but the Lidle signing, to me, was the definitive "We're not getting a lot better this year" statement.
That was just part of it, of course they weren't thinking about getting better this year. This was a stability year, last year was a to the earth slash and burn job. This year was seeds, shoots and looking at what needs to be coaxed and what doesn't.
There are old hangovers in the organization (including 2 at the top) and in the wake of Bowdens departure instability on many fronts in the organization from the ML team to the MLB team, Allen didn't want DO, DO didn't want Miley.
Expecting anymore than what this team has rung out of the season prior to this year was an execise in futility.
I feel the organizations real goal was polishing up the brand more than the product. Lindner is getting on in years and his tax breaks are going to decrease (as far as the Reds go) it's easier to flip a healthy organization than one that is teetering.
Of course I could be wrong about my take.