2005 Reds / 2006 Reds / 2007 Reds / Reds - General

Deja Vu, Part Deux

The Reds were 149-175 under Dan O’Brien. That’s a .460 winning percentage.

Under Wayne Krivsky (assuming they lose after they lost again today), they’re 98-115 – an identical .460 winning percentage.

19 thoughts on “Deja Vu, Part Deux

  1. Until they bring in a fire breathing manager who does not accept losing nothing will change. This could be the NL All-Star team and they would tank under Narron.

    Plus does anyone on this team get mad?

  2. Jim,

    I guess that means we need to hire Larry Bowa and his bottle of Bushmills. 😀

    Seriously, what does not accpting losing mean? Does the manager refuse to take the line-up card out for the next game unless the last loss is stricken from the record? Or the team gets a do-over?

    Half of this team is close to drawing Social Security and finishing the playing days playing for the local assisted living facility’s fast-pitch softball team. Do you really think Junior and the vets are going to respond to some red-ass like Bowa going all Marine DI in his face?

    And if the FO finally turns the page and brings up the kids, is a martinet barking cliches about “play the game or I’ll kick you in the butt ’till your nose bleeds” what they need? You want someone that makes the Baby Jesus cry?

    This isn’t football (thankfully). And it’s not boot camp, either. Give me a manager that can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of his personnel and who knows how to put them in the best position to succeed. Oh, and being like Earl Weaver and despising the sacrifice bunt would be a big plus.

  3. Jim,

    I was trying to be sarcastic in the previous post and wasn’t trying to tee off on you. In rereading it, I can see how the attempts at humor might strike the wrong note. No offense intended. I’m frustrated, too.

  4. The one good thing about the organization now compared to past years is that the Reds have some young talent. The minors have plenty of a good players who can come and contribute now. I am never one to rush young talent, but the way this season is going it would be better off to bring up Bailey, Votto, and so on. The Bats could beat the Reds right now.

  5. I think Jim raises a valid point – managers do make a difference. Some have such force of personality that the whole team plays to its potential. Jim Leyland, Sparky Anderson, Billy Martin come to mind. What do they do different? They affect the play of younger players, don’t keep underperforming older ones around. They keep an attitude of winning around. They are someone the players look up to. Narron is not inpsiring his younger players, and can’t let go of his older ones. He needs to go. That change alone will be worth a few victories this year.

  6. I agree with Phil (and think #2 is one of the funner posts I’ve seen in quite some time. I think Leyland got somewhat lucky in taking over a team that Alan Trammell and Bob Cluck developed – just at the right time.

    I don’t really buy into the “genius manager” theory. Leyland’s a good example of why. He was great in Pittsburgh…until he didn’t have Bonds/Bonilla/VanSlyke/Drabek. Then he was crappy. He was great in Miami…until they traded his players away and he lost 100 games.

    He stunk up the joint in Denver…then quit.

    Now that he has a dominant young staff, he’s a genius again.

    I’m not saying he’s a bad manager – just that managers, generally, are very overrated. (Leyland is a guy who gave Neifi Perez 690 ABs (61 OPS+) in a season, though.)

  7. I may quibble with James @ #4, too. I think this team was loaded with young talent the day Wayne Krivsky took over in 2005.

    I was excited as hell about the young talent on that team:

    Dunn 25
    Kearns 25
    Wily Mo 23
    Felipe 25
    Encarnacion 21
    Denorfia 23

    Harang 27
    Claussen 26
    Wagner 22
    Coffey 24
    Belisle 25
    Elizardo Ramirez 22
    Dave Williams 27

    And those guys had all established themselves (to varying degrees) at the big league level. I honestly thought that after the brilliant-in-hindsight Arroyo trade, this club was 1-2 players away from winning.

    The problem was that Wayne Krivsky thought the team needed to be blown up and rebuilt in a different mold . . . but his boss told him to “win now.” Krivsky tried to be true to his own evaluation and judgment, and at the same time shape the 2006 Reds into a contender. His attempts to do so, coupled with some back luck and normal attrition, changed this team from an exciting, youthful squad into an old, listless bunch, in less than an year. At least we went 80-82, though.

