Not that long ago, Jay Bruce was blasting iconic walk-off dingers, Arthur Rhodes was scaring the bejeezus out of foes en route to being a 40 year old All Star, and the Cincinnati Reds were busy dropping the Chicago Cubs 12 out of 16 times en route to the 2010 NL Central crown.
Five years, it seems, is a long-ass time in the baseball world.
The Cubs have since hired Theo Epstein, traded for Anthony Rizzo, sucked their way into a few lucrative Top 5 draft picks, fleeced the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics in consecutive trades, and put together a Voltron of thumping young talent en route to their first NLCS appearance since Steve Bartman's turtleneck. The Reds, meanwhile, have tumbled to the bottom of the division and lost their entire pitching rotation in the process, conveniently being devoid of established big league success at the very same time as the rest of the division is as strong as it has been in decades.
For now, though, the Reds can still lay claim to the single best hitter in the division in Joey Votto. And, if you'll remember, Joey Votto hates the Chicago Cubs - perhaps even more than you do, Reds fans.
So when you tune into the NLCS this evening to root for the New York Mets and Jacob deGrom's hair to take down the Cubs in Wrigley Field in Game 3 and 2010 nostalgia pops into your Reds fan brain, know that even though times have drastically changed, you can still lay fandom claim to the baddest motherfalcon on the planet - one who just so happens to hate the Cubs like no other.
One who still mauls the Cubs like no other, too.
Go Mets. Go Joey Votto.