(Please welcome Jeremy into the RN club. Jeremy is a UC journalism student who will be contributing at RN this summer, and maybe beyond.)
There is a definite buzz in Cincinnati this Monday in June and I do not think it is for the right reasons. The New York Yankees and the Reds will be starting a three-game series at GABP and Cincinnatians are treating it like the World Series. The buzz is wholly premature, in my humble opinion.
This series is an important one, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give you that. It is important because two above-average baseball clubs are squaring off for the first time at GAB since June 3-5, 2003. Both teams are in pennant races, so no one wants to lose ground. Two organizations rich in heritage are taking the field without a good idea of who each other is. That uncertainty should be in the Reds favor because the Yankees have been on an offensive tear of late averaging seven runs in their last six games, scoring at least 10 runs in three of those six games.
There should also be an increase in attendance during this series. Some Yankees fans (along with baseball fans not usually at the ballpark) should be in attendance. It will be nice to see all the red seats filled and an abundant amount of chatter in the stands. But at the end of the day, it is just another series against another good team.
The Reds have struggled this season against AL opponents, winning their only interleague game yesterday when they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays. Miguel Cairo, a hero of yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game, has spent time in New York with they Yankees during his career. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure he is a good voice to have in the clubhouse to let the younger players know that the Yankees are not superlative. While listening to Mo Egger this afternoon I heard him talk about something I really liked. He said that Cairo referred to the Reds as a ball club with its eyes on winning the World Series, not just making the post-season. I believe it is important for us, as fans, to realize that the Reds are expecting to be World Champions every season just as much as the Bronx Bombers and every other contending ball club.
Johnny Cueto was scheduled to oppose the YanksÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ivan Nova tonight, but has been scratched due to a stiff neck that has been bothering him for at least five days. Travis Wood will start in CuetoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s place. Wood was scheduled for tomorrow, so expect Cueto to start tomorrow nights match-up. Yankees all-star shortstop Derek Jeter, who was expected to make an attempt at 3,000 hits while at GABP, is still hurt and did not make the road trip.
Losing two-of-three to the below .500 Jays make this series even more important, as the Brewers and the Cardinals also have tough opponents in Tampa Bay and Philadelphia respectively. The Reds sit only two games back as Milwaukee and St. Louis are tied with the division lead. Albert PujolsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ injury yesterday has been coined a left forearm fracture and he is expected to miss four-to-six weeks of action, which only bodes well for the Redlegs. It is a good time for the Reds to go on a run. Let’s hope it starts tonight.