I’m sure you’ve already heard: the Jerry Narron era has, mercifully come to an end in Cincinnati, as Narron has been fired as manager of the Reds. Is anyone else surprised that Bucky Dent wasn’t named interim manager?

The Reds will announce on Monday that manager Jerry Narron has been dismissed and that team advance scout Pete Mackanin will be interim manager for the remainder of the season.

Narron was informed of the move after Sunday’s 11-7 loss to the Cardinals. General manager Wayne Krivsky was not available for comment. Krivsky and owner/chief executive officer Bob Castellini will hold a 12 p.m. ET news conference Monday at Great American Ball Park.

A message seeking comment was left for Narron on his cellular phone Sunday night. The 51-year-old was replaced as Cincinnati holds the worst record in baseball at 31-51 while sitting 16 1/2 games behind the first-place Brewers in the National League Central standings….

Mackanin will be introduced 4 p.m. ET Tuesday during a press conference. He will be the 59th manager in Reds history, and the 49th since 1900. Mackanin previously was in the organization from 1990-92, when he managed Triple-A Nashville, and he rejoined the Reds in February 2006 when Krivsky hired him to be the big-league club’s advance scout.

This will be Mackanin’s second stint as an interim manager in the Major Leagues. In 2005, he managed the final 26 games for the Pirates after Lloyd McClendon was let go.

Mackanin has seven seasons of Major League coaching experience. He was the Expos’ third-base coach from 1997-2000 and the Pirates’ bench coach from 2003-05. He managed for 13 years in the Minor Leagues.

A former infielder, Mackanin played in 548 games over nine Major League seasons with the Rangers, Expos, Phillies and Twins.

Okay, you can’t really argue with Narron’s firing. I’m not sure anyone can defend his performance, but I’m not going to kick the guy when he’s down. Jerry Narron seems like a really nice guy, and the type of guy you’d love to have around. He just did not get the job done with the Reds. I would have preferred, frankly, that the Reds wait until the off-season to make this move but, again, you can’t really argue with it.

Here’s where I’m concerned: everyone agrees that the Reds have underperformed during the first half. The chances are decent that the team’s performance will revert to the mean during the second half. They have to play somewhat better, don’t they?

Now, if the Reds do play better, Mackanin will get the credit, and Castellini/Krivsky will be pressured to hire him as the full-time manager. That would be a bad idea.

Pete Mackanin may be a great manager. I hope he is. But what the Reds need to do in the offseason is conduct a search for the best possible manager for the Cincinnati Reds. That may be Mackanin. It may not be Mackanin. Whoever it is, the Reds need to take the process very seriously, and not be pressured to remove an interim title if the guy isn’t the best possible option for the job after the season.

So welcome to the on-field staff of the Reds, Pete Mackanin. Redleg Nation wishes you the best of luck.

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! 46 Comments

  1. as a person, Narron was first class … but as a manager, that’s another story.

    I’m glad to see him go. As a manager, he didn’t seem to know what to do or what was going on.

    I agree with the school of thought about finding the best possible manager in the offseason. Let’s face it, at 31-51 there’s no way the Reds are going to make the playoffs this year. So, I say retool and get ready for next season. I’d try to find a manager who’s good with working with pitchers. Reds, by and large, have no problems with offense except for getting it contistently and without the long ball. But that bullpen, that needs help.

  2. Not hiring Bucky Dent should be a signal to this coaching staff that they should be updating their resumes. I think a total house cleaning is on the way. The only question is will it be during the season or held off until the offseason.

  3. What exactly is the “best possible manager?” I’d like to see a new name, personally. Time to move on from “baseball guys” and try to hire the next Sparky (as in coming out of nowhere to be a great manager).

  4. I know something had to be done to placate the fans, but I wonder what things would have been like if the FO had a realistic view of where this team is in the success cycle. We may miss Jerry’s positives. The fact that he ran by all accounts a generally harmonious clubhouse shouldn’t be minimized, particularly on the heels of the Miley disaster.

    Jerry micromanaged too much. The Castro-for-Hamilton PH appearance is the most egregious example. He rode the starters too hard, particularly Arroyo. He misused his bullpen, but in his defense he was desperately trying to find something that worked. When he did, he used that guy until he dropped.

