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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A 'Cincinnati Red' hot summerPosted Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at 9:09 AM
In recent years at this point in the summer, I have found myself getting ready for the National Football League season.
I have never wavered as a fan of my three favorites professional sports teams.
I have always been a fan of the Indiana Pacers, although in recent years, it has been difficult to watch them.
I have always been a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, although Brett Favre's interception in the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints was gut-wrenching. Still no title.
I have also always been a fan of the Cincinnati Reds.
I can remember falling in love with red and white in the late 70s when the "Big Red Machine" still somewhat existed.
I can remember 1990 like it was yesterday. The Reds -- playing against the Oakland A's in the World Series.
Cincinnati was indeed the underdog in the series and swept the mighty A's.
What a year.
But Reds' fans haven't had a lot to celebrate in recent memory.
However, it appears this year, things are different.
As the midway point of the baseball season is upon us, the Reds own the National League Central Division with a one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Reds are 49-41.
In recent memory, by the All-Star break, Reds' fans have been preparing for 80 more games just to get the season over with.
But this year, the Reds look like they could be in it for the long haul.
However, things like this have happened before.
In 2004, Cincinnati had a lead in the division early only to go 29-45 immediately after the All-Star break, ending the season 10 games under .500.
In 2006, the Reds were tied for first-place in the division through August, only to lost nine out of 10 to lose the division to the Cardinals.
Reds' fans may indeed by skeptical about this current division lead.
But I believe this team will stay in contention well into the second half of the season.
The proof is in the statistics.
Through the first-half of the season, Cincy's players have performed well.
All-Star Joey Votto, for example, is hitting .314 with 22 homers and 60 runs batted in.
Third baseman Scott Rolen is currently hitting .290 with 17 home runs. And Brandon Phillips is also hitting .294.
From a pitching perspective, Bronson Arroyo is 9-4 already this season, while Mike Leake is 6-1. In addition, Johnny Cueto is 8-2 and Aaron Harang is 6-7.
Francisco Cordero also has 24 saves at the midway point. He had 39 last year.
The Reds were well represented in the All-Star game this year as well as Rolen, Phillips, Votto and setup man Arthur Rhodes all made the team.
Despite many years of heartbreaking finishes, the Reds look like they are capable of competing to the finish this season, which means the summer will be all the more exciting.
At least for me.