By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after watching an 80 to 1 shot come blazing out of nowhere in the Kentucky Derby to beat my horse (Epicenter) at the wire as I tore up by $20-to-win ticket. And I don’t want to hear some old time horseplayer say, “Well, that’s horse racing.” No, that’s horse – – – -.
~Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, Nick Castellanos, Tucker Barnhart, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Sonny Gray, Amir Garrett, Wade Miley. . .long gone, but not forgotten.
That’s a busload of talent dumped by the Cincinnati Reds and fans won’t let go because what’s left in Great American Ball Park is considered as cheap as a six-pack of wash rags.
When one mentions the Los Angeles Angels, the two names that pop into the mind are Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. And that is as it should be.
Add two names into the mix familiar to Reds fans. . .Lorenzen and Iglesias. When fans mention all the players the Reds have let go recently, those two are not mentioned. They should be.
Lorenzen, he of the Popeye arms, is doing what he wanted to do with the Reds and that’s be a starting pitcher. The Angels are permitting that and he is 3-2 with a 4.12 earned run average in five starts. Ohtani is 3-2 with a 3.08 ERA.
Iglesias? He is 1-0 and seven for seven in saves as the Angels’ closer.
The Reds don’t have a starter with more than one win and they don’t have a closer. Oh, and former Reds bullpenners Archie Bradley and Jimmy Herget are in the Angels bullpen.
And the Angels occupy first place in the American League West.
The rest of the story on recent Reds:
—Nick Castellanos (Phillies), .293, four homers, 15 RBI.
—Tucker Barnhart (Tigers), .259, no homers, two RBI.
—Eugenio Suarez (Mariners), .204, six homers, 17 RBI.
—Jesse Winker (Mariners) .195, one homer, nine RBI.
—Sonny Gray (Twins) just came off the injured list over the weekend and pitched four shutout innings with one hit and seven strikeouts.
—Amir Garrett (Royals) is 1-0 with a 4.05 ERA and has given up just two hits, but walked six and struck out none over eight appearances (6 2/3 innings).
—Wade Miley (Cubs) is on injury rehab assignments and is expected back this week.
~Former Reds beat writer for the Columbus Dispatch and good friend Brad Schmaltz wrote this about the New York Mets scoring seven runs in the ninth inning to come from 7-1 behind to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-7:
“Did you see the shocking score in MLB? A team blew a six-run lead in the ninth, but the truly astounding part of that was. . .it wasn’t the Reds.”
Well, the thing is, to blow a 7-1 lead you first have to get a 7-1 lead, which the Reds didn’t do in their first 25 games.
In fact, in April they scored six runs in three of their first four games, but did not score six one time and did not score more than six in any of those games after the first four games.
They rectified that in May with a nine-spot and a seven-spot, but does it really count when it comes against the Pittsburgh Pirates?
—Hall of Famer Rod Carew was the speaker for one of the Dayton Heart Institute’s ‘Fireside Chats’ at the Marriott and I was the moderator.
Before we went on stage Carew and I were chatting in the kitchen and the subject of music came up. Said Carew, “My favorite song was the National Anthem because when I heard it I knew I was about to get two or three hits.”
Speaking of Carew, who played for the Minnesota Twins, the current Twins know what it takes to be successful. The Twins have won seven straight one-run games.
~A nickname for the current Reds aggregation, provided by my great friend and fabulous author Scott Russell, a take-off on The Big Red Machine:
The Big Red Latrine.
~ESPN’s take on the Reds’ 3-18 April: “The team’s best storyline: Nothing. None. These are dark days in Cincinnati, like a labyrinth with no exit.”
That is a take-off on Joey Votto saying that being in a slump is like a labyrinth that he can’t climb out of.
~The great humorist/Hall of Fame broadcaster/former major league catcher Bob Uecker, is a master at self-deprecations.
He’s a former catcher who said he handled Phil Niekro’s knuckleball by picking it up after it stopped rolling and that the St. Louis Cardinals offered to sign him for $5,000, “But my dad couldn’t afford it.” And he said, “The Cardinals did take me to a nice dinner, but the tray kept falling off the car window.”
The newest: “The last year I played I received my baseball bubblegum card and it was blank.”
~A tip of an umpire’s cap to Dan Bellino. Getting a major league umpire to make a public apology for a screw-up is about as rare as a politician apologizing for lying about his campaign promises.
But Bellino did. He apologized for the way he examined Arizona pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s hands, looking for a foreign substance and the way he stared at him and for throwing him out of the game in the first inning. Bellino was disciplined by MLB, probably a fine, but the punishment was not disclosed.
~In a soon-to-be published unauthorized biography, author Alan Shipnuck reports that tour golfer Phil Mickelson gambled away $40 million from 2010 to 2014. Forty million??? That’s what happens when you keep betting on the hare to beat the tortoise and on the Washington Generals to beat the Harlem Globetrotters or long shots like Barber Road (50 to 1) to win the Kentucky Derby when that horse should be pulling an Amish buggy.
He could have bet $100.000 on this year’s Derby Winner, Rich Strike. At 80 to 1 he would have won $8,180,000.