About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reds Steal Game From Cubs


The Cincinnati Reds came up with a game plan to steal a game from Jake Arrieta, and they ran with it.

Billy Hamilton stole his 51st base and the Reds swiped six in all, beating the Chicago Cubs 7-2 Thursday.


Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier each stole twice, and Kristopher Negron added one more. The last time the Reds stole at least six was 2006 against Washington.

The Reds had six steals in the first four innings, using six hits and four walks to build a 6-0 lead against Arrieta (7-5).

Cincinnati stole three in a three-run second inning and two in a three-run fourth. All six steals came at second base, with John Baker catching Arrieta.

"We knew it would be hard to score on Arrieta," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We wanted to create some opportunities by being aggressive. We did a good job, all the way through, not just the first time through the lineup."

Dylan Axelrod (1-0) pitched five scoreless innings of two-hit ball and struck out eight.

"He had roughly 60 pitches in the first three innings," Price said. "It looked like he would only make it through three but he made an in-game adjustment and made it through five."

Axelrod was taking injured Homer Bailey's spot in the starting rotation and made his first start for the Reds since Aug. 16 in Colorado. Axelrod left that game with a lead, only to have the bullpen give it up.

A water main break in Denver caused a doubleheader that taxed the Reds' bullpen and Axelrod was sent to the minors in favor of bullpen help.
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It made sense," Axelrod said of that move. "You have to take advantage of every opportunity up here. They took some tough two-strike pitches in the first two innings. I decided to attack with my fastball. The three run lead made it easier.

Cubs rookie Jorge Soler doubled and singled in his second major league game and drove in a run. He homered and singled in his debut on Wednesday.

Hamilton set the tone right away. He drew a leadoff walk in the first and stole second on the next pitch.

Hamilton went 2 for 2 with a double and walked twice. Dee Gordon of the Dodgers began the day leading the majors with 58 steals.

Negron and Cozart each stole and scored in the second. Cozart and Frazier both stole and scored in the fourth.

Cozart had three hits, including a double, and scored three times.

"I've been feeling better the last three weeks but I haven't always gotten the results," Cozart said. "Now it's starting to show. We've been aggressive all year and not just with Billy. It makes it fun and creates opportunities when we run."

Arrieta felt he could have done a better job against the Reds' running game.

"I was bad at holding the runners. That's my fault," Arrieta said. "I wasn't giving Baker an opportunity to throw them out. That sets up the hits."

"Frazier hit two good pitches, but the pitch to Phillips was out over the plate, and so was the one to Hamilton for the double. I've got to vary my times better at holding the ball. They were aggressive on the bases and at the plate. They were able to get good reads and good jumps."

Reds relievers Pedro Villareal and Logan Ondrusek combined for three perfect innings. The Cubs scored two runs off Jumbo Diaz in the ninth.


Jay Bruce struck out five times. He is the seventh Reds player to strike out five times in a game and the second to do it in nine innings. Adam Dunn also struck out five times in nine innings in 2002.


Cubs: 1B Anthony Rizzo was out of the lineup for the second straight day with tightness in his lower back. Manager Rick Renteria hopes to have him back for the upcoming series in St. Louis.

Reds: Bailey (right elbow) and 1B Joey Votto (left knee) are progressing at a slow rate. The Reds plan to call up seven to nine players on Monday when rosters expand to 40, according to manager Bryan Price.


Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (5-1) will open the four-game series in St. Louis on Friday. He had a rain-shortened, two-inning start Aug. 23 against Baltimore.

Reds: Mike Leake (10-11) will begin the opener of a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday. Leake is 5-0 in 11 starts against Pittsburgh since a 3-2 loss on May 5, 2012.


Cubs LHP Felix Doubront will come off the DL to start the opener of Saturday's doubleheader in St. Louis. LHP Tsuyoshi Wada will start the second game.


The Cubs started four players who were 24 or younger: Veteran Starlin Castro (24), who made his debut at 20, Javier Baez (21), Jorge Soler (22) and Arismendy Alcantara (22) were in the starting lineup. Billy Hamilton was the youngest Reds' starter at 23.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reds Use Flubs To Drub Cubs


The punchless Reds fresh off being shut out last night opened up the bat rack but more importantly watched the Cubs infield flub, fumble and fidget for three errors, two in the decisive fourth inning that led to a 7-5 win.

The youthful show of defensive buffoonery spoiled the debut of 22-year old Cuban phenom, Jorge Soler, who homered on his first Major League swing off Reds starter Mat Latos.

