If you're the type of Reds fan who doesn't like to turn your prunes into pruneade then this article isn't for you. If you do dig an occasional glass of ice cold pruneade then read on.
Jay Bruce is injured, and I am tickled pink.
I see those disgusted looks, and I can hear all of those vulgar names you are calling me (watch that mouth, Cliff).
No, it was not pretty seeing his arm swaying unnaturally in the New York breeze last Saturday night—although after about the 50th time that Faces of Death replay guy showed it, I'm no longer scarred for life.
Jay, I really wish it didn't have to go down like this. But trust and bear with me, it's for the best.
If there is a single Reds fan out there that thinks Bruce was not looking like a total boob in the batter's box, well—here's my number. Give me a ring me once your space ship touches down—I've got some video to show you.
Bruce is an everyday player. Everyday players should not have a .207 batting average.
Okay, he was leading the team in home runs with 18, or one every 16.6 at bats (four or five games).
With 299 at-bats he was on a pace for 36 homers.
If I'm a manager, the only way I keep a .207 stick in the line-up is if he's socking them out on a 'roid rager's pace.
Can anyone see where I am headed with this?
Okay, good, I see a couple of hands.
Cliff? Would someone please wake up Cliff?
Dusty sat Bruce for a couple of days to get his head clear. Back in the line-up on Saturday, he whiffed in his only at bat before breaking his wrist. So we will never know for sure, but I think he needed longer than a just a couple of days off.
More like a couple of weeks—down in Louisville.
But sending him to the minors, without an injury, would have caused one big hot mess.
Bruce was the most trumpeted rookie since I don't know—Barry Larkin maybe?
Last May, when he got the call, Reds country got giddy. A new JB had arrived.
He responded. In a huge way.
He hit safely in seven of his first eight games. During that span, he homered in three strait games.
In short, he was everything promised to Reds fans since the team made him their first round (12th overall) pick in the 2005 MLB amateur draft.
After looking like Babe Ruth for two weeks something funny happened.
Pitchers started throwing him hooks—hooks not seen in the minors. Much less at a Beaumont, Texas high school from where Bruce was less than three years removed at the time of his debut.
Big things were expected in the 2009 campaign. Small things were delivered.
But now he will sit with that glorious broken wrist.
Instead of being called into Dusty's office, and suffering the humiliation of being sent down to Louisville, he will now be able to soak in every moment of every game for about four to six weeks.
Next he'll have his cast removed. Then an injury rehab stint in the minors, where hopefully he will regain that confidence seen during his first month in the bigs.
Fans, that dangling piece of arm meat seen last Saturday night could easily be the best thing that has ever happened to Jay Bruce.