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, June 30, 2016

Colerain And UC Ace To Sign With The Arizona Diamondbacks

Ryan Atkinson is on his way to Missoula, Montana.

A former pitching star at the University of Cincinnati and the former ace of the Colerain Cardinals baseball pitching staff is flying to sign his first professional contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Atkinson was not drafted after his senior year and was settling into a career as a dietician and trainer when pro scouts from seveal teams began to call.

He was asked to throw for scouts at a special workout two weeks ago at St. Joeseph College in Indiana where he generated interest in spite of not pitching for nearly two years.  Atkinson kept himself in peak condition and impressed the Diamondbacks in particular.

They arranged a short term contract with the Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League. He pitched four innings of one-hit baseball for in the Otters win over Windy City, striking out seven. In two games with Evansville, Atkinson struck out eight in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Diamondbacks quickly purchased Atkinson's contract and is on his way to join the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer League.  The Reds have an affiliate in Billings, Montana in the league.  The short season rookie league started two weeks ago.

The 6'3" 218 lb right-hander was not drafted out of Colerain in 2011 where he was 2011 first-team all-city selection after recording a 1.66 ERA, 64 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched.  Atkinson two-time first-team all-Greater Miami Conference honoree and an all-Ohio honorable mention in 2011. He was named all-city honorable mention in 2010 after posting a 1.81 ERA with 77 Ks in 54 innings pitched.

The 23-year old threw a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts and tossed an 18-strikeout performance both against Mason junior season Atkinson threw one-hitter with 15 strikeouts against eventual state champion Lakota East senior season. He was the punter on Colerain's football team senior season.

Atkinson went on to pitch for the University of Cincinnati baseball Bearcats from 2012 through 2015. Where he had a career 9-11 record.  He was limited to six games as a junior with a shoulder injury and was not drafted.

Atkinson bounced back his senior year to post a 4-6 record in 15 games with a 4,82 ERA in eight starts with several highlights. He went eight innings with a four strikeouts to earn the win at No. 24 Memphis (5/1) . Atkinson recorded nine strikeouts and allowed just seven hits in 7.0 innings against Tulane (4/24). He kept No. 25 Houston to just three hits over 7.1 innings with five strikeouts (4/18) and pitched a gem in his first start of the season, allowing just one hit to No. 6 UCF and striking out seven for the victory (4/2) .

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cubs Sweep Beleagured Reds

The Cubs used the vibes generated by the stirring 15-inning win on Tuesday night to wreck the Reds on Wednesday in a 9-2 follow up win.  The Reds stand at 29-50, two games from the mathematic mid-point of the season.

"We could have gotten a save from Rondon, last night and moved on.  But winning the game with a grand slam in the 15th inning was good for the esprit de corp," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Wednesday's game. "You normally see a bump from those things like that but it's more about the starting pitcher."

The starting pitcher in question was veteran Kyle Hendricks who had a three-run lead before he even took the mound.

Reds' rookie Cody Reed, who is taking his lumps in the big leagues after dominating batters in the International League, was in trouble after one pitch. Ben Zobrist bunted for a single and went to third on a solid single by Kris Bryant.  The next play was a horrible disaster for Reed and the Reds.

"Reed has really good stuff," Bryan Price said. "His best pitch was a consistent quality change up. It is a pitch we asked him to work on with Teddy Power.  He has the velocity but threw a flat fastball in fastball counts.  We have to live with growing pains to an extent. He has to take his lumps. He has to learn the sequence of pitches so he's not so predictable."

Anthony Rizzo hit a ball into the left centerfield gap that was tailing away from Hamilton towards leftfielder Adam Duvall.  The two appeared to be on a collision course but Hamilton went into a slide. The ball apparently tipped off Duvall's glove and hit Hamilton directly in the face, caroming into the leftfield corner as all three Cubs scored.

"I thought we were going to collide. We both called for it at the same time," Duvall said. "I didn't take my eye off it but I kinda flinched, I guess. I didn't see a replay. It must have hit him pretty good because it rolled pretty far."

It was Rizzo's 19th home run of the season

Hamilton was down several minutes with his face toward the ground.  Trainer Steve Bauman attended to him.  He was able to stand up and leave the field under his own power, exciting through the bullpen.

Hamilton was on the seven-day concussion disabled list from June 10-17.  This was his 12th appearance since he was reactivated from it.  He was hitting .200 since his return but hit a home run off Jon Lester in last night's game

"Hamilton had a contusion on his left cheeck," Price said.  "He wanted to stay in the game but we made the right decision to take him out. He was under concussion protocol."

Reed retired six in a row but the Cubs scored two in the third on a single by Zobrist and double by Wilson Contreras and Javier Baez' single. Home runs by Addison Russel his eighth and the first Major League home run by Albert Almora, the Cubs top pick in the 2012 draft capped the scoring on Reed.

"I didn't throw a lot of first pitch strikes. I have to be a little bit better," Reed said.  "I am a slow learner as of right now. I know struggles are going to happen. I think to myself that I have the ability. I have to get ahead of guys quicker."

Reed logged four innings with nine hits that resulted in seven runs.

The Reds showed life in the third but not enough.

Joey Votto walked with two outs.  Brandon Phillips single put runners at first and second.  Jay Bruce hit a ground ball past secondbaseman Baez but whether Votto didn't read it correctly or failed to get a secondary lead.or is somehow injured, was thrown out easily at home.

