Monday, August 31, 2009

Reds Extend Streak Then Begin New, Less Popular One, Dodgers, 3-2

Homeboy was lights-out Friday night, throwing a career high 8 innings and striking out 7 Dodgers. As has been widely mentioned, his fastball was still hitting 98 (on the home radar gun, but still) during his last inning of work. That's some premium gasoline. Now with that kind of arm along with Arroyo, Lehr, possibly Owings rounding out the rotation, the Reds are seeing the beginning of a very intimidating rotation. Arroyo was throwing that same sort of gas yesterday, pumping in 85 mph cheese into the 7th inning. And we all know about Lehr's velocity, described as 'underwhelming.' Big time.

The Reds showed up for the national FOX audience on Saturday, for about 6 innings anyway. Baloney gave up 4 in the first before settling and then unsettling and leaving with the Dodgers up 5-4. The Reds offense, after showing some heart, maybe even a little passion, coming back to tie the game at 4, then failed, in consecutive innings to score with the bases loaded. The 6th was on account of B. Phill's buddy, Orlando Hudson, or O-dog, making a fine, but infuriating, play on Rolen's liner up the middle. The pen, after watching the offense struggle, decided they weren't going to keep the game close anymore. They let the Dodgers unload and went home to the wives or mistresses. Of note, Craig Tatum and Janish Yanish both homered. Saturday will be the only time that ever happens.

Yesterday, offense was back to slow and lazy. Scoring two then relying on extra-innings to make their move. They didn't. Coco had some control issues and the Dodgers scored the go-ahead on a sac fly by Kemp. Broxton was wild in the Reds' half of the 12th, walking Rosales and Cork. But he overmatched Balentien and Stubbs, then pointed to the sky and the game was over.

Reds open a very interesting series with a double header with the P-rats today. Very interesting in the amount of interest in the game which is close to none. The Reds Rocket will be tuning in and the Reds begin another extended winning streak. Kip in the opener. Dusty's expecting big things and a long outing. I expect the same.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reds Punch Themselves in the Face with Their Fists, Reds Sweep 8-5

Pictured to the left is D.McD, owner of the game winning hit from last night's 10th inning victory over the, how about, hapless Brewers. The Kipster made his first start in about 5 years and was pretty decent, until he left one over the inning half of the plate to Cecil Jr. who hammered it out to right. He looks as if he ate an entire tofu buffalo or perhaps the American bison before the game but he sure can rake. So, Kip left down 3-2. But the Reds, as we've grown so accustomed, fought back, tied things up in the 8th, thanks to some Brewers shitty play then McDonald finished the game with a double to left-center in the 10th.

Today, Lehr had a tough first inning but the offense picked him up. Lehr actually ended up pitching passably well, sticking around for 7 and 2/3rds before a Mike Cameron shot sent him to the showers. Janish Yanish had two(?) doubles in the same game. Votto went 3 for 4 with a bomb and a double and Rolen had a key two-out RBI single in the Reds big inning, the 5th. Which, of course, all started with Bush walking Lehr to start the rally. That's exactly how Chris Bosio teaches these Brewers arms.

So, what we're learning is that this Reds team is very, very good. They just needed to get rid of some of bigger talents/dead weight. Stubbs put some good swings on the ball and it's looking more and more like the offseason crocodile attack is going to sideline Wilmy for next season. Defense is likely a slight upgrade with Stubbs and if he can get on base one out of every eight at bats or so, everyone is happy. Dodgers roll into town tomorrow to drop three staight. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arroyo Continues to Be One Reliable Member of Rotation, Update* Reds 8-6

* As I just remembered, I tuned out last night with the Reds up 6-2 in the 9th with Burton on the mound. Apparently, some things happened after that point and I didn't look at the boxscore until now. So, I will leave the below alone because most of it remains very much the same and I am very, very lazy. Regardless of my inattentiveness, Reds are the big weiners.

