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View Full Version : 30 Years: 2 Playoff Appearances. Wow



Edskin
07-26-2009, 10:31 AM
We all talk about the 2000's as a miserable and "lost" decade for Reds baseball-- rightfully so. However, have you ever stopped to think exactly HOW bad this organization has become?

The 1970's were brilliant, as everyone knows. One of the best teams ever, one of the best decades ever, and for those of you who were around to experience it firsthand (I was born in 1977) maybe the memories of that decade alone are enough to fuel you through what has now become a 30 year malaise.

Since 1980, the Reds have made the post-season TWICE. 2 out of 30.

And one of those years was the strike-shortened 1995 season when everything just seemed weird.

1990 may be our saving grace from ultimate embarrasment. At least they made hay in their rare post-season appearance that season, something that many other teams have failed to do.

And of course, there is some bad luck mixed in as well.....the strike in both the 80's and 90's was a major blow to the Reds, eliminating possible playoff seaons in 1981 and 1994.

Playoff appearances aren't the ONLY way to measure success in baseball-- especially pre-wild card. 1999 was a great, great season, regardless of the fact that we did not make the playoffs. I understand that.

But for example, we sandwhiched our 1990 WS title around two 5th place finishes in 1989 and 1991.

1985-1988 were pretty good years-- competitive teams that kept things somewhat interesting-- but still, no playoffs in any of those seasons.

Other than that stretch and the aforementioned 1990, 1995, and 1999 seasons, the Reds have more or less been somewhere between middling and awful for THIRTY years.

It's this kind of futility that creates a general apathy amongst fans-- how can you really get excited about getting a AA prospect for Bronson Arroyo at this point?

It's been a revolving door of owers, GM's, managers, and players. The great burst we were hoping to see when GAB opened has become a sham-- a joke on the fans.

It's just really hard to get excited about anything when you are looking at this kind of historical failure.

Stormy
07-26-2009, 10:45 AM
We all talk about the 2000's as a miserable and "lost" decade for Reds baseball-- rightfully so. However, have you ever stopped to think exactly HOW bad this organization has become?

The 1970's were brilliant, as everyone knows. One of the best teams ever, one of the best decades ever, and for those of you who were around to experience it firsthand (I was born in 1977) maybe the memories of that decade alone are enough to fuel you through what has now become a 30 year malaise.

Since 1980, the Reds have made the post-season TWICE. 2 out of 30.

And one of those years was the strike-shortened 1995 season when everything just seemed weird.

1990 may be our saving grace from ultimate embarrasment. At least they made hay in their rare post-season appearance that season, something that many other teams have failed to do.

And of course, there is some bad luck mixed in as well.....the strike in both the 80's and 90's was a major blow to the Reds, eliminating possible playoff seaons in 1981 and 1994.

Playoff appearances aren't the ONLY way to measure success in baseball-- especially pre-wild card. 1999 was a great, great season, regardless of the fact that we did not make the playoffs. I understand that.

But for example, we sandwhiched our 1990 WS title around two 5th place finishes in 1989 and 1991.

1985-1988 were pretty good years-- competitive teams that kept things somewhat interesting-- but still, no playoffs in any of those seasons.

Other than that stretch and the aforementioned 1990, 1995, and 1999 seasons, the Reds have more or less been somewhere between middling and awful for THIRTY years.

It's this kind of futility that creates a general apathy amongst fans-- how can you really get excited about getting a AA prospect for Bronson Arroyo at this point?

It's been a revolving door of owers, GM's, managers, and players. The great burst we were hoping to see when GAB opened has become a sham-- a joke on the fans.

It's just really hard to get excited about anything when you are looking at this kind of historical failure.


That hurts to read, Ed. It's hard to combat that type of futility, and it's obvious the kind of toll it's taken on this fan base. At this juncture, the Reds' F.O. could really use an effective 'big splash' at the deadline to signal a change in the team's fortunes, but are more likely to get a 'wet blanket.' The Neagle, Vaughn, Cameron offseason of 1999 was the last successful venture in that regard (given the disappointment of the Griffey/Bichette follow up), and look how quickly that bred enthusiasm and short-term success.

Would Dye, Yunel Escobar and another rotation arm (built around the young core) have been 2009's version of 1999? We'll never know, but I would have gone down swinging.

These days the F.O. doesn't even seem to make overtures towards caring what the MLB roster looks like. You fire a GM in mid-stream, divest yourself of your best slugger, vow no more losing, and your offseason blueprint revolves around Taveras, JHJ and Gomes/Nix?? It's a sad state of affairs, and it shows everywhere from the W/L column to the turn-styles.

