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Thread: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

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    STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Improved Reds won't be going away any time soon


    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    04/14/2006

    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    (E-mail a "Letter to Gordo")

    Hitting has never been a big challenge for the recent Reds, even with their unfortunate injury history. They have generally enjoyed a surplus of accomplished batters.

    Pitching, of course, has been a whole different matter. That’s why you have to give their front office -– er, front offices, owing to a mid-winter ownership change -- high marks for upgrading the Cincinnati staff.

    The Reds come to town with a better-balanced ballclub and a stronger chance to finally contend for a playoff spot. They are 6-3 and own a piece of the National League Central lead.

    New general manager Wayne Krivsky traded tantalizing outfielder Wily Mo Pena –- high on potential, but just so-so on production at age 24 -– for starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
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    Oddly enough, the Red Sox had no spot in their rotation for Arroyo, despite his 14-10 record last season and 205 1/3 innings pitched. The year before that, Arroyo played a significant role in Boston’s incredible postseason run.

    The guy was willing to play for less to stay in Boston and the team moved him out anyway. Apparently, the Red Sox figure David Wells has another big season in him at the age of 63, or whatever he is this year.

    (Wells allowed seven runs during his first start of the season for the Red Sox and heard it from Boston fans at Fenway Park.)

    The Reds were able to move Adam Dunn back to left field after making the Pena deal, with newcomer Scott Hatteberg taking over at first base.

    Earlier during the offseason, Dan O’Brien, Krivsky’s predecessor, traded fan favorite Sean Casey for lefthanded pitcher Dave Williams. Casey, 31, had lost some power at the plate.

    He was in the last year of a contract paying him $8.5 million -– money that regime felt was better off spent on pitching. The club didn’t plan on extending his contract to prevent him from becoming a free agent.

    Now Arroyo and Williams join Eric Milton to give the Reds a solid starting pitching foundation. Arroyo is 2-0 with a 1.98 earned-run average and two homers as a hitter. Milton is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA.

    Milton was awful last season, finishing 8-15 in 2005 with a 6.47 ERA and (gulp) 40 homers allowed. So how do you fix that?

    An offseason weight program helped Milton rebuild his lower body strength after nagging leg injuries cost him velocity last season. Also, the Reds have asked him to change speeds and quit trying to overpower hitters.

    “We're trying to stay away from the high fastball," pitching coach Tom Hume told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “All our guys have been concentrating on that since spring. If you miss, miss down.”

    Williams lost his only start his season, but allowed just two earned runs in six innings. Brandon Claussen (0-1, 5.40) and Aaron Harang (1-1, 8.49) round out the rotation.

    “That's why our record is what it is. Our pitchers are pitching well,” Dunn told MLB.com. “We pretty much have three No. 1's right now. When Harang is on, Arroyo is doing what he's been doing, and Milton is doing what he's doing, that's three pretty good pitchers right there."

    Even with Casey and Pena missing from their offense, the Reds have a formidable batting order. Here is why:


    * Adam Dunn is still a monstrous force. He already has five homers and is batting .355 this season.


    * Oft-injured Austin Kearns is back to full-time duty, batting .297 with three homers this season.

    “Last year, Wily was playing a lot,” Kearns told the Enquirer. “He was hot from the get-go. I think it's a different mind-set when you know you're going to be out there. This year, I'm not sitting there worrying about if I don't do something here I might not be in there tomorrow. It's easier on the mind-set.”


    * Ken Griffey Jr. managed to get through spring training AND the World Baseball Classic in one piece. He recently suffered some knee stiffness, but it wasn’t believed to be a serious issue. When he is healthy, he adds to a Hall of Fame resume.


    * Shortstop Felipe Lopez, 25, has become one of the NL’s elite hitters at his position. He is batting .324 with three homers, seven RBIs and three stolen bases.


    * Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, 23, seems to have significant offensive potential as well.


    * Second baseman/outfielder Ryan Freel is batting .368 and already has six stolen bases.


