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It’s 2005 all over again: A Reds Time Loop

Lukas Moore

Do we exist in a simulation?

The Pentagon is releasing a report confirming the existence of UFOs (60 minutes story, must-watch), and Artificial Intelligence is capable of creating original music by dead artists.

Former book delivery company Amazon is worth $3,000 a share and is preparing to broadcast NFL games. DVDs weren’t even around for the last Cincinnati playoff win – now a DVD delivery company, that no loner delivers DVD’s, is worth $30 billion. The world’s weird, but not all bad.

Summer approaches, promising full stadiums and music festivals. Hope exists throughout society as Covid dissipates in the United States.

With all that hope and optimism, only a simulation would be so cruel to put all of Cincinnati through the Deja Vu currently happening at Great American Ballpark.

2005 – 2021: A Time Loop

Bob Castellini purchased the Reds in January of 2006, little did he know 15 years of work would get him right back to where he started. The 2021 Reds are eerily similar to the 2005 Reds – so similar that it needed to be written about.

The year following the Presidential election of 2004 the Reds started the season with a manager named Dave Miley.

Following the election of 2020, the 2021 Reds are managed by David Bell. Two Daves!

Miley quickly went 27-43 and was fired, replaced by Jerry Narron. Bell is on the fans hot seat at least, but we will see.

The 2005 Reds finished 73-89 despite an expected win/loss of 75-87. The 2021 Reds are on pace to finish 72-90, with an expected win/loss of 75-87.

In 2005 Cincinnati scored 820 runs – the 2021 Reds are on pace for 828 runs. Those ’05 Reds allowed 889 runs! Well, the ’21 Reds are on pace to allow an astonishing 911 runs. Both the ’05 and ’21 teams were obviously last in the NL in ERA.

The average age of hitters on the 2005 Reds was 28.6, and pitchers ages sat at 28.9. The hitters and pitchers average age for the 2021 Reds is 28.8.

Both teams have a Miley! Dave Miley in 2005, who was gone before the trade deadline. Wade Miley in 2021, who also may be gone by the trade deadline.

Ken Griffey Jr. was a 35 year old team legend, Joey Votto is 37.

The 2005 Reds were lucky to escape last place in the NL Central because of the dreadful Pirates. It looks like the 2021 Reds will escape last place because of the Pirates.

Pretty Spooky Stuff.

The Differences

There are some differences from 2005-to-now, outside of the different television network.

The 2021 Reds have much more potential in the starting rotation. Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo (if he fixes himself), and Tyler Mahle are a better 1-2-3 than 2005. In ’05 the 1-2-3 was Aaron Harang, Brandon Clausen and Ramon Ortiz.

However, the 2005 Reds lineup was much deeper than the 2021 Reds. 9 of the 10 qualifying hitters for the ’05 Reds were above the league average in OPS. With base-stealing thrill master Ryan Freel as the only exception.

The two stars in 2021 are performing better (so far) than the two stars in 2005. Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos are third and first in OPS and early-season MVP candidates. Dunn and Griffey were awesome, but they weren’t posting 1.000+ OPS.

Finding Hope

A hopeful Reds fan would quickly point to 2006 as a point of hope for 2022. The 2006 Reds finished 80-82 and only 3.5 games back in the NL Central. However, the 2006 Reds had an identical expected win/loss (75-87) as the 2005 Reds.

Also, there was a change in ownership from 2005-2006. I don’t anticipate such a change in 2022.

The Reds have two MVP’s in their lineup, and can’t stop bleeding runs. It’s 2005 all over again, and I’m not sure 2022-2025 will be much different than 2006-2009.

The one hopeful thing about this time loop is what might be happening at the stadium across the way. As the 2005 Reds were allowing their 889th run of the season, the 2005 Bengals were 4-0. They were 4-0 with a Heisman winner in his 2nd year starting.

Sometimes the simulation feels real, but If Joe Burrow and the Bengals winning the AFC North is the trade-off for reliving the 2005 Reds, I guess we’ll take it.

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