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Red Reposter in... The Avoidable Excitement of the Walk-Off Win

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<em>Rising action, climax, denouement</em>. Along with the Brandon Phillips  Sideplot, the thrilling conclusion to this matinee wouldst've made the Bard proud. And by Bard, I mean Josh Bard, catching prospect in the Boston Red Sox system.
Rising action, climax, denouement. Along with the Brandon Phillips Sideplot, the thrilling conclusion to this matinee wouldst've made the Bard proud. And by Bard, I mean Josh Bard, catching prospect in the Boston Red Sox system.

The Red Inkbrought to you with limited commercial interruption by The Savings and Loan Crisis That You Think Probably Happened in the 1980s: Don't you... duh nuh nut nuh... forget about us. 263 (Number of pitches thrown by Francisco Cordero to date, the second most he's thrown in any season through May 5th. Coco's been pretty good, but he's showing some wear.)

Mark Sheldon recaps a zany little series with the Mets
One in which each game was decided on a late-inning home run from some unlikely hero. Cabrera puts it best: "It's good and it's bad. We put ourselves in some crisis situations sometimes. The good thing is we bounce back. Hopefully we can stay focused and keep a lead." The early-season heroics are nothing if not exciting - showing an excess of intestinal fortitude - but continually falling into the situations that necessitate them is probably unsustainable for a team that wants to be a cut above .500.

The "nuclear option," batting Orlando Cabrera lead off, is on the table
Cabrera surely isn't the answer, but neither is anyone else really. If Stubbs get bumped down in (or out of) the order, Heisey could probably see some starts in CF and/or the leadoff spot, along with maybe BP batting first (by dint of his speed). This team simply needs to reach base more often - a problem magnified by Stubbs's struggles and the chronic Bermuda Triangle that's been the leadoff spot.

The Fay has some inside baseball from yesterday's thrilling Capitalist's Special
Seeking agitprop in their ongoing feud, Fay runs to the internet every time Brandon Phillips does something naughty, as on Tuesday when BP turned a triple into a double. Meanwhile, Brandon is quickly wiping out any of his goodwill reserve by repeated, careless gaffes on the field and an accompanying casual disdain. Mental mistakes can accumulate during lean times at the plate, but they've been compounded by a seemingly willful refusal to hustle and prickly stance toward the media, which gives the general impression that he doesn't really care about Our Thing, these baseball games we all take so seriously. This Reposter is souring on his antics.  If he's simply blowing off steam and the slump abates along with his mental haze, I'm more than ready to love him again. But it's pretty clear that, at least for now, his baditude and on-field failings have a destructive, codependent relationship:

Baker noticed that Brandon Phillips didn’t run out of the box in his home run in the sixth. "I guess I’m going to have to talk to him again. . . I’ve done more than talk to him." (Like you raised your hand to him? Kind of an ominous thing to say.)

C. Trent joined in with his beat writer in arms after being spurned by BP
After the game, Baker was irate and told reporters, ""Hey, man, we've all talked to him until we're blue in the face. This was going on long before I got here." Phillips took responsibility that night. "I (messed) up." Phillips told reporters after the game. "That's my second time this year not hustling. It won't happen again." But it did. It's a frustrating spectacle, but at least we're talking about extra base hits here and not fall-down strikeouts. 

On to more serious matters:

"If baseball could talk, it would sound like Ernie Harwell -- unhurried, slightly southern, as comfortable as an old couch." - Mitch Albom, "Gone Now, But Never Forgotten" (Detroit Free Press)

The Reposter didn't get to it yesterday due to the day game preemption, but the passing of the great Ernie Harwell, longtime voice of the Detroit Tigers, is being mourned throughout the baseball universe. Here's a just a small sampling of the media outpouring:

The Stars and Stripes (reds.com) sez Heisey could have "extended chance"
He may have been 0-for-5 in his Major League debut on Monday, but with Drew Stubbs' and Jonny Gomes' continued difficulties, defensive prowess and an ability to hit lefties could provide Hi-C with a foot in the door.

Redleg Nation names its Player of the Month
Resisting the temptation to name Joey Votto to his 123rd straight PotM award (remember that Joey is 47 years old somehow), Redleg Nation gives it up for Mike Leake. I'm inclined to concur, as Leake's been the unexpected rock in the rotation during his first month in the bigs, hitting pretty well to boot.

Joe Posnanski counts down the Ten Most Famous Steals
A double dose of The Poz today.

I seem to remember that someone here posted that No Mas video about Doc Ellis on LSD a while back. Just stumbled on two radical Reds-related items in their shop, one sartorial, the other photographic:

"Fan films Andrew McCutchen homer from the bat into his glove"
As Jay Leno once hilariously quipped, "'nuff said."