- Hal o' Famer Hal has got to give it up for Leake's strong finish
Leake surrendered just 3 runs over his last 2 outings (17 IP), though both were against the hapless Cubs. Mastery of basement dwellers aside, Leake had a very nice season. He's cemented not only his spot in the rotation but also his standing among the Reds' three best starters entering 2012, along with Cueto and Bailey. Cueto has made the biggest leap forward in performance this season, but Bailey and Leake both improved on last year in both innings and output. None of the three are 26 yet. Hal laso reminds us that Leake's exit does not require a replacement (the rotation shrinks back to 5).
Brewer's walk-off win mathematically eliminates Reds from Central
It's a perfectly bizarro version of the 2010 Clinch-mas that gave the Reds' their Central Division title. Some one else's star outfielder (Ryan Braun) hits a walk-off home run to make a repeat officially impossible. Except I'm greeting this with a shrug, not some equally-intense, but opposite emotion to last year's celebration. We've known this day was coming for over a month.
This could be the early start to wild hot stove speculation
I'm not sure what to make of these two Cubs-Reds items on MLBTR, but they sound like they may be coming out of actual internal discussions (though highly informal) from each front office. As score prediction mogul joshuar brings to our attention, the Reds may be interested in signing Aramis Ramirez, while the Cubs may be interested in hiring Walt Jocketty, possibly in some wide-ranging attempt to bring the mountain to Chicago and have LaRussa and Pujols follow. Jocketty's contract is up after this season, so he's sure to be pursued at some level by any team with a possible GM vacancy. But I don't know why the Reds would be after Ramirez. It's not that the team hasn't had serious third base problems all season or that Ramirez isn't a very good option there. But he's basically gotten $15M a year since 2008 and his 2011 was in keeping with his production over that contract. The Reds could maybe just barely afford him, on top of the fact that unless Rolen retires, the Reds are still on the hook for their presumptive starting third-baseman and have as many 3 credible replacements for him in the system. Neither Ramirez or Rolen have played anywhere besides 3B in their careers, while Aramis has an unsettling similarity to Scott: mid-30s 3B who has played only partial seasons 2 out of his last 3 years.
- Speaking of which, Rolen still wants to play this season But time is running short. Rolen hasn't hit BP since August 31 and Baker thinks he "probably" won't play again this season. Scotty has some advice for the kids: "I should have taken it slower. Take 25 swings instead of 100, dummy." This was actually him talking to himself, but it'd be funny to imagine him saying just that on some middle school stage and then exiting stage left.
C-ing Red: "Joey Votto For 2011 MVP"
I agree with andro here. Votto deserves to be in the MVP conversation for having another brilliant season. But he probably won't win. And there's at least one positional player who's more deserving.
Doug Dirt over at Reds Minor Leagues reviews the season for the always-exciting, sell-out-prone Dayton Dragons
OMGreds ranks the three-best Reds at-bat songs of all time
It's a highly subjective thing, but I agree that it has to be something sublime and weird. And not Sublime. I liked Bruce's use of "I'm on a Boat." I'm still waiting for a totally insane at-bat song, like El Nino Destructor coming up to a Cannibal Corpse song. Or Brandon Phillips to Pet Shop Boys.