These are tough times for Cincinnatins (Cincinnatians? Cincinnationites?), and I’m not speaking in terms of the economy. I’m talking about the abysmal, pitiful Reds. They are surely going to be a joke this season. And not a very funny joke at that. And this is why.
Let’s start with their bats. I know I spent a lot of time bashing Adam Dunn on my post about the Nationals, but even someone as bad as him looks like a superstar when compared to the clowns on the Reds’ current lineup. When I looked at the Reds’ 40-man roster, the name that jumped out to me above all others is Cincy’s fourth-string outfielder, Jacque Jones. After a moment of pondering, I thought, “Is that the same Jacque Jones that played next to Torii Hunter for the Twins? Whatever happened to that guy? Didn’t he used to be pretty good? Is Jacque a French name?” The answer to those questions are yes, he became a bigger bust than Andruw Jones, yes, and yes (it’s a derivitive of the French name Jacques, like Jacques Cousteau). As it turns out, Jacque, or J.J. as I like to call him, batted .142 in 42 games for the Marlins and Tigers last season, and BOTH teams designated him for assignment. Wowzers. Even Brad Wilkerson has had an easier time staying in the Major Leagues. And Brad Wilkerson is no Andruw Jones, who can still make $14 million while falling short of EVERYONE’S expectations (including his wife’s, if you catch my drift).
Aaaaaaanyway, let’s move onto the pitching. Aaron Harang is currently listed as the Reds’ opening-day starter. That is the same Aaron Harang that went 6-17 last season. Clearly, he’s due for a turnaround, which is the theory that the Reds’ front-office gurus are clearly leaning on. While it’s not completely retarded to have a pitcher this bad as your ace, what is retarded is having Harang ahead of Edison Volquez, the young phenom who went 17-6 last season and represents about 46% of the team’s talent. Seriously?! For shame, Reds’ front-office guys! You make Bill Bavasi look like Will Hunting (SUCH a great movie). On the bright side, they DID sign Arthur Rhodes. I’ve always loved Arthur, with his diamond stud earrings and his fiery temper. And the Reds must be ecstatic that they get to experience the joy of Rhodes’ 40th birthday at the end of the season! Be sure to blow out all the candles, old man! Last season, Rhodes had a 2.04 ERA in 35.1 innings, a stellar season for a man of his age. This means that we can assume that either (a) he was juicing last season, and will suck this year, or (b) he left all his talent in Seattle, and will suck this year.
Final Prediction: the Reds will continue to suck in unbelievable fashion, posting a 76-86 record. And Arthur Rhodes, aka Old Man Winter, will unfortunately get killed in a brawl shortly after the All-Star break.