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RFS62
02-09-2006, 09:33 PM
Great coaches in every sport coach to their personnel.

If you don't have a fast guy to run the baseline, you can't play the 1-3-1 in basketball.

If you don't have a quick release accurate short passer as quarterback, you can't succeed in the West Coast offense in football.

If you have a bunch of free swingers who can't bunt and put the bat on the ball at will, playing small bal won't work in baseball.

You assess your personnel, and chose your strategy and tactics accordingly if you want to maximize your offense.

Some coaches or managers don't get it. Bob Boone tried to manage like Gene Mauch with guys who couldn't get a bunt down or hit to the right side when he wanted them to.

The Reds are not designed for smallball. Hell, they're not designed for anything. They are what they are by random chance. And that random chance produced an incredible number of runs last year as thumpers, not contact hitting smallballers.

We need to see things as they are, not as we might want them to be. Assess the personnel. Why on earth would we fix something that's not broken.

Personally, I like 70's and 80's baseball better. I like the "traditional" game much more than the swing from the heels so called "modern" game. I hope against hope that that style re-emerges, when speed becomes the undervalued commodity that Moneyballers move to after everybody and his uncle is overpaying for OBP and that well dries up.

But we're closer to being contenders if we see things as they are, right now. Right now, our offense is devestating.

Right now, our pitching and defense blows on a historic scale.

Coach to our strengths and fix our weakness. Fix the pitching. Leave the offense alone.

Ron Madden
02-09-2006, 09:42 PM
I doubt that the need of good OBP will ever go out of syle.

OBP is very imprtant. The more you reach base the fewer outs you make and the more runs you'll score.

OBP will always have value.

RFS62
02-09-2006, 09:45 PM
I doubt that the need of good OBP will ever go out of syle.

OBP is very imprtant. The more you reach base the fewer outs you make and the more runs you'll score.

OBP will always have value.


It won't go out of style, I agree. But the essence of Moneyball is finding undervalued commodities. It could well become overpriced due to supply and demand now with every major league owner telling his GM "hey, I want me some of that thar' Moneyball".

captainmorgan07
02-09-2006, 09:46 PM
my choice is whichever one that wins us more games than last year

westofyou
02-09-2006, 09:51 PM
Aside from pitching this team lacks is up the middle defense and at least 1 BA driven starter.

If they had the above they could probably sacrifice some offense that they might lose.

Currently its a conundrum... without the players we have playing now we won't score 800 runs, with them we might give up 60-100 extra.

Raisor
02-09-2006, 09:57 PM
I like to post this occassionally, and this thread seems a good place for it:





Announcer: [A fan] from Frederick, Maryland, wants to know why you don't go out and get some more team speed.

Earl Bleepin Weaver: Team speed, for (goodness sakes) , you get BLEEP (gosh darn) little fleas on the bases getting picked off trying to steal, getting thrown out, taking runs away from you. You get them big BLEEP who can hit the BLEEP ball out of the BLEEP ballpark and you can't make any (gosh darn) mistakes.

westofyou
02-09-2006, 10:04 PM
Paul Blair was fast, Al Bumbry was fast.

Team speed at certain positions isn't a bad thing.

Earl also wrote in his book on the outfield.


"Defensively the key here is speed. An outfielder has a lot of territory to cover and the faster he is, the easier it will be for him."

Raisor
02-09-2006, 10:06 PM
Paul Blair was fast, Al Bumbry was fast.

Team speed at certain positions isn't a bad thing.

Earl also wrote in his book on the outfield.



I was just sayin that Earl was "offensive"

Sometimes I'm too clever for myself even.

:mooner:

RFS62
02-09-2006, 10:14 PM
Sometimes I'm too clever for myself even.

:mooner:


It's a burden.

reds44
02-09-2006, 10:16 PM
Aside from pitching this team lacks is up the middle defense and at least 1 BA driven starter.

If they had the above they could probably sacrifice some offense that they might lose.

Currently its a conundrum... without the players we have playing now we won't score 800 runs, with them we might give up 60-100 extra.
Wouldn't Bergolla solve some of that problem?

westofyou
02-09-2006, 10:26 PM
Wouldn't Bergolla solve some of that problem?
Yes, but IMO even better would be a picker at SS an Lopez moving to 2nd base, that frees Freel up for CF and then Griffey could slide to the corner (cause that's the one of the dudes I trade for the SS) But that's a big dream.

Cooper
02-09-2006, 10:33 PM
I always try to think what Whitey would do to fix the situation and i think WOY is right....CF defense would be corrected, FELO would be moved ...etc..WOY said it all.

What would Earl Weaver do? Put EE at short? and move folks over one slot?

