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 -— but fan patience is hanging by a thread.”

I’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, they’ll finish with a 68-94 record for the third straight year.

While that is an impressive level of consistency, you’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 I’ve seen real progress over the course of this season. For example: Yes, the Reds are going to lose 90 games again, but these aren’t the same ol’ 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 office’s complete and utter refusal to put the franchise’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.