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Thread: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

  1. #1
    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    As I've said before I am but 22 years old, not from the Ohio area, and I lost interest in baseball around 2000 or 2001 and didn't watch much of our pastime for a while after that. But in my years of watching baseball (or sports in general) it's always interesting to me how quickly a team can go from being the toast of the town and the envy of other fans to 'all that is wrong with the sport' or 'an embarrassment', especially in our instant technology age.

    So I ask you, the Reds faithful, when did you sense that the Reds were losing their standing a respected franchise to being considered an also-ran along with the Royals, Pirates, and Devil Rays? I get the impression it started with awful 66 win team in 2001 which really kicked off the Lost Decade, because I know by 2005 it was pretty well assumed by most that the Reds were now a perennial non-factor. If so, it's pretty incredible the damage Lindner, Allen, DanO, and company managed to do in just a few years.

    And as a more positive note, how do you think the Reds are doing to erase that memory? Being 2010 Central Division Champions was a very good start. Maybe a World Series Title will expunge it from common fan memory for good? A lone WS appearance seemed to help do it for the Tigers and the Rays.
    "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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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    1982.

    Spurts of adequacy since, including a ton of second-place finishes under Rose and the World Series in 1990. A few decent years after, including 1994 (sigh), 1995, 1999.

    After that?

    2001 was the beginning of the Lost Decade, really. No pitching. At all, For a decade.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    2003
    Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand

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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    Sadly it was right around the time I joined redzone and became a diehard. I've never know the Reds as a "great baseball franchise." Sure, I know the history, but outside of 2010 I've always witnessed losers.
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    I think it was when Carl Lindner took over the team and started instilling the small-market mentality in the fans' minds. That ownership group fostered the belief that they simply couldn't afford to field a competitive team and it rubbed off on the fans very quickly. Too many people felt the Reds were destined to lose because Cincinnati is not a huge city. Too many people didn't realize the Reds have always been a highly profitable mid-market team with plenty of revenue to play with the big boys. Reds fans feel the team is economically disadvantaged to the point where they can't compete even though the facts prove otherwise. People just accepted the losing and no longer expected anything else. Poor little old Cincinnati is just lucky to have a team they thought. It turns out that belief is dead wrong. The owners merely used money as an excuse for their failure. It was an excuse that rings hollow because there never was a lack of money, just a lack of desire to spend the profits combined with a lack of a good strategy for building a good team. The Reds were bad because their management was bad, not because there wasn't enough money. The current management is proving that it can be done, so hopefully the mindset of the fans will change.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 08-04-2012 at 12:53 AM.

  7. #6
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    For me, it started slightly before you, Tom.

    In 2000, they acquired Jr before the season began. They sold tickets like gangbusters.. I think they drew 2.6 million (rounded).. At the trade deadline, they were in second place.. Now granted, I think it was 5-7 games back.. but still in second place.

    What was their move? Trade off Neagle, arguably their best pitcher for mostly chaff.. Drew Henson, 2 lotto tickets, and Yarnall (destined to be sold to Japan for even more cash).

    I suspected the team might be going into the toilet at that point. Later moves just confirmed it.. I remember predicting during 2001 that the Reds would be under 500 in 2003, despite Carl and Allen's grand promises that the fans would be rewarded for sacrificing 2000-2002.

    I'm so thankful we have Cast as an owner now. Easily the best owner of my lifetime. The guy could've easily let Votto and Phillips walk when their contracts expired, and everyone in Cincy would've accepted it.
    Instead, Cast is daring to actually build a winning team. It's awesome to be relevant again.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    I think it was when Carl Lindner took over the team and started instilling the small-market mentality in the fans' minds. That ownership group fostered the belief that they simply couldn't afford to field a competitive team and it rubbed off on the fans very quickly. Too many people felt the Reds were destined to lose because Cincinnati is not a huge city. Too many people didn't realize the Reds have always been a highly profitable mid-market team with plenty of revenue to play with the big boys. Reds fans feel the team is economically disadvantaged to the point where they can't compete even though the facts prove otherwise. The Reds were bad because their management was bad, not because there wasn't enough money. The current management is proving that it can be done, so hopefully the mindset of the fans will change.
    This
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  9. #8
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    As an old timer, I can tell you that until 1961' the Reds were losers. My father, a life-long Reds fan stayed with them no matter the record, but if he were still with us, he'd tell you that the Reds were losers until that 61 season when the Reds met the Yankees in the World Series.

    Sure, there were good and bad times since then. In 1962, they won nearly 100 games. In 1964, they took first place only to lose it to the hated Cardinals. The 70's were good with the 75-76 World Series wins, and the 80's were pretty much a bummer. Then they came back with a WS win in 1990, and outside of a couple of seasons, including 1999, they weren't very good.

