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PressBox
06-15-2005, 03:43 PM
To all Redzoners - I don't post often, but I hope that this post will resonate with many who feel like I do. I'd like to think I sacrifice quantity in favor of quality.

I woke up early on that December morning in 2002 and fired up the Internet so that I could watch the implosion of Riverfront Stadium. Having been born in the late seventies, I was one of those Reds fans whose entire concept of Reds baseball was relegated to artificial turf and the notorious cookie cutter by the river. Like many fans, I will admit to a tingling spine and a tear or two when Riverfront Stadium went down. I remember driving by the old beloved toilet bowl one day just weeks before the implosion, and it was clear that Riverfront was so gutted that she had been reduced to a hallowed shell of her former self Ė the one that housed the Big Red Machine, Pete Roseís hit, Tom Seaverís no-hitter, Browningís perfect game, and the 1990 World Series winners. Gone were the office furniture, the seats, the clubhouse equipment, the scoreboard Ė a few items that were moved to Great American BallPark, a few that were not.

It is only June of 2005 and yet the Reds are already winding down their third season at Great American BallPark. It finally occurs to me that something must have been left at Riverfront Stadium. Something very important that must have been destroyed, or at least damaged. Something that most certainly didnít get moved to Great American BallPark. Itís that fire that made those Riverfront Reds teams so memorable. A fire that just hasnít existed at Great American BallPark.

This fire was an intangible element. It was an abstract noun. But if you ever experienced it or felt it, then you can understand what Iím talking about. It was that same fire that made Sparky Anderson get in the face of any umpire he so desired. It was the same fire that made Pete Rose dive headfirst, collide with Ray Fosse, rumble with Buddy Harrelson, and shove Dave Pallone. It was that same fire that made Paul OíNeill make a fuss about every third strike that was ever called on him, and it was the same fire that made him kick a ball back towards the infield in the summer of 1989 when he thought the game was over and the Reds had lost. It was the same fire that made Lou Piniella throw first base into the outfield, that made Norm Charlton bowl over Mike Scoscia, that made Rob Dibble throw a ball into the green seats and throw a bat up against the backstop when he surrendered a game-winning hit to Terry Pendleton. It was a fire borne of ballplayers and managers, maintained by ballplayers and managers, who wanted to win. Who expected to win, and who hated losing. These were players and coaches and staff who came from a culture of winning and in turn demanded to win.

This fire lent itself to winning National League pennants and World Series titles. It lent itself, in many years, to full houses at Riverfront Stadium and a mad love affair between a team and its fans. It lent itself to a Cincinnati that was boasting with pride about its Reds. It was perhaps the most important ingredient that we, the fans, came to cherish at Riverfront Stadium.

And yet this most important ingredient wasnít moved to Great American BallPark. Instead the magical fire of yesteryear was engulfed by the remote-controlled fire that brought down Riverfront Stadium. Whose job was it to move that fire? Why wasnít that on Bernie Stoweís checklist? With the flick of a switch, it was gone. And it appears as though it wonít be rediscovered for many years. The current culture of Reds baseball seems to be a losing one, one that has become complacent. Just as winning breeds winners, so too does losing breed losers, I guess.

I am a Reds fan by birth and I am a Reds fan for life. That wonít change. What will change - has changed - is how many ballgames I go to per year, and how many times I watch them on television. What has changed is how many times Iíll sit in my bedroom with my homemade scorecard and listening to 700WLW. After all, when Marty says ďfor those of you keeping score at home,Ē he must be talking to fans like me. Rooting for the Reds just isnít what is used to be. The victories arenít there. The pride and hustle isnít there. The attitude of expecting to win and not accepting a loss isnít there. Simply put, that fire is gone.

Sadly, rooting for the Reds these days is so painful it hurts. When I hear every caller on every talk show and every poster on every message board calling for someoneís job, it hurts. When I hear everyone second guessing a manager who has clearly lost the respect of the fans and his authority over the players, and when every lineup he puts out there is different and fundamentally wrong in some respect, it hurts. There I go Ė I just second guessed Dave Miley, myself. When everyone is critical of an owner who is a philanthropist if ever Cincinnati has known one, it hurts. When it has become so abundantly clear that the front office is on different pages and that the approach is so scatterbrained that even the national media is taking its jabs, it hurts. When itís nearly public knowledge that the team president doesnít want the general manager who doesnít want the field manager, it hurts. When I hear every draft pick getting criticized before he has a chance to fizzle out in the minors, when I see young, unproven players acting like it is their right to be in the big leagues rather than their privilege, and then going to the plate to take called third strikes every night, it hurts. When I constantly see pitchers who never learn to pitch, hitters who never learn to adjust their hitting, fielders who canít play the field, runners who canít run the bases, it hurts. When our veterans and supposed team leaders are either injured, on the trading block, or just plain unwilling to be leaders, it hurts. When the Bengals are for real and the Reds are the punchline to jokes, it hurts. When Iíve been wondering for six years now, ďWhen is it going to get any better than this?Ē it hurts.

