Last night, the Cincinnati Reds completed a four-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants, in San Francisco no less. While that feat in itself is truly noteworthy, the big news for Reds fans is that yesterday’s game was the 81st of the season, and Cincinnati finished the first half at 83-78. That five-game margin over .500 would have been nearly unthinkable just a few weeks ago when things weren’t going so swell for the good guys. Now, though, the Reds are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central and Wild Card standings, and almost anything seems possible as the second half dawns.
And who better to represent that good news of being five full games above .500 than the guy many people considered to be the “quarterback” of the Big Red Machine? For all of the great things he has done for the team and the city, and for all he meant to the Reds, Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench is an easy choice to be our five-over guy.