Thinking it over, Manny probably wouldn't be too stoked on coming to Cincinnati once he realized that the number of decent sushi places can be counted on the fingers of one hand. His casual, laid back demeanor may or may not encourage the core of the Reds team to approach the game with the true sense of urgency that is necessary to win consistently at the Major League level. Maybe Manny and the Dodgers smooth things out, and their Hollywood relationship splashes across the front page of newspapers out there for the next few years.
Rocco Baldelli, according to GM Walt Jocketty never really gave Cincinnati the time of day because of his preference to play near where he grew up. Pat Burrell's signing by Tampa Bay brings to mind Javy Lopez and Andruw Jones and the decline of their careers. I'm not bold enough to say Pat the Bat will stink it up the way Lopez and Jones did ... but I don't expect a lot of him either.
In order to get Jermaine Dye or Nick Swisher on the team, it is nearly certain that Homer Bailey, or some other form of young talent, would have to be jettisoned. In order to bring them aboard, you'd have to get rid of somebody you might regret letting go in just a year or two. I don't think Bobby Abreu is the solution.
I present to both of my humble and loyal readers that the Reds look into the past to fix their future. Get Adam Dunn's agent on the phone and, even if you can't agree to a long-term deal, offer him one or two years (even if you have to pay a lot). Smooth things out, watch how much the fans would embrace his return and anoint him the team leader — the veteran who could provide the sort of leadership that Ken Griffey Jr. never once displayed a willingness to embrace.
Say "Sorry for booing" when he didn't make acrobatic plays in left field. Bring up memories of all those walk-off home runs. Admit that neither party thought the other was a match after the trade sent him to Arizona. Remind him of how tiny GABP is ... and that he can hit home runs into the river.
Tell him you can't believe the Cubs vied for Milton Bradley's services so much more than they did his. Something tells me that a Cubs fan might say the wrong thing to Bradley from the bleachers on a hot August afternoon and then ... well, you know the rest. Explain to him that a lot of sports fans around here would get over their love/hate relationship with him, see where he ranks all time in franchise history, and stop magnifying his shortcomings while ignoring the 40 home runs he will hit and the 130 walks he’ll draw.
If signing Dunn didn't seem like a decent idea when free agency started, look around now. See what's out there. Note how much Dunn's asking price must have fallen. I bet neither party is too keen on a four or six-year deal at this point. Even if two years is one year too many for your liking, work something out.
Against my logically stated reasoning, the Reds added Willy Taveras. I think Taveras will be a lot scarier of a player to have on base with a certified home run masher hitting behind him. Things could work out if Dunn came back. The Reds could start winning. Dunn could have a few of those dozen home run months that his detractors always seem to forget about, and the team could contend.
Dunn could hit 40 home runs a year for the next three years and supplant Johnny Bench as the franchise's all time leader in home runs. Then people could romantically remember Dunn after he retires and tell their kids about how great a player he was, all while leaving out how hard they were on him when he was a Red the first time.