    Votto’s a nice prospect – he really is – but he’s 24 already. By comparison, Dunn had 72 major league HRs by the time he was Votto’s age. Votto’s probably going to be a useful player while he’s cheap, but I don’t see him as a savior. Think Ben Broussard, not Adam Dunn.

  8. Of course, we were all pretty excited in 1999 about this “young core”:

    Scott Sullivan 28
    Michael Tucker 28
    Aaron Boone 26
    Pokey Reese 26
    Chris Stynes 26
    Danny Graves 25
    Dmitri Young 25
    Sean Casey 24
    Williamson 23
    Dennys Reyes 22

  9. That’s why I don’t like it when they trade position players for relief pitchers.

  10. Looks like Williamson and Reyes are still around, plus Villone is with the Yankees, but yeah…the rest of that bullpen, not so much.

    Relievers are almost always flashes in the pan. You get one or two seasons from good middle relievers and then the league figures them out, and we all learn why they’re not starters or closers.

  11. Casey said, and I’m paraphrasing here ‘cuz I don’t have the exact quote in front of me, that managing is the art of keeping the five guys who hate you away from the five guys who haven’t made up their mind yet. I think that’s close to nailing it.

    Even Sparky said it’s easy if you can write names like Rose, Morgan, Bench and Perez on the lineup card every day.

    Thing is, we still don’t have a good metric to measure the manager’s impact. We all “think” it’s there in some form, but we really can’t quantify it. A managerial change almost always seems to bring improvement, but we really don’t know why that is.

    When Bob Boone was fired and Dave Miley was handed the reins, things appeared to get better. But was that because Miley had a special talent or simply a reflection of a change in leadership that sparked a change in attitude for the team? It certainly didn’t take very long for Miley to become the problem. A problem which was remedied by hiring Jerry Narron as the interim manager. And so it goes (with apologies to the late Kurt Vonnegut).

    I guess I’m saying that while I think a managerial change in imminent simply because the FO has to be seen as somehow proactive, I’m not sure how much difference it will make. I think the potential to do damage is far greater than the potential to do good. And the real problem is that the GM has shown no real talent for player evaluation or acquisition and shouldn’t be trusted to make the right decisions going forward.

  12. I know this isn’t realistic, but if I were a GM, I think these are guys I would like to have on my staff(I know its just guys I have seen on TV, but oh well):

    Manager-Bob Brenly (He has won and seems to understand players)
    Hitting Coach-John Kruk (I just like him)
    Bench Coach-Harold Reynolds (He is money)
    Pitching Coach-Jeff Brantley(See if he can put his money where his mouth is and fix what’s wrong with the pitching staff)
    First Base Coach-Billy Hatcher(I like his enthusiasm so he would stay)
    Third Base Coach-Barry Larkin (My Favorite Red)

    I guess you could probably just call them the WGN/BBTN Reds…

  13. With the worst record in baseball after almost one-third of the season is over, and 15 games under .500, believe it or not, the Reds are only 10 and a half games out of 1st. place! If the owner gives the fans what they want, a manager with some fire in his belly and some young blood on the team, the Reds could make a run for it!

  14. OK, I’ve probably had too many martinis and shouldn’t do this, bit it’s too easy. Please don’t take it personally, Alex.

    Manager-Bob Brenly (He has won and seems to understand players)

    I’m assuming you’re too young to have seen the 2001 World Series. Brenly is the only manager in my lifetime who whose team won the Series while its manager appeared for all intent and purposes to be trying to lose it. Please search the BTF archives for discussion on this point. Brenly is best suited as a greeter at TGIF’s.

    Hitting Coach-John Kruk (I just like him)

    Yeah, he’s a cuddly sort of guy. But what makes you think he can coach hitting? Because he can out-shout everyone on BBTN? Or just because, like Dave McNally said of Earl Weaver, “the only thing you know about pitching is that you couldn’t hit it.”?

