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Red Reposter - Company Men

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Hands are shaking on Dusty's contract extension
"The Reds and Baker have agreed in principle to a two-year contract extension," sez Fay. Further details were not available before I had to ask Eunice to load the ink duct rollers. This would have been a nightmare scenario in April for Dusty detractors, who may well have been in the majority then. The simple rejoinder here is "Scoreboard." But did the Reds succeed this year in spite of Dusty? In some ways, yes, though making a clear-eyed comparison of Dusty's various strengths and blind-spots with other managers around the league is often, at worst, a wash. He's not Joe Maddon, if that's your paragon, but Walt's general management has proven far more compatible with Dusty's management style than most of us expected. This year, at least, Dusty and his staff have kept the veterans rested, but not overtly coddled, while molding, or just getting out of the way of - the young dudes. Taken with the franchise's first playoff berth in fifteen years, Dusty's changed a lot of hearts this season.

Aaron Harang is on the brink
The Enquirer's Tom Groeschen looks at the state of play for Aaron Harang as the postseason draws near. Will there be a 10th Inning for the erstwhile ace? Bryan Price gives a non-answer about the playoff roster, but it's reasonable to guess Harang is a bubble player, at best. I'm still laboring under the delusion that Harang is still capable of pitching as well as anyone in the bullpen outside the big four locks (Cordero, Masset, Rhodes and Chapman). We all understand that baseball is - or should be - a performance-based business, largely blind to seniority. And Harang has been compensated handsomely for his efforts. So what is owed to "Adam"? Certainly, the standing ovation he's unlikely to get upon his last home appearance. Probably, a day to honor him as the best Reds pitcher of the 00s (admittedly a low bar), once robbed of a Cy Young.

Aaron Harang had a brilliant peak in '06 and '07, did good works off-the-field - and, by all accounts, has been an affable, humble mensch to the end:

"It's really their decision to make," Harang said of the postseason roster. "I don't have a say in it, so I'm just going to go out there and pitch when I get called upon."

But if you want to grouse about the money Harang is making
BizJournals reminds us of the value the Reds are getting out of their payroll as a whole.

Edmonds might be ready by playoffs?
This is one storyline that's totally whack and played out. Edmonds got a cortisone shot and Reds thinks, unsurprisingly, that he might be on the postseason roster. The Reds kind of need his bat, though much less so now that Nix is getting healthy. If he's not running very well, and thereby a liability in the outfield and on the basepaths, then he's roughly as useful as Francisco in the postseason.

It is looking more likely that the Reds will reach the World Series via Philadelphia
If the Giants win just one game against the Padres this weekend, and the Braves win just one game against the Phillies, the Reds will end up the 3rd seed and draw Philly in the NLDS.

Arroyo talking like he all bad and going to be starting Game One
Fay makes a good point in mentioning the leftiness of the Phillies lineup vis a vis Arroyo. If I'm not mistaken, Bronson hasn't faced the Phillies this year. Hate to say it, but Travis Wood might be the best match against the Phillies.

JinAZ ranks the NL's offenses over at BtB
Our Redlegs are just a few points behind the Brewers for the top spot in the league. Here's the snippet: "The Reds were one of the worst offenses in baseball last year. What's the difference this year? Well, Joey Votto's .442 wOBA doesn't hurt. But the other factor is an almost complete elimination of bad performances. With the notable exception of Orlando Cabrera--who has been awful--every player who has received significant playing time has posted a league average or better wOBA. Even Paul Janish, the guy who can't get PA's when Cabrera is around, has equaled league average this year. The catchers have perhaps been the biggest surprise, posting a combined line of .295/.376/.426."

Earlier starts for World Series games this year
The Reds will put the finishing touches on their sweep as soon as NFL on FOX is finished.

Reds got narc-ed out bigtime for visiting flavor country in the clubhouse
Totally worth it though. Like the time I drank a Mondo in my room after almost a scoring a goal in a SAY soccer game against Vase Emporium.

Bizjournals looks at the body or research on the economic impact of a playoff appearance
The "money" "quote:"

"Every screwdriver that Astro fans drink in bars near Minute Maid Park is a screwdriver not consumed somewhere else in Houston," wrote Brad Humphreys, a University of Alberta economics professor, in a 2005 blog posting on the topic.