COMMENTARY | There's no doubt that the Cincinnati Reds' trade for OF Shin-Soo Choo brought the Reds a better offensive center fielder. In a three-team trade, the Reds received Choo and IF Jason Donald for CF Drew Stubbs and SS Didi Gregorius. Stubbs has seen a declining batting average since he came into the league in 2009 and, regardless of his potential, has never seemed to "get it." Stubbs' slash last season was .213/.277/.333. Compare that to Choo's .283/.373/.441 and you can see why the Reds pulled the trigger. Many frustrated Reds fans cheered when Stubbs was traded but there's a part of me that will truly miss the guy in center field next season.
1. Round third, heading home
Once in a blue moon (so it seemed), Drew Stubbs actually got on base. Sometimes, Stubbs even got to second base. In these situations, we were occasionally graced with a double and saw Stubbs round third and head for home. It was in these situations when the strikeouts, groundouts and flyouts disappeared and Stubbs was truly valuable. He was like a gazelle with his long, swift stride as he seemingly sped up to touch third-- oh, sorry ... I got lost in my thoughts there. But yeah, Stubbs looked good rounding those bases at full speed.
2. His first name
Even though he uses the shortened version, he's got an awesome first name.
3. His batting stance
I'm not a fan of the quirky batting stance. Brandon Phillips has a weird batting stance that kind of annoys me. Yankees 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis has a really weird batting stance that really annoys me. Stubbs' batting stance is pretty much as normal as they come and he actually looked ready to hit the ball (even though he wasn't).
4. Extended commercial breaks
Drew Stubbs in the batter's box was as predictable as ... something predictable. If he was up with 2 outs, no matter the situation, I knew that I could miss his at bat and still know the result. More often than not, Stubbs gave me a little extra time to go to the bathroom or the kitchen.
5. The surprise moment
Every once in a while (and if you've never watched the Reds, please know that I mean once in a while), Drew Stubbs actually did something cool, good or clutch. Two nights in a row in Houston, he beat the Astros in the ninth inning. He caught a ball in the 11th inning against the wall to end the game in Miami. He walked against the Nationals to set up Joey Votto's walk-off grand slam on Mother's Day. When a player continually fails, it's great to see them do something good every once in a while.
6. The perfect scapegoat
After a tough loss, it would have been difficult for me to blame Phillips for grounding into a double play or Bronson Arroyo for leaving a curveball over the heart of the plate. But Drew Stubbs! All he did for nine innings was stand there. He stood out in center field and caught some baseballs. He stood next to home plate and watched some baseballs whiz past. He didn't toss a ball between his legs like Phillips or throw six other great innings like Arroyo. Stubbs wouldn't even look upset after his routine 0-fer night. He was the perfect scapegoat.
Some jokes aside, I do think Stubbs played hard and wanted to win. Often times, I think he tried too hard and the real problem was in his head. I think Stubbs can succeed in Cleveland and I wish him the best of luck.
Andrew J. Roth studied journalism at Lehigh University and received his Master's from the University of Illinois. He has been following the Reds and Major League Baseball since he met Barry Larkin in 1993. For Reds and other sports tweets, follow him on Twitter @AndrewJohnRoth
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