July Magic and Summer Sweeping
While all Cincinnati Reds fans have felt pain for a majority of the Summer, July has been quite a different story. As I am writing this article, the Reds have managed to have walk-off wins in 4 of their last 8 games (one of those wins including a balk to win the game). Cincinnati pulled out the broom sticks and swept the 45-40 Tampa Bay Rays, as Nick Senzel continued to crush the baseball, along with stellar starting pitching performances from our young squad. Since June 13th, Senzel is slashing an impressive .338 batting average and is finally looking comfortable at the plate. Another piece of exciting news this week was the selection of Luis Castillo to appear in his 2nd career All-Star game. Castillo has managed to pitch exceptionally well since returning from injury and is truly displaying that he is an “ace” that many contenders will be looking to add to their roster before the deadline. Although Brandon Drury didn’t make the All-Star roster, he ranks in the top 4 of practically every batting category you can think of at 3rd base in the National League. Hopefully we will see him fill a spot as the game looms closer and can be a great late addition should anyone not be able to play.
Sadak Joins Matt’s Take
John Sadak was kind enough to join Matt’s Take this week and do a Q&A with myself for all the local readers. John’s career has included broadcasting of NFL, NBA, MLB, and nearly all college sports. In 2021, Sadak became the announcer for the Cincinnati Reds and I believe I can speak for all fans when I say “please stay long-term.” John is quite an addition to all viewers of Reds games during the Summer months and his hard work keeps fans up to date and informed during his play-by-play broadcasting.
Q: What has been your favorite moment so far since broadcasting for the Reds?
A: “It’s hard to top the very first one. Wearing a bright red sportcoat, standing next to household name Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, for the broadcast open on my initial Opening Day in 2021. Within minutes of that open hitting the air, my phone was flooded with texts from a sea of friends and loved ones, many with screen shots of that two-shot. It was simultaneously the crystallized achievement of a longtime dream, and totally surreal.”
Q: I saw you tried a Skyrosa (Skyline Coney and Larosas Pizza combined) this week…What are your thoughts?
A: “Delicious! The flavors combined beautifully. And thanks to the kind and generous teachings of Billy DeVore, surprisingly clean. I’m a prime candidate for a permanent bib. But he guided me through the whole process in the best ways possible. I will be indulging again.”
Q: What do you believe is the biggest area of improvement that the Reds need to focus on for next year?
A: “Staying healthy and getting game experience for the younger core of the team. Particularly the rotation. There’s a lot to love about Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft. But they’re all also rookies. The more innings they can get to grow and learn from the better.”
Q: If you could call a Reds game with anyone in the world outside of your usual crew, who would you choose?
A: “Wow, interesting question… I would have loved to call a game with the late Joe Morgan. I listened to him nationally for years and loved his insights. The idea of seeing a game through his eyes in the same booth, and the off-air conversations – what an honor that would have been.”
Carlos Guevara Joins Matt’s Take
Former major league pitcher, Carlos Guevara joined Matt’s Take this week for a Q&A to give his input on many different Reds topics. Carlos spent many years in the Reds minor league system between 2003 and 2007. He played in the majors for the Padres and most recently is known for his magnificent work as a podcaster on the Late Night Reds Talk Podcast.
Q: What was your favorite moment in the Reds organization during your career?
A: “I would have to say making it to the Southern League All Star Team in 2007. Although, being a part of that 2006 Chattanooga team was pretty special. There were good to great big leaguers all over the field that year.”
Q: Would you be against trading Castillo for little in return if someone took over Moustakas’ contract?
A: “I wouldn’t want to attach Castillo to Moose. They’ve already said they are shooting for ‘24 to be competitive again and he’ll be off the books then. Now if they want to win in ‘23, that’s a different story.”
Q: Who have you been most impressed with halfway through the season?
A: “It’s hard to choose someone since everyone has been hurt this year. I would say that Tyler Stephenson has been very impressive while he’s in the lineup. He’s what an organization dreams for at the catchers position. Quality defense and great offensive production for that position.”
Q: Who is your favorite guest so far on your Podcast? A: “All the guests we have had on @LateReds (Late Night Reds Talk) have been great, but my favorite episode is the 3 hour episode we had on Opening Day Eve this year. We had lots of guests on and the energy was great. It’s fun talking baseball with so many different people and hearing their prospective on the team.”