It’s almost weird that today, a win didn’t feel all that important. I’m not saying it wasn’t great. It was pretty great. It also felt like a nice, easy win. The heart of the lineup, Bronson, and the bullpen all did their jobs today – and Jay Bruce even stole a base! Bruce is actually second on the team in stolen bases now. Congratuwelldone, Jay.
I think it’s notable that the Reds have seemed frustrating here and there on a micro level since the AllStar break, we’re 7-2 since then. We swept one of our biggest rivals, split a series with the Diamondbacks, and have a sweep opportunity against Milwaukee tomorrow. We are, of course, on a home stand, which is nice, and it’s frustrating we can’t so much as sneak a little daylight in the standings against the Pirates – since we’re playing .777 baseball.
But, given the day, I don’t even think that a loss could have dampened the Reds collective spirits. Tomorrow, in Cooperstown, New York, Barry Larkin will enter the Baseball Hall of Fame. I admit that I came to Reds baseball too late to have seen very much of Barry Larkin, but I definitely haven’t seen Joe Morgan or Johnny Bench play, but I can still be huge fans of them. And so with Barry.
I also know how much he means to so many of the kids – my age or somewhat older now – who watched Barry Larkin manning shortstop for 19 years for the Cincinnati Reds. He helped us win our last World Series in 1990, and won the MVP getting us to our second to last playoff appearance in 1995. There’s just no denying it – times were better in Cincinnati when Barry Larkin was in his prime. ,Baseball-wise, at least, and that’s pretty much the only thing that matters.
I’m not the kind of person who likes to complain every day (more like once a week) about bias towards the bigger markets in baseball, but it’s a little frustrating. The Reds have had some great players spend the best years of their career in Cincinnati. Joe Morgan may have been the best second baseman ever, and Johnny Bench one of the best catchers. Yet, their names don’t carry quite the same weight to the average fan as the legends of DiMaggio, Mantle, and Williams.
This weekend though, all of baseball will watch as the best shortstop in Reds history is recognized as one of the all time greats. That’s going to feel really good.