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RFS62
06-29-2006, 02:53 PM
When Junior first came to the Reds, he was widely considered to be the best player in baseball.

The grand plan was to watch him finish his career in Cincinnati on an unstoppable march towards Aaron's record.

But a few things happened along the way. Nagging injuries turned into debilitating conditions. Screws in the leg, rehab after rehab. The Natural became the bionic man, an ongoing experiment for Kremchek and the trainers to get back on the field.

Watching him now, no longer "the Kid", but rather an elder statesman, and it occurrs to me that his new jersey number this year really sums up his time in Cincy.

One of the first controversies in his first year came about when he wanted Doggie to allow him to wear number 24. It got a lot of press, much of it overblown, but it seemed petulant and immature. His Seattle stalkers all hooted and howled, claiming we were seeing the Junior they knew.

The number thing died down, and he kept number 30, same as his dad wore on the Big Red Machine.

Now, this year, he's wearing number 3, in honor of his three kids. He's seems more mature, mellow, and comfortable with his place in history. There's no more talk about catching Aaron. There hasn't been in a while, with all the injuries and rehabs.

And his press now is so improved. He reminds me of Jimmy Connors in the later stages of his career, how he was finally embraced, especially in New York. America loves to tear down it's heros, then build them back up if they fight their way back to the top.

With the steroids scandal dominating the news, Junior is once more "the Natural", only for different reasons. It's in fashion again to love Junior, and not just for his incredible talent, but for the kind of man he is and how he conducts his life.

From a silly flap over number 24 when he first got here, to easing into number 3 in honor of his children. It just strikes me as perfect symmetry. We're still lucky to be able to say we watched him roam centerfield in a Reds uniform. And we're blessed to say we watched him continue to grow as a man.

RedsFan75
06-29-2006, 03:10 PM
Bravo! Well Said my good man!
:notworthy :clap:

Joseph
06-29-2006, 03:16 PM
Nicely said. My take on the 24 flap always reflected more on Tony Perez in my eyes than it did on Junior. I always thought that Tony was the one being unfair, but that was just my take.

Junior has come a long way indeed though.

redsfan30
06-29-2006, 03:18 PM
But his on base percentage is low....he sucks, remember?

Great piece...totally agree!!

reds44
06-29-2006, 03:18 PM
:clap:

Awesome post!

gonelong
06-29-2006, 04:14 PM
Nicely said. My take on the 24 flap always reflected more on Tony Perez in my eyes than it did on Junior. I always thought that Tony was the one being unfair, but that was just my take.

Junior has come a long way indeed though.

I couldn't fault Tony on that one, he had his number retired for all the things he had done for the franchise. They wanted to "unretire" his number simply because another player (albiet a great player), who had done nothing for the franchise to date, wanted that number.

Basically they were telling Tony that as a franchise highly value you, but we value the new kid more. I'd have been a bit PO'd myself, "the kid" or not, and I'd have been a bit PO'd they even thought to ask.

GL

/nice thread RFS ... I have been thinking along the same lines earlier this year and never got around to posting it. (shades of Eric Davis)

Falls City Beer
06-29-2006, 04:20 PM
Way back when the word "numbers" meant "poems."

I'd love to read Junior's verse: perhaps a sestina is in order.

I bet Griffey would like this one:


Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape
by John Ashbery

The first of the undecoded messages read: "Popeye sits

in thunder,

Unthought of. From that shoebox of an apartment,

From livid curtain's hue, a tangram emerges: a country."

Meanwhile the Sea Hag was relaxing on a green couch: "How

pleasant

To spend one's vacation en la casa de Popeye," she

scratched

Her cleft chin's solitary hair. She remembered spinach



And was going to ask Wimpy if he had bought any spinach.

"M'love," he intercepted, "the plains are decked out

in thunder

Today, and it shall be as you wish." He scratched

The part of his head under his hat. The apartment

Seemed to grow smaller. "But what if no pleasant

Inspiration plunge us now to the stars? For this is my

country."



Suddenly they remembered how it was cheaper in the country.

Wimpy was thoughtfully cutting open a number 2 can of spinach

When the door opened and Swee'pea crept in. "How pleasant!"

But Swee'pea looked morose. A note was pinned to his bib.

"Thunder

And tears are unavailing," it read. "Henceforth shall

Popeye's apartment

Be but remembered space, toxic or salubrious, whole or

scratched."



Olive came hurtling through the window; its geraniums scratched

Her long thigh. "I have news!" she gasped. "Popeye, forced as

you know to flee the country

One musty gusty evening, by the schemes of his wizened,

duplicate father, jealous of the apartment

And all that it contains, myself and spinach

In particular, heaves bolts of loving thunder

At his own astonished becoming, rupturing the pleasant



Arpeggio of our years. No more shall pleasant

Rays of the sun refresh your sense of growing old, nor the

scratched

Tree-trunks and mossy foliage, only immaculate darkness and

thunder."

She grabbed Swee'pea. "I'm taking the brat to the country."

"But you can't do that--he hasn't even finished his spinach,"

Urged the Sea Hag, looking fearfully around at the apartment.