As the Reds' bad luck would have it, Adam Duvall crushed his NL leading 22nd home run leading off the fourth.  It could have been a four-run homer if not for Votto being cut down at the plate. Eugenio singled and went to third on Tucker Barnhart's ground rule double to center.  Zack Cozart interrupted his day off with a ground ball to short that scored Suarez.

Keyvius Sampson recalled this morning from Louisville, gave up two runs in the seventh.

Ross Ohlendorf struck out two batters in the ninth, including rookie pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. to earn the Reds' fans pizza from LaRosa's..

Edwards entered with Reds; on first and second and no outs in the eighth but got out of the inning with the score intact.

J.J. Hoover Optioned To Louisville - Keyvius Sampson Recalled

The Reds sent J.J. Hoover to Triple A Louisville hours after he gave up five 15-inning runs, including a grand slam to Javier Baez.

Keyvius Sampson was recalled from Louisville.  Sampson has pitched four games for the Reds and is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA.

“We felt like we needed some length," Bryan Price said.. "He was scheduled to start for Louisville today, so he gives us length.”

Hoover spent five weeks in Louisville starting May 5. after a 12-game poor first month of the season in which he was 0-1 with one save.  He left with an ERA of 14.34.

Hoover returned and pitched five scoreless innings in three appearances.  In his last three appearances, Hoover has allowed a home run in each and allowed five runs in two consecutive appearances.  Baez' grand slam was the sixth Hoover has allowed in his career which set a new team record.  Frank Smith allowed five from 1950-56.

Price believes Hoover will be back.

 “Absolutely," Price said.."Talent doesn’t just go away. He’s not broken He’s not just coming off surgery. He has a live fastball. It just hasn’t shown up. We hope he finds it in Louisville and can come back and give us a boost in the second half.”

Hoover has been on a weird cycle

“Yeah. He was great in 2013, struggled in 2014, great in 2015 and struggled this year. We don’t want to wait until 2017. I know it’s hard, but J.J.’s been accomplished in this league. We hope he gets it back in short order," Price said.”

Billy Hamilton Knocked Out In First Inning

Billy Hamilton was hit in the face with a batted ball by Anthony Rizzo that ended in a three-run inside the park home run.

Ben Zobrist beat out a bunt single and Kris Bryant lined a single to center, sending Zobrist to third off the Reds' starter Cody Reed.

Rizzo hit a ball into the left centerfield gap that was tailing away from Hamilton towards leftfielder Adam Duvall.  The two appeared to be on a collision course but Hamilton went into a slide. The ball tipped off Duvall's glove and hit Hamilton directly in the face, caroming into the leftfield corner as all three Cubs scored.

Hamilton was down several minutes with his face toward the ground.  Trainer Steve Bauman attended to him.  He was able to stand up and leave the field under his own power, exciting through the bullpen.

Hamilton was on the seven-day concussion disabled list from June 10-17.  This was his 12th appearance since he was reactivated from it.  He was hitting .200 since his return but hit a home run off Jon Lester in last night's game

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Amir Garrett's Future May Arrive Sooner Than Projected

Amir Garrett wasn't listed among the 17 candidates mentioned by Bryan Price as possible Major League starters out of spring training.

Price listed the candidates and pointed to Garrett along with Sal Romano and Nick Travieso as "studs" of the future.

Garrett appeared in two games this spring in Goodyear.  He pitched 1 1/3 innings allowing three earned runs but it did not dim his future prospects.

Garrett, who accepted a scholarship to play basketball at St. John's University, was named to the roster of the Future's Game that precedes the All Star game in San Diego.  He was a member of the squad last season in Cincinnati.

After dominating the Southern League at Pensacola with a 5-3 and a stingy 1.75 ERA in 12 starts, Garrett was promoted to Louisville.  In 77 innings in Pensacola, Garrett struck out 78 batters.  He walked 28.  Since his promotion Garrett has made one start pitching 5 2/3 innings allowing three earned runs. He allowed on hit but walked six.

Last night in Louisville, Homer Bailey made a rehab start.  Bailey threw 25 pitches and gave up two home runs on one inning.  Garrett took over and shut out the Bisons for seven innings on four hits
He walked two and struck out five.

The 24-year old, who was taken in the 22nd round in the 2011 draft out of Victorville, California, was 9-7 inw 26 starts for the Daytona Tortugas.  He pitched 141 innings and had a 2.44 ERA.  Garrett struck out 133 and walked 55.

This season Garrett has pitched 89 2/3 innings between Pensacola and Louisville and not allowed a home run.  He gave up four last season.  That's four home runs in 230 2/3 innings.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Kris Bryant Has Super NIght

Kris Bryant could do no wrong against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

Bryant, the 24-year old from Las Vegas, Nevada, was the Cubs first choice and the second player taken in the 2013 draft.

"There are drafts that players like him or Bryce Harper or Steven Strasberg are just not available," Price said. "There could be 10 years before you see players like them."

When Josh Hamilton was taken by Tampa Bay with the first pick in the 1999 draft, he was thought to be the best player to come along in years.

Tonight at least Bryant had a rare night at the plate.

He hit three home runs and two doubles.  Bryant was the first Cub player to have 16 total bases in a game.  He is one of three players to have five extra base hits in a game.  The others were Hamilton, who had four home runs and a double on May 8, 2012 and Joe Adcock, who also hit four home runs and a double on July 31, 1954.

They totaled 18 bases.

Kris Bryant Bombs Reds Jake Arrieta Has Short Outing

Kris Bryant demolished Reds' pitching with three home runs and two doubles to power the Chicago Cubs to a 11-8 win.

