• Mr. Intangible Reports coming out of Cleveland indicate that Marlon Byrd has tested positive for PED. If they prove accurate, it will be Byrd’s second violation. He was suspended for 50 games in 2012. Byrd is hitting .270/.326/.452 for Cleveland. He played in three of the four games against the Reds, going 5-14, scoring 4 runs and knocking in 4 runs.

When the Reds made Marlon Byrd their big acquisition before the 2015 season, Walt Jocketty praised Byrd for the “way he played the game:”

“We looked at all the possibilities of type of players we identified – guys who were going to provide run production and leadership,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “The one thing that kept coming back about Marlon Byrd was the way he played the game, the way he went about his business, his work ethic. We take a lot of stock in guys like that.

Jocketty gave Byrd about as high as praise as he gets when it comes to intangibles.

“In some ways, it’s similar to when we brought Scott Rolen over,” Jocketty said. “(Byrd) plays the game the right way without a lot of hoopla. He practices like he plays.”

This reasoning was always transparent baloney. See Marlon Byrd, Gravity and Low Bars and More Jocketty Nonsense.

UPDATE: Byrd has been suspended for 162 games and will not appeal.

• Today in Bullpen Artistry Washington Nationals relievers have allowed 43 runs. Cincinnati Reds relievers have allowed 42 home runs. (h/t Ryan Fagan)

• #VoteZack Zack Cozart tied for the major league lead in Defensive Runs Saved in the month of May. He and outfielders Ender Inciarte and Yasiel Puig each had eight. (h/t Mark Simon) Cozart is deserving of being chosen for the NL All-Star team.

UPDATE: Cozart has the fifth most votes among NL shortstops according to the count released this afternoon. It might be unrealistic to think  he can catch Addison Russell thanks to ballot-stuffing, but if he could finish second or third it would strengthen the case for his selection. Of course, he might not be playing for the Reds by then. Wait, oh sure he will. See next item …

• Please, Do Not Disturb Walt Jocketty tells Mark Sheldon that the Reds haven’t been taking calls on possible trades yet. Jocketty says it’s too early.

Jocketty says his expectation is that trade chatter won’t really pick up until late June. “It’s really hard to say,” said Jocketty. “I don’t think anything will happen much until after the Draft. That’s usually when it starts to happen, a couple of weeks after the Draft.”

Friendly suggestion for new Reds infrastructure investment: Some of those new-fangled telephones that can make outgoing calls.

• Jumpin’ Junior Ken Griffey Jr. writes about the best play he ever made.

“Just before I jumped, I still wasn’t sure whether it would hit the overhang, but I left my feet anyway. Jump and decide in the air. When I got to the height of my jump, I realized it wasn’t going to hit the overhang. So I threw my glove out there and it hit the very tip of my glove and rolled back into my palm.”

29 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    That’s my favorite Griffey catch of all time. Kremchek has 4-6 large, 4 foot tall prints of that catch sequence in his lobby in Kenwood, or at least he used to. It’s wonderful and I’d love to have a large print of that – I’ve even looked and found it, but it’s apparently not even for sale. Apparently you can only lease the photo, which is incredibly disappointing.

    • VaRedsFan

      Kudos to the SI photographer on those incredible pictures. The people in the bleachers are priceless.

  2. Big56dog

    Didn’t Reds trade Byrd for Ben Lively? – last time I checked he was dominating AA got promoted

    • Patrick Jeter

      Yep. Might go down as one of the worse trades pulled off during this current Reds FO tenure.

      2014 in AA: 4.13 ERA, 4.08 FIP in 143 IP, .336 BABIP allowed
      2015 in AA: 1.87 ERA, 2.46 FIP in 53 IP, .241 BABIP allowed

      Obviously these are small samples, but his true talent probably lies between those two sets of numbers.

      HIs first start in AAA was good, going 7 innings, allowing 2 runs, and only walking 1 batter.

      • Big56dog

        Always wonder where the Reds would be if they did not make any trades. starting with Rolen and maybe a rebuilding in 2011- traded BP instead of being hampered by contact, what would they have lost if they had players like Encarnacion (imagine could not afford him or had a place to play him), Alonso (bench depth), Boxberger, Volquez, Grandal, Travis Wood, Gregorious, with Frazier and Chapman

  3. Patrick Jeter

    I wonder if Walt silently condones PED use since it was such a big part of the game for so long. Seems odd to say all that nice stuff about Byrd when he was a known doper.

    Good riddance. Hope he doesn’t get work when he comes back in 162 games.

    • reaganspad

      Walt had a PED’s dispenser when he was with the A’s. The one with the goofy head on it.

      word has it that he thought it was his own personal bobblehead…

  4. big5ed

    I am no Jocketty fan, but it may be a bit harsh to get on him for not prioritizing trades right now. Every other team is buried in the draft, too. This draft is absolutely crucial to the Reds; they have to get it right.

    Plus, it is a bit early for the buyers to decide what to do right now. The high-flyers like the Cubs don’t need to make deals, but the others have questions that need to be resolved before they jump in. The Reds hope/expect to trade Phillips, Bruce and maybe Cozart, but I can’t see where any team just yet has a pressing need for any of them.

    The market for these guys will begin to clarify itself in about a month, and Jocketty can screw it up then rather than now.

    • ohiojimw

      I agree it makes sense that teams would be focusing on the draft at this point. They likely would only be looking to deal if they had an dire need or an emergency.

    • Steve Mancuso

      That’s fair. And I know that most of what he says is just pulp for the media. I don’t ever take him at his word. He could be actively working trades for all we know. I just wish – and this is more for my own sanity, not actual trading – that he would strike a more aggressive public pose. The criticism of WJ from insiders is that he doesn’t work as hard as the new generation GMs. He misses opportunities by being passive and letting things come to him. It’s looking like he did well on Cueto and Leake and not so well on Chapman. Peraza will have to be a great player for several years to convince me Jocketty got sufficient value for Frazier.

