There is a lot of optimism in Cincinnati, where single-game tickets went on sale Saturday and Opening Day was sold out in eight minutes. With some extra money, GM Dan O'Brien got veteran pitching help in Eric Milton and Ramon Ortiz and signed some veteran relievers (Kent Mercker, David Weathers) to pitch in front of closer Danny Graves. Do they have the frontline pitching to match the Cubs, Astros and Cardinals? No, but with the offense the Reds have, they are much better.
What will be interesting to follow will be to see how manager Dave Miley sorts out his outfield, if Griffey and Austin Kearns are healthy. O'Brien believes his budget will allow him to keep Sean Casey and sign both Adam Dunn and Kearns, two monster talents. If everyone is healthy, come July, it could be Wily Mo Pena who becomes available, which would whet the appetite of Washington GM Jim Bowden.
Wily Mo Pena for Livan Hernandez? In a heartbeat. And I love Wily Mo.
Livan's really about it when it comes to Nationals pitching though. Not that they don't have anyone else interesting, but there's nothing there that I'd find an acceptable swap for Pena.