As any knowledgeable fan knew coming into the season, Arroyo is on his way to leading the team in nearly every significant pitching statistics, notably post game concerts and covers of Staind songs. He tied the Brewers up last night for 7 innings and punched them in the stomach while the new and improved Reds offense, featuring both Corky Miller and Darnell McDonald, for a third of the game anyway. Cork, who was drafted by the Reds way back in the same class as Dunn and Kearns, has hung around the major leagues on his good looks and charming personality. Fortunately, the Reds are in need of just that type of guy. He, according to the press release, calls a good game and wasn't going to take Arroyo out of his groove. Sounds good. He even added a couple of hits. Nice job Cork, good to see you again.

With the win last night, looks like the Reds have finally figured things out. With a rookie with less than 30 at bats leading things off, followed by Yanish Janish and lofty low .200's batting average, Dusty's assembled a lineup where it is impossible not to score some runs. You round out the lineup with Rosales and Cork/Tatum followed by the pitcher and you've really got something. Though, nice to see Rolen's return and fine play. Four hits in one night by someone other than Votto? That is simply not believable. Reds continue fine play today. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reds Stick with Strategy to Win One Out of Every Three, 4-1

Bailey was sharp yesterday, throwing 7 innings against a Pittsburgh offense who is there only to be exploited by opposing pitchers. Despite the performances in games one and two of the series, the Reds Rocket stands by the preceding sentence. Bailey worked 7 nice innings, only confronted with trouble in the first, in picking up his third win of the season. He now has that ERA down to the more appropriate mid-6.00 range. That's what everyone was expecting with his draft selection.

I hadn't gotten around to commenting on the final game of the Giants' series last Thursday, the one where Harang pitched very well and Stubbs won it with his first career home run, a walk-off. Everyone seemed pretty excited that day. Especially after I had mentioned, in passing, that Stubbs has not developed the power stroke he demonstrated in the mid-minors. He showed me. So exhausted after the celebration at home plate, was the team, that they were unable to do anything against Pirates pitching on Friday and Saturday. And speaking of Harang, his appendix was about to explode, so he'll be taking the rest of the season off. Too bad for the big guy, another disappointing stat line, 6-14 with a 4.21 ERA. That ERA's not bad but it appeared to be on its way back down after a series of mediocre starts. Little known fact, the appendix is used to break down harder substances in the digestive system, like tree bark or bones. And with Harang's regular diet of human bones, it just couldn't hold up. He is scheduled to be the recipient of an experimental appendix transplant procedure. The doctor behind it, Dr. Allen Allen, his friends and colleagues call him Al, is confident that Harang's new appendix will work just as well as his previous, inflamed one.

The team also said so long to Chris Dickerson. He'd been back for about 10 days before getting injured trying to return to first base on a pick-off throw. Looks like Stubbs is going to be the every day centerfielder for a while. We'll just have to see if he can provide Tavares-like numbers. That's a hard act to follow. Team heads to Milwaukee for a big game tomorrow. Everyone tune it. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reds Change Things Up, Drop First Two to Giants

Arroyo continued his stretch of quality starts yesterday, putting together a solid 8-inning rockshow with only the one run allowed. The Reds offense, however, felt they had done some pretty good work Tuesday night and were done for the day. And Votto left with blurry vision brought on by depression and Lupus.

After providing Homeboy with a 5-1 run lead in the 6th, of course with the best arm in the league, next to Justin Lehr, Lincecum, on the hill, but Bailey orchestrated a pretty nice little comeback by the Giants. He loaded up the bases, of course striking out Sandoval but then walking Bengie Molina, and Randy Wynn knocked in a couple with a double, then Ryan Garko knocked in the tying runs with a single. There is no reason that Randy Wynn should be getting any hits and Bailey knows that. And the offense knows that, hence the no runs scored for Arroyo yesterday.

The Reds offense took a hit yesterday when their leadoff hitter with the .275 OBP landed on the DL with a bad case of Corey Patterson Syndrome. So, Drew Stubbs made his big league debut last night in center. He went 1 for 4 and we'll have to see how he matches up with big league pitching. In the early minors he'd shown some nice power in addition to good speed and well-above average defense in center. He's decided to go away from the power, in order to cut out some of the strikeouts. Even if he's completely overmatched, should be an upgrade for the team. Also, Cueto likely on the DL. Good to see all of the young pitchers wearing out and getting hurt. The future seems bright.

