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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bryan Price Upset By Reds Loss And Umpires

Bryan Price was fuming after the Reds' 7-5 loss to St. Louis.

He couldn't decide whether he was more upset with the umpires, the Cardinals or his own team but there was no mistaking he was upset.

"It was a game that was there to win and we didn't get it done. You don't win championships when you let games like this get away," Price said.

The Reds took a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh with three runs off four Cardinal pitchers.

"We have to get more separation so the pitchers don't have such a narrow margin for error and we have to hold on to a lead when we get one," said Price, who called for a long relief man early in spring training. Tony Cingrani was moved to the bullpen to fill that role. Cingrani pitched two scoreless innings and was in line for a win before Jumbo Diaz gave up a game-tying, two-run home run to Jhonny Peralta in the eighth.

"It was a nice homestand but today was a game we should have won.  Since I've been here (2010) the Cardinals has been a team that has beaten us. At the end of the World Series no one cares how many times you beat a certain team  But to reverse that, yes, it's important to me," Price said after the Reds lost the 13th series out of the last 15 to the hated Cardinals.

"We have a lot of one inning pitchers. Situationally, we couldn't match up. They had Villanueva down there who could go three or four innings," Price lamented.
Then there was the frustrating eighth inning.

Price was upset the homeplate umpire Kerwin Danley did not signal that Jon Jay was hit by a pitch and did not want to use his challenge.

"Danley said he should have made the call and everyone assumed the call. I felt the umpires should have reviewed it since no one called it or the Cardinals should have used their challenge. It may be sour grapes on my part but I'm (pissed off) about it." Joe West tossed him for delaying the game.

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"Well, I really shouldn't comment because he was ejected for delaying the game. That's basically why he was ejected," West said. "He didn't challenge it. You'll have to ask him why, because [home plate umpire] Kerwin [Danley] asked him three times, 'do you wanna challenge?' He says 'no, I don't wanna challenge.' So he got mad, evidently didn't like the way we called time or something. For the official report, he was ejected for delaying the game."

The Cardinals successfully challenged a play at thirdbase later in the eighth inning. With runners of first and second, Yadier Molina chopped a ball right at the plate. Catcher Devin Mesoraco reached to tag Molina and umpire Danley gave the safe call. Mesoraco threw to third, Frazier stepped on the bag and threw to first seamingly to compete a double-play. Mike Matheny challenged saying there should have been a tag at third.

The Replay Official determined that the catcher tagged the runner on the leg, thus removing the force at 3B. No offensive or defensive player reacted to the call on the field. Per the replay regulations, the Replay Official placed both teams in the same situation they would have been in had the call on the field been correct. The batter-runner is out, runners on 2B and 3B.

"There was no call on the tag," Price said. "If Todd would have seen the call, he would have made the tag."

Price did not like Jason Heyward's slide in the fifth inning when he was thrown out at thirdbase trying to stretch a double."It was a dirty slide by Heyward. We didn't like it," Price said. "They aren't a dirty team and don't play like that but we didn't like the slide. Todd (Frazier) could have been hurt."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Billy Hamilton, Joey Votto Combination Cause Pitchers Ageda

Ageda is an Italian word for anxiety with fewer key strokes and befitting Votto's ethnic background, it is appropriate.

Billy Hamilton, getting on base in front of Votto has allowed the Reds' former MVP the opportunity  to drive in runs that have eluded him the last two years.  Votto was criticized for taking too many walks in RBI situations when the reality was there was no reason to pitch to him.

Now with Hamilton such a threat to steal, the pitchers concentration has been divided.

"Billy is the most exciting player, I've seen," Votto said. "He creates chaos. I've never seen anything like it."

Hamilton worked with Delino DeShields, the manager of the Louisville Bats, on being more selective and hitting the ball on the ground more, which is accomplished by better pitch selection.  Hamilton has been on base at a .444 clip in the first four games.  While hitting .286, he has drawn four walks. Hamilton walked just 34 times in 152 games last year. He has seven stolen bases in seven attempts.

"Billy is more aware of what pitchers are trying to do to him," Bryan Price said.

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The combination has worked with pitchers wary of Hamilton and not being able to concentrate on Votto.

