Who do you root for now?

Not the Phillies, we hope. Unless you thought it was heartwarming the way Halladay threw a no-hitter in Game 1 … or cute the way Chase Utley pretended like he had been hit by a pitch in Game 2 … or gutsy the way Charlie Manuel stuck with Cole Hamels in the 9th inning in Game 3. Don’t make me puke. Besides, the Phillies don’t even have any former Reds on their active roster.

I’ve heard some people talking about pulling for the Rangers because they still like former Red Josh Hamilton. Here’s a look at Hamilton and other former Reds still competing in the postseason:

(Note: I did not include the likes of Chad Moeller of the Yankees and Jose Guillen of the Giants, who were on those teams’ 40-man rosters but were not included on Division Series rosters.)

Hamilton, Rangers
As a Red: Hit .292 with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in 298 at-bats in 2007. Only time will tell whether it was a good idea to give up Hamilton for Daniel Ray Herrera and Edinson Volquez, but right now it’s not looking great. No offense to Volquez, but Hamilton appears to be an elite talent. (Oh, and he’s still only making $3.25 million.) And no offense to Jonny Gomes, but imagine an outfield of Hamilton, Stubbs and Bruce.
Now: A league-leading .359, with 32 HRs and 100 RBIs in 518 at-bats during the regular season. He also led the AL in slugging percentage (.633) and OPS (1.044). In the ALDS, Hamilton was 2-for-18 (.111) with 2 walks, 6 strikeouts and a stolen base (though – in his defense – he missed most of September with bruised ribs).

Jorge Cantu, Rangers
As a Red: 17-for-57 (.298) in 2007 after being acquired from Tampa Bay (along with Shaun Cumberland in exchange for Brian Shackelford and Calvin Medlock). Cantu was released by the Reds during the offseason that followed.
Now: Since being acquired from the Marlins in July (for a pair of minor-leaguers), Cantu is a backup infielder who hit .235 with 1 homer and 2 RBIs in 98 at-bats for the Rangers during the regular season. He struck out in three of his four ALDS at-bats.

Cody Ross, Giants
As a Red: 1-for-5 with 2 strikeouts in 2006 (Cincinnati was an extremely brief stop for Ross, who also played for the Dodgers and Marlins that season.)
Now: An August waiver pickup, he homered and singled in Game 4 of the NLDS to lift the Giants past the Braves. This after he drove in the lone run in Game 1. (No other player had so few RBIs for a team in the regular season and registered a postseason RBI, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.)

Jeremy Affeldt, Giants
As a Red: 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 78 1/3 innings in 2008. He parlayed the season into a nice deal with the Giants.
Now: His 2010 campaign (4-3, 4.14) wasn’t quite as strong as his 2009 (2-2, 1.73), but he battled injury. He did not appear during the NLDS.

Austin Kearns, Yankees
As a Red: Finished third in 2002 NL ROY voting (behind Jason Jennings and Brad Wilkerson) after hitting .315 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs in 372 at-bats. But the season was so far the best of his career, as his average dropped in the seasons that followed (.264 in 2003, .230 in 2004, .240 in 2005) before he was traded on July 13, 2006, in the much-discussed Kearns/Lopez/Ryan Wagner for Bill Bray, Majewski, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson deal (that isn’t mentioned quite so often anymore, probably because Kearns and Lopez haven’t done a whole lot since they left, Bill Bray is still contributing for the Reds and fans have forgotten how terrible Majewski was as a Red). Kearns was at .274/16/50 in 325 at-bats at the time of the 2006 trade. He’s been subpar since the deal, though, with the exception of a decent .266/16/74 campaign with the Nats in 2007 (in which he had 587 at-bats, a huge total for him).
Now: .235/2/7 in 102 at-bats for the Yankees since being sent from the Tribe for minor-league pitcher Zach McAllister. He didn’t have an at-bat during the Yankees’ ALDS sweep of the Twins.

Dustin Moseley, Yankees
As a Red: Well, kinda. He was the Reds’ first-round pick (34th overall) in 2000. He pitched for Dayton, Stockton, Chattanooga and Louisville before he was traded during the 2004 offseason to the Angels for Ramon Ortiz.
Now: He was 4-4 with a 4.96 ERA for the Yankees during the regular season; he hasn’t appeared for them in the postseason. In his 5-year MLB career, he’s 12-11 with a 5.28 ERA.

Of the names on the list, Kearns had by far the longest stint with the Reds. Interestingly enough, Affeldt is the only other guy who even played a complete season with the Reds.

3 Comments

  1. ArtNo Gravatar

    Always liked Austin Kearns. Always thought he should’ve won the Rookie of the Year award … Justin Jennings was the weakest Rookie of the Year winner in recent memory, he got 16 wins but wasn’t that impressive otherwise

  2. BrookeNo Gravatar

    I can’t root for Josh Hamilton. It’s a personal thing for me-I’m the daughter of an alcoholic and I don’t agree with the hero worship and “addiction is a disease and if I slip, it’s not my fault and God will forgive me,” approach to life. I feel for his three daughters-he humiliates them with each public slip where he does body shots off of bar whores. I realize others disagree with my take and that’s fine, but I still refuse to root for the guy.

    I think I have to root for the Giants. I liked Jeremy Affeldt a lot and was disappointed that the Reds didn’t re-sign him, and Cody Ross is awesome, even though I didn’t remember that he was a Red until you pointed it out. Go Giants!

  3. slacknastýNo Gravatar

    Always loved Hamilton. Can’t help but root for a guy that turned his life around for the good.

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