x-Red Reposter - (x - denotes late game)

BP gazes down benevolently, like some towel-haired diety. BP (Bivine Providence) has looked favorably on us. May it be that our long regional nightmare is finally over.

Hall o' Famer Hal wins last night's Reds Game Recap Headline Challenge
with "Reds Commit Suicide - In a Good Way." Or at least that's how it showed up in my RSS reader. The headline that appears on the Dayton Daily News page is the neutered "Reds' suicide squeeze opens run vault." I won't rest until the orginal, weird headline is restored. Hal was floored by the 18-hit, Votto-less comeback last night - and distills the reason the Reds, despite being owned by the Cardinals like "a rich landlord," are 3 games up in the NL Central:

"The Cardinals are 15-18 against division rivals Milwaukee, Houston and Chicago. Against those same three teams, the Reds are 21-5 - a plus-nine games in the standings for the Reds."

The Internet's Yahoo's Big League Stew's The Juice takes notice of last night's dramatic win
Heisey's squeeze that plated Edmonds is the lede everywhere. While it may have looked like an unnecessarily risky play on paper, the execution made it look like inspired strategy. I don't know all the run expectancies for the situation, but the pitch was ripe, Heisey can bunt / run fast, and the element of surprise (especially with Edmonds at 3rd) all conspired for a perfect storm of baseball elegance. 35 comeback wins for the Reds on the year.

Reds somewhat quietly offer Baker an extension
Here's a story that might have been explosive if the Reds were hovering around .500 or worse. But most of us would be hard-pressed to come up with reasons that, on an already overachieving team,  Dusty has stood in the way of further success. It's almost miraculous how winning melts away the constant lineup dissections and micro-analysis. Dusty hasn't become a tactical genius overnight, but many of his weaknesses have come out in the wash. The construction of the roster and management of an increasingly broad talent base under the aegis of Walt and Dusty can only be judged favorably at the moment, though success in baseball is a very tenuous thing. Dusty is playing it coy - and it isn't yet known how many year(s) are in the extension.

Ken Rosenthal thinks Dusty may have other suitors
I ain't going to even be chump-played like this. Like most veteran free agents, Baker probably won't tip his hand, nor likely make a decision during the season. Given how the team is doing, putting it off another month or two could increase his leverage significantly.

Draft America picks the brain of U. of Miami coach Jim Morris on Yasmani Grandal 
The freshly-inked first-rounder in all his Yasmanic Grandeur. As you might expect, Morris is very high on Grandal's baseball talent. But he also touts Grandal's character - what scouts sometimes ambiguously refer to as "makeup" - stressing his "goal-oriented" work ethic (which may help him land that junior associate position at CorpTech): "He's a great kid that came over from Cuba, and when you leave there... you leave everything. And you come here to start a new life, and you bring whatever you have on your back to come and start over. So it's a big process for him, his family, and everybody. It's exciting to watch someone that's worked so hard and is so goal-oriented and is really a good player and a good kid." It's unfair to simply lump in the three native Cubans the Reds now have in their system, but I'm excited about this trend as I think it gives the club some measure of advantage in attracting other talent from the Island - and also because I hope the Cuban influence makes its way to GABP. I look forward to drinking my mojito, stuffing down a Cuban and thrilling to the sounds of Ibrahim Ferrer as Chapman and Grandal combine for a strike'emout-throw'emout double play. Also in this fantasy, those Coca Cola Clobber Columns become two gigantic, unapologetically phallic Cuban cigars  (Cuban-nati Calamity Cylinders?)

Morris shares the opinion that Grandal will rise quickly through the system, but this seems far from assured, should he remain at catcher. The learning curve of major league quality game calling - and the various tenures of Hernandez, Hanigan and Mesoraco - could put a longer tail on Grandal's arrival.

FanGraphs fills out its report card on the drafts of each NL Central club
Bryan Smith, the writer, is also high on Grandal and finds Waldrop and Cisco to be good supporting characters. Nothing inspired Smith enough to call the Reds take best in the Central, but surely signed all ten of the first ten picks is, at the very least, thorough. Just keep in mind, here's a reason they call it a "draft" - it's because these players are still in "draft" form. That is, literally, why they call it a "draft" right?  Or is it because big league teams ply their picks with draft beer to get them to sign? I admit fictional etymology was never my best subject.

Chapman is due to come up Sept. 1, sez Fay
According to the Playoff eligibility rules Fay posted, playoff eligible players must be on one of the of the following as of midnight August 31: a) the 25-man active roster, b) the disabled list, c) the bereavement list, d) the suspended list. Unless I'm misreading the rules, Chapman will have to be placed on the active roster sometime on August 31 in order to be guaranteed a chance at the playoffs. Someone confirm this, while remembering my very fragile ego. When you provide the information, please make it seem like you're reminding me of something I already knew, or better yet, make it seem like I thought of the idea and you're merely the conduit for my genius.

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