All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paul Janish, shortstop/bellboy

So, apparently Paul Janish might have a future as a bellhop if this baseball thing doesn't work out. Dusty Baker returned from the road trip to find the power out in his apartment building. With the elevator not working, he had to climb up the stairs - seven floors - to his apartment. Paul Janish and his wife helped him with his luggage. (Mrs. Janish is a former Rice soccer player, so presumably fit enough to carry suitcases up seven flights of stairs.)

I guess it would be hard to leave Janish out of the lineup after that. ;-) Janish started at SS last night, and went 2 for 4 with a stolen base, RBI and a run scored. And his usual nice defense. It really looks like Janish is heating up. Maybe it's just a fluke. Maybe being out four days with a sprained ankle threw him off. But he's definitely hitting better lately.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:38 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, May 30, 2011


Cincinnati Reds' Paul Janish is called out at home plate in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 29, 2011 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Paul Janish has really had some rotten luck lately. He hit the ball hard a couple of times Friday, but right at the fielders. He came away 0 for 4 (with a sac bunt RBI). Yesterday, he was 2 for 3 against a tough righty. But he was picked off first after his first hit. His second hit might have been a double; he almost went for it, then changed his mind and went back to first. Perhaps he should have gone for it. He ended up called out at home, in what would prove a game-changing play.

He probably shouldn't have been sent. But he was, and he did a great job of avoiding the tag and sliding around the catcher to touch the plate. Alas, the umpire made the wrong call. (And it was the wrong call, as numerous replays showed.) The usually mellow Janish was hot over that call. He knew he was safe. Dusty Baker was irate as well.

ESPN named left fielder Martin Prado Player of the Game, in part for gunning down Janish. Hah. The home plate umpire should be POTG, not Prado.


posted by BubbaFan, 2:57 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, May 29, 2011

No such thing as too much pitching

At the beginning of the season the Reds had so much pitching they didn't know what to do with it all. The competition for the starting rotation was stiff, and a lot of guys who would have been starters on other teams were stashed in AAA.

Now, the Reds have made their fifteenth pitching transaction this week. They've suffered an incredible number of setbacks to their pitching - everything from Edinson Volquez being sent down due to ineffectiveness to Dontrelle Willis going on the DL with a groin strain to Homer Bailey spraining his shoulder to Matt Maloney landing on the 60-day DL after breaking a rib during a violent sneeze.

The Reds are in a major skid right now, but the team is playing fairly well...except for the pitching. According to the stats page, the Reds offense is second in the NL over the past 30 days. They are fourth in the NL on defense. And dead last in pitching.

I think the pen is actually fairly decent, but they are being way overworked, because the starters aren’t going deep. It’s the starting pitching that’s killing them.

Paul Janish has been struggling lately, and losing playing time to Edgar Renteria. I'm hoping the Reds realize that the problem is pitching, not hitting, and don't try to sign another Orlando Cabrera type.

In any case, Janish is in the lineup tonight, and the Reds are in the national spotlight, playing on ESPN's Sunday night game.


posted by BubbaFan, 6:13 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Yankees Magazine saga

Some of you have asked me if I've gotten a chance to read the article about Bubba Crosby in Yankees Magazine yet. The answer is not yet...but it's not for lack of trying.

Of course the first thing I did was what any self-respecting American in the 21st century would do: check eBay. No dice. So I went to several local newstands, and Barnes and Noble, which has the largest selection of magazines in these parts. No luck there, either. (I live in the boonies, not in NYC.) So I decided to subscribe, hoping it was in time for the April issue. I finally got my first issue a couple of days ago. Rats! It was the May issue, with A-Rod on the cover. Not the April issue, with Raphael Soriano on the cover.

My next plan was to see if there was any info on ordering back issues in the magazine. But first I decided to try eBay again. Lo and behold, this time I found it! For only a dollar over newstand price, plus $4 shipping. Woot! I put in an order and hope to have it by next week.

