My broadcast partner and friend Chick Ludwig asked me an interesting question yesterday afternoon. "Which organization gives you more hope?" He gave me two choices: The Reds or the Bengals.
I answered quickly because I don't think it's close. The Reds are in the middle of a rebuild. I like what they've done, but there are still plenty of question marks. Is Bryan Price a good manager? Will their young pitchers become everyday starters? Can Homer Bailey stay healthy and contribute consistently? Is Billy Hamilton the centerfielder of the future? Those are just a few of the many questions surrounding the 66-84 Reds.
The Bengals had a down season in 2016. Heck, they've went 6-11-1 since the playoff meltdown against Pittsburgh on January 9, 2016. But, even with their 0-2 start, I think they're in a better spot than the Reds.
The Bengals have elite players on their roster. A.J. Green, Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict and Carlos Dunlap are all great players in their prime. The Reds have one great player. Andy Dalton may not be an elite quarterback and he's been awful in two starts this season, but we know he's capable of getting the Bengals to the playoffs.
The Reds have more question marks than answers. Their rebuild reminds me of what the Browns are doing in Cleveland. I like their young players and I see the potential, but it hasn't reflected in the standings.
Yes, the Bengals have a lot of uncertainty at this moment. Will Marvin Lewis turn this season around? Will Dalton's struggles continue? I've seen Lewis turn it around before. The same goes for Dalton.
Will Bailey turn it around for the Reds? Will Dick Williams make the necessary moves to get the Reds back in the hunt? I believe Cincinnati's baseball team is a few years away from playoff contention. I would be surprised if the Reds went .500 in 2018.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bengals finish .500 this year. Heck, they're an upset away from getting right back into it. I don't think they'll beat the Packers this week, but they have the talent to do so.
Chime in and vote in the poll question. Plus, Chick and I went back and forth about this on 700 WLW. He's buying into the Reds future and I outline why the Bengals are in a better place. Check both out below.
I wrote about the Bengals firing Ken Zampese here.
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