Reds - General

I love the Cincinnati Reds (Alternate title: Ryan Ludwick can shove it up his nose with a rubber hose)

I love the Cincinnati Reds.

I shouldn’t actually have to say that, since I’ve been writing about the Reds — and demonstrating my obsession with this infernal team — nearly every single day here at Redleg Nation for the last nine seasons. But make no mistake: I love the Cincinnati Reds National League Baseball Club, and sometimes, I don’t know why. But here’s a fact: I will still love this team long after Ryan Ludwick has left town.

Indulge me for a moment here. This is my blog, and I want to ramble about my favorite team. The Reds have frustrated me this year, and I’ve already told you why I think they will ultimately break our hearts. But I can’t express to you how much I hope they don’t break our collective hearts. I want to celebrate with this team. I want a parade through downtown Cincinnati at the end of the season.

I’m an old guy, but not quite old enough to have been a fan during the Big Red Machine years. My father was a Reds fan at that time. My grandfather — who was the single biggest influence on my baseball fandom — had loved the Reds as far back as the legendary 1939-40 Reds teams, and he passed that love on to me.

Despite the grand history of this club, however, I came of age during a time that the Reds were awful. Remember those early 80s teams? Paul Householder and Alex Trevino and Cesar Cedeno and Mike LaCoss and Russ Nixon and Rafael Landestoy and Kelly Paris and Skeeter Barnes and Steve Christmas. I loved those guys!

I was so excited to get Eddie Milner’s autograph on my baseball glove, although I left that glove out in the rain and the autograph was washed away.

I remember the first Reds game I ever attended. For weeks, I had been bouncing off the walls, excited to see Johnny Bench play (he was mostly a third baseman at that point, in the final season of his brilliant career). Until the day I die, I won’t forget what it was like to walk into Riverfront Stadium for the first time, seeing that green astroturf and thinking I was in heaven. Also, I will never forget the disappointment I felt when I saw that Wayne Krenchicki was starting at third instead of Bench on that day. That’s a brutal blow to a kid.

But I remember how excited I was when Gary Redus stole home in that game, and when the Reds won.

I remember playing wiffle ball with my brother in the front yard. Whenever I pitched, I was Mario Soto. When I batted, I was Bench. Later, when I hit a homer, I was Dave Parker.

In Little League, I played catcher and wore #5.

Now I have a son, and he plays second base and wears #4. The cycle continues. We are Reds fans.

This is my team. Sure, we’re just rooting for laundry, but this will always be my team. For most of my life, the Reds haven’t been very competitive, but I stuck with them. Heck, I started Redleg Nation back when the Reds had no hope of fielding a competitive team. I didn’t care. I wanted to talk about the Reds! I still enjoy talking about the Reds.

So, Ryan Ludwick, you need to understand this: this team means more to us than it will ever mean to you. We have lived and died with the Cincinnati Reds, and we will continue to do so long after you have retired and started attending events in St. Louis as a former Cardinal. Maybe you think the fans haven’t cheered loud enough this season, and maybe you are even correct in that assessment. But maybe you should also look in the mirror. Maybe there’s a reason Reds fans are frustrated with this team. Maybe your uninspired play has a little to do with it. Maybe?

From my perspective, it seems that Reds fans have set a Great American Ballpark attendance record this season. If, somehow, the Reds make it past the one-game Wild Card playoff, GAB will be packed for the National League Division Series. It will be packed with fans who were there when Jimmy Haynes was the ace of the team. It will be packed with fans who loved the Reds long before Ludwick signed his multi-million dollar contract. And it will be packed with Reds fans who will be there for the next decade, and the decade after that.

And, despite my conviction that this team will probably break my heart, my son and I will be in the stadium, as well. Because we can always hope. And because this is my team. And my son’s team. And his son’s team, someday.

I’m sorry we aren’t good enough for you, Ryan Ludwick. But I really don’t care what you think. We were here before you, and we’ll be here after you are gone.

We love the Cincinnati Reds. And we always will, no matter who is wearing the jersey.

(NB: Please forgive the dated Welcome Back, Kotter reference.)

187 thoughts on “I love the Cincinnati Reds (Alternate title: Ryan Ludwick can shove it up his nose with a rubber hose)

  1. *slow clap*

    Nicely said.

    I would add, just because Reds fans don’t pack the stadium at 12:35 p.m. on a workday doesn’t mean they’re not good fans. I live the Reds at least six months of every year, whether or not I’m physically in the stadium for whatever reason.

    • @DenL42: Well stated Chad…….I could not agree more.