All of this hurt has created a wound that gets deeper every week. Just once I want to see Dave Miley throw a tantrum. I want to see a pitcher throw inside, a batter charge the mound, or a player slam his helmet and get in the umpireís face on a play at third base, like Mariano Duncan would do. That, at least, would show there is a pulse, albeit a shallow one.

I donít expect the Reds to go to the playoffs every year. But I also donít expect them to finish below .500 five years in a row and go ten years without making it to the playoffs. A friend of mine who knows something about coaching in high school once explained the difference between the big leagues and high schoolers. He said, ďIn the big leagues you play to win. In high school you play to not lose.Ē Thatís what the Reds have been doing these past several years, is playing to not lose. They take the field in April and hope to somehow remain in the playoff picture until June or July, and then if that happens, theyíll suddenly get serious and play for real Ė with fire. In addition to being a woefully flawed philsophy in Redsland, thatís not how itís done anywhere in the big leagues. To win in the big leagues, you play with fire from game one.

As a result of all this mess, I find myself feeling like Winstonís character in 1984: I am feeling so brainwashed by all the politics and propoganda of the dystopia that surrounds me that I canít hold my own anymore, at least not where the Reds are concerned. Iím getting to the point where I donít miss going to the ballpark. Instead of watching the Reds on TV or listening to them on radio, I read a book instead. Or just find anything else to do. I still root for the Reds, but as a distanced observer. As a casual fan rather than a passionate fan. Iím waiting for someone Ė anyone Ė to make the Cincinnati Reds fun again. Someone who can undo the damage caused by putting fire on fire. Someone who can help me rediscover why I ever called this team a lifelong passion. Until then, all that I know of the current Cincinnati Reds is double-plus ungood.

Joseph
06-15-2005, 03:50 PM
Quality indeed my friend. Pass that one along to John Allen and Carl Lindner.

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 03:51 PM
You might say that you're a casual fan instead of a passionate one, but only a fan with passion would feel the things that you write about. If you don't care, then you don't get hurt, but it's when you feel something deep about a team that you are in danger of getting hurt when things go like they are now. It only hurts when you're betrayed by a friend, not by a casual acquaintance.

Red Leader
06-15-2005, 03:52 PM
You really should post more, PressBox. Great post.

RedsFan75
06-15-2005, 03:53 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Man this needs to be published!

Don't wait so long to post good stuff...

Sabo17
06-15-2005, 03:54 PM
Bravo my firend Bravo..

Tommyjohn25
06-15-2005, 03:56 PM
Fantastic post, very well said and obviously heartfelt. I could not agree more, I remember growing up the Reds had a swagger that you could feel when you walked into the ballpark. I, like you, have not attended a game this year. Not because I'm any less of a fan, but because I haven't had that fire in MY belly to drive over an hour to the ballpark, pay for parking, pay admission, concessions etc. just to watch a lifeless team that seems to be merely going through the motions at this point. I don't doubt that the fire in me will return, will it return to the Reds? As Marty would say, "stay tuned".

Reds Fanatic
06-15-2005, 03:57 PM
Great post. Here is an email address for John Allen - jallen@cincyreds.com. If I were you I would pass this on to him and anyone else in the Reds front office.

WMR
06-15-2005, 03:59 PM
Truly remarkable post, you should forward that to the Enquirer.

danken12
06-15-2005, 03:59 PM
Brilliantly written, and I also agree on almost all of your points and have the same feelings about the Reds these days. I long for the day when the fans have something to be passionate about again.

Redny
06-15-2005, 04:00 PM
Great post

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 04:03 PM
This is really a very good post. Why do I always see things like this after I've given out all my rep for the day?

Joseph
06-15-2005, 04:04 PM
If any post ever deserved positive rep it's this one. He may gain all 200 needed rep points in one day.

