After spending an exotic stay-cation in the far-reaches of Southwestern Ohio, it’s nice to finally be back in Better Off Red Headquarters.
A big thanks to all of the folks who filled in during my absence, especially the interns who’ve now been safely sent back to their cages.
Let’s catch up, shall we?……
Don’t forget the Reds Tweet-Up taking place this Friday, May 10 at Great American Ball Park. The Reds host the Brewers at 7:10 and for just 30 bucks, you get a Field Box ticket and a pretty cool #JoeyVotto #FaceOfMLB T-shirt. For more details, CLICK HERE.
Tomorrow night (Tuesday, May 7) the Reds take on the Braves and we’re going to have another #BORScore scorekeeping session on Twitter. Whether you’re a seasoned scorekeeper or an ambitious beginner, I’ll lead the way for Tuesday’s tilt against Atlanta. Simply follow along on Twitter at @Jamieblog with the hashtag #BORScore and I’ll show you what to do and give you Twitter pic updates of my scorecard.
The last time we did this, the Reds scored 11 runs.
Click and print the PDF file below for the scorecard that I’ll be using…
Remember back in the day when the Beach Boys used to perform concerts at Riverfront Stadium? Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Well, they’re coming back to Cincinnati on Sunday, May 26 to play at Great American Ball Park following the Reds/Cubs game!
For more information, CLICK HERE.
How cool is this?! Kings Island now has a Reds Hall of Fame Grille! Suh-Weet. Check it out….
The Reds next victory will mark Dusty Baker’s 1,600th as a manager. He’s currently tied with his former skipper Tommy Lasorda for 18th on the all-time wins list. Ten of the managers ahead of Dusty and Tommy on that list are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
At 18-14, the Redlegs are season-high 4.0 games over .500 for the third time this season. With a 12-4 mark at GABP, the Reds are tied with the Yankees for the most home wins in the Majors.
Finally, here’s a video of Scout picking on Grace…
More stuff in a bit.
Expect good news!
While I was away last week, former Reds reliever Brad “The Animal” Lesley passed away at the age of 54. Reds staffer Stephanie Ben wrote a fantastic piece about it here on Better Off Red. Brad was truly an amazing guy. I’m dedicating my first post back from vacation to “The Animal”….
Brad Lesley’s death last week was announced while the nation was still grieving and shaking off the shock of Boston. Locally here in Cincinnati, where the TV news usually clamors to cover everything from a girl scout bake sale to pot hole repairs, the news of Lesley’s passing came on the same day a serious and unfortunate event occurred at an area high school. Thus, Brad barely got a mention.
Brad was one of the last true characters to play the game; certainly in Cincinnati. We try so hard as fans to manufacture nicknames for our boys, especially since the players themselves rarely come up with good ones anymore. We want our guys to evoke a unique identity that goes beyond jersey numbers and stats. That’s why it was nice to be able to call “The Animal” ours.
Lesley played for the Reds in the 80s when each player had to wear his hair short and his face completely shaven. Players’ uniforms were truly uniform. The Reds darn-near looked like 25 guys related to each other. Personality, at least from an appearance stand point, was at a minimum.
Lesley was an average to decent relief pitcher for three lousy Big Red Machine Hangover teams (101 losses in 1982, 88 losses in ’83, 92 losses in ’84). Tough for Cincinnati fans to find anything worth cheering for during those long summers. But along came the “Animal.”
Brad was a large man with a large personality. His aggressive and ferocious antics on the mound earned him the “Animal” moniker. Fans loved it when he pitched. Since there wasn’t a whole lot of fireworks over Riverfront during those summers, The Animal was the fans’ consolation prize.
I knew him first as the crazy Reds player from the highlight reels, then as the dude from the movies and that Japanese show. I finally actually met him at Reds Fantasy Camp in 2010.
The Animal was a fixture at Reds dream week and the campers absolutely adored him. For as scary as he seemed on the field and in stature, Brad was one of the sweetest and nicest guys I’ve ever met, with an intoxicating smile…exactly why I didn’t mind having to “marry” him during fantasy camp’s Kangaroo Court proceedings. Brad dressed in women’s clothing for the ceremony – which in itself was scarier than how ever he appeared on the mound.
Brad “The Animal” Lesley was a Red. After his playing days in Cincinnati, he remained tight with the organization. He was part of our family.
In a day and age when the game has become so serious (scientific statistical formulas, big business tactics, toxic tweets), its nice to know that an Animal can still make us smile.
RIP Brad Lesley
#61 Arroyo –“Forty-Five” by Shinedown (Pitching)
#61 Arroyo #2 – “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers (start at :19) (Walk-Up)
#34 Bailey – “Fred Bear” by Ted Nugent
#51 Broxton – “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath
#32 Bruce – “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (start at :17)
#54 Chapman – “Wake up” by Rage Against the Machine
#17 Choo – “Paris” by Jay-Z & Kanye West (start at :05)
#52 Cingrani – Anything but country
#2 Cozart – “The Only Way I know” by Jason Aldean (start at :42)
#47 Cueto #1 – “Siguelo” by Wisin y Yandel (Pitching)
#21 Frazier #1 – “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra (start at 2:33)
#21 Frazier #2 – “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
#9 Hannahan – “Kiss Me I’m Irish” by Gaelic Storm (start at 3:55)
#29 Hanigan #1 – “All the Above” by Maino
#29 Hanigan #2 – “The show goes on” by Lupe Fiasco
#28 Heisey – “See Me” by Jordan Wiker (start at :07)
#60 Hoover – “Kick it in the Sticks” by Brantley Gilbert (start at beginning)
#3 Izturis – “Hypnotize” by Notorious B.I.G.
