I think it was the clean cut look....along with the high socks.
Bring back that look and you have got a winner.
I still think the beginning of FA.....when a lot of Reds players during that 1976 off-season were talking about getting theirs and not being respected.....and then comes that Perez trade.... you have the feeling that some of those starters did not feel very appreciated by the FO. From time to time during 1977 and especially 1978.... some players (Rose in a 1979 SPORT magazine interview) talked about how some players could have put out more, and maybe Sparky would not have been fired. I guess that's the "little things" or intangibles that people talk about...but seem to be missing from some of the players during those 2 years.
If you look at 1978 from July onwards......the hitting just went south, thanks in part to Vic Correll and Don Werner at C instead of Bench.....and Geronimo not hitting at all, neither did Ken Henderson or Mike Lum. Griffey hit about .280, not bad for that time, but he was not a HR hitter, he needed to hit .300+ to be productive at the top. Driessen lost his stroke after two HBP on the hand. Morgan was also hurt......unproductive when he was in..... TOO much Junior Kennedy.
Bullpen was atrocious.... Tomlin, Borbon and Sarmiento were like Weathers, Hammond and White.
So many variables..... you can even throw in the bad 72-73 drafts....as there were no real good prospects ready to step in to help, even on the bench.
Having Kuhn impose his "best interest of the game" clause when they tried to get Blue for Revering did not help........ THAT may have been the bottom line reason they did not win that year.
Despite the run differential ....all the injuries..... they had no business even contending if you looked at the numbers.
I remember that year and 1977 more than 75-76....it seems fresher in my memory for some reason. I must like negativity.....i read through game threads...so it must be so.