2010 Post-Season / 2010 Reds / 2011 Reds

A Strange Postseason

To me, this has been the strangest post-season in memory. Pardon me as I ramble a bit.

Sure, just having the Reds in the playoffs has been an oddity to which we are unaccustomed (though I wouldn’t object to seeing these playoff appearances become old hat). I’ve found, however, that I just can’t get excited about the rest of the post-season since the Reds were eliminated.

That feeling isn’t due to the lack of quality baseball. The games have mostly been compelling, and the two teams that have advanced to the World Series each have exceptionally compelling storylines and players that are fun to watch. I’ll watch the games, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the Series.

This year, however, something is different. Most years, the Reds have been eliminated before the football season has even started, so I have grown accustomed to a little buffer before the postseason begins. Not this year. Cincinnati was playing important games all the way until the final day of the season. Hence, I didn’t get my buffer. This is the reality of being a Reds fan in the 2000s; there was no chance that the Reds would be in the playoffs, so I could enjoy the baseball for what it was.

After the Reds were eliminated from the playoffs this season, I found that I just couldn’t get excited about watching someone else’s team fight for a championship. My team should be playing these games! I watched the games, but I wasn’t as invested in them as in years past. That surprised me. The baseball playoffs are usually my favorite time of the year.

I am hopeful that we are all fully invested in the National League Championship Series and the World Series next year, if you know what I mean. My fingers are crossed.

41 thoughts on “A Strange Postseason

  1. I feel the same way. I have a hard time getting excited about games in which the Reds aren’t playing. I can watch just about any football game and enjoy it no matter who’s playing, especially the playoffs. But not so much with baseball. That’s not a knock on baseball, but rather a testiment to how much I love the Reds over any other Pro Franchise.

    • If I never watched another football game in my life, I’d be perfectly happy.

      Of course, by football, you mean soccer, right? 😉 You’ve come back around on this issue. Tell me you have.

  2. Until the Phillies were eliminated, I was interested in seeing them GONE.

    Since then, only individuals — like Posey, Lee, Hamilton — have been interesting to me, not teams.
    Like Bengie Molina getting a ring regardless of the outcome. Now that’s interesting. 8)

  3. I feel the same way about the post season. I’ve hardly watched any since the Reds lost. I haven’t watched much football this year either. I really like the game, but I’ve never been a fan of seeing guys get crushed. I’m glad the NFL is looking to reduce the number of concussions. I had one in high school and I didn’t feel right for weeks.

    • I had a concussion in fourth grade, and I’m still not right. 😯

      I feel the same way about the post season. I’ve hardly watched any since the Reds lost. I haven’t watched much football this year either. I really like the game, but I’ve never been a fan of seeing guys get crushed. I’m glad the NFL is looking to reduce the number of concussions. I had one in high school and I didn’t feel right for weeks.

  4. @RedinTenn: Ha! The same could be said for me. I remember the doctor saying something about “Abby Normal” when I went to see him.

    • @RedinTenn: Ha! The same could be said for me. I remember the doctor saying something about “Abby Normal” when I went to see him.

      Not to further highjack Chad’s post — but it does have “Strange” in the title….Wasn’t “Abby Normal” one of the brains in jars in Young Frankenstein?

      Back to baseball — I’m definitely planning to watch the Reds in the post-season next year!

      • Not to further highjack Chad’s post — but it does have “Strange” in the title….Wasn’t “Abby Normal” one of the brains in jars in Young Frankenstein?

        Funny. I saw Young Frankenstein on Broadway two years ago. Good show, with my favorite actress.

  5. With how bad the Bengals are doing, I can’t wait for baseball again and this year isn’t even over yet…In my eyes now, it’s the Reds division to lose. Cardinals will choke again next year, and beyond. LaRussa’s last year also.

  6. Off the topic and I apologize;

    Would Bill Cowher be interested in coaching The Men? :mrgreen:

  7. I have to share something here that I felt this year for the first time since I was a kid. I remember when I was a kid, I had contempt and maybe even hatred for teams like the Dodgers, Pirates, and Phillies…team that the Reds competed in the same division or played in the LCS. This year I actually felt hatred towards the Cardinals and the Cubs all season. Then when the LDS began, I felt the same bitterness and hatred for the Phillies. In fact after the Reds were eliminated, I pulled for the Giants during the LCS because of the hatred for the Phillies. I know that might be childish but I felt it for the first time since I was a kid during the Big Red Machine days.

