As I mentioned yesterday, I’m currently reading The Machine by Joe Posnanski and the book mentions a lot about the “class system” of those great Reds teams in the 1970s.  Manager Sparky Anderson didn’t hide the fact that he treated his superstars differently from the rest of the players on the Big Red Machine.  And according to Sparky, there were only 4 superstars on the team – Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez.  If you wanted to get preferential treatment like those 4, you’d have to play like them. It’s rare these days to hear a manager openly acknowledge that he treats his superstars differently or favorably over the rest of the players on his club.  But then again, there aren’t too many teams (if any) nowadays like the Big Red Machine.

So let me ask you – do you agree that Rose, Bench, Morgan and Perez were THE superstars of those teams?  Why wouldn’t Sparky consider Foster, Concepcion, Griffey, Gullett, Geronimo or Billingham superstars?  And who was YOUR favorite Big Red Machine player?  Even if you’re like me and weren’t old enough to experience those 70s teams while they happened, you’re still probably a fan enough to name a lot or even some of the players.  If I had to choose my favorite player from the 70s Reds teams, it would be The Big Dog, Tony Perez.

And by the way, this is the perfect time of the year to pick up and read The Machine.  Also, I hear Game Six by Mark Frost is another good book to get your Big Red Machine fix.  And while I’m pushing merchandise, if you’re a Reds fan wealthy enough to own a DVD player, there’s no excuse for you not to have this.


I hope you didn’t forget to wear your Reds cap yesterday!  Fridays are Reds Cap Days, and here at Better Off Red, you can be a member of the newly-formed “Reds Cap Club” by sending me a photo of you wearing your Reds headgear.  Bonus points to those Reds fans who send in photos from distant locations.  Email ’em to me at jramsey@reds.com and they’ll be posted on this good ol’ wacky blog.

…And don’t forget your Reds Jack-O-Lanterns!


Coming soon, I’ll have Aaron Harang on the blog for a question and answer session.  Stay tuned!



1 Comment

I would probably add Foster to the list, but I loked the list he had too. My personal favorite was Pete. He was the one I tried to emulate when I was young. All out hustle and would do whatever it took to win. Lastly, I always wear my Reds cap.

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