Cinncinnati Reds Fans: The NL Central Leaders Should Remember the '64 Phillies
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"It ain’t over ‘til it’s over." Who said that? Was it Yogi Berra?
There is so much truth in those six words.
Ask Mike Weaver who knocked out Heavyweight champion John Tate (may he rest in peace) with seconds to go in the fight after trailing badly on all score cards.
Ask the 1993 Houston Oilers who led the Buffalo Bills 35-3 early in the second half, only to lose 41-38 in overtime.
Ask Doc Holiday whose Marshall Thundering Herd was set to beat cross-state rival West Virginia for the first time. That game was just last week as Marshall led the Mountaineers 21-6 at the start of the fourth quarter only to lose 24-21 in overtime.
And lastly yet more to the point, ask the Philadelphia Phillies “Phaithfull” about the 1964 season (make sure you're out of punching reach).
The Phillies were leading the NL race (there were no divisions back then) by 6.5 games with only 12 to go. You know the rest, don’t you? The Phillies went into a tailspin and lost 10 consecutive games to find themselves in third place behind the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds.
I say all of that to say this: I can’t stand for people to presume that the NL Central is locked up, and the Reds have the banner.
I especially don’t like to hear it from respected Reds' TV announcer Chris Welsh (the crafty left-hander). I like Welsh and he is my favorite Reds' announcer, but I am afraid he will jinx the club.
On at least two occasions, he has said that the Reds will win the division, and the fans shouldn’t worry about it. They should, he said, be looking at who they will be playing in the playoffs.
I am a Reds fan, and I don’t mind being called a homer. That is what I am, but I am also a realist. Anything can happen in the next 15 games.
Currently, the Reds are seven games ahead of the Cardinals. Yesterday, they were eight games up, but they lost to the floundering Arizona Diamondbacks while the Cardinals knocked the San Diego Padres out of first place.
Let’s look at the remainder of the schedule. They start a three-game set tonight with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The only good thing about going to Houston is that Lance Berkman is no longer there.
Following the series with the Astros, the Reds travel north to play three against the Milwaukee Brewers. That series will be no picnic my friends. The Brewers are out of the race, but they would love nothing better than to spoil the fun for the Reds.
They will wrap up the road trip with another visit to the left coast in a three-game matchup with the playoff hopeful San Diego Padres.
They will then return home for three against the Astros and end the season with three games against the Brewers.
Sounds like a piece of cake right?
If they win more than they lose they should be fine. If they happen to have less than a four-game lead when they head to California, may God have mercy on their souls.
If Dusty Baker keeps trotting Francisco Cordero out to the mound to protect a lead, some bad things are going to happen. He blew two out of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend and was on his way to blowing the third game against the Diamondbacks when Jay Bruce robbed Adam LaRoche of a game-tying home run.
So Reds fans, strap in and hold on, because it is going to be a wild ride to the end. I think we will win, but I am only cautiously optimistic.
If they blow it I hold, Chris Welsh personally responsible.
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