"Anybody would benefit with a speed guy like Hamilton on base," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "That's why we are trying to quicken guys up in general. You have to find a happy medium where you don't sacrifice stuff.  The best pitchers in the game are all quick to the plate."

The catcher has to worry about both.  If the best pitch to Votto is a slow curve,  the catcher can't worry that the pitch is easy for Hamilton to steal on.

"The job of the catcher is to make the pitcher aware and just do what you can," said Matheny a former catcher. "It is obvious to us if they sacrifice their best pitch to throw a guy out. That has diminishing returns. The good catcher fight that urge."

Urge or not, pitch selection or not, Votto hit three home runs already, driven in eight runs and hit at a .412 clip.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Reds Beat Arch Rivals With Speed And Power

The 1869 Reds were also undefeated after four games but given the 2014 Reds lost so many close games, 38 one-run losses, these first four are extra satisfying.

"It was one thing we didn't do last year," Billy Hamilton said after the Reds edged the arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4

Hamilton has been a key to giving the Reds' offense the extra push it needs to win close games. He has seven stolen bases in four games and been able to disrupt pitchers while they are facing a finally healthy Joey Votto.

Hamilton was on base when Votto launched his second two-run home run in as many days.

"Billy is the most exciting player I've ever seen," Votto said. "He creates chaos."

Votto hit another two-run home run with Jason Marquis, the starting pitcher, on base.  Votto had three home runs, eight RBI and a stolen base before he drew his first walk of the season, an issue in some areas of Reds' country that said he was too passive at the plate.

Jason Marquis had a rough start, walking two batters in the first inning, including Matt Carpenter who scored on a double by Jhonny Peralta.  After Votto's first inning two-run opposite field home run, Randall Grichuk hit a two-run home run off Marquis to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.

"I don't know if it was excitement or what but I was rushing a little early on but I made an adjustment," said the veteran right-hander who pitched to both Cardinal manager, Mike Matheny and Yadier Molina while he was with the Cards.

"I don't know if it was adrenaline, his first game after a year, a game against his old team. There are plenty of reasons to be excited no matter what your age," Bryan Price said.
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Marquis, one of the best hitters in the game singled to start the third.  Votto hit his second home run of the game the 10th time in his career, he's done that.

Kevin Gregg put two runners on in his third of an inning. The Cardinals tied the game on a single by Heyward.

That set up Hamilton for the exciting finish. He walked for the second time, stole second and watched as the Cardinals walked Votto intentionally.  Hamilton scampered to third on a pitch in the dirt that Molina couldn't locate in time.  Votto stole second.  Hamilton scored on a fly to Heyward in shallow right.

"I was going no matter what," said Hamilton who slid home head first with the winning run.

Reds Starter, Cardinals Manager Were Batterymates

Jason Marquis is making his Cincinnati Reds debut while trying to defeat an old friend.

Marquis and Cardinals' manager Mike Matheny were teammates with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004. Matheny was the catcher on many of Marquis' 32 starts that season.

"I remember he came from Atlanta in his second when he rescued his career the second time," Matheny said. "He was a power guy, who reluctantly bought into the sinker."

After spending part of three seasons, bouncing up and down between the Braves and the minor leagues, Marquis was involved in a trade to the Cardinals along with Adam Wainwright and Ray King for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero.  The trade was engineered on the Cardinals side by current Reds' general manager, Walt Jocketty.

Marquis had his best season to date with Matheny behind the plate. He was 15-7 with a 3.71 ERA in his 32 starts.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Struggling Marlon Byrd Delivers The Winning Run Sans Credit

Official scorer Ron Roth ruled it an error and no RBI but Marlon Byrd's sinking line drive to rightfield with Todd Frazier on third could not be handled by Gregory Polanco and the Reds completed a sweep with a 3-2 win.

Frazier doubled to open the ninth.  Devin Mesoraco hit a slow ground ball to shortstop to advance Frazier to third.

"Devin got his first hit today but his groundball to allow Todd to move up was set up the ending," Bryan Price said.  'He could have tried to hit a home run but he gave himself up."

