But he’ll take the outcome, a Reds come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals. And it’s not like the guys aren’t trying either. After the game Reds skipper Dusty Baker stated this team is trying to get Willis a win “big time”.
But this isn’t the real reason for this post. Far from it really. It was a couple of things I’ve read and heard over the past couple of days.
Before I delve into it, I want to ask every Reds fan a question. Have you ever heard of pride? Pride in the job you do? I think some would refer to that as professional pride. With that out of the way, I will carry on with my little rant here.
The other day I wrote about a statement Bronson Arroyo made in that finishing second is better than finishing in third. I also wrote in that post where the Reds used a nice run through September and October of 2009 to launch last year’s run to the NL Central division title. But it seems a bit of apathy has set in among the Reds faithful, if they can be termed as that.
Here’s where I get to my point. The guys donning those Reds uniforms are not ready to throw this season away despite have no real shot. Here’s a quote from Willis after last night’s win.
"“I like the way I’m throwing the ball like I said last week. I like the way I’m competing. I like the way we’re competing as a club.”"
Personal and professional pride. That’s why these guys continually go out on the field and compete. Sure, personal numbers are great and all, but the fact remains that the Reds are still trying to win games. We should appreciate their willingness to continue to play hard. But some do not.
It really makes no difference what we as fans think on this. What matters is what those 25 guys on the roster and those on the coaching staff do. You can say that these wins over the next month are hollow and mean nothing. Tell that to the guys playing night in, night out. You can’t tell that by judging from their reaction to Miguel Cairo‘s ninth inning game-winning hit from last night. You can’t tell that from seeing Joey Votto pump his fist after recording the final putout of any game in which the Reds win.
And on the issue of finishing above .500? Sure, it’s not near the goal the Reds had at the onset to this season. Goals occasionally may have to be revised at some point when you consider the surrounding circumstances. Now is that time, but one goal that is never changing is that of winning a game. Just because the Reds are viewed as “out of the running” doesn’t mean they simply stop winning and lay down for anyone. I have no problem with that at all and neither should any fan.
Am I upset that the Reds haven’t played better this season? What fan wouldn’t be? But by the same token, why turn your back on them because they have not met possibly overly ambitious expectations?
For those that are choosing the premise and take the route that the rest of the season is a lost cause, you should re-examine. Imagine if your son and/or daughter was playing Little League and obtained that attitude. You can say it’s not the same, but I don’t believe it is. You want them to play hard and, of course, have fun in doing so. But if your child became apathetic to his/her team’s plight and decided it wasn’t worth the effort, how would that make you feel?
Herm Edwards (yes, an NFL guy) once said “You play to win the game.” Professionally, this is what it’s all about.
With the NFL preseason having already arrived, it appears that some fans in Cincinnati have reset their focus toward the Bengals.
I ask: Is that wise?