Thoughts for the end of the week

July 14, 2006

Summertime in Columbus is usually defined as the last bit of time a Buckeye fan has to wait before the football season begins and the earth can resume it’s rotation around Ohio Stadium. I love Buckeye football, but I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t share the same 24/7/365 intensity for all things gridiron.

So far this summer, I’ve watched the NHL moves from the sideline (as Columbus has been a bit player at most), casually enjoyed occasional innings of baseball (usually to watch the Reds blow a lead past the 6th inning), and tried to stay healthy to keep up with my athletic pursuits.

Since my last post, not much has happened on the CBJ front. Apparently GM Doug MacLean has signed a three-year extension (I’ll continue to reserve judgement for a bit longer), former assistant coach Dean Blais has been reassigned to a scouting role, and Syracuse Crunch head coach Gary Agnew is moving up to the big leagues to fill Blais’ spot. Ron Hainsey signed a two-year contract, and Jason Chimera has filed for arbitration. Hockey bloggers across the landscape are in tune, singing the chorus of “Columbus is the only team in the Central not improving the squad this summer.” On the surface I’ll not deny that this does look to be the case, but I happen to believe that the team will be improved next season appearances be damned. Perhaps that will be a topic for an upcoming post. I don’t feel like hashing it out right now.

The Reds stumbled into the All-Star break barely above .500, and yesterday executed a trade with the Washington Nationals sending Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Wagner to the Nats in exchange for relievers Gary Majewski and Bill Bray, infielders Royce Clayton and Brendan Harris, and prospect Daryl Thompson. Until this move puts the Reds in the playoffs, I’ll be skeptical. While I’m sad to see Lopez go from an offensive standpoint, I’m not surprised. I thought for sure that Adam Dunn would be the young outfielder to go, but apparently GM Wayne Krivsky thought otherwise as Kearns is the man in the new uniform.

This surprises me a bit, as I think Kearns is a more complete player than Dunn. Dunn has tremendous power at the plate, but it seems that this is all he brings to the table. Kearns has some pop in the bat, can hit for better average, has a cannon arm, and has decent enough speed and glove to not be a liability in the field. I have to think that Dunn’s walk-off grand slam a few weeks ago against Cleveland may have saved him from being traded. He’s still on my crap-list, but I don’t sign the checks so who cares.

To those of you who have stopped by in the last week to ten days, sorry there hasn’t been more content. As the NHL season gears up (or if the CBJ do anything note-worthy), I’ll be posting some more thoughts. As for now, get out and enjoy your summer.

Have a great Friday.

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