Rob Scahill walked Jay Bruce intentionally to pitch to Marlon Byrd, who came into the game with one hit in nine at-bats, hit the ball to rightfield with authority.

It hit off Polanco's glove and Frazier, who slipped was able to score as the ball got behind the disgusted Polanco.

"Everyone wants to get off to a good start but that doesn't always happen," Price said. "Marlon wanted to come here to be part of a winner."

Byrd admitted that he was struggling with his sixth strikeout of the season recorded in the fifth inning.

"Yes I felt like I was struggling," Byrd said. 'I don't usually strikeout like that.  That was the first bal I hit to rightfield.  If I keep doing that, the hits will come."

Anthony DeSclafani pitched in his Reds' debut.

"There were no more nerves than any other game. It was fun," DeSclafani said. "I'm glad everything was working. I'm glad we won."

The 24-year old, who pitched at the University of Florida, pitched six strong innings and might have gone even farther if not for the 1:14 rain delay.

The Reds kept him active by getting him up every 15 minutes to throw underneath the stands.

"To his credit, he came back with even better stuff," Price said.

The Pirates scored a run in the fifth when Polanco was able to beat a long throw by Zack Cozart with the bases loaded.  Pedro Alvarez hit a solo home run to leftfield to stake the Pirates to a short-lived 2-0 lead.

Billy Hamilton, who has been on base nearly 50 percent of the time in the early going ans has stolen six bases, including two in this game, was on secondbase when Joey Votto hit his first home run since May 10 last season to tie the game off A.J. Burnett.

"We have a good combination at the top of the order," Price said. "We have a speed guy at the top and a guy who can get on base and hit exrra-base hits behind him."

Teddy Kremer Strikes Again

Honorary bat boy, Teddy Kremer, was with the Reds on Opening Day.

There is no mystery as to why Todd Frazier hit a home run.  Teddy asked him to.

Kremer has been a good luck charm to the Reds and he asked his buddy, Frazier to homer.

Frazier lifted the game winner into the upper deck in leftfield to lift the Reds to a 5-2 victory over the Pirates.

When asked Wednesday evening what he would do for an encore, Frazier replied, "Same thing."

Sure enough in his first at-bat Wednesday against Garrett Cole, Frazier launched his second bomb of the season into the upper deck in the first inning.

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While not a game-winner, it helped the Reds to extra innings, where Joey Votto ended the 11-inning marathon with a single to right, scoring Zack Cozart with the winning run.

Run Billy Run Billy Hamilton Running At Will

For the fourth time in a 24-hour period, Billy Hamilton stole a base.

Three games into the season, Hamilton has five.

Up to the moment, being the Reds' third rain delay in as many games, Hamilton is hitting .400 and has been on base 50 percent of his plate appearances, giving him plenty of opportunity.

In three instances, he stole a base without a throw.
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The sample is small and no one expects him to keep up this pace but for now, the Reds at 2-0 have taken advantage of this offensive weapon. He has scored three of the Reds' 10 runs.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Josh Harrison Princeton, UC Grad Signs Extension With Pirates


Josh Harrison had to earn playing time in the Major Leaugues.

Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the sixth round of the 2008 draft out of the University of Cincinnati where he played for three seasons

Harrison was a three-year letterman at Princeton High School as was his older brother Vince, who played professional baseball for five seasons.

Harrison had to prove that he could hit Major League pitching everyday. He was type cast as a utility player and the Pirates traded for him in July 30, 2009.  He toiled in the minor leagues for two seasons then made his debut against the New York Mets on May 31, 2011.

On Wednesday, Harrison signed a four-year extension guaranteed for $27.3 million with options in 2019 and 2020 that could pay him up to $50 million.

"We have extended the contract of a tremendous player and tremendous human being," Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said. "It took us time to realize that he could hit at this level. We moved him all around and he did everything we asked.  We think we have found a home for him (at thirdbase). He shows up with energy and grit and made the most of his opportunity."

Harrison always believed in himself and his family believed in him also.

"I'm excited to be a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates," Harrison said. "I'm blessed to play this game. I'm excited to sign with the Pirates in my hometown, so my family can be here."

