Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds (71-80) 0 3 0
  Chicago Cubs (66-84) 1 6 0
W: Rondon (4-4)    L: Villareal (0-1)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |  The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

When I first moved to Ann Arbor for grad school in 1983, the best record store in town was Schoolkids Records on Liberty Avenue downtown. Schoolkids was an amazing place, full of obscure vinyl and countless bootlegs — many of which I still own today. The store had a well-deserved national reputation. Schoolkids was also a place you had to get up your nerve to enter — at least that was my experience. I never quite felt cool enough to shop there. My friends and I called their employees the CoolKids, half out of spite, half out of jealousy.

One day by happenstance, I saw an Australian punk band called The Celibate Rifles (a take-off on the name Sex Pistols) play inside the confines of that small record store. Punk wasn’t much my thing, but the Rifles weren’t exactly Johnny Rotten. Anyhow, for whatever reason the band became one of my favorites. I saw them live a few other times at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor.

I thought about the Celibate Rifles tonight for the first time in probably a decade. And it wasn’t because watching this particular Reds game made me recall one of their album titles, The Turgid Miasma of Existence. Although now that I think about it … yeah.

No, as I watched the Reds struggle to score on the Cubs tonight, lyrics from one of my favorite Rifles’ songs called New Mistakes crossed my mind.

“Let’s make some new mistakes, I’m sick of all the old ones.”

I’m sure Bryan Price has never heard of the Celibate Rifles, let alone New Mistakes. So that probably wasn’t the inspiration for his line-up tonight. But it could have been.

Several September call-ups, including Yorman Rodriguez (RF), Jason Bourgeois (LF) and Jake Elmore (SS) were in the lineup. Kristopher Negron (2B) also started. Throw in Billy Hamilton (CF) and Ramon Santiago (3B) and the batting order wasn’t particularly reminiscent of the Big Red Machine.

At least it was new.

58 Responses

  1. pinson343

    I don’t have a problem with all the call-ups in the lineup, that’s what people have been clamoring for and Price had already said he would use them against “non-contending teams” (i.e. the Cubs). But with the score tied at 0 after 7, did he have to go out of his way to lose ? In the 8th, with all kinds of good PHers available (Pena and Heisey, to name two) he has to go with Lutz’ predictable strikeout ?

    In the bottom of the 9th, with the Cubs best hitters coming up, starting with Rizzo the LHed Reds killer, Chapman has been warming up since the bottom of the 8th and he doesn’t bring him in ? Worried about a shortage of relief pitchers ? If you’re not going to use Chapman, don’t warm him up for so long.

    • RedsFanPetaluma

      I have tbe same thoughts…on Chapman. He is warming up and you dont use him vs Rizzo. Really ??? I hope the Cincy press asks that question. After all, Price’s mantra was “accountability”. Oh well. Nice lip service.

      • RedAlert

        Lip service it was it was and what it has been all year long from Price – hasn’t held players or himself accountable for doodley squat !!!

      • lwblogger2

        Doing what pretty much all MLB managers do with their closer on the road, waiting for a save opportunity that may never happen. Price has shown he isn’t likely to be a manager to break the mold.

      • Vicferrari

        If you haven’t already copied that sentence to paste everytime someone brings this up in a tie game on the road

      • lwblogger2

        It really is a staged response 🙂

  2. I-71_Exile

    Right now I’m hoping for team history: most times shut out, greatest number of one run losses, that sort of thing. That 1982 team needs some offensive company.

  3. Mike Larsen

    I believe the Reds are in need of on-the-field leadership that is present in winning clubs. The Big Red Machine had leadership in abundance from many players and that is a must have aspect in winning teams. I can only hope that next year’s club looks toward filling this need. A club that is 22-37 in one-run games and 3-9 in extra inning games needs some extra leadership to correct this worst in baseball record in tight games.

    • MattWI

      I’ll take a healthy team over leadership next year. And an OF that doesn’t hit like a bunch of middle infielders (all apologies to Jay Bruce, but still mostly true).

      • Mister D69

        Jay Bruce is not deserving of any apologies, unless by that you mean that he hits WORSE than middle infielders (which is true).
        As terrible as this lineup was, I’d be happy so see Y. Rodriguez start every game from here on in. As bad as Bruce is it couldn’t hurt the team, it could help Y-Rod and the Reds down the line, and it would give Bruce a chance to recover from his “injury”.

