Hartman: Since a woeful start to the season, the Reds are dramatic, persistent and fun under Riggleman


These Reds are nothing if not persistent, eh? 

Well, that and dramatic. 

Fun, too. 

So this 2018 Cincinnati squad is persistent, dramatic and fun. 

What else could you ask for from a sports team? 

Well, winning while doing all that would be ideal I guess, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

After two disheartening losses in Chicago, the Reds have taken two from the front-running Indians

Tuesday night was one for the ages, a seven-run rally in the ninth inning to stun the AL Central leaders and clinch a series victory in the first round of the 2018 Ohio Cup. 

>>RELATED: 4 times the Reds have come from behind to beat the Indians in the 9th inning

(As an aside, I’m wondering if the majority of Reds fans would rather beat the Cubs or the Indians. Email me if you have thoughts on this subject.) 

This team still has its foibles, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun to follow right now. 

We have already reviewed what actually turning into a competitive team means for the rest of this season and the future. 

>>RELATED: There’s still work to do for Reds front office

Continuing to lose 80 percent of their games could have set this franchise back another three or four years. 

Instead, they often look like they are in position to jump into contention next season (though not without a few shrewd moves between now and then... and a lot of fielding practice, too). 

Whether or not he is the manager then remains to be seen, but Jim Riggleman deserves to be praised for accomplishing the No. 1 thing he needed to do for these players: Restore their sense of pride. 

Few would have batted an eye if the Reds went quietly into the night Tuesday in Cleveland. 

The odds were long, and they hadn’t gotten much shorter by the time two were out, but they pushed on and recorded another great memory in a season that not long ago looked like it would be fully forgettable. 

The Reds haven’t played with this spirit since at least 2012. 

Call it a hangover from blowing a 2-0 lead in the playoffs against the Giants. 

Call it not having enough good players. 

You know, whatever. 

Something has just been off for about half a decade. 

They sleepwalked to a wild card in 2013 before being put out of their misery in Pittsburgh. 

I thought firing Dusty Baker might wake them up, but obviously that wasn’t the case. 

Ultimately Bryan Price didn’t seem to fix any of the issues from the end of the (mostly positive) Baker era. (Price also also had even less to work with, but that’s beside the point. Neither manager exactly maxed out his roster.)

>>The right and wrong reactions to the Reds’ firing their manager

And now we’re a couple of months into the Riggleman era... 

The Reds still should and likely will explore all their options when it comes to the manager for 2019, but the man has left his mark on the franchise.  

Ninety percent of the game is half mental, as Yogi Berra (probably) once said, and these Reds have developed a never-say-die attitude that was lacking for a long time. 

They’ll need that for when the games start mattering in the standings again. 

For now, baseball is fun again — in every corner of the state. 

  


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

McCoy: Reds making case for keeping Scooter, other players at deadline
McCoy: Reds making case for keeping Scooter, other players at deadline

For Cincinnati Reds fans who despise and detest the St. Louis Cardinals, something Scooter Gennett said Friday afternoon at his locker might be considered heresy. Gennett has more than earned the admiration and respect of Reds fans for what he is doing on the field, so they’ll probably issue him a hall pass on this one. Gennett was talking about...
Cruiser cam: Troopers rescue Colombian players from I-71 berm
Cruiser cam: Troopers rescue Colombian players from I-71 berm

Three Colombians in Ohio for the World Flying Disc World Championships chuckled as they were delivered to their hotel in an Ohio Highway Patrol cruiser on July, a cruiser-cam video shows. The drop-off at the Cincinnati Marriott Northeast concluded a series of events on July 12 touched off when two players and a volunteer affiliated with Oso Club...
Hamilton grad impressive, but Dragons fall 1-0 in 10 innings

Hamilton High School graduate Patrick McGuff turned in another impressive outing for the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night, but that couldn’t prevent the host Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers) from posting a 1-0 win in 10 innings. »KATZ: After the draft McGuff made his second start since being signed as a free agent from the Evansville...
After the draft: Teams always on the lookout for the next best thing
After the draft: Teams always on the lookout for the next best thing

With the potential of 40 new players being signed by major league franchises every summer from the free agent draft – not counting international free agents mostly out of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic – it would seem franchises would have enough players to stock their teams. Think again. Attrition – including injuries, releases...
Amazing stat explains just how good this Reds player is at the plate
Amazing stat explains just how good this Reds player is at the plate

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto pointed to his ability to hit the ball hard and where he wants to on a consistent basis as his greatest strength last week. “If I want to hit fly balls all the time, I can,” Votto said. “If I want to hit line drives all the time, I can.” The numbers prove that. According to FanGraphs...
More Stories