2012 Cincinnati Reds: The Home of the Most Panicky Fanbase...Me Included

Matthew WellsContributor IApril 13, 2012

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 14:  Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds plays in a spring training baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Goodyear Ballpark on March 14, 2012 in Goodyear, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Reds fans are quick to panic. We are 3-4 and doomed to another season of third place!  We would be managing the team if we only knew how to hit fungoes!

Aroldis should be starting, Heisey should be playing every day and Willie Harris should be in the minor leagues.  #FreeFrazier.  We, the “informed” fans, have all the answers!  We pay for the tickets, we drive the revenue, we are the lifeblood, not the $72.5 million dollars that were found under Joey Votto’s bed and made Brandon Phillips cry on the “best day of his life!"

Therefore, we have reason to complain and not be scolded for our opinions by beat writers and computer bloggers. We are Reds Nation!

Sidebar: Don't the (enter team name here) Nation references just wear you out?  What does that even mean?  Blame the internet for it.  The concept is a branding technique devised by social media savants to look cool in hashtag format despite having no backbone.  (Blank) Nation is only effective if it was established before the arrival of social media.  In order to qualify for a "Nation", you must be one of the following:

  • A perennial college powerhouse (think Sooner Nation for football; Hoosier Nation for basketball)
  • A team that just sounds cool (think Raider Nation)
  • A multiple-World Series winning franchise (Cardinals Nation)
  • Not a team that can't ever get 30,000 people in the stands routinely (Reds Nation)

We are also moronic and fuel the fire of our own demise.  We think irrationally and react hastily by asking pathetic questions that deserve to be mocked.  We never look at the big picture and realize that after seven games last year, we were 5-2 and then finished the season 79-83.  The feelings in our hearts bleed out to our sleeves.  But, somewhere during that process, our well-intentioned feelings lose their sensibility and focus.

So, Reds fans, let’s re-focus and start to tweet with complete and indisputable intelligence.  Now, please join me for the game called “How Do You Tweet?”

I will list two tweet examples, one being from the “heart on your sleeve” fan, and one being of the “controlled and curious” fan.  You pick which tweet sounds like you and then pick the other one!  Let’s start the show!

Topic A (all topics preferably voiced by Gene Rayburn): Aroldis Chapman Should Be Starting!

Tweet A: 5 strikeouts in two innings?  Straight fuel.  Watching Bronson throw lollipops with that kind of power in the bullpen is ridic. #smh 

Tweet B: If Homer has two more poor starts and Masset comes back healthy, Chapman needs to find the rotation right?  Latos/Cueto aren't enough! 

The best tweet: Tweet B

Gene Rayburn Commentary:

Reds fans have to realize that Dusty was put in a very difficult spot by the injuries of Masset, Bray and Madson out of Spring Training.  I believe it was the organization’s full intention to have Chapman in the rotation until the severity of Masset’s injury prolonged his return further than they anticipated.

Another common argument among fans is that Bronson Arroyo has no right being placed on the starting lineup card of the Cincinnati Reds.  However, with his contract in place and no options available for a long siesta in Louisville, he isn’t going anywhere, folks.  Quit talking about it.  It is not a valid point.

The organization can’t waste money when they are giving it in boatloads to their best players.  The contracts of Votto and Phillips may be bad business, but releasing Arroyo is definitely bad business.  Good businessmen like Castellini don’t do guaranteed bad business.  Calculated risks are the mark of the wealthy. It’s how you end up the owner of a professional sports franchise.

The better argument here is replacing Bailey with Chapman if Bailey continues to suffer.  The first inning debacle of four runs with two outs against the Cards was despicable, but he picked himself up by the bootstraps and surrendered nothing over the next five innings.  Could this be the sign of maturity?  Or could it be wishful thinking?  The Reds will give him a couple more starts, at the minimum, to see if he can be serviceable.  Dusty loves Chapman in the bullpen.  The ownership likes a return on their investment.  Let’s see who wins out over the course of time.

Topic B: Veterans over promising youth? Big contracts? Are the Reds trying to be the Yankees?

Tweet A: A crutch bucket.  Actually, make that canes.  A cane bucket so that Cairo, Willie Harris, and Rolen can make it to the plate.  #hangemup 

Tweet B: Are we not just letting quality young talent depreciate because of a desire to send veterans to the dish?  #antiyouth #FreeFrazier

The best tweet: Tweet B

Gene Rayburn Commentary:

The old adage applies here: a younger player with the exact skill set of an older player should always play first.  Truthfully, this is not an adage at all.  I made it up.  But it makes sense.  The fans argue that Todd Frazier should be on the team before Willie Harris.  The have a great point.  A better point?  Todd Frazier should be here instead of Miguel Cairo.  There isn't a good argument against it.  Think of something and I guarantee I can spin it in favor of Frazier.

Cairo has playoff experience!  Who cares!  The Reds have made the playoffs once since 1996 and have had a ton of veterans on those team that provided no results.  Greg Vaughn, Dante Bichette, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Sean Casey.  The list goes on and on.

Cairo can play multiple positions!  Again, who cares!  Valdez is a backup shortstop/second baseman. Frazier could play first and third.  What else is needed?

Cairo gives us quality at-bats!  True, but Frazier could too.  Besides, he is only a backup.  We don't need quality at-bats.  We need projected future players to be given an opportunity to develop their skill in a major league clubhouse and learn from major league guys.  Conversations with Paul Janish are not near as useful as those with Bruce, Votto and Rolen.

Cairo is a clubhouse leader!  And so was Jonny Gomes.  Case and point.

Topic C: Do the Reds have any chance to succeed with their manager, Dusty Baker?

Tweet A: Can someone explain why Bray and Marshall sat in the bullpen while waiver-wire Simon hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and lost?

Tweet B: #DustyNeedsToBeFiredOrIAmDoneBeingAFan

The best tweet: Tweet A

Gene Rayburn Commentary:

Tweet A refers to the series opening loss to the Nationals on Thursday.  It was quite the heart breaker and was the type of loss the inspires fans to go off their rockers.  I was upset as well.  I understand it was the seventh game of the year and that the season is a marathon.  But whatever happened to trying to get the win?

By bringing Simon into the game, Dusty was throwing the white flag and telling Davey Johnson that I am worried about Friday's game against Cy Young candidate Jordan Zimmermann. It could be a close game!

Whatever happened to playing in the moment?  After getting a great comeback win against the Cardinals on Wednesday, the Reds rallied back again in the ninth to tie the game up.  Why not communicate to the guys that we are going all out to get this one?  Does that not send an incredibly strong message of belief to your players?

Friday's game against Zimmermann is a bad matchup for the Reds.  Thursday's game presented itself as winnable!  Go get it!

I make a motion for two new columns in the standings.  One column would be Dusty Losses (DL) and the other would be Wins In Spite Of Dusty (WISOD).   Chalk yesterday's game up as a Dusty Loss.  No one else in baseball will have any of those because, you know, he is the Reds manager.

(Angry fan turns in his article and stomps off.)