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Red Reposter - It's Morning in Reds Country

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Red Reposter's The Scarlet Number (because it's tantamount to adultery to be a fair-weather fan)  : 23-16

In case you thought Votto was all about quality over quantity
On refusing the offer of an off-day: "I want to play every single day," Votto said. "I don’t ever want a day off. I prepare myself to play every day."  Basically, he's an iron man with heart of gold and a bat of rich mahogany. What I wouldn't give to see a low-rent, locally-produced series called Vottomatic 2010, starring Joey Votto as an international playboy and transforming bionic man. I haven't written a spec script and sent it around or anything, so don't ask me about it. In related news: OMGReds takes a whimsical look at Joey Votto's and his doppelganger (Hopefully that's the last German loan word I'll use in today's Reposter).

Rolen makes an appeal to the rational
For some reason, Scott Rolen was asked if the current streak the Reds are on is "magical." Instead of saying this:

If magic is all we've ever know
Then it's easy to miss what really goes on
But I've seen miracles in every way
And I see miracles everyday
Oceans spanning beyond my sight
And a million stars way above em at night
We don't have to be high to look in the sky
And know that's a miracle opened wide
Look at the mountains, trees, the seven seas
And everything chilling underwater, please
Hot lava, snow, rain and fog
Long neck giraffes, and pet cats and dogs

He said this:

"What’s magical is we’re playing good baseball," Rolen said. "We’re making good pitches. We’re taking good swings. We’re putting together good at-bats. You call it whatever you want to call it. But it’s a good team, good players, playing good baseball." He also name-checked Lenny Harris while discussing his pinch-hit homer.

Even the Canadian press is catching Reds fever
I'm sure it has something to do with their native son.

Chapman makes his eighth start of the season today
Hasta la victoria siempre! Lost amidst the Reds meteoric rise to first has been Aroldis' recent struggles: Chapman is 3-2 with a 4.63 ERA and has allowed 18 earned runs, 36 hits and 21 walks to go with 41 strikeouts over 35 1/3 innings. In three May starts he has has a 9.42 ERA. Working through this snap back to reality should benefit Aroldis in the long-term. It's exactly the reason a pitcher like Chapman gets a chance to adjust his game-planning, pacing and pitch selection in the minor leagues. Buena suerte, Sr. Chapman.

The Reds may or may not have a deal with Cuban OF Felix Perez
Contrary to some reports, Walt says the deal is not done. They hope to have a deal in place in the next few days. He signed a deal with the Yankees in 2009 but it was nullified when it was learned that he was lying about his age.  Anyone with late-breaking, don't be shy. Along with Jose Arredondo, this is another low-profile signing that could bring some unexpected organizational depth.

Ryan Freel, Super-utilityman and lovable eccentric, retires
Freel has had a rough go-round these last few years. Easily lost to the dark ages of the 2000s was Freel's impressive '04-'06 stretch in which he got on base at a .370 clip, stole about 37 bags a year and could be plugged in at virtually any position on the field. The Reposter salutes Ryan "Farney" Freel.

"What they're saying about those first-place Cincinnati Reds"
This is two days old, but gives a nice glimpse at the zeitgeist as the Reds climbed the pop charts.

A writer at the Seattles News Tribune is already clamoring for a trade of Cliff Lee
Things have gone south for a team that was lauded for its off-season acquisitions: "It takes some imagination to glean anything positive about the 40 Days of Hell that has become the Mariners 2010 season." His fake trade seems a little unambitious, but Lee is in the last year of his contract:

In exchange for Lee, the Mariners could demand first baseman Yonder Alonso, a 2008 first-round draft pick whose track to Cincinnati has been blocked by first baseman Joey Votto. Alonso, who just turned 23, bats from the left side, has a shrewd recognition of the strike zone, and raked with so much authority at the University of Miami that the Reds guaranteed him $4.55 million through 2012.

Another Reds farmhand to consider is third baseman Juan Francisco. He’s 22, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound masher with middle-of-the-lineup potential. Like most young power hitters, Francisco strikes out a lot – he’s averaged one per four at-bats in the minor leagues – but when he connects, he puts a blast into the ball.

A primer on Hanley Hustlegate. While he's even less likely to be on the block than Zach Greinke with the Marlins staying competitive in the NL East, this is a festering situation that hasn't yet healed in the Marlins clubhouse. Much like Jocketty's sub-rosa pursuit of Aroldis Chapman, there's no other conclusion but to guess that a back room, from which the details of an inevitable Hanley-to-the-Reds-for-Miguel-Cairo-and-a-PTBNL will be ironed out, is presently being filled with smoke:

Is Being a GM hard?
My inclination is "uhhh... no." Especially since we've now perfected Yahoo Fantasy Baseball's drag-and-drop interface. From the comment section: "While the point is accurate that GMs have a lot of tasks to accomplish, this is Steve Phillips here. It's like getting a lecture from Susan Smith on parenting."