With thousands of fans all around the country chomping on fingernails and incessantly refreshing Twitter in hopes of catching the most, up-to-date, immediate news, they can of their organizations movements with an impending free agent, the question to be asked is; what are you nervous about?
The Seattle Mariners made what should ultimately be the splash of the off-season by signing former New York Yankee, Robinson Cano this morning to an astounding 10-year/240 million dollar deal. Mariner and Yankee fans alike collectively held their breath as Cano and his agent/mega-rap star friend, Jay Z, made their way to Seattle and negotiated what could have been a record deal. Everyone with thumbs spit out all kinds of erroneous numbers and figures, causing more than a heart palpitation or two on opposite spectrums of the country. Whatever did happen to getting news right, before just getting it first anyway?
The biggest splash thus far this off-season for the Reds, has been the firing of Dusty Baker and the hiring of former pitching coach, Bryan Price as the man in charge. This is hardly nervous stuff for fans. That’s not to discredit the impact of a manager, of course, it’s just to say that should the Reds be in on Carlos Beltran or Mike Napoli (not that they should), there would be much more tension and anxiety.
Where a lot of ire and skepticism has come up, has been through the handling of the Brandon Phillips situation so far this off-season. Now, I absolutely believe that in my heart of hearts, Walt Jocketty so-called “kicked the tires” of a few teams, just to gauge what the interest and suitable return would be for his All-Star second baseman. In an age of 24-hour news cycle and constant coverage, it is easy to see how this information can be leaked and a made a story out of. In fact, it probably happens even more often that any of us believe, as no one player can be truly indispensable.
After former Reds GM, and current ESPN writer, Jim Bowden, tweeted out that Phillips would not be attending Redsfest and a “source” of his told him that by the winter meetings, we would see him traded, many initially went haywire. The tweets were subsequently deleted after Bowden claimed his source “must have been incorrect,” when Walt Jocketty reiterated for what must seem like the nth time in the past few months that Brandon is still a part of the plan moving forward.
So, what is it that makes Reds fans tick with nervousness? I remember being four years old and rooting the club on against Al Leiter with its season on the line in a one-game playoff. For obvious reasons, this year’s one game playoff was a little more over the top as far as nerves go, because ultimately at the end of the day, we are all fans. Of course, I am not old enough to have watched the Big Red Machine, except for on tape, although I cannot imagine there were many nervous fans during that period. I know that if that lineup were to be assembled in today’s game, people would still be poking holes in it.