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Red Reposter - End of Season Edition

Twas the evening the last game of the year would commence, and not a creature was stirring...except Hunter Pence.

Andy Lyons

The last and final game of the 2014 MLB season will begin tonight, with the Kansas City Royals slated to host the San Francisco Giants in an end-all, be-all Game 7 for all the marbles.  Grant Brisbee noted that many others will note that it has been an epoch since the last time the road team won a Game 7, which spells imminent doom for the Giants' quest for their third World Series title in the last five seasons.  Unless, of course, it doesn't, which may well happen because Madison Bumgarner and his otherworldly otherworldliness may get the opportunity to play the hero - again - on super serious short rest, as Deadspin noted.  Tim Hudson and Jeremy Guthrie will be the first to take the mound for their respective franchises, but there are sure to be a few interesting personnel decisions made with that extra special trophy on the line.  Flags fly forever, and whatnot.

Anthony Castrovince of has the full preview for tonight's game for those interested.  One interesting note:  Tim Hudson will be the oldest Game 7 starter ever when he throws his first pitch in the Bottom of the 1st tonight.

An offensive burst from the Kansas City offense coupled with a marevelous evening on the mound from Yordano Ventura in Game 6 last night put Game 7's details in ink.'s Matt Snyder managed to catch up with Ventura when the dust settled, and the young Royals ace spoke about the loss of his friend Oscar Taveras and his way of honoring him.  Everything about Ventura's presence on the mound screams "ace," and his 100 mph fastball and knee-buckling breaking pitches were on full display last night side by side with the clearly visible "RIP OT #18" he had written on his hat.  His seven shutout innings were more than enough to etch his name in the minds of Royals fans for generations; that he did it with the tragic loss of his friend worn literally on his hat and figuratively on his sleeve made quite the impression far beyond Kansas City.

While yesterday saw the Kansas City bats repeatedly launch missiles off Jake Peavy meatballs last night, it also saw a local barista launch zingers at Giants RF Hunter Pence.  That kind of quick thinking could have only come courtesy of an early morning Americano, since a Pumpkin spice Latte would've only helped come up with a fart joke.


In other news, the Chicago Cubs and Joe Maddon have apparently been in "discussions" since the baseballing world is a predictable and cutthroat entity.  Maddon, of course, recently opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays after GM Andrew Friedman's departure made that an option for him, and the now free agent managerial maven has his sights set on getting back into the game for the 2015 season.  Rick Renteria is currently still employed as the Cubs manager, but we'll see how long that lasts.

Carson Cistulli unveiled the crowdsourced Top 55 Free Agents over at FanGraphs, which is worth a look-see.  On said list you will find exactly zero players who have played for the Cincinnati Reds in the last three seasons and, most likely, zero players who will play for the Cincinnati Reds in 2015 (just a hunch).  Yet another bit of circumstantial evidence to support the argument many have made about the Reds' becoming a place where veteran scrap-heap types come to play out the final years of their career, I suppose.

Jesse Winker smacked another double as part of a 2 for 3, BB day yesterday, which left him tied for the best OPS (1.120) in all of the Arizona Fall League.  Winker's just one of seven Reds' farmhands in the AFL, but he's clearly the one who has stood out the most (and the one who entered with the most hype behind him).'s Jonathan Mayo took a look at the Reds' contingent in the Land of the Endless Strip-Mall, where he focused on Winker's approach and wrist-injury recovery while also dropping notes on the other prospects Cincinnati has in the league.

Speaking of Winker, both he and Reds 2014 1st round draft pick Nick Howard have been selected to play in the AFL Fall Stars game, which will be held this Saturday.  That's right, it's an All Star league's All Star game because baseball just can't get enough baseball.  Derek Jeter has already been named the game's MVP.

By at least one metric, Brandon Phillips is now the best defensive 2B to have ever played the game.  You can cut, slice, regurgitate, dissect, maim, claim, and shame nearly every defensive statistic ever created, but when one says someone's the best to have ever done something, it's generally a pretty solid stamp approving their performance next to their peers.  Is BP the best 2B to have ever defended his position?  Well, if he's not, he's really, really damn close.  #debbies.

Speaking of BP, the Enquirer's John Fay focused on him and the 2B's importance to the 2015 Reds earlier today.  Phillips still has value and can still provide much of the expected production for which he's being paid, but I'm firmly convinced he's got no business being asked to play at a 155+ game pace.  Limit his exposure, get him routine rest, and try to keep him healthy enough to play 140+ games with periodic off-days scattered throughout the season.  Keep your hammies stretched, Kris Negron.


All of a sudden, that's it.  That's the end of the last Reposter of the 2014 baseball season.  It has, as usual, been a pleasure baseballing with you fine ladies and gents again this year, and I look forward to there being many more fireworks this winter than the lone dud Crazy Jack lit last go-round.