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Weekday Mornings doing Sports on the Mike Miller Show.
Local Football & Basketball Play By Play on WIMA.
First Pitch show leading up to Reds Baseball on WIMA.
As the play-by-play voice of Bowling Green Football and Mens Basketball on the Falcon Sports Radio Network.
Formerly served as the play-by-play voice of the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League.
The Reds have been a confounding team this season and it has come down to one game, tonight's wild card game at Pittsburgh.
The problems this team has have been well documented and discussed throughout the season but the bottom line is that tonight begins "a whole new season".
While it's true that this team has no "clubhouse leader" to inject fire and/or discipline, I don't think that's as important in the postseason. The playoffs take care of that for you.
When the Reds took two of three in Pittsburgh a little over a week ago, the team seemed to have plenty of fire. The problem is that they tend to lose their focus and/or intensity over the long haul of the season now that there's no "take charge" guy to lead the team.
But there is no more long haul. Now it's day to day and full speed. I think this team will have the intensity it needs. That's doesn't mean they'll all of the sudden start hitting with men in scoring position though.
I do think a change in approach is warranted at the plate as it pertains to their best player, Joey Votto.
When somebody is on base in front of him, Votto simply must put the ball in play and not look for a walk. Period.
We can debate all this on-base percentage B.S. some other time, but again, this is the postseason. Votto is the best hitter on the team, if not the league and he MUST swing the bat EVERY TIME there is somebody on base. PERIOD.
In the postseason scoring chances don't come along much and when you have one you can't afford for your best hitter to pass up the chance to hit just because the pitch is an inch outside.
To illustrate Votto's philosophy, here's an excerpt from today's Cincinnati Enquirer piece by Paul Daugherty:
I asked him to explain his reasoning. He took nearly a minute before he answered.
“My responsibility as a hitter is to get the most out of an at-bat,” he began. “I take an approach that very rarely concerns itself with the current situation.” Again, his notion of what is most productive at the moment might be different than yours.
“Say, for example, I drove in 100 this year, hit 25 homers and I hit .275 or .285, and I gave up all those at-bats. That’s a 15-hit swing over the course of a season. People would be killing me, based on my contract,” Votto said.
The fact that he doesn't take the current situation into account when he's at the plate is disappointing. In fact, it's dumbfounding.
Let me say that I'm not a Votto hater but it's clear to me that this new "sabremetric" approach at the plate has clearly been motivated by his huge contract. It seems he's worried more about OPS and WAR than he is about W's.
Let me also say that while his approach is OK during the season (although I still think he needs to come off it sometimes) he is 100% wrong if he's going to use this approach in the playoffs. He must take into account the situation in EVERY at-bat in the playoffs and act accordingly.
Question: If Votto's up with one out and a man on second, do want him to take a 3-2 pitch an inch off the plate for a walk, thus leaving it up to Phillips or Ludwick or whoever...OR do you want him to drive that sumbitch to left-center and take your chances?
Yeah, me too.
With all that said, I do think the Reds will win tonight and I also think at least one wild card will win a pennant.
Why not the Reds?