    How much of this is Castellini’s and Krivsky’s “win now” mantra? What if the management team had recognized that the Reds need to be in the rebuilding phase of the cycle, focusing on player development and finding the youngsters that will form the nucleus of the next good team? I think Narron has some skills that might have proven quite helpful in a rebuilding/youth movement phase. (Yes, he butchered the Encarnacion thing, but again how much of that was FO pressure to win now?) But we’ll never know because management refuses to face reality.

  5. I think it has to be an outsider who is not already too familiar with the players. It needs to be someone who can communicate one-on-one with players in order to get them to be their best. It has to be someone who knows how to handle a pitching staff. Most of all, it has to be someone who does not accept losing and does not allow his players to accept losing.

    Names? Obviously any list starts with Joe Giradi but he may not be interested unless a heart-to-heart with Castellini makes him think otherwise.

  6. What about Billy Hatcher – has he managed anywhere before? I’ve always liked the guy, and I like his mix of youth, fire, and enthusiasm.

    I wonder if he could or would get in the face of someone who needed it?

  7. I do not understand this man-crush for Girardi. What has the guy done? He was a first-year manager of a sub-.500 club who by all accounts was as big a horse’s ass as the guy who fired him. What exactly does Joe Girardi bring to the Reds besdies a shiny MoY trophy? (For the Giradi fans, you have noticed that the Marlins are faring as well this year under Fredi Gonzalez as they did last year in all the Girardi-induced turmoil.)

    In fact, until there’s an organizational change of focus, it really doesn’t matter who the manager is. If this organization can ever accept that major work is needed and that we are not just a player or two from being a contender, then the manager will make a difference. Until then, just hire someone who doesn’t piss everyone off and create factions in the clubhouse.

  8. The crux of the problem with Narron (and all Reds managers since Trader Jack) was his personality….or lack thereof. As a baseball lifer, he stoked the ‘business as usual’ fires that permeated the clubhouse. Yeah, this works sometimes, but only on winning teams with veteran players who lead. When you have a losing team with veteran players (Dunn, Griff) who don’t lead, it’s a deadly mix. I’m not saying you got to have rah-rah guys in order to win, but there has to be an undisputable top dog who demands accountability, and right now it’s a huge friggin’ black hole. Clearly, that personality is currently not on the Reds roster or in management, which is a pretty damning indictment of not just Narron, but Dunn,Griff,Harang, and Arroyo (although Homer seems to have the makings of one). So this driving force, this leadership, has to come from somewhere. But where?? Think about the last few great Reds managers–Sparky, Lou, Davey, Jack, the common denominator wasn’t that they were ‘do the little things right’ guys, rather it was their ability to coax that extra something out of their guys by sheer force of will. Problem is, I doubt ownership has the balls to hire such a person. Plus, it would lead to some really ugly moments in the clubhouse as he reforms the team chemistry in his own mold. Just look at the turmoil with the Cubs as they transitioned from good ol’ boy Dusty to Lou. If Castellini is serious about changing the culture of this team, which was his stated intention, then a serious roster overhaul is in order (I’m talking Griff and Dunn), along with hiring a manager who exudes these personality traits.

  9. I’m shocked they didn’t name Dent interim…the other name mentioned (at least by Fay, I think in yesterday’s paper) was Hatcher.

    Lance reported on his blog that Girardi interviewed with the Reds 2X this week, but turned the job down when he was told he’d have to keep on some of the current coaching staff.

  10. Sultan,

    I’ll agree with not needing a “do the little things right” guy. But I’m not sure I’m on board with the nebulous “leadership” thing.

    In any walk of life, the role of a manger is to recognize the talents of his staff and put those people in the best possible position to succeed with the talents they have. Nothing leads better or motivates more that success. All the exhortations from the manager, all the getting in someone’s face and refusing to lose hissy fits won’t do a bit of good if the manager is asking the wrong guys to do things outside the limits of their skill set.

    All any manager can do is try to make the best out of the roster he’s given. The blame for this fiasco isn’t Jerry’s. It rests on the shoulders of the guy who said this club was going to be about pitching and defense and then failed miserably in constructing a roster that could even be league-average at run prevention.

    And if you don’t care for those theories :grin:, try Casey’s view. He said the secret of managing was keeping the five guys who hate you away from the five guys who haven’t made up their minds yet.

