Daedalus wants to know if you want cherry- or strawberry-flavored Kool-Aid.

So, are you drinking the Kool-Aid yet? Do you believe? Are you afraid to get your hopes up, after all that this team has put us through? Or are you cynical, and refuse to acknowledge what remains a very remote possibility?

How about an open thread to discuss just that issue. What do you think?

22 Responses

  1. Bill

    Cynical? Nah, realistic. Too far behind with too many teams to go over and the hot streak can’t continue. I mean, Tom Shearn? Come on…

  2. Chris W

    Man, it is a big bowl of kool-aid. Driving back from the game yesterday, Tracy was selling the kool-aid. I refuse to think we are back in it yet. I said last week that if we could get it to 5 back by the end of August I’d start believing. I talked myself out of it when I realized that we still have to go 21-11 just to finish .500 for the season. So assuming it will take 83 wins to win the division, we’d have to go 23-9 from here on out while the Cubs would just have to go 17-17 for 83 wins.

  3. Twill815

    Obviously I want the Reds to keep up with their winning ways. If they are within 5 games of 1st by the end of August, a very solid month of September could push them into the forefront of the division and into the playoffs…but we all know that this Reds squad is not a championship contender. Does the FO know this?

    My questions are, do the Reds make the same mistakes as last year and over value the talent on this team? They do play in by far the worst division in baseball and have a shot at the post season without having a winning record (Just like last year).

    Hearing predictions that Mackanin is already going to named the manager for 2008 scares me. We all know the track record of interim turned to permanent managers with this organization.

    As knowledgable fans we all know that some major changes need to occur this off-season and I hope the FO doesn’t think the problem’s have been solved.

    That’s what scares me about the Reds contending for the NL Central. Will long-term goals be compromised?

  4. ChicagoRedsFan

    If it were July 27th instead of August 27th, I’d be pretty excited. Nonetheless, a strong finish with continued improvement bodes well for next year’s team.

    I am becoming much more encouraged, especially with the improved play of the bullpen. The offense has become pretty solid too. Anyone remember how feeble it was earlier in the season?

  5. james

    You can feel the optimism in many Reds fan, such as myself. The thing is, it really is unlikely to leap 3 teams with 32 games left.

    But hey, I like being excited about something this late in the season and so I say they can do it because the NL Central isn’t very good. The teams ahead of the Reds are falling off. And finally, the Reds play 18 games against Cubs, Cards, and Brews. The Reds just need to really crush the Pirates this week, because it seems like they lose against teams they should atleast win series from.

  6. John

    Meh. No one thought they could go 9-0 under Piniella and lead wire to wire and sweep the A’s either.

    All the number crunching in the world isn’t going to predict the future when it comes to baseball. See also: ’69 Mets, ’88 Dodgers, ’90 Reds, ’04 Red Sox, ’06 Cardinals, etc. Statheads will huff and puff, but there are just too many things in baseball that can’t be guaranteed (or in many cases, even explained) with numbers. Maybe that’s why so many of them are so cranky.

  7. RagTag

    All the number crunching in the world isn’t going to predict the future when it comes to baseball. See also: ‘69 Mets, ‘88 Dodgers, ‘90 Reds, ‘04 Red Sox, ‘06 Cardinals, etc. Statheads will huff and puff, but there are just too many things in baseball that can’t be guaranteed (or in many cases, even explained) with numbers. Maybe that’s why so many of them are so cranky.

    First, you (and other non-statheads) are the one who sounds awfully cranky today. 😀

    John, I don’t think you’ll ever see a “stathead” tell you that it is impossible. They will tell you, however, that it is very unlikely since VERY few teams have overcome this deficit with this few games left and this many teams to climb over. And that’s a fact. But no one is saying it’s impossible.

    I know for a fact that it is EXTREMELY unlikely that the Reds will make the playoffs. But I’m drinking the Kool Aid anyway! As long as there’s a mathematical chance, I’m going to continue to believe that it could happen. Makes the games more fun to watch, anyway.

  8. JinAZ

    Maybe that’s why so many of them are so cranky.

