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Red Reporter Belated Exit Interviews: Joel Luckhaupt

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Since this week seems to be "Joel week" more than anything, it's fitting that he's next in line for this series. In my opinion, Joel had probably the most eventful tenure, and a lot of the stuff we're doing today was built by Joel and his regime.

What was the Reds team like when you took over?

Year 8 of crappy, I believe. There were plenty of reasons to be excited though. Joey Votto was becoming Joey Votto. Jay Bruce was still untapped Jay Bruce. Brandon Phillips wasn't calling reporters fat fucks yet. The Reds were clearly on the precipice of not-as-crappy, and PROVEN GENERAL MANAGER Walt Jocketty had just taken over the reins, so I remember feeling very confident that things were going to continue to get better. At that time, all I wanted was for our commitment to the team to pay off. And I finally felt like that it might soon. It was probably the first time I felt that way in the 5 years that I had been an unaccountable blogger.

What was Red Reporter like when you took over?

Red Reporter was a fairly tight-nit community by the time I took over. We were already going to games together and game threads were very active. It was also starting to build popularity outside of the regulars. We mostly spent the days arguing about Adam Dunn and making up inside jokes so that we could mock newcomers with them. And I recall everything being extremely racist at that time. We had a lot of fun. When I took over, I didn't have a feeling of needing to do much besides kept the engine running. Much like the Reds, expectations for me were low.

What was the most exciting event to cover in your tenure?

I don't want to brag, but a lot happened on my watch. The Reds traded for Scott Rolen, so the evolution of Scott Rolen's Reds was very exciting. Thanks to a tip from Rick House, I got to break the big league promotion of Drew Stubbs before any other news organization (Suck it, Fox News!). So...there's that. But without a doubt, the biggest single event during my tenure was the signing of Aroldis Chapman. I was on autopilot at that point, so I don't really remember any of it, but people tell me it was exciting. I remember thinking, "It's fun to pretend the Reds have a shot at this guy, like we do with so many good players, but I won't get too worked up about it." And then, "Fuck the heck*, we got him?!?!?" The two day haze that followed after the Reds pulled off the deal were a couple of the greatest in my analytical fandom. Man, what a great starting pitcher they got that day!

*That's a Fire Joe Morgan reference, for you young kids. Google it. Or Bing it. Or Instagram it. Whatever you kids do these days.

I also really enjoyed the 2010 pennant winning night, but I didn't really cover that. I lived it. (NOTE: I wish they had actually gotten to play in the playoffs before the great blackout ended time forever that year).

How do you think Red Reporter has changed since your tenure?

Well, I'm here less, so that's something. What else matters?

Truthfully, I think the biggest change is that there is a wider breadth of knowledge among the writing staff and the readers on the site. When I took over from Rick, there were really just 2 of us writing. Expanding the writing staff has made the conversation more interesting. Sabermetrics dominated the site in my day. Now it's spread out among storytelling and non-numerical analysis and fun writing and goofy pictures. It's a much more robust site these days. I'm glad I got out of the way so that others got a chance to shine.

What was the most fun thing about running Red Reporter?

The orgies that managers get to go to. So many drugs. So. many. drugs.

The community has always been the backbone of RR for me. I loved being a conversation starter and then watching where things would go. I probably laughed more on a daily basis at Red Reporter than any other time of my life. It's funny because the Reds were mostly miserable when I spent the most time here, but that's why it worked. A socially dysfunctional support group.

But none of that would have meant anything without the drugs.

What do you think the future holds for RR?

I'm guessing at least a dozen more format changes, ending with FanShots being the most critical feature used. Don't worry FanShots, your day is coming. Just bide your time.