Some would say that I am deluded in my optimistic outlook for the Reds' season. They say this team did nothing to improve, that we just got lucky last year, that blah, blah, blah... My delusion is nothing compared to this piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today. It includes 5 reasons why the Pirates could win the division. (To be fair, it also includes 5 reasons why they won't, but those are 5 HUGE reasons.) In response, I thought I'd write a similar bit on the Reds.
Here are 5 reasons why the Reds will win the NL Central:
5. The division will be tight. The people who are picking the Deadbirds to win the division this year are on crack. LOOK AT THE PITCHING STAFF. How the heck is a team supposed to win when the number 2 starter is Kip Wells? Oh yeah, and they have Ranklin in their pen. Ha, ha! I like to pretend that Scott Rolen is not on that team and have successfully been able to forget from time to time, but aside from him and Prince Albert, there's no offense either. Others are picking the Sausages, which kind of makes sense to me, but like every other year they've been picked as the dark horse candidate, they'll flop. Kevin Mench and Geoff Jenkins will end up duking it out in the dugout when their platoon situation boils over. Ben Sheets won't get 30 starts - he hasn't since 2004 - and Jeff Suppan is not an answer. The Cubs have Sweet Lou. They also have Jason Marquis. And the goat. The Asstros suck.
4. Josh Hamilton. Roy Hobbs can do everything, even after the better part of three years off. Did you see The Throw? And that swing? Even his outs are pretty! The guy will be starting centerfield by June. You heard it here first.
3. Alex Gonzalez. Guy made 7 errors last year. Reds' shortstops made 25. We could pick up 2 or 3 wins on defense alone. And we all know what a difference 3 wins made last year.
2. Ken Gimpy Jr. Guy's due for one last hurrah. I say he hits 40 out this year to become the fifth member of the 600 club. It's going to be fun to watch him leap over other Hall of Famers as he approaches that milestone. He'll play 130 games this year thanks to outfield depth.
1. Adam "Brook Jacoby" Dunn. He's been tearing it up this spring - with SINGLES! Oh, and those 4 bombs show that his new approach to hitting has not reduced his power. He'll hit 50 out this year and become the Reds' very own Bujols (Bonds-Pujols), the kind of player that drives a team. You heard this, too, here first.
And the 5 reasons the Reds might not play baseball in October:
5. Get behind Harang, Satan! Harang finished his spring with a 6.66 ERA. Say your prayers that the Dark One does not ruin his season!
4. Kyle Lohse doesn't have a breakout year. But he will. If he can get over his mental block. And his inconsistency. And his suckitude.
3. Krivsky doesn't call up Homer. Homer should be here on the Summer Solstice to give the Reds one of the top 1-2-3 punches in baseball. His big blue ox is not allowed in the clubhouse.
2. The geriatric ward breaks down. I'm not as pessimistic about the pen as many Reds fans are, but with Stormy, Stanton, and Cormier getting ready for the adult diapers, it could be a messy situation. (Get it? ha, ha!) Cormier needs to be gone before May 1 or the Reds will have to say May Day!
1. Sunk cost! Milton must be optioned before the end of the April showers or there certainly won't be any October flowers! DUMP MILTON!!!!!!
Now, why is that giant white rabbit talking to me?