Why is this happening to me?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The Reds are playing like if the '62 New York Mets were using croquet mallets to hit a medicine ball. Into the ground.

Hi, hello and NOT welcome. You're not welcome to strut around the office - or, in my case, the Thriftway where I was buying cold cuts this morning - like everything is OK. Because it's not.

I almost hesitate to give everyone the satisfaction, but your Red Reporter Publisher Emeritus and Spiritual leader is writing for the second time in as many days. I'm experiencing a deadness of spirit I've not seen since I realized that every movie wasn't a documentary. The only thing deader are the Reds' bats.

As Dan Rather used to say: "Generalissimo Frank Franciso is still dead." And so are the hitting muscles in the entire Reds' namestack this side of Zach Cosart. Cosart's aggressiveness is finally paying off, as he went two-for-three last night and was the only bright spot in another dreary day out at San Diego's Jack McMurphy Stadium. Another couple nights like that and he'll earn his way back to that two-hole.

Speaking of holes, Todd Frasier has a hole in his swing you drive a truckload of New Jersey toxic filth through. With Sin Soo Choo no longer playing center field, it sure would be nice to deal the Seattle Radio Therapist for a proven lead-off man like Juan Pierre-Paul. Sorry Todd, I love your taste in crooning, but the Reds need someone to set the table if they're ever going to feast again.

Today at 4 a.m. is the June Amateur Trade Deadline. I wish, at long last, the Reds would find a professional to whip their clubhouse into shape. Even though they missed out on utility infielde extraordinaire Alberto Callastoga, there are still some good names out there. Our Redlegs could really use a starting pitcher to replace Matt Latos, who proved once and for all last night that he's not the pitcher (or the inventor, ha ha) that Edison Volquez is.

Or they could try to deal the 5-10 Homer Bailey. I hear some of you would like to see the team sell their wares at the deadline and start rebuilding this shack. Some of you think that's a bunch of shack-fu.

Personally, I think those no-no-hitters could hoodwink some teams yet. I'm hearing that a straight-up trade for Marlins' slugger John-Carlos Stanton could be in the works, provided the Marlins put toss in a pitcher to replace Bailey. I can't tell if I'm hearing these rumors from inside my head or somewhere else, but it feels right. Nate E. Vivaldi could make the deal just palatable enough for the Jocko Socko Robot to punch YES.

That brings us to today's gruesome scoring update: 6 runs in 50 innings. That's one run every nine innings for nearly 6 straight games.

Why is this happening? I already laid out the plan for how to fix this problem, so the question is: Why haven't they done it? Probably because none of you humps bothered to teletype yesterday's article to the proper team officials. And even if you did, they probably didn't have time to read it because they're busy trying to add zeros to other zeros.

But as many-time Yankees' manager Billy Preston used to say, "Nothing and nothing means nothing." He forgot to add that Everything Means Nothing. That's a personal motto of mine that I nailed in a fit of rage over the "Pobody's Nerfect" wall-hanging my wife had put in the den. Then I realized I didn't even have a wife.

Or a den.

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