Every day there are three things, here are those three things.
(Photo: Getty Images)
1) Lost In Hollywood. Ah, the ups and downs of a year that's not quite the beginning of a rebuild, yet nowhere near the end. Last week, after the Reds swept the Cardinals, we were ready to send the playoff t-shirt template the printer. After they were swept by the Dodgers in LA, the only thing worth printing is the season's epitaph.
Yesterday's loss was especially painful. You expect this team to win when Raisel Iglesias is handed a three-run lead with fives outs to go.
At the same time, you expect bad things to happen when the Reds play on the road.
This has to be an exhausting season if you're the kind of fan whose emotions rise and fall with every development positive and negative. I choose to take the approach of really, really enjoying the good while understanding that there's still plenty of bad to come during a season that's all about finding out what the Reds have and how close they may be down the road to serious contention.
I've hammered this drum before: The Reds aren't as good as you thought, nor as bad as you think.
2) Feelin' A Draft. Just like a year ago, the Reds happenings on the field share space with what happens during the draft - which begins tonight - on the list of uber-important developments that will shape the future.
Obviously, every draft is important. But when you have the second overall pick, and three picks among the top-38 in a year that - unlike last year - is regarded as a good year to be selecting so high, you can't afford to miss.
I'll leave it to guys like Jonathan Mayo - whom we had on Friday's show - to break down some of the potential options. Like most fans, I'm intrigued by Hunter Greene. Like many who follow the sport, I can understand the hesitancy that comes with assessing whether a high school pitcher (Greene is a two-way star) is worth such a high pick in such a loaded upper-tier of a draft class.
I do know that tonight, the Reds better get it right.
(That's some strong analysis, isn't it?)
3) A stay of execution, or a start of a series? The Cavs won game four on Friday night in a game defined by the way they finally found the proper pace at which to play. They finally tapped into a pick-and-roll scheme that exposed Golden State's slow backup centers. They enjoyed the awakening of Tristan Thompson. They unleashed Kyrie Irving, who was fantastic. They reaped more benefits of comically bad officiating than the Warriors did.
They did nothing to make you think that they can actually win this series.
But they did at least extend it, and the way they played game four makes you wonder what kind of series we would've gotten had the strategy and execution evident in their one win to date been evident in the first three games.
And it makes you think that maybe, just maybe, these NBA Finals could still be as good as advertised.
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