On the bright side, only another month+ until I get to see what Blache can do with the Redskins newly talent infused defense. :)

redsfandan
07-26-2009, 10:50 AM
Thanks for ummm depressing me. lol :( Now I think I'll go and question my sanity a little.

OldXOhio
07-26-2009, 11:50 AM
It's difficult sometimes to see the lack of attendance in May when this team is actually competing. Unfortunately, as your breakdown above attests, the Reds lost numerous fans years ago. It's not cynicism about their chances, they're largely just not even paying attention any longer.

Edskin
07-26-2009, 12:43 PM
On the bright side, only another month+ until I get to see what Blache can do with the Redskins newly talent infused defense

Transitioning each year (usually in June or July from the Reds to the Redskins hasn't exactly paid dividends for me over the years :), but for the most part, the Redskins at least deliver the illusion of contention-- they certainly do their best in the off-season to keep things interesting, and during the season, they generally stay competitve-- even if the final results are disappointing and/or middling. And they have made the playoffs two of the past four years....but it doesn't take much to "cheer up" a Reds fan.


Thanks for ummm depressing me. lol Now I think I'll go and question my sanity a little.

Therein lies the problem. The TRUE die-hard Reds fans (I would include the vast majority of RZ in that category) can't just give up-- they love the team too much. And that's what makes the constant losing so painful. You can't just "turn it off" if you are a true fan. If I could just make myself not care about the Reds and root for the Yankees or Red Sox instead, I would. And I would have done it a long time ago. The hardest part of this is knowing that in the end, you are bound to their fortunes-- no matter how dire the prospects may be.


It's difficult sometimes to see the lack of attendance in May when this team is actually competing. Unfortunately, as your breakdown above attests, the Reds lost numerous fans years ago. It's not cynicism about their chances, they're largely just not even paying attention any longer.

I haven't been to a game in Cincy since GAB opened, so I can't say for sure, but I imagine the Reds fan base is very similar to the Royals fan base I encountered there this summer: It's not so much that attendence stinks-- crowds were decent, but it's that during the two games I sat through, I didn't get the impression that anyone around me really cared about the Royals one way or another. Plenty of people wearing Royals gear who had no idea who Willie Bloomquist was or even who the manager was. You have a very small percentage of die-hards that are heartbroken about the team and tearing their hair out each summer, and then you have a huge group of fans that have become completely apathetic and out of touch with the team. They attend games for the same reason people attend minor league games-- to sit outside, watch baseball, and enjoy the day-- no one is actually there because of the Royals-- and I would venture to say it's much the same in Cincy.

SirFelixCat
07-26-2009, 12:45 PM
Email this to Walt?

Brutus
07-26-2009, 01:09 PM
For what it's worth, I was curious to see if Cincinnati was alone in its suffering. So I compiled the records and results for each team in the last 30 years (including strike-shortened seasons and this year).

Here is how it shakes down


Team G W L PCT APP WS
New York Yankees 4,669 2,626 2,043 0.562 15 4
Boston Red Sox 4,672 2,517 2,155 0.539 11 2
Atlanta Braves 4,668 2,493 2,175 0.534 15 1
St. Louis Cardinals 4,673 2,458 2,215 0.526 10 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 4,667 2,451 2,216 0.525 9 2
Houston Astros 4,679 2,440 2,239 0.521 8 0
Oakland Athletics 4,673 2,432 2,241 0.520 10 1
Chicago White Sox 4,674 2,402 2,272 0.514 4 1
Toronto Blue Jays 4,676 2,395 2,281 0.512 5 2
Los Angeles Angels 4,675 2,382 2,293 0.510 7 1
San Francisco Giants 4,677 2,382 2,295 0.509 7 0
New York Mets 4,666 2,373 2,293 0.509 5 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 1,880 942 938 0.501 4 1
Philadelphia Phillies 4,673 2,327 2,346 0.498 5 2
Cleveland Indians 4,668 2,324 2,344 0.498 7 0
Cincinnati Reds 4,678 2,307 2,371 0.493 2 1
Minnesota Twins 4,675 2,275 2,400 0.487 6 2
Baltimore Orioles 4,668 2,269 2,399 0.486 3 1
Texas Rangers 4,670 2,269 2,401 0.486 3 0
Washington Nationals 4,673 2,268 2,405 0.485 1 0
Milwaukee Brewers 4,673 2,256 2,417 0.483 2 0
Chicago Cubs 4,666 2,248 2,418 0.482 5 0
San Diego Padres 4,683 2,252 2,431 0.481 5 0
Seattle Mariners 4,674 2,240 2,434 0.479 4 0
Detroit Tigers 4,674 2,236 2,438 0.478 3 1
Florida Marlins 2,622 1,246 1,376 0.475 2 2
Colorado Rockies 2,627 1,242 1,385 0.473 2 0
Kansas City Royals 4,665 2,196 2,469 0.471 3 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 4,667 2,168 2,499 0.465 3 0
Tampa Bay Rays 1,877 796 1,081 0.424 2 0



