TBS’ Ernie Johnson is one remarkable man

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While it’s always good fall sport to mock the national baseball broadcasters, Ernie Johnson is almost always excluded from that. The reason: he’s actually pretty good and knows his stuff. I know he’s more notable for his basketball work, but he’s a good baseball broadcaster.

And he’s an even better man, as this profile by Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch makes clear.

Back in 2011 Johnson missed his playoff assignments due to his son’s illness. Caesar tells the story behind all of that. Johnson’s son — who he and his wife adopted from a Romanian orphanage in 1991 — is on a ventilator and requires around-the-clock medical care. Care which Johnson and his family provide themselves at home.  The story talks about their son and the challenges and rewards of the entire situation. Listening to Johnson talk you conclude that, in his mind, the rewards outweigh the challenges by orders of magnitude.

Hats off to Ernie Johnson and his family. They sound amazing.

The Reds are on pace to break their own record for home runs allowed

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The Reds got shelled by the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon, dropping the game 12-2. The pitching staff gave up four home runs, including two to Jake Lamb. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte also went yard.

That brings the Reds’ total on the season up to 166 through 95 games. That prorates to 283 over 162 games, which would shatter their own major league record for home runs allowed by a team in a season. Last year, the Reds’ pitching staff yielded 258 dingers.

After Thursday’s action, the Reds’ pitching has a major league worst 5.31 ERA, which is exactly in line with its major league worst 5.31 FIP. According to FanGraphs, the pitching staff is worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, which is by far the worst in baseball. The Twins’ staff is next-worst at 2.7 WAR. It’s been a rough year in Cincinnati.

Report: Twins close to acquiring Jaime Garcia from the Braves

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Update (7:33 PM ET): There’s a deal in place, per Jon Morosi. The Braves will be receiving a minor leaguer from the Twin, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports.

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The Twins are close to acquiring starter Jaime Garcia from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal reports.

Garcia, 31, is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary for 2017 and can become a free agent at season’s end. Through 17 starts with the Braves, the lefty has a 4.33 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 106 innings.

The 48-46 Twins find themselves just a half-game behind the Indians for first place in the AL Central, so this is certainly an attempt to gear up for the stretch run.

Aaron Blair was scratched from his start with Triple-A Gwinnett, so he could be on his way up to the majors to fill Garcia’s spot in the Braves’ rotation.