Some industrious Reds fan with editing equipment and a lot of time made a hype video to match the audio of the Avengers: Endgame trailer. There’s not a lot to mock here. It’s pretty good, although there’s a moment of perhaps inadvertent flippancy when the line “all these people are dying” is cued to a closeup of Joey Votto.
There’s an admirable sense of history here (“I know I said no more surprises” is paired with images of the 1990 World Series upstart sweep), as well as acknowledgement of present difficulties (“Sometimes the best we can do is start over” leads to images of—well, the Reds, and “Whatever it takes” is laid over footage of Lorenzen dual roleing and Senzel in a minor league uniform.)
As homemade hype goes, it’s quite well done, but this video wasn’t made for people like me, who are largely in a good place after the last Avengers movie, which ended with mostly of my favorites in place (My spoily reactions to such exquisite details are here). But in baseball, we don’t always get to hang on to our favorites. And sometimes a wonderful surprise arises from Louisville or the trade wire.
The video’s sweeping views of river and bridges suggest urgency, an all-hands effort, and perhaps that’s why this year’s horrific beginning felt so crushing: We’re running out of time. It’s Marty’s final season, the sands are rushing from Operation: Get Joey a Ring, and with a 150th anniversary hyped to bobbleheads and back, there’s a sense that the rebuild has gone on quite long enough. We’re extra disappointed because we didn’t expect to be disappointed at all.
The end of the previous Avengers film, Infinity War, is marked by various characters digitally disintegrating, some more satisfyingly than others. It felt like that’s what was happening three weeks ago, the season flitting off like embers before it even got started. With a sweep of the Marlins, a winout of the Braves series, and an even-steven record with the Cardinals, it’s tempting to believe that the corner has been turned.
But even multi-run leads aren’t safe from the bullpen, and the offense seems to have all the stability of a half-eaten Butterfinger knocking around the dryer. You expect it to all fall apart at any moment. Scooter Gennett is weeks away from starting, Votto with his weird choppy half-swing looks like he’s playing hurt, and now the Cardinals loom.
The Reds’ front office is emphasizing that they have started over, that they are doing whatever it takes, but when the same pitcher who last week startled himself with a hit to the point where he failed to run to first is a bigger RBI threat than the starting right fielder, perhaps it’s time to start asking some questions.
Maybe some surprises are in store. Maybe we’re not anywhere near the end of the beginning. But when the greatest moments of a team seem as if they consist of archival footage ensconced in a top of the tech museum, we can be excused if it feels like ash from time to time.