I know we’re all down after last night’s shellacking in the first meaningful August game that the Reds have had in about seven years. I’ve resolved to try to stay optimistic around here, given that the National League is just brutal this year, giving even a deeply flawed team like the Reds a chance.

However, I can’t disagree with a single thing JD says here. He’s attempting to take a realistic look at this team’s playoff hopes, and he comes away discouraged.

Read the entire thing, it’s worth a couple of minutes of your time. In the end, however, JD hits the nail on the head with his conclusion:

The Reds have now scored 546 runs and allowed 581. They’ve gone from having the best offense in the National League in 2005 to having the seventh best offense in the NL. From tops to middling. And they’ve gone from having the worst pitching in the NL to … having the second worst pitching in the NL.

This is not a playoff team. It hasn’t been a playoff team since Krivsky traded Kearns and Lopez to the Washington Nationals. And it’s a damn shame because I think they might have made it if Wayne had simply stood pat on that move and made all the other trades he’s made. 2006 is going to be remembered as a lost opportunity.

Indeed. Unfortunately, we didn’t just lose some offense for this year (and gain a bullpen in return that is only marginally better than the one we already had). We lost two above-average players who were just getting ready to hit their prime. That effect will be felt for years to come.

I am going to try to stay optimistic. After all, the Reds are still in the thick of things, and they definitely have a chance to pull this out. But I’m not going to lie: I’m discouraged.

JD is right; this just isn’t a very good team right now. If you don’t agree with that statement, I’m afraid you’re deluding yourself, although I’d love to listen to a well-reasoned argument that the Reds are a good team. If JD and I are wrong, we’ll admit it.

Anyone?

13 Responses

  1. Steve

    No disagreement over how good (bad?) our Reds are. Weaknesses definitely abound, you’re both dead right about that, though I really don’t miss Lopez. Phillips will fill that spot nicely starting next year for many years to come if everything works out (course we thought that about Felipe coming into this year now didn’t we!)

    However, I too am still very optimistic about this year simply because of the seemingly pathetic shape of the National League. Our boys CAN pull this off and get to the postseason (and it’ll come down to the last game of the season I says), and once the playoffs start, anything can happen (see 2nd half of ’90 season and then sudden resurgence in the playoffs as we all remember). You gotta believe!

  2. al

    i think the reds can be a good team with what they have right now. It seems to me that people’s impressions of how good
    the team is go pretty much hand in hand with how good the starting pitching is.

    If you play every game in a hole, it seems like your team sucks. I think the reds starters are capable of having a good run, and if they can pull that off we’ll feel like we’re back on track.

    That said, it’s clear that this season lives under the shadow of The Trade. Just when you thought the reds had made major strides towards respectability, Krivsky goes crazy, and it’s hard not to feel like we’re back to square one.

    I even tried to defend the trade when it went down, but the results are in, and there’s really no room for argument. Kearns offense is missed as we all knew it would be, lopez is currently 13 Runs Above Average ahead of Clayton on the year (according to BP accounting for offense and defense), and the return on that has been a handful of good innings from bray, a handful of not so great innings from bray, and a whole lot of terrible innings from the majic man.

    If that’s the type of move we’re going to make, playoofs or no, we’re still not a legit contender.

  3. goguest

    From Viva el Birdos:

    “according to bernie, elizardo ramirez was tipping his pitches, giving away his fastball; the cardinals had “a lengthy hitters meeting” about it before the game and applied the knowledge immediately. in the first inning they saw 11 strikes and swung at 8 of them — and put the ball in play on all 8 swings. didn’t just put it in play, either — roped it, yanked it down the lines and over the wall. only one player (rolen) swung at an off-speed pitch; ev’yone else feasted on fastballs. beginning with the 2-0 pitch to duncan — which resulted in a single to plate the game’s first run — the cardinals scored 5 runs in a span of 7 pitches.

    way to go, scouts.”

    EZ was tipping his changeup earlier in the year. Tom Hume needs to get on top of this stuff. I miss Verne and his extensive use of film and analysis, and so do the reds.

  4. al

    yeah i caught that too. I thought all the talk about “damaged goods compensation” was wishful thinking by fans, but it seems like it might actually have some legs.

    That article made it sound like there’s some real anger in the reds organization about this, with Doc Hollywood even saying that he’ll end his relationship with the Nats over it.

    THere’s no way the reds trade for a guy who got a cortisone shot 3 days earlier, that’s an easy case to prove i would think. Bring back Kearns!

  5. Glenn

    I think that most of the recent offensive drop stems from Griffey’s now prolonged slump and Dunn’s horendous Dodger series.
    As for the pitching, the Majik man is killing us. His stats are worse than Hammond and White combined. He was a decent pitcher before the trade and then went into the toilet.
    K had to deal some of his strengths (offense) to improve the glaring weaknesses in pitching and defense.
    If the players the Reds received (mostly Majewski) had just continued to perform at the level they did in DC then the trade could have made sense. Until that happens, and I’m not sure it will, K looks like he got played by Bowden.

  6. al

    can anyone find an example of a similar trade grievance?

    what carroll says doesn’t change anything of what i understand of the story now. if majic needed a cortisone shot 3 days before the trade and the nats told him to shut up about it, that’s dirty dealing. Doesn’t seem very hard to prove.

    The Nats would probably just get fined, and it won’t make up for the playoffs if we don’t make it, but it would be something.

  7. Gage

    I agree that there’s probably some sort of monitary settlement that would go down in this case. It’s hard to imagine a situation where the trade gets “reversed” or something along those lines. Of course if this story gets blown up in the national media, who knows?

  8. al

    i’ve read elsewhere that “additional players” could be involved, though i have no idea if that’s true since i can’t find a report of a similar situation. I can’t think there’s a chance in heck that the trade is reversed, because it would just be too weird.

    would players who were dealt even want to come back? They’d be traded again over the winter in all liklihood. So yeah, compensation seems like the way to go.

  9. Clint

    yeah I unfortunately have to agree with JD. I have tried to defend that trade but it is almost impossible to defend right now especially with the latest developments surrounding Majewski.

  10. al

    i’m glad to read that krivsky is definitely going the grievance route, whatever that does or doesn’t get us in the end.

  11. CG Hudson

    The ardent supporters of The Amazing Krivsky now have their alibi regarding this trade and I too hope the grievance goes somewhere. But the fact that Majewski is damaged goods should not hide the fact that this was a stupid deal even if Gary was 100% healthwise.

  12. ohiobobcat

    PTBNL material, perhaps, maybe a compensatory draft pick. Shouldn’t Magi have disclosed the last cortisone shot to the Reds brass well before now? Maybe he was thrilled to death to be out of DC, and tried to tough it out. But there is no damage on the MRI, so I don’t think it goes too far. Definitely no return of Kearns to CIN. Good win tonight breeds hope. I’m more ticked about getting stuck with Royce.