2016 Reds / 2017 Reds / Friends of Redleg Nation / Minors

Promotions, Hires, New Titles, and Other Exciting Miscellanea! Plus a huge oversight!

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Man, this off-season seems longer than most. There’s nothing going on…and that’s probably the best thing for this organization, or so I’m trying to believe. Either way, it’s unfortunate for a group of devoted writers who like to publish words about the Cincinnati Reds (I’m talking about Redleg Nation here). The club isn’t giving us much to work with.

The club, however, has added some names to the front office fold, promoted some long-time employees, and added titles to a few others. Including GM Dick Williams:

Among the moves was general manager Dick Williams taking on the additional title of president of baseball operations. Former president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty was named executive advisor to CEO Bob Castellini.

Williams was promoted to GM after the 2015 season and took over the club’s baseball operations department in November after Jocketty stepped aside as part of a succession plan.
Scouts Shawn Pender and Terry Reynolds are becoming special assistants to the GM, player personnel while assistant GMs Sam Grossman and Nick Krall and amateur scouting director Chris Buckley have had vice president added to their titles.

Player development director Jeff Graupe is now a senior director of player development, Gary Wahoff is vice president of team travel and longtime clubhouse manager Rick Stowe was named vice president of home clubhouse operations. In the media relations department, Rob Butcher is vice president while Larry Herms and Jamie Ramsey were named directors.

A number of these names have long been Friends of Redleg Nation (FORN) and we couldn’t be happier for them. Congratulations to all!

In addition, the club created a new position — player development analyst — and hired Mark Heil. Doug Gray has some thoughts on what that hire means for the club.

The most important news in all these hirings and promotions has not been reported in any of the usual outlets. Redleg Nation has the exclusive:

Once again, the Cincinnati Reds have failed to hire Chad Dotson for any position within the organization!

This oversight on the part of the Reds is inexcusable, and the club must not be allowed to pursue this strategy of not hiring Chad Dotson without — at the very least — making a statement that explains this failure to the fans who support this club. The devoted fan base of the Cincinnati Reds deserves an explanation, a justification, for this horrific oversight. Perhaps we’ll even get a sternly-worded opinion column from Paul Daugherty in the Enquirer.

We eagerly await your explanation, Dick Williams.


 

In other news, did you see that the Reds were named one of the top 5 “most improved farm systems” for 2016?

Cincinnati also appeared on this list a year ago, based on the returns for trading Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Todd Frazier and Chapman. The only viable prospect they dealt for in 2016 was left-hander Max Wotell, part of the package from the Mets for Jay Bruce, but the Reds did strong work in the Draft and on the international market.

Their Draft began with the top college bat (third baseman Nick Senzel), one of the most exciting high school athletes (outfielder Taylor Trammell) and the best all-around college catcher (Chris Okey). Cincinnati followed by stocking up on live arms such as right-hander Nick Hanson and lefty Scott Moss, and also signed speedy T.J. Friedl for a nondrafted free agent-record $735,000. Two big-ticket Cubans, shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez ($7 million) and righty Vladimir Gutierrez ($4.75 million), highlighted the Reds’ international crop.

I dunno, seems like a good thing, right?


 

Finally, The Hardball Times published a fun piece yesterday, asking one simple question: “If an MLB team were to begin today in the same locale, what the heck would we call it?”

It’s worth a read, and I encourage you to go check it out. But the name they settled on for Cincinnati was just terrible. I want to read your suggestions in the comments below. Let’s hear it: what would you name the team today, if Cincinnati were starting over?

45 thoughts on “Promotions, Hires, New Titles, and Other Exciting Miscellanea! Plus a huge oversight!

  1. There is nothing exciting about another losing season ….

    how many years will the Reds fans be told we are rebuilding and continue to accept that excuse…. how embarrassing for a franchise so rich in tradition …

    • Except that they need to rebuild (most teams do at some point) and this is what rebuilds look like.

  2. Cincinnati Batteries wouldn’t work right now. Too close of an association with AAA and AA.

    Chad, the only possible explanation I could see for why the Reds haven’t hired you yet was the proposal you submitted with your resumé to have Billy Hamilton play all seven positions behind the pitcher (simultaneously) and bat in all nine spots in the order.

    You know, Billy is fast enough to pitch the ball and run behind the plate to catch it.

  3. Having made it thru three consecutive Sunday evenings of Shakespeare on PBS, am I permitted to day all these title changes could well be full of sound and fury signifying nothing?

    Reality check for myself…. Did anyone else also actually read up on the War of Roses so they could make sense of the PBS presentation 😉

    • English history in the 15th. century is a dense undertaking. The Wars of the Roses were numerous battles between the House of Lancaster and the House of York for possession of the English throne. To get totally confused check out Wikipedia.

      • That’s exactly what I did 😉 I don’t think I would have understood the recent PBS presentation of Richard III if I hadn’t done so.

        So, they were all cousins of a sort; and, in the end the most distant of “cousins” standing in for the House of Lancaster which was bereft of male claimants to the throne won and established the Tudor line which last all of what, 3 generations?

    • Or a slighty different twist on this theme with mascots, logos and possible sponsorships in mind…The Cincinnati Chilis.

  4. Gee, I wonder how Walt, still the ‘executive advisor to CEO Bob Castellini,’ feels about the creation of a ‘player development analyst.’ I hope the advisory is just a way for Big Bob to keep paying Walt, rather than an expected source information about how to run the club. ‘Cuz if things don’t improve quickly enough, I’d hate to see an encore of Walt.

