He comes off a serious leg injury and was brought back slowly – nothing wrong with that in my opinion. I think that getting Ruben started again at AAA and especially getting him regular playing time there benefitted him much more than if he had sat on the Reds bench for most of the time. I see nothing wrong with that, actually it was a good move not to rush Mateo and instead go with Clark and Gonzales as extra outfielders/pinch hitters.
He is the managers son, but he is also the player with the most RBI and SB's on the team, second most HR's & Runs and third most doubles. Bob's strategy to keep the faith in his son clearly paid off, as he knew that the potential is there. Aaron also belongs to the highest paid players on the team which is another reason to let him play through a slump. To state that Bob wouldn’t have let another third baseman play through a slump is pure speculation and lacks any evidence.
Overusing the bullpen
I don’t think the bullpen is that badly overused. It just doesn’t perfom up to its expectations and this can not solely be blamed on their workload. In Sullivan’s case it seems that he has not been the same since being hit by a line drive. He has struggled ever since. White had hurt his foot, Graves is not your supercloser, Rijo has not much left anymore and Riedling and Williamson are brought back slowly and are not overworked. Willy even asked for more pitching time during one period where he felt that he could go more than just one inning per game.
On the other hand, what other option do you have rather to go to the bullpen when you know (and statistics prove it) that your starters no matter if they are named Dessens, Haynes or Reitsma are knocked around badly if they have to pitch longer than 6 innings? Is it Boone’s fault that they lack stamina and are exhausted when they reach the 90+ pitch count? Well, of course he could leave them in and accept a .300 or worse batting average by the opposition against his starters and just hope for the best … but as the goal is to win games, he does exactly what he is supposed to do, he takes the pitcher out when he becomes uneffective to prevent the oppostition from scoring more runs and to prevent that the starter hurts his arm. Good job by Boone and don't forget that he doesn't have a choice most of the time!
You should better decide what you want. When you state “you get what you pay for” why do you expect to see a winning Reds team? Or better, in this case Bob Boone wouldn’t even be factor in the Reds winning or losing games. Because with the Reds having the lowest payroll in the NL Central, shouldn’t they also be supposed to finish last in their division? After your logic they should. As you only get what you pay for then we all should be happy with our overachieving Reds.
And why was Boone terrible before he came here? Who says this? You? For your info; the Royals still suck and lose ... but I guess it must again be their manager (again) who prevents a good baseball team from winning, right?!
Or do you solely base your opinion of a manager's abilities on his won-lost record? Then again may I ask if you also thought that Sparky Anderson with the Tigers, Jim Leyland or also Lou Piniella (remember the horrible ’91 season?) were bad managers when they had losing teams? In my opinion managers don’t make that much of a difference when it comes to winning ballgames. It’s just so easy and convinient to put all the blame on them … and combined with the American hire & fire mentality you have in the Reds case 6 managers over the last 11 years, and from year to year not much really has changed. Piniella, Perez, Johnson, Knight, McKeon and Boone. Is it really the managers fault when things don’t go as they are expected? Or do maybe also have payroll limitations, injuries to players etc. have something to do with winning? As even Davey Johnson was apparently not good enough to manage the Reds despite all the success he had I really don’t know what you all expect from a manager. Lou Piniella had a very bad season in ’91 with the Reds after winning the World Series the year before. I wonder if this suddenly made him a bad manager in the eyes of some fans?