Could the defense-skilled Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Mrs. Robinson have fielded all of the unleashed balls? No doubt, we would have seen tons of balls landing 20 rows deep, but every seat in the stadium would have been packed anyway.
Probably we would have needed to hire Bill Veeck as our GM and Stephen Hawkings as his sabermetric guru a la Bill James. Probably would have forever changed the course of the franchise, if not the universe.
The more I know, the less I know any hard and fast answers. But as long as we're invoking cave men, might as well curl up inside a cave and alternate reality that would be kinda fun to inhabit.
There were a few years during The Lost Decade that the Reds had a very productive offense. Sure the defense left a lot to be desired but the main culprit of those dismal years had more to do with the Horrible pitching staffs both in the starting rotation and in the bullpen.
Alonso simply is not a LFer. He's a 1Bman. If, in the off-season, they can't extend Votto, who will have only 2 years left, and he shows no desire to be in a Red's uniform after that time, or is wanting that really big pay-out, then I know what I'd be attempting to do.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
1. Keep Alonso's bat in the line-up.
2. Parlay that into James Shields in the 2012 rotation.
It will have been worth the Richie Scheinbloom act we'll see out there defensively.
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
There have been some ugly games as of late, but let's have some context. This team has converted 72.0% of batted balls in to outs, tied for 2nd in baseball.
Now, Alonso in LF doesn't look like a long term answer. And pretty much anybody in the organization is going to be a step down from Rolen at 3B. But short of a trade, Rolen will be our opening day 3B in 2012.
Who is going to be worse next year? Nobody except maybe Phillips is having a particularly "good" defensive year. Yes, Alonso in LF will make us worse defensively, but we'll still be a plus team.
I find it interesting how differently people seem to treat offensive and defensive performance. I know they say that defense doesn't slump, but "they" are wrong. Defensive performance fluctuates just like offensive performance does. And sometimes, like with offense, you have a number of players who slump at the same time.
I liken this to the ongoing Jay Bruce conversation. He's had some real rough stretches. But we need to keep the big picture in mind.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the round peg/square hole approach. If we didn't have other options, I can see trying to make Alonso fit, but we do. Sappelt, Heisey, Frazier, Fransisco. Turn Alonso and a pitcher in to a better SP and figure out LF/3B from some other place.
Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-18-2011 at 12:03 PM.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
Watching Alonso reminds me of a night when I sat in the bleachers and listened to Adam Dunn getting coached by Ken Griffey. At the crack of the bat, Griff would yell out "BACK!", or "UP!" to get the Big Donkey moving. I was astounded, really. It never occurred to me that a MLB outfielder would need basic knothole instruction, but there it was at the top of every inning. Contrast Dunn's tracking ability with Griffeys- it's comical, I know- every time a ball was hit in his direction, he was gone before I could look to see where he was. We may have seen him in the slowest of his years, but his anticipation never slowed down.
Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.
Alonso is in left because the GM refused to believe that we needed help there. Why Gomes would return to form, would'nt he? Heisey would OPS .900, would't he? We are satisfied with what we have, aren't we? Covet the prospects into a losing season? Probably.
I'm a big Walt fan, but he clearly dropped the ball. And I think he and Bob know it.
"You only have to bat a thousand in two things; flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go 4-for-5."