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After grand slam, Matt McLain thinks he may have front-runner in group photo competition

The Reds celebrate Matt McLain's grand slam

The Reds celebrate Matt McLain’s grand slam

We learn more with each passing interview about how the 2023 Cincinnati Reds celebrate home runs in the dugout.

Earlier this week, Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft spoke to MLB Network’s “MLB Central” about how the weighted noodle bat became part of each celebration.

Friday night, Reds rookie Matt McLain, who hit his first career grand slam to help Cincinnati to its third consecutive win, acknowledged in a postgame interview on the field with Bally Sports Ohio’s Jim Day that there’s a competition among the Reds for best group photo to celebrate a homer.

“We’ve got a little competition going on for who can have the best one,” McLain told Day. “So that’s a good one right there. Maybe (the best) so far. I don’t know. We’ll see at the end. But that’s a good one. 100 percent.”

The Reds’ official Twitter account shared the photo with the caption, “the definition of squad goals,” and made it the header photo:

Reds manager David Bell spoke after the game about how difficult it is to hit a fastball thrown 100+ miles per hour for a home run when behind 0-2.

“Probably the most impressive thing, not only 0-2 (count), but to be able to hit a fastball like that when you’re down in the count,” Bell said. “I can’t stress enough how important that is to be successful at the Major League level. To be able to hit a fastball period, but one that’s like a really special fastball like that when you’re behind in the count. And have the kind of power to be able to drive the ball to the opposite field says a lot right there. And it really sets Matt up to be able to have a lot of success to be able to do both of those things at this level.”

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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Matt McLain likes his group-photo candidate in HR celebration contest