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mdccclxix
07-27-2011, 06:32 PM
I tend to view Lance as over-reactionary, but this piece today from his blog has a cumulative view that I have to agree with at this point. This season has gone awry partly due to the leadership's indecision and, what I would consider, mild arrogance.


Reds

Jeff Brantley said last night what I've been preaching all season long.


"It looks like this team is in a bit of disarray, and it's been that way all season.
I blame a lot of it on the leadership in the clubhouse. They don't hit the field with a sense of urgency and passion. It's not just about going out and making your batting average higher it should be about beating the dog out of the other team"


I wrote about this earlier in the month.
This team doesn't play with energy and enthusiasm on a consistent basis.
Too often they appear flat, uninspired, lifeless....distracted.
Their minds appear to wonder like the little league LF picking dandelions.
At times they play like they think they are "cool".
They play without a sense of urgency. It's as though they sit back and wait, feeling they will be fine, that they will rally late, just like last season.
For the 834th time I'll refer you to what Joe Morgan told me on Opening Day when I asked him the toughest part of repeating. He said it was convincing your players that they start over, that they don't start with 91 wins. That they have to reprove themselves.
This team certainly lacks the drive and the passion of the 2010 squad.
I was watching a video of the 2010 team at the Reds Hall of Fame a couple of week ago and remarked how different that team looked/acted compared to this one. I'll say it once again...I blame Walt and Dusty for the tone that's been set for this team.
Walt rolled dice in the offseason and decided this team would be ok. He took the chance that the young guys would continue to improve and that the veterans would come close to their '10 production. And based on payroll and young talent I agreed it was the chance he had to take.
Obviously their worst case scenarios have now played out with that idea...Rolen and Gomes saw dramatic dropoffs in production. Janish couldn't hit well enough to keep his job. Stubbs and Bruce have struggled with consistency. Travis Wood and Edinson Volquez earned tickets to AAA.
But Walt was slow to react. Slow to try and improve and energize this team.
I've said for a while this team simply was not good enough.
Six weeks ago Walt said they weren't even looking at AAA guys for promotions and that he liked what they had. Great message to those busting tail at AAA and those underperforming on the ML level.
This team just went 30 games without back to back wins.
This team was once 25-17. They have gone 25-36 since. That's 61 games at 11 under .500. How we lookin'?
Dusty has said all along they'll be fine...no need to panic....they are close to breaking out. His message was then parroted by his players. There was a lack of accountability for poor play. Guys not performing knew Dusty had their back.
His grandfather, den mother, I'll hold your hand approach obviously worked last year. He should have been Manager of Year. He stayed patient with Stubbs and Bruce and was rewarded. But this year the expectations and demands should have been raised. Dusty needed to change his approach to match that. He did not. Dusty has constantly bristled at suggestions of lineup/personel changes. All the while they have accepted poor/inconsistent/mediocre play.
The sad thing is this has played out like Mark Twain once said of Cincinnati:
"When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times."
Walt was behind on Cozart, Gomes, Alonso......
Dusty was behind on adjusting to his team.

Read more: http://www.espn1530.com/pages/lancesBlog.html#ixzz1TLWRpjS7


At this point, Lance seems to have gathered enough evidence, and I tend to agree now. Now, let me be clear, I don't think this is a "no effort" or "don't care" type of team, I just believe the team is suffering from a lack of urgency and direction from the top.

This last weekend of July we will have to see where things stand between Walt, Dusty and the tone/direction of this team. I can see the reason to buy now if the deal looks good. I liked the Rolen deal at the time, for example, and think that a shrewd GM can turn the limited buyers out there (the contenders) into an advantage vs. the sellers - especially if the buyer is "out of contention" like the Reds. Anyway, that dynamic will play out over the next few days, but what we're left with either way is an under-performing team with 2 months to finally kick into gear. Or not. Or whatever.

mth123
07-27-2011, 08:14 PM
Put me down in favor of a housecleaning. The GM is guilty of negligence, the Manager underperformed and the coaches seem pretty incompetent across the board.

Mario-Rijo
07-27-2011, 09:51 PM
I agree mdccclxix, I thought Orlando Cabrera was a major oversight by perhaps everyone (myself included). What he provided every night was that sense of urgency, the guy kept everyone moving in the right direction and was quite vocal about it. Just pure positive energy that guy.

mdccclxix
07-28-2011, 01:42 AM
I agree mdccclxix, I thought Orlando Cabrera was a major oversight by perhaps everyone (myself included). What he provided every night was that sense of urgency, the guy kept everyone moving in the right direction and was quite vocal about it. Just pure positive energy that guy.

This is a little different than Lance's point, but Dusty definitely appreciated having Cabrera around to guide players. Now that Gomes is gone too, what I'm sensing is a bunch of sorry puppies moping around.

It's sad, but they need a leader. All this talent and no leadership. Did anyone hear the tone on the radio about the Gomes trade? Oh my gosh, it was like Bruce's house got destroyed by a tornado.

In some ways it makes me wonder if the "family" atmosphere is a little too thick with emotion, or specifically, natural dysfunction. Families are difficult mixtures and can be difficult to guide, much less inspire. Perhaps Walt and Dusty are not enough, they cannot lead this family.

As the youthful core begins to mature into veterans, what will this team look like on the field? Who will lead?

Mario-Rijo
07-28-2011, 02:41 AM
This is a little different than Lance's point, but Dusty definitely appreciated having Cabrera around to guide players. Now that Gomes is gone too, what I'm sensing is a bunch of sorry puppies moping around.