But Olive was already out of earshot. Now the apartment

Succumbed to a strange new hush. "Actually it's quite pleasant

Here," thought the Sea Hag. "If this is all we need fear from

spinach

Then I don't mind so much. Perhaps we could invite Alice the Goon

over"--she scratched

One dug pensively--"but Wimpy is such a country

Bumpkin, always burping like that." Minute at first, the thunder



Soon filled the apartment. It was domestic thunder,

The color of spinach. Popeye chuckled and scratched

His balls: it sure was pleasant to spend a day in the country.

RFS62
06-29-2006, 04:41 PM
I couldn't fault Tony on that one, he had his number retired for all the things he had done for the franchise. They wanted to "unretire" his number simply because another player (albiet a great player), who had done nothing for the franchise to date, wanted that number.

Basically they were telling Tony that as a franchise highly value you, but we value the new kid more. I'd have been a bit PO'd myself, "the kid" or not, and I'd have been a bit PO'd they even thought to ask.

GL



Yeah, it was bad form. Doggie shouldn't have been put in that position. And the press ran with it, the beginning of Juniors travails.

Sure seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?

KittyDuran
06-29-2006, 04:42 PM
I couldn't fault Tony on that one, he had his number retired for all the things he had done for the franchise. They wanted to "unretire" his number simply because another player (albiet a great player), who had done nothing for the franchise to date, wanted that number.

Basically they were telling Tony that as a franchise highly value you, but we value the new kid more. I'd have been a bit PO'd myself, "the kid" or not, and I'd have been a bit PO'd they even thought to ask.

GL

/nice thread RFS ... I have been thinking along the same lines earlier this year and never got around to posting it. (shades of Eric Davis)I agree 100% - Doggie was the heart and soul of the BRM - to even ask the man when in that year IIRC he was inducted in the HOF was uncalled for (but it happened...:( (I wonder if it was Bowden who asked?).

And BTW RFS, very nice thread indeed! :thumbup:

zombie-a-go-go
06-29-2006, 04:45 PM
FCB, you're fired. :explode:

;)

RFS62
06-29-2006, 04:48 PM
FCB, that was beautiful, man.

*sniff*

StillFunkyB
06-29-2006, 05:16 PM
When Junior first came to the Reds, he was widely considered to be the best player in baseball.

The grand plan was to watch him finish his career in Cincinnati on an unstoppable march towards Aaron's record.

But a few things happened along the way. Nagging injuries turned into debilitating conditions. Screws in the leg, rehab after rehab. The Natural became the bionic man, an ongoing experiment for Kremchek and the trainers to get back on the field.

Watching him now, no longer "the Kid", but rather an elder statesman, and it occurrs to me that his new jersey number this year really sums up his time in Cincy.

One of the first controversies in his first year came about when he wanted Doggie to allow him to wear number 24. It got a lot of press, much of it overblown, but it seemed petulant and immature. His Seattle stalkers all hooted and howled, claiming we were seeing the Junior they knew.

The number thing died down, and he kept number 30, same as his dad wore on the Big Red Machine.

Now, this year, he's wearing number 3, in honor of his three kids. He's seems more mature, mellow, and comfortable with his place in history. There's no more talk about catching Aaron. There hasn't been in a while, with all the injuries and rehabs.

And his press now is so improved. He reminds me of Jimmy Connors in the later stages of his career, how he was finally embraced, especially in New York. America loves to tear down it's heros, then build them back up if they fight their way back to the top.

With the steroids scandal dominating the news, Junior is once more "the Natural", only for different reasons. It's in fashion again to love Junior, and not just for his incredible talent, but for the kind of man he is and how he conducts his life.

From a silly flap over number 24 when he first got here, to easing into number 3 in honor of his children. It just strikes me as perfect symmetry. We're still lucky to be able to say we watched him roam centerfield in a Reds uniform. And we're blessed to say we watched him continue to grow as a man.


Excellent post RFS! :thumbup:

captainmorgan07
06-29-2006, 06:29 PM
that's a great post

WVRedsFan
06-29-2006, 07:04 PM
Great post.

KronoRed
06-29-2006, 07:31 PM
Nice post RFS

RedsBaron
06-30-2006, 06:49 AM
Man, RFS, you must be wanting even more rep points.;) Great post.

Redsland
07-01-2006, 12:08 PM
I couldn't fault Tony on that one, he had his number retired for all the things he had done for the franchise. They wanted to "unretire" his number simply because another player (albiet a great player), who had done nothing for the franchise to date, wanted that number.
Not true.

Doggy wanted his number retired (just as Davey does), but it hadn't been. Tony put up a bit of a stink about this when he finally made the Hall 14 years after he retired, thanks in part to a very soft ballot. Tony's induction was announced in January 2000.

In February, Junior joined the team and asked Tony for number 24. Tony said he didn't want Jr. to wear it. Tony reiterated that he wanted the team to retire it.

Senior eventually offered a compromise by suggesting Jr. take "his" old number.

Three months later, a few weeks before the HoF induction ceremony, The Reds retired #24 on May 27.

gonelong
07-01-2006, 02:02 PM
Redsland, thanks for the correction.

The setiment remains the same. Doggy felt he had earned #24 and that as far as the Reds should be concerned, it was his.

GL

redsrule2500
07-02-2006, 02:56 AM
Nice, very nice.

GAC
07-02-2006, 05:43 AM
If you cut me I bleed Red. How many of you can say that? ;)