Saturday, December 10, 2005

Welcome Casey Back with Open Arms, Pittsburgh!

Sean Casey has become so associated with the Reds and the Cincinnati community, that his nickname around here is The Mayor.

This week, Casey was traded by the Reds to the Pittsburgh Pirates. A native of Pittsburgh, the first baseman's trade represents a homecoming of sorts, although Cincinnati has clearly come to be home for Casey, his wife, and his children, who were born in the area.

From a baseball perspective and from that of a Reds fan like me, the trade makes sense. The Reds need pitching. Casey's contract is worth about $8.5-million next year and the pitcher for whom he was traded will earn a fraction of that, freeing up money for more moves. On top of that, Casey, though always a great contact hitter, doesn't hit for power. Adam Dunn, a terrific young slugger, can be moved from the outfield to first, making room in the outfield for Willy Mo Pena, who has earned the right to be an everyday player. Trading Casey makes sense from the standpoint of turning the Reds into a winning franchise again.

I understand all that. But a story like this one shows why Casey will be missed on the field, in the clubhouse, and in the community. Treat him well, Pittsburgh; he's a great one!

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