It's sad, but they need a leader. All this talent and no leadership. Did anyone hear the tone on the radio about the Gomes trade? Oh my gosh, it was like Bruce's house got destroyed by a tornado.

In some ways it makes me wonder if the "family" atmosphere is a little too thick with emotion, or specifically, natural dysfunction. Families are difficult mixtures and can be difficult to guide, much less inspire. Perhaps Walt and Dusty are not enough, they cannot lead this family.

As the youthful core begins to mature into veterans, what will this team look like on the field? Who will lead?

Well if he can produce and gain his teammates respect Todd Frazier is that guy.

mdccclxix
07-28-2011, 03:15 AM
That's interesting you think that, I could possibly agree with that. We don't need a Rosales, though, and I know that's not what you mean. I think Frazier could be great for this team in 2012, if he can lock into a meaningful role on the field.

Ron Madden
07-28-2011, 03:48 AM
I don't agree with Jeff Brantley on very much of anything and I'm not sure how any veteran player could say or do anything in the clubhouse or in the dugout to help this club right now. I honestly believe everyone on the roster is just pressing and trying to do too much. That's a problem the Manager and Coaches need to address, that's what they are getting paid for. (JMHO)

Tom Servo
07-28-2011, 04:34 AM
Sounds like we need Greg Vaughn to start choking people.

GAC
07-28-2011, 04:46 AM
When we talk about leadership, are we referring to from the FO or in the clubhouse?

Last year we were heralding Baker's managing style, being a "player's manager". And we were giving similar kudos to Jocketty. Now, a year later, with the team struggling, we're faulting them? I'm not saying they don't shoulder some of the blame because I certainly agree with this statement....


Walt rolled dice in the offseason and decided this team would be ok. He took the chance that the young guys would continue to improve and that the veterans would come close to their '10 production.

But other then a few minor "tweeks" - letting Rhodes go, swapping out Cabrera for Renteria, adding a couple bench players - this is basically the same squad we ran out there in 2010.

But can't the ownership group also share that responsibility? They are the ones who set the payroll limitations.


This team doesn't play with energy and enthusiasm on a consistent basis.

True. And that could easily be from a lack of veteran leadership with so many young guys on the roster. Cabrera was known to provide that last year. Who is it this year? Rolen has been nursing all types of ailments all season, and has been in and out of the lineup. So who does that leave as far as veteran leadership? Hernandez? Cairo? Arroyo?

But I really don't think that is necessarily the key reason. I've scratched my head, just like everyone else, trying to figure out why this team is so dysfunctional this year, and I think it's a combination of several variables. Not just one.

For one, our rotation came out of the gate in disarray due to injury and sickness. But we held our own through April, going into May, because of guys like Votto, a red-hot Bruce, Phillips, and even Gomes.

All players go into slumps. That's a part of baseball. But on good teams the other players are able to "carry" that player and overcome. This team has too many players who go into slumps, and it seems for a month at a time. One month on, the next month off. One guy will get hot, 2-3 others will be bad.

The only person who has shown any level of consistency from an offensive perspective has been Votto. The rest of these guys are bipolar. And I still believe it has been very detrimental losing the production from the heart of our order in the #4 spot. Votto's numbers are down a little bit, but whose protecting him? While it wouldn't solve all our problems, I think this team would be in a lot better shape if we had a Fielder, Holliday, Kemp, or McCain hitting #4 because we are getting guys on base..... and leaving them there.

Dusty's managerial style, especially game time decisions, has slipped IMO this year. I think what made it even worse is the rising sense of urgency to try and do something to shake this team (lineup) up too. That spreads to the players too. Especially the younger ones. And I'm sure a valid question could be posed, especially with the young players.... Is Dusty at fault for promoting such an aggressive approach?

I don't really have an answer to that question.

Chip R
07-28-2011, 09:33 AM
This is a little different than Lance's point, but Dusty definitely appreciated having Cabrera around to guide players. Now that Gomes is gone too, what I'm sensing is a bunch of sorry puppies moping around.

Are you talking about the players or broadcasters - or both?

pahster
07-28-2011, 09:55 AM
Are you talking about the players or broadcasters - or both?

I've little doubt Thom will mope for the rest of the season. :)

Bumstead
07-28-2011, 09:55 AM
If a team continues to lose, it doesn't start winning by doing the same thing or running the same players out there everyday. That's on Dusty and Jockety. They continued for months to run Janish out there, who is just a terrible everyday player. And Dusty wouldn't let go of Gomes...Heck the day Gomes gets traded and the team botches another Cueto outing, Dusty attributes it to the Gomes trade...Seriously? Gomes is barely better than Janish. Get over it. If these players aren't professional enough to do their jobs, then it's about time to move on without them. Now Alonso is up, a righty on the mound last night, and Heisey starts...Dusty thinks it will be nice to have another lefty on the bench. Really? Bring up Dorn then, what a waste. Meanwhile we get Cairo, who I like, almost everyday at 3B while Frazier sits there and watches. Dusty is bad for a young team. We were lucky last year, mostly because Rolen stayed healthy. Dusty won't change and he doesn't like his pets (Janish and Gomes; Neifi and Ramon Ramirez in the past) being taken away from him. We don't have Jeff Kent on the bench to keep things in order. We aren't even hardly in the race. Play the young guys, they can't do any worse than the guys that have lead us to a 50-54 record so far. Plus Alonso and Frazier will bring some energy and the guys sitting may become inspired...This is the best team in the division and they are just playing horrible; it's like they aren't even capable of playing good baseball.

So frustrating!

