Wednesday, August 30, 2006


This California road trip has been brutal for my Reds.

But, here's a question from the peanut gallery: Mighn't it be time to bench Royce Clayton, the shortstop, and give the starting job to Juan Castro, at least for the three games left on this road trip?

Who knows whether the Reds would have gone ahead last night when, at a critical juncture, Clayton made a seemingly half-hearted attempt to lay down a bunt and ended up out?

I don't know. But I do know that Castro, a favorite of mine since his first stint with the Reds, is among the best defensive shortstops I've ever seen and he always plays with heart. I think that Castro would be a better number eight hitter than Clayton, at least right now. Castro knows how to lay down a bunt, something the eight guy in the line-up must do.

Royce Clayton may be hurt or he may simply need a breather. I don't know. But he's hurting the Reds at the plate these days with his seemingly through-the-motion at bats. While Castro will never be a great hitting shortstop on the order of the incomparable Davey Concepcion, he won't embarrass himself either. And there isn't a better defensive shortstop in the majors.

Having said that, I love the job that manager Jerry Narron, GM Wayne Krivsky, and new primary owner Bob Castellini have done with the Reds this year.

[By the way, why isn't Dave Concepcion, the best shortstop of his generation, not in the Baseball Hall of Fame?]


Deborah White said...

It was just past midnight here, when the Dodger hit his 16th inning homerun to win last night's game over the Reds. I was still up, and half-watching when the game ended.

I thought of your pain, Mark. :)

We went to an Angels game last year at which our team lost in the 17th inning. Those are tough ones...

Icepick said...

I know they're unrelated posts, but I find it amusing that this post shows up in the sidebar of previous posts as "OUCH! This California road-trip has been brutal" and that it's right above the hedline "Why Doesn't God Do Something About Our Suffering?" Humor from serendipity?

Mark Daniels said...

Deborah and Ice:
The "good times" just kept rolling last night, with the Reds losing a third game to the Dodgers, capping a sweep. The Reds are 0-6 against the Dodgers this year and are 1-6 on this road trip. OUCH! doesn't eveb begin to say it right.

I'm hoping for better results in San Diego, starting tomorrow night.

Ice, that is serendipitous!