Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are the Reds in a parallel universe?


by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

A few notes from my geeky alter ego. Dictionary.com defines a parallel universe as; a theory that there is a mirror universe and when one makes a decision in this universe, an alternate 'you' in the other universe makes the opposite decision. Are we Reds fans living in a parallel universe? While you’re scratching your head preparing to call the straight jacket people on my behalf, allow me to expound.

In 1970, the Cincinnati Reds won the N.L. West title, entering the post season for the first time since 1961. If you were born in 1961, you turned nine in 1970. In 2010, the Reds won the N.L. Central title, snapping a streak of nine straight losing seasons. Both seasons ended with disappointing post season losses. The ’70 Reds were dominated by the Baltimore Orioles; the ’10 Reds were dominated by the Philadelphia Phillies. Who did the Orioles defeat for their last World Championship? The Phillies in ‘83! The 1971 and 2011 Reds finished exactly at 79 – 83. Convinced yet? In 1972, the Reds rallied, in the deciding game, to win the pennant on a ninth inning wild pitch by Bob Moose, with Hal McRae at bat. The 2012 Reds lost the deciding game of the NLDS essentially on a home run by Buster Posey off Mat Latos. Here’s where it gets freaky, Moose, McRae, Posey, and Latos, are all five letter last names. Better yet, Bob Moose, Hal McRae, and Mat Latos have eight letters each! (Insert Twilight Zone theme here.) How about this one; during the 70’s the Reds lost their first four World Series games at Riverfront Stadium. This decade’s Reds have lost their first four playoff games at Great American Ballpark. Just a coincidence, of course, but please allow me to reject your reality and substitute my own.

Reality - On July 1, 1973, little used backup catcher Hal King, smacks a pinch-hit two out, three=run game winning home run to lead Cincinnati to a comeback 4-3 win vs. Los Angeles, a former New York team. The win turned the season around. The Reds won 60 of their final 86 games en route to a 99 win season and an N.L. West championship, only to fall to the Amazin’ Mets part 2 in the NLCS.

Substitute Reality - July 1, 2013 the Reds will face the San Francisco Giants (another former New York team). Little used utility infielder, Don Lutz (same amount of letters as Hal King) hits a game winning home run, propelling the Reds to similar success as 40 years before. The Reds dominate both former New York teams to win the pennant, and then the Reds will defeat either the Jays or Rays, four letter nicknames, in the World Series. (I know it’s the Blue Jays but this is MY parallel universe, not yours!)

From 1972 to 1976 the Reds averaged 100 wins (95, 99, 98, 108, & 102) for a win percentage of .626. The 2012 Reds won 97 games, so the foundation for a decade of success has been laid. Will this Reds team average 100 wins between now and 2016? Probably not, but the mid 90’s are a definite possibility. In my Reds parallel universe the future looks as awesome as the real time Reds. Only time will tell. I must be off; there are a couple of people standing on my porch wearing white jackets and carrying butterfly nets. What idiots! Everybody knows you don’t wear white after Labor Day and there are no butterflies here in January.

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