Hey Reds: Trying Matters and Past Is Prologue

Well, the Cincinnati Reds just traded literally everything they could. Some people are happy about that because GM Nick Krall has really created some great prospects. Some people are not. I’m in the “not” club. In a vacuum, I have no problem with trades. They make sense given the current state of the team. But Shakespeare told us “the past is a prologue”. And that’s why, readers, these trades stink.

The Reds’ biggest argument this year has been whether small market teams are even a thing. They are not. TV deals and revenue sharing mean the Reds make a profit before they sell a ticket. It’s simply math and you can find all the relevant numbers online quite easily. Along with that argument, however, was something like “A lot of the guys they got rid of weren’t good anyway.” That’s true, but it’s also a problematic argument because no one would have predicted that Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos would play the way they did (although I count myself in the minority who correctly guessed that Eugenio Suarez would bounce). Wade Miley, yes, it was predictable, but that’s how it is. And Sonny Gray was excellent, of course. There was no good reason the Reds couldn’t enter this year with a line-up that looked like this:

  • Tyler Stephenson – Receiver
  • Joey Votto – 1st baseman
  • Jonathan India – 2nd goal
  • Kyle Farmer – Shortstop
  • Eugenio Suarez – 3rd goal
  • Jesse Winker – Left Field
  • Tyler Naquin/Nick Senzel – Center Field
  • Nick Castellanos – right field

The starting rotation could have looked like this:

  • castle louis
  • Sonny Gray
  • Tyler Mahle
  • Nick Lodolo/Hunter Greene/Graham Ashcraft

It’s a playoff caliber roster and rotation at the start of the season. Especially with the 12-team format. And listen, in the 25th wildcard-era baseball season that wasn’t artificially shortened, a team winning 90 games or less won the World Series 5 times. It’s 20% of the time. So yes, you make it to the playoffs and you have a real shot at winning a championship.

Now, regarding the group of players discussed above: Did a group of guys get injured? Yes. Would the Reds really have made the playoffs with this team? No, probably not.

But that’s not the point. The thing is, they CHOSE not to compete this year when they had other options. They CHOOSE to throw. If this season had gone south (as it probably would have) with a good roster and you traded Castillo and Mahle for that haul, I wouldn’t be thrilled, but I’d get it. We tried, it didn’t work, let’s get leads.

Shakespeare told us that “The past is a prologue”, which means that everything that happened before frames the way we experience the world now. There’s a huge difference between trading a player in a year when things went wrong and trading a player in a year when you made an active effort to field a bad team. And that’s exactly what the property did this year. Right before telling fans they didn’t care on opening day. Try account.

So yeah, I’m crazy about the Castillo trade. He’s a great pitcher and I want to continue watching a great pitcher for my favorite team. I’m mad about the Castillo trade (and the Mahle trade) because while the Reds (36th media market) are crying poor, the Brewers (35th) are running away from the division, the Padres (28th) just landed Juan Soto, and the Cardinals (21st) know their millionth consecutive victory.

I’m mad about the Castillo trade because the entire Reds organization at the moment is classic ‘Capitalist when we win, socialist when we lose’ pro-sports nonsense. Cry, “Come to the games so we can afford players!!! 111!!!” isn’t compelling unless you want to start writing checks to fans when things are going well. Do you want us to look? Put a product in the field that is worth watching. You had it last year and decided to give it up because it makes more money for you. You can’t treat the team like a business and not expect the fans to treat it the same way.

In fact, I heard the Mariners were having a special to try and win. Maybe I’ll browse a few channels and see what they have to offer. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of these guys somewhere before.

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