10-23-16: Reds Zone Strikes Out: Cubs World Series Bound

To any and all who may read this, happy Sunday and thanks as always for reading. It’s 9:53 am on an autumn Sunday morning as I write this and actually make this two posts in one month (which for me is sadly good work because I keep finding other things to do besides write on here) while realizing that classes will start back this week after a week off. (How I did in last PhD program-ended up completing a 15 page paper the final week and got an A on it-result was an A in the class. Hooray for me.)

This bit of written thought comes from the world of major league baseball. The Garrisons who attend the same chapel service that I do are big Chicago Cubs fans. As this is the day after a pretty historic day for said Cubs fanbase, I figure it’s a good topic to write about. So here goes……..

—-as a Cincinnati Reds fan I have little confidence that the Reds are ever going to make the World Series anytime soon. The minor league player development system is atrocious, the current pitching staff is bush league, the managing work of Bryan Price is the worst the franchise has seen in my lifetime and lastly the front office work of Walt Jockety is the equal of starting with a dollar, making a few trades and ending up with five pennies. In short those boys are the worst team in their five team division (the National League Central) and are in pretty bad shape. Nevertheless this substandard plan of attack seems to be of approval to the dozen or so aspiring comic geniuses who regularly pollute the Reds Zone message board with the seeming sole concept of crowing about first baseman Joey Votto’s statistics because if you criticize Votto, they get out of shape and throw temper tantrums. Because I am technically inept, I’ll just go refer to this webpage listed below for examples:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?112035-Marty-on-Votto-quot-He-was-probably-daydreaming-about-on-base-percentage-quot

Premise of this rant: yes, there are good and bad posters everywhere on message boards in terms of agenda, quality, lack of drinking out of the bathroom toilet, etc., as said Reds Zone board has an individual from West Virginia who has correctly called out the issues from Price and the front office while not making it a habit to tell others that Votto is the only reason for life on the universe (and yes, if you read the link, that seems to be the impression I get as some of these Reds fans would rather blame THE TEAM’S ANNOUNCERS than the players, managers and front office for the s–t show that the team has regressed to). Yet this Reds Zone board has sadly also had the HAHACUBSALWAYSSUCK gimmick because said Chicago Cubs (also in the same division as the Reds and hence a Reds opponent for 20 or so games each year out of a 162 game schedule) had not been in the World Series since the Truman administration nor had WON a World Series since former media favorite Theodore R. Roosevelt was getting down in the White House. They even had a thread called “We are not mocking the Cubs enough” as part of their day to day operations. But with all due respect to individuals who use Dr. Suess characters for their avatars, they need to take the advice of that fictional Ari Gold fellow from the Entourage TV show that I have not been afraid to watch a decade after the fact because, well, I spent more time watching sh–ty Reds baseball than anything else from April to October of each year (and warning: curse word in effect):

You see boys, your main man Votto isn’t going to the World Series anytime soon. Nor is your main man pitcher Homer Bailey who is set to make $60 million or so for the next three years despite winning just two more games in the past two entire seasons than the unmighty keyboard warrior typing this sentence. (Incidentally, the team let a pitcher by the name of Johnny Cueto go because the money that SHOULD have gone to him went to Your Boy Bailey. Cueto won the World Series with Kansas City last year. Your Boy Bailey won ZERO games last year as he pitched in two of your 162 season games before getting hurt. TWO. Injuries happen. However bad baseball decisions tend to haunt you…like for the next three years at a $60 million pay rate. Not encouraging.

But enough of that because the main point is that after last night, the Cubs are World Series bound. Not Your Reds. Not your apparent man crush Votto. The Cubs.

Reasons of note for the babble: from a central Indiana standpoint, growing up the Reds should have had the Indianapolis metro area as a consistent part of their fan base in part due to having their main minor league team (the Triple A affliate Indianapolis Indians) being in the Reds organization and also because the team used to be good (do a search engine inquiry for Big Red Machine for more in-depth explanation). But by being cheap and having individuals like Dick Wagner in the front office, the team went to s–t in the early to mid 1980s (they lost 101 games in 1982, which means you’ve got a manure stain of a baseball team unless you like losing baseball as this Wagner seemed to). The Reds helped give up the Indy metro marketplace to the Cubs by being a bad baseball team that didn’t televise their games in the area….leaving the Indians’ affiliation after the 1983 season (the Indiana were with the Montreal Expos from 1984 to 1992 before a merry-go-round that led to the Reds now having their Triple A team in Louisville and the Indians now associated with the Pittsburgh Pirates)…and in the meantime the Cubs did the opposite by televising seemingly all their games on WGN-TV (Channel 9 for our cable box) and winning (they won National League East division titles in 1984 and 1989 and were generally competitive while the Reds did NOT win a division title in the 1980’s). One team-said Cubs was around the area, in the paper and on the TV sets. Harry Carey was a constant in central Indiana. Wagner’s field managers John McNamara and Russ Nixon on the other hand were not. And thus the Reds as of this day IMO don’t really have much of a fan base in these parts…which means people will go to Wrigley Field to watch baseball more often than not then Great American Ball Park to see said Cubs…and if they can’t get tickets then they’ll go to Great American to Cubs-Reds games TO ROOT FOR THE CUBS as they usually do in huge numbers like they did in below 2007 photos to see the Cubs clinch the 2007 National League Central Division title by beating said Reds at said Reds’ own Great American Ball Park:

Not what you would like to see if you want your team to actually produce a quality product, but then again the Reds’ management and ownership don’t really seem to give a damn so this scene tends to happen with regularity. And quite frankly the majority of that Reds Zone message board seems to be willing to drink that proverbial Kool-Aid to the point that there were posters who were seemingly OKAY WITH THE DECISION that Price-a manager with an average record of 66-96 these past two season-was coming back AGAIN for 2017. Head to the middle of this link for examples:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?112694-Price-back-for-2017/page3

Not really sending a bold message to your fan base that you’d like to win anytime soon…but then again I’m just a fan and not an expert major league baseball executive or billionaire owner, so my point is moot until they finally figure out this Price probably isn’t the modern day Casey Stengel. 

Then again, when your new top executive-Dick Williams-is related to part of the ownership group, perhaps Price is their view of the best in major league baseball managers.

Let’s just say I disagree with the majority of those Reds Zone individuals on that assessment. Let’s also say I expect the Reds to finish in last place in 2017..just as they did in 2016…and in 2015. And that means I also expect a lot of emails for $5 tickets to get people to come see what has now become a clown show of a major league baseball team.

As for the Cubs…I don’t think they’re going to have any trouble getting people to go to their games anytime soon. Especially this month.

Congrats to the Cubs. And congrats to me for actually posting here.

The Reds? I’ll probably be watching them again next April. They may be a clown show now, but they are the clown show I grew up with so I’m in for the ride in the same funny car with what I assume could very well be some of these Reds Zone posters:

Opening Day is April 3. Plenty of time for Reds fans to hope for some change…and to be operated like a true major league baseball contender. Like, yes, the Cubs.

Best wishes and thanks to all who read this rant as I now get ready to see another circus of an organization-the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts-try to actually win a game outside Lucas Oil Stadium this season. Not too sure if that’s going to happen today, but I’ll put off homework till tomorrow night to find out. Of course I will.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

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