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View Full Version : When (if ever) was the last time you were this excited for a Reds season?



Blitz Dorsey
02-11-2011, 10:37 AM
Last year at this time, there was guarded optimism from most on RZ. But after being beat down with nine consecutive losing seasons, most of us were a bit gun-shy to predict big things. I thought they would finally have a winning record (I predicted 83-79) but I did not expect an NL Central title ... winning comfortably by 5 games over the Cards.

This year, the Reds have the best and deepest starting rotation that any of us can ever remember. It's so good that the hardest-throwing human on the planet -- a man everyone thought would be a starter when the Reds signed him -- will pitch out of the bullpen. In fact, there are so many good starters, one deserving pitcher is going to have to go to Triple-A (or the bullpen) to start the season because there are six legitimately good starting pitchers on the club: Arroyo, Volquez, Cueto, Wood, Bailey, Leake. So, the starting pitching is shaping up to be very good and we all know how crucial that is to a baseball team's success.

Then the bullpen isn't great IMO, but it will be at least solid. Hopefully Cordero can at least hold his own as the closer. We know he's not going to be anything special, but hopefully he doesn't do anything to greatly hurt the team either. Then I love the two set-up guys with the aforementioned Chapman and Masset. I also like Bray as the #4 and Ondrusek as the #5. And there are a lot of solid candidates for the other spots like Arredondo, Burton, Herrera, Donnie Joseph, Jordan Smith and Dontrelle Willis. (And a couple more.) Bullpen shouldn't be anything that holds the team back and has the potential to be a minor strength.

Offensively, the team returns the NL MVP, a player that should put up very similar numbers if he stays healthy. Votto is not the type of guy that is going to be inconsistent throughout his career -- he's that good. He's the perfect anchor for the lineup in the 3-hole and if he plays 150 games the offense will always be dangerous. I like the idea of a platoon situation in LF with Lewis batting leadoff against righties and Gomes batting somewhere like sixth against lefties. I think Jay Bruce is going to continue to improve and this will be the year he gets over 30 HRs. He will be inconsistent though, unlike Votto. But Bruce is going to slowly get better and the way he ended last season was very encouraging. Also, you won't find a better defensive right fielder at the present time in Major League Baseball. That is saying quite a bit.

Rolen is a wildcard due to his health, but hopefully he will at least help the team get off to a good first half like he did last year. Let's hope the rest he received this offseason will rejuvenate him. Plus, maybe Juan Francisco will be able to give him extra days off this year (and Cairo can obviously provide spot starts at third as well). Rolen broke down by the end of last season and I know everyone is expecting the exact same thing to happen this year, but who knows. Worst case, I hope Scotty Roles has a big first half again and allows the Reds to build a lead in the division. I also love his defense when healthy (and actually able to bend over so he can get his glove all the way down to the dirt). For some reason, I think Rolen will piece together another good season and they'll find a way to prevent him from completely breaking down by the end of the year. It's not like he's 39 or 40. He's 35. No spring chicken, but not quite ready for a nursing home either.

Phillips will be Phillips. Very streaky offensively, but overall will be an asset to the lineup. He might have to leadoff the days Gomes starts -- but I don't have a problem with that. And he's also one of the best defensive second baggers in baseball.

Stubbs will be streaky as well and hopefully they can avoid ever batting him in the leadoff spot. He needs to bat sixth or seventh in the order -- he's very comfortable there and the numbers prove it. Stubbs has amazing speed tracking balls in the outfield, but tends to have a problem playing balls at or near the wall. Hopefully he gets over that "phobia" or whatever you want to call it because it's the only thing preventing him from being a great defensive centerfielder.

I love the catching tandem with Hanigan and Hernandez. If they can be as productive as last year (which is asking a lot) the Reds will be in very good hands once again. Hanigan is clearly the better of the two defensively, so I hope he ends up getting the majority of the starts. But it will basically be a platoon again.

At shortstop, I tend to think it will be a straight platoon with Janish and Renteria. I know management is saying the job is Janish's, but I don't think they would have signed Renteria if they really believe that Janish is the full-time answer. I expect these guys to log roughly the same amount of starts this season, unless one of them gets injured, or one of them gets really hot.