      • greenmtred

        Your use of quotation marks around injury implies that you think that Jay is not really injured. Source for this opinion? Reason why he would fake an injury? He hasn’t, to my knowledge, used it as an excuse or talked about it much if at all.

      • Sparky

        I’m guessing the Quotation marks around “injury” is in regard to all the Bruce lovers on here using an injury that no one talks about as an apology. I have no problem with Bruce, Likeable and as nice a Red as you will ever meet. Red brass should have done something with him, if indeed there was a constant lingering injury. Leaving him out there to hit sub .220 was no good for anybody involved. Players Play, and he is a gamer. Horrible year for him all around.

      • Mister D69

        Greenmtred and Sparky: Bruce says he’s physically OK; I believe him. So no, he hasn’t used it as an excuse but some posters on this blog do. They’ll use that fiction or some other excuse to give him a pass on a terrible performance. Meanwhile they can’t wait till the day Ludwick’s contract is up, keep reminding us the BP is an old relic, and certain bullpen pitchers should be sent to the horse factory. I just don’t see why Jay Bruce is to be protected so much (by some) on this blog.
        I hope Bruce has a better year next year, I hope they all do. I’m not at all convinced that he will, unless of course his “injury” heals.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Bruce hasn’t said he’s OK physically. Healthy enough to play doesn’t mean fully healthy. It’s not fiction. This article below laid it out pretty well. He’s having a terrible year, by his own admission. But when a guy who has won the Silver Slugger award the previous two years drops off so much – and has knee surgery in the middle of the season – it’s reasonable to explain the sudden drop off with the health issue. The fact that he’s considerably younger (27) than Phillips (33) or Ludwick (36) and therefore at a significantly different part of his aging curve, probably explains the different treatment he receives from fans.

        http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/story/sports/mlb/2014/08/31/cincinnati-reds-jay-bruce-embarrassed-season/14905987/

      • Sparky

        Thanks for the reference to the story, It seems like this season he just never had the Hot month. Injury or no injury, Why is he doing all this tinkering with his swing “on his own”, Where is the hitting instructor or is he just not listening. Bruce at best will be a complimentary player to a guy like Votto. I don’t see Bruce hitting sub .220 next season, But then again, I didn’t see him doing that this year either.

    • CP

      If by in “need of on-the-field leadership”, you mean 3 or 4 future HOF players…yeah, I agree.

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, with guys like Morgan, Bench, Rose, and Perez, you’re going to have leaders. When your “supporting cast” consists of Griffey, Foster, Geronimo, and Concepcion…

      • charlottencredsfan

        I guess the real question is: would the aforementioned been as effective MLBers without the heavyweights?? IMO, Morgan and Perez were tremendous leaders and Johnny & Pete leading by example. All that said, you’d be blessed for sure to have those guys ever show up at your doorstep again.

        This was a different team with Votto in there even if he was just a shadow of his former self. God how this team needs Joey Votto. Eggs in one basket and all that.

  4. ohiojimw

    The only thing missing was the voice under. “In tonight’s episode of Out of the Park , the part of HomeRun Hoover will be played by …..”

  5. RedAlert

    Reds should have made a clean break from Baker and his associates ( i.e. Bryan Price)

    • RedAlert

      Although Price has tried different things , he has simply shown too many “Baker tendencies ” in my opinion

      • RedAlert

        Which my opinion don’t mean a thing …. But anyhow , just seems that way

      • sezwhom

        His tendency to bunt in nearly every situation is what drives me nuts. Let’s give away an out. Dusty had to go but I hear ya.

      • greenmtred

        Except for the Baker tendency to have a winning record….

      • lwblogger2

        The phrase “Baker tendencies” can be replaced by “MLB manager tendencies”… A lot of what he’s doing are things that most MLB managers do. His lineups tend to make a little more sense than some of Baker’s but how does he manage the clubhouse? That was Baker’s strength.

        I’m not sure how we can judge Price’s performance with all the injuries the Reds have had to key players. I keep hearing about accountability but I’m not sure what people are expecting. The best way to hold players accountable is through restricting playing time and the bench is already playing. He doesn’t cut players or relieve coaches of their jobs. A good part of the accountability complaints I’ve heard are more things that perhaps would be related to a move Jocketty could make?

