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Ryan Ludwick calls out Cincinnati fans for lack of energy

Sep 25, 2013, 5:46 PM EDT

This is never, ever a good idea. Total no-win situation for a player. But Ryan Ludwick does it anyway, calling for enthusiastic Reds fans this weekend because, well, the enthusiasm against the Mets this week was a little lacking:

One can argue that this worked for David Justice and the Braves in 1995, but it took Tom Glavine saving his bacon in Game 6 for him not to become persona non grata. Otherwise: nope, no fan base in the world is gonna say “Hey, Ludwick is right! We’re too lackadaisical!”

And let’s face it, Ryan. You dropped two of three to a Mets team that’s deader than vaudeville. You want enthusiasm? Give your fans a reason to show it.

  1. sabatimus - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Right: blame the fans for your team tanking. Always a good decision.

    • forsch31 - Sep 25, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      The Reds are 6-4 in their last 10 games. Sorry, that’s not “tanking,” painful loss to the Mets notwithstanding. The attendance for their last five home games have been below the season’s average (about 24,000 vs. 30,000), which considering that the team’s been in a dogfight for the division the past few weeks, would obviously rub the players the wrong way.

      Still, not cool…not when the Reds set a new total home park attendance record this year for the ballpark (which has been around 10 years), and this was a mid-week afternoon game.

      • dt2332 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Ryan Ludwick does have a point though. Cin has been one of the best in the NL for three years running now and almost every weekday home game (Mon-Thurs) is at night to get more people to come. The fact that a team battling for first place in the division and only sells roughly 30,000 of its 42,319 seats is funny and disappointing for the city. The Reds don’t even sell out on a Saturday night unless they’re playing the Cubs or Cardinals. The fact that the Cubs season average of 32,165 is almost 2,000 more than the 30,931 the Reds average makes Cubs fans laugh since they are 20 or so games out of contention. The only time Cubs fans can see a game at a reasonable price is in Cin because they know they can buy upper level tix for $6-$10 and move down to the lower level.

      • forsch31 - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        The problem is that Cincinnati has only gotten above average of 30,000 six before in its history–the Big Red Machine years of 1976, 1977, and 1978, and in 1993, 1994, and 2000. It’s never gotten above 35,000.

        There’s unreasonable expectation, and there’s historical reality.

  2. thomas844 - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    How about Ludwick focuses on his hitting instead of the fans? The Mets walked Votto FIVE TIMES the other day to get to him and he didn’t do a thing the whole game. You said it best Craig, if he wants the fans to have energy, he needs to help give them a reason to have it.

  3. Marty McKee - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    At this point, he’s lucky to be in the lineup. I would start Choo in LF and Hamilton in CF, at least for the postseason, and use Ludwick as a pinch-hitter with runners on base. Giving him a 2-year contract was a bad idea. Not just because it was unlikely he could repeat what he did the 2nd half of last year (remember, his first half of 2012 was awful), but it also kept Jocketty from trading for somebody better to play LF while Ludwick was on the DL.

    • gosport474 - Sep 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

      Spot on analysis, Marty. As a Reds fan, I cringed when they signed Ludwick for two years when every statistical measure showed him him in a steep decline the three years prior to Cincinnati. The last three months of last season were more than likely a small aberration. In fact, his best season in ’08 is most likely an outlier, and at age 35, the decline is likely to continue.

    • joshbresser - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:59 AM

      I still don’t see how the Reds didn’t, at the very least, block the Pirates from getting Marlon Byrd.

      If they force him on you, you have a .280 average along with 22 homers to jam in your lineup for the cost of about 100k.

  4. irishdodger - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Meanwhile journeymen ballplayers make millions via guaranteed multi-year contracts. Ludwick is probably pro-socialized medicine…provided he doesn’t have be a consumer of it.

  5. vikesfansteve - Sep 25, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    More like the umpires calling pitches 4 inches off the plate strikes saving his bacon…

  6. Uncle Charlie - Sep 25, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    If anybody actually showed up for the games, they would be insulted.

  7. mattysold - Sep 25, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    WOW! Some stones on this guy. I think the pitching staff should call out the reds hitters, Ludwig especially for lack of Run support. Any coincidence Votto’s avg dropped since he’s been back? He should have stayed on the DL. Lose 2 of 3 to the Brewers and now the Met’s in the last 2 weeks. Wonder why fans are frustrated. We’ll be there for the playoffs, will you?

