After not seeing the Reds in a regular season game since their series in Tampa a couple of years ago, I'm earning my stripes this week...3 Reds games in a week...yesterday in ATL, then this Saturday and Sunday against the Marlins...I might add that Wayne and Pete should hire me to travel with the team since they are 3-0-1 with me in attendance this year (spring training wins vs. Cleveland and Toronto and the tie versus the Evil Empire)...

I would love to meet any RZ'er who might be at the games this weekend...I'll be in section 101 on Saturday and Section 153 on Sunday, wearing either my Larkin AS jersey or my Hamilton Sunday-special jersey (Red)...please give me a shout...

The 6 hour drive each way to/from Atlanta was definitely worth it...15 innings (hey, I wanted a rainout Tuesday for a doubleheader Wednesday) with a Reds win...life was good...Turner Field is a nice park, but very devoid of a distinct personality IMHO...sat in RF about 20 feet away from Dunn's HR and had a blast with a coaching friend of mine who now lives in Rome, GA...I called Hatteburg's single to right-center, but he matched me by calling Chipper's double off the wall...we decided to take our act to Vegas

Smoltz and Harang were great...Harang's performance obviously that much better when added to the knowledge of his grandfather's death...he's a warrior and I liked Pete's slow hook as it was not brutally hot, especially during the first part of the game...next, clearly it was "opposite day" since Weathers was awful (dead arm from 3rd straight day of work??) and the rest of pen was lights-out...heck, at one point, surrounding Weather's performance other Reds (Coutlangus, Stanton and Saarloos) struck out 5 straight Braves...in particular Gosling was really, really good...wonder if he's making a step to being a solid contributor??...

You can't get PeLo out, you can only hope to keep him in the park (or at least Smoltz thinks so!!)...but what a god-awful slide on the double by Harang...

It's funny how baseball works...each major decision Pete made I supported (Harang stays to pitch to the lefty in the 8th, Hopper for defense, Weathers to close in the 10th, etc) but none of them worked out very well...guess it's about the evalution of the macro vs the micro, huh???

Why isn't Coutlangus simply a LOOGY right now???...he could be LIGHTS OUT in that role IMHO...not that he's bad versus righties, but hasn't he thrived in 1 batter, LH-LH matchups as I recall???...

I still haven't seen the replay, but Phillips catch was amazing in person...that ball was hit so hard that I think it might have hit the wall on the fly (Weathers was not exactly foolin' them)...now, I must confess to not really understanding the 5 infielder thing...Pete had the middle infield at DP depth...he doesn't walk the bases loaded... and puts Freel on the 2B bag...okay, I get all of it but Freel...do we really think that the chance of a ball somehow missing being caught by the pitcher but going directly to Freel is worth taking him out of CF??...but all worked out well...it did make for fascinating viewing...

We couldn't have scored off of Smoltz with $500 in a brothel...man he was really on...glad he just got off the DL...and Dunn smashed his homer...

Pretty cool that I got to see Junior's 2500th hit...kindof disappointed by the ATL response...a very quick message on the scoreboard (the biggest board I've ever seen in my life...THAT was very awesome) that wasn't seen by many folks because there was only a very slight smattering of applause...a simple PA announcement would've been much nicer and worthy...

Don't know what the game-thread folks had to say, but it was at least a bit startling to me to see EE get replaced by BP in the 9th inning...don't know the matchup stats, but it continued to speak volumes to me that EE is not "entrenched" as the 3B of the future round these parts...

Scott Hatteburg is really fun to watch hit...as I sat there, forgive me for the following thought...how similar has he been the past 2 years than Pete Rose during the BRM days (not in his 60's heyday)...similar OPS (appx .850'esque) and plate discipline and approach...obviously being a bit facetious but I did have the thought...I will miss Hatte if/when he gets traded...

Not too hard to see PMac's view/role for Todd Coffey after 15 innings of not seeing Java-man anywhere near the field...wow, how the mighty have fallen in 1 year...

No batting practice, but cool sight...David Weathers pitching BP to his young son in the OF during pregame...and yes, his son was raking off of him as well ...actually, the little guy has a heck of a swing...sign him now!!

It was a blast and the 20 hour day was well worth it ...here's to hoping I have as much fun in Miami watching them this weekend!!