Tuesday night’s game was thrilling, liberating, life-affirming, and everything else. And it belongs to a whole lot of people who sweated, cried, and suffered over the last ten years.

  • It belongs to Edinson Volquez and his 6 innings of ace pitching, but also to Wayne Krivsky, who had the stones to trade Josh Hamilton for Voltron and Daniel Ray Herrera. Wayne Krivsky also swapped the aforementioned Jeff Stevens for Brandon Phillips.
  • It belongs to Drew Stubbs and his hitting, running, and defense, but also to Reds Senior Director of Scouting Chris Buckley, who scouted Stubbs, Aroldis Chapman, and several other guys.

  • It belongs to Dusty Baker, who used his bullpen masterfully, but also to Rick Sweet, Ted Power, Smokey Garrett, and all the other minor league managers and coaches who helped develop this team.
  • It belongs to Walt Jocketty, who has made very few mistakes in constructing this team, and who’s had the sense to get away from those mistakes quickly.
  • It belongs to Lisa Braun and Jamie Ramsey and the rest of the Reds marketing and media relations department for putting together last night’s Tweet Up, which was both great symbolism, and a perfect way to let fans share in last night’s celebration.

  • It belongs to Bob Castellini, the rest of the Reds ownership group, and the entire organization. I’m sure they expected to get here faster than they did, but nobody has ever been able to question the organization’s commitment to winning, or to providing a great entertainment product. It’s been first class, all the way, and they really deserve to celebrate.
  • Mostly, though, it belongs to the Reds fans. On a miserable Tuesday night, something like 14,000 of us bought tickets to support the team, and to share in the fun. After fifteen years, the enthusiasm, the loyalty, the noise was still there. From everyone I’ve talked to, it was a magical night. Maybe even better than a playoff game, as it was pure celebration. There’s a game today, but the real “tomorrow” doesn’t come for a week. For now, there’s time for everyone affiliated with the Redleg Nation – players, staff, front office, and fans – to share in the celebration. I never use “we” when referring to the Reds, but today, it feels appropriate.

All photos linked from the Enquirer Reds page.

5 Responses

  1. Chad Dotson

    @Brien Jackson: Don’t be a downer, Brien. 🙂

    Great post, Chris. Especially the last line.

    I’ll have my reflections later, for what it’s worth.

  2. NastyNati513

    Does anyone know where to buy a NL Central Champs t-shirt? mlb.com has nothing, they have a youth and a woman’s t-shirt which is stupid!

    I AM HAVING FUN!

    on a side not, what is up with the Bengals/Redlegs nation blog?

  3. jimkang

    Definitely bought a bottle of champagne last night and celebrated in my condo in Nashville. Wish I couldve been up for the game. I’ll be going up for at least one playoff game.

    I moved in Cincy in 1996 and became a reds fan in 1996, 1 year after the reds last made the playoffs. I’m glad I’m not the curse.

    Great to see guys like Aaron Harang celebrate. I’m excited about this team. Need to play well to finish out the season.

    Anyone one know where I can get a printable NL Central Champions banner?

  4. vermilion red

    Nice post.
    There is something pure about winning a division championship, and I’m really glad the players and fans celebrated accordingly. Of course I’ll be rooting for a World Series championship, but the nature of baseball is the 162-game grind, playing almost every day, requiring big-picture thinking. The playoffs are very exciting, but also different. It’s to baseball what overtime is to football. Losing, even 3 games to none, in the first round of the playoffs can’t diminish what this team did. But 11 more meaningful wins would certainly be icing.

  5. renbutler

    @renbutler:
    The Reds don’t have another day off though. So there’s nothing particularly wrong with giving a team that’s been fighting to clinch and just had a trip to San Diego an extra day off.

    They’ll get days off Monday and Tuesday. And if they play hard now, they can get another day off Wednesday AND not have to go on the road until October 10!