So as far as winning percentage, the Reds are middle of the pack in this 30-year period. However, only the Nationals/Expos and Brewers have as few playoff appearances as the Reds (with exception to the four expansion teams that have entered the league since then). It's worth pointing out, though, that along with Kansas City, San Diego, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, the six teams residing in the smallest media markets in Major League Baseball of the ones that have been around during this entire span, also have the fewest playoff appearances.

I ran a correlation to media market size, just out of curiosity, and winning percentage and percentage of seasons making the playoff both correlate to about -0.52. So there's definitely some correlation there. I suppose it would be a lot higher if we only looked at the past 15 seasons.

As far as the Reds are concerned, to be a little fair, in 1981 and 1994, they were in line to make the playoffs in normal, full seasons. In 81, they had the best overall record in the division but because of the split halves, won neither half and got left out of the playoffs. In 1994 they had the best record in the division, but that season was shortened in August.

There's no doubt though that the Reds have been in a big rut in the last 30 years. It's very depressing to see two playoff appearances and a sub-500 record in that time.

TheNext44
07-26-2009, 02:18 PM
Basically the last 30 years are the result of two terrible, simply horrible front office regimes, and one decent one that won, but devastated the farm system.

1977 - Dick Wagner takes over from Bob Howsam as GM. His first move - fire Sparky Anderson. However idiotic this move is, it's not even close to his worst. Wagner, one of the worst evaluators of talent this side of Dan O'Brien, over his tenure, trades away or lets go, Tony Perez, Pete Rose, George Foster, Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver, Ken Griffey, Ray Knight, Dave Collins, Charlie Leibrandt, and Mike LaCoss, all who go on to have very productive careers somewhere else. For that he brings in Dale Murray, Charlie Puleo, Alex Trevino, Jim Kern, Greg Harris, Freddie Toliver and Cesar Cedeno.

1984 - Marge came in, brought back Rose to manage, and had a win now philosophy that had the Reds in contention nearly every year she was owner, and winning the World Series in 1990. However, she once asked why scouts make so much money if all they do is watch baseball games, and the Reds farm system suffered over a decade of neglect.

1998 -Linder, forced in when Marge couldn't hold stop saying stupid things. He was quoted after an organizational meeting as asking, "Why does everyone keep talking about winning?" He was only concerned with not losing money, so he spend a lot of money on popular, but dumb moves, like extending Larkin, signing Milton, and trading for and extending Griffey jr. He also hired Dan O'Brien as GM, who gave Dick Wagner a run for his money for worst talent evaluator ever.

Finally Cast came in, and while he wanted to win, and was willing to spend money, he tried to turn the corner too quickly, and spun out of control the first few years.
He brought in Jocketty who in my opinion, is trying to right the ship, put it back on course, but so much damage has been done, that it will take a bit longer than we want it to take. Considering the Reds past, impatience is understandable, and justifiable. However, also understanding the past, patience is exactly what this organization needs.

Raisor
07-26-2009, 02:22 PM
However, also understanding the past, patience is exactly what this organization needs.

I think we've been patient enough myself. 15 years since the last playoff appearance. 2 in the last 30 years.

I would be just fine mortgaging the future for a playoff run next year.

We could all be hit by a bus tomorrow, make today count.

Marc D
07-26-2009, 02:34 PM
I think we've been patient enough myself. 15 years since the last playoff appearance. 2 in the last 30 years.

I would be just fine mortgaging the future for a playoff run next year.

We could all be hit by a bus tomorrow, make today count.

I've been around for everyone of the 30 years in question, I can wait a couple of more. I think they owe us a consistent winner, not a one year run.

Not that I have any faith in the current regime to be able to do that, its just my personal expectation in the off chance we have a dynamic, winning oriented front office again in my life time.

membengal
07-26-2009, 02:39 PM
I think we've been patient enough myself. 15 years since the last playoff appearance. 2 in the last 30 years.

I would be just fine mortgaging the future for a playoff run next year.

