Cincinnati Reds: Hottest Team in Baseball, Don't Tinker With Success
Since the dreadful series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds have reeled off six-straight wins, sweeping both the Florida Marlins and now the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In doing this, they have become the hottest team in the major leagues.
They are currently 19 games over .500 and have their biggest lead of the season in the National League's Central Division.
They aren't beating people with smoke and mirrors, but with old fashioned, hard-nosed baseball. They have played two suicide squeezes to perfection in the last few games.
Many people are calling for the head of Jonny Gomes, why?
Even with his less-than-stellar play recently, he is still third on the team in RBI, just two behind Scott Rolen at 66. His average with RISP is still fourth in the entire league. That is his job—drive in runs, not just get on base. Everyone knew he was a defensive liability from game one.
I have watched him get at least three infield hits in the last few weeks. He hustles every play (did you read that Brandon?).
Their are a couple of quaint sayings that certainly would apply here, right now.
First—if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Simple, but true and very self-explanatory. You don't have to be Einstein or even His Holiness Bill James to figure that out.
Second—dance with the one who 'brung' you. An adage with some Appalachian vernacular for your reading enjoyment. If Sadie brought you to the dance, don't go off dancing with the new girl because she is showing a little more cleavage.
Maybe the second is not as eloquent as the first, or even as understandable. The point remains the same: If the food is fit for a king, don't switch cooks.
All year long the substitutes have come through remarkably well. When someone goes down, another man steps up.
Miguel Cairo has been so valuable stepping in for Rolen or Joey Votto when he needed a day off.
Paul Janish filled in so well for Orlando Cabrera that the "O.C." may have difficulty getting his job back when he crawls off the shelf.
Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan have spelled each other behind the plate admirably. Hats off to Corky Miller while he was up in place of Hanigan earlier in the campaign.
I have fought all year long against Coco Cordero being lifted as a closer. It was actually to my delight that Dusty Baker pulled him from a game recently, while Nick Masset effectively cleaned up his mess.
The fact remains that Coco is still the closer and round and round we go.
I have to say that Baker and Walt Jocketty have done a tremendous job juggling the talent—especially the pitchers this season. I believe we have seven or eight starters here and at Louisville that could start for many other MLB teams.
Until the wheels start wobbling like they are about to give out, keep the course steady.
The Reds appear to have one of the best teams in the National League. Please don't tinker with success.
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