The season is almost over, bones and hearts have been broken, while arms and dreams have been restored.  We have come a long way since April, but for Cincinnati, the fun is only beginning. 

This 2010 edition of the Reds was picked by most to finish fourth or worse in the NL Central this year.  Not enough offense, not enough pitching, not enough experience, and on and on and on.

The Reds didn’t get the memo.

This team played spoiler all year long.  The Reds, who weren’t quite ready, showed early on they were here to stay.  Joey Votto had the best year of his young career and very well could end up with the NL MVP award.  He threatened for a triple crown and somehow, SOMEHOW, almost missed being an All-Star. (Charlie Manuel better hope Votto doesn’t hold a grudge.)

Rolen, Cabrera, Rhodes, Cairo, the Reds were too old, and wouldn’t be able to stay healthy.  Sorry wrong again.  Rolen and Rhodes were All-Stars, Cairo was clutch all year and Cabrera added stability at SS, which had been a revolving door of failed experiments since 11 left town.  These guys were winners, and the funny thing is, winners win. 

Phillips took heat for starting the Cardinal Clash by saying what we all were thinking, but he continued flashing that gold leather again all year.  He hit lead-off, hit second, hit fourth, Brandon did whatever Dusty needed.  Reds fans want to trade Phillips for his Ocho Cinco-ness, but ask the Reds’ starting rotation if they appreciate him being up the middle. Psst….I bet the say yes!

Hanigan, Ramon and Fu Manchu himself, Corky Miller were more than any of us could have hoped for behind the plate.  They all brought their big bats and were big behind the plate.  Those three guys have done wonders for this pitching staff all year. 

The outfield wowed us with their bats before the All-Star break.  Gomes was unstoppable, Stubbs ran on everyone, and no one ran on Jay Bruce.  Jay was under the gun.  Many said this was his put up or shut up year, very unfairly by my accounts, but Bruuuuuce put up in a big way.

You mean you didn’t hear?  Bruce crushed a walk-off home run to clinch the NL Central for Cincinnati.  I saw grown men do things I couldn’t have imagined.  They hugged, they cried, they rolled around on the beer stained, peanut littered concourse at Great American, all because Jay saved the day.

The pitching was great all year, Leake was too cool for the minors and pitched great.  Our favorite hamburger jingle writer, Arroyo won 17 games.  Travis Wood stood toe to toe with Roy Halladay.  The list goes on and on.

We have to give some credit to Dusty too.  The guy who couldn’t win with young players, the guy who burned up young arms.  He flipped the right switches all year and did something not one other Reds manager had done since 1995: make the playoffs.  So Dusty, even though we scratched our heads sometimes, here’s to you.

All that is nice, but will it matter?  Can Cincinnati make it a Reds October?  I believe in these guys, and I know they believe in each other.  I’m going to keep my Gomes-esque ski goggles ready for when these Cincinnati Reds crash the postseason party.

Read more MLB news on