Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 0
New York (NL) 3

W: M. Batista (5-2)
L: E. Volquez (5-7)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–None.

NEGATIVES
–Two hits and a disappointing, frustrating, maddening season has come to a close. Really, getting shut out on two hits by the immortal Miguel Batista is probably an appropriate way to cap this season.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–What a difference a year makes. Today is the one year anniversary of the Jay Bruce home run that clinched a division championship.

–The Reds finished with a record of 79-83 one year after finishing 91-71.

–So…when do pitchers and catchers report?

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 40 Comments

  1. Pitchers and catchers report on February 15!!! I love the Reds and the emotional investment that everyone of us makes in this team is tremendous. I just feel emotionally drained after this season. The expectations of the spring gave way to the realities of the dog days of summer. The haunting realization dawned upon each of us gradually that we were just not good enough to repeat. The giddiness of spring training with all of our starting pitching quickly evaporated into concern and disbelief as the season progressed. The clutch hits that was the staple of the 2010 Reds was no where to be seen this season. When we looked at Jonny Gomes in spring training, we looked through our rose colored glasses and he looked just like George Foster. He was going to duplicate the first half of the 2010 season with big home runs and clutch hitting. Soon we realized that he was just an impostor. We looked in centerfield and we saw a gazelle in Drew Stubbs who we just knew would get 175 hits, steal 50 bases, and constantly harass opposing pitchers. Sadly Drew looked much like a guy we called Adam. We looked down at third base and we thought we saw Scott Rolen drinking from the Fountain of Youth. Surely he would hit 25 homers, drive in close to 100 runs, and come through in the clutch time after time. Sadly we saw an injured and very fragile Scott Rolen who is beginning to show some wear and tear. When we looked at Paul Janish in spring training, we saw another Davey. We got Ray Olmedo. Dusty promised us that great things were on the cusp and we had visions of October greatness dancing in our heads. Just like the tide on a forgotten beach, Dusty’s mismanagement of personnel and game situations eroded all hopes of that happening this year. So many questions linger this offseason about left field, shortstop, third base, and our pitching staff. Let’s hope that we can get it right in 2012!!!

  2. Thank God I don’t have to hear excuses from Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker anymore. Maybe this offseason they will do something that will inspire the Reds rather than perpetually keep us in the dungeons of the Baseball world. All I know is I will be back in spring training rooting and cheering and back in the stands next year. I just hope there is something to cheer about besides Joey Votto.

  3. Thank goodness the most disappointing Reds season that I have been a part of is finally over. I have posted this on here once before, but back in May, I went to a 2 game series against the Cubbies at GABP (the Reds are 6-0 when I am in attendance, btw). We had just swept the Cardinals, and won 2 exciting games against the Cubs. After the series, we led the division by 1.5 games, were 8 games above .500, and had won 11 of 13. Immediately after, we lost 2 to Pittsburgh, then went on our brutal 10-game road trip to Cleveland, Philly, and Atlanta where we went 2-8 and lost a 19 inning game in the middle of it. All of that was in the midst of a 32 game in 33 day stretch (or something like that, it was close to those numbers). We never led the division again, and finished the season 4 games below .500. Of course, the season would end in a shutout on the anniversary of the walk-off home run by Bruce, the clincher of the most exciting season I have ever been a part of. Here’s to hoping Razorback football, basketball, and baseball seasons are much less disappointing. In the mean time, I’m getting married in the offseason and my future wife is already wearing around her first Reds shirt (that I bought at GABP back in May) like crazy. Happy offseason to all of you, and I will see you guys in February. Go Reds!

  4. I made my peace with this team back in June. It was apparent even in May that there wasn’t a sense of urgency, that the team felt they could just flip a switch and make it happen. Because our schedule was so easy early and yet we still stumbled out of the gate, I was saying it’s getting late early, which it did. I don’t blame the extra long leashes for Gomes, Volquez, Masset, and Arroyo on Dusty (he used them exactly like we thought he would), I blame Walt for not taking his toys away sooner. He was asleep at the wheel the whole season, trading deadline included.
    That said, this season didn’t drain me in the least. I would’ve preferred to see the callups sooner, but I got to see enough of them to at least form an opinion, so the last two months still held value for me. Hopefully this offseason will be more exciting than last, and by exciting I don’t mean resigning Cordero!! You’ll hear me banging the drum all winter about acquiring a solid Shields/Garza/Latos/Danks type starter. Clearing out some of the redundant inventory can make that happen.

