It took all the way until the first day
of July, nearly a week from the All-Star break, to figure out just what
was off about this baseball season. We’ve had plenty of exciting games still
there was something missing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it until
the National League All-Star rosters were announced. Tony La Russa, we missed you.
During a baseball season, 40 games isn’t
enough to tell the whole story, but it should be enough to get an idea
where it’s going. Except when it isn’t — like with this season’s
installment of the Cincinnati Reds.
One of the great beauties of baseball is
that one pitch can mean everything and one game can mean nothing. The
Reds are off to a slow start, winning seven of their first 16 games.
It’s not ideal and wins in April count as much as wins in September, but
it’s baseball — every team loses roughly one-third of its games.
Cincinnati sports fans are justifiably skeptical of their teams’ yearly promises of greatness. Our recent sports history has left many with a “believe it when we see it” philosophy when it comes to local teams’ on-field success. But when Jay Bruce’s rocket-laser walk-off home run against the Astros on Sept. 28, 2010, caromed off the batter’s-eye pavilion in center field, Great American Ball Park exploded into the greatest celebration in its short history.
The Reds are a young, talented club with big upside in a couple years. They're the envy of many clubs for their young pitching, which could become dominating. They have a couple of young, left-handed hitters to replace the old ones they let go. They've been getting younger for a while now, and if getting younger means getting better they might start getting better soon.