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Kc61
06-18-2007, 10:20 PM
Ever think about the centerfielders in the Reds big years?

The BMR had Geronimo. An eighth place hitter, but could really go get the ball in center. Great arm (not that accurate as I recall) but undoubtedly a high caliber defensive CFer.

Then in 1990 there was Eric Davis. As a young player, he was miraculous in center, jumping over fences, just all over the field. He later slowed down as the injuries took their toll, but definitely a plus centerfielder.

In 1999, the Reds had Mike Cameron. Again, a fine defensive player who covered a lot of ground. Prone to occasional mistakes out there, but was and is a "real" centerfielder.

As far as I am concerned, the Reds don't have that kind of centerfielder on the major league team. Perhaps this is a major issue for the team. I tend to think it is, but I wonder about other views.

mth123
06-18-2007, 10:42 PM
I love a watching a great CF play. I think Hamilton is ok out there. He has a great arm and when the team is ready to win Jay Bruce will be in RF. Hamilton should be able to cheat a little toward LC and CF play won't be the major issue IMO. I wouldn't want a glaring weakness like the Reds have had the last several years with Griffey out there but average is probably ok. If Hamilton allows the shallow dinkers like Griffey did, I'd be more worried. Maybe I'm just so used to watching JR out there that Hamilton looks better than he is, but I don't see why many are concerned about him out there.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-18-2007, 11:42 PM
The BMR had Geronimo. An eighth place hitter, but could really go get the ball in center. Great arm (not that accurate as I recall) but undoubtedly a high caliber defensive CFer.

Drew Stubbs?

Yachtzee
06-18-2007, 11:54 PM
Put me in coach. I'm ready to play.

dougdirt
06-18-2007, 11:57 PM
Put me in coach. I'm ready to play.

http://home.online.no/~sanjen/artimages/ace_ventura_ballerina.jpg

Why is that all I could think of?

pedro
06-19-2007, 12:00 AM
Ever think about the centerfielders in the Reds big years?

The BMR had Geronimo. An eighth place hitter, but could really go get the ball in center. Great arm (not that accurate as I recall) but undoubtedly a high caliber defensive CFer.

Then in 1990 there was Eric Davis. As a young player, he was miraculous in center, jumping over fences, just all over the field. He later slowed down as the injuries took their toll, but definitely a plus centerfielder.

In 1999, the Reds had Mike Cameron. Again, a fine defensive player who covered a lot of ground. Prone to occasional mistakes out there, but was and is a "real" centerfielder.

As far as I am concerned, the Reds don't have that kind of centerfielder on the major league team. Perhaps this is a major issue for the team. I tend to think it is, but I wonder about other views.

interesting point that I think has some validity.

Yachtzee
06-19-2007, 12:14 AM
interesting point that I think has some validity.

There are many areas of "old school" thought that I question, but having good defense up the middle is not one of them. I think having good defense at SS, 2B and CF can do a lot for a team. Plus it just makes baseball more fun to watch.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 01:03 AM
In 1999, the Reds had Mike Cameron. Again, a fine defensive player who covered a lot of ground. Prone to occasional mistakes out there, but was and is a "real" centerfielder.

Mike Cameron in 1999 is the best defensive center fielder I've ever seen in a Reds uniform. That dude pretty much caught anything and everything not only out in center, but in both the gaps as well.


There are many areas of "old school" thought that I question, but having good defense up the middle is not one of them. I think having good defense at SS, 2B and CF can do a lot for a team. Plus it just makes baseball more fun to watch.

And just like Cameron in 1999 was the best defensive center fielder I've ever seen in a Reds uniform, I'd have to say the up-the-middle combo of Larkin at shortstop, Reese at second base, and Cameron in center field is the best up-the-middle combo I've ever seen in a Reds uniform. Larkin wasn't at his peak defensively by that season, but he was still pretty darn good. And while I completely despised Pokey Reese's game at the plate, he was a vacuum with the glove in the field.

It probably goes without saying that the 1999 Reds is my favorite Reds team of all-time that I've been able to witness first-hand myself.

StillFunkyB
06-19-2007, 06:20 AM
There are many areas of "old school" thought that I question, but having good defense up the middle is not one of them. I think having good defense at SS, 2B and CF can do a lot for a team. Plus it just makes baseball more fun to watch.

Same here.

I see Hamilton as more of a RF than a CF, although with Griffey out there CF is where Josh needs to play right now.

remdog
06-19-2007, 07:08 AM
Cyclone:

How far back does your first-hand viewing of the Reds go? Just curious.

Strength up the middle is the cornerstone of a defensive team but all of the above posts left out the fourth component of that cornerstone---catcher. To me that's as big a part of the equation as the other three positions and without it the discussion is incomplete.

Obviously, the BRM with Geronimo, Conception, Morgan and Bench is the benchmark (no pun intended) that I go by and, by that standard, the '99 team, with Tauby behind the plate falls far short.

Regarding Hamilton, mth mentioned that he "didn't see why many are concerned about him out there" and I agree with him. Personally, I didn't (or don't) think that there are a lot of people that are concerned about Hamilton's play in CF but perhaps I'm wrong about that. Am I? It's just not something I've heard a lot of people say on the board.

Hamilton's got good enough speed to play CF and he has an outstanding arm---an arm that intimidates a runner and influences his baserunning. Usually he's sure handed and he seems to get a good jump and read on the ball. The other night against Texas he dropped a ball in deep center that was a tough catch (it was ruled a hit) but that an outstanding CF would catch. I expected him to make that play but that's the only one that I've seen where he let my expectations down. IIRC though, that was also the game where he came out after 'feeling dizzy' so maybe that had something to do with it.

