This guy has to be one of dumbest writers in baseball. How does he even have a job? Someone needs to tell this guy that a 493 foot home run is gone in any park, including Yellowstone. The Reds horrible pitching and great hitters make it look like a great hitters park, not the park itself.
Going yard, again and again and ...
Longball is way of life at GABP
BY PAUL DAUGHERTY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the sixth inning Wednesday, someone named Reggie Abercrombie of the Florida Marlins hit a ball 493 feet to the upper-deck bleachers in left field at Great American Small Park. Reg-gie Reg-gie was hitting .080 three days ago. It was his first major-league home run. No surprise there.
You could hit a home run at GASP! So could I. So could Marty Brennaman, Paula Abdul, Boy George, the Olsen twins and Zippy the Singing Chimp.
The Cincinnati Reds don't need pitchers who can keep their pitches down. They need pitchers who can hit lots of home runs. That way, they would have a chance to smash as many homers as are smashed against them.
When does it stop being over-the-top silly at GASP!, and take the turn to borderline fraudulent?
The Marlins hit four homers Wednesday. They hit three the night before. That's seven in two games from a team that had 10 in its first 12 games. It didn't matter that the Reds and Marlins threw their aces. It didn't matter it's April. (Wait 'til it heats up; the ball will fly like a John Daly 3-wood.) It didn't matter that the wind didn't blow. It was bombs-away. In the left- and right-field bleachers at the smallpark, every day is Ball Day.
Afterward, Reds manager Jerry Narron applauded his team's pluck.
The Reds did rally from five runs down against Dontrelle Willis, so Narron had a point. Then the manager said this: "Last night, I felt like we could come back, even when we were down 10-2" in an eventual 12-6 loss. "Our guys really believe we're going to score some runs."
Why wouldn't they? Playing in the Small Park is like hitting fungos in a phone booth. Thirty-three homers already, in nine games. Tops in baseball, again. Last year, GASP! permitted 246 dingers, 13 more than the second-most generous park. In Cincinnati, Reggie Abercrombie is King Kong.
A problem with this is it messes with the integrity of the longball. The bigger problem, if you care about the home team, is that nobody with an option and No. 1-starter stuff will want to pitch here. The last thing a club that hasn't developed a starting pitcher in 20 years needs is a ballpark where free agents refuse to pitch.
You can look to other places as homer-friendly, but most come with alibis. Wrigley Field, when the wind blows out. Coors Field, because of the thin air. What's the excuse here? The only park close to this one in the National League is Minute Maid in Houston, and even there the distance increases significantly once you get away from the foul lines.
Narron even offered that the ball seems livelier this year. Conspiracy theorists would suggest that just because players aren't allowed to juice doesn't mean MLB can't juice the baseball. If as many balls fly out this year as in recent years, Baseball can argue that steroids didn't have as big an effect as supposed.
Regardless, GASP! remains a place where men are men and pitchers are scared. What do the Reds do about it? Should they do anything? Chicks dig the longball, not the fastball. Fences were moved in this year in San Diego and Detroit. The ball apparently does everything but half-gainers getting out of the new Busch Stadium.
But when does it start getting ridiculous? In Philadelphia, they decided it already had. After two seasons of 200-plus homers at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies moved the left-field wall back 5 feet and raised it from 8 feet to 101/2. Team spokesman Larry Shenk said the move already has taken away "four or five" home runs. The move also took out 196 seats, so don't hold your breath for the Reds to do something similar.
But the fact is, teams that win 9-8 don't win titles. Narron argues, "It's more (about) pitches than it is the ballpark. If you make good pitches, you have a chance to get guys out." If you don't, you're suffering whiplash watching balls exit the grass. Can a whole pitching staff go on the DL with neck sprains? Meanwhile, Reggie Abercrombie can't wait to come back.