Another Borek Morning: Talking Cincinnati Reds Baseball 6/13/2014


Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The last week has been very Reds-y, has it not? Going from no Joey Votto, to the welcomed addition of the best hitter the club has had in 40 years, fans can be overwhelmed. Joey can be underappreciated, and the bottom line can become all that matters.
Burying themselves in an 0-2 hole to begin the four-game series with the Dodgers, the Reds beat the two pitchers they had no business beating (Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke) and lost to the Dodgers fourth and fifth starters (Josh Beckett and Dan Haren).
There is no rest for a team that is playing catch up, as they get a look at both Matt Garza and Yovani Gallardo over the weekend—both extremely solid, top-of-the-rotation pitchers.
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Yesterday’s absolutely nutty bean war in Colorado reminded me of the whole Cardinals-Reds debacle that escalated over banging shin guards.
While the Braves and Rockies do not have even a fraction of the rivalry the Redbirds and Redlegs have, the question I pose is, do Reds fans still have disdain for the Cardinals over that incident?
There are plenty of reasons to dislike St. Louis. The fact that they win may be at the top of the list, but it is not as if “the battle” was anywhere near as ugly as Colorado yesterday with people intentionally throwing at one another.
In the center of all this was former Red, Nick Masset. With the game an out away from ending, he decided to drill Evan Gattis, getting himself tossed. After he refused to leave the mound, the third base umpire approached him at the rubber and Masset did his best Yasiel Puig-bat flip impression by taking the ball and letting it fly.
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I have a lot of favorite Yogi Berra quotes, or Yogisms if you will, but “it’s getting late early,” seems to fit the current situation the Reds are in.
Through the first two and half months of the season, the team has done their best Walking Dead impression, as they struggle to find a level of consistency. How much longer can they wait before they make a significant push?
Looking ahead on the Reds schedule, they will play a three-game series at home against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 20-22. After that, the next home game they play will be on July 4.
Gigantic, West Coast-based road trips are not usually conducive to winning streaks. All elite clubs will at some point push forward and coast on their talent for weeks at a time during a season, it is just unknown if the Reds will ever be able to do that here in 2014.
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Last night, I ventured out to Citi Field in Flushing, New York, to watch the New York Mets take on the Milwaukee Brewers—an in-person scouting exhibition if you may.
The Mets are the hometown team, and many of my friends are die-hards the way you and I all cheer for Cincinnati baseball, which is what makes the game of baseball so cruel.
Currently at 29-37, the Mets sit just percentage points out of last place in the National League East. Literally, their only draw to the ballpark is David Wright, a franchise cornerstone who may finally be feeling the burden of attempting to carry an entire organization on his shoulders after all these years.
The situation in Queens reminds me exactly of what the Reds were going through not too long ago.
It was, “once Homer Bailey gets here, things will turn around,” or “just wait until Jay Bruce is in the lineup every day.” Thankfully, for the Reds, they hit the jackpot in the draft. As I laid out last week, from 2004 on, the Reds virtually have not missed with their top draft picks, which is an almost impossible feat to accomplish.
When at Citi Field, palpable in the air is that “wait until next year” front office speak they have sold to fans. While there is a collection of young talent, not everyone always pans out. Not everyone can be as fortunate as the Reds.