Bryant's 16 total bases set a Cubs' franchise record.  

Jake Arrieta didn't no hit the Reds.  Dan Straily didn't no-hit the Cubs.

There were plenty of hits to go around and the Cubs got more than their share while the Reds were more efficient with theirs.

Jason Heyward singled with one out in the first.  Bryant, remember the name, hjt a double that sent Hayward home. Straily walked Anthony Rizzo and Wilson Contreras to load the bases. Miguel Montero's sacrifice fly scored Bryant.

The Reds went to work on Arrieta, who pitched a no-hitter against them the last time they saw him.  Arrieta had a 0.24 ERA in five night games coming into the series.

The Reds raised that in the first inning.

Billy Hamilton walked and stole second and third to improve his total to 19, third in the National League.  Joey Votto walked and stole second as Jay Bruce struck out.  Adam Duvall doubled to bring in Hamilton and Votto.

Bryant hit his 18th home run off Straily in the third.  Bruce singled home Zack Cozart in the bottom.  Bruce is second in the NL with59 RBI.

Bryant was at it again in the fourth inning.  Chris Coghlan and Arrieta hit one out singles off Straily. Ben Zobrist foreshadowed the inning with a fly to deep center.  Hayward's second hit scored Coghlan but Hamilton made a spectacular play that ended up all for naught. Hayward's drive was headed toward the gap in rightcenter.  Right-handed throwing Adam Duvall was closest to it but Hamilton cut it off and held Arrieta at second.  For Duvall to hold the runner he would need to turn his body to make the throw.  Bryant wasted the play with a long home run into the upper deck in left.  It was his 20th and gives him 55 RBI to move ahead of teammate, Rizzo for third in the NL behind Bruce.

 "He's very impressive," Bruce said.."He burst on the scene. He's been hitting ever since. I think I heard he's the only player to hit three homers and two doubles in a game. He hit a foul homer too (just foul before third HR). He had a nice night."

 "Straily didn't have a lot of quality stuff. I counted 20 balls that were hit hard," Bryan Price said.  "We have to pitch inside.  We have to get the ball down.  They are really comfortable against our staff right now. We have to do a better job."

After 11 decent starts, Straily has struggled lately.  He pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing a career-high seven earned runs on nine hits and three walks.  In his last three starts, Straily has allowed 17 earned runs in his last 13 innings.

"It was terrible execution," Straily said. " It was terrible the whole night. I had enough time in here (clubhouse) to watch the whole time I was out there.  I would try to go down and away and i'd put it up and over the plate. It was terrible pitches. Terrible execution is easy to fix. I'm going to forget about this and fix it."

Jumbo Diaz just up from Louisville finished the inning stranding two runners.

Michael Lorenzen started the fifth with two quick outs but Arrieta hit a 99 mph pitch into the rightfield bleachers for his second home run of the season.

Hamilton walked against Arrieta tried to pick Hamilton off but threw it away.  Votto followed with his 12th home run.  Coming into the at bat, Votto had one extra base hit, a double in his last 65 plate appearances that included 13 strikeouts and 15 walks.

Arrieta lasted five innings and only gave up four hits but he walked five, threw a wild pitch and had the throwing error.  It was the fifth time he lasted a season low five innings but the five earned runs are a season high.

"He still had his stuff. He wasn't locating very well," Bruce said.. "We had some walks and put some hits together. That's baseball."

The Reds got closer against Trevor Cahill in the sixth. Jose Peraza walked and stole second.  Tucker Barnhart doubled to make it an 8-6 game.  Former Red Travis Wood put out the fire. Duvall doubled again with one out.  Pedro Strop replaced Wood.  Eugenio Suarez fly to center put Duvall on third and he scored on a wild pitch by Strop to make it 8-7.

Bryant hit his third home run of the game, his second in the upper deck and his 21st of the season off Ross Ohlendorf, who got five outs in a row before the blast.  Rizzo followed with his 18th to extend the Cubs lead to 10-7.  Bryant's five hits are a career-high.

Price was frustrated with his pitchers but a reporter asked him about Kris Bryant's night.

"That's a Tommy LaSorda - Dave Kingman question," Price said about a LaSorda blowup when Kingman had a good night against the Dodgers. "Instead of tearing the place up, I'm going to acknowledge that he had a good game.  I hope to never see it again."

The Cubs added an unearned run in the ninth off Blake Wood.

Votto hit his 13th home run off Joel Peralta in the ninth. It is his 12th career multi-home run game.

Pete Rose Credits Cincinnati Knothole Program For Major League Players

Pete Rose had a busy weekend. He was reunited with his 1976 team in a 40-year reunion on Friday.  Rose was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame on Saturday.  He had his number 14 retired on Sunday.

Rose was known for his max effort baseball epitomized by his head first slide that put his body at risk everyday.

With more hits than anyone who ever played in the Major Leagues, Rose got the most out of average ability.  He didn't have a particularly strong arm but he had 99 outfield assists with 37 coming in 1968.  He wasn't blessed with great speed but would take the extra base at any opportunity.  He stole 20 bases at the age of 38 in 1979.

"I grew up in Sedamsville on the west side by the Ohio River," Rose said.  "I lived within three miles of Don Zimmer and Eddie Brinkman (all attended Western Hills High School).  We all made the major league. We all played hard.  We all played knothole baseball.  Was it knothole baseball that taught us to play hard.  Buddy Bell, Barry Larkin and Billy Doran were all kick ass players, who played hard.  We had great coaches and they taught us to play hard and win."

