Thursday, October 11, 2012
Supporting Reds October
By Ian Hunter
However, there's always a ritualistic practice this team of year for fans of losing teams ... and that's hitching your wagon to a postseason team. But for Blue Jays fans, where should they emotionally invest themselves this October?
To root for the Yankees is like rooting for The Emperor himself ... or cheering for the trust fund kid to bulk up his bank account. And I can't even hop on the Orioles bangwagon because like most people, I'm still waiting for them to come crashing back to earth.
While Baltimore has hit the jackpot this season, I feel like they're one of those people who won the $400 million powerball lottery, and we're just waiting or them to blow their entire winnings on Cap 'N Crunch and diamonds.
There just isn't anything all that tantalizing about the St. Louis Cardinals, and of course there are still some mixed feelings about the Washington Nationals because of the whole Expos thing. While the San Francisco Giants seemed like the sexy pick in the National League, I much prefer to root for the Cincinnati Reds.
For one, there's Joey Votto; the pride of Etobikoke as Jerry Howarth might say. While Votto missed a good chuck of games due to injuries this season, he's still a lynch pin in the Reds lineup and has evolved into a perennial MVP candidate (when healthy).
Secondly, and perhaps most intriguing of all is the starting rotation. It still baffles my mind that aside from only piddly start by Todd Richmond, that five starting pitchers carried the weight of the Reds rotation from Opening Day until Game 162.
In total, the Cincinnati Reds only used six starters the entire 2012 season. The Toronto Blue Jays used 12 ... yes, 12. So if ever there was a model for building a solid starting rotation, simply look at what the Reds did this season.
Ricky Romero and Henderson Alvarez may not have had all that great of a 2012, but at least they started 30 games. Now only if the Jays starting rotation could've had three, and if we're lucky, maybe even four starting pitchers throw 30+ starts in 2012.
If you want to go back to the last time the Blue Jays had three starting pitchers go at least 30 starts in a season, you'd have to travel back to 2003 when it was Roy Halladay, Cory Lidle and Mark Hendrickson.
So you can definitely see why I harbour some envy of the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation, because that is everything that I hope the Blue Jays can maybe one day recreate. The Reds possibility of duplicating that feat themselves is very slim, but they have proven that a healthy and durable pitching staff at least gives them a chance to win.
Come later today, this may all be a moot point if the San Francisco Giants complete the comeback and become just the fifth team to come back after down 2-0 in LDS history ... but regardless, my rooting interests today and beyond in the postseason will lie with the Cincinatti Reds.
Because if it can't be Blue, then you may as well go Red, right?