Let’s try a new thread for the Reds’ comeback. Go Reds!

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 202 Comments

  1. That was Shin-Soo Choo’s 22nd home run this year, the first against a left handed pitcher.

  2. Thanks for the new thread. Time for the Reds to have a titanic comeback victory. Go Reds!

  3. The entire offense tonight has been Choo’s run and his HR. And he’s gone after this.

    • @abox03: Would you rather spend money resigning Choo or getting a new manager? I love Choo but that is an easy choice in my mind. I don’t know if the Reds can win it all with Choo but I know they can’t with Baker.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: This may not be popular here, but I think you go out and try to build the left side of the field. Get a LF that can be a solid #4 hitter. Find a 3rd baseman that can give you solid ABs and hit better than Todd’s 234/314/407.

        New LF
        New 3B

        I think Todd swings too wildly and has not shown the ability to change. He had a good year last year, but the league has adjust and he has not shown he can adjust back. He is who he is. I would drop Ludwick as after a labral surgery…you are never the same, I dont care what anyone says.

        • @abox03: frazier had the 8th best WAR in MLB. Not the problem

          Phillips 12th best WAR in MLB = Reds MVP

          Phillips defense is still very good

        • @abox03: I agree. The problem is strong left handed pitching can sail through this line up. It’s happened over and over, particularly in the second half of the season. Against a good lefty, Votto, Bruce, and Choo are just so-so hitters, and the right handed bats aren’t good enough to compensate. Left field definitely needs a really good right handed hitter and .234 at third just doesn’t cut it.
          As an aside, Choo was great this year. We really need him back!

        • @abox03: I agree with your starting 8 lineup for 2014. Let Arroyo and Choo go and use that money combined with trades to strengthen LF and 3B. Standing pat and not upgrading the offense is the story of the 2013 season.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Manager money is small potatoes. They may decide to bring back Baker next year, but it won’t be because of the money. Baker’s salary is a sunk cost. The next guy probably won’t make $2 million. Even a multiyear deal would be small compared to Choo’s market price.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Good question. I really want them to keep Choo.

    • @abox03: Huh? Two doubles and a single by Ludwick – and he’s back.

  4. I wonder if Ondrusek’s inning will be Dusty’s last terrible decision as a Red.

  5. Out until next year. Have a great winter.

  6. Can we now maybe admit that all is not perfect in Joey Votto land? 0-4 by your supposed best hitter in an important game like this really is unacceptable, no matter which way you look at it. A couple hits by him tonight and this could actually be a ballgame.

    • @JB32: No one has ever said he was perfect. Only that he’s had another great season if not entirely up to his own past performances. Both JV and BP have failed the team tonight.

    • @JB32: I’m just wondering who has ever said all is “perfect”? Pretty sure Votto’s biggest supporters have pointed out his overall stats rank him as arguably the league’s best hitter, but I kinda doubt anyone has claimed he’s perfect.

  7. LeCure and not Chapman. Assumng Robinson plays instead of Hamilton in 9th.

  8. Best of luck to the Pirates, hope for a Pirates/Athletics world series..

  9. Without the Ondrusek run and the BP bobble, we had the tying run at the plate last inning.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      Comon Steve. You know you can’t assume something like that. Hurdle manages the game differently in that situation if Pittsburgh has two less runs on the board, and thus Watson may not even be the pitcher that comes in the game.

      Call a spade a spade; the Reds played poorly tonight in all areas and it’s cost them in all areas.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I’ll see if I can find my eraser.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I have watched almost every Reds game this year and can’t recall a routine grounder being butchered by BP – especially when he makes that play 999.5 times out of 1,000. Does anyone recall BP butchering a sure thing DP grounder like he did tonight?

      As a result, BP and JV failed to even show up tonight. Is there something going on in the Red’s clubhouse that Reds fans have no clue about – like ill will between BP and Votto?

      Or was BP simply still hurting?

      BP’s personal example this year has been very poor – lack of hustle, determination, and finally being insubordinate to his boss while Dusty was being interviewed by the Enquirer. Dusty has lost all respect of the Reds players. Like children, they want the authority to be the authority – Reds players are lost without it.

      Tell Dusty to pick up his picnic basket and go home – the Reds playing are crying for a direction and its not going to come from Dusty.

  10. Joey….

  11. JV needs to work on his fielding over the winter.

  12. Hat’s off to Choo. He’s done a great job this year.

  13. Wow. Lose 6 in a row to end the season.
    Crash and burn is complete.
    Yo bartender, some beers please to put out these flames.