      Dear Reds….my heart is yours to fill or burst, win or lose I will always be a Reds fan……..Ryan Ludwick don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  2. By saying RyanLudwick, you are saying, RyanLudwickshouldnotbebattingcleanup. No matter how little lineups are involved in the winning of games, they matter some. And if Billy Hamilton is not on the post-season roster, guh. I’d throw up if I could.

  3. Well said Chad. And, these sentiments were similar to mine when Homer ran off at the mouth last year about how much better Pittsburgh fans were than Cincy fans. And, while I agreed with him, I didn’t think it was BP’s place last year to chastise the fans about booing.

  4. I wish I could tell Ludwick I circled the weekend series @COL on my calendar way back in March. It is the only chance I have to see the Reds every year and I don’t miss it. I went to two of the three games and cheered loudly when he homered in the first game; too little too late, unforunately. As it were, I saw both losses.

    Even not living in Cincinnati for the last 10 years or so, I take offense to his comments as a life-long Reds fan. I saw Paul Wilson get clobbered by Kyle Farnsworth and cheered loudly that Paul Wilson (whom I did not like much as a player) would feel enough emotion to defend himself and his teammates against the aggression of the crazy Farnsworth. Sure felt good when we beat him the other night.

    Nice piece, Chad. I enjoyed it.

  5. Nailed it. Given the fact that probably everyone on this site works their ass off for a lot less, it is difficult at times to justify spending that hard earned money on watching uninspired millionaires earn theirs.

  6. Well said. Mr. Ludwick should understand that his job is to play, and regardless of what the fans are, or aren’t doing, he needs to do his job. No one will go to a game, and cheer loudly, becuase the left fielder told them to. They will go to a game, and cheer loudly, because they are fans. I’ve never seen a more invloved crowd than during #32’s final at bat last year. He still didn’t hit the game winner. Yet, it was still a moment I’ll never forget. I’m a Reds fan, not a Ludwick fan, or a Bruuuuuuuce fan (even though he is my favorite player). I’ll be here long after they all are gone.

  7. Chad–I do not think you (or the people who read this blog) were the intended target of Ludwick’s comments.

    In any event, yes GABP will be packed if we make the NLDS but last year was a bit of an eye-opener. Tickets to the NLDS games were available for dirt cheap on the secondary market. Yes, the scheduling of the games was partly to blame. But, if you ask me, a ticket to the NLDS should be harder to come by than a ticket to Opening Day.

  8. Touching, but it would be nice to see more fans in the stadium all the time like the Cards, Brewers and even the Cubs. Shame on me for only being a fan for four years.

  9. Great post! . . . First off, perhaps I am internalizing/projecting this whole Ludwick scenario (and for all intents and purposes, I don’t take offense at all). However, I do read this as a “I used to play for the Cardinals . . . ” thing. Moreover, it is a reinforcement of something I hear, time after time, living in southwestern Indiana, which is presently mostly “Cardinals Country,” but has been alternately “Cubs Country” and “Reds Country,” depending on the decade.

    All right, now that I have composed myself and can also suppress the many memories that I have of watching the Cardinals/Reds games on the Cardinals’ feed (just to listen to what they say) and listen to Mumbling Al disparage GABP attendance time after time, here goes.

    So, let’s do some math to, I don’t know, perhaps fully understand how truly terrible attendance at GABP has been this year. Here are the populations for the respective metropolitan areas:

    St. Louis: 2.8 million people
    Cincinnati: 2.1 million people

    Here are the reported average attendance figures to date:

    St. Louis: 41,500
    Cincinnati: 30,900

    With the magic of ‘rithmetic, we can easily see something. There really isn’t too much difference, given the population, between the two teams attendance figures. Here is the percentage of the population of each metropolitan areas who attend games on any given day.

    St. Louis: 1.48%
    Cincinnati: 1.47%

    So, there it is, our attendance really sucks. . . I don’t fault Ludwick because he is just echoing a stupid bit of conventional wisdom that is typical among the Cardinals fans that I encounter (because they are the best fans in baseball, right? . . . Just ask them.).

    • @Drew Mac: By the way, my wife, three children and I regularly attend 8-10 games per year, I go to Redsfest, my kids are members of the Reds Heads club, and I sport Reds gear on a regular basis. Also, when a college senior, I left baseball practice early (and had to run until I puked as a result), drove three hours at 90 mph in order to watch the Al Leiter/Steve Parris debacle of ’99. . . .

      Note to every player: don’t take it upon yourself to “call out” fans unless you are an iconic player with a certain measure of gravitas that Mr. Ludwick does not currently enjoy.

