Another series, another guest prognosticator post. Since the Washington Nationals are sailing down the Ohio River on a sternwheeler — rounding the bend near Huntington, W.V. about now, (not really) to play the Cincinnati Reds, I have asked Cathie from Church of Baseball to answer some questions. She’s “a Reds fan by birth, Nats fan by residence, worshipper of the baseball religion.” She’s also right on the right side of the Nats heritage debate. Here we go:
WFY: The Cincinnati Reds are over 7 years removed from the Jim Bowden experience and the Reds have one playoff berth to show for it. Do you consider yourself and the Reds healed from his tenure? Was it hard having him as GM as your “other” team? Should there be an “it’s get better video” for fans of teams that Bowden was GM of?
CoB: Jim Bowden is a joke in Cincinnati. We refer to him as “Leatherpants” because of an infamous Spring Training appearance in which he appeared in public wearing leather pants. (Editor’s note: Hey, we say that too!) Reds Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman can’t stand the guy and won’t even refer to him by name. Once he called him “Leatherpants Vampire” on air. That guy has no business being a GM anywhere. That being said, he DID draft Joey Votto. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
WFY: After reaching the playoffs in 2010, what happened to the 2011 Reds?
CoB: I’d love to blame 2011 on injuries. Or Dusty Baker. Or acts of God. But the truth is, they just underachieved. Bronson Arroyo was awful but he still took the mound every 5th day. The shortstop position produced nothing. Scott Rolen got old. Oh, and Dusty Baker’s lineups…
WFY: Have you had Joey Votto’s cereal (Big League Stew, Yahoo!)? Oh and how about that new 12 years, $251.5 million contract?
CoB: Haven’t had VottOs. Love the contract. A player who stays with one team for his entire career is as rare as…well, something that’s rare.
WFY: Ray Knight is now on the Nats studio hosts and occasional color commentator. What do you remember most from his tenure as manager. Oh and Davey Johnson is DC’s manager now too, so I guess we ought to ask about his time in the Queen City.
CoB: I don’t remember much about Knight as manager. Unremarkable, I guess. Davey gave us two first place finishes in the mid-nineties (stupid strike.) Ridiculous he was let go (stupid management.)
WFY: How hard was it having Marge Schott owning the Reds?
CoB: Marge kept ticket and beer prices down. She wasn’t bad. She wasn’t evil, either, just a product of a backwards era in a conservative city that is stuck a few decades behind the times.
WFY: Is there a local/regional beer that goes hand in hand with a Reds game?
CoB: Moerlein is a Cincinnati beer but it isn’t mainstream, though they did just open a Lager House near the stadium.
WFY: What’s so great about cinnamon in chili anyway?
CoB: The trick to loving Cincinnati chili is to understand it is pasta sauce more than chili. Skyline = yum. Gold Star = gross.
WFY: Yankees/Diamondbacks/Rangers washout Buck Showalter thinks that the ballparks in D.C. and Cincinnati are less than iconic. How is Great American Ballpark? What about Nationals Park? How was Riverfront Stadium?
CoB: GABp is middle of the pack. They could have made it great but blew it. Hate the stupid boat. Nice river and city views. Not a bad seat in the place. Park is better than Riverfront though Riverfront had the history. Nats Park has no soul; it feels like a mall. They really blew that.
WFY: I think I head that Pete Rose would run through fire in a gasoline suit to bet on baseball. Does he belong in the Hall of Fame?
CoB: Pete belongs in the Hall, no question. Bud Selig belongs in a gasoline suit in Hell. (editor’s note: Hmmm)
WFY: Where do you get your Reds coverage?
CoB: I watch pretty much every game so I don’t read much about the team. I’ll check Redreporter.com and Redlegnation.com everyday to see if they’ve linked to anything worth reading. Guess I get a lot from Twitter, too.
WFY: What about Reds broadcasts? Is Marty Brenneman as good as advertised? What about Thom Brenneman?
CoB: Marty is cranky. Thom talks too much. Both refuse to understand that the game has changed. They are allergic to sabermetrics.
WFY: Who takes this series?
CoB: Reds have won their last five series in a row and have the best record in the National League since they decided to stop sucking on April 19th. They’ll take this series, too.