It isn’t easy being a Cincinnati Reds fan these days. The storied franchise that once dominated Major League Baseball during stretches of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, just completed its fifth consecutive losing season.
When the going gets tough, fans understandably get angry and anxious. And when sports fans reach that state of angst, regrettable promises are more likely to follow.
That’s how we would classify this situation regarding a Reds fan who was so desperate to see the team trade Homer Bailey during the offseason, he promised to shotgun three cans of cold Skyline Chili once a trade was completed.
Naturally, he would live to eat those words. Or most specifically, chug that chili.
Laying down the gauntlet
On Dec. 11, Reds fan Ben laid down the challenge to the team.
If the reds miraculously trade homer bailey and that hideous contract, I will periscope me shotgunning 3 cans of skyline chili
— Ben (@bgoins52) December 12, 2018
Based on the wording of his tweet he obviously felt a trade was a long shot.
He wouldn’t have been alone in that feeling. Bailey entered the offseason with one year and $23 million left on the six-year, $105 million contract he signed before the 2014 season. The contract proved to be an albatross as injuries limited Bailey to just 69 starts total over the first five seasons of the deal.
Trading Bailey was never a realistic option during that time frame, and that wasn’t expected to change this winter after Bailey posted a 6.09 ERA over 106 1/3 innings in 2018.
Then the Dodgers called and everything changed.
Homer Bailey is traded to the Dodgers
On Dec. 21, Homer Bailey was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a blockbuster deal that brought Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to Cincinnati.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired minor league IF Jeter Downs, minor league RHP Josiah Gray and RHP Homer Bailey from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for C/IF Kyle Farmer, outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, LHP Alex Wood and cash considerations.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) December 21, 2018
What’s interesting is that the Dodgers ended up releasing Homer Bailey later the same day. They never had any intention of adding Bailey to their pitching plans. They essentially did the Reds a favor. At the same time, they opened up opportunities for other outfielders on their roster and gained more flexibility with their payroll this season and beyond.
Regardless of the circumstances and the Dodgers’ intentions, the Reds completed their end of the bet by simply trading Homer Bailey.
Give Reds fan Ben credit. It would have been easy to delete his tweet and forget the promise was ever made. Instead, he wasted no time living up to his end of the deal.
— Ben (@bgoins52) December 27, 2018
While we would still call it an undeniably disgusting and borderline regrettable moment, Ben embraced it. Clearly, he’s genuinely thankful Homer Bailey will not throw another pitch for the Cincinnati Reds.
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