OBSERVATIONS: Reds Will Win NL Central By Five Games

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave: Hoping to become a mere shadow of myself. I’m down 11 pounds, only 17 to go. . .but dang, get rid of your DQ stock.

—SOME CONSOLATION: When I posted my ‘Eat Crow’ column, admitting my ignorance for predicting the Cincinnati Reds would lose 100 games and finish last again, I received this post from Rex Musselman:

“Hal. . .I very clearly remember you being on the set of Reds Live with Jim Day and Jeff Piecoro back in 2010 right around late July or early August. You defiantly said this team will win the division fairly easily, by at least five games. You were spot on.”

Since I can’t remember at times the names of my three dogs, I’ll take yor word for it, Rex. That was before Reds upper management made me persona non grata on Reds TV and radio.

As it turned out (I just looked it up), I was indeed spot on. The Reds won the National Leaguae Central by five games.

Musselman’s ending to his post was, “What is your prediction for this season in regards to the National League Central?”

Well, why argue with long ago success? Once again, the Reds will win the National League Central by, oh, how about five games?

More? Elly De La Cruz will be Rookie of the Year, Joey Votto will be Comeback Player of the Year, David Bell will be Manager of the year and general manager Nick Krall will be Executive of the Year?

Yeah, yeah. I know. I’m pushing that envelope real hard, aren’t I?

—A STRAIGHT STEAL: Nadine’s jeweler, Scott Hannig of Elizabeth Diamonds, came up with a phrase for the way the Reds currently play, giving credit to general manager Nick Krall. He calls it Krall Ball.

Hey, Scott. I’m stealing it, but I’m giving you credit.

—ONE YEAR’S DIFFERENCE: In February of 1914 the New York Giants and Chicago White Sox played a series on exhibition games in Paris and London. Well, every game in Paris was rained out.

After the London stop, the two teams boarded a ship to return home. The ship? The Lusitania.

Little more than a year later, the Lusitania was sunk by a German Submarine, the U-20, and 1,197 passengers perished.

—NOTE: Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, 37-year-old railroad heir and horse racing magnate, had reservations but missed the Titanic in 1912, but unfortunatel did not miss the Lusitania in 1915, despite receiving a mysterious telegram telling him the ship was doomed.

—DIAZ, DIAZ, DIAZ: The All-Star game set a record with the most players with the same last name.

There was Elias Diaz, catcher with the Colorado Rockies and All-Star MVP, there was Yandy Diaz of the Tampa Bay Rays and there was Alexis Diaz of the Cincinnati Reds. They are not related

Both Elias and Yandy hit home runs. It wasn’t so good for pitcher Alexis. He gave up a run and two hits during his appearance.

And that’s a concern for the Reds. Is their closer running out of petrol midway through the season? He has 26 saves in 27 chances, but lately he puts men on base before pitching out of it.

He has given up at least one hit in each of his last five appearances, two each in his last two. He has appeared in 41 of the Reds’ 91 games and pitched 40 innings.

He could have used the four days off.

—QUOTE: From Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda: “Everybody makes mistakes, that’s why they put erasers on pencils.” (But you can’t erase the mistake a hanging slider makes when it becomes a souveni in the left fied stands.)

—SIGN OF THE TIMES: The college basketball landscape is a mess. The landscape looks like a cotton field after boll weevils are finished, all due to the transfer portal.

It hits in the most stable programs, like the University of Dayton. The Flyers had only one schoarship player graduate, Toumani Camara.’

And yet, due to transfers, there will be 11 new faces on the 2023-24 UD roster. A roster consists of 15 players and the Flyers will have 11 new players.

They will have three new scholarship players, four transfers from the portal and four preferred walk-ons, including coach Anthony Grant’s son, Makai.

Fortunately for the Flyers, Daron Holmes II is returning and should be hands-down the pre-season Atlantic 10 Player of the Year choice. Also coming back are Malachi Smith, Koby Brea and Kobe Elvis.

—FACTOID: The 1916 New York Giants set the modern record in September of that season by winning 26 straight games. It still stands. The Giants also won 17 straight in May of 1916.

Guess where they finished? They finished fourth in the eight-team National League, seven games behind the Brooklyn Robins. During the 26-game streak, they played all seven teams in the league. They were 87-67, but without those two long winning streaks they were 49-67.

The modern organized ball record, still standing, is 29 in a row by the 1987 Salt Lake Trappers of the Pioneer Rookie League.

Of course, the all-time record is the
57 straight won by baseball’s first professional team, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings.

I did NOT cover any of those games, so don’t ask.

—CLOTHES MAKE THE PLAYER: There has been considerable debate about the ugliness of the All-Star team uniforms, which looked as if they were designed for Casey’s Storm Door Company softball team.

Why did they get away from having the All-Stars wear their own team uniforms? This year’s team wore hats with their team logos on them, but they were all the same color and not the official team hats.

The game’s TV ratings were abysmal. The uniforms had nothing to do with viewership, but it would be more fun seeing players wear their actual team duds.

—QUOTE: From Susan C. Young, a movitvional speaker about positive change: “Experts agree that color can stimulate emotions which evoke different responses.” (Wouldn’t wearing their team uniform colors make the player feel more comfortable and more prideful? Maybe it’s nit-picking, but. . .just sayin’)

—CONFESSION. . .AGAIN: I did not watch the All-Star game. On Tuesday morning, Nadine asked if I was going to watch. I said, “Yes, it is on tomorrow.”

She said, “Isn’t the All-Star game always on Tuesday?” I said, “Yes, it is.” She said no more. I thought we were chatting on Monday.

So Tuesday night I watched ‘Pride of the Yankees’ on MLB Network. When I turned on the TV Wednesday morning, I discovered that the All-Star game had been played.

My former great friend Ray Snedegar won’t let me forget it. He has been downgraded to acquaintance.

P.S. — I watched the game Wednesday on replay.

One thought on “OBSERVATIONS: Reds Will Win NL Central By Five Games”

  1. Krall Ball – Yeah, I think that’s a thing.
    Since Vladdy Jr. with his Derby win concluded the first father/son win – MLB should come out with a “Who’s your Vladdy!” Tee Shirt.

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