Tag:Dusty Baker
Posted on: August 19, 2010 3:21 am
Edited on: August 19, 2010 12:32 pm

Reds rebounding well from sweep

So how's that momentum going?

The Cardinals have shown the only "Mo" that matters in baseball is the one wearing pinstripes out of the bullpen.

Since the Cardinals supposedly took control of the National League Central with a sweep in Cincinnati, St. Louis has not only surrendered their two-game division lead, but now find themselves three games behind the Reds.

The Cardinals dropped their fourth straight game on Wednesday, as Milwaukee beat Adam Wainwright 3-2, while Cincinnati won its fifth straight, 11-7 over Arizona despite Joey Votto being scratched with a bad back.

Making things worse, the Cardinals' 1-4 record since sweeping the Reds has come entirely at Busch Stadium, while the Reds swept the Marlins at home and have won their first two games in a nine-game roadtrip. While the Cardinals are 10-5 against the Reds, they're 15-18 against the Cubs, Brewers and Astros. The Reds are 21-6 against those same three NL Central foes.

There's still plenty of baseball to play -- just as there was a week ago when the Cardinals were handed the division by some following their sweep at Great American Ball Park. St. Louis certainly has the starting pitching (or at least top three in the rotation) to win the division and just as last week's sweep didn't win the division for the team, this current streak hasn't lost it for the Cardinals.

It's too easy to look at a specific game or series and take the results and try to extrapolate a much larger meaning. But a 162-game schedule nullifies that.

Some credit needs to go to the Reds and manager Dusty Baker for bouncing back when many buried them. With Wednesday's comeback victory -- the Reds trailed 7-3 in the eighth before coming back for the win -- Cincinnati is now a season-high 18 games over .500 at 69-51. It was also their 35th comeback win this season.

"It was awesome," Reds right fielder Jay Bruce told the Cincinnati Enquirer . "But I can't say I'm surprised. We've been doing it all year."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: August 19, 2010 3:14 am
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Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:34 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 11:03 pm

Chapman coming to big leagues Sept. 1

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman will be in the big leagues on Sept. 1, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer .

"That will give him a chance to stabilize int eh bullpen and get more experience," Jocketty said. "We're trying to find the right time."

Because the Reds have two players on the 60-day disabled list (Jose Arrendondo and Mike Lincoln), Chapman (and another player) will be eligible for the playoffs.

Since moving from starting to relieving, Chapman is 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 12 walks in 26 innings.

So why isn't he in Cincinnati already?

"Who do you take off?" Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It would be somebody else who pitched well. Everyone in the bullpen is throwing excellent. … That's not a good message to our guys here when you perform well and get sent out. They're looking over their shoulder for fear of getting sent out. I want them looking at the prize at the end, not looking behind them."

The Reds are still planning on Chapman as being a starter in the future and using the David Price template for the Cuban lefty.
The Reds are at home against the Brewers on Sept. 1 before a embarking on a roadtrip to St. Louis and Colorado, so expect a good crowd at Great American Ball Park that night, you may even want to pick up your tickets early.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 18, 2010 7:10 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 7:13 pm

Reds offer Baker an extension

Dusty Baker The Reds have offered manager Dusty Baker a contract extension, Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer . However, Baker wouldn't give too many more details.

"We just got the proposal a few days ago," Baker said. "We're still evaluating it."

Baker said he doesn't have a timetable or a deadline for a decision.

"I'm concentrating on winning," Baker said. "I've said that all along. Everything is cool. It will work out."

Baker's three-year contract (at $3.5 million per year) is over at the end of the season. The Reds are 220-223 under Baker, including 68-51 this season. The team hasn't had a winning season since 2000 and haven't' been to the playoffs since 1995.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Dusty Baker, Reds
Posted on: August 15, 2010 12:29 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 4:09 pm

Reds' Cordero understands boos

Francisco Cordero The Reds are in a virtual tie for first place in the National League Central thanks to Saturday's victory against Florida that saw closer Francisco Cordero record his 31st save. Cordero's third in the National League in the stat, behind San Diego's Heath Bell and San Francisco's Brian Wilson, but still dealt with boos throughout his appearance that saw him walk two batters, give up a run and rely on a double play to wrap up the victory.

