Notes: Miley makes some minor cuts

Notes: Miley makes some minor cuts

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' 2005 season has become a lot like a season of "The Sopranos." You never know who will be the next to get whacked.

On Tuesday, it wasn't a matter of "who," but "what," as manager Dave Miley had the two Sharper Image massage chairs owned by outfielders Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. removed from the clubhouse.

And with the clubhouse still reeling over the loss of popular closer Danny Graves, who was designated for assignment a day earlier, some players saw this move as somewhat comical.

Dunn had grown quite attached to his chair, which he bought last season. It was a popular tool several players used before pregame stretching.

"I don't know where they're hiding it," Dunn said of his chair. "I need it, though. My back hurts. It's therapeutic. That's what they're there for."

What followed for Dunn was an equally therapeutic lament over the loss of his beloved chair. The big left fielder looked as though he didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

"Poor little guy," he said, looking at the spot where the chair once sat. "He didn't do anything wrong. He didn't complain. He just came to play every day."

Apparently Miley wants his players to come to play without any fancy clubhouse accoutrements.

"We're just changing it up," Miley said. "Let's leave it at that."

Dunn, who hung Graves' jersey near his locker as an homage to his departed friend, didn't leave it at that.

"So now we're going to start winning," he said. "It was the chair's fault."

Griffey, who had just bought his chair over the weekend, decided not to comment.

That's OK, though. Because Dunn had plenty to say.

He was asked if the chair was also designated for assignment, giving the club 10 days to trade, release or outright it to the Minors.

"He probably wants to be traded," Dunn replied with a laugh.

Though a tad distraught, Dunn found humor in the situation.

"And we even won last night," he said. "Imagine if we would have lost. I might not have a glove."

Rotation set: Lately, the Reds pitching rotation has been about as day-to-day as a player with a sore elbow.

But Miley and pitching coach Don Gullett finally settled on the rotation for the upcoming four-game set with the Pirates at Great American Ball Park.

Right-hander Elizardo Ramirez (0-2, 4.80 ERA) will make his third big league start Thursday, right-hander Ramon Ortiz (1-3, 5.40 ERA) will go Friday, left-hander Eric Milton (3-5, 6.32 ERA) will start Saturday and Brandon Claussen, who started Tuesday's game, will get the nod Sunday.

That means right-hander Paul Wilson (1-5, 7.77 ERA) will continue to sit with shoulder tendinitis. The team is still holding off on placing the veteran Wilson on the disabled list, though.

"Nothing's changed," Miley said. "It's the same plan we've had. We're just trying to give him a cooling off period."

Ramirez cooled off considerably against the Indians on Saturday after an excellent start against the Phillies earlier this month. He gave up five runs over seven innings, but, to his credit, he settled down quickly after serving up a crippling home run to Tribe pitcher C.C. Sabathia.

Ortiz will get his regular turn in the rotation, despite leaving Sunday's start against the Indians with swelling under his left eye after getting pegged by a bouncing grounder off the bat of Ronnie Belliard. The swelling had gone down considerably by Tuesday.

"I'll be fine," Ortiz said. "I haven't had any problems."

Reds report: Third baseman Joe Randa was out of the lineup for the second straight day Tuesday because of a sore left ankle. Miley said Randa suffered the injury while running the bases during the Indians series. "We're just trying to give him a little bit of a break," Miley said. Ryan Freel again filled in at the position, with Luis Lopez getting his first start at second base. ... Tuesday's game marked the 70th anniversary of Major League Baseball's first night game between the Reds and Phillies, which the Reds won by a score of 2-1 at Crosley Field. Crosley field had 632 lights, one of which is attached to the Pepsi Power Stacks in center field at Great American Ball Park, which has 864 field lights. ... The Reds haven't won a series since taking two of three against the Astros on April 15-17.

Down on the farm: Triple-A Louisville lost, 7-3, to Scranton on Tuesday, with left-hander Jeriome Robertson (2-5) getting knocked around for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. Kenny Kelly, who has hit safely in 22 of his last 24 games, went 3-for-4. ... Double-A Chattanooga lost, 3-2, to Mississippi on Monday, with right-hander Richie Gardner (2-4) giving up three runs in 4 2/3 innings. Norris Hopper, who went 2-for-4, has hit safely in 24 of his last 25 games. ... Single-A Sarasota won, 9-5, against Palm Beach, thanks to Hector Tiburcio's tie-breaking grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Guevara (3-3) won in relief. ... Class A Dayton won, 1-0, at West Michigan, thanks to a strong start from Camilo Vazquez (2-2), who gave up just one hit over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Paul Janish produced the game's only run with a homer.

On deck: The Reds and Nationals wrap up their three-game set with a businessman's special at 12:35 p.m. ET Wednesday. Right-hander Aaron Harang (3-2, 3.32 ERA) will go up against right-hander Claudio Vargas (0-2, 9.00 ERA).

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.