      • ohiojimw

        Or perhaps the light has gone on for Brandon Dixon, the “third man” in the Frazier deal; and, he may move past a number of supposed Reds home grown prospects who are starting to look to be more likely suspects. But I’ll agree that if this happens, by pretty much all indications, it will have been more luck than design.

      • old-school

        So a year ago the focus was on the draft and the All Star game…..that game cost the Reds so much in baseball operational focus…..as the marketers effectively ran baseball operations for 3 months…..if we had focused on trading bruce and Frazier and Chapman late june and July,,,we’d be better now and competitive in 2017 and back in the hunt in 2018.

    • Steve Mancuso

      On the other hand, earlier trades would help receiving teams more. 4 months of Bruce instead of 3. That should be worth more.

      • big5ed

        I think as a practical matter all the Reds’ scouting staff is focused on the draft. We have to presume that the Reds’ trade bait will be exchanged for prospects, and that the scouts are not available now to take a look at prospects in, say, the Diamondbacks or White Sox systems.

    • Earl Nash

      I figure that means that the Reds are not out actively shopping. I’m sure they would listen if a club called them with an offer.

  5. WVRedlegs

    Marlon Byrd gets what he deserves.
    The lunacy Jocketty showed in acquiring Byrd was bad for the Reds in other ways than just giving up Lively. It would be safe to say that with obtaining Byrd, it gave the Reds front office the delusion of competing in 2015 and, thus, delaying the inevitable re-build by one-half a season at least. And that delay might have diminished the trade returns for Cueto and Leake had they been made during the prior off-season instead of with only 2 months to play. The Cueto trade did bring a valuable haul of LH pitchers, but might have been better if executed earlier. Leake brought us Duval, but that could have been better too. That delay may also have contributed to keeping Chapman too long, and thus the mere pittance the Reds received from that trade might also be attributed to Jocketty’s ill-advised trade for Byrd.

    • James H.

      Your post reinforces that Walt Jocketty sucks.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t fault them for wanting to try to compete in 2015. My issue is that they traded Latos before doing so and seemingly were trying to do so with a hand tied behind their back. I was wrong though as that trade appears to have been solid. Everything would have had to have gone right but the Reds could have competed in 2015. It was too early in my eyes to throw in the towel and start the rebuild. I also think the fans would have started a crap-storm. I won’t fault the front-office for taking a final shot.

    • Michael W.

      Any trade could have been better. I don’t understand why everyone wants to complain about Walt screwing up trades. If we had everyone healthy and our pitchers could throw strikes and keep the ball in the yard a bit more, we would be a much better team and people would be talking about the rebuild working out much faster than forecasted.

  6. ohiojimw

    Byrd’s attorney has released on short statement on behalf of his client. They believe the positive test resulted from use of a “tainted supplement”. Byrd accepts the responsibility for using a supplement not on the official safe list and thus chose not to appeal.

    I am not one of those folks who sees this kind of stuff in baseball as some elevated offense over in other sports where if you do the crime and get caught you do your time then get on with life. This said, at Byrd’s age, i’d guess this is the end of the road for him simply because he’d reached the point where he had to live in the gray area to keep his body functioning at the required level for MLB. The supplement may or may not have been intentionally “tainted”. He may or may not have known this if it was. Makes no difference; it was; and, the system worked to catch him.

  7. IndyRedMan

    That’s too bad about Byrd. I like the way he played the game. This stuff is always touchy with me because MLB knew about roids for atleast 8-10 years and did nothing! McGwire had veins running thru his forearms and was more jacked up then a NFL linebacker at 250-260 pounds…that’s not how a guy that large looks with normal weightlifting? Mariner Bret Boone was so big he looked like he ate Reds Bret Boone and nobody said a word….except Canseco. Its all about the $$. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often?

    • VaRedsFan

      I agree with what you said about Byrd. Played hard, contributed (after a slow start), and never complained (publicly).

  8. DHud

    Oh no! In the words of commenter Chuck Schick from last nights post game feed, “Do you believe every “report”? Of course, he’s taking calls. My God.”

    So stop writing about total lies! The whole thing was completely made up by the media! We’re all so naive and gullible!

    • Chuck Schick

      Do you think he’s refusing to talk to people? Do you think he’s hiding in the trunk of Bob C’s car until we get closer to the deadline?

      GM’s talk to other GM’s all the time. Trades usually takes weeks to develop. He isn’t answering questions under oath…Judge Judy didn’t swear him in…..he’s talking to a reporter. He could’ve just said “no comment” or ” All these losers are on the block…except for Jumbo…I love Jumbo…and the guy with the weird wind up”…he chose the middle ground.

      • cfd3000

        Dan Ohlendorf? I love that guy! And his twin brother Ross!

  9. james garrett

    Walt doesn’t say much even when he speaks.Teams know that Cosart,Bruce and BP are available because Walt tried to trade at least two of them during the break last year and during the off season.Steve said it best he needs to be aggressive and he should be calling teams.He should be on the phone right now calling the Royals because they need an outfielder and now so does the Indians.Bruce would fit in nicely on either team especially if you can get two or three prospects with some upside.All you need is one of them to pan out and you get younger and cheaper really quick.

    • greenmtred

      But we don’t know that he isn’t on the phone and even initiating calls. We assume this because no trades have been made, but that is no evidence at all at this point in the season.

  10. doofus

    Once again Walt Jocketty’s ineptitude on display. He seems to be unable to communicate with today’s young GM’s in order to make a deal. The ability to maintain and build a roster has really past him by. This club will be lucky to be respectable in 10 years at this rate.