What if DAS PLAN isn’t working?

Ever since we started this most recent rebuild, the Reds have told us to BE CALM and DON’T WORRY, because (and repeat this with me now) “There is a plan.” This plan allegedly includes graphs and charts and other implements of destruction printed up on glossy paper in an official binder somewhere in Great American Ballpark.

Billy Hatcher and Jose Rijo stand guard over the plan when the Reds are out of town. They drink espresso and reminisce about the 1990 team. Or so I hear.

Read the rest at Redleg Nation.

The Battle of Futility: Reds v Astros

The good folks at Redlegnation have me writing the game previews for the Reds’ series against the Houston Astros this weekend. I’m hip-deep in Toastmasters work this weekend, plus we have to get that garage cleaned out at the homeplace at some point. But … Baseball!

Follow along all weekend and see if you can spot when my brain finally goes off the rails!

Phoning It In – Reds v Astros, June 19, 2016

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? We got to see Cody Reed pitch, finally. Adam Duvall hit a home run and struck out. The Reds lost in extra innings. And all was right with the world.

The Cody Reed Show – Reds v Astros, June 18, 2016

There will be a baseball game this afternoon. Someone – either the Cincinnati Reds (27-41) or the Houston Astros (32-36) – will win. Afterward, someone on this site will give stellar insight and analysis of the game. Other sites will do their same, tired shtick. But the real news today, of course, is the major-league debut of top Reds pitching prospect Cody Reed, who is #60 overall, and #3 in the Reds system.

The Battle of Futility Begins Anew: Reds v Astros, June 17, 2016

Remember the good ol days when the (dis)Astros were in the NL Central and everyone enjoying taking their turn, beating the snot out of them? Those were the good old days, weren’t they? #Sigh

Dust-Busting: Reds v Nationals

The good folks at Redlegnation have me writing the game previews for the Reds’ series against the Washington Nationals this weekend. It’s Dusty Baker’s return to Great American Ballpark. Either that or its the Reds going to whatever they call that stadium out in DC. I don’t know. I have four, small children and a full time job. Ain’t nobody got TIME to know those things. All I know is the way the Reds have been competing lately, it makes me wish the old Dust-meister were still here. This, of course, means I’ve gone completely insane!

Sweeping the Dust Away- Reds v Nationals, June 5, 2016

Baseball is fun when the hometown wins, and it is especially fun when you beat the first place team in another division. The Reds won yesterday on the strength of Adam Duvall’s 15th homer. Now, in the midst of a four game winning streak, your Cincinnati Reds (21-35) break out the brooms for the series sweep against the Washington Generals (33-23) today at Great American Ballpark.

#BelievelandSouth – Reds v Nationals, June 4, 2016

Just like I said in yesterday’s pre-cap, the Mighty Migty Redlegs (20-35) rolled the Washington Gnats (33-22) to take their winning streak to THREE WHOLE GAMES, and notched another victory toward their inevitable domination of the NL Central, the National League, the World Series, and even the entire sports world. They will dominate in a way similar to how the Cleveland Cavaliers will dominate this evening. #BelieveLandSouth.

I Feel Good! Reds v Nationals, June 3, 2016

Would ya look at that? The Cincinnati Reds (19-35), having won 3 of the last 4 games against the offensive juggernaut known as the Colorado Rockies, return home to face the Washington Nationals (33-21) for a three-game weekend series. Three out of four in a row for series victory. #Awesometastic! The Reds haven’t done that since Woodrow Wilson was president (or something like that). They keep this up (and you just KNOW they will, right?), they’ll finish the season with 100 victories and will storm their way through the playoffs to an eventual World Series victory!

A Terrible Thing Made Worse: Reds v Brewers

The good folks at Redlegnation have me writing the game previews for the Reds’ series against the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend. The Reds have failed to meet even my low standards for this season. I fail to see how things can get much worse at this point. Of course, saying that means things WILL get worse, and in dramatic fashion if history serves.