Tommyjohn25
06-15-2005, 04:05 PM
Pressbox, this post will be the first one to get positive rep from me when I am allowed to do so.

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 04:06 PM
First one I hit tomorrow when I have more to give out.

Red Leader
06-15-2005, 04:11 PM
I wonder why there are so many members of this forum who don't post often. Its posts like these that make me wonder that. Surely there are 10's or 100s of posters out there with brilliant things to say and share with everyone here, yet they don't let their voices be heard. Thank you, PressBox, for taking the chance to come out and let your voice be heard. It truly was a remarkable post.

redsfanmia
06-15-2005, 04:49 PM
Excellent post! I agree totally. I like you also havent been to a game this year or last. Last year I had surgery and when i could go the Reds were so out of it I didnt bother. This year my feeling is why spend 2 hours driving to the game to get mad then drive 2 hours home. You should post more often if only to bless this forum with your wisdom.

KronoRed
06-15-2005, 04:53 PM
If any post ever deserved positive rep it's this one. He may gain all 200 needed rep points in one day.

It would be well deserved :clap:

Great post PressBox, please post more..we're very friendly around here, don't let some threads give you the wrong impression :)

macro
06-15-2005, 05:14 PM
Awesome article, Pressbox. Simply awesome. It's as if you dug into my mind and wrote exactly what is on it. I have printed this to share with my elderly friends who don't have email, and will email it to those who do. I can't say it strongly enough: Outstanding job!

MasonBuzz3
06-15-2005, 05:23 PM
one of the finer posts i have ever read. you should most definitly send that to the enquirer. you really hit the nail on the head as to what many reds fans are feeling right now

Cyclone792
06-15-2005, 05:31 PM
Excellent viewpoint and brilliantly written, PressBox! :clap:

Wheelhouse
06-15-2005, 05:38 PM
Great post--it seems the fire is left in some fans though, judging from the board...

KearnsyEars
06-15-2005, 05:45 PM
great post---one for the ages, go reds!

wally post
06-15-2005, 06:26 PM
As Puffy would say..."Krispy".

Jpup
06-15-2005, 07:10 PM
very good post, but I am not sure that the "fire" is the problem. The pitching is the problem. I am not trying to be negative towards your post, but I don't think that it is the problem. The talent on the field is not up to what we have seen in the past from this organization. You are a good writer and I look forward to seeing more of your posts. :thumbup:

RedlegJake
06-15-2005, 07:54 PM
Jpup, I agree the pitching quality isn't there but Pressbox is right - the fire is missing. These guys are so laid back. They play hard, I don't see too many guys dogging it but that's not what Pressbox is talking about. He's talking about guys that get po'd about losing. Guys who throw things, who slam things. These guys play hard but they don't have an O'Neill, or a Vaughan, or a Rose who sets the tone and makes demands. Maybe it's because they see the futility when the Miltons, and Graves, and Jimmahs that have comprised this staff over the past 5 seasons take the mound. I think its the mindset of a winner is gone. Good teams have bad years but don't lose that. They bounce back. Years of losing really wipe out that attitude, though. So, yes, I think the two - bad pitching and loss of fire or whatever you want to call it - go together. Simply put, winning breeds the expectation of winning, and losing does the opposite. Both are habits, even for teams, and for front offices, for entire organizations. When Milton is pitching, though, all the tantrums in the world and all the hustle and desire in the world aren't going to win any ballgames. The Reds unfortunately have a lot of Milton's. He just happens to be the richest.

TeamMorris
06-15-2005, 09:21 PM
WOW!! Awesome post!!

KittyDuran
06-15-2005, 09:57 PM
If any post ever deserved positive rep it's this one. He may gain all 200 needed rep points in one day.And I just put Pressbox over the hump... :thumbup:

Tommyjohn25
06-15-2005, 10:08 PM
Congrats Pressbox on being the first (to my knowledge) to make it to the majors on one post!!! :thumbup:

OldRightHander
06-15-2005, 10:17 PM
Congrats Pressbox on being the first (to my knowledge) to make it to the majors on one post!!! :thumbup:

It was well deserved. A nice well written piece there. I just wish I wasn't out of rep for the day when I read it. I have to wait until tomorrow to hit him for that one, but I plan to. It really summed up a lot of what we all have seen the last couple years.

