Delino DeShields, Sr. and Robert Stephenson have progressed up the Reds affiliate system together. DeShields as a manager, Stephenson as a top-rated pitching prospect. DeShields was the manager for A-Dayton in 2012 when Stephenson was there. They overlapped a short time in AA-Pensacola in 2013. DeShields has been the manager for AAA-Louisville since 2014, so he’s worked with Stephenson last summer and all this season.

Last night, Stephenson had one of his worst starts pitching for Louisville. He made it through just 2 innings, giving up 6 earned runs, with 4 walks and 2 strikeouts. With major league call-up decisions pending, it was a real hang-your-head performance.

Seeing this quote from his manager in the Louisville Courier Journal surely made the 23-year-old’s evening go from bad to horrible.

“This is what we’ve been going through with this kid for the last three or four years,” DeShields said, referring to Stephenson’s control issues. “Until he makes an adjustment, it’s going to continue. It’s not going to get better. It’s on him. He’s been told what he needs to do and what he needs to work on by numerous coaches and staff members. It’s up to him to make those adjustments. If I was him, I’d be embarrassed.”

In referring to “three or four years,” DeShields called into question almost all of Stephenson’s time in the Reds organization. In saying Stephenson should be embarrassed, DeShields went beyond simple criticism to shaming. If Stephenson wasn’t embarrassed before, he sure was after he realized his family and close friends would read DeShields’ statement.

The substance of what DeShields said last night isn’t the issue. At least not here. We have no way of knowing whether Stephenson’s inconsistency is a function of his youth, his obstinance, erratic instruction over the years or a combination of those factors. DeShields is a no-nonsense, old-school guy who rubs some people the wrong way. (He’s also the guy who batted Jesse Winker 7th in the order more than once.) But Stephenson has a reputation for stubbornness.

Strong, fair criticism by DeShields could help if done right.

Where I part ways with DeShields is involving all the world. If you think Stephenson needs to hear that message, deliver it one-on-one. That’s what a thousand coaches have successfully done with a thousand headstrong players spanning every competitive endeavor. If you think a little peer pressure will help, make the criticism in front of a couple carefully chosen teammates. But not in earshot of the general public. Not where Stephenson’s family will read about it.

I’ve never coached Robert Stephenson and Delino DeShields has. He may have given his statement consideration and thought it would work. My experience says otherwise. I’ve spent 25 years as a teacher, employer, program director and coach. Public shaming of people under you doesn’t work. Rather, it causes entrenchment, breaks down trust and impedes progress.

84 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    I’m starting to think Marty isn’t a good person.

    • Gaffer

      Met him in 1995, I would say that is a fair statement.

    • greenmtred

      I’ve never met him and am generally inclined to cut people slack, but there is nothing ambiguous about that quote. He’s wrong and he stinks. Agree with Steve 100% , and thanks for writing this.

    • Kyle Sea

      The guy doesn’t understand the very game he’s been commentating on, pure and simple. For Pete’s sake, he batted lead-off in little league, probably back when they wore wool uniforms. Cutting Marty slack is little more than an nod to his longevity and good fortune in being the voice of one of the best lineups in MLB history. I question his analysis on a game by game basis. C. Welsh and J.B. have enough charisma, but more importantly…they have pitched at the major league level. All that being said, his voice is ingrained in my memories and deserves a certain level of admiration, but he should not be given a pass for some of the asinine things he shares with fellow Reds fans.

  2. ohiojimw

    I agree this was bad behavior by DeSheilds. He’s not only humiliated the guy in public on the record; by doing so he has potentially devalued an asset the org might wish to offer in trade.

    Also for those who haven’t heard Brennaman’s words as they came from his mouth, my opinion was that his tongue was deep in cheek and he was holding a mirror up to DeShields.

    • Mike

      Listening to Marty, that didn’t sound tongue in cheek to my ear. But it is possible that my own impressions of Franchester influence how I heard it.

  3. Steve Mancuso

    I’ll admit, I didn’t hear Marty say it. I was at the game. Certainly interested to hear from people who thought he was being critical of DeShields and that this was tongue in cheek.

    But the main point of this post is the stuff before the Marty part.

    • Gaffer

      Desheilds was a trash talking player and has been a poor manager this year. Let’s move on from him. Obviously the same goes for Marty, but that is nothing new.

