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. It’s kind of absurd for Ryan to essentially say that the Reds fans have not acted with “urgency” during a playoff race. As evidenced by the manager of the team throughout the season, he doesn’t see any urgency in this type of series, so why should the fans?

    I recently moved from Cincinnati to the west coast so I would’ve given anything to be in GABP this past week, but I won’t blame a single person who doesn’t want to pay money to see a team that has clearly been playing for 5th place (in the National League) this season.

  2. I generally agree with everything Chad said. I do have to give Ludwick props for pushing himself to get back into shape much sooner than most people expected after his shoulder injury/surgery. A lot of guys would have cashed the checks and waited for Spring Training. He didn’t.

    I am an old guy who fell in love with the Reds and baseball in 1961 – I was 9. I can close my eyes and still smell Crosley Field. I left the area in 1992 due to my job and lived in Atlanta for 15 years. I saw the Reds every chance to got when the played at Fulton County, then the Ted. Pre-internet, I would sit in my car on the driveway and try to pull in WLW and Marty and Joe.

    We returned in 2007. I have noticed this since leaving and returning: Cincinnati, which once WAS a baseball town, is not any longer. I think the Reds’ futility on the field, along with the player strikes, Marge’s various embarrassments, Pete’s scandal, the PEDs scandals, the mismanagement until the Castellinis, and, most importantly, the rise of the NFL, has changed the sports culture here. I literally am gobsmacked walking into a sports bar in Cincinnati during baseball season and having to ask the bartender or waitress if they can put the Reds game on one of the TVs. I think there is a couple of generations that came of age here that never caught the fever. They DO have Bengals fever, even with the Brown’s ownership and the lost decades. Football is just more fun to watch (for these people), less time consuming (once day a week), and easier to organize socially around. Let’s face it, baseball fandom takes effort. As a kid, the single most important sporting event in the world was the World Series. Now, it is the Super Bowl. I don’t think it will ever change. If I were asked which I would prefer, the Reds winning the World Series, or the Bengals winning the Super Bowl, I would say the Reds, without hesitation. I think I would be in a very small minority.

    • @Evannati: Sorry about the typos in paragraph 2. Should read “I saw the Reds every chance I got and when they played at Fulton County, then the Ted.”

      Also, I should have said “As a kid, IN THE UNITED STATES, the single most important sporting event in the world was the World Series.” I realize the World Cup crushes both the World Series and the Super Bowl, world-wide.

    • @Evannati: You ring a lot of bells with this post. Thanks for sharing that insight. You are right: I’ve gone into places and asked if they’d put the game on … they look at me and shrug. “Nobody’s watching it.”

  3. Ludwick’s comments have made strange bedfellows, because today I find myself agreeing with Daugherty, and I usually hate what that guy writes.

    But there really is something about this team that is hard to get behind.

    Dusty makes every game harder to watch with his nonsensical lineups and stubbornness (no matter much impact it makes, it is hard to watch a team that isn’t doing everything it can to win).

    Votto seems like an angry and upset dude most of the time. He is, IMO, clearly the Reds best player, but are there that many fans who feel like they really like him?

    BP is a lightning rod, but again, a tough guy to really like. He’s a joy to watch play defense, but his antics off the field are an embarrassment, and his approach at the plate is infantile.

    Jay Bruce is a great guy to have on a team, but for whatever reason he just can’t stop being streaky. He’s just a hot and cold player.

    I can’t go through them all, and I don’t know if any of that even makes sense. But there is a feel to this team, a negativity, and Ludwick’s comments are just the next piece.

  4. I won’t bash Cincinnatians for not showing up for the Mets series.

    But I’ll bash a few people around here. The cowards who hide behind their anonymity just to constantly criticize the team and slander certain Reds employees.

    I’m anonymous, but I don’t use that as an excuse to feign expertise, or to desperately seek approval from like-minded haters. I’m not talking about intelligent critique — I’m talking about lame attempts to insult people or come up with a new or funny way to say “Baker sucks.”

    Frankly, some of you don’t deserve a team this good.

    • @renbutler: I’m not a fan of those kids of posts either, but I don’t think it’s probably hurting any of the Reds feelings. So what’s your point exactly?

    • @renbutler: Hi Ren – glad you are here. I want your honest opinion, do you think Billy Hamilton & Logan Ondrusek will make the post-season roster? Thanks, good to see you back.

    • @renbutler: Dude.

      This “good” team might be one and done in the playoffs, making 3 years where a certain “employee” has failed to lead the team deep.

      After enduring the Reds of 1982-1989, and 1996-2009, I feel entitled to come to a fan forum and criticize “employees.” I feel my arguments are sound, and not just some smear job. Moreover, this group of players coming together? The stars are aligned. This may not happen again. The window is closing. So as a fan, I’ll be darned if I sit back, keep quiet, cross my fingers, and hope.

  5. What’s next from Ryan Ludwick?
    “My comments were taken out of context?”
    Or, “I apologize if I offended anyone by my comments.”
    Blame the media, or a lame non-apology? Maybe it’ll be both.

