Has the malfeasance in the ownership and FO of the Reds over The Lost Decade (and beyond) irreparably harmed relations with the fans in Cincy?
Consider these items:
* With the exception of the BRM years Cincy attendance has always been in the lower ranks of MLB. It's a myth that Cincy is a great "baseball town".
* Baseball as the "national pastime" is no longer true. Entertainment options for kids today are legion. Baseball just isn't a young hip sport (at least not in Cincy). Reds marketing efforts certainly don't encourage the notion that baseball isn't "an old man's sport".
* Any child born in 1985 or after has no idea the Reds are relevant. That's assuming that most 5 years olds don't clearly remember a WS let alone understand it's importance. Sure, there were a couple of interesting years (1999) but for the most part anyone collage-aged or younger haven't a clue that the Reds can play baseball past October 1st.
* Sustained winning will bring back the fans. But can the Reds build a teams that will produce sustained wins in today's economic environment (reduced revenues) and the MLB structure?
Is the reality that the Reds have maneuvered themselves into a position from which it will be very difficult, if not impossible to recover? (fans simply moved on to other interests...)
Is it a death spiral that will be self-perpetuating? (fans stay away, sponsorship goes down, corporate spending decreases....)
The Reds need to build a winner to bring back the fans, but at this point can they build a team that wins enough to bring back disaffected fans?