SteelSD
06-15-2005, 10:30 PM
very good post, but I am not sure that the "fire" is the problem. The pitching is the problem. I am not trying to be negative towards your post, but I don't think that it is the problem. The talent on the field is not up to what we have seen in the past from this organization. You are a good writer and I look forward to seeing more of your posts. :thumbup:

I echo that sentiment, Jpup. Obviously, Pressbox wrote a very heartfelt piece adn wrote it well. But, after reading it, I'm still not sure what he's looking for from the Reds.

Me? I think it's competence. Because, when a team has a competent GM, more competent players, and a competent Manager, they can get away with things like throwing bases and complaining about balls and strikes and etc. etc. Because when you're winning those moments happen late in games when you're ahead or behind 2-1 and everything's magnified- emotion, pressure, importance...everything.

But when you have a losing record and are behind by five Runs early-on in games on a consistent bases, that kind of behavior is colorful at best and, at worst, it's perceived as just plain whining. Losers don't get to fly off the handle when the chips are down. Certainly, anyone needs to stand up for themselves when challenged. But you don't get to pick your battles when your GM, Manager, and pitching staff is losing the war.

When we remember "fire", we see emblazoned trails left behind by excellent teams on their quest to greatness. But fire was not the engine of a team like the Big Red Machine. That engine was competence. Fire was the residual.

PressBox
06-15-2005, 10:43 PM
I am thankful for so many kind words. I never expected such a response. I didn't even know what the rep system was about until today when I tried to post this on ORG and could not do so. So you see, I've learned something from this ordeal! I initially wrote the essay for myself, with no thoughts of publication anywhere - even on Redszone - and I certainly had no intent of sending it to anyone in the organization, but indeed I am flattered by any suggestion that I should do so. In fact, I'm flattered enough that I went back and edited the piece a little more after hearing from some of you.

Although the idea of sending this to John Allen or anyone else is a tempting one, I'm not sure what purpose or effect it would have, if any. I certainly wouldn't want to do anything that could be perceived as blatant ill will towards the team. Sending a letter that essentially does nothing but vent wouldn't be very productive or helpful. It all comes down to this: I would do anything within my limited means to help the organization turn things around. I really would.

Chip R
06-15-2005, 11:02 PM
I echo that sentiment, Jpup. Obviously, Pressbox wrote a very heartfelt piece adn wrote it well. But, after reading it, I'm still not sure what he's looking for from the Reds.

Me? I think it's competence. Because, when a team has a competent GM, more competent players, and a competent Manager, they can get away with things like throwing bases and complaining about balls and strikes and etc. etc. Because when you're winning those moments happen late in games when you're ahead or behind 2-1 and everything's magnified- emotion, pressure, importance...everything.

But when you have a losing record and are behind by five Runs early-on in games on a consistent bases, that kind of behavior is colorful at best and, at worst, it's perceived as just plain whining. Losers don't get to fly off the handle when the chips are down. Certainly, anyone needs to stand up for themselves when challenged. But you don't get to pick your battles when your GM, Manager, and pitching staff is losing the war.

When we remember "fire", we see emblazoned trails left behind by excellent teams on their quest to greatness. But fire was not the engine of a team like the Big Red Machine. That engine was competence. Fire was the residual.
I would have to agree with Steel and Jpup. It was an excellent passionate post but even with that fire he's looking for, this would be a lousy team because the pitching is lousy. Repeat after me: The pitching is lousy. Keep repeating that even when you read John Fay and Hal McCoy and listen to Marty and the other talk show hosts complain about how bad this offense is.

Does this team have fire? They certainly seemed to have it on Opening Day when they came back from a deficit to win it in the bottom of the 9th inning. They certainly seemed to have a lot of fire when they were leading the division in June of last season. And what about all those come from behind victories back in 2003. I'd say that's mighty firey.

I understand where you are coming from though. It's natural to place the blame on such intangible things such as lack of fire, hustle, desire, etc. Or the lack of clubhouse camaradirie or the lack of a captain. We want to believe that the tangible things that we can measure aren't the problem because these guys can't possibly be that bad. It'd be nice to get guys like LaRue and Freel and Casey cloned and plugged into the positions but would it make the team any better? When you get down by 3, 4, 7 runs in the first 3-4 innings it would tend to sap the spirit of the most fiery competitor. Look at Lou Piniella. They don't make anyone more firey than him but his team is worse than ours if you can believe it.

