What we may have left behind

I didn’t know whether or not I’d feel like writing much about yesterday. It’s the kind of thing that; if we would have won the game like we should have I wake up today completely excited for a weekend of interleague play and a weekend of taking it to a depleted Cleveland Indians squad. Instead, every time baseball pops into my head I quickly try to think of something else. A rhetorical voice sounds off.

“You can’t think of baseball right now. How could you? You’re gonna think about those Reds; your Reds that dropped a 10-9 game in the 9th inning? Those pretender Reds?”

Then the voice goes into laughter the same way it has so many times when the Cleveland Browns have embarrased themselves and left their fans awestruck by the fashion that they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Yesterday’s game hurts for a lot of reasons, but it particularly hurts if you remember 1999 well. Remember, the last time we had a taste of being decent? The last time we were relevant, oh, some 11 odd years ago. Yea, I was a sophomore in high school. I didn’t have my license that summer. It’s been that long since I’ve watched the Reds play meaningful baseball down the stretch. It should be of little wonder to anyone who knows I’m a die hard Reds fan as to why I blew up after yesterday’s game and acted like a shithead to everyone and anyone who wanted to chit chat.

Nothing says “I’m having an awful day” like your team leading off Sportscenter giving up a walk-off grand slam to lose a game in the 9th inning with outs already recorded. The Reds yesterday ended up on the wrong side of history. They will now become part of a future trivia question because of yesterday’s game.

And the damning cherry on top? They spent four glorious days in first–and that is over with for now. The Cardinals didn’t blow a 9th inning lead. Did you enjoy our stint with the title belt? I know I sure did.

Now the Reds play the Indians, the Astros, and the Pirates in the next three series. Three of the worst teams in the big leagues. I hate to say this but I’ve seen this ensemble before. I’ve seen it from teams other then the Reds as well. Yesterday’s game as what you call an unraveler. People who think we’re going to be alright and people who think we’re going to win 8 of our next 10 are simply not being realistic. If I had to put money on it, I’d bet it’s something like 3-7 or 4-6 over our next ten, and only one out of three this weekend.

Yesterday’s game will start a slide. You think I’m over-reacting? If you’re man enough to watch the gut wrenching replay from the nightmare that was yesterday’s ninth; check out what Brandon Phillips is doing at his position as that role player Conrad rounds the bases. Look at Dusty Baker fighting back tears in his postgame interview, barely able to choke out the words to describe it.

I’ve been a baseball fan for a long time. I can tell you right now that the pulse of this team is not strong. It was the type of loss that can cause you to go into the tank for good–and for the Braves it’s the type of win that could possibly help them back into Wildcard contention, where I’ve felt they’ve belonged all along.

You can say things that help you sleep at night. I’ve done it to. Go ahead, tell me that games in May don’t matter and tell me that we’re about to find out what kind of team the Reds are. I’m telling you from one who knows, we found out what kind of team this was yesterday when we should have been starting a new win streak on getaway day. This Reds team is the same team we’ve been watching the entire past decade with a new paint job and that won fans hearts over with a few dramatic wins. I admit, I bought into it and that’s why I’m hurting now.

We’re like a lost cowboy riding into an Indian burial ground. Be cautious and do what you can to read the signs for a way out. If they do not, we might see what was our beautiful season spiral out of control.