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Brad's Blog - 08/13/13

So Ryan Ludwick is back and the Reds won. Magic? Me thinks not. Not in Wrigley, anyway. The Reds own "the friendly confines" with 7 of 8 this year, 13 of their last 14 and 20 of their last 24. But will the return of Luddy be the "something" this team needs for the stretch run? I don't know. I think the manager believes he is. Dusty called for leaders at the all-star break, saying he hopes 2 or 3 emerge to bring the different groups of players together. I got called out on twitter several days ago when I said chemistry matters. It does. It matters when you're winning and it matters more when you're losing. Great chemistry usually involves great leaders. I'm certainly not saying there's poor chemistry in the Reds clubhouse. Far from it. It's a great group of guys, who in the great majority really like each other. Ludwick was singled out last year as a leading force in the clubhouse. Part of that, I'm sure, came from his 26 home runs and 80 RBI. More of it came from how he handled himself off the field and around his teammates. I'm honestly not sure how much he will "rally the troops" for the stretch run. This is a playoff team. Their pitching has proven that. Players consistently tell you "just make it to the dance, after that, anything can happen." Too many teams have proven that to list here. The defending World Series Champion, San Francisco Giants, come to recent memory. Maybe this team is just starting to get healthy. Maybe they are just starting to get hot. Maybe the leaders are emerging. Maybe all they need to do is "get there." I still think chemistry matters. I've spent too much time in clubhouses/locker rooms to believe otherwise. It's a process. This one will be fun to follow over the next month and a half.

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