By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer
MILWAUKEE - Reds general manager Dan O'Brien said Sunday what he has hinted at for the last month or so:
Dave Miley and his staff will be back for 2005.
"As we have said from Day 1, I think Dave and his staff have done an excellent job and our intent to continue with that staff as a group is going forward," O'Brien said.
This year's staff includes hitting coach Chris Chambliss, third base coach Mark Berry, first base coach Randy Whisler, pitching coach Don Gullett, bullpen coach Tom Hume and bench coach Jerry Narron.
Miley, 42, signed a one-year contract with a club option for 2005 when he was named the permanent manager Dec. 4, 2003.
O'Brien has said all season that Miley's situation would be dealt with after the season.
But it has become clear in the last month or so that O'Brien was going to keep Miley and his staff.
The Reds haven't played as well as Miley or O'Brien would have liked. The Reds stood at 63-73 after Sunday's win over Milwaukee. But the club was 46-40 and in the thick of the wild-card race when outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was lost for the season.
With a young team - the Reds start four players under 25 and they only have one starting pitcher over 27 - O'Brien measures success by rate of improvement.
"I think our staff - individually and collectively - are as good a teaching unit as there is in the game," O'Brien said. "We work on things every day. I think the players not only understand it, they appreciate it.
"(The staff's) goal is to make every single player better every day. I'm very proud of our staff."
Chambliss, Whisler and Narron were hired by Miley.
Chambliss gets a lot of credit for the improvement of outfielder Adam Dunn and emergence of outfielder Wily Mo Pena. Whisler, who coaches infield defense, has made progress with second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez and shortstop Felipe Lopez.
"There's been improvement in a lot of different areas," O'Brien said. "The challenge is to carry forth that consistently through 162 games. You see streaks and periods (where the) execution level is where it needs to be. Then you see stretches where we're a little short."
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