It is my contention that the mentality of this city hurts the ball club. This town has a very loyal and hard working mentality. They tend to overlook several key flaws as long as someone fits that mentality. I look back at the 13 years of bungledom and see that what changed the culture of the club was an outsider coming in and shaking things up.
I think it is a sad state when the media belives that the reds are better off than Norris Hopper. I am willing to bet that if you asked most reds fans who their favorite reds player over the past 10 years was you top three would be Jr., Freel, and Casey. You have a fan base who will cheer Freel if he is thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double but will boo Jr. if they dont think he runs fast enough down to first base or when he rips apart his shoulder diving for a ball. Too often this town is looking for the next Pete Rose and fails to see the star they have in front of their own eyes.
I went to school at OSU and noticed a different mentality up there, it was a just win mentality. I remember looking back at some of the old buckeye teams that were loaded with talent but never won. That was the ultimate demise of John Cooper. I find it ironic that most people consider the 99 season a successful season. They speak highly of a season in which the reds were on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
I think the casual fan has a lot to do with the direction the club has gone over the past 10+ years. IMO the casual fan would rather see Freel or even Hopper play in the outfield that Dunn. The casual fan would rather see a good person play over a more talented person. The regard hustle over production. They chear Todd Coffey when he sprints in from the bullpen but complain because Weathers gives up too many hits when he is trying to save a game. I think the average fan still thinks that $4M per season still buys you a superstar. The average fan needs to realize that the big red machine was 30 years ago and they are not coming back. They need to quit the former reds updates or we should have drafted this guy instead or should have traded for so and so. They need to try and understand the landscape of baseball nowdays. They need to understand that production should outweight any personal feeling towards a particular player. They need to demand that the front office build a winning club but realize that this doesn't happen over night. They need to quit with these snap decisions and give the team time to rebuild.
Thanks for letting me vent. If this thread isn't in the right place feel free to move it or close it down.