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Thread: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    I tend to view Lance as over-reactionary, but this piece today from his blog has a cumulative view that I have to agree with at this point. This season has gone awry partly due to the leadership's indecision and, what I would consider, mild arrogance.

    Reds

    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.

    Read more: http://www.espn1530.com/pages/lances...#ixzz1TLWRpjS7
    At this point, Lance seems to have gathered enough evidence, and I tend to agree now. Now, let me be clear, I don't think this is a "no effort" or "don't care" type of team, I just believe the team is suffering from a lack of urgency and direction from the top.

    This last weekend of July we will have to see where things stand between Walt, Dusty and the tone/direction of this team. I can see the reason to buy now if the deal looks good. I liked the Rolen deal at the time, for example, and think that a shrewd GM can turn the limited buyers out there (the contenders) into an advantage vs. the sellers - especially if the buyer is "out of contention" like the Reds. Anyway, that dynamic will play out over the next few days, but what we're left with either way is an under-performing team with 2 months to finally kick into gear. Or not. Or whatever.
    2015 Rotation: Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Leake, Cingrani

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    Put me down in favor of a housecleaning. The GM is guilty of negligence, the Manager underperformed and the coaches seem pretty incompetent across the board.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    I agree mdccclxix, I thought Orlando Cabrera was a major oversight by perhaps everyone (myself included). What he provided every night was that sense of urgency, the guy kept everyone moving in the right direction and was quite vocal about it. Just pure positive energy that guy.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    I agree mdccclxix, I thought Orlando Cabrera was a major oversight by perhaps everyone (myself included). What he provided every night was that sense of urgency, the guy kept everyone moving in the right direction and was quite vocal about it. Just pure positive energy that guy.
    This is a little different than Lance's point, but Dusty definitely appreciated having Cabrera around to guide players. Now that Gomes is gone too, what I'm sensing is a bunch of sorry puppies moping around.

    It's sad, but they need a leader. All this talent and no leadership. Did anyone hear the tone on the radio about the Gomes trade? Oh my gosh, it was like Bruce's house got destroyed by a tornado.

    In some ways it makes me wonder if the "family" atmosphere is a little too thick with emotion, or specifically, natural dysfunction. Families are difficult mixtures and can be difficult to guide, much less inspire. Perhaps Walt and Dusty are not enough, they cannot lead this family.

    As the youthful core begins to mature into veterans, what will this team look like on the field? Who will lead?
    2015 Rotation: Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Leake, Cingrani

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    This is a little different than Lance's point, but Dusty definitely appreciated having Cabrera around to guide players. Now that Gomes is gone too, what I'm sensing is a bunch of sorry puppies moping around.

    It's sad, but they need a leader. All this talent and no leadership. Did anyone hear the tone on the radio about the Gomes trade? Oh my gosh, it was like Bruce's house got destroyed by a tornado.

    In some ways it makes me wonder if the "family" atmosphere is a little too thick with emotion, or specifically, natural dysfunction. Families are difficult mixtures and can be difficult to guide, much less inspire. Perhaps Walt and Dusty are not enough, they cannot lead this family.

    As the youthful core begins to mature into veterans, what will this team look like on the field? Who will lead?
    Well if he can produce and gain his teammates respect Todd Frazier is that guy.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    That's interesting you think that, I could possibly agree with that. We don't need a Rosales, though, and I know that's not what you mean. I think Frazier could be great for this team in 2012, if he can lock into a meaningful role on the field.
    2015 Rotation: Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Leake, Cingrani

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    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    I don't agree with Jeff Brantley on very much of anything and I'm not sure how any veteran player could say or do anything in the clubhouse or in the dugout to help this club right now. I honestly believe everyone on the roster is just pressing and trying to do too much. That's a problem the Manager and Coaches need to address, that's what they are getting paid for. (JMHO)

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    Sounds like we need Greg Vaughn to start choking people.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    When we talk about leadership, are we referring to from the FO or in the clubhouse?

    Last year we were heralding Baker's managing style, being a "player's manager". And we were giving similar kudos to Jocketty. Now, a year later, with the team struggling, we're faulting them? I'm not saying they don't shoulder some of the blame because I certainly agree with this statement....

    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.
    But other then a few minor "tweeks" - letting Rhodes go, swapping out Cabrera for Renteria, adding a couple bench players - this is basically the same squad we ran out there in 2010.

    But can't the ownership group also share that responsibility? They are the ones who set the payroll limitations.

