What if we all woke up tomorrow and found out that Cincinnati Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty went off his meds and started cutting the payroll. Players like Scott Rolen, Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Phillips, and maybe even Joey Votto traded for cheap young prospects or worse, cheap older players looking for one last good season. Of course the “We have no money” excuse would not be used anymore but what kind of team would they have? Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto would be the stars and players like Juan Francisco, Yonder Alonso, Dave Sappelt, Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart and Aroldis Chapman would get a lot more playing time. And with one season of not paying big money to players would they then have enough to go shopping next offseason or would they have to? Is there a strange possibility that these young players would get it done? With many years as a fan I have noticed that teams with the right blend of older and younger players usually do the best so could the Reds find cheaper veterans than Bronson Arroyo and Scott Rolen? Would any of the younger players produce like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips?
We all know this will never happen but what would the team look like if it did? And would Walt Jocketty still have a job the next day? I for one would like to see something happen this offseason but dumping salaries will not help the team win the World Series in 2012. I really believe a healthy Scott Rolen and Bronson Arroyo is a must this season in order for this team to succeed along with the younger players getting the playing time they deserve.
The team will also need Dusty Baker to be at the top of his game, which means don’t let players like Drew Stubbs bat 1st if he is striking out like crazy. I hope this season with Sappelt on the roster Dusty will be able to help Stubbs get playing the way he should but I also think trading Stubbs would be good for both sides. Being in Great American Ball Park has given Stubbs the notion he is a home run hitter so he is swinging for the fences every time. I know for a fact that if he is traded he will most likely turn into another Ryan Freel if he is not careful. These guys get paid good money to play ball and even in the offseason they should be working hard to get into shape for next season. Drew Stubbs doesn’t look like he has that drive to be better. I blame guys like Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. for this. They poisoned some of these younger guys with the idea that you don’t have to try hard to keep your job. I thought that when the Reds got rid of those two players that attitude would go away but I can still see it in some players and it really gets me upset. What these young guys don’t understand is, Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. were not always like that. They had to work their butts off to get the salary they were getting. If Drew Stubbs wants a big pay-day ever in his career he is going to have to do something big next season.
Another thing Dusty Baker will have to work on is not pushing the young guys till they break. The Reds really don’t need any injuries in 2012. Pushing starters that extra inning just to give the bullpen a rest is ok but do they really want guys like Johnny Cueto or Aroldis Chapman out with injury for two months or more. And hopefully he does not push the young catchers too much either. They really don’t need to be shopping for catchers midseason because two or three of them are out with injuries. Giving guys like Scott Rolen, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce rest is very important too. Can you imagine if those three players went out at the same time with injuries? The Reds would be in big trouble.
Dusty Baker needs to stop chewing so hard on those toothpicks and start paying more attention to the game and his players. Any other managers would have picked up on Stubbs a long time ago and did something to correct it and just maybe the Reds would have done better in the standings. Of course we can’t blame last year just on Dusty Baker there are others who need to be pointed at too. Walt Jocketty could have made some deals to help the team push forward at the trade deadline and of course some of the players could have done a little more to get better. I can even point that finger at myself, I as a fan could have tried harder to cheer louder and maybe they would have won the whole thing. But, what is done is done. Now we must move on and hopefully Walt Jocketty keeps taking his medication and doesn’t trade too much away for the players they need. The Reds also need Santa Claus to give Dusty Baker a bad batch of toothpicks this Christmas so then he will pay more attention in 2012 and some players need to call up Yonder Alonso and ask if they can train with him this offseason.
*** Have fun at Redsfest this year guys. ***
Great American Ball Park has seen 7 HRs hit by the Reds players in one game three different times. Funny thing is, I watched all three of the games and didn’t realize how special it was until now.
The first 7 home run game in GABP was on May 7, 2008 in front of 28,418 fans. Cincinnati Reds (14-21) vs. Chicago Cubs. (19-15) Edinson Volquez, W (5-1) was pitching for the Reds and Jon Lieber, L (2-2) got the loss pitching for the Cubs.
The second game to see such a homer happy result was on September 19, 2008 with 20,855 in attendance. The Reds (71-82) vs. Milwaukee Brewers. (84-70) This time it was Ramon Ramirez, W (1-0) getting the start for Cincinnati and Jeff Suppan, L (10-10) starting for Milwaukee.
The most recent 7 HR game was on August 13, 2011. Cincinnati Reds (59-61) vs. San Diego Padres. (53-68) Homer Bailey, W (7-5) got the start for the Reds and Tim Stauffer, L (7-9) got the loss for the Padres.
So next time you want to stump your friends in Reds trivia you can ask them “What hitter for the Reds hit at least one home run in all three of the Reds 7 HR nights in Great American Ball Park?” Let me know if they all scream out Joey Votto right away. If you look closely at the results below you will also see what kind of teams they were at that time with 10 runners left on base in the first game, then 6 LOB and then in 2011 only 1. Dusty Baker is finally getting his ‘get him on, get him over and get him in’ baseball.
