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  1. #1
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    Your rooting interest

    Guys . . . Under a different username, I’ve been a regular here for a few thousand posts. A couple years ago, I also established this account under my name, for the purpose of discussing a subject on which I’ve been writing a book. I haven’t followed-up in quite a while, but now have occasion to solicit some input from thoughtful fans like many of you.

    The book (tentatively titled Intangiball) is about the value of intangibles in baseball. While it wanders far afield and involves many organizations, the Reds—specifically, their editions of 2008 to 2012—sort of hold the narrative together. Anyway, the first draft and heavy lifting are now finished, but the editor suggests folding in more testimony from fans whose attraction to the game in based, at least to a large degree, on its human elements. This is not indicative of any anti-sabermetric theme, but a supposition that, while the numbers appeal to and fascinate many fans, the fundamental passion that draws folks to baseball is, to a large extent, a function of its theater, ambiance, subtlety, color, and various subjective aspects; its personal side, in other words.

    In that context, I’d be interested in hearing from you guys (gender neutral) on any number of relevant topics. Things like * whether your rooting interest in the Reds is at all related to the character, effort, and personalities of the individuals who make up the roster; * whether, and why, your attraction to the team has fluctuated over the seasons; * whether your affinity for the club declined or picked up (if either) after Griffey and Dunn were traded; * whether you believe that Jocketty’s penchant for bringing in players with evident character/leadership assets—Rolen, Cabrera, Ludwick, perhaps Gomes—has played a substantial role in the organization’s competitive upturn over the past few years.

    If anyone would prefer to discuss this through private messaging, that’s fine. The more personal your remarks, the better. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator Plus Plus's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    You can feel free to PM me a questionnaire and I will provide answers for you.

    Good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Thus his team was punished

    Long live punishment
    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
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  3. #3
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    While the numbers appeal to and fascinate many fans, the fundamental passion that draws folks to baseball is, to a large extent, a function of its theater, ambiance, subtlety, color, and various subjective aspects; its personal side, in other words.
    The pattern of the game is entwined with summer, it is so ingrained that each day without any baseball seems endless and void of any joy. It's so important and yet so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. It's bigger than numbers, it's as large as each fan makes it, it's really a wonderful part of life.

    I'm open to any questions back channel

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  5. #4
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Love the topic.

    Will PM to you, LW.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  6. #5
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    You can PM me. I have been a Reds fan for over 40 years. If you can use an old guy perspective just let me know.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  7. #6
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    * whether your rooting interest in the Reds is at all related to the character, effort, and personalities of the individuals who make up the roster
    Character, no. Effort and personalities, yes.

    * whether, and why, your attraction to the team has fluctuated over the seasons
    My first memories of Reds games begin in 1970. I've always watched as many games as possible on tv and listened on the radio in the old days -- even when they were 20 games back in September. I have, however, chosen to boycott going to games and spending money when I felt management wasn't seriously making an effort to win. (Certain years in 80s and 90s)

    * whether your affinity for the club declined or picked up (if either) after Griffey and Dunn were traded
    Affinity for the club did not change. I was, however, overjoyed when Griffey was traded away (as I was when he was acquired). Same for Casey. Not so much with Donkey.

    * whether you believe that Jocketty’s penchant for bringing in players with evident character/leadership assets—Rolen, Cabrera, Ludwick, perhaps Gomes—has played a substantial role in the organization’s competitive upturn over the past few years.
    It's played a role. Maybe even a substantial role. Veteran leadership is always needed. But the overwhelming reason for the upturn is the stockpiling of starting pitching and the maturation of young talent from the farm system.

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  9. #7
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    I appreciate the initial responses. To those who mentioned a PM . . . I'll message you when I can. Thanks.

  10. #8
    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    The Reds are my family. I cannot say that about any other sport. I find most atheletes to be robotic, one dimensional, banal and self absorbed. Baseball players somehow transcend that. I don't feel dirty, as if I just lowered my IQ by twenty five points after watching a ballgame. Every other sport makes me feel that way.

