Cincinnati Reds Force Me to Play 'What if?' All Winter
Now that the playoffs and World Series are over, it is time for baseball fans to either choose the NFL or the NBA, or dwell on the “what if?” scenarios.
Since professional football players have now become entrenched in a kill-or-be-killed mentality I must confess to all sports fans that I have not watched an entire quarter of football yet this fall.
The NBA is hardly worth watching, save the last 30 or 40 seconds. That leaves me with nothing but playing the “what if” game along with other Reds fans.
How humiliating it was to watch the New Red Machine become a footnote in baseball trivia at the hands of the best pitcher in the game, Roy Halladay. What a gargantuan performance by the Phil Sims look-alike.
Let’s play now. What if Dusty Baker had started Travis Wood in Game 1 instead of Edinson Volquez? Did Baker think he was the best we had, really? Who did he use as a soundboard for opinions?
Did he forget that Wood nearly pitched a perfect game against the Phillies in Philadelphia earlier this season? Did he forget that Wood is a lefty and many of the Phillies hitters are lefties as well?
Was his thinking based on a “can’t win” mentality since he was facing Halladay, expecting nothing short of a complete game win by the stud? Perhaps he was merely throwing Volquez in as the proverbial sacrificial lamb.
That is a bad thought right there, I don’t care who you are. Giving up Game 1 before it starts should be a non sequitor.
I just can’t justify that type of logic, that cries out “why waste Bronson Arroyo or Wood on a game we are going to lose anyway?”
Where was the offense in that playoff series? The Reds were the best offensive and defensive teams in the entire league, though their statistics would surely belie that.
The only two Reds who batted their weight were Brandon Phillips (.333) and Jay Bruce (.250).They scored a paltry four runs in the three games and batted only .124, probably a playoff record but I am too mad to look it up.
Bruce and Phillips are the only two who played long ball against Philly pitching. The Reds ERA was surprisingly good at 2.52 but pales in contrast to the 1.00 posted by the Philadelphia hurlers.
The Reds did have higher numbers in one category than the Phillies. They made seven errors compared to three for the Phills.
Were they happy just to be there? You tell me. I can say that I was totally embarrassed by the overall performance and am anxious to see what transpires in the offseason.
The way GM Walt Jocketty operates, you can probably expect to see Jonny Gomes non-tendered again and picked up the day spring training starts again.
The same thing probably holds true for shortstop Orlando Cabrera. They won’t pick up his option but will probably try to negotiate a cheaper price.
I hope he decides to keep Sir Arthur Rhodes.
Say goodbye to Aaron Harang, who had two really good years with the Reds. I think Jocketty will try and hold on to Arroyo. He did manage to win 17 games, tying Volquez’ 2008 performance which was the best for a Reds pitcher since Pete Schourek won 18 back in 1995.
Arroyo also won his first Gold Glove award this year as well.
So, you watch the NFL Parade of Concussions or the NBA Dunkfest, and I will continue to wonder “what if?”
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