Date Tm Opp Rslt AB H HR RBI LOB 2011-08-13 CIN SDP W 13-1 36 13 7 13 1 2008-09-19 CIN MIL W 11-2 40 15 7 11 6 2008-05-07 CIN CHC W 9-0 38 15 7 9 10
The Reds also had 2 other 7 HR games. Both at Wrigley Field against Chicago Cubs, July 10, 2008 and July 4, 2010. Drew Stubbs hit 3 in the 2010 game. That is also the only 7 HR game where Joey Votto did not hit a home run. (He only got one at bat that game.) Once again with the 2008 team leaving a lot of runners on base (9) and the recent team not as much. (5)
Date Tm Opp Rslt AB H HR RBI LOB 2010-07-04 CIN CHC W 14-3 43 16 7 14 5 2008-07-10 CIN CHC W 12-7 44 18 7 12 9
Once again Yonder Alonso is being put in trade rumors and it is starting to really get old. I have no idea why people think the Cincinnati Reds would trade him away for a closer or even a #2 or worse starter. Yonder Alonso might not have had the at bats to really “prove” himself yet but after 2012 there will be no doubt and then his trade value will go through the roof which the Reds will still not trade him away. It makes no sense why the Reds would trade away one of their top players who they will need in about two seasons for a closer that is not worth an old bag of popcorn or a starter who will start in the middle of their rotation and get lit up in Great American Ball Park. Wayne Krivsky is no longer the GM of the Reds and for some strange reason fans of all the other teams out there think he still is by suggesting the dumbest trades I have ever heard of in my time of being a fan of this great sport.
If Walt Jocketty does think about trading someone like Yonder it will most likely be a blockbuster trade that should bring the Reds a #1 starter and a LF and maybe even a SS. It will not be the other way around where Yonder goes with one of their catcher prospects and three other top prospects for a #2 starter who only has one or two years on his contract. Wayne Krivsky is no longer in the front office people! These stupid trades do not happen here anymore! Proof? The Reds have not made any stupid deals like that since Krivsky left. Do they still have Adam Dunn? Do they still have Ken Griffey Jr.?
What boggles my mind is the fact that some of these reports are coming from “respected” sources and these guys are way off. If, and I really mean IF the Reds make any moves at all this offseason it will be small moves which do not include ANY of their top prospects unless it is a huge 5 to 6 man deal where the Reds walk away with a #1 starter, young closer who has over 3 years on his contract and a LF along with a SS.
Walt Jocketty has not thrown away the Reds future players for over three years. What makes you think he will now? I highly doubt any of the top prospects will go anywhere this offseason due to the fact that they are cheap and the only people the Reds can afford right now. Trading away three or more minor league contract players for a 3 to 9 million dollar a year player is not going to happen. So please stop kicking that dead horse already and move on. Krivsky has left the building and trades that you are suggesting are never going to happen again! The fire sale at Great American Ball Park has been closed for years now and I really doubt it will ever open again.
On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, at Sun Life Stadium, Yonder Alonso batting 5th in the order for Cincinnati Reds went 3 for 4 with 1 walk and 1 strike out. He got a double and a home run with 4 RBIs and one run.
On Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at Wrigley Field Alonso went 3 for 4 again for the Reds batting 5th in the order. This time he got only one run batted in.
Those were two great games for Yonder Alonso in 2011. He had many great games this season and he impressed the fans and the front office of the Reds very much that they want to get him into the lineup more often any way they can. Of course Joey Votto plays 1B for the Reds and that has stopped Yonder from playing more. But if he can adapt to playing in left field I am sure he will get lots of playing time and will impress us even more.
Many people think it is a mistake to put him in LF but I just think back to who we used to have in that spot for many years and say; There is no way he will do worse then Adam Dunn. And just think of how much more valuable he will be if he does get good at playing in the field too. Players who can play multiple positions and hit well are usually very hard to find so many teams will pay big bucks to get them and keep them. And of course there is the fact that Joey Votto might not re-sign with the Reds after 2013 so having Yonder Alonso on the team really helps for the future.
The Reds have a very strong group of youngsters coming up through the farm system right now and for the first time in many years of being a fan I am very proud of our players. They did not do very well in 2011 but to me there is a lot of promise and it sure feels good to have all of these young guys every other team wants for a change. If Walt Jocketty is as smart as many say he is, I hope he will not trade them away without getting good value back in return. Yonder Alonso is one of those players I can see being on the Reds for a long time if the front office play their cards right.
Year Age Tm Lg G AB H BA OBP SLG OPS 2010 23 CIN NL 22 29 6 .207 .207 .276 .483 2011 24 CIN NL 47 88 29 .330 .398 .545 .943 2 Seasons 69 117 35 .299 .354 .479 .833 162 Game Avg. 162 275 82 .299 .354 .479 .833