Look in the box score every day and you are going to see why this team is losing. If they could get some decent pitching, that elusive fire may be back.

Gainesville Red
06-15-2005, 11:16 PM
Excellent post. It will earn the first rep points I've ever given out as soon as I figure out how to give them.

KronoRed
06-15-2005, 11:20 PM
Excellent post. It will earn the first rep points I've ever given out as soon as I figure out how to give them.

Hey G'ville :) welcome up :D

Gainesville Red
06-15-2005, 11:21 PM
been here for a while, just haven't been around for a while. Broken computer. No money.

Topcat
06-16-2005, 01:39 AM
This was a passionate and heartfelt post. Pressbox you touched my soul you felt the ache i have experienced for years. I commend you and plead that you send it to some one within reds orginization. 1 voice often speaks for many peoples setiments and your thoughts truly do. My dreams of being johnny Bench are long past, but i remember even at age 40 where i was when the reds won versus the redsox, Yankees, and Oakland A's, the glimpses in time that have been imprinted on my soul and my love for the redlegs.

919191
06-16-2005, 02:43 AM
I would have to agree with Steel and Jpup. It was an excellent passionate post but even with that fire he's looking for, this would be a lousy team because the pitching is lousy. Repeat after me: The pitching is lousy. Keep repeating that even when you read John Fay and Hal McCoy and listen to Marty and the other talk show hosts complain about how bad this offense is.



Yeah, Chip, that is right, but I see what he means. I find it hard to get emotionally tied to this group of guys. I like them, think they are talented (well, some of them), and have the ability to win, but I am struggling with the passion. I just don't see this team doing anything I will remember 10 years down the road, like I do from past teams- even some bad ones.

Ron Madden
06-16-2005, 03:52 AM
very good post, but I am not sure that the "fire" is the problem. The pitching is the problem. I am not trying to be negative towards your post, but I don't think that it is the problem. The talent on the field is not up to what we have seen in the past from this organization. You are a good writer and I look forward to seeing more of your posts. :thumbup:

Great post by Pressbox. :thumbup:


However I agree with Jpup, PITCHING is a Huge problem here :( we can talk night and day of Fire and the Will To Win.( IMHO it's whisleling past the grave yard)

It's safe to say every member of the roster and every member of this board
all have a burning desire to win. Fire and desire can go a long way... I'd rather ride on TALENT.

OldRightHander
06-16-2005, 09:40 AM
very good post, but I am not sure that the "fire" is the problem. The pitching is the problem. I am not trying to be negative towards your post, but I don't think that it is the problem. The talent on the field is not up to what we have seen in the past from this organization. You are a good writer and I look forward to seeing more of your posts. :thumbup:

Yes, the pitching is the problem, but the "fire" has something to do with that. This organization used to give a darn about winning and losing and losing was so abhorrent that more would be done to ensure we had a winning team. What we see now is complete apathy. It's not just that they're losing, but that it doesn't seem to really bother anybody except those of us around here. I would love to see a front office again that hated to lose so much that they would do anything (within reasonable limits of course) to get the right players on this team, a front office that wouldn't try to excuse losing and blame it on a rebuilding period that has been taking way too long. Just how long does it take to rebuild? The Marlins won a championship, went down the tubes, and then rebuilt and won another one in a period of just six years. We've been in the so called "rebuilding" process for the last six years or more and I have yet to see any results. I'm getting sick of the excuses and I'm getting sick of a front office that behaves as though what is happening is acceptable.

westofyou
06-16-2005, 09:52 AM
It's hard to detect fire and the will to win from position players who are bombarded nightly on the defensive side and watch leads that they worked hard for the last inning be passed by like a hot knife through butter. I can almost forgive the position players who feel they have to be a combination of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth to put a enough runs on the board to actually enjoy the post game meal.

If you're pondering the loss of fire in the front office, those days left with the owners who owned the team as a "sporting interest"

It's now suits and ties and spreadsheet projections.

Problem is the only part of the Reds organization using spreadsheets for projections is the accounting and marleting department.

creek14
06-16-2005, 10:35 AM
Everyone is simply going through the motions from the FO to the fans. There is no fire anywhere, you'd be hard pressed to find a warm ember.

Case in point. While we, RedsZoners - hard core Reds fans, were sitting at the game on Saturday, we started to remark what a boring game it was. A game with a grand slam and another HR by Dunn. A game with a good pitching performance. And it was boring. The crowd was not into it and the players could have been replaced with robots and I don't think anyone would have noticed.