  5. how much you wanna bet there is no resolution to the holes on the left side of the diamond by the start of the next season

  6. Meanwhile, the WLB’s are on the verge of sneaking into the playoffs. Baseball’s a cruel mistress.

  7. Good grief. I freaking hate this. The Cardinals are about to get into the playoffs from a broken bat bloop single that scores a run for the Phillies. As if this season weren’t bad enough.

  8. While the Cards win as a team and make the playoffs, Dusty takes care of his veterans’ numbers so they can get raises and cripple the budget even more.

    • While the Cards win as a team and make the playoffs, Dusty takes care of his veterans’ numbers so they can get raises and cripple the budget even more.

      (Laughing bitterly.)

  9. CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!!! Salt on the freaking wound. With the way this season has gone, the WLB’s will win the World Series. I am a huge Phillies fan now.

  10. @Sultan of Swaff: They need *two* front-line starters and a more dominant bullpen to have a prayer. If they go into next season with less, you might as well call it. I look at a team like Philly and I just don’t see how the Reds have a chance of competing without some pretty bold acquisitions.

  11. It should be a real wake up call for the Reds org that they had a split and winning record with the two teams ahead of them in the division, both of whom made the playoffs yet finished 17 and 11 games respectively behind them.

    To me that indicates issues that go beyond skills and talent on the field of play.

  12. @ArkansasRedsFan: I’m on record, here, a while back, predicting the Cards to go to the world series, and I still believe that is going to happen.

  13. @Steve Mancuso: I still cannot believe what transpired tonight in the AL. The NL was just painful, and while Fredi Gonzalez is taking a lot of hits, what I wonder is: how did the Braves ever win any games at all?

  14. @Dave Lowenthal: I remember seeing that post a week or so ago. I don’t think they can beat Philly. Starting Saturday I will be a huge Phillies fan. I’d love to see a Rangers/Philly matchup in the World Series. That would be a great series. Also, what Chad said, tonight shows why baseball is so incredible. It also shows that if there were another Wild Card spot, none of this would have happened. Leave the game alone, Bud.

  15. @ArkansasRedsFan: It’s funny, all of the hypocritical St. Louis writers were strongly in favor of a 2nd wildcard because they said it would have made for great competition (they said this 3 weeks ago). Wonder if they’ve changed their mind.

    People always want to fix a current problem. At least back-test a new idea and see if it helps say over a 10 or 20 year period. If we’d have had 2 wildcards this year, it would have ruined the greatest night I can ever remember that didn’t involve the Reds in 1990. Obviously, other years having 2 wildcards might be more exciting.

    As for the Cards, I’m not rooting for them, just predicting. Of course they can win…any team can win a short series. They do match up well though in these short series—they hit better than Philly, they have a better pen, and Philly gives up way fewer runs, but only because of their 5 starters, 2 of whom are irrelevant now. And the Cards get to remove Westbrook. It’s actually very close.

  16. wow. The Reds season was irrelevant. It became even more irrelevant as we watched two teams collapse and two teams sneak in.

    I really believe the Reds were just as good as the Braves and STL. It was management that kept us from being a part of what just happened.

    Please, Walt, FIRE DUSTY and ALL the other coaches
    and please trade your excess. aka Alonso and catcher for some pitching

    • wow. The Reds season was irrelevant. It became even more irrelevant as we watched two teams collapse and two teams sneak in.

      I really believe the Reds were just as good as the Braves and STL. It was management that kept us from being a part of what just happened.

      Please, Walt, FIRE DUSTY and ALL the other coaches
      and please trade your excess. aka Alonso and catcher for some pitching

      Is Alonso in left field really that bad?
      I’d much rather see the Reds deal other bits. Stubbs, Heisey, Francisco, Bailey, Volquez, maybe a few others.

      Fire Dusty & the coaching staff? SHOW THEM THE DOOR!

