Some not-so-random thoughts for an off-day…

* I’m really proud of this Reds team. We were all afraid that they were about to drop off the face of the earth, but they rebounded nicely after the Seattle debacle.

* This is the reason the internets were invented. It’s a Toy Story/The Wire mashup. Just brilliant.

* By the way, Toy Story 3 is just great. If you haven’t seen it yet, go tonight.

* FanGraphs takes a look at Jonny Gomes and Chris Heisey, and concludes that the Reds might be better off with Heisey starting in LF for the rest of the season. I’m not really surprised at the conclusion; Gomes really is brutal defensively, while Heisey is outstanding. Gotta love the big guy, though.

* ESPN’s Jason Grey has a good look at Heisey, as well. It’s behind the Insider wall, but it’s fairly complimentary of the young guy:

At a minimum, Heisey is what is he is right now for the Reds: a fourth outfielder with some pop who can hit lefties and is versatile defensively. But I think he’d be a solid regular if given the opportunity.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Heisey were the starting left fielder in 2011.

* As many of you know, I just got back from a week at Disney World with the family. We had a better time than I expected. It was very hot, but the crowds weren’t bad and Disney knows how to take care of people. The kids had a blast. I’m actually a Disney fan. Admitting that makes me feel like such a loser.

* I am a huge fan of John Lee Hooker. I am not a huge fan of Dusty Baker. Articles like this, however, make me like Dusty a lot more. (Tip of the cap to C. Trent.)

* Oh man, I cannot wait for July 25.

* At Epcot, in the French pavilion, my eight year old daughter said “Hello, brother” in French, then Spanish. Her five year old brother, unimpressed, responded: “Me-sa Jar-Jar Binks.” Sheesh.

* I wish Cincinnati still had an NBA team.

* The Cubs organ player is getting into heavier, darker stuff. Heh.

* Brandon Phillips is having his best season. Both offensively and defensively, he’s just been great, that’s all. He really might be the Reds MVP at this point in the season.

* “Like a party in your pocket. But not in a weird way.” Brilliant tagline for a visionary ad…from 1977.

* I think Aroldis Chapman to the bullpen is a stroke of genius. And not only because Bill and I recommended precisely that in our recent podcast. It’s a great way to limit his innings and provide Chapman an opportunity to get some work against big league hitters. Having that big lefty in the bullpen down the stretch to intimidate opposing hitters is a pretty exciting prospect.

* A little more than a year ago, I read a couple of books about soccer. I read this first, because it was recommended to me and because the author was a fellow Wahoo. After that, I read Fever Pitch, written by my favorite author. It was, thankfully, nothing like the crappy Jimmy Fallon movie based on the book.

Anyway, I was fascinated by the passion and emotion of world football, and specifically the English Premier League. I picked a team and set out to follow them and see what all the fuss was about. I couldn’t have guessed that, one year later, I would be hooked. I’ve always mocked soccer as a joke (they can’t even score!). I couldn’t have been more wrong. There’s a reason why the rest of the world is crazy over this sport.

It occurred to me this morning that soccer is probably my second favorite sport now, after curling. (Okay, after baseball.) I can’t believe I’m typing those words. Anyway, I’ve been engrossed in the World Cup. I’m looking forward to the USA’s next game on Saturday. All of this surprises me immensely.

* Just got tickets to see Dave Matthews Band next month, with another intrepid RN editor (unfortunately, I was at Disney when DMB was in Cincinnati last week). Should be fun. I’ve seen DMB live a number of times, mostly when I was in college and law school, but I haven’t been to a show since this one. It’s been far too long.

* Feel free to use this as an off-day open thread….