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Fixing the 2008 Reds for 2009...

270 Homeruns
755 Walks
646 RBIs
4th in Rookie of the Year voting
Twice in the top 30 in the MVP vote

Who’s that? Mr. Adam Troy Dunn, ex-Cincinnati Reds, current Diamondback for hire.

Sometimes it’s hard to let it go. As a lifelong Reds fan, I’m utterly dismayed about the state of the franchise…and even more so now that the powers that be decided that they can let 270 homeruns walk out the door for little to nothing.

To further my frustration, I stumbled upon across an article in the Dayton Daily News by Greg Simms stating the Reds wouldn’t look like the same team next year as they do this year. While that’s obvious to an extent, the author of the article essentially says that every position player the Reds currently have is expendable. According to Simms, the Reds have a good rotation and absolutely no position players that are considered untouchable.

Simms' comments on the 2009 Reds are below, with my remarks in italics.

Catcher: Championships are built up the middle, starting here. There's nobody
special, so expect a new face.

For a team that's carried three catchers on the roster in recent memory, it's a sign of the poor team construction that none of the Reds catchers have any right to be on any MLB team in 2009. Finding a new catcher (or two) has to be a priority.

First base: Joey Votto. He has slugger potential, but he's no defensive whiz. He
could play left field, where he would be slow. I can see postage on his

Sure, at time Votto has had a lead glove...but he's young and one of the Reds most consistent hitters. In fact, Votto is one of the few Reds that seems to have the "know how" to work a pitcher, select a pitch, and then drive it to make something happen. Of all the positions, first base ought to be one of the Reds' least worries.

Second base: Brandon Phillips. The team's best player, but he could be dealt for
help elsewhere.

You've got to be kidding Mr. Simms. If the Reds trade away Phillips (and presumably you are advocating multiple "young" talents in return to fill multiple positions), the Reds would have ZERO stars. Lest anyone forget, baseball is a business...and since it appears the Reds won't be winning a lot, they better have at least some players worth watching or they'll never make their potential customers part with their hard-earned dollars by going to the ballpark.

Third base: Edwin Encarnacion. A GM's nightmare. All the talent is there, but
he's erratic and he's 25. Could become a star somewhere else.

While I strongly disagreed with Simms' assessment of 2nd base, he's correct in regards to Encarnacion. There appears to be a great chance that Edwin is the Reds' version of Cleveland's Brandon Phillips. While in Cleveland, Phillips was a bit of a loose cannon, one who didn't seem to care nor take instruction...lackadaisical some would say. Edwin also has the same makings in Cincinnati, a trade probably turns Edwin into a star and, thus, makes him difficult to trade away without looking like a buffoon on the GM's part. Of course, given recent Reds trades, it appears the GM and other upper level brass aren't afraid of looking like buffoons.

Shortstop: Jeff Keppinger has limited range. Say goodbye, Jeff.

Keppinger has played quite well, but an upgrade at shortstop (while nice) is bound to be expensive. Of the different positions, shortstop should not be one of the top priorities. I certainly wouldn't dismiss Keppinger as quickly as Simms wants to.

Outfield: Load 'em up and ship 'em out. Fan favorite Jay Bruce might hold down
right field, but he's slow.

Seriously? Bruce, the media-appointed savior of the Reds is now slow and thus should be shipped out? The poor guys only been playing MLB for less than a year and you are ready to ship him out because he's slow?! Freel's fast, but I don't hear anyone (anyone who's sane at least) saying that Freel ought to be a starting outfielder. It takes more than speed, and Bruce has the other skills. That said, the rest of the outfield is problem. Without Dunn and Griffey, the Reds don't have a constant, legitimate power threat...something that they must have in the bandbox of a ballpark (and something fans and media alike seem to forget). Sometimes you've got to play the hand you are dealt, in the Reds case, the ballpark is homerun friendly, so if you don't have any homerun hitters you are shooting yourself in the foot and then trying to run a race...the results aren't likely to be positive.

Pitching: Rotation looks good. Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and
Bronson Arroyo. Bullpen needs rebuilding. Don't worry. Jocketty and staff know
where the talent is.

I agree here, the rotation is (remarkably) the Reds strength. Of course, that's assuming Aaron Harang fixes whatever has ailed him this year (Dusty perhaps?), Bronson continues on his resurgence, and the two young guns avoid collapsing next year. The bullpen hasn't been as bad as the recent numbers suggest...especially when you consider that Reds had ZERO complete games up until last week.

And with that, I bid adieu to the 2008 Cincinnati Reds season. I won't stop watching baseball, but the Reds simply aren't worth my time with their terrible play, lack of stars, and questionable (at best) management and ownership. The good news is, there's always next year (oh yeah, and NCAA and NFL football are starting up).


  1. Trading Dunn was the biggest mistake they could have possibly made. When that happened I thought to myself that the Reds had officially given up on this season.

    But, there's always next year.


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