  11. Hopefully, not naming Dent or Hatcher means they will do a thorough offseason search for a fulltime replacement manager.

    In the meantime, I hope the new guy doesn’t kill the team’s pitchers. I think one of the bigger complaints I had about Narron was how quick he was with switching bullpen guys. Remember how he stuck with Bailey in the 5th inning of his first start? I wish he’d stick with a couple of his relievers like that. As soon as they’d give up a hit, *yank* next guy in.

  12. I say the hire the Tigers hitting coach – Lloyd McLendon

  13. Sultan,

    I agree. Leadership is not a nebulous thing. Leadership provides direction, sets expectation and focus and holds people accountable. No it doesn’t have to be an in your face personality to be a good leader. But at the same time someone needs to get the message out that Alfred E. Newman is not welcome. Many times in life, in business, in sport and in the military I have seen a leader come in and take the same sorry scoundrels the previous leader had and in fairly short order turn the ragtags into a productive team/organization. It’s about setting expectations and holding people accountable.

    I am in no way defending Narron. I firmly believe that he micro managed too much and didn’t have a clue when it came to the bullpen.

  14. PRP, I’ll agree with you that the blame should be equally given to Krivsky, probably moreso (although he needs more time to be judged fairly), but I’ll stick to my guns on the leadership issue. If you reread your comments, what you describe is what we had, a caretaker, albeit a really poor one. The reason great coaches are in such high demand is because they bring those intangibles that can’t be measured or taught. Sure, you stick Piniella or Leyland on a crappy team and they’re still crappy, but you’ve seen what these guys can do time and time again with teams that are underperforming. Hell, look at the glamour coaches in other sports and you’ll see that the mysterious qualities of leadership and big money go hand in hand. There has to be some connection. Billionare owners don’t part with their money to just any Rasputin that walks thru the door………unless you’re Al Davis.

  15. Paul Daugherty has a really good article on this subject. He mentions Girrardi, Brenley, and LaRussa whose contract expires this year and has ownership ties. Persoally, I think Krivsky’s makeover will continues. Goodbye griff, dunn, weathers, and encarnacion.

  16. Sultan, Bogey,

    Sorry, still not buying a bushel of leadership. What I described is a successful manager in any walk of life. To do what I described, the manager has to know the positives and negatives of each of his personnel. He has to understand how to best apply those positives to produce the desired team result. Then he has to put each individual in the situations that minimize their negatives and reinforce the positives. That’s not a caretaker. That’s a knowledgeable tactician. He’s not passive. Rather, he actively assimilates each new piece of information and recalibrates accordingly. If success results, his people will likely see him as someone they want to follow – a leader, in other words, no intangibles required. Like the man said, nothing succeeds like success.

    More importantly, a successful manager breeds confidence. Confidence is the greatest motivator and it comes from within you, not from the “intangibles that can’t be measured or taught.” Success can be measured. If something can’t be taught, of what value is it?

    The idea that someone can exude leadership and turn a ragtag bunch into a crackerjack unit might work in John Wayne movies and in the delusions of The Decider, but in the real world – and that includes professional baseball – success takes talent and the ability to apply that talent in a way to maximize returns.

    The ability to do this is a measurable quantity, not an intangible that is somehow ephemeral but all-powerful. If a manager fulfills his responsibilities, that will translate into success. In baseball, that means his teams will score runs, prevent the other team from scoring runs, and win more games – oft times considerably more games – than they lose. I think we’ll all agree that is the goal.

  17. What you’re describing is a scientist or something PRP, as if any properly trained egghead could crunch any and all available data and come to a successful conclusion. Yes, this is something to value in a manager, but there are a lot of successful managers who aren’t the brightest when it comes to these things. I wish baseball operated in a vaccum like that. But it ignores the human element. Hell, I wished every hot chick saw me for my kindness, loyalty, work ethic, and sense of humor. I’d be getting laid a lot more. But it doesn’t work like that. There’s got to be the missing ingredient, which is charisma. It’s a highly effective tool to motivate people, and when combined with the intelligence you described, is an unbeatable combination. Very rare indeed. But it is real, it’s effective, and it elevates people who are average or even below average in intelligence. I can think of more than one president elected based on this trait.

