It’s official: Dave Miley’s tenure as manager of the Cincinnati Reds is over. Not only that, but he’s taking Don Gullett with him.
I was sitting on my bed, flipping through the television channels at lightning-warp speed as I tend to do, and as I was getting through the local stations, I happened to see Miley’s profile along with the words "Breaking News" at the bottom of the screen. "Uh oh." I had flipped past and quickly went back to CBS just in time to see that both Miley and Gullett were gone and that there will be a press conference at 3:00 pm today.
I am not surprised, and I am not really happy or upset. I, like so many other Cincinnati fans, have started looking toward the future, and I can only wonder how these moves will affect this club in the days to come. The Reds have had a revolving door in terms of management in the past, and that cannot be positive in the eyes of prospective free agents, or even potential quality managers. There has also usually been extreme… shall we say thriftiness?… in terms of management, with the team hiring the cheapest man available – generally, in my humble opinion, signifying under-qualification.
What happened? Last year fans were clamoring for a contract extension for Miley, and this year many were begging for his head. Well, they got both, and it has gotten us nowhere.
Undoubtedly, Dave Miley will now go onto manage elsewhere and will lead a team to the postseason – Jack McKeon anyone?
I have no idea what this team needs, and it is obvious that no one else in the organization knows either, and that no one has known since at least 1999. Obviously, right now, the big, glaring issue is pitching, and when ownership and GM-extraordinaire Dan O’Brien addressed the problem in the off-season, to put it nicely, they did not do a very good job.
What happened to the rebuilding phase that the team was going through? Now, it seems, there is absolutely no direction to this team. There are a few young, very talented position players, and then there is the Frankenstein-ian pitching staff, comprised of surgically repaired arms and ugly, ugly ERAs. And the minor league system is in a shambles – has been for years. These are the lean years, and I absolutely cannot stand it. I don’t want to see a sub-par team, especially a mere three years into a new stadium that was supposed to usher in a new era for the Cincinnati Reds. Guess what, folks, we’re stuck in a rut, and we need to escape that rut. I don’t have the answers… well, at least not answers that I like. Firing Miley and Gullett might help something in the short term, but they weren’t the big issue at hand. Yes, Miley made some mistakes and then got on the bad side of some players, but it is absolutely not his fault that none of the pitching acquisitions worked out well, or that D’Angelo Jimenez is lazy, or that a veteran closer had daily implosions on the mound… but he is taking the fall anyway.
The Bengals are making it back to respectability, and it is time for the Reds to follow suit. Cincinnati is a baseball town, pure and simple, and if it is going to remain that way, the Reds need to seemingly change everything. I know so many people who are passionate about this team, and the past few years have caused us nothing but disappointment, and that needs to change because we will always be proud of this organization and of its legacy, but we need some solid proof that the organization is willing to uphold and maintain a tradition of excellence. We’re not asking for a World Series appearance every season, but we are asking for a competitive team with a direction, and without a complete focus on how much money can be obtained from the families visiting Great American Ballpark.
Now, if only Dan "status quo" O’Brien would fire himself…