Bum

dougdirt
07-28-2011, 10:15 AM
But I thought we brought in Rolen to be a team leader? Wasn't Gomes a clubhouse guy? Why were those guys so good at those things last year and now they aren't? Is it because it is all a bunch of bull? Yeah, probably. Another one of those things people talk about, but isn't really all that meaningful despite thinking it is.

nate
07-28-2011, 10:23 AM
But I thought we brought in Rolen to be a team leader? Wasn't Gomes a clubhouse guy? Why were those guys so good at those things last year and now they aren't? Is it because it is all a bunch of bull? Yeah, probably. Another one of those things people talk about, but isn't really all that meaningful despite thinking it is.

Yep. High five.

Chip R
07-28-2011, 10:32 AM
I've little doubt Thom will mope for the rest of the season. :)

I'm surprised he actually worked the game that night in his grief.

In all seriousness, I asked because while I'm sure the players weren't crazy about losing Gomes did the media overhype it somewhat because they had such love for Gomes?

757690
07-28-2011, 10:46 AM
But I thought we brought in Rolen to be a team leader? Wasn't Gomes a clubhouse guy? Why were those guys so good at those things last year and now they aren't? Is it because it is all a bunch of bull? Yeah, probably. Another one of those things people talk about, but isn't really all that meaningful despite thinking it is.

I think that Rolen's injury and absence from the lineup this season actually verifies how important his leadership is. Barry Larkin said it best on the ESPN game Sunday night, when he said you can't lead when you don't produce.

Tony Cloninger
07-28-2011, 11:39 AM
I think that Rolen's injury and absence from the lineup this season actually verifies how important his leadership is. Barry Larkin said it best on the ESPN game Sunday night, when he said you can't lead when you don't produce.

I remember vividly the Reds teams of 1989-1993 playing very badly when Barry would go out with an injury. I know there were others in 1989 and 1993 but it was very obvious by his lack of presence, how much they needed his leadership.

MikeS21
07-28-2011, 11:43 AM
This season is on the players - not Walt or Dusty. The problem is coming from the clubhouse and not the front office.

It's so easy to blame Walt and Dusty because they are favorite targets. But a baseball player ought to be mature enough to go out and play a game. At some point, these players have got to start performing at a level equal to their potential. They ought to be man enough to do that without having to be "motivated" by the manager.

I don't know about any of you, but my boss does NOT come around and give me a pep talk and hold my hand and coddle me so I can do my job. How many of us could get fired and still collect our entire paycheck for 1-2 years?

I blame the players.

traderumor
07-28-2011, 12:22 PM
But I thought we brought in Rolen to be a team leader? Wasn't Gomes a clubhouse guy? Why were those guys so good at those things last year and now they aren't? Is it because it is all a bunch of bull? Yeah, probably. Another one of those things people talk about, but isn't really all that meaningful despite thinking it is.
That's what I was thinking as I listened to these comments last night on my drive home. Last year, same basic team, all that "chemistry." Things not going well this year, its a problem with leadership in the clubhouse.

For me, its been the rotation since day one. But, that's less interesting to rant about on a talk show.

757690
07-28-2011, 12:32 PM
One big Canadian elephant in the room is Votto's production.

The offensive production the Reds have gotten from 1B this year is down from last year almost exactly as much as production from 3B is down from last year.

Of course they are related, and I'm not trying to blame any one player over another, but I think it's wrong to ignore how much Votto has dropped off this season in terms of actual production. The Reds need to figure out if this is who Votto really is, and if so, I think that changes their long term plans.

Raisor
07-28-2011, 12:37 PM
Joey is still OPSing 930. Yes it's down from last year, but anything over 900 is gravy.

mdccclxix
07-28-2011, 12:46 PM
I don't think Lance's point has as much to do with "chemistry" as leadership and being pro-active. It's more about team and FO attitude towards the challenges on and off the field. He thinks they're all somewhat connected. Maybe that's going a bit far, but maybe not. I definitely know that attitude makes a huge difference to performance, and leadership is important to defining the tone, guiding the attitude of players.

Whatever worked last year isn't working this year because this is a different circumstance, a defending champ. Part of what defending champs do is fill in the gaps, for example, SF signing Beltran. I think some of the players, especially Votto, are keyed into what the FO does and says towards improving the team. I believe there is some lack of belief inside the clubhouse, perhaps privately, that the Reds have the pieces to go beyond last year. That's where the frustration is setting in. I believe this team has been waiting for the cavalry to arrive, and it still hasn't. The FO could have picked this team up a lot earlier with some key moves, IMO, at least from within.

As for Dusty, well, he's had a team meeting or two, but it's hard to change his stripes as a player manager when he needs less good feelings and more performance. In all, I think Dusty's done a decent job with what he's been given though. He does provide a shield for the negativity. Cabrera was essentially that last year, a positive guy. Nothing bad could seep into his attitude for more than a second. The young players need that, for sure. Just listen to Bruce's reaction to Gomes leaving, it's beyond disappointed - too much. And Rolen was always just an inspiration via production and talent. The dude is amazing. Not an attitude guy like Cabrera, though.

Tom Servo
07-28-2011, 12:48 PM
In the end, it's all a question of heart.

757690
07-28-2011, 01:01 PM
Joey is still OPSing 930. Yes it's down from last year, but anything over 900 is gravy.

This is more about the team construction than Votto himself.

Every contending team has more than one big bat like Votto, or an amazing pitching staff. I think if he could be a 1.000 OPS guy every year, the Reds could get by with just Votto. But if this is who he is going to be, the Reds need another big bat or a TOR starter to contend, imo.