  18. But it ignores the human element. I wished every hot chick saw me for my kindness, loyalty, work ethic, and sense of humor.

    Have you read what I wrote? A scientist? Really? Do you think I’m talking about touchy-feely stuff like loyalty and sense of humor? It’s you guys that are talking the intangibles, the touchy-feely stuff, that which can’t be measure or taught.

    I don’t know what you do for a living, but what I’ve described is essential for a successful manager – leader, if you will – in any field. And far from ignoring the human element, understanding people’s strengths and weaknesses and how to best put them in a position to succeed is as essentially human as you can get. If people were automatons, it wouldn’t be necessary.

    There’s got to be the missing ingredient, which is charisma.

    OK, now we’ve gone from intangibles and big-buck coaches to charisma. Keep building the strawmen and moving the goal posts. A charismatic manager is certainly a bonus on the PR side. But these are highly paid professional athletes. If their paycheck doesn’t motivate them and the potential for success doesn’t motivate them, do you think a winning smile and good hair is going to get it done?

    Honestly, I am always amazed at the number of folks who seem to be mesmerized by the Man on the Horse. Then again, looking at the Current Occupant, I shouldn’t be.

  19. Look, I always feel bad when someone loses a job, but it sure seems like the aura has gone from “Fire Narron” to “Maybe he wasn’t so bad” in the span of a day.

    The man pinch hit Juan Castro for Josh Hamilton based upon one at bat 7 years ago. Who cares about intangibles when the tangibles are so screwed up. Once the moves you make in your lineup make sense and your team is still losing, then I’ll talk about your leadership skills. To me addressing Narron’s charisma (or lack thereof) is a little like asking “Besides that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”.

    Mackanin, Hatcher, Dent, whomever…

  20. Other than public relations, the only reason to fire Narron is that perhaps the Reds are ready to start trading away the vets and writing the season off. Narron would probably have mixed feelings about it because the team’s record would undoubtedly suffer and his return in 2008 would therefore be even less likely. Waving the white flag and rebuilding for a future that he may not even be a part of would have been awkward at best.

    With Mackanin, Krivsky has a puppet in place – he can completely reconfigure the team as he sees fit without any resistance.

  21. I want a Yuppie for manager!

    🙂

  22. If the rumors about Krivsky have any credence, I’m not sure how much of a free reign he’ll be given to makeover the team. After all, this is more his mess than anybody’s.

    He said he wanted pitching and defense. Ostensibly his roster moves have been made in that light. The Reds are next-to-last in the NL in DEF_EFF and, outiside of Harang, the pitching has stunk up the joint. Narron onl;y filled out the lineup card. Roster construction is the province of the GM.

  23. Filed under Foe What It’s Worth, the latest from Robothal

    The Reds are last in the mediocre N.L. Central. Their record is the worst in the majors. The question now is not whether the new manager, Pete Mackanin, will be an adequate replacement for Narron. The question is whether the franchise will take the proper steps to rebuild.

    Don’t count on it.

    Castellini, many baseball people say, is an impatient owner with unrealistic expectations. His repeated endorsements of Narron proved hollow. And while Krivsky apparently had the latitude to choose Mackanin — he inherited Narron — logic dictates that the G.M. could be next.

    The problem with the Reds is that they aren’t a quick fix.

    Krivsky inherited a poor farm system. Hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark creates unique challenges in building a pitching staff. And the team’s two most expensive players, right fielder Ken Griffey Jr. and left fielder Adam Dunn, no longer fit.

    Griffey, nearing the end of his career, should be sent to a contender. Dunn, who offers little beyond his power, also needs to go. Maybe the Reds can’t get equal value for either player, but they could at least clear payroll and start over. Get younger, and build back up again.

    It will take time. And Castellini proved Sunday that he isn’t one to wait.

  24. Here’s the salaries

    So who do you trade and does that have a negative effect on revenue generation of the team?

    Dunn is a no-brainer since they will never resign him.

    They are stuck with the injured Milton.

    Arroyo? Lohse? Gonzalez?

    The rest are so low on the salary good chain that the only reason to trade them is to vacate a spot and maybe get lucky with a low level prospect in return.