Harang takes the ball tonight again Matt Cain, who the Reds handled the last meeting. Expect a similar result today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Watching Reds Will Kill You and Your Two Children, Nats 5-4

Mr. Redlegs took soom time out of his busy schedule to pose with a weird-looking dude and a giant python. He offered to show the photographer the python he has inside his oversized baseball pants. Mr. Redlegs lacks discretion when he's on the bottle.

The Reds Rocket apologizes for the delay in writing about the Reds. The three loyal readers who remain through this lengthy season have shown their disapproval through silence. I get the message. The Reds Rocket was actually out of town last week, very important business. Cat lovers convention in Denver. I will post the calender to prove it.

Way back last week the Reds showed quite a bit of promise in game one versus the Nats, after dropping the series to the Cardinals. Gomes opened things up with a huge outpouring of offense. Three bombs in one game? That deserves an exclamation point. ! And Arroyo was nearly equally as good, two hits over nine for his second complete game shutout of the season. He took a few of those non-MLB endorsed supplements and dropped his ERA by about a third of a run with some big league salad. This series is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

But then the Reds turned the car around, because the kids wouldn't shut the fuck up, and headed back to Shittiville. They dropped the next three games in a variety of ways. Game two featured a fine outing by Harang, just the two solo shots over 7 but the offense was impotent. Game three featured Cueto getting shelled followed by four innings of Kip Wells, which is never a good sign. And today, the Reds had a late lead before the Nats rallied on a play that wasn't made followed by a play which should have been made. "Alert baserunning" or alert anything isn't something which graces a Nationals recap more than a couple time a season but the Reds got to see it today. At least Dusty's got these guys focused on not giving up on the season. They're going to be out there everyday not making plays at maximum effort every day for the rest of the season.

Finally, the Reds said goodbye to their broken down shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Injuries removed many of the assets which prompted his signing two years ago but the Red Sox seem to welcome his arrival. In the one at bat of Gonzo's which I saw today against the Rangers, he doubled to left. That doubles his season extra-basehit total. Keep up the good work in Boston. We'll enjoy garbage-time reliever Janish Yanish getting a full time job look at the starting shortstop job.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Justin Lehr is Uncomfortable Around Children But Competent Major League Starter, Reds 5-4

Lehr's line looked a little odd last night, 6+ innings with just the 11 hits allowed but that concerns him little, he picked up win number two which is just as many as Homeboy has in about 12 more starts. Since Lehr and Bailey have similar stuff, it's proper to compare the paths of their respective seasons.

Alex Gonzalez had a month's worth of hits last night, going 4 for 5 with a double bringing that average all the way up to .217. That and we saw the return of Dickerson to the outfield, which allows me to gloss over Rolen's trip to the DL with a sore brain. Let's talk about Chris Dickerson's ability to get on base 4 times at the top of the order, rather than other topics, like a DL trip for the big acquisition. At least Encarnacion was only featured once on the highlight shows last night.

Masset wasn't terribly successful in his new role as double hyphenated right-handed set-up man last night. He gave up a bomb to Pujols and a double to Molina and was charged with a couple of runs. Arty cleaned up his mess. Coco opted to keep things interesting by allowing the fourth Cardinals run of the evening but eventually shut things down. Reds plan on taking the series today from Chris Carpenter. He's overrated. Reds! Reds! Reds!r

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cueto Pulls Up Lame, Put Out to Stud for Time Being, Cardinals 4-1

Cueto only last 2 innings last night before straining a hip flexor while taking his swings at the plate. This may not have happened if he would just push a bunt up the first base line every single at bat. Now he knows. At least now his handlers can focus on collecting his seed and implanting it into some of the more fertile female hanger-ons. Soon there will be a whole army of undersized hard-throwing offspring under lifelong contracts with the Reds. Just wait 20 years, the Reds will be back on top.

So, of the once-promising pitching staff, the Dominicans are both injured, Harang and Arroyo carry and combined 4.75 ERA. Fortunately, the team has Homer Bailey and Micah Owings. Those guys are life savers. And of course Justin Lehr, back on the hill tonight for his second complete game shut out of his career. Everything should be fine for the rest of the year.

