First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are, and should be, with the victims of the bombings in Boston and their friends and families. One of the greatest aspects of our country is our pride in sport and tradition, and the Boston Marathon, held annually on Patriots Day, is one of the signature events that defines the culture of one of America's oldest cities.
Patriots Day celebrates what you'd expect it to celebrate: the founding of our country and the remembrance of those who sacrificed all they had to create what it is we can call our own today, and the Boston Marathon has grown to become the focal event of that celebration. For someone, or some people, to defile that event with a violent and grotesque attack is a slap in the face of so much of what this country is about. Regardless of the affiliations, age, race, creed, or nationality of the attacker or attackers, they have chosen to attempt to disgrace something that all Americans stand for. So far, three people have been confirmed killed, and over a hundred more are injured and hospitalized. From Reds fandom to all of them, please know we're thinking about you.
Boston is a tough city, a city that prides itself on its athletic achievements and prowess (along with its significance in our country's creation), and I'm certain they will be resilient in the wake of these attacks. Godspeed, New Englanders.
To baseball, sports, and showing these attackers that they will not hold us at bay.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It's hard to adequately reflect on what exactly happened 66 years ago today when Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. Judging from the initial reaction of the media at the time, Robinson simply "broke the color barrier" in baseball and became an entity remembered for what he was more than who he was. Ask anyone today, however, and you'll find that Robinson is remembered both as a trailblazer and, more importantly, an inspiration for anyone who is determined enough to overcome any barrier they face. Robinson endured unfathomable cruelty from his peers, baseball fans, and the populous in general, but thankfully he was the perfect combination of patience and brass to hold his own well enough to prove to an antiquated society that their pre-agreed upon notions of society were no longer acceptable.
The Reds and Phillies both honored Robinson by having each player wear Robinson's #42 jersey tonight, and they also honored him with great baseball. Undoubtedly, the star who shined brightest was Brandon Phillips, who went 2 for 4 and had two big hits that broke open the game (twice) just days after he was away from the team for his Grandfather's funeral. Joey Votto continued to show his emergence from slumpdom, going 2 for 3 and walking once. Bronson Arroyo also deserves praise for his solid showing (despite the Utley HR), as he tossed 8 great innings of 5 hit, no walk baseball, allowing just the 2 runs.
- Both Cliff Lee and Bronson Arroyo were dealing tonight, and great defense (specifically by Ben Revere, Brandon Phillips, and Todd Frazier) kept the game scoreless through 6 innings. It took until the 7th inning for the scoring to start, as Votto led off the Reds' half with a single, Phillips followed with a double, and Votto scored on a wild-pitch by Lee. After Jay Bruce walked, Todd Frazier plated Phillips with a sac fly. Reds led, 2-0.
- Domonic Brown led off the Phillies' half of the 8th with a single, and three batters later Chase Utley was summoned to pinch-hit on his night off. He responded in kind with a 2-run HR to right-center. Ugh. Game tied, 2-2.
- That was no problem for the Reds, of course. Derrick Robinson pinch-hit for Arroyo and led off with an infield single, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Shin-Soo Choo, and went to third on a bloop double by Zack Cozart. After Votto was walked intentionally, Phillips hit a two-run single to right-field to end the scoring. End the scoring, eh? Yeah, that's right...Aroldis Chapman was finally brought back in a save situation, and he shut down the Phillies 100 mph at a time. Reds win, 4-2.
- Pardon my #humblebrag, but Albert B. "Happy" Chandler, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball at the time Jackie Robinson made his MLB debut, was family of mine. He and my Great-Grandfather were 1st cousins and grew up together on a farm in Trimble County, KY, to the south and west of Louisville. Chandler was by no means a perfect man, but I'm proud of the fact that someone from my family was smart enough to not interfere with something of this magnitude.
- The baby is out of the basket. Good for baby.
- Good tunes? Good tunes.