Found October 12, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
San Francisco Giants
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Manager Dusty Baker has trouble even thinking about next year.
"I don't know, man," he said, after the Cincinnati Reds' season ended with a collapse. "I'm kinda numb in this situation."
Pretty much summed up the season. A team that had been able to overcome so many setbacks couldn't get that one last comeback to make it something really special.
A 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday knocked the NL Central champions out of the playoffs far earlier than expected. The Reds won 97 games and their second division title in three years, but couldn't get that elusive home playoff victory to move on.
Make it 17 years now since the Reds have won a postseason game at home.
"It was disheartening to have my club go through this," the 63-year-old manager said.
The Reds went through a lot, and handled all of it well until the final three home games in the playoffs. They became the first NL team to win the first two in a best-of-five division series and fail to move on.
The biggest question involves Baker, who was hospitalized in September for an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke. He rejoined the team for the final regular season series in St. Louis, feeling good and upbeat.
His two-year contract ends after this season. Owner Bob Castellini is fond of Baker and talked last February about giving him an extension. Baker feels he's healthy enough to keep managing.
The Reds have won 269 games under Baker in the last three seasons, their best such stretch in 30 years. Their two division titles in three years is the best such run since Sparky Anderson managed the Big Red Machine to World Series championships in 1975-76.
The question is whether the front office is ready to make a commitment to Baker after Reds lost in the opening round of the playoffs again.
"I'm not sure where my career is going here in Cincinnati," Baker said. "We're going to talk about that in the next couple of days. But I'm not through managing yet. I have more to do."
General manager Walt Jocketty has a few important player decisions to make as well, starting with the closer.
The Reds were prepared to have hard-throwing Aroldis Chapman move back into the rotation until closer Ryan Madson blew out his elbow in spring training. Chapman was eased into the closer's spot and was one of baseball's best, converting 38 of 43 save opportunities and a club-record 27 straight.
Do they simply entrust the job to Chapman? Or do they try to make him a starter again? Madson has a mutual option for 2013 at 11 million -- too pricey for someone coming off major elbow surgery -- with a 2.5 million buyout.
Third baseman Scott Rolen had another injury-filled season in his final year under contract, slowed by a bad back and a chronic shoulder problem. Rolen turns 38 next April and has to decide whether he wants to keep playing. Todd Frazier could take over at third.
Then there's left fielder Ryan Ludwick, who helped carry the team in the second half after Joey Votto hurt his left knee. Ludwick batted .313 in his last 80 games of the season with 18 homers. He led the Reds with three homers in their playoff series. Ludwick has a mutual option for next season at 5 million with a 500,000 buyout.
Votto is the Reds' best hitter, acknowledged by the 10-year, 225 million extension he got before opening day. The Reds went 36-12 when he was out in the second half of the season with torn knee cartilage.
The leg wasn't at full strength when he returned, affecting his power. Votto didn't hit a homer after June 24. He had seven singles during the playoffs. The Reds expect their 2010 National League MVP to be back to normal next season.
The rotation returns intact, including 19-game winner Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, who pitched the 15th no-hitter in franchise history. Bronson Arroyo and Mat Latos give the Reds one of the best foursomes in the majors.
The Reds will be considered a favorite to win the division again next year and beyond.
"I envisioned sustained success, and I think that's what people may tend to overlook -- ownership's commitment to being better not just for a year but for years," right fielder Jay Bruce said. "I think these days, the way that contracts and free agencies have gotten, you have to do it the right way or it's tough to sustain success over a period of time.
"I think that the Reds' ownership has done that, and I'm happy to be part of it."
The pitching staff was the club's strength in 2012. The bullpen led the majors with a 2.65 earned run average and 56 saves. For the first time in franchise history, none of the five starters missed a game because of injury -- until the playoffs.
Only eight pitches into the opener in San Francisco, Cueto strained a muscle in his right side and was done. The Reds had to juggle their rotation and won the first two games, but missed Cueto when they had a chance to wrap it up back home.
That left it up to an offense that had depended upon the big inning all season. It ended with Rolen striking out with two runners aboard.
"We hadn't lost three games in a row at home all year," Ludwick said. "This team lived and died all year with the big hit."
