It's been more than 40 years. But if you mention the name 'Milt Pappas' to someone who was a Reds fan in the 1960s, they are sure to groan.
Pappas was a very good pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. He was so good that the Reds traded Frank Robinson for him. It proved to be a major blunder, as Robinson went on to win a Triple Crown in Baltimore and had a number of great seasons left.
Every fan has a trade like this. Mention the name "Mike Phipps" to any Browns fan, and it likely will cause him or her to sigh. If your lucky. The Browns traded Paul Warfield to the Dolphins for the rights to Phipps, which didn't work out all that well (for the the Browns, anyway).
On Friday night, members of The A-T's sports staff were talking (or whining) about how none of our teams had made any big moves in the offseason.
The Indians had traded for veteran (very veteran) starter Derek Lowe, and re-signed Grady Sizemore. The Tigers had signed reliever Octavio Dotel, who has been with so many teams that the word "journeyman" doesn't even begin to do him justice.
Then there were the Reds, who hadn't done a whole lot of anything.
The Reds made the franchise's biggest trade in the last decade. They dealt two former first round picks in first baseman Yonder Alonso and catcher Yasmani Grandal to the Padres. Also going to San Diego are former all-star pitcher Edinson Volquez and another prospect, Brad Boxberger.
In exchange for those four, the Reds get 24-year old starting pitcher Mat Latos.
Latos went 9-14 for the Padres last season, but had a 3.47 earned run average. This came on the heels of a 14-10, 2.92 ERA season in 2010.
Certainly, Latos has all the looks of a top pitcher for years to come. And the Reds certainly need more starting pitching.
But I'm afraid they gave up too much.
Alonso has hit everywhere he's been. He's 24 and has plenty of power. But he's a first baseman who is blocked by Joey Votto. The Reds experimented with playing Alonso in the outfield, but that amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, for him and the people watching him. Grandal is another top prospect, but he's blocked by another catching prospect, Devin Mesoraco.
They also gave up Volquez, who could be brilliant, horrible and then brilliant again - and it would only be the fourth inning. Boxberger is only 23, but is highly regarded.
The point is, it's a lot of talent to give up for one arm. It will all be worth it if the Reds win the pennant next year. If they don't, many of us will be wishing the Reds had stuck to a quiet offseason.
You know, like the Indians and Tigers.