      • Grand Salami

        People are spoiled by Price’s approach to the lineup. Coz started the year at the bottom and Frazier near the top. That is not something Dusty would have done at least until the ASB.

        I know lineups and run production are not as dynamic as one would think but Frazier and Coz are two of three starters (Hamilton is the other) that have been healthy all year.

        Coz would have alternated between 1/2/7 in the order, Hamilton (in far fewer games as Dusty would have played more Heisey) 6/8/1, Frazier 5/6/3. Not to mention Mes would have batted single digits at the clean up spot!

        Dusty, with all these injuries, would simply have lost in grander fashion. His bullpen approach would be no different and his lineups would be worse. More of Heisey and Schu over Hamilton would have been epic.

      • Steve Mancuso

        And it’s also easy to forget that Price was willing to bat Votto and Bruce back-to-back when they were both thought to be healthy. And then later, moved Votto to #2.

        While there are aspects to Price’s lineups that I don’t like, he’s definitely been more open minded than Dusty Baker.

      • ohiojimw

        The one thing Price could have done is make a change on the coaching lines, i.e. at 3B. He didn’t and instead of late has very aggressively defended Smith.

        Could he (intentionally or inadvertently be setting himself up to be shown the door as was Sparky all those years ago; and if some of the writers have it correct Dusty last year for refusing to sanction a change in the coaching staff?

    • REED BERGEN

      The guy who turned around the pitching staff so much that they may him the pitching Big Kahunna? Former pitchers often make lousy managers, but I think with the MASH unit that the Reds have been this year, no one could have made this team winners.

      • Eric the Red

        Ohio Jim, Dusty was not let go for refusing to change the coaching staff. Nor did he resign rather than fire anyone. Changes to the staff were discussed, but that’s it. Go back and look at the reporting and read what actually happened; granted, in reading those reports you’ll have to read carefully since there was a lot of spinning going on.

      • Eric the Red

        Here, for example. Where the writer corrects his first incorrect report putting the “fire me” conversation and the firing just a day apart. Where the writer and Dusty try to say he was fired because of that (self-reported) comment, but fail to back that up. There were, after all, plenty of reasons to fire him. Oh, and that article is worth revisiting to see the rather depressing attempt to paint his detractors as just a bunch of racists. I have no doubt Dusty was subjected to a huge amount of disgusting racial abuse, which is sickening and deplorable. But this article was a little loose in mixing that in with legitimate criticism.

        http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24001371/baker-challenged-reds-gm-if-you-want-to-fire-someone-fire-me

      • ohiojimw

        It was reported by either Fay or one of the “national” reporters within the last two weeks or so that Dusty’s refusal to sign off on letting Jacoby go was what actually got Dusty fired. Take it or leave it; believe it or not, that was what was “printed”.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The article Eric linked was the “national reporter” who initially said Baker was fired over Jacoby. Jon Heyman was basically repeating what Baker told him that morning. Later, it was learned that story was wrong. Castellini, for example, said the issue of the coaching staff never came up. I don’t blame Baker for trying to get his spin on the situation. And I don’t think we know the entire story behind the timeline. There’s a quixotic statement later from Castellini where he said he had no intention of firing Baker at the start of the meeting. So who knows.

      • ohiojimw

        Here is the Fay article where Fay reports:

        “Baker has no feeling of vindication. He didn’t go quietly with the Reds. He said he was fired because he refused to fire hitting Brook Jacoby. This year’s team is not going to win 90 games. It would be easy for Baker to say: See, we weren’t the problem.”
        ************************************************************
        The dateline is 5 Sept 2014

        http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2014/09/05/cincinnati-reds-dusty-baker/15156803/

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yeah, that’s Baker saying that’s the reason he was fired, not Fay. Baker has said that from the start. He was the source in Heyman’s article that came out the morning Baker was fired.

        I just don’t find that credible. Baker didn’t go the wall for Dick Pole, his long-time coach, who the Reds replaced with Bryan Price. I just don’t believe Baker would risk his own job for one of his coaches.

        That said, I don’t think we really have a full account of what happened. It’s also possible Baker perceived one thing and the front office perceived it differently.

