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TeamBoone
05-06-2006, 01:53 AM
This guy says some nice things about the Reds, but Wow!!! He got a few facts wrong. I bolded the ones that jumped out at me, though there may be even more (it's late, and I don't feel like looking them up).


Fri May. 05

Reds win with old-school style
Worst to first, the Cincinatti Reds battle in the tough NL Central
By Brian Smith

The Cincinnati Reds were picked by most to finish last in the NL Central this season.

They’re currently first.

With a surprising 19-9 record, the Reds have vaulted over the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros to take first place in the Central. Moreover, they now have the second-best record in all of MLB (the Chicago White Sox are a game ahead at 20-8).

So how are the Reds doing it? How has Cincinnati remade itself from one of baseball’s worst teams to one of the best? How have the Reds taken all of MLB by storm?

It’s a funny thing. Because, you see, they haven’t really changed a thing.

Save for the acquisition of pitcher Bronson Arroyo (acquired from the Boston Red Sox for Willy Mo Pena just before the season began), Cincinnati has stuck to its guns.

Basement dwellers in the NL Central for three out of the last five seasons, the Reds didn’t apply new makeup. They didn’t spend big via free agency during the off-season in the hopes to “win now.” And they only have two perennial All-Stars on their team (Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. — who has ironically been on the DL since the eighth game of the year).

However, what the Reds do have going for them is youth. Young talent. Fire. And a little naiveté.

Much like their Ohio brethren, the Cleveland Indians, or last year’s Atlanta Braves, the Reds are winning games because they’re playing baseball the way it is meant to be played. Having more in common with the White Sox than the Red Sox, Cincinnati is using speed, solid pitching and just enough power to become a serious early-season contender for MLB’s “Most Improved Team” award.

At the center of the improvement is Arroyo. Having begun his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arroyo has made a return to the NL. In doing so, he’s looking like a monster. Arroyo is currently 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA. And he’s giving the Reds something they haven’t had since the days of Tom Browning: a reliable starter.

Cincinnati’s woes since the new millennium began had everything to do with pitching and nothing to do with hitting. Since 2001, the Reds have always hit. Having Griffey in the lineup will do that for you. But when it came to pitching, Cincinnati had been atrocious.

From 2003 to 2005, the Reds had (respectively) the fourth, second and third-worst pitching staffs in the majors. The team ERA rested over five. And even though Junior and the boys could be counted on to deliver an average of five runs a game, you could always bet that the Reds’ pitchers were going to give up more.

This season though, that’s changed. Thanks to Arroyo and consistently reliable outings from Aaron Harang and Brandon Claussen, the Reds have lowered their team ERA to 4.55 (13th in MLB).

Remarkably, Cincinnati did not overhaul its roster to improve its staff. Rather than follow the clear-cutting path that has plagued most of MLB since the mid-’90s (the effort to constantly replace ineffective young starters with high-priced free agents), the Reds simply allowed their pitchers’ arms to develop.

Combine the improved pitching with some serious lumber, and you have a Reds team that is for real.

First-year third basemen Edwin Encarnacion, Dunn, the fleet-footed Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns are the centerpieces of a lineup that leads all of the NL in runs scored. And they’re doing it all with Griffey on the bench.

Amazing.

It’s enough to make one think that the second incarnation of the “Big Red Machine” may not be that far away.

http://www.dailyvanguard.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/05/05/445b040a936a8

TeamBoone
05-06-2006, 02:06 AM
Here's another article I found.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Optimism abounds for Reds followers
Bill Robinson, The Benchwarmer / Marietta Times

They're not the Big Red Machine but they have Reds fans optimistic about what lies ahead.

Last season the Reds were fifth in the National League Central. Only the Pirates were worse.

The 2005 Reds could hit. They led the league in homers and runs. But there wasn't much else to cheer about. Overall pitching was a disaster, rated 28th among the Majors' 30 teams.

The hitting is there again and the offense is better fundamentally, executing better, and the Reds are drawing a lot of walks. Add some quality starting pitching and a dependable bullpen and the ingredients could keep the Reds in the NL Central race deep into the season.

Many pundits picked the Reds to finish last in the Central in preseason prognosticating but their 19-9 record going into Thursday night's game at Colorado was the best in the National League, second in the Majors only to the 20-8 of the World Series champion Chicago White Sox.

Cincy won seven of its first nine series and is 10-4 at home, a place where champions should dominate. The start is the Red's best since 1990, the year of their last World Series championship.

Newcomer Bronson Arroyo (5-0, 2.06 ERA) has been an instant pitching ace and Adam Harang (4-1) leads the rest of the starters. Reds hurlers often have pitched deep into games, a much better performance than last season and critical to keep a bullpen fresh for the dog days of August and the pressure days of September.

David Weathers, Rick White, Matt Belisle, Chris Hammond, Kent Mercker and Co. comprise one of the league's best bullpens. The 'pen has a 1.48 ERA for the last nine games.

Even with Ken Griffey Jr. sidelined, the offense has clicked to lead the league in runs. Adam Dunn has 10 home runs. Austin Kearns is back from the dark with a .308 average.

Surprising ex-Indian Brandon Phillips is hitting .329 with 23 RBIs. Edwin Encarnacion is hitting .300 with 25 RBIs. Ryan Freel makes things happen and seems in the middle of most Reds rallies. Others have delivered big time.

