You can't exactly chalk up 2015 as one of the better years in Cincinnati Reds history. Lump in December of 2014, and the last 13 months have seen the team ship out Mat Latos, Alfredo Simon, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Ben Lively, Marlon Byrd, Jason Marquis, Jason Marquis, Jason Marquis, Jason Marquis, Jason Marquis, Kevin Gregg, Jason Marquis, Todd Frazier, and the wretch that had become Aroldis Chapman. Gone with them went much of the memory of the most recent good times, and a 98 loss season ensued.
All told, it was awful, but it was not without some good times.
Joey Votto bounced back, blew the doors off all of baseball with an all-world second half of the year, reestablished himself as one of the absolute best offensive forces in the game. And, of course, he said he wants to be a Red for the rest of his career, which is ten pounds of awesome. Todd Frazier had a three month stretch where he was on pace to smack over 100 extra base hits - something only twelve players in history have done - and while his overall production tailed off, he dazzled the game while winning the Home Run Derby in GABP. Brandon Phillips had a renaissance year, Eugenio Suarez had a promising season in his first with the team, and both Raisel Iglesias and Anthony DeSclafani showed they've got what it takes to anchor the rotation for years to come.
So, there are a few things to keep your interest as the calendar turns at midnight. The Reds are between Rock Shoulders and a hard place in a nuclear NL Central, but there's promise with a few of the players and the farm system's as stocked as it's been in a decade. That, at least, is a start.
Thanks again for reading, joining in, and making Red Reporter what it is for yet another year, even while this particular one was a tad less fun to watch on TV than in the last handful of years. Enjoy the last night of the year, but if you're around and want to hang out RR style, here's a thread for you.
Happy New Year, Red Reporters.