Brad's Blog - 11/25/13
The Reds are a playoff team and fans are bummed. Really bummed. Eliminated Wednesday from the Central Division title race, the Reds couldn't score a run as they lost yet another series to a team with a losing record.
Dusty Baker started the series with a statement that he didn't want his team to feel a sense of urgency, he just wanted them to go "play ball." Dusty is a player's manager that doesn't hold a lot of meetings, doesn't do a lot of yelling, doesn't rule with an iron fist. He said at the All-Star break that he hoped some leaders would emerge in the clubhouse. I'm not sure they ever did. Certainly not in a noticeable way.
Ryan Ludwick was deemed the leader they were missing while he rehabbed his shoulder. He returned but hasn't been the bat they hoped he would be in the middle of the lineup. Then, Wednesday, Luddy decided to ask for a little more support from the fans in his post game comments-- that after his team didn't score a run. He said he hoped fans would be energized for the series with the Pirates because the ballpark just didn't feel energized for the Mets series. He said it certainly helps the team if the fans are energized. Never a good idea to give fans the feeling the team is redirecting blame for why they lose.
I don't think Ryan was going overboard in his comments, but it didn't help fuel the love affair. Reds fans set a new attendance record for a season at Great American Wednesday. Probably not the best timing to tell fans they're not pulling their weight when the Reds scored 5 runs in 28 innings against the Mets.
A three game series with the Pirates starts Friday. The Reds need to win 2 of 3 in order to host the Wild Card game Tuesday. Does it matter? The Reds won two of three in Pittsburgh last weekend. Maybe there's better energy at PNC for the Reds. I'm not being facetious. Maybe it will be better to play that one in Pittsburgh. The Reds can lose all three of these games this weekend, win one in Pittsburgh, and Reds fans would be thrilled to play another series (in all likelihood now against the Cardinals).
Pittsburgh's a nice enough city, but I've got child care issues. That's my sense of urgency. If it's all the same to the Reds, I'd rather the Pirates stay in the Queen City from Thursday to Tuesday and play the Wild Card game in Cincinnati. I would think that would be an advantage to the Reds.
Here or there, do you care?
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 24: Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Cincinnati Reds is tagged out at home plate by Travis d'Arnaud #15 of the New York Mets in the first inning during the game at Great American Ball Park on September 24, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)