Back in 2008, as I was getting ready to launch this very Cincinnati Reds blog, I threw around a bunch of names. You’ve Got Red On You was one. So was Sean of the Red. At one point I even considered Ken Griffey’s Grotesquely Swollen Jaw.
I eventually landed on Chris Sabo’s Goggles simply because I wanted something that stood out from all of the other Cincinnati Reds blogs that had “Red” in the title. Plus, by choosing something that started with the letter “C,” I ensured that it would be listed toward the top of blog rolls. I know you hoped the name meant something more to me, but it really doesn’t.
If I can be honest, Chris Sabo is far from being my favorite player. While I enjoyed watching him play (what Reds fan of a certain age didn’t?), what drew most of us to him was that iconic accessory of his that even non-baseball fans could relate to: the goggles.
You’d be surprised — or maybe you wouldn’t — by how many people find my blog by doing a Google search for “Chris Sabo’s goggles.” Trust me, they’re not looking for my blog, they’re looking for stuff about Chris Sabo and his trusty goggles.
The fact is, for whatever reason, people still love Chris Sabo. His time in Cincinnati was short, his career unremarkable. He was part of the last Reds team to win a World Series. That surely has something to do with it, right? Reds fans can’t explain it, and even Sabo himself doesn’t understand why — over 25 years since his rookie season — people are still talking about him and his damn goggles.
I’m ashamed that it took me, the guy who facilities everything Chris Sabo’s Goggles, over six years to make this happen, but in January of this year, the stars aligned and Chris was kind enough to speak to me over the phone and answer my stupid questions.
Here you go…
It seems like only yesterday that I chose not to do a September report card for the Reds because they had just kicked off October by disappointing me. Again. Yet, here we are.
For the uninitiated:
1 cheese coney = This isn’t even a snack, let alone a meal. Try harder.
2 cheese coneys = You could do better, but you could also do worse.
3 cheese coneys = Now we’re getting somewhere. Not perfect, but pretty darn close.
4 cheese coneys = How can you complain about four cheese coneys? Simple–you can’t.
The Reds have now won 189 of the last 190 games at Wrigley Field. That might not be entirely accurate, but it’s something like that.
This last week treated the Reds pretty well. They have won 5 of the last 7 games and are now in sole possession of 3rd place in the division. That stat — 5 of the last 7 — is a nice arbitrary number that makes things look pretty good. If I go back 9 games, they’ve still only won 5 games, but it’s not as impressive, so I won’t mention it.
That’s what’s awesome about stats — I can just pick a random starting and ending point, one that either plays into the Reds’ favor or makes them look bad (it just depends what I’m trying to accomplish), and then I put it up on the blog. Pretty, cool, huh? While the Reds’ struggles are far from being behind them, they appear to be turning a corner.
And even though Zach Cozart went 3-for-5 in Sunday’s game, he’s still only batting .153, so let’s hope he’s turning a corner, too.
4/15 UPDATE: Bailey and Rodriguez both exited the game before it was called, therefore, Philip Bates is the winner (Bailey, 105 pitches vs. Rodriguez, 65 pitches).
Philip, send me your mailing address when you have a chance.
The good news is that Cincinnati Reds’ starting pitchers racked up a ton of pitches over the weekend. The bad news is some of you guessed on the low-end. And the Reds lost 2 of 3… that’s bad news, too.
Johnny Cueto, Alfredo Simon, and Tony Cingrani combined for 318 pitches (Cueto accounted for 119). That means two of three winners for my contest have been determined. They are:
- Micheal Sell (304 pitches)
- Dean Ferguson (300 pitches)
If you can both send your mailing address to csgoggles17 (at) gmail (dot) com, I’ll get your Cincinnati Reds: 1975 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD sets shipped out to you.
But there’s a tie for the third prize between Philip Bates and BOBinCT, who both guessed 297 pitches. To break that tie, we’ll use tonight’s game against the Pirates. Rather than risk another tie, I’m randomly assigning each of you a starting pitcher. If the pitcher you’re assigned has a higher pitch count — you win. If both pitchers leave the game with the same total number of pitches, I’ll go to number of strikeouts they had. If we’re still tied after that, I’m just going to flip a coin.