        • @LWBlogger: Indeed. I remember him being greeted with the loudest ovation that I could recall as he left the bullpen and made his way to the mound. You would have thought that Pete Rose was pitching that game. Of course, Edgardo Alfonzo quickly quieted the crowd and Al Leiter tossed a gem.

      • @Drew Mac: You mean like Pete or Johnny or Joe or Barry?

        They would never have anything close to that since they have always utmost respect for Reds Nation –

        Mr. Ludwick – blow it out your rear flank – the Reds and their fans deserve so much better than you.

    • @Drew Mac: FINALLY!! You actually get it! I’ve been trying to make this point to other people for a long time and they just don’t understand the logic.

  10. All this said, I think Reds fans are somewhat forgiving. Over the years, I’ve heard and read comments from various players … in the end, being a fan of a team is much bigger than any one player. All you have to do is look at the Reds roster from 4 years ago … and wonder where they all went.

  11. I know this is going to look convenient, but I was against the 2 year deal for Ludwick from the start. His three seasons prior to coming to Cincinnati he was in decline and his good ’08 season looks a lot like an outlier at this point. At age 35, the decline will likely continue. So Ryan, in your ear with a can of beer, and don’t let the door hit ya…

  12. I hate it when players do what Ludwhiff did. Do your own job on the field. Worry about your own performance. You should be able to motivate yourself to play a GAME even if the stands are empty. Your motivation? How about professional pride, and oh, maybe your multi-million dollar paycheck.

    Stop failing so much and look in the mirror to see why just maybe the fans aren’t coming out. Don’t blame us for your own failure. That just makes you a WLB.

    I really hope Walt shakes things up in the off-season and dumps Luddy, but given his injury, age, and lack of performance I fear we are stuck with him.

  13. Thanks Chad. Excellent. My sentiments exactly. However, you put it much more eloquently than I did in the recap. Ludwick needs to look no further than directly into the mirror.
    Now, will Reds fans show him this weekend with their displeasure with his comments?? My hope is, Yes very loudly.

    • @WVRedlegs:

      Let’s tick Luddy off big time this w/e (that way he might feel like he’s in Philly, Boston, NY, Texas or even Saigon – do I need to go on)? There’s always a chance he might just follow it up by slamming a bomb to win this w/e’s series or better yet next Tuesday’s WC game – so, never say never.

  14. I have no problems with what Ryan Ludwick said. Reds’ fans tend to be dull and not very excited. They didn’t used to be that way. I can remember being a Riverfront Stadium as far back as the 70s and hearing the crowd roar. They don’t do that any more. I have been to Yankee Stadium during a Yankees – Red Sox game and the intensity is unreal. Today’s Reds fans don’t ever get that intense. I remember being at Cleveland Municipal Stadium back in the late 70s when the Indians were really, really lousy. An Indians player got thrown out stealing on a close play and 80,000 (first week of the season so they weren’t demoralized yet) chanted “Bull—t” over and over again. Reds fans don’t do that.

    So I see Ryan Ludwick’s point. He simply wants that crowd to respond with such an intensity that it sends a chill down his back to the point that he goes up to that plate feeling like Superman and that he cannot, will not fail. I bet he would tell you that he felt that way at times in St. Louis. He wants to feel that way as he or any of his teammates strides to the plate or goes to the mound. I guess we, as fans, need to decide if we want to be participants or just simply spectators. All he is really asking us is to be like Teddy Kremer. Imagine 40,000+ of us following Teddy’s example.

    So Go Reds! We aren’t interested on two out of three. We are interested a three plus one sweep of the Buccos in front of the loudest group of fans to ever step into Great American Ballpark.

    • @Y-City Jim: But when, exactly, would Ryan Ludwick have liked the fans to have been cheering during the Mets series. The team had 5 runs and 22 hits through three games. Ludwick left TEN MEN ON BASE in the opener. But I guess if the fans had been cheering him louder…

      • @Chris Garber: Yes, yes, yes, yes. For every cheer, there is usually a reason to cheer. Swinging at the first pitch and grounding into a DP immediately after the pitcher has walked the previous two batters does not induce cheers. Except maybe in Ryan’s head. (Which Ryan can go soak anytime he wants to.)

      • @Chris Garber: Yes, I was in attendance, last year, when the Reds clinched the division vs. the Dodgers. When Chappy threw the last pitch, it was deafening. The Mets series was watching paint dry and that is being kind.

