Game Day Six-Pack: Dusty Baker’s Boston Audition


When you think of the Cincinnati Reds and the litany of Hall of Fame players that have graced their organization over the years, there is undoubtedly one name that leaps to mind.

Chris Sabo.

Why Chris Sabo? Well sure, he helped lead the Reds to their last world championship back in 1990 when he won the NL Rookie of the Year. But he was more than that. He was Vance Worley before there was a Vance Worley.

That’s right. He was a goggles guy.

Hence the name of Brian Welch’s terrific Reds blog Chris Sabo’s Goggles, which chronicles the life and times of the Cincinnati Red Legs organization. Apparently, Scott Rolen’s Back X-Rays was a blog name already taken. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s a pretty good year to be a Reds blogger. Not so much to be a Phils blogger. I wonder if he’d be willing to trade places for a few months…

Oh, and you can follow Brian @Goggles17 on Twitter. You know, for Reds twitterizings, if you’re into that sort of thing.

There are few critical factors Phillies fans can rely on this season, forcing us to turn to decorative aesthetics to find enjoyment. How do you expect throwback uniforms to effect Wednesdays’ game?

I’m just thankful that the Reds won’t be playing in those hideous pinstripe uniforms they wore in the late ’90′s/early 2000′s. I can’t look at those things without picturing Steve Parris getting knocked around by the Mets in the one-game playoff game in 1999.

The Reds recently partnered with author Joel Altman for a storybook, Mr. Redlegs and his Great Adventure. From MLB.com:

In the book, fans will follow the mustachioed mascot as he travels through Reds history, with the help of a magical hat from the Reds Hall of Fame Kids Clubhouse.

Do the Reds think it is wise to advocate the use of hallucinogenic drugs to children?

No wiser than allowing Gapper to roam Great American Ball Park unsupervised.

What I noticed most in this article on Johnny Cueto being the NL Cy Young favorite is that it didn’t mention Cole Hamels at all. I of course notice this about every non-Cole Hamels-centric form of media. I’ll ask you what I asked my boss about his power point presentation on international sales figures: Where was Cole Hamels in all of that talk?

This is a pretty short discussion–Cueto is infinitely better than Hamels.

We’re talking about their hair, right?

Obviously, the Reds have a dominant lineup, but how dominant are we talking? “Guarantee 3-out-of-4 from the Phillies” dominant? “100-win” dominant? “Raw, canine, National Geographic special” dominant?

I’m not sure the word “dominant” has been used to describe anything of the Reds, except maybe their bullpen. If a series came down to one team’s bullpen vs. the Reds’ bullpen, I’d take the Reds every single time. As far as offensive output is concerned, I’d never use the word “dominant” in the same sentence. “Streaky” and “frustrating”–yes–but never “dominant.”

Dusty Baker was told in the spring that, with a costly roster, he would have to win to keep his job. Charlie Manuel was handed a lineup card full of broken parts and emergency call-ups and asked to protect a five-year legacy of playoffs. Who was under the most pressure going into 2012? What do their respective situations say about their abilities to handle pressure?

No matter what happens in the regular season, I think the Reds need to advance past the first round of the playoffs for Baker to keep his job. Anything less than that and Baker is putting on a Red Sox hat in Spring Training next year. As far as handling the pressure, I think Baker has a much easier job. While Reds fans can be pretty judgmental of Baker, the Cincinnati media are hardly an aggressive bunch. Manuel has to deal with Phillies fans (poor guy) and the Philadelphia media. No small feat.

Joey Votto has promised not to come back until he is what medical and mathematics experts refer to as “100%.” How much help could a Joey Votto provide at 75%? Is that more or less valuable than the guy standing in his place? How quickly do the Reds hit their magic number without him?

I understand what Votto is trying to say, but I don’t necessarily agree with him. No player is 100% healthy this time of the season, so I’m not sure why Votto intends to wait until he his. It really depends how much more time he’d be out. Is he at 75% now? Will it take him another month to be at 100%? If that’s the case, I’d rather see what he could do now. I mean, I understand that it takes time to cast an Adamantium exo-skeleton capable of handling the rigors that Votto would put it through, but he’s an important part of this team’s post-season chances.

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