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Young core gives Reds immediate hope

Potentially strong rotation and improving offense should keep Cincy in NL Central mix

Originally Published: April 2, 2009
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

Baseball fans in Cincinnati haven't suffered in recent years on the same grand scale as their fellow Rust Belt die-hards in Pittsburgh. But the town that gave us Johnny Vander Meer, the Big Red Machine, Marty and Joe and the Nasty Boys has definitely seen better decades.

When former general manager Jim Bowden acquired Ken Griffey Jr. in February 2000 and declared that "baseball is back in Cincinnati," he neglected to mention that it would be a mostly uninspired brand of ball.

The ...

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