The 2018 season is (mercifully) over. As we direct our gaze towards the upcoming off-season — the most important winter for the Reds in many years — I decided to take a look at some teams who actually made the playoffs, and see if the Reds could learn anything from the way those teams achieved success.

Once again, our beloved Cincinnati Reds (although perhaps not as beloved as they once were) have lost 90-plus games. It’s the fourth consecutive season we’ve said that, and it makes my head hurt every time. Sadly, the ol’ Redlegs will once again not be participating in the Major League Baseball playoffs. (How do I insert a sad emoji here for the kids?)

I like baseball and the playoffs are a lot of fun, so I’ll be watching with interest. As Cincinnati’s management turns the page to next season, however, I hope they’re watching the playoffs carefully and taking notes. Because they just might be able to learn a thing or two from the teams still playing.

Read the entire thing and let me know what you think.

28 Responses

  1. hokiebo

    Maybe big Bob will read your article and have an epiphany. We can only hope.

    • David

      No. We are stuck in Groundhog Day. Has Mike Brown of the Bengals had any “epiphanies” in the last 20 years?
      We are stuck here. Unless Bob actually leaves it to one of his kids to run the club, and they take a different tack, or for some reason the Castellini family needs a lot of money and sells their majority share to someone else.

      We are stuck in Groundhog Day. Next season will likely be much like this season. Or somehow some of the pitchers get magically better. Anything could happen.

  2. Rut

    Craziest thing about this season? There were 6 teams worse than the clown show the Reds ran out there in 2018!

    Oh well, at least Greaters is still the best ice cream in the world and Skyline is still the best remedy for too much drink….

    • Big56dog

      Let’s see how long it takes these organizations with worse records to turn it around. I remember Reds announcers mocking the Rays due to their unconventional SP and I thought they were as worse as the Reds this season at some point. They somehow won 90 games even after getting swept by Yankees final week. Braves, Phillies, A’s and Rockies made great improvements. Weren’t the Astros and Cubs horrible last time Reds had a winning record.
      Can Any body pinpoint overall poor strategy by Reds that other teams ate not using as I do not watch enough but I notice they seem to bunt a lot, do not spend much on free agents, got very minimal return on their talent (outside of maybe Schebler/Perza possibly Castillo)

      • Aaron Bradley

        This times a million. Broadcasters mocking TB for an unconventional approach when it actually turned out to work! Thom Brennaman should be shamed forever for his poor judgement.

  3. Mark Lang

    The Reds have done pretty much what I thought was impossible for me… make me welcome Winter and a break from baseball. (Mom said, “if you’ve got nothing nice to say….”)

  4. Scott Gennett

    What is really of concern is the fact that the team has just too many holes like to expect a major improvement from one season into another: starting pitching, center field, manager, infield defense. If FO is able to fix at least starting pitching and manager issues, it’d be a major achievement.

    • David

      The Reds have (sort of) announced they will be looking at acquiring a starting pitcher in the Free Agent or Trade avenue.

      I look for a redux of the Eric Milton experience of the last decade. Really good “young” starting pitching is expensive, and the Reds will not spend the money or value in a trade. They will overpay for a really sub-mediocre pitcher, and be proud of it.

      This is your 2019 Cincinnati Reds.

  5. David

    Rest assured that fumbling this selection is also part of the plan. They will hire someone who will make the players play the game “the right way”, whatever that means. A manager that stresses “fundamentals” that players should have mastered at Low A or High A ball.
    And lots of bunting. Small ball. Let’s get excited.
    There will be no desire, emphasis or interest in finding a manager that grasps a lot of the important factors in advanced metrics in terms of evaluating players. The Reds are certainly gathering this data, but it likely resides safely isolated from the management process on a hard drive on someone’s computer in the Player Personnel office.
    That sort of thinking is frankly dangerous to the Reds.

  6. B-town Fan

    Chad excellent article, agree with everything in it. On another note what I found interesting was there was a link on this page to, “2001 A Reds Odyssey” a 2017 end of year story you wrote and if you changed the date from 17 to the 18 season you wouldn’t know the difference from this season to last, especially all the posts in the comments section,, they could have all been written in the present, it was uncanny it was a little like ground hog day all over again. Maybe you should have had a picture of Bill Murry from ground hog day at the top of this page.

  7. Jeff Reed

    Mikey and Big Bob are doing quite well in meddling in the operation of their pro sports franchises and the lessening of attendance is the proof of the pudding.

  8. Dewey Roberts

    I am in the hospital waiting room while my grandson is having surgery. The Cubs and Brewers game is on. As a Reds fan, I had forgotten that baseball was still played in October! I wonder if Bob and Walt know about this???

