This week’s respondents are Nick Doran, Nick Carrington, the inimitable Mary Beth Ellis, and Chad Dotson.
Our Daily Reds Obsession: Which particular Reds team was your favorite?
Nick D: I was too young to remember the Big Red Machine days, so I will take the 1999 Reds team that won 96 games and missed the playoffs after losing a frozen tie-breaker game to the Mets at Riverfront. The lineup featured Barry Larkin, Sean Casey, slugger Greg Vaughn, Mike Cameron , Aaron Boone, Dmitri Young and Pokey Reese. The pitching staff was cobbled together with the likes of ace Pete Harnisch, Brett Tomko, Ron Villone, rubber-armed Scott Sullivan, Denny Neagle, Rookie of the Year Scott Williamson and closer Danny Graves. The team had a lot of personality and a contagious joy both on and off the field. They had a losing record the year before but everything fell into place and that 1999 team was one of the best squads Cincinnati has fielded since the glory days of the 1970’s.
Nick C: The 2012 team was my favorite. They were loaded with talent and blessed with healthy pitching until the playoffs. Recent teams have made me appreciate the 2012 Reds more. Every night, I thought they had a chance to win because of the rotation. The Reds had four guys throw over 200 innings that year. That’s remarkable in light of where the Reds rotation has been since. The offense wasn’t bad either. Four guys had at least a 120 wRC+. Jay Bruce belted 34 homeruns, and Joey Votto, even with his injury, hit .337 with a .474 OBP. If Votto was fully healthy for the playoffs, I wonder if the series with the Giants would have been different. It only takes a swing or two to make a difference, and Votto swings are the best.
Mary Beth: First I typed the 1990 World Series team, then I erased it, because, as Chris Sabo so eloquently pointed out, they got the money. Then I typed the 1984 team, then I erased that too, because such pain must not be mocked.
My favorite team is in my favorite corner of the Reds Hall of Fame -— the 1999 one-game playoff wonders. I will forever thank whoever thought to snuggle them into the corner of Glory Days gallery, next to all the World Championship trophies and rings. When I worked there, I always gathered school tours around me and told them about this team which lost. But before they lost, they did an awful lot of winning when no one expected them to.
That can’t be erased.
Chad: How can I choose? I love them all equally! Even the 2003 team, which lost 93 games and was an abomination to the ancient sport of base ball, had some great players to watch, like Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, Junior Griffey, and Stephen Smitherman.
Aaaahh…who am I kidding? The wire-to-wire 1990 Reds are my favorite.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.