Dodgers of the 50 and 60's would probably put Freel at the D- position (2nd base?) and then make it a C+ ala...Jr. Gilliam.


None of these are good moves --they don't fit to make the situation better. Only option is to make a trade.

IslandRed
02-09-2006, 10:39 PM
Fixing the defense will probably result in a change in hitting profile as well. Good glove guys, particularly up the middle, tend not to be Three True Outcomes types.

westofyou
02-09-2006, 10:42 PM
Fixing the defense will probably result in a change in hitting profile as well. Good glove guys, particularly up the middle, tend not to be Three True Outcomes types.
Yeah, they tend to be the bat on the ball types that can push the offense up with good years or drag it down with bad ones. But they save runs on the other side of the coin. It's a ying to a yang that the Reds need to get their chakras in line.

M2
02-09-2006, 10:59 PM
The problem the Reds have is that the club will have to deal some offense to get pitching. It can't buy it and it doesn't have enough in the pipeline to count on that as a delivery system.

It means the Reds will have less thunder in the near future. The team is also going to have to sacrfice a little muscle to fix that defense. That's not necessarily a bad tradeoff. It just means the team is going to have to find some guys who are still productive without the big, honking biecps. A leadoff guy who can get on base, run a bit and play quality CF would be a sweet pickup. No, that guy won't rake like Jr., but he will catch a lot more balls and score in front of the thunder the Reds do manage to keep.

wheels
02-10-2006, 01:15 AM
I agree with everyone here, and I wanna add that if they keep Dunn, Lopez, Freel, and Encarnacion, that's enough muscle plus a blend of speed and patience at the plate....I guess I'm trying to say that it's a great nucleous if you like a bit (or a bunch) of everything.

Sure, find a defensive shortstop and let Felipe become the next Alomar, for goodness sake go out and find a CF that runs like the wind....But in the name of all that is good and holy, keep those aforementioned cats together for as long as possible. You mix Dunn in there with a couple of hybrid types like Lopez and EE, along with the speed and OBP game of Ryan Freel, and you'll see this club get up to the 800 run threshold for alot of years to come. It matters not who you surround those guys with. Make sure they can pick it, and everything else is gravy.

KronoRed
02-10-2006, 01:21 AM
my choice is whichever one that wins us more games than last year
Word.

Right now it's beating the snot out of the ball because the pitching sucks.

IslandRed
02-10-2006, 02:41 PM
I agree with everyone here, and I wanna add that if they keep Dunn, Lopez, Freel, and Encarnacion, that's enough muscle plus a blend of speed and patience at the plate....I guess I'm trying to say that it's a great nucleous if you like a bit (or a bunch) of everything.

Just a hunch, but I'm not sure Freel's going to be part of the long-term plan, not unless they can settle on a place where he'd be OK defensively. He's about to hit age 30 and, as an injury-prone hustle/speed guy, his expiration date as a plus offensive player might not be too far away.

Johnny Footstool
02-10-2006, 03:13 PM
Since it's highly unlikely anyone will ever be able to put together a team filled with .300 BA/.375 OBP/.500 SLG hitters, here's how I like a lineup to look:

1 - High OBP hitter with excellent OB skills and great speed. CF.
2 - High AVG doubles hitter. Decent power, good patience and OB skills, pounces on fastballs. Good speed. Middle IF or corner OF.
3 - Best hitter on the team. All-Star combination of OBP, SLG, and decent speed. Corner OF.
4 - High SLG, good BA. BB skills and speed are less important here. Corner IF.
5 - High SLG, good OB. BA skills are less important here. Corner IF or C.
6 - Decent SLG, decent OB, good speed. The midrange guy who does a lot of things well but isn't All-Star caliber. Middle IF or corner OF.
7 - Good SLG. I'm willing to sacrifice OB skills in this spot. C or corner IF.
8 - No power. Excellent patience and OB skills -- second only to the leadoff hitter. Middle IF.

As it stacks up, the Reds fit the mold pretty well.

1 - Freel
2 - Lopez
3 - Griffey
4 - Pena (if he could make better contact)
5 - Dunn
6 - Kearns
7/8 - Larue/Encarnacion or vice versa.

There's really no one who fits the mold of my ideal #8 hitter, but a 7/8 combo of Larue and Encarnacion is excellent.

Unfortunately, the defensive alignment doesn't fit well.

GAC
02-12-2006, 03:47 AM
What is it with either Cincy team (Reds, Bengals) who seem to follow this "imbalanced" philosophy of "we can't stop the other guy, so just outscore them." It's "Air Coryell" type of thinking. And it's doomed to fail when looking at GAB.

