Time removed from the baseball season usually causes me to yearn for it to return. This offseason is certainly no exception.
What has been somewhat more frustrating is that the team hasn’t really seemed to make any progress addressing the most pressing concerns as time has progressed. Only one month removed the start of Spring Training, the team looks mostly the same as it did last year with only losses and really no gains. No more Shin-Soo Choo (off to the Texas Rangers). No more Bronson Arroyo (at least not yet … and not likely). We have a team that often struggled on offense minus a significant offensive weapon. Arroyo won’t be there to take up big chunks of innings anymore.
It doesn’t mean that 2014 will be a wash, but the “experts” certainly aren’t looking all that favorably at this ballclub so far. Prognostications don’t mean that the outcome will be what is predicted, yet fans have to be left wondering if this team really does have what it takes to go any further than it has the past few years.
Given payroll limitations for an organization the size it is, it is unrealistic for the Reds to really make some big splash. Still, the lingering doubts creep in whether a guy like Billy Hamilton is ready to take over the leadoff spot. The offense proved it could score lots of runs at times last season but seemingly couldn’t get it together when it mattered most. Dusty Baker‘s absence and Bryan Price’s ascension to manager does bring with it some intrigue. Will he really have the pieces to make something significant happen, though?
The most we can do at this point is wait and see. Every new season brings with it renewed hope, and the pitching core this team has still remains its inherent strength. Winter feels shorter knowing the season with Reds baseball is soon to come again.
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