By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SARASOTA, Fla. - Reds manager Bob Boone officially has been put on the hot seat by one national publication. It's a familiar spot.
"They had me on the hot seat when I was in the first year of a three-year deal," Boone said. "It doesn't feel hot to me."
But this is the last season of a three-year deal. With the Reds opening a new ballpark, there's obviously pressure on Boone to succeed.
"That's the nature of the animal," he said. "You come in and prepare to win. I've done that. But it's not the most stable job in the world."
Boone was 144-180 in his first two years as Reds manager. The Reds improved from 66-96 in 2001 to 78-84 last year.
It probably would take similar improvement for Boone to keep his job past this season. The Reds are in position to do that. The payroll has been raised from $45 million to around $58 million.
The Reds think their starting eight is as good as any in the league, and the pitching is good enough to win. But $58 million doesn't buy a powerhouse.
"Our club is based on pitching, (fielding) and our starting eight," Boone said. "Our eight guys have to do it. If someone gets hurt, we're in trouble. There's not a lot of depth there."
Boone, who makes $425,000 this year, doesn't worry about his fate.
"I've never worried about anything in my whole life," he said.
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