Rose was a catcher in knothole.

Rose didn't even mention Ken Griffey Jr., who is going into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer in Cooperstown .  He didn't mention Jim Frey, who didn't play in the Major Leagues but was the batting coach for the 1970 Baltimore Orioles that defeated Rose's Reds in the World Series.  He later managed the Kansas City Royals to the 1980 World Series and later managed to the Chicago Cubs to its first postseason appearance since 1945.

West High Grads That Played in the Major Leagues

 Player  Team That Brought Them to Majors

Chuck Brinkman Chicago White Sox
Ed Brinkman Washington Senators
Dick Drott Chicago Cubs
Rickey Keeton Milwaukee Brewers
Art Mahaffey Philadelphia Phillies
Russ Nixon Cleveland Indians
Karl Rhodes Houston Astros
Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds
Clyde Vollmer Cincinnati Reds
Herm Wehmeier Cincinnati Reds
Don Zimmer Brooklyn Dodgers

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Anthony DeSclafani Pitches And Powers Reds To A Win

The Reds got everything they needed from Anthony DeSclafani as he pitched and hit the Reds' to a 3-0 win, salvaging the final game of the "Pete Rose" weekend.  It snapped a four-game losing streak.

The speed of Jose Peraza turned a lost inning into a scoring one.  Peraza, playing centerfield while Billy Hamilton rests, beat out a ground ball to thirdbase.  Tucker Barnhart doubled and Peraza sprinted home, scoring on a Pete Rose style headfirst slide to beat the throw.

DeSclafani faced 10 batters in the first three innings. He allowed a hit to Alexei Ramirez in the first but caught him stealing by stepping off the pitching rubber.  DeSclafani hit Melvin Upton Jr. with a pitch but Tucker Barnhart threw him out stealing.  San Diego starting pitcher Luis Perdomo singled with two outs in the third.straight hit by a San Diego pitcher..

"DeSclafani is mature for his experience," Bryan Price said. "He holds himself to a very high standard. There is no quit in the kid.  He pays attention to base runners without losing his focus on the batter."

Jay Bruce hit his 17th home run off Perdomo, leading off the fourth.  Bruce leads the team with 58 RBI which is second behind Nolan Arenado's 63.

'It was a slider he flipped up there to try to get ahead," Bruce said. "It's all about staying consistent. I am trying different things to stay in control of my rhythm.  When you feel obligated to a team there is a fine line between playing and performing."

Bruce's numbers are good enough for the All-Star team.

"Being on a team that's losing is hard," Bruce said.  "Myself, Zack (Cozart) and Adam (Duvall) could make it. Hopefully, all three of us can.  I've played worse and made it and I've been close and didn't make it. But yes I feel I've played well and deserve to make it."

DeSclafani gave up two hits in the middle innings afnd picked Upton off first.  He held the Padres scoreless through six.  DeSclafani took to the offensive in the bottom of the sixth.  Adam Duvall walked with one out.  Eugenio Suarez singled.  Peraza llied out to Amarista in right as Duvall moved up a base.  Barnhart walked. DeSclafani snapped an 0-48 slump by Reds' pitchers with a single that scored Duvall to make it a 3-0 game.

After eight innings, DeSclafani had a five-hit shutout in tact. He allowed five hits and no walks but hit a batter. He struck out five.

After a rough second start in which he pitched just 2 2/3 innings, DeSclafani has put together two really good starts.  Even in his bad outing when he gave up four runs only one was earned.  His last start against Texas, he gave up two earned runs in seven innings.

"I was glad to go eight innings," DeSclafani said. "Hopefully I can stay on this role."

Billy Hamilton pinch hit and grounded out with runners at first and third and two outs.

Tony Cingrani came on to earn his ninth save in 14 chances.  Cingrani has converted the last four in a row and six of the last seven chances. Bruce caught Wil Myers bid for his 18th home run at the fence to end the game.

Pete Rose Number 14 Retired, Temporarily

The Reds formally retired number 14 today but no one ho wasn't named Pete Rose wore the number since West High grad Don Zimmer wore it for the Reds in 1962.

Before Zimmer the number was worn by Tommy Harper, who was sent to the minor leagues.  Zimmer was acquired in a trade and wore it the rest of the season.  Before Harper it was Willie "Puddin Head" Jones.  Curt Flood wore the number from in 1957 before the Reds elected to trade him and keep Vada Pinson.

Bernie Stowe, the clubhouse manager, wouldn't allow anyone to wear it but Pete Rose Jr., who wore the number in 1997.  Since then no one has won the number.  Even Lou Piniella defered.  Piniella was number 14 throughout his career but when he came to the Reds, he was given a transposed version in number 41.

"I have to make a stipulation that when Pete Rose III plays for the Reds, he can wear it," Rose said.

Rose's number joins Fred Hutchinson's number 1, Johnny Bench 5, Frank Robinson 20, Joe Morgan 8, Ted Kluzewski 18, Tony Perez 24, Sparky Anderson 10, Dave Concepcion 13 and Barry Larkin 11.  Also the universal number retired is 42 belonging to Jackie Robinson.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Drew Pomerantz Pitches And Hits Padres Past Reds

The Reds had a tough time with Padres left-hander Drew Pomerantz.  Come to think of it Reds' starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan did too.