Reds managed only 1 run against Lohse and the Cardinals bullpen. Votto seems to be settling into the 4th spot in the order. He picked up a couple of hits and reached on an error. Slump time may be finally over. Rolen missed another game due to a large comical bump that grew out of his head when he was hit by Marquis' pitch. It's slowly going down. It's not like the Flinstones when you can just pound the bump down with a mallet. You need expensive surgical tools, like that hammer they use to check the reflexes in your knee. Reds doctors, unfortunately, don't have that sort of technology available to them. They have a whole room full of leeches and boring tools to let the evil spirits out of the players' brains. Dusty endorses all medical techniques utilized by the training staff.

Now, as incorrectly stated yesterday, today is Lehr's turn on the hill. I was a little overzealous. He faces a guy by the name of Mitch Boggs. Sounds like the name of someone who likes to give up a lot of hits to struggling offenses.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Reds Take Series, Skyline Loses Number One Customer

Reds looked more like an average or slightly below average team in San Francisco over the weekend. That is a major improvement from the team that was only slightly better than the Nationals for much of last week. Now the Reds get to go to St. Louis and make them make statements like "This is a series that we really thought we should win." Yeah, tough break Matt Cain. Bozo.

Bailey wasn't particularly bad on Friday, he just made two mistakes - one to the eldest of the Molinas and the other to Eugenio Velez, who, for some reason killed the Reds all weekend. If that's what he's really going to play like every scout who's ever looked at him must have made a mistake. At least he made that horrible throw to the plate yesterday, allowing the runners to move up on base where they were stranded. That about evens everything up.

Arroyo pitched pretty well Saturday, he found a new "legal" supplement which has been helping with his velocity of late. But the Reds offense just couldn't get anything going against Barry Zito from 5 years ago. Having watched that outing, you wouldn't think he'd be the owner of the worst contract in baseball history. But he is. Enjoy another 12 years of decreased velocity at around $20 million per annum Giants fans. I know you're reading this and it hurts.

And finally, yesterday, Harang got his first win of the year throwing 7+ solid innings. The Giants potent offense wasn't able to get anything going all day except for the 8th when, after being left in to hit with the bases loaded, Harang allowed three straight hits including one to Rich Aurilia (barf). New 8th inning man, Masset came in and got Sandoval to ground into a double play and the threat was officially over. Speaking of, ordinarily that would have been the roll of David Weathers who would come in, go 3-0 on Sandoval, Brennaman would go 'here we go again', before throwing 2 strikes, followed by about 15 foul ball before getting the double play or allowing a bases-clearing double. He's been a good friend to Cincinnatians. He stated, though not particularly excited to go, he is excited to reunite with old pal Big Frucking Nasty in Milwaukie. Those two are thick as thieves. 'Hey Dave, let's see who can eat the most fried cheese without crapping their uniform pants.'

As stated, Reds next stop on the vindication tour is in St. Louis today where they dominate Kyle Lohse and his funny little beard. Justin Lehr laughs at the idea of facing Pujols and Holiday back to back. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

As Expected, Lehr Complete Game Shutout, Reds Dominate Cubs 4-0

The Reds big ol' losing streak came to an end last night due in large part to the great outing of Justin Lehr. Last night was Lehr's second career start and as ESPN continually reported, first career shutout. One for two isn't bad. I am pretty confident he can maintain the start:shutout ratio. That is, if he keeps his spot in the rotation. Owings is set to come off the DL by the time the fifth starter's spot comes up again. So, might be happy trails for Mr. Lehr. It's too bad because he feature a nice variety of tossed salad and the more of those guys in the rotation, the better. Five Bronson Arroyos flipping up 70 mph curveballs would be pretty sweet.

Scott Rolen's beard provided the offense last night, taking one out of the yard in the first giving the Reds a two-run cushion which, as we've seen consistently throughout the year, is insurmountable. After achieving the winning margin at such an early stage of the game, the Reds didn't even feel like getting on base much for the rest of the game. Willy Taveras actually provided 40% of the offense last night with two of the five hits. He even stole a couple of bases. Way to make an impact other than on defense Willy and other than negative on offense. I think he needs to incorporate more bunting into his skill set. Two groundouts to the pitcher a game is pretty good but three would be better.

