From: Bob Braun on 1 May 2010 15:09
Bruce hits a shot to the RF corner. He left the box with three bases in
mind and got it.
Cabrera hits a short fly to CF, Bruce tags and scores.
The sac's depth was questionable at best. Cards CF, catches the ball on his
heels taking himself completely out of the play. Then his subsequent throw
lands in another zip code!
From: John Kasupski on 1 May 2010 17:31
On Sat, 1 May 2010 15:09:56 -0400, "Bob Braun" <oxinfla(a)hotmail.com> wrote:
>Bruce hits a shot to the RF corner. He left the box with three bases in
>mind and got it.
>Cabrera hits a short fly to CF, Bruce tags and scores.
>The sac's depth was questionable at best. Cards CF, catches the ball on his
>heels taking himself completely out of the play. Then his subsequent throw
>lands in another zip code!
The same goes for the play Stubbs made the other night...if the outfielder is
going to field the ball nonchalantly and not set himself up ready to throw after
he catches the ball, make him pay for that lackadaisical play on his part.
Two things I'd like to point out about this are the following:
1. Plays like Stubbs made Thursday night don't happen if they have a slow runner
on base ahead of the fast guy. When Dusty talks about people clogging the bases,
I'm sure this is exactly the type of situation he has in mind. Little things
like this are some of the things good teams do that help them win games...and
I'm sure it picks his team up to watch Stubbs make a heads-up play like that,
but anyway, this brings me to...
2. If your team's primary offensive philosophy is to get on base and stand
around and wait for somebody to hit a three-run jack, you're going to be in
trouble when you come up against a power pitcher who doesn't give up many home
runs. Dusty has been trying to change that philosophy since he got here and get
this team to score runs in other ways besides hitting homers, because you're not
always going to be able to hit homers.
I say this because I think part of the reason Oswalt put up that ridiculous 23-2
record he had against the Reds over the years is that the reds were going up
there with that offensive philosophy - waiting for a guy to serve up a gopher
ball who wasn't about to throw them one. That's pretty much like standing in
McDonald's waiting for someone to serve you a Whopper with cheese - you might
have a long wait. Granted that Votto did homer off him Thursday, but they got
their first run because Stubbs went first to third on Carlos Lee on Brandon
Phillips' single to left - which allowed Stubbs to subsequently score on a
double play grounder. That broke a scoreless tie.
It also gave the Reds the lead heading into the sixth inning. Lest anyone think
this factoid to be unimportant - au contraire, mes amis (If you'll pardon my
French). The Reds are 7-1 this season when they've had the lead to start the
sixth inning. That run was huge.
Bruce tagging up and scoring on Cabrera's fly ball in the seventh today also
happened because an outfielder, in this case the Cardinals' Colby Rasmus, didn't
set himself up to throw after he caught the ball. If Rasmus had done what an
outfielder is supposed to do - which is to catch the ball in such a way that
he's in position to make a throw as soon as he catches it - he would have had a
play at the plate, but instead he has to throw in a hurry from a bad stance,
uncorks one that's nowhere near the dish, and it's a tie ballgame.
From: JustTom on 6 May 2010 13:57
On Sat, 01 May 2010 21:31:26 +0000, John Kasupski
>2. If your team's primary offensive philosophy is to get on base and stand
>around and wait for somebody to hit a three-run jack, you're going to be in
>trouble when you come up against a power pitcher who doesn't give up many home
>runs. Dusty has been trying to change that philosophy since he got here and get
>this team to score runs in other ways besides hitting homers, because you're not
>always going to be able to hit homers.
I think this is a horrible long term approach, especially in GABP.
First and foremost, power pitchers who don't give up home runs (aka
#1 TOR aces) are few and far between, Gearing your offense towards
the rare exception rather than the bulk of the league means you lose a
lot. Concentrate on your own offensive strengths as a team and beat
the snot out of the other 4/5ths of the rotation. You'll still beat
that ace every now and then. Hell, I remember beating Randy Johnson a
time or two when he was almost unhittable. We would strike out double
digits, but somebody would take him deep at least once. Roy Oswalt
was an anomaly, nothing more. Even if he weren't, losing to him and
the aces while still beating everybody else still results in playoff
And even if you have the optimal lineup and approach, you should only
do it for that game instead of ingraining it as a permanent offensive
philosophy, because you'll still likely to lose more than you win
against the aces. That's why they're aces...
Secondly, totally ignoring the largest advantage that GABP has is
flat out knuckleheaded. It's a bandbox, and having power at every
position is a good thing. Put constant pressure on the pitcher.
Triples aren't going to be legged out that often in such a small
outfield, and doubles come off the wall, not legged out in the (small)
gaps. I would imagine Dusty would get pilloried in Philly if he
tried the sell the same schtick. They seem to be quite happy bashing
their way to back to back WS appearances by taking advantage of their
home park. We gave away Dunn for nothing and replaced him with
WilyT. They just bent over backwards to overpay mightily to keep his
twin brother Ryan on 1B. Those choices exemplify the differences
in the two franchises. The philly type offense is what we should be
working for, not the mid-80's cardinals. And we had it a few years
ago. All we had to do was work on the pitching.
The total dismantling of this offense in the name of defense and
pitching has been flat out disheartening, even ignoring the fact that
our pitching and defense isn't any better. The offense we had in the
middle of the decade wasn't the reason we weren't winning, and the
"small ball" direction we've taken since blatantly ignores GABP. I
can't think of any other team that has gone away from the core
advantage of their home ballpark as much as the reds. Can you?
