The Reds are a joke. Not a gut-wrenching knee slapper either. I’m talking about a “force the audience to ask for a refund”-type joke, AKA just normal Amy Schumer material. The Reds’ record is an abysmal 3-22. To put that in perspective, only one team in the Modern Era of baseball (since 1901) had a worse 25-game stretch to start a season than the Reds: the 1988 Baltimore Orioles (2-23). There are better odds of the person closest to you being illiterate (21 percent) than the Reds winning a game (12 percent) right now. I don’t know if that’s a worse look for the American education system or the Reds.
The Reds have scored an NL-worst 3.16 runs per game. Almost half a run per game fewer than the next worst NL team, Arizona (3.5). They’ve scored 79 runs total. Couple that with their Major League-worst 6.86 team ERA and you’ve got the makings of an absolute disaster. That 6.86 mark is more than a run and a half worse than the next worst team in MLB, Washington (5.03). If Cincinnati were to double their number of runs this season, they would still be two runs shy of the number of earned runs they’ve allowed thus far. Basically, if Cincinnati’s offense was twice as good as they are, they’d still be sitting just around .500.
Tanking has never been pretty. We know this, but at least when a team tanks, they’re expected to get a great young player with superstar potential with the first overall pick in the draft. That’s still true in baseball, but thanks to the new CBA that came into effect in March, starting in 2023, the team with the worst record in baseball only has a 16.5 percent chance of obtaining the first overall pick. Those same odds are given to the teams with the second and third-worst record in baseball as well. The fact that this doesn’t start until 2023 doesn’t help the Reds this year either, because the draft lottery odds for 2022 are based on the 2021 standings, and the Reds were above .500 in 2021.
But wait! There’s more! The new CBA also dictates that no team, no matter how bad, can receive top-six lottery picks three years in a row. Basically, if the Reds don’t get their shit together by 2024, they’re just fucked. They can’t get a good draft pick, and their team is still dogshit. It’s quick the pickle the Reds how found themselves in and there’s nothing they can do about it. Well, they could’ve tried to keep Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, and Nick Castellanos I guess. They also could’ve tried to bolster their rotation or bullpen during the offseason instead of playing with their thumbs, but hey, what do I know? I don’t run a baseball team.
All of these changes to the draft mentioned in the new CBA were meant to dissuade teams from tanking. So, the geniuses who are the Reds’ front office decided that less than two months after that CBA was approved, they were going to tank harder than any Panzer IV the Germans could’ve rolled out onto a battlefield during World War II.
The timing is downright laughable. They opted to throw away the 2022 season immediately after MLB and the MLBPA decided to alter the draft to make tanking less viable. Remarkable! They read the new CBA, saw what was in place, and still decided to trade Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to the Mariners just a few days later. Truly brilliant!