And came up one short.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Cincinnati Reds played great baseball the entire 2012 season. Now Dusty Baker is hearing all the fans in Cincinnati asking the question how could this happen to the Reds. The team had a 2-0 lead over the Giants only to see their world series hopes fade away losing in-game 5 with one of the Reds ace pitchers getting the start. Mat Latos wasn’t very good in-game 5 as the Reds...
by: Chase Fitzgerald
This season ended just awful and I’m going to do you all a favor and not remind you. It really stung to have a great season end like this, but it’s never too early to look at next year. I personally think this team was over-performing but I think this team can win it all next season if they do the steps below. Audience, I give you an...
RED ALL OVER
What did 71-year-old Pete Rose do on Monday as the Cincinnati Reds were resting, up 2-0 on the Giants in the NLDS? He got a Mr. Redlegs tattoo on his left arm at a Studio City, California tattoo shop.We chatted this afternoon with a nervous Howard Teman, the artist and owner of T-Man Tattoo, who seemed surprised that we knew about Rose’s tattoo, even though Teman posted two photos...
The planning for 2013 began a lot sooner than the Cincinnati Reds would have liked. Their season ended with a 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. "We're going to sit down and talk about some things, kind of wrap up this year and talk about next year," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. Manager Dusty Baker...
Today marks day one in what very well could be the longest baseball offseason around Cincinnati in recent memory. The Reds may have flamed out of the postseason in historic fashion, but that doesn't mean the team didn't provide us with a plethora of good moments throughout the year. So instead of dwelling in what could have been, we've compiled a list of the Top 12 Games...
Here's something to cheer you up after a bitter end to the season.This picture was tweeted by @MichelleMatter to the wife of Mat Latos just prior to Mat's crucial start in Game Five. The artist of this inspirational work of art is Dylan, age 5, who is the son of the aforementioned tweeter.Dylan's photo may not have propelled Mat to victory on Thursday, but it was an adorable...
Ted Kremer may have only spent one day in the Reds' dugout, but he's a part of the team even from home.
Kremer's parents won a silent auction that annointed him batboy for a day on Aug. 17. The 29-year-old may not have been in the recommended "age 15 to 19" age bracket, but the Reds' superfan, who has Down Syndrome, got to live out his dream anyway.
After winning two straight, the Cincinnati Reds couldn't close out the San Francisco Giants as they lost three in a row to lose the series. The Good Doctor reflects on the Cincinnati collapse.The post The Cincinnati Reds Collapse: What In The Hell Happened? appeared first on The Sports Fan Journal.
Today marks day two of the Top 12 Games of the Reds Season series. The campaign may have ended abruptly, and in somber fashion, but there is still plenty to smile about when thinking about the past six months or so. We will be counting down the greatest contests from the year each day until we reach the number one spot.
But for now, here is No. 11 on the list:
After the Reds disappointing finish in the playoffs today, word that Scott Rolen is expected to retire, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports. The now free agent was asked what his future plans and said “I'm going to go home and be a dad.” Though that could also mean that he is going to take some time off before he gets ready for next season.
Rolen who has battled injuries...
The Cincinnati Reds gave up a lot to get Mat Latos, hoping he'd push them to the next level.
Given his chance Thursday to do just that, he was gone in the fifth inning.
Buster Posey's grand slam capped San Francisco's six-run burst against Latos, propelling the San Francisco past the Reds 6-4 Thursday in the clinching Game 5 of their best-of-five NL division series...
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Buster Posey hit the third grand slam in Giants' postseason history, and San Francisco completed its startling comeback by holding off the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 Thursday in the decisive Game 5 of the NL division series.
The Giants won the final three games, all in Cincinnati, and advanced to the NL championship series. They will face either St. Louis or Washington...
The 2012 season for the Reds came to a screeching halt on Thursday afternoon as the Giants completed an improbable NLDS comeback by winning Game Five, 6-4, before a somber Great American Ball Park crowd. In defeat, Cincinnati becomes the first National League team (out of 22) to blow a 2-0 lead in the LDS since the Wild Card Era began in 1995. San Francisco, on the other hand...