  8. sportsfan69 - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Hey Ludwick why don’t you hit ball. As matter of fact, whole team looks like their sleep walking. Two runs in 18 innings against the pitiful Mets pitching staff. Shut up and do your job.

  9. jm91rs - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    I wish the reds fans were more supportive too, but thanks to ludwick and company the few fans that came to the game went home pretty bummed out. 2 of 3 from the mets? Losing record in September? I hope they figure that crap out or it will be one and done and the fans won’t have a chance to see a playoff game.

  10. joshbresser - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Here are his full comments, by the way:

    “Coming over here, I heard about how big a baseball town this is. We’ve put a
    winning ballclub out there three of the last four years. This is a good team. When we went to Pittsburgh, they had an advantage. Fans were loud. A playoff atmosphere. Ludwick said he had an epiphany of sorts Wednesday. With two outs in the Reds 9th, he heard a woman in the fifth row behind the home dugout, loudly taking the fans to task. “We have a great team and our fans f—— suck,’’ she said, according to Ludwick. He said a Mets player raised similar issues Tuesday night: “You guys are in the middle of a pennant race and no one’s here. What’s going on?’’ Said Ludwick, “I might be be calling (fans) out. But I’m calling them out in a positive way. We want loud and energetic. It’s like a natural Red Bull. We need every positive aspect we can to keep this thing going.’’

    Where even to begin with this? I don’t know which is worse, the guy with nearly a -1 WAR reaming fans for not doing their job, or the assumption that it’s the *fans’* jobs the players don’t get pumped up. You’re making 14 million (undeserved) dollars over the next 2 years, and you’re on a team headed to the playoffs. That’s motivation there. You pump the fans up, they’re there to see you, not the other way around. The fans are the reason why you get to play baseball for a living instead of working at a Burger King or whatever. The fact that these comments followed a 1-0 loss to Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Mets (after losing 4-2 the night before) is just funny. The Mets walked the guy in front of you 5 times in one game, and you nearly set the MLB record for men left on base (10 LOB, 12 is the record.) What is there to get pumped up about that?

    You want loud and energetic? We want better than .250/.300, no power.

  11. joshbresser - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    By all means, Ryan, forfeit your 8.5 million dollar salary next year and head back to the Pirates and that great atmosphere they have. I’m sure they’ll have a parade just for your return- that .232/.341/.330 (2 HR) slashline you posted for them was the stuff of Bucco legends.

  12. stoutfiles - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    I’m sure Reds fans would get pumped if they put Ludwick on the bench for the rest of the year. Put Choo in LF and Hamilton in CF. Problem solved. Choo has been great all year and Hamilton is both fresh and hungry; he doesn’t need to get amped up by the crowd to play hard.

  13. cincinata - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    I don’t blame anyone in particular for this team’s poor results. They are a good team, just not the best team out there. I gave up on these guys just recently after coming home to lose 2 out of 3 to the Mets. Hamilton is not the answer. There are problems with this team scoring runs and especially hitting with men on base. The opposition can neutralize Chapman by leading the Reds going into the 9th. Also, Hamilton is not going to beat you if no one hits after he steals 2nd base. That is the major problem. And, I heard Phillips comments something about swagger being the most important or very important part of the team. At the same time, the Cardinals (with no swagger) cleaned up the very hot Wash. Nat’s 3 in a row. Ludwig had nothing to do with that, even though he is not contributing now. Personally, I am thinking the Pirates win 2 out of 3 this weekend.

  14. cincinata - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    I don’t blame anyone in particular for this team’s poor results. They are a good team, just not the best team out there. I gave up on these guys just recently after coming home to lose 2 out of 3 to the Mets. Hamilton is not the answer. There are problems with this team scoring runs and especially hitting with men on base. The opposition can neutralize Chapman by leading the Reds going into the 9th. Also, Hamilton is not going to beat you if no one hits after he steals 2nd base. That is the major problem. And, I heard Phillips comments something about swagger being the most important or very important part of the team. At the same time, the Cardinals (with no swagger) cleaned up the very hot Wash. Nat’s 3 in a row. Ludwig had nothing to do with that, even though he is not contributing now. Personally, I am thinking the Pirates win 2 out of 3 this weekend. No swagger in the world will fix that!

  15. xblac1d - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Maybe it’s happened & I’ve missed it but do Rays players (worst attendance in MLB)use the lack of “energy” from their fans as an excuse for losing 2 of 3 from a team like the Mets?
    An excuse is just that,if YOU’RE 2 games back of a division title energy should be coming from your clubhouse.

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