As a sports fan, I will be sad to see 2010 go. In most years I feel I end up disappointed by outcomes of my favorite teams, but this year is an exception to the rule.
The Cincinnati Reds appeared in the playoffs for the first time since 1995 allowing October Baseball to extend to the Queen City. Although it was a quick exit thanks to a great Philadelphia Phillies team, I will never forget the Sunday evening I spent with my father at the Great American Ballpark. We were probably the only two in the sold out park that weren’t waving their Rally Towels, but I couldn’t imagine a place I would rather be.
As I have talked about before, this season meant so much more to me as I had just completely working my third year in the Cincinnati Reds organization, working with most of the players and staff members at Spring Training during that span. I like the direction the club is going, and look forward to more playoff runs in the near future.
My second top sports love is College Basketball. Having spent eight years at the University of Cincinnati, I have seen my Bearcat Family members expand and grow, leading other teams across the nation towards the Big Dance in March. The 2010 NCAA Tournament could not of gone much better as Bob Huggins lead the West Virginia Mountaineers to the Final Four in Indianapolis, and Frank Martin took the Kansas State Wildcats to the brink of Indy, falling to an extremely hot Butler Bulldog team.
I watched both those Elite 8 games with tears in my eyes knowing what those coaches, and their staffs go through on a day to day basis to advance just one more game. I have been in the trenches with Kansas State staff members Andy Assaley and Dylan Lockwood at Cincinnati and know how much it means to survive and advance.
On a personal note, 2010 didn’t seem that different than the last few years for me. I worked Spring Training with the Reds, and had an underachieving season with the Dayton Dragons at Fifth Third Field. But watching the Reds, Wildcats and Mountaineers succeed made 2010 a great year.
As usual, I am nervous, but yet excited to see what 2011 holds. As your clock strikes midnight this evening, I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year. I hope you all will continue to follow my blog and thank you for reading my entries. I love the comments and emails that I do receive and please keep them coming.
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by Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds Manager