  6. I just saw a story that it is official, Bud the Dud Selig to retire after the 2014 season. Yeeaahhh!!
    He won’t be the commish when the 2015 all-star game is in Cincy. What will that mean for Pete Rose??

  7. You can disagree with what Ludwick said, but calling out his character is ridiculous. He said what he said in a respectful way. Most of the people attacking Ludwick probably didn’t even watch the interview.

    Ludwick has always been a standup guy and he’s one of those players that can be counted on to answer questions after games, win or lose, 3 for 4 or 0 for 5.

    As a player, it’s human nature to want support from your fan base. You’ve come to hope for and expect that since you were a little kid. The reality is that fans don’t offer unconditional support, they want to be entertained.

    I don’t know … I wish the response was a little less bashing and a bit more empathy for a guy who is hurt and trying his best. Perhaps I have this view because I worked in baseball for several years and see these guys as human beings.

    • @ChrisInVenice: No one is saying he’s subhuman. The point is, it’s offensive to put any of the blame for bad play on the fans. The Reds set an attendance record this year. We drew a heck of a lot more than they did in Oakland, or Tampa, or Cleveland, and those are all playoff teams too.

      Bad economy, uninspired team (no real winning streak to speak of this year, unlike the big 10 gamer last year that revved everyone up.), etc etc.

      Bottom line, Ludwick is allowed to wish that there were more fans there, but “calling out” the fans is really never acceptable, and especially not given the circumstances I just described. It comes off as out of touch and entitled, and that gets everyone thinking about how he’s a millionaire playing a game, and no wonder he’s out of touch and entitled. And that’s not good for the game.

      • @al:

        Thanks for the thoughtful response. I understand where you are coming from, I feel that the vitriolic backlash to what he said is a bit over the top. I just don’t really find what he said as offensive.

        Cincy fans seem to have a really thin skin, but I suppose it’s no thinner than anywhere else.

    • You can disagree with what Ludwick said, but calling out his character is ridiculous.He said what he said in a respectful way.Most of the people attacking Ludwick probably didn’t even watch the interview.

      Ludwick has always been a standup guy and he’s one of those players that can be counted on to answer questions after games, win or lose, 3 for 4 or 0 for 5.

      As a player, it’s human nature to want support from your fan base.You’ve come to hope for and expect that since you were a little kid.The reality is that fans don’t offer unconditional support, they want to be entertained.

      I don’t know … I wish the response was a little less bashing and a bit more empathy for a guy who is hurt and trying his best.Perhaps I have this view because I worked in baseball for several years and see these guys as human beings.

      /CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP/

      Hear hear!

    • @ChrisInVenice: I’m sure Luddy is a fine guy. The point is, if he is going to make comments, he should make them in the clubhouse to the team and not the fans. This club needs a leader, while the fans just set an attendance record at GABP.

  8. To chad bill Steve et al who run this site I have been reading everyday since 2008 but never posted but the recent Ludwick comments have stirred me.
    I was at the last Reds home playoff victory Wells vs. Nomo and it has been a extremely long wait for the Reds to be contenders again but in the 1995 nlcs 1999 playin the 2010 nlds and the 2012 nlds the reds have given us exactly zero home victories so sorry Ryan if the new GABP home attendance record is still too subdued for you. Win some sort of pennant for us long suffering reds fans and maybe we will be louder
    I like many of u was at game four and when the reds decided that Arrendondo was the best choice for the first man out of the pen a little bit of me lost faith in this team like Chad I have spent this entire year trying to get as excited as I was previous to that moment
    Go Reds and make this years October the best since 1995 :-)

    • @redsfan11: What kind of fans WAIT for their team to win a pennant before they decide it’s appropriate to cheer loudly? That’s completely backwards. Most teams don’t win pennants most years. Does that mean most fans shouldn’t make any noise? What kind of logic is this? “Sorry, Pirates’ fans… you’re being absolutely silly to cheer loudly, because you haven’t won a pennant.” What planet am I on?

      • @Baseclogger: I think you’re way off base. All the poster was saying is that if setting a new GABP attendance record isn’t enough for poor little Ludwick, who needs his parents cheering in the stands to play well apparently, then maybe the team should play better.

        It’s a pretty simple equation. If the team is more exciting, the fans will be more excited. Setting a new attendance record shows the fans are into it. If he wants more, he can put more on the field.

        • @al: The actual comment was “Win some sort of pennant for us long suffering reds fans and maybe we will be louder.” I’m not sure how to interpret that statement as meaning anything other than “win a pennant and maybe we’ll be louder.”

  9. Ryan Ludwick is not wrong. I am a die hard Reds fan. I come to this blog daily (multiple times in fact) and listen to every game on the radio on my way home from work. Just because people like me exist does not mean that all Cincinnati fans are good fans. Living in Denver I have been introduced to what good fans are like. Win or lose, good or bad, baseball or football or basketball or soccer, fans in Denver show up and are loud. I’ve been saying this for years now to friends and family still living in Cincy that our fanbase is terrible, especially when the teams aren’t winning. Don’t hate on Ryan Ludwick, hate on your friends and family, the ones that he is referring to.

