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Monday, April 03, 2006

Today in Baseball (4/2/06)

Two "news" items that I'd like to comment on tonight:

1. I really like Bob Castellini. This interview with John Fay is a case in point. He's candid, smart, savvy, and an extremely charismatic leader. It got me to thinking...I usually do a subconscious eye-roll whenever a team's owner takes some credit for the world series trophy. I mean, they're just the money behind the hard work, ya know? But I'd be very proud to have Castellini up there representing the Reds in the final postseason press conference. ... but there's a lot of work that they'll have to do between then and now, so let's no get ahead of ourselves.

2. I've seen a lot of previews/predictions this year about the NL Central. So many that I've started to ignore them, as they all seem to say the same thing: the Reds are doomed to a rough season, and will be lucky to finish anywhere but in the gutter of the division. Ouch. But then I read Joe Sheehan's preview at Baseball Prospectus. And, to my absolute shock and amazement, Sheehan doesn't just predict a 0.500+ season from the Reds. He actually predicts that they'll finish in a tie for SECOND with the Cubs with an 83-79 record! So I've decided that not only is Joe Sheehan now my favorite BP writer, but also that he is a genuine oracle. Therefore, we can now sit back and gleefully watch the upcoming season...which starts in less than 12 hours!
-J in AZ



    My own feeling is that the Reds have a solid shot at third in the Central and a winning record for two reasons: the team WILL be better than last year, and there are too many lingering questions for all of the other ostensibly "better" teams in the division, from lofty St. Louis to lowly-but-improved Pittsburgh.

    It is nice to see the Reds get some love, though. Most all of the media say only foul things of the Reds.

  2. Sheehan isn't the only one. Lee Sinins at The Hardball Times also has us pegged for second. Most of his colleagues have us at fifth, but that's better than the last place predictions I've seen (SI, Phila. Inquirer, and ESPN polls).

    Too bad Bush put a hex on our defense today.

  3. That's a good point, Ken--I'm very comfortable blaming Dubya for this. :)

  4. Hey, I picked the Reds to finish second to the Cubs over at Red Reporter. I thought I was the only one!