    Everything about Baseball (rythm, nuance, suspense, frustration, joy, etc) feels so much different and more layered than any other sport.

    Where does my rooting interest come in? Why did I choose the Reds? Why do I stick with them? I can't come up with a definitive answer. Maybe it's because the Reds aren't perfect, like the Cardinals. Somehow I see Jay Bruce as the embodiment of the entire franchise. He's the twenty five year old with the sweet swing and cannon arm. He also swings at balls on his shoetops, and loses track of fly from time to time. But I root like hell for him, because he's a nice kid that works hard. I can say that about most of the home grown players on the current team. I find the warts endearing, and I think it's going to make winning a World Series that much sweeter. A Cardinals fan will never know how that feels.

    The whole Jocketty, Rolen thing? They're great guys and all, and it probably makes for a better time in the clubhouse, but I wouldn't say their presence was a major factor in the club's resurgence. I mean, Paul Wilson, Eric Milton, Joe Randa, and Rich Aurilia were solid, well respected veteran clubhouse guys. How much of an impact did those guys have?
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

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  12. #9
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Feel free to PM me. I'm a lifer--from birth they say and will be glad to contribute.
    www.ris-news.com
    "You only have to bat a thousand in two things; flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go 4-for-5."
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  13. #10
    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by wheels View Post
    The Reds are my family. I cannot say that about any other sport. I find most atheletes to be robotic, one dimensional, banal and self absorbed. Baseball players somehow transcend that. I don't feel dirty, as if I just lowered my IQ by twenty five points after watching a ballgame. Every other sport makes me feel that way.

    Everything about Baseball (rythm, nuance, suspense, frustration, joy, etc) feels so much different and more layered than any other sport.

    Where does my rooting interest come in? Why did I choose the Reds? Why do I stick with them? I can't come up with a definitive answer. Maybe it's because the Reds aren't perfect, like the Cardinals. Somehow I see Jay Bruce as the embodiment of the entire franchise. He's the twenty five year old with the sweet swing and cannon arm. He also swings at balls on his shoetops, and loses track of fly from time to time. But I root like hell for him, because he's a nice kid that works hard. I can say that about most of the home grown players on the current team. I find the warts endearing, and I think it's going to make winning a World Series that much sweeter. A Cardinals fan will never know how that feels.

    The whole Jocketty, Rolen thing? They're great guys and all, and it probably makes for a better time in the clubhouse, but I wouldn't say their presence was a major factor in the club's resurgence. I mean, Paul Wilson, Eric Milton, Joe Randa, and Rich Aurilia were solid, well respected veteran clubhouse guys. How much of an impact did those guys have?
    You are a terrific writer, wheels--I'd read you describe the grass growing...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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  15. #11
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    I'd love to participate, Lonny, feel free to PM if you wish.

    I didn't choose the Reds, I was born into it. Oh, if the Reds didn't exist, I would have another favorite team, but growing up on the west side of Cincinnati in the late 60's and 70's there was nothing else. I grew up during a time and place where air conditioning was something that maybe mom and dad had in their bedroom via a window unit, so we spent all day, every day, outside playing. And we played baseball. All day, until it got too dark, and then we switched to kick the can.

    My fandom doesn't wax or wane depending upon the players at all. There was a time in my life when things got really busy, with exhaustive training during residency and young children arriving, and I didn't pay quite as much attention to the Reds, but once I had more time to enjoy the game, I was right back, and brought those kids with me.

    So, it doesn't matter- players, front office, ownership, I have been and will always be a Reds fan. The thin red line of players and owners comes and goes, and I root for them all because they have been Reds. I'm not like that with any of the other teams I root for- I am the most fair weather Bengals fan of all time, mostly because I do not have the passion for football that I do for baseball.

    The rhythm of the game with the change of seasons, the beauty of the green grass against the contrast of white home uniforms, and the rich history of the game and all the characters who have participated through the years is what attracts me. My daily life in spring, summer and early fall is mostly configured to when the Reds are playing. I'm always a bit of a mess after the WS is over, as that anchor is gone for another offseason, not quite sure what to do with my evenings.