Overall, I've never been so excited for spring training to begin. I was born in 1976, so I just missed the BRM days. And I was excited in 1991 after the World Series championship year, but something told me the Reds weren't going to catch lightning in a bottle two straight years. I just really think the 2011 Reds have all the makings of a team that will be in the race all year and that's very exciting to me as a lifelong diehard fan.

Blitz Dorsey
02-11-2011, 10:43 AM
And looking back, I was excited entering the 2000 season. The Reds just signed Griffey and were coming off a great 1999 season. However, that was fool's gold. The pitching staff was never going to allow that team to compete. We were just excited because of the '99 team overachieving and the acquisition of Griffey. This year, we legitimately have a chance at being a very good team.

Homer Bailey
02-11-2011, 10:45 AM
The last time I was this excited for a team was before the 2007 WVU Football season. This team can't POSSIBLY kick me in the teeth harder than that team did.

I could not be more excited. Solid post Blitz.

OldXOhio
02-11-2011, 10:47 AM
2000, Junior driven. My excitement was tempered by the reality of a rotation that could only hope to be average at best.

cumberlandreds
02-11-2011, 10:54 AM
1977. Coming off two straight World Championships how could you not be excited?

The Operator
02-11-2011, 11:04 AM
This is probably the most excited I've been since The Reds acquired Junior Griffey.

I'm still hesitant to make any grand predictions, but this team has some real ability to go out and make some noise. I can't ever remember a Reds team stacked with so much talent.

Remember when Joey Hamilton started on opening day? Or Jimmy Haynes? I'm so glad those days are gone.

George Anderson
02-11-2011, 11:06 AM
I am excited every year regardless how good the team is expected to be. However in 1992 I remember being really excited because I felt like the acquisition of Greg Swindell, Tim Belcher and Bip Roberts would bring another WS to the Reds. Bad call on my part.

camisadelgolf
02-11-2011, 11:08 AM
I was born in '83, so I missed all the BRM hoopla. Next to 2011, the most excited I've been for Reds baseball was going into the 2000 season. The Reds had missed the playoffs by only one game, and they had just brought in Griffey to keep the Reds atop the standings for the next decade. Whoops.

Unassisted
02-11-2011, 11:15 AM
As a Reds fan since the 70s, I have been disappointed by high expectations too many times. I don't expect a division title or even a playoff spot, but I will welcome it if it happens again. Anyone who thinks the Reds will coast to a title could be in for a surprise. It's a long season and a lot can happen.

reds1869
02-11-2011, 11:37 AM
This is the most excited I've been since 2010. Before that the most excited I've been was 2009, 2008 and 2007. In other words I'm easily excitable when it comes to baseball. :)

I have higher expectations for this season than any previous season over the past decade or so. Whatever happens I'll enjoy the ride.

Ghosts of 1990
02-11-2011, 11:42 AM
2000 here. but it probably paled in comparison for this. I was excited last year as well.

Tommyjohn25
02-11-2011, 11:55 AM
I was just talking to my Dad about this today. I've never been as excited for a season than I am now, and that's saying ALOT.

bucksfan2
02-11-2011, 11:57 AM
2000 - Reds just traded for their favorite son and the best player in baseball.
2003 - Remember how the team was built around winning in 2003. Sparkling new stadium.
2007 - Josh Hamilton. I was just excited to watch his story unfold. From his drafting, to his spring, to his pinch hitter appearance on opening day. It was a fun story to watch unfold.

Don't get me wrong I am excited about this upcoming baseball season. A little anxious because the the lofty expectations.

Hap
02-11-2011, 12:05 PM
I am excited every year regardless how good the team is expected to be. However in 1992 I remember being really excited because I felt like the acquisition of Greg Swindell, Tim Belcher and Bip Roberts would bring another WS to the Reds. Bad call on my part.

