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View Full Version : Soto, Browning to become Reds spring coaches



timmario66
01-17-2006, 11:17 AM
According to Pic on 1360AM this morning, Mario Soto and Tom Browning will become Reds coaches in some capacity this upcoming year. He said he heard it last night at a Sports Stag. Take it for what it's worth.

Has Soto ever been a coach before???

redsfan30
01-17-2006, 11:30 AM
Interesting.

Unassisted
01-17-2006, 11:30 AM
Has Soto ever been a coach before???Not AFAIK. Browning has coaching experience with the Florence Freedom, but some here say that his track record as a coach is more of a detriment than an asset.

I'd sooner think those guys might be helping out at as "coaches" at ST than taking on any permanent role.

lollipopcurve
01-17-2006, 11:34 AM
The Reds badly need some Dominican/Venezuelan presence in the coaching and leadership ranks. I'd love to see Soto get a job. Browning.... I dunno.

RedsManRick
01-17-2006, 11:43 AM
This just in; Reds have taken to doing things "The Dodger Way". Sadly, this means loyalty above all else, including skill, talent, and brains. That said, it's a shame we weren't able to keep Rijo in the fold. His connections and presence in the Dominican are invaluable.

Team Clark
01-17-2006, 11:44 AM
WOW... talk about a step in the wrong direction. Hopefully they are ST jobs. Soto I can understand but Browning... WOW.

KronoRed
01-17-2006, 11:52 AM
More "hire local guys" balony.

MartyFan
01-17-2006, 11:54 AM
I know Davey Concepcion owns a big trucking company and is a very busy business man but I would love to see him work with the Reds in some way...maybe with thier middle infielders.

I think it would help him with his bid for the HOF.

M2
01-17-2006, 12:14 PM
Perhaps the last two good starting pitchers to come up through the system will add some perspective on where the team's been going wrong all these years. Browning in particular might be of some use in convincing kids to use their fastball as a weapon even if it's not the world's greatest fastball. I also like that neither guy was slider/curve reliant. Seems to me that speed and location have been underemphasized by the organization, which for many years seemed to be in search of kids who could throw a wrinkle pitch.

RedsManRick
01-17-2006, 12:27 PM
Interesting point M2. Leo Mazzone was on XM the other night talking about how Maddux spent at least 75% of his time working on his fastball. The basic idea being that a fastball you can place well makes every single pitch in your arsenal that much more effective. Unless your fastball is 95+, location and movement are all that really matter. Once you can paint the black with a 90 mph fastball, that slider/curve doesn't have to catch the corner or fool somebody out of their pants everytime.

From watching Harang the few times I could last year, it seems like this is what clicked for him.

REDREAD
01-17-2006, 12:43 PM
I really don't care if some people think Browning is a jerk. Bringing Soto and Browning seems like a good idea, particularly given that this organization is going to have trouble attracting proven coaching talent. As M2 pointed out, it would be nice to have some people in the organization that actually had great success pitching.

IIRC, Soto was helping out Rijo in his academy. I think Soto also has experience coaching or managing in the Dominican leagues. Don't assume this is the buddy system at work. These guys might be qualified.

deltachi8
01-17-2006, 12:47 PM
Soto may be qualified, I am not sure. I have just read and heard to much about Browning that leads me to believe he should never be a coach.

Tony Cloninger
01-17-2006, 12:48 PM
If Soto can teach these pitchers how to use a changeup....then i am all for it.
I have said in the past, the changeup is, along with a well placed fastball, one of the best pitches to use on hitters. He had one of the best.

Browning can teach them how to sit on roofs and smoke the wacky weed. ;)

timmario66
01-17-2006, 12:48 PM
Adding to what is previously reported, Browning called into the show and said he doesn't thoroughly know what he is going to do but was told to be there before spring training begins. He thinks he will be working with the left-handed pitchers. Looks like it could be just a ST gig for both.

lollipopcurve
01-17-2006, 12:55 PM
Leo Mazzone couldn't pitch. Ray Miller couldn't pitch. Mike Maddux was a forgettable middle reliever. Don Gullett was a great pitcher.