  8. @icee82:

    I’ve hated the Phils since last year when Chase Utley dropped an f-bomb in his turn at the microphone in a stadium full of fans. “Celebrating”, I guess. 😡

    I was really ready for them to not repeat.

  9. I’ve been much more into the postseason than most of you.
    Actually, the Reds getting in this year has led to more interest in my part, because I now had a new team to root against: the Phillies. I always root against the Yankees, so I had a rooting interest in both LCSs.

    The dislike I developed for the Phillies was not because they beat us, but their fans, their arrogance (saying they were sure they’d sweep after 2), their HBPs, old man Manuel and his punch drunk talk, and for the first time, I felt they were overrated. Their 2010 lineup did not hit much.

    Also I’ve liked the Giants since seeing them in SF in August, and was confident they could beat the Phillies. I enjoyed that, too bad I couldn’t watch on tv because of a dispute Fox is having with my local cable company.

    I also liked Texas after watching them play the Rays – power & speed is fun to watch – and rooted for them against the hated Yankees.

    I’ll root in the WS too – because I want the Giants and the NL to win.
    And I think the Giants-Rangers is a great match up.

  10. Don’t understand the hatred for the Phillies. I’ve always been an Utley and Halladay fan. Of course, I don’t like their manager after picking Howard over Votto. I find Phillies’ fan a lot more tolerable than Cubs’ or Cardinals’ fans.

    I think this postseason shows us the Reds’ primary needs are 1) legitimate ace, and 2) bullpen depth. If they were to fill those two needs, the Rangers’ and Giants’ success shows the Reds could also succeed in the postseason with their current cast of positional players.

  11. @icee82: I went thru the same thing this year, hating teams again. I think it was because the Reds were finally good and everyone said they still su_ked. I got tired of hearing about how good the Cardinals are before the season even started. As I’ve said above, I hated the current Phillies for the first time.

    It’s not childish, it’s about being a passionate fan. You could say that’s childish too, but that’s the fun of it. Perhaps the biggest constant for me between my childhood and now (other than the family I was born into) is my love of the Reds. That hasn’t changed since I was 4 years old.

  12. @per14: Dislike of a team is largeley irrational, you don’t need a reason for it, just as you don’t need a reason to like a player or a team. But I got tired of that ahole (Conlin ? ) Phils reporter who insulted me after I sent him a polite email and his and Phillies fans calling them the “New Red Machine.”

    Then there watching Ruiz getting hit by pitches on purpose against the Giants. That reminded me of Utley’s phantom HBP against Chapman. That was the umpire’s fault, but Utley was so intimidated by Chapman, and so eager to run to first base on a bad call, it changed how I feel about him.

    Utley got hit by 27 pitches in the regular season, that’s impossible without trying. Good baseball ? OK, maybe. But then when Sanchez hits him, clearly by accident, he’s pissed off because he didn’t even try to get hit by that one ! Rolling the ball to the mound, ugh. He deserved to get flattened. Next season I’d like to see Chapman throw one over his head so I can watch him piss his pants.

  13. @per14: Yes about our needs. We don’t need to trade for bullpen help, though, it’s in our system.

    We also need another bat. Rolen isn’t able to stay healthy and/or strong thru a full season.

  14. One thing, I didn’t hate the Cubs this year. They were terrible against us but kept beating up on the Cardinals. That’s not stupid, it’s smart.

  15. I agree we need a caddy for Rolen. But look at that Giants’ roster? It’s almost unbelievable. They basically have a bunch of barely acceptable positional players, plus a great catcher and a very good first baseman. I guess what I’m trying to say is the Reds can be very successful with average players at a few positions.

    Hopefully they don’t have to trade for an ace either. Perhaps we already have one. We’ll see, I suppose.

    Good points about Utley. He’s probably one of those “love him if he’s on your team types.”

    • But look at that Giants’ roster? It’s almost unbelievable. They basically have a bunch of barely acceptable positional players, plus a great catcher and a very good first baseman. I guess what I’m trying to say is the Reds can be very successful with average players at a few positions.

      per14: True about the Giants, but they were exceptionally lucky in terms of how their veteran pickups performed. Aubrey Huff, Freddie Sanchez, Pat Burell, etc. I wouldn’t take it as a formula for success. Without the deepest pitching staff in the NL, they don’t make the playoffs. And with their overabundance of veteran pickup position players, I don’t see them being as good next year. Part of the reason I’m optimistic about next year.

