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Impressions from 2016

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David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

It is officially Dark Season. The baseball is over, the confetti and Old Style cans from the World Series parade have been swept up and dumped into Lake Michigan, and Daylight Saving Time has expired, setting the sun before dinner time. We get 100 or so days of darkness until baseball again, so try to carry on as best you can.

2016 was a really interesting year for your Redlegs. Not for winning baseball or even decent baseball, but still pretty interesting. I think we can mark mid-2016 as the absolute nadir of this rebuild cycle. Let’s say, May 17th. Alfredo Simon pitched arguably the worst baseball game in all of baseball, Steve Delabar and Jordan Pacheco made appearances, and the Reds got waxed 13-1 by the world runners-up Cleveland team. Speaking of Dark.

After that, things got better. Not great, but better than that, anyway. Whether you have much confidence in it or not, the franchise’s direction really came into focus over the last months of the season. I get the sense that the next time the Reds are good, we’ll be able to look back at 2016 as the Darkest of Times. Hopefully it doesn’t get worse, right?

Anyway, 2016 was. So since I’m in a reflective mood, here are some impressions of this season.

Best Ted Williams Impression - Joey Votto

Not only did Votto hit .326/.434/.550 for the season, but he was often seen in the clubhouse standing in front of a mirror in his underpants muttering to himself “My name is Joey Fucking Votto and I’m the best hitter in baseball.” Less charmingly though, he would also sing aloud while in the batter’s box “T-Willy style’s all in it / Gettin’ Joey wit’ it / Na na na na na na na nana Na na na na nana” repeating it over and over until opposing catchers lodged a formal complaint.

Best Space-X Impression - Devin Mesoraco

The Tesla Guy has been trying for a while to make commercial space flight a happening part of his superfuture industry, but the dang rocket ships keep exploding right from the start. Same goes for Mesoraco, who hasn’t caught a game after the month of April in each of the past two years. There is a lot of money invested in these ventures, so hopefully things stop freaking exploding all the time.

Worst Jerry Lewis Impression - Tucker Barnhart

Well, maybe it isn’t the worst. He does well to imitate the zany facial twitches and eye-poppings and all the physical mannerisms. He even gets the silly vocal inflection. But Tuck always says, “HEY GIRRRLLLLLL!!” instead of “HEY LADYYYYY!!” and come on man that’s unforgivable.

Best Mike Tyson circa 1988 Impression - Alfredo Simon

Tyson was only in his early twenties but had already established himself as one of the most dominant boxers of his or any other era. His divine combination of speed and power easily prostrated the best living pugilists, usually in a matter of a few minutes. Such was the 2016 season for Alfredo Simon.

Only the opposite. Simon was Glass Joe, not Iron Mike.

Best Elisabeth Klüber-Ross Impression - Brandon Phillips

I realize this one is a bit esoteric, but stay with me.

Klüber-Ross was a pioneering psychiatrist in the late 20th century whose seminal work On Death and Dying radically changed the way we see and deal with the last stages of life. She proposed the idea of the Five Stages of Grief and her work greatly influenced the field of hospice care. Before her, dying folks would sit in dark hospital rooms, sequestered from everyone else and basically ignored. Society in general and the medical profession in particular basically denied that death ever happened. She changed that.

Her legacy is enormously complicated, though. See, all her end-of-life work and research also kind of got her into ghosts and such. Like, way-out not-at-all-sciency kind of stuff. She got wrapped up with a huckster medium who swindled a lot of folks and even took advantage of some of his clients in a sexual way.

So people tend to see her either as a giant in the field or as a total hack. I think that’s kind of where BP is now. Of course, the truth is way more complicated than either/or, but few people want to take the time to tease all that out.