#55 Latos – “Set Fire to the Rain – Ember Waves Dubstep Remix” by Adele
#55 Latos – “Cinema – Skrillex Remix” by Benny Benassi (Walk-up – start at 2:12)
#44 Leake – “Intro” by The xx
#63 LeCure – “Prodigal Son” by Black Angels
#48 Ludwick – “Brass Monkey” by Beastie Boys (start at :07)
#45 Marshall – “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
#39 Mesoraco – “Right Where I Need to Be” by Gary Allan (start at beginning)
#43 Parra – “Jump Around” by House of Pain
#26 Paul – “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (start at :55)
#4 Phillips #1 – “Harlem Shake” by Baauer (start at beginning)
#4 Phillips #2 – “Bugatti” by Ace Hood (start at :10)
#4 Phillips #3 – “We Still In this B****” by B.o.B. (start at :08)
#4 Phillips #4 – “All Gold Everything” by Trinidad James (start at :21)
#4 Phillips #5 – “Showout” by Juicy J (start at :29)
#15 Robinson – “Started From the Bottom” by Drake (start at beginning)
#31 Simon – “Dile” by Don Omar
#19 Votto – “Paint it Black” by Rolling Stones (start from beginning)
Hello everyone and welcome to Monday, I’m your host @Jamieblog…
Just a few reminders before we get started,
- I need more BOR Face photos. If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon that is #BORFace, CLICK HERE.
- Due to the popularity (and 9-run win) of the Scorekeeping session we had on Wednesday, we will keep score once a homestand. But with that being said, since this upcoming road trip is a long one, we’ll do it again when the Reds are in St. Louis on Monday the 29th. Cool? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, CLICK HERE.
- Hurry up and vote for the throwback uniform that you want to see Burt BobbleRed wear this year. For that, CLICK HERE.
- Today is National Jelly Bean Day. Eat up!
Ok now that that’s out of the way…
I want to share with you folks a little story about how this most recent “Bark in the Park” was perhaps the most important one yet…
A friend of mine recently lost her husband to cancer. She and her husband would regularly attend Reds games, as both were wild about the team. On Tuesday, my friend attended her first Reds game since the passing of her husband. She chose Tuesday because it was Bark in the Park night at GABP and she could bring her best pal – “Indy.”
My friend, whose name I’m protecting, emailed me after the game to tell me how it went. She said she was lonely but was thankful to have Indy there to help ease her despair. She concluded the email by saying she hopes the Reds never end the Bark in the Park nights.
Since I’m at the ballpark everyday for every game, I sometimes become oblivious to how the game and the ballpark experience affects those in attendance. My friend’s story was a poignant reminder.
To many, a rainy night at the park with a playful “bring your dog” promotion was just that. However, to some – or perhaps just one – it meant a whole lot more.
I also hope the Reds continue the Bark in the Park promotion.
Some of you have asked for some updates regarding Reds staffer Chris Herrell…
Chris was scheduled to have his bone marrow transplant today. However, according to his wife Laurie, an airline staff strike is currently preventing the donor’s marrow to reach the States. Laurie writes that Chris’s cells have been purposely destroyed by his recent chemotherapy sessions to prepare for the transplant, and due to that, he needs the transplant ASAP.
The Herrells are currently working on finding another flight to get the marrow delivered.
Please continue your good thoughts, prayers and positive vibes for Chris.
Ok, now (or meow) let’s conclude this blog post with something a lot more lighthearted…
Recently, Mr. and Mrs. Latos were kind enough to give me a really cool shirt…but on one condition – I had to provide a photo of myself wearing it.
Well, without further ado, here’s me and Scout….
As you can see, Scout was not amused. I was, though and I hope you are, too!
More stuff in a bit.
Expect good news
From my pal @Bongreatness…
Today is Reds Season Ticket Holder Photo Day at Great American Ball Park. Early renewal Season Ticket Holders will be permitted to stand on the warning track in the outfield of the ballpark to snap up-and-close photos of their favorite Reds players, coaches, broadcasters & mascots from 11a-12p. The Season Ticket Holders who are participating in this promotion should be directed around to Gate 2 of the ballpark where they can enter beginning at 10:30AM today. Please note: the other Great American Ball Park gates are scheduled to open at the regular times of 11:10AM for Season Ticket Holders and 11:40AM for the general public.
The first 8,000 kids 14 and under at today’s game will receive a Kids Sport Band, courtesy of Tire Discounters.
Today we will honor the 66 teams who participated in the 2nd annual Reds Futures High School Showcase. The teams have been playing games in the Showcase since March 15th and due to a few rainouts, a few of the games are remaining to be played in the coming days. The teams will participate in a pregame parade around the warning track beginning at 12:15PM and we will salute MVPs from the 27 games that have been played to-date in a pregame ceremony. The MVPs will receive a custom made bat courtesy of MSA Architects as well as a Certificate of Accomplishment for their performance in their games. Reds CEO & majority owner Bob Castellini will congratulate the MVPs along with Reds GM Walt Jocketty and Reds right fielder Jay Bruce. The event will be capped off by a ceremonial first pitch offered up by 1974 graduate of Withrow High School and member of the 1990 World Series Champion Reds, Mr. Ron Oester.
God Bless America will be sung today by Ben Walz from the field during the middle of the 7th inning break.
And speaking of @Bongreatness, he recently got his head shaved. As I was hanging out with him yesterday, I noticed he reminded me of someone…then it hit me!
That’s Bongreatness on the left. On the right is WWE Superstar CM Punk. Dead ringer!