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Harrison's father and mother attended as did his brother Sean.  His little daughter Mia Jade, kept calling for her daddy in the lap of her mother Brittney.

"I dreamed of this day since I was a little kid," Harrison said. "To be sitting here on the day I dreamed of in my hometown with my family, WOW!"

Harrison spent two season as a utility player for the Pirates. He was up and down between the big legues and the minor leagues in 2011. He spent the entire 2012 season with the big club, hitting .233 in 104 games. The next season he split time between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, playing 60 with the Pirates, hitting .250. He played 64 at Indianapolis and hit .317.

Last season Harrison kicked the door down.

He began the season as a part-time player but by mid-season was in the lineup everyday. He hit so well and played such good defense that he was selected to play in the All-Star game, an announcement that also came while the Pirates were in his hometown.

Harrison finished second in the National League batting race with a .315 batting average. Justin Morneau of the Colorado Rockies edged him with a .319 average.

The 5'8' 195 lb, 27 year old, earned a starting job on opening day for the first time in his career. The Pirates and Harrison reached a deal on the off-day Tuesday.

"I have had doubters but I don't play for them, so they don't affect what I do," Harrison said. "I play for my family who have been behind me in good times and bad.  They've always had faith in me which gave me confidence. I love playing this game but it doesn't define me. My family does."

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Sam LeCure and Michael Lorenzen Sent Out Reds Complete Roster

Fan favorite Sam LeCure cleared waivers and has been sent outright to Louisville.  The Reds optioned Michael to Louisville.

Homer Bailey, Jason Bourgeois and Sean Marshall will start the season on the disabled list.

Four non-roster players made the team; Kevin Gregg, Chris Dominguez, Brennan Boesch and Jason Marquis, who is in the starting rotation.  The fifth starter will be Iglesias, who can go to the bullpen or be sent to Louisville when Bailey comes off.

The starting rotation will be Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Anthony DeSclafani, Jason Marquis and for one start Raisel Iglesias.

The starting position players are: Devin Mesoraco, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Malon Byrd, Billy Hamilton and Jay Bruce.

The bench: Kristopher Negron, Skip Schumaker, Brayan Pena, Brennan Boesch and Chris Dominguez.

In the bullpen lefties: Manny Parra, Tony Cingrani and Aroldis Chapman..right-handers J.J. Hoover, Jumbo Diaz, Kevin Gregg and Burke Badenhop

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Johnny Cueto's Last Tuneup For Opening Day

Watch Johnny Cueto in his last tuneup against the Arizona Diamondbacks before Opening Day



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Tour The New Great American Ball Park Before Opening Day


Steve Watkins of the Business Courier gives fans a glimpse of Great American Ball Park five days before Opening Day.

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Clik on the link below.  Also read other updates about the Reds linked to this article.


Devin Mesoraco and Aroldis Chapman's Injuries


The Reds training room will be empty again.

Devin Mesoraco is in the starting lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He left the game on Sunday with cramps Sunday.

Aroldis Chapman left the game early on Tuesday and didn't like it.  He wanted to continue.

"I talked to Paul (trainer Lessard) after the game. Chapman isn't serious," manager Bryan Price said.

Chapman told Price that he didn't call him out there to take him out of the game.

Mesoraco missed close to a week earlier with a concussion.  The cramp just cost him one game.  He was going to play Monday but the Reds were cautious.  He would have been off Tuesday anyway.\

Homer Bailey is scheduled to pitch four innings and 60 pitches in a minor league game.  He is on schedule to return in mid-April.  Raisel Iglesias will also pitch in a minor league game.  It is just to keep him on schedule and control the environment to make sure he gets up and down five times.

Johnny Cueto, who missed one start when he attended to his mother during her open heart surgery, missed on start but is making his last spring start against Arizona's prospect Archie Bradley today.
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Cueto's next outing will be Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Aroldis Chapman Taken Out Of Game In Maryvale


Bryan Price removed an unhappy Aroldis Chapman out of a game early against the Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale.

Chapman displayed some discomfort after a groundout in the fifth inning, his first of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

After a long discussion with Chapman, trainer Paul Lessard and pitching coach Jeff Pico, manager Bryan Price brought Chad Rogers into the game.

