Send This To Dusty and Walt

From Keith Olberman’s MLBlog “Baseball Nerd

However, Reds’ manager Dusty Baker, sounding exactly like the kind of skippers in Atlanta who limited him to spot work for his first four years, seems totally unimpressed with the prospects of either Stubbs or Haisley, dismissing their performances as just numbers. While an outfield of Nix and Gomes in left, Willy Taveras in center, and Chris Dickerson (who left today’s game in New York with back spasms) may seem appealing to Dusty, it would probably assure the Reds of sinking into the basement in the NL Central.

I hate Dusty Baker.  It is high time for Walt to set him straight and be more active in roster management and who will be in the lineup.   However, given that Walt did not make a move for many days (if I remember correctly it was 10) when Alex Gonzalez got hurt, I don’t have much confidence in the Reds’ GM either.

Perhaps Walt is as clueless as Dusty or he simply refuses to take charge leaving the entire team twisting in the wind.  It is a shame that this team and the fans have to suffer because of the lack of organizational leadership.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Although Sunday’s loss wasn’t totally his fault, Mike Lincoln is a complete waste of a roster spot and money that should have been spent elsewhere.

The Reds had plenty of opportunities and it should have never come down to a first pitch in the 14th inning to a batter that was 0-5 on the day, but these are the types of losses that tell me the Reds have not yet arrived.

If You Are Keeping Score at GABP…

You might want to bring your own scorebook because the Reds don’t want to sell you a quality scorecard at the ballpark.

Whenever I attend a ballgame, I always bring two sharpened No. 2 pencils and an extra dollar or two to purchase a scorecard.  Keeping score at games helps keep me engaged and I become less reliant on the scoreboard to tell me what a player has done during the course of the game.  It is enjoyable and a great thing to start a conversation with (i.e. Was that an error or a hit?).  I also find it interesting how different teams at different ballparks organize their scorecards.

When I recently attended the Memorial Day game versus the Astros, I was disturbed to find out that the Reds had changed their scorecard entirely from previous years.  They longer do they sell a heavy card stock tri-fold scorecard that includes both teams’ rosters and scoring instructions (I don’t use the instructions since I have devised my own set of hieroglyphics).

While they are now cheaper (fifty cents as opposed to $1), the scorecard that is now being sold at GABP is a sub-standard product.  The scorecards are printed on a flimsy piece of card stock that allows the pencil to nearly poke through when entering in the data. It is a single sheet that is double-sided (no longer tri-fold) with minimal amount of room for scoring, few boxes for stats, and it does not include either roster.  When you have to use your leg as a sort of backing in order to write, one can see that this scorecard is poorly constructed.

So far, the Pirates are selling the best scorecard around.  Sold at PNC Park, it is large, very nicely laid out, and includes a ton more columns with pre-printed stats that are needed to tell the whole story of the game.

I may have to invest in some sort of scorebook that I can bring to games in the future because I don’t think I will be buying another scorecard at GABP.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Should Reds Follow Yankees Lead?

Sitting here going through some of the articles written over the past few weeks about the empty seats at the new Yankee Stadium and seeing how the Yankees have finally bowed to the pressure by restructuring their pricing tiers, I wonder if the Reds should do something similar.

When you have a stadium crowd of less than 10,000 in “paid” attendance, it is really embarrassing.  This isn’t the Florida Marlins playing in a football stadium under the constant threat of rain.  Nor is it the Yankees in which tickets previously topped out at $2,500 per game.

The most expensive seats in the ballpark, those in the Diamond Club level right behind home plate, are priced at $230 a piece.  Every single night I see that most of these seats go unused and are empty for the entire game.  Aren’t these the type of seats that should be filled?  Should the Reds reduce the Diamond Club seats?  What about Club 4192?

I still don’t buy the argument that because school is still in session that this is the reason that game attendance is so low.  Plenty of kids are shown in the stands each night, even during the week.

I think there seems to be some sort of stigma attached to this team when it comes to the price of going to the game.  The average ticket price comes in at under $20.  You can also buy the $5 seats and *ahem* move down closer to the action given that there are many open seats in prime locations.