    A sign on GABP by Nov. 1:
    “Under New Management”

    • @WVRedlegs: Meanwhile, a couple hundred miles northeast, a real manager and his team with half the talent win 10 in a row (and counting) when they need to.

  14. It has really been enjoyable watching the production that Choo has offered from the leadoff spot- he has really done a fine job handling centerfield as well – sure wish the Reds could find a way to keep him. he has been an integral part of their success this year – I would take him on my team any time!

    • @RedAlert: big question: Would you rather eat 3 mil and Fire Dusty, or use 3 mil extra to resign Choo to a big deal?

      • @jessecuster44: Why do fans think the Reds would eat $3.5M when they would pay Dusty the same or more to stay. There are plenty of managers out there that are better than Dusty that would manage this quality team for peanuts. Let’s go find the next 40 year old Sparky Anderson (may he rest in peace).

    • @RedAlert: Let’s hope the Jocketty and Castellini are too afraid of what might happen to the Reds in 2014 without Choo on the team to let him go.

    • @RedAlert: choo had the third best offensive production for CF’s behind Trout and McCutchen. His defense rating is not very good. It would be nice to keep his .423 OBP around

  15. One thing that would help the Reds win more ballgames next year would be Votto cutting down on the terrible plays in the field he has made this year. That, plus putting a stop to the base running mistakes he’s been guilty of in 2013.

  16. In these four big games against the Pirates, Aroldis Chapman hasn’t thrown a single pitch.

  17. Will be interesting to see how the front office tries to soft-pedal this in the off-season.

  18. Well, at least we made the playoffs. I will manage the Reds for food.

    • @Tennessee Red: Hopefully the front office doesn’t consider a play in game the playoffs. They were playing the game to get in the playoffs.

  19. Good riddance, 2013 Reds.

    I don’t think I can stomach another year of Dusty-ball.

    • @down with dusty: It’s a long winter, but right now, according to Jocetty, Baker will be back for the last year of his contract. Whatever, the Reds will never get the big prize with Dusty at the helm.

  20. At least Chapman is available for the save. Course it’s 10 minutes to Wapner.

  21. Congratulations to the Pirates. I hope they go all the way. The contrast between the two teams tonight was troubling. Well if Dusty sticks around, I know I will be living a well- rounded life come next March. Love Redlegnation – we are worthy of a better effort. What can you say? Just disgusting.

  22. Well, it took Sparky Anderson a couple playoff runs before the BRM managed to win a World Series I’m sure Dusty will take it down in 2014.

    • @CP: Spare me. Sparky made two World Series before he won one. Dusty hasn’t sniffed that with the Reds.

      Dusty couldn’t carry Sparky’s jock.

      • @jessecuster44: 1) sarcasm; 2) Sparky wasn’t a great manager either (though he had some obvious desirable traits that Dusty doesn’t)

        • @CP: You’re a tough grader.

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Eh, at least in the end, he had at least 3 true first ballot HOF players (Morgan, Bench, Rose), 2 borderline HOF guys (Perez, Davey), and some really good additional parts (Foster, Griffey). His pitching staff wasn’t bad either.

            I dunno…I know I’m not factoring in Sparky’s time with the Tigers, but the guy had arguably the greatest roster in MLB history, only 2 playoff rounds to get through, and limited free agency to deal with. I love the guys’ personality, but I just don’t get it I guess.

          • @CP:

            Sparky is still dead and he’s still a better manager than Dusty.

        • @CP: sorry. Cannot read sarcasm easily right now.

      • @jessecuster44: Dusty has had three playoff flameouts with the Reds (2010-Phillies, 2012-S.F., 2013-Pirates) and he didn’t get it done with the Giants and Cubs either. Next year, if he’s still around, it’ll be more of the same.

    • @CP: I’ve been thinking that a lot lately. It’s been some consolation to me.

  23. I am very sad. No Chappy, no B Ham. Many big cogs came up mighty small tonight. Maybe it’s time to find some players who excel on the big stage.

    Hope this team has learned something over the course of the season.

    • @jessecuster44: You would have thought they’d learned something in the first 161 games that could have helped.

      • @Just A Fan: Agree, and they didn’t much look like they even belonged there. I’ll acknowledge neither Cueto nor Marshall pitched at 100 percent, but the hitting was and@Johnu1: has been abyssmal, and defense spotty at best.

