Reds management needs to realize that casual fans don't boo a winner. Casual fans will come out to support a winner and will not come out as often to watch a loser. Everything else is secondary.
BCubb -- I hope you were somewhat exaggerating, but I think you do make a point. Fans want action. Many fans would rather lose 4-3 and have 3 guys thrown out on the bases and a whole bunch of ground ball outs than win 4-3 with 3 walks a grand slam in the 1st inning followed by a parade of strikeouts. Fans cheer for both appreciation and admiration. In the even that they can't cheer for appreciation, they'd at least like something to admire...
What's interesting is the relationship you mention between hustle & talent.
The common person can always appreciate hustle. You can empathize because their own life requires it. It's a choice, to hustle or not hustle. It's a "character" issue. Because of that, it absolves the player of responsibility for the outcome. You can't ask any more form a person than that, right? You win some, you lose some, but hustle means at least you're trying. It means you're doing everything within your control to win.
The common person cannot always appreciate talent. Talent (at least as a perception) is God given. It's not Ryan Freel's fault that he can't hit 40 homers. We might even be a little jealous, or even resentful. If a guy uses his talent to do something great, we attribute that success to his talent, not his character. But when his talent fails him, particularly when it looks like it was absent hustle, well, then we can blame the person. When Dunn strikes out, it's not because he lacks the skill to make contact or judge a pitch properly. It's because he's not trying hard enough.
Ironically, winning at the professional level takes both talent and hustle. As you point out, the blue collar mentality emphasis the latter, and deemphasizes the former. Ryan Freel is lauded for the "character" that allows him to play at the professional level where he might otherwise fail. Dunn is booed for not "hustling" enough to maximize his talent.
It's funny to me. These things don't seem to matter as much when you're winning. However, in the absence of wins, fans at least want to think you're trying as hard as you can. The fans shoot themselves in the proverbial foot. Hopefully ownership & management can realize that the fans don't know what's good for them. Occasionally that includes announcers too. Unfortunately, I fear that we might have a GM who is a"casual fan" when it comes to evaluating contribution to winning.