Magic number: 8 [Signs point to "I look forward to no longer worrying about this almost entirely worthless statistic sometime soon." (Sorry, Albert Spalding or whoever invent the magic number)]
I was hoping to sidestep this story altogether
But The Hardball Times went and made it litigious. We already have an amateur internet reenactment of the on-field hostilities in a FanShot on LaRue's retirement, so let's sweep the ugliness under that rug. A law student with time enough to write about baseball at HT looks at the question "Can a baseball player sue for the torts he sustains in a baseball game?" Legally speaking, the question turns on whether baseball fights are an "inherent risk" undertaken by players. It seems pretty clear that a basebrawl is beyond the scope of risk to which a player consents, so there could certainly be liability for punches and kicks made therein. We're not talking about blanket diplomatic immunity for athletes here. Whether Cueto acted recklessly or in self-defense is another issue. Hardball Times also calls on the MLB to do something from policy standpoint with regard to brawls - and, by extension, head injuries.
Fay posits a prospective postseason roster
It's a plausible one, though I would be at least a little surprised if Harang is left off. It's still unclear how many pitchers will be carried. Six outfielders seems a likelihood - and if another pitcher is dropped, Francisco could make his way onto the roster as a PH bat, though some who can run a little and play a few defensive positions competently seems just as likely.
The Reds have been playing sloppy baseball, but at least they don't have "skid marks in their britches"
as the St. Louis Cardinals do, reports Jack Clark. Why do all the potty-mouthed former players end up in broadcasting? I kinda enjoyed this rant for the simple taking pleasure in a rival's pain aspect (I wish there was some kind of loan word for this feeling), but I suspect "analysts" are almost always wrong when they accuse players of outright "quitting," though I'll have to plead ignorance on whether they're guilty of other rhyming verbs. It's easy to ascribe lack of motivation to players who are going to be rich whether they take the division or not, but that fails to explain away other motivators like "vainglory," and its cousin, "desire to avoid widespread public shame."
In other news from the NL Central parade of the grotesque and macabre, Tyler Colvin was struck by the sharp end of a bat fragment
This isn't funny at all, as the bat punctured Colvin's skin, leading to hospitalization. Colvin was reported in stable condition, but will likely be shut down for the year. Reds fans, I hope, take absolutely no pleasure in career-ending concussions and bat impalements visited on divisional rivals. It's scary stuff - and I wish both Colvin and LaRue a speedy recovery. It's been a bizarre year in the Central.
Redsminorleagues has a tidy recap of the Louisville Bats season
Two Cuban prospects topped the charts. And it is the two you're thinking of.
Homer Bailey's start still in question as of press time
I'm sure everyone already knows whether Homer's in or out via Tweeter or iMail or whatever, but it takes a long time to set the type for this Reposter.
Hall o Famer Hal's mailbag contains a few gems
Though I'm a little miffed by Hal's unqualified defense of Dusty. I'll post the following in full, but folks, this is not open season on the Cardinals. Gracious in victory and so forth:
Q: If we can land a space craft on other planets, why can't MLB devise a better system of picking playoff teams, and I'm referring to the Cincinnati Reds making it and the St. Louis Cardinals not making it when the Cardinals won 12 of 18 games against the Reds? - Dave, Miamisburg/Centerville/Beavercreek
A: Several readers have offered to take up collections to put you on one of those space crafts, but that would be unfair to the crew. Have you checked the standings? As this is written, the Reds lead the Cardinals by eight games in the NL Central. If the Cardinals can't beat the bums in the rest of the division the way the Reds have beaten them, whose fault is that? My vote: Tony La Russa.
And some inside baseball from Hal:
There was one game where Reds catcher Bo Diaz let in the winning run in the ninth inning with a passed ball. A Cincinnati beat writer, who wasn’t long on the job, barged in that door and charged over to Diaz and said loudly, "How could you miss that ball."
Fortunately, several players intervened before Diaz could lift the guy and deposit him in a trash can.
Hal also dispels the notion that the Reds are somehow "playing scared." I agree that the problem lies more in the fact that the Reds aren't getting timely hitting. Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen are also playing injured. If the team can ride out the storm and get a full health bar, really anything is possible in the divisional series. That's why you should be excited and keep your browsers tuned to Red Reposter: The Best Cincinnati Reds Link Dump on the SBNation Blog Network.