I’ve always tried to remain objective when writing about my favorite team on this blog. If anything, I want to be the voice of reality to whoever reads my thoughts on the Reds. I’m never overly optimistic, and a lot of times I lean towards pessimism; like most people do when things are going really bad.
The Reds were embarrassed and beaten soundly by their hated rival the St. Louis Cardinals in front of sell out crowds at their home park multiple times this weekend. Sam Lecure said it himself.
This is not a team that is going anywhere this year. Something is missing, and we’re going to go the entire year and never really know what it was. It’s just not in the cards for the Redlegs in 2013. It’s had it’s year of special memories – Homer Bailey’s no-hitter, Jay Bruce’s walk-off home run – but this year is going to end in disappointment like so many others have for the Reds.
Most likely it ends with a one-game playoff Wildcard game. If you’re one of those fans who thinks they win that game, and then roll into some better team’s place and win three out of five; you aren’t being realistic. You’re being a homer. This team has all the look right now of a team that absolutely gets caught by Arizona or Washington and misses out of the playoffs entirely; whichever decides to get hot first.
No one on this team gets hot with any consistency. Aroldis Chapman blows big games in big spots, even when the team is playing well. The rotation is solid; but not mistaken for spectacular. Homer Bailey is probably the ace unofficially, but no one in that rotation is a true shut-down number one with the ability to go out and take the ball and end a bad slide or win one that’s a ‘must win’.
Joey Votto has been a slap hitter for most of the year, not a middle of the order run producer. Brandon Phillips is more interested in complaining about his contract than winning a ring. I would argue that even if the Reds get Ludwick and Cueto back in a month, how much can you really expect from those two guys before the calendar hits 2014? Really?
I’m not trying to be a downer here. I think Reds fans should prepare for the reality that we’re just ordinary and lucky in a year that the National league is not particularly special. It’s a shame too because it’s wide open. I think the NL champion shakes out of either Los Angeles or St. Louis. I don’t think the Braves are that good. I don’t think the Pirates have the experience or depth to keep the magic going and win a pennant. The NL is wide open, and the Reds don’t have the heavy artillery to take it down this year.
This is probably Dusty Baker’s last ride, though only the drunks on the postgame AM 700 WLW are mentioning that right now. Walt Jocketty didn’t feel the need to do anything at the deadline apparently, for whatever reason he looked at his roster that has refused all season to get hot and said ‘I’ll let it ride’. When is that guy going to make a move that puts us over the top? Isn’t that the job of a top General Manager?
The Reds will play out the string, and they’ll march like lambs to slaughter if they’re lucky enough to make the playoffs. The only thing to save us from our sorrows is that football is just around the corner. And the Bengals will be good. The vacancy in everyone’s heart that remains from the postseason collapse of 2012 will be as noticeable as ever.