Kc61
07-28-2011, 02:06 PM
But I thought we brought in Rolen to be a team leader? Wasn't Gomes a clubhouse guy? Why were those guys so good at those things last year and now they aren't? Is it because it is all a bunch of bull? Yeah, probably. Another one of those things people talk about, but isn't really all that meaningful despite thinking it is.

DD, I don't think it's all a bunch of bull.

Oh, I agree, that rah-rah clubhouse stuff is mostly meaningless. But having solid veteran players who lead on the field is important.

Young, inexperienced players tend to be inconsistent. Guys like Bruce and Stubbs are still learning. They really aren't in a position to "lead" a team to victory.

Which brings us to Scott Rolen. Last year he made virtually every play. Last year, he hit well for the first half in the middle of the lineup. He really showed these guys how you play on a day-in and day-out basis.

This year he has been hurt, ineffective, and out of the lineup. He hasn't been able to lead by example. I think that might be the single most important missing ingredient this year.

So, you might say, it's Rolen's PERFORMANCE that is down, not his leadership. I think it's a fine line between the two.

But to me it's no accident that the Reds' final collapse against the Mets this week happened with Rolen out. I don't think these guys lose four straight in such ugly fashion with a healthy Rolen leading the way.

CTA513
07-28-2011, 02:12 PM
More guys are probably sitting on the couch in the clubhouse this season.

Ron Madden
07-28-2011, 02:15 PM
DD, I don't think it's all a bunch of bull.

Oh, I agree, that rah-rah clubhouse stuff is mostly meaningless. But having solid veteran players who lead on the field is important.

Young, inexperienced players tend to be inconsistent. Guys like Bruce and Stubbs are still learning. They really aren't in a position to "lead" a team to victory.

Which brings us to Scott Rolen. Last year he made virtually every play. Last year, he hit well for the first half in the middle of the lineup. He really showed these guys how you play on a day-in and day-out basis.This year he has been hurt, ineffective, and out of the lineup. He hasn't been able to lead by example. I think that might be the single most important missing ingredient this year.

So, you might say, it's Rolen's PERFORMANCE that is down, not his leadership. I think it's a fine line between the two.

But to me it's no accident that the Reds' final collapse against the Mets this week happened with Rolen out. I don't think these guys lose four straight in such ugly fashion with a healthy Rolen leading the way.

So in 2010 Rolen taught these guys how to play on a day-in and day-out basis, In 2011 these guys forgot how to play on a day-in day-out basis?

cincyinco
07-28-2011, 02:20 PM
The real difference is simple.. No Rally Onion.. ;)

Kc61
07-28-2011, 02:27 PM
So in 2010 Rolen taught these guys how to play on a day-in and day-out basis, In 2011 these guys forgot how to play on a day-in day-out basis?

Apparently, the young guys are not ready to lead a team to victory on their own.

I think there is a huge fall off in the veteran performance/leadership between 2010 and 2011.

Rolen was on the field and effective in 2010. Rhodes was lights out in key spots in 2010. Cabrera did well offensively, despite his limited range, in 2010. Arroyo was much better in 2010.

It's all just after-the-fact except I'm not sure this ballclub will be much better in 2012 just relying on more kids. The team could use a few good veteran players for next year as well.

traderumor
07-28-2011, 02:46 PM
Simple equations:

Season exceeds expectations = grit, vet leadership, doing what it takes to win, chemistry, everyone loves each other, old guys showing the young guys the ropes, taking it to the other team

Season falls below expectations = poor clubhouse leadership, young guys not ready to step up, lollygagging, disarray, vets not doing their job, Orlando Cabrera

Same basic cast of characters. And all of that may be true, but if I'm GMing, I'm focusing on the performances and trying to determine who I keep and who I replace based on my expected performance next year. The stuff Brantley threw out there that started this thread is just so much circling the wagons and trying to take 'em with water pistols.

mdccclxix
07-28-2011, 02:48 PM
http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110728&content_id=22417074&notebook_id=22418200&vkey=notebook_cin&c_id=cin

Players are hopeful for a trade boost.

Well, if they're talking about it now, you know they were hoping for something WEEKS ago.

Thanks Walt!

I have to believe the ownership is looking at these empty seats today and are NOT happy - at all.

traderumor
07-28-2011, 02:53 PM
http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110728&content_id=22417074&notebook_id=22418200&vkey=notebook_cin&c_id=cin

Players are hopeful for a trade boost.

Well, if they're talking about it now, you know they were hoping for something WEEKS ago.

Thanks Walt!

I have to believe the ownership is looking at these empty seats today and are NOT happy - at all.Yea, except don't trade my buddy.

RedsManRick
07-28-2011, 02:57 PM
This team just strikes me as entirely too passive. Like they're waiting for something to happen instead of figuring out how to make something happen. I don't mean they should be more aggressive, but rather that each guy needs to see it as his responsibility to get things turned around, needs to be asking himself "how can I get better?" I'm sure they all want to win and are trying hard. But they don't need to try harder -- they need to try smarter. Stop giving away at bats. Stop the lazy defense. Stop watching your fly balls and start running. They just don't seem to be focused.

These guys seemed fatigued, listless. I think the "chemistry" as it were is fine. Everybody gets along. But maybe they get along too well. Who's pushing these guys? Who's demanding more instead of reassuring them that better days are head? And then, who's actually working with them to get better? Laid back is fine when you're cruising, but somebody needs to step on the gas.

traderumor
07-28-2011, 03:06 PM
This team just strikes me as entirely too passive. Like they're waiting for something to happen instead of figuring out how to make something happen. I don't mean they should be more aggressive, but rather that each guy needs to see it as his responsibility to get things turned around, needs to be asking himself "how can I get better?" I'm sure they all want to win and are trying hard. But they don't need to try harder -- they need to try smarter. Stop giving away at bats. Stop the lazy defense. Stop watching your fly balls and start running.

