Shin-Soo Choo got his first taste of playoff baseball last night, and it tasted an awful lot like crushing disappointment, or a JTM Philly Cheese Steak kit. If in fact his last at bat as a member of the Reds came last night, then it was a hell of a way to go out. He's been a joy to watch this season, doing everything he was asked and then some. It will be hard to say goodbye to his production, and to a great clubhouse presence.
I would be shocked to see him back next season, but I've been shocked by Jocketty a time or two before. There are some quotes from Choo in the article that give you a glimmer of hope, but I feel like hoping for a return is just going to lead to disappointment. No matter what happens, we'll always have this. And I'll always have my Disco Choo bobblehead.
If seeing Joey Votto sad makes you sad, don't click the link, because the picture of Votto alone in the dugout is devastating. Here, Joey reflects on what was a down year, both offensively and defensively. I have every expectation that he'll work his ever loving ass off this offseason, and come back with a vengeance next season. Also, let us remember that an off year for Votto is still a 6+ WAR season where he leads the league in OBP for the fourth consecutive year.
Here's a pretty well reasoned article on why it might be finally time to say goodbye to Dusty. Personally, I've been pretty pro-Dusty during his tenure, but at this point I think enough is enough. It's not that everything that happened last night, or this year, or last year, was Dusty's fault. But we've seen two consecutive seasons end with Dusty managing do or die games like it's a Sunday afternoon in June.
The Reds ran into a buzz saw last night in Francisco Liriano's devastating slider. He threw the pitch 44 times to Reds batters last night generating 13 whiffs. He made Joey, Jay and Choo look silly, but you can't really blame them. Lefty batters this season have produced a line of .067/.103/.080 against Liriano's slider. That's just not fair.
I'm going to wrap it up, because this is starting to feel like an exercise in masochism.