  24. Since its already a down night might as well pile it on. Hate to say this but if your hoping Dusty will be fired after the season, forgettaboutit. I’m afraid money talks, and 3.5 million dollars will not be silenced. The Reds front office will use the 90 win seasons to justify keeping Dusty. At best we can hope that Dusty gets fired mid-season next year. But most likely ownership will wait to see how the season ends before making a decision.

  25. Tonight is why Aroldis Chapman needed to be a starter.

  26. Listlessness is not a sign that a team is under good management. This has been a very frustrating season. Given the talent that this team has, the manager much be considered culpable for a general lack of fight down the stretch.

  27. Well, that stunk…

    I apologize to all the negative folks out there. You were right. They weren’t good enough.

    Dusty made a lot of odd moves for a “do or die” game that were already analized to death. I hate to break it to you all that he won’t be fired though.

  28. I hate that the Reds lost. I would love for them to win, however I must also say this.

    Bye Dusty. Man that feels good. Been waiting a long time to say that.

    • @brandon11: Do you really believe the Reds will eat Baker’s $3 million-plus contract when he has only one year left on it?

      • @kywhi: the look on Castelinni’s face during the game says yes. He wants to win. He will not stand pat. Jocketty even may be feeling some heat but he is safe. Jacoby might as well start packing.

      • @kywhi:

        I do. They have to.

      • @kywhi: The only thing the Reds will lose is whatever they pay a new manager. That might be $1.5 million. They can find that amount by digging through the couch cushions in the luxury boxes.

        • @Baseclogger: Exactly – the Reds should have no problem paying Dusty to leave town – and yes, Castellini looked disgusted (GOOD)!

          • @cincyreds14: You know, if all these college football and basketball programs can eat millions on firing coaches, and several do every uyear, why can’t an MLB team – even the Reds!!!

  29. After the dust settles look for the Reds to announce a contract extension for Dusty.

  30. GO DODGERS! A team with a real manager, and players who actually want to win it all. Cincy can enjoy swimming in Lake Losing all they want. Maybe they’ll play really tough and be back in the “playoffs” next year!

  31. I’m going to miss Bronson Arroyo. That man was fun to watch.

    • @Pete Jurewicz: yep, that is true. he was a rotation rock when it was him and harang and followed by a hope, a wing, and a prayer in rotation. Good luck Bronson.

  32. Dusty’s future depends on which lie the front office chooses to believe.

    If they believe he’s made the team a contender, that will keep him.

    They are not likely to believe that poor play is the manager’s fault.

    • @Johnu1: They won’t eat his contract, and they won’t acquire new players (well, probably some more Cesar Izturis”s” or whatever, washed-up player you can imagine). 2014 Reds will be more of the same. This team is fast becoming…no…HAS ALREADY become the Minneapolis Twins of the NL Central. Dusty Baker = Ron Gardenhire (and he just got a TWO-YEAR extension!) Face the facts, “Redleg Nation”. This team will never go nowhere, under this management. Look for the Dusty extension announcement within the week.

      • @wildwestLV: And not a typo: they’ll never go nowhere: they’ll always make it to 163, or make the one-game/play-in playoff, or maybe the NLDS, under “the current manager”, but NEVER win it all. What are you willing to accept?

  33. I have enjoyed participating in this blog this year for the first time with all the Reds fans – thanks to all the editors on this site for their hard work – Just a great site for lifelong Red fan like me -yea it hurts that it ends like this , but have faith this organization will do the right thing to make some very needed adjustments

  34. Watched this team all year, believing they had the scrap and the skill to actually catch the Cardinals but go deep into the playoffs. I actually believed that … then I saw how they played the last week of the season.

    Can’t say I intend to fall for that gag again.

  35. No heart the last week? Why?

    • @Zabka84: Good question, but anytime an offense struggles the way this one did down the final days of this season it looks like there is no heart. And it’s maddening to watch as a fan, especially when you realize the Reds wasted such a strong season by the starting pitchers.

    • @Zabka84: Because when they lose, their manager has no issues sleeping that night. A real leader would be so tormented with losing that he couldn’t sleep.

    • @Carl Hudson: @Zabka84: I don’t get it either. To win 90 and lose your last six? Makes no sense. This kind of stuff can take a season or two to get over. Let’s hope not!

      • @Carl Hudson: Last year was even worse. Needing one victory to advance to the NL Championship Series, the Reds go home and lose three in a row to S.F. Baker should have been fired at that time.

