Friday, September 29, 2006

Something to play for

In a season under first-year ownership and with a new GM hired barely two weeks prior to the start of spring training, the Reds managed to remain in the race for the NL Central Division title into the season's final weekend.

Not since 1999 have the Reds been in contention for anything beyond postseason hunting and fishing trips this late in September.

The glass half-empty approach makes it easy to credit the Cardinals for allowing the Reds and Astros to remain in the race and the Reds themselves for refusing to unwrap the many gifts St. Louis has sent their way this summer.

Sure, the NL Central is anything but a powerhouse division in a league that is mediocre at best. But, Reds fans wanted a pennant race and they've got one. While the Reds' chances of winning the division border a miracle, the fact is that they are still not eliminated with three games to play.

FSN Ohio has added Sunday's telecast in the event the season finale means something. The rotation couldn't have set up any better with Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo starting the first two games in Pittsburgh.

With the Astros ahead of them as well, it's not likely the Reds, who were picked to finish fifth in the division, will achieve the unthinkable.

On second thought, haven't they already?

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