OBSERVATIONS: Reds Get Snubbed, Only Diaz An All-Star

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, awaiting games with Carly Simon-like anticipation every day, wondering what The Mid-Size Red Machne will do next. Maybe this team might eventually size up, but there will never be another Big Red Machine. Maybe they can become The Big Red Machine 02 or The Big Red Machine II.

—SHORT-CHANGED: It is bone-picking time. The Cincinnati Reds were robbed and nobody even said, “Stick ‘em up and don’t turn around.”

The complete All-Stars teams were named Sunday and there are eight Atlanta Braves on the National League team. OK, they lead the NL East. There are six Texas Rangers on the American League team. OK, they lead the AL West.

The Reds are tied for first place in the NL Central, after losing 100 games last season, so I checked the list. And like Santa Claus, I checked it twice.

One Reds player on the list. One. Only closer Alexis Diaz was chosen. It is a decree that every team has to have at least one player on the team, but eight Braves?

Where’s Matt McLain? Where’s Andrew Abbott? Where’s TJ Friedl? Where’s Spencer Steer? I’m not saying all four should have made it, but at least one more and maybe two deserve it.

—TAYLOR-MADE FOR JOEY: On the day he played his 2,000th major league game, Joey Votto paid tribute to singer Taylor Swift, who was appearing next door at the Cincinnati Bengals’ PayCor Stadium.

Votto’s walk-up song was Taylor Swift’s ‘Twenty-Two’ because the opening words are, “It feels like a perfect night.”

It wasn’t perfect for Votto, who went 0 for 3 and was taken down for a pinch-hitter, but the Reds beat the San Diego Padres, 7-5, in 11 innings.

Votto, by the way, is 0 for 19 with 10 strikeouts and looks to have a slow bat that isn’t catching up to fastballs.

So what to do with Votto? His problem isn’t new. He hasn’t been productive over the last 3 1/2 seasons. Due to injuries, since 2020 he has played only 285 of a possible 546 games.

During that time, he is 232 for 991 (.234) with 61 homers, 170 RBI, 103 walks and 312 strikeouts.

As much as I’ve admired his work ethic, his leadership, his community involvement and his early career contributions, Father Time waits for nobody. Time to sit him down.

—REDS WON’T ‘MAX’ OUT: Knowing the Cincinnati Reds’ desperate need for a starting pitcher (or two), Las Vegas oddsmaker Adam Thompson has the Reds in the upper echelon of the Max Scherzer Sweepstakes. . .if there is one.

The New York Mets have hinted at possibly trading
Scherzer and eating part of his three-year $130 million contract. Scherzer owns a no-trade clause and said he won’t discuss it until he know for sure that owner Steve Cohen sets up a for sale sign on the team’s talent.

Thompson gives the Mets a 36.4% chance of keeping him. Then comes Texas (16.7%), Arizona (15.4%) and Cincinnati (13.2%). Wager $100 on the Reds and if it happens you win $650.

Keep your C-Note and buy about three pounds of strip steak. The price still would be monumental in talent traded and in salary for the fast-aging soon-to-be 39 Scherzer. Despite the Mets’ woes, Scherzer is 7-2, but would be way, way too costly and way, way too old for the Reds.

—SEE HOW THEY RUN: Wilbur Snapp was the ball park organist for the Class A Clearwater Phillies in 1985. When a 22-year-old umpire made a bad call that riled up the fans, he joined in by playing ‘Three Blind Mice.”

He became the first and only organist to be ejected from a game. He gained national attention and he signed autographs witb, “Wilbur Snapp, Three Bleind Mice.” (Well, he could have played Weird Al Yankovic’s song, ‘You’re Pitiful,’ which has a line, “You’ll always have a job as long as you can work the Slurpie machine.”

—PERPLEXING QUESTION: While we’re on a music theme, why do fans sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ in the seventh inning when they are already there?

—THAT’S A STRIKE?: I have not been a big fan, or even a little fan, of the automated robot umpires. But after watching the human umpires work the last two series involving the Reds I’ve changed my mind. Plug ‘em in and bring ‘em on.

With those recent umpires, batters couldn’t hit some of those low-pitch ‘strikes,’ with a shovel and coudn’t reach some of those outside pitches called strikes with a canoe paddle with extensions on it.

—QUOTE: From umpire Cal Hubbard, his advice to hitters: “Boys, I’m one of those umpires that misses ‘em every once in a while, so if it’s close, you’d better hit it. (Sounds like every MLB umpire working these days.)

—GO OBI, GO: There should be jubilation in the Obi Toppin family. The former University of Dayton supernova and College Player of the Year, will be traded to the Indianapolis Pacer, according to an ESPN report.
Toppin, the No. 1 pick of the New York Knicks three years ago, never got the playing time he deserved, even though he played well during the few minutes a game he was allotted.

ESPN’s NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski had this take on it: “I saw him play half a dozen times at Dayton and he was absolutely incredible. Tailor-made for the NBA game I thought. I said this guy was the steel of the NBA draft. Pffffft. Three years later, he was given away for a bag of balls.”

Just give him lots of playing time, Pacers, and we shall see.

And playing in Indianapolis will afford his many fans in the Dayton area the chance to take in a few games, if they are willing to forego a mortgage payment for an NBA ticket.

—VROOM, VROOM: NASCAR staged a weekend of racing through the Chicago’s downtown streets. Residents, accustomed to what they wiitness on Chicago’s streets shrugged and said, “What’s the difference?”

—REMEMBERING JESSE: Everybody knows the legend of Grover Cleveland Alexander. According to lore, he pitched a complete game in Game Six of the 1926 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals against the New York Yankees.

So, believing he wouldn’t pitch in Game 7, he allegedly was sitting on a bar, his favorite pastime, while Game 7 was being played in Yankee Stadium.

But the Cardinals needed him. They sent a cab for him. He arrived in the seventh inning with St. Louis leading by a run. But the Yankees had the bases loaded with two out. Alexander struck out Tony Lazzeri, then pitched the eighth and ninth to preserve a 5-2 victory.

What is not generally known, is that Alexander replaced Phillipsburg native Jesse Haines, who started the game but had to leave with a split finger.

As baseball writer Damon Runyon described it, “Jesse Joseph Haines, the corn-fed man from Phillipsburg, Ohio, had been pitching for the Cardinals and doing fairly well.”

And after Grover Cleveland Alexander’s trip from a bar stool to the mound, St. Louis manager Rogers Hornsby said after the game, “Alex can pitch better drunk than any other pitcher sober.” What was it President Abraham Lincoln said about Gen. U.S. Grant’s heavy drinking? “Find out what brand he drinks and give it to all the generals.”

—SING US A SONG, PIANO MAN: When Yonder Alonso played for the Reds, he was one of my favorite guys, always a great guy to interview or just to sit down with and have a conversation.

And he does a fantastic job as an analyst on MLB-TV. But he made a faux pas the other day that nobody caught. He referred to Atlanta Braves closer Raisel Iglesias as Julio Iglesias.

It is not known if the singer, Julio, could throw a slider. And it is not known if Raisel has a singing voioce, but he does make his fastball sing.

One thought on “OBSERVATIONS: Reds Get Snubbed, Only Diaz An All-Star”

  1. The Reds won’t even sniff at being in the mix for Scherzer. As far as the AS snubs…. who cares? Today’s AS games ain’t worth the time to scratch your backside, let alone watch. And while the Reds’ rookies may be worthy in some regard, not with the small sample size they’ve put up (i.e. all came up in May?). Reds should just be happy to be in contention for the NL Central.

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