In any case it's not really fair to compare the Reds' failures (which are numerous) to the Bengals.
Could the Reds be a better-run organization? Yes, they could put more emphasis on analytics -- which would mean they would stop trying to hit Billy Hamilton leadoff -- and they could have given their young pitchers more starts this season to see if any of them would pitch their way out of sucking. Fundamentally there's a limit as to how much the Reds can compete when their maximum payroll is gonna be less than half of other teams. This year some of the playoff teams made ridiculous acquisitions... the kind of stuff that Bowie Kuhn disallowed when the Reds did it in 1977
. The Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, etc can all afford not only to sign guys in the offseason to huge contracts but if they happen to be threatening to win the World Series they can make in-season deals to take on huge piles of salary. It's hard to figure how the Reds can overcome that and certainly not to build a dynasty.
The Bungs are in a league that is absolutely fair on payroll. They have only themselves to blame.
Mike Brown has already abused their hearts and raided their wallets. He has been a one-man plague of locusts -- Gregg Doyel