    Which brings to mind another consideration in the future manager. If you are going with the youth movement then you need someone who can work with that type of player. Maybe the manager needs to be just as youthful. Well not that youthful but youth by managerial standards.

  25. If you trade Griffey the revenues will take a hit big time. His trek to 600 will keep fans showing up.

  26. understanding people’s strengths and weaknesses and how to best put them in a position to succeed.

    Yeah, I get that. It’s what all managers with brains try to do. Look, I’ve coached HS baseball for 5 years, and in my experience the fundamentals/talent evaluation aspect is one of the easier parts of the job. The two most difficult tasks I found are: 1) making them believe from day 1 that you know what you’re doing, that they can trust you, and that you have their best interests in mind, and 2) motivating players day in day out in the middle of a long season when losing tests their faith in you and each other. They write books about fundamentals and technique, but this other stuff cannot be taught. It’s emotional intelligence. A charismatic person possesses a lot of it and uses it to motivate. Everyone else yells and screams.
    Baseball reveals character, it doesn’t build it. Narron has been exposed as a genial guy who’s compassionate style played well on a team with low/no expectations. Players respected him, but I doubt any would follow him into battle.

  27. Milton’s contract is up at the end of the season. Good riddance.

    Dunn presents a problem for a team that needs to exponentially improve its run prevention. Defensively, our current corner OFs are DHs-in-waiting. Willie Mays in his prime couldn’t cover enough ground to make up for their combined lack of range. I’d prefer we move Junior and keep Dunn. Move Hamilton to right and fill in center with Hopper/Freel until Jay bruce is ready. But I suspect the Road to 600 means Junior. If management is adamant that Dunn must go, let him walk at season’s end and take the draft choices. He’s a Type A FA. There’s no way we get equal value in return if he’s a rent-a-player. A first-rounder and a sandwich pick will be more valuable in the long run.

    Lohse is a FA at season’s end. Arroyo would have been a nice piece at the deadline for a contender, but Krivsky had to extend him this spring into ’09 and ’10 at an average of around $10M per, even though we already had him under contract through ’08. That’s a lot for a guy who could easily wind-up a spot starter/long man at the end of that contract.

    Gonzalez likely will not keep up the offense at this level, but if he can remember where he mislaid his glove, he’ll be cheap enough until the farm system or a trade coughs up a better alternative.

    Which brings to mind another consideration in the future manager. If you are going with the youth movement then you need someone who can work with that type of player. Maybe the manager needs to be just as youthful. Well not that youthful but youth by managerial standards.

    Well, I’ve said this every which way from Sunday, but I keep getting dissed by those who want to exhume Knute Rockne and Dougie MacArthur and clone ’em. 😀

  28. Look, I’ve coached HS baseball for 5 years, and in my experience the fundamentals/talent evaluation aspect is one of the easier parts of the job.

    You do realize coaching 16-year-olds amateurs is different that adults who are professionals paid millions to play the game? This isn’t the Bad news Bears.

    You know, this putting them in a position to succeed that you dismiss so cavalierly is exactly what convinces professionals you know what you’re doing.

    If talent evaluation and fundamentals are so easy, why do so many big league clubs fail at it repeatedly? Our GM is apparently baffled in the talent evaluation department. Perhaps you should give him a call since it comes so easy for you.

    BTW, how many state championships has your charisma won for you?

  29. Castellini: “Last year, we looked as if we were in the right direction. It hasn’t gone in the right direction this year. We’re making the change.”

    The ship has been righted with Mackanin! 😀

  30. Yep, you’re right. Apparently I was mistaken in thinking teens could understand concepts only a professional athlete would understand: commitment to a common goal, perseverance, hard work, and the self-knowledge that comes with playing a sport. And we all know these pros just grow on trees, not developed along the way by other coaches. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll keep my opinions to myself until I actually win something like you, the voice of real experience. Douche.

  31. Arroyo would have been a nice piece at the deadline for a contender, but Krivsky had to extend him this spring into ‘09 and ‘10 at an average of around $10M per, even though we already had him under contract through ‘08.

    This is what I think will ultimately be Krivsky’s undoing. He seems a little premature with the extensions. Narron. Arroyo. Harang. Coffey. Freel. Castro. Ross. Trading for Cormier which kicked in an auto-extension. Extensions and buying out arbitration years can work out OK if the players can play at their current level through the duration of their contract, but you get too many players who don’t live up to what you expected and it can really hamstring a franchise.

