Homer Serves Them Up At An Alarming Pace

Homer Bailey bobblehead

David Dewitt Bailey. His nickname, and the name you know him by is “Homer” – not a bad nickname for a baseball player. Except Homer Bailey is a pitcher and unfortunately for the Cincinnati Reds, a team that just shelled out $105 million for his services, Homer is serving them up at a rate of 1 every other inning in 2014.

It’s early, and that number will no doubt get better as the season progresses, but it’s alarming nonetheless. Besides the long balls, Bailey’s ERA this season at 8.16 is almost double his career average of 4.32. His WHIP is nearly a point higher, too.
Homer Bailey career statistics
Further, the Reds gave Bailey SEVEN years to reach the potential they felt he had in him – which they thought they saw realized in the pair of no-hitters he tossed in one calendar year. Hence the deal for a cool $105 mil over six years. That’s an average of $17.5 million per year. In other words, that’s ace money.

While I do think Homer Bailey has shown improvement over his first seven seasons, he’s no ace. People will quibble over the definition of what an ace is, but everyone agrees, an ace is the team’s best option when they need a win – someone you can bank on virtually every appearance. You can’t bank on Bailey. Like most of the Reds staff, he’s just too inconsistent and his career stats bear this out.

Too often the trend in baseball has shown that players receiving huge contracts have rather suspect performances the ensuing season. And with the Reds anemic offense, they really need Bailey to rise above the norm. Based on the early returns, he is not.

But it’s not all doom and gloom Reds fans. The team was smart enough to back load the contract with Bailey getting $9 million this year, $10 million in 2015, $18 million in 2016, $19 million in 2017, $21 million in 2018 and $23 million in 2019. Plus they set a buyout price at $5 million. So if Bailey doesn’t get back to his 2013 numbers, they can get out of the deal without taking too big a hit.

I certainly hope Bailey gets back into form in short order. He’s got dynamic stuff and he’s fun to watch. Plus, the Reds have enough guys in the bullpen willing to give up bombs – good thing Uncle Walt spent so much on such quality middle relievers (it’s enough to make you think he’s still on the Cardinals payroll – but that’s a post for another day).

I digress.

As does Homer.

—Ryan Varney

Review of the Twentieth Century Way at the Know Theater in Cincinnati

The Know Theatre in Cincinnati presents the Twentieth Century WayI was invited to a production of “The Twentieth-Century Way” at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati this past weekend. Starring Jens Rasmussen and Michael McKeogh, this two-man play is a whirlwind of activity designed to answer the question, “Who am I, really?”

In order to answer the question, the playwright, Tom Jacobson, has his characters don masks (in the form of improvisational role-playing as part of a movie audition) to reveal their true selves. While not a novel concept, Jacobson uses it effectively and the actors displayed his vision veraciously.

You can read reviews of the script to get the full story elsewhere. Here’s what you really need to know.

It’s worth the admission price ($15 in advance; $20 day of show).

Rasmussen and McKeogh are tremendous. Though it’s only a two-man show, each actor performs as five or six different characters. These characters appear as part of different scenes, and the seamless transitions made by Rasmussen and McKeogh immediately place the audience in the scene. Watching them go from character to character is as impressive as Jacobson’s script.

It’s funny. There is a nice blend of physical comedy, laugh-out-loud moments, and subtle quips – all which help swallow the heaviness at the heart of the play.

It’s at times graphic, but don’t let the homosexual nature of the play distract you from its heart. If you are put off by man-on-man action (as I am), some moments are tough to watch. But this play is not really commentary on homosexuality – it’s merely the vehicle Jacobson uses to make his point.

And finally a word of caution (and possible spoiler alert):
MEN GET NAKED AND TOUCH. After watching the play my mind went to the scene in Role Models where Kuzzik says, “Now let us gingerly touch our tips.”

Because. That. Happened.

They might have kissed, too, but my eyes were averted by that point (plus the technical director was kind enough to dim the lights quite severely).

Now that you know the pros and cons, go see it. The Know Theatre warrants support for bringing in two wonderfully talented actors.

—Ryan Varney