The Post has more on that plan we’ve been hearing so much about for Austin Kearns:

What Kearns is doing is sticking to the plan laid out for him by Reds management.

No. 1, the goal was to get at-bats every day, something that was nearly impossible in Cincinnati. So far, he’s looked good in a Bats uniform, batting .394 while smashing eight doubles, a home run and eight RBIs in 33 at-bats.

No. 2, the goal was for Kearns to drop some weight. He said he was expected to lose 10-15 pounds, and already, he’s making progress. He doesn’t know exactly how much weight he’s lost, but he said he feels better.

No. 3 – and this might have been only in his mind – the goal was to have fun playing baseball again.

There’s also this, which speaks well about Kearns:

“Austin came down with a very good attitude,” Sweet said. “I’ll be honest, I have seen a lot of guys come down before, and some of them come back so-so and some of them it takes a week to recover. ‘AK’ came back from the first day, he put his uniform on the way we want it put on, he wore his helmet during batting practice, the way we want it in the minor leagues. He knew every little off-rule we have that they don’t have in the big leagues. He adhered to every one of them. He walked in this clubhouse with a smile on his face.”

Also, Kearns says that he didn’t demand a trade, but he did inquire about it. Sounds like he asked to be traded, but didn’t demand it of O’Brien.

There seems to be no dispute that O’Brien lied to Kearns’ face about whether there is interest in Kearns out there.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. I’m not sure how you can conclude that there’s “no dispute that O’Brien lied to Kearns’ face” when everything else in the initial report has been refuted. Just because there’s no explicit contradiction of O’Brien’s statement that “there’s no interest” doesn’t mean he really said it—remember, that statement came through Kearns, and everything else Kearns “said” in that first article has been refuted.

    I, for one, am perfectly fine with AK being “passed over” for Romano. If you want AK to sit at the end of the bench, then call him up to the Reds; if you want him to play, leave him at Louisville. The point of players like Kelly and Romano is that they DON’T play everday, they’re chosen BECAUSE they’re backup outfielders. O’Brien knows AK’s not a backup OF, that’s why he’s in AAA.

    On the general blog-hatred of O’Brien: overall, I much prefer O’Brien to Bowden. First off, I don’t know what evidence there is that O’Brien will get fleeced in a trade (since he’s hardly made any), whereas Bowden wouldn’t have (Broussard for Branyan, anyone?). Second, the whole point of the O’Brien regime is player development–Bowden had a decade to make that happen and never did, and you can’t just blame Marge. Now we read that he’s doing the same PR-schtick with the Nats’ top choice, moving him up after 10 days in high A ball (anyone think Wagner was rushed?). I never believed that Bowden was committed to scouting or was any good at it; my view is that the Reds minors are already in better shape than they were in the last 6-8 years of Bowden’s reign, with interesting arms at every single level.

    We’re all desperate for the Reds to do something constructive with their outfield glut and Randa / Aurilia / etc, and we should judge O’Brien on that question. But I want the Reds to stick with player development–that’s their only hope for a competitive future in this marketplace.

    As a fan, Bowden was a lot more fun, God knows. But the Reds were going nowhere with his approach; I, for one, will take O’Brien.

  2. I for one will take someone that isn’t “old school”.

    O’Brien is the GM that signed Milton (even though he had a proclivity for giving up HRs and they were moving to a HR friendly ball park), that re-signed Wilson (even though they knew there were problems with his shoulder), and that traded for Ortiz. The major area of ML club that needed to improve is worse than it was last year and has tied up payroll for the foreseeable future.

    The only signing that I believe can be termed successful is Randa, which was merely a stop-gap one year signing.

    And there is no signs yet that his player development skills are raising the future possiblities of the major league club. None of the Reds draft picks are highly thought of prospects, and they continue with their insistence on drafting high school pitchers, which seems to be much longer shot than the alternative.

  3. Not to get off on a tangent, but why does everyone seem to view the Broussard for Branyan trade as a catastrophic failure? At the time I thought it was a horrible trade – Reds prospect who’d been killing the ball in the minors, for 4-year part-time major-leaguer with a frightening strikeout rate, didn’t get on base or hit for average, but hit the occasional fastball-down-the-middle about 500 feet.

    However, Branyan played pretty well with Cincinnati (.865 OPS, at third base), before getting injured his second year here. Let him walk, signed minor-league deal with Atlanta, traded to Indians, traded to Milwaukee to finally get a shot, and he’s done pretty well there (.849, .856 OPS in 2004 & 2005).

    Meanwhile, Broussard fizzled in the minors for the Indians, looking for all the world like an AAAA DH before getting a shot last year when Thome left Cleveland. He made the most of it and hit reasonably well (.858 OPS, as 1B/DH), but it’s every bit as likely that it was his peak age-27 season. And as a 1B/DH, .858 is only middle-of-the-road. This year he’s down to a .764 OPS (.302 OBP – ouch), which is down in Jason LaRue territory. Maybe he seems better because the Indians as a group have hit so poorly, plus Broussard has seemed to do well against his former team.

