Sunday, July 18, 2004

Reds chatter

Hear that, Mr. Selig?

By Mike Ball
Enquirer staff writer

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig should intervene if the New York Yankees are able to trade for Arizona ace Randy Johnson simply because they can take on his salary.

photo gallery
Photos of Saturday's game

For a desktop wallpaper-sized photo of Wily Mo Pena, click here, then right-click after the image downloads and select "Set as background."

Remember, there is precedent for the commissioner nixing a deal, and in one case it involves the Reds.

Charles O'Finley's angry A's won three consecutive World Championships from 1972-74. But several of the A's stars were about to be eligible for free agency, and the A's owner wanted to dump them for cash.

O'Finley first attempted to sell ace Vida Blue to the - you guessed it - Yankees, for $1.5 million in midseason of 1976. But commissioner Bowie Kuhn vetoed the deal.

Then, on Dec. 9, 1977, the Reds announced a deal in which they would acquire Blue, who was 14-19 with a 3.83 ERA, for first baseman Dave Revering.

By the way, the Reds were to send $1.75 million to Oakland in the deal. How's that for a switch?

Kuhn eventually put a cap on the amount of cash that could be included in trades.

Who's hot

Adam Dunn: The young outfielder continues to strike out a lot - his two whiffs Saturday gave him a major-league-high 112 (91 more than Barry Bonds had entering Saturday). But in 40 games since June 1, Dunn is hitting .278 (42-for-151) with 14 homers and 28 RBI. Dunn also is tied for the NL lead in outfield assists with eight.

Who's not

Jason LaRue: The Reds catcher leads all major-league catchers in passed balls (11) and errors (7). Offensively, he has 57 strikeouts in 223 at-bats. He has thrown well, tossing out 12 of 31 runners attempting to steal (39 percent).

Trivia question

Who was the MVP of the Athletics' seven-game victory over the Reds in the 1972 World Series?

By the numbers

9-4: Reds' record in series at Great American Ball Park this season.

23: Multiple-hit games by Dunn, second on the team to Sean Casey.

53: Errors by the Reds in 91 games. Last season, they led the NL with 141 in 162 games.

.337: Reds' on-base percentage, sixth-best in the NL. That, despite a .251 batting average, 13th in the NL.

Trivia answer

Gene Tenace: He was the A's backup catcher in the regular season but started the first game and became the first player in Series history to homer in his first two at-bats.

For the series, Tenace hit .348 with a double, four homers and nine RBI.

The week ahead

The Reds continue their stretch of 24 consecutive games against the NL Central.

They host the Brewers for two games, then go on the road for three games against the Cubs and three against the Pirates.

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