For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to call myself a Cincinnati Reds fan. I have endured 15 straight years without a playoff appearance, twelve of which have been losing seasons. In 2000, Ken Griffey Jr. was traded to the Reds. He was supposed to be the missing piece to a team that had just missed the playoffs the year before, after going 96-66. Instead, Griffey spent time on the disabled list during every season in Cincinnati.

Great American Ballpark opened in 2003 and was supposed to bring a fresh start. Instead, the Reds lost over 90 games and were forced to rebuild their roster. They traded stars Aaron Boone and Jose Guillen, in an effort to implode the roster and rebuild.

The Reds have had rocky leadership during these 15 years. They have had several owners, presidents and general managers. In addition, the Reds have had seven different managers since 1995.

Through all of this, I have stuck with the Reds. I was never ashamed to call the Reds my favorite team because, even though they were terrible, they played hard and never quit. They did not win very many games because they just did not have the talent or leadership. But they never quit.

I was overjoyed when the Reds won the National League Central Division and made the playoffs this year. I felt, along with most Reds fans, that my loyalty had been rewarded.

But when the Phillies completed the three game sweep of the Reds in the NLDS, I felt like I had been cheated. The Phillies did not defeat the Reds. The Reds beat themselves. They had the opportunity to win, but they played like they just did not care about winning. They did not play with enthusiasm and intensity. They abandoned the fundamentals and it seemed like they just gave up.

The Reds had six errors in three NLDS games. They looked like a bunch of little leaguers wearing Reds jerseys. They were making bad throws, and dropping and bobbling balls.

The Reds left 23 runners on base in three games. That was inept. The Reds could not turn the Phillies mistakes into runs scored. 

They also could not hit the ball. The Reds only had 11 hits in the series. Granted, they faced great pitching, but they could have at least put the bat on the ball. The Reds struck out 24 times. The Phillies’ pitchers made the Reds look like children.

As a Reds fan, I am passionate about my team. I love baseball and I love the Reds, but I was embarrassed. This is the worst performance that I have ever seen from an MLB team. I hope the Reds have learned their lesson from this series. Perhaps next year, they will try to win the games, instead of trying to lose them.

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