An honest assessment of the Reds by a player

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while awaiting Tuesday’s night latest Reds adventure, which is called “The Call to the Bullpen — Dont’ Make It.”

This is an honest appraisal of where the Cincinnati Reds are and comes from one of the players, who wishes to remain anonymous so he can continue collecting paychecks.

“Frankly,” he said. “I’m shocked that we’ve won nine games so far. We’ve won a few with magic mirrors.”

BUT HE SEES a better road ahead.

“The pitching will settle down when we get Homer (Bailey) and Disco (Anthony Desclafani) back in the rotation,” he said. “If we can get our rotation set as Bailey, Desclafani, Raisel Iglesias, Cody Reed and whomever, maybe Robert Stephenson, lined up, that would be a good rotation. Reed has fantastic stuff and a great makeup.”

He left Brandon Finnegan out of the rotation and said, “I see him as more suited to the bullpen, which would help there immensely. And when are they going to realize that J.J. Hoover is not a closer? He has good stuff, but not the put away stuff a closer needs. He is better suited as a set-up guy.

“My closer would be Michael Lorenzen because he has both the stuff and the makeup to do it,” the player said. “Unfortunately he contracted mononucleosis and has lost quite a bit of weight and it is going to take him time to get back.

“Our every day lineup, our core lineup, is pretty good with Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Zack Cozart, Brandon Phillips and Eugenio Suarez. Of course, Billy Hamilton has to start getting on base and our offense would click a lot better.”

WHAT THIS TEAM needs, maybe, is a dose of Teddy Kremer as the batboy. Kremer was born with Downs Syndrome and has been the Reds batboy a couple of times.

One night, in a close game, he asked Todd Frazier to hit a home run. Todd Frazier hit a home run. On another night the Reds hit seven home runs while Kremer was handing them their bats.

Last Saturday I was at a book fair in Columbus, selling and signing my book, ‘The Real McCoy.’ Teddy Kremer’s table was next to mine and he was selling his new book, ‘Stealing First, the Teddy Kremer Story.” Both of our books, by the way, are available on amazon.com.

AND WHAT A delight Teddy Kremer is. He wears a permanent smile and a permanent optimistic outlook. He is an inspiration to anybody who comes in contact with him.

As former Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Teddy, “That’s my guy, right there. Teddy is the most enthusiastic, positive, charming guy I know. He got my players, coaching staff, even the umpires, excited. Good things happen when Teddy is around.”

OK, Reds. Time to put the newest Teddy Ballgame back in a uniform. Soon.

LONG-TIME SCOUT CARL Loewenstine, in the world’s Top Five when you talk about great people, loves to tell negative stories about himself, even though he has scouted and signed enough star players to populate a league.

He loves to tell the story about how he scouted a player named Don Mattingly and marked him as an ‘NP,’ no prospect.

He has the same story about former Reds pitcher Tom Browning. Loewenstine was scouting for the Dodgers on the night Browning pitched a perfect game against them.

“I was in a private box with Dodgers GM Fred Claire and about the seventh inning of the perfect game Clarie asked me, ‘Did you ever see this guy?’”

Said Carl, almost sheepishly, “Yeah, I did. I marked him ‘NP.’

LOEWENSTINE SAID he watched Browning pitch at Tennessee Wesleyan University with Reds scout Chet Montgomery. After Browning pitched, Montgomery said he was going to get a drink of water.

“But I saw Chet in the parking lot talking a pay phone and I knew he was talking about Browning,” said Loewenstine. “When he came back I asked, ‘How was the water, Chet? Hey, I know you were talking about Browning. If you guys (the Reds) want him I’m sure you’ll get him.’ And the Reds got him and, as they say, ‘The rest was history.’”

TAKE A DEEP BREATH on this one. If you want a baseball used in the Jake Arrieta no-hitter you can buy one at Great American Ball Park for $3,000. If you want one that is authenticated as a ball Arrieta actually pitched in the game it is $4,500. Grab a couple for me, will you? One thing, though, the money does go to a fantastic cause — the Reds Community Fund.


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