Here is a Reds opinion for your Tuesday morning: I don't believe the next 25 games will vault the Reds into contention. I do believe that they could punt the Reds from even dreaming about contention. They'll play three playoff teams from last season, with a combined winning percentage above .600 across the next 11 games, and of the next 25, they'll play teams that currently have a winning record 22 times. They're 7.5 back in the NL Central, and there's basically half of the National League between the Reds and the last wild card spot, and they're five games under .500. The next 25 games will take us to mid-June. Wondering if the Reds will indeed be sellers at the deadline? I say you'll know by then.
It's really, really nice that Yasiel Puig is starting to hit.
It'd be really, really, really, nice if Joey Votto started to hit.
I love Joey Votto. If he retired today, he'd end his career as one of my all-time favorite athletes. I'm holding out hope that he'll turn it on in time to author a really nice comeback season. But the constant assurances about him liking where his swing is and how painstaking the process is, are tiresome.
Start getting some knocks, my man.
Pretty nuanced thoughts, huh?
He's still among the 3-5 most important figures currently employed by the Reds, and he's not going anywhere anytime soon. He plays everyday, he hits high in the order, and there is no plan B at first base, either this year or in the coming seasons. I've wondered for a while how the Reds will build around a no-longer-elite Joey Votto. I was hoping not to have to find out for a while.
*Many baseball fans - in fact, probably most - don't watch a lot of baseball game that don't involve their favorite team. I do, although for various reasons that don't matter, I've not watched many non-Reds games this season. So I'm probably the only one who tried to endure Phillies/Brewers last night, which was a game delayed by rain that, once it started, was an absolute slog. The first two innings two more than an hour. Three hours after the first pitch was thrown, we were in the top of the seventh. A long game can be enjoyable.
This wasn't that game.
I bring this up because whenever pace-of-play initiatives come up, there are loud, emphatic yelps of opposition. I would like for those who don't understand why Rob Manfred wants to speed things up a little to try to sit through last night's proceedings in Philly and tell me that changes aren't needed.
*Want some good stuff to read?
You owe it to yourself to read Shannon Russell's story about the mother of XU Director of Basketball Ops Mario Mercurio.
From Justin Williams: Emails detail UC and Cronin negotiations in days before he left for UCLA
And from Red Reporter: Teams are pitching Joey Votto differently this year, and that might be why he’s struggling
*A night that's been years in the making: I know you don't care, but I do. At some point around 8:30, I am going to leave my seat at Great American Ballpark to find the telecast of the NBA draft lottery, whether it's in the ballpark of across the street. This is the biggest night in the last 20 years of New York Knicks basketball, and one that's been in the works for more than an entire year. Up for grabs is Zion Williamson and the possibilities that come with him, that could include a trade. I'm not responsible for my behavior if they win, which has a 14 percent chance of happening. It feels as if everything this franchise has done for the last three seasons will either be completely validated, or go down as a total waste. It is going to be a nerve-wracking day, and the odds are, a disappointing night. I pity those at the ballpark in my company.
Radio Show: Two good Reds guests, and probably at least a few minutes of me droning on about the lottery. Join me at 3:05 on ESPN1530.
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