Losing isn’t the problem.
Losing is the by-product of what happens on the field. It’s what happens when Sal Romano gives up 5 runs in 6 innings. Losing it what happens when Scooter Gennett makes a throwing error or when Jose Peraza fails to get on base. Most of us expected the Reds to lose more games than they were going to win this year. The talent just wasn’t there…or it was MAYBE there. Maybe Homer Bailey was going to come back from injury and be the ace of this starting rotation. Maybe Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, and Brandon Finnegan would end up being good pitchers. Maybe the outfield would work itself out and the Reds would give playing time to those who fit into their future. Maybe Scooter Gennett and Jose Peraza would be good enough to hold down the middle infield.
That’s a lot of maybes, and I’m honestly OK with it. Some of those maybes have worked out and some of them have not. That’s what a rebuilding year is for; to sort through the junk and find out which pieces are worthy of putting on the mantle and which pieces are meant to be tossed in the dumpster outside the back door of GABP. I can handle the sorting, the trashing, the losing. What I can’t handle is the lack of organization, direction, and common sense. What I can’t handle is flip flopping, far fetched ideas, and failure by this organization to do everything they can to set players up for success.
To be honest with you, I haven’t really been upset that the Reds have lost a baseball game one time this year. Call it apathy, call it low expectations, call it what you want. I expected the Reds to miss the playoffs this year. Them losing 100 games or 80 games didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t using this season to enjoy a pennant race, I was using it to evaluate young players and to see some of those “maybes” turn into “definites”.
There have been decisions by the Reds front office this year that have bothered me 100x more than their current record. The decision to keep Amir Garrett in the bullpen, the decision to bench Jesse Winker, the Matt Harvey signing (I mean I get their idea, but seriously, what are we doing here?), the lack of opportunities for Alex Blandino, not giving guys like Robert Stephenson a chance (but we could flip Matt Harvey for a low level prospect, you guys!), the weirdness of the Homer Bailey situation. All of these questionable decisions, among many others, have led me to be more upset about how this season is going than any box score or the Reds current place in the standings.
This is why its frustrating to be a Reds fan right now. Forget the current record, forget that they might lose 100 games this year; its the sheer lack of leadership and direction that is driving many of us fans crazy. It’s one thing to be concerned about the talent on the field and to really wonder if some of these players are going to turn into decent baseball players, but its another thing to question the rebuild as a whole and to have an uneasiness that the people running the show have any idea of what exactly they are doing. Some of the decisions made recently point to a lack of organization and cohesiveness. Some of the most obvious decisions that the Reds could make are handled in such a difficult and stubborn way. It’s almost like the Reds are trying to make this rebuild as difficult as possible…and that’s whats really scary.
So, the Reds will continue to roll Matt Harvey out there every fifth day, and they will continue to sit Jesse Winker on the bench and continue to let Amir Garrett waste away in the bullpen…and I will continue to watch. I will continue to watch hoping that for just one time this season the Reds make a decision that I (and most fans) agree with, and then they make another that I agree with, and another, and I eventually stop thinking “maybe this organization has an idea of what they are doing” and start thinking “this organization definitely has an idea of what they are doing and where they want to go”.
Jeff is Cincinnati born, Ohio University educated. Reds baseball has been a central theme of his family ever since his mom and dad helped him skip school to attend Opening Day. Jeff has been accused of having a “man crush” on Joey Votto and longs for the day that he gets to witness the Reds finally win a playoff series. You can follow him on Twitter @Gaaangs