It Factor for NL Wild Card race

Time to haul out the tarot cards, the crystal ball and the Ouija board and hunt some intangibles. Specifically, the It Factor.

It came out over the weekend. I’d expected to see It on the most recent roadie, but there is no It to be gained from going 3-4. Then the Cubs came here and won twice. Maybe It wouldn’t be a factor after all.

What are you talking about, Doc?

Either a team has It, or it doesn’t. That creeping sense of triumph or dread. The notion that We’re Gonna Be OK or This is Not Our Year. You can’t define It, as with most intangibles. You only know it when It’s there.

Please get to the point, amigo.

The Reds have It. That fine and rare clubhouse alchemy, that belief in self. And now, a healthy and nearly complete roster to carry It out. OK, so it was the Marlins, a club the Reds own like sand owns a beach. The Marlins can pitch a little, but they can’t hit at all. Reds rookie V. Gutierrez toyed with them Sunday. The best thing about Miami’s offense is that its players don’t take long to make outs. They hack up there.

Like we say in golf: If you can’t play well, play fast.

But the Reds ’21 roster has never looked better. David Bell’s IQ blew up once the Club acquired Givens and Cessa and got Lorenzen back. The front office is looking good (Naquin, the free agent signed in mid-February), the mostly maligned minor-league system is now highly credible.

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