Bronson Arroyo joins Matt’s Take, Electric Mixon, Positives & Negatives


By Matthew McAdow - Contributing Columnist



Bronson Arroyo joins Matt’s Take

Bronson Arroyo kindly joined Matt’s Take this week for a Q&A. Bronson is one of the most well-known Reds pitchers of my lifetime, as he spent roughly 8 years with the Reds organization, while also playing for the Pirates, Red Sox, and Diamondbacks. Arroyo was a 2006 All-Star, 2004 World Series Champion, 2010 Gold Glove Award winner, and was one of the most electric high-kicking, arm-angle changing pitchers in the history of baseball. He was recently selected as the next inductee into the Reds Hall of Fame, as he is more than deserving of this honor. Arroyo is sixth in Reds history in strikeouts and has over 100 wins as a starter for the Redlegs. When I think of Bronson Arroyo, I think of the long hair, his curveball, the high kick, his musical interests, and his overall love for the city of Cincinnati and the game of baseball.

Q: What was your favorite moment(s) as a Cincinnati Red?

A: “My three favorite moments as a Cincinnati Red were having the opportunity to be an all-star in 2006 to represent the organization at All-Star weekend putting a zero up on the board in the fifth inning of that game. The 2010 game, two playoff starts against the Phillies the night after Roy Halladay no-hit us. Pitching inside that stadium with a rowdy, Phillies crowd and keeping them quiet for the majority of the game, even though we lost was a highlight of my career. And I’d say my greatest shining moment in a Reds uniform would’ve been beating Madison Bumgardner in the 2012 ALDS game two, in San Francisco, having a no-hitter into the seventh I believe. That’s a moment that I had trained for my entire life and to deliver on the big stage like that, absolutely fantastic.”

Q: During you career, who was your least favorite batter to face?

A: “Albert Pujols…Only a couple of guys I ever had to face in the game that had the ability to hit .330 on any given year. He also didn’t fish or chase pitches off the plate and seemingly was so quick on the inner half that you couldn’t surprise him with a fastball on the inside, no matter how many times you throw soft stuff away. He was so good that sometimes I would just tell myself that I hope he hits it right at someone because you knew you could probably not strike him out.”

Q: Do you still keep in touch with former teammates?

A: “I definitely do still keep in touch with former teammates. Ryan Hannigan, David Ross, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Nick Masset, Mike Leake (Whenever he picks up the phone)… We definitely do not talk or see each other as much as we would like, that’s what happens after baseball, people go on with their lives and usually raising a family and getting into something different It’s very difficult to get a bunch of guys back together often.”

Q: How has life after baseball treated you?

A: “Life after baseball has been fantastic. Not having to worry about the day-to-day grind of when you go to sleep, how many calories you have in your body, and if your arm feels up to the task of starting every fifth day. Taking care of your body year-round for your entire life is a bit stressful and it’s been nice to just relax.”

Q: 2004, ALCS Game 6, Alex Rodriguez swatted the ball out of your glove on his way to first in what could’ve been a very controversial play. What do you recall from this moment?

A: “The ball slap play is very vivid in my mind. It was an extra slow curveball that Alex hit right off the end of the bat so the ball was spinning like a top on the ground. My first thought was to make sure that it did not shoot out of my glove. Once I had the ball in my hand, I looked immediately to my left to make an easy flip to first base and Doug Mientkiewicz, my first baseman, was standing right next to me. In that moment there was a slight bit of panic thinking that Alex was going to be very close to first base at that time. When I looked up, he was jogging, and I had plenty of time to make the tag, so I kind of relaxed a bit when he chopped my arm.”

Q: Who off the current Reds roster are you most excited to watch next season?

A: “Obviously, being a starting pitcher my entire career, I’m most excited to watch Nick Lodolo, Ashcraft, and Hunter Greene take the mound every fifth day and see how those guys fare against the league next year…”

Q: In your career, you were a 2006 All Star, 2010 Gold Glove winner, a World Series Champion, and even hit 6 homeruns in your career. What part of your career are you most proud of?

A: “Of all of things that I did in the game, I’m most proud of pitching 200 innings basically 10 years in a row. Staying healthy and off the disabled list, and having the ability to throw 200 innings year after year after year without question was where all of my Ego lied, and I’ll take that stat over any other one.”

Q: Is Joey Votto a Hall of Famer?

A: “For me, he’s a Hall of famer.. but Scott Rolen has got to get in there first before I can give the 100% nod to Joey Votto. If Scott does not get in there, then I have to question everyone else that’s coming after, including Joey.”

Electric Mixon

For all fans that were beginning to cast doubt upon Joe Mixon, I believe he proved his point on Sunday, as he led the Bengals to a dominating win over the Panthers. Our star running back had an absolute monster game (I will dive into later) and brought the Bengals to 5-4 right before a much-needed bye week. Cincinnati is currently behind the Ravens in the division, who take on the Saints on Monday Night Football. Just like old times, we need to be rooting for Andy Dalton in this one, as we need the Ravens to lose a few games that they don’t expect to lose. Baltimore has a much easier schedule than Cincinnati to round out the year.

Positives

· Joe Mixon is alive! On Sunday, Mixon may have established the nickname “Joey Franchise” as he broke many franchise records. Mixon had a career high, 211 scrimmage yards and 5 touchdowns (Yes, you read that correctly). Mixon became the third player in the Super Bowl era with at least 4 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in a game. He also became the fourth player in NFL History to record 3 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving touchdown in a half…To answer your question, Joe Mixon is back!

· With injuries to Reader, Awuzie, Chase, Hilton, and many others, this team was still able to put up a dominating performance. “Next man up” mentality proved to work this past week.

· Having a win heading into the bye week is huge. A loss on Sunday really could’ve hurt the chances for playoffs. With all of the lingering injuries, nearly two weeks off is exactly what this team needs.

· Germaine Pratt and Jessie Bates both intercepted passes this week. Winning the turnover battle was huge for this team in a week that this team truly lacked depth at the corner position.

· Cincinnati was finally able to effectively run an offense outside of being in shotgun formation. The run game was certainly clicking, which opened up routes for Higgins and Boyd.

· Did I mention Joe Mixon is back?…Ok, just making sure!

Negatives

· Kevin Huber was once again very mediocre at the punter position. His lack of power is leaving Cincinnati in many bad field positions throughout a game. He ranks 31st in the league in net yard average at 37.3. Drew Chrisman, it is time my friend.

· Evan McPherson missed another field goal. I believe he will be fine, but we need Evan and the special teams to get on the same page, as I am sure we have many one score games ahead of us.

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By Matthew McAdow

Contributing Columnist