I continue my rounds of the worst teams in the league, apparently, with the Cincinnati Reds. They are playing the Pirates this weekend so I've gotten a good look at them the last few days. They didn't quite manage to trade away all of their best players despite their efforts in the off season so they are sticking around, winning today's game with the Pirates in extra innings.
This off season the Reds tried their darnedest to make big trades to dump Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, and Aroldis Chapman. Phillips vetoed his trade, Bruce's trade fell through, and Chapman's attempted trade to the Dodgers was rescinded after he had a domestic disturbance where he fired a gun in his garage. Chapman was traded not long after to the Yankees where he got a month long suspension from the league.
They still have Joey Votto, a hitter so skilled he will one day have books written about the statistical anomalies in his hitting like his walk rates, and ability to never foul off pitches to his pull side. He is having a slow start this year but he is a consistent player whose batting average, at least, will rise even if his home run numbers don't explode.
Billy Hamilton is another player worth watching as often as possible even though he has problems getting on base. He might be the fastest player ever in the game, he certainly exhibited such abilities in his last year in the minors he broke the professional record for stolen bases in a single season with 155. This year he only has four stolen bases through 20 games because he is having trouble getting on base and is hitting .218, so far. Even if his batting average has been terrible, when he does get to run the bases, it is an electric thing to see, and it is nearly as impressive to see him patrolling centerfield.
Other Red's news: Pete Rose's attempt to be reinstated by the new commissioner was denied. I agree with it, he didn't really help his cause by saying that he still bets on baseball. He doesn't seem to quite get that he did something wrong, that when he wasn't betting on his team he was saving good relievers for when he would bet on a game and that he harmed the integrity of the game. When I visited Cincinnati I was a bit annoyed to see one of the streets right next to the ball park was Pete Rose way. At least I feel assured the Reds will be living at the bottom of the NL Central with the Milwaukee Brewers.