2008 Cincinnati Reds Year in Review

10-15-07 - Dusty Baker announced as Reds new manager 11-2-07 - Wayne Krivsky trades Phil Dumatrait for World Series MVP Augie Ojeda 12-5-07 - After several private meetings, Baker talks Mark Lemke out of retirement. 1-22-08 - Thinking that the Reds Alex Gonzalez is the same Alex Gonzalez of the 2003 Cubs, Baker tells a local reporter "Alex had a hard time after the [2003] Playoffs, but he's a real pro. I think he just needs to see the infield from a different position, get away from shortstop for awhile." Speculation mounts that the non-ex-Cubs Gonzalez will be moved to third base, benching Edwin Encarnacion. 1-23-08 - Augie Ojeda announced as the starting shortstop going into spring training. Baker insists "Alex will get his at bats, somewhere in the lineup." 1-25-08 - Baker insinuates that Jorge Cantu may appear in centerfield to give Josh Hamilton some rest from time to time. 1-26-08 - Josh Hamilton spotted at local Starbucks drinking an espresso. 2-2-08 - Alex Gonzalez announced as co-Third Baseman with Edwin Encarnacion 2-5-08 - Baker declares that Lemke will spell Brandon Phillips from time to time at second base, but that Phillips is still an important part of the team. 2-16-08 - Reds lose first spring training game when Hamilton strikes out in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, preserving a Rangers win. Baker declares "Hamilton is still learning the game, and will be given plenty of opportunities to show what he can do." 2-17-08 - Hamilton spotted in local coffee shop ordering a double espresso. 2-25-08 - Baker cancels fielding drills, instead brings in motivational speaker who demonstrates how to rip a phone book in half using just one's bare hands. 2-27-08 - Ken Griffey Jr. to miss a month due to a slight shoulder separation following an effort to rip a phone book. 2-28-08 - Reds lose spring training game when Phillips boots a grounder. Baker announces that Phillips has an important role to play on the team, and that he has full confidence in Phillips. 3-1-08 - Mark Lemke starts a spring training game against the Phillies at second, batting leadoff. Goes 3-3. Cantu, playing center, hits a home run. 3-4-08 - Hamilton spotted at local organic coffee shop buying three pounds of fair-trade coffee. Brandon Phillips spotted buying "Players are the Moon in Libra, Managers are the Sun in Pisces: An Astrological Guide to Understanding Your Boss" at local book store. 3-9-08 - Homer Bailey, schedule to throw 50 pitches, has a perfect game after 3 innings. Baker leaves him in for the fourth, when he throws pitches 53 through 69. With the perfect game still in tact, Bailey proceeds to pitch the fifth through seventh. Leaves when he gives up an infield hit, having thrown 94 pitches. 3-10-08 - Homer Bailey declared to be "day to day" with "arm fatigue." 3-14-08 - Reds win on back-to-back squeeze bunts by Ojeda and Gonzalez. 3-15-08 - Encarnacion traded to the Cardinals for Joel Piniero. 3-20-08 - Baker expresses his desire to see Dunn be more aggressive, not take so many hitable pitches. 3-28 - 08 - Reds lose game on a Lemke 6-4-3 GIDP in the bottom of the 9th. Baker blames the loss on the groundscrew, which did not mow the infield grass down to the specified height, thus slowing down Lemke's grounder just enough for the shortstop to get to it. 3-30-08 - Joey Votto optioned to the minor leagues. Scott Hatteberg announced as opening day starter at first. Lemke announced as opening day starter at second, for an infield of Alex Gonzalez, Ojeda, Lemke and Hatteberg 4-2-08 - Second game of season, Hamilton given a day off for "rest" against Arizona left-hander Doug Davis, Cantu starts. Cantu hits game-winning sacrifice fly 4-3-08 - Hamilton spotted at local Starbucks slamming Espresso shots. 4-15-08 - Baker misses the Reds' first game against the Cubs. Reportedly seen outside of H & R Block, mumbling something about how it's "all a misunderstanding, all Stone's fault." 4-18-08 - Reds lose when Dunn strikes out looking in a one-run game with a runner on first. Baker explains that Dunn needs to "let it fly." 5-5-08 - Reds beat the Cubs, 7-0, behind a Bailey shutout, to go into a first-place tie with the Cubs. Bailey comes out for the ninth, throws 139 pitches. 5-20-08 - Dunn ordered to swing at every pitch he sees. 6-1-08 - Hatteberg, hitting .209/.320/.390, pulls a hamstring. Votto called up. 6-2-08 - Cantu starts at first, with Votto on the bench. Norris Hopper starts in center over Hamilton, as Baker explains that Hamilton has been "pressing" at the plate and "needs to find himself." 6-6-08 - Hamilton seen at Wal-mart, snorting lines of Wal-mart brand ground coffee. 