Cincinnati Reds: An Open Letter to the Entire Team

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIJuly 5, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 4: Starter Johnny Cueto #47 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 4, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Dear Reds Players,

Where did the team go that came back in the eighth and ninth innings to win last season? I have been searching near and far to find you but as the Prodigal Father, I await your return with bated breath.

Johnny Cueto has become the ace of the staff and that is a fact that need not be denied. His recent adaptation of Luis Tiant notwithstanding, he has been a rock of stability. He always has the team in the game and really only wants some run support.

That should be a small thing to ask for all you heavy hitters. He can’t win games by himself. A little help would be greatly appreciated.

Cueto has pitched eight consecutive "quality starts." In seven of those games he has wrung out at least seven innings. He has stopped looking to blow batters away and is now pitching to contact, and it is working well for him.

Last night he became the first starter to pitch a complete game, give up one earned run and have no strikeouts since June 28, 2010. Who was the pitcher that day? Johnny Ortiz Cueto. Isn’t that amazing? He was the first NL pitcher (in a NL game), to do that since 1995.

Scott Rolen, I watched the replay of the only run scoring in the game and I don't know why you didn't take a shot at Rasmus coming home. It looked to me like you could have had a good shot.

Where did the batters go? Jay Bruce, is that really you over there? You are not the only one underachieving, but how can you be so good one month, and then just shut her down?

Paul Janish, you are dangerously close to becoming trade bait. You sir, cannot live off your leather forever. At some point you will have to learn how to hit, because it ain’t happening. Are you reading this, Jacoby?

Joey Votto, you had some big shoes to fill this season, your own. More is expected of a reigning MVP than you have been showing. I know you are still among the leaders in batting average, yada, yada yada, etc and so on. It is time to step up and lead this team in the right direction.

Speaking of the right direction, what does it feel like to look up and see the arses of the no-longer pitiful Pittsburgh Pirates? They are making a true run of it, and you shouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the week, they lead the division.

So much has been written about the left field quandary that I can’t add much more to it. I realize we can’t have the best players available at all positions, so it really becomes a matter of dealing with the worse of the worst.

Drew Stubbs, you are a 6’4” gazelle who is starting to remind me of Dave Kingman offensively. King Kong wasn’t that fast, but you sure have the strikeouts down pat. You will need to make a decision at some point as to whether you want to become a power hitter or a good hitter. Some can pull it off, but you sir, are not that guy.

Oh yeah, Drew, Mark Reynolds said he was putting you on his Christmas card list.

Until this very moment I felt that you as a team, would see the light at the tunnel, gird your big boy loins, and do what it takes to become winners. As I hastily scribble this note, before being detected by the morning light, you are right at .500. This won’t do.

Walt has done his best to bring a good squad in here, and the owners have ponied up some decent bucks for some serious talent. Now is the time for all good Reds to come to the aid of the team.

Fred Lewis, you are doing quite well. If you could hit lefties and go yard sometimes, we would have our man. But you can’t and you can’t so we have one third of our man.

Chris Heisey, what have you learned about MLB so far? It isn’t like hitting AA pitching is it? Yet, you have done a decent job, more coming off the bench than not, but still we will take what we can get. I am still afraid you may become Jerry Lynch throughout your career.

Jonny Gomes, I have been accused of everything under the sun for being an ardent supporter of you. Some wise guy even accused me of a man-crush. I just know that we (fans, not writers) are a fickle lot, and as such will curse you when you strikeout and fist bump everyone when you go deep

You have had your problems and even been accused of drinking problems by some others. You have faced death twice and emerged victorious. I salute you for that, my good man, as I too have been shot at and missed, sh*t at and hit and haven’t been adequately wiped.

Tell me the truth Jonny, when Duncan hit his homer the other day, didn’t you want to run out there and throw hands with him, for old time sake? Just kidding.

Enough reminiscing, I expect more from you guys than you have given me (sounding like the beautiful Mrs. Eastham now). Suck it up, rub some dirt on it and play ball like you mean it.

Your fan and friend

Cliff Eastham

P.S. Why is it that everybody does so much better after we get rid of them? Kyle Lohse, Laynce Nix, Corey Patterson…ad nauseum.


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