In my latest column over at Cincinnati Magazine, I tried to figure out how to summarize the 2018 Reds season. The sub-headline over there is a pretty good description of the column: “Despite another last place finish, the Reds actually improved this season -Ã¢â‚¬â€ but fan patience is hanging by a thread.”
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m here to tell you that the Redlegs have made tangible progress over the last six months. Sure, on the surface, 2018 looks suspiciously similar to previous seasons in this never-ending mess of a rebuilding process. The Reds will finish in last place for the fourth consecutive season. Even worse, if they go 2-3 over the final 5 games, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll finish with a 68-94 record for the third straight year.
While that is an impressive level of consistency, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re forgiven if you fail to be awed. After all, the point of a rebuilding process is to build the organization back into a winner, right?
Certainly, the Reds have made plenty of missteps on the road to recovery and the process has been much slower than anyone hoped or expected, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen real progress over the course of this season. For example: Yes, the Reds are going to lose 90 games again, but these arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the same olÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ miserable Redlegs. Remember that 3-18 start to the season? How could you forget, right? Well, that terrible stretch of play, caused primarily by untimely injuries and the front officeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s complete and utter refusal to put the franchiseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best 25 players on the big league roster (Nick Senzel, anyone?), masked what should have been a pretty good team.
Check it out and let me know what you think.