View Full Version : Tom Archdeacon: Reds need to chill out, then heat up

04-25-2008, 01:22 AM
Tom Archdeacon: Reds need to chill out, then heat up
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By Tom Archdeacon

the Dayton Daily News

Friday, April 25, 2008

CINCINNATI Brandon Phillips had just come from the showers and was sitting in front of his dressing stall wrapped only in a blue towel and unbowed illusion.

"Could I talk to you a minute?" I asked after his Cincinnati Reds had just been dumped by the Houston Astros 5-3 on Thursday, April 24, at Great American Ball Park. It was the fifth loss of the just-concluded seven-game home stand.

"What you want to talk about?" the second baseman said flatly, his gaze directed at the floor in the mostly deserted clubhouse.

"When guys are pressing when they're struggling at the plate are there little tricks they can use to try to get out of it?"

That drew a glare: "Who's struggling?"

"Well ... aaah ... you."

He'd just gone 0-for-4, including a ninth-inning strikeout on a bad pitch above him. In his last 10 games, he's 6-for-38, and that's a .158 average.

"Struggling?" he said. "I don't know what you're talking about."

With that, he looked away in stony silence.

Ironically, at about that same time, someone else in the clubhouse knew what I was talking about and was discussing it with his teammates. And when he got to his dressing cubicle, Adam Dunn quietly shared those thoughts:

"We were sitting in the (players') lounge talking about it. Everyone realizes we're much better than we're playing."

As they stagger off on a long road trip, the Reds have won just three of their last 13 games. General Manager Wayne Krivsky's been fired. His replacement, Walt Jocketty, is now 0-2, and when Thursday's game ended on a Dunn strikeout, fans booed.

No wonder. This Reds' performance deserved the raspberries:

Consecutive runners Corey Patterson to end the fifth inning, Jerry Hairston Jr. to open the sixth had been picked off in glaring basepath gaffes.

The meat of the batting order Ken Griffey Jr., Phillips and Dunn had gone 1-for-12.

Even magnificent young pitcher Johnny Cueto struggled with his command, especially when he hung a two-out, 0-2 changeup to Astros pitcher Jack Cassel, who promptly singled for his first major-league RBI.

"We can't play any worse than this ... we can not," Dunn said. "We're making dumb mistakes. I think some guys are trying to jump start the offense ... Instead of trying to get base hits, they're trying to end their slumps by hitting the ball out of the park. Maybe pitchers are trying to overthrow.

"We just need to relax, to take a deep breath ... But we have to get hot quick. Everybody keeps talking about how early it is, but it's not early anymore. The first week and a half of the season is early."

That's how owner Bob Castellini is thinking, which is why he handed the reins to Jocketty, who talked about changing attitudes.

First, though, there may be personnel changes. If veteran pitcher Bronson Arroyo continues to struggle and Matt Belisle resembles a batting-practice pitcher again on his next start, look for Homer Bailey to be brought up from Louisville. Outfielder Jay Bruce soon may follow.

While reaching into Triple-A is dipping into the future, manager Dusty Baker also suggested a nod to times past:

"You've got to tap into your past and think about how you were thinking when you were going good. We can't wallow in our own mess."

So maybe that's what Phillips was doing.

He's not wallowing.

Now, if he could just start hitting again.


04-25-2008, 01:39 AM
Something from espn.com about the current situation or more to the point WK's firing.

By Jayson Stark
April 24, 2008

Ready, Aim, Fire Dept.: Reds owner Bob Castellini has no idea how many people in baseball he alienated by firing his GM, Wayne Krivsky -- as well-liked and highly respected a man as you'll find in the business.

"They just went from a team you root for to a team you root against," is the way one veteran baseball man put it Wednesday.

Sure, Krivsky made his share of mistakes. Goes with the turf. But have there been three bigger steals in the past two years than Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena, Brandon Phillips for Jeff Stevens, or Josh Hamilton for 50,000 bucks? And Jeff Keppinger for Russ Haltiwanger is right up there, too.

So why was this guy fired again? Because this team came out of spring training with a little promise and then started 9-12? Ridiculous. The Yankees, Phillies, Cubs and Rockies were all 9-12 or worse last year this time -- and made the playoffs.

"There's nothing worse than these owners who treat the national pastime like it's the frigging stock market," said an official of one team. "They think it's got to keep going up, up, up, every day. But that's just not the way of works. This is a game of human beings."

I concur I think it was a bad idea, but it's done so time to see what happens next.

04-25-2008, 01:46 AM
Those base-running errors just made me laugh today. That's really all you can do at this point, the way this team is "playing."

04-25-2008, 02:02 AM
Something from espn.com about the current situation or more to the point WK's firing.
I concur I think it was a bad idea, but it's done so time to see what happens next.

I just love these anonymous quotes from "baseball officials." Those "officals" are members of a country club that protects all the members. I was sitting in the press area of a college stadium when the coach of a certain team was suffering through a third consecutive losing season. The Athletic Director of the team, a wonderful man and a fine human being, said to no one in particular, "I need to make a change, but I'll be the a-hole when I do."

He fired the coach two weeks later to the chagrin of everyone--coaches, the press, and the media. Each and every negative comment from this event was from an "anonymous coach" or an "anonymous athletic official."

The end result was they forgot about it two weeks later and the succeding coach went on to be inducted into the hall of fame. WE don't know what's going to happen with all of this, but if the team wins or loses, all will be forgotten in a couple of weeks. That's the sports world. Only the winning matters regardless.