This was originally published in The Athletic.
When Cleveland Indians DH/first baseman Edwin Encarnacion was named the American League’s Player of the Week last week after hitting .407 (11-for-27) with nine runs, two doubles, five homers and 13 RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.037 in a one-week period, there were undoubtedly Reds fans who ran to their keyboard or mobile device to remind the world their favorite team once employed Encarnacion before trading him for veteran Scott Rolen.
One fan called a radio talk show to complain about this. It’s a phone call I’ve taken many times while hosting radio shows over the years, from a fan wondering what would have happened had the Reds never traded Edwin and blasting them for giving up so soon on a guy who’s become a top slugger. They often ignore that things like free agency and his increased salary virtually guaranteed that Encarnacion and the Reds would one day divorce.
I’ve also taken the Didi Gregorius phone call. When the New York Yankees shortstop was authoring his epic 10-homer,.327/.421/.735 April, the trade that sent Gregorius from Cincinnati to Arizona as part of the deal that brought Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds from Cleveland was revisited and agonized over. Again.
So why am I bringing up a couple of guys who haven’t played for the Reds in forever and the frustration many feel while watching those guys thrive elsewhere?
To read the entire piece, go to The Athletic.