This is the first edition of a new column I’ll be writing this season, where we look at how the Reds are doing in their quest to return to the playoffs and, just as importantly, how all of you feel about how the Reds are doing, as gauged by Twitter polls we’ll be running throughout the season.
I ran the first poll a few days ago. (Follow us on Twitter to participate in the future.) It’s modeled after the right track/wrong direction political polls, and I’ll use it in this column at least monthly.
As part of a new column we’ll be rolling out this week, we’re running a poll. Do you think the Reds are moving
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) March 26, 2018
There are a couple of really interesting things about this poll. The first is this: four out of five people who voted think the Reds are on the right track. I never would have guessed that because, frankly, the majority of comments I see from fans, both on blogs and social media are extremely negative.
Which leads us to the second interesting thing. Nearly all of the comments in response to the poll (on Twitter) were the same negative comments we’re used to hearing. Lots of attacks on Reds manager Bryan Price and so on. It seems we’ve got a bit of a vocal minority here in Reds Land — or Redleg Nation, to put it another way — that masks the larger feeling among many of the fans I know personally that the Reds, while probably not ready to contend this year, are on the right track.
So why are (some) fans so overwhelmingly happy with the Reds?
Well, the club just signed Eugenio Suarez to a long term contract. That’s a real investment that the Reds might not make if they thought they were that far away. Further, we’ve finally seen the transition to the next group of core players. Winker is here. So are Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, and Amir Garrett (probably). As much as I love Bronson Arroyo and appreciate what Tim Adleman did for the club, this year’s rotation is a lot more exciting than last year’s.
Oh, and Nick Senzel will be here soon. Very soon. Joey Votto and Homer Bailey will be the only players over 30 who figure to get significant playing time, which is exactly what you want to see at this point in a rebuild. The team is young and young teams have a way of suddenly improving.
My personal view is that the Reds need to aim for at least a .500 finish this year and, more importantly, need to have a plan ready to fix any holes that they have when the season is over. If that happens, I’ll consider them to have made it through the season on the right track.
There is a lot to be excited about with this team. More than there has been since they were last competitive and I’m excited to watch it play out.
In the comments, I’d like to hear what you think the Reds need to do to get/stay on the right track. And I’d REALLY like to hear from the 80 percent of you who, like me, feel pretty good about where the Reds are right now. What are you excited to see this year? What are you hoping happens as the season progresses?
My hope is to engage with the readership through this column and various poll questions over the course of the season, so let me know what you want to see and I’ll do my best to adapt.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.