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Red Reposter - Red Sox, Iglesias, & The 1994 Strike

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Turn that frown upside down, Johnny.  You're the NL player of the week!
Turn that frown upside down, Johnny. You're the NL player of the week!
Joe Robbins
  • Matt Snyder of's Eye on Baseball listed his top candidates for the NL MVP award earlier this morning, and he's leaning towards having Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw as the Senior Circuit's frontrunner.  With Troy Tulowitzki's chances fading with him on the DL and the team losing games by the dozen, it appears the race for the MVP is wide open, and Kershaw's string of dominance coupled with their winning ways may well have him on top of the heap when all is said and done.  Andrew McCutchen could stake claim to a second consecutive award if he returns from his recent DL stint healthy and mashing, but there simply aren't many hugely obvious candidates that could emerge with a solid September and steal things away.  Overall, it's a pretty solid group, but I do find the lack of inclusion of Devin Mesoraco puzzling.  The year he's having coupled with Cincinnati still being in the race has me thinking he deserves more pub than he's received, and he's exactly the kind of player who could skyrocket up the final voting tallies should he mash through September with the Reds on a winning streak.  That's picking nits, of course, but we'll see how it plays out over the season's final 6 weeks.
    • Today marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the 1994 strike that nearly killed baseball, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports remembered the impact it had on both the economics of the game and the passion that fueled its players.  Nightengale spoke with the likes of Dave Stewart and Dave Henderson, and got a few very frank quotes from Goose Gossage, too, and each shed interesting light on how the last big labor dispute in the game's history paved the way for the burgeoning wallets of today's players.  Generally overlooked nationally (but not in Cincinnati, of course) is that the 1994 Reds were a juggernaut in their own right, and at 66-48 were in 1st place in the NL Central when the season was cut short.  Hal Morris was hitting .335 with a potential 50 double season within sight, a young Bret Boone was having his first breakout season while hitting .320, Deion Sanders had been acquired in a mid-season trade for Roberto Kelly, and Kevin Mitchell was slicing up NL eyeballs to the tune of .326/.429/.681 (1.110) with 30 dingers, 77 RBI, and 59 walks in just 95 games played.  I'm sure The Cowboy, his 169 ERA+, and the15 saves he had as the team's closer remember the strike and what it cost that team, too.
    • Snyder also chipped in with a look at the historical contexts that were potentially altered by the strike.
    • Friend of the blog Dan Szymborski put his ZiPS supercomputer through the ringer to project portions of the lost 1994 season over at ESPN, too.  It's behind the Insider paywall (hey, Dan needs pizza and beer money, too), but it's a cool look into how certain players and teams could have been remembered differently had they had the additional 50 games (and postseason) to cement their legacies.
    • Johnny Cueto took home the NL Player of the Week Award for his performances last week.  If you see him, give him a Dusty Baker Honorary High-Five, congratulate him on the first such award of his career, and sign him for a decade and a billion-ish dollars, would ya?
    • The Boston Red Sox roll into Great American Ball Park for a two game series that begins tonight shortly after 7 PM ET, and Nick Canelas has a quick and dirty preview for  The gist:  the Reds have great pitching, Devin Mesoraco, and not much else on offense, whereas the Red Sox are pretty bad, pretty hurt, and pretty much traded away every chance of winning in 2014.  But you already knew that.
    • Finally, it appears that recent international FA signee Raisel Iglesias is alive, well, and in Cincinnati for the first press conference of his Cincinnati Reds career today:
    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Raisel Iglesias will be in Cincinnati today meeting with the media. His first media appearance since signing with the <a href="">#Reds</a> on 6/27.</p>&mdash; Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) <a href="">August 12, 2014</a></blockquote>
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