The Complete End of an Era

Today is a dark day in my life as a fan of not only the Cincinnati Reds, but sports in general. Adam Dunn has been traded to the Arizona DiamondBacks for 3 minor leagues prospects, and I am heartbroken.

Nothing is sacred anymore. If a player like Dunn can’t last in Cincinnati, no one will ever stick anywhere long-term. It’s like discovering that Santa Clause isn’t real. All these years, all these games, all those at bats. All the time invested and the road trips to see #44 play, and it was all for nothing.
It’s funny because I had a premonition about this moment just about an hour ago. I logged onto the blog and saw that I was sitting on 999 posts for Diamond Hoggers. I was going to wait for a while for something epic to be the 1000th post. I thought at that moment, something about a Dunn trade…… that would certainly fit the bill. Just a while later I was watching Sportscenter and the breaking news report came on. It almost seemed surreal. It seemed like it couldn’t be. I couldn’t actually be seeing what I am seeing could I? That’s not Adam Dunn swinging there on screen with them discussing a trade is it? The horrifying reality was what it was. My hero, and the Godfather of Diamond Hoggers was gone forever.
My initial reaction is anger, extreme anger. I’ll never forgive Walt Jocketty for this, or anyone who was behind the orchestration of this. Bob Castellini who owns the Reds has said all along how much he likes Dunn and how Dunn should be made a guy who the organization builds around. He is homegrown from the Reds farm system, and he would easily go on to become the Reds all-time leader in home runs. Castellini fed us that song and dance of lies all season long. As the calls filed in from my long time friends who knew my pain on this day, we talked about the future without Dunn. We talked about how Jay Bruce does lighten the blow somewhat. Maybe Bruce can become a complete player who can do things Dunn was never able to here, escaping criticism from some who think Dunn should have done more for the money he was making.
Adam Dunn will probably remain my favorite athlete of all time. I grew up with Dunn. I spent two summers in Cincinnati going to games to see a horrible team just because big #44 was suiting up every day and playing. He hit 270 home runs with a Reds uniform on. He is the all-time leader as a left-handed hitter in Reds home runs. No player in all the years that I’ve been going to ballgames has hit more home runs with me in the ballpark live.
So what is there left to say? The Cincinnati Reds have once again made a horrible mistake. Countless times during my time as a fan they’ve bobbled a decision or deal and have made an easy call into a bad decision. In the past year they’ve allowed Josh Hamilton to leave and now Adam Dunn. I feel that if you’re committed to winning and being a quality product organization, you have to keep at least one of these players. I no longer believe in the Cincinnati Reds competence. They are lost as a franchise. They’re lost in the front office. I don’t know if I will ever fully recover my faith in the Reds being a winner, which is what it’s all about as a fan.
I thought we were out of the woods. But deep down inside, I knew this day was coming for a long time. It may have gone unwritten, but I knew. I think Adam knew too that an end was coming. Now we’re left with just our memories of the past that will soon erode and fade. We’re left numb and without answers; facing a dark future. Now wasn’t the time. This was a terrible mistake.
Adam I doubt you’ll ever see this. But your greatest fan thanks you for your time and unsung contributions to the Cincinnati Reds. Thanks for everything, the memories, the effort, and all those breathtaking moonshots I saw you hit. Thanks for the greatest period of my being a baseball fan in my 25 years. You were always the crown gem when going to see the Reds play. You’re a class act bro, and we’ll always smile when we see you launch one in another major league city. We’ll be here to write about it when you hit your 500th and your 600th home runs. We hope you come back and shove it up the Reds ass just like we know you will.