    Gonzalez likely will not keep up the offense at this level, but if he can remember where he mislaid his glove, he’ll be cheap enough until the farm system or a trade coughs up a better alternative.

    But if he doesn’t keep up this level of offense, the Reds are paying $5 million per for the next two seasons for a Juan Castro clone.

  32. Is there another choice, Greg? I guess they could continue to cobble together rosters like they have been and hope two or three guys have career years and they get lucky and make the playoffs, only to sink below .500 again the next season.

    All starting 8 with the exception of 1st base is under contract next year. There’s been some issue of consistency offensively, but I don’t think offense has been the problem. If they had some consistency in the pitching department, the team would have a lot more wins.

    A lot of folks complain about too many left-handed hitters, but I don’t think that’s the problem either.

    They’ve got 3 LH hitting OFers, RH Hopper and RH Freel. They have 4 RH hitting IFers (BP,AG,EE,DR) and a platoon at 1st. The issue is that EdE isn’t slugging very well vs lefties (.316 slugging, yes slugging!) or righties (.419) and AGon is only slugging .319 vs lefties while slugging .521 vs righties.

    I’d replace Moeller and Castro with offensive minded bench players.

    The rotation will most surely be Harang, Arroyo, and Bailey. I think you can pretty much blow the rest of it up. Hold auditions amongst the youngest on the roster now and capable pitchers in AAA and AA, and spend the extra money they’ll have in the offseason on pitching.

  33. I’ve got an offensive minded bench player for you… Brendan “DFA’ed” Harris!

  34. Wonder what Mackanin thinks of carrying three catchers?

    For what it is worth, Krivsky says that they did not talk to Girardi.

  35. I am pleased to see Mackanin get a real chance to get a chance to manage in the big leagues. He led Nashville all those years ago when the Reds were winning World Series titles and was by passed after Sweet Lou left for rainy Seattle. In Pittsburgh he was not given a chance to truly take over for LM as Jim Tracey became available quickly after the 05 season. Mackanin might give us a better chance initially as he is not partial to anyone on Narron’s former staff. I do like Narron as a baseball man but perhaps he is best suited for bench coach not Manager. The Reds team failed not only him but themselves there are only so few expections who have acquitted themselves this term. It is a step forward in the Reds Organization as the team looks to build upon the small sucesses that they have and to bbegin to create new foundations in the system. Trades are probably on the Horzin and those will ship out older players and bring in new blood. Perhaps that is a good thing. Dent will get consideration in the off season if Mackanin is unable to prevent a 100 loss season I believe. But today is a sad day in our organization and tomorrow is a new day and a new start for our team. I am personally sad to see Narron go but if it is best for the team that Jerry go a different way then that is the way it must be. I look forward to the second half and getting AaronHarang to 20 wins. There must be a postive trait from this sesaon and that I believe will be it.

  36. But if he doesn’t keep up this level of offense, the Reds are paying $5 million per for the next two seasons for a Juan Castro clone.

    Yes, but who else is dumb enough to pay $5M/year for a Castro clone? We would have better luck trading the real thing. He’s only scheduled to make $925K in ’08.

    They’ve got 3 LH hitting OFers

    By winter that could be one LH OF. It almost certainly will be just 2.

    The rotation will most surely be Harang, Arroyo, and Bailey

    I think it’s way too early to pencil Homer into the rotation yet. he’s got a huge learning curve in front of him. What we have is Harang and hope.

    I think we just have different ideas about what we’d like to see.It’s not that I don’t want to see them win next year. It’s that I’m only interested if that results from laying the foundation for continue winning, not a one-time, lightning-in-a-bottle thing.

    George Grande said something worthwhile on yesterday’s broadcast (amazing but true). He recalled something Billy Martin said when Grande was covering the Yankees. ‘You can’t develop and contend at the same time.” I believe that’s true. the reds need to develop and that takes time. they are not ready to contend.

  37. By winter that could be one LH OF. It almost certainly will be just 2.

    That would be a mistake, IMHO. Your previous comment of letting Dunn walk for an extra draft pick was Bowdenesque (ie not trading Soriano last year.) He’s either traded or has his option exercised. I’m guessing Krivsky is on a short leash, too, and there’s no way he moves Dunn unless it is for talent that will help the major league team in 2008.

    I think it’s way too early to pencil Homer into the rotation yet. he’s got a huge learning curve in front of him. What we have is Harang and hope.

    If Homer & Arroyo aren’t in the 2008 rotation AND Dunn is moved, then 2008 is going to be worse than 2007.

    George Grande said something worthwhile on yesterday’s broadcast (amazing but true). He recalled something Billy Martin said when Grande was covering the Yankees. ‘You can’t develop and contend at the same time.” I believe that’s true. the reds need to develop and that takes time. they are not ready to contend.

    If Billy Martin AND George Grande said it, I think I am FORCED to disagree on principle. The young, unproven pitching in the upper levels of this organization includes Homer, Dumatrait, Gardner, Fisher, McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus, Bray, Medlock, Roenicke, Guevara, Livingston, Cueto, and apologies to anyone else I may have missed. They’ve got half a season to assess who can help in 2008 and fill the rest with $$ in the offseason.

  38. In my opinion, the Reds need to hire a manager from outside the current organization. They need an attitude adjustment/infusion. After 8 seasons of losing, I’m concerned that taking a loss is getting easier. Winners hate to lose and will do just about anything to avoid it. I don’t get the fealing from this organization that it will do just about anything to avoid losing.

    As for a change of heart about Narron since his firing that Preach hit on. Maybe he has a point, we tend to feel sorry for a guy who just lost his job. However, I think some of our empathy for Narron may stem from the fact that this is not a good team and its the GM’s responsibility to acquire the players that the manager has to work with. Krivsky, O’Brien and leatherpants did not do a good job in obtaining said players. I think that when K gets the boot, some of us will be alot closer to feeling like Narron got what was coming to him. Right now, I’m leaning toward Narron being the fall guy for a failed organization, top to bottom.

  39. Your previous comment of letting Dunn walk for an extra draft pick was Bowdenesque (ie not trading Soriano last year.)

    Actually, you’re quite wrong. Take a look at Justin’s blog entry here. Be sure to follow the links to the studies supporting the entry. Deadline trades rarely return something useful long-term to the selling team. Because I believe this organization needs to rebuild, draft choices are far more viable for laying that foundation. And the data back me up.

    If Homer & Arroyo aren’t in the 2008 rotation AND Dunn is moved, then 2008 is going to be worse than 2007.

    I’m obviously being too subtle. Of course Arroyo will be in the rotation barring injury. Whether he will be good or not is open to conjecture. I believe we’ve seen the best of Bronson in a Reds’ uni and from here on out he’ll show flashes of brilliance but settle in as a league-average or worse innings eater. useful, but not an arm upon which championships are built. His 2006 was the outlier. Everything else pretty much lives up to his career norms.

    One hope is that now that Narron is gone he will improve if his workload is managed better. Jerry rode him hard. The flip side is he’s on the wrong side of 30.

    I’m in favor of picking up Dunn’s option, but I sense I’m in a distinct minority among fans and management. So, yes, it’s entirely possible 2008 is going to be worse than 2007. This is what happens when an organization refuses to face reality.

    I’m not sure why the source of the quote makes any difference if it’s true. I agree that a team in a rebuilding phase that needs to focus on player development (which is where the Reds are, like it or not), is not a team that can contend. To attempt to do so it to jeopardize the long term goal of continued contention .

    The young, unproven pitching in the upper levels of this organization includes Homer, Dumatrait, Gardner, Fisher, McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus, Bray, Medlock, Roenicke, Guevara, Livingston, Cueto…

    Thanks for making my point. Lots of youth. Lots of potential. Nothing definite. Some building blocks in place but more are needed. This is the definition of rebuilding.

  40. If there is one postive we can take out of this is that the youngsters have been beaten up in the Majors and that will help them improve as pitchers in the longer course of action. Look at the Tigers young arms when they lost 119. It has helped Bonderman by getting the time in the majors. It will help Belisele getting a full healthy year under his wing. Coot in teh pen and McBeth in the pen and Salmon in the pen. Once Bray gets helathy we might have a true heir to David Weathers as the closer. he is a bright spot in a gloom and doom bullpen. Every-other-day Eddie will come back and will lend more elderstatmenship to the youngsters. Perhaps Javaman will get his act cleaned up and get on a nice streak where is becomes dependable again. baseball is a wonderful game which has many bumps and peaks and valley’s in it. Yes we have not lived up to our expectation byut we must take the higher silver lining that it is big league experince for our youngsters and that is a good thing. Now it is time to let youth serve and allow Conine and others who we can get something for go and build a new core around Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and others non pitchers.

