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Red Reposter - We ordered the Red Bird but they brought us Crow

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Red Reposter's Fan Grief Index update: Finished finding someone to blame (Aaron Miles?), moved on to looking for a messiah (Pedro Martinez?).

Lay it down, Hall o' Famer, my heart's still too heavy
I didn't read this article.

Brandon Phillips knows when he's been beaten
He stirred the pot, it was an unmitigated disaster. But the great thing about overwhelming self-confidence is that it stands up pretty well to three-game sweeps.

Scott Rolen, voice of reason, weighs in on the sweep 
Keeps an even keel and puts things in perspective. If ever someone asks, this is the kind of intangible chumbawumba the Reds traded for.

The fog of war still hangs thick after Tuesday's Reds-Cardinals mosh pit 
John Erardi has no news on what fines and suspensions MLB"'discipline czars" Frank Robinson and Bob Watson might hand down, but the tape is being studied. Erardi gives his evenhanded take on Cueto's contribution: "Cueto's kicking appeared to be motivated more by self-preservation than intent to maim (although Carpenter had been pinned against the backstop, too; he didn't lash out with his spikes)."  But LaRussa is out for Cueto's blood: ""He could have done some real damage (on LaRue), he got him in the side of his eye, he got him in his nose, he got him in his face. Totally unprofessional. Unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like that. He got kicked square in the side of the face with spikes. C’mon, give me a break." I have to say, spikes-up kicking is far from the honorable way to go, but what I've watched the brawl several times, and it's not at all clear what's happened up against the backstop. 

Probably best to let our Gomes do the talking:

“What would have happened if he hadn’t flailed his legs?” Gomes said. “We might be looking at Cueto the one with stitches. We might looking at Cueto with a black eye or broken nose. From what was going on at time. . . he was kicking. If you don’t want to get kicked, don’t be within kicking distance.”

Can someone slap that last part on a t-shirt? This has an air of schoolyard logic, but it also bears a simple truth. Cueto was being crushed by about 40 players, and in Dusty's words the surrounding Cardinals "had him pinned up like a rat in corner.”  Which account you chose to accept here - and it's unlikely there will emerge a definitive one - may turn on what kind of team you imagine the Reds to be. Are they scrappy, hardnosed fighters, still inexperienced in high intensity situations, but willing to do whatever it takes? Or are they unrprofessional hotheads, prone to being petty, even thuggish? I think I know where most of the readership falls. Regardless, the Cueto flashpoint is a pretty good figure for the series as a whole. The Reds were pinned by the Cardinals and looked desperate all three games.

One upside from Phillips comments and the Cueto kicking: Maybe it will have the intended effect of Richard Nixon's foreign policy and everyone will think the Reds are kinda crazy and will become totally flummoxed and paranoid.

And by the way, I'm not even taking the bait Carpenter dangled by playing the innocent“All I know is we exchanged words and the next thing I know I was in the net with somebody kicking me in the back from behind." Ok maybe I'll have a little bit of that. Yes, the kicking could well have been overkill, but darned if this doesn't sound like that cheating lover who denies the existence of free will and human agency, all of a sudden finding himself accidentally and repeatedly porking someone else.

Deadspin gives us three satirical videos on The Brawl
Enjoy the worst kind of fame (the viral kind) while it lasts, Reds fans. One thing that strikes me about the WLW broadcast is that Marty claims punches were thrown. As this seems like a prerequisite for a brawl, is it safe to say punching happened? If so, Chris Carpenter's "I wasn’t throwing any punches, nobody was throwing any punches"assertion is in serious jeopardy of not being completely true. I am now pretty much completely consumed by thinking of ways to discredit Chris Carpenter.

Hardball Times spells out some lessons on fighting learned from The Brawl
Ok, that's the last of these. Just tell us who's getting suspended.

Harang pitched simulated game, was pleased 
"Reds pitcher Aaron Harang took another step closer to returning from a back injury Tuesday when he threw 58 pitches over three innings in a simulated game" Getting Harang to the Promised Land this year could be a good inspiration. Aaron was Moses' older brother in the Bible.

More hope: Baseball Prospectus' Future Shock Blog projects the imminent ascent of Aroldis
The team has hit a trough, but having Harang, Chapman, Bailey and Wood due to rejoin the team is cause for more than a little hope with your cynicism.