By: Keith Kappes
Carter County Times
Woe is me! I’m sick and tired of waiting until next season! What can you expect from a bunch of overpaid jocks and lack of front office leadership? Hell no, I won’t watch another game! Yes, I am an unhappy spectator. I’ve been a fan of the Cincinnati Reds since I was a kid learning to play baseball in Little League. My support of the Cincinnati Bengals began when Paul Brown created the franchise in 1967. To be honest, I was not expecting a great season from the Reds when they started this season. After losing 100 games last year, I figured the team would be a cellar dweller again this year. But, to my joy, they brought in several new players and those exciting rookies have shocked the baseball world by staying close to reaching the National League playoffs as a wild card team. As this was being written, they were in a nip-and-tuck race with two other teams for the final spot. BUT my optimism has been dampened by the prospect of the Reds’ pitching staff faltering in the final regular season games or the playoffs. My concern feels more like annoyance when I recall that the Reds’ management didn’t try to strengthen the pitching roster before the mid-season trading deadline. The bullpen has done well recently but starting pitching remains suspect. The Bengals, on the other hand, are thought to have the greatest talent pool in the history of the franchise, even better than those players who took teams to the Super Bowl in 1982 and 1989. Some of us believed that Joe Burrow would become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history after he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl in 2022. Then he became one of the highest paid players ever this season with his five-year, $275 million package. But the Joe Burrow we saw in the first two regular season games was a surprising disappointment as we lost to our two biggest rivals, the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. Yes, Joe had better numbers against the Ravens, but he limped off the field after that three-point loss with a recurring leg injury. Yes, I’m struggling with constant concern that this season is going down the drain. (Contact Keith at ).