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Cincinnati Reds links, 4/20/15: Reds head to Milwaukee to right the ship

Turning the page from an awful weekend in St. Louis.

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off the three game series sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Rick Hummel that the team doesn't "anticipate" winning when they play the Cards in Busch Stadium, and Enquirer beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans picked up on it.  Isn't that something.  I mean, after the last decade of watching the Reds get trounced there repeatedly, I personally don't anticipate them winning when they get to St. Louis, but for the manager himself to declare that publicly seems a bit like kick in the junk.  What's more, the Reds have made move after move in search of veteran leadership, and they've consistently eschewed on-field performance in favor of "winning" intangibles for the vast majority of those moves, yet they consistently fail to have any impact on the team's ability to beat the team they've been chasing for years even twice out of three times here and there.

When the Reds first hired Price, they did so to be "accountable," for instance.  Walt Jocketty then praised Price before the start of the 2015 season for his continued ability to keep his players "accountable."  More recently, the Reds players and Price himself rallied around each other when Mat Latos make a series of disparaging remarks about the clubhouse leadership, with many of the players insisting that there was no leadership void and that the remarks were unfounded.  At that point, Rosecrans hit the nail on the head when he said, "to stop the questioning, all the Reds need to do is start winning again," and that's the exact response that the team will need to display following this most recent debacle in St. Louis and the comments that followed.

Not that I know my ass from my elbow, but I'll suggest this:  the Reds would probably anticipate winning in St. Louis 10 fold more if they were a bit less veteranny and a bit more able to get themselves on base.  I think what I'm getting at is that there seems to be some sort of divergence between what the club is preaching as its practice and what they're actually doing.  If they're going to be gritty, will-to-winny, veteranny, and accountable, then be those things and avoid comments in the media like Price's.  Otherwise, be young, be talented, use advanced statistics, and then admit you've got to overcome something to get it done.  Don't attempt to play both sides of the card when reality suggests there's only one face on that card.

Winning, of course, is accountable as all hell.

Moving on, if there was one particular bright spot in the Reds dugout over the weekend, it was the continued stellar start to the 2015 season on display from Zack Cozart.  Apparently a quick re-focus idea from Barry Larkin and a willingness to scrap the overthinking he put himself through last year has helped him find his swing, and he's been absolutely raking for the last 10 days.

Here's an interesting tidbit from ESPN Stats & Info's Mark Simon about which MLB teams have been gradually increasing their shift usage on defense.  Though you haven't necessarily heard much hype about it, sure enough, the Reds make the list.

And here's an inside look into the decision making behind not placing Devin Mesoraco on the DL and continuing to trudge through NL Central competition with both Mes and Billy Hamilton too banged up to play.

★★★

Finally, a few tweets from our friends over at Brew Crew Ball that may do a bit to brighten the view of your Reds' horizon, since they've had it much rougher than we have, so far.

There's this, which should make you feel a tad better about Brandon Phillips hitting cleanup for Cincinnati:

This one makes you wonder if Marlon Byrd hasn't secretly been suiting up for Milwaukee all season, too:

And this one confirms that the only thing worse than bad luck is bad luck kicking you when you're already down:

Yeesh.  Noah Jarosh summed up the early season struggles of the Milwaukee Brewers, and it's about the only thing a Reds fan can read in the wake of that awful St. Louis Cardinals series that may be a confidence boost.  C'mon, fate, don't let regression flip the switch for at least three more days.