    • ohiojimw

      I went back to the MLB audio and replayed the comments. They happened during the beat reporters’ segment in the top of the 2nd inning. The inning starts at about 1 hour 20 minutes into archived WLW feed. The “fan of public humiliation” comment is made between 1:22-1:23. The segments plays out to around 1:24.

      As a person who’s listened to MB since he came to town, what I hear is his classic sarcastic, or in today’s terms, perhaps snarky, tone/ inflection when he is setting up and making the comment. However I can certainly understand how anyone who interpreted it differently did so. I would encourage anyone who listens to stick with the segment through the end to see if they pick up a change in MB’s tone of presentation as the conversation switches over to what Price had to say about Stephenson’s outing.

      I typically listen to the beginning of the radio feed just to hear Price’s pregame comments and stay thru the beat reporter segment. While the reporter segment is often full of information, they do often get a bit loose and talk as I suspect they do among themselves pre and post game when there are no live mics around.

      Bottom line is that MB has been around long enough hde should keep in mind there isn’t a sarcasm/ snark indicator on radios or streaming audio players.

  4. Tct

    Meh. This isn’t a high school kid were talking about. Stephenson is 22 years old. He is a grown man who was given 2 million dollars out of high school with the expectation that he would at least put in the effort and take instruction in the hopes of being a big leaguer one day. If he is not doing that, and they have tried other forms of motivation, then calling him out in public is not the worst idea. Some of those comments may have went a tad bit too far, but its not like Deshields questioned his manhood or insulted his mother.

    • greenmtred

      The money ha got is irrelevant, and that sort of public shaming doesn’t work. We have no idea whether Stevenson works hard or is lazy, and we don’t know the source of his problem, though it certainly might be poor instruction…

  5. Chuck Schick

    The world has evolved and the General Patton stuff doesn’t work anymore.

    Coaches/Managers that have staying power are able to maintain discipline, demand effort and hold people accountable without destroying someone’s psyche. There is no
    ” pro sports” exception to hostile work place laws and the better coaches are starting to better understand what is acceptable and what isn’t.

    Reasonable people can debate the merits of Price’s ability and decision making capabilities. However, it seems that maintaining a sense of equilibrium…especially during the dark days of May….is starting to pay off.

    • RedAlert

      What about acccoubtability? That has been non existent in Price’s time as a manager,

      • greenmtred

        What is accountability, anyway? Anything like “closure?”

      • Chuck Schick

        How would one hold bad players accountable…especially in a re- build situation? He doesn’t control the roster and likely has limited control over the line up.

        Price’s job was to avoid the toxicity that losing often creates and to drive improvement from young players. Has the team improved? Are they better now than early in the year? Are they a much better team than last year despite losing Frazier, Chapman and Bruce?

      • RedAlert

        Hey Chuck , ACCOUNTABILITY WAS HIS MANTRA when he took the job initially. Words straight from his mouth. I’m sick of the excuses for this guy. He’s been held the least accountable for anything.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Accountability to/for what?

        Give me specific examples of what you think accountability means in regards to Price and things he has the power to do.

      • RedAlert

        You should be able to figure it out yourself if you have been watching Price for the last 3 years.

      • Takao

        That’s not an answer. You talk about Price and how awful he is a lot, but you never seem to have facts to back it up. For someone who wants accountability, you sure don’t seem to want to show any for your own comments.

      • RedAlert

        Really ???? That’s the only answer I need to give . Do I actually have to break down the last 3 years of his body of work ?? I don’t think it’s necessary . It speaks for itself. He is one of the worst , if not the worst tactical/strategic managers in the game irregardless of talent level. Very good pitching coach , but not so much as a manager. I don’t want him as the manager of the next “good” Red’s team, whenever that may be. That’s my own personal and “accountable” statement Patrick. Certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with it , that’s what makes this site so great . I just think a change is needed period.

      • wkuchad

        Go back and read most of the game recaps during Price’s tenure. That will give you plenty of “facts”

    • Tct

      If those comments destroyed Stephenson’s psyche, then he was never gonna make it in the majors.

      I mean, seriously. Grown men should act like grown men. We have become a nation of people who can’t take criticism. God forbid a teacher or a coach should tell one of our kids that they are anything other than a perfect little snowflake. Criticism can, and should, be a strong motivator. If Bob Steve doesn’t like what Deshields said, great, prove him wrong.