Pomerantz hit the second home run off Finnegan in the fifth inning and singled home a run in the seventh, while holding the Reds off the scoreboard for seven innings in a 3-0 defeat in front of members of the Reds' Hall of Fame and 40,871 fans.

Two mental errors kept the Reds in a hole until Pomerantz connected to put a Finnegan pitch into the rightfield bleachers.

Travis Jankowski opened the game with a double.  Wil Myers ground out got Jankowski to third.  Matt Kemp hit a one-hopper to Eugenio Saurez as Jankowski took off for home and was only halfway down the line when Saurez decided to throw to first.

Finnegan allowed a two-out hit in the first then retired 12 of the next 13 batters.

"Win or lose, Finney is pitching winning baseball," Bryan Price said. "Pomerantz didn't give us anything to be excited about. Finney does what he does. He battles."

The Reds have been shut out four times and Finnegan has been on the mound in three of them.

"That's going to happen," Finnegan said. "Especially when you go against the other team's ace.  Pomerantz threw really well. He kept us off balance all day.  He hit the ball up in the air.  It carried. It's a small ballpark. I'm not going to strike out every pitcher so it is going to happen.  He did have a nice hit up the middle."

The Reds had a chance to tie the game in the fourth.  Brandon Phillips grounder off the end of the bat trickled down the firstbase line past Myers for a double.  On the first pitch to Jay Bruce, who is second in the National League with 57 RBI, Phillips took off for third and was caught stealing by Derek Norris, throwing to Adam Rosales.  Bruce invited more second guessing by lining a single past the shift.

Lost in the Reds' troubles were two plays by Adam Duvall in left.  He played Yangervis Solate's hit off the leftfield wall and held him to a single.  A sliding stop of a line single by Norris kept the leadoff hitter from getting to secondbase.

Norris stole second and with two outs Pemerantz singled to drive in his second run of the game.

Ross Ohlendorf escaped a jam created by Bruce and ended by Bruce.  Solarte walked and left for pinch runner Alex Amarista.  Melvin Upton Jr. flied deep to right and Bruce was set up and prepared to make the throw but dropped the ball.  Amarista went to third.  Upton stole second and the Reds walked Norris intentionally.  Alexei Ramirez lined out to Phillips with the infield in.  Rosales hit a fly to medium right Bruce settled under this one too, making the catch and nailing Amarista on a throw that reached catcher Ramon Cabrera on the fly.

Tyler Holt pinch hit in the eighth and was called out on a checked swing by Phil Cuzzi.  Holt was ejected for showing his displeasure.

Barry Larkin About Inducting Pete Rose Into Hall of Fame

Barry Larkin talks about the induction of Pete Rose into the Reds' Hall of Fame

Tony Perez About Meeting Pete Rose in 1960

Tony Perez talks about meeting Pete Rose.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Padres Spoil Big Red Machine Reunion

The San Diego Padres introduced or reintroduced Reds' pitchers to the Major Leagues by scoring off all four Reds' pitchers, who were in Louisville when the month began.

The Padres pounded out 15 hits in a 13-4 rout on a day when the Reds honored the 1976 Reds World Champions.

The Reds starter Cody Reed made his second career start and first at Great American Ball Park but the Padres made themselves at home.

"I know there is better command than what we saw tonight," Bryan Price said. "Everyone wants to get off to a great start.  Johnny Cueto had 10 strikeouts in his first start but if I remember his ERA was over four that year.  The important thing is to see improvement."

The Padres scored single runs in all five of Reed's innings.  Wil Myers hit his 17th home run in the first. Derek Norris walked and advanced to third on a single.  Reed committed a balk to score Norris.  Matt Kemp singled and scored on Melvin Upton Jr's single in the third.

The Reds batted around to take a 4-3 lead in the third with Jay Bruce driving in his 56th and 57th runs of the season.  Billy Hamilton started the inning with a triple off San Diego starter, Colin Rea.  Tucker Barnhart was called out on strikes by home plate umpire Toby Basner.  The call didn't sit well with manager Bryan Price who objected. Price was ejected for his vehement disagreement.  Reed walked in his first Major League plate appearance.  Zack Cozart drove in Hamilton with a single  Joey Votto walked.  Brandon Phillips ground ball to Yangervis Solarte was booted to load the bases in front of Bruce's single.

Former Red Adam Rosales walked and scored on a single by Myers to tie the score in the fourth.  Solarte singled and scored on a hit by Alexei Ramirez in the fifth.

Reed exited after five but Raisel Iglesias just off the disabled list was touched by Rosales' fifth home run in the sixth.  Michael Lorenzen disturbed the pattern slightly by giving up two runs in the seventh.  Solarte singled and Upton hit his 10th home run.

It got worse in the eighth as the Padres were not going to settle for one run.  J.J. Hoover, who spent time in Louisville getting his act together, entered the game on a double switch.  Rosales walked. Pinch hitter Brett Wallace singled. Travis Jankowski walked to load the bases.  Myers unloaded them with a double on a line drive that eluded Tyler Holt's diving try.

Hoover raised a huge cheer among the 40,713 that were here for the 1976 BRM reunion by striking out Kemp for the 11th strikeout of the game.  Reed struck out six, Iglesias and Lorenaen fanned two each. Upton hit his second home run of the game to expand the lead to 13-4.  It was the eighth time in his career that he hit two in a game.

J.C. Ramirez pitched a perfect ninth to buck the trend.

