Given that my Reds are now eight games up and mathematically almost a lock, I had to give a few comments – especially after football yesterday. As I said yesterday, in most other sports I am a casual fan at best, never picking that one team to be a die-hard fan of and follow them through thick and thin. The Cincinnati Reds and UK basketball being the exceptions. Both are teams that had a great deal of success in the mid and late 1970’s, which of course corresponds with I started to be interested in actually watching and certainly understanding the games.
As noted, it was so easy to become a Reds fan in the 1970’s with the Big Red machine in full roll. The names of Rose, Bench, Morgan, and Concepion will always be the standard of measure of the Reds as far as I am concerned. Of course it helps that around the years of the strikes, which had really turned me off of baseball, they had some big names and hit that season in 1990. That occurred while I was still in college and they went wire to wire with a winning season and putting another World Series in the cap.
However, as I noted, I am a Cincy fan through thick and thin. And it has been a long time coming to have a season like the current one. Of course, who would have predicted anything out of the season. it seemed like it was just an average year out of the gate. Further, it seemed like so many years in the past, the pitching was not so great and when the pitching was doing well, the offensive efforts were anemic. However as we got close to the mid-season all-star break I kept noting to a few friends that it was tit-for-tat between the Cardinals and the Reds. Most of the friends noted it before the All-Star break and check back at the end of August. I was okay, as I was thinking there was a good shot a wild-card behind the Cards.
Now we look back on an August that the Red’s were literally on fire and the Cards just fell apart despite having Pujols in the line up. As it stood coming into the month the Reds were up by seven games. This morning it was plus one, making it eight games. Joey Votto is ahead of Pujols for the Triple Crown, excepting the home run category. And the Reds, as of Sunday, have only a series with the Cards and another 27 games with relatively weak teams and have to stay one game above five hundred to take the division. Matter of fact, yesterday, they started the entries for the drawing/lottery for a chance at post season tickets.
This is of course twenty years in the making, hopefully with current awesome pitching and position players it will not be that before another team of such significance. I am looking forward to October, for a change not only because of my favorite season of fall but also because the Reds seem to be hitting the stride at the perfect time.
** – I am sure the image belongs to the Reds, but not sure where I got it from…