Re: Who is the Reds biggest rival?
This is a great topic. How do you define a rival? Does the rival have to be in your division? In your league? Does the rival simply have to be a hated and despised opponent? Does a rival have to be someone who you've competed with for pennants down the stretch run of several seasons? Is a rivalry based on close games and consistent high levels of play over the course of several years? How long does it take to really become a rivalry?
Is a rivalry based on geographic proximity, as Bud Selig would have us think?
I for one have never considered the Indians a rival, just an intrigue. If they were in our division, or even in our league, then I would consider them a rival. Maybe I'm too simple. But that's how I look at it.
Now, admittedly, if the Indians and Reds were to ever rise to greatness together and both be perennieal World Series contenders, then I might be willing to revisit my considerations. Back when the Indians had Belle, Ramirez, Baerga, and those great teams in the mid / late 90s, I will admit I wanted to call them a rival. But the Reds were not up to par then, just as they aren't now.
Let's flip the question around and ask ourselves this, "Which team would call the Reds their biggest rival?" Hmmm...probably the Indians. The Cubs fans would say the Cardinals and the Cardinals fans would say the Cubs. The Braves fans wouldn't say the Reds because Atlanta has pretty much dominated Cincinnati since the early 90s. This leaves me thinking Pittsburgh and/or Houston, but they're too far away to be a rival aren't they? (But then again, Los Angeles was without question our biggest rival for two decades until the playoff format expanded.) Pittsburgh hasn't been in a division race for over ten years, and not since 94 and 95 have the Astros and Reds been vying for first place together. (And if you recall, Cinci and Houston hooked up for some great games those two summers.) But then again, Los Angeles was without question our biggest rival for two decades until the playoff format expanded.
When it comes to our rival, I'm not sure if I can answer that. I might even be inclined to say we don't have a real rival right now. I can only raise questions. When it comes to our most hated opponent, that's easy to answer. Carl Lindner.
"It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come out, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”
-A. Barlett Giamatti
Last edited by PressBox; 06-24-2004 at 02:36 PM.