Will the Reds repeat as Central Division Champions? The jury is still out, of course. One of the debates that keeps coming up is their style of play. They play for the home run rather than advancing runners and playing “small ball”. Part of this is the result of the ball park they play in. GABP is an easy park to hit home runs in, so everyone believes they are home run hitters. When you depend on the home run, your batters usually have a longer swing arc. They try to generate the power by literally winding into a swing rather than using a short swing and trying to put the ball in play. Some blame this on the hitting coach, but most of them have less influence on hitting at the major league level. These players are paid to do certain things, and getting them to change is hard at best. One thing is fact–teams who depend on home runs are more likely to also strike out a lot and this is happening frequently with the Reds this year. We will all forget this debate if the Reds get really hot as they did last year. What we do know is that St. Louis is a “small ball” team, and as long as they are winning, we will have this debate. Fans like one thing, and that is winning! If you win, the talk will stop.