by Tommy Gimler
There’s only one correct way to describe the 2012 season for the Cincinnati Reds. It was the equivalent to working out hard the entire year, and it finally pays off when you lock eyes with a hot broad with fake tits at Bennigan’s in October. You go over to talk to her, and you are on. You’re funny, charming, and ordering the right drinks. You ask her for her phone number, and she says that she’ll give it to you when you both get back to her place. She slowly removes her dress to reveal those purchased jugs, and you’re thinking that this one is in the bag. But out of nowhere, as her dress hits the floor, you see that she’s really a dude, and your night and your season is over.
You have to think that losing three in a row at home, where they were an NL-best (tied) 50-31, to the Giants in last year’s NLDS has really chapped the Cincinnati Reds players’ asses something fierce, and manager Dusty Baker probably chewed his way through an entire forest this offseason. Meanwhile, the Reds front office remained calm and finally decided to bring in a leadoff hitter without the potential to strikeout 200 times in one season.
Shin-Soo Choo has more DUI’s the past three seasons than starts in center field, but he will lead off and play center for the Reds in 2013. In the 98 games he led off last year, Choo had a .389 OBP. Meanwhile, Reds’ leadoff hitters hit .254, so, like a new girl in the neighborhood without herpes, he should be a welcome addition.
When he gets on base, he should have an easier time scoring than an East Coast frat kid with a pharmaceutical salesman for a father. Brandon Phillips hit .281 with 18 home runs again, and Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick, and Jay Bruce all slugged over .500 last year. And they’ll be followed in the lineup by Todd Frazier, who came out of nowhere last year to pick up the slack when Votto missed some time with an injury by hitting 19 home runs.
With a lineup as potent as a Peter North cum shot playing on a Little League diamond like The Great American Ballpark, one would expect that the Reds won 97 games last year because of the offense. But in reality, it was the pitching staff and their surprising 3.34 ERA that was the main factor in clinching the NL Central. Well, that and 49 games against the Cubs, Astros, and Pirates.
While the 3.34 ERA and 1.23 WHIP were good for second in the NL, the pitching staff topped the league in complete games and saves, the latter thanks to what some call a left arm but we refer to as a goddam hand cannon belonging to Aroldis Chapman. But this year, Chapman is moving to the starting rotation, joining Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, who finished a combined 33-13 while amassing 255 strikeouts in 226 1/3 innings.
With Chapman joining the starters, Jonathan Broxton assumes the role of closer. Let’s be honest. Physically, Broxton is anything but a sexy bitch. But after a solid comeback year pitching 60 games between the Royals and Reds in 2012, all 309 pounds of Broxton should be just fine anchoring the best bullpen in baseball a year ago. Not only did the Reds’ pen lead all of baseball with 56 saves, but its 2.65 ERA was also tops in the game, and its .219 BAA was tops in the NL. Left-handed specialist Sean Marshall finished with 22 holds after being moved back into his regular role, with lefties hitting a tiny, like Kate Hudson’s tits tiny, .173 against him.
Unfortunately, the Reds only get to play the Astros three times this year instead of fifteen, so a slight dip in victories should be expected. But with a healthy Votto, a solid bullpen, and a solid 1-2 starting combo of Cueto and Latos, the Reds are poised to bring home another NL Central title in 2013. The only real competition in the division will come from St. Louis, but if it’s close in September, put your cash money on Cincinnati. Their final 18 games will be against teams that Cincinnati posted a .667 winning percentage against a season ago…
2012 record: 97-65 (1st, NL Central)
The DUD: 90-72 (1st, NL Central)
Vegas says: 88.5 wins (1st, NL Central)
Bleacher Report: 94-68 (1st, NL Central)
BaseballGuru.com: 86-76 (2nd, NL Central)
Michael Luchies (Yahoo!): 94-68 (1st, NL Central)