Red It, Watched It, And Wept - Week of 3/30/14

Everyone loves a good Johnny Cueto impression. - Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

It's freaking baseball season!

We here at RIWIAW have been away for a while trying to figure out the Cincinnati Enquirer’s new online layout looking for topics to write about, but we’re back in time to start the 2014 season. Luckily, the start of the season also means time to blow minor stories completely out of proportion! To a new season of clickbait!

Monday: Opening Day Sparky

Not only are there no other cities that plan for Opening Day Parades like Cincinnati, there are few cities that plan for natural disasters the way Cincinnati plans for Opening Day. In addition to the parade routes, the traffic rerouting, the #drunj, and occasional awkward silence after someone references the 1996 Opening Day, Cincinnati's Opening Day is a complex and beautiful ritual. So much so that even the City of Cincinnati has released a handy guide for fans who plan on braving the sunny and beautiful 70 degree weather on Opening Day. Unfortunately, this guide cannot be considered a comprehensive one, even for the casual fan. It fails to include such important pointers as "best place to spot a Hit King" (Horseshoe Casino), "place most likely to be lousy with sports talk hosts" (someplace on the Levee) and "place where you will be least likely to be hit in the head by a pitch from an elected official" (directly behind home plate).

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Tuesday: Hey, Bernadina!

Since BuzzFeed, hasn’t done it yet, we here at RIWIAW were contemplating on creating a list titled "43 Reasons Why Opening Day is Better in Cincinnati than Anywhere Else in the Universe." However, after running it by our editors, they pointed out that we have no clue what Opening Day is like in MACS0647-JD. So, instead, we’re left speculating as to how the Reds outfield will stack up to begin 2014 (after all, this is the logical progression). Playing the role of the 2014 Dave Sappelt, Roger Bernadina’s play during spring training has earned him the shot at starting the season on the 25-man roster. In 22 Spring Training games, Bernadina hit .413 and played relatively well defensively.  Of course, this is the same Bernadina who has logged an OBP higher than .383 in his past three spring trainings. Still, this is the time of year meant for unjustifiable optimism. After all, without out, how would the Cubs ever sell any tickets?

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Wednesday: Joe West - The Official Official of the Cincinnati Reds

Every season, baseball teams attempt to push the proverbial envelope when it comes to ballpark food. It was only two years ago that the Cincinnati Reds attempted to inspire self-proclaimed foodies, but putting a Food Network sticker on a hotdog topped with onion straws. Last year, there was a bizarrely popular reaction when it was announced that Frisch’s Big Boy burgers would be served. This year, the Reds have taken it a step further by announcing an "official waffle of the Cincinnati Reds." Yes. A waffle. I could add hyperbole here by saying it’s "not just any waffle," but we’re still left with the fact that it is a waffle. Granted, Taste of Belgium, the recipient of this honor is a fine local business that I probably frequent too often according to my future cardiologist. The waffles are much less of a breakfast foodstuff than a very tasty snack. Frankly, they also have one of the best brunches in the city (protip: if you’re going to the Over the Rhine location and waiting for more than fifteen minutes, you’re a fool for not going to the Short Vine location).  If  Taste of Belgium is going to be at GABP, great. If a waffle there is only going to cost $1 more than their restaurant locations, fantastic. However, if you’re going to plaster an "official" title next to them, you’re only looking to diminish your returns on that superlative.

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Thursday: "It's The Sort Of Thing Miggs Would Say."

If you were able to drown out the noise created by the "OLD SCHOOL v. NEW SKOOL" proxy war that’s perennially waged on behalf of Miguel Cabrera’s counting stats and Mike Trout’s metrics, then you may have been able to take some solace as a Reds fan today. Miguel Cabrera’s 10-year $292 deal makes Joey Votto’s deal seem miniscule in comparison. Okay, maybe not. But at the very least, Votto’s contract seems less-insane if you’re judging these things on a spectrum much in the same way that Christopher Walken seems like a fine upstanding citizen when you place him next to Charlie Sheen.

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Friday: Comment(s) of the Week

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Saturday: It’s the Parade, Stupid.

Thanks to a fairly morose spring training, when Reds fans hear the names Mat Latos and Aroldis Chapman used together by a news outlet, they immediately draw their attention to see if new information exists on the injury front. If you signed up for the Cincinnati Enquirer’s new mobile app, you received a push notification today concerning both Chapman and Latos. No, it wasn’t a confirmation that they would be starting the season on the disabled list. It wasn’t about the timeframe in which they would return. Rather, it was about their ability to participate in the Opening Day Parade. Now, we here at RIWIAW love Opening Day as much as the next group of folks planning to call in tomorrow with an "unexpected illness.", but even we know that the Opening Day Parade isn’t about the grand marshal. It’s about imbibing in enough alcohol at 10:00 A.M. so that the only way to can make the first pitch in time is if a good neighbor points you in the right direction of Great American Ballpark.

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Sunday: Who's Next Left?

Are you scratching your head from your advance copy of the Reds Opening Day Program? You're not alone. It turns out the Reds are going to be starting the 2013 Season in a not-very-healthy manner. In addition to Mat Latos and Aroldis Chapman starting the season on the disabled list for their respective surgeries and facelifts, the Reds are poised to have more career WAR on the disabled list than on the left side of the infield (even when you include Jack Hannahan). Skip Schumaker, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and starting catching Devin Mesoraco will start the 2014 season in the same place the team was after the one game playoff. In case you need to catch up on who is who with the 2014 Reds, I hear Red Reporter frenemy C.Trent has put together a nice summation here.

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