  16. @per14:

    Not sure if the “love him if he’s on your team” phenomenon would work for me and Utley.
    I guess I have high standards for guys in the public eye.
    My opinion of Brandon Phillips, for example, faded a bit this season because of his speaking on the record without filtering first.

  17. @RedinTenn: I guess it’s all perception and personal likes, because I actually gained more ‘likability’ for Brandon after the whole WLB drama. Yeah, I know it’s not logical, and of course I would never counsel one of my members to act that way and it might get my son grounded, but as was pointed out before, likes and dislikes are rarely rational.

    As far as not having a dislike for Phillie fans because at least they are not Cub or Cardinal fans; to me that’s like asking if you would rather be bit by a rattlesnake or a cobra. “Uh, rattlesnake I guess.” Doesn’t really mean I like cobras more, but since I don’t have to see them so often it’s not as big an issue. My odds of being bit by a rattler in the mid west are much higher than by a cobra. I despise them more because I see them more often. However, seeing them often has allowed me to carry some toxin for ’em.

  18. I simply find that the quality of baseball has been low. Lots of errors, missed calls, missed plays, a real lack of drama in most of the games/series. The tightest game was the clincher for the Giants, and there’s Howard, hitting like .125 for the post season looking at a pitch he has to swing at.
    If the Reds had just managed to play good, sound baseball, it would be us against the Rangers, because that’s what they’re doing. Sound, not sparkling, baseball, pitching well, not superb or flawless, getting some key hits in key situations, but not there for every occasion.
    Someone on the radio said that the two best teams were facing off in the World Series, and I had to laugh. Because it’s the two playing the most mistake-free, timely-hitting games. We did not do that.
    So, maybe they are the two best teams, but they certainly are playing the best ball of the bunch.

    • If the Reds had just managed to play good, sound baseball, it would be us against the Rangers, because that’s what they’re doing. Sound, not sparkling, baseball, pitching well, not superb or flawless, getting some key hits in key situations, but not there for every occasion.
      Someone on the radio said that the two best teams were facing off in the World Series, and I had to laugh. Because it’s the two playing the most mistake-free, timely-hitting games. We did not do that.
      So, maybe they are the two best teams, but they certainly are playing the best ball of the bunch.

      Jason in Toronto: Very good statement. The most positive thing I heard about the Reds prior to the 2010 postseason came, surprisingly, from the espn baseball tonite crew, which said “The Phillies are the best team, but the Reds play the best baseball in the NL” and specifically that the Reds have the best IF defense in the NL.

      As it turns out, we played the worst baseball in the playoffs, in large part due to our IF defense.

      If the Reds had even come close to playing their usual game, they would certainly have won game 2. Beyond that we have a lot of unknowns.
      For games 1 and 3, we’ll never know to what extent was that great Philly pitching and to what extent was it playing with an injured SS, a bandaged up 3rd baseman who appeared to be spaced out on painkillers, etc.

      We do know that the Phils only scored 1 legit run in all 3 games, and misplays by that injured SS were responsible for the illegit runs in games 1 and 3.

      Some will probably disagree, but I feel that if we did game 2, we would have had a chance at winning the series after going down 2 games to 1.
      From there the task would have been beating Halladay at home (doable, with Wood pitching for us) and a game 5 match up of Arroyo and Oswalt, which was in our favor in game 2.

      Oh well, what might have been, as they say …

    • I simply find that the quality of baseball has been low. Lots of errors, missed calls, missed plays, a real lack of drama in most of the games/series.

      I can’t argue with most of what you say. But I thought the Giants-Phils series was dramatic, in particular the last 2 games. And after the Yankees came back from way down in Game 1, I didn’t want any more drama in that series, just Ranger wins.

      The umpires always blow a lot of calls in the postseason, or at least it seems that way because there’s more scrutiny.

      Defensive hiccups can go along with postseason tension too, part of the drama is that routine plays no longer seem routine. Just ask my “friend” Utley.

  19. PS The abundance of errors cheered me up a little. After each one I’d think, at least the Reds aren’t the only ones.

  20. I liked the passion that BP showed in the divisional series. Of course I liked it that he murdered Oswalt.

    In game 3, after Victorino ran down his line drive early in the game, he was in agony. He did his part in the 9th, a hard single off Lidge to bring up Joey as the tying run. Just after the game 3 loss, they showed him in tears in the dugout. He really thought the Reds could win, so he was devastated.