These guys seemed fatigued, listless. I think the "chemistry" as it were is fine. Everybody gets along. But maybe they get along too well. Who's pushing these guys? Who's demanding more instead of reassuring them that better days are head. And then, who's actually working with them to get better? Laid back is fine when you're cruising, but somebody needs to step on the gas.Maybe they need some therapy with the drill sargent from the GEICO commercial.

mdccclxix
07-28-2011, 03:08 PM
This team just strikes me as entirely too passive. Like they're waiting for something to happen instead of figuring out how to make something happen. I don't mean they should be more aggressive, but rather that each guy needs to see it as his responsibility to get things turned around, needs to be asking himself "how can I get better?" I'm sure they all want to win and are trying hard. But they don't need to try harder -- they need to try smarter. Stop giving away at bats. Stop the lazy defense. Stop watching your fly balls and start running.

These guys seemed fatigued, listless. I think the "chemistry" as it were is fine. Everybody gets along. But maybe they get along too well. Who's pushing these guys? Who's demanding more instead of reassuring them that better days are head. And then, who's actually working with them to get better? Laid back is fine when you're cruising, but somebody needs to step on the gas.

At some point in May, or even late April, I think the weight of expectations began playing out on the field. Adversity arrived in one form or another and the best way to cope seemed to be looking at the calender. To that end, I remember thinking this team doesn't really seem up to the grind. Ever since then, the response to difficult situations, in game and on a series by series basis, has been to look to "better days ahead" as you say. At this point, I'm hoping the sting of embarrassment and pain of loss will motivate them out of this malaise. I think finishing well above .500 is still so critical to the team and fans and organization.

dougdirt
07-28-2011, 04:06 PM
I think that Rolen's injury and absence from the lineup this season actually verifies how important his leadership is. Barry Larkin said it best on the ESPN game Sunday night, when he said you can't lead when you don't produce.

So player leadership is a bunch of crap then? Leadership shouldn't be based on what you do on the field. Leadership should be based on what you say and how you say it.

traderumor
07-28-2011, 04:09 PM
So player leadership is a bunch of crap then? Leadership shouldn't be based on what you do on the field. Leadership should be based on what you say and how you say it.
I'd say that it is a combination of right words and consistent actions. If its just words and there are no actions or inconsistent actions from the speaker, then it is difficult to follow that type of leadership.

RedsManRick
07-28-2011, 04:16 PM
So player leadership is a bunch of crap then? Leadership shouldn't be based on what you do on the field. Leadership should be based on what you say and how you say it.

Leadership is only verbal? That's not been my personal experience. The people who have showed the most/best leadership in my life are those whose words were backed by actions, if not by actions alone.

When you aren't able to act, it limits your ability to lead. It may not eliminate it, but it certainly diminishes it.

mdccclxix
07-28-2011, 05:39 PM
Here's your vet reaction:


“We’ve got to change the attitude. I don’t like to lose. No one likes to lose. We’ve got to go out there and expect to win. Right now, we’re not playing like it. We’ve got to change the attitude. Tomorrow, we’ve got San Francisco and they’re going to come over here and try to kick our butt. And we’ve got to react. We’ve got to do something about it. We’ve got to take our tail out of our butt. That’s the way we’ve got to do it. Everyone has to put more effort than what we’ve been doing.” — Miguel Cairo

Here's your placating manager's reaction:


“They were hot this series. They weren’t missing anything. You notice the averages on the board; they came in one thing and left 10, 12 points higher. That’s hard to do this time of year.” — Dusty Baker

mth123
07-28-2011, 06:10 PM
Its simple. Last year a bunch of guys had years we knew that they wouldn't repeat. This year they wen out and didn't repeat them. Throw in Arroyo's horrid season and Voila, 4th place.

Its on Walt. Period. He put an undermanned roster together and they performing about as expected with Arroyo's decline pushing them from an 85 win team to a below .500 one.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-28-2011, 06:12 PM
Dusty Baker needs some caffeine.

dougdirt
07-28-2011, 06:16 PM
Its simple. Last year a bunch of guys had years we knew that they wouldn't repeat. This year they wen out and didn't repeat them. Throw in Arroyo's horrid season and Voila, 4th place.

Its on Walt. Period. He put an undermanned roster together and they performing about as expected with Arroyo's decline pushing them from an 85 win team to a below .500 one.

I can go with this. To an extent. I would also add that there were parts that were upgrades within the system that weren't utilized in anywhere near a timely manner that also led to slowing us down.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-28-2011, 06:20 PM
I can go with this. To an extent. I would also add that there were parts that were upgrades within the system that weren't utilized in anywhere near a timely manner that also led to slowing us down.


Yep, so much patience with Janish when they had a guaranteed upgrade with Cozart.

And they call up Alonso and he has a whopping 2 AB's in 4 games. What a waste.

Kc61
07-28-2011, 06:28 PM
Yep, so much patience with Janish when they had a guaranteed upgrade with Cozart.

And they call up Alonso and he has a whopping 2 AB's in 4 games. What a waste.

I think the two biggest factors were:

Poor starting pitching during most of the season.
Scott Rolen's ineffectiveness/injury.

The Reds won with Cabrera/Janish at SS last year. Not exactly great shakes.

The Reds won with no real LF last year. Gomes did have a hot stretch in May, true.

But better starting pitching and a solid/healthy Rolen and this is a far better team than it turned out to be.