I will of course report on the contents once I get it. ;-)


posted by BubbaFan, 9:54 AM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, May 27, 2011

High socks = base knocks

Paul Janish has been slumping big-time lately: 0 for 21, a career record dry spell. Yesterday, he wore high socks for the first time since he's been called up, probably to try and change his luck. Apparently, it worked. He hit a 2 run single. Unfortunately, the pitching didn't hold up. Reds ended up losing, 10-4.

Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News thinks the Reds should stick with Janish.

There’s a lot of whining going on among radio and television announcers covering the Reds over the lack of hitting at shortstop and left field.

But the Reds tried using sluggers at those positions before and finished with nine straight losing seasons. Now they have a shortstop in Paul Janish who saves more runs than he drives in, and, guess what? Last year the Reds won a division title with Janish playing almost every day at the end, and even now, with the team slumping, Cincinnati’s still very much in contention.

If there’s any position you can afford to have without a stick, it’s shortstop, if the guy’s good enough in the field.

I agree, and I think Dusty should commit to giving Janish 5-6 days a week at shortstop, regardless of how well he hits. Janish is still adjusting to big league pitching. Other teams are scouting him now, and making adjustments, and he's going to have to adjust in turn. Given the chance, he will. And I would guess he'll hit a lot better when he isn't worried that his next strikeout will result in being benched for Renteria.

The Reds are skidding, and Dusty Baker is getting worried. The bats are slumping, but the real problem is pitching. Hitters slump. Sometimes, the whole team goes into a slump at once. They'll get over it. Pitching is another issue. The Reds have a bunch of young talent who might eventually be aces, but right now, they are bunch of middle-to-back of the rotation guys who can't go deep into games. If they want post-season success, they need an ace. Getting another bat or two won't help. As the Yankees found out, hitters alone won't win a Series.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:47 AM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don't Panic

Paul Janish was not in the Reds lineup today. Despite rumors that he'd been raptured off the roster, it appears that he is in fact still on this earth, but was benched for the game because he's slumping.

I think Dusty Baker is panicking just a bit. Paul Janish is 1-for-his-last-22 and Edgar Renteria is 2-for-his-last-29. Playing Renteria isn't a big improvement on offense but is a big liability on defense.

Janish is still adjusting to the big leagues. I wish Dusty would commit to letting him play the way he stuck with Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce through their struggles. I know Janish doesn't have the pedigree of number one draft picks like Stubbs and Bruce, but given the lack of good alternatives, Dusty has little to lose by sticking with Janish. Maybe Janish will figure it out and become a dependable starter. But he needs to play in order to develop. At this point, Renteria can't play every day and isn't going to get better. Janish is likely to improve, given more experience.

At least Dusty hasn't given up on Janish yet. Apparently, the beat writers asked him if Miguel Cairo might take over as starting shortstop. (Cairo??? Ye gods.)

Miguel Cairo is not an option at short.

“He can’t play everywhere. He’s already playing third, second, first. He hasn’t played much short in his career. Plus, how old is he? (36). He’s been around a long time. I’ve got two shortstops.

“Like I told you about Renteria, remember what I said about getting him to the hot weather. We’re not there yet. We knew Janish might struggle at some point in time. Just because he struggles some, you don’t take his job away.”

No, but apparently do you take his playing time away. In favor of a guy who's only a year younger than Cairo.

The Reds are now the proud owners of a 4-game losing streak. Dusty's understandably concerned. But offense isn't the problem. The Reds have one of the best offenses in MLB. (They've been trading off with the Cardinals for first place in runs scored.) The games lost (except for the first one) were very close. Sometimes, it comes down to the luck of the draw. It's a long season. It'll even out in the end.

