Category Archives: Cincinnati Reds

In praise of a Browns win in which many contributed

The key to the Browns win over the Bengals on Sunday was that there was no one key.

There were many players and factors that contributed to the 11-game losing streak coming to an end.

Start with the defense, which I got into pretty good last week.

After giving up 500 yards against the Giants (243 rushing), the defense allowed Cincinnati 76 yards rushing (on 20 carries) and forced four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble). Andy Dalton threw for 381 yards and three TDs, but that was only good in fantasy leagues. The Browns defenders held him down when it was needed most — because while the Browns offense was going three-and-punt-or-kick-a-field-goal on seven consecutive possessions, the Bengals actually saw their lead shrink from seven to one point.

Seven possessions in a row without a first down and the Browns actually closed a gap to one.

Go figure.

Many individuals contributed.

Josth Cribbs had a 60-yard punt return.

Brandon Weeden threw to 10 different receivers and completed to eight.

Josh Cooper came out of mothballs and made two big first-down catches in the first half.

Josh Gordon looked more like an NFL receiver than in any game this year.

Montario Haresty relieved an injured Trent Richardson (ribs) and came up with good runs on important plays.

Sheldon Brown intercepted Dalton and returned it for a touchdown.

Joe Haden returned, broke up two passes and intercepted another (though A.J. Green had a pretty huge game with seven catches, 135 yards and two TDs).

And Emmanuel Stephens sacked Dalton at a key point in the game and forced a fumble.

So many contributed — including Jordan Cameron, Greg Little and Ben Watson. John Greco filled in for Jason Pinkston (ill) and the Browns ran for 110 yards.

There’s surely someone I’m forgetting.

It’s sounding a little over the top to be so effusive, but when a team loses 11 in a row the feelings about a win are positive. And this was not that poorly played a game, even with that poor offensive stretch.

A few years ago Eric Mangini got his first win as a Browns coach in one of the worst games in Browns history. Shurmur broke the losing streak in a far better way.

Imagine: 34 points.

Suddenly one-and-five could be two-and-five with a win in Indianapolis, and it’s a lot easier to talk about the Browns.

As a team they hung tough, fought through a bad stretch and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to win.

Perhaps, perhaps, this is something that can mushroom.

Comparing Cincinnati and Cleveland and baseball attendance

Chris Perez got a standing ovation two days after blasting Cleveland folks for not showing up to see the Indians.

That sent many folks scrambling to figure just what the issue with Indians attendance is. I theorized it’s caused by years of gut-wrenching failure and heartache that has led to overflowing skepticism among the fan base. One of my esteemed colleagues at FOX, Ron Glasenapp — we call him “marketing dude” — crunched some numbers, which are below.

It was interesting. He compared Cincinnati and Cleveland, their market size, population and stuff like that. The Reds the previous three seasons drew 2.2, 2.06 and 1.74 million while finishing third, first and fourth. The Indians drew 1.84, 1.39 and 1.78 million while finishing second, fourth and fourth.

“Marketing dude’s” numbers show that the Cleveland area was outdrawn by Cincinnati even though the Cleveland area has a larger population and media market (quibbles with the numbers should be directed, officially, to “marketing dude”).

Cincinnati’s median income is higher, but it’s been far longer since the Indians won a World Series.

One interesting point: The Indians widely are viewed as a “cheap” organization. Well, said cheap organization is only $3.8 million behind the Reds in team salary, according to USA Today.

I invite conclusions from the data …

One of mine is that there really is no good reason for Cleveland not to be as supportive as Cincinnati. It has the people, the team and the media market. That being said, something is keeping folks away, and it’s too simplistic to blame it on “weather.”

Years of heartache and trading of Cy Young winners catch up … and the Indians at this point are feeling the heat. That being said, if they keep playing like they have been, their attendance will increase to more than acceptable numbers.

CINCINNATI CLEVELAND
Media market

35

18

Population

2.2 million

2.8 million

Pro teams

2

3

Major college teams

2

1

Median age

35.5

37.3

Median income (’09)

$46,451

$40,101

Wins

23

24

Place in division

2

1

Attendand per game

26,420

15,838

Attendance rank

19

30

Last title

1990

1948

Last playoff appearance

2010

2007

Team salary

$82.2 million

$78.4 million

Team salary rank

17

21

 

Votto’s new deal could shake the earth

I opined yesterday that Joey Votto’s $225 million extension with the Reds might just change the rules for small- and mid-market teams. If it doesn’t change them its impact will be felt in those cities (like Cleveland) where players have been traded or left as free agents as opposed to retained.

The Indians had their reasons for doing what they did, not the least of which was working within budgeted revenues.

The Reds kept Votto.

And they appear to have extended themselves greatly to do so. I mean, $225 large?

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay offers that the Reds clearly expect their revenues to increase, and if they can increase revenues by $10 million a year (which isn’t as nuts as it sounds) they’ll have made up the difference between what he makes now and what he will make on the extension.

His signing is a risk, but given the possible revenue increases, it might be a risk worth taking.

Votto is that good. And he’s also a guy who earned it the old-fashioned way. He worked for it.

The thrill of a pitcher’s life

Jay Bruce of the Reds probably wishes he had David Price’s role here …