Tag Archives: baseball

Jim Leyland is the “high octane” manager that the Cincinnati Reds need

Earlier today, Jim Leyland, manager of the Detroit Tigers, announced his resignation.  His departure follows the Tigers elimination from the American League Championship series last week.  The Tigers were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox in six games in spite of a stellar starting rotation and the big bats of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the lineup.  The 68 year old skipper leaves Detroit with three consecutive division titles and two World Series appearances.  Leyland’s 1,769 career wins land him 15th on the all time wins list for baseball managers.  An impressive resume to say the least.

Likewise, the Cincinnati Reds manager, Dusty Baker, was recently released by the Reds after failing to advance beyond the Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburg Pirates.  Since the release of Baker, the Reds have spoken with or about several potential replacements for Baker, but no hire has occurred.  It seems to me that the best possible candidate (unless Tony LaRussa decides to un-retire), just became available.  Though Leyland stated that his tank lacked the fuel to continue managing, surely a talent laden roster in one of baseball’s first and finest city’s is enough to “top off” his interest.

The way I see it, the Tigers owe the Cincinnati Reds a proven winner such as Leyland. After all, the Reds lost the winningest manager in Cincinnati Reds history to the Tigers when Sparky Anderson went north in 1979.  He then went on to become one of the winningest managers in Tigers history and won the 1984 World Series along the way.  Now the Tigers have the chance to return the favor.  Perhaps the Tigers front office wouldn’t mind filling Jim Leyland’s gas tank for the four hour drive south to the Queen City.

Great Article on “The Cardinal Way”

Below is a fantastic read by Paul White of the USA Today.  White introduces the reader to “the Cardinal way” by giving you a sneak peek behind the scenes of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization.  The article is a must read for all serious baseball fans regardless of whether you root for the Cardinals or not.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/cardinals/2013/09/10/st-louis-cardinals-matt-carpenter-david-frees-allen-craig-homegrown-talken/2795691/

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words…

The drama that unfolded last night in Yankee Stadium as Mariano Rivera pitched for the final time in “The House That Ruth Built” has been on my mind all morning.  I have been mulling over the greatest moments in sports that I have been privileged to watch in my lifetime.  In an effort to remember some of those great moments I did an internet search and found the below Youtube video.  It is six minutes of sheer joy for those who love sports.  No need for me keep writing when a picture is worth a thousand words.  Enjoy.

Mike Buckamneer

Exit Sandman

Baseball has afforded me the opportunity to watch many of it’s finest moments.  I will always remember watching Hank Aaron hit #714 and # 715 to tie and then break Babe Ruth’s home run record.  I will never forget seeing base hit #4192 land in the left-centerfield and watching as a tearful Pete Rose embraced his son at first base.  And who could forget Kirk Gibson limping around the bases after hitting the most remarkable home run of his career?

In spite of the steroids, scandals, and suspensions, this has been a wonderful generation of baseball filled with epic moments.  Last night, Major League Baseball added another chapter to it’s storybook of touching moments.  Mariano Rivera pitched for the final time in Yankee Stadium.  With 652 career saves, Number 42 came  into the game in the 8th inning and did what a Hall of Fame closer does.  He got batters out.

Rivera pitched in the 9th inning as well, but after recording two outs the Yankees made a pitching change that we never be forgotten.  Instead of manager Joe Girardi coming to the mound to pull Rivera, he sent long time teammates, Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter to the hill.  When Pettitte took the ball from Rivera the two embraced and the flood of emotion that has been building in Rivera all season finally began to pour out.  In a rare display of raw human emotion, Mariano Rivera sobbed as he clung to his teammates in front of a roaring Yankee Stadium crowd who cheered for and wept with the “Sandman.”

As I watched yet another wonderful baseball memory being made I couldn’t help but think that this is what sports are all about.  This is the kind of story that I want my kids and grandkids to see.  I’m so tired of PED’s, DUI’s, and 50 game suspensions grabbing the highlights and headlines.  I want my kids and grandkids to have the baseball that I had as a kid.  I called my wife into the room and she and I, along with our son, watched this endearing moment unfold on television.  “Thank You” Mo, and “Thank You” baseball for showing us again just what makes you great.

