Discover more from The Riverfront by Chad Dotson
How to be a good Reds fan
A step-by-step guide
The Cincinnati Reds won on Tuesday night to draw back to a half-game of first place Milwaukee in the NL Central division. It wasn’t without drama, however. The Reds led 4-0 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, but Daniel Duarte entered the game and vomited all over the mound, forcing manager David Bell to bring in Alexis Diaz. Diaz teetered on the edge, but ultimately collected his MLB-leading 30th save of the season.
An easy 4-3 win. No sweat, right?
As the Brewers threatened a comeback win, I was honestly worried about the state of the Reds fan base. Milwaukee has just eaten Cincinnati’s lunch this season, winning 9 of 12 contests, including Monday night’s walkoff victory that gave the Brewers a 1.5 game lead in the division. After that loss, #RedsTwitter* seemed to melt down. I know it seems like meltdown mode is the normal state of things for #RedsTwitter, but this was pretty wild to me. The sheer anger of some fans surprised me.
*Or is it RedsX now?
After a while, I tweeted this:
Lotta anger in my mentions. If you want to be angry at the Reds, that's fine! I'm not gonna tell you how to be a fan.
But this team is 8 games over .500 and buyers at the trade deadline. Most exciting lineup in MLB.
Yes, they're flawed. But I'm having a blast with these guys.
I clarified my thoughts later, noting that there are any number of reasons to be upset with this organization. Heaven knows I haven’t been shy about calling out this club for the nonsense they’ve put us through over the last three decades. Ownership has been a disaster for years. They have completely squandered the goodwill of a great baseball town.
Perhaps this is the result of suffering through years and years of low expectations, but at this point in my life, I just want to enjoy a fun team. And we have one of those right now. So I'm happy.
Maybe I’m a sucker. Okay, I’m probably a sucker. But we’ve been forced to endure so much bad baseball for so many years thanks to some legendary incompetence at the top of the corporate food chain here in Cincinnati. I just want to enjoy the moment. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and the Reds are definitely fun right now.
So I lied with the title up there. Sorry. I’m not qualified to give you a step by step guide to being the proper Reds fan. Be a fan however you want! If you want to be mad, be mad. If you want to be a prospect hugger, be a prospect hugger. If you want to believe that Reds ownership and management are perfect and all critics are dumb, be my guest. If you’re a bandwagon fan who has ignored the team for years until now, welcome to the fold!
As for me, I will never trust current ownership. Too much evidence of their incompetence for me to ignore. But I’m still trying to have as much fun as I can with this club.
Listen, I like baseball. And I like the Cincinnati Reds. I think they should seize the day, as I wrote this week over at the Mother Ship (see below). But I’ve been through so many lousy seasons with this team that I can’t get too upset when they lose yet another game to a division rival in late July.
I’m just happy that the team is actually relevant at this point in the season. And I know how pathetic that sounds. But this is the life of a Reds fan in the year of our Lord twenty twenty three.
And did I mention that the Reds will be in first place if they win tonight? What a time to be alive….
This week at Cincinnati Magazine: Reds GM Nick Krall Must Seize the Day
Fellow Cincinnati faithful, here we are, a mere week away from the August 1 trade deadline. It’s been a wild ride on the Redlegs roller coaster this year, hasn’t it? Continuing to defy expectations, the Reds will be buyers instead of sellers, and it’s safe to say no one could have imagined that at the outset of the season. As a wise man once said: What a time to be alive.
The big questions are whether the Reds will make any substantial moves and to what extent GM Nick Krall should be aggressive. The answer is, yes, they obviously should go for it. The Reds find themselves in the thick of the race in one of the weakest divisions in baseball. But what does “go for it” mean?
For his part, Krall has indicated that the Reds will be buyers. A month ago, he said: “We’re looking to win. That’s our goal. I think we want to do whatever we can for this team.” Then, this week, he added, “Yeah, we do have financial flexibility to add (players).” So, in theory at least, the Reds will be looking to improve the roster.
So who should they look to add? Read the rest of this week’s Reds column over at Cincinnati Magazine.
What’s Chad Watching?
Pretty good week! The screenshot above is from my Letterboxd profile — you should consider joining me over there — and the movies are in reverse order. That is, the first movie I saw over the last week was Chungking Express, the masterpiece from director Wong Kar-Wai.* I’ve seen it a number of times, but never on the big screen. When I saw it on the calendar at a local theater, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.
*Some will quibble and say that In The Mood For Love is his masterpiece. I won’t argue the point. It’s incredible.
To my surprise and delight, the theater was 2/3 full, and it was a perfect example of why I’m such a proponent of the theater experience. There’s simply no better way to experience most films. Seeing it with a crowd was a great experience, and I laughed more than I ever had (though it’s not a comedy, there are more funny moments than I had remembered). So go to the theater.
Which brings me to Barbenheimer! Yes, of course I did the Barbie and Oppenheimer double feature on Saturday, and I’m really amazed at this cultural moment. The lovely Mrs. Dotson and I saw Barbie first. The parking lot was full — glad we got our tickets beforehand — and groups of women and girls (and a bunch of guys too) were wearing pink and clearly excited to be sharing the experience. And the movie was good! Clearly, I’m not the target audience, but I am a huge fan of director Greta Gerwig and I wasn’t disappointed. Margot Robbie was perfect, Ryan Gosling nearly stole the show, and though the story occasionally lost its way, it was a really fun time at the ol’ moving picture show.
Next up was Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s tale of Robert Oppenheimer’s role in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. I’m not Nolan’s biggest fan, though I appreciate his work. I love a guy that is devoted to recording on actual film and putting movies in theaters, on IMAX, and delivering an experience. He’s not the best director working today, but he’s certainly one of the most important.
To me, Oppenheimer is his best film. Cillian Murphy is a lock for a Best Actor nomination. And though the movie has a three hour running time, it sped along (at least for the first two hours). I wish I had seen it in IMAX, and I’ll try to go back this weekend to correct that. 4.5 stars out of 5. Highly recommended.
You’ll notice in the image above that I saw Barbie for a second time. I took my daughter to see it last night, and we had a great time. After a second viewing, my rating actually went up. Really enjoyed it. Five or ten years from now, I predict that Gerwig will be widely considered the best director on earth. 4.5 stars out of 5. Highly recommended.
I also rewatched the third Mission: Impossible movie for some reason.
The World’s Most Dangerous Podcast: Ya Gotta Believe!
A rough week for the 'ol Redlegs, but Nate and I are here to tell you not to lose faith. This team has the same flaws they had before the recent losing streak, but they're also just as fun. #Believe
We also discussed the debut of Christian Encarnacion-Strand, the future for Jonathan India, and this week's Reds Hall of Fame induction.
Thanks for reading The Riverfront by Chad Dotson! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.