  36. They have to eat the 3 mil on Baker or it’s a PR Problem. A big problem.

    Guys, they will stand to lose 3 million in attendance revenue if they bring Dusty back. They have made some poor decisions but surely they are smart enough to know. Too many fans have had enough of it at this point.

    Attendance doesn’t have to drop much to lose 3 mil in revenue. They have to give the fans a reason to think next year is gomna be different.

    He is gone. They collapsed last year against the Giants. They collapsed this year in the last week. Seriously, even if they don’t want to, they gotta let him go now.

    • @brandon11: Speaking of attendance, as a fan lucky enough to have attended many games at Riverfront played by the Big Red Machine I was shocked when it was announced that this 2013 version of the Reds outdrew the great Reds team of 1976. In my mind, every game I attended back then was a sellout but that apparently wasn’t the case. If the Reds remain competitive next season, which you have to believe they will, the growth around GABP will insure attendance doesn’t fall off too badly no matter who is managing unless they start tanking early.

      • @kywhi: As also a fan from back then, that is an interesting fact, esp. with Riverfront seating more than GABP. All I an come up with on it is more people attend games these days, which says a lot for baseball’s staying power. A lot of people, especially media types, are always saying its an all-football world, or things to that effect. I (also a media type) love football too, but have been a big baseball guy since before Sparky.

        • @redskaph: it may how they count “attendance”. My understanding is these days its tickets sold for the game as attendance, back then it was people who actually moved the turnstile and were butts in seats. anyone else know differently?

      • @kywhi: They didn’t outdraw the Big Red Machine, which drew over 3 million fans in 1976. It was a GABP attendance record this year, not a Reds record.

    • @brandon11: And they collapsed in 2010 against the Phillies. I agree. Money talks. Castellini doesn’t want to see attendance fall after this years attendance record by bringing Dusty back next year. There will be a lot of changes.

  37. I dont care Ill be the negative Nancy. This team will never win in the playoffs until they get a new manager. Unfortunately, they have a bunch of talent but no one to manage it. FIRE DUSTY AND JACOBY! Sorry to say it, but the only reason Dusty has been successful is because he has had an immense amount of talent on the teams that he has managed.

  38. So it’s over? I quit watching but kept reading here. (I love this site!) I’m just not that upset this time. Last year I was truly heartbroken and even shed a tear. This year even though they won 90 games and had some good runs I never thought they’d really make it to the post season. Disappointed? Yes. Suprised? No.

  39. Hope I’m catching most of you before you sign off. Just want to say “Thank You” to everyone here on RN for making me feel like part of the RN team. Redleg Nation is the “Cheers” of sports blogs where everybody knows your name (screen name) and everyone is made to feel welcome. I have had a great time here on RN. Everyone take care and have a healthy and prosperous off season. See ya on opening day 2014. Go Reds! (Of course now its on to the recap)

    • @Sergeant2: And thanks to you for the attendance updates.

    • @Sergeant2: And I always appreciated you giving the score when I couldn’t see the game.

    • @Sergeant2: Same here, and you too Sarge

    • @Sergeant2: Thanks Thanks for all your efforts Sarge, and just as I had mentioned to Charlotte, the next time we cross paths, I hope the Reds have a new ‘inspirational and driven’ manager as well as batting/hitting coach (emphasis on ‘hitting’ – still being partial to Eric Davis as BC and possibly Bryan Price at the helm).

      Dusty and Jacoby – after stating he had no idea on how to get his players to stop offering at pitches/balls in the dirt – can start packing their bags now. Dusty it’s called discipline – something you know absolutely nothing about instilling in a team.

  40. A lot of people are saying including the beat writers that Dusty will not be fired because he won 90 games. Sparky Anderson was fired after the 1978 season and he won 92 games and finished second in the division. Also he won two of four World Series and won the division in 1973 so Dusty has done nothing compared to Anderson. Also Casey Stengel was fired after leading the Yankees to the seventh game against the Pirates and then former Reds’ skipper Charlie Dressen was fired after the 1953 season and he had taken the Dodgers to consecutive World Series appearances. I love the Reds but I have grown weary of watching this colossal waste of talent every year. We should have be on the cusp of our second consecutive World Series appearance but we are crying at the funeral of yet another wasted season.