Finally, getting on base and standing around is much preferable to
not getting on base and standing around in the dugout. Nothing at
all says you have to stop being aggressive on the bases when the
proper people are doing it. In the past two years, the heavy
hitting phils have also stolen a whole bunch more bases (255) than
the "aggressive" reds(181), while being caught a whole bunch less (53
vs 87) . This team isn't OBP heavy, so playing small ball by giving
up outs on silly by the book bunting and running yourself out of
innings on those rare occasions when we do get on is cutting down on
your chances and seems to be exactly the wrong thing to do.
That is why I think Dusty is and has been the absolute wrong answer.
It isn't his job to try to "mold" this team into any of his beliefs.
It's his job to maximize the opportunities to win and adapt to suit
the personnel, not the other way around. I also happen to think that
this is also WJ and the front office's biggest problem as well. I
can accept cheap if you at least get the right kind of cheap to take a
flyer on, say like speedy guys who have good bat control or can take a
walk, but none of the additions on the offensive or defensive side
have any of the qualities needed to play that type of ball.
Think about what you've just written. You are praising him for the
small ball approach but missing the fact that he doesn't want the
bases "clogged". He unclogs them by getting caught on SB at a 33 %
clip. That's unacceptable. To compound it, he has repeatedly
urged, cajoled, and publicly admonished guys for not being aggresive
at the plate. Bullying batters into expanding their zones and
swinging at pitches they either can't drive or flat out miss is at
odds with the offensive approach he seems to want of getting in and
getting over, and so are the types of players we continue to add to
the roster. It's one thing to play small ball with speedy high OBP
no power players. It's quite another to try to do it with the
CoreyP, WilyT, DStubbs, and OCabs at the top of your lineup while
forcing your best guys to expand the zone to make up the difference.
From: tom dunne on 6 May 2010 14:57
On May 6, 1:57 pm, t...(a)nomail.please (JustTom) wrote:
> Finally, getting on base and standing around is much preferable to
> not getting on base and standing around in the dugout. Nothing at
> all says you have to stop being aggressive on the bases when the
> proper people are doing it.
This is a GREAT point. I often read from fans of small ball that the
apparent alternative to manufacturing runs is sitting around and
waiting for the big homer. Who says you can't have both? Rickey
Henderson led the AL in steals multiple times while hitting in front
of a pair of 30+ homer/100+ RBI guys in Canseco and McGwire. Those
Oakland teams didn't stand around waiting for homers, despite being
one of the best power hitting teams in the league. To cite the
obvious local example, hitting ahead of Bench and Foster didn't mean
Morgan and Rose weren't aggressive on the bases.
From: David Short on 7 May 2010 09:34
On 5/6/2010 1:57 PM, JustTom wrote:
> The total dismantling of this offense in the name of defense and
> pitching has been flat out disheartening, even ignoring the fact that
> our pitching and defense isn't any better. The offense we had in the
> middle of the decade wasn't the reason we weren't winning, and the
> "small ball" direction we've taken since blatantly ignores GABP. I
> can't think of any other team that has gone away from the core
> advantage of their home ballpark as much as the reds. Can you?
I know front office lip service was given to pitching and defense, but
was the reds offense really dismantled?
I think it's more believable to say they just didn't like the players
Junior. His stay here was never what anyone envisioned back in 2000. I
don't believe Junior would have taken kindly to the senior statesman off
the bench role here. You keep him around and every city you go to the
manager has to answer questions about junior and the poor kid who
replaces him is looking over his shoulder and....Junior had to go. You
can argue that they should have let go earlier than they did.
Adam Dunn. Yeah, I miss the offense too and every once in a while when
Gomes is out there waiving his mitt as the ball goes by I remember Adam
fondly. It's odd that we heard "Junior won't move out of center" and
"Dunn won't move to first" when both made the move when asked. That's
the price of front office and managerial turnover. As much as I miss the
offense, the rest of Dunn's game was(is) a train wreck. He can't throw.
He runs....well He's not a good baserunner. I don't know why the reds
didn't just stick him in the 4 or 5 hole and forget about him, but they
were always farting around with where he hit. Everybody thought he was
going to break the bank and not be affordable. We all missed predicting
the great Free Agent Market crash of 08/09.
Josh Hamilton. What a rule v pickup, but nobody in the front office had
long term ties to Josh and once Narron was let go, nobody in the
organization did either. I know Bob/Mike/Danny's point of view that he
was a monster talent, but there clearly were lifestyle risks here. It is
ironic that they ended up with another lifestyle issue in return.
Ryan Freel? That's not the kind of player or person that you build your
Edwin? Edwin wasn't sacrificed on the alter of pitching and defense.
Edwin was sent packing because he wasn't coming around as a hitter.
So....yeah, that team was dismantled, but there were good reasons to
make every one of those moves and for the most part....nobody wants
those players back. The only ones I would really want back would be
Hamilton and Dunn.
Now...look at the pitching staffs, would you rather have that mid decade
reds staff or what we currently have? Matt Belisle? Bobby Livinston?
Kirk Saarloos? Phil Dumatrait? Nobody wants that.
I know I've skirted around what you asked in order to answer a different
Now...Has anybody played against park and won?
The Rockies are a better ball club since they lost the fascination with
high altitude hitting and starting trying to assemble a club that could
play well anywhere.
The good dodger teams were always teams that could hit. With that park
the pitching will always look good.
Likewise the good red sox teams have always been able to pitch in Fenway.
The cubs ...well, they've never been any good so we don't worry about them.