Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reds Should Sell, Bengals Should Punt

Not that this is a newsflash, but it's just not happening for the Reds this year. Sure, there's two months left and they can make up five and a half games in that time. However, since starting the season with five straight wins they have shown little in the previous four months that convinces me they can make the kind of sustained push it will take to win the division. So there's little intrigue left. Except for improving the club for the future. Let Frazier play more at third, get Mesoraco up from Louisville, allow Alonso to play a lot, make sure it's plenty of Cozart when he comes off the disabled list. Figure out if Chapman is the closer of the future or a starting pitcher, and get him moving in that direction now. The Reds should sell off Ramon Hernandez and Francisco Cordero. Good guys, loyal Reds, but business is business and the Reds need to get better for 2012. They still have a good young core, but it's not good enough to win a mediocre division. The plan should be to get better, and the time is now.

I, like most, have a bad feeling about the season about to unfold for the Bengals. How do I get excited about them signing a "caretaker" quarterback in Bruce Gradkowski? One-third of his wins as a starting quarterback have come against the Bengals. His success in the NFL has been minimal. But I'm still on board with the signing and the reasons are many. Gradkowski is tough, he was a beast at Toledo, and from what I know he would stick his head in a wood-chipper to get a touchdown. It is also said he will know Jay Gruden's offense and will do anything and everything to help the kid, Andy Dalton. I can't help but like a quarterback from the same hard-nosed western Pennsylvania high school conference that produced Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, and Dan Marino. But this will still be a season of pain. There is a tremendous learning curve for this team. We still don't know how the roster will be filled out with free agents. I think Benson will return, but I'm not so sure without Joseph. Even with Johnathan, the defense has a chance to be good. But it's going to have to be "scarey good" to carry a team going through a complete offensive transition.

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