Reds get a day off to rest and relax before heading out west to face the Giants. Lincecum had better be ready for the one beating he takes a year because it's coming, tomorrow night.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Reds Lose? Inconceivable, Cubs 6-3

Things didn't look great from the outset yesterday as Cueto loaded up the count on the Cubs leadoff hitter, the Fukudome turned on one and gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead without anything else happening prior. Horry Kow. Leadoff homers hurt but those allowed to Fukudome are killers.

Cueto eventually settled down for a few innings before giving up four more in the 6th. His inability to pitch well is a bit troubling, especially based upon how is season began. He was a legitimate All-Star candidate, of course until he visited Philadelphia and gave up 9 runs without making it out of the 1st inning. I think the solution is, one which Dusty actually proposed, is to pitch him more regularly. Get him out there every other day, throwing as many pitches as possible. That will soothe his tired and aching arm. That, or next season don't pitch so well to begin the season. You've got to work into it or everyone is going to be expecting quality outings all season.

The losing streak extends to 8 games. Not too bad. A streak of that length takes work. You'd think, by sheer luck, someone in the lineup would have a huge day or a starter would throw 8 innings of one-hit ball but that hasn't happened. The starters have been just bad enough to lose and the offense has been all around awful. At least that Scott Rolen deal is paying dividends. He's helped solidify the lineup by sitting on the bench with a bandage full of ice wrapped around his dome. Like a turban. Last night we did get to see a little bit out of Wladimir Balentien. He hit two balls sharply early in the night, both of which resulted in outs. Then went deep in the 9th. He appeared to have a little ability early in his career with Seattle. And he has that big mole of power on his face. It glows a greenish color when he's about to put a good swing on a pitch. It was luminescent during the 9th inning last night. The fans in attendance reported is was 'magical.' Watch for it. Reds hammer Hard-on today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harang Takes Loss, Rage at Dangerous Level, Cubs 4-2

Reds dropped their 7th consecutive last night. They're really making that August push necessary to propel them into the lower fifth of all the teams in baseball. Dusty's boys now have an identical record to the Pirates, at the bottom of the Central, and are only a game ahead of the Indians, Orioles and Padres in the standings for the second worst team in baseball. At least the Nats and their historical awfulness basically assure themselves the top pick in next year's draft.

Dusty remains optimistic. He told reporters that he is still pretty certain that Harang is going to win 20 and Willy Taveres will hit .300 with 50 bags. I think those are both realistic goals and am glad to hear that the manager stands behind his players. He also reconsidered and said that he predicts that Corey Patterson is going to merry his daughter. Everything is going to be okay for the Reds for this season and forever.

Back to last night's game. The Reds continued to be mystified by Randy Wells who went eight and gave up a single run on an Alex Gonzalez homer. Gonzalez, who didn't start due to generally terrible play, also drove in the Reds other run in the 9th with a double. Harang wasn't bad at all in picking up his 13th loss of the season. He did give up a home run to Mike Fontenot, which is unforgiveable but after that he shut down the Cubs and struck out a season high 10. Sure he stayed one inning too long, you're not going to walk Fukudome if you're not starting to wear out, but innings 3-7 were pretty solid. But, still loss. In fact he's not all that troubled with the idea of losing 20, he knows Mike Maroth and looks forward to joining him and the limited number of modern-day players who have met the milestone. The Reds, however, did have to order a new vending machine for the clubhouse. Harang gave it a piledriver to get at the snacks inside then threatened to cut anyone who got within 10 feet of his candy surplus. He made the blade in between innings by burning tape with a lighter. They don't let him have weapons, other than his fists, in the clubhouse ever since he attacked Kent Mercker last season with a throwing star. Those are things you're just going to have to deal with if you're not going to give him any offensive support.

Reds break the streak today and win every game for the rest of the season. They just need to relax and have fun out there. That's the key.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Deadline Moves Revitalize Reds, Rockies Sweep

Wait a minute, that subject line seems to imply that the Reds somehow got better with the flurry of activity which immediately preceded the trade deadline. That's right, the Reds Rocket has resorted to the lowest form of humor, sarcasm, to help cope with the terrible play of the Reds of late. For those of you keeping track, that's 12 losses in 13 games and a modest streak of 6 straight in the L column.

