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Who do you root for now?

Not the Phillies, we hope. Unless you thought it was heartwarming the way Halladay threw a no-hitter in Game 1 … or cute the way Chase Utley pretended like he had been hit by a pitch in Game 2 … or gutsy the way Charlie Manuel stuck with Cole Hamels in the 9th inning in Game 3. Don’t make me puke. Besides, the Phillies don’t even have any former Reds on their active roster.

I’ve heard some people talking about pulling for the Rangers because they still like former Red Josh Hamilton. Here’s a look at Hamilton and other former Reds still competing in the postseason:

(Note: I did not include the likes of Chad Moeller of the Yankees and Jose Guillen of the Giants, who were on those teams’ 40-man rosters but were not included on Division Series rosters.)

Hamilton, Rangers
As a Red: Hit .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in 298 at-bats in 2007. Only time will tell whether it was a good idea to give up Hamilton for Daniel Ray Herrera and Edinson Volquez, but right now it’s not looking great. No offense to Volquez, but Hamilton appears to be an elite talent. (Oh, and he’s still only making $3.25 million.) And no offense to Jonny Gomes, but imagine an outfield of Hamilton, Stubbs and Bruce.
Now: A league-leading .359, with 32 HRs and 100 RBIs in 518 at-bats during the regular season. He also led the AL in slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044). In the ALDS, Hamilton was 2-for-18 (.111) with 2 walks, 6 strikeouts and a stolen base (though – in his defense – he missed most of September with bruised ribs).

Jorge Cantu, Rangers
As a Red: 17-for-57 (.298) in 2007 after being acquired from Tampa Bay (along with Shaun Cumberland in exchange for Brian Shackelford and Calvin Medlock). Cantu was released by the Reds during the offseason that followed.
Now: Since being acquired from the Marlins in July (for a pair of minor-leaguers), Cantu is a backup infielder who hit .235 with 1 homer and 2 RBIs in 98 at-bats for the Rangers during the regular season. He struck out in three of his four ALDS at-bats.

Cody Ross, Giants
As a Red: 1-for-5 with 2 strikeouts in 2006 (Cincinnati was an extremely brief stop for Ross, who also played for the Dodgers and Marlins that season.)
Now: An August waiver pickup, he homered and singled in Game 4 of the NLDS to lift the Giants past the Braves. This after he drove in the lone run in Game 1. (No other player had so few RBIs for a team in the regular season and registered a postseason RBI, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.)

Jeremy Affeldt, Giants
As a Red: 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 78 1/3 innings in 2008. He parlayed the season into a nice deal with the Giants.
Now: His 2010 campaign (4-3, 4.14) wasn’t quite as strong as his 2009 (2-2, 1.73), but he battled injury. He did not appear during the NLDS.

Austin Kearns, Yankees
As a Red: Finished third in 2002 NL ROY voting (behind Jason Jennings and Brad Wilkerson) after hitting .315 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs in 372 at-bats. But the season was so far the best of his career, as his average dropped in the seasons that followed (.264 in 2003, .230 in 2004, .240 in 2005) before he was traded on July 13, 2006, in the much-discussed Kearns/Lopez/Ryan Wagner for Bill Bray, Majewski, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson deal (that isn’t mentioned quite so often anymore, probably because Kearns and Lopez haven’t done a whole lot since they left, Bill Bray is still contributing for the Reds and fans have forgotten how terrible Majewski was as a Red). Kearns was at .274/16/50 in 325 at-bats at the time of the 2006 trade. He’s been subpar since the deal, though, with the exception of a decent .266/16/74 campaign with the Nats in 2007 (in which he had 587 at-bats, a huge total for him).
Now: .235/2/7 in 102 at-bats for the Yankees since being sent from the Tribe for minor-league pitcher Zach McAllister. He didn’t have an at-bat during the Yankees’ ALDS sweep of the Twins.

Dustin Moseley, Yankees
As a Red: Well, kinda. He was the Reds’ first-round pick (34th overall) in 2000. He pitched for Dayton, Stockton, Chattanooga and Louisville before he was traded during the 2004 offseason to the Angels for Ramon Ortiz.
Now: He was 4-4 with a 4.96 ERA for the Yankees during the regular season; he hasn’t appeared for them in the postseason. In his 5-year MLB career, he’s 12-11 with a 5.28 ERA.

Of the names on the list, Kearns had by far the longest stint with the Reds. Interestingly enough, Affeldt is the only other guy who even played a complete season with the Reds.

Chapman vs. Pujols

Tim McCarver made the astute observation that it was “El Hombre … against the only Aroldis in the history of baseball. The only player named Aroldis against El Hombre. What a matchup.” (Wow. Really?)

The result: GIDP.

BTW, Pitch No. 2 of Aroldis’ 4-pitch walk to Jon Jay looked a lot like a strike to me.

Also, McCarver mentioned during the broadcast that he and Joe Buck will be doing the NLCS and the World Series on Fox, if that gives you an extra incentive to try to find tickets.

One other thing: If you weren’t already a Travis Wood believer, hopefully you are now. This guy is for real. I don’t care if it was his first time facing the Cardinals and you think teams are going to figure him out. The kid has poise, gumption and very good stuff.

OMG! Chapmania: THE HAIRCUT

Aroldis get his fade correct at the EAC Barber Shop in Coral Spring, Florida.

Prime time

What a half-hour that was from 10 to 10:30 p.m.! I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a half-hour of TV more. You had Chapman’s outstanding debut – an 8-pitch spectacle during which the 22-year-old phenom hit triple digits on the radar gun four times, topping out at 103 mph.

