Hittin’ the Sweet Spot Chad Dotson 09/17/2011 11 If you’re interested, I’ve written another piece over at ESPN.com. It’s about the Walt Jocketty-to-Chicago rumors. Share this:TweetPocket 11 Responses OhioJim 09/17/2011 If the Cubbies were able to pull off the trifecta, it would certainly set up a 3 way organizational war within the National Central. And it is easy to see the Brewers getting embroiled in it one way or another also what with their about to become defending Central champs and the proximity of Chicago and Milwaukee. With the Astro’s ownership change apparently being held hostage for their agreement to switch leagues, that would leave only the Pirates on the outside looking in. However as I have said prior, I think the Cubbies trifecta talk is largely pie in the sky PR type stuff. At various times since the Castellinis took over the Reds the same sort of talk of a Jocketty/ LuaRussa reunion (sans Pujols of course) has continued to bubble up from time to time in Cincy and despite a couple of windows of opportunity it has never happened. Perhaps what we should talk about here is who would run the Reds if Jocketty does leave whether for Chicago or elsewhere. Would it be one of the several recognizable sidemen WJ has brought in as assistants or would Mr Castellini go trolling for a another really big name? Earlier this season there were rumors circulating that Joe Morgan was lurking in the wings to step in as interim field manager should Dusty be shown the door. I found them strange given Joe’s age and current station in life. However there is no doubt that Joe seems to be increasingly around GABP and the organization. I wonder if he might get the call to step in and run the front office left behind by WJ should WJ decide to bolt? Brien Jackson 09/17/2011 I don’t really see why he would want to take over the Cubs now, unless it’s a monetary thing. It’s just…why? Why would you want to waste 3 years waiting on that mess to clean itself up before you can do anything? I wonder if this isn’t just Jocketty trying to leverage the Cubs to get some more control over the baseball operations in Cincinnati. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t have much control, if any, over Dusty Baker, and maybe he’s getting frustrated by that. I’m hardly Jocketty’s biggest fan, and he made at least as many mistakes as Baker this past season, but anything that involves roping in Baker can only be a good thing for the Reds. OhioJim 09/17/2011 @Brien Jackson: WJ might also be leveraging to get BC to increase the Reds salary budget. Once Pujols is signed, regardless of where, the true cost to retain Votto will be much more clearly defined, particularly since Pujols and Votto are represented by the same agency. At that point Walt can go to BC and breif him more realistically on their various scenarios and the cost of each. MikeC 09/17/2011 Chad, that is a well written article, as usual. I have no idea about the possibility, but the fan comments on ESPN are really blasting your hypothesis as being garbage. I am curious about some of the comments claiming part of the reason Walt got the boot by the Cards was because he didn’t see eye to eye with LaRussa. Do you have any enlightenment on Walt’s departure from St. Louis? PeterNincompoop 09/17/2011 Chad, your blog post is the face of espn.com/mlb right now. Have you received any offers from Hollywood to make a movie about your post? Will Clooney be playing you? Chad Dotson 09/17/2011 @MikeC: I make it a point not to read the comments on the pieces I write for ESPN. Brien will probably concur. I don’t know where they find those mouth-breathers. As for his departure from St. Louis, the rumors were that there was problems within the front office over player evaluation/analysis, and Jocketty was less-than-willing to change the way he’d always done things. Just rumors, as far as I know. And for the record, I agree that the sequence of events that I posed was somewhat far-fetched. Just trying to look at the perfect storm scenario. Chad Dotson 09/17/2011 @PeterNincompoop: I saw that. Pretty cool. Steve Mancuso 09/17/2011 Great article Chad. Congrats on the placement. The Cubs’ ownership has been pretty tight lipped about their plans, but the hints they have given seem to indicate they are looking to skew younger and toward a more stats-analytic GM. I don’t think the Jocketty/LaRussa combo really matches that very well. The comments here are pretty interesting – that Jocketty may be behind these rumors to strengthen his position with respect to Baker and salary. Can we make it a package deal, though? If they take Jocketty, they also have to take Baker. Brien Jackson 09/18/2011 @Chad Dotson: First rule of ESPN: you do NOT read the comments. yoobee 09/18/2011 Your scenario, while far-fetched, is plausible. However, I was wondering what your source was for this sentence: “Only one of those division championships (2010) has come during his current tenure with the Redlegs, but it is generally considered to be among his most impressive accomplishments.” Really? In 13 seasons with the Cardinals, he brought 7 division championships, one wild card berth, two pennants, and a World Series. Only twice in eight playoff appearances were the Cardinals eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. This sustained success came after the Cardinals posted their worst record in five years, finishing 20 games under .500 in a strike-shortened season. Not to belittle Jocketty’s accomplishment in turning the Reds around, but I think the success he had in St. Louis was quite a bit more impressive than the one season (out of four) in which the Reds posted a winning record and went to the playoffs (only to be swept in three games). yoobee 09/19/2011 Sorry, I have to correct one mistake: Under Jocketty, the Cardinals made 7 total appearances in the playoffs, including six division championships and one wild card. The Cardinals were only eliminated in the first round once in those seven appearances.