This is where a former Cincinnati closer might give the fans the finger, Cordero isn't complaining about the boos. In fact, he says he understands them completely. Following Saturday's outing, Cordero told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon , he's sympathetic to the boo birds:

"I have to stop walking people," Cordero said. "I've got to do that or it's going to be like that every time. I see how upset the fans are with me. I understand that. Every time I walk someone, that guy comes in to score. It's not like I'm giving up a lot of base hits. It's walks. I really don't know what to say about that. It's not my style. It's not me. I've never been like that my whole career. I have to keep working and try to be better every time out."

"I created that myself, walking people. I've got nobody to blame but myself. Putting me in that situation, putting the team in that situation and putting the fans in that situation, it's why they're upset with me right now. I've been walking too many guys. [The fans] have been great, unbelievable to the team. They're coming out on the road, coming out a lot to the stadium. They want to win. Putting the fans in that situation is not fair.

"In the end, we got to go home happy. I know they got to go home happy."
Cordero's been anything but a shut-down closer this season, despite earning $12 million. His 1.548 WHIP is his highest since 2001 and his 34 walks are more than he had all of last season. His 5.8 walks per nine innings is his most since 2001 and his 1.35 strikeout-to-walk ratio is his lowest since that same season, which was before he established himself as a closer.

So far, Reds manager Dusty Baker has stuck by his closer and shown no signs of replacing him. Last weekend, Cordero loaded the bases without giving up a hit in Chicago before being lifted for Nick Masset in a 4-3 Reds victory at Wrigley Field.

Masset would be next in line, but something drastic has to happen for Baker to lose faith in his high-priced closer. Masset, another big right-hander, had a rough start to the season, but since June 29, he has appeared in 22 games, allowing two earned runs (0.83 ERA) and limiting hitters to a .164/.256/.233 line.

That's not likely to be an issue, so it's good to see someone like Cordero understands why he's not the most popular man in the Queen City, but has responded like a real pro.

UPDATE: Cordero picked up his 32nd save of the season in the Reds' 2-0 victory over the Marlins on Sunday, but again it wasn't without drama. He allowed a leadoff double to Mike Stanton and walked Cody Ross with two outs before striking out Donnie Murphy to end the game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:25 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 1:47 pm

Suspensions for Reds-Cardinals brawl handed down

The punishments for the Cardinals-Reds brawl on Tuesday have been meted out, according to Victor Rojas, an Angels TV broadcaster formerly of ESPN.

Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto has been suspended seven games, a harsh punishment but not entirely undeserving as Cueto was backed up against the home plate backstop, kicking willy-nilly . Jason LaRue came down with a concussion and Chris Carpenter suffered scratches on his back.

Managers Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker, who had choice words for each other and were ejected after a shouting match, were dinged two games apiece. The managers and Cueto were also fined along with Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips, Chris Carpenter and Russ Springer.

Molina and Phillips were the instigators of the brawl after Phillips came to the plate in the bottom first. Philips had previously referred to the Cardinals as "little bitches ," which Molina took exception to and let Phillips know about it. The two jawed nose-to-nose before the fracas got out of hand.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 12:49 am

Cardinals accuse Cueto of hurting 2 players

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said backup catcher Jason LaRue suffered a concussion in Tuesday's fracas in Cincinnati.

La Russa said LaRue suffered the concussion at the feet of Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who kicked outward when he was backed up to the backstop during the near-brawl.

"I've got Cueto kicking me in the back. It's super unprofessional. I don't know where he learned how to fight," Cardinals pitcher said Chris Carpenter, who claimed he ended up with scratches on his back.

Cueto said he was just trying to escape after being pinned against the wall.

"When 15 people get over you, you get scared," he said after the game, using catcher Ramon Hernandez as a translator. "I did get nervous, a lot. I put my feet up, trying to get out of the way. I was trying to get up. My back was against the wall and I was trying to get people out of the way so I could get up."