    • @Liptonian: First off, it doesn’t matter if he was right or wrong about the fans, it’s never a player’s place to call out the people paying his check. It’s just classless.

      Second, I don’t think he’s right. What about this guy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_cUAma1_cY

      30k per game isn’t bad at all. I’ve gone to Reds games this year and the fans were really into it. You really think you can characterize 2.4 million people based on one lousy game?

      • @al: I think I can characterize a fan base using 18 years of experience going to games annually and an additional 8 or 9 years traveling back to the hometown to witness the lack of fandom. In general, Cincy fans are bandwagon fans, plain and simple. This extends beyond the Reds to include the Bengals too. Obviously I am not including folks on this blog for reasons discussed above. I don’t hold it against Ludwick for saying what he said. If you have ever played a sport you would know that having people cheer for you does give you a boost (although this could never be quantified).

        One fan or one blog does not a fan base make.

        • @Liptonian: Well, i Guess it’s my word against yours. I go to games every year, going back to the eighties, and the crowd usually seems pretty into it. I’ve been to a lot of games in SF, OAK, BOS, NYM, CLE, and I can say that the Reds fans are just as good as any of those except Boston.

          Sure playing in front a big crowd gives a boost (and I love how many posters here love to throw around the “if you ever played…” once a jock always a jock I guess), I just think it’s a wuss move to say that you need it. Go out and play well, be exciting, and you’ll get the fans Luddy. Thank the fans who come out, and more probably will because they feel appreciated. He’s just got it bass ackwards.

        • @al: The nice thing about the internet is that you get to interact with people of differing opinions http://redlegnation.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif.

          I will defend some posters (or myself) here with the “if you ever played” quote though. Since there are people here from all walk of life, who am I to presume whether or not you have ever played a sport competitively. My experience come from playing frisbee, not the most jockish of sports, in college. Generally we got about -4 fans at our tournaments, but when we played tournaments “at home” and 50-100 people showed up you definitely got jacked. I would assume the novelty would wear off at some point as a professional, but apparently it does not.

      • @al: Let me also agree with a comment you made below saying that if you want fans to cheer harder then maybe the team should play harder. I am not accusing a poor fan base for poor on-field play, I am just agreeing with Mr. Ludwick that the fans, as a baseline, could be a little more rowdy on a day-to-day basis.

  10. I haven’t read through all the comments so forgive me if someone has already made this point, but doesn’t it occur to people that Ludwick is merely saying what a LOT of the players are probably thinking? Do we really think he’s on an island by himself and all the other players are perfectly fine with the lack of crowd noise? Doesn’t it seem likely that this is something the players have talked about privately? I’m annoyed by Ludwick’s impatience at the plate (though I know the manager would rather see him “overeager” than “taking pitches”) and his inability to hit mediocre pitching, but I’m not annoyed at him for saying something true, and something that I strongly suspect is representative of the team’s general feeling.

    • @Baseclogger: That’s not the point at all. Who cares if the rest of the Reds wish there were more fans at the games. Unless every game is sold out, I’m sure every player on every team wishes there were more fans at the games. More fans = more fun, and more fans = more money. That’s obvious.

      The point is that he came out and said it, and in so doing, actually put some of the blame for their poor play on the fans. That’s what is BS. If they want more fans, go kick some butt, and more fans will come. He’s asking for it to be the other way. Please come out and support us, we can’t be good unless we have people cheering us on.

      This is no longer little league. We do not have to support bad players playing badly just because.

      • @al: You seem to be stuck on the idea that it’s the NUMBER of people that is the problem, when in fact Ludwick was specifically complaining about how little fan noise there is in the stadium compared to other places.

        And he didn’t blame the team’s poor play on the fans. He said louder fans would help energize the team and maybe get them to play better. There’s a difference between saying “X would get us to play better” and “the lack of X is the reason we’re not playing well.” You seem to be going out of your way to find things to dislike about what he said, when in fact what he said was probably accurate and really not all that terrible.

    • @Baseclogger: If I found out that was true and the team’s general feeling is the one expressed by Ryan Ludwick I would be tempted to give away my tickets for this weekend and walk away. Bob Castellini does so much to make sure the fans come to the ballpark and I hope he would not put up with an attitude like that.

      I have been to a lot of Reds games over the years and when the team does good the fans react. Maybe they are not as loud as some would like but they respond to what they see on the field. I’ve been to games against the Cardinals where I would swear the stadium was shaking. I was at a game this summer against the Pirates where everyone was standing and cheering for the final out when Chapman was pitching. I’ve seen excitement at the stadium. As I said earlier, give the fans something to cheer about and it will get loud.

