Reds need to find consistency

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 7, 2008

It’s a little more than halfway through the baseball season and we find the Cincinnati Reds bouncing between fourth and sixth places in the Central Division.

Yeah, they would be in contention in either the East or West divisions. But that is no consolation for their current plight.

The finger pointing and second guessing have already reached third base on the talk shows and in the bar rooms. Every player plus manager Dusty Baker has to take some of the blame for the Reds’ struggles.

Email newsletter signup

The trade Ken Griffey Jr. and/or Adam Dunn cries from fans is normal for this time of year, but not really that feasible.

Dunn hits 40-plus home runs each year and drives in 100 or more runs. Yes, he strikes out a lot but so do a lot of other sluggers. It comes with the territory.

And let’s face it, finding that kind of production isn’t easy. If you do, it’s doubtful the other team is going to trade that kind of a player. They need that kind of slugger, too.

Griffey Jr. is 38-years old, but you need some veterans on the team. I don’t mind him coming back next year, but not at $16 million. Even Griffey has to understand that his skills have diminished like every player who has played the game — with the exception of the steroid boys — and should be willing to take a cut in pay.

If not, cut your ties and move on.

The main thing to remember is Dunn and Griffey aren’t the reason the Reds are floundering. The keys to winning are pitching, defense, and consistency.

So far, the defense has been shaky at times and the pitching very inconsistent.

The addition of Francisco Cordero as the closer has been a great move, but getting to Cordero has been a problem. The Reds are still reeling from the trade that brought Bill Bray and Gary Majewski to the bullpen from Washington.

I’m betting Jim Bowden could sell ocean front property in Montana to Wayne Krivsky.

Cincinnati is not out of contention. It will be difficult, but far from impossible to get back in the race.

Still, it comes back to consistency in the pitching and defense and that doesn’t sound good when you consider the only thing consistent about the Reds’ play so far has been its inconsistency.

-- Sinatra --

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.