Rumor Mill Alive and Well

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Rumors are a funny thing.  Now you see them now you don’t.  When I was a teenager in the Boy Scouts we would sit around the campfire and eventually a new scout would get smoke in his eyes.  One thing would lead to another and a veteran scout, two or three years older and wiser would innocently suggest asking around the campground for a smoke shifter.  When some makeshift device would be given to the naive young man he would return to the campfire and attempt to force the wind to blow the smoke a different way.  When this effort failed the young man (a right handed lad) would then be slapped on the back with a chuckle an informed that what he had was a “left handed smoke shifter” and what he needed was the right handed variety.  I look at the Reds current situation in much the same light.  Ideas abound for how the Reds need to be magically fixed but in truth time and experience may be the ultimate balm.

So back to the rumors.  I have read blogs and tweets far and wide with an amazing variety of suggestions, opportunities, or catastrophes on the horizon so lets explore a few of them.

The first is a question asked of Cincinatti Enquirer Reds beat writer John Fay what the chances of Joey Votto returning to the Reds in 2012 and he replied “100%”.  I have been a bit confused by the backlash towards Votto lately but the most important statistic in his arsenal this year is the fact that he leads the league in batting average with runners in scoring position.  Really what other offensive statistic matters.  It sure is not home runs.

Second, in an interview by BostonESPN.com writer Joe McDonald, Sycamore High School product Kevin Youkilis mentioned that if ever the time would come for him to leave Boston and take his game elsewhere he would enjoy playing in front of his hometown in the Queen City.  His contract ends just as Scott Rolens does and might fill a void on the left side of the infield.

The next item of interest comes from an observation after listening to Drew Stubbs hit his 15 home run of the season this evening.  Stubbs is a better hitter when not leading off.  His great speed is like a siren’s call to Dusty Baker but his OBP at .326 trails all Reds with 200 or more at bats except for Paul Janish, Scott Rolen and Chris Heisey.  An interesting statistic for Stubbs is the fact that he bats .207 when leading off to start a game.  He bats .232 when leading off an inning and when not leading off hits a more acceptable and less pressured .265.

WLW voice Lance McAllister, who loves to sensationalize all things Redlegs retweeted college baseball writer Kendall Rogers from PerfectGame USA who said “Didn’t expect this, but was told today greater than 50% chance Reds first-round pick Robert Stephenson goes to Washington.”  He is referring to Stevenson’s commitment to the University of Washington.  Another case of insult being added to injury during this unproductive season.  I certainly endorse earning an education but with a couple of million dollars worth of signing bonus you can even buy overpriced college texts.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnHeitz