Christmas is only 10 days away and this Reds fan has yet to sit down with old St. Nick to share my list of what I would like to get from him on Christmas morning.
You know, since he wears red and white, surely the jolly old soul is a fan of the Redlegs, so he could appreciate the items that I am about to reel off here, and perhaps he will understand and empathize enough to make sure that I, as well as Reds fans everywhere, get most of, if not all of what is on this list.
- Since it is becoming more and more likely that Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) will be back playing second base for the Reds in 2014, and provided there are no other moves involving ‘starting’ position players, Santa I would like for you (and skipper Bryan Price) to give me the following everyday starting lineup:
- A ‘comeback’ year for Phillips, while batting in the two spot all season. I would like the kind of Phillips with a slash line of .285/.340/.460 and maybe comes with 100 runs and 80 RBIs. Oh, and another Gold Glove, too.
- Please Santa, please give me more of the features of the Joey Votto from 2010 and 2011. I would love to get a little more of ‘Vottomatic’ from a few years ago, pre-knee injury, when he drove the ball farther and his RBI totals were higher. I am hoping that the 2014 model will still come with the propensity to have a keen eye at the plate, so we will still see a good OBP and walk totals that make most pitchers frustrated and fearful with him at the plate.
- Santa, I would also like to get an injury-free year from Johnny Cueto. When he is injury-free and in a groove, there are only a handful of pitchers who can be as strong into the 7th and 8th innings as Cueto, as these numbers from 2012 show.
- Finally Santa, I would also like for you to give me and Reds fans a really successful first season under new manager Bryan Price. I’m not talking about an 84-win season, I am talking about a 92 or 94-win season. You know, the kind that will put Price up there among the top nominees for Manager of the Year and a trip to the playoffs with a bye, instead of a play-in game AND perhaps getting past the first round? I am hoping that with the change in leadership on the field, coupled with some urgency to silence critics from 2013, will bring this team up to its potential and accomplish just that.
There are so many other gifts that this Reds fan (as well as others) would like to see for the 2014 season, that the list could be quite long, so let’s not get too greedy. Rather, if I could just get these items and maybe one more thing…90-loss seasons for the Cardinals and Pirates, it will be a good Christmas and a great 2014 for the Reds!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and have a safe and exciting New Year!