For years, the Cincinnati Reds have been the laughing stock of the National League Central Division. Outside of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and a surge in 2021, the Reds have been, for the most part, irrelevant when it comes to competing in the NL Central.
The Reds haven't legitimately been part of the playoff picture since 2012. Yes, the Cincinnati was in the postseason, along with 15 other teams in 2020. And yes, the Reds made it to the Wild Card Game in 2013. At no time over the last 10 seasons have the Reds finished better than third-place in the division.
That's what makes the St. Louis Cardinals struggles so much fun to watch. "The Cardinal Way" doesn't seem to be helping at all this season, and even St. Louis' manager is on the hot seat.
Reds fans are allowed to find humor with the St. Louis Cardinals current debacle.
It's okay, Reds fans. Really, it is. Sure, there's a little schadenfreude involved, but it's the St. Louis Cardinals who are currently occupying the NL Central basement, not the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cardinals were picked by many prior to the start of the 2023 season to be the runaway winners in thee division. But instead, St. Louis is in last place, are 12 games under .500, and trail the division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates by nine games.
Obviously a lot of things have to go wrong for team like the Cardinals to be in the NL Central cellar at this point in the season. In fact, things are going so badly that the team sent their top prospect back to Triple-A despite beginning the season on a 12-game hit streak.
The best part, however, came this past week when it was announced that Willson Contreras was no longer going to be catching. Instead, the Cards plan to deploy Contreras, whom they signed to a five-year contract during the offseason, as the team's DH. Contreras is also said to be working in the outfield.
There's also the St. Louis pitching staff. The Cardinals starters own an ERA of 5.26 and have just 171 punch outs in 186.2 innings of work. Yes, the Reds starters have a worse ERA, but that's to be expected if you're running out Luke Weaver and Luis Cessa on a regular basis.
The Cincinnati Reds may be rebuilding, but thee St. Louis Cardinals are crumbling. If you're looking for a more disappointing team in all of baseball, you're going to have to squint pretty hard. The New York Yankees have struggled, as have the Philadelphia Phillies, but St. Louis is a mess.