Last thing I want is a coach who is limited by what he himself could do on the mound. You want a coach who has that so-called "negative capability" of being able to absent himself in the interest of understanding how his pupils think and what his pupils can do.

Tony Cloninger
01-17-2006, 01:04 PM
Johnny Sain could pitch...............and he was considered one of the best pitching coaches ever.

He basically taught the same way Leo Mazzone taught. Influenced a lot of other pitching coaches.

I guess he knew how to explain his method without being pushy or my way or the highway.

Joseph
01-17-2006, 01:07 PM
Browning at least sounded like he had ideas when on the radio. He spoke of working on fastball location more than speed and arsenal, ala the Maddux/Mazzone talk above. Let's hope it pans out.

M2
01-17-2006, 01:48 PM
Browning at least sounded like he had ideas when on the radio. He spoke of working on fastball location more than speed and arsenal, ala the Maddux/Mazzone talk above. Let's hope it pans out.

That's what I've heard him talk about as well. I've heard more sensible comments about pitching from Browning that I've ever heard from paid members of the Reds organization.

I agree with lollipop that ultimately what defines a great coach is how well he can mentally put himself into the shoes of the players he's coaching. Don't know if Browning or Soto can do that or not. That part we'll find out.

traderumor
01-17-2006, 02:31 PM
It does seem to be the rule rather than the exception that the old saying "those who can, do, those who can't, teach" holds true in coaching. Most of the greatest coaches were truly forgettable players.

George Foster
01-18-2006, 01:14 AM
If Soto can teach these pitchers how to use a changeup....then i am all for it.
I have said in the past, the changeup is, along with a well placed fastball, one of the best pitches to use on hitters. He had one of the best.

Browning can teach them how to sit on roofs and smoke the wacky weed. ;)

I hope Soto can teach these guys to throw inside with an attitude. Some of my best memories growing up was Soto knocking a guy down, then striking him out. He pitched like the old-timers pitched...he OWNED the inner half of the plate. If you charged the mound...he would not back down either.

Slyder
01-18-2006, 01:32 AM
I know Davey Concepcion owns a big trucking company and is a very busy business man but I would love to see him work with the Reds in some way...maybe with thier middle infielders.

Isnt that Bucky "bleepin" Dent's job?

StillFunkyB
01-18-2006, 02:06 AM
Perhaps the last two good starting pitchers to come up through the system will add some perspective on where the team's been going wrong all these years. Browning in particular might be of some use in convincing kids to use their fastball as a weapon even if it's not the world's greatest fastball. I also like that neither guy was slider/curve reliant. Seems to me that speed and location have been underemphasized by the organization, which for many years seemed to be in search of kids who could throw a wrinkle pitch.

Yet, again, a RedsZoner has more knowledge than the people who run the team.

I agree M2.

I had a kid (13) in "little league" that threw a nasty, nasty 12-6 curveball. At that level that pitch is completely unhittable.

I wouldn't let him throw it. I explained to him how badly it would hurt his arm, and told him to learn how to locate his fastball, and when he got older it would make that curveball that much better.

buckeyenut
01-18-2006, 07:36 AM
I don't think the problem is that Browning is a jerk. I think the problem is that there are those with FIRST HAND experience who think Browning is a horrid coach. Team Clark has mentioned before he was on the coaching staff with Browning at the Florence Freedom and he has never said a kind word about Browning's coaching ability. Him or Sabo.

If they can't cut it at the Freedom, why should they be good enough for the Reds?

remdog
01-18-2006, 09:09 AM
I don't think the problem is that Browning is a jerk. I think the problem is that there are those with FIRST HAND experience who think Browning is a horrid coach. Team Clark has mentioned before he was on the coaching staff with Browning at the Florence Freedom and he has never said a kind word about Browning's coaching ability. Him or Sabo.

If they can't cut it at the Freedom, why should they be good enough for the Reds?

