There’s a quote in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that says that life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you’ll never be the Sausage King of Chicago.
This is it! This season is supposed to be a big part of the sausage coronation for Cincinnati Reds fans!
After all, the scorched-earth rebuild of the 2014-2015 seasons was designed to rebuild to something after all that losing-by-design. The trading of veterans for prospects, the high draftees, the money-saving by leaning on retread veterans, all of that was to foster a patience and belief that some time, years down the road, would end up better.
The Reds front office certainly thought they were there. At least, the old Reds front office did, the one run by Dick Williams that threw all that money at Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos, Wade Miley, and Shogo Akiyama to be the icing on the rebuilt cake. That front office saw the foundations of an electric starting rotation, the first of the high draft picks from tanking on the cusp of the bigs, and augmented it with the kind of vets that would put this thing over the top.
I think that’s where the frustration of the last three weeks of poor Reds baseball begins, but those frustrations run oh-so-deeper than just that. This isn’t just one season of Reds baseball that’s unraveling at a rapid rate before our eyes, it’s this entire rebuild that is. It’s six years of frustrations riding on each and every loss to sub-.500 clubs while a path the playoffs sits on windowsill beside them like a cartoon apple pie.
This, in so many ways, is the main course brought to Reds fans after being served the entrée of ‘we can’t win in 2015-2016 with Johnny Cueto and Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman.’ And frankly, that entrée tasted gross and it’s taken a painstakingly long time for the main course to actually make it to the table.
This is all that’s riding on this club as they sit 18 full games back of the team they’d play against for a lone game if they somehow scratched their way back into a ‘playoff spot.’ That’s far, far too much pressure to be placed on any one season, but that’s the hand the Reds dealt themselves by being so bad for so long - and that’s before we even get to the magnanimous failings of this franchise for the last 30 years overall.
With that as the backdrop for both today’s Friday List and tonight’s beginning of a three-game series against the formidable Los Angeles Dodgers that could hammer the final stake into this season, here are the teams in Major League Baseball that currently have a better record than these rebuilt Reds that we waited so long to see.
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers
Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres
Fourteen teams sit with better records than these rebuilt Reds, leaving the Reds staring at the #15 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft if things ended today. What’s nicer is that on the league standings page over at Baseball Reference, they kindly include ‘average’ as well, which for this year is 73-73 and would have the seventeenth best record at the moment. In other words, this season that for a time seemed so promising has slipped to them being perilously close to merely being the definition of ‘average.’
My god, this all reads like a 2.5 Yelp review. Maybe that’s just what this is.