    At the heart of it, for me, is that it's an entertaining diversion from real life, the best and most enjoyable diversion in my life.

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  17. #12
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post

    I didn't choose the Reds, I was born into it. Oh, if the Reds didn't exist, I would have another favorite team, but growing up on the west side of Cincinnati in the late 60's and 70's there was nothing else. I grew up during a time and place where air conditioning was something that maybe mom and dad had in their bedroom via a window unit, so we spent all day, every day, outside playing. And we played baseball. All day, until it got too dark, and then we switched to kick the can.

    My fandom doesn't wax or wane depending upon the players at all. There was a time in my life when things got really busy, with exhaustive training during residency and young children arriving, and I didn't pay quite as much attention to the Reds, but once I had more time to enjoy the game, I was right back, and brought those kids with me.

    So, it doesn't matter- players, front office, ownership, I have been and will always be a Reds fan. The thin red line of players and owners comes and goes, and I root for them all because they have been Reds. I'm not like that with any of the other teams I root for- I am the most fair weather Bengals fan of all time, mostly because I do not have the passion for football that I do for baseball.

    The rhythm of the game with the change of seasons, the beauty of the green grass against the contrast of white home uniforms, and the rich history of the game and all the characters who have participated through the years is what attracts me. My daily life in spring, summer and early fall is mostly configured to when the Reds are playing. I'm always a bit of a mess after the WS is over, as that anchor is gone for another offseason, not quite sure what to do with my evenings.

    At the heart of it, for me, is that it's an entertaining diversion from real life, the best and most enjoyable diversion in my life.
    This brings up an aspect that I didn't get into, but is certainly relevant. I suspect that, for all of the game's romance and aesthetics, there are some fans whose attraction obtains in no small part from the numbers. We love to quantify. We love to parse and figure out. I believe I'm kind of AC/DC in this respect. In any event, I'm certainly open to hearing from folks who are drawn to baseball by the math, if that's the case. I don't want to be deaf to the other side.

  18. #13
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Wheeler View Post
    This brings up an aspect that I didn't get into, but is certainly relevant. I suspect that, for all of the game's romance and aesthetics, there are some fans whose attraction obtains in no small part from the numbers. We love to quantify. We love to parse and figure out. I believe I'm kind of AC/DC in this respect. In any event, I'm certainly open to hearing from folks who are drawn to baseball by the math, if that's the case. I don't want to be deaf to the other side.
    That's the beauty of the game, I think, that it can appeal to those so inclined to math, and those who enjoy the beauty and history of the game. The newer sabr stats have only increased the number of left brained addicts to the game. That's why I love this site so much- the are plenty of folks very interested in the numbers mostly, and I have learned so much from them, and understanding that more has increased my enjoyment of the game. And there are also plenty of guys (and gals) more like me, who are Reds fans, and enjoy the esthetics and history of baseball.

    I don't think you can really separate the numbers of baseball from the history of the game. Everybody knows what 60 HR, 61HR, 714HR, 755HR, .400, 4256 - what they all mean and signify. They are as much a part of the game as Yankee pinstripes or the goat cursed Cubs.

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  20. #14
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    Well I've never told this story on here, but I have no problem revealing it. I became a Reds fan in part due to Pete Rose's old vice: gambling. My family was visiting Las Vegas in the early part of the 00s and I decided this one-time Yankee fan growing up needed to get back into baseball. I did my homework and saw that the Reds were off to a decent start but were still considered extreme longshots by the bookmakers, so I told my dad the Reds should be our team and he placed the bet. About 10 minutes later during breakfast my dad didn't feel well, and when we got back up to the room my mom, a nurse, decided to call emergency medical services. And it was a good thing she died, because my dad had a heart attack. So that kind of ruined that Vegas vacation, but while my dad was in the hospital the Reds kept winning and it served as a good distraction for my teenage self. My dad ended up being okay and while the Reds faded as usual, I had become emotionally attached to them for life.

