Another Borek Morning: Talking Cincinnati Reds Baseball 6/6/2014


Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

After digesting last night’s windstorm of prospects and all that they possess, it dawned on me: this is not going to magical fix the Cincinnati Reds.

Which of course, left me in deep thought about the game of baseball, and how it is a purely unfair game.

Take Thursday afternoon against Madison Bumgarner for example. There is no doubt that Bumgarner is a phenomenal pitcher, and I believe him to be the best pitcher no one talks about in the entire league, but had a few of those groundballs not been snared by Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford, it may have been an entirely different game.

That case can be made for nearly any game throughout the course of a season, but when things are going as sour as they are for the Reds, fans dwell on these kind of things.

Losing to Bumgarner is starkly different from being dominated by a pitcher such as Josh Collmenter. With all due respect to Collmenter, he does not have nearly the same track record as Bumgarner, a bonafide ace. Bumgarner is supposed to dominant teams, which yes, including the Reds.

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How quickly we forget transgressions when it can be beneficial to our favorite ballclub.

During the off-season, I wrote a post about Alex Rodriguez, and whether or not, if he were a Red, fans would want him back if he could help the club. The resounding response ranged anywhere from “absolutely not” to “not a chance.”

Yet (and I know this is a minority of fans), message boards, comments sections, our Twitter inbox, are all filled with fans saying that Walt Jocketty dropped the ball on signing Nelson Cruz.

For those with short-term memory loss, or who just plain do not know, Cruz was suspended 50 games for performance-enhancing drugs at the conclusion of last season. He was the anchor of the Texas Rangers’ lineup during the season, and upon his return, his own fans booed him mercilessly.

Giving Cruz any kind of guaranteed money on a one-year deal (anyone remember Ryan Madson?) would have been a massive risk within itself. Not to mention, the Reds are a mid-market club–they are not supposed to have big boppers at every single position on the field.

Lastly, who is this mysterious bat that Walt Jocketty must acquire? Last I checked, Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco and Todd Frazier all qualify under the category of “big bopper” and the back of their baseball cards represent that they are going to get the job done before the season is out. Letting it ride can be a frustrating thing, but it is a much-wiser move than slamming down on the panic button.

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It seems redundant to repeat, but these next three days will be fairly significant in Reds Country.

The Philadelphia Phillies come limping into town after being swept by the Washington Nationals. They are currently the bottom-dwellers of the National League East; a team the Reds absolutely have to beat a minimum two-out-of-three.

Tonight’s matchup pits Cole Hamels against Johnny Cueto. Conventional wisdom says to expect a low-scoring contest, but this strikes me as a game Cueto will not allow himself to lose.

Both Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce are hovering around the heat mark at this moment in time, ready to burst into flames and carry the club through a series or two.

Remaining optimistic, should the Redlegs find a way to potentially sweep Philadelphia, the morale boost from a Joey Votto and Mat Latos return for the series against the Los Angeles Dodgers would be immense. Hovering below .500 has not been fun, but there just does not seem a way that this can keep up all season long.