      • @Chris Garber: But we don’t just cheer as the result of something occurring, such as a HR, run scoring base hit, inning ending out, etc. We also cheer when a player is in the position of delivering one of those game changing moments. The hope is the crowd’s enthusiasm will create that adrenaline rush that heightens the player’s performance. Call it a performance enhancing cheer. Probably the best example is in football when your team is making a defensive stand or the offense faces fourth and goal in order to win the game. The idea is that we the crowd think we can be a factor. I believe Ludwick’s comments are telling us that he believes we can be a factor in propelling the Reds to the next level.

    • @Y-City Jim: Then he ought start by saying he appreciate the few Teddys that are out there. When your heart bleeds red, you don’t want to hear this junk. None of us can do anything about the others except Marty Brennaman. Marty gives the marching orders and most of us just follow his lead.

    • @Y-City Jim: you mean like the frenzy the Reds fans provided in last 3 innings of game 5 vs Giants playoffs. the crowd roaring out in trying to help will Jay Bruce get a key hit as he fouled off pitch after pitch from Sergio Romo before just missing and making a flyball out. i been a fan of reds since i was a young kid in 1969 and per my memory, that crowd takes backseat to none.

  15. Thanks Chad! I agree whole-heartedly! And maybe it’s just me, but when people try to shame me into doing something, it just makes me want to do it even less. You don’t act like a jerk to someone and then expect them to be nice to you or give you what you want. And Ryan Ludwick should know “you attract more bees with honey than vinegar”.

  16. What really bothered me about this comment was that it came after a series where he left 10 men on base in a single game, and directly after a game in which they lost 1-0, getting 4 hits while advancing only 1 runner past second base.

    Newsflash Ryan. We are not machines. We need something to get excited about. You need to start it off, and then we can get into it. For you to call out the fans of this franchise in a smaller market during a year in which they set the record for attendance is foolish and makes you look like a brat.

    Maybe he was asleep during the NLDS Game 5 last year after we were down 6-0. Reds fans were trying to WILL the team back into the game, as I believe Steve noted after the game. It had all culminated with Bruce’s at bat.

  17. I don’t understand why this is being treated as if EITHER Ludwick is right OR the fans are right. They’re both right. The team hasn’t played up to its potential and doesn’t always give 100%, the manager is awful, the GM sat on his hands instead of improving the bench, the game is slow and the GABP rituals have grown old, AND the fans have become increasingly apathetic and sleepy over the past several years. I’ve been complaining about the fans for a lot longer than Ludwick has. Chad may not want to do it, but I have no problem recognizing the objective shortcomings of a group even when I consider myself a devoted member.

  18. Mr. Ludwick,
    If you were not so busy leaving a ton of runners on base or grounding into run-squelching double-plays, maybe the Reds fans would have more to cheer about.
    My response I borrow from Ray’s wife, Debra, on Everybody Loves Raymond.
    “Idiot.”

  19. I think BP calling Rosecrans a fat m’r-f’r is more shameful and embarrassing than what Ludwick said. His delivery could have been better, but there’s truth there, although I wish he would have prefaced his comments by apologizing for sucking.

    I live 2000 miles away from Cincinnati and have seen the Reds in person seven times this year — four here in Los Angeles, once in Washington (a trip that not coincidentally overlapped with the Reds being there) and twice at GABP (where I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in a stopover on the way home from London). I was able to buy incredible tickets to the GABP games on Stubhub for a fraction of the list price. Yes, I know attendance is lower on weekdays and against subpar competition, but it was still surprising that tix for a team in the thick of a pennant race not far removed from years of drought would be so plentiful. To echo what someone else said above, it reminded me of last year’s NLDS. I had tickets to all three games but couldn’t overcome the last-minute travel logistic headaches and couldn’t GIVE them away on Stubhub. It’s the playoffs — call in sick, for Pete’s sake (pun intended)!

    Attendance and volume are related but separate issues, however. You have to give people a reason to cheer, and playing uninspired ball is a one-way ticket to crowd apathy. I was terribly excited to make my first pilgrimage to GABP in nearly a decade, but after spotting the Mets 4 runs in the second inning on Tuesday, the wind was even taken out of my sails a bit. I still had a blast and rooted for comebacks, but in a game where almost your entire bullpen gets work and the team continues to play to the level of its competition, it’s harder to get fired up. Wednesday’s offensive rut was no easier to watch, although I still had a great time.

    I hope the weekend series against the Pirates is sold-out, with boisterous crowds. I wish I’d be able to be there myself. Those who can be, should be. I think that’s all Ludwick was saying.

