The Cincinnati Reds have been outscored 83-28 over the past 12 games. The team’s record is 15-40 since August 5. They are not remotely competitive.

Was this collapse inevitable after the trades of Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake?

The Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline shipped off their closer, best left-handed set up reliever, ace starting pitcher, starting CF and 2B. Their manager resigned. The Phillies fired their GM.

This afternoon, behind a rookie starting pitcher, the Phillies shut out the New York Mets. That meant a sweep in a series against a team playing for home field advantage in the postseason. The Phillies have won four in a row. The last time the Reds won four in a row was June. Prior to that, it was the first four games of the season.

Other poor teams have rallied to play well – to play competitively – at the end of the season. The Brewers have won 6 of the last 10. The Braves 7 of 11.

So there was nothing inevitable about the Reds complete, embarrassing disintegration.

Last year’s Reds team won 14 fewer games than the year before. This year’s team looks headed to be 13 games worse than 2014.

The Reds have now fallen to within one game of having the worst record in baseball, “behind” only the Phillies.

It’s important to keep in mind that responsibility for the players playing hard and well is with the players themselves. But the manager and general manager also have a significant obligation when it comes to the talent level and how the team performs.

Yet, reports circulate that the Reds are likely to keep manager Bryan Price and general manager Walt Jocketty for another season. If that turns out to be true, it would be stunning, given the way the team has performed the past two months. It acceptable to lose games as your club enters a rebuilding phase. Plenty of teams do that. But’s it’s altogether another thing for the team to become so utterly uncompetitive. The Reds will need new voices at the top to recover from this.

Remember when Bryan Price said at his first press conference as manager that his teams would be relentless? I wonder if that included being relentless in pursuit of the worst record in baseball. Remember in that same press conference when Walt Jocketty used the word accountable in every sentence? I wonder if Jocketty counted himself as one to be held up to that standard.

Instead of putting Mr. Castellini in the position of having to fire them, Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty should resign for what they’ve produced.