With the playoffs about to visit Cincinnati for the first time since 1995, a couple quick notes:
ESPN's Howard Bryant has a terrific profile on Dusty Baker. Go read it. You'll learn a lot. (Did you know that Dusty was on deck when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run?) For those of you who still don't like Dusty, what will it take to get you on the bandwagon? He's probably the NL Manager of the Year. You say he can't manage young players. Really? Joey Votto had an MVP season a year after leaving the field with panic attacks. You say he can't handle a pitching staff. Right. On April 2, if I'd told you the Reds would make the playoffs but Harang wouldn't be on the playoff roster, would you have believed me?
Anyone who hasn't enjoyed watching the Reds this year just doesn't have a soul. The Reds have played baseball the right way. They're fun to watch, and easy to root for.
We're going to be ignored by the national media for a while. The stories will be all Atlanta Braves, all the time. The national media love the thought of Cox winning a ring in his last season. That's OK. Just smile and let the Reds take care of business, the way they have all season.
The Enquirer is asking what you're more likely to watch on Sunday: the NL Central Champion Reds or the barely .500 Bengals. (To me, that choice is easy.) I think local people will have a harder time deciding where to spend Friday: at home watching the Reds, or at a high school football game. (Again, to me, it's an easy choice, but I'm not so sure for alumni and parents from certain high schools.)
And finally, who do you think is a better leader of young men: Dusty Baker, Marvin Lewis, Butch Jones, or Mick Cronin?