    Hatteberg and fellow veteran Rich Aurilia haven’t hit much this season, but Cincinnati has mounted a powerful attack without their bats. The Reds just won two of three games against the Cubs, scoring 9-2 and 8-3 victories in Wrigley Field.

    With the ball carrying well in the new Busch Stadium, the Cards will have to treat this lineup with the usual respect.

    This three-game series ought to tell us more about both teams. Our guess? The Reds aren’t going away any time soon this season. They look ready to make the N.L. Central much more competitive than it was in 2005.

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    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by redlegz
    Our guess? The Reds aren’t going away any time soon this season. They look ready to make the N.L. Central much more competitive than it was in 2005.
    I like the sound of that!
    For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.

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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Nice article. I sure hope we're reading these kind of articles from opposing cities come August and September!
    "Strickland Propane... Taste the meat, not the heat." - Hank Hill

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    The reason the Reds are playing well is some offensive players are hot and the starters are very good.

    Long term, the defense and pen are still awful and the Reds are wasting a lot of time giving ABs to the likes of Womack, Aurilia and Hatteberg. This will eventually catch up to them if it isn't fixed. The current leadership doesn't seem to see it as a problem (if they do they are ignoring it)
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by redlegz
    BY JEFF GORDON
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    I knew he hadn't been doing so well on the NASCAR circuit, but now he's a sportswriter on the side?

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    GO XAVIER! toledodan's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    you have to like that article. its nice to get some good press even this early in the season.
    there's nothing like bowling a 300 game! 13 now and retired.


    Ricky henderson has a higher OBP than C. patterson and he's retired. C. Trent 6-14-2008

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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Newman4
    I knew he hadn't been doing so well on the NASCAR circuit, but now he's a sportswriter on the side?
    Gotta find some new income sources, I heard his ex took him to the cleaners in his divorce

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

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    Raaaaaaaandy guttle11's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Now Arroyo and Williams join Eric Milton to give the Reds a solid starting pitching foundation...

    ...Aaron Harang (1-1, 8.49) round out the rotation.
    I wonder if he changed his mind about Harang after last night?
    "I saw Wedding Crashers accidentally. I bought a ticket for Grizzly Man and went into the wrong theater. After an hour, I figured I was in the wrong theater, but I kept waiting. That’s the thing about bear attacks. They come when you least expect it."-Dwight K. Schrute

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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    The guy only wrote what any Reds' fan already has in the back of his mind, but it's great to hear an outsider feel the same way.

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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyredsfan
    Gotta find some new income sources, I heard his ex took him to the cleaners in his divorce

    It's wonderful for the Reds to receive props from one of the best drivers in Nascar history!

  13. #12
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    The reason the Reds are playing well is some offensive players are hot and the starters are very good.

    Long term, the defense and pen are still awful and the Reds are wasting a lot of time giving ABs to the likes of Womack, Aurilia and Hatteberg. This will eventually catch up to them if it isn't fixed. The current leadership doesn't seem to see it as a problem (if they do they are ignoring it)
    Agreed, the last thing we need is an "everything is great do nothing" plan, pen, D still need work.
    Go Gators!

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    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by CincyReds2003
    It's wonderful for the Reds to receive props from one of the best drivers in Nascar history!
    Yeah, but what do Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. think?
    Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman. Damn glad to meet ya.

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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    If the Reds plan to remain a force Dunn needs to get more of those HRs with ducks on the pond.
    Last edited by 2001MUgrad; 04-16-2006 at 04:18 AM.

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    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: STL Post Dispatch article on the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by 2001MUgrad
    If the Reds plan to remain a force Dunn needs to get more of those HRs with ducks on the pond.
    Let's try a more logical approach: The team will succeed when the guys in front of Dunn get on base. Then, when Dunn hits homeruns, they will do more damage. You see, it doesn't make any sense to criticize Dunn for something that is out of his control.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?


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