Tag Archives: Cincinnati Reds

Effects that tanking has on media and fans

by Brendan Ripley-Barasch

Recently, the issue of “tanking” was brought up at the latest Major League Baseball owner’s meetings. Tanking is described as teams intentionally being bad in hopes of landing a high draft pick and trading away veteran talent to acquire young prospects to build a better future. These teams that are reportedly tanking much prefer the term, “rebuilding.” Although no steps have been taken to prevent tanking in the future, it is good to know that it has crossed these owner’s minds that it is a problem that needs to be fixed.

The blueprint that teams currently tanking are trying to follow is that of the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. The Cubs had not made the playoffs since 2008 and until this past year they were known as one of the worst teams in the National League. As recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 games, and suddenly in 2015 they go 97-65; how is this possible? From those years of being terrible they managed to draft the 2015 Rookie of the year, Kris Bryant, with the second overall pick in the 2013 draft and Kyle Schwarber with the fourth overall pick in 2014. The rebuild was also helped by a couple key trades including the one that landed them Anthony Rizzo, but in just a couple years the Cubs had revamped their entire roster and are now recognized as a contender and have turned into a free agent hot spot. After signing such stars as Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist, the Chicago Cubs are scary good.

The Astros may not be on the level of the Cubs yet but they have certainly had success with their tanking as well by making the playoffs in 2015. They certainly have a bright future though, by having the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa, 2011 first round pick George Springer, and emerging superstar Dallas Kuechel. Prior to this season the Astros were seen as the very worst team in baseball and were seemingly content with staying that way with the lowest payroll in baseball in 2013 at a whopping $26 million. By contrast, Alex Rodriguez was making more than the entire Houston Astros team. They have been able to stockpile young talent and trade some of those pieces to acquire proven stars as well. They will be a playoff contender as well in 2016.

A team currently in the midst of tanking are the Cincinnati Reds. This offseason, fans saw their All-star third baseman, Todd Frazier, get traded to the White Sox for a handful of prospects and Aroldis Chapman be shipped off to the Yankees for a bunch of unproven young players. It seemed like after the All-star break, the Cincinnati front office decided to call it quits and tried to give the young players a chance to gain some experience before they geared up for a long rebuild process and this did not make fans or media happy. After sporting a starting rotation of almost all rookies for most of the season, the Reds finished the season 64-98 and earned the second overall pick in the 2016 MLB draft.

It is a dark time for Cincinnati fans and media. With the only proven players on their roster being Joey Votto and Homer Bailey, fans know they don’t have much to look forward to in 2016 or even 2017. The same goes for the media, it is difficult to cover a team that is intentionally running themselves into the ground. Maybe in the next couple years they will be able to draft well enough to put a contender on the field for 2018 though. In this day and age, tanking is a viable strategy because at least you will get a good draft pick that will contribute to the rebuild, instead of being somewhere in the middle and not getting good enough draft picks to get the team over the hump and into the playoffs. Media members in Cincinnati are not as ferocious as they are in let’s say New York, but certainly they will give their thoughts on the tanking strategy and it’s almost inevitable that some of them will voice their frustration and call for the GM’s head. The media has to be patient as well, the Reds will point at the Cubs and say they will be on that level in the next couple years; it is just a matter of time. It will be interesting to see what the Reds do with Joey Votto and his massive contract; will they look to him as an important part of their rebuild and hope he can help younger players develop or will they send him packing as well and hope to grab some good young players?

The one example of tanking that teams in other sports do not want to follow is the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers have not made the playoffs since the 2011-2012 and since then have drafted and traded Rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams and in back to back years their number one draft pick missed the entire season. Finally it seems like they have drafted a top tier talent in Jahlil Okafor but they still have an absolutely embarrassing record of 8-43. Philadelphia media have been patient these past couple years but lately there have been grumblings that media and fans are done waiting and expect General Manager Sam Hinkie to start adding to the roster and surround young prospects Nerlens Noel and Okafor with some nice complementary players and end the embarrassment.

Hopefully in the next couple years the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia 76ers will be done with tanking and put out a product on the floor that will make the fans and media happy.

Bryan Price Drops Some Bombs

By Kaleb Page

April 24, 2015

The good old-fashioned coach tirade. It’s a work of art when done right.

