The long and winding season has reached its final Friday. It’s October. We have once again done this, again.
The Cincinnati Reds are just about done playing baseball, with only the final weekend series against the similarly kaput Pittsburgh Pirates remaining. The final weekday where I wake up and write about these Cincinnati Reds before again turning my focus to months of writing about what I wish they’d be next.
In many ways it feels like the final day of the schoolyear.
Looking back a bit, it’s been quite the rollercoaster of a season. Luis Castillo was the single worst pitcher in baseball for over a month, somehow, and through 24 games Joey Votto only owned a .686 OPS. There was a long time where Jonathan India didn’t hit leadoff, when Wade Miley ruled the world, and when Cam Bedrosian and Heath Hembree roamed the bullpen. They were 20-25 on May 23rd, a team that was bad before they were good before they were bad once again.
Before we had Asdrubal Cabrera, there was Mike Freeman, there was Scott Heineman, there was Mark Payton. Remember Tyler Naquin’s absurd hot streak to begin the year? Remember when Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos were the two greatest hitters on the planet? Remember when Alex Blandino pitched often, and Carson Fulmer did, too?
For this Friday List, here’s an incomplete look back at the silly, semi-sane, and downright stupid stuff we were looking at while all that baseball kerfluffle was taking shape.
As Spring Training took shape in Goodyear, we listed which three toppings these Reds would put on their hot dogs, a deep dive of informative information you simply cannot find anywhere else in the Reds blogosphere. That came just weeks after wondering how they got in the best shape of their lives to begin with.
With Opening Day just over our shoulders, resident poet laureate Chuck Biscuits opined about some of his Favorite Things.
I made a very longwinded joke about how Skip Schumaker never hit a triple in his time with the Reds.
We wondered how previous skippers of this ballclub would have addressed the Joey Votto-sized hole in the lineup shortly after he was sidelined with a busted thumb.
From Favorite Things to Good Things, Chuck Scrumbles kept right on a-bloggin’, eventually coursing us through English 303 - The Theoretical Literature of Pasta Shapes.
Then, he channeled our collective groans when the news first hit that Tejay Antone was injured - the first time.
I talked about pizza, because I talk about pizza.
As the All Star Game descended upon our psyche and the trade deadline loomed, Frederick Cincinnatus Regorter filled us on on a list of names the Reds would not be acquiring for the stretch run.
Of course, once the All Star Game was done and the Reds were back on the field, Joey Votto took to swattin’ homers with a veracity seldom seen anywhere. So, we listed them - complete with video.
With all of that dinger-swattin’, I began to wonder what Joey was saying to himself while a-swattin’.
As the season began to grind down, and the season-long stats began to look large-sampley enough to compare across eras, we looked at other aged batsmen who dared slug like Joey Votto.
Finally, as the inevitability of failure finally knocked on the front door of this place with news of the Reds being spent this year, we looked at things you can begin to do to ignore the pain that this damn franchise levies upon us each and every season.
There it is, folks - an incomplete Friday List of incomplete Friday Lists compiled through compilation at Red Reporter in this, the year of our lord two-thousand twenty-one.