Good baseball teams get better in July. That’s the entire point of the trade deadline, after all, to add the pieces you still need while you still can.
Good teams try to win as many baseball games, hang as many banners as possible. Hell, even mediocre teams often do the same, a concept we’ll see on full display this weekend as the disappointing San Diego Padres limp into town.
Bad teams, at least the good bad teams, don’t intend to stay bad for long. The 2024 St. Louis Cardinals are already beginning to scare me since they’re just not the type of club to tolerate the miserable nature that this 2023 season has dealt them. They are going to do everything they can to get things fixed this winter.
The 2023 Cincinnati Reds are in the very unique situation of a) excelling a bit before most expected, b) excelling in a year when the divison (and the playoff spot that comes with it) are as attainable as they may ever be, and c) excelling on the shoulders of back to back debilitating rebuilds that left much of the fanbase in tatters. Figuring out how to help this particular Reds team without handcuffing next year, and the year after that, and the year after that is a fine-line the front office will tiptoe on all month.
One thing we learned from the Reds this last week, though, is that they’re going to be resilient as hell with what they have. They shook off losing 2 of 3 to the mighty Atlanta Braves, traveling right into Baltimore to face a meaty Orioles club and taking it right to them, too. Still, their flaws are glaring, reinforcements are needed on the pitching side now more than ever, and the players have rallied the fans into the kind of support that should be bestowed only to teams with true ambition.
So, it’s time the front office matched that 2023 ambition, even if their eyes are still on the much longer term.
We talked about that on this week’s episode of Walks Will Haunt, which you can hear by following this link or by pressing the play button embedded below.