      • @Just A Fan: Ludwick’s point is that the team might play better if fans had more energy and made more noise. His point isn’t that the fans don’t make any noise and don’t respond to good things, it’s that they don’t make noise that actually helps the team win. Applauding AFTER a guy has hit a home run does very little to help that guy hit a home run. Applauding AFTER the pitcher has struck a guy out does very little to help the pitcher strike the guy out.

        It’s fair to question whether the players should ever need crowd noise to get them to play at their highest level, but Ludwick is saying it does matter, and teams in louder stadiums are at an advantage because of it. He’s saying it matters to the Pirates players, the Cardinals players, and players on every team — not just the Reds. And he wants the Reds to have the same home field advantage they have in Pittsburgh. I’m really not sure what’s so terrible about any of this.

  11. I hope everyone takes a minute to watch this video clip. I will set it up. Game 162, 2012 season … Cubs (60-101) vs. Astros (55-106) … 9th inning … bases loaded. Observe how the players react to a walkoff hit. I think this probably answers a lot of questions about players, their attitudes — and how the fans react to that.

    http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=25310385&c_id=mlb

    • @Johnu1: Maybe Reds fans just have standards. I know I wouldn’t be standing and cheering like that for my 101 loss team. Does that make me a bad fan?

      • @al: Wasn’t necessarily trying to establish that … just found it interesting that a team with 101 losses could celebrate on the final day after beating a team with 106 losses. As for the fans, you buy a ticket and your team wins the game, what’s not to be happy about?

      • @al: As well, evidently winning 90 games isn’t enough for some folks. I know that when the Cubs WERE good, the intensity around that city was unbelievable. Not nearly as much when the White Sox won in 2005.

        • @Johnu1: You’ve made your fair share of negative comments on this site. Does that mena 90 wins wasn’t enough for you?

        • @al: I will say it again … it doesn’t matter how many you win so long as you win the last one. I didn’t know I was being evaluated for the number of negative comments. I also post a lot of fairly positive ones as well.

      • @al: Not a bad fan, no, but not supporting a bad team makes it at least somewhat unlikely (decreased attendance, decreased revenue) that the team will get much better. I also suspect that St. Louis, because of its reputation as an enthusiastic baseball town, is attractive to players. I also do not buy the argument that, since the players are paid to play well it shouldn’t matter what the fans do or do not do (not your argument, I know); players are human and respond to positive stimuli and praise. So do office workers. Doing your job is one thing, doing it with passion is another.

  12. How about we make every home game from this point ON THE LOUDEST POSSIBLE? I was at Game 4 of the NLDS last year (the first Reds playoff game of my life), and I was blown away with the electricity. So much different than any regular season game I had ever been to. As a Buckeye football fan, it rivaled a football crowd. And it IS a blast from both a fans perspective and the players too, I’m sure.

    So, instead of dissecting and lambasting Ryan why don’t we humor him and do our part? It’s time.

    • @Redgoggles: My point is that I don’t like what Ludwick said if it’s in context. All of this is the wrong windmill. The team isn’t playing very well and there’s not much confidence from the fans. I’d hate to be sitting in the seats and watch inning after inning after inning of the most inert offense I’ve ever seen from a contending team playing in a so-called hitter’s ballpark.

    • @Redgoggles: Why do we as fans need to humor the players? It is their JOB to win baseball games no matter what! I don’t have someone sitting next to me at my desk urging me on and cheering for me, but I do my job because that is what I am PAID to do. If, as a team, they cannot self-motivate then perhaps they should find a new profession.

      • @mayday26:

        I get what you are saying, and his comments do rub me wrong also. But, part of the fun to me of attending the game live is to participate in trying to get into the other pitchers/batters head by being loud, etc. It obviously does make a difference to the players so why not make it happen? Call it ‘Loud-out for Ludwick’, or something cheesy like that and rattle the crap out of the Pirates. It’s playoff time, let’s have some fun! (And win!)

  13. Chad: I get what you are saying, but will point out that Ludwick wouldn’t have said what he said if he didn’t care. I’ve also never felt that he was mailing it in on the field. This team is going to the wildcard play-in game with at least 90 wins (93, I hope), but has been, ultimately, frustrating for many of us. Hope has not died yet, though.

  14. Yes, it is true … the Reds are still not mathematically eliminated for contention to win the World Series.

  15. I am going to take a more charitable approach. I think there’s some personal frustrations fueling Luddy right now. After a great second half last year, I’m sure he had high expectations coming in, and getting hurt on opening day had to be a crusher. Coming back late in the season and hoping to ba a catalyst, his recent work has to be another personal disappointment. (Although, given the nature of his injury, I don’t know why anyone would have expected him to hit well this soon. Apparently, the lessons of Scott Rolen’s last few years were not learned.)

    I’ll cut the guy some slack, much like I did BP for his outburst. Frustrations erupt sometimes. And Dusty, maybe Ludwick needs to be a bench player for the remainder of the Reds’ season. For his own sake.

