Hall of Fame baseball writer Hal McCoy shares his thoughts on the Cincinnati Reds

Of the Cubs, Kershaw and curses

12:30 am Oct. 21, 2016

And now ‘The Curse’ faces the Chicago Cubs— ‘The Curse of Clayton Kershaw.’

That’s the obstacle the Cubs face Saturday when the National League Championship Series continues in Wrigley Field.

But the Cubs do have a cushion. Even if they lose to Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers, there will be a Game 7. If they beat Kershaw they are in the World Series for the first time since 1945.

That scenario is

Tribe Whips Jays, heads for World Series

7:13 pm Oct. 19, 2016

If there is a Merit Badge for chutzpah, Cleveland Indians pitcher Ryan Merritt won his Wednesday afternoon, a gold-plated one.

Chutzpah is defined as audacity, guts, cheeky, nerve, boldness, temerity.

Those all could be Merritt’s middle name after the 24-year-old left hander, helped pitch the Cleveland Indians into the 2016 World Series.

Merritt pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up noe runs, two hits, no walks and struck out three. Then the practically

Who is wearing the Cubs uniforms?

11:29 pm Oct. 18, 2016

Who are those impostors wearing Chicago Cubs uniforms? The Chicago Bears? The Minnesota Twins? OK, the Cincinnati Reds?

Once upon a time, the Chicago Bears football team was known as the Monsters of the Midway. This year, the Monsters of the Midway were the Chicago Cubs. On their way to 103 victories during the regular season they flattened the opposition like a chef making pancakes.

NOT NOW. FOR THE second straight game

Francona carrying Tribe toward World Series

12:03 am Oct. 18, 2016

If Terry (Tito) Francona doesn’t win American League Manager of the Year they should anchor the trophy with cement blocks and toss it into Lake Erie.

The Cleveland Indians manager, a utility player for the Cincinnati Reds briefly in 1987, has faced more adversity than a possum on a freeway. He calmly shifts the tobacco wad in his cheeks and goes about his business of directing victories.

AND THAT’S THE Indians are

Kershaw untouchable in 1-0 shutout

11:09 pm Oct. 16, 2016

Any questions why the Los Angeles Dodgers are wiling to pay pitcher Clayton Kershaw $34 million a year to work every fifth day?

If the Chicago Cubs questioned the high investment they have no doubts now why the Dodgers pay the scraggily-haired left hander more money than the Costa Rican gross national product.

Kershaw and his hinky delivery rendered the Cubs’ bat as unlethal weapons Sunday night in Game 2 of the

Tribe puts holes in Toronto’s bats

11:39 pm Oct. 14, 2016

The Toronto Blue Jays tore through Texas like the notorious Newton Gang, scoring 22 runs in a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers.

Then they hit Cleveland.

IN GAME ONE OF THE American League Championship Series, the Blue Jays were force fed doses of Indians pitchers Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

They scored zero runs and lost, 2-0, to give the Tribe a one game to none lead in the best

LA’s Roberts thinks outside the box

12:54 am Oct. 14, 2016

Playoff baseball is a different animal and it is glorious. It changes colors like a chameleon. Managers tear up ‘The Book’ and think outside the box.

Chicago Cubs manage Joe Maddon does it all season long — playing four-man infields, using pitchers in the outfield, using his players at several different positions, coming up with slogans and tee-shirts that read, “Try not to suck.”

It is so refreshing and maybe managers will

Cubs show why they are, well, the Cubs

1:46 am Oct. 12, 2016

The Chicago Cubs removed any doubt Tuesday night that they have hearts bigger than the John Hancock Tower. And the guts of diamond thieves.

San Francisco Giants fans were poised to board cable cars and tear up Fisherman’s Wharf with three outs to go in Game Four of the National League Division Series.

The Cubs, though, don’t need three outs. They only need one. And they proved it Tuesday night.


Why did the Reds trade Encarnacion?

12:56 am Oct. 5, 2016

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, relaxing in front of the Smart TV watching the Toronto-Baltimore wild card game with no intent to write anything.

Edwin Encarnacion changed all that.

His three-run home run on the first pitch from Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez in the bottom of the 11th sent the Jays into the playoffs and sent the Orioles home.

REMEMBER ENCARNACION, REDS fans? He went by EE. He was a third baseman for

Reds pitching plans (tenative) for 2017

7:26 pm Oct. 3, 2016

Baseball managers and baseball players constantly chant that they are looking for consistency, “Just be consistent.”

If that’s true, then the Cincinnati Reds qualify as a success over the last two years — they have been consistently awful. They finished last in the National League Central the past two years and they lost more than 90 games the past two years. Now that’s consistency.

The bullpen, known in some quarters as the