      • RedAlert

        Good points TcT – called intestinal fortitude – can’t always teach that

      • Patrick Jeter

        You’re really big on the “grown man” trope, I take it.

      • RedAlert

        Didn’t say anything about that Patrick. These guys getting paid plenty of money to play this game. I played this game all the way thru college division 1 level. I certainly took my fair share of critisism as a player . Made me work harder on my game , not crumble up. As Tct alluded to , maybe this will hopefully be the case with Stephenson.

      • Patrick Jeter

        REDALERT… my reply was to TCT… not you. As evidenced by the site’s auto-indent feature in regards to post being replied to.

      • Tct

        What the heck are you talking about Patrick? I never said he wasn’t working hard enough. In fact, I specifically said that none of us know the whole situation. The only thing I said about working hard is that Deshields called him out for not working hard enough. Read his statement. It seems pretty clear to me that he believes Stephenson is stubborn and/or lazy. I don’t know if he is right or not. But he does know Robert Stephenson better than I do.

        Do i have something against Stephenson? Not at all. I don’t have a lot of faith in him because he walks guys and gives up homers, which is a horrible combo for GABP. But nothing personal. Do you have something against Deshields? You have been far more disparaging towards him than I have been towards Bob Steve. Suggesting as you did that the only instruction Stephenson probably received from the coaching staff was to “throw more strikes”, which is silly and insulting to the whole coaching staff.

        And now to be petty and pedantic: a trope is a metaphorical or figurative use of a word or a common, overused theme or device in art. There was nothing figurative or metaphorical about my use of “grown man.” Robert Stephenson is actually a grown man. Its not a literary device and my writing is definitely not art. Maybe you think I “overused” the phrase, but it is most definitely not a trope.

      • Tct

        Reply fail. Meant to be reply to Patrick’s comment lower in the thread.

      • docmike

        Would you be just as ok with it if Stephenson came out and publicly criticized DeShields’ managing ability?

      • Tct

        You really don’t see the difference there? Have you never had a boss. There is a big difference between your boss publicly criticizing you and you publicly criticizing your boss.

        I mean some of you guys are being absurd. Deshields probably shouldn’t have said that last line about being embarrassed. But everything else in there, if true, is perfectly acceptable to me.

        I mean someone even compared this to General Patton. A man who was known to berate and punish shell shocked soldiers with PTSD. As if that is anywhere cluse to the same thing as a baseball manager calling out a 22 year old millionaire for not working hard enough. Just silly.

      • Chuck Schick

        The Patton reference was to highlight macho non-sense. I understand that the Louisville Bats are not the 8th Army and Robert Stephenson receives a direct deposit and health insurance for throwing a ball 60 feet, 6 inches.

        It would be fair to note that General Patton was extremely effective….at times. He was perhaps a more talented tactician than either Eisenhower or Bradley. If the fate of the world rested on selecting one man to command an Army for one battle it would be hard to not pick Patton. His style often produced immediate results….and created long term problems.

        Being publicly critical of a player could certainly serve as a motivator. I bet Stephenson is angry. He may be more focused….may pitch like he has something to prove his next time out. The immediate results may be positive.

        However….in the long run…will Stephenson trust DeShields? Trust the Reds? Assuming he’s angry, will he press….over throw…..mess up his mechanics? If he feels arm/shoulder pain, will he be hesitant to tell the manager who was just publicly critical of him? If he has personal problems that impact his performance is he going to trust the coaching staff? Is Stephenson wondering if the Reds have his back?

      • MrRed

        Chuck’s line of thinking is correct. There are a lot of dynamics at play. But it’s not just goading Stephenson to pick up his game. There are going to be some trust issues with DeShields. Stephenson for sure. But it’s possible that his teammates and other prospects in the organization will be made aware of this too.

        And from my point of view, even if DeShield’s tactic was the correct thing to do (and I don’t think it was), he does not have the stature or body of work to justify taking such a bold move. If this was indeed a calculated move and not just some poorly chosen words, then he’s overplayed his hand and I don’t think his public shaming is going to be effective with Stephenson or any other player on that team.

        Hopefully, the Reds organization is taking all of this into account when evaluating their player development personnel in the farm system.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Do you have some sort of personal vendetta against Stephenson, TCT? You’ve stated, more than once now, in this thread that Stephenson isn’t working hard enough, and you’ve stated it as fact?

        How do you know how hard he is or isn’t working?

