Tagged: http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/wrap.jsp?ymd=20090927&content_id=7187652&vkey=wrapup2005&fext=.jsp&team=away

MISSION FAILURE

Votto - SO (28SEP09).jpg

The look on Joey Votto’s face – after a strikeout Sunday’s game – can easily sum up the 2009 Reds Season, for the team and – especially – for the long-suffering Reds fans. 
 
Once again, with a 3-2 loss to the Astros (despite the recent 6-game winning streak), the Reds are officially a LOSING team once more.  That’s 9 Losing Years in a Row – Can I get a 10????  Please say No…
 
I hope Mr. Michael Murphy, of MLB.com doesn’t mind my using the beginning of his story from yesterday – quite appropriate, at least as far as the writer and Joey Votto is concerned.  I don’t know about Dusty Baker, who is supposedly the Reds Manager.  Seems Mr. Votto sounds more concerned with the team winning instead of the manager.  Read below for yourself – Thanks again, Mr. Murphy.   
 

HOUSTON — You knew that all the good times had to end at some point. And sure enough, they finally ended Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

The Reds’ six-game win streak, ridiculous success against Houston and recent surge of offensive fireworks all came to an end Sunday in a 3-2 loss before a crowd of 37,595 in the Astros’ final home game of the season.

But while Houston was celebrating a rare win over Cincinnati, the Reds were playing a dirge for their lost season.

The defeat was No. 82 for the Reds, assuring them of a losing season despite a late run that has seen them win 23 of 34 games.

“Honestly, today is probably one of the tougher days of the year, because we’re officially a losing team,” said Joey Votto, who went 1-for-4. “We’ve been playing well lately, but you can’t help but be embarrassed as a team.”

Reds manager Dusty Baker didn’t want to look in the rear-view mirror at all the losses, instead preferring to look ahead at finishing up strong over the final six games of the season.

“We were having a losing season before we went on this run,” said Baker. “That’s not important now.  (WHAT???) 

“What’s important now is continuing to play well and to finish strong. We have to keep playing the way we had been playing.”  

*** Wonderful, Dusty – just wonderful…(From me).

That certainly wasn’t the case Sunday (playing well).  No, it wasn’t.

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To fellow Reds fans who are excited about the 2010 season, with the current cast of characters:  Please – Spare me your platitudes, rah-rah stories, and “Let’s go, Reds” chants.  Yes, it’s nice to see the Reds finish strong lately.  I’m glad Votto should hit over .300 – he’s got the stuff of a future great player.  It’s nice that Scott Rolen should finish over .300, but does he really want to play for the Reds who talk a good game during the off-season, then slowly but surely implode once the real play begins?  I’m happy to see Arroyo and others pitch great down the stretch, but what about ALL of 2010, hmmmm???   

 
I like the way the Gomes and the other new comers play, BUT how many times in the past have we seen solid partial seasons by Reds players in the past decade, only to see them go BUST when given a chance to play more during the following year?  Too many for me to keep count with, such as Hairston’s partial year with the Reds in 2008.  He took his .250+ BA with him to Yankee Stadium several weeks ago, and he’s been great for them.  I am happy to see him play for a WINNER.  Hopefully, Hairston will be able to play some in October – not sure of the extent of his recent injuries.  How about Keppinger of the Astros, and several others, and their showing little trace of the players they were the season before?   
 
I believe about 90% of this team NEEDS to play some Winter Ball after the season, to help them improve and stay sharp.  Look what Winter Ball did for Pete Rose after his sophomore jinx year in 1964 – Charlie Hustle came back to have his first .300+ BA and 200-hit season, with a .312 BA and a league-leading 209 hits.  Rose, of course, went on to have a lifetime .303 BA and the all-time hit record of 4,256 hits.  Bottom line is, Rose played the game and worked at it his whole career.   
 
Maybe Mr. Votto might be able to overcome the emotional problems, Etc., that cost him some playing time.  Maybe he can take more time to deal with the grief he’s faced with his dad’s loss from last year, Etc.   
 
Actually, I’m thinking Mr. Nix and Mr. Rosales are two that should take advantage of winter ball.  I like Rosales’ hustle, but he must become a more reliable hitter to be a successful big leaguer.  There’s no way he stays with a team in serious contention – not with more players firing on all thrusters.  I would love to see Rosales blossom into a solid ball player – his hustle and spirit is contagious.  Hey Mr. Rosales – start practicing everyday in one way or the other – develop the playing/practicing part that made Pete Rose such a great player.  Lots of Reds fans are rooting for you.  Goodnight, how many of these players today live on the DL?  Nix, Hernandez, the guy who replaced him. 
 
What’s up with Chris Dickerson’s sprained ankle, from back in August?  In fact, what’s up with Dickerson, period?  He needs to play winter ball, and I’d LOVE to hear more from his love for the game, practicing, learning all he can about the game – instead of “going green.”   Here’s my response to that – zzzzzzzz…  The Reds need Winners, the fans deserve WINNING.  Hey, Mr. Dickerson – I use plastic bottled-water, and I could care less what you think.  By the way, I paid a lot of money to watch YOU play sub-par baseball, and you should care A LOT about that.   If he could stay on the field, play consistently good baseball, and worry more about that, he might become a good player.  As of right now, I’m NOT impressed.  Add the sprained ankle that’s kept him out for so long – can’t imagine Derek Jeter or Pete Rose staying out this long.  Here’s Dickerson’s stats:
 
 

Year AB R H HR RBI BB K AVG
2009 Season 253 31 70 2 15 39 65 .277
Career 355 51 101 8 30 56 100 .285
 
Not bad, but could work on less strikeouts, and more power.  I will say this, and not for the first time – I miss Adam Dunn.  At least his power was there, too.  Hey, looks like his best overall year yet, and what did we get for him.  Yeah – that’s what I thought…
 
Janish is another player that really needs winter ball, and then some – .210+ in the bigs just won’t cut it.
 
I will miss Hal McCoy – I will write about him in another column.  I see that he’s remarked that he started writing about the Reds and would see 9 consecutive winning seasons in a row in the beginning.  Now, Mr. McCoy is going out with 9 consecutive seasons in the end.  Pretty sad, and quite pathetic.   
 
Mr. Castellini and Company: Mr. McCoy deserved better, the franchise deserves better, and Your Fans deserve Better – It’s High Time to Bring Winning Back to Cincinnati in 2010.  We DEMAND that of you. 
 
I said at the beginning of the 2009 Season that Success for me would be 82 Wins and 80 losses – No Playoffs necessary for me, but that would have been icing on a very lovely cake.  Well, with 82 losses now, the cake has fallen, and the icing tastes just like it was made by the cooks – at the 4077th MASH’s Mess Tent.
 
This Reds Fan’s call for the 2009 Season: MISSION FAILURE, plain and simple – Not taking that back, either.  The team and the owner have richly earned it…
 
AND THIS ONE BELONGS TO THE REDS 
REMEMBER THESE GUYS?  I REFUSE TO FORGET – 1975 BIG RED MACHINE, AFTER DEFEATING THE BOSOX IN THE 7TH AND FINAL GAME OF AN AWESOME WORLD SERIES (LATE OCT 1975).  THE RECORD WAS GREAT AS WELL.

 

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