    Onto your questions!:


    * whether your rooting interest in the Reds is at all related to the character, effort, and personalities of the individuals who make up the roster

    I definitely think so, though I sometimes wonder if I am guilty of simply rooting for the laundry. But anytime I see a list of PED suspensions and I don't see any Reds, I feel good inside.

    * whether, and why, your attraction to the team has fluctuated over the seasons

    I think it has, for a few different reasons. By my senior year of high school in 2008 I was out and about a lot more, and suddenly watching a consistently bad baseball team wasn't quite as important as my social life. I moved to North Carolina for college in June 2008 and so that second half of the season and the 2009 season before the Rolen trade just seem like kind of a blur as I was far more focused on my new surroundings and studies than on Kip Wells pitching. I would say though that since 2010 I have watched practically every game because I never want to take the winning for granted after years of irrelevance.

    *whether your affinity for the club declined or picked up (if either) after Griffey and Dunn were traded

    I think it stayed around the same, though there was a certain sense of relief in thinking "Well, now we can rebuild the outfield". Griffey was my absolute favorite player growing up, but after nearly a decade in Red it was an chronically unhappy marriage where both sides knew they'd be better off apart. And Dunn just never stood a chance against the tide of criticism, and took the brunt of fan's anger simply by being 6'6, 285 lbs and striking out.

    * whether you believe that Jocketty’s penchant for bringing in players with evident character/leadership assets—Rolen, Cabrera, Ludwick, perhaps Gomes—has played a substantial role in the organization’s competitive upturn over the past few years.

    I don't typically believe in the 'learning to win' narrative, but I think Rolen was a big part of the Reds turning their performance around. Of course, the improved pitching was the biggest element, but you could just see the lineup after July 31st, 2009, with Rolen in it played significantly better. I think it's more a credit to Jocketty that he avoids problem players despite the potential upside than that he signs good characters/leaders.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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  22. #15
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Your rooting interest

    * whether your rooting interest in the Reds is at all related to the character, effort, and personalities of the individuals who make up the roster

    Yes and no. Its easy to go out there and root for good guys. Its easy to root for guys who get their uniform dirty and run out even the most mundane outs. But the reality is I root for the Reds to win. I am glad my team went though the PED era pretty much unscathed but that also coincided with a decade of losing. I have yet to see a banner taken down because a particular player or team was juicing. Winning the right way is something everyone achieves to do, but overall winning is what makes people happy.



    * whether, and why, your attraction to the team has fluctuated over the seasons

    The only time my attraction fluctuates is when football starts. When baseball starts there is always excitement for a new season. There are always hopes that team will overachieve and make the playoffs. My wife is from out of town and during the Reds decade of losing would always remind me that I said "They are going to be good this year."

    *whether your affinity for the club declined or picked up (if either) after Griffey and Dunn were traded

    I think that the players, organization, and fans needed a change. For a decade the Reds had built a team around offense but pretty much nothing else. Griffey was great to watch but we got to see his decline as a player. He was riddled by injuries and father time during his tenure with the Reds. I think the trades of Griffey and Dunn signified a new direction for the organization. It was a sea change from the way the organization once operated to the way successful organizations operate. My affinity for the club didn't change, but it sure has been much nicer rooting for a team that has won 2 out of the last 3 years.

    * whether you believe that Jocketty’s penchant for bringing in players with evident character/leadership assets—Rolen, Cabrera, Ludwick, perhaps Gomes—has played a substantial role in the organization’s competitive upturn over the past few years.

    A 162 grind of a season is tough. I remember when it was reported that Rolen had a talk with Phillips about show boating after a HR. Rolen basically told Phillips that if he catches a ball in the back because of his antics they were going to have words. I believe there is an aspect of learning to win over a 162 game season. Learning to deal with not only the highs and lows. Learning not to get too worked up over losing streaks and the only way to do that is through experience. At the end of the day you need immense talent in order to become a major leaguer. But I firmly believe that character and leadership go a long way in a sport that encompasses 7 to 8 months.
    Last edited by bucksfan2; 08-28-2013 at 12:25 PM.


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