The oligarghy of Major League Baseball billionaires and their minion Rob Manfred officially put the kibosh on any and all attempts at salvaging baseball on this continent as we know it this week. There is a lockout in place, the Collective Bargaining Agreement has expired, and it’s now up to the Players Union to pry whatever cash they can from this fiasco so that the players - y’know, the actual talent in this operation - gets paid accordingly once more.
In the meantime, well, we don’t know what in the meantime actually means. It could be a week, but it won’t. It’ll be weeks, months, and probably into February before these galoots concoct a way to share in the tagrillions of dollars this industry generates worldwide. During that time, the players who are supposed to be fine-tuned and in the best of condition to maybe, just maybe hit hundred mile an hour heaters three times out of ten are going to be tasked with staying on top of their game outside the realm of team facilities, doing the hard work in their own way.
(On a related note, maybe that’s why Kyle Boddy and the Reds broke up in the first place at the end of the season. His Driveline facilities are about to be swamped with baseball players trying to actually play some baseball.)
Anyway, they’re going to have more time on their hands than they otherwise would. This Friday, we list how a few familiar Cincinnati Reds faces might bide their time while the sport they love ceases to exist on this continent.
Jonathan India - Watches The Natural countless times and begins to mold his swing like that of Roy Hobbs, his righty stance matching the legendary lefty in the mirror. Realizes Roy is a pretty damn cool name, especially as a RoY winner, and just goes ahead and changes his name to Roy India.
Luis Castillo - Spends 23.5 hours a day getting text messages from a 206 number that says their name is ‘Perry Jipoto’ and ‘wonders what he thinks of northwest green’
Eugenio Suarez - Blows bubbles. Does not dive into the shallow end of pools.
Joey Votto - In the matter of two weeks, goes from picking up a squash racquet for the first time to bageling both El Shorbagy brothers, earning him entrance into the Top 5 global rankings
Wade Miley - Drives to Paducah, KY to embark on a two-month backpacking trip north along the Mississippi River, a trip that will take him to St. Louis before veering north-northeast along the Illinois River. He’ll bash invasive carp with the same baseball bat he used to sock doubles-a-plenty last year, growing his beard out to remarkable length before reaching the headwaters of the Illinois in Chicago, where he’ll eventually befuddle Reds hitters with 88 mph cutters for the low, low price of $10 million during the 2022 season
Sonny Gray - Inspired by Rick Steves’ Europe, forms a North America-based travel show highlighting the 24 metropolitan regions that have baseball teams that have expressed interest in acquiring him from Cincinnati this winter
Mr. Redlegs - Rents an apartment across from the Dominos and Starbucks at 4th & Vine, sleeps until 2 PM everyday, puts on the same hoodie, walks downstairs and across the street, picks up a venti Americano with two pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup and a large salami and spinach pizza, walks back across the street and upstairs, and spends the next 13 hours defeating 11 year olds 6-1 on Xbox Live while refusing to play with anything other than 5-star teams. Every single day.
Hunter Greene - Throws 113 mph fastballs, just because he can
Nick Senzel - Joins Johnny Bench as co-pitchperson for Blue Emu pain relieving emu ointments and emu oils (this stuff is seriously made from emus, what the hell?!)
Jesse Winker - Gussies up a 2004 Vauxhall Movano and goes on moe. tour