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Red Hot Mama recently had a Q and A with Strike 3 forums that's well worth reading, but there was a small bit that I wanted to talk about:

The number two reason why I started Red Hot Mama was to provide a humorous Reds blog for all the people out there who were intimidated by or bored with the complaining and stat talk that dominates most online baseball discussion.

She's right of course, there is a lot of complaining and stat talk in most online baseball discussion, especially when it comes to online Reds discussion.

There's a lot of complaining on this site, and it's certainly increased in frequency with this past season. I can honestly say that right now I'm at my lowest point as a Reds fan in my entire life.  Believe it or not, this is what I want this site to eventually be.  I'm not talking about the traffic of AN, although that would certainly be nice!  I'm talking about the enthusiasm for the team, and the trust that Blez has in his GM's moves, no matter how puzzling they might appear.  I want to feel that way!  And yet it's impossible with Dan O'Brien at the helm.

This past season was the fifth in a row that the Reds have had a losing record.  It's easily the worst five year stretch of my lifetime (I was born in '81).  No other five year period even comes close, not even the bad days of the early eighties.  Just to refresh your memory, this is what I'm talking about:

  1. 66-96
  2. 78-84
  3. 69-93
  4. 76-86
  5. 72-89
This season the Reds were one loss short of their third 90+ loss season in five years.  That's abysmal. And we have a general manager who's determined to fix the farm system, which is terrific certainly. It definitely needs fixing.

But it does nothing to address what the average fan sees on the field day in and day out right now. The farm system may eventually bear fruit, or the Reds might make all the right moves and still strike out, because of injuries and bad luck.  But even under the best case scenario, the farm system isn't going to produce a winner in Cincinnati in the next few years.

The only thing that's going to produce a winner in Cincinnati anytime soon is through wheeling and dealing and being buyers in free agency. Our GM hasn't made a significant trade in his tenure (no Joe Randa doesn't count ... neither does Chris Reitsma), and his major free agent purchases have been busts.  So, what it all boils down to is that there's very little to hope for at the moment.  I'll be excited for baseball next spring.  Heck, I miss Reds baseball already, I'm a masochist like that.  But I won't be excited because I expect the Reds to do well.  I'm hoping for a .500 season at best.  I'll simply be excited because it's the Reds, and I love them.  But I'm finding that love can co-exist with disgust.

If Dan O'Brien ever does a 180 and starts to fix things, or the Reds ever decide to hire a general manager with a clue, then I can promise you that this site will be different.  I'll be optimistic as all get out.  But I just can't figure out a way to delude myself into thinking that the Reds are going to do anything great while Dan O'Brien, John Allen, and Carl Lindner are in charge.  I just can't.