On Oct. 4, the Cincinnati Reds shocked the baseball world by firing manager Dusty Baker after losing in the National League Wild Card game. Former player Paul O’Neill told ESPNNewYork.com that he would be interested in becoming the next Reds’ manager, which would be a great for the Reds.
The Reds are no strangers to making playoff appearances. They have made the playoffs three of the last four seasons, but did not advance past the NL Divisional Round.
Fans and experts have seen the Reds perform well in the last four seasons.
The Reds’ lineup is very good led by two NL Most Valuable Player candidates on a yearly basis, first baseman Joey Votto and outfielder Jay Bruce. Both of them have made the Reds offense very good in the last four years.
They also have a very good pitching staff. The Reds’ pitching staff is led by two very good starting pitchers, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, and they have one of the best closers in the game, Aroldis Chapman.
Cueto has shown that he has the potential to be a consistent ace pitcher and Bailey is slowly nearing that status. Chapman is nearly impossible to hit, especially when he is throwing that unbelievable fastball between 100 and 106 miles per hour.
The Reds clearly have the pieces to make a deep playoff run, but for some reason Baker was unable to make that. They really need a manager that has been a part of a winning environment in October.
O’Neill has never been a manager, but he did experience playoff success with the Reds and New York Yankees.
He made the playoffs eight times in his 17-year career, seven with the Yankees. O’Neill’s teams advanced to the World Series in six of those playoff appearances, resulting in five World Series.
O’Neill would be able to teach the players the kind of mentality they need to have in order to achieve success in the playoffs. The players will obviously respect O’Neill because of his success during his playing days.
According to Andrew Marchland of ESPNNewYork.com, “earlier Wednesday, on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Michael Kay reported on his radio show that Reds’ owner Bob Castellini had reached out to O’Neill about being the manager of the team.” O’Neill could lead the very talented Reds team to their first World Series appearance since 1990.