Monday was an off day for the Cincinnati Reds, but as has been proven time and time before, baseball never sleeps.
Many awoke to the horror of the passing of former San Diego Padre great Tony Gwynn. Commended for not only his astronomically impressive baseball achievements, but also his humanitarian accomplishments, Gwynn personified everything that was right about the game.
For a club lacking a deep, rich history, Gwynn was their entire Mount Rushmore—he occupied all four spots.
The man nicknamed “Mr. Padre” was the embodiment of an entire organization, as he was San Diego State educated, a member of the Padres for 20 seasons, and then the head baseball coach at SDSU for the past 12 seasons.
In his career against the Reds, which totaled over just over 1,000 plate appearances and 233 games, Gwynn hit .332. A career .338 hitter, Gwynn’s mark against the Redlegs is actually slightly condensed.
One of the most magnificent hitters in the history of baseball, Gwynn will forever be immortalized in Cooperstown, New York where he may now float freely amongst the halls whenever he chooses alongside his Hall of Fame brethren.
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A season of peaks and valleys seems to be coming to a head. Either, the Reds can push through the wall they have encountered, or they will be thrust backwards by the time we all celebrate the Fourth of July.
No longer is it simply hyperbolic to believe that these upcoming two weeks are the most significant to the Reds season. They play beatable teams, but must do so on the road. They are healthy, but always battling an organizational-wide offensive slump.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have proven themselves viable contenders to the crown in the National League Central. With that being said, the Cincinnati Reds should steamroll them this week and walk out of Pittsburgh with a sweep. It would be a pivotal beatdown that would not only weaken a divisional opponent, but it would make a statement that the club is finally ready to rock and roll.
Of course, this is baseball, and at the highest professional level in the world, minor nuances make all the difference between winning and losing. However, based on pitching matchups alone, the three men the Bucs send to the hill may be just what the offense ordered.
On the rubber for the Redlegs, they will boast Johnny Cueto, Alfredo Simon and Homer Bailey—arguably the clubs hottest trio.
Again, anything can happen in baseball—but, if you are making the trip up to Pittsburgh this week, do not forget to pack the broom.
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Lost in the news shuffle of Monday, Chris Nelson was asked to be released from his contract, and was granted that opportunity.
With there not being much room to call up Nelson, he will now have the opportunity to latch on with a club that may be more inclined to take a risk on his talents.
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Chances are, you had not the slightest clue who John Brooks was ahead of yesterday, or even this morning. If you are reading this and still do not know, then congratulations, you care even less about the World Cup than you thought you did.
The man who buried the winning goal for the United States in the 86th minute ascended to T.J. Oshie-like status in a mere matter of moments thanks to the popularity of social media outlets such as Twitter.
So the question becomes: do you care? Having been one of the few boys not thrust into the game at a young age, I have taken a liking to it as I have gotten older. Plus, patriotism is always awesome to display—unless it is taken too far.
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Today is Johnny Cueto day. Today is also the beginning of our next Twitter giveaway that will take a lucky fan and place him/her inside the walls of Great American Ball Park. See our most recent post for more details, but please, join us and play, it is absolutely free.