Griffey has a strained tendon in his right knee and could be back soon, maybe for the next homestand which starts next week with three games with Washington. Then it's three at home with the Phillies. Three at Pittsburgh and Detroit follow and the series with the Tigers will match two of this season's most surprising team.

The NL Central is a killer, so the Reds probably will have to play even better to survive. The division is dog-eat-dog. The Astros and the Cardinals have played for the league title the last two years. They're still strong title contenders.

The Cubs will be a load when big gun Derek Lee and ace pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood get back on board. The Brewers are improved. Five teams are above .500.

The guess is the Pirates aren't as bad as their record. They've lost eight games decided by one or two runs. They'll battle you.

Bill Robinson’s Benchwarmer column appears every Friday. He is a former sports editor at The Marietta Times.

http://www.mariettatimes.com/sports/story/spt43_55200682229.asp

Dunner44
05-06-2006, 11:59 AM
This struck me as funny:


David Weathers, Rick White, Matt Belisle, Chris Hammond, Kent Mercker and Co. comprise one of the league's best bullpens. The 'pen has a 1.48 ERA for the last nine games.

So Coffey, the horse for the pen, and the most consistent performer is relegated to the "and Co." department? Some bad research there.... more bad research would be putting Hammond in there, although his ERA has dipped to almost 10.... woo hoo!

TeamBoone
05-06-2006, 04:04 PM
Friday, May 05, 2006

Reds Power!
by Brian Deed

Encarnacion top rookie No longer are the Cincinnati Reds the laughing stock of the NL Central. Okay, maybe they weren't the laughing stock. After all, as long as the pathetic Pirates are around, they'll always have the market on that moniker.

Anyway, it sure is nice to root for a team that isn't completely plagued by Ken GRiffey Jr. talk. Did anyone notice how they took off when he went on the DL? It's been nice to think about the future of the team and to finally see some promising talent.

Look at third baseman Edwin Encarnacion. He has been a tremendous boost to the lineup and could potentially be the top rookie of the season come October. Then there's the enigmatic Austin Kearns the possibility that he may finally reach his potential for an entire year! Throw in Adam Dunn, Phillips, Lopez and Aurilia, and things are as solid as they've been in quite some time.

If the pitching can hold up, we're looking at a season that could be one for the ages. The only problem? Those pesky Astros and Cardinals. Talk about stiff competition. Both are favored to make the playoffs and the Reds have to contend with both of them.

Well whatever, I am going to put some money on the Reds to win it all baby. Go Big Red Machine.

http://www.betus.com/sports-betting/Reds_Power-2231.asp

KronoRed
05-06-2006, 04:06 PM
So Coffey, the horse for the pen, and the most consistent performer is relegated to the "and Co." department? Some bad research there.... more bad research would be putting Hammond in there, although his ERA has dipped to almost 10.... woo hoo!
Coffey isn't old enough ;)

vaticanplum
05-06-2006, 04:43 PM
This struck me as funny:



So Coffey, the horse for the pen, and the most consistent performer is relegated to the "and Co."

It's an abbreviation! :)

I think the original article, while not exactly well-researched or stated, is written for people who have not been following the Reds so much for the last few years (which is a great portion of baseball). In comparison to many other teams, the Reds HAVEN'T significantly changed since last year. Two significant trades, but no major free agent signings, and many of the lineup changes coming from the farm system. This team doesn't look to us like it did last year, but for the casual obsever's sake, they're saying that the team has improved leaps and bounds without buying Johnny Damon or Billy Wagner. Heck, I consider this a compliment.

Yachtzee
05-06-2006, 04:57 PM
This struck me as funny:



So Coffey, the horse for the pen, and the most consistent performer is relegated to the "and Co." department? Some bad research there.... more bad research would be putting Hammond in there, although his ERA has dipped to almost 10.... woo hoo!

It's like the original version of the Gilligans Island Theme Song, which used "And the rest," leaving out two of the most important castaways on the island, the Professor and Mary Ann.

ddrone
05-07-2006, 03:58 PM
mmmm.Mary Ann.I'll take her over Ginger any time of the day.:devil: :devil:

DunnFan44
05-07-2006, 04:20 PM
Encarnacion, is not a rookie anymore he had 200 abs last season. And now 100 abs this season. :)

BCubb2003
05-07-2006, 04:20 PM
All the talk about manufacturing runs has really cooled off the bats. We came into the season saying, if the pitchers can keep the other team to five or six runs, the offense can outslug them. Now the offense is manufacturing a run a game lately. Maybe missing Griffey has something to do it, but where are those 6, 7, 8-run games everybody assumed this offense would have?

Falls City Beer
05-07-2006, 04:24 PM
Maybe missing Griffey has something to do it, but where are those 6, 7, 8-run games everybody assumed this offense would have?

Teams slump. No one on this board predicted the offense would average 6.5 runs a game.

BCubb2003
05-07-2006, 04:32 PM
Teams slump. No one on this board predicted the offense would average 6.5 runs a game.

I agree, but the Reds' identity went from league-leading run scorers if only the pitching can be mediocre, to suprisingly good pitching and now they're manufacturing runs instead of hitting homers, to struggling to score against the Rockies and D'Backs.

Falls City Beer
05-07-2006, 04:35 PM
Rockies and D'Backs.

Two deeply underrespected teams. Much better than the rest of that putrid division.