Re: lack of passion
The Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit because Mariano wasn't Mariano initially and the Yankees' lack of pitching talent and depth hurt them.
That's the same reason the Yankees haven't been World Champions over the last several years.
The White Sox won last year because of PITCHING. The Astros lost the World Series because they had no hitting. The Reds have the hitting, but not the pitching. Combine last year's Astros pitching with the Reds' offense and you have an extremely good team.
I don't think passion is an issue with the team. They score Runs. Some individuals seem to misinterpret the team's strikeouts and not advancing runners as a lack of passion, when it is just how the team's players operate. They hit HR and HR teams often "look" ugly, even when they are effective.
The defense isn't great, but it won't matter until they can get some pitchers who can pitch. The defense didn't make guys like Milton and Ortiz serve up gopher ball after gopher ball last year. Neither did a lack of passion. Milton is very passionate about his job but was still historically awful last year.
And this one belongs to the Reds!!!- Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman