What went wrong in 2011? (Okay, what didn’t go wrong?)
This is a week or two old, but I hadn’t had a chance to link to it yet. Our friend Mo Egger has given the Reds a detention lecture:
Where do we begin? Let’s start by ignoring common sense. Jonny Gomes was great in 2010. At least he was great for two months of 2010. The rest of the time he was Jonny Gomes … bad defensively, awful against righties, not an overwhelming power threat, unable to hit anything that wasn’t a fastball, and he had gimmicky hair, which is only cool if you’re nine years old. And still, you decided to bring him back as the every day left fielder! This defied logic and everyone knew it, but you still brought him back and stuck him in the middle of your lineup damn near every day, because the guy was productive for a few weeks last year.
(Jonny Gomes seemed to possess this weird power over local broadcasters this season. Every fifth or sixth game, Jonny would do something positive, and whichever of the 32 announcers the team employs was working that night would start going on and on about Jonny was about to bust out and how even when he was slumping he brought such tremendous energy and excitement to the team. It would be like this until the next time Gomes came up and he whiffed on three pitches.)
Same too with your approach at third base. Scott Rolen spent the second half of 2010 looking like it was painful just to walk. Rolen would run the bases and you could hear his knees squeaking in the 20th row. The expression he wore on his face at the end of last season reminded me of the same look you see on a guys attending a couples shower.
(I refuse to be friends with anyone who invites me to a couples shower. No one should open presents with a bunch of people watching unless that person is under 12 years old, or unless the present is being paid to take her clothes off.)
And yet having witnessed Rolen’s a half-season full of creakiness at third base, you stuck him right back there this season. And to top it off, despite his home run stroke going the way of MySpace, Rolen usually hit cleanup. This meant that Joey Votto saw a hittable pitch less often than the average Miami resident sees the Marlins play in person. Scott Rolen was less reliable than Scott Weiland, and yet you never had viable replacements until it was way too late.
There’s much, much more, and I encourage you to read the entire piece. Mo also discusses what the Reds should do to improve for 2012.
I agree with nearly everything in the article; well, everything except for the stuff about Juan Francisco and Ramon Hernandez.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.