Then the top of the 9th included back-to-back filthy defensive plays by Joey Votto falling backwards on his throw for the 2nd out of the inning and by Scott Rolen backhanding the throw for the force out at second for the final out. (Tuesday’s Web Gem czar, former Red Aaron Boone, voted Votto’s play No. 1 and Rolen’s No. 2 on Baseball Tonight.)

We also found out during that half-hour that the Cardinals were shut out AGAIN by Houston – 3-0, just like last night. And I’m pretty sure we only saw three Honda Mr. Opportunity ads during the half-hour (the average half-hour on FSN Ohio during a Reds game features 6-10 Honda Mr. Opportunity ads, or at least it feels like it does).

• Triple Crown race update: Joey – aka Ducky V. – had 3 huge RBIs to increase his total to 97 and cruise past Pujols, who’s stuck on 95. (I like when the Cardinals get shut out because we don’t have to check the box score and see if Pujols homered or drove in any runs.) Votto’s batting average also improved to .327 with his two hits, and Carlos Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk, so he’s holding at .326. Ducky V. still trails by 3 in home runs, but hopefully he’ll homer 3 times off Chris Carpenter on Sunday to make that race more interesting. (Oh, and Votto is also 4-for-5 with a home run against the Brewers’ scheduled starter for Wednesday, Chris Narveson.)

• NL MVP race update: Advantage Votto.

• Overshadowed by Chapmania: Our main man Sam LeCure picks up the win with two very impressive innings of relief.

• Also overshadowed by Chapmania: Chris Valaika’s golden sombrero. I think it also helped that Valaika singled in the first and scored on a Votto double. Made it not as noticeable. This begs a question I need help with actually: Isn’t it a golden sombrero if a player strikes out four times in one game, regardless of how many at-bats? In other words, 1-for-5 with four strikeouts is still a golden sombrero, right? I read in a couple of different places that a golden sombrero is 0-for-4 with 4 strikeouts … that’s not right, is it?

• Does anyone else love names like Gallardo that – if pronounced deliberately the way both Jim Kelch and Thom do – have a first syllable that could be a first name? They very rarely say his full name during the inning, so it sounds like they’re talking about someone named Guy Ardo. Same deal with Wayne Wright. And my favorite actually is Vic Torino. No? Thanks for humoring me anyway.

• Is anyone else in total disbelief/amazement that since the Reds got swept by the Cardinals they’ve gone 13-4, and the Cardinals have gone 5-12? Geez. With the exception of that series sweep, the Cards have really stunk on the road. If we take two of three in St. Louis like we might, we could be scoreboard-watching Carlos Gonzalez for the rest of the season more than the lowly Cardinals. Aaaaand … I just jinxed us … great. Way to go, dumas.

• Last time the Reds had a 7-game lead: 1995. A season which 700 WLW’s Scott Sloan would tell you was part of a 20-year stretch during which the Reds have been REALLY bad.

Seperated at Birth: Joey Edition

Separated at Birth - Joey Votto and Joey Jay

Separated at Birth? Joey Votto and Joey Jay


Joey Votto and Reds Hall of Famer Joey Jay have a lot more in common than just a first name.

Hopefully they’ll have something else in common in a few years – a plaque in the Reds Hall of Fame.

Fin

It’s with great regret I inform you that this is OMGreds’ last post. There has been some internal conflict within the group and it’s best that we back away from the blog and end it now. Instead of never posting again and fading away, it’s better that we rip the band-aid off and just get it over with.

Hope you understand.

I want to thank all of our fans – you’ve made this a lot of fun.

I’ll be coming back with something new before Opening Day. You’ll get the heads-up in the next few days.

Thank you.

April Fools.

Here’s a donut for ya

A donut - for the Reds!

Round shell, strawberry filling, white icing, red sprinkles.

Good morning, Reds! Have a donut on us. We designed it especially for you. But, maybe wait until later to eat it. You’ve got some wind sprints to do on that hill this morning and we don’t want you jacking on Bronson Arroyo’s cleats. He’s not cool with that.

Oh no

Arroyo, Perez and Youk

Arroyo, Perez and Youk

First saw this on John Fay’s Reds blog … Bronson Arroyo and former Angel/Red/Cardinal/Devil Ray/Indian/Mariner Eduardo Perez – the son of Doggie – will have cameos in an independent film called “Goat” (currently being shot with a release date set for later this year). They’re apparently shooting the scene this weekend.

We’ve learned that Arroyo’s former teammate with the Red Sox, Sycamore High School and University of Cincinnati alum Kevin Youkilis, is also set to appear (in the same scene, we assume). OMGReds has love for Youk, and we try not to make a big deal out of the fact that one of us grew up in the same neighborhood with him :D

The IMDB page for ‘Goat’ lists Arroyo as an executive producer and “Edguardo Perez” as an associate producer. Hmmm … not sure they’re actually producing it but …

So you know Arroyo is coming off a FILTHY second half of the 2009 season. But what’s Eduardo up to, you ask? Wikipedia says he’s managing the Leones de Ponce in Puerto Rico, and was named 2008 Manager of the Year in the Puerto Rico Baseball League.

Arroyo err… watch

Arroyo Watch

I can no hit curveball

OMG Major League

OMG Major League

It’s a crumby, nasty day here in the ‘Nati. No better way to spend it watching Major League while on the couch.

A week from now, I’ll be watching the Reds and Pirates play down in warm, sunny Sarasota. Can’t wait.

What’s your favorite baseball movie? Not sure you I have one. Major League is up there for sure. I’ve always loved 8 Men Out because of the obvious Cincinnati connection. The Natural, Field of Dreams… you know, all the classics. Here are the top 10 baseball movies according to Baseball America. So, what’s your fav?

Oh, did you all see that The Mullet is Audi 5000?

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