Treading water has been the modus operandi
of every Reds' 'administration' for most of the past decade (excepting Bowden's flourishes of major attempted improvement prior to the 1999 and 2000 seasons). Avoid making the painful decisions, don't part with the fan favorites regardless of production issues, trust that the temporary boost after an interim management change is the real deal, try to simultaneously compete while rebuilding.
Nevermind that the Reds' definition of 'competing' or 'contending' during the span of the past 3 regimes vastly differs from those of franchises which actually 'contend' in the real baseball world. The result of this process is the equivalent of changing the window dressing on a condemned shanty and calling it repaired, otherwise known as 7 consecutive losing seasons (nearly halfway to the Pirates).
Wayne Krivsky has apparently once again convinced himself that the Reds 13-8 record in Pete's 21 games is indicative that he has a real contender on his hands for 2008 if he can just make a few tweaks. Of course, this is utter nonsense, and this team's inherent flaws left unaddressed will soon re-emerge to completely eclipse the improvements we've seen over the past 20+ games. The pieces don't fit will together, whether you're looking at the style of the offense, the construction of the bench, the design of much of the bullpen, or the production of the back 3/5 of the rotation.
How far does this team fall the moment Lohse returns to form, the next time Griffey goes down to injury, as soon as father time reasserts dominion over Weathers resurrgence? This team doesn't need a complete demolition, but it does need a serious renovation which removes the wheat from the chaffe, and which serves to stockpile some talented, inexpensive youth in place of overpriced, aging, long-term risks. We can't just trade a spare part or two, maintain the status quo, and think that Wayne can transform us into contenders with his 2008 version of signings Stanton, Gonzo, Conine etc...
That is a recipe for finding ourselves in the same place in July 2008, as we did in early July 2007, only this time it will be Wayne's dismissal that we'll be witnessing. Then again, maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Identify your future nucleus, as well as the pieces which must be translated into future commodities via trade (Lohse, Weathers, Hattenine etc...) and rebuild accordingly.