Short Hops – The Reds are 2010 NL Central Champions

Here’s a collection of links that I never want to lose track of:

This one Really Belongs to the Reds
“If ever this was a fitting finish, it was Tuesday night in Great American Ball Park – when the Cincinnati Reds won their first division championship in 15 years. All season long, they did it by digging dirt, pitching hay bales, lifting crates – always the hard way and always with sweat and tears. All season long, they came from behind and they scratched and they clawed. And that’s the way they did it Tuesday against the Houston Astros – walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth by Jay Bruce on the first pitch he saw.” [Hal McCoy, Dayton Daily News]

Reds celebration video
“It was a rookie mistake, I realized. I’d remembered to wear my rain jacket in the RedsJay Bruce‘s homer clinched the team’s first division title in 15 years, but I forgot to put my hood up. I heard Homer Bailey before I saw him, and he doused me with champagne — the hood would have served as protection and camouflage. Instead, it was useless and I was drenched.” [C. Trent Rosecrans]

Bruce won’t forget homer anytime soon
“Bruce won’t forget his ninth-inning homer against the Astros anytime soon. It didn’t just give the Reds a 3-2 walk-off win, but it clinched the NL Central title for Cincinnati. It was the 22nd time the Reds won a game in their final at-bat, but this one might be the most memorable.” [ESPN Baseball Tonight Clubhouse]

Reds walk-off with the NL Central

“Batting in the ninth inning of a tie game, rightfielder Jay Bruce belted a home run over Great American Ballpark’s centerfield fence. When Bruce touched home plate, the Reds didn’t just beat the Astros 3-2 on a walk-off home run but secured their first postseason trip since 1995.” [Sports Illustrated]

‘What a way to win this thing’
“If this post smells like beer, it is because Aaron Harang, at Bob Castellini’s prompting, gave me a Budweiser shower. Jay Bruce’s first pitch, walkoff home run instantly goes on the list of all-time moments in the Reds history.
” []

What a Way to Clinch
“That was one moment I will never forget and I’m sure many Reds fans won’t either. Jay Bruce delivered a huge home run at the hugest of moments in a 3-2 win over the Astros. His ninth-inning blast to center field off Tim Byrdak on the very first pitch was how the Reds clinched the NL Central. It couldn’t have been done much better than that. I’ve never seen or heard GABP erupt like that. I could feel the place rattling and the fans yelling all the way up in the press box.
” [Mark Sheldon –]

Reds clinch first postseason since 1995
“And what a way to do it. Jay Bruce homered to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning against Tim Byrdak just a short while ago, propelling the Reds to a 3-2 walkoff win over the Astros. The Reds have wrapped up the National League Central division and are now headed to the postseason for the first time since 1995.” [Hardball Talk]

“From Elias: Jay Bruce’s walk-off home run was the 5th game-ending home run in major league history which clinched a team’s postseason berth. The 4 previous instances: Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” for the 1951 Giants; Hank Aaron’s 11th-inning blast for the 1957 Milwaukee Braves; Alfonso Soriano’s 1st major-league hit for the 1999 Yankees; and Steve Finley’s grand slam for the 2004 Dodgers.” [Lance Mcalister]

Reds re-kindle lost joy in Sports
“From my back porch, with the crickets providing a free symphony, the scene on TV played out in hypnotic fashion. All heaven had broken out in Cincinnati. The Reds had just earned their first playoff berth in 15 years on a dramatic walk-off homer by Jay Bruce. I couldn’t stop watching. Players jumped up and down like little boys on Christmas morning. Fans hugged. Grown men cried. I couldn’t stop watching.” [Todd Jones – Columbus Dispatch]

The Clinch-mas Open Thread
“I sometimes feel like way too much is made of fandom. There are a number of major pro sports leagues in this country, each of which crowns a champion each year. Every year. Year in and year out. Teams win, then lose, then win again. Last year’s champion is forgotten as soon as this year’s is crowned. This year’s great moments turn into next year’s trivia question on Stump the Schwab. Why do we care so much?” [Red Reporter]

Our Championship
“Tuesday night’s game was thrilling, liberating, life-affirming, and everything else. And it belongs to a whole lot of people who sweated, cried, and suffered over the last ten years.” [Redleg Nation]

“At some point this winter, when it’s 14 degrees out, when it’s pitch black on your drive home from work, when it’s gloomy and cloudy, when there’s inches of snow on the ground, when the schools are closed and the roads are being salted, when it seems like it’s been months since you’ve seen the sun, when you’re scraping the ice off your windows while waiting for your car to heat up, when time seems at a standstill….when Opening Day seems like it will never, ever get here, go back and listen to Marty Brennaman’s call of Jay Bruce’s Division-clinching homer, and it’ll feel like summer all over again.”
[Mo Egger]

2010 NL Central Champions
“The Cincinnati Reds clinched the NL Central Tuesday night as they defeated the Houston Astros 3-2. The game was tied going into the bottom of the ninth when Jay Bruce led off the inning for the Reds homered on the first pitch he saw. As the ball traveled into the grassy knoll located in centerfield at Great American Ballpark, Bruce’s teammates surrounded him at the pitcher’s mound as he finished rounding the bases. The Reds will be in the MLB playoffs for the first time since 1995 and haven’t had a winning season since 2000.” [Whack Reds]