AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you hear? The Reds played some baseball badly. BURN IT DOWN!!!! TORCH IT!!!! FIRE SALE!!!!!

Going out of business!!! We got your Suarez, 70% off. We got your Votto, FREE! Just carry him out of the store!!!! A few selected items are still at a premium – FOR NOW – but rest assured, everything must gooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, okay, really. You know what happened? The Reds played badly for two weeks. It’s happened many times to many teams. It matters not at all in terms of this year. We should expect them to improve. We should be watching the performance of certain players. But anyone who gives up on a baseball team after two bad weeks in the the third year of a rebuild is missing the point entirely.

If it’s June and still no one is hitting, you can worry. If a pitcher or two who are supposed to be part of the next competitive team are getting regularly shelled, you can worry.

Have some bad decisions been made? Of course. But let’s be clear, what really matters is the performance of certain players who are pivotal in the plan to make the Reds good again. That’s what we need to watch. The Reds had the slimmest of chances to grab a wild card this year (and who knows, stranger things have happened), but that wasn’t what anyone really expected.

I expect that they will still finished with a better record than last year. No, I am not joking. The 1990 Reds had a stretch during which they were 3-12. The Dodgers had an awful stretch last year.

This column will likely return to normal next week, but I thought it was important to take a week and give everyone a space to calm down. I think it would be good this week to take a little time and discuss the ways in which we’re still hopeful. Any positives we’ve seen. That kind of thing. So try that in the comments. A few of you have, let’s be honest, provided the same diatribe about whatever aspect of the team you’re unhappy with in pretty much every column on the site. Cool. We have comments for a reason, but it’s okay to sing a different song sometimes.

The only thing from this last week that really worries me is that 70 percent of you did not pick the obviously correct answer in the Twitter poll.

17 Responses

  1. Ghettotrout1

    Garrett – has been lights out…. even if he is still in the Pen.
    Scooter – although sometimes he does appear drunk in the field and it has been a small sample size his offense looks like it has not fallen off the map like many predicted.
    Castillo/Mahle/Romano – look ok to good on most nights pitching.
    Tucker – is sweet at baseball and seems to be a great leader.
    Winker – is getting on base a lot.
    We have 5th overall pick.

    There are my positives for the year.

    • Michael Hutton

      agree…but would include Iglesias in that group….even wandy hasn’t been scored on this year….plenty to be hopeful about

  2. Michael Hutton

    No Geno or Schebler….no Disco or Lorenzen and little Finnegan …..and they’re not getting blown out-just coming up a little short. Bullpen has been very good-especially the last week or so. When they all come back Riggleman is set up to look like the savior-and I hope he comes through!!

  3. eric3287

    In order for the Reds to finish 2018 with more wins than they had in 2017 and 2016, they need to finish the year 66-78. That’s a .458 winning percentage which would basically be a 74 win pace over the course of the entire season. I’m not saying that is impossible, but I wouldn’t say the odds are in their favor.
    To believe the Reds can get to 70 wins or more this year, you’d have to believe that everyone who has been performing well will continue to perform as well as they are and that everyone who has been performing poorly will get better. That’s some pretty fancy wishful thinking, and anyone who falls for it, well I’ve got a bridge crossing the Ohio River in about as bad a shape as the Reds organization I’d be glad to sell you.

  4. Sliotar

    -Mahle and Castillo have shown enough swing-and-miss potential to envision them being the top 2 home-grown SPs in the next contending season (2020, maybe 2021 now, who knows)

    -Peraza is getting enough daily run for the Reds to be able to project how (or if) he fits in long-term.

    -Ervin and Blandino are getting sniffs. Maybe they are AAAA or MLB utility guys, but they need to be stay in Cincinnati and play for their ceilings to be projected. And, now, 2018 is a perfect season to get guys like these a lot of MLB exposure.

    -Garrett saying he’s just “a baller, willing to do whatever to help the team out.” (not exact quote, but that was the gist). Hope he means it. Would be a refreshing change from some of the others…”I deserve to be a starter.”

