CINCINNATI The absurdity of a meaningful Cincinnati Reds-Pittsburgh Pirates series in August manifested itself by who is missing in the Great American Ball Park press box this weekend.
Three beat writers who are regularly assigned to the Reds aren't covering any of the three games this weekend between the Reds and Pirates in a land dispute over first place in the National League Central.
And why aren't they here? One scheduled his vacation before the season when he looked at the schedule and decided, "This series won't mean anything." Another scheduled a family-type re-union this weekend for the same reason. And the third was assigned to cover the Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities in Canton.
But as Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise. On August 3 the Reds and Pirates were in showdown mode the Reds, who have made the playoffs once sinde 1995 and the Pirates, who have not had a winning season since 1992.
And round one went to the Reds In a beguiling manner....