    • @Davis Stuns Goliath: I agree. I was more put-off by BP’s lack of class in dealing with the situation with C Trent. Also, in the apparent lack of concern by Dusty. Using personal, profanity-laced attacks towards a reporter (even with a history) should have drawn BP a 1-game ride of the pine, at least.

  20. It’s hard to get pumped up when the Reds lay an egg against the CUBS and the METS and the BREWERS. I was at the game Monday and the wind was taken out of my sails when Aaron Stinking Harang made Reds hitters look like 12 year olds.
    Great article. Regardless, let’s go get a win on Tuesday!!

  21. Ludwick is a turd, because fans aren’t a privilege. You have to earn their cheers and excitement…. and over the last 10 series, the Reds have lost 5 series to 4 teams playing under .470 baseball (Brewers, Rockies, Brewers, Cubs, Mets).

    Where during those 5 losing series to bad teams in a Pennant Race were the fans supposed to get excited? If you can’t stop losing series to bad teams, you can’t win the division. They’re 17-15 in their last 10 series… against teams that have a combined .480 winning percentage.

  22. I keep reading that the fans are obligated to go crazy this weekend, for a series that does nothing but determine the location of Tuesday’s game. I’m very curious as to whether Dusty Baker will take the same approach, or if we’ll see the likes of C.Izturis in the game again.

  23. Chad, you should’ve saved it for the offseason. How is Ludwick gonna play any better with 3rd degree burns?

  24. Well said, Chad. I remember attending 8 games in the summer of 1982 and not seeing the Reds win once. Ugh. Still, I was excited to get Eddie Milner’s autograph, and see Brad “The Animal” Lesley. Finally got to see a win on opening day of 1983 – Gary Redus’ HR, Tom Hume’s save. Awesome.

    I live in Chicago now, and go to Wrigley to see the Reds beat up on the Cubs whenever possible. (9-1 there this season – WOW)

    I’ve been to GABP a few times, and the fan base is muted. Not like Riverfront at all. It probably has something to do with the down years from 1996-2010. And fans do get upset when you cheer loudly. Very odd.

    Nevertheless, a journeyman OF, who has been hurt much of the season, who is hitting a punchless .248, who left a clown car full of runners on base this week, SHOULD NOT BE CRITICIZING THE FANS. Mr. Ludwick, look at yourself first before you open your mouth – regardless of the intent.

  25. I can’t believe that Ludwick’s reasoning is because a Friday/Saturday/Sunday series in Pittsburgh (the place that hadn’t had a winning season in 20 years and now has a playoff team) was louder and more packed than a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday series against a team with a losing record (that the Reds ended up losing anyway).

    How could that ever be allowed to happen? It’s like people have more free time to go to division rival games on weekends than series against losing teams during the work week and want to choose to spend their money to watch baseball with two winning teams or something.

    Bizarre.

  26. Nicely done, Chad:

    1) You ain’t old.
    2) Sad that even come the playoffs, the true fans might get squeezed out by people, not necessarily fans, who have more money to afford tickets.
    3) See No. 1

    • @CI3J: I suppose this sums it up for me. What difference will it make?

      I’m just getting used to having been scorned on this board by one of the admin’s for suggesting the team isn’t working hard enough, and find more than a few comments here that directly infer, imply or claim it.

  27. prjeter, I was at the colorado series also, and you forgot to mention the botched play in LF. Oh well.

    trade him after the season. This is that great clubhouse guy getting the fans involved?

    nice

    Paul Householder. I remember that guy. He was my guy until Nick Esasky who could hit a 5 run home run I used to tell my friends…that he would hit the ball so far that he could run around the bases twice

    • @reaganspad: You are absolutely correct. I forgot about that play. He took a bad angle to the ball, if I recall, and made a silly jump and it sailed right over his head to the wall. I think there wasn’t much that could have been done that game with Helton hitting a 6-run homer! ;)

    • @reaganspad:

      Loved Esasky. I hated it when he went to Boston. I even got a RedSox jersey with #7 on it at the time. Very unfortunate that his career was ended prematurely. I like to think he would have had a career similar to Paul Konerko.

      • @WVRedlegs: Brings up a good point WVRedlegs on third basemen that we force to be third basemen.

        Nick goes to Boston and plays 1st base and has 120 RBIS. no kidding

        Then there is Edwin Encarnacion. I hadn’t thought of him since the trade but know that he is not playing 3rd anymore.

        In fact, he would have been great for us in LF. How about 36 HR’s and 104 RBIs. but wait there is more 276/338/501/ 904 with 82 walks and 62 strike outs. SERIOUSLY?

