The sun came out in Cincinnati today.

It’s appropriately obscured a bit by the clouds, but it nonetheless is warmly shining through my windows.

We learned yesterday of Ryan Madson’s torn and bloody right elbow joint, and with it the sad reality that his much-anticipated career with the Reds is over before it began. The loss was devastating, a major blow, the worst news possible, a painful, emotional wound. It was all of those things.

But the sun came out in Cincinnati today.

The loss is regrettable for the opportunities missed by Reds fans. For example, we won’t be able to stand and cheer Madson as he walks to the mound to conclude the greatest Opening Day in baseball.

We won’t witness him take part in the bitter rivalry with the Cardinals, entering the ninth inning to face Albert Pujols Allen Craig.  Madson won’t become another pawn in the managerial jousting between Tony LaRussa Mike Matheny and Dusty Baker. And Reds fans will never experience the dramatic showdowns between Ryan Madson and Brewers slugger Prince Fielder Mat Gamel.

Most importantly, we’ll miss the pitcher leading the Reds into Philadelphia, with the confidence that his new team might win a series against former teammates Ryan Howard and Chase Utley Ty Wiggington and Freddie Galvis.

Ryan Madson left the Reds the same way he entered — as a bolt from the blue. In early January, while most of us were consumed by the feeling of dread that the Reds were (again) about to over-pay Francisco Cordero, Reds GM Walt Jocketty pounced on a nanosecond of opportunity to sign Madson when the market for elite closers crashed. The move’s brilliance was matched only by its swiftness.  Then, in the blink of an eye and a tear of a tiny ligament, Ryan Madson was suddenly gone.

But the sun came out in Cincinnati today.

Sean Marshall will assume the role as the Reds’ closer a year earlier than planned. He signed a contract extension through 2015 for more money than the Reds would ever pay a set-up reliever. He’s being paid $19.6 million for four years to do the same job as Cordero, who earned more than twice as much. Marshall has been among the most dominant pitchers in baseball the past two years, so the ninth inning is still in an excellent left hand.

A small ironic part of the Madson episode is that the club is better off with Marshall closing instead of Cordero. And if Walt hadn’t inked Madson in January that’s exactly what we’d be facing.

Don’t count out the Cincinnati Reds of Joey Votto, Mat Latos, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Sean Marshall. They’ll contend for the NL Central and a deep playoff run.

Bet your bottom dollar.