Zaphod, I remember that bias. It was across the board. I remember watching a football game on CBS, and they ran a promo for Game 4. The announcers said something like "tune in for Game four...when Jose Canseco and the A's look to get back on track and put a stop to this craziness". When a better line would have been "The Reds are just one win away from winning it all..".
As late as the All-Star break in 1990, everybody believed that the A's would just walk over the league, and that everybody else was playing for second place. Plus, alot of people expected the Pirates to beat the Reds. I agree with you, the Reds did not get the respect they deserved that year.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1849651 At least it isnt some sort of mystery parasite. Hopefully this will be resolved quickly for his health. Also, because I dont think Fred McGriff would be a suitable replacement.