    By the way, the Reds had hired a few old-school people as ‘special assistants’ or whatever. Kevin Towers comes to mind. What has become of them?

    Note to Chad. When you stage your coup, can I be a special assistant?

    • Towers is still listed as: “Special Assistant to the General Manager, Player Personnel” … Ok, so I think that Walt Jocketty still very much has the ear of the big guy and I think it still limits Williams’ power. If Williams does something or goes in a direction that Jocketty doesn’t like, he tells the big guy. Castellini then says “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” and slams the door shut. Jocketty needed to be out of the equation and he isn’t. Of course we already knew he was stepping into an advisory role. No, he isn’t running the show anymore but he likely still has far more influence than he should.

      • I’m still convinced Walt is getting money under the table from the Cards to keep the Reds down. It’s the only reasonable explanation for all the idiotic things he did since being hired by the Reds. He needs to be GONE!

  5. What about Cincinnati Kings or Queens? Something royal for Queen City.

    Hey, maybe even Cincinnati Royals!?

  6. I think I have the perfect name for our team… The Cincinnati Grit

    Chad, as stated before you will be my GM when I eventfully buy a MLB Team. I am still trying to pull my resources together but at this date & time I am a little short. Hang in there.

  7. As us old farm boys know…Cincy’s nickname is Porkopolis. So my name of choice is the Porkopolis Reds….

  8. Hey, I want a title too.

    As for a team name, how about the Cincinnati Crickets? We can save a ton of money never having to change names on uniforms.

  9. Hey, I want a title too.

    As for a team name, how about the Cincinnati Crickets? We can save a ton of money never having to change names on uniforms..

  10. Giving Dick Williams the President title could boost his credibility in the eyes of other teams. Same with the other promotions. You have to promote people to make room for new entry-level hires if the club is expanding the front office. I’m 100% for that. More smart people contributing their viewpoints to the process. Would like to see more hiring of top people from outside the organization to get a diversity of views/experiences.

    Doug describes the Mark Heil (Player Development Analyst) job this way: “Having someone in charge of keeping tabs on the actual development of the players, their specific development, what is and isn’t working with them and then using that information to better develop current and future players could be a very big step for the organization.”

    This seems important. But am I the only one who had this thought: How in the world could they not be all over that function already?

    I’ve heard complaints over the years from inside the minor league organization that the Reds haven’t had detailed, individualized plans for players – compared to other organizations. Under Jocketty, there hadn’t been much in the way of direction from the top, setting organization standards and individual-player goals and following through with minor leaguers. Traveling coaches contradicted team coaches. Coaches at different levels teach conflicting things, particularly to pitchers. Too much of the Reds centralized “instruction” is sending former star players (ex. Eric Davis) around who don’t really do much, and nothing with individual players.

    I have no idea how much of that criticism is true. But if these promotions signal an effort by the new leadership at the front office to fix that deficiency, that’s a huge positive step forward into the present day.

    • I think you probably summed up why this is happening now and not before. A centralized location or person in this case to keep development consistent. That is what I am hoping. The only thing that seems to be taught from the bottom to the top is swing hard you might hit it. I have never seen a team above the high school level that understood situational hitting less!

    • Steve, I was always amazed when talking to minor league players that the Reds didn’t give them detailed things to work on in the off season.

      • Bill, The complaints I heard a couple years ago from a long-time minor league affiliate employee were almost unbelievable and he was talking about *during* the season. Hope this situation gets better with the new FO.

  11. The Reds’ website has not been updated with the FO changes, but the article by Sheldon that Chad linked has several other additions and changes.

    From the article, it looks like significant expansions to analytics, scouting and minor league operations & development are included with the promotions. Trying to read between the lines using my only pair of rose-colored glasses, dirty and greasy from an ugly rebuild, the organizational changes look promising.

  12. Don’t feel bad Chad. They didn’t hire me either (or even interview me for that matter), and I actually put in my resume for one of the Analyst positions.

  13. I used to tease my Dad that the team went from Redlegs to Reds after Leon Trotsky attended a game and said he liked their colors. BS, of course. But let’s go 180 degrees and call them the Whites. Should piss off the Russians.

  14. “Vice President of Home Clubhouse Operations”? No offense, but doesn’t that make the addition of “Vice President” to all of the titles seem like self-parody?

    If THOM! is going to keep doing TV, then the Cincinnati Exclamations! could be a good name. Or Cincinnati RISPies. Or Cincinnati–this reminds me of back when I was doing games for the Arizona Diamondbacks. We’d get one of those big old, I’m talkin’ about one of those ten foot poles, with the red and the white stripes, kind of like those old barber shop poles; you remember what I mean. Anyway, out in Arizona it would get to be about 110 degrees, and you’d have one of those red and white poles, and it would be just like when I was doing a Cubs games; man, there’s a team. Can you BELIEVE how good that team has gotten? Ohhhh, Doctor! Those Cubbies are The. Complete. Package.–Run On Sentences.

    • That is the most bestest most perfect thing I have ever heard!!! Like when I was back at Ohio University listening to my dad call a game against the Astronomicals…..

  15. Ross Ohlendorf signs with the Yakukt Swallows in Japan……

    The long ball is back in Asia…..

  16. Well, as far as names go – “High Hopers” – “Long Odds” – “Budget City Bashers” – “The J.V. Teamers” – “Your Sister’s Kid” (he also lives in the basement).

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