Kerry Wood might be leaving Chicago Cubs to sign with Philadelphia Phillies. If this happens it will go down as another move this offseason that will help the Cincinnati Reds in 2012 which they did not have to make. [Source]
Kerry Wood has a career 14-6 record against the Reds with a 2.85 ERA. With 201 strike outs while only giving up 59 walks in 161.1 IP and 47 games. He has a 4-3 record at Great American Ball Park and a 4.05 ERA with 66 strike outs and 17 walks along with only allowing 7 home runs in 53.1 innings pitched. (17 games)
If Kerry Wood does leave the Cubs this will be another move that has pushed the Reds closer to first place in the National League Central without them making any other moves. The Reds did get Sean Marshall and Mat Latos in trades earlier this offseason and are waiting to find out if they will re-sign closer Francisco Cordero but other than that they have not had to really do much more.
This has been one very interesting offseason for Reds fans. First we saw Albert Pujols along with manager Tony LaRussa leave St. Louis Cardinals. Prince Fielder is not expected to return to Milwaukee Brewers and Ryan Braun is expected to get a 50 game suspension due to testing positive for PEDs. The Chicago Cubs are cleaning house and are dealing away most of their high salary players like Carlos Zambrano and there are still rumors that Matt Garza might be next. Houston Astros are in a rebuilding year and are getting ready to move to the American League. Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are the only teams in National League Central that have not been losing lots of their key players this offseason.
The Cincinnati Reds are currently sitting with an overall record of 9994 wins with 9702 losses. (1882 – 2011) 8975 of those wins are as the Cincinnati Reds. As Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882 – 1889) they had 549 wins. 470 of the wins are when they were Cincinnati Redlegs. (1954 – 1959)
So 2012 will witness the team with such a rich history go on to win 10,000 wins. Or if you want to get technical 9000 as the Cincinnati Reds. No matter how you look at it, this season will be a record-breaking season. I expect the Reds to bounce back and make the playoffs again this season. Of course I am biased but from what I have seen in the offseason with teams in the Central Division there is only one other team that is really making anything happen and that is Pittsburgh Pirates. The moves the Cardinals and Brewers have made (or have not made) are not scaring me one bit. And the Cubs and Astros don’t really look to promising either.
What a better way to take 10,000 wins than to win the division and go on to the World Series against Los Angeles Angels. Ok, I will wake up now and try to be a little more realistic. The Reds waiting game is paying off so far in my mind but they still need to make some moves in order to even come in 3rd in 2012. I do see Pittsburgh doing better this season though and I really am not sure if the Brewers will be very competitive in 2012 with everything going on with them. (Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder) Cardinals still have a great team but it will be very interesting to see how well they play without Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa.
The moves the Cincinnati Reds make this offseason will either make them or break them. Trading too much away to get a top of the rotation starter that finishes with a 15 – 13 record and killing their future or not trading enough and getting a player that does not give them a big enough push to win their division are the two main things that scare me right now. I think this is why the front office has not made a move yet. They are really looking at all the options and with everything that is going on with the Brewers and Cardinals right now their waiting game is paying off nicely.
In all seriousness I really don’t see an easy solution to their need for a top of the rotation starter. Who could they really bring in for three or four of their top prospects that will walk out with 20+ wins in 2012 with most of those games being in Great American Ball Park? And in my mind trading away three or more top prospects for a 15 to 17 win pitcher is not really going to help in the long run. If the Reds can get their hitters to hit the ball instead of striking out so much the pitchers they have right now are all capable of winning 17 games so why would they want to trade away their future for a pitcher that really might not do very well in Great American Ball Park? And let’s be real honest here, we don’t see many top pitchers knocking on the Reds front door begging to come play in Great American Ball Park for a few seasons. The only way the Reds will get the big starter they really want is by trading for him and they are going to have to trade a lot away in order to get him. I might be the only fan out there that really does not want to see that happen.
As I was checking out baseball news today I tried to remember when I first started cheering for the Cincinnati Reds and was amazed that I have been a loyal fan for close to 20 years now. Of course there were years where I did not cheer as loud as others but I have never jumped any band wagons and trust me many years it was a tough battle not to. I have seen good players and I have seen bad. I got to see young players become Gods and older players prove they were still good enough to play. I have shed lots of tears and drank lots of beers cheering them on. (Where I come from we say beer or beers so don’t correct me, I was just letting it flow.)
When I first became a fan it was not easy for me to watch any of their games. We only got Toronto Blue Jays games most of the time and once and awhile they would show Montreal Expos games. That is when I would watch the Reds play them. It was very tough to be a fan at this time but I kept strong and it paid off in 1990 when they went on to win the World Series. Chris Sabo, Billy Hatcher, Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Mariano Duncan, Hal Morris, Ken Griffey (Sr., thank you very much.) Tom Browning, Jose Rijo, Norm Charlton, Danny Jackson, Rob Dibble, Randy Myers, Scott Scudder and Chris Hammond are names I will remember for the rest of my life. It also explains why I never liked Tony LaRussa much when I was younger, and then when he came to St. Louis it got worse. I respect him cause of how great of a manager he was but he ranks high as one of my most hated managers of all time. Lou Piniella on the other hand has a mixed reaction from me. I loved him and then hated him.
I love looking at the history of the franchise and love to see them still going strong today. The Reds will always be a big part of the National League and people can not talk about the history of baseball without talking a little bit about the Reds. Sure they did not have the years the New York Yankees have had or the St. Louis Cardinals but they have always put together a great team every season.
No matter what happens this offseason I will remain a fan until the day I die and I hope that before that day comes I can witness them win another Championship.