Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University and pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeye baseball team from 1971 through 1974.  He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league league umpire for seven years, working in the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA).  He has written for numerous websites and outdoor publications, and for the past ten years has served as a regular columnist and photo editor for Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Widely knowledgeable on that period of American History, Fulks is a frequent speaker on the Civil War at local roundtables throughout the Midwest. He and wife Mindy have two grown children and live in Covington, Ohio.

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Their record at the midway point of the season is identical to how they finished last year.  Fans were promised better, or at least exciting baseball.  But…don’t you eventually have to win, too?

I was asked in an email from Troy earlier this week why there is isn’t more written about the Reds on Press Pros.

“As much as you write about area baseball, UD, and Ohio State…why is there almost nothing about the Reds on Press Pros.  How come?”

Well, Harold, we’ve offered in the past and they declined.  I assume they still do.

And frankly, being an ardent sports reader myself I question just how much people are willing to read about the 30-41 Reds (.423), given that we live in a culture of admiration for front-runners.  Or, what have you done for me lately?

At the midway point of the season they’re almost on an identical track to match last year’s record of 94 losses.  And I admit to having watched them less than nine innings for the first three months.  It’s hard to get interested in the Bronson Arroyo story;  it’s hard to regenerate interest in the who’d-we-get-in-the-Johnny Cueto-trade anymore.  One of those three ‘prospects’ is gone;  the other two are in Triple-A.  And I couldn’t begin to tell you who’s in the starting rotation anymore.

Bruns4May2017I know that every time I listen to WLW Ken Broo is telling people why Zach Cozart has to be traded;  and Cozart, from my experience of meeting him, is one of the truly good guys on that team – a guy you want to root for.

I know that Adam Duval has worked out from a home run standpoint;  and Scott Schebler has found some stroke.  Devin Mesoraco’s is a heart-warming story.  But heart-warming stories don’t move the major league standings.

The one guy I’d actually pay to see play is Votto…because Joey Votto is, in my opinion, the best hitter in baseball.  And still, he’s never gotten the respect he’s deserved in Cincinnati because of his contract and the fact that he doesn’t hit 40 home runs a year.  And this year he might, so the local media has nothing to bitch about.

Their pitching is a mess – age, injuries, and journeymen free agents.  Their development of drafted prospects is puzzling.  Much was expected of Stephenson, Travieso, and Nick Howard.  I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore, along with others.

The point is…the rebuild, as was forecast as exciting to watch, if not winning…is not responding, like a computer program where the little wheel just goes round and round.  Put it this way – it’s not good when the highlight of the year is the next first round draft choice.  And kudos, and good luck, to Hunter Greene.  He looks like the next really nice kid to anticipate.  I hope he is.

I know, I know…you say the do-no-wrong Cardinals are struggling, too.  But who cares about the Cardinals.  This is Reds country.  People hate the Cardinals!

But at some point you have to either win, or show fans that you’re willing to provide the stability it takes to win by keeping the good players around long enough, and complement them with other, winning pieces.  They (the fans) grow tired of stockpiling prospects.  And for that matter you can see them (the prospects) play much cheaper in Dayton and Louisville.

Sonny_inset0210So really…what is there to write about the Reds that hasn’t been written, or talked, about by the Fox announcers, like it’s a breakthrough in medical research?  Scooter Gennett’s four home runs was really neat.  I was actually watching for the last one;  but they then promptly went on the road and lost nine straight.

The topic this week is whether Bronson Arroyo’s career is over.  Probably…at age 40 and an ERA approaching 10.00.  Hal tells me he’s one of the game’s really good guys, and I believe that.  But there’s 90 games left in the season now, and if they do let Bronson go soon that’s a long time to bask in his legacy…or another Pete Rose tribute.  This is the day of instant gratification, even in baseball.  There is no “wait ’til next year” anymore.

Let’s face it.  It’s tough to be a Reds fan today.

So, how is the rebuild working for you?

Bruns Realty is proud to sponsor coverage of area sports on Press Pros Magazine.com.

Bruns Realty is proud to sponsor coverage of area sports on Press Pros Magazine.com.

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