Fisking an odd and frightening report

Here's the way it works sometimes: one of ESPN.com's writers fires off a Tweet, which is picked up by some random blogger, and then I join the fray. Got all that?

    According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Reds are interested in acquiring outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. if he fails to beat out Angel Pagan for the Mets' month-long centerfield opening.

    Matthews Jr. posted a lousy 697 OPS in 316 at-bats for the Angels last season and was shipped to New York this winter for reliever Brian Stokes. If he makes the Mets' final squad, and trumps Pagan, he will man the centerfield position until Carlos Beltran (knee) returns to the field in May. If not, Matthews should be able to find ample playing time in Cincinnati.

Here's a prediction: any team with which Gary Matthews finds "ample playing time" is a non-contender.

As I've written before, the last thing the Reds need is another (relatively) impotent outfielder. They've already got Jonny Gomes, Chris Dickerson, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, Wladimir Balentien, and Chris Heisey ... all of whom are younger -- and generally speaking, better -- than Matthews.

If the Reds pick up Matthews, they might as well issue a press release: "Today, because we didn't trust our manager to figure out which of our young marginal outfielders to play, we've acquired an old marginal outfielder, to whom our manager has already promised ample playing time."

Seriously. Just yesterday, when a radio host asked me about the Reds, I said this: "The Reds have the roster to win 85-90 games. I'm not sure if they have the manager."

Which was a) before the bit about Little Sarge, and b) not completely fair to the manager, as he's not the one making the trades and signing the free agents.

But if the Reds do get Matthews and he does play amply, someone will have to be mocked. Severely.