Reds Rally Late to Beat Bucs

Last night the Reds lit up the Pirates for four unanswered runs in the 9th and 10th innings to complete their first come-from-behind victory, when trailing after 8 innings, since June 19th.  With one out in the 9th inning, Ryan Ludwick got the rally started by hitting a single to right field.  After Todd Frazier reached base on a Jordy Mercer error the wheels began to fall off for the Pirates.  Billy Hamilton came in later in the inning to pinch run for Zach Cozart and promptly stole his 10th base in 10 attempts on the season.  Hamilton has become a serious game changer for the Reds since arriving in early September.  Devon Mesoraco then drove in two runs after battling through a tough at-bat to tie the game at 5 runs apiece.

After tying the game in the 9th, the Reds, Joey Votto, hit a solo home run into the left field seats in the 10th.  Joey Votto and Dusty Baker both expressed surprise that the ball went out of the park.  “I didn’t think it was going to be a home run or fair.  I was stunned,” said Votto afterwards.

This was a huge come-from-behind win against a tough Pittsburgh team as both teams are battling for the playoffs.  The win allowed the Reds to pull even with the Pirates in a tie for second place in the National League Central Division, two games behind the division leading Cardinals.  At 88-66, both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are tied for the first wild card spot as well.  The Reds were 2-54 in games in which they trailed after 8 innings this season.  The last such come-from-behind win was also against the Pirates on June 19th when they won 2-1.

The Reds can increase their momentum and take sole possession of second place with a win over the Pirates to night.  Homer Bailey will take the mound for the Reds against A.J. Burnett for the Pirates at PNC Park.

Mike Buckamneer

Winny Dipping!

Winny Dipping!

Does Crash Davis play back-up catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers?  In a Bull Durham-like scene, the Dodgers ran like a bunch of excited school boys across the Arizona Diamondbacks field following their 6-5 win and clinching of the National League West Division title yesterday.  They scaled the right field fence and cannonballed their way into sports celebration history!  Numerous members of the team joined the pool party before it was all said and done.

Some members of the Diamondbacks organization were less than happy with the celebration calling it excessive and disrespectful.  Some even went so far as to call the Dodgers “classless.”  There were those outside the organization that voiced their displeasure as well.  Perhaps the most laughable being Senator John McCain of Arizona who posted the following on Twitter:

Wait, was he describing Congress or the Los Angeles Dodgers?  I digress.

I have mixed feelings about the Dodgers celebration.  I some ways it was refreshing to see the Major League stars reverting to their youth and acting like a Little League team that just won a trophy.  Yet, the act did seem to cross the invisible line that athletes have established which prohibits celebrating on the opponents turf.  To be honest with you, I much prefer the pool party to endless flow of alcohol in the clubhouse.  I would much rather my kids watch the players jumping into the pool than guzzling champaign.

It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers celebrate if they beat St. Louis or Cincinnati in the NLCS.  Maybe a late night swim in the Mississippi or Ohio River?  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the next game played between the Dodgers and D-Backs just to see how the Diamondbacks respond to the incident.  Perhaps we will hear someone yell, “Cannonball” just before throwing a high hard one into the “pool.”

Mike Buckamneer

Deja Brew

Carlos Gomez has done it to the Reds again!

In the 9th inning of Saturday’s game, Gomez tracked a well hit fly ball off the bat of Jay Bruce to the centerfield wall.  At precisely the right moment Gomez elevated to catch the ball above the wall and rob Bruce of a three run homer.  In the bottom of the 9th, Brewers infielder Sean Halton hit a walk off home run to defeat the Reds 6-5.  With the Reds battling the Cardinals, Pirates, and Nationals for a play-off spot, the loss was especially painful for players and fans alike.  At this point in the season ever game is critical and the Reds let a 5-1 lead after six innings slip away.

What makes this loss even more painful is that it mirrors a very similar loss to the Brewers on July 9th, 2013 when Carlos Gomez robbed Joey Votto of a potential game winning home run.  In much the same way, Gomez ran down Votto’s centerfield shot and leaped above the wall to make the catch.  Gomez went so far above the wall that Votto demanded to see the ball in his glove after the catch to confirm that he indeed caught the ball.

Both catches, and several others like them made by Gomez this season, are worthy of the highlight reel.  The Brewers will not make the play-offs in 2013 but thanks to Carlos Gomez, the Reds may not either.  They are currently 3.5 games out of first place in the National League Central and the Washington Nationals are stalking the Reds for the final Wild Card play-off spot.  If the Reds miss the tournament by two games or less they can point to Carlos Gomez and the Miller Field centerfield fence to understand why.

Mike Buckamneer