Fight the Youth
One of the advantages of being at Lollapalooza all weekend is that I didn’t have to witness the sorry excuse for baseball that the home team displayed at Great American Ball Park.
So, what did I miss? The Reds being outscored 31 to 13 and outhit 37 to 19 against the second place St. Louis Cardinals. In a three game series. “Outscored” and “outhit” are the polite ways of saying that the Reds got their asses handed to them on a silver platter.
I’m not in the locker room every day (for security reasons), but I get the feeling that this 2013 ballclub just doesn’t give a crap. There is absolutely no fire in any of these guys. The only time we see anything resembling emotion from Joey Votto is when he strikes out with runners in scoring position. Jay Bruce only raises his voice when the fans are giving him a hard time; and even then he does so passively on Twitter. We’ve heard Brandon Phillips get pissed off recently, but unfortunately that was about the “insulting” contract the Reds offered him last year.
Where’s Lou Piniella throwing bases? Where’s Rob Dibble throwing a baseball into the outfield stands? Where’s Johnny Cueto kicking and screaming? Not that I condone kicking people in the head (even St. Louis Cardinals), but at least the 2010 team had a little spunk. David Ortiz of the Red Sox recently demolished a bullpen phone with his bat after he disagreed with a questionable strike TWO.
What do this season’s Reds players do when things aren’t going their way? They shrug their shoulders and sulk their way back to the dugout like a 9-year-old being sent to his room by mommy.
The 2013 Reds have no leader. No one that’s outspoken (in a GOOD way, Brandon) that’s going to wake this team up. In terms of veteran leadership, the Reds have Bronson Arroyo and Ryan Ludwick. My guess is that nobody listens to Arroyo unless he has a guitar slung around his neck while playing Creed covers, and Ludwick is busy rehabbing in Triple-A Louisville (Lew-uh-vul).
As a team–(barely) in the thick of a pennant race–if you can’t get fired up for an August series against the hated St. Louis Cardinals, then what the hell can you get fired up about? This is crunch time. The Reds chances of winning the division are shrinking rapidly by the hour, and the Wild Card spot is no guarantee. And do you think this team honestly has the fire to put up a fight in a one-game Wild Card match-up?