Veteran Luis Valbuena, the aged 28-year old, showed Soler how it was done by hit,ting a Latos pitch into the rightfield seats.  Soler took two balls, then a strike before he crushed a pitch 423 feet onto the netting above the Reds' bullpen.  He was the first Cub player to homer in his first at-bat since Starlin Castro took Homer Bailey deep on May 7, 2010.

"I had trouble with my release point," Latos said. "Both were two seamers that were supposed to be down in the zone but I pulled them across the plate.  Later I got my release point back."

The Reds retaliated against young Jacob Turner, who landed with the Cubs earlier this month in a trade with the Miami Marlins.  Turner faced the Reds five days before the exchange.  The Reds solved him then with nine hits and five runs.

Devin Mesoraco hadn't had many hits lately.  He had just one in his last 32 at-bats.  Mesoraco singled to open the second.  Jay Bruce walked.  Mesoraco scored on the first of Skip Schumaker's two hits, a double in the leftcenterfield gap.  Bruce came home when Zack Cozart grounded out.

The fourth was a nightmare for Turner.  Kristopher Negron doubled.  Schumaker singled Negron home. With two outs, Starlin Castro couldn't come up with Billy Hamilton's slow roller which trickled into left to score Schumaker.  It was ruled an error but later changed to a hit.  Hamilton pilfered his 50th base of the season, becoming the ninth Reds' player in history to steal at least 50 in a season.  Brandon Phillips and Mesoraco off Carlos Villanueva before Bruce struck out looking.

Negron also turned in a double play in the first inning that impressed Latos.

"He turned in a double play on a nice stab.  I like the way he plays.  He's a dirty player and I like it," Latos said.

Bryan Price liked that he treated it as double all the way rather than being a spectator.

"He didn't break stride.  He was going to make the outfielder stop him.  That's how you do it," Price said.

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Latos blanked the Cubs from the third through the seventh but gave up back-to-back singles to pinch hitter Lagan Watkins and Chris Coughlan.  Bryan Price went to usually reliable Jonathon Broxton.  Javier Baez brought both of them home with a double.  Starlin Castro nearly tied the game with a drive to deep center but Castro got caught admiring the drive that hit high off the centerfield fence.  Hamilton got the ball back in so quickly that Castro held first and Baez only made third.  Valbuena struck out but Soler had his second career hit that produced his second RBI.

"I wish I could have stayed out there a little longer," Latos said.  "The bullpen came in and did its job."

Broxton got out of the jam by getting catcher Wellington Castillo to hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

Chris Heisey hit his fifth home run of the season as a pinch hitter against Zac Rosscup.  It was his third pinch homer of the season, ninth of his career.

Aroldis Chapman allowed a hit but turned in his 28th save in 30 tries with two strikeouts.

Cuban Invasion Coming Fast


Jorge Soler is just 22-years old but is part of an invasion of baseball players to the United States from Cuba.

Cuba is still closed to America but more and more baseball players are finding a way to the United States.  The invasion is not dependent so much on the big money that Cuban nationals can make in the states.  It is the opportunity to show their talents on the world's playing fields.

"It is exciting man. It's exciting to see the Cuban players coming from my island," said Brayan Pena, who himself defected more than a decade ago, signing with the Atlanta Braves.  "I know how hard it is for us to make it.  The route that you have to take and playing the best (baseball) game ever. I believe in that."

The decision is not made on a whim.  There are consequences. Pena's parents lost their jobs.

"Once you make that decision, it doesn't matter how you defect," Pena said. "It doesn't matter what drives you to do it. You never know when you can go back. You never know when you'll see your family.  You don't know if your dream is going to be real of not.  Nothing is written. For us Cuban players to be playing here in the states at this level is exciting.  It doesn't matter how much money you've got."

Pena had the dream and the desire as an 18-year old. The dream doesn't come true for all that defect.

"I know a lot of Cuban players that signed for a lot of money and they get here and they never pass Triple A," Pena said.  "They have to go home with their dream shot down.  It is very exciting to see another Cuban player make his Major League debut."

The elite Cuban players have been making that decision more and more lately.  Aroldis Chapman for the Reds, Yusiel Puig in Los Angeles, Yoenis Cespedes of the Boston Red Sox and Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox have had tremendous impact on the Major Leagues, becoming All-Stars.

The transition would seem easier given the success of these players.

