Once more in Sunday's paper, Jerry Narron said the Reds need players who "play the right way.'' He needs to stop.
Every time the manager makes that statement, he's unwittingly indicting himself. The guy has sung that tune for 2 years. His players never added the chorus. While Wayne Krivsky has busied himself dumping power for pitching, the players that remain still play the game one home run at a time.
The Reds don't bunt. They don't hit behind runners. When Griffey and Dunn played every day, they struck out too much. Defensively, they left gaps in left and center as big as a mall parking lot. In the infield, Brandon Phillips is the only guy w/consistently good range. For a manager who dwells to distraction on the "little things,'' his players sure lived big, to borrow a phrase. That doesnt reflect well on Narron's leadership.
He's also too forgiving. Most obvious is allowing Dunn and Griffey to walk to their positions, inning after game after season. It's embarrassing. When I mentioned to Narron that Dunn's loaf out to left could best be timed by sundial, the manager said, "He'll never run out there.'' Oh, really? Why not?
That said, this team probably maxed out its potential. And until the last West Coast trip, it never gave in. That's a tribute to Narron. I just wish he'd either stop talking about the little things, or get pissed enough to make sure the little things get done properly, and by everyone.