2003 Cincinnati Reds
2003 Cincinnati Reds / Franchise: Cincinnati Reds / BR Team Page
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2003 Cincinnati Reds went through a turbulent season to say the least.
The team opened its new stadium, Great American Ballpark, in an exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians. Within a few months into the season, two things were clear: the Reds needed starting pitching badly, and the new ballpark was playing like Coors Field. The Reds had a penchant for come-from-behind wins early in the season and sat at .500 on June 20th. Within a month the Reds were 12 games under .500. On July 17th, Ken Griffey, Jr played his last game of the season due to injury. By the end of July, the Reds decided to have a "fire sale." On July 30th, they traded Scott Williamson to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later (Phil Dumatrait) and cash. On the same day, in what is arguably the season's high point (in hindsight), the Reds traded Jose Guillen to the Oakland Athletics for future ace Aaron Harang, Joe Valentine and Jeff Bruksch. On July 31st, they traded away their lone 2003 All-Star, Aaron Boone, to the New York Yankees for Brandon Claussen, Charlie Manning and cash. In a strange twist of baseball fate, Boone went on to hit a dramatic walk-off home run against Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox in the 11th inning of the 7th game of the 2003 ALCS. By the end of August, the Reds unloaded two more promising relief pitchers in Scott Sullivan and Felix Heredia. The Reds also unloaded their backup catcher, Kelly Stinnett, to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Reds finished the season 69-93, 19 games out of first place. Although there was a lively offense and a decent bullpen in the beginning of the year, the starting pitching was awful all year long. In perhaps the most spectacular failure of the year, the Reds completely failed to successfully convert closer Danny Graves to a starting pitcher. Graves ended the season 4-15 with a 5.88 ERA. The Reds eventually had 16 different pitchers start ballgames but to little success. They would not have a single pitcher win double-digit games. The Reds drafted Ryan Wagner in the first round of the 2003 amateur draft. Wagner appeared in 11 games before the season was over.
Awards and Honors
- All-Star: Aaron Boone