"It is still very difficult," Pena said. "The fact is that more and more and more are making it into the big leagues. The other players from the island see that.  It is an inspiration for them to defect. They see the guy sitting next to them yesterday and today he is a big league player. Look how much money they're getting and look how much worldwide attention they're getting so why not give it a try."

Defection wasn't quite as common when Pena signed in November of 2000.

"It was just me and a couple guys," Pena said. "We started opening the door for those guys.  Now pretty much every team has a Cuban player either in the big league or the minor leagues. The White Sox have five or six players. Then there are coaches. The Cubs and Pirates have Cuban coaches in the big leagues.  You see more Cubans because we inspired the other players."

There is still a lot of political problems.  Some one even suggested the possibility of a major league team in Havana.

"There are a lot of things that you and I can't control," Pena said." It is a very difficult topic, a lot of politics involved. I don't feel like there will be a solution anytime soon. We have to go to plan B which is defections."

The Reds are popular in Cuba with Chapman and Pena, along with recently signed Rasiel Iglesias. Cincinnati had a presence in Cuba in the 40's and 50's with the Havana Sugar Kings.  The Reds signed Leo Cardenas and players like Tony Perez before Fidel Castro took control of the island on January 1, 1959.

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"Actually, I got a few emails and text message from a lot of friends of mine in Cuba," Pena said. "Everyone is so excited about Iglesias joining the Reds organization.  They follow the Major Leagues in Cuba. Not as much as they want but they do follow the Cuban players.  There are quite a few. At the end of the day it is a baseball country.  Everyone passes along news and pictures from the newspaper.  They  do  whatever it take to follow the players in the states."

Cubans have become fans of the Reds because of the history and players dating back to Martin Dehigo at the turn of the century.

"Everybody love the Reds down there," Pena said.  "They follow the Yankees and the Cubs but the Reds have been very famous because they have always had love for the Cuban players.  It may be nothing for some of the guys but they like the C on the hats. It means Cuba.  It is the Cuban national hat.  A lot of people in Cuba wear Reds' hats because of the C."

Cuba relaxed travel restrictions in 2012 to allow Cuban nationals to travel outside the country but Pena doesn't see the new policy opening the true flow of people, including players from flooding to the United States.

"It may make it easier but I don't know about the politicians. I still think for us to come the United States and be free, we will still need defections."

Debutants Ball For Daniel Corcino


How often does a player fulfill his lifelong dream on his birthday?

Reds right-handed pitcher, Daniel Corcino, struck out Wellington Castillo, the first batter he faced in the Major Leagues on his 24th birthday.

Corcino has been a rising star in the Reds' organization since signing as a 17-year old in January 2008.

Corcino shook off a tough 2013 and a very pedestrian 2014 spring training the culminated with a demotion from Triple A Louisville to Double A Pensacola.

The native of Azua, Dominican Republic was called up to shore up a battered bullpen on Friday. He became the fourth player (Tucker Barnhart, Jumbo Diaz and Carlos Contreras) to make his debut this season.

"I was just trying to relax in the bullpen," Corcino said after he struck out two in a scoreless inning. "It was exciting. My little boy was here. My family at home watched (on the internet). I was trying to stay calm. I talked to (Jumbo) Diaz. He told me baseball is the same everywhere."

Diaz, the 30-year old, took nine years to finally earn a trip to the Major Leagues.
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"It was great," Bryan Price said.  "It was something for us to watch in a game where nothing was going on."

Price wanted to give the youngster a "soft landing' by working in a game that was out of hand.  The 3-0 loss to the Cubs was the closest he could find.

"Corcino was down in the zone with strikes and had a pretty good changeup,  What a difference," Price said, comparing the last time he saw Corcino pitch.

His catcher Brayan Price went out to talk to Corcino before the ninth inning started.

"I told him this is your this is you time," Pena said.  "He was calm and felt like he belongs here. It says a lot about the guy. It was fun."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Johnny Cueto Clubbed By Cubs


Johnny Cueto was the victim of two home runs by the Chicago Cubs that accounted for all the scoring in the 3-0 loss.

Anthony Rizzo hit his 30th of the season with two outs and the bases empty in the first inning.  Arismendy Alcantara hit a two-run home run in the seventh to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

Former Red Travis Wood was shutting down the Reds in the meantime.  Todd Frazier hit a single in the first and Zack Cozart singled in the fifth.  Jay Bruce walked in the fourth.  All three were stranded by Wood, who left after six innings.
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The game was stopped by rain four batters into the game, contributing to the early exits of both starters.

Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon kept the Reds off the board over the last three innings.

The Reds put two runners on in the eighth against Strop but he got Frazier to ground out to end the mild threat.

Daniel Corcino struck out Wellignton Castillo, the first batter he ever faced, on his 24th birthday.

Cubs And Reds Closer Than Thought


When the Cubs left Cincinnati on July 9 after losing four out of five to the Reds, the team from the North Side of Chicago was 39-52 and 9 1/2 games behind the Reds in the standings.  The Reds were 49-43 and within 2 1/2 games of Milwaukee for first place.

Since that day the Cubs won 19 and lost 20.  The Reds meanwhile won 14 and lost 25 they hold only a 4 1/2 game lead over the Cubs.

Both managers want the same thing for different reasons.

Bryan Price wants his team to just play better baseball, while they get injured players back or try to get them back.

Brandon Phillips missed four weeks and is hitting .250 since his return.

"Brandon looks more comfortable.  He's staying in the middle of the field which is a good sign," Price said.

The Reds are looking forward to getting Joey Votto back.  They committed to getting the 2010 MVP back to 100 percent before he comes back when eligible to do so on September 4.  He just started baseball activities.  Homer Bailey is on the disabled list and neither Price nor Bailey knows if he will make it back in time.

"He is taking the PRP (platinum rich plasma) injections.  After each of those they are shut down for a week," Price said.

"I don't know if I can come back or not," Bailey said.  'If they tell me to throw, I throw. I feel like I can throw but then something simple like squeezing one of those rubber balls, reminds me."
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Tony Cingrani is on the disabled list at Louisville with a sore shoulder.

"I don't want to put any words in the trainer's mouth," Price said.  "I think there isn't enough time to get him on a throwing program for him to help us."

Dylna Axlerod will be recalled to pitch on Thursday.

"Our plan was to keep him in the rotation in Bailey's spot but Watergate made it necessary to send him out," Price said.

The Reds planned to pitch Axelrod against the Rockies in Colorado on August 16 but the water main at Coors Field broke which caused the Reds to play a doubleheader and  burn its bullpen.

The Cubs traded veteran Emilio Bonafacio and pitchers Jason Hamels and Jeff Samardzija at the trading deadline.

Chicago have four players in the starting lineup on Tuesday that started the season 24-years old or younger.

The Cubs are expected to recall young Cuban prospect, Jorge Soler, who is 22-years old, to finish out the season on the Major League roster.

"It is pretty exciting that the young man will be joining us," Cubs' manager Rick Renteria said.  "The organization feels that he has been moving along.  We want him to get his feet wet.  He is a talented outfielder with some power.  I just want him to show us what he's got within the framework of the team."

The Cubs are using this rest of the year to see what their young players are capable of doing.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Alfredo Simon Shakes Second Half Blues


Alfredo Simon pitched his way onto the National League All-Star team winning the final game before the break to fashion a 12-3 record.

Simon returned to form and the Reds' lumber emerged from its slumber to score five runs on 10 hits as the Reds forced a split of the four-game series with a 5-3 win.

Since the All-Star game, he reminded older Reds' fans of two first half sensations, Wayne Simpson and Jack Armstrong, who both had fantastic first halves only to fade into oblivion.  Simon made seven starts in the second half coming into the game but was 0-5 with two no-decisions.

"Today he pitched ahead in the count and used his full complement of pitches." Bryan Price said. "Sometimes a pitcher has the same velocity but it doesn't feel like it and he tries to manufacture more. Today he just executed his pitches."

Simpson was 13-1 at the 1970 All-Star break and won just 23 games in the remaining 4 1/2 years of his career. Armstrong was 11-3 at the 1990 All-Star break and won one game the rest of the season. He finished his career with a total of 22 games for three teams in the final four active years.

"I just tried to keep the ball down," Simon said.

The Reds jumped on former teammate and ace, Aaron Harang for three runs on five hits in the fourth inning. The five hits were as many as they had in the first three games of the series.   Todd Frazier, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, who reached when Harang neglected to cover first, Brayan Pena and Zack Cozart all had singles to plate three runs. Ryan Ludwick hit a sacrifice fly.

"Harang not covering first was the catalyst to that inning," Price said.  "Otherwise Ludwick's fly would be the third out."