We could all be hit by a bus tomorrow, make today count.

Word to the bold.

AtomicDumpling
07-26-2009, 02:51 PM
Thanks for clearly exposing the Reds mediocrity and ineptitude over the decades.

The problem I have is that Reds fans don't seem to have a problem with it. There is very little protest about the constant losing. People just accept it. Reds fans don't even expect to win. We just hope. Fans in other towns demand a winner.

The organization is not driven to win. There is no strong, competitive personality at the top of the ranks that will force the organization to do whatever it takes to win. The Reds are a business -- not a team.

It will remain this way unless the fans clearly express that we are not content just to have a team in Cincinnati -- we must demand a winning team.

Brutus
07-26-2009, 03:19 PM
Thanks for clearly exposing the Reds mediocrity and ineptitude over the decades.

The problem I have is that Reds fans don't seem to have a problem with it. There is very little protest about the constant losing. People just accept it. Reds fans don't even expect to win. We just hope. Fans in other towns demand a winner.

The organization is not driven to win. There is no strong, competitive personality at the top of the ranks that will force the organization to do whatever it takes to win. The Reds are a business -- not a team.

It will remain this way unless the fans clearly express that we are not content just to have a team in Cincinnati -- we must demand a winning team.

This is not a Reds issue. It's a MLB issue. The results speak for themselves.

The bottom third of MLB in winning percentage have the following rank in Media Market Size:

11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 22, 26, 31, and 33 with the outlier 3 (Chicago Cubs). The Reds are actually an outlier being in the middle third at 34.

For context, markets 19, 20, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 32 do not have MLB teams.

Meanwhile, the upper third of MLB in win percentage in the same 30 years have the following rank in Media Market Size:

1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10 and the outlier being 21 (St. Louis).

Clearly, media market does matter somewhat. And the Reds are actually doing a lot better as a whole in the past 30 seasons than most teams with similar market sizes. They rank 15 in winning percentage but dead last of all American teams in market size.

wheels
07-26-2009, 03:45 PM
I may be wayyyy off the mark here, but my gut tells me that Reds fans over the years have turned out pretty well when I consider the abject futility each season brings us.

People think Baseball is dying in Cincinnati. That might be true, but I really don't think the fans are the reason. How the heck are they still drawing 20 + K per game in this stinky economy?

We all deserve some kinda medal, or a plastic trophy like you got in little league for our efforts.

Oh...And I clearly didn't read the three posts before mine. Call me Captain Redundant.

Geesh, I stink.

cincrazy
07-26-2009, 04:03 PM
Thanks for clearly exposing the Reds mediocrity and ineptitude over the decades.

The problem I have is that Reds fans don't seem to have a problem with it. There is very little protest about the constant losing. People just accept it. Reds fans don't even expect to win. We just hope. Fans in other towns demand a winner.

The organization is not driven to win. There is no strong, competitive personality at the top of the ranks that will force the organization to do whatever it takes to win. The Reds are a business -- not a team.

It will remain this way unless the fans clearly express that we are not content just to have a team in Cincinnati -- we must demand a winning team.

Eh, I don't believe that. The Sox and Yanks fans deserve to win. Who after that? The Reds are in the same boat with other small to mid market teams, including the Brewers.

Check back on them to see how they're doing when Braun, Fielder, and Gallardo are wearing other uniforms.

BoydsOfSummer
07-26-2009, 04:10 PM
Watching my first Reds game in over a week. If they can turn me casual it's not a good sign.

membengal
07-26-2009, 05:10 PM
I am 0 for the week on viewing them.

Similer to you Boyd, NOT a good sign.

RFS62
07-26-2009, 06:01 PM
I have less interest in Reds baseball right now than any time since the supernova of suckitude that was 1982.

I really thought that Marge's subsequent years humiliating the fanbase were my low point in fan interest.

I was wrong. They've sucked the life out of me in this lost decade. I think it's in part because I've spent so much time thinking, reading, writing and talking about them here during that period.

They can't kill my love of baseball, but they've sure rendered me incapable of suspending my disbelief and just being a fan.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

Caveat Emperor
07-26-2009, 06:50 PM
In other news, sky continues to be blue and water remains wet.

Is this shocking to anyone? The Reds are a small market baseball team that has never employed a GM that truly understands the realities of existing in a small market. They will continue to fall further down this list until they find themselves either an owner that wants to win at any cost (and allows them to "play big") or a GM that understands small market baseball on the same level as Billy Beane.

Now back to your previously scheduled programming, already in progress.

