When kids know best Giving some love to those dog days Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins

Hang on, help is on the way

Photo by Mark Carpenter.
Photo by Mark Carpenter.

By Mark Carpenter –

I walked through a lonely place last Saturday evening. I walked through a place that might get a whole lot lonelier before the summer is over. I walked through the ticket offices of the Cincinnati Reds. Of course, I am exaggerating because it was in the middle of a game so there weren’t workers at their desks or phones ringing off the hook, but if the fortunes of the home team don’t change soon, those phones may never ring.

We all knew the 2016 season was going to be a struggle for the Reds, we just didn’t realize how much of a struggle and the season is just 45 games old. Unfortunately, the Reds have only won 15 of those games and as I write this very early on a Tuesday morning, their losing streak stands at eight, with honestly, no relief in sight.

No relief in sight might be an accurate phrase to describe what has happened through 45 games as it has already been well documents how atrocious the Reds bullpen work has been. Even if a Reds starter produced a quality start, and those have been few and far between, the bullpen took over and usually allowed a couple of home runs, blew a lead, and put another notch in the “L” column. Now the “pen” has become a revolving door, a few in, a few out, and maybe we will find someone who can put out a fire. The last three days, however, have produced a glimmer of pitching hope, with the bullpen throwing seven shutout innings in the final two games of the Seattle series and then Brandon Finnegan turning in a complete game effort on Monday night in LA, of course in a losing effort.

That brings us to another point, the team’s offense has not exactly knocked the cover off the ball. Take away Zach Cozart and the team has no .300 hitters and their best hitter, Mr. Votto, is hitting .203 and it’s almost June. Now, no one expects Votto to be hitting near the Mendoza line all season, but what if it just never comes around for him? The second highest batting average among the regulars belongs to Jay Bruce and that’s just .264. No offense to Don Long and Tony Jaramillo (household names there), but it’s time to bring in Eric Davis as the hitting coach. And while they are at it, maybe Ted Power or Mario Soto as the pitching coach. Again, no offense to Mark Riggins. Who? Again, not exactly a household name.

I don’t like seeing anyone lose their jobs and I have no clue what goes on with hitting and pitching coaches in the major leagues, so they get the benefit of the doubt from me, but I’ve got to think that there are a number of coaches on a pretty short string. But what about manager Bryan Price? There’s the fellow I truly feel sympathy for. As has been said over and over again, he is only playing with the cards he has been dealt (which he almost accidentally said in a press conference last week). Safe to say Price is not carrying around a Royal Flush or four aces. As with every coach or manager in professional sports, there have been questionable decisions, but in Price’s case, it’s usually a matter of “what other options do I have?”

Managers and coaches come and go quite often in the professional ranks and they are all remembered for something and right now Price will go down in Reds’ annals as the manager of some really bad teams, unfair to him of course. It’s hard to compete when you’re using donkeys and everyone else has thoroughbreds.

On Opening Day, I had to go buy a program just to identify most of the players on the roster of the Phillies. Watching them that day, I thought they were just one horrible baseball team, maybe someone who would be worse than the Reds, but check out the no-name Phils now. 25-20 record, just two games out of first place in the NL East. What’s the difference? Not hard to find-pitching. A closer with 16 saves and a starting rotation with 16 wins. Take heed though, Reds fans. Right now the Braves and Twins are worse, but nobody, including myself, wants to be writing at any time during the season about how the Reds compare with the worst teams in the game.

If you believe the lyrics of the Little River Band, “hang on, help is on the way.” The Reds’ AA team in Pensacola looks to be loaded, especially on the pitching staff, but as you are well aware, things seem to happen to young pitchers on their way to the show, or in Reds terminology, “the land of the strained oblique.” The major league draft is coming up in June and the Reds have three of the first 50 picks and not a real good track record in recent drafts. Word is that they have their eyes on a center fielder. How many center fielders does a system need?

Bobbleheads. giveaways, and special ticket pricing will keep people in the stands for most of the season, but even promotions can’t put a winner on the field. The rebuild will be ugly and frustrating (it already is) and the end is nowhere in sight but Reds fans have to trust that the team does have some kind of vision for the future. Easier said than done.

Meanwhile, I will keep hanging on to Captain America and the boys at Citi Field. LGM!

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