The Reds have taken a beating from fans and media this offseason. Probably more so than any offseason I can recall in my lifetime.
We have crushed ownership and the front office. It's certainly understandable and well earned.
The 2021 Reds were fun, resilient. We fell for the collective personality and swagger of the roster.
But since the end of last season we've seen favorites walk away, be given away and get traded away, all in the name of aligning payroll with resources.
The current vibe surrounding the Reds is anger and resentment.
Momentum is non-existent. Their projected win total sits in the mid to low 70's. Frustration is high.
But I'm here to invoke my yearly rule when the Reds and Bengals start their seasons.
Find hope and optimism.
Because if you can't find hope and optimism in your team at THIS TIME OF YEAR....when the standing shows 0-0.....then you really should pick another team.
Sports are supposed to fun. Pick a team that makes you happy. If that's not the Reds, pick another. No harm. No foul. No questions asked.
But I'm a Reds fan....for life.....and yes, sometimes that can feel like a life sentence.
But I'm not choosing to be miserable about the Reds......at least yet. Life is too short.
Honestly, I'm worn out by the daily offseason complaining we've done. Oh, it's justified. It's just repetitive. It gets boring.
We are stuck in the exact same cycle of talking points that surrounded the Bengals for so many years. I could take three hours of calls each night with callers saying...... "Bad owner.....Bad front office.....Sell the team, Bob......I'm done."
Blah. Blah. Blah. I get it.
We may not like ownership and the front office. But we don't watch/listen/follow for Bob Castellini and Nick Krall.
We watch for the players.....the guys we cheer for....wear the jerseys of.....seek autographs from.
We loved the debut seasons for Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson.
We enjoyed the resurgence of Joey Votto. We appreciated the growth and development of Kyle Farmer.
We wonder if Nick Senzel can finally stay healthy.... if Tommy Pham has a bounce back in him.....if Tyler Mahle has a next level to get to.
The top two pitching prospects in the organization will debut in the first week of the season.
The Reds first round draft picks from 2015-2019 will all be on the roster.
They might lose a lot of games, a lot. They are projected to be closer to 90 losses than 90 wins.
And I certainly reserve the right to be critical of poor performances once the season begins. That's part of being a fan.
If the evidence presented proves the Reds to be a mess we will be criticizing each night on Sports Talk, the Inside Pitch and Extra Innings.
But I'll be damned if I'm not going to enjoy the return of Reds baseball and root for the players.
The players didn't slash payroll. The players didn't vote to trade their teammates.
Make it us vs them, if you like: Fans and players vs owner and GM.
Do what you choose. But I'm choosing to find hope and optimism in Reds baseball 2022.
Are you with me, or, are you choosing to be miserable over the Reds.......in April?
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