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


Reds: The then and now

Photo: Getty Images

It’s June 15. A year ago at this time I was smack dab in the middle of a nightmare. The Cincinnati Reds had just lost their 7th straight game they were 23-46.

I was in no man’s land. I signed off Extra Innings and thought:

How am I going to do this? I had three more months of talking about that team. It was rouuuuuugh! I started shifting away from night to night discussion of the losses, started adding interviews from the archives…doing fun caller topics.

Last night, I was scoreboard watching…..hoping the Cubs could finish off the Pirates.

After the show I poured myself a Hard Truth Distilling Peanut Brittle Bourbon and at in my office at home, watching MLB Network. I took a sip and thought….man…this is fun. This team is fun. 22 comeback wins. Forcing the action.

Monday, they rallied, felt heartbreak, rallied again…and then hung on as Ricky Karcher pulled off a Wild Thing save. His teammates stood at the rail to soak in his postgame with him.

Tuesday they scored early and then hung on late.

Last night, a team that doesn’t hit homers, hit four. They were putting on the Viking horns. They were laughing. Smiling. Hugging. Enjoying each other. And decided to call themselves America’s Team.

5 wins in a row….series sweep……one game away from .500.

Since April 24 they are 27-20….7 games better than anyone else in the division. A showdown series in Houston next.

This is the early ROI on a rebuild. This Reds team is creating a buzz. Not just here, but nationally. The eye of MLB have blinked, rubbed their eyes and refocused to see exactly what’s happening here. Sure, they are still a losing team 34-35. There are still 93 games left. The bullpen is worn down. Two starting pitchers remain on the IL. This might eventually go sideways.

But the unexpected in sports, the stuff that comes out of nowhere, is gold. The Bengals came out of nowhere team two years ago to the Super Bowl. The 1990 Reds went from chaos of the Pete Rose scandal and 5th place in 1989 to Wire-to-Wire. Remember the magic of the 1999 Reds?

I’ve had guests in 6pm hour every night this week. Not tonight.

What I’m looking for tonight is you. If you are enjoying this….tell me about it. What’s this like for you?

One caveat.

I don’t want to hear about rants over something David Bell did.

Or about what Joey Votto's return might do to the chemistry of the team. Heck, they won two nights ago and I had lines filled with Ian Gibaut complaints. I don't want to hear worries about the Yankees taking all their players in a few years.

The last thing you want to do is miss something like this because you are unhappy about the past or worried about the future.

You may have plenty to complain about tomorrow, this weekend, next week, the rest of the year. Let’s focus on this moment.

No game tonight. We've got a full Sports Talk.

Let’s talk about this team. Can a discussion be had about the fun being experienced right now and not the worries or complaints?

Who wants to go first?

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