Monday, September 19, 2016

Cellar is a Historical Rarity for Reds

Image result for last place medal

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

I was too hasty of my burying the Pirates last week. The Pirates are still in the wildcard race. I had them dead and buried. But they beat the Reds three out of four at GABP. Now they have a shot, a very long shot but they have a chance. Darn it!

May I digress about the terrible breaks the Bengals always get against the Steelers. The Steelers always benefit from horrible game changing calls against the Bengals. And of course the awful calls are never overturned by the NFL officiating crew. Something bad happens almost every time the Steelers play the Bengals. I knew the officials would not reverse the obvious NON-fumble by the Bengals Tyler Boyd. The NFL should be called the NPSL. The National Pittsburgh Steelers League. No clear evidence they said to overturn the fumble call on Boyd they said. Well, the announcers who saw it on the TV replays could tell it was NOT a fumble. Maybe the NPSL should get HD monitors. What a joke. The Steelers get all the breaks and all the calls. Does that sound juvenile and bitter? Yes, and thank you.

The Reds continue to play over .500 since the All-Star break. But they go on a ten game road trip starting in Chicago tonight. Who goes on a ten game road trip in late September? That would be awful if the Reds were still in the race. But alas they are not.

Barring a miracle, the Reds will finish last in the NL Central for the second year in a row. Two consecutive years of last place finishes has not happened since the Reds finished last four seasons in a row from 1931 to 1934. They finished last again in 1937. They finished only sixth and fifth in 1935 and 1936 respectively. But Reds fans take heart. The terrible thirties ended with a National League pennant in 1939 and a World Championship in 1940!

When World War II ended in 1945, the Reds didn’t have a winning season again until 1956 but they somehow escaped finishing last in any of those years. The Reds finished last in the Western Division in 1982 and 1983. Even in the terrible 2000 thru 2009 decade the Reds never finished last thanks to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They came close though finishing fifth five times in a six team Division.

The Reds also finished last in 1901 and 1914, so that gives the Reds a total of only 11 seasons of last place finishes since the National League began in 1890. Not too bad at all. But the fact that 2015-2016 is only the second time in Reds history that they have finished last two years in a row is very disheartening for Reds fans.

It is some consolation that the Reds are not the worst team in the National League thanks to the Atlanta Braves. Don’t count the Braves out, the Reds are only five games better than the hapless Braves. But Reds fans should note that the Chicago Cubs were in last place in 2013 and 2014 and in next to last every year from 2010 to 2012. Was 2015 the year Joe Maddon was hired by the Cubs? Humm. I wonder if he will be available if the Cubs blowup in the playoffs?

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