Next in line is "Rick House", better known as boobs on RR. Rick was in charge for a few really abysmal Reds teams, but the community here was in full swing and with Slyde not ready to take the reins full-time, Rick was a good choice to keep the train JD started rolling.
What was the Reds team like when you took over?
It seems like the team now is on the other end of the life cycle from when I was over Red Reporter ('08-'09). That team was all about the future; pretty much all anyone wanted to talk about were rookies named Jay Bruce and Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto (who I had just learned did NOT pronounce his name CYOO-toe) and Homer Bailey. And Edinson Volquez! I was pretty sure that guy was going to win multiple Cy Youngs, he was so incredible when he started out. (Probably why he's in the running for Rookie of the Year just about every year.) And a guy named SweaterPants still ran the organization which was a fun sexy time for us.
Just kidding, all anyone ever talked about was Adam Dunn. Really, that's the answer to the question. The Reds were like Adam Dunn back then. They hit a million homers and played lousy defense and Marty Brennaman hated them.
What was Red Reporter like when you took over?
I think it's fair to say the RR has always been about the community of people; it really has very little to do with the Reds. I always admired some of the cool-kid posters like Fat Vegas Alan, Man Mountain, Red Menace and Brendanukkake. Crolfer was the new kid (he was actually like 15 at the time). Justin was still in the US but his spelling was awful and he smoked a lot of dope. We had a lot of secret identity nights, which was great fun but really underscored how little of a life many of us had. And I'm really glad that I've met some of the RR'ers, like Chandrathan, you, the_vole, jch, Slyde, obc, ash, farney, zjiff and a bunch of others. If RR ever becomes a site about the Reds instead of the commenters, it will fail immediately.
What was the most exciting event to cover in your tenure?
I went to Spring Training in '09 and I think wrote up a little report on it. I got a bat signed by Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion, which I still keep next to my bed. But this was before the days when RR really "covered" anything, so that was purely a fan moment. I did really enjoy writing up a story about the big red truck in the outfield, when the Reds said a player had to hit it with a baseball for a fan to win it. We talked to the folks at HitTracker and proved that it was physically impossible for a human being to hit a baseball that far, and got a little run on Deadspin.
How do you think Red Reporter has changed since your tenure?
I think the writing has gotten drastically better and it is taken a lot more seriously than before, which are great things. I can't say I love what SBN has done with the place, and the search feature has obviously been beaten to death, but the community is vibrant as ever, you guys write up amazing stories and I'm a little sad I never come over anymore.
What was the most fun thing about running Red Reporter?
It was always fun to create new things that lasted beyond our tenure (Farmer's Only is one off the top of my head). And I really enjoyed figuring out what new name Michael was going by and banning him. For those who don't remember him, Michael was the Internet's first troll. He hated Adam Dunn and spent several hours a day writing nonsensical posts that were entertaining but usually incendiary, so we had to ban him. Then he would take up a new name, and we would ban him again. And then banning him became part of the game, and it was great fun. What was the question?
What do you think the future holds for RR?
Due to contractual obligations and for clarity's sake, the site changes its name to Reds Reporter. BubbaFan, upon learning Bubba Crosby has been retired from baseball for 15 years, gives up on baseball and begins collecting glass doorstops. JCH is given the keys but immediately gets drunk and loses them. Ash loses a bet to Red Menace and names the next spawn #ASHNARRONLOVECHILD (hashtag included). Joel Luckhaupt officially changes his name to Slyde and insists Chris Welsh call him that on air; Welsh abides. And after two racks of ribs during a rain delay, Jeff Brantley has a moment of clarity and admits, on air, that his Red Reporter handle is "Chester Drawers".