I think we are seeing a team that is coming to grips with a few things and are not sure how to deal with them and or trying to hard to correct things. I really believe that this team felt from ST they were the team to beat and that they wouldn't have to much problem repeating last years performances and such. Then when hiccups came along like injuries, age, under performances they thought to themselves, okay we can still over come these and just turn it on when everyone gets healthy and going. Well then people got healthy and well things didn't get a whole lot better and now we are less then 60 games to go in the season and we are now "worried" and not sure how to handle it. I think we are seeing a team in a mini crisis of maturity. I think both Walt and Dusty felt that the players could just "turn it on" and are now seeing it's not going to happen. In the long run over the coming seasons I think we will be okay, but with any young team that had success kinda before they were expected to, are experiencing the difficulties that come with that presure to repeat and seeing that growth of young players sometimes comes with hills and bumps in the road.
I think this team will be okay...but for the rest of the season it is key for management to do the right thing to allow this team to continue to grow and learn because the future is bright if this team is handled right.
Castenelli for not ponying up some cash for better players
Jocketty for not acquiring better players
Baker for his idiotic decisions
Rolen for not repeating what he did in 2010
Gomes for the exact same reason
Arroyo for the same reason
Stubbs for striking out too damn much
Phillips for getting picked off against Philly
Cordero for blowing saves against the Brewers
Votto for not showing enough enthusiasm and not being humble in Cincinnati
Janish, Lewis, and Volquez for just plain sucking
Mike Leake for giving up 2-3 runs instead of pitching a shutout when his offense can only get him 1 run
Marty Brennamen for running off Adam Dunn
Pete Rose for betting on baseball and ruining another Reds dynasty by not being able to manage
Baseball gods because they somehow have some warped sense of humor of watching Reds fans suffer
And Sean Casey for grounding into double plays
Oh yeah I left one out, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama because nearly all of Americans blame the 2 of them for everything else so we may as well go ahead and throw those 2 in the mix!
I think winning the Central last year has some impact on this season. They aren't going to sneak up on anybody like they may have been able to last year (or the Pirates may have done this year).
I think the major problems are:
1. Not having a true lead off hitter to set the table for Votto
2. Rolen getting old and staying old and offering no protection for Votto
3. Volquez Arroyo and Wood not being good and a general drop off in starting pitching from last year (minus Cueto)
A side effect of this has been pretty poor hitting with RISP and overall the team is just pressing. They are just trying to do to much and not letting the game come to them like they did for much of last year. There is still time, but it is going to require a serious hot streak.