    It was the 2001-2009 seasons that defined the "losing Reds". A list of horrible managers, losing game after games. GM after GM and no winning record. Even with Junior Griffey, the Reds lost and lost. Bob Boone, Dave Miley, et al. No pitching and little baseball knowledge. Enter BCast. He put up with Wayne Krivsky for awhile, but finally brought in Walt Jockety. Hired Dusty and made deals to put the Reds in a position to win again. It all came together in 2010, but it was incomplete. Deals over this past winter, made the team competitive again. It's a process and it's working.

    As a long time fan, I know we may not win the WS this year, but we're competing, something we haven't done since 1999, save the 2010 season. Reds may not get the pub, but that soon may be ending.
    Last edited by WVRedsFan; 08-04-2012 at 01:00 AM.
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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    Heck before the 70s the Reds were just another franchise that won a pennant every twenty years. They'd have a few years here and there where they were in the running but more often they were a middle of the pack team and quite often a poor team. As far as long term history goes the Reds, taking out the BRM decade, are really very normal and are similar historically to almost every other franchise who also mostly had one exceptional decade in their history - the Braves, the Giants, the Cubs, the Phillies, and the Pirates. The Dodgers have a slightly more consistent record than the Reds historically and the Cardinals are easily the class of the NL in a historical sense. Being known as "the losers or the losing Reds", though, that really was never the case until the 2001-09 Reds. Not since before WWII anyway in the early to mid 30s.

    For you young guys going from the BRM era - the 82 Reds nosedived and Rose and Murray Cook gradually brought them back to the edge, then the 90 team and through the 90s the Reds were a decent competitive team ending in 99. Then Bowden, who started as the golden boy and descended into madness (seemingly) and Lindner as owner wreaked havoc on the team in the first decade of the new century. Really, I don't think the Reds were ever that far off in the 90s but Marge was paying for a big league squad and strangling the minors all along. When she was forced out and salaries really exploded, and the Griffey deal blew up the way it did and the farm turned out to be stripped down by a decade of neglect - I don;t know. Sometimes I think Lindner is vilified a bit too much for a mess he inherited and didn't have the baseball acumen to fix. That's my opinion anyway - maybe I'm wrong. And I'm not saying he was a good owner in any way, just that some of the mess was actually shoved on him from Marge's era as owner and the stupid things she did starving the farm system.
    Last edited by RedlegJake; 08-04-2012 at 01:30 AM.

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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    WVRedsFan and other lder guys like me may feel this way:

    Just 5 years ago I kind of felt that I probably would never see the Reds win another World Series before I died. I know that sounds morbid but I really felt that way with how bad the team was and how bad it seemed they were run. Then Castellini came and things started to change. Then he brought Jocketty on board. Since then I have been happy about the team's direction and excited and don't feel that old despair at all anymore!

  12. #11
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    WVRedsFan and other lder guys like me may feel this way:

    Just 5 years ago I kind of felt that I probably would never see the Reds win another World Series before I died. I know that sounds morbid but I really felt that way with how bad the team was and how bad it seemed they were run. Then Castellini came and things started to change. Then he brought Jocketty on board. Since then I have been happy about the team's direction and excited and don't feel that old despair at all anymore!
    We're in the same camp. If you have a mind to, you could search my comments over the last five years and I've said that time and time again. We seemed like a team that would never find that winning edge again and in my 6th decade, I thought I would go to my grave not ever seeing a team that I loved do well again. With this season, I don't feel that way anymore. It may not happen this year, and it absolutely burns me up that it may be the horrible Pittsburgh Pirates that derail our surge. But, all I ever asked for was that the Reds be competitive and maybe, just maybe win a championship again. From 2001-2009 it seemed like it was impossible. The magic returned in 2010, only to see the horrible happen. this year, the right moves were made to see the team finally contend again. If I sound desperate at times, it's because I know there is not much time left. I hope this is the year!
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  13. #12
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    We're in the same camp. If you have a mind to, you could search my comments over the last five years and I've said that time and time again. We seemed like a team that would never find that winning edge again and in my 6th decade, I thought I would go to my grave not ever seeing a team that I loved do well again. With this season, I don't feel that way anymore. It may not happen this year, and it absolutely burns me up that it may be the horrible Pittsburgh Pirates that derail our surge. But, all I ever asked for was that the Reds be competitive and maybe, just maybe win a championship again. From 2001-2009 it seemed like it was impossible. The magic returned in 2010, only to see the horrible happen. this year, the right moves were made to see the team finally contend again. If I sound desperate at times, it's because I know there is not much time left. I hope this is the year!
    I wish there was a like button buddy!