Pete Rose Interview

Pete Rose On Big Red Machine and Retired Number


Pete Rose Leads The 1976 Cincinnati Reds Big Red Machine Once Again

Pete Rose is having his number 14 retired this weekend and along with that ceremony the Big Red Machine 1976 World Championship team is being honored Friday night.

Rose along with Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Ken Griffey Sr. were talking about Rose and the team before the Reds played the San Diego Padres.

"I will never say that the Big Red Machine was the best team ever," Rose said. "I don't know about  the 27 Yankees or some of the Dodger teams of the 50's with Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider, Campanella and those guys but I will go to my grave saying the Big Red Machine was the most entertaining team ever. We had white stars. We had black stars. We had Latino stars.  We had a Hall of Fame manager.  We had speed. We had defense.  We had home run leaders. We had batting champions.  We had daring base runners.  The reason we were so good.  You can analyze all the teams in baseball, today.  What teams in baseball today have an MVP candidate that are a catcher and secondbaseman. We had Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan and with Griffey, Perez, Concepcion, we had a pretty darn good team."

Rose pointed out that when he, the undisputed Hit King led off, the next three guys in the lineup have statues outside of Great American Ball Park.

"You have to be a heck of a player to have a statue, don't you?  Bench, Morgan and Perez, they're out there," Rose said. "I got to play with the best catcher ever, the best secondbaseman ever and the best thirdbaseman ever."

"We kind of spoiled baseball for this town," Rose said. "I know people don't want to keep talking about the past. We (Cincinnati fans) make it hard for the guys who follow because we expect to win. That's what I told Ken Griffey Jr. when he came here from Seattle, 'you're going to a franchise that expects to win.'  He came from Seattle, they don't expect to win.  The culture is different here when it comes to playing baseball. It really is.  I was thinking about Buddy Bell, Billy Doran, Barry Larkin.  We all came from Cincinnati.  We all play the same way.  Is it knothole baseball. Do we have that inside of us. I got a lot of credit but Buddy Bell played just as hard as I did.  Ronnie Oester played just as hard as I did.  Billy Doran was a killer.  Larkin played for me. He played hard every day.  I don't know if it's tradition; if it's knothole baseball.  It's a mind set.I think it is. I know it was when I was a kid.  We alway emphasized winning.  We alway emphasized playing good.  I was lucky to be in the company of a lot of great little league coaches. I grew up within three miles of Don Zimmer and Eddie Brinkman.  We all made the big leagues and were born three miles apart.  That's pretty unusual. Anderson Ferry isn't the biggest town in the world.  Neither is Sedamsville. Jim Frey is a Western Hills guy.  Don Zimmer was an ass kicker."

Rose talked about the team expected to win.  Every one was expected to do their part.  It was so ingrained in the group by Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson and the rules he had for family in the clubhouse.
"Sparky had a rule that no kids were allowed in the clubhouse after a loss," Rose remembered. "That made our sons rooted hard for their dads to win because they wanted to be in the clubhouse. We'd go in the clubhouse and they were all throwing the ball around. They were all good athletes and loved the game of baseball. There is something to being in the clubhouse with their dad.  There is something to being raised around the game of baseball. It's exposure."

Five sons of Reds' players in the 70's were first round draft choices.

Ken Griffey Jr., Eduardo Perez, Ed Sprague Jr., Lee May Jr. and Brian McRae were all drafted in the first round.  Pete Rose Jr. and Pedro Borbon Jr. also played in the Major Leagues .

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reds Bullpen Fails Padres Bullpen Prevails

The Reds bullpen betrayed John Lamb on Thursday. The San Diego Padres bullpen was near perfect.

The Reds used a four-run third against San Diego starter Christian Friedrich to take a 4-1 lead but Derek Norris hit his 10th home run off J.C. Ramirez with two men on to take the lead in the 7-4 win over the Reds.

The Padres bullpen allowed a hit and a walk over the last four innings.

San Diego scored first off Lamb in the second inning. Melvin Upton Jr. singled, stole second and went to third when Ramon Cabrera's throw went awry.  Alexi Ramirez grounded out to Zack Cozart to get the run home.

Cozart opened the third with a double off Friedrich.  Billy Hamilton hit the ball into the hole at short.  Cozart had to hold to see if Ramirez would field it before advancing to third.  Hamilton waited for nothing and kept running to second on a throw by leftfielder Upton that was cut off by thirdbaseman Yangervis Solarte.  When he realized Hamilton wasn't stopping he threw the ball past Adam Rosales at secondbase.  Hamilton streaked to third.  Brandon Phillips singled up the middle and trotted home on Adam Duvall's 21st home run that was lined into the Padres bullpen. Duvall is tied with Nolan Arenado for the league lead.

Lamb gave up Matt Kemp's 16th home run in the fourth but retired five out of the next six.

The lefty lost control in the sixth.  Lamb walked Wil Myers to open the inning. Kemp's slow roller sent Myers to second. Solarte singled to make it 4-3.  Ramirez took over.  Upton singled and Norris lined the next pitch to the seats in left.

"I think the at bat to Solarte took a lot out of him," Bryan Price said. "He gave us a competitive five innings but when Solarte got that hit I knew I wanted to take him out."

The bullpen has been a sore point all year. In spite of pitching just 256 innings to the starters 381. The starters have allowed 64 home runs and the bullpen 53.

"It's not just the number," Price said. "Forty of them have come from the seventh inning on. It's been a huge nemesis."

Rosales doubled and scored on a single by Travis Jankowski in the ninth off Ross Ohlendorf.