        I think it’s more likely that he just isn’t a very good pitcher than he isn’t working hard.

      • greenmtred

        Grrr!! Tough talk. You are confusing two different things: Never correcting or criticising is one thing, but public shaming is quite another, and not the same issue at all. Should a “grown man” (we could debate the maturity of 22 year-olds sometime) be able to deal with adversity? Sure. Would it be in the least surprising if, being publicly shamed and disrespected, he was no longer receptive to the person who treated him this way? It is simply poor teaching/management style, and unrelated to macro trends and the imagined deterioration of society writ large.

      • Tct

        How is it macho nonsense to suggest that a grown man, or woman for that matter, should be able to deal with criticism without falling apart? There has been a cultural shift where any criticism, fair or not, constructive or not, is dismissed as “hating.” There is nothing wrong with liking who you are. But hard truths are sometimes exactly what we need to hear to make us better employees, better parents, better spouses, etc….

        Deshields is a minor league manager. His job is not necessarily to get the most production out of Stephenson, but instead to get him to take the next step in his development towards becoming a major leaguer. He obviously felt that Bob Steve needed to hear this in a public way. Nobody here has enough inside knowledge to know whether he was right or not.

      • StillRed

        Believe it or not, there is a whole body of work on how managers can cause a downward spiral in the performance of their employees. Read it: While both parties may be boneheaded and/or insecure, a dynamic gets set up, AND, given his/her authority, it is the manager’s responsibility to fix it. Calling someone out in public is one of those triggers.

  6. Nachos Grande (@Nachos_Grande)

    While I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote, allow me to play devil’s advocate on behalf of DeShields. Perhaps DeShields HAS spoken to Stephenson many times about making changes, same for the other coaches. Perhaps this really was a last resort move on behalf of the manager – obviously he sees talent in young Robert but he’s also obviously frustrated.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’d guess both of those things are right. They’ve talked to Stephenson about this many times before. They were probably frustrated. Even in that case, public shaming is a nuclear option. The question is whether it works or makes things worse.

      • Steve Mancuso

        And to be clear, I’m not talking about garden variety criticism. A chunk of DeShields’ statement is just that. No problem. My issue is with saying he should be embarrassed – that is the literal definition of shaming. That and the “he’s been this way 3-4 years.”

      • Nachos Grande (@Nachos_Grande)

        Yeah, I agree with you and was simply trying to state DeShield’s (possible) reasoning for his actions. I think public shaming should always be a last resort option (if it is an option at all). Frankly, if Stephenson is really that uncoachable, I wouldn’t want my managers saying a word about it in public…it’d ruin whatever trade value a guy might otherwise have!

    • Patrick Jeter

      Maybe DeShields and/or his coaches said something obtuse like “Throw more strikes. Control the zone!!” Hard to implement terrible instruction, and I have seen nothing to lead me to believe DeShields is a capable teacher and/or manager.

      • Patrick Jeter

        What. Does. That. Even. Mean.

        People keep saying it without any sort of concrete explanation of what they think it means.

      • wkuchad

        People keep saying it because of Price. I’m guessing they’ll continue until Price is gone.

      • MrRed

        And how do we know if Price is or isn’t holding people accountable? Some of you folks act like you’re sitting there in the locker room. Just stop already. You see players continuing to make mistakes (even the same mistakes) on the field? Guess what? It happens with every team. And, I’ll let you in on a little secret, bad players make bad plays more often than good players. That’s the part of the equation that some people here seemingly lose sight of over the past couple of years.

        You can scream Accountability! all you want. Nobody else is going to fix the problems you’re complaining about. It will take a gradual (hopefully not too long) roster turnover to improve performance.

  7. Eric

    I tend to agree but nobody knows what was also said in private both ways. I have heard stories over on redsminorleagues that Robert Stephenson has an attitude problem as well. I can’t confirm that but if that is the case that is also what could have incited DeShields.
    I’m not a huge fan of DeShields as it does seem that player development hits the reverse engine in Louisville and that is a key part of the managers job especially at that level. Might be time to evaluate DeShields future with the Reds as well as Robert Stephenson’s.

  8. Chris

    I know *I’d* certainly never treat an employee that way, but I’m grudgingly willing to give DeShields the benefit of the doubt. At least he has experience playing the game, observing teammates, and of course, coaching and managing.

