Reds-Rockies series much more meaningless than a year ago: A fan’s take

The Colorado Rockies arrived to Cincinnati on Monday, Aug. 8 for the first time in over a year. In that span, the club's fate has mirrored that of the Reds.

When Colorado played three games July 26-28, 2010, the Rockies were in the thick of the pennant race. They were in second place at 50-41, just two games out in the NL West. The Rockies went on to become the runner-up in the wild card race, narrowly missing the playoffs.

The Reds were also in second place at 51-42, just a half game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. The Reds would go on to win the division championship, only to be swept by the Phillies in the first round of the playoffs.

Each club had a player who flirted with the Triple Crown throughout the season, finishing among the top in NL MVP voting. Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez(notes) won the batting title and finished third in the MVP race. Reds first baseman Joey Votto(notes) hit .324 with 37 homers and 113 RBIs, numbers that made him the league MVP.

Votto has a good batting average this year, but his power has decreased. Gonzalez's numbers have been greatly reduced after spending considerable time on the DL.

So as Colorado returns to Great American Ballpark for the first time since July 2010, neither the visiting team nor home team is in contention. The Rockies are 53-62 and the Reds are 55-59. Both teams are in third place and both are 10 games back.

The biggest difference between the clubs was seen during the end of the non-waiver trade deadline. The Rockies faced reality at that time, sending No. 1 starter Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) to Cleveland for four young players. Two of them, 22-year-old Drew Pomeranz and 23-year-old Alex White(notes), project as top-notch big league starters.

The Reds, obviously deluded into believing they could leap frog three teams in the final two months, did little at the trade deadline. Outside of dumping part-time outfielder Jonny Gomes(notes), Cincinnati held on to all of its under-performing players.

Reds fans will get to see some of those players during the four-game series against the Rockies. Hopefully, though, they will get to see more of youngsters like Todd Frazier(notes), Yonder Alonzo, and Dave Sappelt(notes), three recent call-ups who injected some enthusiasm in Sunday's win that prevented a sweep by the Cubs.

None of the three will likely be in the regular lineup, though, until the Reds' front office makes room for them. Frazier, primarily a corner infielder, is blocked by Votto and Scott Rolen(notes). Yonder Alonzo is a first baseman, so he too is blocked by Votto. Sappelt, in spite of his great spring this year, is still considered a long shot to win an everyday spot in the 2012 outfield.

Hopefully these three guys will be in the lineup when Colorado visits Great American Ballpark in 2012. And, hopefully, the Reds will be in the middle of a pennant race.

Doug Poe once delivered newspapers to Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Joe Morgan, three customers who have made him a lifetime Reds fan.


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Updated Monday, Aug 8, 2011