— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) November 6, 2018
I haven’t had a chance to dig into Ward as a batting coach yet.
Obviously, they still have to work on the roster, especially pitching. But you have to admit, it’s impressive (and surprising) that the Reds have been able to convince a pitching and hitting coach to leave teams that were just deep in the postseason to take a parallel job with a last place team.
My WAG at what’s happening: Dick Williams, drawing on his non-baseball business background, figures investing in coaches to move the needle is about 100x less expensive than investing in players to move the needle similarly. So the Reds are offering the coaches they want a lot, lot more money than those guys are currently making.
Whether or not this turns out to be a successful exploitation of a new market inefficiency depends on if there are meaningful differences between one professional coach and another. Let’s hope so.
UPDATE: Quotes from Dick Williams about the Ward (54) hire:
“We went into this offseason committed to putting new leadership in place in the clubhouse,” president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. “We were interested to see where that would take us. We thought that some new voices in the clubhouse and a variety of perspectives from other organizations would be a good thing. We were committed to putting together a first-class coaching staff, but these things are hard to control.
“A lot of them come up quickly, and you have to be in a position to react. Thankfully, David has a lot of good contacts in this game. Those have afforded us opportunities to speak to guys that we might not have otherwise. We think it’s really important to give our players a chance to succeed. So we did what we could so far. We saw the right fit arise and we moved quickly and boldly to put it into place.” [John Fay, Enquirer]
Good feels all around.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.