6-12-08 - Reds fall out of first place when Alex Gonzalez drops a pop fly that he loses in the sun, allowing the Cardinals to win. Baker blames the media's obsession with 2003 and the ergonomic engineer of Gonzalez's sunglasses (which were on top of Gonzo's ballcap) for not coming up with a more comfortable design. Laughs at how a Latino could lose the ball in the sun. First Base coach Billy Hatcher complains that Reds' broadcaster Marty Brennaman sighed audibly at the end of the game. 6-15-08 - Lemke, hitting .157, given the day off. Phillips starts at second, goes 1-4 with 3 Ks. Baker explains that Phillips needs to "let the game come to him, not try to do too much." 6-16-08 - Dunn strikes out 5 times on 18 pitches, swinging at each one. Has 130 strikeouts on the year. 6-30 and 7-1-08 - Reds play a 20 inning marathon against the Pirates. Bailey comes in to relieve in the 14th, as it was his day to throw on the side between starts, anyways. Winds up pitching 6 innings, throwing 102 pitches. Reds win in the bottom of the 20th, to preserve a one-game lead over the Cubs, when Baker calls on Hamilton to pinch-hit for Bailey against the Pirates' Damaso Marte. Hamilton, unusually alert given the fact that it's nearly 2 in the morning, hits a game-winning walk-off home run. In 9 at bats, Dunn hits 3 HRs and strikes out 6 times. First Base coach Billy Hatcher complains in the clubhouse that Brennaman didn't sound enthusiastic enough on the home run call. 7-9-08 - Alex Gonzalez out for a month while participating in "voluntary" kick-boxing routine with guest motivational speaker brought in from the UFC. Lemke shifted to third, Phillips regains starting job at second. Griffey day-to-day with an embiggened meta-owwie from this perfectly cromulent exercise. 7-11-08 - Krivsky trades minor-league phenom Jay Bruce to San Francisco for Pedro Feliz. With Feliz at third until Gonzalez recovers, Lemke returns to second. 7-20-08 - In his continuing effort to impress Baker, Brandon Phillips signs up for juggling lessons through the U. of Cincinnati summer extension course system. 8-16-08 - Reds fall back out of first place again when, in the bottom of the 9th against St. Louis, Baker pinch-hits for Hamilton with Ojeda, who had the day off. Ojeda tries to bunt for a base hit with two outs and a runner on first, and is out. Hatcher phones Brennaman at home to complain about the slight note of disappointment in Brennaman's voice at the end of the game. 9-2-08 - Dunn, who has swung at 320 consecutive pitches, hits his 80th home run while striking out for the 250th time in a win against the Pirates. 9-3-08 - Rainout against Pittsburgh spoils a perfect game bid that Homer Bailey was working on through 4 innings. Baker blames global warming, in a 10 minute explanation of how evaporated polar ice is causing it to rain in Cincinnati. 9-4-08 - Bailey starts the first game of the double-header against the Pirates, throws a perfect game. Since he only needed 107 pitches to shutout the Pirates in the first game, and still had a perfect innings streak going from the official rainout from the day before, Bailey is left in to start the second game of the double header. Is perfect through 8 innings before giving up a meaningless home run in the ninth. Reds win both games. 9-5-08 - Krivskey signs formerly retired LHP Shawn Estes for added bullpen depth down the stretch. 9-20-08 - Josh Hamilton sits the bench against Milwaukee lefty Chris Capuano, who at the moment is 0-19 on the season. 9-22-08- In a tight race with the Cubs for the division title, Baker orders Dunn, who has been intentionally walked 30 times this year, to swing at intentional balls as well. 9-25-08- MSNBC reports Josh Hamilton has been kidnapped by a notorious Columbian coffee cartel. 10-1-08 - The Reds play the Cubs at Wrigley in a one-game playoff to determine the sole NL Central representative in the playoffs. After 9 innings, the score is tied at 2, the Reds' infield is 0-14 with 2 sacrifice bunts. Dunn, playing in game 163, hits his 100th and 101st home runs of the regular season, but strikes out four times on four efforts to intentionally walk him, bringing his strikeout total to 372. In the bottom of the tenth, Aramis Ramirez, noticing that Homer Bailey's arm appears to be visibily throbbing and glowing a strange orange, smartly bunts a ball back towards Bailey's right. Bailey grabs it, fires to first, with his arm detaching from its socket. With arm and ball alike traveling towards Hatteberg, Ramirez is able to beat the throw. Baker calls in Estes from the pen, who procedes to walk Cubs right fielder Alex Rodriguez and then Jacque Jones. The game ends when Mark Derosa hits a high pop fly along the left field line. With Adam Dunn playing with two torn rotator cuffs, not-really-ex-cub Alex Gonzalez and actual-ex-cub Augie Ojeda race out from third and short to chase after the popup. Gonzalez leaps towards the left field foul wall padding, when a pair of hands extend over the wall, into fair territory, to make a grab at the ball. It's really-ex-cub Alex Gonzalez, who foolishly tries to interfere with a live ball! Gonzalez whiffs on his effort to catch the ball, but distracts the other Gonzalez from the catch, causing the ball to fall in, just fair. Ramirez high-hurdles Darren Baker, who got lost on his way to deliver a new set of baseballs to the home plate umpire, and slides in for the winning run. 10-3-08 - On the strength of the Reds improved season, Krivskey signs Baker to a five-year extension. U. of Cincinnati officials rumored to have spotted Brandon Phillips enrolling in "Japanese 101" course.
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Comments