  28. I love the Reds too. Ever since I was a kid and the Big Red Machine was beating up on the Dodgers, Yankees and pretty much everyone else. I agree that this version of the Reds is extremely frustrating. I have label them as “Bipolar”. One weekend they can fire it up and beat up on the Cards of Pirates, and the next lose two out of 3 to the Cubs and Brewers. I am not sure in what universe this makes sense, but it has happened plenty of times. Having played this game many years, I understand that there are times when the other pitcher is on. He is Sandy Koufax reborn. But it has not always been about the opposing teams’ pitcher. It has often been about base running mistakes, bunting too much, and not getting runners across from third with less than two outs. Not moving the runner over to third from second by hitting it to the right side. This team is fundamentally flawed (money ball reference). It is unfortunate, because if you give this pitching staff to the Red Sox or Rangers, they easily win the world series.

  29. I don’t know if the players on this team realize how much fans WANT to root for them and WANT to like them. The collection of talent on this team is greater than any other in my lifetime (26 years) but they have spent most of this season playing as if that talent alone is going to cause other teams to roll over and let them win.
    They don’t come from behind like they have in years past, and if they give up 3, 4, 5 runs early the game is virtually over. Fans see this, and see the apathetic nature in which the players seem to go about their routines.
    The Reds jumped on Pittsburgh Sunday, going up 5-0 early, and the Pirates grinded out inning after inning, at bat after at bat, generally looking like a team that had confidence they were still going to win the game. We don’t see that very often from the Reds. They’re more likely to go up hacking, looking as if they’re just in a hurry to get the game over.
    It’s hard when you’re at a game to get too invested when the team doesn’t seem to care too much whether they win or lose. Tony Cingrani and Devin Mesoraco are about the only two players who genuinely seem to give a crap. And Mesoraco has spent the better part of two seasons squarely in Dusty Baker’s doghouse.
    For better or for worse they have mostly bought into Dusty’s “it’s a marathon not a sprint, one game at a time, no one game is very important,” attitude and it makes for quite a dull experience.

  30. Thanks for all the kind words. Ludwick’s comments — and I’m not saying that he is 100% incorrect — just touched a nerve last night, and I felt like I needed to say a few things.

    Ludwick’s comments were the final straw, but this has been coming for a while. Frankly, this isn’t a very likable team in many ways (though there a number of guys who are extremely likable on the roster). But they’re still my team. I still want them to win every game.

  31. How much of the anti-fan comments are influenced by Dusty? Dusty has said things on multiple occasions that show he thinks fans are idiots, don’t know what it’s like since “they didn’t play the game.” It seems like it’s almost encouraged to blame the fans, from the top down. Which is a total disconnect from all the ownership has done to make the franchise fan-friendly.

  32. What I would like to see is Ryan Ludwick apologize for his comments. It would go a long way in making amends with the fans. Not entirely though.

    I have been attending games since the 1970’s. Like so many others I was there supporting the team in the 80’s with all the losing. The last few years have been exciting but also frustrating. I feel a let down every year when the Reds season is over.

    I take Ryan Ludwick’s comments, and Homer Bailey’s last year, personally. I also don’t like when people in the media call out the fans for not being at the ballpark. Buy me a ticket and I’ll go. Otherwise be quiet. Don’t tell me how to spend my money.

  33. Thanks so much for that. I can relate and I’m older. I fell in love with this team in 1958 as a 12 year old. Roy McMillan was my favorite player and I have no idea why. In truth, I have never lived within 2,000 miles of Cincinnati, but I love this team. And you’re right, they were terrible for a long time, but I always rooted for them, even when the games were meaningless. One of my biggest thrills . . .1990. A great season, but no chance in the Series against the A’s and then Eric Davis hits a two run homer in the first and I realize the Reds can compete with these guys! This year, maybe my expectations were too high, but it’s been disappointing. But I’m still rooting . . . even from 2,000 miles away. GO REDS!

  34. I do think Ryan has a point. And, in some ways I’m glad that a player has the courage to come out with it because that takes some leadership. After all, this team sure seems to need leadership. I happen to disagree with much of what he said, and it’s kind of ironic that he says it on the day the Reds break an attendance record, but he’ll have to deal with the fall-out and pressure on him to produce because of what he said. One point I would like him to consider is this: the fans are not PAID to contribute to a winning product, he and his buddies are. BY THE FANS.