GADawg
07-26-2009, 06:57 PM
Watching my first Reds game in over a week. If they can turn me casual it's not a good sign.

ditto that....well said.

As far as the original purpose of this thread....I'm speechless.

RANDY IN INDY
07-26-2009, 06:59 PM
I have less interest in Reds baseball right now than any time since the supernova of suckitude that was 1982.

I really thought that Marge's subsequent years humiliating the fanbase were my low point in fan interest.

I was wrong. They've sucked the life out of me in this lost decade. I think it's in part because I've spent so much time thinking, reading, writing and talking about them here during that period.

They can't kill my love of baseball, but they've sure rendered me incapable of suspending my disbelief and just being a fan.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

Well said. I'm with you, buddy.

RedsManRick
07-26-2009, 07:07 PM
I can accept losing. Sometimes you just lose -- and sometimes you lose for awhile. It's the stupidity and proud ignorance in the fact of that losing that gets to me. What's the definition of insanity again?

Brutus
07-26-2009, 07:08 PM
In other news, sky continues to be blue and water remains wet.

Is this shocking to anyone? The Reds are a small market baseball team that has never employed a GM that truly understands the realities of existing in a small market. They will continue to fall further down this list until they find themselves either an owner that wants to win at any cost (and allows them to "play big") or a GM that understands small market baseball on the same level as Billy Beane.

Now back to your previously scheduled programming, already in progress.

I generally agree with your points. However, Oakland resides in the 6th largest media market in the nation (San Fran-Oakland-San Jose). That market has literally three (3) times the number of households than Cincinnati. That the A's get lumped in as a small market team is due mainly to their strange inability to score bigger local media revenue. It's somewhat confusing. Given their proximity within their market, it's odd that San Francisco has over double the raw media revenue. I'm sure branding and other factors go into that, but I can't help but think someone within the front office not named Beane is not doing their job as effectively as possible.

I'll credit Beane for the job he's done without ownership approving large payrolls, though. For whatever the reason, they don't pull in a lot of revenue and Beane has done a good job with what he's been given. I just don't know why Oakland has the situation of a small market club, because they are not in a small market. The revenue certainly suggests they're smallish, but by definition they are not.

RedsBaron
07-26-2009, 08:39 PM
1977 - Dick Wagner takes over from Bob Howsam as GM. His first move - fire Sparky Anderson. However idiotic this move is, it's not even close to his worst. Wagner, one of the worst evaluators of talent this side of Dan O'Brien, over his tenure, trades away or lets go, Tony Perez, Pete Rose, George Foster, Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver, Ken Griffey, Ray Knight, Dave Collins, Charlie Leibrandt, and Mike LaCoss, all who go on to have very productive careers somewhere else. For that he brings in Dale Murray, Charlie Puleo, Alex Trevino, Jim Kern, Greg Harris, Freddie Toliver and Cesar Cedeno.


In fairness to Dick Wagner, who was a horrible GM, the guy who traded away Tony Perez was Bob Howsam, who was a great GM despite that oversight. Wagner became Reds GM after the 1977 season. He kept Sparky on as manager one season and then fired him even though Sparky did a remarkable job in 1978, nearly beating out a Dodger team that scored more runs and allowed fewer runs than the Reds.

RedsBaron
07-26-2009, 08:43 PM
Is this shocking to anyone? The Reds are a small market baseball team that has never employed a GM that truly understands the realities of existing in a small market. They will continue to fall further down this list until they find themselves either an owner that wants to win at any cost (and allows them to "play big") or a GM that understands small market baseball on the same level as Billy Beane.



Bob Howsam didn't adapt well to the start of free agency but he otherwise was a terrific GM. Since then the Reds have had a few competent but mediocre GMs and a bunch of guys who didn't know what they were doing. I so wish they had hired a Billy Beane years ago and got ahead of the curve.

TheNext44
07-26-2009, 08:52 PM
In fairness to Dick Wagner, who was a horrible GM, the guy who traded away Tony Perez was Bob Howsam, who was a great GM despite that oversight. Wagner became Reds GM after the 1977 season. He kept Sparky on as manager one season and then fired him even though Sparky did a remarkable job in 1978, nearly beating out a Dodger team that scored more runs and allowed fewer runs than the Reds.

Thanks for the corrections. I did this without research. I was lazy. Sorry.

:thumbup:

VR
07-26-2009, 09:00 PM
I'm a Vikings fan. Only biding time the rest of the summer.

redsfandan
07-26-2009, 09:54 PM
I started becoming a fan in the early 80's. So almost 30 years for me. I really didn't need to see this thread. lol