We haven't had anything to talk about here the past few weeks, but we're back with 81 days left to opening day and the highest uniform number in Reds history. Without further ado, the quintessential #81 for the Reds is...
1. Eddie Guardado (0.2 WAR)
Everyday Eddie, of course. Guardado came to the Reds in that hectic 2006 season, and Cincinnati was the only stop he had where he didn't wear #18 (as it's retired here). He decided on the inverse.
The Reds picked him up from Seattle for minor leaguer Travis Chick, who ended up playing with 9 organizations in his career but only made the big leagues after this trade.
Guardado was actually very good in his first season in Red, stepping in as closer in the middle of a pennant race and pitching for a 1.29 ERA in 15 appearances with 7 saves. Unfortunately, he got hurt halfway through August and was shut down for the rest of the season.
He re-signed with the Reds and rehabbed most of the year before coming back in August, but was largely (get it?) terrible, with an ERA over 7.
As bad as he was in 2007, he still gets this honor because he's the only player ever to wear #81. Eddie Guardado, quintessential Red.