    The part that gets me is when it comes from sportswriters and announcers, who (to my knowledge) have never had occasion to supervise a single employee in their lifetime. (One in particular barely consents to having a boss himself.)

  9. kmartin

    I was never a big fan of Dusty Baker when he managed the Cubs and Reds. His decision making often left me perplexed. However, one thing I always liked and admired about him as manager is that he did not publicly shame his players.

  10. seat101

    DeShields went too far. I remember Sparky criticizing players on the pregame show. The criticisms along the lines of what Jeff Brantley says on his broadcasts- “he should have known what he was going to do with the ball before it was hit to him” or “Holt made a mistake trying to throw the runner out at home.”

    What a manager does what De Shields did people start to take sides. And that’s not good in a work environment clubhouse or office.

  11. Eric

    If only Robert Stephenson would perform. That should be the real debate. What the heck is wrong with him? 3 years now and he still has serious control issues. It also appears that as the season grows long he walk rates increase. Does he have arm health issues? Or is he a head case?

    • Gaffer

      Pretty sure that control issues are the number 1 most common reason pitchers do not develop. Why is it now mental? It’s freeking hard to control 95 mph! I doubt Stephenson wants to pitch poorly. Price could have said worse about nearly every bullpen pitcher on the roster right now.

  12. hof13

    I am a professor (mathematics) and have been for almost 30 years. There have been a few rare occasions when I have called someone out in a manner that others have questioned. In every case, it was calculated. I believed it was necessary. Ultimately, in every case, the person agreed with what I said and thanked me for it. One is working on his PhD in Math now. Without knowing everything that went on behind the scenes and the personalities involved, I won’t say DeShields was wrong. I will say generally that approach is risky and should be thought out ahead of time to determine if the person will take it the right way. Stay tuned.

    • Dan

      +1000 well said professor. It is very easy for us to say they are right or wrong even if we don’t have all the facts.
      I think what should start to be questioned though is Robert Stephenson’s professionalism and Delino DeShield’s ability to get results from the players that he is given. After a time you must look at the pieces and if they are producing as expecting then a demotion or firing is in order.

  13. ncboiler

    How much money someone makes and how you handle situations as a manager (a manager of a team or any group of employees) have nothing to do with each other. The type of employment has nothing to do with it either. Just because someone makes millions of dollars, or has been given millions of dollars in bonus money, doesn’t make this right or acceptable. Just because he is a professional athlete has nothing to do with it either.

    Getting frustrated at an employee because he is not responding to directions given to him is part of being a manager, and handling it well is part of being a good manager. Emotional intelligence is a big part of that, and Delino DeShields was unable to maintain his and has possibly made a bad situation worse.

    DeSheilds was out of line and the Reds front office cannot be happy about this. If I was him, I’d be embarrassed

  14. Old-school

    I think the real issue is Stephenson has been built to be the next #1 and he’s nowhere close. He was the 27th pick in the draft- so not like he was a Gerrit Cole. The bio on him at the time was 92-94 mph fast ball, occasional 95+ with a 12/6 curve that had potential to be a plus pitch but wasn’t yet and a change up that lacked command and needed work. Sounds like the same guy 5 years later. There was much made of the Reds/Stephenson going back and forth on his grip of the changeup. The Reds made him change the grip for fear of injury, then Stephenson changed back to HIS grip last year. Looking at his minor league career, his numbers since 2014 aren’t really that of a future ace. I didn’t see a live arm with a 95 mph+ fast ball at his two starts in April. Could the changeup grip still be an issue? Clearly Stephenson and Deshields have butted heads for years. It’s unfortunate it came out this way. Perhaps he needs to sit next to Homer and Disco for a few weeks and throw some bullpens with Ted Power and Price watching and learn what it means to be a pro,but get checked by Kremcheck too. Maybe he isn’t that top of the rotation guy after all….Usually those guys sit at 94-96 mph and command 3 pitches. I don’t know that he has 1 elite pitch.

  15. MrRed

    I’ve been a part of some venerable professional organizations in my career and have counseled many others. This may be anecdotal evidence but the best and most successful organizations don’t air dirty laundry in public. They handle their business in house.

    What kind of organization do the Reds want to be?