Whether its Jim Mora shouting about the playoffs or Dennis Green yelling about losing after letting the Bears of the hook, the tirade when done right is something to behold.

However the one that came from Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price was far from that. Prior to Monday’s game against the Brewers, Price did his normal pregame presser. However, this day would be far from normal when it came to Price and the media.

In an article by Yahoo Sports, the actions of Price came as a surprise since the manager is known for being very respectful toward reporters.

The tirade was targeted at a Cincinnati Enquirer report that released information on Devin Mesoraco being unavailable for the big national league central match-up with the rival St. Louis Cardinals prior to that series starting. It also had to deal with another report about a call-up to replace Mesoraco that Price was hoping to keep hidden.

When the reporter asked similar questions in that regard towards the health of the club, it set the fire into a blaze.

What resulted was a 5 minute and 34 second tirade with a good 77 uses of the ‘f-word’ sprinkled in there for good measure.

It was immediately hit with backlash, and it was deserved because there is no need for all of that. I understand that there will be times were managers and media clash, but to go this far is quite far.

Now granted he didn’t attack the reporter personally or get overly vulgar, but at the same time there is a higher standard that managers have to hold themselves too. It’s another thing too that baseball has more of a family vibe to it so something like this will draw the ire of more people than some other sports might.

Since the time has passed Price has made an apology and looks to move past the situation. I hope so because Price was a nice manager one that seemed unfazed by the pressures of the job.

Well this occasion proved that thought wrong, but hey you have all that scrutiny on you 24/7 and see if you don’t lose your cool. Let us not hold this one moment over his head forever.

In the words of Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal: “Price wasn’t the first to crack, and he won’t be the last.”

Hopefully this is just the case a rare flare up by a manager who is far from this embarrassing moment.

Until then, look for a parody version of Brian Price on an episode of South Park dropping some bombs…’f bombs’ that is.

Let Pete In

By Kaleb Page

March 19, 2015

The year was 1989 and Major League Baseball brought down the lifetime ban on one of its greatest players. A player that is the all-time hits leader for the highest level of baseball and known for his remarkable hustle on the field.

That player is none other than Pete Rose. The legendary Cincinnati Red (and Philadelphia Philly) was found guilty of breaking one of baseballs biggest rules: There shall be no betting on the game of baseball.

A simple rule that was more or less brought into effect after the Black Sox scandal that rocked the baseball world back in the 1920’s. However, Pete broke that rule and bet on the game while managing for the Reds. It wasn’t just the betting that found ‘charlie hustle’ in the MLB doghouse, it was also is insistence that he was innocent.

Ultimately Rose was found to be lying and banished from the game of baseball for life; an unfitting end for one of the most iconic players in the history of baseball.

A three-time World Series champion, 17 time All-Star and three-time national league batting champion (with 4,256 hits) should have a more prestigious ending than being shunned by the sport he gave so much to.

The debate over this topic has raged on especially with the likes of past commissioner Bud Selig. Selig was a major proponent of the ban and kept a firm stance all the way to his retirement this past year to keep Rose out of baseball.

The video above is from a past ESPN First Take episode where they debated the issue of Rose’s ban along with what might happen. It is interesting to see this story play itself out and develop even more as there was a new development in the case.

This week Rose sent a formal request to new commissioner Rob Manfred. This formal request asking for the removal of his lifetime ban. This new commissioner said he will consider the request, but wants to get all the facts in place (along with talking to Pete) before making a decision.

The video above is a more recent video from First Take where they talked a bit more extensively on the possibility of Rose’s reinstatement. The debate on the show is an interesting one and one that I have heard many times before.

As a Cincinnati Reds fan I know it is hard to contain the resentment towards the league about this ban on Rose, especially when players that do performance enhancers merely get a slap on the wrist in comparison to Rose’s punishment. It has been 26 years of time spent banished from the game of baseball.

That time should be up now.

I think those in the media that say time has been served are absolutely right. It has been long enough, for a man who played the game hard night in and night out, to get the honor he so rightfully deserves. He deserves much more than a cheesy commercial about being in the hall when he shouldn’t, and instead a formal enshrinement in Cooperstown next to the other legends of the game.

For Pete’s Sake!…Lift the ban.