MOUNDGATE: Two things are crystal clear about "Moundgate," the latest controversy at Great American Ball Park:
One: The mound meets Major League Baseball regulations.
Two: The mounds at many National League ballparks do not.
"We've played on almost every field so far, and every mound except this one has been awesome for us - well, except for Puerto Rico, which was pretty bad," Reds closer Scott Williamson said Saturday. "If this mound is the right height, then obviously it's too flat . . . Because it's not the mound we're pitching on everywhere else."
After a poor outing Friday night, Reds pitcher John Riedling lambasted the mound for being too low and not sloped enough. Williamson supported him on that, saying it definitely has a negative impact on sinkerball pitchers and makes it difficult to "get on top of" breaking balls.
While every pitcher who has pitched on the Great American mound agrees with Riedling's and Williamson's criticism of it, it doesn't make any difference.
Nothing's likely to change.
The Reds brass isn't going to go on record that they like the way the ball is flying out of Great American.
Doug Gallant, the Reds' groundskeeper, said he is not going to alter the mound unless somebody in the front office directs it.
"We're right on the rules," Gallant said. "I haven't been told anything (by the Reds brass), but if John Allen and Jim Bowden are thinking, 'We are a power-hitting team, an offensive team, not a defensive team - we just swept Atlanta here, killed the Cardinals here,' then why would you change it?"
The one thing that could be done is to raise home plate an inch or two and then raise the mound the same inch or two, Gallant said.
And it would all be legal. Williamson just hopes the Reds do something. "A taller mound would definitely help our pitchers," Williamson said.