For the third consecutive season, we are proud to introduce the Deadspin Baseball Season Previews. Yes, baseball is awfully close now; it's spring training, after all.
Every weekday until the start of the season, a different writer will preview his/her team. We asked a gaggle of writers, from the Web, from print, from books, to tell us, in as many or as little words as they need, Where Their Team Stands. This is not meant to be factual, or dispassionate, or even logical: We just asked them to riff on why they love their team so much, or what their team means to them, or whatever.
Today: The Cincinnati Reds. Your author is Clay Travis.
Clay Travis writes the ClayNation column for CBS Sportsline. His words are after the jump.
Let's be honest, the Cincinnati Reds are not going to win anything this year. They're going to lose. Probably by late July you'll realize that you have no real reason to go to the games. The last time the Reds were in the postseason was 1995. Yep, 13 long years ago. That was back when finding pictures of naked women required real work and cyber sex was still just two fat men from Troy, Michigan's wildest dream.
So if you go to Cincinnati you're going to need something to do to keep yourself occupied when the Reds aren't trying to scrape together their first winning reason since 2000. With that in mind I've alternated a painstaking analysis of the 2008 season with things you can do in Cincinnati when you're lamenting another losing season.
1. 2008 will be the first season since 1944 that the recently deceased Joe Nuxhall has not been associated with the Cincinnati Reds. Before I start taking shots at everyone, Joe Nuxhall was the reason I ended up a Reds fan. The Reds games were broadcast on our local Fox affiliate in Nashville and on my first trip to Cincinnati at the age of 8, I met Nuxhall in the lobby of the downtown Hyatt (where the Reds gift shop was.) Nuxhall was sitting a table wearing a polo shirt, plaid shorts and white socks up to his knees. After much prodding from my dad I shook Nuxhall's hand and said we enjoyed watching the Reds games he and Marty Brennaman called. Nuxhall looked at me and said, "Hell, son I didn't know we were on in Nashville." He'll be missed.
2. Visit Kentucky. At some point you'll be wondering around in downtown Cincinnati at 8 at night and think you're in Pyongyang and Kim Jong-Il has just been assassinated. Every cab driver you meet will sing the praises of night life in Kentucky. You'll go to Kentucky. This says volumes about Cincinnati.
3. Dusty Baker is now the Reds manager. Hooray. I've always felt what every major league city needs is an old man who still wears batting gloves and wristbands. Fortunately for Baker he'll likely have five right-handed starting pitchers to run into the ground by the All-Star break. Seriously, five starting right handers?
4. Take a riverboat cruise on the Ohio River. Because, trust me, there's much more to the Ohio River than the murky brown water you can see from the shores of Ohio and Kentucky. For instance you might get lucky and see Joe Morgan on the bow of the boat and get to hear him say, "Clay, did you know that Pete Rose told me that rivers such as the Ohio used to be really important to our nation's commerce? Because, you see, there were no interstates back in the 1800's. People couldn't even drive their cars anywhere. They kept them in barns...or sometimes large silos."
5. Franciso Cordero is the latest Reds savior having been recently signed as a closer to a 4 year, $46 million dollar deal. Using the same math that brought Ken Griffey, Jr. such big money success on the banks of the Ohio, this roughly equates to $4 million dollars per save. Or to make the analogy clearer, what Rob Dibble spent on transvestite hookers each year in the Nasty Boys era. Cordero is also listed at 32 and from the Dominican Republic. This means he's actually older than Jack Armstrong.
6. Pretend you are a native Cincinnatian and participate in a race riot.
7. Brandon Phillips, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn each hit 30 home runs last year. Phillips and Dunn are 26 and 28, respectively. This is very promising. And Philips at four years for $27 million is either going to turn out to be a tremendous steal for the Reds or one of those deals that other teams in the NL Central laugh about for the next half-decade. There will be no middle ground.
8. Go to the Underground Railroad Museum next door to the Reds Stadium. Just for fun keep asking Joe Morgan where to buy your ticket.
9. Joey Votto is rumored to be the next great thing at first base for the Reds. Formerly rumored great Reds first baseman Hal Morris thinks Joey Votto isn't smart enough to play basketball for the Bearcats. This is an ominous sign.
10. Head to the zoo. I hate to say it's an indictment of a city when the zoo is a top tourist attraction. But...it's an indictment of a city when the zoo is a top tourist attraction.
11. Ryan Freel has an imaginary voice in his head he calls Farney. This is the man who replaced Ken Griffey, Jr. in center field because "it gives us a stronger defense up the middle." Baseball stars die slow and cruel deaths.
12. Eat Skyline Chili. Or just stick your finger in your asshole and rub it on ramen noodles. Bingo, you've experienced Cincinnati's finest cuisine.