By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while wondering if MLB would be so kind as to schedule the Cincinnati Reds against the Miami Marlins 162 times next season. The Reds might even be talked into playing all 162 in Miami.
—Shame on the Cincinnati Reds. How in the name of Aristotle could they keep Aristides Aquino buried at Class AAA Louisville until August?
That would be like keeping Babe Ruth on the pitching mound, where he started with the Boston Red Sox.
What Aquino is doing is mind-boggling and these days is the only real reason to watch the Reds play. What a difference he could have made if he had joined the Reds in May — if he had done then what he is doing now. And he was doing it in Louisville, enough to win him International League Rookie of the Year.
Not only is Aquino the fastest player in MLB history to hit 14 home runs, 100 plate appearances, his 14 home runs in August are one shy of Cincinnati’s all-time record for home run in a month. And he now owns the rookie record for most home runs in a month.
Again, shame on the Cincinnati Reds. Shame, shame, shame.
And when is 10-game (c)loser Raisel Iglesias going to be replaced in the closer’s role by Michael Lorenzen? It makes sense, so it most likely will not happen. Stubborn is as stubborn does. Iglesias always seems to be a home run waiting to happen. His 10 losses tie J.J. Hoover for most losses by a Reds relief pitcher. And Hoover wasn’t even a closer.
Raisel’s latest gaffe was Thursday night when his third pitch, thrown in the 12th inning, was rammed by Harold Ramirez for a walk-off home run. Miami manager Don Mattingly sat Ramirez down for Wednesday’s game after he struck out four times in Tuesday’s game.
—The four-game series in Marlins Park between the Reds and Marlins ‘drew’ 24,391 fans, an average of 6,098. I’ve seen more people at my local Kroger on a Saturday morning and stood behind every one of them in the checkout line.
—QUOTE: From baseball maverick and franchise owner Bill Veeck: “The most beautiful thing in the world is a baseball park full of people.” He would think Marlins Park is the ugliest thing in the world.
—It was inevitable that a frustrated pitcher would explode when his team overshifts and the other team punches a few hits where a defender normally would play.
Baltimore relief pitcher Richard Bleier did just that and argued in the dugout with a coach. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
Analytics sure has helped the Orioles, right? At last tally, the O’s were 43 games out of first place. Wonder what would happen if one team said to hell with analytics and started playing defense straight-up, the way teams once did? It couldn’t hurt the Orioles.
—QUOTE: From Hall of Famer Ted Williams to Chicago White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes in 1941 when Dykes became the first manager to overshift on Williams: “Dykes, you crazy SOB, what the hell are you doing?”
—Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a man of many words, said his team would be comfortable playing the regular season without holdout running back Ezekiel Elliott. He said signing him just before the playoffs would give the Cowboys, “A fresh Elliott.”
That’s a big assumption, that the Cowboys would make the playoffs without him.
Personally, I hope they don’t sign him. Here’s a guy in constant trouble off the field putting himself so far above the team that he is not only in a fog, he is up there in the clouds.
—QUOTE: From Pittsburgh Steelers guard Ramon Foster when running back Le’Veon Bell held out: “He is making seven times what I’m making and we’re the guys (offensive linemen) doing it for him.”
And how did that work out for Bell? Good luck with the New York Jets. He sat out a year and the Jets are ‘protecting’ him by not playing him in any pre-season games. Wonder how that sits with his teammates?
—Tampa Bay rookie relief pitcher Colin Poche had walked only seven batters in 38 innings before he took the mound last week against Houston. He is from Flower Mound, Tex., but those weren’t flowers he was planting on the mound. The poor guy walked five batters in two-thirds of an inning, forcing in the tying and go-ahead runs.
The pain was soothed, though, when Tampa Bay came back to win, 9-8. But Poche probably spent the rest of the day hearing Johnny Cash singing, ‘I Walk the Line,’ in his head.
—QUOTE: From former major leaguer Ken Singleton, who should have batted against Poche: “A man once told me to walk with the Lord, but I’d rather walk with the bases loaded.”
—One of my all-time favorite ledes on a baseball story appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It appeared after Allan Sutton Sothoron lost one of the 19 games he lost for the St. Louis Browns in 1917: “Allan Sutton Sothoron pitched his initials off and lost again.”
—This is why I wonder why there are not more knuckleball pitchers, a pitch that is easy on the arm (knuckleball pitchers are never hurt and they pitch until they are 50).
Why do I wonder? This is what one of baseball’s all-time best hitting instructors, Charley Lau, said about it: “There are two theories on hitting a knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither one of them work.”