  41. Verducci just said Dusty grasping at straws during post game presser.

    Fire Dusty. Fire Jacoby. Start Chapman. Trade Cueto(!!!!) for a bat. Explore trading BP. Resign Choo. Let Arroyo walk. Platoon B Ham with Luddy.

    Team needs new leadership, a different hitting approach, and honestly, Professional baseball players who do not wilt under the spotlight.

    Even Joey Votto, who I love, looked terrible both at bat an in the field.

    I’m pretty fed up with this team looking very bad in the spotlight, in games that matter.

  42. Votto and BP stunk today…

    Choo great year. We will miss u.

    Dusty – bye bye i hope. Terrible all year

    Ludwick – bye

    Billy – welcome

    Arroyo – outta here

    Painful year to be reds fan but Indians – wow…

    Hoping for sweeping change in coaching staff

  43. Verducci just exposed Cueto as being out of shape. WOW.

    I really wonder how bad Latos’ elbow was. I bet he could have pitched.

    • @jessecuster44: Latos was absolutely ready to go. Nobody on this site even questioned this possibility, though. Who saw him interviewed on FOX National on Saturday? He sounded COMPLETELY ready to go. Dusty has NEVER bought into Latos (too young, too many tats, who knows?). Bones chips? Come on. Anybody who believes that Latos couldn’t have pitched tonight, AFTER Cueto tanked it, is, well…I’ll just say I’m happy you enjoy your Reds. C’mon.

      • @wildwestLV: I saw that, and he wanted the ball. Clearly, Dusty has his favorites, and perhaps there’s some mistrust based on last October.

        You’d think an entire season of Latos awesomeness would count for something.

  44. Fire Baker NOW! I think the major focus of Baker was his new eyewear. He won’t be fired, though. Oh well, next year he’ll get some new wristband and some new toothpicks…then all will be well!

  45. Well, I now have to hope that the Pirates will take out the Cards. They play them pretty well, so lets hope. Reds will be a different team next year, whether by trade or FA. Who the manager is, I have no idea. I think it will probably be Baker. Will Votto return to the same kind of player he was a couple of years ago? I do not know. Will Phillips still be a Red or will there be a move made? I would hope he would still be around and bat second. I think we all have an idea of what we can expect from Cozart. Frazier is a fine defensive 3B, but did he have a sophomore slump? LF? Choo? Hamilton? Heisey? Ludwick? Too many questions in the OF to keep it up. Bruce plays RF. This is a team that is in pretty good shape as far as pitching. Roles may have to change, but even without Arroyo, the Reds have enough starters and relievers to choose among. This team needs a screamer-a Gomes-a guy who can contribute off the bench and can contribute when he is in the clubhouse.

  46. Hate to say “I told you so.” But, well, I told you so. Over a month ago. Was easy to see we’d finish 3rd in the division and grab the WC away game and lose. There can’t be anyone who didn’t truly see this coming. The one thing that shocked me tonight was Dusty batting Luddy 2nd. I thought he simply did that at the end of the regular season to “get him going.” Had no idea he truly thought it was a great idea. Though, ironically, Ludwick hit well in the two-hole. Much better than our team MVP and team SWAG.

  47. Reds MUST RESIGN CHOO. Try and unload Broxton and Ludwick as well to a desperate team. New manager and a new hitting coach.
    Jocketty needs to acquire a young RH power bat, something like Wil Myers.

  48. yes, i am in disbelief that this TBS crew is so hard on Baker. really thought he’d get a pass like he will from evrybody in Reds upper mgmt

  49. This game doesn’t really change anything in my opinion. It should be completely irrelevant if the Reds lost or won a 50/50 coinflip. Dusty and his staff’s fate shouldn’t come down to 1 game play-in. If Dusty’s job was in jeopardy, the decision should have been made already that he’s basically gone if they don’t make the WS.

    That said, Castellini doesn’t seem all that logical, so maybe it did matter. Such a miserable feeling season though.

    I guess this is how it feels to have expectations. 🙁

    • @CP: I think it will have more to do with the last 6 games. The team just completely melted down. I guess it can be argued but I don’t know how. But good to see at least one person here thinks he deserves to be retained. Good for you, I guess.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I’m not saying he should be retained (c’mon Charlotte, you know I’m 100% saber and therefore hate everything that comes out of Dusty’s mouth 😀 ). I’m just saying this “playoff game” is irrelevant (even if they won!).

        I’m surprised Dusty has lasted this long, though the 2012 season made it really difficult to fire him.