This team has gotten away from emphasizing the basic fundamentals of the game - PERIOD! They seem to be downplayed and ignored anymore IMO.

And is that because it doesn't provide what I call the "new breed" of fan with that "exciting" type of baseball?

And lets face it - MLB heirarchy over these many years, and it competition with other growing sports, in order to hold onto/gain fan support, have implemented changes that strongly emphasize offense over defense.

For the most part, generally speaking, fans don't like to sit and watch 2-1 ballgames where pitching and defense endures. And that's why stadiums/organizations have all these little gimmicks and "side shows" going on during games to hold the fan's attention. One can go to a ballgame, be entertained by the various atmospheres being promoted, and never actually watch the game.

Certain aspects of the game are frowned upon now... steals, hit n runs, moving runners, sacrifices, because it's shown to have a low percentage success rate or the possibility looms of creating an out. And no one (including myself) denies that. I just think it sometimes makes for a boring and predictable game.

We gauge players anymore on the amount of walks they draw.

RFS62
02-12-2006, 09:06 AM
Certain aspects of the game are frowned upon now... steals, hit n runs, moving runners, sacrifices, because it's shown to have a low percentage success rate or the possibility looms of creating an out. And no one (including myself) denies that. I just think it sometimes makes for a boring and predictable game.

We gauge players anymore on the amount of walks they draw.


I think the game goes through cycles. Certainly the swing from the heels current style is a product of those natural changes. Smaller parks surely play a part. Watered down pitching can be argued. Bigger, stronger players, from whatever source. Even the style of bats, barrell loaded with thin handles, contributes to the type of stroke we see today.

But the walks thing, I believe that plate discipline has become the sixth tool. Widespread acceptance of on base percentage as a more important measure than batting average has changed things.

Ebbs and flows..... it's all part of the natural evolution of the game, and it's not going to stay the way it is now forever. Change is a constant in baseball. Always has been, always will be.

Chip R
02-12-2006, 09:48 AM
What is it with either Cincy team (Reds, Bengals) who seem to follow this "imbalanced" philosophy of "we can't stop the other guy, so just outscore them." It's "Air Coryell" type of thinking. And it's doomed to fail when looking at GAB.

This team has gotten away from emphasizing the basic fundamentals of the game - PERIOD! They seem to be downplayed and ignored anymore IMO.

And is that because it doesn't provide what I call the "new breed" of fan with that "exciting" type of baseball?

And lets face it - MLB heirarchy over these many years, and it competition with other growing sports, in order to hold onto/gain fan support, have implemented changes that strongly emphasize offense over defense.

For the most part, generally speaking, fans don't like to sit and watch 2-1 ballgames where pitching and defense endures. And that's why stadiums/organizations have all these little gimmicks and "side shows" going on during games to hold the fan's attention. One can go to a ballgame, be entertained by the various atmospheres being promoted, and never actually watch the game.

Certain aspects of the game are frowned upon now... steals, hit n runs, moving runners, sacrifices, because it's shown to have a low percentage success rate or the possibility looms of creating an out. And no one (including myself) denies that. I just think it sometimes makes for a boring and predictable game.

We gauge players anymore on the amount of walks they draw.

I don't think it's a matter of having that philospohy on purpose. I'm sure the people running the Reds - and Bengals - in the past and present would love to have a great defense. Let's just focus on the Reds, though. Now I know we all have fallen in love with Felipe Lopez but he's not going to make anyone forget Ozzie Smith defensively. So do you live with his defense just so you can have his offense or do you trade him for Neffi Perez? What some have suggested is that he move to 2nd and you bring a guy with a glove in at SS. You could do that but then you have a black hole in the 8th spot. Then Ryan Freel becomes a utility man again when you could use him at the leadoff spot. Speaking of Freel, he's barely adequate defensively. So what do you do with him? You could put Aurilia in there and he'll gobble up every ball he gets to. But the problem is he can't get to much. Moving on to 3rd, we have Ed Encarnacion. He's a rookie and does have mad skills defensively. But, since he's young, he has a tendency to sometimes throw the ball away. That'll get better in the future but do you live with 15-20 errors and appreciate the plays he makes or do you sit him down for Aurilia? Over across the diamond we have Adam Dunn in his first full year at 1st. He's probably going to mess up some there but I don't have to tell anyone about what he brings to the plate. Like Lopez, do you live with his subpar defense or do you move him back to LF where he's decent but no Gold Glover.