Of course, Rolen is getting near the end. One thing I'd like the Reds to do is get a lefty hitting third baseman to platoon with Scott next year. And a big hitter for the outfield. And a pitcher.

RedsManRick
07-28-2011, 06:28 PM
Its simple. Last year a bunch of guys had years we knew that they wouldn't repeat. This year they wen out and didn't repeat them. Throw in Arroyo's horrid season and Voila, 4th place.

Its on Walt. Period. He put an undermanned roster together and they performing about as expected with Arroyo's decline pushing them from an 85 win team to a below .500 one.

Agreed. Though some of us have argued that Arroyo's last two seasons were unsustainable and that he was due for massive regression. Not this much of course, his HR rate is off the charts. But the BABIP dragon has brought him back to earth on the hit front. Man, I hate that extension so much.

Reasonable projections had this collection of talent as a team closer to .500 than to the playoffs. We needed young guys to step up for us to improve (namely Stubbs, Bruce, Cueto, Bailey, Volquez). That hasn't happened. Add a dash of bad luck and viola.

IslandRed
07-28-2011, 07:08 PM
Its simple. Last year a bunch of guys had years we knew that they wouldn't repeat.

In a couple of cases, I can see that, e.g. Rolen. But by and large, it was a young team last year. We don't normally expect young players to get worse, do we? At least, not all of them at once?

In any event, the arguments for Walt should have done over the offseason almost invariably involved taking on a big salary or three. Unfortunately, the decision to up the payroll isn't his to make.

Having said that, there is clearly work to do before next season.

mth123
07-28-2011, 07:10 PM
Agreed. Though some of us have argued that Arroyo's last two seasons were unsustainable and that he was due for massive regression. Not this much of course, his HR rate is off the charts. But the BABIP dragon has brought him back to earth on the hit front. Man, I hate that extension so much.

Reasonable projections had this collection of talent as a team closer to .500 than to the playoffs. We needed young guys to step up for us to improve (namely Stubbs, Bruce, Cueto, Bailey, Volquez). That hasn't happened. Add a dash of bad luck and viola.

I've said this to the point of people being tired of me, but this rotation was too dependent on injury guys and kids. They needed a stable dependable arm who would be a candidate to pitch a play-off game if they had gotten there. It was really a time to deal off some potential for some production. In that context, brining Arroyo back on his option was the right move IMO. Extending him was stupid. Another of Walt's failings. The reason for extendng him was to free up a little cash, but they spent thay cash on interechangebale parts and would have done as well with minor league free agents or pushing some of their own kids a little faster. THey sure didn't need to extend him to sign Edgar Renteria and Fred Lewis.

traderumor
07-28-2011, 07:11 PM
Dusty Baker needs some caffeine.Dusty Baker needs some pitching.

mth123
07-28-2011, 07:29 PM
In a couple of cases, I can see that, e.g. Rolen. But by and large, it was a young team last year. We don't normally expect young players to get worse, do we? At least, not all of them at once?

In any event, the arguments for Walt should have done over the offseason almost invariably involved taking on a big salary or three. Unfortunately, the decision to up the payroll isn't his to make.

Having said that, there is clearly work to do before next season.

Not just Rolen - Hanigan, Wood, Janish and maybe most of all Votto. Leading the league in OBP and Slugging just doesn't happen much. As Rick said, some decline from Arroyo was to be expected (not this much). The team played over its head in 2010. Throw in too much expected from Volquez and Bailey and a disappointment was brewing. The only guys who really fulfilled the expectations of the FO were middle relievers, Leake, Hernandez and Cueto (and I fully expected Leake and Hernandez to be bad as well, so what do I know).

jojo
07-28-2011, 09:39 PM
Arguing the accountability angle is really just a canard. Its underlying premise is that there was accountability last year but none this year. Does anyone really think Dusty has dramatically changed the way he does his business during the off season?

Besides what is lance proposing be done? Send poor performers to AAA? Dump guys playing poorly? Why doesnt Lance invite Janish, Volquez and Gomes on his show and ask them about the lack of accountability?

mdccclxix
07-28-2011, 11:55 PM
Arguing the accountability angle is really just a canard. Its underlying premise is that there was accountability last year but none this year. Does anyone really think Dusty has dramatically changed the way he does his business during the off season?

Besides what is lance proposing be done? Send poor performers to AAA? Dump guys playing poorly? Why doesnt Lance invite Janish, Volquez and Gomes on his show and ask them about the lack of accountability?

I think he's saying what worked last year doesn't seem to be working this year due to the incumbency the Reds are living under. He also includes Walt in his criticism in order to pin down him or Dusty for the Cozart delay, huge miscalculation on Volquez and less so with Gomes.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-29-2011, 12:10 AM
Dusty Baker needs some pitching.

That too.

GAC
07-29-2011, 06:05 AM
Joey is still OPSing 930. Yes it's down from last year, but anything over 900 is gravy.

And looking at what he is surrounded by in the batting order he should get the NL MVP award again just for being able to accomplish that! :laugh:

GAC
07-29-2011, 06:13 AM
This team just strikes me as entirely too passive. Like they're waiting for something to happen instead of figuring out how to make something happen.

Do you think winning the division last year, after many years of absence, had anything to do with it? Meaning it promoted this attitude within that clubhouse of "We're winners now. We've arrived", so "D'uh" it's almost expected, a natural conclusion we're going to repeat?

Because all I've heard this year from various players, including this manager, was "We'll get it together. We just need to go on a run and play up to the level we know we can."

mth123
07-29-2011, 06:33 AM
Do you think winning the division last year, after many years of absence, had anything to do with it? Meaning it promoted this attitude within that clubhouse of "We're winners now. We've arrived", so "D'uh" it's almost expected, a natural conclusion we're going to repeat?