    This team doesn't play with energy and enthusiasm on a consistent basis.
    True. And that could easily be from a lack of veteran leadership with so many young guys on the roster. Cabrera was known to provide that last year. Who is it this year? Rolen has been nursing all types of ailments all season, and has been in and out of the lineup. So who does that leave as far as veteran leadership? Hernandez? Cairo? Arroyo?

    But I really don't think that is necessarily the key reason. I've scratched my head, just like everyone else, trying to figure out why this team is so dysfunctional this year, and I think it's a combination of several variables. Not just one.

    For one, our rotation came out of the gate in disarray due to injury and sickness. But we held our own through April, going into May, because of guys like Votto, a red-hot Bruce, Phillips, and even Gomes.

    All players go into slumps. That's a part of baseball. But on good teams the other players are able to "carry" that player and overcome. This team has too many players who go into slumps, and it seems for a month at a time. One month on, the next month off. One guy will get hot, 2-3 others will be bad.

    The only person who has shown any level of consistency from an offensive perspective has been Votto. The rest of these guys are bipolar. And I still believe it has been very detrimental losing the production from the heart of our order in the #4 spot. Votto's numbers are down a little bit, but whose protecting him? While it wouldn't solve all our problems, I think this team would be in a lot better shape if we had a Fielder, Holliday, Kemp, or McCain hitting #4 because we are getting guys on base..... and leaving them there.

    Dusty's managerial style, especially game time decisions, has slipped IMO this year. I think what made it even worse is the rising sense of urgency to try and do something to shake this team (lineup) up too. That spreads to the players too. Especially the younger ones. And I'm sure a valid question could be posed, especially with the young players.... Is Dusty at fault for promoting such an aggressive approach?

    I don't really have an answer to that question.
    Last edited by GAC; 07-28-2011 at 05:51 AM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    This is a little different than Lance's point, but Dusty definitely appreciated having Cabrera around to guide players. Now that Gomes is gone too, what I'm sensing is a bunch of sorry puppies moping around.
    Are you talking about the players or broadcasters - or both?
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    Something clever pahster's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Are you talking about the players or broadcasters - or both?
    I've little doubt Thom will mope for the rest of the season.

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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    If a team continues to lose, it doesn't start winning by doing the same thing or running the same players out there everyday. That's on Dusty and Jockety. They continued for months to run Janish out there, who is just a terrible everyday player. And Dusty wouldn't let go of Gomes...Heck the day Gomes gets traded and the team botches another Cueto outing, Dusty attributes it to the Gomes trade...Seriously? Gomes is barely better than Janish. Get over it. If these players aren't professional enough to do their jobs, then it's about time to move on without them. Now Alonso is up, a righty on the mound last night, and Heisey starts...Dusty thinks it will be nice to have another lefty on the bench. Really? Bring up Dorn then, what a waste. Meanwhile we get Cairo, who I like, almost everyday at 3B while Frazier sits there and watches. Dusty is bad for a young team. We were lucky last year, mostly because Rolen stayed healthy. Dusty won't change and he doesn't like his pets (Janish and Gomes; Neifi and Ramon Ramirez in the past) being taken away from him. We don't have Jeff Kent on the bench to keep things in order. We aren't even hardly in the race. Play the young guys, they can't do any worse than the guys that have lead us to a 50-54 record so far. Plus Alonso and Frazier will bring some energy and the guys sitting may become inspired...This is the best team in the division and they are just playing horrible; it's like they aren't even capable of playing good baseball.

    So frustrating!

    Bum

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    But I thought we brought in Rolen to be a team leader? Wasn't Gomes a clubhouse guy? Why were those guys so good at those things last year and now they aren't? Is it because it is all a bunch of bull? Yeah, probably. Another one of those things people talk about, but isn't really all that meaningful despite thinking it is.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    But I thought we brought in Rolen to be a team leader? Wasn't Gomes a clubhouse guy? Why were those guys so good at those things last year and now they aren't? Is it because it is all a bunch of bull? Yeah, probably. Another one of those things people talk about, but isn't really all that meaningful despite thinking it is.
    Yep. High five.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Reds 2011: A Problem of Leadership?

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    I've little doubt Thom will mope for the rest of the season.
    I'm surprised he actually worked the game that night in his grief.

    In all seriousness, I asked because while I'm sure the players weren't crazy about losing Gomes did the media overhype it somewhat because they had such love for Gomes?
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