Chapman slammed a ball to the dugout floor then left the field with a trainer.

The Reds announced that Chapman was removed for precautionary reasons, citing a tight hamstring.

Last spring on March 19, Chapman was hit in the head with a line drive from Salvador Perez of Kansas City.
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This one does not appear serious on the surface.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Devin Mesoraco Out Of Unusual Lineup Against Padres


Devin Mesoraco left the game with the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday with a cramp in his left quad.

"It is not a long-term setback," Bryan Price said.  "He is day-to-day."

Mesoraco was not experiencing any pain and will follow his spring training off-day routine.

"I'm going to do everything. It will just be a couple days. I'll be fine," Mesoraco said.  "If it were the regular season I might get a day off, I might not, but I want to play today."

The Reds are sending all of its starters out to play San Diego with the exception of Mesoraco.

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The batting order is a little different.


"The lineup is ever evolving," Price said. "Hitting Billy down in our lineup is another option for us. We are trying to find a way in which we're most productive. I've hit Phillips, Frazier, Byrd all over the lineup all spring."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reds Non Roster Players Kicking GABP Door Down

Chris Dominguez, Brennan Boesch and Jason Marquis have had such good springs it is very difficult to leave them out of the mix when the Reds fly out on Thursday.

Dominguez made his team-leading 21st appearance on Sunday at the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe. The former University of Louisville baseball star, hit two doubles and a three-run home run against the Angels to raise his spring average to .340.

Dominguez was a power-hitting thirdbaseman in the Giants system before the Reds signed him late this winter.  He has played the corner outfield positions, third and first.

Boesch leads the Reds in RBI (14 one more than Dominguez).  He was at it again on Sunday with two hits including an RBI double. He is hitting .385 this spring.  He can play all three outfield positions and has been working at firstbase.

Boesch was on his way to a nice career with Detroit and the New York Yankees until he was derailed by injuries.  He played in Triple A last season and led the Pacific Coast League with a .332 average. He hit 25 home runs, 25 doubles and drove in 85 runs for Salt Lake City.

Marquis is a more known commodity. He has had success in the Major Leagues.

On Sunday the veteran pitched six innings for the second time.  He is coming off right elbow surgery from 2013.

He has taken the ball every fifth day in spring and put together good outings each time.  The Reds have two permanent and one temporary starter two fill out its rotation.

"I came into to camp with the idea that it was my job to lose," Marquis said early in camp.
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"You look at more than spring training statistics," manager Bryan Price said. "Marquis is coming off an injury so performance is more important.

Coach Gary Yeatts Baseball Card History


​Nothing is more ubiquitous to the sport of baseball than the baseball card. The casual fan may collect a few but the baseball collector shows up at Goodyear with notebooks and thousands of cards. There is some money to be made by getting a signed baseball card as cards may range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Some of my players had their own cards. Here is a Jeff Hartsock card that is worth 70 cents.
The earliest baseball cards date all the way back to post Civil War times.  The first commercial cards were called "trade cards" and had a picture on the front and advertising on the back. These cards were free and were given away much like the "nudie cards"  that are passed out on Las Vegas Boulevard. Mass production of cards began in the 1880's and most were done by tobacco companies. The cards were put in packs of tobacco to help hold the tobacco in place.    

 By the 1920's the tobacco cards were out of production and candy and gum had become the prominent seller of cards. By the 1950's the Topps Chewing Gum Company got in the business and they still reign supreme to this day. Their first issue of cards in 1952 is thought by many to be the best ever. Topps had a virtual monopoly for years but today there are many companies producing cards.   

 The MLBPA has a licensing program for the players baseball cards. Proceeds go to the Players Trust, which is a charitable foundation. Players, coaches, and trainers of MLB share in the profits.today you can go to an internet site likemytrainingcards.com and create your own trading cards.

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​One thing to keep in mind if you are ever cleaning out an old garage or attic. Keep your eyes open. Karl Kissner of Ohio was cleaning out his grandfathers attic in 2012. He came across an old set of cards tied together by twine. It has turned out to be one of the biggest finds in sports card collecting. The cards are estimated to be worth millions of$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ YIB-G
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 Karl Kissner in Attic