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18 Games at a Time - Capsule 9

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Brief words for an exhausted audience

Heading for home
Heading for home
David Maxwell

I'm contractually obligated to write you a note every 18 games, but honestly...what can I say about this team during these past 18? They started the stretch in 3rd place and ended there too. No one really played well, except for the fast kid, who hardly played (one stat: Hamilton matched Ludwick in extra base hits for the period, in roughly one-third the at bats). The end.

Except it's not the end, of course. Theoretically, the good guys face a 50% chance to win and move on. Maybe as the road team it's more like a 47% chance. Maybe with Cueto v. Liriano, it's more like a 67% chance. Or a 27% chance. Who the hell knows, at this point, given the alternately great and mind-numbingly horrid nature of this club.

The buzzword that's been bouncing around my head has been exhausting. A 90 win team shouldn't be so exasperating, you know? 2010 was exhilarating, 2011 disappointing, 2012 refreshing. I sometimes use the grandkids test when thinking about a current team. In other words, my grandkids, not yet even born, may someday noodle around on baseball reference looking up the 2013 Reds. And if they know the sport, they'll see the numbers and know that Cincy was a pretty good team, outflanked by a few others, led by Votto and Bruce and Latos, et al. Those kids, however, will have no idea just how frustrating this team was.

But who knows, Bubba? The Reds own a lottery ticket and the sport's history boasts even worse teams than this to hoist the trophy at the end. Hope? Not here, not yet. Mainly exhaustion, married with the inability to fully write the team off. When you want to believe, but really don't...that's as good a time to turn things over to Woody Guthrie.

Take it away, sir:

Pittsburgh town is a smoky ol' town, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh town is a smoky ol' town, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh town is a smoky ol' town
Solid iron from McKeesport down
Pittsburgh, Lord God, Pittsburgh

Well what did Jones and Laughlan steal? Pittsburgh
What did Jones and Laughlan steal? Pittsburgh
What did Jones and Laughlan steal?
Up an' down the river jus' as far as you can see
In Pittsburgh, Lord God, Pittsburgh

All I do is cough and choke in Pittsburgh
All I do is cough and choke in Pittsburgh
All I do is cough and choke
From the iron filings and the sulphur smoke
In Pittsburgh, Lord God, Pittsburgh

From the Allegheny to the Ohio, in Pittsburgh
Allegheny to the Ohio
Allegheny to the Ohio
They're joining up in the C.I.O.
Pittsburgh, Lord God, Pittsburgh

Let's go Reds.