In particular, Dusty needs to quit messing with the lineup. He's been batting struggling hitters second, apparently under the theory that they'll get better pitches to hit in front of Joey Votto. That's just idiotic. Janish is probably my favorite player not named Bubba Crosby, but he's a back of the lineup hitter, and that's where Dusty should put him. Let him learn to hit in front of the pitcher, because that's probably where he's going to hit as long as he's a big leaguer. Bat him 8th...but put him in the lineup six days a week.


posted by BubbaFan, 9:48 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Macho Man" Randy Savage dies

Randall Poffo, better known as "Macho Man" Randy Savage, died today in Florida. He suffered a heart attack while driving. He was only 58 years old.

Randy Poffo's first love was baseball, and he won a spot in the Cardinals organization in an open tryout at age 18. He was moving up through their minor league system as an outfielder and DH, but then suffered a shoulder injury to his throwing arm. Undeterred, he taught himself to throw left-handed, and played a season with the Reds A-ball affiliate. He was released by the Reds, and the next season got a look-see from the White Sox. He was released during spring training, and became a full-time wrestler.

Oh, and it seems Bubba Crosby is a fan.

I think. I'm not sure if that's really him who posted those comments. But he says he's going to be a guest on Raw on June 27th!!!


posted by BubbaFan, 10:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reds Blooper Reel

There's a video of outtakes at It features the players trying to record clips to show on the Jumbotron, advertising the various promotional giveaways.

Hmmm. Might have to re-think that Janish as a broadcaster thing. ;-)


posted by BubbaFan, 7:32 PM | link | 10 comments |

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Andy at Alabama

Andy Phillips' hometown paper has this story:

'This is what I'm supposed to be doing,' new Tide hitting coach Andy Phillips says

TUSCALOOSA - Not so long ago, the new guy on the Alabama baseball team's coaching staff played with major league legends such as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera. Naturally, inquiring minds want to know what that was like and what they are like.

Just the other day, junior center fielder Taylor Dugas quizzed Andy Phillips about one of his former New York Yankee teammates.

"I said, 'What was Roger Clemens like as a teammate?'" Dugas said.

He was awesome, Phillips said. Real competitive.

"He said, 'You have no idea how competitive,'" Dugas said.

Phillips recalled a moment when he fielded a ground ball and made a putout at first base rather than attempt a force out at second base to start a potential double play.

"Clemens yelled at him, 'You've got to turn that!'" Dugas said.

Oh, the stories Phillips can and does tell about his playing days that probably would be continuing this season, if not for the job offer he couldn't refuse.

That offer came one day in late December, after Phillips had worked out for the Boston Red Sox.

Mitch Gaspard had an unexpected opening on his staff, and he was sure he wanted to hire Phillips, but Alabama's head coach wasn't sure about the timing.

"He said he started not to say anything about it, because he felt like I still wanted to play," Phillips said. "But he said, 'I would regret it if I didn't at least ask.'"

Phillips talked to his wife and his agent, then quickly accepted the opportunity to become the Crimson Tide's hitting coach.

"I felt like this was where we needed to be," Phillips said. "This is what I'm supposed to be doing."

Phillips, 34, had spent the past two seasons in Japan.

"You look at your career as a player and you think, really, can it get any better than what I had already done?" he said. "Playing in the big leagues in New York. Getting to go overseas and play there. It was time for something different."

Time to come home? Phillips already was home. The former Alabama star from Demopolis has lived in Tuscaloosa each offseason. Returning to his alma mater meant not packing suitcases for spring training.

And it has meant so much more.

"Baseball doesn't define me," Phillips said. "Certainly it's a blessing to do it, to play and coach, but baseball is not the substance of who I am."

His faith and his family are more important, he said. Phillips understands it's his job now to develop baseball players, but he's more interested in molding young men.

"This was the most enjoyable time of my baseball career," he said, reflecting on an Alabama career highlighted by three trips to the College World Series. "It's also a short period of your life. To be able to invest in them, help them grow as players, grow as men ... that excites me as much as trying to help them hit that slider."

"The thing for me is pouring into these guys in ways that's going to make them better men 20 years from now. I hope more than anything that's what they get from me.

