0

If Reds can't, Dodgers will give life to Cincy - Justin Boron

Only for the Dodgers would I go on vacation in Cincinnati.

The town doesn't exactly scream 'R&R.' But a free place to stay is never a bad thing and with the Reds playing so terribly, it will be a good place to watch the Dodgers succeed. It also is the closest they have come to Atlanta this season. Since they won't be here until August, I've got to seize every opportunity that I can get.

If it weren't the Dodgers' presence, Cincinnati would be a drab place to visit, particularly because its a city forgotten in the early part of the century before the shifts in mass transit and cargo.

There is something ghastly about driving to a city that hasn't quite died yet like New Orleans but really doesn't have an important place in the urban centers of the country.

It wasn't always this way for the city.

In the early part of the century, Cincinnati was one of the 10 largest cities in the nation.

With access to the river and several railroads, it was a hub for cargo.

It even flirted with subway rail but could never get it up and running because of economic constraints following WWI.

The city's decline correlates with the way its baseball team also has entered some sort of weird threshold between efflorescence and complete dysfunction. At least in places like New Orleans, the people recognize there is no hope for any resurgence.

Not the case in Cincinnati. The same goes for its baseball fans who each year rub the failure of last season from their eyes and hope for a new day, refusing to simply let the team ruin itself like they did in Montreal.

With very little growth going on in the farm system, giving the team back to Pete Rose and letting him gamble away its budget isn't such a bad idea.

At least that might draw some people into the stadium. Everyone loves to see a train wreck, just ask Mike Tyson.

The Reds already have most of the pieces of the puzzle to accomplish a disaster. Watching Danny Graves close is actually almost as good as seeing Tyson rip off an ear or send himself to "Bolivia."

Whatever the case, the situation for the Reds is grim and until the people of that city realize this, they will continue to suffer in a sort of baseball purgatory.

Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News-Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or jboron@news-daily.com .