Recently a friend asked me what I had against the Cincinnati Reds. After all, who didn’t love watching the 1970s Big Red Machine?

With all due respect to Johnny Bench and company, the 2011 Reds turn my stomach. Here are a few of the many reasons…

  • Dusty Baker: I wasn’t a Dusty fan before he came to Chicago. After several years of watching him ride Cubs starting pitchers into the ground, my dislike intensified. The icing on the cake was 2005. That was the year Dusty gave out-making specialist Neifi Perez 609 plate appearances. If that isn’t lineup sabotage, I don’t know what is.
  • Bronson Arroyo: As if his hair wasn’t annoying enough, the Reds starting pitcher smacked two homers against the Cubs in 2006. Arroyo has topped the enemy list ever since.
  • Aroldis Chapman: Radar gun watchers love Chapman, but so far he’s completely overrated. Yes the kid has a big-time arm, but the hype surrounding this wild, unproven lefty is truly sickening. In case you’re scoring at home, Chapman has walked 25 batters in 26.1 innings for his career. He may be a star some day, but he also may be the next Robbie Beckett.
  • Jonny Gomes: Bad attitude, bad haircut, bad spelling of his first name. That’s more than enough to make the list.
  • Brandon Phillips: Speaking of bad attitude, is there anything to like about this guy? OK, he’s a great defensive player. And yes he has decent power for a middle infielder. But his career on-base percentage is .318. Why fans and members of the media treat this guy like the second coming of Chase Utley is beyond me.
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