The Baseball Jimmy with Caesar Cliffius Eastham and Sir Illya Charleton Harrell


Illya Harrell: Cliff, As Jerry Reed so eloquently sang in Smokey and the Bandit we, “Have a Long Way To Go and a Short Time To Get There.”

Down to brass tacks, who should the Reds attempt to acquire before the Major League trade deadline?

After writing a “Reds Need Lee” piece a couple of weeks ago, I got greedy—like Yankee greedy…and I wish to apologize for that.

After Ryan Rayburn calmed me down and set me straight. I got to thinking about the Reds’ needs.

Besides the huge bat of Gary Mathews Jr. (that’s sarcasm for those Mathews fans out there—all two of you), the Reds needs are about as sexy as your granny’s floppy fun bags. 

With a couple of middle relievers, they’re in the race for the long haul.                    


Cliff Eastham: I liked your piece on Lee and I am all over it.

With Edinson Volquez due back at any time, the Reds rotation could heal itself. He, Johnny Cueto, and Bronson Arroyo form a trio of starters that most teams would love to have.       

There is where the problems begin. Who would you want filling the fourth and fifth holes? Aaron Harang and Mike Leake? Harang is so inconsistent it is beyond scary.

Leake apparently needs to be babied for the remainder of the season, which makes me, an old-schooler, sick to my stomach. He isn’t a flame-thrower, so he should be able to endure a complete season with his 88 mph heater.

How about Homer Bailey? Wonder what kind of shape he is going to be in when he returns?

Could one or more of those guys serve as trade bait for Cliff Lee, a tried and true veteran who doesn’t walk anyone?


Illya Harrell: It’s pretty obvious to me that Bailey suffered what I like to call a “phantom injury.”  If you remember, he complained about hitting the DL.  That could be his attitude or an excuse to get him back to Louisville for “rehab starts.”

Mind you, he was out of options and the Reds would have had to waive him before sending him down.  And there is no way he would have cleared the waiver wire.

I do think Homer will be an above average pitcher.  But not with the Reds.  For some reason he just doesn’t seem to gel with the team or, more likely, Dusty.

There’s been a lot of talk about Lee going to Minnesota.  The Twins farm is stacked with pitchers.  But they are almost all righties. 

What’s your feeling on a Homer- and the lefty Travis Wood-for-Lee deal? 

I’d go Homer and lefty Matt Maloney in a heartbeat.  But I’m more than iffy sending Wood over for a rent boy.  If Lee would guarantee to sign an extension, I’d ship Seattle Homer and Wood with a big smile on my face.

That would open up my master plan, sending Leake to the pen for a good portion of the remaining season.  Leake would return as a starter late in the season. 

Harang is a more than adequate fifth starter until then.  What to do with Harang after that? Who really cares? 


Cliff Eastham: I like the way you think—and everybody thought you were just another pretty face.

I have to agree with you on Bailey; someday he will be very good. A scenery change will probably wake him up.

Maloney has at least had an opportunity to play with the big boys while Wood is still wearing a bib.  I like Maloney a lot, but I think Wood has more potential than Matt.

With that being said, this would be my offer to the Mariners: Bailey and Maloney for Lee. On the face of it, that makes more sense to me than the Rolen for Double EE and all the baby pitchers the Reds had last year.

The Reds have an abundance of talent-laden young arms in Louisville and some here already. Sam LeCure will be a good one, but I digress.

As for the middle relief, Aroldis Chapman will be popping up out of the hole soon, and they just called up Bill Bray.

We probably disagree on this, but I would shop Coco Cordero around and keep using rookie Jordan Smith as much as possible in the meantime. That kid is really impressive.

I honestly can’t see Cincy winning the division with a closer no more reliable than Coco. I fully expect to see him go to the mound with a blind fold and a cigarette to face the music. Ready, aim, fire!


Caesar Cliffius Eastham and Sir Illya Charleton Harrell would like to thank you for enjoying our column!

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