  14. #13
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Heck before the 70s the Reds were just another franchise that won a pennant every twenty years. They'd have a few years here and there where they were in the running but more often they were a middle of the pack team and quite often a poor team. As far as long term history goes the Reds, taking out the BRM decade, are really very normal and are similar historically to almost every other franchise who also mostly had one exceptional decade in their history - the Braves, the Giants, the Cubs, the Phillies, and the Pirates. The Dodgers have a slightly more consistent record than the Reds historically and the Cardinals are easily the class of the NL in a historical sense. Being known as "the losers or the losing Reds", though, that really was never the case until the 2001-09 Reds. Not since before WWII anyway in the early to mid 30s.
    I pretty much agree with everyone else's posts on this topic. However I did want to note that the Giants had several exceptional decades while in New York, and up through World War II the Cubs were consistent pennant winners.
    For the first third or so of the 20th Century the Giants were a dominant team, winnning pennants in 04, '05, '11, '12, '13, '17, '21, '22, '23, '24, '33, '36 and '37, with World Series wins in 1905, 1921, 1922 and 1933 (no Series was played in 1904).
    While the Cubs only won World Series in 1907 and 1908, they won a bunch of pennants through WWII: '06, '07, '08, '10, '18, '29, '32, '35, '38 and '45.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  15. #14
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    As an old timer, I can tell you that until 1961' the Reds were losers. My father, a life-long Reds fan stayed with them no matter the record, but if he were still with us, he'd tell you that the Reds were losers until that 61 season when the Reds met the Yankees in the World Series.

    Sure, there were good and bad times since then. In 1962, they won nearly 100 games. In 1964, they took first place only to lose it to the hated Cardinals. The 70's were good with the 75-76 World Series wins, and the 80's were pretty much a bummer. Then they came back with a WS win in 1990, and outside of a couple of seasons, including 1999, they weren't very good.

    It was the 2001-2009 seasons that defined the "losing Reds". A list of horrible managers, losing game after games. GM after GM and no winning record. Even with Junior Griffey, the Reds lost and lost. Bob Boone, Dave Miley, et al. No pitching and little baseball knowledge. Enter BCast. He put up with Wayne Krivsky for awhile, but finally brought in Walt Jockety. Hired Dusty and made deals to put the Reds in a position to win again. It all came together in 2010, but it was incomplete. Deals over this past winter, made the team competitive again. It's a process and it's working.

    As a long time fan, I know we may not win the WS this year, but we're competing, something we haven't done since 1999, save the 2010 season. Reds may not get the pub, but that soon may be ending.
    Yes, the 80's were bad until the Reds re-acquired Rose to manage, and started building with younger players. Without looking, I think they finished 2nd in the division 3 times or so before breaking through with Lou at the helm in 1990.

    The Lost Decade (and I first read that term as described by Cyclone, so I always credit it to him) was really the worst, at least during my lifetime. Nothing worked, and then the FO basically seemed to just give up which demoralized everyone- players and fans alike.

    The Reds joined the NL in 1890; it wasn't until 30 years of baseball later, in 1919, that they won their first pennant. That's a lot of losing, right off the start line.

    From the mid 20's until the late 30's, they invariably finished deep within the 2nd division. Attendance was so bad, that a new gimmick was ginned up- night baseball, in order to try to appeal to disinterested fans.

    I was born in 1961, the year of the first Reds pennant in 20 years. During those interim years, Cincinnati witnessed a lot of bad baseball, with the Reds mostly finishing anywhere from 5th through 8th in what was then an 8 team NL.

    But 1961 signaled a change- although the Reds did not win a pennant for another 9 years, they were mostly a very good team throughout the 60's. The 70's, of course, were a magical, legendary time that I do not need to recount here.

    So, looking back, I'd have to say how lucky I have been- during my own lifetime, the Reds have been a much better team than they have for most of their existence. Yes, there are up and down years, and even a lost decade, but the last 40 years have been kind to the Reds.

    I also think that the Reds, and Cincinnati in general, suffers from an East Coast baseball bias. From the beginning, the Reds were considered a western team, and as the years have gone on and the west coast has also thrived, now we are just a part of flyover country. You have to have a really special franchise, like St. Louis, to overcome perception.

    I'd love for woy to weigh in on this; it really is what he loves and excels at.

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    Re: When did the perception of Reds = losers begin?

    I've never had the sense that the Reds were losers. I've always thought of this as a very good franchise, with occasional down periods. Probably has to do with when I started watching them, 1955 being the first season I remember. They were already very good in 1956. finishing two games out and setting the major league record for home runs as a team, 221 if I remember correctly. And they had an electrifying rookie that season, who set the home run record for rookies, Frank Robinson. It's the way Robinson came on the scene in Cincinnati--his absolutely challenging, dominating presence--that you have to have seen to understand why some of us still mourn that trade.


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