And so it begins.

The Dreaded West Coast Trip (yeah, that deserved all caps) is upon us.

After yesterday afternoon’s finale against the Marlins, the Reds packed up the WV bus, and began their cross-country jaunt.

Whether Dusty Baker (he’s the manager, so he’ll be driving, duh!) has a preference for I-70, I-40, or route 66, I can’t speak of that.

The conclusion of the classic, American cross country trip, in my mind, must always end end with the glorious ocean that is the Pacific. After all, it’s where Forrest Gump ran all the way to.

On the path to California will be their first stop, Phoenix, Arizona.  No Grand Canyon visit is scheduled, though. More important matters must be tended to.

Granted, Chase Field in Phoenix is canyon-like, with its sheer size and all.

Against a weak Diamondbacks team, one would hope that the Reds take two out of three. It would behoove them to keep the momentum rolling into Dodger Stadium, a place that is very tough for them.

The West Coast visit concludes with a visit to San Francisco to take on a good Giants team with their array of great pitching arms. They have also added offense in recent weeks, most notably former Royals OF Jose Guillen last week.

In that same time span, the Cardinals will be facing a weak Brewers team for a quick two game series, host the same Giants team, and travel to Pittsburgh to face the lowly Pirates.

Needless to say, it looks like the Giants will play a fairly significant role in how the National League race shapes up as in a matter of weeks, the calendar turns to September.

Reds fans know what happened in 2006. It’s the same scenario all over again. That trip ruined their season. The bus broke down a few times, some of their luggage was stolen, and there were bed bugs in the hotel bed sheets, essentially.

However, I believe that this Reds team is a more mature, fit unit to deal with this pressure. The majority of this squad wasn’t around back then. Meaning, they don’t care about past failures. No psychological baggage for them.

At the bare minimum, I think a 5-4 trip would be considered a success. That way, they could fondly look back on their California road trip.

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