Speaking of LF we have the inimitable Wily Mo Pena. Easily the worst defensive player on the club. But you have to see what he can bring to the table and since there is no DH in the NL, he either plays LF or sits on the bench. Going from left to right we have Ken Griffey, Jr. Injuries have taken away his abilities in CF and while he's not WMP bad out there he's not getting to as many balls as he used to. But the team seems to feel that he'd hurt himself less in CF than at any other position and I'm sure he wants to stay in CF. Then we have Austin Kearns. He's got a great glove and arm but seems to have bulked up some which has taken away some of his speed. And there are some who have seen him lollygag out there. The question is for him is can he hit?

Are the Reds not emphasizing the fundamentals? When he was manager Pete Rose said that he and his staff didn't have time to teach fundamentals. Of course he had time to place bets but that's another matter. He does have a good point though. These players should be well versed in the fundamentals before they play in the majors. But how many current Reds have come up in the Reds system? Dunn, Kearns and LaRue is all. Should we have left Adam Dunn in AAA until he became a great fielding LF? He might still be down there if that happened. If we're going to wait till we have 8 guys who can hit and play great defense, we may be in for a long wait.

As for the bunting and running style you like, all I can say about that is horses for courses. If you don't have the players to fit a particular style you like, it's probably not a good idea to force it on them. Look at Ohio State's football team. Yeah, they could run the old 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense and throw 10 times a game but that won't work for them. They were smart enough to adjust to the skills of their personnel and let their QB make plays instead of handing the ball off 35 times a game. If the Reds have a runner on 2nd and 1 out I don't want Adam Dunn bunting him over to 3rd. Why make someone do something he does not have a lot of success in doing? You hear managers and broadcasters say all the time, "Well we bunted there because the book says you should. The player didn't get the bunt down and he should have." That's just covering your ass. Maybe that player should be able to bunt but until he can, why make him do it when it's almost a sure thing he will fail? Good managers and coaches use the strengths of their players instead of emphasizing their weaknesses so they can say they did it by the book.

westofyou
02-12-2006, 10:23 AM
Certain aspects of the game are frowned upon now... steals, hit n runs, moving runners, sacrifices, because it's shown to have a low percentage success rate or the possibility looms of creating an out. And no one (including myself) denies that. I just think it sometimes makes for a boring and predictable game.

We gauge players anymore on the amount of walks they draw.
Batters don't follow out their natural instinct to wallop the ball, but stall around the plate in the hope of drawing a base instead of hitting the ball hard.

Bill Lange 3-14-1909

BCubb2003
02-12-2006, 01:50 PM
I just remember a game last year in Denver, a great hitting stadium, hot-hitting Felipe Lopez at the plate, good hitters coming up after him, a man on, all the makings of a big inning. But with all the move-the-runner-over stuff the manager played, we watched as the inning got smaller and smaller as it got closer and closer to the third out. That's what convinced me that small ball was being overused.

If you've got an 8 or 9 hitter who's going to get an out anyway, that's one thing. But giving away outs is not something you should do with Felipe in Denver with runners on and good hitters coming up.

Chip R
02-12-2006, 03:05 PM
If you've got an 8 or 9 hitter who's going to get an out anyway, that's one thing. But giving away outs is not something you should do with Felipe in Denver with runners on and good hitters coming up.

Preach it.

westofyou
02-12-2006, 03:10 PM
One thing that directly takes its credit from the change of the game from smallball to bigball is the introduction of around the field sitting.

It wasn't until the 20's and Ruth and company that stadiums started to add seating in the outfield, prior to that the majority of the seats were focused on the diamond as the center of all of the action. This was enhanced by a constant use of hit and runs, bunts and placement hitting, topped off with steals and "team" plays.

The outfield was considered a place for rare events and the expansive areas out there were soley to create opportunities for triples and the such.

Spitball
02-12-2006, 06:33 PM
I'd also like to see Felipe Lopez moved to second, find a glove for short (this offense can afford it), move Freel to left, and either trade Wily Mo Pena for whatever pitching he can bring or let him come off the bench.

Teams need to be versitile enough to win the 2-1 and 10-9 games. Power and speed. Players capable of bunting or going the other way when needed, and capable of hitting it out when needed.

Redsland
02-14-2006, 05:25 PM
I just remember a game last year in Denver, a great hitting stadium, hot-hitting Felipe Lopez at the plate, good hitters coming up after him, a man on, all the makings of a big inning. But with all the move-the-runner-over stuff the manager played, we watched as the inning got smaller and smaller as it got closer and closer to the third out. That's what convinced me that small ball was being overused.

If you've got an 8 or 9 hitter who's going to get an out anyway, that's one thing. But giving away outs is not something you should do with Felipe in Denver with runners on and good hitters coming up.
If the game in question was June 5, it was played a few hours after John Allen paid a surprise visit to the Colorado clubhouse on getaway day to tell Dave Miley his job was on life support.