"Griffey day-to-day with an embiggened meta-owwie from this perfectly cromulent exercise"

Ha!

Trans, you are the Kurt Vonnegut of Baseball Writers!

when you get down to writing the full length novella, please consider the title:

Dusty *

* love it.

Also, Trans... you double-switched the extra N for a T in Cincinnati.

Ugh, if I had a dollar for every time I do that. I even double-checked the spelling on that, and still flubbed it.

This is why MVN should regularly be editing my writing. :)

Ha, good work Trans.

42 pages of comments like these at Cincinnati.com

http://frontier.cincinnati.com/comments/threa...

I applaud the Reds for hiring Dusty Baker and making the right decision, in spite of all the racist and bigoted fans. After reading some of the comments on this blog - fans vowing to never attend another game, reminds me of the racist climate and the jim crow laws in the 50's. Let's be brutally honest, if Dusty Baker was a Caucasian, these same fans who are pledging to never attend another reds game, would accept Dusty Baker with open arms. Shame on you Cincinnati! You people are an embarrassment to civilized, intelligent Americans everywhere. Let's move into the 21st Century and leave those narrow minded, racist attitudes of the past behind.
--Skip, Anderson, Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 11:08:00 AM
I just lost interest in the reds for the next 3 years.
--Spurlore, Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 11:02:00 AMI wonder if the Reds management knows what it is doing? They hired a manager that has all the wrong qualitites that this team needs. He has proven that he doesn't know how to handle a pitching staff. He is laid back and caters to egos and stars with differential treatment. He has shown a tendency to play veterans and not go with younger players. So we now have a manger who will probably ruin Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto and will continue to cater to egos like Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr and not play young players like Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto or Jay Bruce. WOW I can't wait for this train wreck to take place. What in the world was Wayne Krivsky thinking.
--Rob Nelson, Maineville, Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 8:19:00 AM
Fresh off a 96 loss season with the Cubs the Reds have lost me for good worst move since the Frank Robinson deal. I'm done with this organization.
--Steve Sheehan, Sarasota, Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 8:17:00 AM
I was a bit surprised by the naming of Dusty Baker as manager.He was a very good Major League player and has proven himself as a quality manager. I think his critics here are a bunch of rednecks who would rather have any White guy manage the team than Dusty Baker who is a BIG STEP UP from the recent managerial hirings in Cincinnati. Good Luck Dusty. I'll see you at Great American Ballpark.
--laurence hartnett, Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 7:35:00 AM
Those of you that think this is a good hire didn't watch a Cubs game in 2003-06. He blew the LCS in 2003, blew it in the stretch run in 2004 and his teams didn't even show up in 2005 or 2006 -- when the Cubs had the worst record in the majors -- and all of those teams had more star power than the Reds do now. Proven winner -- give me a break. What's he ever won? He once said "walks clog the bases." Need I say more?
--Radek Bonk, Ottawa, Sunday, October 14, 2007 - 7:22:00 That's it. Almost 35 years of my life devoted to this team and it's ending because of an obvious lack of dedication to winning. Dusty Baker is a complete moron when it comes to managing a baseball team - I've seen him and his coaching staff screw up double switches and bat guys out of order before - and I have just OFFICIALLY become a Chicago White Sox fan. I put up with Dick Howser dismantling the Machine, Pete being banned, the lost decade of the 1980s, relievers leaving the mound in flames, Adam Dunn failing to hit in clutch situations, inept managers like Bob Bafoon and Dave Miley, egotistical GMs in leather pants and Barry Larkin acting like a prima donna instead of a team captain, and this is the straw that broke the camel's back.
--Troy Guthrie, Indianapolis, Saturday, October 13, 2007 - 12:04:00 AM
I've loved and supported the Reds my whole life and will continue but I am so ashamed of the racist undertone you guys are displaying to America. No Dusty, this is not the place for you, stay with main-stream America!
--david smith, west end, Saturday, October 13, 2007 - 5:43:00 PM

*golf clap*

Of course, your Cubs 2007 recap article, from February, was the inspiration for this, Rob!

