Red Reposter and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting present this special performance of Francisco Cordero's Sombrero Bolero, a moving and powerful dance about the decline of an aging hero, as performed by its composer. - 1.41 - Cordero's K/BB rate thus far this season, his lowest ratio in 10 years. It's no secret the 35 year old has lost a step or two, as his walks have been on the rise and his strike outs on the decline. The bullpen has been the strongest squad on this team since May, but if the closer can't take care of business this could be a more emotional pennant chase than any of us want.
After Francisco Cordero was pulled from the game on Saturday due to his...unfortunate performance
Dusty was asked if he still had confidence in his closer. His response was somewhat predictable, but perhaps belied a touch of determinism. "I don't get nervous handing him the ball...Everybody wants you to go get somebody else, but who are you going to find out there that's better? He's my closer, and he's what I've got. The White Sox are having the same problem now with [Bobby] Jenks. That's a tough job to me. You can save 20 in a row, and as soon as you blow one -- it's like a placekicker in football, right? He kicks 10 field goals in a row, but as soon as he missed that one that lost the game, they want to run him right out of town. We just have to find a way to help him, because he's the best I've got right now."
If anything, Saturday proved Dusty is not so loyal to him as to let him give a game away. I think the most telling part of this whole thing is that he didn't once mention Nick Masset as a possible replacement. In many ways he is the most logical choice, and he was the one who cleaned up the mess on Saturday. Perhaps Dusty didn't want to mention him because he was afraid he might say something he couldn't take back?
Brandon Phillips has a big ol' bruise on his foot
He sat out the JV game yesterday so he would be ready for the varsity showdown this evening. It doesn't sound like anything serious, and it seems everyone fully expects that this one game is the only one he will miss because of it.
Jay Bruce wants you to know that he is more disappointed in himself than you are
"I'm swinging at pitches I can't do anything with," Bruce said. "The key is to shrink the strike zone, get something you can handle, and when you get it, don't miss it. If I get pitches right now, I foul them off. I get myself into a good count and then swing at something I shouldn't be swinging at." He's been slumping hard for over a month now, so it's difficult to remember that he may be the most gifted player on the entire team. He's still only 23, so although he has been in the bigs for more than 2 years, he is still very young. I expect him to snap out of it soon and play well for the rest of the season, but he can't wake up soon enough at this point. He is in danger of being sent down to AAA, if the Reds are so inclined. Hopefully Sunday's 3-hit performance is the kick that wakes him up from this nightmare.
Ken Rosenthal discusses Dusty Baker's contract status in his latest Full Count video
He says Dusty will likely be looking for a raise (he makes around $3.5 mil this season). He says the Reds may not want to pay him that much since many managers should be hitting the market this winter. They are reportedly talking about an extension this month, so we might here something about it sooner rather than later.
Homer Bailey and Aaron Harang continue unabated in their respective quests to return to the rotation
The problem is that everyone on the staff (aside from Coco) is throwing rocks right now. Homer is throwing especially well on his rehab assignment (1.53 ERA in 3 starts) and looks more than ready to rejoin the big club. I have a feeling that Mike Leake's start tonight could be a tipping point in this decision.
Dusty sez Carlos Fisher was called upon instead of Jared Burton or Aroldis Chapman
for one reason only: "We didn’t have a guy who could go three innings comfortably, a guy who can save the bullpen for the next day versus going through everybody, especially in the a game where you might be getting beat handily." Burton and Chappy may be better pitchers than Fish, but Fish can go multiple innings. The way the bullpen is currently constructed, his talents fit in better than the other two. Don't worry though, we'll see Chappy soon enough. Dusty says "We want him to tear it up and get real comfortable." Coincidentally, it is also what she said.
Q: Do you agree that when the Cincinnati Reds traded Paul Konerko to the Chicago White Sox it was one of the worst trades they ever made? — Tom, Dayton.
A: It certainly wasn’t a good one, but at the time, who knew? It was early in Konerko’s career, and he played only 26 games for the 1998 Reds, hitting .219. The Reds had a first baseman, a guy named Sean Casey. They tried Konerko at third base. Didn’t work. They needed an outfielder and traded him for Mike Cameron, and it seemed a solid deal at the time. Who knew that after he left the Reds that Konerko would hit 333 home runs and drive in 1,062 runs while Cameron bounced from team to team to team? But that trade wasn’t as bad as when the Reds traded Tony Perez to Montreal for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray or when they traded Paul O’Neill to the New York Yankees for Roberto Kelly. Now there was two real stinkeroos.
Heh, according to Rally's WAR, Konerko has been worth around 20 wins over his career. Cameron has been worth almost twice that. Of course, Cameron didn't play but one season with the Reds (a key cog in that '99 team), but this is a clear win for the Reds.
This upcoming series with the Cardinals is probably the most important series that Great American Ballpark has ever hosted
Karen Forgus, the senior VP of business ops, says "We are expecting a playoff atmosphere and a lot of excitement. This is what the Castellinis (ownership group) are in this for, to ignite this city and all that goes with it." I want more than anything to sweep the Cards and take a 5 game lead in the division, but you know what else I want? I want Banana Bob to realize that the fans of this team will respond to a winner. If this series isn't a sellout, it will be very close. That is because the team is good. Damn good. Through the lean years we heard several times that ownership was unwilling to spend money because people weren't coming out to watch. They were putting the cart before the horse. It takes a winner to create a crowd, not the other way around.