Yet another obligatory pro sports purgatory blog. Football is donezo and baseball (I mean real baseball, not truck day or pitchers and catchers report or any of that crap) is still a couple months away. It’s still a little early for a full on Reds preview, but I gotta admit, I’m ready for a little hardball-even if that means a potential 100 loss season. 2016 might end up being a long season, which means Reds killers, present and future, will have a chance to feast like an obese kid fresh out of fat camp. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best (or worst depending on how you look at it) Reds killers of all time.
–Recent history only. I’m sure Cletus O’Shauneesy put up some pretty good numbers against the Reds back in 1898, but I’m a 26 year old man child and my baseball history is somewhat limited. Relevant Reds killers only.
–I tried to omit as many all time greats from the list as possible. Nothing against them, but a guy like Randy Johnson who struck out 20 Reds did that to just about everyone. Guys like that are League killers more so than Reds killers.
Let’s go position by position:
Starting Pitcher: Roy Oswalt
Anyone that considers themselves a Reds fan knows all too well who the ultimate Reds killing pitcher is, and that man’s name is Roy Oswalt. What was it, like three striaght years before the Reds could actually notch a victory against the Big O? Since naming the staff ace was all too easy, let’s think about some of the other pitchers that round out the Reds killer staff.
Cole Hamels has to be in there. I’ll never forget his debut against the Reds when we made him look like Koufax or Ryan in their prime. Carlos Zambrano probably gets a spot in there too seeing as he posted an ERA right around 3 against us on some BAD cubs teams. Not to mention I think that lunatic wanted to legitimately kill just about everyone wearing a Reds uniform. Oliver Perez is sneaky on the staff as well. Perez recorded 107 K’s in 88 innings as a member of the Mets alone, not to mention all the dominant performances he had as a memeber of the Bucco’s. Rounding out the staff, oh I don’t know, we’ll go with either Greg Maddux or John Smoltz. That kind of skews the ‘No All Time Great’s’ rule I stated in the beginning, but both of those dudes have 8 CG’s vs. the Reds.
Catcher: Yadier Molina
This draft gets more intuitive, I promise, but the starting on this team is another no brainer, Yadier Molina. Much to the chagrin of Reds fans, Yadi is widely considered to be one of the best catchers in the game and rightfully so. He’s hurt these Reds teams more times than I can count since he’s been in the league, not to mention that little incident we had back in 2010
I think it’s also fitting that I mention Buster Posey on this list if for no other reason than that one, big, infamous swing back in ’12
First Base: Albert Pujols
I’ll chill out on the all time greats I swear, but Albert Pujols has to be the starting first basemen because he’s the greatest Reds killer of all time. .369 (160-for-434), 29 HRs, 91 RBIs, 105 runs speaks for itself. Also in consideration was Derek Lee, .285 (107-for-375), 29 HRs, 77 RBI (29 HRs are 9 more than he’s got against any other team) and Lance Berkman, .332 (132-for-398), 41 HRs, 116 RBI, 99 runs, although he’ll get consideration as an outfielder later on down the line.
Second Base: Dan Uggla
Surprisingly, finding a second baseman that continually beats up on the Reds was a little hard to find, but I think I gotta go with my boy Dan Ugly. When Uggla first came up I figured he’d be a force in the league for quite a few years, even notching himself a few ASG appearances, but then after batting below the Mendoza line a couple years ago I realized that Uggla’s .397 (25-for-63), 7 HRs, 17 RBI against the Reds were probably just because we suck and Uggla looked a lot better against us than he did against anyone else.
Third Base: Aramis Ramirez
Ramirez’s .326 (143-for-439), 23 HRs, 87 RBI against the Reds as a member of the Cubs are good enough to be considered a big season for anyone, anywhere. And just as I thought the Ramirez days were over and done with, he pops back up and keeps doing his thing as a member of the Pirates and the Brew Crew.
Also worth mentioning is Cardinals 3B Matt Carpenter, as it looks more and more like he’ll be one of the premier Reds killers for years to come. Ramirez’s days as king Reds killer at the hot corner may be numbered.
Shortstop: Bill Hall
When I was doing a little research for this depressing piece it came to my attention that former Brave/Dodger/Cardinal Rafael Furcal is statistically the best performer at the shortstop position against the Reds, but Furcal’s body of work pales in comparison to what Billy Hall did in his time with the Brewers. Was Bill Hall even really a shortstop? Fuck if I know. Hall was nothing more than a utility player but you could bet your car payment that whenever the Reds were in town that Bill Hall would be in the lineup and finding new and creative ways to destroy the Redlegs. Bill Hall is a Reds killer in his purest form. A guy who was really a nobody for most of his career but still found a way terrorize this team year in and year out for really no particular reason. Maybe the greatest Reds killer of them all.
Outfield: Lance Berkman, Jim Edmonds, Jason Bay
The ultimate Reds killer outfield is a crowded group with a lot of guys that could have made a case to lock up a starting role. Jim Edmonds is probably the first outfield selection. In addition to hit after hit and HR after HR, Jimmy was out there in center field putting together an all time highlight reel of catches solely against Reds hitters
Next up is probably Jason Bay. Bay’s .332 BA is good enough for fourth for fourth all time in career average against the Reds and he also recorded a 90.8 percen RBI/G rate in his time with the Bucco’s. Then he went to the Mets and fell off the face of the Earth further proving it’s a pretty sweet deal getting to tee off in a division that includes the Reds.
Lastly, Lance Berkman finally makes his debut on the all time Reds killer team. As I’d mentioned earlier, Lance could have gotten in there at 1B, but that would have knocked Pujols off the list. Once upon a time, Lance Berkman used to play RF for the Astros where he did the majority of his Reds killing, including 52 homes runs which is tops among anyone on this team. Then he got fat, turned into Tony Stewart’s twin, and was relegated to picking balls out of the dirt in St. Louis.
Chris Duncan’s work with the Cardinals, Xavier Nady’s knack for big hits against the Reds, and Angel Pagan’s play in the 2012 postseason also put them in consideration for outfield spots.