While in my Chevy truck today, I stumbled onto Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 on the radio which was replayed from March of 1972.
I always connect where I was at and what I was doing when I hear those shows and then, out of habit, think about the Cincinnati Reds that year.
March 1972 was Joe Morgan’s first spring training as a Red. Sparky Anderson was pushing his team hard after the disaster of 1971. A Sports Illustrated cover featured a grimacing Johnny Bench firing a ball to second base under the headline ‘Redemption for the Reds.’
And 1972 was just that. The Reds came within one game of a World Series championship.
One hour later I read an interview Reds General Manager Nick Krall had given. Along with $4.50 gasoline, that added to my depression and frustration. He never directly answered a single question. Asked about Nick Senzel playing centerfield, his one-word answer was “Yes.”
Well, that solves that issue — doesn’t it?
Oh, he talked about scouting and drafting athletic players and players that can run the bases and building from the bottom up and not having peaks and valleys but I never heard Bob Howsam talk like that. Or Wayne Krivsky or Murray Cook or even Jim Bowden, for that matter. Like David Bell, he talks a lot and says absolutely nothing.
And then later, I got a text from my brother that the Reds had traded Sonny Gray for …. for Chase Petty.
Nothing against Chase Petty, who is just 18 and pitched a total of 5 innings for the Twins last season in the minors and is their 7th ranked prospect. Yes, their 7th ranked prospect. Maybe I can watch him pitch for Dayton this season, if I’m lucky. Maybe he’s the second coming of Don Gullett rather than the second coming of Bruce Berenyi.
Sorry for the sarcasm but like many of you in The Nation, I’ve been beaten up by the Reds for the last several years. For you young guys that are Reds fans, you have my admiration. Many of you have never even seen a Reds championship team. That’s a sad fact. I salute you for sticking with the Reds.
I wasn’t surprised they are not trying to keep Nick Castellanos. I wasn’t surprised they traded Sonny Gray. I wasn’t surprised they jettisoned both Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez the very next day, although their return, I must say, wasn’t that impressive.
But hey, there’s a fourth player to be named coming from Seattle. Just wait for that one!
The Bengals aggressively addressed their offensive line this week in free agency and sent a big message to anyone that cared to notice. I’m sure Joe Burrow did. Their AFC North division rivals probably noticed, too. I know that Bengals fans did. My phone blew up.
But for us Reds, well, it was just another sell off day.
MLB can brag about their contract settlement and the Reds front office can send out all the optimistic tweets they want and they can dish out their free bobbleheads and post game fireworks but this is going to be business as usual for the Reds ownership, with a DH to boot and bigger bases.
It’s another rebuild, plain and simple. And remember how well Walt Jocketty’s went.
I’m sick of it. I’m tired of it. We can’t catch a break.