When Will Cincinnati Start to Believe in the Reds?

Michael HammonsCorrespondent IJuly 19, 2010

CINCINNATI - JULY 18:  Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds swings at a pitch during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park on July 18, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Something greatly disappointed me Sunday, more so than the result of the game, or the fact that the Cardinals leapfrogged the Reds to get back into first place.

The paid attendance was 25,159? REALLY? Are you serious?

Let's look back to the prior two nights: The Reds had sellout crowds, and they were entertained by perhaps the most thrilling win of the season on Friday, and an offensive assault the following night.

That alone should've peaked the curiosity of people, and made them want to return for more.

The diminished numbers yesterday make it appear that the MC Hammer concert Friday, and the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies/Chris Sabo bobblehead giveaway Saturday, were the main reason for those crowds.

Before I continue, let's gain some perspective here: Even in their darkest hour, the Reds have never had the attendance problems of teams such as the Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates. Additionally, I have never personally attended a game and felt like the crowd wasn't into it, or uninterested in the team.

With that said, it's now officially the second half of the season, and on a beautiful Sunday afternoon featuring a first-place team facing off against another competitive team, I would think there would be a MINIMUM of 30,000-32,000 people at Great American Ballpark.

Currently, Cincinnati ranks 21st in home attendance average, with 23,566 a game. Baseball powerhouses such as the Diamondbacks, Mariners, Astros, and Brewers rank ahead of them.

I know the economy is a factor, but I think there is something else in play as well: The Reds essentially lost a generation of fans because of their decade of losing. The message here is, a half a season of winning baseball isn't good enough to bring those people back.

Some people debate that Sunday day games lose fans because of the people at church. Others say it's too hot outside. I say those are excuses. People show up for consistent, winning baseball.

It's a simple solution in theory, but harder to execute. Win now, win tomorrow, and win next month. Next year, too. This organization has a lot of work to do to regain the public dollar. With the combination of homegrown talent and experienced veterans, I'm confident that can happen.