Cueto can expect a suspension as soon as Wednesday for his role in the fracas.

Carpenter said he didn't have a problem with former teammate Scott Rolen, who grabbed him and drove him to the backstop.

"It was fine. I think Scott grabbed me and they thought we were doing something. That's when the bullrush got me. Scott was pulling me out and I was fine with that," Carpenter said. "I didn't know what happened, I felt someone grab me. Next thing you know I'm laying on the net getting kicked."

When a Reds radio network reporter said to Rolen that it looked like he was trying to serve as a peacemaker, Rolen paused and said, "That's a very friendly way of putting it. It's a very nice thing to say."

Of course, this all started Monday when Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals "little bitches."

Phillips, the Reds leadoff hitter, always taps the shin guards of the opposing catcher and umpire with his bat before the game. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took issue with the gesture.

"The comment he made last night ... that's going to happen. If you think I'm going to be in a good mood about the comment you made last night, don't say hi to me," Molina said.

Molina then said something to Phillips, kept him from getting into the batter's box and Phillips started jawing back. Then the benches emptied, with managers Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa getting into a shouting match.

"One thing led to another and guys were chirping and some guys said be quiet and then one of their coaches told our guys to be quiet," Baker said. "I told him to be quiet and Tony told me not to talk to his coaches."

After the managers were pulled apart, the second wave went on behind them with Rolen, Carpenter and Cueto caught up in it.

No players were ejected, only the two managers.

Molina then backed up his words, hitting a home run in the second and imitating Phillips' home run trot.

Molina finished 2 for 3 with two RBI, while Phillips was 1 for 5 with an RBI and made the last out in a Reds' loss for the second consecutive night.

Afterward, Phillips didn't have much to say.

"We just lost today. Regardless of what happened, it's all about wins and losses and we got an L today," he said.

With the 8-4 win, the Cardinals take over the lead in the National League Central by percentage points over the Reds.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2010 7:30 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 11:07 pm

Benches empty in Cincinnati

Maybe the Cardinals won't let their play do their talking.

On Monday, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals "little bitches" and the Cardinals said they'd let their play do the talking.

Instead, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina let his mouth do the talking. As Phillips went to the plate to lead off the bottom of the first, Molina impeded his way to the batter's box and started talking to Phillips. Phillips then started talking back to him and the benches cleared.

At one point, Scott Rolen, a former Cardinal, went after yesterday's starter, Chris Carpenter. Rolen drove him to the backstop, where the Reds' Tuesday starter, Johnny Cueto, was also caught up against the wall.

Both managers, Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa, were ejected, but as of now, it doesn't appear any players were tossed. The two managers were seen at one point jawing at each other, then Baker started yelling at a Cardinals player, as well. Baker and La Russa have a history, and it's not a friendly one.

Reds announcers reported nobody was hurt.

The Cardinals led 1-0.

UPDATE: Molina was talking the talk and walking the walk -- homering in the second to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead.

UPDATE: Phillips made his first mark on the field in the series with an RBI groundout in the third. Joey Votto followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 2 after three innings.

UPDATE: Cardinals win 8-4 and take over first place in the National League Central by percentage points. Milina finished 2 for 3 with two RBI. Phillips was 1 for 5 with an RBI. For the second night in a row, Phillips ended the game, this time with a groundout.

UPDATE: Dusty Baker on the Reds' postgame show said, "One thing led to another and guys were chirping and some guys said be quite and then one of their coaches told our guys to be quiet, I told him to be quiet and Tony told me not to talk to his coaches. ..."

From Molina on Fox Sports Midwest:  "What happened in the first inning, he talked bad about my team, me, he doesn't have to say hi to me. If you say something bad to me, don't say hi."

"The comment he made last night, that's going to happen. If you think I'm going to be in a good mood about the comment you made last night, don't say hi to me."

Phillips: "We just lost today. Regardless of what happened, it's all about wins and losses and we got an L today."

Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez: "Now we've got to clear our head and play baseball. .... If you hate someone, you have to go out and beat them on the field."

La Russa: "It was terrible."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com