The more I think about it, Mike Cameron was the glue to that club. When he came over in that trade, not much was known about what he could really bring to the table. He had physical skills and tons of range and some pop. That's all anyone really knew and the jury was definitely out. Jack McKeon stuck with him despite Marty's grumblings ("He strikes out too much!!", etc.) and he became a pretty good leadoff hitter and terrific defender. Who cared about Paul Konerko by mid July?
He and Greg Vaughn changed the paradigmn.
Do the current Reds have a paradigmn shifting player on this year's roster? Someone that could potentially aleviate a good portion of their ills with a varied skill set?
I'm not sure, but I can draw some paralells in the person of Chris Dickerson. Now, before you jump all over me, I'm being vague on purpose. I'll admit that we can't know for sure if we're judging him on minor league numbers and a short Major League stint, not to mention the fact that I've not done a comparison of age specific numbers with Mike Cameron. I just get a Cameron vibe from the kid, and I'm quite smitten with his apparent skill set.
Stick with him for a season. See what he can do. Open him up on the back roads and see how he takes the corners.
Go out and find a quality defensive minded fourth outfielder in the Michael Tucker mode, and somehow get a big palooka that hits the ball really far and stick him in left field. They traded for Greg Vaughn dontcha know.
I'd also like to see them swing a deal for Chris Nelson, and I know somebody's gonna rip me for that idea, but I just like dynamic players. I might be sounding a lot like Jimbo, and lord knows those types can blow up in your face, but they can also help shock the world.
Dynamic young players can often do dynamic things. That's how you lift the entire roster so as to not rely upon the bit characters. Remember how great the entire club lookd when Bruce was tearing the cover off the ball after he was called up?
I think it can be done.