Sophomore third baseman Brett Booth says Phillips not only is providing valuable hitting instruction but is leading weekly Bible study sessions.

"The first day he was here, the first thing he said was that the main reason he was here was to impact us not only on the field but off the field as well," Booth said.

Gaspard said he hired Phillips because of his character.

"He's the guy that you want all of your players to emulate," said Gaspard, who was a groomsman in Phillips' 2004 wedding. "He's been that way ever since we signed him here in 1996. He hasn't changed a lick through the big leagues. He's probably the most respected player I've ever been around. That's why we offered him the job to come back."

Gaspard was the assistant coach who recruited Phillips. Alabama was Phillips' only offer. In four seasons with the Tide, Phillips posted a career batting average of .356 with 61 home runs, 224 RBI and 322 hits. He still holds the school career records for home runs, hits and total bases (590).

But he wasn't an instant star.

"My whole first year was really, really bad, to the point where I questioned if I was good enough," Phillips recalled. "Mitch really believed in me as a player then, really poured confidence into me when I didn't see any as a player. I was no good."

Gaspard smiled when asked what he recalls.

"I remember a lot of talks," he said. "When I signed Andy, I felt responsible to get him going. It was very obvious even in his struggles that he was a very talented player. We knew it would happen. Coming from a small school, it was an adjustment for him, particularly that first year.

"Once he got comfortable in the environment, he just turned into a superstar. Not only a great player, but he became a great leader. That 1999 season, his senior year, basically Andy just put that team on his back and carried a group of freshmen to Omaha."

Phillips then was drafted in the seventh round by the Yankees, but he didn't reach the major leagues until 2004. He hit .250 in 259 career games over parts of five seasons that included time with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets.

Coaching was something that Phillips said he thought about dating back to his college days.

"I enjoyed the technical part of the game, the teaching part of the game, the mechanics of the game," he said. "I tried to watch and learn from the best in the game. There's no greater thrill than when you work with a guy, and then it clicks for them. It's very rewarding to see them have success."

He understands why Alabama players embrace his suggestions.

"The biggest thing is not being far removed from the game," Phillips said. "You know what it's like to kick the ground ball. You know what it's like to swing at that pitch in the dirt. Being about to recall all that and realize, this is a very difficult game."

But Phillips wasn't interested in just coaching anywhere.

"Growing up an hour down the road and growing up an Alabama fan, it's poured into your blood," he said. "Then when you get to be a part of something special. ... Those years, there wasn't a better time to be a part of the program. All those trips to Omaha. They gave me an opportunity to play. Had the university not given me that opportunity, I mean, this was the only place that recruited me.

"I owe a lot to this place."

Hmmm. Clemens sounds like kind of a jerk. Not exactly a startling revelation, I suppose.


posted by BubbaFan, 12:02 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, May 16, 2011

Paul Janish, broadcaster?

Reds radio broadcaster Marty Brennamen has a feature called "Ask Marty," where he answers questions submitted by fans. Tonight's question was "Which current Reds player has the oratory talent and baseball acumen to be a broadcaster / who would you want to call a game with?"

His answer? Bronson Arroyo or Paul Janish.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:07 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The best there is?

Paul Janish has struggled at the plate since his return from an ankle injury. Dusty Baker is batting him second, and he's not well-suited for that spot. Though Dusty probably likes his contact skills; he often calls for a sacrifice bunt if the leadoff hitter gets on.

Janish did have a web gem today. This play was the #3 web gem. They said, "A lot of metrics say Janish is the best there is."


posted by BubbaFan, 8:37 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Janish in the two-hole

The Reds lineup has been posted, and Paul Janish is batting second.

Dusty Baker is old-school, and is prone to traditional lineups: center fielder leads off, shortstop bats second. But he said at the beginning of the season that he would bat Janish 8th, except maybe against lefties, when he might bat him second.

