View Full Version : Non-Traditional Reds Season Preview

03-05-2010, 11:57 AM
Non-traditional Reds season preview


Will Leitch

As a fan of a similarly hued National League Central team a team I'm watching play at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter this very second no team in the division scares me as much as the Reds do. Everything about them is personally threatening.

The resourceful and extremely motivated leader-in-exile.
General manager Walt Jocketty, still angry about being unceremonious booted by the organization he resuscitated and brought a championship to. Jocketty was encouraged to leave by a change in the Cardinals' strategic emphasis, toward the farm system and advanced statistics, away from waiting for other teams to panic and do something stupid at the trading deadline. He's still bothered that Tony LaRussa didn't leave with him, too. Jocketty wants to take down the Cardinals more than he wants to do anything.

The dunderheaded but formidable manager.
The oft-maligned Dusty Baker loves nothing more than setting fire to young pitchers' arms and handing 700 plate appearances to short fast men who come to the plate with the bat upside down. But Baker has a funny habit of sticking around in spite of himself the man has reached a World Series and two NLCS with two different teams after all and has the distinct advantage of driving LaRussa absolutely crazy. The hatred Baker and Don Tony have for each other is palpable and consistently entertaining; Reds-Cardinals series inevitably end up with batters pointing their helmets and pitchers and the managers growling at each other from opposite dugouts, two middle-aged men whose stomachs hang over their uniform belts, playing tough guy. It's grand theater.

The sleeping city desperate for a revival.
Cincinnati and St. Louis are more similar cities than is often noted. A baseball tradition unrivalled by any city other than New York or Boston. An urban sensibility that's both more cosmopolitan and more backwoods that anyone on either side of the extreme is willing to admit. A downtown area that's far lovelier than people realize and vastly underutilized. The impossibility of grabbing a bit to eat past 9:30 p.m. without having to find a casino. A simmering history of racial divisiveness. The color red. The difference is that, baseball-wise, Cincinnati has been dormant as St. Louis has been ascendant; the Reds are long, long overdue. I've spent many, many evenings in Cincinnati, and that town is rabid to care about its Reds again. If they get hot and are close in September, that place will froth into a frenzy. It will carry them.

Oh, yes, the players.
The Reds always seems to have one or two studs on the farm "studs on the farm" is a trademarked phrase and is not to be used without written consent of the Baseball Writers Association Of America who never end up becoming what dreams had held, but these days they seem likely to break that spell by sheer volume. I mean, look at these guys: Yonder Alonso, Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman, Johnny Cueto, Drew Stubbs, Edinson Volquez (currently injured), Joey Votto. All of those guys are Major League ready or close to it, and all are 26 years old or younger. Not of all of them will be stars. But all of them could be, and there isn't a team in baseball who wouldn't take any of them in an Irish second. The Reds get to keep each of them, as they develop and approach their peak right now. The Reds have upside and length.

The Chicago Cubs have missed their window and are about to begin a long, slow beautiful slide back to where they belonged all along. The Brewers can't ever make all their pieces work at the same time. The Pirates are slowly crawling back to sea level but have years left to go. The Astros are a joke. No, it's the Reds: The Reds seem uniquely positioned to humiliate the beloved Cardinals and stop a second mini-NL Central dynasty before it begins. It's worse, too, because no team would enjoy it more. There is righteous revenge and furious anger to those who seek to destroy my brothers. That's the team that keeps me up nights. That's the team that could turn this all wrong for us. It's the Reds, man. It's the Reds. I'm terrified of them.

You know what's the only thing that makes me feel better about all this? I say this about the Reds every year.

03-05-2010, 12:24 PM
Great article, IMO. I really do agree with a lot of the points BUT...

...this year we're for real.*

*Disclaimer: If this year doesn't pan out, I reserve the right to change this post to 2011, 2012, or 2013 at my discretion.

03-05-2010, 02:40 PM
Wait 'til this year!

03-05-2010, 07:36 PM
The last sentence in the article says it all

03-05-2010, 07:56 PM
great, even if someone tongue-in-cheek/satirical, article.

I'd agree somewhat with the last statement. However, the point about all of our young studs getting to the big leagues IS very different. As he points out, by sheer volume they are getting to the majors.

Heck, we're already arguing about Alonso/Votto at 1B/3B/LF, Frazier/Francisco/Valaika at 3B/2B, Frazier/Alonso/Heisey/Dorn/Stubbs/Dickerson in the OF. ONE of them has to rise to the top, and the others are going to be ML ready and become GREAT trading chips.
We already have a ton of SP's in the mix, AND still have options for Harang and Arroyo next year.

The amount of trades that could be made, and payroll flex created in the near/mid/long, should be the envy of any organization, let alone mid(some say small) market teams.

Meanwhile the Cards are going to have to pay upwards of $40-$50M for 2-3 core players and the rest of the roster is going to have to suffer, and their farm system is nothing compared to ours.



03-06-2010, 09:11 AM
I think that his one paragraph summary of Cincy and Reds fans was as accurate as anything I have ever read on the subject.

Post-modern baseball analysis? Wow...

03-06-2010, 10:00 AM
Whereas the Cardinals are selling out every game every week of every month of every year, the REDS are giving seats away at half-price to try to get you to show up.

He's right that the REDS' fans would come in droves if given a reason to believe they could get to the playoffs.

Here's to a fast-start in 2010.

03-09-2010, 10:58 AM
just need more bobbleheads.

03-09-2010, 08:46 PM
I will forever maintain, the Stadium should have been moved outside Downtown to the 'burbs. Take any number of areas to pick. Even NK would have been better! Closer and more accessable to the people with the $$ to attend regularly. The Greater Cincinnati area is now a donut. So much has moved to "surround" downtown rather than be part of it.

Ghosts of 1990
03-10-2010, 09:47 AM
Whereas the Cardinals are selling out every game every week of every month of every year, the REDS are giving seats away at half-price to try to get you to show up.

He's right that the REDS' fans would come in droves if given a reason to believe they could get to the playoffs.

Here's to a fast-start in 2010.

They didn't in 1999 though.

03-10-2010, 12:00 PM
They didn't in 1999 though.

There were no bobbleheads in 99 :) You dont think the "fans" come for the games do you?

Caveman Techie
03-10-2010, 01:09 PM
Actually in 1999 the Reds attendance broke the 2 Million mark for the first time since the strike. Yes, the fans were slow to return in 99 but by the end Cinergy field was rockin.

And the following year they broke the 2.5 Million mark. The fans in Cinci will support a winner, it's just up to the team to give us one.