  16. ashlandateam22

    There was a well publicized story about Francisco Lindor earlier this season admitting to not caring or trying at AAA. Lindor basically said, ‘yeah, it was AAA and I didn’t need to put up big numbers. It was AAA.’ Given that he’s the best player on a contender (and one of the best young shortstops in the game, on a short list with Correa and Seager), it was seen more as an interesting anecdote than it was a sign of a problem player.

    Stephenson showed more in two starts than Reed did in 10. He’s, for some reason, been told to work on things in Louisville in a rebuilding year while the Reds have run Simon and Melville and various and sundry other pitchers with no future out there at the big league level. What no one seems to be considering is that perhaps whatever attitude Stephenson has is completely justified, given the circumstances of this season, and that in another, more successful organization, it wouldn’t be seen as a big deal at all, because people would understand the difference between AAA and the big leagues. It’s also possible that if the Reds had a guy like Lindor, he’d still be languishing at Louisville while they asked him to prove his talent or whatever.

    The point is I’m not confident enough in this organizations methodology with developing young players or getting the most out of their talent to be comfortable laying the blame on a 22 year old who more than likely is waking up every day saying ‘why the hell am I not in the big league rotation right now, given that it’s not supposed to be about 2016’s results anyway?’

    • ohiojimw

      I think there a certain validity to what you say here. I’ve said here within the last month or so that what has happened with Stephenson is to me a classic example of what can go wrong when a guy seems to be ready to take the step up to MLB, is arbitrarily held back for reasons other than performance and subsequently losses his edge. In the case of RS, it was fairly apparent the “issue” in April was team control and Super2 status and not his performance.

      I wonder how many of us could avoid the same sort of attitude in a similar work situation or could have if we faced this type of situation at work at age 23? If my understanding of the CBA is correct, as a 40 man player on option, he is being paid about 1/6 of what he would be paid at the MLB level. Think that’s not cause for resentment (which it is said sows the seeds of contempt) when he comes up and (twice) shows he could do the job but is sent back down for what are essentially monetary reasons?

  17. Dan

    Here is my own public shaming and calling out of Robert Stephenson
    in 22 games 4.66 ERA 123 inniings pitched he has managed to walk 65 batters and strikeout 107. His WHIP is almost 1.40. For a #1 draft pick. A guy in his 4th year of professional ball and he is already regressing is not a good sign. Either he has health issues or his head is not in the game.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Or maybe he just isn’t a major league pitcher.

      Minor leaguers, even 1st rounders, are busts more often than not. There’s a good chance that only 1-2 of the Reds current crop of starters becomes a good major leaguer.

      • lwblogger2

        This is what I’m starting to wonder. There are a lot of guys who were drafted, had high hopes pinned upon them, and then just couldn’t cut it. He’s a 1st-rounder so will get every chance in the world. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get more time in MLB either this year or next. But is he a MLB starter? Can be be a bullpen piece? To me, it seems pretty clear that he isn’t going to be a #1 but that’s not shocking. Most scouts were saying he was a #3 type starter a couple years ago.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’m sure he’ll be devastated with this coming from an anonymous internet commenter who has never met him.

  18. big5ed

    Dusty Baker was almost infinitely patient, and protected his players, but at some point he had had enough of Mesoraco in his rookie season, and called him out. They sent Mesoraco back to AAA in August, and didn’t recall him in September. Mesoraco later said it was the best thing that ever happened to him; he had needed his butt kicked. Similar things happen all the time in all fields of endeavor, including marriages.

    Nobody here knows the situation, including me. It isn’t like DeShields called RS a mouth-breathing Nazi; he simply said he ought to be embarrassed. The undercurrent is that RS refuses to be coached, which RS’s lack of progress seems to be validating.

    Frankly, RS should be embarrassed with his performance. He needs to man up, listen to professional advice, and get better, or he’ll turn into a never-was.

    • Dan

      send him back to AA that would send the right message.

      • lwblogger2

        That may be what they do. A bit of a hammer. We’ll see.

    • ohiojimw

      I’d forgotten about the woodshed treatment given Mesoraco but was thinking the same thing (no Sept call up) would be a good way to handle RS. The only on the record comment the club would need to make was that had used up his innings for the year without accomplishing what he’d been told he needed to get done to be called up.

    • ohiojimw

      If memory serves me right Bailey is another guy who had these kind of issues. After coming up and making 9 MLB starts in 2007, he ended up with more MiLB starts and innings than MLB starts and innings in 2008 and just a few more MLB than MiLB starts and innings in 2009. Some of the problem was he was just pushed too far too fast to begin with. Some of it was a perceived attitude issue.

