Dear Reds Fans:
Please, for the sake of my sanity, exercise a little patience.
Sure, I know it has been nine long seasons since we’ve finished with a winning record. I am aware that our last playoff appearance was when Davey Johnson led us to the playoffs.
I am just as frustrated as everyone else, and it shows far too often. Our once proud franchise has fallen on hard times. I implore you though, please be patient.
Unlike the casual fan, I follow baseball year-round. I read about the Winter Meetings. I scan the message boards. I live for Spring Training, and each March and April, I get tingles down my spine, hoping and praying this will be the year.
I get excited when I see the roster. I know in my heart, this is the team to be beat. It seems as though we always start off hot, and falter sometime between mid-May and June. Out of nowhere, a long West Coast trip will suck the air out of our season on a regular basis.
It is right around the beginning of summer each year that Reds fans strike out against the team. They criticize the ownership, the manager, and the players. They long for football season to be here. And, worst of all, they stop supporting the team and they stop going to games. Why?
This happens consistently, year and year out. But, this year is different. We are two games into the season. I am giddy as ever about our chances. But for some reason, other Reds fans are not excited in April this year.
Maybe they are just tired of losing every single year. But I have never seen so much hatred on message boards. They are calling for Castellini's head, “Jocketty must go!” they say.
We suddenly have thousands of general managers who want to make personnel moves for the team. Everyone suddenly understands the waiver process, and minor league options, and how to control payroll in the current economy, and type-A Free Agent status. Actually, they don’t. But they think they do.
There is a reason Walt Jocketty was named Executive of the Year twice. But, he can’t build a team in one year. He is still working with pieces left over from the Bowden, O’Brien and Krivsky years.
Likewise with Bob Castellini. We are still recovering from the Linder (error) era. Castellini and Jocketty will make this team a contender. It will just take patience from the fan base, if they have any left to give.
For the first time in a while, we actually have solid, young pitching. We have a deep and talented farm system. What we need now, is fan support from true fans. Not fair-weather fans, true fans.
I foresee great things to come. Hopefully, I’ll see you at the Great American Ball Park in August and September.
And for years to come in October, also.
PS – What is everyone’s obsession with Jonny Gomes? The guy is a lifetime .230 hitter-Enough said.