Posted on: August 1, 2008 11:31 pm

Goodbye Cinci...hello Chicago from Mr. Griffey

When the Reds acquired Ken Griffey Jr in the winter of 2000 it appeared to be a great move. Griffey was the best player in the game (arguably) and was returning to his hometown. Griffey was a complete 5 tool player when he arrived in Cincy. The issues then began...

Griffey began to get injured at an alarming rate. Reds fans gasped as they continued to see Griffey go down with leg injuries while attempting to catch balls in the outfield, or round the bases in an aggressive manner. Many Reds fans became upset and blamed the injuries on Griffey being out of shape. The real reason I think Reds fans became upset was because of the expections Griffey arrived with.

Reds fans and Griffey had become tired of each other. The Reds wanted to keep Griffey for him to hit 600 HR in the Reds uniform, and continue to bring fans into the park as the Reds floundered.

The Reds then decided to deal Griffey to the White much for themselves as for Ken Griffey Jr. It gives Griffey the chance to be in the thick of a pennant race, and possibly in contention for a WS crown. It was a bittersweet departure for both Griffey and the Reds fans (at least this one).

Tonight Griffey arrived to the White Sox in style with a rocket to center to knock in a run, and a dribbler through the right side to knock in another run. He also had 'warning track power' on another pitch and drew a walk in his final AB. It is yet to be seen if Griffey can continue to play CF everyday and be consistent at the plate. This is not the Griffey of the late 1990's...but the swing is still sweet.

I can only wish Griffey the best on the White Sox...and root for them, and Griffey to be successful.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 12, 2008 10:41 am

Bonds or Griffey?

The last response to the Manny Ramirez vs. Ken Griffey Jr. was interesting, and got me to thinking of another comparable player in the same era. Eras are difficult to cross and compare although people love doing that with numbers. So lets take a look at a couple of the best players of the last 20 or so years.

Case for Bonds:

The guy was a beast of a player prior to 1999. He was not only a power threat, but hit for a a high average and was still stealing bases with some regularity. Later in his career Bonds had a power surge which is questioned by many who watched him. Some people forget that Barry Bonds was a pretty good defensive outfielder winning 8 GG in LF. Many remember Bonds as older and one of the wrost defensive outfielders, or in his prime many remember him NOT throwing the guy out at the plate in the NLCS in 1991 (maybe 1992). Bonds was named MVP of the NL 7 times, which is more than two times more MVPs than anyone in the history of the game Mantle, DiMaggio and several others are tied for second with 3 MVP. Lou Gehrig only has 2 MVPs.

The numbers for Bonds are just ridiculious, but some of the questions about how he achieved some of those numbers hurt Bonds case slightly.

Case for Griffey:

Griffey was probably the best player of the 1990's and some of his career numbers are right up there in the top in the history of the game. Griffey has missed a lot of time due to injuries, but doesn't take away from the great career of Griffey. Griffey was without a doubt the better player in the field. Griffey played the much mroe demanding position of CF rather than LF. Griffey had the sweet swing, but hit for a lower average than Bonds. Griffey had more HR than Bonds when looking at career totals until Bonds took off in 2001 and Griffey began his string of injuries.

Career Numbers:

Barry Bonds: 2986 G, 9847 AB, 2227 R, 2935 H, 601 2B, 77 3B, 762 HR, 1996 RBI, 514 SB, 2558 BB, 1539 SO, .298 BA, .444 OBP, .607 SLG, 182 OPS+, 7 MVPs, .984 Fielding %, 14 Time All-Star, 8 Gold Gloves 

Bonds 162 Game Avg: 534 AB, 121 R, 159 H, 33 2B, 41 HR, 108 RBI, 28 SB, .298 BA, .444 OBP, .607 SLG 

Ken Griffey Jr: 2441 G, 9051 AB, 1575 R, 2616 H, 487 2B, 37 3B, 600 HR, 1730 RBI, 184 SB, 1200 BB, 1629 SO, .289 BA, .373 OBP, .550 SLG, 139 OPS+, 1 MVP, .985 Fielding %, 13 Time All-Star, 10 Gold Gloves

Griffey 162 Game Avg: 601 AB, 105 R, 174 H, 32 2B, 40 HR, 115 RBI, 12 SB, .289 BA, .373 OBP, .550 SLG

So with all that....who ya got?

