By Josh Kramer
It is no secret that there are two very hot teams in baseball at the moment. One resides in the American League (Oakland), while the other plays in the National League (Cincinnati). Today, we focus on the Reds, and more specifically, their highly scrutinized center fielder Drew Stubbs. Heading into play last evening, Cincinnati were winners of ten straight games, their longest winning streak in well over a decade. During the amazing stretch, the Reds had outscored their opponents 54 to 27. Now I am by no means naive. Cincinnati is of course doing this without their star and arguably the best player in all of baseball Joey Votto, but they have not exactly played against top-tier competition. During the stretch in which the Reds have won 17 of 19, four of their six opponents sport under .500 records. I guess that is the beauty of being a member of the National League Central.
I have made it known that I am by no means a fan of Drew Stubbs these days. I cannot remember a player failing to play to their strengths and wasting their talent more than this guy. If one were to look up the word “potential” in the dictionary, the face of Drew Stubbs would appear there. He runs like a gazelle, yet strikes out 1.3 times a game and doesn’t know how to bunt? How can a guy with that kind of speed not know how to bunt? During the Reds ten game winning streak, I have been eating my words (which I am happy about). Stubbs has raised his batting average from .223 to .230, hit three home runs, and drove in ten runs. He also has struck out 12 times. But the key is Drew has come up big in the clutch. As our good friend Paul Daugherty likes to say, Stubbs has been one of many Reds since the All-Star break to demonstrate the “it” factor. In Votto’s absence, Stubbs was batting .333 with 14 RBIs heading into last evening.
I still admit that Stubbs shortcomings and inability to utilize his strengths does and will continue to drive me nuts. Drew Stubbs is going to do what Drew Stubbs is going to do though. That has been made clear over the past 3.5 seasons. Stubbs is not on the field to please me or you. He is out there to help his team win. Continue reading