Bruce's sixth inning single, a walk to Ryan Ludwick and Pena's second hit of the game made it 4-0 Reds. Bruce's hit was a ground ball to first on which Harang neglected to cover.

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Evan Gattis and Tommy La Stella hit back-to-back doubles off Simon but he finished the seventh inning, allowing one run on five hits and a walk for the game. He also hit a batter. It was Simon's best start since he beat Chicago on July 9, the day before the break.

Frazier added his 22nd home run off David Hale.  It was his second long ball since the All-Star break.

Jumbo Diaz rescued Manny Parra from a first and third, one-out jam by striking out Justin Upton and Chris Johnson.

Gattis hit his 20th home run of the season off Logan Ondrusek in the ninth.

Ondrusek got two outs then pinch hitter Emilio Bonafacio hit a ball up the middle.  Ondrusek tried to block it with his right foot and it bounded away for a hit.

Price brought in Jonathan Broxton, who allowed a single then walked the bases loaded before getting hot hitting Justin Upton to ground out to Phillips for his seventh save.

"I have all the confidence in Broxton," Price said.  "If Ondrusek doesn't try the skate save, we're out of the inning."

Zack Cozart, who has played Gold Glove defense but has struggled at the plate had three hits, including a triple high off the wall in rightcenter.

"It was heart warming to see Zack get some hits," Price said.

"I was concentrating on taking the ball up the middle. I didn't worry about what he was going to throw me," Cozart said.  "It simplified things for me.  On the triple, I thought, "I hit that pretty good." That's all I've got. I hit them to left and I know they're gone but not often do I hit them to the opposite field but I thought I hit it well enough.  Then I see Heyward running after the ball.  I'm thinking you've got to be kidding me.  Heyward passed me and told me, "one more donut and that would have been out.""

Daniel Corcino Fights His Way To Big Leagues


He is only 23, so it was just a matter of time but Daniel Corcino had to shake off a very tough season before he got the call.

Corcino was the top starting pitching prospect before the Reds drafted Robert Stephenson and Michael Lorenzen.  Three years a ago, in his first Major League spring training camp, Corcino could be seen with either Mario Soto or Johnny Cueto at any given time.

Soto would tap a writer on the shoulder and point out Corcino as the rising pitching star.

Corcino was rapidly promoted to Louisville for the start of the 2013 season and struggled.  He was 7-14, tied for the most losses in the International League with a gaudy 5.86 ERA.

His 2014 spring was rough too. Corcino was sent back a rung to Double A Pensacola, where he was 10-11 with a more respectable 4.13 ERA.

"I forgot about last year and decided to work hard every day," Corcino said. "I never got disappointed. This game will turn.  I talked to Mario after Carlos Contreras was picked to join the Reds.  He told me not to worry and to keep doing what I'm doing."

The Blue Wahoo's had just finished a game in Jacksonville, Florida and boarded the bus for the 350 mile trip across I-10 on Thursday night.

Pensacola manager, Delino Deshields made a crack about a 3:00 o'clock workout when the bus was due to arrive at 4:00 a.m.

"Everybody laughed," Corcino said. "Then he told me I was going to Cincinnati. I said, "Are you playing with me/" He said, "I wouldn't do that." I was so excited."

Corcino got off the bus with the team then got on a 9:00 a.m. flight, arriving at Great American Ball Park at 5:00 p.m. with no sleep.

"It was a long day but I was warming up in the 11th inning," Corcino said.

"We wanted to give him a soft landing by getting him into a game when it wasn't on the line," Bryan Price said.  "We don't always have it work out that way for us."

Corcino would have been called upon if the extra-inning game went any farther.  He had last pitched as a starter on Sunday, pitching seven innings.
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"It would have been on his turn.  He was going to stay out there for awhile," Price said.

Justin Upton's two-run home run off Manny Parra in the 12th inning made the point mute.

Corcino, who turns 24 on Tuesday, will be the fourth player to make his Major League debut this season along with Tucker Barnhart, Jumbo Diaz and Contreras.

"I am excited to be here," Corcino said. "I thank God for the opportunity."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Reds String Two Hits Together To Support Mike Leake


The trick is not to get two hits in a game.  It is to string two of them together in the same inning.

The result was the lone run in a 1-0 win.

The win stopped the Reds' seven-game losing streak.

"We haven't won since last Friday so it's been over a week," Bryan Price said. "It wasn't just the seven in a row, it was the gut wrenching fashion in which we lost them."

The Reds had two hits in 12 innings in a 3-1 loss on Friday but after chalking up one hit in the first five innings Saturday, Mike Leake doubled to open the sixth inning against Ervin Santana, went to third on Billy Hamilton's bunt and scored on Brandon Phillips single.

Leake was mowing down Braves' hitters in his turn on the mound.  Emilio Bonafacio singled to open the game but catcher Brayan Pena threw Bonafacio out trying to steal. Leake retired 10 batters in a row before walking Freddie Freeman. He retired another seven straight before Andrelton Simmons led off the seventh with a double.  Leake struck out Freeman and Justin Upton but walked Chris Johnson and Evan Gattis.

"I went out to talk to him to see if he could get La Stella," Price said.  "He was very honest with me which I appreciate. He told me, "I could probably get him but I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't out of gas." That was the decision of the game, him being honest.  It would be bad if you find out he's out of gas after a two-run single."
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Price brought out the heavy artillery in 278 lb, Jumbo Diaz.  The big right-hander got Tommy La Stella to hit into a force play to escape the threat.

It was a hard hit line drive right at Cozart.

"It was hit hard.  The one hit right at you is a harder play than the ones you have to dive for," Cozart said.  "I knew Gattis was running so I was lining it up with my body.  Even if I just knocked it down, I had time."

Jonathan Broxton survived a two-out double in the eighth.  He has held opponents scoreless in 42 of his 48 appearances.

Aroldis Chapman earned his 27th save in 29 attempts.

"Chapman really wanted the opportunity," Price said. "After working back-to-back days and two innings last night. He said he was ready. I was really impressed by that.

Chapman struck out the side. It was the 11th time this season that he's had three strikeouts in an inning.

Chapman has allowed 37 base runners (hits, walks, hit batters) in 42 1/3 innings while striking out 83.

Labor Peace, Economic Reform Commissioner Bud Selig's Legacy


When Bud Selig took over as Commissioner of Baseball in 1992, baseball had been through seven work stoppages in 22 years.  While he regretfully presided over the last one in 1994, the players union and owners have been able to work out differences.

It took an unprecedented cancellation of the World Series to get the game back on solid ground.

"I really don't have any regrets but it was a terrible feeling," outgoing commissioner Bud Selig told a group of reporters at Great American Ball Park Friday evening. "It was painful, heartbreaking. It really broke my heart."

Selig, who will teach college history when he retires in January remembers the night that he announced his decision very well.

"I went home, had dinner and went upstairs and replayed every World Series since 1944.  I will never forget that feeling," Selig said.

History may judge the missed World Series as a turning point.

"As a history buff, looking back on retrospective history, we've had 21 or 22 years of labor peace," Selig said.  "Maybe it took that to finally get labor peace.  We had eight work stoppages from 1970 to the present. It was every two to three years. It was painful and the sport was getting hurt. That's why gross revenues risen from $1.2 billion to close to $9 billion. I really believe labor peace is the reason for that."
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Not only has revenue increased, it is being shared more equitably among the 30 franchises to allow all of them to compete.

"In 1998 we had a blue ribbon committee of Greg Levine, the President of Yale, Paul Volker, the chairman of the Fed (eral Reserve Bank), Senator George Mitchell and George Will.  They called me in and George Volker, 6'8" and smoking a cigar, told me, "you have a problem. 25 of your teams can't win."  I told him, "that's why you're here.".  From that the National League was still in, as I call it, the Ebbets Field, Polo Grounds days, things have changed.  I woke up two or three weeks ago, the three NL division leaders were tied, Milwaukee was in first place, Kansas City was in first place and Oakland battling.  I don't care what anybody says, it couldn't happen and it didn't happen."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reds Lone Hitter Sets Up Extra Inning Loss


Justin Upton provided as many runs on one swing in the 12th inning as the Reds and Braves scored in the previous 11.

The 414 foot blast gave the Braves a 3-1 win over the punchless Reds.

The Reds' sixth pitcher, Manny Parra walked Freddie Freeman, who trotted home ahead of Upton's 25th home run of the season.

"It's discouraging, frustrating or whatever other adjective you want to use," Bryan Price said.

Mat Latos pitched out of jams for most of his six innings.  He gave up aine hits tying his season high and he walked two batters.

Latos stranded a runner in the first inning. The Braves loaded the bases after two were out in the second but Latos escaped.

Tommy La Stella hit into a force play on which Zack Cozart made a diving stop to drive in the lone run off Latos.