  41. The young, unproven pitching in the upper levels of this organization includes Homer, Dumatrait, Gardner, Fisher, McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus, Bray, Medlock, Roenicke, Guevara, Livingston, Cueto…

    I’ll give you a quick hint there — of these guys, only Homer has a better-than-average shot at being useful next year. Every other one of those guys are middling, Grade C or worse prospects that are a dime a dozen. Look at any other organization in baseball, they all have these guys, and once in a blue moon one will pan out. One of McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus and Bray will probably be a decent reliever but outside of that — there’s not much talent there.

    I know you all want to stay optimistic, but outside of Bailey/Votto/Bruce, there’s nothing much of value in this system. And Bailey’s command is brutal, his FB velocity isn’t as advertised and his change-up is fringy. Votto’s solid, but he’s not a championship-level player. Bruce might be.

    And to everyone who thinks that the Reds can help the rebuilding process by trading veterans — no team is going to give up anything of any value for anyone you’re talking about trading, outside of Dunn or Griffey or maybe Arroyo, and with the latter two you’d have to give a lot of cash in the deal. Weathers? Maybe another Grade C prospect. Conine? Lohse? Hatteberg? Here’s a hint — look what the Reds gave up to get the first two guys — practically nothing. That’s what you’ll get, or worse, for half a season of them.

    Take off the blinders — this team is a disaster all-around. Be prepared for a few more 90-100 loss seasons. Even the Royals have a brighter future.

  42. Take a look at Justin’s blog entry here. Be sure to follow the links to the studies supporting the entry.

    I barely have time to read through the entirety of your comments.

    Deadline trades rarely return something useful long-term to the selling team. Because I believe this organization needs to rebuild, draft choices are far more viable for laying that foundation. And the data back me up.

    When teams are selling something of value, you can get closer to the majors ready talent. Guillen and Boone for Harang and Claussen are good examples even though Claussen crashed and burned after a good rookie season. The Royals recently received Travis Buck and Mark Teahen for Carlos Beltran a couple of year ago. They are the starting catcher and starting RFer for the team. They are on the team faster than a comp pick would have likely made the roster.

    I know I only point out a couple of antedotal examples, and the links provide more examples backing your story, but there are other factors in play including the amount of salary the buyers are forced to pickup.

    And really, each case is unique. I wouldn’t want Krivsky to not use the phones with Dunn because he may not get fair value. If Dunn is traded, all this will be better analyzed to Dunn’s specific case with the names of the players received in return.

  43. I barely have time to read through the entirety of your comments.

    No offense, Greg, but if you’re not going to actually research the topic, there’s little to discuss.

    Please note that “rarely” does not equal “never”.

  44. No offense Phil, but quantity doesn’t equal quality.

  45. Because I believe this organization needs to rebuild, draft choices are far more viable for laying that foundation. And the data back me up.

    Phil, I don’t think it’s as much of a slam-dunk as you indicate. Draft picks do take longer to reach the major leagues than pickups via trades, and that does hurt their value. And they do pose a larger financial risk because you have to pay the signing bonuses. Furthermore, there are a number of cases where a great return has been had from a mid-season trade.

    I think the major finding from that study, at least as I interpreted the data, is that letting a class-A free agent player walk is a good option if you can’t get the high-quality prospects you’re looking for via trade. But if you can get impact prospects via trade, there’s no reason not to go that route. -j

  46. Justin,

    You and i have disagreed (slightly) about how long it’s going to take to turn this club around, with me taking a more pessimistic view (hey, 52 years of following this organization will do that to you). Add to that that I simply have no faith in Krivsky to get appropriate value back for Dunn, and I’d much rather take the draft choices. Now if by some miracle he can get the Yanks to kick in a Joba Chamberlain, well…

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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

2007 Reds, Reds - General