We need to talk about the historical lows of this year’s Cincinnati Reds season. Someone needs to write about this for posterity. It’s up to me, it appears.
On the other hand, if you want some unvarnished love and dreaminess about the ol’ Redlegs, check out this ever-expanding Twitter thread. Nothing wrong with a little Reds nostalgia, right?
“We’re buying the Reds to win. Anything else is unacceptable,” said Robert Castellini, who was approved by Major League Baseball on Jan. 19 as the team’s new majority owner. … Asked how long it would take to bring the Reds back to playoff contention, Castellini said, “Our goal is to put a contender on the field this year.”
That was January 20, 2006. Anything else is unacceptable. So how’s that going?
With seven games remaining in the Castellinis’ 17th season at the helm, the 2022 Reds, at 60-95, have a winning percentage of .387. That’s the eighth-worst mark in Reds history. What a time to be alive.
Fortunately, it appears that the Reds will avoid the ignominy of matching the 1982 club with 101 losses. Maybe? If Cincinnati goes 1-6 the rest of the way, that’ll be 101 losses. I don’t even want to consider what will happen if the Reds lose their last seven. Can’t happen, right?
What if the Reds go 3-4 the rest of the way, a prospect that doesn’t seem unreasonable? They would finish 63-99. That's a .389 winning percentage that would edge out the 1914 and 1932 teams for 7th-worst winning percentage in club history. It would also tie the 1934 Reds for the second-highest loss total ever. These aren’t leaderboards that you want to be on! My eyes hurt from looking at them. (Okay, they actually hurt from watching the latest Jordan Peele film. Sorry for deceiving you.)
Anything else is unacceptable.
In fact, only four teams in Reds history have lost more than 96 games: 1982 (101 losses), 1935 (99), 1937 (98), and 2015 (98). This year's team is very likely to join that inner circle of futility, which makes two Castellini teams in the top five for most losses in Reds history. Impressive!
Let’s dig deeper. There have been twenty seasons in which the Reds lost at least 90 games. Six of those have been teams from the Castellini era. Thirty percent!
Major caveat: teams play more games now than they did before 1962, when the MLB season expanded to 162 games. So let’s just look at those 61 seasons since expansion gave the league an excuse to add eight additional games to the schedule. In 11 of those 61 seasons, the Reds have lost 90-plus games. Which means that Castellini is responsible for six of those 11. That’s 55 percent!
Anything else is unacceptable.
The Reds’ record since the Castellinis took over is 1253-1392. Twelve losing seasons in 17 years. Only four playoff appearances; really only two, if you don’t include lame Wild Card rounds. One legitimately good team (2012). Zero playoff series wins.
Sell the team, Bob. Anything else is unacceptable.
This week’s Cincinnati Magazine column: The Reds’ Season in Review
As you know, Dear Reader, we’ve been chronicling the story of the 2022 Cincinnati Reds in this column all season long. I’ve tried to have a little fun with the messy situation down at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, but Phase 1 of general manager Nick Krall’s plan to “eliminate peaks and valleys”* has provided more than its fair share of headaches for the die-hard Reds fan. If you’re here, still reading about this Reds team…well, I’m talking about you. You may want to consider taking an ibuprofen.
*So far, Krall seems to have been partly successful. He eliminated the peaks, anyway.
How do we evaluate this Reds season, in the grand scheme of things? Are the Castellini-era Reds any closer to putting a winning product on the field than they were this spring? The answer: it depends.
If you choose to take a pessimistic view about the long-term success of this franchise, the Reds certainly provided you plenty of ammunition. Just two years ago, the Reds actually qualified for the National League playoffs. Sure, it was the watered-down expanded playoffs of 2020, but still! They actually celebrated on the field and everything!
Even as recently as last September, the Reds were still in the playoff race, fighting for a Wild Card spot. Sure, they were bounced from the 2020 playoffs after an abysmal season, and they faded in the Wild Card race late last year. But they were close!
Continue at Cincinnati Magazine
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