2011 Reds

It’s a good time to be a Reds fan

I read this piece the other day (and I know some of you have been discussing it in the comments below), but hadn’t had a chance to link to it yet. It was written by Paul Daugherty, and it was published under the headline “Jay Bruce generosity knows no bounds”:

Jay Bruce calls himself “a product of generosity,’’ so he’s giving the Reds $400,000. It’s something he has wanted to do since he was a kid selling candy door to door, to pay for his team’s Little League uniforms. It’s been in his head since the scout who signed him in 2005 offered advice Bruce embraced.

“Don’t forget where you came from,’’ Brian Wilson told the 18-year-old the day the Reds drafted him with their first pick in ’05. Actually Wilson, being a Texan like Bruce, said, “Dance with who brung you.’’

Go read the entire column. Even if you were already Jay Bruce’s biggest fan, you will smile a bit wider at the maturity and level-headedness (did I just use that word?) of Cincinnati’s young star.

Anyway, the stuff about Bruce is great, but I don’t want something to get lost in the shuffle. Equally deserving of praise (or moreso) is our embattled closer:

This sort of benevolence happens a lot among pro jocks, more than we ever report. Part of it is we don’t take the time to honor the good, because the good isn’t sexy. Part of it is some athletes don’t want their generosity made public. Who would you guess leads the current Reds in giving locally?

If you said Francisco Cordero, drop a coin into your own cup. Charley Frank, the director of the Reds Community Fund, says Coco donates “well into the six figures’’ to local causes. Several other Reds are five-figure donors to the Community Fund, Frank said.

Nice.

Cordero has frustrated me. There’s no denying that. Last year, however, when he was struggling mightily, remember how he stepped up to the mike and accepted the blame on his shoulders? He didn’t criticize the fans for booing him; rather, he said that he should be booed. That was in stark contrast to some former Reds (like this guy), and despite all else, I became a bigger CoCo fan that night.

Now we hear that Cordero donates to local causes more than any other Red. Yeah, he was pretty bad at times last year, and yeah, he has probably been overpaid…but Cordero is a player about whom Reds fans can be proud. As is Bruce, and almost everyone else on this roster.

You’ll hear me say this all season long: it’s a good time to be a Reds fan. And not only because of what these guys are doing on the field.

8 thoughts on “It’s a good time to be a Reds fan

  1. I’m one of those Jay Bruce cheerleaders, have been since class A. And I agree with you that filling the roster with guys who exhibit character on and off the field pays off in the long run.

    I’ll take Jay over a bunch of Mannys any day of the week. 8)

  2. @RedinTenn: “Jay being Jay” has a big edge over “Manny being Manny.” Jay Bruce has gradually become my favorite player on the Reds. When he had that bad July, I started rooting for him more than anyone else and it hasn’t stopped. I felt he would break out last year. He’ll break out bigger this year.

    CoCo seems to be a standup guy. He’s sure not a whiner (except when he gets demoted from closer, like at Texas). Then again, David Weathers was a standup guy.
    I can’t justify it, but I think CoCo is going to have a better season this year. Last season he learned he can’t just throw fastballs by people anymore and toward the end of the season he was adjusting to that.

  3. Danny Graves is looking a little heavy. I’m not going to take personal shots at him though. He gave a lot of time and money to worthwhile local causes.

    He’s the only player in the history of the major leagues who was born in Vietnam.
    And here’s a little known fact: he’s the only player in the history of the major leagues who had two seasons where his only hits were home runs !

  4. Volquez, Bruce, and Chapman are my favorite Reds.

    I’m proud to have a guy like Bruce on the team

  5. this is a great reminder that baseball players are people too
    and more importantly that how smart, nice, generous or not a player is it has nothing to do with their performance on the field.

    Coco and Bruce get major props. I also remember Coco, well, for a lack of better words, being a man and accepting his struggles and taking the blame and I also liked him more after he did that.

    It’s so easy for us to not like a player because they don’t perform on the field.
    Performance or not a player can still be a good person. Coco not only seems like a good guy but it was very professional of him to deal with the media/fan heat for his performance the way he did.

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