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 3, 2008 1:41 pm

Ramirez of Griffey?

The other day on ESPN they had the argument of who was/is the better player Manny Ramirez or Ken Griffey Jr. Manny recently hit a milestone HR with number 500 and Ken Griffey Jr. is on the cusp of 600 HR.

So the question is who was the better player?

Case for Manny:

The guy has been so solid for a long time. He has not missed long stretches of games like Ken Griffey Jr. has. Ramirez is an RBI machine and is a lock for 100-120 RBI in a season. Manny has a higher batting average and at this point in his career is a better hitter than Griffey. Manny is very dangerous because of his ability to continue to hit the ball to the opposite field for power.

Case for Griffey:

Griffey has better career stats in just about every category than Manny. Griffey is a far superior defender winning 10 gold gloves in a row, while Manny has yet to win one (although if he keeps high-fiving the fans after catches he may get one). Griffey was one of the top players in the game during the 1990's and many forget that Griffey was a very good hitter to all fields. Only recently has Griffey become mainly a pull hitter, who hits for less average.

Career stats look like this:

Manny Ramirez- 2006 games, 7274 ABs, 1378 R, 2273 H, 485 2B, 18 3B, 502 HR, 1643 RBI, 35 SB, 31 CS, 1149 BB, 1593 SO, .312 BA, .408 OBP, .591 SLG %, 154 OPS+, 4300 TB, .978 Fielding Percentage, 0 MVP awards, 2 WS titles, 1 WS MVP

Ken Griffey Jr- 2431 games, 9030 ABs, 1572 R, 2610 H, 484 2B, 37 3B, 599 HR, 1728 RBI, 184 SB, 69 CS, 1190 BB, 1626 SO, .290 BA, .373 OBP, .550 SLG %, 139 OPS+, 4965 TB, .985 Fielding Percentage, 1 MVP award, 0 WS titles, 0 WS MVP


Category: MLB
Posted on: May 29, 2008 12:04 pm

Bruce arrival, Hamilton departure

The Reds fans have been waiting for Jay Bruce for quite some time now. He has shown some of the tools he has in his first couple of games. He has two SBs in two games, and a couple of RBI. Although the most important thing he may bring to the team is his energy. Replacing Corey Patterson (who was sent to AAA) with Jay Bruce is huge. The energy and excitement that Bruce brings to the stadium has resulted in part in the Reds scoring 9 runs two games in a row. The other part of those 18 runs is playing the Pirates....

Sending Corey Patterson to the minors was like a gift from the heavens for Reds fans...Dusty obviously didn't have a say in that move. Reds fans will no longer have to watch a guy hitting .200 with an OBP not much higher in the leadoff spot. Jay Bruce is an incredible athlete who has all the tools to succeed at the Major League Level.  

As far as Josh Hamilton succeeding for the Texas Rangers I am so happy for the kid. He has been through some tough times, and appears to have come out the other end for the better. Hamilton really reached out to the Reds community in his year in Cincy. Unfortunately he was injured and could not play most of the season. The glimpses that he showed were nothing short of superstar. He walked off the bus having not played professional baseball for about 5 years to hitting around .300. He is truly a talented ballplayer. Hamilton is leading the league in RBI, is right near the top in BA, and HR. He is looking for the Triple Crown and is leading the Rangers to their best record in memory.

But the departure of Josh Hamilton was good for the Reds. The acquisition of Edinson Volquez is very important for the Reds ballclub who needs arms in the rotation. Of course it would have been better to deal Adam Dunn (who I am sick of). Volquez has an ERA under 1.4 and is leading the majors in the category (while playing games in GABP). Volquez had 8 starts in which he gave up just 1 run (and another where he gave up 2) which is just awesome. He also strikes out a lot of batters, and appears to be gaining more and more control.

The Volquez-Hamilton deal appears to be one that works out very good for each team. I wish Josh Hamilton the best of luck, and hope that he can stay clean and continue to show MLB fans how talented a ballplayer he really is.


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 15, 2008 9:54 pm

Fantasy Gem...

