By Mark Carpenter –
I always get all excited when I think I have an original idea and then once I search a bit online, I find my bubble bursting. Anyway, with the Major League Baseball Draft coming up tomorrow and our Cincinnati Reds in prime position to pick up some talent, I thought it might be a good idea to give the Reds brass some of my ideas of who they should waste, I mean use, those picks on. Granted, the team has been playing better lately but the look is to the future and these picks might just guarantee a pennant.
Pick One: It is not a big secret that Jay Bruce is on the trading block and if he continues to put up numbers like he has thus far in 2016, he will be in a different uniform come August. So, obviously a power hitter is needed who can make an immediate impact and play right field. With their first selection, the Reds need to pick up one Roy Hobbs. With the short porch in right field at GABP and Hobbs’ powerful left-handed bat. it’s the perfect match. There could be a couple of drawbacks though. The lights in that new Jumbotron in right field might be in some danger and Toyota might have to give away a bunch of trucks before the season ends, and of course, women’s handbags will have to be searched much more carefully.
Pick Two: We often hear about leadership in a major league clubhouse and in 2016, no one has stepped up to be that clubhouse and on-the -field vocal leader for the Reds. That is why pick number two is a no-brainer- catcher Hamilton “Ham” Porter. GABP needs a loud, brash, trash-talker to give this team some character. “Low and outside, just like I like it” can become the next phrase placed on the side of the ballpark.
Pick Three: Pitching is an obvious necessity on this team and someone scary to come out of the bullpen would certainly help. The pick would then come down to between Ricky Vaughn (“Wild Thing”) and Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh. Though Vaughn is trained as a closer, the nod goes to Laloosh for the intimidation factor, or in other words, not knowing where any pitch will go when he releases it. That will work out well for the Reds when they get in another bean ball war with the Pirates and if Laloosh can take out Gapper with a stray fastball, all the better.
Pick Four: You can never have enough speed on the base paths and even though it seems like Billy Hamilton has finally figured it out, at least for now, the fourth pick has to be used on Willie Mays Hayes. Hayes in left, Hamilton in center, and Hobbs in right-the outfield is set. When’s the last time a Reds player stole home? There is financial plus as Hayes automatically brings a new advertiser to the ballpark: “The American Express Card. Don’t steal home without it.”
Pick Five: It is also only a matter of time before Brandon Phillips departs the Queen City, so there is a need for a second baseman. Here, the Reds break the mold and make history with the first female player in the major leagues as they draft the power-hitting Marla Hooch. Now granted, they won’t want to put Marla’s face on the scoreboard too often, but the pros may still outweigh the cons. Hooch goes to second base.
Pick Six: With this pick, the Reds continue to address the pitching staff with the selection of fire balling right hander Henry Rowengartner. Though a little young and likely needing some seasoning in the minor leagues, Rowengartner should be ready to hit the big league stage soon enough to help the Reds. Quick healing, unlike those on the staff at the moment, Rowengartner may still be around at pick six, if the Cubs don’t grab him first.
Pick Seven: You can never have enough good catching and with this pick the Reds will add some depth to that position, picking whoever is left between “Crash” Davis and Dottie Hinson. Davis brings the philosophical leadership talent that could help the Reds young players (Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic), but Dottie brings an athleticism to the position that Reds fans haven’t seen since #5 donned the tools of ignorance. Go with Dottie here and perhaps she can get Madonna to sing the National Anthem as a bonus.
Pick Eight: The Reds go back to a power bat with this selection, grabbing outfielder Pedro Cerrano. Next step, find a hitting coach who can teach him to hit the breaking ball and find a place for Jobu, and then watch the fastballs fly out so fast it will remind Reds fans of the days of George Foster. Besides, even Pedro and all his quirks really doesn’t want to play in Cleveland, unless he can play defense and maybe accidentally hit a jump shot.
Pick Nine: At this point in the draft, it’s always a reach but the Reds select another arm, this time going up east to grab Sam “Mayday” Malone. The team can only hope that Malone has something left in the tank and you can only put him in after the seventh inning when beer sales have ceased, but he might just be the seventh or eight inning guy the team so badly needs.
Now, with all this new talent on board, all of those people clamoring for Bryan Price’s head might get their way, thought the Reds might want to untie his hands from behind his back and give him some opportunity. But if Price goes, the search for replacements should include such managerial beauties as Jimmy Dugan (and don’t think about crying), Joe Riggins, “Skip” (won’t need to worry about lollygaggers), and perhaps Morris Buttermaker (enough said). I’ll let you make the choice on that one.
Enjoy the draft tomorrow. I am sure you will be glued to your set just as you are when the NFL stages its draft extravaganza. Maybe the Reds will take some of my picks to heart, or maybe they will just pick another kid who flashes out in about two years. Keep your fingers crossed.