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Thread: An important question....

  1. #1
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    An important question....

    It's April 28th and the Reds find themselves 5.5 games back heading into St Louis and the end of a very forgettable month. Perhaps a silver lining for some is that, still, they're only 4 under .500.

    Despite getting out of the gates nicely, I don't think the Cardinals have staying power concerning the division race. If the Cards can start well but probably not be a factor, surely that gives us hope that the Reds poor start doesn't mean they can't be a factor.

    That said, looking at the standings, there are some hard questions to face. Is it reasonable to expect the Reds to be 6 games better than Chicago the rest of the way (the season began with me thinking the Cubs were something like 9 games better talent wise)?

    If the Cubs are to falter, is it reasonable to expect the Reds to be 5 games better than the Brewers for the rest of the season?

    Anything can happen but in a season which began with the general feeling that everything has to go right for the Reds to be playing meaningful baseball in September, they've dug themselves a substantial hole that perhaps seems smaller than it really is if looking at their month from the perspective that they're only 4 games under .500.

    The Reds have a tremendous amount of work to do and IMHO, some significant personnel changes need to made in order to give them a chance (free Bruce for starters).

    April may be "early" but the Reds season is already in critical condition.


    Thoughts, comments, debate?????
    Last edited by jojo; 04-28-2008 at 11:37 AM.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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  3. #2
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    I think it's important to realize that if the Cubs stay relatively healthy, there's virtually no reasonable argument that sees them losing the division. As you point out, should they falter for some reason, it's the Brewers position to take the title. The Reds simply are not going to play .580 ball for the remainder of the season.

    If they want to truly want compete this year, the Reds need to up their ceiling, not protect their floor. To that end, I think the prudent course of action is to give up the idea of getting marginal productivity gains from veterans (as compared to the youth who might otherwise take their spots). A comparatively certain 78-80 wins simply doesn't accomplish anything. On balance, this simply isn't a team, as constructed and given events to date, with 88+ wins in them this year.

    From a "competing in 08 perspective", there is really no case for giving at bats to Patterson or Freel that might go to Bruce; There's no case for giving innings to Fogg or Mercker that might go Bailey or Bray. It may be counter-intuitive for some, but the quickest path to the playoffs is likely in part through the talents of those players not currently on the 25 man roster and those people on the roster who may be losing some opportunities to others.

    The thing about youth movements is that they tend to start off as bad as they're going to get and improve from there. Sure, you are likely to take some lumps at first. But at what cost? Versus what alternative? So everything goes wrong and you win 74 games instead of 80... that's not a meaningful difference. And the under appreciated possibility is that they'll hit the ground running and be better than the supposedly sure-thing veterans.

    It takes a confident management group to accept that, in this situation, the uncertainty of youth is a better gamble than the supposed stability of "proven", yet fading veterans. A greater reliance on young, ready, but unproven talent in 2008 is better for the future, and quite possibly better for the present. If we do lose in 2008, it better darn well be in the name of being better prepared to win in 2009.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 04-28-2008 at 11:59 AM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  4. #3
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    But... but... but......

    I thought we were going to "win now". I thought "the losing stops now"

    Jocketty is going to make it so...... right?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  5. #4
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    Interesting question. I was up in Columbus this weekend and The Dispatch had a pretty interesting write up on the Reds. It was saying that the Reds offense is ripe to break out. It was based upon their BB/K rate and the number of well hit balls that were hit right at players (granted this is a tough one to measure). They also brought up that Dunn was struggling yet he had more walks than strike outs. I think what you have to look at is this offense has been horrid this season. Harang is 1-3 with a sub 3 ERA and I would really look for that record to improve. Their two big bats seem like they are still sleeping. If Jr and Dunn can get going this team is strong enough to be in playoff contention.

  6. #5
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: An important question....

    I'm always a little skeptical of the idea that a team "has to go X and X the rest of the season" ... Sweep one series and the number changes. Get swept and the number changes. That said, it's tough to be in a hole at any time of the season. The first thing to do is to stop digging.

  7. #6
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    They were speculating on XM this morning that perhaps the Castellini jumped on the chance to fire Krivsky with the slow start, fearing that if the Reds turned it around, he'd be "unfireable".

    The idea being that from the moment he was hired, it was a foregone conclusion that Jocketty would be moving into the job
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Re: An important question....