As a Reds fan my entire life, this makes me sad.... becuase I honestly see the season progressing something like this.

10-15-07 - Dusty Baker announced as Reds new manager

10-16-07 - Suddenly the talent and focus of a team takes a back seat to another elderly overweight man who somehow means more than the weight of the team

its just a manager...hell, its just dusty baker. he's held so many players back in his tenure as manager. there's...umm...well...moving on...

if the reds clubhouse wasnt fragmented pieces and cliqued personalities that had the feel of a 'florida/tb' type place where people pull their time til they get to go elsewhere maybe they wouldnt have to bring iin a personality manager. they tried 3 other guys who couldnt pull that clubhouse together already.

some see this as a definate sign that dunn's gone. dunn is one of the major problems there...he's never really gotten used to the fact he's not a highschool hometown football star anymore and griff/hatteberg are about as much of a leadership crew as a bag of balls.

personally, i dont see the point of having dusty if theyre gonna get rid of dunn this year. dusty is the type of guy you bring in to reign and manage your personalities and dunn is CIN's bonds/kent/sosa/etc. though he shows his ego in different ways.

Nicely done, Trans/

One small quibble, I think that Arroyo and Harang are the likely victims of a streak of 13 120+ pitch starts.

btw...not to take away from the humor of the topic piece...funny stuff.

If I call Pinhead a spaghetti bender, does that mean that I didn't want Dusty gone for racial reasons? I am so confused.

Crommulent. You are the king. However, you could have gone further and predicted Griffey missing some time due to 'Gigantism'.

"As a Reds fan my entire life, this makes me sad…. becuase I honestly see the season progressing something like this."

You would kill to finish the season in a tie for first.

I think this preview/review is accurate in all but one area: no way the Reds actually contend this year. Especially with Lemke and Ojeda in the lineup.

If I had to do it all over again (and mercifully, I don't), I would have more Freel, Harang/Arroyo, and double switches.

Oh, and Giganticism, yes....

"9-25-08- MSNBC reports Josh Hamilton has been kidnapped by a notorious Columbian..."

no good can come of this...

"coffee cartel"

...oh....um....nevermind. carry on

Good job joking about Hamilton's past demons. Top notch hilarity there.

Unless I missed something, it is still 2007.

Dusty Baker is a mistake and it has nothing to do with race

having seen hamilton in highschool and seeing the before/after of his living in florida until his "return" to north carolina...man...kid made his own mistakes.

he also continued to make mistakes, at least with drinking, far after he claims he's stopped.

he's on his 5th...6th chance or so...and wow what he's done with that chance. hopefully he can keep it up.

dude was a man amongst kids in highschool...towering and powerful.

That was great. First laugh I've had concerning baseball for a while:-)

Outstanding, Trans. I don't like the Reds--have never liked the Reds, and I feel terribly sorry for them.

Just to be clear, I welcome any inquiry anybody wishes to make into either this post, or anything else I've ever written, and see if they can find anything indicative of a history of insensitivity toward substance abuse or just about anything else that a person reasonably could be sensitive about.

There won't be much to find.

josh hamilton lived his life and its there for public consumption.

part of his life, his story, and the reason any of us that's not Reds fans are even interested in his is his comeback in relation to his past story.

its a story of triumph in the face of a community that had given up on him and a team that took a chance on him where he had let another team down numerous times.

that said, i dont think your jokes came anywhere close to being over the top and the "darkness" of the humor doesnt seem to be mean in its nature.

who woulda thunk it that the cubs season and the bears season would end within a week of each other

I took all the Hamilton comments as dealing with the nerves of playing for Baker. You could substitute Murton for Hamilton and I would have found it just as funny. For the young players, their first failure meant banishment to the bench in favors of the Neifi's of his regime. I'd be jumpy in that circumstance...

Trans?

Yes?

*baboon*

~thunder~

When you buy the Major League II DVD for 9.99 dollars and watch it as soon as you get home, you know it's going to be a long offseason.

"When you buy the Major League II DVD for 9.99 dollars and watch it as soon as you get home..."

