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Big Red Machine finally makes appearance in October

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I’m very glad for some of the things my dad passed down to me.

I’m glad I was one of his lucky sons that got any kind of semblance of his work ethic. 

I’m glad that I got his sense of humor. If I couldn’t laugh at myself, I would be in serious trouble.

And I’m glad that I at least got half of his intelligence, so I consider myself somewhat smart, even though his common sense still eludes me.

But along with the blessing of the father, the sins of the father are also passed down to their sons. And no matter how smart I think my dad is he couldn’t see all the suffering he would cause me by making me a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan. 

I can’t really blame him. He was living in Dayton, Ohio in the early ‘70s, when people with the last names of Bench, Rose, Perez and Morgan were starting to make a name for themselves. And in the year I was born, the Big Red Machine was in full force, going 108-54 and beating the Boston Red Sox in seven games to win the World Series.

I’m sure he thought we had plenty of World Series to share as father and son.

Little did he know, that 35 years later, we would only have one to share. Living in Germany in 1990, he and I would wake up early in the morning to watch the Reds play the Oakland As live. Thank God, the Reds were able to sweep them, because my schoolwork was starting to suffer. If it would have gone seven, my C-s could’ve turned into D+s.

Along with his love for the Reds, he also passed down his hatred for the Yankees. Like all good sons — good human beings, for that matter — I’ve hated the Yankees ever since. 

But while my dad’s love for the Reds has never faltered, his hate for the Yankees has. His view of the Yankees started to soften about the time my mom started to develop a schoolgirl’s crush on Derek Jeter and became a Yankees fan around the turn of the century. I still get sick to my stomach thinking about the time I actually saw him rooting for the guys in pinstripes.

Since my mom became a Yankees fan, she’s been able to watch them play in the playoffs every year but one. She also watched them play in four October Classics, winning two of them. 

During this time the Reds haven’t even had a winning season until this year, going 666-792 during the span.

Instead of counting her blessing of watching her team contend for a title every season, like most New York fans, my mom has become obnoxious with a sense of entitlement, expecting them to win the World Series.

And I have to listen to her brag and belittle my beloved Redlegs, with nothing to say back to her. Until this year.

The Reds are back in the playoffs and hopefully when this goes to print are 1-0 on the Phillies. 

And while names like Votto, Bruce, Phillips and Cueto are relatively unknown compared to Bench, Rose and Morgan, it’s a start, and while the Big Red Machine isn’t roaring yet, you can hear the ignition being turned and the engine trying to catch.

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