The Rockies came in to Cincinnati and played good defense and pitched well enough to leave town with the first three games of the season versus the Redlegs. Arroyo pitched pretty well yesterday, going 7 and allowing on the the three runs. The offense even showed a little bit of uncharacteristic heart on a couple of bombs; a three-run shot by Nix in the 7th and a solo bomb by Votto in the 8th to tie it. But in extras, the offense vanished and Masset gave up an RBI triple to Fowler followed by a roller by Atkins that emphasized Gonzalez's arthritis in his throwing arm and that was it. Phillips was already in the left-handed batter's box on the third strike he took to close things out. Dusty looked disappointed but optimistic. He's got this team headed in the right direction and you and all of your friends know that.

Lehr was adequate Friday, in his first career start, but Bailey was less so Saturday. The team, courtesy of Gomes, actually provided him with a lead. But he wasn't all that interested in hanging onto it, giving up 5 over 5 +. He has a goal to finish the season with an ERA over 7.00, which the 5 runs were necessary to sustain. That's a good goal and the Reds Rocket encourages you, Homer, to reach for it. You can attain it.

Additionally, news, likely of the bad variety, yesterday it was reported that during his throwing session Volquez felt some tightness in his elbow and is going to hit the shelf for the remainder of the season. Tommy John may be necessary but no one really seems to know. As per team Dr. Kremchick 'there's some shit wrong in that motherfucker but that's all I can say at this point.' At least Hamilton's hitting in the seven hole and Herrera has had a nice season out of the pen. So, that's a bit of a set-back for the rotation which, at the beginning of the season, looked to be the major asset of the team. Sure, the Reds still have Harang getting shelled every outing, Cueto unable to find the strike zone and Arroyo's 4 good starts sandwiched in between 6 or 7 awful, so, nothing to be too down on. At least Scott Rolen's here and his helmet didn't crack when he was bonked in the dome yesterday. Technology is amazing.

Reds continue the successful homestand today. Go out there and support the team, you'll be happy that you did.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Trade Deadline: Reds Get Old, Fans Love It

On Friday Jocketty and the front office simulteously acquired an aging third baseman in Scott Rolen and a fine young man by the name of Chase Weems and ridded the franchise of some dead weight in the way of power bullpen arms. There was simply no room in the pen for Roenicke or Manuel, shipped out previously in the Balentien deal, who were not in their 40's and throw too damn hard to get any work for Dusty. The Reds also tricked the Jays into accepting Zach Stewart who has progressed rather quickly through the system after being drafted out of Texas Tech but clearly has no future. Enjoy that 95 mph fastball people of Toronto. Suckers.

The Reds also said adios to long time friend of the Reds Rocket Edwin Encarnacion. Eddie who, apparently, raised his arms in triumph after being informed of the trade, was ready to get out of town. He didn't even waste his time talking with reporters after the deal. He was ready to get out of town. He's heard lots of nice things about Toronto from Votto. His bat never really got going this season after he pulled up lame early in the season and ended up missing 2/3rd of the season to date. The Reds Rocket will miss the aloof attitude, 4-6 inaccurate throws a week and, when healthy, above-average bat.

Rolen comes to Cincinnati bringing his strong glove to third base. He's even been hitting a little bit this year, though, the detractors point to the .370 batting average on balls in play. That's a little high, so his success may be subject to somewhat of a caveat. That and his ever dwindling power, likely make the acquisition subject to at least a little scrutiny. But he's old and he's got a sore back, so I am willing to cut him a little slack. At least his brain still feels great, as he hasn't gotten hit in the head with a pitch this season. At least he comes cheap, only the $11 million owed to him next season. That's only 7 million more than Eddie's getting next year and all those groundballs he's going to field make this look like a real winner. Looks like Jocketty's done it again.

Hairston's also gone. In return the Reds got a A-ball player, Weems. Didn't the Reds just draft a high school catcher who was supposed to cover the position for the next many years? I can't recall specifically. Something about Punxatawny and some 'bad weight gain' seems to come to mind. So, we'll be expecting Chase to play the 7 positions that Hairston could handle, preferably within the next couple of weeks. Get to it kid.

The Reds Rocket has no idea how the moves are going to work out. The Reds seem, at least according to everyone who reviewed the trades, to have gotten less than they gave up. At least they're watching that tight payroll of next season. You have to like the direction this team is heading.