Itís depressing. Not the losing this season. But the trend this organization is taking. An environment of losing is not only condoned, it is embraced. Danny summed it up well in his spiel to Milton ďcome to Cincinnati, thereís no pressure to win.Ē

RedsFan75
06-16-2005, 10:50 AM
When the Big Red Machine played there was a passion, that doesn't exist today. When they were down a few runs late in the game you never gave up, as no lead was safe. There was a 'will' to win that seemed to always shift the game in their direction. An extra step here, a few more fouled off pitches just to get one more swing, one more chance to make the difference.

The WS champs of 90 had the same drive, the underdog looking up at the belly of the world, even with everyone saying they couldn't do it, they had the resolve, the drive to say... 'Wanna bet'... You could almost hear Joe Oliver saying 'Don't tell me what we can't do' as he stroked that shot down the 3rd base line.

Do we feel that todays team, from the front office on down, has any drive or tenacity, any fight? Maybe LaRue, maybe Freel... maybe.... no that's about all I can come up with. Who would be the Jose Guillien, being restrained from going out to protect his manager. Which pitcher will step up and pop someone after his team's been hit several times. Who's going to dust someone off because he showed him up on a HR..... It's sad to say no one...

Is it an indictment of our coddled players? or the manager, or coaches, how about all of the above. I'm still waiting to see Miley go off on someone. How 'bout a bench clearer... 'fraid not this year.

I agree with WOY that the ownership has lost it's fire because it's a 'business'. Gotta make those sheets balance. But because the owners group runs a business, doesn't mean the coaches and players can't play with some passion.

How many of us would LOVE to do what they do. How many of us in that position wouldn't play our hearts out to participate every day in the game we love. If you get a whole team playing with abandon, and passion what a difference that can make. It's time the players forget their stats and agents and focus on winning the game for the team.

OldRightHander
06-16-2005, 10:52 AM
That is right on there. The mood is starting to resemble what was going on with the Bengals all those terrible years. It was like you went into a game expecting a loss, so if they won you were happy but if they lost it didn't really bother you that much. That is a drastic lowering of expectations and I find it somewhat disconcerting.

RFS62
06-16-2005, 11:15 AM
There's a saying in tennis. "Confidence comes with the knowledge that you've got sound strokes".

The Reds know, like all of us know, that the pitching stinks to high Heaven.

They know it. They don't talk about it in public, but they know it.

No matter what they say to the press, the every day players know they'll probably have to score 7 or 8 runs in any game to just be competitive.

The past two years, we outperformed our Pythagorean for about half the season, and we witnessed some very exciting baseball. Nobody EVER questioned the heart or fire of those teams when the breaks were falling our way. Remember all those late inning comebacks?

But the pitching finally revealed itself and no amount of hustle or desire could overcome the putrid hurlers we kept runing out there. In fact, most of the hurling was done by fans after the dizzying array of gopher ball whiplash we'd been subjected to.

Baseball is a precision sport. You can't get all fired up and go out there and kill someone, like lower levels of football. You have to keep your composure to perform.

The front office has, inadvertantly, sucked a lot of life out of the players this year. I say inadvertantly because I don't think they do much of anything the way they intended to. DanO is in far over his head. Miley simply isn't a major league manager. They're probably nice guys, they're just not very good at making the critical judgments that their jobs call for.

We've gone from what was described as a happy and loose clubhouse to a daily death watch among the players. The mood is grim at best, and in stark contrast to the happy-go-lucky grabass clique that Danny Graves described in his famous statement to Milton.

It's all about talent on this level. 162 games will expose all your weakness' and strengths. Our pitching decided to show it's true colors in April this year, instead of June.

The players know, just as surely as we do.

OldRightHander
06-16-2005, 11:31 AM
Now the question is whether the front office has enough of that will to win that they will make the necessary moves to put the kind of players on the field that can make it happen. I don't think too many of us have questioned the "fire" of the position players as much as the general malaise that seems to be infecting the organization as a whole. Losing has become acceptable. That is an unacceptable attitude.

Johnny Footstool
06-16-2005, 11:42 AM
The team had plenty of fire when the season began. The front office had fire this offseason -- so all-consuming was the inferno that it led O'Brien to throw crazy money at Eric Milton.

