Best/Worst of 'The Aughts'?

Obviously, this week has been one of reflection about the decade that’s about to end. In terms of the Reds, I was trying to think of the best moments of the “aughts,” and then I tried to ponder about some of the watershed events in Cincinnati sports in general. It was tougher for me since I spent half of this decade not living in Cincinati.

So, what did I come up with?

The bottom line: This has been one rough decade for the Cincinnati sports fan. If you’re reading this, I guess I’m not telling you something you don’t already know.

I thought about Kenyon Martin breaking his leg in the Conference USA Tournament in 2000, ruining the Bearcats’ possibly best chance at a National Championship. There was Kimo Von Oelhoffen plowing into Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer’s knee during the playoffs in 2006. There was Bob Huggins’ 2004 DUI and subsequent fall as head coach of the Bearcats. Even one of the feel good stories — the UC football team’s undefeated 2009 season — was marred at the end since head coach Brian Kelly bolted for Notre Dame before he could take the team to the Sugar Bowl.

And then there were the Reds. Remember how optimistic everyone was when the decade started? In 1999, the Reds were one game away from making the playoffs and seemed poised for good times when Ken Griffey Jr. arrived for the 2000 season. That would be the one and only winning season for the Reds this decade. There have been numerous managers and general managers that have come and gone without success and many more players.

There have been some nice Reds moments, of course. Griffey’s 500th and 600th career home runs (in 2004 and 2008, respectively) immediately come to mind. Jay Bruce’s debut week in the Majors in 2008 was sensational. There was Adam Dunn’s 535-foot homer to the driftwood on the banks of the Ohio River in 2004. Brandon Phillips and Bronson Arroyo arrived in 2006 and Joey Votto hit the scene in late 2007. Phillips had a 30-homer, 30 stolen base season in 2007. The 1990′s most popular Reds player, Barry Larkin, retired in 2004.

Here’s the question for you to ponder as 2010 approaches — what is your favorite two or three Reds memories from 2000-2009? And while we’re at it, how about your favorite Cincinnati sports moment?

Hopefully, the next decade will be more fun for the Cincinnati sports fan. It almost has to be, right?

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1 Comment

Favorite memories of the “Aughts”:

-Adam Dunn’s walk-off grand slam against Bob Wickman and the Indians in 2006.
-Watching Homer Bailey begin to come into his own down the stretch of the 2009 season. While this confidence may be premature, it’s a relief to see a prospect who had been raved about for years begin to show what he can do on the diamond.
-Aaron Harang’s dominant season of 2006 where he led the league in complete games and strikeouts. Even though he received no press for the Cy Young, it was still one of the best Reds pitching seasons of the “aughts”.

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