While the ballpark is not directly accessable on foot nor is it a “neighborhood” park like Wrigley, there should be something the Reds can do, other than winning and give aways, to draw people down to the park.

I am just tired of being embarrassed over the lack of attendance on a nightly basis.

Hoard to Sit In For Marty

Reds fans will recognize a familiar voice this weekend when former broadcaster Dan Hoard, who is now with the Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox affiliate), will sit in for the Hall of Famer.

While Marty is away at the National Sports Writers and Sports Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame dinner, Hoard will be on the big stick with Jeff Brantely calling the weekend series in Pittsburgh.

For Hoard this is his second “cup of coffee” in the major leagues.  He has called games for the Toronto Blue Jays, the NY Mets, and a few games for the Reds.

I won’t be able to listen because I too will be in Pittsburgh for my first trip to PNC Park with some fellow Reds fans.  Let me know how this goes.

Dan Hoard Blog

Disturbing Trends

From CBS Sportsline.com

Chris Dickerson might well be the team’s best athlete, which makes his most recent injury — a lump the size of a sugarcube over his right eye, caused when he walked into a hotel’s revolving door — all the more worrying. … Alex Gonzalez’s last hit came on Sept. 21, 2007. That is not, sadly, an exaggeration for comic effect. … Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers, being all trusty and whatnot, are on pace to appear in something like 154 games each.

I guess this isn’t as bad as the Astros:

For purposes of the 2009 Power Rankings, all games played against the Astros will be stricken from the record. Beating the Astros is like beating a bunch of gloveless nuns and should be weighted as such. … They should start the inevitable rebuilding process yesterday. Jose Valverde could fetch a few mid-level prospects from a contender lacking bullpen depth and Roy Oswalt, who will be in decline by the time the ‘Stros have restocked the pantry, would be coveted by at least 10 teams.

Reds Winter Caravan:Louisville

So yesterday was the start of the Reds Winter Caravan and one of the first stops was Louisville Slugger Field.  The event was held in the ballpark’s foyer (think concrete slab floor, florescent lights) as opposed to the last two years at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.  The event was moved due to renovations to the factory site to make room for new exhibits coming this summer.

The caravan carrying Chris Dickerson, Jerry Hairston, Yonder Alanso, Jeff Brantley,  Dusty and George Grande arrived forty-five minutes late to the site since they were held up at a Frankfort, KY radio station.

A great majority of the crowd (about 600 or so) was there seeking autographs and were lined up even before the caravan arrived.

One thing that stood out was the fact that while there were some kids, there wern’t many.  At 4:30 in the afternoon it is a horrible time to have an event like this as it should have been scheduled for a time when more people could get out of work or school so that they could drive to the stadium.  There wasn’t much promotion of the event which was strange.

The one bit of good news was when CEO Bob Castellini announced that the Reds and Bats are going to extend their relationshiop through the 2012 season.  This is big news and it is nice to know that we’ll be able to see many of the Reds up and coming prospects for the next several years.  I don’t really know how I would feel about going to games if the Bats were affiliated with another team.

Notable Quotes:

From Dusty

“I won’t put a governor on them. I want them to use their arms, legs, bats, everything in order to win”

Translation: CREATE HAVOC!

Jerry Hairston:

“We are young, but talented.  There is a difference”

Yeah, and Grizzly Adams had a beard.

Other than Dusty babbling about winning and going to the inauguration on Tuesday with his son, George Grande took only one question from those assembled.  It was about the radio affiliate (not from me) and pretty much dismissed it by saying, “The Reds are doing everything to bring Reds fans the best radio and TV coverage”.  Joe Zerhusen, the broadcast affiliate manager, was also in attendance.  Presumeably he will be around tonight checking various spots in the city for the horrible reliablity of the signal and continue to see if there are other options for another affiliate.

All in all it was a poorly timed event that seemed hastily put together with little fanfare or excitement.  The people running the caravan should have put more into the event (promotion) and at the very least they should have apologized for being late.

When you give out free copies of Baseball America’s NL Central prospect report that says, “Reds are a long way away”, while trying to promote the team as a winner, you have some serious problems.