The 2013 Cincinnati Reds had a respectable season; they won 90 games and went to the playoffs. A lot of players had nice season for the Reds — Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce both had well over 100 RBIs, Homer Bailey had a great second half of the season as well as a no-hitter, the rest of the starting rotation was very good, and the bullpen was one of the best in the NL.
On paper, before the season began, the Reds looked like the team to beat in the NL Central and many experts picked them to play in the World Series. They ended up finishing third in the division and missed the World Series by a long shot. In my opinion, the Reds lacked leadership. Players admitted that there really wasn’t a leader on the team, and closest thing to one was Shin-Soo Choo.
In 2010 the Reds were full of leaders. They had Scott Rolen, Jonny Gomes and Orlando Cabrera, they ended up winning the NL Central and going to the NLDS that season. In 2011, they lost Gomes and Cabrera and were lead by Rolen, they had a mediocre season at best that year, but still managed to play with a lot of passion.
In 2012, Rolen felt like he needed to become even more of a leader and even though he missed a lot of time due to injuries, he was still in the dugout and clubhouse with the guys. He was pretty much another coach and helped the Reds win 97 games in 2012.
This year, as I mentioned, the Reds really lacked leadership, and it was pretty obvious. Sam LeCure and Ryan Ludwick admitted that the team didn’t play with a sense of urgency all season long, and they were too loose and relaxed. A true leader would be able to keep the team pumped and focused on the task ahead of them.
I’m by no means saying that a team can’t win a considerable amount of games without a leader in the clubhouse, but it sure makes it a lot easier to. The Reds will probably gain some leadership when they hire their new manager, whomever that may be.
I’m sure the team is looking for a manager that can portray signs of leadership and authority. They also could gain leadership through a new player, whether they have to trade to get it or sign a free agent. Whatever the case may be, the Reds need leadership, and they will likely acquire some this offseason.
Coop Ledford is a Cincinnati Reds writer for RantSports.com. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @CoopLed and add him on Google Plus.