The pitcher today is Kyle McClellan - not a lefty. Janish is 0 for 2 in his career against McClellan, so it's not like he hits him well (if a sample size that small means anything, which it doesn't).

Dusty had been moving Janish up in the lineup sometimes, from 8th to 7th. He said it was to give Janish better pitches to hit, but it was probably also that catcher Ryan Hanigan wasn't hitting well. And now the two-hole. Maybe Janish is earning Dusty's trust.

UPDATE: Reds beat writer John Fay has an explanation of sorts:

JANISH SECOND: Paul Janish hit in the second spot for the first time this year.

“It’s kind of how it worked put,” Baker said, “with Scotty (Rolen) hitting sixth and who we’re facing. It’s the best lineup on today. If Scotty’s playing tomorrow, then Janish will go back to sixth. I wanted to given Scotty a couple days down in the lineup before I put him behind Joey (Votto).”

When Rolen goes back to cleanup, Brandon Phillips will hit in the No. 2 spot.

Sixth? Janish was supposed to bat eighth. I guess he's moving up in the world. At least in Dusty's estimation.


posted by BubbaFan, 1:59 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

Yeesh. Blogger had huge technical difficulties yesterday and today. About 30 hours worth of posts and comments disappeared yesterday. This morning, it was even worse. Posts and comments back to Tuesday disappeared. Even Blogger's status update blog was affected, meaning the posts about the problem disappeared. They seem to have fixed it now, and restored the missing posts and comments. Fingers crossed...

Paul Janish is not in the Reds' lineup tonight. Edgar Renteria is at SS, and Scott Rolen is back at 3B. (Chris Valaika was optioned back to Louisville.) Janish is healthy, but Dusty Baker is starting Renteria because Renteria is 5 for 12 against tonight's starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (best head to head numbers in the lineup), while Janish is 0 for 1.

Brother. One, that's an insanely small sample size. Two, 35-year-old Renteria is no longer the player he was when he got those hits.

Renteria is batting and OPSing worse than Janish now. He had a hot start, but has fallen off a cliff recently. Probably partly a regression to mean, and partly playing every day when he's no longer up to it. Dusty said he wanted to rest him more; I guess he figured yesterday's off day was enough.

Oh, well. Dusty did say Janish would be back in the lineup the other two games in the series, so there's that.


posted by BubbaFan, 8:26 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Where's Lance Pendleton when you need him?

The Yankees activated Luis Ayala off the DL today. To make room, Lance Pendleton was optioned back to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Yanks are currently in extra innings against the Royals. Ayala is pitching the 11th, and the pen is spent. Michael Kay said Pendleton should keep his bags packed, because they're going to need an extra arm.

They sure could have used Pendleton tonight. But they can't call him up again until he's spent 10 days in the minors. Unless they put someone on the DL.

Meanwhile, Paul Janish returned to the lineup in the Reds' day game. So he did get to play a game in front of his home town crowd. His defense was solid (he started at 3B, and moved to SS in the 9th as a LIDR), but he didn't reach base all game. 0 for 4. He hits lefties much better than righties, so I thought he'd hit against Wandy Rodriguez. The Reds in general didn't have a great day, losing 4-3.

The Reds are off tomorrow. Friday, Scott Rolen returns, so Janish will probably move from 3B back to SS.

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posted by BubbaFan, 11:19 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Janish to start tomorrow?

Paul Janish says he could play today, but as expected, Dusty Baker wants to hold him out at least one more day. Dusty says he might let Janish start in tomorrow's day game, probably at 3B. He wants to give Edgar Renteria the day off, but thinks 3B would be gentler on Janish’s ankle than SS.

He also doesn’t want Rolen and Janish both returning on the same day; Rolen is expected to rejoin the lineup Friday. (Thursday is an off day.)

So Janish may yet get a chance to play in front of his hometown crowd.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:01 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, May 09, 2011

Kids these days...

...Are pretty awesome. At least this one is.