    Yes he’s got a big mouth, but I (usually) like the way he plays on the field – confidence and swagger. And he may have grown up a bit this year, we’ll find out in 2011.

  21. @pinson343: Phillips/ game 3 LDS etc…… Game 3 turned on the Victorio grab of Phillip’s gapper in the 1st. If that ball isn’t caught, the Reds score at least 2 right there. As it was they actually hit the ball better than the Phils in that game; but had a lot of At’em balls. Meanwhile an error and a glorified fly ball created 2 runs for the Phils. BUt the Reds were not outpitched in game 3. What happened is just baseball sometimes.

    What Phillips said about the Cards was bound to upset some folks because of the words he used. I respect that they were upset by his choice of words. However the underlying points he made were true and believed by many in baseball both on the Reds and other teams. That he spoke in public somehow helped ignite the Cards implosion, be that it maybe spurred focus in other teams to push a little hard versus the Cards than they might have otherwise or whether it caused some sort of negative introspection and reaction from within among the Cards.

  22. @OhioJim: I don’t necessarily agree with all of your speculation above, but I’m with you in spirit. I don’t believe in dumping on the other team publicly just before a big series, trash talk is more for football, basketball, whatever. BP BTW claims he’d made his Cardinals comment “off the record” and it wasn’t supposed to end up on a bulletin board, but if he said it directly to a reporter, what could he expect.

    But my saying that BP has a “big mouth” doesn’t capture how I feel about his occasional outspokeness. I’m a fan of his. I like his attitide – “I’m good, we’re good, why shouldn’t I say so ?” He’s being himself when he talks, he’s passionate about the game and about the Reds. He’s proud to be a Red and says so, I love that.

    When I’ve heard him on live interviews, I’ve always liked him. Some of his comments would not look good in quotes. But he’s having a good time when he’s interviewed, pulling the chain of the interviewer and the fans listening in, but not in an arrogant way. One interview where the interviewer kept discussing his “impatience” at the plate, he joked around a bit, but eventually admitted that he does work on laying off certain pitches that are a problem for him. At the very end of the interview, he said he had a clear idea of what he was going to do in his next at bat. What’s that, he’s asked.
    His reply: “Swing at the first pitch.”

  23. PS Even as BP plays a little with the interviewer’s head, he’s warm and respectful. I like that.

  24. @pinson343: Along with being a very good player, BP is an agitator in the hockey sense of the word pure and simple.

    I reached that conclusion for myself some time ago and was somewhat but pleasantly surprised this year to hear Creeper Welch use the very same word to desribe how BP works the opposition.

    I’ll stand by my belief that some of his best work this year was what he did to Cards. And I’ve read the same opinion several places from guys closer to the game and its inner workings than I have ever been or will be. Did he get a little far out into the gray? Yes, and the fight along with the Cards really racheting it up versus the Reds in that series ensued. But over the long run, the agitation paid off big time.

  25. I can definitely see some similarities between the Rangers and the Reds, although I think there is much more potential for our young players going forward. Texas plays sound baseball and they definitely like to push it on the basepaths like the Reds did this year.

    I usually watch quite a bit of playoff baseball, but the Reds losing really deflated my interest.

    I guess one thing to take from the Reds short playoff stay was that other than Volquez bad start, the rest of the staff did really pretty well. The defense let them down, but really no one else pitched “bad”. The Phillies vaunted power didn’t blast them out of the stadium. Reds played tight just like in the fight Cards series. I think we are sitting pretty good going into next year and the foundation could be laid for a good 4-5 year run, knock wood injuries and bad news not coming.

    Oddly enough, I feel even better about Dusty now than really at any point with him as the skipper. He’s still got to be a bit less greedy in some games with the starter.

  26. The only thing that could have made it more strange is for Minnesota to be in the WS and have the massive wind storm that hit the upper midwest have occurred followed up with rain sleet and snow.

    If our “wonderful” commissioner gets his way and gets more teams in the playoffs and expands round one, like he wants, it is bound to happen in Minn, Detroit, Chicago(white Sox only, as we know the Cubs will never get there!), Cleveland, Piitsburgh, NY, or Boston, sooner or later. Then Bud will get his wish and move the WS to a warm weather/dome city to try to make it like a Super Bowl and completely screw up baseball completely and forever!

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