiment of a franchise like Joe. Nuxhall played for the team and broadcasted for the team for over 50 years. He was the voice of the Reds for me on the radio – a voice of my childhood. Although he has passed, his legacy for the Cincnnati Reds is forever cemented in our memories, in our hearts and throughout Great American Ballpark.
I mentioned when I first starting writing in this blog that the bronze statue of Nuxhall at the entrance to Great American Ballpark was created by a twin brother of a college friend of mine. He told me that the statue was made to allow the throwing hand of Joe to hold both a beer and a cigarette, which were two of his favorite things in life. Similar to what Cubs fans do with Harry Caray, I may pay such a tribute to Joe next time I visit.
Where do you get to see the Reds win three World Series all on one video. Check out the Cincinnati Reds installment of the Vintage World Series Films series. You’ve read about the 1975 and 1976 Reds here but now on a very cool DVD, you can watch highlights of those two World Series. The game six, 1975 highlights are worth the price of this DVD alone but you also get to see the classic game seven as well as the 1976 sweep over the Yankees.
And if that wasn’t enough, you also have the 1990 World Series highlights. For those with a shorter memory, you get to see the Reds dismantle the Bash Brothers in a four game sweep over the Athletics. There’s some great stuff on here with Eric Davis and Paul O’Neill. Oh yeah, don’t forget about the Nasty Boys. Man, this was a good team and a lot of people forgot that while Lou Piniella gets some credit for it, it was actually a team that Pete Rose built before getting booted out of baseball.
If you’re a Reds fan, you’ll love this video. Bottom line.
By Thaq Diesel
According to ESPN.com, Pete Rose admitted on the Dan Patrick Radio Show that he bet on the Reds “every night.” At last, he finally comes clean. Or has he – where does the fibbing end? It started with “I never bet on baseball” and went to “I never bet on the Reds,” and now is “I bet on the Reds every night, but didn’t bet against them – only for them to win.” Is the next admission, “I bet against them sometimes…” or is this it?
It’s actually telling that Pete is talking about this at all. He’s prideful; Pete’s so proud in fact that it has taken him a while to come clean. This admission, though it seems boneheaded in a way (I can see the commish thinking, “I never knew 100% that you bet on your team, but I do now…”), may be an attempt to get everything out in the open and turn the corner on his ban from baseball. Pete says he wants to manage again, but you know he wants his rightful place in the Hall of Fame (in addition to some cashola to feed the gambling habit).
Pete is a tragic hero and I always cringe inside when I see his name come up in the press again. I am so proud of what he accomplished on the field, how Rose played the game, and the fact that he was a Reds player while doing most of it. I’m also not blind to the fact that his crime of gambling on his own sport, if glossed over, erodes the very fabric of baseball, or any professional sport for that matter.
My solution for this mess is to keep him out of day-to-day baseball (sorry Pete, but your demonstrated gambling problem is a real issue here) but allow him in the Hall of Fame with a big mention of his past deeds. Deep down, I think Pete Rose will be in the Baseball Hall of Fame one day (perhaps under these very circumstances), but it will probably be posthumously.
Shawn at the Cincinnati Reds Blog is writing up a nice series of essays on the top 50 Reds players of all time. Good, good stuff and as interested as am I in seeing how his top five roll outs, I’m equally interested in these fringe players. Gary Nolan came in at 46 and that’s a name you’ll recognize from the 1975 Reds Diairy and 1976 Reds Diary. He’s currently up to 45, who is Gus Bell.
Also, it looks like Ken Griffey, Jr. is healing well. Or well enough. We still won’t know for a couple of weeks whether he’ll be set to start spring training with the rest of the guys.