    Any LHP with nasty stuff and can learn to pitch ends up getting paid in MLB. Garrett sticking with the Reds, in any role, will get him there, based on his performance this season.

    • eric3287

      Your first bullet point about the next contending season (2020/2021) is the scary part. Two years ago everything from the front office pointed at 2018 as the first “contending season.” 2020 and 2021 will be Joey Votto’s age 36 and age 37 seasons. I’m by no means suggesting he falls off a cliff, but check out some of the age 35+ seasons of his comps on baseball reference. Giambi, Holliday, Helton, Big Klu. These guys were all playing in less than 140 games per year. I know it sounds like blasphemy, but when projecting the Reds out 2, 3, 4 years, we can’t automatically assume Votto is going to put up All-Star numbers.

      • scottya

        I was personally wanting 18′ to be the first season of contention. However, I don’t recall ever seeing the FO say that 18′ would be the targeted first “contending season” for the Reds.

        Do you have any links for this?

  5. Jason Linden

    Did you read the part of the column where I said some folks have posted the same rant over and over in the comments? Yeah. That.

  6. Sliotar

    And, FWIW, Jason, I know the condescending “here’s how you should see things and feel about things” writing style is your schtick, and you use it in most of your writings, but today doesn’t feel like the day for it.

    This current Reds team on the field, even if Suarez and Schebler were around, isn’t competing daily with most NL teams and are light-years behind this year’s Astros and Red Sox clubs.

    A team on a realistic near-term championship track does not fire its manager 18 games into the season.

    People are reacting to the reinforcement of another non-championship season in mid-April, and the Reds being dinged by MLB national media for this move.

    No need to condemn them for still remaining passionate in trying (baseball) times.

    • Jason Linden

      I’m never trying to tell people how they should feel. I’m only suggesting that maybe typing the exact same rant over and over and over and over again gets to be a bit much.

      This season stinks so far. We all know it stinks, but I will never understand the breed of fan who lives only to complain. Who seemingly finds nothing to enjoy in baseball. These people were around when the Reds were good and they’re extra loud now.

      And my question for them is this: Why are you here? If the only way you can ever be happy is if your team wins the championship, then sports is a terrible hobby for you to have. I’d much rather try to find something enjoyable even in a pretty wretched year for Reds baseball.

      • Jeff Reed

        I like your comment. It is a tough time to be a Reds fan, but as an old fan I’ve been through many up and down seasons. I’m just glad baseball is back, and we’ll go from here.

      • Jack

        Agree. I’ve been watching since 69 and I pick them to win it all every year. I say my peace about how crappy they look but tomorrow night I’m hoping for a win and a 100 more after that. I never give up. A soldier never gives up no matter how bad the situation is. They have some good talent on this team and if the offense can pick it up they should be ok.

  7. scottya

    “But anyone who gives up on a baseball team after two bad weeks in the the third year of a REBUILD is missing the point entirely.”

    This statement is spot on. As is the one about watching certain players:

    Mahle – I’m a bit concerned about his ability to get out lefthanders.
    Stephenson in AAA – still walking about 5/9ip
    Reed – looked good out of the pen last time out
    Garrett- looks dominating out of the pen, needs to get a shot at starting at some point in 18′

    Barnhart and Hamilton – it appears they are both making the same plate discipline changes that Suarez has already made. This is a really good sign and possibly the reason that Don Long is getting praise from the players and is still on the staff.

    Blandino – needs to play everyday until suarez is back.

    Senzel – please move him back to SS immediately, if Larkin and Benevides have decided he can’t play effectively at SS; then please FO inform us!

    Mesoraco – I hope he can’t get going and stay healthy, I believe it was Steve Mancuso that first said we should trade him. This is doable if he gets going, which I think he will.

    I still think that Castillo, Romano and Mahle will make up at worst a #3, #4 and #5 on a playoff staff. We need them to be better than that to get us moving forward quicker. We can add a #2 starter this offseason and be in contention in 19′ in my opinion if CF and SS are improved.

  8. Kris Cooper

    well, the Dodgers Last year and Reds of 1990 you mention were good teams, this team is not, not even a comparison