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Nicely written, Matt. Always enjoy stories from the heart, and yours touches it. My love for baseball didn't come from my own father (who really doesn't follow the game all that much, although he loved Crosley Field back in the day) but from my father's mother, my grandma Rentz, who got me listening to games at an early age. It wasn't until my maternal grandparents passed away in the late 1980's and early 1990's that I discovered all of the old Reds memorabilia they had as well, especially from the era of a local legend (and distant relative, apparently) in Wally Post.
You will always have a bond with the past through what your dad left behind. That is a great lasting legacy you won't forget. My dad lost his own dad (my namesake) when he was only 3, so I can never fathom how hard that is. I never cease to be amazed how much you can learn about somebody close even after they've gone.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Baseball Cards and My Dad
@JohnHeitz There is definite truth to criticism even of our World Series winning managers. Looking back, it seems hard to believe Sparky or Lou ever deserved it. Maybe social media, especially Twitter, has skewed perception and the immediacy of "what have you done for me lately". I doubt there are many, looking back, who wouldn't have wanted to see both of those guys in particular stay around a lot longer (Sparky being let go was ridiculous, and Lou just had too much of Marge, from what I ever heard). I even missed losing guys like Davey Johnson and Jack McKeon for the short times they passed through being Reds managers.
11 months, 1 week ago on Attendance at GABP: The "Home" Field Advantage?
I sure hope it's not anti-Dusty sentiment; if it is, people should truly be ashamed of themselves. Marvin Lewis is polarizing for the Bengals as well, but somehow people always forgive him faster. Dusty Baker has had success everywhere he's been. How the consensus is quick to want him fired (no matter what) never ceases to amaze me. Wanting to play hard for your manager and a guy who gets clubhouse respect (which Dusty inevitably does) seems to be the most important thing. I struggle with the "the team wins in spite of him and loses because of him" ... his lineup / off-day management being the biggest question area.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Attendance at GABP: The "Home" Field Advantage?
I would certainly appear that the Dusty Baker "meeting" after the game was related directly to he, Walt Jocketty, and, most likely, Aroldis Chapman (with interpreter / "entourage" in tow) to discuss the police arrest from the wee morning hours of Monday. Why Chapman was in Grove City around 1 AM on the early Monday following a return from New York earlier on Sunday evening is not easily explainable. He's a grown man, he can do what he wants ... but, if he was there by himself (no indications of any other passengers in his car) without the ability to speak English, how was he navigating his way around / near Columbus? Something bothers me that more is going to come from this story before it's over.
1 year ago on Leake Pitches and Hits Way to 1st Win of Season
I was thinking about a lineup tweak myself, but I think I differed from the mentality of the effect that BP has at the top of the order. When Phillips is there and Stubbs stays in the two hole, Votto gets a better chance to drive in one or both. Hanigan has great contact, low K's ... I personally see him even more effective in cleanup for that reason. I know Ryan is hardly "prototypical" cleanup guy, but I like his odds of getting on base ahead of base-cleaner Bruce by far. Bruce gets more RBI with two higher OBP guys ahead of him than just one (Hanigan's lack of speed notwithstanding). Anything that shakes things up and makes the offense click more is better.
1 year ago on Tweaking the Cincinnati Reds Lineup
I have to say it will be interesting to watch. The Reds offense has made some so-so pitchers look better than they are in the past and occasionally knock around some good arms. Any offense against someone like Gio Gonzalez would be a blessing since they have done next to nothing against him. Zimmermann would seem most susceptible of the three starters, but Jackson made the Reds look foolish with lots of strikeouts the last go-round. Hoping they can get to all three early just to "rattle their cages" so to speak. The outing against Greinke seemed to show a good pitcher still shuts this lineup down.
1 year ago on Reds Welcome Washington for a Quickie Homestand, then Back to the Road