The blockbuster Major League 4 starring the new Cincinnati Reds

Published 2:21 am Saturday, March 19, 2022

Shock. Dismay. Bewilderment. Anger.

Those are just some of the emotions running through hearts and minds of Cincinnati Reds’ fans after the past week in which there was a fire sale in which pitcher Sonny Gray, third baseman Eugenio Suarez and outfielder Jesse Winker were all traded for what amounted to nothing more than some practice balls and a gift card to the Armory Smokehouse.

The Reds already let Wade Miley and Michael Lorenzen walk via free agency, traded Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart and reliever Amir Garrett while making little effort to re-sign Nick Castellonas who was the team MVP.

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The Reds front office said it was about getting payroll in line and filling the holes in the lineup with young, talented players who are ready to take the next step up.

Actually, it wasn’t so much about payroll as it was the shareholders wanted a bigger piece of the pie.

But wait! There’s more. Forget Project Veritas. Thanks to a hidden camera and microphone in the office of general manager Nick Krall, “Gotcha! By The Ironton Tribune” was able to uncover exactly what happened leading up to these one-sided trades.

Reds’ Chief Executive Operating officer Bob Castellini told Krall that the team had to cut the budget but still fill out the roster. He told Krall to get on Netflix and watch the movie “Money Ball.”

Krall grabbed a hot dog and a drink and turned on his big screen television. He pulled up the menu and hit what he thought was the link to Money Ball but in reality it was Major League.

“I need a pad and pen to take notes,” said Krall whose back was turned to the TV as he went to grab the items while the opening credits rolled.

That moment of missing the credits proved fateful. Krall thought he was watching Money Ball and began soaking in all the possibilities he out apply to the Reds’ roster.

After the film reached its climatic ending, Krall turned off the movie before the final credits began to roll and began going to work as he studied the Reds’ current roster.

“Let’s see, I can call James Gammon and see if he wants to be the manager. Gammon, Gammon. Here he is. Oh. He died. Eh, David Bell will work. We’ll sign him to an extension.

“We need a crafty veteran like Jack Taylor to keep this team together. It has to be Joey Votto because he’s making $25 million and no one wants to trade for him with that price tag. Plus, he’s the only star player we have and he’s probably the only reason anyone will come to the games until we start winning big.

“Now, we need a power hitter like Pedro Cerano. I got it. Aristides Aquino. He hit 10 home runs with 23 runs batted in and he struck out 75 times in 84 games. He can hit a fastball but not a curve. He’s perfect. I can’t believe how much our starting lineup is going to be like the A’s in Money Ball.

“With Cerano, I mean Aquino, in left we need a speedy centerfielder who doesn’t make good contact. We’ll start with Nick Senzel. He’s played in 163 games but that’s over three years. His career average is .246 which is a problem because you can’t steal first base. He has 18 stolen bases but he’s been caught 11 times. OK, he can be Willie Mays Hayes.

“Third base. Third base. Well, Suarez only batted .198 coming off an injury and put on weight and we tried to play him at shortstop and he made a ton of errors. But he did hit 31 home runs and drive in 71 runs. Mike Moustakas was hurt most of the season and when he came back he hit. .208 with six home runs and 22 RBIs. This one is obvious. We trade Suarez because we signed him to a long-term deal and we don’t want to pay his salary. None of the fans will notice.

“We don’t have a pitcher like Eddie Harris who knew how to load up the baseball, but Gaylord Perry was a master at it and he’s only 83. We can probably get him in shape for maybe half a season. OK, I guess that’s not really a good idea. We’ll stick with Mike Minor. They say he’s been clocked up to 90 miles an hour! Now that’s bringin’ the warmth.

“As for the bullpen, we have plenty of guys who throw hard like Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn. We have Lorenzen. No, we let him walk. Well, there’s Garrett. No, we traded him to the Royals for Mike Minor. Maybe Tejay Antone. No, he’s out all season after Tommy John surgery. Pedro Borbon died so I guess it’s Lucas Sims.

“One final piece on the outside will be our radio broadcast with a guy like Bob Uecker. The Cowboy! Jeff Brantley is funny and insightful and he’ll make people want to listen to the games so we can still sell advertising revenue on the radio.

“Just like Lou Brown said to his assistant coach coming out of the dugout, it’s all coming together. I guess all I need to do now is start making arrangements for the post-World Series championship celebration. Boy, our fans are going to be so happy and excited. Mr. Castellini is going to love this roster.”

Welcome to Major League 4: Disaster in the Queen City.


Jim Waker is sports editor emeritus of The Ironton Tribune.