Because all I've heard this year from various players, including this manager, was "We'll get it together. We just need to go on a run and play up to the level we know we can."

I think this is true. There is no sense of urgency in this entire organization from the GM all they way to the ball boys. The passive approach to things permeates everything. They drag their feet making changes when guys struggle (Janish/Cozart for example), they drag their feet putting guys on the DL (the Scott Rolen situation is the ultimate in stupidity IMO), they drag their feet calling guys up (Alonso in AAA so long when the team couldn't hit against RHP) and when they get here they drag their feet putting them in the line-up (first Heisey and now Alonso). They are dragging their feet addressing their weaknesses.

The funny thing is, the passivity has created the opposite on the field. IMO, guys are pressing. They are undermanned and losing and, IMO, now its exacerbated by feeling the urgency to try to win the game on every at bat (and get themselves out) or every pitch they throw (and make too many mistakes), Now its starting to show in the defense. If the GM felt a little more urgency towards the roster and filled some holes, the rest of the players would probably feel less need to press. This is feeding on itself now.

I say again. Most of the blame goes to Walt.

OldXOhio
07-29-2011, 09:10 AM
The funny thing is, the passivity has created the opposite on the field. IMO, guys are pressing. They are undermanned and losing and, IMO, now its exacerbated by feeling the urgency to try to win the game on every at bat (and get themselves out) or every pitch they throw (and make too many mistakes), Now its starting to show in the defense. If the GM felt a little more urgency towards the roster and filled some holes, the rest of the players would probably feel less need to press. This is feeding on itself now.

I say again. Most of the blame goes to Walt.

Walt has a little less than 3 days to redeem himself....to a small degree. His approach left a rotation undermanned and holes at SS and LF heading into the season. His approach was to focus on keeping the young core intact in the offseason and to consider changes during the season and up to the deadline. Now he cant decide which direction to go bc his team is in freefall. Had he been more proactive last offseason or even this past month would the teams position be different at this point? Who knows, but with 2/3rds of the season down and the team is 5 under .500 and about to get worse w an upcoming set v. The Giants, it's safe to say the path he chose didn't work.

hebroncougar
07-29-2011, 09:22 AM
I'm not sure a lot of us understand that this isn't fantasy baseball. Walt can't just go out and get Hunter Pence, Jimenez, Shields, Upton, or King Felix. These guys have value, and their GM's want a ton in return. How many of you would have been happy with the STL deal, where they gave up Rasmus for spare parts? The Reds might have been able to do the Beltran deal, for a rental. What else out there is really going to happen? For the past several years, the week before the deadline is a whole lot of hot air.

OldXOhio
07-29-2011, 10:14 AM
I'm not sure a lot of us understand that this isn't fantasy baseball. Walt can't just go out and get Hunter Pence, Jimenez, Shields, Upton, or King Felix. These guys have value, and their GM's want a ton in return. How many of you would have been happy with the STL deal, where they gave up Rasmus for spare parts? The Reds might have been able to do the Beltran deal, for a rental. What else out there is really going to happen? For the past several years, the week before the deadline is a whole lot of hot air.

So if you're the GM of the Reds, why shuck this past offseason and wait until then to make necessary changes? As you said, it's often a big risk and can end up being much ado about nothing.

hebroncougar
07-29-2011, 10:56 AM
So if you're the GM of the Reds, why shuck this past offseason and wait until then to make necessary changes? As you said, it's often a big risk and can end up being much ado about nothing.

Who exactly do you think was available in the offseason that the Reds didn't go get? Where's the money coming from? Did you expect Bruce, Votto, Arroyo, Wood, Bailey, Rolen, Phillips, Gomes, to all regress or not improve? I certainly expected the young guys to improve. Especially Bruce, Stubbs, Wood, Cueto, and Volquez. Only one of them has significantly improved. Hindsight is easy. Most people said we needed a LF. I would have tried to upgrade that position. A slash line from Janish at SS the same as last year, given his defense would have been acceptable. Was it wrong to expect that?

Tony Cloninger
07-29-2011, 10:57 AM
I think this is true. There is no sense of urgency in this entire organization from the GM all they way to the ball boys. The passive approach to things permeates everything. They drag their feet making changes when guys struggle (Janish/Cozart for example), they drag their feet putting guys on the DL (the Scott Rolen situation is the ultimate in stupidity IMO), they drag their feet calling guys up (Alonso in AAA so long when the team couldn't hit against RHP) and when they get here they drag their feet putting them in the line-up (first Heisey and now Alonso). They are dragging their feet addressing their weaknesses.

The funny thing is, the passivity has created the opposite on the field. IMO, guys are pressing. They are undermanned and losing and, IMO, now its exacerbated by feeling the urgency to try to win the game on every at bat (and get themselves out) or every pitch they throw (and make too many mistakes), Now its starting to show in the defense. If the GM felt a little more urgency towards the roster and filled some holes, the rest of the players would probably feel less need to press. This is feeding on itself now.

I say again. Most of the blame goes to Walt.


I agree with a lot of this but these players are sitting around waiting for someone to help them.....are the same ones who said "We will be fine"... "We have the guys to win here"

They seem to have wilted under the pressure and now are waiting for someone to bail them out....how convenient.