The Atlanta starter, Mike Minor retired the first 10 Reds in order before issuing one of his three walks to Todd Frazier in the fourth.  The Reds were hitless after seven innings.

Minor was making a bid to throw the first no-hitter by a Braves pitcher since Kent Mercker, the former Red threw one on April 8, 1994 in Los Angeles.

The Reds were last the victim of a no-hitter on October 6, 2010 at Philadelphia in the playoffs.  Rick Wise of the Phillies threw the last regular season no-hitter against the Reds in Riverfront Stadium on June 23, 1971.  Wise also hit two home runs that night.
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Zack Cozart walked with one out in the eighth.  He went to second on pinch hitter Chris Heisey;s infield roller to third.  Billy Hamilton spoiled the no-hitter and tied the game with a soft line single to center.

Three innings later Hamilton got the Reds' second hit of the game with a ground ball up the middle.  He stole his third base of the night and 49th of the season but watched his flailing teammates beat the ball in the ground or popped it up in the air.

"Everybody hates to lose," Hamilton said.  "He (Minor) had a no-hitter but we were only down one run. I feel like it's going to get better."

Flame thrower Craig Kimbrel earned his 38th save with a scoreless 12th.

The Reds fell a season-low seven games below .500 at 61-68. They have lost nine extra-inning games while winning just three.

Oak Hills Grad Joel Bender Gets Promotion And Start


The Reds' organization sent Oak Hills High School graduate, LHP Joel Bender from Dayton to Pensacola Blue Wahoos to make his second start of the season on Saturday night against the Montgomery Biscuits.

The Reds promoted RHP Daniel Corcino to pitch out of the Reds' bullpen, then elected Bender to make his first Double A start.

Bender made one start at Dayton but pitched mostly out of the bullpen.  The 23-year old taken in the 27th round of the 2010 draft, had a 6-3 record at Dayton with a 4.67 ERA in 43 appearances.
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In his last 10 games, Bender is 2-2 with a 2.91 ERA over 21 2/3 innings.  Bender pitched five innings in relief of Amir Garrett on August 18.  He has also worked more than one inning in five of his last six appearances.

Reds Promote Daniel Corcino


The brought RHP Daniel Corcino to the Major League club before the game.

David Holmberg, the starter in place of Homer Bailey on Thursday night, was optioned back to Louisville.

Corcino will work out of the bullpen after making 25 starts at Double A, Pensacola.  Corcino, who has been to two spring training camps, was  a rising star in the Reds' system.  but had an off year in 2012.

Corcino was 7-14 with a 5.86 ERA in 23 starts for Louisville in 2012.  He was 10-11 with a 4.13 ERA with Pensacola this season.

"He's had a solid year," Bryan Price said.  "His command has been better especially, lately."
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Price said that Corcino is still considered a starter but will work out of the bullpen initially.  If more starts are needed in the continued absence of Bailey, Dylan Axlerod, who pitched in Colorado will make them.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Braves Uprising Reds Downfall Please Mr. Custer I Don't Want To Go


Custer's last stand at the Little Bighorn lasted two hours and 25 minutes.  The Atlanta Braves took three hours 10 minutes to torture the Reds, 8-0

The Braves ambushed 23-year old David Holmberg and it wasn't the Braves that were wild.

Holmberg gave up five hits, walked four and hit two.  He walked the number eight hitter B.J. Upton, celebrating his 30th birthday, to get to the pitcher.  Holmberg promptly hit Atlanta starter, Julio Teheran with a pitch to load the bases then walked Jason Heyward to force in a run.

"We were hoping for a few more innings," Price said.  "He is a better pitcher than what he's shown here.  It seemed like when guys were on base, he tried to reach back a little. Then use his changeup. They figured out pretty quick that he was going to us his change up."

Holmberg walked and hit a batter in the first but closed out the inning.

"You never know what guys put on their plate," Price said. "He knows we haven't been winning and wanted to be the guy."

Andrelton Simmons hit a solo home run in the second.  The Braves finished off Holmberg with five run third.   Holmberg lasted 2 2/3 innings, as he did on his Major League debut on July 8.

"It wasn't what I wanted to do," Holmberg said.  "This team has struggled to win games. I wanted to be the guy to win a ballgame.  I felt I had better command but the snowball effect took over. Things can snowball pretty quick at this level."

