That was quick: Reds send Todd Frazier back to Triple-A

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Yesterday the Reds called up prospect Todd Frazier from the Triple-A and there was speculation about how much playing time he’d get and who he’d replace in the lineup. So much for all that.

Frazier appeared in last night’s game, striking out as a pinch-hitter, and was sent back to Triple-A this afternoon.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com notes that the move was made largely because the Reds’ bullpen needed some reinforcements, but clearly they didn’t plan on giving Frazier an extended look anyway.

At least not right now. If the Jonny Gomes-Fred Lewis combination in left field continues to struggle it wouldn’t be surprising to see Frazier called up again soon and perhaps for good this time.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?