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Supporting the Reds becomes difficult for even the best fans

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. So what do you call it when you get fooled eight straight times?

Optimism is the tonic of the spring as baseball fans enter a new season. Such is the case with Cincinnati Reds fans. Or, at least it might be. No, it’s pretty much a wash.

Each year the Reds make some moves that appear to be good on paper, but then the season begins and it all unravels. Even the most positive Reds’ fan has to look at eight straight losing seasons and no postseason since 1995 and think, “I can’t believe anything you tell me.”

Until the Reds have a winning season and hopefully make the playoffs, it’s going to be hard to believe that this year’s model will be running like a race car come October.

The dismantling of the power-laden team began last season with the trading of Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn. Griffey is at the end of his career and spent most of his time in Cincinnati on the disabled list instead of the field. Dunn has tremendous raw power, but the Reds traded his nearly 300 career home runs for Micah Owings, another pitcher in the long line that has entered the organization with “a lot of potential.”

Potential. It’s the French word for “ain’t done it yet.”

With all the wheeling and dealing last year and in the off-season by the front office, Reds’ fans are to believe that this new team featuring speed, defense and pitching will be better than the power-laden teams of the past eight years.

Those power teams of the past would have been fine if they had some pitching. Trying to outscore teams wasn’t a strategy, it was a necessity.

Still, let’s give the Reds some credit. It appears — and let’s emphasize the word “appears” — that the starting pitching is better and the bullpen might be able to hold a lead.

But with a past that has created a revolving door for managers, it remains difficult to believe things will get better.

Oh well. Baseball fans are not only optimistic, they can be forgiving. So let’s get behind the Reds and cheer them on with a positive enthusiasm.

You know, for at least the first two weeks until they’re already been eliminated.

–– Sinatra ––

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.