1- you know you have too much expendable income

2- you know you have full blown mental illness and/or retardation

3- in my pants

"personally, i dont see the point of having dusty if theyre gonna get rid of dunn this year. dusty is the type of guy you bring in to reign and manage your personalities and dunn is CIN’s bonds/kent/sosa/etc. though he shows his ego in different ways."

Crunch,

Dusty can not manage personalities. Bonds and Kent were at each other throats the whole time in SF and came to blows more than once. When he was here Sosa was able to mandate his line up spot.

"When he was here Sosa was able to mandate his line up spot."

I.M.P.

"Reds fall out of first place when Alex Gonzalez drops a pop fly that he loses in the sun, allowing the Cardinals to win...Laughs at how a Latino could lose the ball in the sun."

LOL. Dusty's never managed a team this far "south" before. Maybe Cincinatti's "southern location" will be the advantage Dusty needs to attract Latino stars like ARod.

dusty's whole worth and purpose as a manager is mostly based on how he individually deals with personalities and getting them to not distract from how others prepare to go to work.

his "hey dude" approach to player A vs. "yo, dawg" approach to player B.

its his "thing".

Bravo to the wordsmith.

Trans,

Nicely done. Very impressive.

Its really sad that Dusty still gets the 'if you complain about him you must be a racist' treatment.

I will say when Dusty was told he was no longer welcome in the Cubs clubhouse, I said that I hope his next managing job will be in the NL. I didn't think we'd be so lucky as to see him in the same division.

Not the post that I would like to add this comment to, but what the hell....

Ran into an old friend this weekend that lives in Aramis building. Door man told him the night before game 3 he came home very late and looked drunk. Doorman was pissed I guess as he was a big cubs fan. A bit hearsay, but I hope its not true.

Well done.

Will Neifi! come back as a player or coach? How soon until Jerry Hairston Jr. is picked up off of waivers? Would it be too much to see the puka-shelled one (Farns) in red-stockings? [Was it someone on the Reds he punched?]

I'd like to get some stock in that Cincinnati Toothpick company myself.

jerry harriston...that guy that was better than or as good as ryan theriot is this season?

should he have played macias more? enrique wilson? hell, he tried ronny cedeno, too.

maybe if todd "no, seriously guys, i am a 2nd baseman" walker and corey patterson could have stayed healthy people would have seen less hairston.

he got a good chunk of his ABs covering for the injured patterson cuz the other backup...umm...uh...there was no CF backup, sorry.

ya know...im a hendry fan and all, but a lotta early hendry teams had issues with health/"luck"/etc. and having improperly ballanced backups.

there was a lot of cheapening of the backup help relying on what's in place...from wood-prior to aram's yearly random 2 weeks off...to people breaking arms/helmets/groins/etc...there's been a lot brought to the table, but full-on panic trying to adapt to injury.

cubs got that "phil nevin" type hitter who's pretty much useless as a starter, but no one would bitch to see him start too much and love it when he's being used as a pinch hitter (we got ward this year)...they got redundant 3rd/4th OF combo both of which could start and not many mind seeing up pinch hitting or late inning replacement...etc...and the f'n SP stayed healthy...

"cubs got that"

this year the cubs got that...

trans... i'm a little late to the party, but very well done.

Absolutely hilarious, well done.

And for the Cincy comments about Jonnie B--

I don't give a _____ what color the man's skin is or where he hails from. Go back and watch game 5 (not 6) of the 03 NLCS to see just how useless this man is and how to f--- up managing in the playoffs as well as where and when a lot of people (including me) lost any and all faith in his skills as a manager.

"I don’t give a _____ what color the man’s skin is or where he hails from. Go back and watch game 5 (not 6) of the 03 NLCS to see just how useless this man is and how to f— up managing in the playoffs as well as where and when a lot of people (including me) lost any and all faith in his skills as a manager."

How can someone say he's not a good manager for messing up during a game in the NLCS? I mean, first of all, his team made it to the NLCS!!! If people actually see it as a bad thing, then I hope he does that bad this year with the Reds. I'm just happy to see the Reds finally got a manager that's had success. I was tired of all the "fill-ins".

very good, trans.

funniest thing i've read in a long time. i'm sure damien jackson will spend a month or so leading off as well because "he has speed, dude."

Everything is accurate, but the Brewers will be the in play-offs with the Reds.

CUBS SUCK

[...] The Cub Reporter posted a humorous look at the 2008 season of the Cincinnati Reds now that Dusty Baker is the confirmed manager. I particularly like the entry for October 1st, 2008 (Source) [...]

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