  9. jeffery stroupe

    Cringing about a team that is not worth a crap as these Reds are is different than cringing about the Reds miss steps in the 70s. Those of us who were lucky enough to live through those wonderful times still have a since of accomplishment about our team. Those less fortunate say from 1991 until now hinge on every loss with amazment that the FO is responsable for every pitch down the middle of the plate that is hit for a home run or every error in the field that makes you scream trade him!!. Missed cut offs etc. I figured it out after the 82 season that what i saw for a decade was once in a lifetime. 1990 was cool but that was about it. As good as we were then its a given that we be as bad for same amount of time, Yes we should be more consentent like many of our rivals seem to be but were not, so we are all playing the waiting game until that little bit of magic dust hits our team again. This has nothing to do with Price, Riggleman or Bailey. Or Vottos demise. Its not our turn right now, ……Period

  10. Alex

    I don’t see an avenue to hang with the NL with this core of players and they aren’t a trade away. The FA pitcher thing isn’t happening, so it’s a trade and I don’t think this team is close to being one player away, and I don’t think sacrificing potential young stars like senzel and Trammell is a good idea to get one pitcher. The sad part is the signings ppl seem to want are Harvey and gennett. Who basically increase the payroll and make the team no better than it is now. The reds are in a really tough spot. The pitching is atrocious and there is a huge drop off in position players once the main guys start getting hurt, which they always seem too. Your best young OF hitter tore his labrum, schebler and barnhart went into the tank, votto power way down, peraza errors and barely league average, Billy Hamilton of course, disco was dinally healthy just not good and gennet has balky shoulder and is due another raise. Then, you get to the pitching.

    Whew. Good thing dick was chosen because of his remarkable baseball track record and not just cause he’s one of the minority owners sons who could spell “analytics” because this is a doozy.

    • David

      The Reds need to work incrementally to get better; make clever trades to improve the value at positions where they are weakest (can you say, Center field?). Nothing is going to improve the team with “one big deal!” IMHO, you can’t sit around and wait for the younger players to arrive and mature, because some of them may not pan out, or “arrive”.. With some improvements, the line up is OK for being competitive. The starting pitching is terrible. If it just got to mediocre or a little better than league average, the fans would get excited because at least they Reds would not be horrible and lose 90 games.

  11. jeffery stroupe

    No Joe Morgans, or Billinghams or Geronimos, out there on the horizon for us. It is going to come within, so lets all see what happens. Give these kids time to do something.

  12. Reds Fan In FL

    One could argue that historically, the Reds are a below average major league franchise and what we are seeing is more norm for this team. If you subtract what was obviously one of the all-time great baseball dynasties (I used 1970-1981 to signify the Big Red Machine era) what do you get? Only 9 other playoff appearances compared to 6 with the BRM. Only 5 world series appearances compared to 4 for the BRM. Could have had 1 more playoff appearances each 1994 for non BRM era and 1981 for BRM that were eliminated due to strike seasons. In fact, if you subtract the W-L record from 1970-1981 the Reds have a below .500 all-time winning percentage.

    • Dewey Roberts

      I am glad I was able to relish those years.

  13. I-71_Exile

    What do you guys think of John Gibbons for next Reds manager?

  14. David

    Not much!!! (kidding, of course!) A lot of people picked the Nationals. And did they ever do a swan dive this year. The Braves had to be the biggest surprise in the League. And they are a pretty good young team, looking like the Astros of a couple of years ago. My guess is that they have a rigorous method of evaluating young talent, because it seems to be working.

  15. Jeff Reed

    Washington and another team we know about gave up on Dusty Baker and look what happened.

  16. Jeff Reed

    The solidification of a young Red’s starting pitching staff did not happen this season, but regardless of what changes occur in the next six months, I would like to see pitching coach Danny Darwin stick around.

  17. Mason Red

    Unfortunately I think the whole things needs blown up and that includes the front office. The small market thing has to go. No they can’t spend like the Yankees and Red Sox but it wouldn’t matter if they did. They don’t have FO personnel who are good baseball people and I don’t think the scouts are good evaluators of talent. They blew the rebuild at the get go. Like Chad said there aren’t a lot of players here in their early 20’s. The players here are older and decisions will have to be made to sign them to long term deals or trade them. Unfortunately this teams makes terrible trades on a regular basis. It’s just a sad state of affairs all the way around.

  18. David

    So simple and obvious, yet such an impossible thing to get to happen. It’s a big ego thing with most owners, because they think that because they are good at one thing, and they have been a “fan” all their lives, they know what the team should do.
    We commenters here make a lot of criticisms of Bob Castellini, and perhaps rightly so. But he did come up with the big bucks to become the majority owner. He had the bucks, and none of us do. I honestly don’t know the specific moves the Reds should make, but I can see where they have gone wrong. Cuz I’m a fan.

  19. Dewey Roberts

    Walt Jocketty started destroying the Reds the day he was hired just like he did the Cards ( which got him fired). Bob is unwilling to let Walt go. The Reds will not win again as long as Walt is anywhere around.

  20. Jeff

    I notice none of your points mention the manager, and I couldn’t agree with that omission, more. Get the players in here who can make a difference, then we’ll worry about who’s making the pitching changes