Not necessarily a "bad call". In my opinion, the 1992 team was better than the 1990 team. They simply couldn't beat the Braves.

medford
02-11-2011, 12:11 PM
I am excited every year regardless how good the team is expected to be. However in 1992 I remember being really excited because I felt like the acquisition of Greg Swindell, Tim Belcher and Bip Roberts would bring another WS to the Reds. Bad call on my part.

I was convinced that Swindell, Belcher, Browning & Rijo were all going to win 20 games that season. So I young and stupid at the time, but I just knew it was going to happen. Obviously it didn't; I was rather excited prior to 2000 when Jr came to town, following the magical 1999 season that was as fun to follow as any season I've watched the reds. Unlike last year when the Cards just kind of faded away, the back & forth b/w the Astros and the Reds was great, the period when the Reds knocked off like 8 straight games vs teams in 1st place. Just a fun, fun season, despite it collapsing so hard over the last 4 games (including the game vs the Mets)

membengal
02-11-2011, 12:42 PM
2000. Jr fever. I caught it.

Blitz Dorsey
02-11-2011, 01:23 PM
Just to be clear, I don't think the 2011 Reds will coast to the divisional title by any means. But I'm still more excited about the start of this season than at any time previously in my 34 years.

bucksfan2
02-11-2011, 01:35 PM
Just to be clear, I don't think the 2011 Reds will coast to the divisional title by any means. But I'm still more excited about the start of this season than at any time previously in my 34 years.

It certainly a different feeling going into the season with lofty expectations. Division winning expectations that aren't just from fans, but from people across the baseball landscape.

Blitz Dorsey
02-11-2011, 01:54 PM
It certainly a different feeling going into the season with lofty expectations. Division winning expectations that aren't just from fans, but from people across the baseball landscape.

Yeah, and unlike previous years when the Reds have won the division (or at least came close like in '99) they are expected to be even better this year. A lot of young guys that haven't reached their peak yet. Extremely deep pitching (almost an embarrassment of riches in that department).

OK, I'll stop being overly optimistic. Don't want to set myself up for disappointment. Ha. But I definitely think the Reds will at least be in the race all season worst-case scenario. Unless they lose Votto, they can even withstand injuries and still be good. Votto is the one guy we can't afford to lose though. He needs to play 150 games.

Jpup
02-11-2011, 02:27 PM
never.

RedsBaron
02-11-2011, 02:38 PM
I'm old, so I can think of a lot of seasons when I was more excited than I am now...1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979......but I am looking forward to the 2011 season. :thumbup:

RedEye
02-11-2011, 02:38 PM
Add me to the list of excited folks. The only years that compare are 1992 and 2000. But this is--dare I say--more exciting. It might just be that 2011 is the year that two talented home-grown stars, Votto and Bruce, come into their own together to lead the team to a string of champtionships.

membengal
02-11-2011, 02:49 PM
I was also pretty pumped for the 1985 season. Just signed dave parker in off-season, and pete back for full season and to continue his chase of cobb.

RedsManRick
02-11-2011, 03:05 PM
Must've been 2000 with the Junior trade. But that was very different -- even then I don't think I had the same expectations I do for this squad. I'm less excited to see any individual performer -- I'm not desperate to find a way to catch a game. But I'm very much excited about being relevant and have games that matter in to October.

membengal
02-11-2011, 03:22 PM
To be clear, excitement for me does not necessarily mean world series expectations. More excited about prospect of winning ball, and seeing where that leads.

Joseph
02-11-2011, 03:34 PM
I'm no more excited for this season than I am any season. I love baseball, adore it, live and breathe it, all the cliches you want. I am however of higher expectations than I have been in a long time.

