Yes, you read that correctly: I am driving 120 miles each way, on a work night, to watch a 38-61 team take on a 44-53 squad (coming off an 0-6 road trip) on a Monday night. And to top it off, both teams are throwing their fifth starters, who are a combined 2-8 with ERAs closer to 10 than zero. Why you ask?
Well, I have free seats courtesy of a friend who works for the Padres; I was raised in SD and still cheer for this pitiful team; I also like the Reds; it’s sunny out; and a friend from Washington DC is in town, therefore this is the closest big league park to my home in central Indiana; and I love baseball.
No, I don’t know which team I want to win. At least both cannot lose, right?
The Reds had a key road trip last week, whereupon I mused they needed to win four of six versus two good teams. They lost them all, prompting even the usually sanguine Hal McCoy to rip the team, declare the season over, and spend the first half of his Sunday afternoon post writing about steak instead of baseball. Can you really blame the legendary Dayton writer? He claimed:
"They might as well be waving a white surrender flag when they get off the team charter in Cincinnati tonight. They are dead. They are buried. They weren’t a very good team to start with and you have to give credit for them hanging around so long. But now with some underachievers and a whole lot of minor-leaguers, they are barely a notch above Triple-A and there may be some better Triple-A teams out there. Would you believe Double-A?
They simply cannot compete with the big boys and now can barely hold their own against teams of their own ilk.”
Wow, Hal, I love the honesty!
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians swept Seattle over the weekend. This is quite miraculous, considering the Mariners are one of the pleasant surprises of 2009, while the Tribe is arguably baseball’s biggest disappointment. Nonetheless, despite four wins in a row, the Cleveland Indians still sit 17 games under .500 and 12 back of first-place Detroit. At least they’re out of the cellar.
The Reds, on the other hand, might be there soon if they don’t take care of the Pads this week before the streaking Rockies (54-44, and an incredible 36-16 under Jim Tracy) hit town this weekend.
Maybe then I can start demanding Dusty Baker to be fired, much like Eric Wedge on the other side of the Buckeye State.