The problem is that fire needs oxygen to survive. Winning provides that oxygen. Losing throws sand on the blaze. When you know your pitching staff gives you almost no chance to win, it's like you play every game under a pile of sandbags and wet asbestos blankets.

SteelSD
06-16-2005, 11:48 AM
Now the question is whether the front office has enough of that will to win that they will make the necessary moves to put the kind of players on the field that can make it happen. I don't think too many of us have questioned the "fire" of the position players as much as the general malaise that seems to be infecting the organization as a whole. Losing has become acceptable. That is an unacceptable attitude.

Yet, this past offseason, ownership allocated millions of additional dollars that ended up getting spent on new players. There were a ton of people who got all giddy that ownership and the FO were making an effort to field a winning team.

Didn't happen because, excepting Randa, the players acquired were junk.

Heck, Opening Day sold out in record time because the fan base latched on to this new "will to win" that ownership and the front office demonstrated with those acquisitions.

But again, the players acquired pretty much sucked.

And now we perceive that the Front Office isn't trying? Where did that "will to win" go all of a sudden? Oh yeah, it was sucked up by the tornado of non-performance by a pitching staff that was destined to fail.

But still. Milions spent. Players acquired. Scrappy players, "leaders", guys who are "professional", and who "know how to win". Puked up a bunch of losses they did. But they tried real hard while doing it.

You want to fix the "fire" thing from the FO perspective? Get someone in there who knows WHO he should be acquiring. That's competence. Without that, everything else is meaningless.

MWM
06-16-2005, 11:53 AM
I think both Steel and RFS62 have excellent points. I think the buildup to the season with the huge collapse has made the sting worse than it would have been had those expectations not been there. I know several people, myself included, commented this offseason that there were lots of fans who were setting themself up for a huge disappointment. I think the same might have happened with the players.

shredda2000
06-16-2005, 12:22 PM
Great Post Pressbox.

During spring training, the Reds came to camp with this "have fun, no pressure" attitude. Management embraced this attitude because they saw the Reds begin to develop some "chemistry". Sure, there were some heated battles for shortstop and every pitcher vying for a spot in the starting rotation, but for the most part the attitude was "play, have fun, no pressure to win".

Once the season started, this attitude never really left. Sure, the Reds swept the Mets in the opening series but the attitude was still there. That was evident when the Reds were swept by Houston in the second series of the year. Their reaction was, it's early in the year, we need to work some kinks out. That attitude continued thru April, each win considered icing on the cake and each loss met with the reaction, "we'll get 'em next time, no pressure, it's early". This same attitude spread to the fans as well, much like a cancer.

I think reality set in the last week of April, when the Reds suffered a comeback loss to the Cubs. The ineffectiveness of Reds pitching reared its ugly head that day, and since then the Reds have never really recovered. What followed was an 8-game losing streak that left the Reds near the bottom of the NL Central.

To fix this, the FO has made some moves. However, what they are doing is treating the symptom without treating the problem. Instead of releasing players, sending players, down or preparing themselves for the next "fire sale" (Lord, I hope not), the ownership should hire a FO that will put some fire back in this team. Then, the FO will need to hire a GM and Manager that will break this "have fun, no pressure" attitude. What the Reds need for a manager is a Bobby Knight-type (minus the abuse) that will throw a few bases, kick dirt on a few umpires, etc. when things are not going the Reds way.

I believe this would restore the winning spirit the Reds so desparately need.

I for one, am tired of waiting for "next year". I have been waiting for "next year" for about 10 years now. Something has gotta change...

OldXOhio
06-16-2005, 12:25 PM
I think the buildup to the season with the huge collapse has made the sting worse than it would have been had those expectations not been there. I know several people, myself included, commented this offseason that there were lots of fans who were setting themself up for a huge disappointment.

I don't disagree w/ the notion of a preseason buildup as one only had to look on websites such as this for a gauge of the heightened level of excitement. However, this is also not Tampa Bay or KC where other sports reign as king and baseball and the team's losing ways have become after thoughts. If there's a town where hope does spring eternal each April, it's Cincinnatil. I think many of the same expectations would have been there with most any acquisition the FO would have made, legitimate or not. I also think the FO knows that, case in point what we're hearing now about the pursuit of Clement and then Milton.

Hooligan
06-16-2005, 01:37 PM
I'm also concerned about the lack of heart.

PS- Well written Press.