The voice of the Reds is Marty Brennaman. And usually his voice is blasting the Reds; as he’s long known for being our toughest critic. But Marty is cautiously optimistic about the 2009 Reds. Speaking at a recent Reds caravan stop in Kentucky:
-“I’m optimistic. I know this time last year I was, and I was dead wrong about the team. Everybody seemed to be as one last year that they were going to be better. Now, fast-forward to a year later, I’m still optimistic, and a lot of the people become naysayers. It’s going to be interesting.
-“I think they improved themselves behind the plate in Ramon Hernandez. I think they improved themselves in center field with Willy Taveras. They picked up a situational left-hander in Arthur Rhodes, who will help the bullpen.
-“I think you have to look at this division before making some type of prediction. If the Cubs have improved themselves — and I’m not so sure they have — (and) if they are able now to go out and get (pitcher) Jake Peavy before the season begins, they will separate themselves even more from the rest of the division. But if you assume they’ve helped themselves. The only other team in this division who I think has (improved) has been the Reds. I don’t think Milwaukee has, Houston has, St. Louis has or Pittsburgh.
-“It’s a different team from what we’ve been watching for the last however-many years because it’s a team that’s going to rely pretty much on pitching, defense and speed, and not feature the big home-run bats that they’ve been noted for all these (recent) years. They go into Great American Ball Park, and the park was built to take advantage of the power of Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. And it didn’t work out. So they’re going to strike off in a different direction, and I agree with that 100 percent.”
And you know what? Marty is right. The Reds biggest positive is what they’re up against in the central. While other teams didn’t need to improve themselves as much as the horrid Redlegs; teams like the Cardinals and Brewers haven’t done much via acquistions. As disappointing as the Reds have been in failing to bring in a big gun, these opponents have also failed to make the big move. Now we just have to hope that the Cubs fail in their pursuit of Jake Peavy and vastly underperform at the key moments that the Cubs always do.
Nothing breathes fresh-air into this fan base like our old windbag radio anouncer.