Padres Manager Andy Green And Starting Pitcher Christian Friedrich Bring Bluegrass Background

San Diego Padres first year manager Andy Green hails from Lexington Kentucky.  Padres starting pitcher Christian Friedrich is a product of Turkey Hughes Field on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University.

Green was the valedictorian of his 1996 class at Lexington Christian Academy and a former Reds farm hand where his roommate was Adam Rosales, who played for the Reds in 2008 and 09, with the Louisville team.  Rosales is a player on the Padres and is starting at secondbase.

Green grew up a Reds' fan and can recall his father bringing him to Riverfront Stadium to watch the Reds.  Born in 1977, he missed the Big Red Machine's World Series run but his father made sure he knew the history.

"(This series) has a homecoming feel to it. It would have been very special to have worn a Reds uniform at the major league level. I was thrilled to play for the Diamondbacks and the Mets," Green said.

"I was here when Tony Perez had his statue unveiling here. That was very special. Davey Concepcion took the lineup card out and I was fighting for it because he was my favorite player in the early 80s. They didn't let me, so it was kind of disappointing. Nobody can stop me this year, so we'll have to see who takes the lineup card out." 
Green also happens to be here when the Reds' officially retire Pete Rose's number on Saturday.
"It's hard not being a Pete Rose fan growing up in this area," Green said. "So it's going to be special to watch that happen on Saturday. I paid more attention to the shortstop and second baseman. I watched Ron Oester play second base. That's who I was focused on when I was playing."

Friedrich was born in Evanston Illinois but the left-hander matriculated to Eastern Kentucky University where he set the schools career record in strikeouts with 327.  As a freshman in 2006, Friedrich pitched the fifth no-hitter in EKU history.

The 28-year old was the first round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2008, the 25th player chosen.

Friedrich pitched in the Rockies system for nine seasons and had a 5-16 record with a 5.81 ERA in 100 games, 19 of which were starts.

Friedrich was released by the Rockies on February 19. He was signed by San Diego on March 3 and finished the spring on the disabled list.  He was reinstated on April 21 and made two starts at Lake Elsinore.  Friedrich advanced to El Paso and made two starts with an 0-1 record and a 4.66 ERA.

The Padres picked up Friedrich's contract on May 13. He started the same day and pitched six innings of one-run baseball in a 1-0 loss to Milwaukee.  Friedrich won three straight before a loss in his last outing to Washington.  He is 3-2 with a 3.15 ERA to begin the game against the Reds.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Colerain Left-Hander Scott Sebald Signs With Texas Rangers

Scott Sebald didn't hear his name called during Major League Baseball's free agent draft June 9 through 11 but he signed with the Texas Rangers to a minor league contract on Monday.

Scott Sebald -  Lindsey Wilson
The 6' 5" left-handed pitcher graduated from Colerain High School in 2012 and pitched and hit The Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders to the NAIA World Series this past season.  Sebald started 17 games and earned an 11-3 record. He also recorded a save.  Sebald pitched 121 2/3 innings and struck out a whopping 131 batters while walking just 20 or 1.47 per game. His ERA was 2.74.

Sebald pitched a complete game, his fifth in his last six starts, with 12 strikouts as the Blue Raiders defeated Master's College of California 7-1.  It was the Blue Raiders first ever win in the NAIA World Series.

Sebald was 3-3 with a 1.88 ERA his senior year at Colerain.  He also hit .276 with two home runs and nine RBI.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Raisel Iglasias Activated For Game At Texas

Raisel Iglesias has recovered from shoulder impingemant and reactivated from the 15-day disabled list.

Blake Wood was placed on the three-day paternity list.

Iglesias last pitched against the New York Mets on April 25 when he left after giving up eight hits and three earned runs in five innings.

The Reds plan to pitch Iglesias out of the bullpen for the rest of the season.  Iglesias pitched three games in his rehab assignement with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.  He gave up no runs in five innings, allowing three hits and a walk, while striking out five.

Michael Lorenzen Ready Scott Schebler IL Player of the Week

Michael Lorenzen is ready.

On Sunday night Lorenzen pitched in back-to-back days for the Louisville Bats, the last test to prove he is recovered from a strained right elbow and a bout with mononucleousis.  On Satruday, Lorenzen allowed a hit and struck out one in a scoreless inning against the Pawtucket Pawsox.

Lorenzen lit up the radar gun on Sunday, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning.

The 24-year old, who will return to work out of the Reds bullpen, threw 16 pitches on Sunday, 10 for strikes.  Among them one pitch was clocked at 99 miles per hour, three at 98, two at 97 and one at 96. Poor Dan Butler the Pawsox catcher saw two off the plate at 98 mph, then a 97 mph pitch for a strike. Lorenzen threw him a breaking ball for a strike at 84 then struck him out swinging on another 98 mph fastball.

"I can do that for one inning or nine," Lorenzen said via tweet. "I'm ready for anything."\

Scott Schebler won Player of the Week honors in the International League.  Schebler hit .318 with two home runs and nine RBI for the week.  Sunday, Schebler hit a solo home run off Michael Cuevas and added a run scoring single.

The Bats and starting pitcher Stephen Johnson, obtained from the Giants for Marlon Byrd, led 4-2 after six innings but former Red, Chris Dominguez homered off Steve Delabar in the seventh .  The Pawsox had three hits, scoring two runs off Jumbo Diaz in the eighth.  Diaz was charged with the 5-4 loss.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Prized Prospect Cody Reed Gets Makes Debut For Reds Against Houston

The Reds are about to "start the clock" on Cody Reed, who will make his Major League debut tonight.

