Carting Aaron Harang around just got easier

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harang_090917.jpgAaron Harang, the Reds’ veteran pitcher, got some nice publicity on Thursday when news broke that he had purchased a golf cart for the Reds clubhouse attendants.

It’s a souped-up, cherry-red model, with six seats, an operational horn, and even a roof.

Harang has been on the DL since Aug. 23 after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. He had noticed that the clubhouse attendants had to share smaller golf carts with other team staff, and thought he would show his appreciation.

“I’ve been here so long,” Harang said. “They’ve got to hunt for carts to go get stuff and take guys out to the bullpen. These guys take care of me. They’ll do anything for me. It’s a way to show appreciation to them for all they have to deal with from us.”

The cynical side of me might point out that Harang is simply making it easier for the clubhouse boys to cart him around, and maybe that is partly true. But it’s still a nice gesture for a group of people who work hard for very little thanks.

No matter how nice the gesture, though, Aaron Harang is clearly no match for Barry Larkin.

It’s not the first time that Stowe has received a vehicle from a player. Shortstop Barry Larkin bought him a silver Mercedes in 2003, the year that Great American Ball Park opened, as a sign of his appreciation.

As Lilly Von Schtupp might say: “Oh, a wed golf caht. How odinawy.”

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.