“Off-the-field” outshines “on-the-field”

I didn’t make it to the Arroyo-Aurilia ?Perfect Pitch? concert Thursday night (but I did win a new golf bag in the Joe Nuxhall Open, thanks to the group I played with).  But I was happy to hear the concert drew such rave reviews and that so many people turned out (about 700!) and (most importantly) that it raised $35,000 for the Reds Community Fund.

So my camera was in its holster Thursday night, but our man Dann Stupp got some good shots of the festive evening at the Madison Theater in Covington, Ky. (photos below).

It’s been an interesting week, with some of the off-the-field stuff providing the good news, the concert, Joe’s golf tournament (Joe will do Sunday’s game with Marty, by the way).  And how ’bout Wednesday morning, when virtually the entire Bengals team and their head coach, Marvin Lewis, came over to Great American Ball Park to take batting practice?  What a great gesture, olive branch, extended by both franchises.  The looks on some of the Bengals faces after getting a Griffey autograph were priceless. (Photos below)

On the field, it’s been a mostly forgettable week, with various areas of the team struggling on a given night. 

The All-Star game is in Pittsburgh next month.  It’ll be fascinating to see how many, and which, Reds make the squad.  It appears Junior will be voted in.  He’s put up some impressive numbers, especially considering how many games he missed earlier in the year with injuries.  And his highlight-reel catches have certainly been played on ESPN enough to show people he’s still getting it done in center.  Bronso Arroyo is certainly a worthy candidate.  He wasn?t spectacular the other night, but he kept his team in the game.  Bronson is 8-3. Four pitchers have nine wins; no one had 10 as of Saturday morning.  His era is 2.51, fourth in the National League.  He should be a lock.  Todd Coffey has put up impressive numbers as well, 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA after Saturday’s rough outing; his ERA had led NL relievers much of the season. Through Saturday night?s game, Coffey had made a team-high 32 appearances.

The other guy who I’d love to see make it probably won’t be voted in because he’s not well known enough (yet). But how can you keep Brandon Phillips out of the game?  Excellent defense, and hitting .304 after Saturday. With 38 RBIs, he’s been among his team’s leaders in that category much of the year. Because of Brandon’s meteoric rise, and the fact that he didn’t join the Reds until soon after the season started, he’s not listed on the NL ballot.  And since Cleveland let him go, he’s obviously not on the AL ballot.  So he fell through the cracks this year.  Hopefully he’ll be on the ballot representing the Reds for years to come.  Of course, you can write-in Brandon Phillips.  I hope he at least makes it as a reserve.

And if David Ross had more at-bats (and his numbers stayed strong), his overall play would probably put him in the Mid-Summer Classic as well.

Whodey Roster
The Reds welcome the Bengals to Great American Ball Park.. Nearly 60 players showed up for batting practice.
Marvin Cage
Marvin Lewis talks to Marty Brennaman. The batting cage was at the end of a long line of Bengals players.
Chad Entrance
Although Chad Johnson was admittedly "so-so" at the plate, he says he connected for a few clean hits.
The Madison Theater in Convington hosted Thursday’s "Perfect Pitch" concert.
Screaming Auction
Screaming Mimes, a group made up of game-day Reds staffers, opened the show. Ticket sales, a silent auction, CD purchases and other fundraising efforts brought in more than $35,000 for the RCF.
Raquel Raquel2_1 
The lovely Raquel Aurilia performs. After her performance, Raquel signed copies of her CD, Finding My Way.
Rich_1 Lopez   
Rich Aurilia addresses the crowd after his wife’s performance. Felipe Lopez was just one of many Reds players in attedance, including Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, David Ross, Ryan Freel and others.
Bronson_3 Bronson2   
The man of the night was Bronson Arroyo. Bronson has a CD of his favorite covers, which is called Covering the Bases. He signed copies after the show.
Bronson and the other performers hope it’s just one of many concerts to come.

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