The Red Ink: 14 (Number of strikeouts for Reds batsmen in last night's game), 1 (Number of times Aroldis Chapman will start for the Bats tonight in Louisville)
Red Hot Mama is looking forward to Pittsburgh
We don't blame her in the least. The second half of the Florida series was kinda like Miami Vice Episode 090, wherein "An explosion during an undercover assignment causes the Vice squad to believe Crockett’s dead; Crockett sustains a concussion that leads him to believe he is his drug dealer alter-ego Burnett and go to work for a Colombian crime boss." RHM also reminds us that the Reds will reprise the wearing of the NOB-less Jackie Robinson jerseys as Pittsburgh was off yesterday and did not get to participate in the commemoration.
Redleg Nation has strategically deployed the Dusty-O-Meter
For those unfamiliar, the Dusty-O-Meter monitors in-game decisions made by Dusty Baker. Chris at RLN sez: "This exercise has revealed a couple things: First, a manager really has very few things he can do to affect the course of a game... Second, the Dusty-O-Meter is definitely going to miss most of Dusty Baker’s value as a manager." While it doesn't monitor Dusty as Leader of Men, this is a very thorough accounting of the decisions Dusty has made that make us go "wait, whaaaat?" It's pretty evenhanded, crediting Dusty for moves that often go unnoticed amidst the grumbling. I'm not sure how the point system is derived, but for those looking to compile a list of grievances, this is your Rosetta Stone.
The Fay has some straight dope for us
Nix has been quietly battling the flu, while Mike Lincoln's fastball is touching 89. He threw two scoreless last night, which garnered accolades from Dusty. I think Lincoln could still be OK as a low-leverage reliever, but with how erratic the entire staff has been thus far, I'm hoping to see Burton, Maloney and where is Bill Bray exactly sometime soon. Drew Stubbs’ back is better and he should be in the lineup tonight. I'd expect to see Gomes too vs. the lefty Duke, though I'm pining away for the day when Stubbs and Dickerson go 1-2 in the order.
MLB.com sez "Leake's path conjures memories of Abbott"
The headline is a bridge too far for me, as Abbott's story is one of the most singular and inspiring for any pitcher in baseball history, but the fact that Leake is one of 21 pitchers to jump to the majors - and had an impressive debut upon arriving - is nothing at which to sneeze.
Hairston picks up his ring in New York
This is a heart-warmer. Hairston took the red-eye out of pocket to receive his World Series ring with the rest of the Yankees. I liked this: "Hairston said the only person he had talked to about making the trip to New York on the red-eye was the Yankees’ traveling secretary. 'I didn’t want to give (anybody) the opportunity to tell me no,' Hairston said." Cherry was well-liked here - a rough and ready super-utilityman willing to play wherever Dusty so chose. I'm glad he could have his moment, even if it was with the Pinstriped Plutocrats.
Slate magazine indirectly cares about the Reds
A good read for Chapman Day. The vaunted net magazine takes a look at Cuban talent and the recent surge in defections: "It's easy to be seduced by the mystique surrounding Cuban ballplayers—the promise of raw talent, shrouded in mystery and kept out of view to all but a few sources privy to the secrets of the island. Nevertheless, there's logic behind the argument that Cuba is an untapped hardball gold mine. 'If the Dominican Republic can produce so many big leaguers, Cuba will produce more,' e-mails Baseball America Editor-in-Chief John Manuel." I guess "e-mails" is an acceptable way to attribute a quotation now? If things open up in Cuba, there could be major changes to MLB's foreign free agent market and inevitable strip-mining of Cuban baseball talent.
That article also links to this Enquirer story which, while about ten days old, I hadn't seen before:
"Passion, shame fills Cuban baseball"
"(A)ny player who defects is erased from official memory. As a taxi driver said, it's as if, 'Chapman doesn't exist. He never existed.'" It puts a sour note on things, but certainly not from the perspective of Chapman or the Reds. No one should be held captive from seeking reward for their talents at the highest level of their field. Seems to me, when Cuba opens up, they should seek out a mutually beneficial baseball trade agreement. I'd love to see a team in Havanna, but also see the importance of Cuba seeking to retain their own baseball tradition, apart from the MLB Behemoth.
FanGraphs looks at Two True Outcomes that have been plaguing Homer Bailey
Homer's early struggles were previously discussed, but it's nice having (our partner) FanGraph's treatment to go on.
Anytime you curse the reputed ignorance of the Reds' fan base (or anyone else's), think on this
This News of the Extreme Moron made the SBNation main page. Makes battery-whipping look like foam finger waving. According to an off-duty police officer attending a Phillies game, some Phreak "projectile vomited all over me and my daughter." Sorry to soil the Reposter with this, but it's Friday. That's when all the the lurid news gets released.