Anyone who read a paper this morning knows that the Reds have ended the fifteen year drought. We were the ones victorious. Inning one. Volquez pitches. 1,2,3. There gone. We are half an inning there. We come up to bat. And Scott Rolen knocks in an RBI. Were up 1-0! The next inning comes, the crowd more restless than the inning before. But our hearts sink, when we give up two runs. Our dreams become farther away. We are losing the battle. Four innings pass, scoreless. But, bottom of the sixth, one out, Brandon Phillips comes up to bat. If you follow baseball you know that he has been in what they call a "major slump". He shoots one up the third base line, and because the Astros short stop doesnt have enough spark in his claim, he cant get it there on time. Were tied , 2-2. The crowd roars because our dream is back in reach. Innings go by. Volquez is retired. He receives a standing ovation for what he's accomplished. Two more innings go by scoreless. And then, top of the ninth inning, the infamous, Aroldis Chapman comes out of the bullpen. All 30,000 people rise in a standing ovation for this one, young, pitcher. He may not speak a word of english but he knows that the crowd is cheering for him. The crowd on their feet and Chapman releases his first pitch. He's as intimidating as a bull and it shows in his oppenents eyes. He strikes-out the first two batters, and the third barely gets the bat around the ball and the inning is over and the dream lives on. The crowd is still on its feet and Jay Bruce comes up to bat. People are yelling his name, praying, and most imbedded in my mind, there were people crying. People who wanted this just as much as the people sitting in the dugout. Bruce is a young, talented, and fierce baseball player. The crowd is roaring and before Bruce swings, the cameras show the clubhouse being prepared for a massive celebration. Its meant for champions, and right now every person in Cincinnati is holding their breath, and hoping that room will be a place for celebration. Bruce nods his helmet, swings two times, and walks into the batters box. The wind-up and the pitch! He swings and the ball leaves his bat soaring to mid-field. The center fielder rushes to the wall and before he even reaches it, every one in the ballpark is screaming, cheering, celebrating. Bruce makes his rounds around the bases. Champagne was being opened as soon as the ball left the field. The ball is still rattling around as every Red leaves the dugout to congratulate Bruce and celebrate their post season clinch. Fifteen long years of losing seasons, and disappointments have led here. To a new team, a post season guaruntee, and what I believe to be the "Second Big Red Machine."
The Second Big Red Machine
September 29, 2010