OnBaseMachine
02-11-2011, 04:19 PM
Like Joseph, I'm always excited around this time of the year because I love baseball so much. However, this is the most excited I've been about the Reds chances since 2000 when Griffey was acquired. I think this team has a chance to not only win 90+ games and repeat as NL Central champs, but also make a deep run into the playoffs and potentially reach the World Series. There is a lot to love about this team: We have the reigning NL MVP in Joey Votto, a budding superstar in Jay Bruce, another up and coming star in Drew Stubbs, and other solid players like Phillips and Scott Rolen. The fun part is when we start discussing the young power arms: Arredondo, Bailey, Chapman, Cueto, Masset, and Volquez along with Travis Wood who was beyond impressive in his rookie season and Mike Leake who had a solid rookie season despite skipping the minors. 2011 and beyond looks bright for the Reds. I can't wait for spring training to get here. This has a chance to be a fun season, again.

mth123
02-11-2011, 07:24 PM
I'm old, so I can think of a lot of seasons when I was more excited than I am now...1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979......but I am looking forward to the 2011 season. :thumbup:

Me too. 1969 through 1982 I was probably more excited than now. 1983 and 1984 were dark days but I was back to optimsism in 1985 through 1996. 1996 was the year my expectations began to get lower and lower. My expectations are higher now than any time since, but I don't think of this team as a championship threat like I thought of those (probably because I'm more capable of seeing the short-comings). I thought of 1999 as kind of a fluke and even with Griffey coming, I wasn't optimistic about the 2000 team. Last year surpassed my expectations and I fully expect a very competitive team this year, but I'm disappointed that the team didn't step-up with an addition or two to take it to the next level while all these guys are still around.

HokieRed
02-11-2011, 07:32 PM
I'm old too, but I'm excited every season. It's baseball and the Reds. That's enough.

Always Red
02-11-2011, 07:36 PM
1971, but then again, I was only 10 years old then, an excitable young lad, and the Reds were coming off a World Series appearance.

That season was abysmal; the Reds finished in 4th place, 79-83, and were never in it.

Baseball is a funny game. Sometimes the best of times happen when you least expect them to.

Blitz Dorsey
02-11-2011, 10:38 PM
I'm old, so I can think of a lot of seasons when I was more excited than I am now...1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979......but I am looking forward to the 2011 season. :thumbup:

Yeah, you guys who experienced the BRM days are spoiled, no doubt. Hey, I was alive for the '76 World Series championship! (I just happened to be 7 months old ... ha.)

Spitball
02-11-2011, 11:09 PM
I'm old, so I can think of a lot of seasons when I was more excited than I am now...1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979......but I am looking forward to the 2011 season. :thumbup:

Right...1967 through 1969 were the post Frank Robinson years but promising because there were emerging players like Rose, Helms, Bench, Nolan, Johnson, Perez, etc. After that, we had the Sparky Anderson years from 1970 through 1979, nine years of excitement and high expectation.

Actually, the loyal fan in us all has brought some degree of hope and optimism at this time every year for as long as I can remember, but time will tell if there is true reason to be hopeful.

WVRedsFan
02-12-2011, 12:22 AM
I'm always excited for baseball to start in February. Every year, I expect the Reds to do great things. Most years I'm horribly disappointed by October, but the long 4-month layoff makes me ready for some runs, hits, and errors. This time of year, the Reds haven't lost, and no one has over analyzed the team. Everyone is just glad to see who's at ST and who will make the team. Once March 31st comes and the team starts playing, we'll see what's going to happen. 1977 was the best, but so was 1970. This year is special because the season ended on such a sour note. We have unfinished business. It can't start soon enough.

WVRedsFan
02-12-2011, 12:24 AM
One more...the first spring Junior was a Reds. Man was I excited. And then I read RedsZone and all the detractors. That ruined it for me. All that fighting and criticizing just took me from euphoria to bummer very quickly,

cincrazy
02-12-2011, 06:34 PM
This probably falls into a tie with how excited I was in 2000. I didn't want to miss a Jr. at bat ALL season, and was convinced the Reds could build on their 1999 near-miss.

But this team... it's something special. I'm REALLY excited for the trading deadline, as weird as that may sound in February. I think if this team is in it, Walt is going to step up to the plate and make a typical Walt move. Sure, I would've liked the team to have done more in the offseason, but that doesn't mean we can't improve during the season on what we already have. And that prospect REALLY excites me.

Griffey012
02-13-2011, 01:56 AM
When KGJ came to Cincy. He is the reason I live and die by the Reds today.