  16. Players will never make these kinds of reckless comments about each other. Could you imagine Ludwick “calling out” BP for not hustling down the line? Or taking to task Cozart for first pitch swinging after an opposing pitcher has just walked the two guys ahead of him? Nope. He wouldn’t. And, yet, here he is willing to “call out” the Reds fans. Lame. Clean your own house first brother.

    If attendance is low, it’s because we’ve seen this act before. We have a team that teases us with a possibly great ending to the year. But, we know what will happen already. They’ll fold under pressure. We’ve seen it repeatedly over the years.

    We knew more than a month ago that the division would probably finish 1) Cardinals 2) Pirates 3) Reds with us playing on the road in the WC game. All the games in between then and now have only proven what we already knew. We know the ending to this script already. The players continue to play it out to perfection.

    And, sadly, we know the outcome of the WC game already too. Trust me, in your heart, you know how this season will end. We’ve seen it before.

    And you, Mr. Ludwick, wonder why some fans seem lackluster?

    • @tpteach: I agree with your first paragraph but after that, you lost me. So, I suppose you won’t bother watching this weekend’s series or the WC game then? I mean what’s the point if you know for certain they will lose? I can understand having reservations and doubts but I think you’re taking those doubts to an extreme. Of course, there is a good chance you’ll be right. If not about the Wild Card game, a 50/50 proposition or so, then about the Reds collapsing at some point. I mean, 10 teams go to the post-season but only 1 wins the World Series.

      • @LWBlogger: Oh, I’ll watch. Of course. Even when I’m holding crappy cards, and I need to catch one of two remaining cards on the River, I’ll keep watching. But I’ll also know that it won’t happen.

        So, yes, I’ll watch, but you have to admit that in your heart, you know we won’t win the WC or, even more certain, the first round. Yes, of course there’s a chance (SLIM), but we do know.

        We knew the Mets would beat us in ’99’s one game to get into the playoffs. (sigh…Al Leiter)

        We knew Philadelphia would beat us in the first round (sigh…Roy Halladay)

        We hoped we could beat the Giants once we were up 2 games to none. But, after losing Cueto in game 1 and the losing game 3 (ugh, ugh, ugh) we kinda knew (at least I did) what would happen.

        And watching the Reds heading to the playoffs and losing series to the Cubs, Brewers,and Mets can make for a lethargic fan base. Because, well, we kind of already know the outcome of this season.

        Here’s to hoping for that 2 on the River!

        • @tpteach: Yeah, and we “knew” the mighty A’s were going to crush us in 1990. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so keep going with the “I know what will happen” bit. I think I’ll wait and see what happens when they play the games.

  17. “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!”

    A quick note – I was a bat boy with the Nashville Sounds during that time and I remember a lot of those guys. Those were fun years.

  18. This is Cincinnati, people here just aren’t inclined to rip their shirts off and star in a reality TV show in order to feel fulfilled. We’re laid back fans and GABP is a great family destination because of its lack of caterwauling yahoos and drunken 20-somethings.

    We save our shouting and passion for the 97 minute drive from downtown to the suburbs 5 miles up 71 and 75.

  19. I’ve always taken issue with professional athletes or entertainers complaining that the fans aren’t excited. If we pay to be entertained, isn’t it their job to entertain? If Ludwick wants an excited crowd, play exciting baseball.

  20. Great piece/statement/whatever. It needed to be said. Well done. Compare Jim Leyland’s more…humbled, reaction to Detroit’s fans, after clinching last night. Of, course they actually clinched their division, so Ludwick’s (and/or Dusty’s) reactions may not be comparable:

    Funny now, how many of us were thinking Dusty was counting on Ludwick’s return to be the “veteran-y” leadership this clubhouse seemed to be lacking all season.

  21. Well said Chad!!

    My wife and I will be at Saturday and Sundays games and it will be our 25’th wedding annivesary. We live over 5 hours away from Cincinnati but she knows how much I love the Reds so she agreed to go. We attend as many games as we can during the season, but this time will be special since we have tickets behind the plate for the first time.
    I hope Ludwick can hear me boooo when he strikes out with runners on base!

    Another thing I hope Teddy Kremer is in the dugout for this series! That would spark this team to victory!

  22. I have heard many people that the Reds don’t play with a sense of urgency. I wouldn’t necessarily say that, or at least that term. They play with very little enthusiasm. They don’t play like they want to win the game. Sure, they may want to. But, they don’t play like it. Like Baker has said, he manages for the marathon, so he looks to keep the players slow and steady. Votto shows some emotion; Baker admonishes him. Devin shows some emotion; he gets benched. (Still trying to understand BP getting away with what he did). What Baker fails to realize is that playing slow and steady, the players have no idea then when to “turn it on” when they need to. What he fails to realize is that, in this marathon, there are a bunch of whole other types of races, regularly 9 innings long, that need to be won, also, or you won’t have to worry about the marathon. If you can’t get the players up for those, you aren’t going to be able to get the players up for playoff time. Thus, Baker’s horrible playoff record.

