Red Reposter - Strikeouts, Dragons, & Replay

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

MLB changes course on replay, the Reds head to Atlanta, 11 people struck out while you read this, and one of the Reds' MiLB affiliates is set to cash out.

We've all become aware of the recent sexual assault lawsuit filed against Alfredo Simon, and there's no denying that it is the most important piece of Reds-related news at this moment.  FordhamRam succinctly detailed the situation yesterday evening, and a thoughtful - yet still critical - discussion is taking place in the comments section of that thread. We don't want to stifle your thoughts on the issue or your ability to discuss them, and we fully acknowledge that Red Reporter is fortunate to have a community that has always done a good job of remaining civil and reasonable on delicate matters, but we'd also like to centralize the discussion in that thread for the time being.  It's a serious situation and an even more serious topic, and we will make sure that any further updates will be added as they happen.  Thanks in advance for understanding.

JinAZ's always-awesome preview of the upcoming series between the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves will be along later today, but in the meantime, you can check out some details about it from Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Basically, Fredi Gonzalez & the Bravos are well aware of what Billy Hamilton can do when on base, and they're going to do everything they can to keep him from having that opportunity...also known as "what every other team has told themselves when they awake at 4 AM in a cold sweat from a Hamilton nightmare."

According to Ken Rosenthal, Major League Baseball is already backpedaling on their newfangled "transfer rule" interpretations. A byproduct of the implementation of replay in baseball was the more strict interpretation of certain rules whose letter-of-the-law enforcement had not exactly been kept under the microscope for the better part of a generation, including "neighborhood" plays and, of course, the "transfer rule."  If you've watched baseball over the years, you've seen countless instances where a player attempting to turn a double play has been thrown a ball, and rather than squeeze-catch it, attempts to move it from his glove hand to his throwing hand all in one motion only to lose control before being able to make the relay throw.  The implication has always been that the catch could have been made, and therefore the first out was a given, but that's been a different case so far this year.  It's led to several would-be out baserunners being called safe, and there's been enough of a pushback that the league is ready to enforce - or, rather, not-enforce - the rule the way it used to be, and that will begin tonight.

If it feels like you watch your favorite team strikeout a ton each and every time you watch them, it's because they do.  Marty Gitlin took note of that at CBSSports.com, and while his brief article is geared more towards a fantasy perspective, it's still a noticeable trend that's been burgeoning for some time. It's yet another statistical indication that the league is ebbing back towards being pitching dominant, a trend that includes fewer HRs, lower runs/game, a decline in league-wide OPS, and an increase in the number of guys who can touch 95 mph with their fastballs.  It's the unseen undercurrent for much of the backlash against some of the Reds most potent offensive performers, in my opinion, and it's one that is severely overlooked in much of that discussion.  It's just a lot damn harder to put up the kind of offensive numbers we grew up seeing.

The Reds' Class A affiliate, the Dayton Dragons, have had a FOR SALE sign in their front yard for a little more than a year now, and as Josh Leventhal notes for Baseball America, the group that owns them is set to cash in, big time. We're all aware of the successes seen by the Dragons both on the field and in the ticket office, and it's something that hasn't gone unnoticed at the macro level, either.  It's a clear example of how the booming business of baseball isn't just isolated to the top-tier of the game, and plenty of the umpteen billions in revenue that the game generates has trickled down to the game's minor leagues.

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