Jeff Brantley said last night what I've been preaching all season long.
"It looks like this team is in a bit of disarray, and it's been that way all season.
I blame a lot of it on the leadership in the clubhouse. They don't hit the field with a sense of urgency and passion. It's not just about going out and making your batting average higher it should be about beating the dog out of the other team"
I wrote about this earlier in the month.
This team doesn't play with energy and enthusiasm on a consistent basis.
Too often they appear flat, uninspired, lifeless....distracted.
Their minds appear to wonder like the little league LF picking dandelions.
At times they play like they think they are "cool".
They play without a sense of urgency. It's as though they sit back and wait, feeling they will be fine, that they will rally late, just like last season.
For the 834th time I'll refer you to what Joe Morgan told me on Opening Day when I asked him the toughest part of repeating. He said it was convincing your players that they start over, that they don't start with 91 wins.
That they have to reprove themselves.
This team certainly lacks the drive and the passion of the 2010 squad.
I was watching a video of the 2010 team at the Reds Hall of Fame a couple of week ago and remarked how different that team looked/acted compared to this one. I'll say it once again...I blame Walt and Dusty for the tone that's been set for this team.
Walt rolled dice in the offseason and decided this team would be ok. He took the chance that the young guys would continue to improve and that the veterans would come close to their '10 production. And based on payroll and young talent I agreed it was the chance he had to take.
Obviously their worst case scenarios have now played out with that idea...Rolen and Gomes saw dramatic dropoffs in production. Janish couldn't hit well enough to keep his job. Stubbs and Bruce have struggled with consistency. Travis Wood and Edinson Volquez earned tickets to AAA.
But Walt was slow to react. Slow to try and improve and energize this team.
I've said for a while this team simply was not good enough.
Six weeks ago Walt said they weren't even looking at AAA guys for promotions and that he liked what they had. Great message to those busting tail at AAA and those underperforming on the ML level.
This team just went 30 games without back to back wins.
This team was once 25-17. They have gone 25-36 since. That's 61 games at 11 under .500. How we lookin'?
Dusty has said all along they'll be fine...no need to panic....they are close to breaking out. His message was then parroted by his players. There was a lack of accountability for poor play. Guys not performing knew Dusty had their back.
His grandfather, den mother, I'll hold your hand approach obviously worked last year. He should have been Manager of Year. He stayed patient with Stubbs and Bruce and was rewarded. But this year the expectations and demands should have been raised. Dusty needed to change his approach to match that. He did not. Dusty has constantly bristled at suggestions of lineup/personel changes. All the while they have accepted poor/inconsistent/mediocre play.
The sad thing is this has played out like Mark Twain once said of Cincinnati:
"When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times."
Walt was behind on Cozart, Gomes, Alonso......
Dusty was behind on adjusting to his team.
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