Although he is probably gone in most leagues it would be a good idea for you to pick up Rafael Betancourt if he is still available. This is the guy who has the nasty stuff in the Cleveland bullpen. Many experts thought he was the better option to close than Joe Borowski just because of stuff. His mid 90's fastball and breaking pitches with movement are stellar.

The rest of the Indians bullpen is pretty good with Rafael Perez and Jorge Julio (I know...but he isn't a bad 7th inning or 6th inning guy) so the Indians should still have leads for Betancourt to hold.

Another interesting aspect of this is now he will get his chance with Joe Bo blowing saves...then going on the DL. Betancourt will get the save opportunities and could be a serious sleeper...and keep the job when Joe Bo comes off the DL.

The Indians will contend in the AL Central and Rafael Betancourt will be a factor.

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 12, 2008 11:05 pm

Reds struggling....against the Pirates??

What is going on with the Reds? After taking 2 of 3 from one of the best teams in baseball (Diamondbacks), 2 out of 4 from the Phillies, and 2 out of 3 from the Brewers the Reds have lost two in a row to the Pirates?

The Pirates?

It took the Reds 14 innings to score on the Pirates after losing hte first game of the series 1-0. The Reds lost the second game of the series 4-3. The pitchers for the Reds were Edinson Volquez who pitched well but was taken out after a lengthy rain delay, and Bronson Arroyo threw today. Johnny Cueto will pitch the finale on Sunday.

If the Reds want to seriously compete for the NL Central they are going to have win the games they are supposed to win. They are supposed to beat the Pirates. Winning close games is also important if the team wants to compete for a division.

The offense for the Reds which was thought to be a strength has struggled thus far, but should improve as the season goes on. Scoring three runs against the Pirates in 18 innings is unacceptable. Luckily the Reds are getting pretty good pitching which is keeping them in a lot of games.


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 3, 2008 3:05 pm

Heres Johnny....

Johnny Cueto one of the Reds prized pitching prospects made his major league debut today, and said Hello world. Cueto has outstanding stuff and all the makings of a great pitcher at the major league level.

He showed his stuff today going 7 innings and giving up just one hit (a leadoff homer to Justin Upton in the 6th inning) and not walking a batter while he struck out 10! What a great performance for this young man.

Johnny Cueto has some fantasy value. He is the third starter in a rotation with a pretty good offense and he has shown that he has the talent to take care of a major league lineup. He is a very good pickup in NL only leagues (if he is available) and in mixed leagues as a sort of risk/reward pick if you have a bench spot available.

Cueto left with a 3-1 lead and the Reds bullpen came in to finish up the rest...but they called on David Weathers who recorded an out and then walked the bases full....before getting taken out.

What an outstanding debut for Cueto...the kid could be really good.

Category: MLB
Posted on: March 31, 2008 7:14 pm

Hooray for Opening Day!

The offseason seemed to take forever....but now the baseball season is offically here. The day baseball is something that doesn't happen as much as it should anymore in my opinion. One game in particular had my interest...

The Reds home opener today was the beginning of their 132nd season, and it was the first opening day in a long while when Joe Nuxhall was not inolved with the Reds for a good longwhile. Joe had been in the booth for like 40 years and has been the voice of the Reds. Many tributes were given to Joe while he was still alive including the microphone with his name under it in Great American Ballpark and his famous phrase "Rounding third and heading for home" is on the side of the stadium. The Reds fans will never forget the old lefty. Today the Reds unveiled a number 41 jersey over the bullpen in memory of Joe Nuxhall.

Perhaps the most touching tribute to a great guy on/off the field and in the community for the Reds were the jerseys the players came onto the field with. Each player had number 41 and Nuxhall on their backs. After they came out for introductions they changed their jerseys and they will be auctioned with the money going to Joe's program to help children in the city of Cincinnati. These moments make baseball truly great and show what a great impact Joe has had on the community and the Reds.

The Reds lost the game to a very good Diamondbacks team where Brandon Webb looked very good. Aaron Harang who wore the number 41 Nuxhall jersey throughout the game appeared to be a little off and a couple of his mistake pitches were taken out of the yard. Behind the power of 3 homeruns the Diamondbacks won...but that was hardly the story.

Baseball is back....and we are all emotionally involved for at least 6 more months...until we can hope for something in the next offseason...

Category: MLB
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