I’ve had two posts brewing in me for a couple of days. (What does brewing a post feel like you say? Basically imagine eating a big burrito and what that does to you) Those two posts are about 1)Fans, and the different types of fans. and 2)Scapegoats. What follows are those two posts fully blended into one long long posts.
Ok I may get a bit preachy toward the end of this part, but its worth it I promise.
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of “Die Hard” fans get mad at…well non die hard fans. It got me thinking about myself and what type of fan I am. Obviously I am a Die hard fan or I wouldn’t have started a podcast, twitter account and blog solely devoted to the Redlegs. What other types of fans are there?
1)Casual-This would describe my mother for example. She likes the Reds a lot, she will venture down the ballpark every so often and if they are already on television she will watch them, she wont make a point to watch but wont complain about them being on and may get into it.
2)Dire Fusty Casual-They cant stand the manager, everything is his fault, or its the owners fault, or its the 3rd basemans fault, its always someones fault, its always the same persons fault to no matter who that person was. It was Jack McKeons, Ray Knights, Dusty Bakers, Dave Mileys and Jerry Narrons fault no matter the situation or score. When they win its never because of that person it is always because the team overcame that person. Generally the last manager they will feel like did a good job with this team was either named Rose, Pinella or Johnson.
3)Dire Fusty Hardcore-They know the stats, they know every person whose arm dusty has broken, they know every person who was on Dustys Giants WS team and why that person made it easy mode for Dusty to reach the world series and they will never believe that anything Dusty does will help the team win.
4)Griffeys Gotta Goers-You could change Griffeys name with anyone else here if that person make a ton of money and doesn’t hit a home run every at bat to them they are underperforming no matter what. Coincidentally they also usually think we can trade Mike Costanzo and a rosen bag to the Tigers for Justin Verlander straight up with the tigers eating most of his salary.
5)Super Positive-This was me growing up (and to a certain extent still now) Down by 6 in the 7th? SWEET ONLY NEED 2 RUNS PER INNING TO TIE IT UP! Super upbeat, super positive, always happy go lucky and may or may not tweet in the 9th inning down by 10 #RedlegsNeverSayDie (Ok its still me).
6)BallPark is a Party and Everyones invited- They go to the game because its something to do on a Friday, or Saturday. They want to have fun, they want to enjoy themselves and they don’t in the end really care what the score is as long as they have fun.
Heres the thing, there are 6 types here to go with flat out Die Hard. I could have listed pessimist as well, but I think I covered that with the “Dire Fustys”. In the end all 6 types, plus the pessimists and the Die Hards are Reds fans (and you probably fall into more than one category). They are, whether they live in California or New York, Cincinnati or Chicago or Seattle they are Reds fans. The time they invest into the franchise be it watching television, going to the game or listening on the radio is valuable to them. The money they spend on the MLB at bat, or hats, or shirts, or pennants is just as good as the money spent by the hardcore.
There is no reason to jump all over each others crap. I don’t like the wave, or really the woo, or cheering for pizza when down by 100 in the 8th inning. I don’t do those things. (Although I should say I’ve been Wooooing for years at the ballpark, its the old wrestling fan in me. I usually do it when its time to cheer, not in random out of place moments which is I think the part that most people have problems with). That doesn’t mean that others cant though. The wave got going yesterday and neither me or my father participated. Those around us? OH YEAH! They loved it! They were hoping for more times around the stadium! I didn’t yell at them because its not my place. It didn’t annoy me because again its not me having to do it.
Were it the bottom of the 8th Friday or today might it have annoyed me? Perhaps. I thank god didn’t have to witness either of those travesties in person. Now all that being said my main point if it has been lost somewhere in this long long long ramble. Everyone is there own fan, there is no reason to not only accept this but to embrace it. Don’t let someone elses fandom get you down! Be happy! enjoy the team (or not) and enjoy each other for the different fandoms we all bring to the table.
I’ve read more times than I can count that Baker/Jacoby/Cozart/Votto/Frazier/Bruce/Insert LF/Insert Catcher/Choo is the problem. Who really is the problem?
Well to address that we must ask when did the problem start? June. May? 19-8. June 12-15. July 14-13. So June was our problem child and our basis for which to start. (Can you believe they were above .500 in July? Sure didn’t feel it).
Lets look at the outliers, I think we can all agree that hitting has been the problem right? Ok now that we all agree lets see. In may the team had a .265 BA and a .781 OPS which is not spectacular for a player but actually pretty good for a team. June? .234 BA and .675 OPS. July? .260 BA and .730 OPS.
Team ERA has been pretty low too. 2.71 in July! TWO SEVENTY ONE! That brings us to the question in June and July who struggled? We talked a bit about this while recording the other night, but as I sit here I’m pulling most of these numbers blind so I’ll give some opinion on them as I go.
Lets go batting order shall we? Choo
Conventional Wisdom was that Choo isn’t playing as well now as he was in the earlier months. That appears to be fals. He fell off in May and June but July turned it on with a .330 BA and .885 OPS!
Ahhh everyones favorite Scapegoat Zach Cozart
So Cozy has had a rough season at the plate. His May was actually quite respectable and his june at .683 OPS is actually pretty respectable as well! July on the other hand was rough for Zach.
Joseph Daniel Votto
Well we all know JDV has been sucking right? Wait a tick, his lowest batting average month is .287? He still had a .859 OPS in that time? Well that argument went out the window.
Well he’s the savior right? He has the most RBIs so he must be. Wait he batted what in June and July? Holy Frijole! His OPS was what? .548 in June? WOW.
The Life Coach
We all known Jay is the streakiest hitter on the Reds he’ll have one good month out of the year and a whole bunch of bad ones just look at his May! Wait…..Well June just makes it 2 months….Wait July makes it 3 months. Well Shizer. No seriously, The Narrative that Jay Bruce is streaky and only good for one month can go away for now, he’s been one of the most consistent hitters on the Reds the last 3 months.
Well Frazier has obviously sucked right? Cause he cant hit his way out of a brown paper bag right! Wait, nope not accurate either. He’s still not had a bad OPS and while I’d like it to be higher he has by far not been the worst player on the team these last two months.
I don’t have the heart to pull all of Left Field. I just don’t, it would take an hour to grab everyone. But seriously take a look at these numbers. Then ask yourself if you penciled in Ludwick every day, how much better would they be? They’d be better. Absolutely, he’d have a few more Home Runs, and he’d have probably twenty to thirty points higher Batting average bringing his OPS up a bit, but Ludwick would not make this team that much different.
Mesoraco had a horrendous June, His July on the other hand? Pretty friggin good! Nice BA, had a couple of homers, respectable OPS.
Where am I going with all of this?
Basically, Theres no one player that has had an off month or two and the last couple of months? They aren’t any one players fault. The majority of this team has found a way to be frustrating together. My other point? Narratives don’t always equal fact. Anyone in politics can point that out, you get a narrative started like Votto doesn’t look right or Bruce is streaky and it can get picked up and ran with. Killing the narrative when it is not true or is no longer true is the hard part.
In order for this team to have a successful august (we’re only 3 games in) They have to play better all around. We need .350 Joey back, we need .290 Phillips, we need Cozy and Frazier to play to the back of their baseball cards and we need Choo and Bruce to not drop off at all.
Those things can happen! THEY’VE HAPPENED BEFORE! THEY CAN HAPPEN AGAIN!!!
Thanks for reading,
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