The Reds lost last night, sure, but the kept it close thanks to the Golem, Devin Mesoraco. He's had five home runs in five games, which is tied with a whole lot of people for the most since 1947, when Walker Cooper hit homers in six games in a row for the New York Baseball Giants. Most impressively to me was, as they said on the FSO broadcast last night, that Mesoraco hit for "the home run cycle" in his first four games; he had a solo homer first, then a two-run job, then a three-run thwack, and a grand slam on Monday. His solo shot in the 9th last night must have come as a bit of a disappointment after all of that.
Jason Linden has an almost-halfway review over at Redleg Nation. It's not much you don't know; Frazier's been incredible, the Golem has too, and this team needs a healthy Votto and Bruce to be at all successful. The Reds have been hot over the past couple of weeks, but it's tough to tell if that's SSS or the team getting to where it "ought" to be. It's a weird team this year on the offensive side, as the injuries to Votto and Bruce make it difficult to pen them in for their usual numbers, and the lack of data on Mesoraco, Frazier, and Hamilton make it tough to tell if this is a hot streak or the new normal. So it's interesting to watch, but can also be terrifying. Sounds like 2014 to me!
Ryan Ludwick and J.J. Hoover had fun last week:
Ryan Ludwick let J.J. Hoover keep the bat he held for his 9th inning walk. Hoover said it was his 1st time on base since high school #Reds— ctrent (@ctrent) June 19, 2014
Jeff Sullivan has realized that Billy Hamilton might be very good. He talks about anecdotes where Billy Hamilton has been good, rather than trying to figure out just how good (or bad) Hamilton might be, which is just the sort of thing we know Fangraphs for.
JinAZ notes that the Reds' playoff chances are the highest they've been in nigh-forever, at a whopping 22.7%. "Why are the Cardinals ahead of the Brewers?" you ask. You know the answer. The answer is "The Devil."
Brad Ricca has a very well-done and exhaustive take on the history of the Indian's Chief Wahoo, which is far more complex and maybe even a bit sympathetic than I expected. BELT is doing incredible stuff (their article on birding was also great), and their baseball stuff has been top-notch so far. Check 'em out.
Dan Horn has an interesting article on the Iconic Building Tax in Cincinnati. I'm no Cincinnatian, but it seems a bit wrong-headed to ask about the economic value of Union Terminal and other iconic buildings in the city. The point isn't to turn these buildings into something fungible and financial, the point is that they define a particular identity of Cincinnati-ness. A Cincinnati without Union Terminal, or Plum Street Synagogue, or the like is just St. Louis. That'd be a shame to let that happen just because some underwriter wants to lean in, scratch his chin, and see some dollars and cents. What do you think?
Grant Wahl is probably the best sports reporter out there, in that he gets great quotes, knows players and front-office types, and can tie it into a great story. He did incredible work talking about the German influences of the American soccer team; a tired topic to be sure, but improved by Jermaine Jones talking about his heroin-trafficking father and the like. Wahl is very, very, good at this.
Also very good: Nathan Thornburgh over at Roads & Kingdoms, talking about the Copacabana yesterday and today. "The atmosphere is somewhere between Spring Break and the Fall of Saigon."
While we're on a soccer kick (ha! Get it?), Tristan Ahtone has a great story from the Kiowa reservation talking about Chris Wondolowski, the Kiowa forward for the US National team.
And finally, Google Map Glitch Art.