Good stuffI thought we'd be a good team with Dave Miley as the manager.
What's wrong with a baseball team is usually very simple: the talent is not as good as other teams have. I do not consider this team any better than those of the last two years. Here are some statistics that tell you what's wrong: Jorge Cantu: .293/14/39/.873; Cody Ross 11/25/.816; Josh H. 17/70/.948; even Jose Guillen (who was the best player on the team the year he was traded) .275/11/49/.794. Consistently bad player decisions will produce a bad team. The decisions for which Krivsky has been lauded are starting to look pretty ordinary too: Phillips, Arroyo. Phillips is a slightly above average second baseman, not an All-star--still a nice pickup. Arroyo is a vastly overpaid guy who could not make the rotation on the good team he played for. We might have been equally well served by keeping Phil Dumatrait, not to mention Kyle Lohse. Burton was a good pickup, the book's still out on Bray and Maj, Volquez is great to have but K paid too much, IMHO. If you count in passing on Lincecum to take Drew Stubbs, the overall record is way in the loss column, as I see it. The encouraging signs I see, then, are that Castellini did what needed doing and some of the overrated talent in the organization is now exposing itself while we have a GM who has at least the experience--we'll see if he has the toughness--to say that success is still a lot farther out than we have been led to believe and will not be achieved without some major deals.
I might agree with you if you were leading into "...and they replaced them with...", but none of that quartet was going to make this team any better than they are right now and perhaps worse considering you acquired 2/5 of your rotaion by jettisoning 2 of them.
There's plenty wrong, you're just at the wrong tree.
This place use to be fun
I don't think the Reds would be a "good" team with a different manager. But I unequivocally think they'd be a "better" one.
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.
The Reds have a mixture of three things going on that are attributing to the problems right now:
1) Young players making "growth-typical mistakes". Otherwise known as dumb errors, bonehead plays, and occasional poor plate appearances. These things happen with young players. You don't treat this problem with benching a young player or jerking him around. You treat it with patience, excellent coaching, and creating a positive atmosphere where the young player can work hard and overcome these mistakes. Placed in the proper environment, almost all young players overcome those mistakes. It just takes time.
2) Lousy players getting too much playing time and just being on the roster altogether. There are just plain bad players on this roster who are playing exactly as poor as one would expect, and these bad players just simply shouldn't be around.
3) Incompetence from the managerial position and at least one coaching position (pitching coach).
Number one is expected, and that problem will be solved so long as the Reds treat their young players properly with good coaching and creating a good environment for them. Number two needs to be fixed for this team to ever win, and number three could certainly use fixing as well, especially if one wants number one to be a world of success.
I actually thought about something while watching tonight's game that's so sad it's almost somewhat funny. Think back this time last year, and ask yourself who were the top Reds prospects. That list is simple: the Reds had what was known as the "Big Four" in Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, and Joey Votto. They were the future, and they were going to be the core that gets the Reds out of this mess.
Well, in the last week we've seen, in random order:
1) Joey Votto regularly ridiculed for defensive mistakes. Whether it's booting a ground ball, missing a scoop, or flipping a poor throw to the pitcher.
2) Homer Bailey still unable to have any type of command whatsoever. Now he's compounded that problem with a mysterious loss of velocity. The result has been routine shellings for a month now.
3) Johnny Cueto just went out there tonight and walked EIGHT St. Louis Cardinals. Then the Reds had him actively trying to work on his pitching mechanics in a big league game while he's trying to get big league hitters out. That's asking, as loudly as possible, for some type of injury with that decision. If you want Johnny Cueto to work on his mechanics, you do so in bullpen sessions under the strict pitch-by-pitch watch of a competent pitching coach with pitch-by-pitch coaching and instruction.
4) Jay Bruce, despite his fiery start in a Reds uniform, drops a routine fly ball in a blowout game and is booed by the home crowd merely two weeks into his big league career.
Meanwhile, the common Reds fan wants to trade Adam Dunn - the team's best position player for several years now - because they feel he'll make too much money, or they feel that he strikes out too much, or they feel that he is lazy. Sure, whatever.
And despite the absurd start by Edinson Volquez - a product of another team's organization, nonetheless - the common Reds fan still moans about the loss of Josh Hamilton.
Oh, don't forget about Edwin Encarnacion either. He needs to be traded because he hasn't lived up to whatever unrealistic hype was placed upon him.
All this and I haven't even touched what may be going on with Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo.
Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis will bring back memories of the Lost Decade.
Wanting to trade Adam Dunn is not just simply something the "common" Reds fan wants to do. On a team with as many problems as this one, it seems unwise to spend the kind of money it will require to keep Dunn on one player, particularly one playing a position whose offense should be relatively easy to approach (not replace, just approach.) I predict by 2010 we will see Yonder Alonso at first, Joey Votto in left, and Jay Bruce in right.
If they are serious about improving the entire product in the near term, then sign Dunn and add a few other players to the mix. If they are more focused on 3-5 years from now, then there is zero point in re-signing him. Dump him and get some salary relief and young talent. If they don't give a damn about either scenario, then it doesn't really matter.
I said the same thing about Cordero and the same thing goes for Dunn.
To me the problem boils down to one word: execution. The Reds just can't do it.
Other teams have managers who make dumb decisions and draw up silly batting orders. Other teams have quirky owners. Other teams appear to have no organizational "plans." Other teams have horrible players. Other teams have terrible pitchers. Other teams have young players who make rookie mistakes. Other teams go through "growing pains." Other teams have streaky players, injured players, and frustrating players.
The difference is that other teams seem to find a way to win in spite of all the adversities. The Reds just cannot seem to execute.
It has already been pointed out that the Cardinals have about as bad of a roster as can be. Yet they win. I honestly don't think Tommy LaRussa is that great of a tactical mind. The difference is that his players execute whatever he tells them to do.
I don't have too much problem with any of Duty's decisions. These are major league players who are paid to execute on the field. If they can't execute, then they really have no business in the major leagues. And right now, I'm having problems coming up with five players who actually are earning their paycheck.
I doubt there is a manager anywhere who could win with this team right now.
Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, and they don't want someone else's shoved into their face.
Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis will bring back memories of the Lost Decade.