It's time to accept a few things and enjoy the PENNANT RACE ...
... Royce Clayton is the starting shortstop. He's not the long-term answer and you may not believe he's the best option right now. Krivsky and Narron disagree. He's the quarterback of the infield. They're not juggling everything around with 50 games to go. Get over it and support the guy. He's playing hard to WIN THE PENNANT.
... Rich Aurilia is going to play. A lot. And guess what? He's producing. Edwin Encarnacion will have his time. Right now, Aurilia is a huge part of the success this team is having. Along with a solid glove and productive bat, he's the vocal leader this team has lacked. He's playing hard to WIN THE PENNANT.
... Edwin Encarnacion is a talented young player, good hitter and terrible defensive player. He's going to be a good player, probably as soon as next season. He's going to contribute to the success of the team down the stretch this season. But he's not a finished product. He's young and he has time to improve. This team was losing games due to its infield defense when Lopez and Encarnacion were playing every day. Narron isn't an idiot, he just values the defense and steady hand Aurilia has at third. And it isn't a terrible thing for a young player to learn that he has to keep working on ALL facets of his game once he reaches the major leagues.
... The bullpen is important. It's not sexy or fun, but it's important. This team was sinking like a stone a month ago due to a terrible bullpen. Since then, Wayne Krivsky has turned it from a weakness to a strength. Suddenly, it's a deep, versatile, battle-tested group. With 3 and 4 starters who are basically six-inning pitchers and no fifth starter, this team is going to need all those arms to produce. If Krivsky "overpaid" a little for bullpen help, I have no problem with that. He's trying to WIN THE PENNANT.
... Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez are gone. They aren't coming back. If you want to talk about them, I'm sure there are very nice message boards for Washington Nationals fans. But most Reds fans would rather discuss the players who are here trying to WIN THE PENNANT. If you choose to leave RedsZone for NationalsZone, feel free to return when the playoffs start.
... Veteran players are GOOD things. Veteran teams win the World Series. Guys like Rich Aurilia, Scott Hatteberg, Royce Clayton and Eddie Guardado all play important roles on a team. Just because they're on the other side of 30 doesn't make them useless. It's not a coincidence that these guys are playing a lot and the Reds are having their best season in seven years. Everyone has a role. It takes 25 players to win. Everyone contributes in their own way. Someday Edwin Encarnacion will be 30 and you can shove him aside for a rookie who can commit 45 errors in a season.
... The Reds aren't perfect. They aren't a finished product. Guess what? Neither is anyone else. The Mets' two best pitchers are (gasp) old and likely to tire down the stretch (it's already happening). The Cardinals are Pujols and a lot of question marks. There are no great teams in the National League. The Yankees need starting pitching and they have a $200 million payroll. The Red Sox are spending almost as much money and they need pitching too. The Tigers and Twins need offense and the White Sox need starting pitching. EVERYONE has holes in their team. But you try to get to the playoffs and WIN THE PENNANT.
... Wayne Krivsky will make bad moves. He may have already. Every GM has made bad moves. Get over it. At least Krivsky realizes the point is to WIN THE PENNANT and not to "collect chits."
... Finally, these next two months should be FUN. We're in the thick of the Central Division race and LEADING the Wild Card. We have a very real chance to WIN THE PENNANT. Get over the fact that the GM and manager aren't doing everything just the way you would and wrap your mind around the fact that this may very well be our first postseason appearance in 11 years. If you do, you might even realize these guys are doing something right.