The smoke that we all started to see in early July has led us now to what most of us saw coming.... the Reds have turned into a three alarm building fire that is out of control and burning to the ground. I think about the high expectations we all had in April and then look at where we are today and I'm shocked. For the most part this is the same team that won the National League Central last year, same coaches, manager, GM, players and the most important part......fans. So I ask myself why? Why did this all happen and how did we get here?
# 1 Dusty isn't a pitching coach -This has always been and will always be his weak point. Dusty has run more pitchers in the ground than you can count. His decisions and timing on relief have always been questioned and my guess is that won't change.
# 2 Lack of a lead off hitter - We knew this last year yet we made no move towards helping this situation.
# 3 Development of Drew Stubbs - Drew has made no improvement with his stick this year and this deal has really run its course as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure he will ever be a good every day player. I see him as a vacation fill in for temporary stints.
# 4 Good Bye Arroyo - Arroyo has been horrible for a while now. We can't bring him back again next year.
# 5 Justifying Volquez - How many games did we lose this year or get put in position to lose over the Reds and Dusty Baker trying to force Volquez into become a good starting pitcher? Lets face it folks, I don't think its going to work out for him in Cincy, a change of scenery may work for Volquez but I have my doubts...and don't tell me what he has done in Lousiville.
# 6 Left Fielder - Explain to me why we left Jonny Gomes in the lineup during his season long slump and Chris Heisey on the bench and Alonzo in Louisville? I'm a Jonny Gomes fan but again you can't make somebody hit better. Best thing for Gomes early would have been to bench him and try again later. We left him out there and then it became a head deal with Jonny and his whole season was gone.
Just some thoughts I have. Many more issues than what I have here but these stand out to me when I think about the 2011 Reds.