You may have seen my season preview piece for Cincinnati Magazine that was published last week. I never linked it here, but it wasn’t because my editor gave it this uncharitable title: “The 2018 Cincinnati Reds Are Making The Playoffs. (Stop Laughing.)” If you haven’t read it yet, check it out:
The Cincinnati Reds are going to make the playoffs in 2018. You heard it here first. (In fact, you might only hear it here.)
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give you a moment to pick yourself up off the floor. After all, the Reds have averaged 93 losses per season since the last time they qualified for the playoffs, which seems like it was around the time of the Italian Renaissance, even though it was actually Ã¢â‚¬â€- and you can look this up -Ã¢â‚¬â€ only four full seasons ago. No, really!
I know youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re skeptical, and I get that. Cincinnati has finished in last place in the National League for the last three seasons, and theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve lost at least 94 games in each of those seasons, including a 68-94 record in 2017. While mired in the gloomy, shadowy depths of the rebuilding process, the Reds have been really bad the last few years, and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have to be out of your mind to expect a playoff appearance on the heels of what weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve witnessed over the last 1,639 days.
But IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m here to tell you that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to happen. Or, at least, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more likely than the Bengals winning a playoff game. (Too soon?) Or X or the Bearcats making a Final Four. (Ok, definitely too soon.)
Do I really think the Reds are going to make the playoffs? No, of course not (as you realize if you actually read it). But I point you toward that particular example of brilliant baseball writing as a prelude to my current piece at the Magazine, titled “DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Overreact To The Reds Getting Swept.”
However, if we make the reasonable assumption that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re here because youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re interested in words about the local baseball nine, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re probably a little unhappy about the performance of the Redlegs in the first three games. Or a lot unhappy, if the Ã¢â‚¬Å“measuredÃ¢â‚¬Â reaction of most Reds fans online is any indicator. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m here to tell you to step back from that ledge, my friend. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be okay, I promise. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not overreact to one (admittedly bad) series of Reds baseball.
First of all, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade just took place on Monday. So that means that Monday was Opening Day, right? Everything that happened before Monday was just spring training. The Reds are 1-0 and in first place! IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that how this works?
No? Okay, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s try this one: the Reds have only lost three actual regular season games since last September. This is an actual fact that can be confirmed with only a modicum of research. Three losses in six whole months: thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not so bad!
YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not buying that either? Then letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s get serious for a moment. There are a number of really good reasons why we shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t overreact to an 0-3 record right at the start of the season.
Give it a read, then come back and tell me how dumb I am for writing such ridiculous drivel. Thanks, Nation!