Find the current Reds in this puzzle.
Here in the present, the Reds are 24 above .500, leading the Central by a roomy-but-not-entirely-comfortable 4.5 games.
Back on August 6, 2010, the Reds' record was 62-48. Having won four less games to date than this year's squad, they were appropriately just a half game up on the Cardinals. Aroldis Chapman's major league debut was some three weeks in the future. In three days, the Reds would take on the Cardinals in the Brawl Series. Joey Votto was fresh off a two-double game, which was thought to be remarkable in those days.
The Reds did nothing at the 2010 trade deadline, which should probably be seen as a failure in the context of their playoff "run" that year. But making a move might also have meant shipping out Frazier, Cozart or one of the players in the Latos trade for someone with less upside.
As far as I can remember through Googling, August in the "Year of Biodiversity," 2010, was kind of an off-month for exciting things happening in the world at large.Not so for Reds fans.
Here's what we cared about a half Presidential term a go:
"18 Games at a Time - Capsule 6" - riverfront76 (August 4, 2010)
Riverfront recapped the most recent sliver of the season, with a third to go. Miguel Cairo hit .278/.426/.417 over that stretch. Here in the future, he's hit .182/.174/.182 over the last 14 days. Travis Wood was also giving the 2010 team a jolt; over in Chicago, 2012, his ERA+ has slumped back to his 2011 levels.
Those are two examples that suggest 2010 was a "lightning in a bottle team." Except the 2010 roster isn't radically different than 2012. The difference is that the talent the Reds decided to buy into - Cueto+Bailey over Wood+Volquez, Brandon Phillips, Votto over Alonso, Frazier over Francisco have rewarded them. Who the right and wrong players were seems so obvious in retrospect, but we didn't all foresee Cueto's ascendance to the top of the rotation as riverfront did:
It feels as though Johnny Cueto is *this close* to becoming the kind of ace a team would be comfortable trotting out to kick off a playoff series.
"Reds acquire Jim Edmonds" - JinAZ (August 9, 2010)
Like Votto's chronic doubling, Justin's incredibly detailed and thoughtful studies of Reds' acquisitions were then still a novelty. The Reds made a somewhat puzzling move when they acquired Jim Edmonds for Chris Dickerson after the non-waiver trade deadline. Edmonds hit for power in his brief stint in Cincinnati, but ultimately flamed out like a beautiful, half-shirted constellation.
More accurately, he injured himself on a home run trot and the Reds entered the playoffs having been unwilling/unable to pick up any impact players. I doubt any move would have held off the buzzsaw of the Phillies' pitching staff.
Justin gives a good rendering of a standard Red Reporter response to most trades when they go down: "So, I guess where I'm at is that while initially I didn't like the deal much, I think this probably does slightly improve the current Reds. Not by a lot. But probably by a little bit. And every bit helps. Go Reds!"