I’ll refrain from much comment regarding the Astros’ 2-1 loss to the Reds Wednesday night, except to state a) Houston commemorated the Brewers’ recent 1-6 stretch by dropping nine in a row of their own and b) the Kruky Monster never would’ve drafted Carlos Lee if he could’ve imagined the latter grounding into a game ending DP with the bases loaded.

Instead, we’ll reflect on Monday’s collision that hospitalized Ryan Freel, and a startling confession from the outfielder who felt the full force of the Flying Squirrel and lived to tell the tale. From the Dayton Daily News’ Hal McCoy (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)

Ryan Freel is on the disabled list, and the truth is out.

Why wasn’t Freel’s catch of Humberto Cota’s long drive one of ESPN’s Web gems? Because Freel didn’t catch it.

With evidence mounting, Norris Hopper confessed that he put the baseball in Freel’s glove after they collided and Freel was knocked out and taken to the hospital.

“I didn’t have to touch Freel,” said Hopper. “The ball was right there, inches from his open glove, and I just had to roll it in quickly.”

Said Griffey, “That was smart. Saved Kyle Lohse an earnie (earned run).”

Griffey thought he had Monday off, but had to replace Freel in the third inning, and after the game said kiddingly to Lohse, who pitched a shutout, “Thanks for throwing that pitch that got Freel hurt and ruined my day off. I was in the clubhouse eating nachos.”

Efforts by manager Jerry Narron, Griffey and Adam Dunn to reach Freel by telephone Tuesday were not successful, “Probably because he lost another cell phone,” said Griffey. “He lost three of his own last month and one of Hopper’s.”