Everything is Awesome. Nothing Sucks – Reds v Brewers, May 29, 2016

Calm and gentleness will definitely abound this afternoon as the Cincinnati Reds (16-33) leave their 11-game losing streak behind, hoping to both build on a 1-game winning streak AND win a series for the first time since Teddy Roosevelt was president and people were fascinated by those new-fangled automobiles, as they face off in the rubber match of a three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers (22-27) in Miller Park. I’m sure everything will be calm. Business as usual, as they say. Why would there be tension between these two, uber-professional teams, whose adherence to the unspoken rules of sense and decorum is only matched by their prowess on the ball field and their ability to win games?

There is no light at the End. There is only tunnel – Reds v Brewers, May 28, 2016

The Washington Generals Cincinnati Reds face off against the Brewers tonight in game two of the Battle of Futility at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Reds, losers of 11 straight (and counting!), have their opponents right where they want them, having lulled everyone into a false sense of security with their sieve-like defense and limp, flaccid offense. Any day now, they’ll open the floodgates and let loose a torrent of runs so potent it will make the famed Murderer’s Row of the ’27 Yankees team look like a bunch of engineers trying to play t-ball on the side of a hill during a snowstorm in January. That’s what’s going on here, right? They can’t really be this bad. Right?

A Woe Continued – Reds v Brewers, May 27, 2016

The Milwakuee Brewers look to continue the woes of both the Cincinnati Reds (15-32) players and their fans this weekend, as they start a three game series in the Battle Of Teams That Were Essentially Eliminated From Contention Before The Season Started with the Bad News Cincinnati Reds. The coveted BOTTWEEFCBTSS trophy has been passed around to the first NL Central Central team to earn the status of “hopeless futility” each season, but the Reds seem to be breaking records in how quickly and with how much intensity they seem to have pursued this award. “This is a team sport,” said Reds coach, Bryan Price, “and it’s taken all of us working together to make this level of … success … happen.”

Zack Cozart Is Your Quarter Season MVP. #FML

Zack Cozart is one of those major leaguers you can’t hate. He grinds. He sacrifices his body for the game (which is probably a bit insane when you think about it. But damn if it ain’t entertaining!). He’s not one of the guys you expect to be a quarter season MVP. But here we are, at the quarter turn, and Zack is pretty much the only guy, outside of rookie strikeout-homerun-strikeout-strikeout sensation, Adam Duvall, to accomplish anything worthy of major league status (unless we’re counting JJ Hoover’s amazing ability to give up homeruns. He’d make a great homerun derby pitcher).

I’m not taking anything away from Cozart’s season, but the fact that he’s the best we’ve got thus far makes be reach for a plastic funnel, a few gallons of cheap beer, and as much Xanax as I can swallow before the men in the white coats come to take me away.

Zack Cozart is your quarter-season MVP! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.

If, as this season started, you had to guess who might be the Reds MVP at the quarter turn, the first choice would have been obvious: Joey Votto. After that, you might have said Devin Mesoraco, Jay Bruce, or maybe even Homer Bailey. If Homer had come back from off-season surgery early, who knows how many no-hitters he’d have tossed or lions he’d have strangled to death with his bare hands by now?

If I’d have told you that, as the Reds rounded first base on the 2016 season, Zack Cozart would be the MVP, you might not have believed me. But stranger things have happened. This season, stranger things have happened on a regular basis, in fact, especially when the bullpen takes the mound.

Sure, claiming the title of MVP on one of the worst teams in the majors is a bit like winning the title of Miss Congeniality at an inbred retirement community, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t warranted taking the throne thus far.

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Reality Check

I’m a big fan of optimism. But optimism can only take you so far. Sometimes, what you need is a big dose of reality to get you where you need to go.

That’s what I think is in store for my favorite baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. There have been some fun stories this year, and the last five or six seasons have been a fun ride, but Reality is here to let us know that some of our most cherished ideas and beliefs about this team and the players who comprise it are on their way out.

Read my article on Redlegnation.

The Loveable Everyman

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Loveable Everyman. I don’t know why. He’s the guy who gets by on grit and nothing else. The guy who out works everyone until he wins.

Maybe it’s the idea that even an Average Joe can find success in the land of opportunity that excites me. No matter how great or how small, everyone has a chance if they’re willing to work for it.

I like that.

I published my second article with Redleg Nation today. It was about the passing of the everyman torch from previous fan favorite, Corky Miller, to the next generation.

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