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Red Reposter - Dour fans, balky Johnny, and Parra pitchin' pretty

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In this edition, we ponder the origins of some fans' fickleness, Johnny Cueto's bum shoulder, and the surprising effectiveness of Manny Parra.

Tom Pennington

I ain't even bullshitting you here
Hall o' Famer Hal says what the Reds are lacking right now is "magic." Quantify that, scientists!

"With what is left of this team, it certainly isn’t as good as fans believe it was when spring training began. And it may not be as good as people believed even before all the injuries. There doesn’t seem to be any magic, the magic they had in 2010 when they took the baseball world by surprise. The magic early this year was owned by the St. Louis Cardinals and now appears to be owned by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who won their ninth straight game Sunday in 14 innings."

I really don't know what it is about Reds' fans. Maybe every fanbase is as fickle and short-sighted, but I don't know. I'm not a part of any other fanbase. But it seems to me that a goodly majority of people who follow this team are about as knee-jerky as it gets. I mean, Hal has been watching Reds baseball for a jillion years, so you'd think he, of all people, would have some perspective.

Or maybe that's just it. The Reds media contingent is the real root of this negativity. I don't know. But I don't get it. In case you were wondering, the Reds have the fourth-best record in the National League and are 5.5 games behind the Pirates. It's only July 1.

It's also probably worth mentioning that they have done this largely without their ace, their starting LF, and two of their most important bullpen arms. Shin-Soo Choo and Brandon Phillips are struggling somethin' awful right now, too. A 2-6 road trip is not fun, but if you are already packing up the cooler and folding chairs and heading to the parking lot, then whatevs. More beer for me.

In case you missed it
Johnny Cueto re-reinjured his right lat. He's on the DL for the third time this season with this injury. Ah, man. The Reds say they are going to take it all slow-like this time in hopes that they can over-rest it and make sure it's a-okay before he comes back. It would not surprise me if we don't see him until September. Guh.

In better injury news
Ryan Hanigan could return to the field this evening. He has been hobbled for nearly a week with a sore ankle. Here's Dr. Dusty with his professional medical diagnosis: "He had a little hop in his step yesterday," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Before, he had a little hitch in his step." I just love the way this guy talks.

The bullpen has been weakened by the absences of Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton
but Manny Parra ain't havin' it. In case you didn't notice, kid has been throwing rocks recently. He has retired the last 12 batters he has faced, notching eight-straight scoreless innings. Maybe he was just hurting at the beginning of the year when he was sucking ice. Since he came back from the disabled list, his ERA is a solid 3.00.