Only a parking lot separates Paul Brown Stadium from Great American Ballpark, but it may as well be an entire time zone.

One organization is owned by a man who rarely talks, but when he does, I get about as much joy from it as being placed on hold while waiting to speak to someone from a credit card company.

He offers nothing but excuses for the failures of the organization.  Excuses, half truths and simply laughable justifications when asked why he does things the way he does.

It somewhat reminds me of my own recent car shopping experience.

Meanwhile, the organization continues to get lapped by the Steelers, Ravens, Jets and Patriots, among other teams in the AFC.  They are progressive, innovative and hold people accountable.  Meanwhile, we bring back a head coach coming off a four-win season.

All I can say is, thank goodness for spring training, which is less than a month away.

While the Reds are far from a perfect organization, they are legitimately trying.  Bob Castellini, from all indications, cares about the product on the field and has made smart moves in an effort to bring a championship back to Cincinnati.

Ultimately, with how the finances work in Major League Baseball, he will never be able to do what some teams are capable of, but for the next few years the Reds will have a young nucleus in place that should continue to get better.

It’s not just about the kids, though.  Bob and Walt Jocketty know that a good ball club also has a mixture of veterans, as there isn’t a scenario that Scott Rolen, Edgar Renteria and Bronson Arroyo haven’t faced.

These men will once again be led by Dusty Baker, who tactical decisions can drive fans crazy, but his players will run through a wall for that man.

The ground is hard, cold and snow-covered, and the stench of the Bengals season still lingers in the air, but the worst is behind us.

Spring Training not only signifies new life for a sport, but in this case, new life for the Queen City.

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