If they wanted to, the Cincinnati Reds soon could have a roster consisting entirely of fans.
Just a few weeks after a fan caught a foul ball while feeding his baby, another fan has made an impressive grab. Well, it's debatable that the latest fan actually caught the ball. During the Reds' May 23 series opener with the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park, a foul ball splashed down into a man's beer cup – and perhaps the best part is that he didn't even seem to notice.
The game was scoreless in the third inning when Chicago first baseman Alfonso Rivas went to the plate and popped Vladimir Gutierrez' 3-1 pitch back into the lower third-base stands. Fans naturally jumped up to try to catch it, but not the hero of our story. No, the fan in the Reds sweatshirt remained seated, raised his arms and slightly turned away as the ball came in. It landed in the large cup of beer that was resting at his feet, which his neighbor then picked up and showed to him, as if to say, "There's a core memory right here. Why in the hell didn't you grab this?" That guy handed it to our hero, who finally stood up, held the cup aloft in triumph, high-fived his neighbor and proceeded to chug the beer with the dirty ball still inside.
"Oh, the deliciousness that is game-used beer," game announcers said.
The Reds lost to the Cubs 7-4, but the team's bats finally sprung to life later in the game. In the sixth inning, left fielder Tommy Pham smacked a homer to center, followed by right fielder Aristides Aquino doing the same thing in his return from Louisville purgatory. Aquino homered again in the eighth.
If a foul ball lands in your beer, you must chug it. pic.twitter.com/cbZt35qZnb— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 23, 2022
The Cincinnati reds are on a slow march back to respectability after a disastrous opening to the 2022 MLB season. The team finally won their first series of the year against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 7 and 8. Since then, the Reds took two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park, split a second Pirates series, took the intrastate rivalry series against the Cleveland Guardians and won one of four games against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Reds will continue the homestand with the Cubs on May 24-26, followed by a visit from the San Fransisco Giants May 27-29.
The Reds also brought first baseman Joey Votto back into the fold after his rehab stints in Louisville and Dayton (he had been on the COVID injury list). The team' elder statesman homered for the first time this season on May 22 in his native Toronto, which ended in a loss to the Blue Jays. Votto scored on Aquino's sixth-inning homer during the May 23 game.
Prior to the first wins against the Pirates, the Reds had taken games only on April 7 and April 10 in Atlanta against the Braves as well as on April 24 when hosting the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati had an 11-game stretch of losses between the Braves and Cardinals wins and broke out of a nine-game funk with the May 7 win over the Pirates.
Despite the latest wins, the Reds have been swept in six of their 13 series as of press time. The Reds have Major League Baseball's worst current record at 12-29 and own the franchise's record for its worst start to a season. Baseball experts had said that the Reds were on pace for a 125-loss season, the lowest for any team since 1900.
The team continues to get backlash from fans who feel the Reds' owner and front office aren't doing enough to win, with one person even saying they wanted to "defecate in the bed of the Toyota Tundra" that's on display at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.