I haven't seen Stubbs so I can't comment on his ability plus he's a long way from the Bigs. But, given the fact that Hamilton sat out four years I expect his fielding, just like his hitting, to improve as he gains experience.

Rem

Highlifeman21
06-19-2007, 07:55 AM
Drew Stubbs?

I'd almost consider batting Stubbs 9th.

Man can he play some field, though. Great range, great reads.

dabvu2498
06-19-2007, 08:21 AM
Bit of a misconception about the 1990 team. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/1990_lu.shtml

Davis only started 66 games in CF that season. 65 went to Billy Hatcher. Davis started 55 games in LF that year, Hatcher 54.

In fact, when Davis injured himself on the diving attempt in the WS game in Oakland, he was playing LF.

Wonder how RZ would have reacted to Lou shuffling those two OF's positions' almost at random.

Yachtzee
06-19-2007, 03:06 PM
Cyclone:

How far back does your first-hand viewing of the Reds go? Just curious.

Strength up the middle is the cornerstone of a defensive team but all of the above posts left out the fourth component of that cornerstone---catcher. To me that's as big a part of the equation as the other three positions and without it the discussion is incomplete.

Obviously, the BRM with Geronimo, Conception, Morgan and Bench is the benchmark (no pun intended) that I go by and, by that standard, the '99 team, with Tauby behind the plate falls far short.

Regarding Hamilton, mth mentioned that he "didn't see why many are concerned about him out there" and I agree with him. Personally, I didn't (or don't) think that there are a lot of people that are concerned about Hamilton's play in CF but perhaps I'm wrong about that. Am I? It's just not something I've heard a lot of people say on the board.

Hamilton's got good enough speed to play CF and he has an outstanding arm---an arm that intimidates a runner and influences his baserunning. Usually he's sure handed and he seems to get a good jump and read on the ball. The other night against Texas he dropped a ball in deep center that was a tough catch (it was ruled a hit) but that an outstanding CF would catch. I expected him to make that play but that's the only one that I've seen where he let my expectations down. IIRC though, that was also the game where he came out after 'feeling dizzy' so maybe that had something to do with it.

I haven't seen Stubbs so I can't comment on his ability plus he's a long way from the Bigs. But, given the fact that Hamilton sat out four years I expect his fielding, just like his hitting, to improve as he gains experience.

Rem

I intentionally left catcher out of the equation because I think catcher is such a unique position with 4 unique skillsets that its hard to find one that fits all for areas. A catcher can be judged by 1) his ability as a receiver to catch the ball and block bad pitches, 2) his arm, which goes to his ability to throw out base stealers, 3) his ability to handle the pitching staff, and 4) his hitting. I think having a good catcher is key to preventing runs, but I suppose it depends on what area he's good at. A catcher who is a whiz at keeping the ball in front of him could be terrible at handling pitchers and vice versa. Does handing the pitching staff count as defense? It's such a unique skill that others are not required to have that it's almost like being a second manager on the field.

PuffyPig
06-19-2007, 03:22 PM
Mike
And just like Cameron in 1999 was the best defensive center fielder I've ever seen in a Reds uniform, I'd have to say the up-the-middle combo of Larkin at shortstop, Reese at second base, and Cameron in center field is the best up-the-middle combo I've ever seen in a Reds uniform. Larkin wasn't at his peak defensively by that season, but he was still pretty darn good. And while I completely despised Pokey Reese's game at the plate, he was a vacuum with the glove in the field.




That 1999 team had great up-the-middle defense to be sure, but it would hard pressed to match the 75-76 team with Bench, Morgan, Concepcion and Geronimo each winning the Gold Glove Award in those years.

Cyclone792
06-19-2007, 03:25 PM
Cyclone:

How far back does your first-hand viewing of the Reds go? Just curious.

Only about the mid 90s, at least in terms of first-hand viewing where I understood the difference between good defense and not-so-good defense on some type of relatively accurate scale. I knew both Davis and Hatcher played center field for the Reds in 1990, for example, and I saw them both first-hand, but I was far too young to understand first-hand from recollections which one was a better defensive center fielder than the other.

I'd take Cameron in 1999 over guys such as Eric Davis in 1996, Deion Sanders in 1997, Reggie Sanders in 1998, or Griffey in any of the years he's been in a Reds uniform.

RedsBaron
06-20-2007, 04:08 PM
That 1999 team had great up-the-middle defense to be sure, but it would hard pressed to match the 75-76 team with Bench, Morgan, Concepcion and Geronimo each winning the Gold Glove Award in those years.

Very true. Bench, Morgan, Concepcion and Geronimo all were Gold Glovers four years in a row, 1974-77.
Vada Pinson was a quality centerfielder for the Reds from 1959 through 1968, winning a Gold Glove in 1961. Gold Gloves were tough to come by in the NL of the 1960s, with Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Curt Flood playing the outfield those years.

Red Heeler
06-20-2007, 07:23 PM
I'd take Cameron in 1999 over guys such as Eric Davis in 1996, Deion Sanders in 1997, Reggie Sanders in 1998, or Griffey in any of the years he's been in a Reds uniform.

Too bad you missed the late '80s version of Davis. He was Cameron's instincts with Deion's speed. In his prime, he was one of the top handful of defensive CF's of all time.