    For the record, I think the Reds will win at least 2/3 over the weekend and lose Tuesday. (All in front of a fully engaged house, Ryan.) It just seems like that kind of team/year. But I think I’ll watch every pitch just in case….. :)

    • @Redgoggles: I do understand where he is coming from and that a loud, boisterous crowd can help the team. But, the team has to do something to get the crowd wound up. I was at game four of the playoffs last year and the crowd was loud until Mike Leake gave up a homerun on the second pitch of the game. He threw a strike on the first pitch and you could hear everyone yell “yeah!”.

      Unfortunately I agree with your last statement too. I think they’ll take two out of three this weekend, maybe even sweep. But with they way this team gets hot then very cold, I look for them to lose the play in game. And I hate that and hope I’m wrong.

  35. All of this angst from players and disgruntled fans all comes from a good place I think. Everyone wants this team to succeed and generally most people think this team could do better. To be eliminated in a wildcard game would be a waste of a great team and hopefully we can all agree on that. I’m sure Ludwick would agree too

  36. Articles like this are why I still read all this stuff, even if I don’t comment as much. Well stated and well written, as always.

    • @LWBlogger: Hey LW – miss your insightful posts and hope to see a lot more in the near future. Catchers always make the best comments and managers!

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Thanks, that’s very kind of you to say. I have just been watching and enjoying baseball and looking at games with more of an eye of “I love this game” as opposed to doing deeper analysis. Maybe I’ll revisit the “feast or famine” thing at the end of the year and see if the Reds have been as hot or cold as we feel they have been.

        As for this season, I had them winning 94 games this year and winning the division. I really didn’t think the Cards would be a 90-win team and I thought the Pirates would be in that 82-86 win range. I can see Reds’ fans being frustrated by many, many things but it seems a lot of folks really don’t give them much of a chance to win a pennant, let alone the WS. I think they have shown that they could either get bounced in the WC game or could make a deep run. They have as good a shot as anyone as the Cards, Pirates, Dodgers, and Braves have all had their rough spots this year and all have weaknesses.

        • @LWBlogger: After how they handled the Dodgers & Cards in the last home stand, anything is possible. IMO, that was their best baseball in 2013 and if they can get to that level during the post-season, then look out!

  37. I can understand what Ludwick is talking about. But, let’s see here. He makes $7+ million a year, wasn’t it? Working 6 months out of the year (as well as a 2 month expenses paid trip to Arizona) palying a game. Most of us work 12 months of the year working hard, making less than 1% of what he is making, and he wants more of us to pay to go see him play a game? Am I missing something here?

    As well as, let’s see here. His own manager has said how he manages for a marathon. Umm, who wants to go watch a marathon when they go to a baseball game? I don’t, and I don’t know anyone who does. Marathons are events competed in by people who look to try a slow steady pace and make it to the end. When I go to a baseball game, I want to see some hustling, some discipline, some attempts at improvements, making adjustments, etc. I don’t care about tagging someone between your legs. I don’t care about batting the worst batters on the team in the 1-2 holes. I don’t care when your best batter is striking out 60% this year than last year. Why would people think Heisey would be so popular with anybody? Because at least he shows some hustling. Why would anyone no worry about Devin being shown throwing a helmet in the dugout? Because at least he is showing some enthusiasm. Why didn’t many people worry about Votto dropping his f-bomb when he struck out? Because it was actually good to see that someone on this team did care that they did something bad. But, no, there was Baker again admonishing Votto not to do that.

    I can understand what Ludwick is talking about. But, anything like this is a 2 way street. He can’t just come at us and not think he should be doing some things himself. He and the rest of the team needed to have played with more enthusiasm the entire season. That marathon cr** has got to be thrown out the window. You have 4-6 months you can recover from any seasonal stress. During the season, that’s why the manager is suppose to give you regular days off, one reason why the “Great 8″ played so little together when they were playing, to be able to get the stress off. We’d rather see something like 100 sprints with breaks in between than 1 long marathon. Marathons are boring.

    This is one reason why I believe, if/when Baker does leave, it’s going to be horrible for the next manager. “He works us so hard. He’s so disciplined, nothing like Dusty. We are use to more of a laid back approach”, exactly what this team doesn’t need, didn’t need the entire season. Within all the chaos, it won’t get any better. Uncle Bob will literally have to blow up the team, then, and start from scratch.

    One thing, Ludwick. Prove me wrong; prove many of us wrong. Please, it’s not like we want to be right. Please, I want to go to the WS winning parade. It’s just, right now, we don’t see any fire. Many of us wouldn’t care if you went 0-162 for the season, at least play with some fire. At least work as hard as the Average Jane and Joe do everyday. Hustle. Make the adjustments. Improve. Become a better player. Hint, you can’t do that running a marathon.