        My prediction is Dusty remains the manager for 2013, but has a really short leash. Reds compete for NL Central, but fall short and make the WC. They win the game, then an asteroid hits Earth.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Hey Charlotte – do you think Dusty has another year with the Reds or does he depart.

        I for one feel like he’s gone based on the team’s poor performance not only over the past 10 days but also over the long haul as the Pirates looked to be the better team tonight as well as over the past 10 days – 2 weeks.

        So sad because they couldn’t say that back in July when it looked like the Reds owned them.

        • @cincyreds14: I will be shocked if he returns. I can’t even picture following the team next year if he returns. I can’t stand the sight of him anymore and to hear/read his asinine comments..

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan:

            @cincyreds14: I will be shocked if he returns.I can’t even picture following the team next year if he returns.I can’t stand the sight of him anymore and to hear/read his asinine comments..

            I know I’m getting old when I respond as follows:

            RIGHT ON!!

  50. People Choo is gone to chicago or ny

    Money man… money

    0% chance he stays

    Would u?

  51. The best possible situation for 2014 is as follows:

    Choo is somehow re-signed and Ludwick is either moved or simply used as a utility bat. Hamilton in Center, Choo in Left, Bruce in Right.

    Bronson Arroyo is given his walking papers for a job well done over the years, and Leake is sent to the bull-pen (or also moved, because I’ve had about all I can take of him). Both Cingrani and Chapman are put into the rotation, and you have a starting five of Latos / Chapman / Cueto / Cingrani / Bailey. Uf you need a 6th starter during the season, you can either stretch Leake back out from the bull-pen or sign a journey man. By August, we’ll have a better idea if Stephenson is ready to be called up; or if he needs another year.

    And Dusty Baker is fired. That sounds like a winning team to me in ’14; however it’s not all peaches and gravy … because let’s be honest. Beyond Stephenson (and maybe Jesse Winker); the Reds farm system is flat out horrific.

  52. She was the last time Chapman pitched? He needs to be traded for a RH power bat n

  53. Without changes we won’t make even WC next year

    Sweeping changes needed

  54. This team has gone completely stale. Worse than yesterday’s pizza. Ownership cannot let this stand. I don’t think they will. Time to lead two old studs, WJ and Baker, out to pasture. The retirement home is ready.
    Time to bring in some fresh youthful exuburence. New attitudes. New approaches. New leadership. New philosophies. A couple of new RH hitters.

  55. we’re stuck with Broxton, Ludwick, and probably Baker, too…

  56. If they fire Dusty (which I doubt) who’s the replacement?
    What team is happy with their manager (other than Tampa)? Mattingly was almost fired, Yankee fans ridicule Girardi, Hurdle was panned before this year, Francona was run out of Boston.
    Everyone’s boss is a jerk, everyone’s MLB manager is an idiot.
    Dusty infuriates me but imho tonight was about Cueto and Liriano.

  57. Baker is gone only if he chooses to leave and the window has likely closed on this roster. No big moves in the offseason to address the lack of speed, lack of punch in the middle of the line-up and the inability to perform well when the spotlight is on and this team’s nice playoff run is over. And given the constraints on the budget heightened by the Votto and Phillips contracts and the lack of depth in the minors, the outlook for 2014 is not good.

    And the Reds are also stuck with Ludwick and his 7 million dollar contract next year.

  58. You know, it doesn’t feel quite as bad as if the Reds had been tied through 8 and lost the game in the bottom of the 9th. They were never in this game.

    And Bob C was sitting front and center and witnessed how his team was not only stinking up the joint but also who was orchestrating this mess..

    No, count on it, Dusty and B Jacoby are gone, and it just might be that Reds players are sick of them as well.

    Good riddance.

  59. We’ve got all winter to discuss and argue why but this team was simply out of gas, past running. On empty.

    Consider for a minute that the first two pitchers used had both been out injured going on three months and had made little more than cameo appearances since returning. And those were arguably their best two options.

    When the story of this season is written after the immediate emotions have settled a little, the lead line is going to have to be about a front office that found them no support as guy after guy went down or played injured past the point he should have because the bench was so pathetic. And that is not to hold the first line management blameless, it is to say job done by front office was several iterations worse.

