Javier Baez Continues Haunting the Cincinnati Reds
Major League Baseball’s trading deadline has passed, and, as happens every year, major pieces have moved around the chessboard. The Yankees got Joey Gallo from the Rangers and Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had a fire sale and got rid of most of their best players, signaling they want to rebuild after this year instead of chasing the postseason with an underequipped team.
The Cubs are probably right to throw in the towel since the Brewers currently have a large lead in the NL Central. Their biggest competition at the moment seems to be the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds were in buy-mode, as they had a winning record heading into the trade deadline. They picked up some relief pitching from Colorado and the Yankees, bolstering their bullpen.
The Cubs sent their power-hitting shortstop, Javier Baez, to the New York Mets. Javy Baez and the Reds have had an ongoing feud for years now, and it’s not likely to conclude just because Baez is in a different uniform. Let’s talk about what happened between Baez and the Reds and why the bad blood seems as prevalent now as it has been since 2018.
What Originally Happened Between Baez and the Reds?
Sometimes, you don’t know how long you’ll have to wait for something. For instance, you seldom know how long resolving a personal injury case will take. An indeterminate timetable can infuriate some people.
Some other things, though, are regular as clockwork, and the Baez-Reds feud has been that way for nearly four years. Every time the former Cubs’ shortstop and the Reds have been in the same building, fireworks have resulted.
The original incident occurred when the Reds felt that certain Chicago pitchers were throwing at their batters, attempting to back them off the plate. That happens in baseball, but if it becomes too egregious, the other team will retaliate.
The Reds did so, and it was specifically their big reliever, Amir Garrett, who went up and in with a fastball against Baez. The two jawed at each other, and the benches cleared.
The Feud Has Continued
Since that game, back in 2018, every time Baez has had a chance to punish Cincinnati, he has done so. He’s an excellent defender, and he has robbed Reds’ players of hits while at the shortstop position.
Apart from that, he has also punished them with his bat whenever he gets a chance. Every time he has hit a home run or gotten a timely hit against them, he has been very demonstrative.
The Chicago fan base loved Baez because he played passionately, and they were undoubtedly sorry to see him go to the Mets at the trade deadline. The Cincinnati fan base regards him as a villain because of his antics.
A Week of Baez
The Reds played the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, starting Monday of this past week. The Cubs beat them in that opening game, and Baez was instrumental in fending off the Reds with a late-inning, pinch-hit single, once again off Amir Garrett.
Baez seemed to taunt Garrett with a few choice words, but this time, the big Reds’ reliever decided to hold his temper in check. The Reds handled their business on the field instead, beating the Cubs in the following three games of that four-game set.
Then, the trade deadline came, and Baez went to the Mets. The irony is that the Reds were also headed to Queens for a three-game set with New York.
This meant Cincinnati was in for an entire week of Baez. The Mets held him out of the lineup for Friday’s game, which the Reds won. On Saturday night, though, when the two teams squared off again, Baez homered in the late innings, punishing the Reds yet again, albeit with a new team this time.
Where’s All This Going?
Some players are a bane to particular teams. Baez is like that to Cincinnati, and the Reds’ fanbase is probably always going to despise him for it.
Now, though, despite having to deal with Baez for an entire week, they are finally going to see less of him. Since he’s no longer with the Cubs, the Reds will only encounter him when they play the Mets, six games out of the season.
However, the Reds and Mets might also meet in the playoffs this year. If that happens, who knows how the bad blood between Baez and the Reds will manifest itself?