The Reds cleared the roster spot by asking waivers on Dayan Diaz, who had to clear waivers and was sent outright to Louisville.

The 6'5" left-hander is under the Reds control four three years.

Reed is the third pitcher in the trade with Kansas City for Johnny Cueto.  Reed along with John Lamb and Brandon Finnegan were obtained by the Reds in that trade on July 26 of last year.  All three are now in the Reds' starting rotation.

Reed made 11 starts for Louisville, earning a 6-3 record with a 3.62 ERA.  He walked 17 in 64 2/4 innings while sriking out 63.

The 23-year old was the second round pick by Kansas City in the 2013 draft.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Oakland Snaps Losing Streak At Reds' Expense

The Oakland Athletics got tired of losing and took it out against the Reds using three home runs in a 6-1 win.

Cincinnati took the series but the Athletics stopped a seven-game losing streak.

Marcus Semien and Jake Smolinski hit two-run home runs off John Lamb in the second inning as the A's took the final game of the series, 4-1.

Billy Butler singled in front of Semien;s team-leading 12th home run.  Josh Phegley singled preceeding Smolinski's blast to centerfield, his second home run of the season.

 "I was prepared mentally, physically," Lamb said.."I tip my cap to them.they hit some balls pretty hard. Sometimes you make pitches and they get hit hard. Other times you walk to the dugout at the end of the inning and you don't feel like you deserve it. I will move forward with hope and trust."

Steve Selsky singled in his first at-bat of his first Major League start.  Ramon Cabrera's double to the gap in leftcenter of Kendall Graveman scored Selsky.

Lamb was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fourth inning.  He allowed four runs on seven hits in four innings.

Kyle Waldrop walked pinch hitting for Lamb to load the bases.  Eugenio Suarez walked and Cabrera's single put runners at the corners.  Zack Cozart grounded out to Jed Lowrie at secondbase to end the threat.

 "Lamb missed some locations but it wasn't terrible," Bryan Price said.. "It was hot and we had a chance to score some runs so I put Waldrop up there and he had a great at-bat. Zack hit one up the middle and they made a play."

Danny Valencia hit his 10th home run of the season off A.J. Morris in the eighth inning.

Khris Davis RBI single in the ninth off J.C. Ramirez capped the A's scoring.

The elusive Ryan Madson closed out the game for the Athletics in a non-save situation. Madson, who signed with the Reds in January of 2012 but missed the entire year with injury, was the last of three Oakland relievers that held the Reds scoreless for five innings.  Fernando Rodriguez, the winning pitcher, pitched three scoreless innings and allowed one base runner. He hit Eugenio Suarez with a pitch.

Sean Doolittle struck out two in a perfect inning.

"We got into their bullpen and that's the strength of their team. We couldn't get anything going against them,"Price said.

The Reds bullpen wasn;t bad either.  Josh Smith, A.J. Morris and J.C Ramirez covered the last five innings.

"Realistically, our bullpen gave us a boost. It was five innings of tw0-run baseball. We needed to get them some work and we were able to stay away from Wood, Cingrani and Ohlendorf," Price said.

Moeller's Eric Surkamp Gets Another Shot At Oakland's Rotation

Moeller grad Eric Surkamp is hoping to make his fourth trip to the big club is finally permanent.

Surkamp, a 2005 graduated of Moeller High School, is being recalled from Nashville to make the start against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night in Oakland.

The Cincinnatian pitched at North Carolina State where his teammate was Seattle Seahawks quarteback Russel Wilson. Surkamp is taking the place of Jesse Hahn, who was sent to Nashville on Friday to fine tune his skills.  Surkamp is on the same shuttle.

The left-hander made the team out of spring training but was sent down on April 25.  Surkamp was recalled on May 11 and sent back on May 17.  Two weeks later, on May 31, he was called to Oakland again and returned to Nashville on June 2.

Altogether, Surkamp has six starts under his belt with an 0-3 record and a 6.41 ERA.

Surkamp caught a break in March when Felix Doubront was injured.

"With us, he brings some experience. The game that put him on the map was the last game of spring training at our place when we were playing the Giants. Dubront went down after the first inning. Surkamp gave us seven innings and shut them out the rest of the way," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

The Athletics are looking for one of their young pitchers to earn a permanent spot in the rotation.  They have been unable to so far.  Surkamp signed a one-year deal with the Athletics in December.  He now has the opportunity to stay.

"He has to go out and get some outs," Melvin said.."He hasn't worked deep in a game for us. That's what he'll be trying to do Tuesday and become a consistent part of the rotation which he hasn't been yet. Anybody has a chance to stay in this rotation. I think we've shown that if you perform you stay. If you don't you get sent back."

Surkamp has pitched well at Nashville with a 3-1 record and 3.68 ERA for the Sounds.

Surkamp was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the sixth round of the 2008 draft.  He spent six seasons in the Giants' organization, missing the 2012 season with elbow, 'Tommy John", surgery.  Surkamp made his debut with the Giants on August 27, 2011 with a six inning start in which he allowed one earned run.

The Chicago White Sox claimed him on waivers in December 2013.  The White Sox traded Surkamp to the Dodgers in May 2015 for Blake Smith.  He elected free agency at the end of the season and signed with Oakland two months later.

Surkamp's logged 49 Major League appearances with 13 starts. He has a 4-6 record with a 6.45 ERA.