Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


Welcome to a new era of Reds baseball

Photo: Getty Images

I'm an optimistic person. An emotional person.

I like fun, positive, exciting stuff. Sometimes, many times, I get ahead of myself. And I know as I type this it will read to many as hyperbole. But hasn't think week felt like a catapult moment for this franchise and the fan base?

This feels like a new beginning. A new era of Cincinnati Reds baseball.

Read this slowly, so as to not misunderstand my point. These Reds are not a finished or proven product...Just a year ago at this time they were 18-35 on the way to 100 losses. We are still waaaaaay, waaaaaay early in this process.

But make no mistake. Something is in fact happening. Something is building and growing. Pieces are falling into place.

Think about the last 48 hours, starting with the immediate buzz with the announcement that Elly was coming. People lost their collective minds. The Reds ticket website crashed.

People changed plans and pivoted in the middle of their afternoon to get to GABP Tuesday night…..A Twitter follower told me he and his wife decided at 5pm to drive from Lexington.

The electricity and anticipation in the ballpark this week has been palpable.

A standing ovation for Elly's 1st AB of a game. Phones came out. The crowd hushed with a golf gallery silence pitch to pitch to soak in what was happening.

We'd heard about the legend of Elly....a 21-year old doing jaw dropping things from game-to-game. The last two nights we've gotten to see it for ourselves. Rocket double. Hardest hit ball by al Reds this season. Fastest sprint speed by a Reds player this season. The patience at the plate. The speed. The long strides. A breathtaking triple. A blast that almost left GABP.

Down 8-3 Tuesday, this gritty and never say die group started a comeback. A run in 5th, 6th, 7th…….then 3 in 9th to win it in dramatic fashion.

Down 6-2 Wednesday, they found a way, again, in dramatic fashion.

Crowds seemingly dominated by families, teens and young adults, are sharing high fives and hugs inside the ballpark. That vibe has spilled into the streets. Excitement has filled social media. Make no mistake, this is a moment. One that will be seared into the minds of fans.

There will be bumps….probably craters, potholes, some detours and losing streaks. But consider the group and their ages: De La Cruz (21), McLain 23), India (26), Abbott (24), Greene (23), Ashcraft (25), Diaz (26), Williamson (25), Stephenson (26), Steer (25), Lododo (25).

There is a confidence growing with this group. They are young, hungry and aggressive. They battle. They create runs without relying on the longball. Tuesday night was their 10th comeback when when trailing in the 7th inning or later. Wednesday night they clubbed three two-run homers.

Most importantly, they are growing, learning, winning.........together.

And make no mistake, there are more players on the way in the pipeline…Christian Encarnacion Strand, Noelvi Marte and others at Chattanooga, Dayton, Daytona…..

Tuesday felt like Opening Day 2.0. Reds baseball feels like it started over this week.

Don't worry about arbitration, Super 2 and how long guys might or might not be here. Have fun. Embrace this. Enjoy this. Think where you were with this team a year ago. Understand things have been steered in the right direction. The journey is just beginning.

A new era of Cincinnati Reds baseball has finally arrived. Welcome.

Buckle up.

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