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2013 Cincinnati Reds - The season that never was.

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The 2013 Cincinnati Reds, who play a one game playoff for the wild card tonight, was one of those teams that had the talent to be GREAT, but lacked passion.

I've been a reds fan all my life, at the beginning of the season it was easy to point to the NL central as a division that was easy to win. Cards should be down, Brewers way down, Cubs still rebuilding, and the Pirates has shown life in recent years, but you always expected that end of season crash that they had been known to do. With the trade for Choo the reds got that position and leadoff spot that had absolutely been lacking. Rotation was good to go, Cueto, Latos, Baily, Arroyo, and Leake. You knew Latos and Cueto were going to be studs. Bailey had shown life in the second half of 2012 and Arroyo was going to give you 10 wins and 10 losses. if Leake was any good the reds could be looking at 100 wins this year! Bullpen, Marshal and Broxton would set up Chapman. It was all set up to run the table. 1990's wire to wire reds looked like they were in sight.

Then injuries, Ludwick on opening day, Cuteo, Broxton, Marshall, Hannigan all went down early. Reds did all they could to tread water. Tony Cingrani, looked good, but couldn't go five innings before he hit 100 pitches. This put a taxing on the bullpen. Votto looked lost most of the season, there was no clutch to his game. His OBP was sky high, but there was no power. No one took the left field position and was a revolving door most of the season. Phillips had his first 100 RBI season, but called Votto out in the media and got in a shouting match with another media member.

Thoughout the season the reds would hit little winning streaks and take the division then once again play like garbage. I think what bothered me most was it was a business attitude with them. There was no excitement. I could swear there were golf claps or poetry reading snaps after homeruns or RBIs. Even Homer Baileys no-hitter seemed to come across as.... meh, he did that last year. The reds missed the spark, they never got upset that they would leave the bases loaded with no outs and not get a run. They never got excited with the go ahead RBI single in the eighth or ninth. They missed a player like, Johnny Gomes.

Then came September, reds fans rejoiced when fan favorite Billy Hamilton came up, Stole 12 bases in his first 12 attempts. In his first two Starts he went 3/5 and the Reds kept winning every time he was in the game. He was like a good luck charm, his base stealing energized this team... but day after day he was relegated to the bench, and the reds kept losing, big game after big game, before finally the reds said screw it, and lost their last five.

So if you watch the Reds v Pirates tonight, watch the reds. Count the amount of times you see someone other than Brandon Phillips smile. The reds have made the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years, and they couldn't be less excited. As a fan I see this... and I couldn't be less excited to see this team lose their sixth in a row, with a final score of 4-0 in Pittsburgh.
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