A few items worth discussing…

–After going 2-3 last night, catcher Javier Valentin strained a hamstring and was taken out of the game. Looks like we may have a catching platoon of Paul Bako and Ryan Hanigan now.

–SP Josh Fogg was terrible last night. Hurry up, Homer Bailey.

Dusty Baker says that Jeff Keppinger is the perfect number 2 hitter.

–With a tip of the cap to Justin, I see this distressing report during a discussion of whether Cincinnati is a good baseball town:

Maybe at one point it was. It has lots of history. And a really good team in the Big Red Machine that they can continually run up the flagpole. They still skip work every Opening Day, and have a parade through downtown, which is pretty cool. But Opening Day is their only sellout, and they spend the rest of the season screaming at their best players.

Aside from the local media, who are about the worst I’ve seen, management of the team has not improved much under Krivsky. And I don’t mean player management, I mean day-to-day management of a ballclub. I mean promising season-ticket holders first crack at buying extra single-game tickets (such as for the Red Sox series this year), but then opening the sales to everyone, and letting the scalpers take them all.

I mean holding a special “come watch batting practice at GABP” the Sunday before Opening Day, but then not allowing anyone to sit in the outfield. Seriously, ushers prevented anyone from going into the bleachers and catching homeruns. They didn’t sell beer. They gave away hot dogs for free, and cans of pop, but all they had was Diet Pepsi and they had nowhere to recycle the cans.

Speaking of groaning at bunting, the decorative bunting in the stadium was pathetic. It consisted of about 20 half-moons, each about 6 feet long. That’s all. For the entire stadium. When I saw it during the BP fiasco, I said “that can’t be the decorations for tomorrow. That looks like the remains of whatever survived the winter, whatever is still up from the last day of the season.” Nope. Came back the next day, that’s all there was, 20 pieces of bunting.

The bunting may a fitting metaphor for the team. Whether it’s Encarnacion or the decorations, the end result is a half-ashed effort and poor execution in just about everything they do.

Submitted without comment:

“Where is that young kid who looked so good in spring training in center field, and why isn’t he here?” — Gary Matthews Sr., former major-league outfielder, friend of (Dusty) Baker and Phillies broadcaster, asking about Jay Bruce.