|David Peralta - LF||Jose Peraza - SS|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Dilson Herrera - LF|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Scooter Gennett - 2B|
|Eduardo Escobar - 3B||Eugenio Suarez - 3B|
|Steven Souza - RF||Phillip Ervin - RF|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Brandon Dixon - 1B|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Curt Casali - C|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Matt Harvey - RHP|
|Robbie Ray - LHP||Billy Hamilton - CF|
I often get the impression that the Arizona Diamondbacks don’t actually exist. I mean, it’s hard to fathom that someone in charge of a professional sports franchise would ever actually settle on that jersey design, for one, not to mention that I’m fairly certain nobody has ever actually seen them in the same place at the same time as the Oakland Athletics.
— Red Reporter
Well, that seems a little uncalled for, though as roasts go, it’s pretty weak sauce. Let’s respond in kind, and see if I can do this “unprovoked insulting of our opponents” thing properly, shall we?
I often get the impression that the Cincinnati Reds don’t actually exist. I mean, it’s hard to fathom that a professional sports franchise would go 23 consecutive seasons without winning a playoff series. And the incompetence has reached epic levels of late. Since the start of 2014, no team in baseball has been worse. I mean, nine games below the Padres? That’s so bad, it deserves an Eddie Izzard-like “Well done - you must get up very early...” I’m fairly certain nobody has ever seen the Cincinnati Reds in the same place at the same time as the Cleveland Spiders.
Given this supreme irrelevance, it’s understandable they’d forget about the D-backs, who have been born, won five division titles and a World Series since the last time the Reds got past a playoff match-up, all the way back in 1995. Let’s face it, Cincinnati fans of late can abandon all interest in baseball by the All-Star break. The last three seasons have seen them finish in last place every time, an average of 32 games back, and 2018 is looking little better. Though I think we could all have seen that coming, when their Opening Day roster included players the D-backs dumped years ago, in the shape of Cliff Pennington and Phil Gosselin. That’s waving a giant white flag, right there.
Cincinnati have managed to waste completely having the best position player in the NL over the past decade. Seeing Joey Votto play for them is like watching Michelangelo paint toilets. He is truly a giant among dwarves: quick, how many other current Reds can you name, apart from him? Exactly. Still, what would you expect from a franchise whose best-known player was permanently banned from baseball? Ol’ Pete “I didn’t bet! Well, maybe I did, but I didn’t bet on my team... Okay, perhaps that, but I only bet on them to win.” Not that his blatant moral turpitude stopped the team from retiring his number in 2016, of course.
Still, given the Reds have had precious little else to celebrate over the past two decades, retire who you can, I guess. Can I suggest, perhaps honoring that other sadly misunderstood native of the city, Charlie Manson, might also be in order...?
Your move, Cincinnati. :)