    Ludwick says the players need us? People on here have posted how the players on the other bench would regularly be cheering their teammates on, but the players on our bench would just be sitting back and chillin’ out, again, taking on the mood of their manager. Ludwick needs to be looking in the mirror. It starts with them, not us. Play like you want to win, play with some enthusiasm. I would think they play for the “love of the game”, but honestly, I can’t tell that they do love the game. Like I said before, I wouldn’t care if they go 0-162, play like you love the game, enthusiastic, etc. Prove me wrong, Ludwick, prove me wrong. Please, I want you to prove me wrong.

  23. Something has to wake these guys up out of their lethargy – ‘Gomer Pyle’ Baker isn’t going to do it since according to him they need to be coddled and pampered like babies at all times.

    Forget that.

    I will take the 1971-1973 Oakland As approach any day (profound snarkiness among the players who simply went out and won).

  24. Red Nation fans going to this week-ends games – please, oh please, let Mr. Ludwick know what we think of his statements – and please do it loudly!!

    WHO-DEY!!

  25. Ludwick is now blaming the Red’s customer?

    Wonder how a restaurant or bar or grocery store or …. would fare with that type of attitude?

    Please get Luddy out of Cincy ASAP – and bring in a player with some zestful spirit and spit-fire…

  26. First, let me say I have not read anything but the story here, so if I repeat something that has been said, I am sorry.

    Ryan Ludwick made a mistake when he said what he said, and it is basically wrong in perception and just badly timed. Still, maybe it shows a man and a team that is a little upset with themselves. At one point if the Reds had won some the games they have lost recently to inferior teams bothers them too. We can’t figure out why they can;t win and they can’t either.

    Bud Selig is retiring, so does that mean the ban on Rose ends. He would be a good ambassador for the game and his fire is needed. In comparison to some of the things that have happened both in the country and the game, his transgressions seem minor. He bet on baseball, football, basketball, and probably a lot of other things, but that is a sickness and with the right assurances, would be a real asset. I am not even saying that he should be eligible to be voted into the HOF, though he should be voted on by the writers, it is their decision.

    Finally, I do not want to think this team cannot win in the playoffs, but they have to prove they can do it, and I am not sure this is the team. They do not seem to have what it takes, or they have been playing possum. I hope it is the latter, Go Reds.

    • @redmountain:

      Yes, it shows Ludwick cares.

      You guys may not believe this….But Ludwick is just like you. He grew up as a Reds fan. His family are Reds fans.

      http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/02/08/ludwick-is-one-happy-dude/

      I think what he was really getting at is he wants this team to return to the glory he remembered, when Reds fans packed the house night after night and truly were the greatest in baseball. Realistically, Reds fans can no longer make that claim.

      I think Ludwick’s comments were misinterpreted. He wants things to get better, he’s not hating on anyone. Personally, I agree with Ludwick and hope this team will one day again be known as on of the premiere MLB teams.

      • @CI3J: Right. Ludwick grew up as a diehard fan of the Reds and was thrilled to be with the Reds even before the 2012 season started, it was his childhood dream. I haven’t even been able to hear his video because I’m at a hotel with crappy wireless, so I can’t comment on that. If he’s exhorting the fans to show up and make noise, that part is a good thing. Pirate fans are raucous and packing the house after 22 consecutive losing seasons.

        If fans show up and boo him, wow, how counterproductive. The Pirates would love it, would make them feel like they’re playing at home.

        But I don’t think that will happen. The fan base that stood up and did everything they could to will the Reds to win after they fell behind 6-0 in Game 5 of last year’s divisional series will come thru again. Ludwick responded well to that electricity, with a HR and a 9th inning RBI single.

  27. I agree with everything you said Chad. However, I also agree with a lot of what Ludwick said… I’ve been to about 15 games this year, and about half of them have been like sitting in a ghost town. Im shocked to learn that they set an attendance record this year. Sure didnt seem like there were a lot of peaople there, or very loud crowds. I was at the sunday night game against the dodgers a few weeks and even though there was a big crowd, you could hear a pen drop.

  28. I live 3-1/2 hours from Cincy and try to get to a weekend series at GABP three or four times a season. I would love to attend more games, but can’t afford it, both time-wise and money-wise. I also make it a point to get up to Chicago to see the Reds at Wrigley Field once a summer.

    What Reds players and management need to keep in mind is how much money a trip to Cincinnati now costs folks, especially those of us who drive 3-1/2 hours from southeastern Kentucky and stay at downtown hotels and eat at downtown restaurants. It certainly isn’t cheap, and I can’t imagine what it would cost to take an entire family.

    While I wish I could have helped make the September crowds bigger and louder, I also happen to view the increase in attendance this season as a major positive, especially when you consider the fact that this is the first time since 1975 and 1976 that the Reds have reached the post-season play in back-to-back years. It’s hard to erase in three seasons the patterns of low attendance and relatively quiet crowds that were established during more than 35 years of mostly godawful baseball (the exception being 1990, of course).

