I have a dream. No, seriously, I have been having the same dream for the past two years now. Me and my father are sitting roughly a dozen rows from the back of the moon deck at Great American Ball Park. It is Game 5 of the World Series. Sometimes the opponent is the Oakland Athletics. Other days, the Tampa Bay Rays. The score is never important—nothing is, besides the fact that a left-handed batter hits a groundball directly at Brandon Phillips at second base. He goes down to a single knee, scoops up the ball and flings it over to Joey Votto at first base, who proceeds to come sprinting off the bag and join the dog pile forming around the pitcher’s mound as the Cincinnati Reds celebrate winning the World Series.
This is not to make me sound like some savant who claims to know what lies in the Reds’ crystal ball, but I felt this morning was as appropriate a time to tell that tidbit of information as ever.
Things we will expand on:
-Bringing in Aroldis Chapman in that situation yesterday was absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt, 100 percent the right decision.
-The Reds are going to sign Dan Uggla—and they are right to do so.
-There will be a game in Milwaukee tonight. Believe it or not, the Reds season is not over.
Firstly, Aroldis Chapman. I don’t know about you, but as a fan, I want my best pitcher (Chapman) who has only thrown 29 innings all season to face the middle of the New York Yankees order in a tied game. Factor in that the Reds were attempting to battle off a sweep, and you have a no brainer.
Should Bryan Price have brought in Logan Ondrusek (which, admittedly, I believed he was going to do) or Jumbo Diaz and they had given up the run, fans would have been calling for Price’s job (as comical as that would be).
Hop down off your high horse and stop acting like Bryan Price dropped a pop-up. Or threw a slider in the dirt. As a manager, you make tactical moves that are for the greater good of the ballclub. Last time I checked, managers cannot directly control the play that occurs on the field. Bryan Price cannot help anyone catch a pop-up.
Normally, Walt Jocketty “holds his cards close to his chest” to use some ridiculous description to describe a guy who does not say a word to the media about his plans. That is his right, and tip of the cap Derek Jeter-Jordan-commercial-style to him for doing so.
The thought that this club can “stand pat” and still make a legitimate push into October is absurd and irresponsible. Even though Ramon Santiago is hitting roughly .950 over the last two weeks (alright, that is a bit of an exaggeration. It’s more like .475 to be perfectly honest), the 25th man on the roster is not a long-term solution at second base.
If there was ever a time to take a risk on a player, now would be that time. Barring Mr. Castellini waking up to a winning lottery ticket, the Reds are not going to acquire anything that resembles a package of David Price, Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria anytime soon. Signing Dan Uggla must happen.
Pop quiz time. Who is the Florida/Miami Marlins all-time leader in home runs? Dan Uggla. Who hit 30 home runs in five consecutive seasons ranging from 2007-2011 while playing strictly second base? That would be Dan Uggla again. Unless Mr. Uggla miraculously forgot how to hit, there is still some serious pop left in that bat (and those tree-trunk forearms that are roughly the size of my torso).
Immediately, fans jump to his numbers in 2014. There is no defense for me to grant to a player batting .162, but clearly, Atlanta was not working. A change of scenery could be the best thing for Uggla.
All season long, fans have clamored (to deaf ears) about how Jocketty must “improve the bench.” Well, the sad reality is that no team in baseball has a phenomenal bench—that is precisely the reason those players are on said bench. Now that the Reds bench players have become literal full-time starters, adding Uggla is now a poor option? Think back to January. Dan Uggla for Brandon Phillips was a legitimate thought. So it was a good idea 130 at-bats ago for Uggla, but that small sample size suddenly killed the prospect of placing a 30+ home run bat in the middle of the order? I refuse to buy that.
For all I know, Uggla could come to Cincinnati, strike out in half his at-bats, and be a disaster. I don’t claim to know anything you as the reader don’t, and you shouldn’t claim that you possess a crystal ball either. What I do know, is that signing Uggla shows an attempt. Playing Ramon Santiago shows blind faith.
Even with all these Armageddon scenarios looming, the Redlegs are still in Milwaukee later on Monday evening. They could take the field and demolish the Brewers for all anyone knows—remember when the meltdown at home against the Blue Jays was supposed to doom their season? How did that wind up?
My morning advice is simple: kick back, read the morning paper, flip on the highlight of Jay Bruce hitting the division-clinching home run in 2010, tell your friends all about Blog Red Machine and how much you adore it, pet your dog, cat, ferret and/or child, and most importantly—take a deep breath.
Sixty-four games remain in the 2014 regular season and the Redlegs will take the field for every last one of ‘em. This season is far from over; just remember to keep dreaming.
Tags: Cincinnati Reds