      • ohiojimw

        I think it matters that the writer of this article was Fay, the beat reporter, and he wrote this a year after the fact. I think not only do “we”, the public, not know what happened in the fateful meeting, neither I would judge, does Fay feel comfortable that he knows what really went down.
        Fay could have gotten to the point he did in many ways. That he repeats Dusty’s year old assertion indicated to me A) that Dusty is still sticking by it and B) Fay has not seen nor heard anything in the succeeding year which he feels clearly discredits Dusty’s version of the reality, the owner’s statements not withstanding.

  6. WVRedlegs

    I thought Simon was out of gas, but he has had a very good September. He has pretty much cemented a place in next year’s rotation. Can’t afford to trade him now.
    As for the offense, well its sailing on the USS Shoutout Again again. The pre-sailing checklist.
    Another shutout loss. Check.
    Another one run loss. Check.
    Another wasted starting pitching performance. Check.
    Another loss by the bullpen. Check.
    No offense to speak of. Check.
    Runners thrown out on the bases. Check.

    Capt. Walt Jocketty set to sail into the abyss. All aboard.

  7. sezwhom

    Swear this is true but I’m thinking and yes, it was painful: why is Villareal facing lefty Rizzo and the one guy who can hit it out of the…..never mind. Good night.

  8. Steve Schoenbaechler

    “the batting order wasn’t particularly reminiscent of the Big Red Machine.”

    People have got to get this past them. The Big Red Machine will not ever come to fruition anymore. Good Lord, could you imagine with today’s contracts how much that would cost?

    • jdx19

      This is an estimate I would love to see! Compare all those players production with current day players and then find a good match for performance-to-contract and add it all up.

      I nominate you, Mr. Schoenbaechler.

  9. charlottencredsfan

    He isn’t hitting a lick since ASB but BHam with two more BBs. Woo-hoo!!!

    No problem with playing the young guys at this point. If I don’t see Ludwick, Bruce, Cozart the rest of the year; I’ll live. It’s the prudent move.

  10. tct

    For everyone who ever said that starting pitching and defense wins championships, I give you the 2014 Cincinnati Reds. It’s like they are on a mission to prove that old maxim false for the people that still believe it. You can’t win with awful offense just like you can’t win with awful pitching.

    • greenmtred

      As one of the people who has always said that about pitching and defense, I will concede that the 2014 Reds have proven, beyond a doubt, the limitations of the theory. It seems that you do need some offense, as well.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      That’s why I’ve always said, it’s a team game. You still have to have a team. That’s why the Braves of the 90’s, with that staff they had, couldn’t only manage 1 WS title. They had little hitting. Or, the Yankees of the 90’s with still a good staff, just nowhere near what the Braves had, but also with some good hitters, they won several WS titles.

  11. Sparky

    We should be complaining of OVERUSE of the Cuban Missile. The amount of innings and very limited spots he is used is just plain silly. Pitch the dude!

  12. sultanofswaff

    Boy, that was a hard luck night for the hitters. Santiago had a couple liners caught, and had the wind not been blowing in Negron might’ve had two dingers.

    Price really needs to get over himself. All this sanctimonious talk about protecting the integrity of the playoff races, that he owes it to the teams in contention to play a competitive team, etc. etc. STOP! Hey Brian, if you play the kids vs. everybody then it’s a fair fight. I don’t know if he knows it (because it’s crystal clear no directive has been given from the front office on anything this season), but the only concern should be our team, period.

    • Michael J Hampton

      I’m not sure that the front office ever gives any direction to the field manager. I would like to see some direction from somewhere.

    • ohiojimw

      if you play the kids vs. everybody then it’s a fair fight.
      **********************************************************************
      Well put. They are seeing everybody in the Central in this lat 10th of the season.

  13. Michael J Hampton

    No mention of Simon pitching a very good game? The wind may have saved him in the first inning, but after that he was lights out.

    • sultanofswaff

      Yes, it would seem the talk of his demise was premature. On that account, I was with Price all the way when he said the issue after the all-star break wasn’t fatigue but location/focus. I’m all for keeping him in the rotation and putting Cingrani in the bullpen full time. I mean, we’re stacked with starting pitching prospects who will be ready in 2016.

      • C-bus Chris 14

        Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

        Sorry, I feel asleep during this season. Did I miss anything? Is it over yet?

      • Tom Reed

        You missed a lot of one run losses.