    If the Reds are able to achieve any type of post-season success this time around I believe that next season will see a return to all those boisterous standing-room-only crowds that I was fortunate enough to be a part of back when I was a college student during the the Big Red Machine era. I remember well when a couple of friends and I were able to score three of those yellow seat standing-room tickets for a National League playoff game with Pittsburgh on a Saturday afternoon in 1976. After the Reds won the game we walked over to Riverfront Coliseum to see Jethro Tull in concert, as they were a huge draw at that time.

  29. I honestly don’t get what the big deal is. Look, I can understand some people taking offense to what Ludwick said and maybe he didn’t HAVE to say it. But the fact of the matter is, as a whole, the Cincinnati fan base is not on par with places like St Louis and Boston and even Chicago. Yes, there are very passionate fans like Chad and pretty much anyone who reads and posts on this site, but the crowds at GABP while larger this year than in recent years are just not as zealous as in other places. It’s not hard to see that even on TV. When we’ve got a lead and it looks like the game is in the bag, people stand and cheer Chapman. But down in the 8th or 9th even by a run and you see the place clearing out. I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a professional sports venue that can get the air taken out of it faster than GABP. I guess I’ve never been to an Astros game in Houston but that might be similar.

    The oddest thing about everyone’s response to Ludwick is that I would think this is exactly what a diehard fan would WANT to hear. He said that you MATTER. That your passion and support can and does legitimately impact the outcome of games. Isn’t that what we all WANT to believe when we show up at a game and cheer and heckle and live and die with every pitch? Ludwick just told you it’s true and he asked you to do it some more. Maybe he’s just trying to sell tickets for his boss, but it seemed like a genuine statement to me. Knock him for “returning to St Louis as a former Cardinal” but those fans sell out their stadium for every game. Yeah, maybe he got used to that. Can you blame him? He wasn’t talking to you, Chad, he was talking to the guy who goes to one game a year, sits on his hands when Votto isn’t batting, and leaves at the 7th inning stretch to beat the traffic. You go to enough games to know that describes an awful lot of the crowd at GABP on any given series that isn’t against a marquee opponent.

    My biggest fear is that people continue to make a big deal out of this and start booing Ludwick over this critical last stretch, into the post season, and into next year. I am already pretty sure they will, in part thanks to posts like this which I don’t think needed to be written. Otherwise I think his pretty innocuous comments would have gone relatively unnoticed.

  30. I live 14 miles from St. Louis and I go to all the games at Busch and about 3-4 games at GABP every year. Last year I splurged and bought seats for my brother and I that were three rows up from the first base dugout. It just so happened to be the game where Ryan Ludwick hit the walk-off homer vs. the Cards in the tenth. I was several adult carbonated beverages in at that point so I was being a little loud. But as Ludwick was coming to the plate, I just stood up and started yelling, “Let’s go Ludwick”. My brother and a few others who may have been slightly inebriated joined in and it became a chant. Well the ridiculous people who were sitting in the seats in front of us (not wearing a single bit of team gear but were probably season ticket holders) turned and started telling us to sit down and be quiet. We were ruining the game for them. Of course, powered by the support of all those beverages, I just got louder. Watching that ball barely get over the wall was the single greatest baseball moment I have ever experienced. The energy we induced by that chant was contagious for the real fans in the crowd. Unfortunately there are far too many regular spectators who treat the game like a church outing. Of course the group in front of still looked annoyed even as the Reds won. I would like to think we were audible, being only three rows up.
    So I think the point Ludwick was trying to make is, you don’t have to have something to cheer about to just cheer your team. Sometimes you generate energy to try to get the players going. Its like saying, “I knew that was going to happen,” after it already happens. Sometimes you have to say, “I know this is going to happen!” and will it to happen.

  31. 1) It’s a marathon, not a sprint, Mr. Ludwick. We rested our regular crowd vs the Mets and sent in our Cesar Izturis. We pinch-sat our Neftali Soto late in the game on Wednesday; it didn’t work out, but we’ve got to get that crowd some at bats so it’s sharp when we really need it. (I know: that crowd didn’t even perform that well in Louisville. But the GM just hasn’t done enough to give me the crowd I want, so I’m forced to play this crowd. Waah. Waah.)

    2) I don’t recall any players publicly calling out the front office for giving away one of only 81 home dates. If the organization didn’t feel strongly enough about the value–or desires–of the home crowd to stand up to MLB and insist on playing 81 games in the Queen City, then I guess we’re not that important. (Speaking of which: can any season ticket holders tell us how the Reds compensated you for losing 1.23% of the games you paid for? I don’t remember Mr. Ludwick offering to charter a jet for any of you to go to SF…)

  32. Rather than booing Ludwick when he comes up this weekend I wish all of the fans would stand up and just turn their backs to the field in silence while he is batting.

  33. By and large, I completely agree with Chad..BUT, I tend to believe that what Ludwick was really trying to say was that the team really hoped the fans would come out and be loud and crazy this weekend…except he said it REALLY BADLY.

    That being said, if he played for me (and I were the owner, GM, or manager), he would have been called in the next day and asked, “What exactly were you thinking and how did you think this was going to accomplish it?”

