Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reds Not 'Dead' Yet

If you missed the Cards-Reds brawl last night (boy, are there a lot of words for sports brawls: donnybrook, melee, brouhaha, etc.), you missed the spectacle of Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto kicking spasmodically like Maradona on cocaine. [Here's the video.]

The brawl began after Reds infielder Brandon Phillips called the Cardinals whiners, whereupon Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina replied, "I take issue with your perjorative declaration, hale fellow!", and the fisticuffs commenced.

Cueto was pinned against the backstop (catchers are also referred to as "backstops" at times, but Cueto was most definitely not pinned against Yadier Molina). Panic seemed to set in for Cueto, who feared becoming one dead Red.

Speaking of dead Reds, what a peculiar baseball term "dead red" is.

Dead red is defined by the Baseball Glossary as a battter sitting on a fat pitch.

If a batter is "sitting/looking dead red" on a pitch, this means he was looking for a pitch (typically a fastball), and received it, usually hitting a home run or base hit.

In the Joe Torre/Tom Verducci book The Yankee Years, former Red Sox Kevin Millar--he of one of the great baseball terms in "cowboy up"--described a vital hit he had off Mariano Rivera in the 2004 ALCS.

"I just just actually looking for one pitch. I was looking dead red and in."

Earlier this season,'s Ian O'Connor used the term to describe David Wright failing to connect on a 3-1 pitch against the Yanks.

Before he took a third strike way too close to take, Wright sat dead red on a 3-1 Joba fastball and still couldn't beat the pitch to the punch.

Out there in the webosphere, "Dead Red" is a blog that never got off the ground, a dyslexic's take on a popular video game, an album from a miserable-sounding punk band, and a detective novel.

Fittingly, the Cards and Reds--both whom sport red uni's--are tied for first in the NL Central. As such, and in stark contrast to the previous, oh, 30 seasons, the Reds are hardly dead in the dead of summer.


No comments: