The good folks at Redlegnation have me writing the game previews for the Reds’ series against the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend. The Reds have failed to meet even my low standards for this season. I fail to see how things can get much worse at this point. Of course, saying that means things WILL get worse, and in dramatic fashion if history serves.
Everything is Awesome. Nothing Sucks – Reds v Brewers, May 29, 2016
Calm and gentleness will definitely abound this afternoon as the Cincinnati Reds (16-33) leave their 11-game losing streak behind, hoping to both build on a 1-game winning streak AND win a series for the first time since Teddy Roosevelt was president and people were fascinated by those new-fangled automobiles, as they face off in the rubber match of a three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers (22-27) in Miller Park. I’m sure everything will be calm. Business as usual, as they say. Why would there be tension between these two, uber-professional teams, whose adherence to the unspoken rules of sense and decorum is only matched by their prowess on the ball field and their ability to win games?
There is no light at the End. There is only tunnel – Reds v Brewers, May 28, 2016
Washington Generals Cincinnati Reds face off against the Brewers tonight in game two of the Battle of Futility at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Reds, losers of 11 straight (and counting!), have their opponents right where they want them, having lulled everyone into a false sense of security with their sieve-like defense and limp, flaccid offense. Any day now, they’ll open the floodgates and let loose a torrent of runs so potent it will make the famed Murderer’s Row of the ’27 Yankees team look like a bunch of engineers trying to play t-ball on the side of a hill during a snowstorm in January. That’s what’s going on here, right? They can’t really be this bad. Right?
A Woe Continued – Reds v Brewers, May 27, 2016
The Milwakuee Brewers look to continue the woes of both the Cincinnati Reds (15-32) players and their fans this weekend, as they start a three game series in the Battle Of Teams That Were Essentially Eliminated From Contention Before The Season Started with the Bad News Cincinnati Reds. The coveted BOTTWEEFCBTSS trophy has been passed around to the first NL Central Central team to earn the status of “hopeless futility” each season, but the Reds seem to be breaking records in how quickly and with how much intensity they seem to have pursued this award. “This is a team sport,” said Reds coach, Bryan Price, “and it’s taken all of us working together to make this level of … success … happen.”
Zack Cozart is one of those major leaguers you can’t hate. He grinds. He sacrifices his body for the game (which is probably a bit insane when you think about it. But damn if it ain’t entertaining!). He’s not one of the guys you expect to be a quarter season MVP. But here we are, at the quarter turn, and Zack is pretty much the only guy, outside of rookie strikeout-homerun-strikeout-strikeout sensation, Adam Duvall, to accomplish anything worthy of major league status (unless we’re counting JJ Hoover’s amazing ability to give up homeruns. He’d make a great homerun derby pitcher).
I’m not taking anything away from Cozart’s season, but the fact that he’s the best we’ve got thus far makes be reach for a plastic funnel, a few gallons of cheap beer, and as much Xanax as I can swallow before the men in the white coats come to take me away.
Zack Cozart is your quarter-season MVP! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.
If, as this season started, you had to guess who might be the Reds MVP at the quarter turn, the first choice would have been obvious: Joey Votto. After that, you might have said Devin Mesoraco, Jay Bruce, or maybe even Homer Bailey. If Homer had come back from off-season surgery early, who knows how many no-hitters he’d have tossed or lions he’d have strangled to death with his bare hands by now?
If I’d have told you that, as the Reds rounded first base on the 2016 season, Zack Cozart would be the MVP, you might not have believed me. But stranger things have happened. This season, stranger things have happened on a regular basis, in fact, especially when the bullpen takes the mound.
Sure, claiming the title of MVP on one of the worst teams in the majors is a bit like winning the title of Miss Congeniality at an inbred retirement community, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t warranted taking the throne thus far.
I’m a big fan of optimism. But optimism can only take you so far. Sometimes, what you need is a big dose of reality to get you where you need to go.
That’s what I think is in store for my favorite baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. There have been some fun stories this year, and the last five or six seasons have been a fun ride, but Reality is here to let us know that some of our most cherished ideas and beliefs about this team and the players who comprise it are on their way out.
Read my article on Redlegnation.
Sometimes its fun to watch things implode. I usually reserve that feeling for large buildings and, perhaps, contestants on “The Voice.” It’s not so much fun when the players on your favorite team implode. Here’s my attempt to figure out why.
I have a soft spot in my heart for the Loveable Everyman. I don’t know why. He’s the guy who gets by on grit and nothing else. The guy who out works everyone until he wins.
Maybe it’s the idea that even an Average Joe can find success in the land of opportunity that excites me. No matter how great or how small, everyone has a chance if they’re willing to work for it.
I like that.
I published my second article with Redleg Nation today. It was about the passing of the everyman torch from previous fan favorite, Corky Miller, to the next generation.
I just started writing, on an extremely part-time basis, for the good folks at Redleg Nation. My first article went up this morning. It’s about Opening Day, and you can read it here.
Dad said not to bring my glove. “We’re all the way up in the red seats,” he said. “No one’s gonna hit it up there.” Then, as if to emphasize the point, “No way. Not. At. All.”
But I brought it anyway.
It was an early April morning in 1988. The late ’80s were good years – the years after Pete Rose had broken the record but before the mess of banishment – when the Reds seemed to always finish second to either the Cards or the Mets no matter how hard they tried.
Dad and I rode a city bus down Winton Road from the northern suburbs, through St. Bernard, through Corryville, past UC, and straight through Over the Rhine like a Barry Larkin line drive, ending up on Fountain Square an hour ahead of the Findlay Market parade. It was Opening Day, the holiest of baseball holidays, and we reveled in our annual pilgrimage.
I held the glove under my left arm. Dad eyed me sideways. “You never know,” I said. “Something might happen.”