Pedro Villarreal mopped up with 2 1/3 innings after having his contract selected from Louisville this afternoon.  He allowed two runs. Villarreal hit a single in his second Major League at-bat in the third inning.

"Villarreal put us in a position where we didn't have to crush our bullpen," Price said.

Logan Ondrusek pitched two hitless, scoreless innings.

The bright spots on the mound came from Aroldis Chapman, who left the game on Sunday with soreness in his shoulder.  He entered the first game of that double header in the ninth inning with a five-run lead and walked the four batters he faced in an eventual 10-9 Reds' loss in Colorado.  Chapman struck out two in a perfect eighth.

"We had a two-fold reason to use him.  We could see that he was alright and if he came out of it we could use him tomorrow.  If we used (Jonathan) Broxton, (Jumbo) Diaz or (Sam) LeCure we couldn't have used them because they have worked too many days in a row," Price said.

Skip Schumaker made his fourth appearance on the mound. He walked a batter but allowed no hits in the ninth inning.  Schumaker was the first position player to take the mound since Paul Janish in 2009.

"If Skip Schumaker pitching is the bright spot of you game, it says a lot about your game.  That being said. He did it like he does everything else, with intensity.  He didn't want to give up a run," Price said.

It was the 11th time the Reds have been shutout, equaling last season's total.

Reds Make Changes To Pitching Staff


The words Dam and Hoover are forever linked not only in Arizona but from lips of Reds' fans when J.J. Hoover was called on from the bullpen.

It has been a nightmare for Hoover with a 1-10 record with four of the Reds' walkoff losses being charged to him.  Hoover appeared in roles out of necessity that he would not ordinarily be placed. He pitched well in spots but his failures were glaring.  His confidence was down and he felt the need to apologize to the fans that screamed for his demotion.

The Reds did just that when they optioned Hoover to Louisville along with Carlos Contreras, who also has an achy right shoulder.

The Reds recalled LHP David Holmberg from Louisville to make the start Thursday night.  The Reds selected the contract of Pedro Villareal from Louisville.  Villareal made an emergency starts last season for the Reds and one in 2012.  Villareal was signed by the Reds to a minor league contract in January.

Holmberg started for the Reds against the Chicago Cubs on July 8.  He allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings that day but the Reds came back to win 6-5.
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Holmberg was obtained in a three-team trade from Arizona in the Ryan Hannigan deal.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Brandon Phillips Back In Lineup


After three rehab games, Brandon Phillips is back in the Reds lineup.

Phillips was 2-for-3 at Dayton, yesterday and is playing pain free.

The Reds sent catcher Tucker Barnhart back to Louisville along with Dylan Axlerod and Curtis Partch, who was the extra player designated for the double header.

The Reds activated Logan Ondrusek from the 15-day disabled list.

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Phillips, who is back two weeks early from a torn ligament in his left thumb, will be at secondbase and bat sixth against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Boston Sweeps Two Game Series


Mike Leake homered for the second time this season and fourth time in his career but gave up a big home run to Mike Napli with a runner on to give back the lead, the home run staked him to.

The 5-4 decision was the fourth one-run loss to Boston this season, two in Boston in May and the last two nights in Cincinnati.  It dropped the Reds' record to 60-60.

Yoenis Cespedes had two singles and two RBI before he left the game with a contusion on his right hand.  Cepedes who homered to put the Red Sox in the lead on Wednesday, was on base with a game-tying single when Napoli connected on his 15th of the season.

Rookie Anthony Ranaudo was staked to a quick two-run lead in the first inning.

Brock Holt singled off Leake and took second when a pitch got away from Reds' catcher Devin Mesoraco.  Daniel Nava singled to plate Holt and went to second on the throw home.  Nava took third on a slow roller to short and scored on a fielder's choice when Todd Frazier's throw to the plate on Napoli's ground ball was late.

The Reds dealt themselves back into the game on a single by Kristopher Negron, a ground-rule double by Frazier.  Devin Mesoraco's fly to deep center brought Negron home. 

Skip Schumaker and Leake both hit their second home run of the season off Ranaudo and took a brief lead.

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Holt doubled with one our and scored on a single by Cespedes to tie the game and rode home on Napoli's blast to right.

Frazier's sacrifice fly followed Negron's first career triple to make it a one-run game.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth, extending his streak to 49 appearances with at least one strikeout.  He ha struck out the side 10 times this season.

Former Cardianal closer Edward Mujica survived two singles to open the ninth to earn his third save.