      • Is Alonso in left field really that bad?

        depends on how we look at it

        right now, I think Alonso’s LF defense is horrid. Worse than Gomes or Dunn
        the problem is we can’t expect Alonso’s bat to produce as much as Dunn’s did

        BUT there are two ways to look at it
        1. Get him some work in LF this off season, somehow and get him playing time in spring in LF and hope he can improve

        2. the Reds defense is among the best in baseball. With Bruce being able to cover a little more ground in RF and Stubbs in CF I think the Reds could weather the storm of having a bad defender at 1 position.

        that said, if we can include him in a deal to get a quality starter I think it would be wise. The Reds need pitching way more than they need hitting.

  17. oh and Stl is in but the Giants aren’t

    it’s been proven over and over that the best team does not always win the world series but this is painful. I’m pulling for the Brew Crew all the way.

  18. Even I didn’t care about the outcome of the final Reds game. The only game of the season I didn’t care about. The players apparently didn’t either, the ultimate “get away” game. Mercifully 2011 is over for the Reds.

    I was watching and rooting for the Braves, and they could have/should have won last nite, but they don’t belong in the playoffs.

    It’s great that the Rays got in and the Red Sox didn’t, and what thrilling games those were. Baseball is THE great and beautiful sport.

    I just tip my cap to the Cardinals. After that 9th inning meltdown to the Mets and then falling 3 back last Friday, I thought they were done. I won’t predict they get into the WS, like Dave L. boldly has, but I will point out that the 2011 Cardinals are better than the 2006 Cardinals, who won the WS.

  19. It makes me sick that the Cards got in the playoffs. At the beginning of the month everyone on this blog was talking about overtaking them for 2nd place. This further points up to the fact that the Cards management both on the field and off are just better. Especially on the field. They never gave up and made it happen. My congratulations to them even though it makes me mad that the Reds gave up while the Cards didn’t. This just stinks.

  20. A decent article by John Erardi:

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110928/SPT04/309280145/Erardi-Reds-must-make-hard-decisions?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

    Summary: WJ and the rest of the front office should think like Tampa. Don’t sign BP to an extension and don’t resign Cordero.

    • A decent article by John Erardi:http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110928/SPT04/309280145/Erardi-Reds-must-make-hard-decisions?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|pSummary: WJ and the rest of the front office should think like Tampa. Don’t sign BP to an extension and don’t resign Cordero.

      The most interesting suggestion was trading Chapman. I really hope the Reds do not extend Phillips past 2012. And, since it looks as if the Reds are going to work out a deal with Cordero, I hope no more than 2 years $12 million is the extent of it.

      The Reds seriously need to add a LF/3B option which could be Michael Cuddyer. To deal with the 9 million or so in payroll that it would take to sign Cuddyer, trading Chapman and re-signing Cordero to less money should cover it. There is also Carlos Quentin or Logan Morrison floating around. A Chapman/Alonso/etc. deal pretty much gets any available starting pitcher, no?

  21. @Chad Dotson: Yes indeed .. The world’s greatest game ! What a night . The drama of both AL games last night is as good as anything competitive Sports has to offer.

  22. So far, I like what I’m hearing from the Reds about acquiring pitching. Price said we have a staff full of #4-$5 types, but we could really use a #1 or #2. Dusty and Walt have intimated the same thing, so it looks like that will be a high priority. To make that happen w/o weakening the offense, I think you have to look at making Chapman the centerpiece of any deal.

  23. @CP: Sorry, but I think as long as you don’t spend more than $40mil, BP should be re-signed. I see at least two more seasons like this one, followed by a slower than average decline phase.

  24. @David: How can anyone suggest paying $12 million to a 36 year old but in the same breath say Phillips isn’t worth keeping?? Cordero is DONE. I wouldn’t pay the guy $1million. For peanuts, you could get the the same or better production from Bray, Arredondo, or Boxberger. We will regret Cordero before the ink is dry on the paperwork.

    • @David: How can anyone suggest paying $12 million to a 36 year old but in the same breath say Phillips isn’t worth keeping?? Cordero is DONE. I wouldn’t pay the guy $1million. For peanuts, you could get the the same or better production from Bray, Arredondo, or Boxberger. We will regret Cordero before the ink is dry on the paperwork.

