The 2021 Reds are now a matter for history. They are now yet another notch in these Between Championships years, a season in which we sift through the squish of collapsing lineups and point hopefully at the gems.

Well, we’ll say, at least crowds were admitted into the ballpark. At least there was baseball. At least the season happened.

This should serve as evidence of just how bad, as an epoch of humanity, 2020 was. “We Existed!!” is now acceptable cake icing fodder.

So how do we fix this? I have a few suggestions, and they might match up with yours:

THE FIRE SALE: Everything and everybody goes. Bell goes, Bob goes, Gapper goes. So do bookmarked YouTube interviews with David Price, whoever Swiffers the bases between innings, and the person who types the tweets for the Reds media account. Whoever selects the lettuce leaves for the salads in the UDF stands. Joey Votto drives a bus and issues randomly timed, occasionally baffling Instagram stories. The entire franchise goes back to factory settings.

The problem with the factory settings, of course, is that MLB problems are baked into the hardware. There’s no overcoming that without building your own computer. And at the moment we’re too busy screaming at each other about antibodies for that.

So we all agree that disappointing baseball is better than no baseball, and we eat our kettlecorn and pay the stadium tax.  And we shrug because, well, that’s what MLB teams do.

-THE TRAUMA AND THE RETURN: The Reds continue to fail to make the playoffs. A lot. The franchise leaves. We do without. We go on a full pro-baseball cleanse for a generation or two. It might sound attractive, from a Stoicism point of view. But I’ll tell you how this ends:

To the sound of much emotional weeping, a yet-unborn hero raised on pixels and a Bluetooth connection in his head opens the bank account he built by creating a program that removes from the user’s vision, hearing, and perception all people with whom he or she has a political disagreement. Our hero issues a limited edition series of bobbleheads that shoots Rozzi fireworks into the troposphere. There’s an Opening Day parade consisting of an aged Joey Votto–still Instagramming– the cryogenically frozen head of a bitter Pete Rose, and inaugural NewReds manager Jaxon Bell III.

Then the team begins to play. And it immediately begins miss out on the playoffs. A lot. Because the Reds are now an expansion team. And that’s what expansion teams do.

-LORD OF THE RINGS CYCLE: The team and its personnel remain relatively untouched. Then there’s a random, one-off championship team that no one saw coming and is impossible to maintain for even an one additional season.

In short: 1990 historically cycles itself back around. Because it’s sports. And that’s what sports teams do.


20 Responses

  1. Scott C

    My vote is none of the above. Instead, Bob sells the Reds to a group headed by Doug Gray and Chad Dotson they get an infusion of money from some young Cincinnati Tech wizards (if there is such a thing.), sign Nick Castellanos to a four or five year deal, sign Jesse Winker, Tyler Mahle, Luis Castillo, to new deals that buy out their arbitration years and a beyond, sign a couple of young big name free agents maybe a starting pitcher and a closer and set up the Reds to win a couple of championships. I know this is all fantasy but that is my chose your own solution adventure. AHHH. We can dream, it is the offseason.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I’m in for that 🙂 I want to be in charge of writing the tweets!

    • Jim Walker

      Chad for Chairman of the Board; Doug for CEO/ President of Baseball Operations but they have to run the team according to the trending recommendations of Redleg Nation followers/ commenters.

  2. Bubba Woo

    1. Offer Castellanos 6 yr/120mil. If he doesn’t take it, sign Kyle Schwarber to a 4 yr deal.
    2. Non-tender Garrett
    3. Resign either Givens or Lorenzen
    4. Pick up Miley option
    5. Deal Mahle. His mkt value will never be higher, and you can get OF/Bullpen help.
    6. Trade either Moose or Suarez. Will probably have to give up a couple of top 20 prospects to get someone to take their contract.
    7. Buy Shogo out for 3-4 mil. He’ll take it and go back to Japan.
    8. Pitching staff – Gray, Castillo, Miley, Gutierrez, Greene. Lodolo, Ashcraft, Sanmartin waiting in AAA.
    9. Lineup India 2b, Winker LF, Schwarber/Castellanos RF, Votto 1B, Stevenson C, Barrero SS, Farmer 3b, Senzel CF, Moose/Suarez DH

    • west larry

      #2-let Garrett determine his own future. If he is awful in spring training, DFA him.
      #5-Are you crazy??? he’s our best picture under 33, and has shown improvement. Don’t trade him!!! I agree with the rest of your points.

    • Bet on Red

      understand a bunch of the points, but Akyamias agent isnt dumb, you want to buy him out, gotta pay the full ammount

      • Bubba Woo

        To go to Japan and play everyday instead of sitting the bench here. He’ll probably make more $ taking a buyout and getting a new contract in Japan

    • Bob Purkey

      If you think that fielding is an issue for the Reds now, wait until you put Schwarber in LF, He and Adam Dunn could make the all stone glove team.

  3. Michael

    #8. Shogo has guaranteed contract. Why would he take a buyout

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      To go to a winning team? Wouldn’t blame him.

  4. Joe Shaw

    The Dave Ramsey Method:
    Have all Reds players deliver pizzas in the off season until all future contracts are guaranteed.

    Pour any available dollars into growth stock mutual funds until we get an annual return on that investment equalling the annual salaries of the several top tier players.

    Sign those players and have THEM deliver pizzas.

  5. Bill J

    Someone who doesn’t know for sure said the Reds will trade for Ketel Marte in the off season.

  6. Mark A Moore

    Tough choices indeed, MBE. But a valiant try and full marks for at least proposing options.

    I fear we’ll see a combo of status quo and minor tinkering the results in us playing 3rd banana again to the Bernies and Dirty birds. But I’d gladly eat a healthy serving of crow and be wrong.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      It’s best to be wrong in these situations.

  7. Jeffery

    Fresh start will benefit some …parts of the season were so disgusting hopefully Bell will learn from it…more than likely have pretty much same group …..they do have potential with this year under there belt. Suarez ect and Moose coming to spring training with out elephant body should help ….Pitching will improve or it should.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      It’s like Chad always says…. we can take the losing. It’s the hope we can’t handle.

  8. Jeffery

    Fresh start will benefit some …parts of the season were so disgusting hopefully Bell will learn from it…more than likely have pretty much same group …..they do have potential with this year under there belt. Suarez ect and Moose coming to spring training with out elephant body should help ….Pitching will improve or it should.