    • @OhioJim: They ran out of gas rather quick, don’t you think? They looked in pretty good shape against the Dodgers and Cards on the next to last homestand (6-1). I guess they never saw the Mets coming.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Charlotte, I lucked out in watching the Reds play the Cards and Dodgers in that series. The Red’s looked awfully good that week and for once one of my Red’s road trips turned out successfully. On my only west coast swing a few years ago (when I traveled to CA to watch the Reds play in SF, LA and SD – the Reds went a disappointing 0-3) – so I am eternally grateful for that trip to Cincinnati in early September, as it made my season.

        GO REDS!

        And make the necessary changes to become a force again – you have some of the pieces now improvise and improve.

  60. Is it Opening day yet? Surely spring training has started by now? This season has been over for a long time now. Some people saw it, some didn’t. I was somewhere in the middle. (Most of us were most likely) Baseball always brings hopes of new beginnings, but sadly I think big changes need to happen. Some changes are going to happen just due to costs and contracts forcing them to happen. Other changes will be made by choices. Let’s hope the Reds brass makes the right choices. Only time will tell.

  61. Reds 2-7 in the post season under Baker.

    • @Zabka84: Adding in the 2011 season when he tossed in the towel at the All-Star break … the numbers are quite deceiving.

  62. The most important thing the Reds need to do next year is keep Price as pitching coach at all cost to stay a perennial playoff team like the Cardinals, with a chance to win a World Series every year. There is even more young talented pitching coming up from the minors starting with Robert Stephenson, and Cingrani will even be better next year, with a bright future.

  63. Datdude….you are correct sir!

  64. Sorry, but it is going to be hard for me to root for the Parrots, even though I’d rather the Cardinals be covered with a rash. It isn’t that I want somebody else to win, it’s that I don’t care who wins.

    When the team I follow has rolled over and died like this one, it challenges the senses.

    I don’t much feel any pain over this since I gave up that emotion 6 days ago when the Mets proved there is no urgency to a pennant race.

    So the Parrots can win if they want — all I can say is … boola boola.

  65. Injuries. Votto is irreproachable. No applicable trades available at deadline. Two, tough, divisional opponents. Random, odd, bounces and plays. No legitimate alternative manager available. Dusty gets an official pass. Same lineup next year (-Choo, Ha!) (+ some random, “veteran” washup), (+ Arroyo, probably). AND, Dusty Baker, check. There you go. 2013 recap & 2014 predict. Good-bye.http://redlegnation.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_razz.gif

  66. Sorry, but i need to vent a little. Can’t get the image of Cueto laughing when the Reds were down 4-1 in the 4th. Really, what was so funny? If a player did that on my college team, he’d be ordered off the field so fast it would make his head spin. I’d love to see the following current Reds shown the exit: baker, jocketty, cueto, jacoby, ondrusek, arroyo. Trade cueto for someone who can hit on the left side of the infield. Meanwhile, Phillips’s shtick is tiresome and I’m sick of seeing the lack of hustle running–er, loafing to first. Well, now I guess I have to suffer through the fall watching marvyn Lewis torpedo the Bengals. Ok, I’ve vented. Enough.

  67. I’ve been kind of wondering for awhile if the Reds should trade Brandon Phillips. He is a very good player overall, but I get the feeling he is overrated, and while likeable, I think the episode where he cursed out the Cincinnati Enquirer reporter with Dusty sitting there set a bad light on Phillips, and Baker as well. Baker just laughed it off, and didn’t seem to care that one of his players was acting like an 11 year old.

    I don’t know these guys, or what the clubhouse is like, but their seems to be a lack of leadership. On the physical side, I think Phillips may have been injured, but I think it would possibly be wise to explore trading him while he still has value and health.

    I wonder if Atlanta would be interested in Phillips.

    Oh well, man that is a lot of money owed to Baker. But I do think if they bring him back it sets a negative tone for the Reds next year. I wouldn’t say they can’t bring him back, but his teams have collapsed the 3 years they’ve made the playoffs. He deserves credit for helping bring a winner back to the Reds, but it seems like he does not have the touch to bring the best out of his teams when it comes down to the playoffs.

    • @JerBear: As I said on here a few days ago, I’d shop Phillips at least to gauge interest and what I could get in return. He wouldbe physically hard to replace at 2nd, but I wonder if he does more harm than good. The injury may have effected his hitting down the stretch, but his general behavior/attitude is getting old.

    • @JerBear: As they say, sell high, and Phillips value is at a high. Good time to include him in a trade. I have a feeling he’s not the best clubhouse influence in spite of his jovial appearance on the field.