The flip side of that coin may be that Browning and/or Sabo aren't too impressed with Team Clark----they simply don't post their opinions here.

It's not my intention to slight TC here. I'm simply pointing out that there are two sides to the story and it's based upon one poster's opinion. Based on one opinion, I'm willing to keep an open mind.

Rem

westofyou
01-18-2006, 11:30 AM
I hope Soto can teach these guys to throw inside with an attitude. Some of my best memories growing up was Soto knocking a guy down, then striking him out. He pitched like the old-timers pitched...he OWNED the inner half of the plate. If you charged the mound...he would not back down either.
Hmmm... I don't remember him that way myself, 1 HB every 67 innings after 1980, now Scott Sulliven 1 HB every 13 innings... he can tell ya how to pitch inside.

Unassisted
01-18-2006, 11:53 AM
http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060118/SPT05/601180312/1035


Browning, Soto guest instructors
By Marc Lancaster
Post staff reporter

The inspiration came from Johnny Bench - or, more specifically, the reaction to Johnny Bench.

Every year, the Hall of Fame catcher pays a visit to Reds spring training, and in the words of general manager Dan O'Brien, "heads turn." Major league and minor league players alike respond to Bench's presence and the advice he offers, whether in a group pep talk or one-on-one instruction.

With that in mind, the pitching-poor Reds are summoning two successful hurlers from their past to Sarasota this year, hoping Mario Soto and Tom Browning will make a similar impact in a more structured role. The two former All-Stars will serve as guest instructors during spring training, providing specialized guidance to the current crop of arms. Soto, for instance, will focus on how he used his legendary changeup.

"Obviously a number of guys have shared with us that they've been able to pick up bits and pieces from Johnny that they find valuable," said O'Brien. "All we're trying to do is bring in other past Reds that we think have something to offer from a coaching point of view."

Soto already works for the Reds as a pitching instructor at their academy in the Dominican Republic. Browning, the top vote-getter in this year's Reds Hall of Fame class, is not employed by the organization but has maintained an active role in the community.

M2
01-18-2006, 12:42 PM
I don't think the problem is that Browning is a jerk. I think the problem is that there are those with FIRST HAND experience who think Browning is a horrid coach. Team Clark has mentioned before he was on the coaching staff with Browning at the Florence Freedom and he has never said a kind word about Browning's coaching ability. Him or Sabo.

If they can't cut it at the Freedom, why should they be good enough for the Reds?

My take always was that Browning was reacting to the horrid situation around him with that club. It sounded to me like Browning simply refused to act like a mess wasn't a mess. Probably should have known better than to take the job in the first place, but I'm not going to look past the potential positives he brings because he wasn't a good fit with a Frontier League club.

Aside from that, I don't know too many talented people with expertise who'd work an entry-level position even it was in a well-run organization.

Think about it, you make good money as a baseball player and then those that have something to contribute back to the game are asked to work for peanuts in backwaters where they're sometimes not even involved in prospect development. Why bother? It's like asking someone who's been on an executive board to sweep up. It seems like a perfect way to drive away excellence and reward dogged mediocrity.

savafan
01-19-2006, 11:08 AM
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060119/SPT04/601190316/1071

By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer

The first spring training with Bob Castellini as CEO of the Reds will have franchise Hall of Famers Tom Browning and Mario Soto as instructors.

The Reds have been short on former players in camp in recent years. Plans to change that were made after Castellini agreed to purchase controlling interest in the club.

"Johnny Bench called me right after that and said they wanted me to go to work," Browning said.

"I was thankful. I'm pumped."

Bench has met with Castellini and has served as a liaison to Browning and Soto.

Castellini cannot comment on team-related issues until he officially takes over. Major-league owners are expected to approve the sale of the Reds to Castellini today.

Castellini already has met with numerous Reds employees, including the on-the-field staff.

In a meeting last week with manager Jerry Narron and the coaching staff, Castellini made it clear he wants to tap into the Reds' rich tradition.