    Thee wins in a row to end April and the Reds are only one game below .500 despite a truly horrid offense. Considering those struggling are veterans with proven track records of success and, IMO, the hand-wringing is premature.

    Get back to me at the end of May, however. That's when the cheese gets binding.

  9. #8
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    Let's face it. Barring injuries, the Cubs will win the Central, so we are vying for a wild card spot with the likes of Philadelphia, Atlanta, LA, and the rest of the Central Division. I think this year is a transition year to get the club in a position to contend. Of course, that's my thinking. We have three decent starters, one who could come around, and a mess. The offense is really sporadic and vulnerable to left handed pitching (unless the left hander is totally clueless like yesterday).

    It's early, but I like the summit meeting today mainly because I hadn't heard of this being done in the past administration (though it may have). Maybe some ideas will be tossed around. I hope so. I don't think 11-15 is all that bad if the club continues to win. That remains to be seen, though.
    www.ris-news.com
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  10. #9
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    Are the Cubs odds-on favorites to win the NL Central? Yup.

    Would I bet a dime of my own money on any other team winning? Nope.

    Having said that -- the great equalizer in all of baseball is good pitching. The Reds, for the first time in as long as I've been following them, have good starting pitching. If (and it's a big "if") Volquez, Cueto and Harang continue to pitch the way they have, and Arroyo reverts to 2007 form, it can be very good pitching. If (and, again, a big "if") Homer Bailey comes up in mid-June/July and provides better than replacement-level pitching from the #5 spot, it could be great starting pitching.

    I know they'll never be the favorites this year -- but I like my odds a lot better if I'm chasing the lead horse with the best pitching in the division.

    Just sayin'...
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  11. #10
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Thee wins in a row to end April and the Reds are only one game below .500 despite a truly horrid offense. Considering those struggling are veterans with proven track records of success and, IMO, the hand-wringing is premature.

    Get back to me at the end of May, however. That's when the cheese gets binding.
    Horrid? I'd say more disappointing than horrid.

    As of today, the Reds are 7th (out of 16) in the NL in both runs scored and hitting. Above average.

    As for pitching- 11th in ERA and 12th in total runs given up. Below average.

    I think we still need to work on the pitching.

  12. #11
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    They were speculating on XM this morning that perhaps the Castellini jumped on the chance to fire Krivsky with the slow start, fearing that if the Reds turned it around, he'd be "unfireable".

    The idea being that from the moment he was hired, it was a foregone conclusion that Jocketty would be moving into the job
    I thought that anyway. From the time of The Trade, Castellini was looking for a way out. Then the 72-90 season and Jocketty was hired. At the time, I didn't think it was anything, but my money's on it was the plan from the begining.
    www.ris-news.com
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  13. #12
    Little Reds BandWagon Reds Nd2's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I know they'll never be the favorites this year -- but I like my odds a lot better if I'm chasing the lead horse with the best pitching in the division.

    Just sayin'...
    And the schedule looks to ease up a bit after June too. I still like their chances to make things interesting in the division this season.
    "...You just have a wider lens than one game."
    --Former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky, on why he didn't fly Josh Hamilton to Colorado for one game.

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  14. #13
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    The question which is important, and inferred by Jojo, is this:

    Given your assessment of whether or not the Reds are in position to compete this year, what course of action do you take regarding roster composition and playing time distribution?

    What I find interesting is that I think the course of action is the same regardless of which initial conclusion you reach.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  15. #14
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: An important question....

    Wheres John Belushi when you need him?

    Over? Its not over til we say its over.

    Well, ok that may be a little too Rosie Red, but I'm not conceding a title 25 games into a season, give or take.

    Championships for MY teams in my lifetime:
    Cincinnati Reds - 75, 76, 90
    Chicago Blackhawks - 10, 13
    University of Kentucky - 78, 96, 98, 12
    Cincinnati Bengals - None
    Chicago Bulls - 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98

  16. #15
    Man Pills
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    Re: An important question....

    The Reds are done this season. They may get up over .500, but they aren't winning any division. Too many teams to jump over, and the Reds don't have the personnel right now to leap that many teams. Two slots in the rotation are total garbage right now, and Bailey would likely only add to the problem, not help it. Regardless, two slots in the rotation are going to regularly need the bullpen to bail them out very, very early in the game.
    And the bullpen doesn't have that second or third killer arm to help keep opponents from scoring in both the 8th and 9th inning.

    The offense should get going, though. I've revised my thinking on that component.


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