OldXOhio
07-29-2011, 11:24 AM
Who exactly do you think was available in the offseason that the Reds didn't go get? Where's the money coming from? Did you expect Bruce, Votto, Arroyo, Wood, Bailey, Rolen, Phillips, Gomes, to all regress or not improve? I certainly expected the young guys to improve. Especially Bruce, Stubbs, Wood, Cueto, and Volquez. Only one of them has significantly improved. Hindsight is easy. Most people said we needed a LF. I would have tried to upgrade that position. A slash line from Janish at SS the same as last year, given his defense would have been acceptable. Was it wrong to expect that?

So GMs are now to be judged on something other than actual results? Walt rolled the dice, he came up wrong. If nothing else, he had the chance to make changes earlier in the season through promotion of AAA players. Instead, he chose otherwise saying he was happy with what he saw at SS and LF. A lot of us on RZ said he was wrong at the time and it now appears we may have been right.

Look I'm not a GM, I don't have a plan for what I would have done. I liked locking up Bruce and Cueto, but we also saw up close and personal areas that needed improvement in last years playoff series. Almost a year later they still exist. You don't have to be an expert to express dissatisfaction with the job Walt has done the last few seasons.

mth123
07-29-2011, 07:06 PM
Who exactly do you think was available in the offseason that the Reds didn't go get? Where's the money coming from? Did you expect Bruce, Votto, Arroyo, Wood, Bailey, Rolen, Phillips, Gomes, to all regress or not improve? I certainly expected the young guys to improve. Especially Bruce, Stubbs, Wood, Cueto, and Volquez. Only one of them has significantly improved. Hindsight is easy. Most people said we needed a LF. I would have tried to upgrade that position. A slash line from Janish at SS the same as last year, given his defense would have been acceptable. Was it wrong to expect that?

Regression was easy to see. The only guy I expected to improve was Bruce. Stubbs is what he is. Same with Phillips. Votto lead the league in everything, nowhere to go but down. Hanigan, Rolen, Janish, Wood were all way over their heads. Arroyo was due for at least some worsening, maybe not what has happened, but no reason to expect improvement there. Bailey and Volquez were coming off of injuries and were huge questions. The team needed reinforcements.

Other teams were able to add players. Greinke. Marcum, Garza, Correia, Hardy, Willingham, Dejesus ...

hebroncougar
07-29-2011, 07:17 PM
Regression was easy to see. The only guy I expected to improve was Bruce. Stubbs is what he is. Same with Phillips. Votto lead the league in everything, nowhere to go but down. Hanigan, Rolen, Janish, Wood were all way over their heads. Arroyo was due for at least some worsening, maybe not what has happened, but no reason to expect improvement there. Bailey and Volquez were coming off of injuries and were huge questions. The team needed reinforcements.

Other teams were able to add players. Greinke. Marcum, Garza, Correia, Hardy, Willingham, Dejesus ...

So is predicting players will regress, after the fact. Greinke, Marcum, and Garza would have all cost us prospects and an upgrade in payroll. Do you think Walt had the ability to add payroll in the offseason? Hell, if we'd have signed Correia, Redszone would have imploded, after that terrific season he had last year (and would have blocked our budding young pitching as most thought), I'm with you on Hardy, I'd have taken him in a heartbeat. Have you seen what Dejesus and Willingham have done this year? You want them? I think Walt's biggest gaffs are not bringing up Cozart sooner, and not bringing up Alonso to see what he can do in LF (and they still aren't). I"m not sure the other were really doable.

mth123
07-30-2011, 12:48 AM
So is predicting players will regress, after the fact. Greinke, Marcum, and Garza would have all cost us prospects and an upgrade in payroll. Do you think Walt had the ability to add payroll in the offseason? Hell, if we'd have signed Correia, Redszone would have imploded, after that terrific season he had last year (and would have blocked our budding young pitching as most thought), I'm with you on Hardy, I'd have taken him in a heartbeat. Have you seen what Dejesus and Willingham have done this year? You want them? I think Walt's biggest gaffs are not bringing up Cozart sooner, and not bringing up Alonso to see what he can do in LF (and they still aren't). I"m not sure the other were really doable.

Except its not after the fact. Been saying it since August.

traderumor
07-30-2011, 10:35 AM
Walt has a little less than 3 days to redeem himself....to a small degree. His approach left a rotation undermanned and holes at SS and LF heading into the season. His approach was to focus on keeping the young core intact in the offseason and to consider changes during the season and up to the deadline. Now he cant decide which direction to go bc his team is in freefall. Had he been more proactive last offseason or even this past month would the teams position be different at this point? Who knows, but with 2/3rds of the season down and the team is 5 under .500 and about to get worse w an upcoming set v. The Giants, it's safe to say the path he chose didn't work.It just seems to be a repeated fallacy that what a GM doesn't get done that someone else thinks they should do was the GMs "approach." You've considered a few factors, the least of which is the price of deals you want made, then concluded that is the manager's failed "approach." And then an ultimatum to boot. I know its a cyber ultimatum with no authority and a small audience, but still, why do folks repeatedly consider their limited view of things from this side as representative of an "approach?"

Caseyfan21
07-30-2011, 12:32 PM
This sort of relates to the attitude I have seen from Brandon Phillips on Twitter (and other players in the print media lately.

Have you noticed he and the other players always seem to have an attitude of "we aren't playing as good as we should?" I have noticed this with a lot of my friends and other players hearing people talk about the Reds 2011 season. It's all about they aren't playing very well yet but at least they're still in the hunt. My personal thought is at what point in a season does "we aren't playing up to our potential" become "we just aren't as good as we all thought"? It's frustrating cause I think once you're past the all star break you have an extremely good handle on how good a team is. Whatever is causing the Reds to not reach expectations is irrelevant. All that matters is the team needs to switch their attitude from one of waiting for the magic to come back to one of playing a little desperate.