Was Jesse Winker throwing some shade at his old team on Sunday night? Maybe. Winker might have revealed his true feelings about the Reds following the Seattle Mariners walk-off win as the former Cincinnati outfielder said he's been playing his whole career to be part of an organization that wants to win.
Now, Reds fans may be reading this right now and saying to themselves, "Preach, Jesse!" But before we all go piling on top of the Cincinnati front office again, let's remember that Winker was on the Reds in 2020 and 2021.
The Reds were trying to win in 2020, and arguably in 2021 as well.
How quickly we forget that after the 2019 season the Cincinnati Reds were primed for a playoff push. Many experts and pundits were claiming that the Reds were the dark horse candidates to win the National League Central Division.
It's hard to argue that a team with a starting rotation of Trevor Bauer (who won the Cy Young Award in 2020), Luis Castillo, Wade Miley, Sonny Gray, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle wasn't trying to win.
Let's not forget the free agent contracts doled out to Nick Castellaons (four-year/$64M), Mike Moustakas (four-year/ $64M), Shogo Akiyama (three-year?$21M), and Miley (two-year/$15M) prior to the 2020 season.
Those four free agent signings were to join the likes of Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez (coming off a 49-home run season in 2019), Joey Votto, Nick Senzel, and Tucker Barnhart. The Reds also had Raisel Iglesias, Lucas Sims, Michael Lorenzen, and Amir Garrett in the bullpen.
We all know what happened, right? The coronavirus pandemic hit, spring training was postponed, and the regular season was shrunk from 162 to 60 games. The Reds squeaked into the playoffs and were bounced in the first-round without scoring a single run against the Atlanta Braves.
Last season, the Reds overachieved and were in contention for the playoffs down the stretch. But a collapse in the final month of the season coupled with the St. Louis Cardinals 17-game winning streak saw Cincinnati as spectators for the postseason once again.
Now, if Jesse Winker were part of the Cincinnati Reds this season, I'd say that his comments were more than fair. However, seeing as how Winker was part of the Reds in both 2020 and 2021, his comments aren't exactly accurate when he talks about being part of an organization that wants to win.