    I don’t view this trade as a success from the Reds’ standpoint – Branyan didn’t play enough before leaving as a free agent – but it’s hardly the catastrophe it’s been made out to be. Good luck to a Three True Outcomes Hero!

  4. As Exactly idicated, why is everyone convinced that OB lied to Kearns’ face? As this story goes on, we learn that most of what we now know, follows more closely w/OB’s side of the story.
    I think the jury is still out on how successful OB will be as a GM. So far, not so go. However, I’ve not seen enough evidence of deceit, that would lead me to conclude he’s a liar. It’s one thing to disagree w/the way he does his job, its whole different thing to question his integrity.

  5. Whether Kearns asked “to be traded,” or “about whether he’ll be traded,” I’ve seen no change in the part of the story where O’Brien lied – the part where he told Kearns nobody wanted to trade for him. That’s why I am still “convinced” that O’Brien lied.

  6. Yeah, but who said that OB said that? Austin Kearns. If someone else can independently attest to what was said in that conversation, I’ll listen to them. I don’t personally know Kearns or OB. All I’m saying is that I’m not just going to take one side or the other based on what I’ve read or heard.
    Kearns said he asked about a trade. OB says Kearns didn’t, but rather expressed a desire to stay with the Reds. Two guys saying something diametrically opposed. Someone’s not telling the truth. I don’t know who.

  7. The stories are not “diametrically opposed” at all.

    Here’s the quote from McCoy’s original article:

    Kearns isn’t pounding his spikes on a podium, but he quietly wonders if it wouldn’t be better for both parties if the Cincinnati Reds traded him.

    When he was sent down before the Boston series last week, he asked about a trade and was told by General Manager Dan O’Brien there was no interest in him.

    “I called him on that because I’ve heard there is,” Kearns said. “When Washington was in town, (Nationals GM) Jim Bowden told both Adam Dunn and me he continues to try to make trades for us.”
    (My bold).

    Then O’Brien responded:

    O’Brien said that Kearns wants to stay in the Reds organization, despite reports to the contrary.

    “[Kearns’] comment was, ‘I’d like to play the rest of my career here in Cincinnati, Ohio, if that’s possible,'” O’Brien said.

    Again, I think both guys could be telling the 100% truth about the conversation. Kearns could’ve said, “Look, I want to stay in Cincy, if that’s possible. But I also want to play every day. If I can’t do that here, is a trade possible or planned?”

    That would be consistent with both guy’s versions. O’Brien never addresses the other part of the conversation that Kearns reported – that there’s no market for Kearns. Kearns wasn’t vague about this: “I called him on that.” O’Brien hasn’t denied that at all.

  8. I really don’t understand the complaints about Kearns remaining in AAA. If he came up now, there still wouldn’t be a spot for him in the OF. After they left Cleveland, he’d be back on the bench.

    And Romano is looking pretty good these days, he could be a very good player on the Cincy bench.

  9. I’m not complaining about Kearns staying in AAA for a while, if the alternative is sitting on the Reds bench. But two half-decent games does not make Romano worth a damn. Like Reggie Taylor, Romano can sit on the bench all day – he should NEVER see the field in anything other than a blowout.

  10. I’ve not seen anything from Romano that would justify him taking up a spot on the roster. I just can’t fathom what the front office sees in that guy.
    As for Kearns, He needs to get his game back on line. I don’t know what measure the organization is using to determine how and when he meets their goals for this. I hope they don’t leave him down in L’ville until September call ups. If they do, that will really break Kearn’s spirit.

  11. Well, the way I see it, you’ve got a young guy who can play the outfield well, has good bat speed, and is fast. Players who have speed as their primary offensive tool develop their bat late, if ever, like Ryan Freel and Scott Podsednik. (That’s not to say that Romano is as good as either of those two.) He’s put up good numbers at AAA this season, and in a few big league games he has looked very improved.

    I realize he screwed up when he got picked off a few weeks ago, but I don’t think that can be held against him permanantly. I think everyone is just taking out their dislike for O’Brien on Romano, when the reality is that Romano is looking like a decent pick-up by Danny-boy.

  12. You are basing your opinion on 17 ABs (in 10 games) this season. Six hits.

    In his 161 career ABs before this year, he had 31 hits. His career OPS is still under 550. That makes Juan Castro look like Barry Bonds.

    Romano is 26, and was drafted out of high school. If he hasn’t hit (at any level) yet, he isn’t going to. He was a #1 pick by Dallas, so O’Brien still wants to prove that he’s worthwhile.

  13. Romano is hitting .308 in AAA this season with an OPS of .804. I think that is worthy of a spot on the bench, especially when you consider that speed and defense are important assets for that role.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Category

2005 Reds, Reds - General