By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wondering how many Cincinnati Reds fans head for bed as soon as the other team scores a run? During their current six-game losing streak, the Reds have not led in a game, not once.
~Since Cincinnati Reds COO Phil Castellini made his foot-in-mouth-disease controversial comments on Opening Day, alienating the fan base with not-so-veiled threats of selling the team to carpetbaggers who might move the team out of town, the Reds are 0-and-6.
After his radio blast, WLW-T (Channel 5) caught Castellini in front of the dugout before Opening Day and asked him about his comments.
Said Phil, snug in a red sport jacket and sun glasses on a dreary day, “Are you going to abandon being a Reds fan, are you going to abandon following this team?”
Well. . .after what you said and the way the team is playing, probably so.
“We haven’t abandoned it, we haven’t abandoned investing in the team,” he continued.
Say what? Is dumping $65 million in salary investing in the team?
“ How about everybody settle down and celebrate and cheer for the team? You can hate on us all you want, we’re not going anywhere,” he said.
“Stay tuned and be a fan. Celebrate and look what they did in Atlanta. What I mean is stay loyal to your team and the players that give you 110 per cent effort.”
After going 2-2 in Atlanta, the Reds have lost six straight. Maybe they need to give 125 percent. And Phil should stay in his office and play with his bobbleheads and stay away from microphones.
Yeah, right. Be careful what you wish for and where are you going to go?
~The Los Angeles Dodgers (manager Dave Roberts or the analytical gurus in the front office) removed Clayton Kershaw after seven innings when he was pitching a perfect game.
The reasoning was that they wanted to protect Kershaw, who had thrown a ghastly 80 pitches.
Protect him? Were they protecting him when they pitched him four times on three days of rest in the playoffs? Were they protecting him when they used him in relief four times after he had started games in the playoffs?
As Orange County Register columnist Mark Whicker put it: “After treating (Kershaw) like flank steak all those years, it’s an odd time to bring out the bubble wrap.”
~QUOTE: From Clayton Kershaw: “Because we call ourselves Christians, our actions need to reflect Christ.” (I don’t think even The Savior would take Kershaw out of a perfect game.)
~From my great friend Pat Rini: Cleveland pitcher Ray Caldwell hit something at odds of 500,000 to 1. And it wasn’t good and he was actually hit. . .by lightning.
It was his major league debut in 1919 and he was struck by lightning while standing on the mound. Amazingly, he was revived. . .and finished the game. Pitchers these days leave the game with halitosis.
Now get this. Nineteen days later he pitched a no-hitter against the New York Yankees. And he won 20 games for Cleveland’s 1920 World Series champions.
Any pitchers of today who know about this might be standing on a mound during a thunderstorm holding aloft a one-iron.
~QUOTE: From novelist Carlos Ruiz Zafon: “Thunder and lightning, it’s like the end of the world.” (Fortunately for Ray Caldwell, it was just the beginning.)
~Hall of Fam pitcher Greg Maddux, one of baseball’s all-time greats, had this to say about how to be successful on the mound.
“If a pitcher can change speeds and throw strikes, every hitter is helpless, limited by human vision. . .except that #^%#$# Tony Gwynn.”
Maddux did everything but roll the ball to home plate and threw every miles per hour possible, but Gwynn not only hit .415 against Maddux, never once did he strike out in 107 appearances.
~During mid-inning of a New York Mets-Arizona Diamondbacks game telecast on MLB-TV, a message was superimposed over the action. It told viewers how to get all their betting news and information from Matt Vasgersian.
And happy birthday, Pete Rose (April 14) and how do you feel about those MLB hypocrites?
~Joe Maddon is one of my favorite managers, mainly because he is always thinking outside the box.
But last week he seemed to be taped inside the box. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning, his Angels down, 3-2, he intentionally walked the Rangers’ Corey Seager, forcing in a run.
It led to a five-running inning and a 6-2 Rangers lead. Fortunately for Maddon, his Angels battled back to win, 9-6.
It was only the third time in 75 years that a batter was intentionally walked with the bases loaded. And Maddon did it one other team, in 2008 when he managed Tampa Bay.
Some folks might call him Mad Man Maddon, but he got away with it. . .this time.
~From Mark Browning: On July 25, 1959, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Sparky Anderson stole second base against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joe Nuxhall.
Wonder whatever happened to those two guys?
~Wonder if Mark Melancon ever buys a house? Why would he? He never stays in one city long enough to find a real estate agent.
Melancon, 39, is in his 15th major league season and is with his ninth different team. And the guy is a quality closer.
Other than Pittsburgh, where he spent four seasons, he has not spent more than two full seasons with any team. . .and the guy has 245 saves, including 39 last year with San Diego. Did he stay? Nope. He signed a free agent deal with Arizona and recorded his first save for the Diamondbacks Saturday against the Mets.
He has been traded five times and signed as a free agent three times. His teams: New York Yankees, Houston, Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington San Francisco, Atlanta, San Diego, Arizona. But he has a long way to go to match pitcher Edwin Jackson. He played for a record 15 different franchises.
Maybe it’s time for him to check his deodorant.
~Tom Brady cost somebody $518,000. When the Ancient Buccaneer quarterback retired, his last game ball was put up for auction and sold for $518,000.
On the day of the auction, Brady came out of his 40-day ‘retirement.’ No money had yet been exchanged and Lelands Auctions negated the deal.
I have a slightly deflated NFL ball with Roger Goodell’s signature that I’ll sell for, oh, $518.
Fun Fact: In 40 of the 50 states, the highest paid state employee is either a college football coach or a college basketball coach.