    Bench Coach-Harold Reynolds (He is money)

    No, he is a ex-player playing his way into a sexual harassment law suit ‘cuz grabass is is his favorite game. Unless you think he’s the best choice to coach the nightly game of Pocket Pool, why would you want him in the dugout?

    Pitching Coach-Jeff Brantley(See if he can put his money where his mouth is and fix what’s wrong with the pitching staff)

    The first problem with this is that you would actually have to listen to Brantley talk. If I were a pitcher, I think that would be enough to make me go all Rube Marquard and chase fire engines. Of course, you could take the attitude (correctly) that Brantley doesn’t know shit from Shinola (bonus points for those who can identify the use of Shinola) about pitching anyway and just ignore him. This is the recommended route for sanity preservation.

    First Base Coach-Billy Hatcher(I like his enthusiasm so he would stay)

    I really don’t have a comeback here. And, after all, unless a disproportionate number of runners are getting picked off (Farney excluded), you have to conclude that the first base coach is doing his job, whatever that is.

    Third Base Coach-Barry Larkin (My Favorite Red)

    This won’t work because the cost of the spotlights specially purchased to shine on Barry in the third base coaching box would be prohibitive. And it would run counter to the Reds’ desire to be a “green” ball park (see the recent BP article). What Barry really needs is a platform that rises between the two smokestacks in right center. Sort of like how Stowkoski rises up to the podium in Disney’s Fantasia. Then he can just conduct the game from there. And all we’ll have to pay him for waving his arms is $9MM per.

    Disclaimer: I think Barry Larkin is a HoF so I’m just ragging on him for fun. The rest of those guys – not so much.

  15. I suspect Phil is right that most teams perform better after a managerial change.

    My theory on that is this: Some teams over-perform their talent level; some underperform. A good deal of this is luck (and bullpen performance). Both types of teams will, with time, revert back toward their true level. The teams that start out quickly – nobody really notices their slow descents. The teams that start out poorly – well, they’re the ones who change managers. The new manager gets to take credit for the improvement that was pretty much bound to happen anyway.

  16. Nothing can realistically done to turn this into a good ballclub.

    When the season started, the best thought was that the team should be good enough to compete in a terrible division. Milwaukee’s start and the Reds horrible play have made that point moot.

    The only remedy is waiting for the young players in the minor leagues (Bailey, Votto, Bruce, and others) to mature enough and hopefully develop into major leaguers, while holding onto the above average young players that are already at the major league level (EE, Dunn, Arroyo, Harang, maybe Phillips) and hope they stay productive.

    There is no short cut when you’ve set your budget where the Reds major league play budget is.

    Trading veterans that could bring prospects should be done. The problem is, considering the trades he’s made, I’m not confident in Krivsky’s ability to judge talent in trades. Yet holding onto players like Weathers, Hatteburg, even Griffey (if he can be convinced to accept a trade, he’s a 10-5 guy now) makes no sense.

    Something has to be done by management to show that they realize that this season is a disaster and the easiest thing to do is fire the manager and maybe the coaching staff.

    If they do nothing, they’re going to be playing in front of an empty ballpark in July. By September they’ll be outdrawn my high school football games.

    FWIW, I’m not sure how the public would react if they admitted publicly that the season is disaster and they’re going to play the “kids” and build for the future. I don’t know if the public would come out and watch losing baseball, no matter what the reason. My gut feeling is that they wouldn’t, that Cincinnati fans support winning teams and won’t pay their money to watch losing teams.

    But they will draw when they win and the foundation for that can be started now…

  17. Bill,

    Very well put all around.

    …I’m not sure how the public would react if they admitted publicly that the season is disaster and they’re going to play the ”kids” and build for the future.

    You may be right. The time to set the tone for rebuilding was before the 2006 season when Krivsky came on board. If he and Castellini had said then that they were committed to righting the ship but it would take time, it might have be accepted, particularly if if it were accompanied by the kind of moves – trading to stock the farm system, moving albatross contracts – that backed up the talk.

    But after a year and a half of “we’re going to win now”, it may just look like incompetence (which, sadly in both cases, I fear it may be).

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