      • lwblogger2

        I seem to recall that as well. Bailey matured and the light turned on. It takes a while sometimes with these guys.

  19. Scott Carter

    Good Reporting. We don’t know enough to make any conclusions and I appreciate the fact that you left that open Steve. I am not a fan of either DeShields or Marty but I am not willing to make judgments on things I do not know. And Homer eventually figured it out. Hopefully Stephenson will as well.

  20. jazzmanbbfan

    I was listening to the game when Marty made that statement. I commented on it on the game thread. I wasn’t all that surprised but certainly disappointed. If DeShields should ever become the Reds’ manager it may be difficult to root for them unless he’s had an epiphany.

  21. doofus

    Mr. Stephenson needs a session with the Ballplayer Whisperer.

    • lwblogger2

      Mario Soto? Tom Sever? Nolan Ryan? Leo Mazzoni!!?? That’s the Pitcher Whisperer.

  22. doofus

    Stephenson’s numbers have been regressing all season. With this recent imbroglio it seems like some of the reason is internal clubhouse strife…manager, organization, player complications.

    • LTC Geek

      Extra points for using “imbroglio” 🙂

  23. james garrett

    Sometimes players don’t get it regardless.Sometimes people in the work place don’t get it regardless.Eventually they all end up in the same place which is looking for another job.Most people don’t react well to in your face criticism or being called out in front of others.It rarely works because by that time all other avenues of correcting the person have been exhausted and its just becomes a last ditch effort to help.Stephenson may never ever be any better although I would like to see what he could do up here.

  24. Jeremy Conley

    The comment about him being embarrassed was over the line, but it wasn’t a total deal breaker for me. Seems like something that could be patched up. Maybe it lights a fire, but probably it doesn’t.

    I think everything else in the quote is fair game though. Bob Steve is a pro ball player that’s taken a lot of money to pitch well, and it sounds like he isn’t going listening to his coaches. That’s no good. It’s not fair for the coaches to get judged on the player’s performance (which they always do in the end) if the player isn’t listening.

    If you’ve taken millions from a team, and they say, “hey Bob, we need you to work on these things,” and you don’t, and you aren’t successful, and after several years of that pattern the organization says in public that you’re not doing what they asked you to, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Now, I don’t know anything about what they’ve told him to work on, and if he has or not. Maybe DeShield’s made the whole thing up, and if so, he should be let go. Somehow, I don’t think that’s the case.

    As for Marty’s “I’m a big fan of public humiliation, that seems to fit with he MO. Maybe it even explains a lot of his trashing of Reds’ players. Maybe in his mind he thinks it’s what they need to get fired up, and that he’s actually helping. Heck, who knows, maybe he is, but somehow I don’t think that’s the case either.

    • lwblogger2

      Ok, I can get on board with this idea. The thing is though, DeShields had better be sure that it is a matter of Stephenson not listening and not trying; and that it ISN’T a case of Stephenson simply not being able to execute the changes that management wants him to make.

  25. WVRedlegs

    I have seen first hand that Delino DeShields is a poor manager. A very poor teacher. Remember the Reds had DeShields “coach up” BHam on bunting before the 2015 season which was an unmitigated disaster. He had BHam’s head really messed up for awhile. This off-season the Reds had BHam work with Billy Hatcher. Anybody see a difference? Not talking about the Votto and Long tutoring which has also paid high dividends.

  26. LTC Geek

    Not surprising that this came from DeShields. Remember, this is the guy who once said that there weren’t enough black players on the Reds team in response to trade rumors when he was a player. I gave him an opportunity to explain or refute this report and he chose to deflect. This is not the kind of leadership we want in the Reds organization and I am frankly surprised he has risen as high as he has.

  27. Michael E

    How do you know Deshields didn’t already talk to Stephenson one-on-one several times with no obvious results? Maybe this was called for and actually, maybe it was long overdue? We just don’t know.

    Some people don’t respond until they’re embarrassed to a group (in baseball it’s the media and general public), in a corporation it’s the team you’re on, etc.

    • Steve Mancuso

      There’s a difference between criticism and embarrassment, which I explained in the post. Not opposed to DeShield’s criticizing Stephenson. My experience is public embarrassment (especially when friends and family are involved) backfires. Bad look for the organization to publicly humiliate one of their players.