It was fun while it lasted. But as scripted, the Reds season is over.
But much like the malaise one feels before the onset of the flu, it's just an all-too-familiar feeling.
Entering Friday, our beloved Redlegs find themselves only 1.5 games behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals and a half-game back of the San Francisco Giants for the NL Wild Card.
Non-Reds fans just read that and laughed, maybe thought to themselves, "Has this guy been stealing his Granny's morphine?"
No, only her anti-anxiety medication.
After Dusty had the sit down with our boys in San Diego, for two entire months, we all felt like immortal teenagers enjoying a backseat rendezvous.
Yes, those glorious sunrises are over. The mornings of jumping out of bed, tip-toeing to your neighbor's and sneaking the sports section out of their newspaper.
There is no longer a real need to check the box scores. On the bright side, there is still a semi-decent shot at finishing with a winning record for the first time in eons.
Shoot, it lasted 97 out of 162 games. Every fan out there should be sending the Castellini's Christmas cards this year.
We tasted first place. No, not tasted—we bathed in it!
Reds' fans finally had a season (or two months) to walk around with their heads held high, winking, shooting finger guns at people on the opposite sidewalk, and kissing random nurses.
It's all over.
There's no one to blame. Not this year. It just happened.
Normally, this would be another Dusty-blasting rant. But there were times this year where he looked like a real manager. His shuffling the lineup after the sit-down in San Diego was brilliant.
We could blame it on Coco and the bullpen (sans Sir Arthur).
We could blame it on Walt and his dippy deadline moves.
We could, like Milli Vanilli, blame it on the rain.
But until recently, there haven't been many delays.
If you are one of those people who needs someone to blame, don't blame our boys. They tried.
Take a look in the mirror buddy.
Blame it on your own over-inflated expectations. That, and your Aroldis Chapman induced naïvety.