- Philip Bates: Homer Bailey (0-1, 7.71 ERA… $100 million contract)
- BOBinCT: Wandy Rodriguez (0-2, 5.73 ERA)
(Now, before you complain about this being unfair, keep in mind that Bailey’s ERA is almost two runs higher than Rodriguez’s)
I have three copies of the Cincinnati Reds: 1975 World Series Collector’s Edition DVD set to give away, and all you have to do to win one is make a random guess about this weekend’s series against the Tampa Bay
Since there will be three (3) winners, I will take the three closest answers (over or under). In the event of a tie, I’ll figure out some random way to determine the winner on Monday.
How many TOTAL PITCHES will Reds’ STARTING PITCHERS throw during the three game series against the Rays?
(STARTING PITCHER means exactly what you think it means)
Leave your answer in the comments below. All answers must be submitted before the first pitch of Friday’s (4/11) game. Good luck!
Lastly, here’s some information about why/how I’m giving away these DVD sets…
Allowing fans to watch everything from their favorite teams and players to some of the greatest moments in Major League Baseball history anywhere a smartphone or tablet can go, MLB’s digital downloads have never been easier to attain! Until April 15, simply visit www.iTunes.com/MLB to purchase any of the specially-priced programs, including:
- 100 Years of Wrigley Field
- All-Time Bloopers
- Angels Memories
- Astros Memories: The Greatest Moments in Astros Baseball History
- Baseball Seasons: 2004
- Bloopers: Baseball’s Best Blunders
- Bryce Begins
- Detroit Tigers: Hometown Heroics
- Fenway Park Centennial – 100 Years as the Heart of Red Sox Nation
- Game 162
- Letters from Jackie: The Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson
- Major League Baseball Official World Series Films, 1943-2013
- Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team
- MLB 25: Greatest Postseason Home Runs
- New York Mets: 50 Greatest Players
- Pride and Perseverance: The Story of the Negro Leagues
- Prime 9 Vol. 1 (TV Episodes 9 x .5 hr)
- Sudden Death Baseball
- Superstars: Impact Players
- Superstars: World Powers
- The Best of the Home Run Derby
- This Week in Baseball, Season. 1 (TV Episodes 17 x .5 hr)
- World Series: History of the Fall Classic
We’re early enough in the season that we’re allowed to get excited if the team is doing well, but for some reason we’re not allowed to freak out if the team is doing poorly. Fortunately, the Reds fall somewhere between “get excited” and “freak out.”
I’m fine with losing two of three to the Cardinals. Well, I’m not fine with it, but the Cardinals are a good team and the Reds played them close the entire series. Losing two of three to the Mets… I’m not fine with that. Saturday’s game essentially came down to one pitch. Sometimes you lose a game on one pitch in the bottom of the ninth. Sometimes, even when Ike Davis is at the plate.
The Reds’ 2-4 record is a fair representation of what I expected out of this team this year: not a whole lot. While I expect them to finish the season above .500, they’re not going to get there if they continue to have 7+ people on the DL at any given time. The scary thing is, you can argue that–with the exception J.J. Hoover subbing for Aroldis Chapman–none of the injuries have played a role in the
And then there’s Billy Hamilton. Have you heard he’s the Fastest Man in Baseball? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to hear less about it and see more of it. If he doesn’t hit and/or get on base, we’ll all be freaking out.
As much fun as Opening Day games can be, it’s hard to gauge anything from them. Barring injuries, the first game of the year typically has a #1 starter facing another #1 starter, so you can expect (and hope for) a low-scoring game. And that’s what we got yesterday.
Adam “Waino” Wainwright vs. Johnny “Cueto” Cueto was everything it was billed to be. Minus Jason LaRue getting kicked in the head, and Tony La Russa playing the game under protest because of the increased relative humidity caused by the Ohio River.
It’s hard to criticize much of what happened in yesterday’s game. Well, other than Brandon Phillips‘ base-running blunder that all but ended the Reds’ only real threat of the game.
Or The Speedy Billy Hamilton (I believe that’s his full name) failing to demonstrate said speed because he struck out four (4) times.
Wainwright is an ace pitcher, and ace pitchers often have games like Wainwright had on Monday. Cueto had a pretty damn good game, too. Unfortunately, he made one mistake. A mistake that resulted in the city of Cincinnati being subjected to the sight of a man with tattooed neck run around the bases. Nobody wants to see that.
The Reds will use this much-needed off-day to regroup and figure out how they’re going to win the next 161 games. No big deal.