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Red Reposter - On drugs

In this issue, we lament yet another PED scandal, we discuss the Reds' top prospects, and we nod in approval of Brandon Phillips.

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

You've probably heard already
but more drugs crap is going down in MLB. A wellness center in South Florida allegedly provided current players (Alex Rodriguez, Yasmani Grandal, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Gio Gonzalez among them) with some funky shit. I don't particularly want to comment on it. There's more than enough of that going around.

What I'd like to comment on though is all that commentary. Much has been said about how this could be the nail in the coffin of Alex-Rod's career. The Yankees could void his contract and say good riddance to bad rubbish, or he could cop out and say his hip injury is too much to overcome and decide to hang it up. Given the current climate of baseball knitting circles, his Hall of Fame case will most likely be DOA, if it wasn't already.

My biggest gripe in all this is the arbitrary and unscientific nature of the court of public opinion. I guess I shouldn't expect much, but damn. I mean, first off, these are merely allegations right now. For what it's worth, Alex-Rod denies all of it. But I guess that's not really worth much. The public wants blood, and any ol' allegation is validation enough to draw knives.

And this, of course, is all setting aside the fact that no one wants to admit that they don't know shit about the nature of PEDs. We've all decided that steroids hit home runs, and thus should be vilified. There have been no comprehensive studies (at least, none I've been able to find in my admittedly not-exhaustive research on the topic) that give any indication that this shit actually does what people think it does. Conventional wisdom has gone unquestioned for so long that any assertion to the contrary is met with derisive laughter.

I know I'm asking a lot. I'm howling into the wind, wishing an uneducated rabble would take a nuanced and rational approach to a very complicated issue. But I know it won't happen, and many more of our childhood heroes will be sent to the gallows for un-American activities or witchcraft or Jewry or whatever.

Mark Sheldon is doing an "Around the Horn" series
Most recently, he discussed the Reds' double-play tandem in Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart. Shortstop has been a position of flux for the Reds since Barry Larkin hung 'em up and they flat-out refused to do the right thing and move BP over to SS like they totally should have A LONG TIME AGO GOSH. But Cozart looks legit, and having traded Didi Gregorius this winter to get Shin-Soo Choo, the Reds think he'll be able to man the position for the foreseeable future. "One thing about me and Cozy is we communicate and work real hard," Phillips said. "We always go to early work -- at least two times together each week -- just turning double plays and talking about certain things."

Jonathan Mayo of released his list of top 100 prospects yesterday
Billy Hamilton is the highest-ranked Red at #11 (#1 in the RR CPR), and Robert Stephenson and Tony Cingrani also make strong showings ranked #51 and #66, respectively (#2 and #3 in the RR CPR). Hamilton and Cingrani will likely begin this season in AAA, while Stephenson could start in low-A or hi-A.

Call to the Pen blog whips up an NL Central dream lineup
Three Reds anchor the lineup, boasting more representatives here than any other team in the division. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips make up the right side of the infield and Mike Leake holds down the pitcher's spot (this is strictly-speaking a hitting lineup, as a pitcher's pitching abilities aren't taken into account). In case you didn't know, the Reds look like the best team in the Central this year.