"He talked about that," Narron said. "It's well-founded. I think from being with the Cardinals he saw (the benefit of having) Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst around all the time."

Other than coaches, Bench, who is a special consultant to the general manager, has been the only former Red in uniform at spring training the past couple of years. Ken Griffey Sr. has been at camp, but he hasn't been in uniform since he went from being a coach to a special consultant.

"I know how much the players enjoy being around Johnny," Narron said.

To have more players, all the Reds had to do was ask.

"A lot of guys would love to get involved," Browning said. "But they didn't want to go begging. If the Reds asked, they'd be glad to do it."

Dave Concepcion has expressed interest in being part of the spring camp. Bench, who was out of town and unavailable for comment, has broached the subject of Joe Morgan, now an ESPN analyst, coming to Sarasota.

"That would be a tough sell," Browning said. "But it would be great if he did come."

Narron, a self-described baseball guy, is all for former stars returning.

"When I was manager of the (Texas) Rangers, I had Nolan Ryan in," Narron said.

"Taking advantage of former players can only help the organization."

Castellini impressed the coaches and Narron in his meeting with them.

"He's a no-nonsense guy," third base coach Mark Berry said. "He knows what's going on in baseball. He wanted to get what we thought about the players."

Castellini, even before officially taking over, has proven to be a more hands-on owner. Outgoing CEO Carl Lindner never met with the coaches.

Castellini gave the coaches no indication of major changes in payroll or personnel.

"We got the impression that (Castellini) was going to hold everyone accountable," Berry said. "That's the way it should be."

gonelong
01-19-2006, 12:24 PM
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060119/SPT04/601190316/1071
"A lot of guys would love to get involved," Browning said. "But they didn't want to go begging. If the Reds asked, they'd be glad to do it."

Ok, how long before we can bring Larkin back into the fold? I don't think we can see him in 2006, but if Allen & O'Brien are gone, we might see him in 2007.

It seems like we could have someone that can understand the value of the old-timer passing along some hard earned knowledge.

Hell, I think its gotta be fun for the players just to listen to their stories ... it also helps the realize they are there on the back of the those that went before them.

GL

M2
01-19-2006, 12:39 PM
Ok, how long before we can bring Larkin back into the fold? I don't think we can see him in 2006, but if Allen & O'Brien are gone, we might see him in 2007.

I would imagine that's right.

Team Clark
01-19-2006, 10:19 PM
The flip side of that coin may be that Browning and/or Sabo aren't too impressed with Team Clark----they simply don't post their opinions here.

It's not my intention to slight TC here. I'm simply pointing out that there are two sides to the story and it's based upon one poster's opinion. Based on one opinion, I'm willing to keep an open mind.

Rem

Great point. Although Sabes and I keep in touch and still have a good relationship. He just happens to quit most things he starts. Browning on the other hand... no excuse for showing up to games in the 4th, 5th and 7th innings. Cancelling travel days so HE could go golfing. Telling stories about illegal activities and acting like it's something you are supposed to do. Terrible role model.

Team Clark
01-19-2006, 10:21 PM
My take always was that Browning was reacting to the horrid situation around him with that club. It sounded to me like Browning simply refused to act like a mess wasn't a mess. Probably should have known better than to take the job in the first place, but I'm not going to look past the potential positives he brings because he wasn't a good fit with a Frontier League club.

Aside from that, I don't know too many talented people with expertise who'd work an entry-level position even it was in a well-run organization.

Think about it, you make good money as a baseball player and then those that have something to contribute back to the game are asked to work for peanuts in backwaters where they're sometimes not even involved in prospect development. Why bother? It's like asking someone who's been on an executive board to sweep up. It seems like a perfect way to drive away excellence and reward dogged mediocrity.

Keep in mind that a growing number of ex-major leaguers were and are managers in the Frontier League. What I found most amazing is that NONE of the big leaguers who were managing in the Frontier League when I was there wanted anything to do with "Browny". He had already destroyed his rep with those guys a long time ago.