This article already received some attention in the comments of last night's game thread, but it's worth posting for those of you who may have missed it. Despite the fact that Zack Cozart is scuffling right now, Dusty Baker dug his heels in yesterday, saying, "Someday, [Cozart]'s going to be an excellent second hitter. We're teaching guys how to hit at the big league level. There's a difference between swinging and hitting." The last 30 days (selective endpoints warning) have been especially rough on Cozart. Among 184 qualified hitters, Cozart is 182nd in wRC+ in that time frame. His 38 wRC+ is simply putrid. Don't tell Hal McCoy, but Brandon Phillips is 181st with a wRC+ of 39. It's pretty easy to see why the Reds' offense has struggled in the past few weeks.
The 2013 Reds are a good team by any reasonable standard. The team is 10 games over .500 with good Pythagorean and third-order win percentages. Cincinnati's pitchers are fourth in baseball with an ERA- of 89. However, the last couple of weeks hasn't been much fun with the Reds losing series to a pair of poor teams from Seattle and Milwaukee as well as to stronger teams from Oakland, Arizona, and Texas. The Reds are going to be fine, but good teams go through bad stretches.
CSG weighs in on the Reds' recent struggles. He's more pessimistic than Amanda, but also more proactive in looking for a solution. Specifically, CSG believes that the Reds need to address the left field situation, though he's not sure that will make up the difference between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh/St. Louis.
Steve Treder's alternate history series features the Reds of the Machine era. In this series, a few different transactions lead to new rosters and divergent outcomes. This is well worth a look if you're a fan of alternate realities or "what if?" scenarios.
I still keep score if I go by myself or with my family. I don't think the practice is quite as dead as the author says. Who else keeps score? Do you have a system or favorite scorecard format? Do you have a favorite game that you've scored? H/t to Repoz for the link.
I tweeted this yesterday, but here's a neat photo of Pittsburgh's old Forbes Field with the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning in the background. H/t to Vlad.