  34. Some of these guys would just be better off not saying anything. Fans dont want to hear you complain about your money or how the fans arent giving you enough energy. Mind you this also complaining about attendance when the club just set a record high with 3 more games to go in the current ballpark.

    Cincy has always counted on fans coming from Indy, Colombus, Dayton, Lexington, Louisville and other smaller cities and towns in the tri-state area- those fans are never going to pack the joint early or late in the season against also ran clubs especially at 1235 on a Wednesday.

    • @earl: I think this is kind of his point, though. Again, I’m not excusing the way he said it because I can definitely see how it could be taken the wrong way by fans. But in St. Louis, they DO pack the stadium every single game, including late in the season against also ran clubs at 12:35 on a Wednesday. St. Louis is basically the same size as Cincinnati. They are a more supportive fan base, by and large, than Reds fans. Granted, they’ve been given good reason to be over the last couple decades. And Reds fans are starting to come out more as evidenced by the record attendance this year. But he has a point. I go to as many games as I can living 1000 miles away, but I watch on TV almost every night and I’m amazed at how many empty seats I see all season long especially at important games. It seems like the only time the ballpark is packed is Cards, now the Pirates, and on holiday weekends. I’m sure that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one.

      • @eric nyc: In terms of the cities populations, St. Louis is about 30,000+ bigger than Cincinnati. But in the size of the metropolitan population there is a big difference with St. Louis at 2.8 million and Cincinnati at 2.2 million: that 600,000 makes a big difference. Also, St. Louis had teams in both the American and National Leagues until 1955 when the St. Louis Browns went to Baltimore and became the Orioles. The fact of having had two teams for over fifty years still has a certain affect on the Cardinal’s great attendance.

        • @Redsfanx: That’s a lot of great qualification…But we don’t have a huge stadium and we don’t pack it. If we want to be immune to these kinds of criticisms of the fan base, that has to change. Hopefully it is. But it’s hard to blame a guy who’s used to a rabid fanbase like St. Louis’ saying that the fanbase here isn’t quite the same.

    • @earl: Comparing St. Louis to Cincy. is apples to oranges. There are a whole lot of reasons why the Cardinals draw more, but it doesn’t mean Cincy is a bad baseball town.

      Cincy lived with bad baseball run by incompetent management for a couple of decades and pretty much blew it twice when they did have the pieces to make a continuing baseball club. Attendance has gone up four years straight, which includes two losing seasons. Local TV ratings are supposedly one of the better clubs. The business is on the upswing.

      Even when the Big Red Machine was at it’s pinnacle and back then they rarely were on TV at home, the current club is about 150000 a season to the peak. Cincy has never drew like what St. Louis does and really that in itself doesn’t mean the club is a bad baseball town or the fans don’t care.

      Don’t insult your customers, that’s just bad business. They are starting to show up and if the Reds continue to make it look like they are trying to make it work and it’s successful, more are going to keep showing up. They win a World Series and I could see them getting their best attendance ever. They are not ‘that’ far away now.

      All that said, when you compare them to Milwaukee – I got to think the smartest thing the Brewers did was put a lid on the place. I think that has to really help in those early and late season games with the weather.

  35. Great post Chad. I made a trip to Cincy with friends of mine from work to see the weekend series with the WLB’s in August. We spent a great amount of $ and time to fly up there from Florida to watch the team get murdered 2 out of 2 games. I have been a fan of this team for 40 years now and every once in awhile a player like Mr. Ludwick uses his position like a bully pulpit to push across his agenda.

    I’m not in favor of rating who has “the best fans in baseball” because it really is determined by how successful the team has been. This team lost a generation of young fans because most seasons just reaching .500 was considered a win. I am a fan because I grew up during the BRM era and will always support the team. How about some sustained success before you chastise the fan base? Getting swept at home with a 2-0 lead in the playoffs doesn’t exactly give one a ton of confidence.

    Finally, I love this site because it is full of the passionate fans that Mr. Ludwick claims we are in short supply. I don’t think this is a “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” situation. We pay our hard earned money to see the team play and if they aren’t playing well, then why should we cheer loudly? Mr. Ludwick has had one (one???!!??) pretty good season and one lousy one. I don’t think that puts him a position to judge the entire fan base. Take your millions of dollars and your pampered lifestyle somewhere else, our fan base deserves better than you.

    again, Bravo Chad.

  36. bravo and amen. I was at the clincher last year, and we brought the noise all day. i also busted up my hand by putting it in the ceiling fan while jumping up and down in front of the TV when Bruuuuuce hit the walk-off clincher in ’10. (i happen to live about 7.5 hrs away from GABP). laying eggs against the cubs, brewers and mets down the stretch ain’t exactly inspiring.

    And, sorry, Ryan, but i really dont need to hear this sauce from a guy who has cashed checks all year while NOT EVEN PLAYING because of a bad slide. And I hate to play that card, but suck it. The redleg nation will show up. Don’t whine when YOU don’t.

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