      I didn’t say – “Hey, I hope the Reds sign Cordero to a two year extension” now did I? I said every indication is that the Reds are in negotiations to re-sign Cordero. So, you can scream “don’t do it” all you want, but it looks as if Cordero will be back. I just think any more than 2 years 12 million will make my brain hurt.

      As for Phillips, read the article I quoted. Phillips will be 32, and I’m not about to advocate spending 12 million a year on a 34-35 year old Phillips, which is what Phillips will demand. The Reds do not have the luxury to do with Phillips what the Yankees did with Jeter.

  25. @Sultan of Swaff: That’s a pretty rosy picture you’re painting. Do you really expect BP to perform at career-best levels for the next several seasons? Not to mention a “slower than average decline phase” (which is pretty much unknowable)? We’re talking about a 32 year old who routinely makes diving catches and slides headfirst. You must be glass is 4/5 full type of guy. 😀

  26. Trading Chapman now is a lot like dealing Hamilton.

  27. WJ needs to figure out why the Reds don’t draft and develop CY Young type guys ever.

  28. Cordero is a test case, in many ways, for whether or not this organization gets it. He was pretty mediocre this year. His ERA looks a lot better than he actually pitched. He was almost literally a “replacement closer.” (Fangraphs has his WAR at 0.1.) Luck prevented him from posting an ERA in the 4s.

    Will the organization realize this? I doubt it. But they should: you can’t sign a 36 year old closer to a 6 million/year deal when his K rate is in the 5s. You just can’t do that and expect to compete when you have a limited budget. They can likely find someone who is better at 1/10 the cost.

  29. BP is a different case from Cordero, I think. BP was one of the most valuable players in the NL this year. (Look it up, it’s true.) He’ll be 30 on Opening Day next year. It’s not unreasonable to expect 2 more peak seasons and 2 halfway decent seasons. What is that worth? Not sure exactly, but it is worth having a serious conversation about. The key will be whether BP wants to be serious/reasonable.

    It’s not even worth thinking about Cordero, in my opinion. (And, ironically, I actually like Cordero’s personality.)

  30. If the Reds were to truly think like the Rays, they would trade Votto to Seattle for Michael Pineda, Brandon League and a position player prospect (it wouldn’t be Ackley) or two, which would allow them to buy out Cordero and use the savings to sign a LF bat (Cuddyer’s a pretty good option, since he can play a little 3B). Then they’d let Phillips walk after next season, collect the comp picks and use those savings to pay over slot on the guy(s) you drafted.

    I don’t see any sense in trading Chapman unless they plan to use him out of the bullpen again. If that’s the plan, wouldn’t they have to see if they could turn a 60-inning pitcher into an elite position player — which some team would absolutely be willing to give up for Chapman?

  31. Seems like a deal will be made with Cordero, and Chapman will be the #3 starting pitcher with Arroyo and Woods rounding out the staff. If it doesn’t work out, Chapman could be traded in 2013. I think Bailey and other young talent will be traded to get a righthanded cleanup hitter between Votto and Bruce. The relief staff will see Volquez or Arredondo work the seventh inning and Bray the eighth.

  32. First of all, we obviously learned nothing from the Frank Robinson trade. He was “an old 30 when we traded him back in 1965. Brandon is a little older and I love Brandon Phillips but it would be a huge mistake to sign him to a five or six year deal. Just like Scott Rolen’s production has dropped so will Brandon’s. I would offer a three year deal with an option for a fourth year and nothing more. If he walks, we will just have to accept that. Life will go. The Rays allowed Carl Crawford one of the best outfielders in the game to walk away and replaced him with Desmond Jennings. The Rays are in the ALDS and the Red Sox are going home. Perhaps Billy Hamilton will show some real maturity over the winter and begin the year in Triple A. Perhaps by September, we would be ready for a call up and prepare him to take Brandon’s place when the walks after next season. Sometimes you have to do what is not popular to get better.

  33. “I just tip my cap to the Cardinals”

    The only way that would happen is if my cap was full of urine. Go Phillies/Rays.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2010 Reds, 2011 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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