  68. I’ve been saying it all night. They have to let him go. He has had 4 years and 3 chances in post season with this core simce they got over the “hump” in 2010. Still, not a post season series win in those 4 wins. As its been stated, he is 2-7 in the post season with the Reds and now managed 2 collapses In a row to end seasons. Lost 3 in a row last year, lost 6 in a row this year giving up home field and the WC game.

    They have to let him go. What would they say? 90 wins? 3.5 million? It doesn’t cut it and they know that at this point. Baker has forced them into a corner now where it’s royaly piss off the fans or let him go.

    Bob and Walt are going to look out for Bob and Walt before they look out for Baker getting his last year. I’m betting Bob will eat the 3.5 before he crosses the line in the sand with the fans over Baker at this point.

    • @brandon11: watching Madden and Francona talking….i feel sick and Castellini should, too. Granted Francona and Madden have no stories to tell about Hank Aaron

  69. @Ohio Jim. You are dead on. What does it say about the pitching staff at the end of the year that the Reds were forced to use Cueto and Marshall in the biggest game of the year when both had almost no time to preppare for such a big game? Given the way the season ended for Latos, Bailey and Arroyo I’m wondering if any of them were totally healthy.

    Oh well it wouldn’t have mattered with the anemic offensive output.

  70. The reds have major issues all around the field, save a few positions. However, one thing I would love to see is Mesoraco catching AT LEAST 4 out of every 5 days of the week. Hanigan should be the back up next year.

  71. @JerBear Not sure anyone would take Phillips. His act actually got a little old this year. I’m wondering how popular he is with his team mates

  72. You can be the biggest homer there is: but this team never belonged in the playoffs. At least we now have an October worthy of postseaon baseball.

    • @wildwestLV: dude, they had 90 wins. That was four better than the next team.

      • @jessecuster44: without the extra wild card just another third place team.

      • @jessecuster44: There were a LOT of BAD teams in the National League this year. Just how many MEDALS are we willing to give out, to consider a season a “success”? It gets to be a little ridiculous when one is chastised for criticizing the shortcomings of this team, only because they “technically” finished in FIFTH PLACE. It’s just silly. Nobody in the real workforce would put this on their resume.

  73. BP’s act needs to move on. When he starts getting sloppy on D, his value takes a huge hit. Something turned for me when he said he deserved as much money than Votto, and was hurt by the Reds for locking in Votto first. That can’t do good things in the clubhouse. Dusty and BP seem to epitomize the lack of hustle, fight, and desire that haunted this team all year long.

  74. Can someone please explain to me why trading Cueto for a bat would be good, anyone?

    • @josephneely25: because Cueto has a hitch in his delivery that causes him to get injured. He also came up mighty small tonight, but is good enough to get a bat in return. Reds have pitching depth. Whatvexactly has Cueto contributed since September, 2012?

      • @jessecuster44: Interesting idea. Reds might need a big bat more than Cueto’s arm. It would require, I think, moving Chappy into the rotation, but they prob. should do that anyway. He did them virtually no good in last year’s playoffs and no good at all the last week of this season as closer.

      • @jessecuster44: I can’t justify it since we are losing Arroyo, and possibly Bailey.

  75. I was a little surprised Mesoraco didn’t start tonight. I thought he was going to start. Pirates/Steelers do have speed, but Hannigan really didn’t have a good year. With all the negativity, I forget this team was actually a good team!

    But I was looking at the standings and the Reds had the 10th best record in baseball. It seems that they were not as good as we thought they were.

    Kind of a piece work bullpen, a inconsistent offense, and a solid rotation made for a good, but not great year.

  76. I didn’t enjoy witnessing Cueto’s jovial attitude, after giving up crucial runs and being yanked, but, I’ve come to expect that casual attitude, under this manager. To pin the blame this loss solely on Cueto, though, as many on here are doing, is just wrong. Yes, he had a strong record against Pittsburgh (even in Pittsburgh). But he had pitched exactly TWO GAMES since returning from the DL. Both were against sub .500 teams. I’m not saying Baker shouldn’t have started Cueto tonight (I agreed with the decision), but, in a one-game/play-in, against a +.500 team (actual playoff contender…who had just swept you…at home) you’d think Baker would have had a plan B. Which I truly thought was Latos. And I don’t care what you try to argue, I don’t but the whole “bone chip” thing. The whole “bone chip” thing that still, was, evidently, going to allow for a divisional series start? Okay? No. Sorry. Dusty Baker will always blow opportunities to win big games. ALWAYS.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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