You know what sucks? The off season sucks. But the truth is that this exact moment sucks a little less for a Reds fan than a fan of just about every other team in baseball. Sure, the Giant fans are undoubtedly feeling good about their World Series Championship, and Canadians always seem like they're in a good mood, which means that given their off season, Jays fans are probably pretty stoked.
But hey - life is good for us Reds fans. Here are the 22 reasons I'm glad to be a Reds fan at this exact moment. Why 22? Because 22 is my favorite number, and life is too short to have lists that aren't your favorite number.
1. The Shin-Soo Choo Trade - A running joke between my wife and I has been that if and when we have children that we'll name them culturally inappropriate names (Jamal... D'Brickashaw... Jose... Juan... etc.). This may or may not make me a racist. My favorite, however, has been Shin-Soo after the former Cleveland Indian and newest Red. How hilarious would it be to have a totally white bread kid named Shin-Soo who's brother is named D'Brickashaw? Very hilarious, I say.
2. Aroldis Chapman in 2013 = Kris Medlen in 2012
3. The other day, Homer Bailey shot a lion in Africa. Seriously.
4. Jay Bruce, future HOFer? Don't laugh - the guy has the start of an impressive resume. With 134 home runs in five seasons, he's on pace to hit #400 before his age 36 season. Oh, and there's also the fact that the first two of those seasons weren't full years (he missed 120ish games in those seasons) and the fact that he's yet to reach his prime, which means we could be talking #500 by the time he's 36. Don't look now, but for all the hand-wringing about Jay Bruce, he could be a first ballot HOFer by the time all is said and done, and we here at RedsOctober could have witnessed his whole career. Together.
5. No Red was mentioned in this.
6. Or this.
7. The Mat Latos trade. Not only did he turn into a #2 who pitched the division clincher AND win the Reds first playoff game in 17 years, and not only did the Reds not give up anything of real consequence to the roster, but remember Gio Gonzalez? And how the Reds 'could' have traded for him instead? Well, not only was Gonzalez a dirty cheater last year, but one of guys Washington traded for him was Tommy Milone. And Tommy Milone is very, very good. That trade looks better and better with each passing day.
8. Brandon Phillips.
9. Todd Frazier.
10. Joey Votto.
11. Barry Larkin, 2012 HOFer!
12. Ryan Ludwick Reds left fielder again!
13. Chris Heisey and Mike Leake, the two apartment members that I will acknowledge ever living with.
14. Seriously - Mike Leake is still a Red. And I love Mike Leake!
15. I've alluded to this a bit before, and I haven't always felt this way, but I'm exceedingly glad for Walt Jocketty. Sure, sometimes he's a bit slow on the trigger, and yes - I still weep for the Denard Span era that never was. But remember this guy? Yeah, life could be worse.
16. The Reds may have the best roster in the National League, and the one team that has a claim on that spot outside of us just took a major hit today in the 'your players are actually just no-good cheaters' department. And yet, the Reds STILL have a solid cadre of minor league pitchers (Stephenson, Cingrani, Corcino) and the Myth of Billy Hamilton in the minors. It's, frankly, an embarrassment of riches for the Reds these days.
17. This picture.
18. This one too.
19. Fine. This one as well.
20. The 2013 Cincinnati Reds will not have Edinson Volquez, Drew Stubbs, Edwin Encarnacion or Josh Hamilton on it. Actually, I feel bad including Stubbs in that group - the other three are douchebags, but Stubbs always seemed like a good guy. Whenever he struck out, he had those puppy dog eyes that made me angry for some reason. And, like a puppy that poops on the floor, it was unclear if he ever really understood what was wrong. Maybe THAT was Stubbs' problem - maybe he really, REALLY didn't understand what his job was at the plate. You think? Regardless, I'm incredibly glad that he's a Cleveland Indian, but so help me - if he turns into Matt Kemp there, I'm going to find his house and throw a brick through the window.
21. Joey Votto, 2013 MVP; Johnny Cueto, 2013 Cy Young; Cincinnati Reds, 2013 World Champions. None of those seem outlandish, do they?
22. You guys rule. Seriously - the amount of ass you all kick couldn't be quanitified, even by the world's foremost experts in ass-kicking algebra. Thanks for hanging in there through the off season.
Baseball will soon be here. Rejoice!