ARLINGTON — Like many teenagers, Cam Perron spends most of his free time on the phone. But instead of texting or playing video games, he’s talking to old guys like Paul Jones and Gilbert Black.

They are former Negro league baseball players, old enough to be his grandfather, and he may be their greatest fan, their unlikely but irrepressible advocate.

Perron, a shaggy-haired 16-year-old with a shortstop’s lanky build, is one of the country’s most prolific researchers into the leagues that gave black ballplayers a professional option when they were banned from the bigs. From his bedroom in Arlington, Perron has created baseball cards for players who never had any, discovered evidence to help former players earn pensions, and reconnected teammates who hadn’t spoken in decades. This month he will help organize a reunion in Birmingham, Ala., for more than 50 former players.

What a great story.

Perron is particularly proud of the work he has done to connect Negro league players to the pensions they are entitled to. His first such success benefited Paul Jones, a player whom Major League Baseball records had confused with a deceased former player with the same name. Jones played with several teams between 1947 and 1953, facing famous players such as Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige, but he did not have documentation to prove it.

To receive a pension from Major League Baseball, Negro league players must have played four seasons. To qualify, they must provide proof through published records, such as rosters.

Few players keep any record of their career, so the task of proving eligibility often falls to researchers.

Jones had evidence of three seasons, but he needed one more. Perron found evidence for the fourth one and gave it to the Center for Negro League Baseball Research, which forwarded it to Major League Baseball. Within a week, Jones, 83, began receiving money. He can receive a lifetime total of up to $100,000 through the monthly pension.

“That’s the reason why I’m getting my pension today — he did it,’’ said Jones, who lives in Hamilton, Ohio. “He’s done so much for all of us.’’


posted by BubbaFan, 6:55 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Eyes of Texas

Lance Pendleton hasn't gotten to pitch very often, but he's been pretty solid when given the opportunity. Today's game against the Rangers was very close until the Yanks broke it open with a 6-run 8th inning (including a Francisco Cervelli grand slam!). With the big lead, Mariano Rivera got the day off, and Lance Pendleton pitched the last inning. He gave up a single and a walk, but no runs. His ERA is still 0; his WHIP is a very respectable 0.95.

The game was in Dallas, and his family was in the stands to watch him. In fact, they were in the stands for every game of the series, traveling from Houston to see their boy. I'm glad they finally got to see him play.

Meanwhile, the Reds are headed to Houston for a three-game series starting tomorrow. Paul Janish says his ankle is much better; he's hoping he can be back in the lineup as soon as tomorrow. Dusty likes to keep players out one day longer than they think they need, so I'd guess Janish won't play tomorrow, even if he's ready. But it would be nice if he gets to play a game or two in front of his home town crowd. I'm sure his family will be there to see him.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:04 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Reds running short of infielders

Paul Janish twisted his ankle running to third base yesterday. It looked bad. Really, really bad. He crawled back to third base on hands and knees, clutching his right ankle.

I was very surprised he stayed in the game after that, because, well, it looked so bad. But he did stay in the game and was running okay. I did wonder if his ankle would be worse the next day, though, and apparently, it was.

“It’s a standard issue ankle sprain,” Janish said. “It’s so tender right now that if I try to get up on my toe I can’t. I’ll give it a couple of days.”

Janish was able to finish the game.

“It got worse as the game went on,” Janish said. “They wrapped up to keep the swelling down after the game. I woke up in the middle of the night and it was like it had heartbeat.”

Scott Rolen and Juan Francisco are already on the DL. Miguel Cairo is not on the DL, but his knee is sore and he hasn't been playing. Dusty Baker says they aren't planning to make a move, though. Chris Valaika will play 3B today, and Edgar Renteria will play shortstop. Cairo says he can play if needed. They're hoping Janish will be good to go soon. If not, Todd Frazier and Kris Negron await in Louisville.


posted by BubbaFan, 1:21 PM | link | 0 comments |