  38. Thanks for tagging “Wayne Krenchicki”. I clicked on the hyperlink and saw this was actually the sixth time he’s appeared in a post here.

  39. Well said. My husband and I grew up Reds fans in the 60s and 70s, listening on the radio. He has listened since. My 8 yr. old son has been listening on the radio since he was 5. They go to about 4 games a year, can’t afford more. The other night he asked his dad how long it would take him to start saving his quarters (daily job money) for season tickets for the two of them. Sadly, it will take much too long. My husband did order cable for the next month so they can watch the playoffs together. My son is beyond excited about that. Baseball is their thing. My son watches defensive highlights every morning, and has nearly all of his stuffed animals named after baseball players. He loves having me read this column to him. (he could read it, but I edit somethings that he doesn’t need to know)
    I have to wonder if the players actually got close enough to their fan base, learned who their fans really are, would they still say some of the things they say…..
    Thanks for the honesty and passion you write with.

  40. I bet Peter Edward Rose never complained about lack of fan support hindering his effort.

  41. Apologize in advance if this bends site rules… but interesting article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday on the 2013 baseball season – timing is ironic. I won’t share the whole thing but here is one piece directly related to this post: (I recommend reading the entire article, also says more managers are not “wasting” outs via bunts anymore and some teams still spend too much $$$ on bullpen arms, i.e. Broxton)

    Winning doesn’t necessarily drive attendance.
    One of the main incentives for winning is that, in theory, fans are more likely to pay to watch good teams than bad ones. But this year has been a case study in how little winning or losing can affect attendance in the short term.
    The Tampa Bay Rays appear headed for the playoffs, yet they rank last in attendance, averaging just 18,645 fans per game, a 3% drop from 2012. The Cleveland Indians are close to reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2007, yet their attendance is worse than the miserly Houston Astros.

    Meanwhile, some bad teams were box-office hits. The Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers, two of the worst teams in the National League, rank 10th and 14th of 30 teams in attendance, respectively.

    The lesson? Winning isn’t necessarily enough to overcome market and stadium issues. And losing isn’t always enough to drive away a loyal fan base

    • @peterreds: Part of attendance, Tampa Bay aside, is that the domed ballparks make planning predictable. For the Reds, the footprint for the fan base has always been spread over 5 states and if you live 2 hours from GABP, you look at the weather report — a 60 percent chance of rain — do you leave the house? If it’s Milwaukee, sure, so long as it’s not a flood getting there.

      I also think attendance is an optical way of evaluating success. But the numbers that come in from TV revenues, the Internet (a big deal for the Reds) and other sources … that matters and it’s not something you can easily identify from your seat in Secton 506.

      None of this is cut-and-dried. If you think about it, 20,000 people go by Wrigley Field every day with nothing else to do. And I will say — the Red Line to the ballpark from the CTA station costs about $2.50.

      I can recall days at Crosley Field when 7,000 was a big crowd. Riverfront didn’t sell out all that much. Cincy is just NOT a place where attendance is going to be monstrous. Day game on a Wednesday? If you get 19,000, consider that a good day.

      • None of this is cut-and-dried. If you think about it, 20,000 people go by Wrigley Field every day with nothing else to do.

        @Johnu1: Is your real name Lee Elia? One of my favorite quotes of all time even if yours is a paraphrase. Good stuff.

  42. I hate millionaires who criticize the fans who pay their salaries. In defense of Ludwick however, he is probably like Votto (knee), playing with a shoulder that is not 100% but absolutely trying his best every at bat. As with Votto’s knee, it will take some time with Ludwick’s shoulder.

  43. While you bring up Pete Rose, Bud Selig is retiring.
    I guess this is the off-day thread, anyone want to make wild predictions about Pete Rose’s relationship with MLB with Selig gone?

  44. Ryan Ludwick? Why are fans wasting their time on Ryan Ludwick?

    I have truly enjoyed the posts here.

    We can only hope the Reds pick up some momentum these last three games against Pittsburgh. Hopefully “Luddy” will be riding pine, DatDude will be hitting 4th, and a new LF will be batting 2nd (D-Rob or B-Ham). At least from the bench “Luddy” can play cheerleader and help the crowd get more into the game (as opposed to watching him hit into DP’s or stranding all those base runners).

    And if Red fans are really fortunate our boy will be complaining about the lack of fan support in another city next season (try Miami on for size).

  45. I Ludwick gives back some of the generous salary he “earned” from the Reds this year, the club could lower the price of beer at GABP. Louder crowd would surely result.

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