After another game where the Reds once again dropped below .500, I began to ponder the difference in the 2010 Central Division Champion Reds and the 2011 version, and thought I'd give my thoughts who according to one poster is too ignorant to post on a public board. It's my opinon only, but my therapy after watching the season unfold.
Let it be said that the season is still out there for the teking, but it's the chemistry that concerns me. In 2010, the chemistry was the perfect storm. Votto was having that kind of season, Phillips was being streaky, but solid in every phase of the game. Orlando Cabrerra was the "winner" who was a solid clubhouse guy and came up with timely hits, even if his defense was suspect at short. Rolen was rocking and the outfield had a hot Gomes in the early season, a developing Stubbs and the emerging superstar Jay Bruce in right. The catching tandem of Hernandez and Hannigan were solid. The starting staff was the envy of baseball with future stud Edinson Volqueez, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, and Travis Wood. What could go wrong? Plenty
The Reds dropped OCab and added Fred Lewis, Edgar Renteria, and depended on Paul Janish to be the shortsop with Gomes in left for most games. The chemistry didn't and hasn't worked. Of course, no moves were made with the club being where they wanted to be, according to GM Jocketty.
Chemistry is a strange thing in sports. For some odd reason, the spark just isn't there. Maybe it was OCab. The winner moved on to Cleveland (and we know their story), and was replaced with two guys who apparently cannot hit and though the fielding is supposedly subperb, there are still multiple errors to contend with. The league has figured out Votto--walk him or give him nothing to hit. Rolen, with injuries and all, is a mere shadow of his 2010 self. Gomes reverted back to the reason he was released long ago. Stubbs is still the strikeout machine and Bruce, outside of a great start, is not Superman except for the month of June. And the pitchers...
Volquez, regardless of his TJ surgery is simply shown himself to be a thrower. Arroyo has been sick and not himself. Likewise Homer Bailey. Wood just didn't have it. Only Johnny Cueto has proven to have "it." Wood crashed and burned and Mike Leake emerged as a solid starter while the relievers, while good, had a disheartening setback with The Cuban Missile proving to be human and Masset's early season struggles. The Reds miss Arthur Rhodes a lot.
The lack of moves to obtain a banger for left (Heisey has too many holes to fill that slot), a No. 2 starter, and a solid shortstop have left he club as a .500 team. And no chemistry. Losing 19 one-run games is proof of this.
Depending on young talent is understandable. Money is the problem. Yes, they could have (and maybe will have) gone after players like the Brewers did or the Cardinals did. And yet, we've seen clubs have a great team on paper only to fail, but to stand pat was stupid. Depending on Janish to be your Volquez as your top starter was foolish. And expecting Gomes to duplicate 2010 was optimistic at best. And so, here we are. Our biggest hopes are Cozart at short ( a wonderful kid who I hope does well) and D. Willis ( a retread at best) to save the season. It is a long shot at best. We saw it in the Cardinal series. Chemistry. The Reds don't have it. I love the Reds and watch every game, but it seems an exercise in futility. This is not the team I saw last year. And it's so sad. At my age. I thought we were going to do something this year, and yet, we lose game after game with a poor pitching performance, a lack of runs, and really inept play.
I plea is that Walt Jocketty and whoever else is in charge does something beyond calling up prospects so that the Reds have a chance. With the personnel we now have, it aint't gonna happen. Peace, friends (and regardless of how you feel about my opinions) I consider these all of you that and more after 12-15 years, let's hope something is done.