    For the record, I am indeed cranky today! But it has more to do with all the weirdness with the phx busses this morning that resulted in my morning commute taking a half-hour longer than usual. 👿

  9. DevilsAdvocate

    I’m not cranky today. What a beautiful day it is here; and a client invited us out to their housewarming for a barbecue, and the laundromat downstairs is moving out (evicted) so no more shaky-shaky in the building, and my favorite car is running great, and the Reds are on a hot streak, and anything is possible.

    Maybe the Reds will even beat a pair of lefthanders tomorrow. Who knows!

  10. Sultan of Swaff

    Reds, best record in the division since the all-star break…..and by a few games. So what you say? I for one think there’s a lot that will translate to next year, particularly the performances of Burton, Bray, and Hobbs. These guys occupy positions that were huge black organizational holes earlier, and to shore them up w/ young inexpensive talent has to bode well. Clearly some major tinkering is in order on the pitching side, and you can’t rule out trading Griffey to free up a spot for Bruce, but this team is just as talented on offense and defense as anyone else. We’re young, with fixed costs, talent in the pipeline, and money to spend. I’ll have grape, please.

  11. Abner

    That’s the way to think, RagTag. That is the only stat I need to know: When they are mathematically eliminated. The Kool-Aid is in my mouth, but I haven’t swallowed it yet.

    I do know that I am more ready to listen to a game now than I was in July. The top two teams are so close (Its the Cubs and the Brewers up there for pete’s sake.), as long as they beat each other up and we can handle the Cards – which I think we’ve done thus far this year, we’ve got a chance.

  12. Y-City Jim

    I think the Reds have a shot of catching the Cubs and Brewers. The question is can they catch the Cardinals, who they trail by 6 games in the lost column. That will be tough. This winning streak has got to continue at least another week for that to happen.

  13. Mike Martz

    :mrgreen: I Believe!

    This happens every year towards the end, they start to play well and they get my hopes up. But, (“It Could Happen”) couldn’t it? 😉

  14. Chris W.

    I guess when you look at stats, the D-Backs shouldn’t be the best team in the NL. Where’s the Pythag there?

  15. DevilsAdvocate

    I read a stats article on the Diamondbacks’ Pythagorean disconnect, which postulated that they won’t be crashing to earth anytime soon if they continue playing the way they have. The reason cited was their two-tiered bullpen: they have a set of elite guys who are used in the close ballgames, keeping AZ close and earning the team plenty of close wins; then they have an underclass of relievers who are used in games which are not as close, and tend to either make the Diamondbacks’ big leads not so big, or to make opponents’ big leads even larger. Hence their disproportionate Pythagorean record.

    Does this two-tier arrangement sound like any other team we know, since early July anyway?

  16. The Mad Hatter

    Just happy to find a reason to tune the computer to MLB.TV again. Am I drinking the kool aid hell yes, this is what fandom is all about.

    And the only thing that needs fixing on offense has been fixed. Moeller, Wise, Castro and Freel (yes, Freel) have been black holes this year and holding positions in the lineup that proved to costly. I love Freel’s hustling non-stop energy but he has proven there is no way he is a major league everyday starter.

  17. DevilsAdvocate

    I see the Astros fired their GM & manager today, Tim Purpura and Phil Garner. I guess they’re to blame for playing Biggio for over half the year while he plodded towards 3000 hits . . . and then continuing to play him more often than not for home games.

  18. Chris

    That was my thought, too, DA. Then I realized – yeah, they are to blame for Biggio, Ausmus, and the other silly things they’ve been getting away with for the past few years.

  19. alan

    It’s very much a possibility. But (caveat), the Reds have a tough schedule in September. They play the Brewers, Cubs and Cards twice. All teams they’ll have to take series from to pull it off. There’s also a series against the Mets, which will be big.

    Just as important, does the team believe they have what it takes to pull it off. This time of year players have gone into slumps. They need everyone to step up and those called up from the minors in a few days to continue to produce as they have all year.

  20. GregD

    Yes, they have 18 games remaining with the teams ahead of them in the standings. The first of those teams they will face this weekend is the one that is directly ahead of them in the standings. They are in direct control of whether this improbability will happen.

    I don’t know that they need people to step up…they just need the team to play like it has the past couple of weeks.

  21. GregD

    Also just realized that this week is the last time the Brewers and Cubs will face each other. Can’t gain on both teams this week (with the exception of a sweep today) but starting Friday, there’s the possibility of gaining on both teams each day.