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TeamBoone
02-20-2006, 07:46 PM
02/20/2006 2:02 PM ET
Narron setting clear path for Reds
Open lines of communication key to reaching goals
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Yes, Jerry Narron is entering his first full year as Reds manager and presiding over his first Spring Training with the club.
No, players haven't been wondering what they're in for or worried about the direction they might be taking.

They've already gotten a good idea about how Narron operates since he took over from Dave Miley in June.

"I think the players that were here a year ago know what to expect and what I expect," Narron said. "That part of it is the same."

Narron drove home that point just before the first workout on Saturday, with a sledgehammer. That's when he released non-roster pitcher Josh Hancock for reporting to camp 17 pounds overweight. All of Cincinnati's players were told at the end of last season to come to camp prepared and ready to work.

Yes, the 50-year-old skipper is all about business, and he also means business.

And that's how the players like it.

"Jerry seems like an old-school baseball guy," pitcher Aaron Harang said. "He likes the hard-nosed, go get 'em attitude."

"It's a matter of running a tight ship and pounding home the idea that baseball needs to be played the right way," fellow starting pitcher Eric Milton said. "The only thing he asks is you come [in] and bust your [tail]. Show up when you're supposed to. Do what you're supposed to."

Narron has spent well over half his life in baseball since the Yankees made him a sixth-round draft pick in 1974. The former catcher was a part-time player for eight seasons with New York, the Mariners and Angels from 1979-87. His managerial career commenced in the Orioles' farm system in 1989. By 1993, he was a coach on late manager Johnny Oate's staff in Baltimore and later with the Rangers.

The first crack at big league managing came when he replaced Oates in Texas for most of two seasons in 2001-02. Although Narron had superstar Alex Rodriguez on those teams, there was little in the way of a supporting cast. The Rangers finished fourth both years before Narron was let go and replaced by Buck Showalter.

Baseball lifers tend to appreciate one another for their diligence and for demanding that the game be played the right way. Maybe that's why Narron's style of operation already appears to be in sync with new general manager Wayne Krivsky's -- a longtime former scout who is entering his 30th year in the game.

"It's been fantastic," Krivsky said. "I couldn't ask for anything better. He's been great. We're very much on the same page with just general philosophy. ... I'm extremely confident we're going to have an outstanding working relationship."

When Miley was running the team from 2003-05, he preferred to remain in his office and not mill about the clubhouse too often. Some players felt the former manager wasn't a great communicator when it came to identifying his objectives, or players' roles.

Under Narron, players definitely know what he's thinking.

"Jerry has the respect of everybody on this team," utility player Ryan Freel said. "I don't think I've ever heard a bad thing said about Jerry by my teammates. He's a very personable guy. [He's] a manager that talks to you and lets you know if you ever need anything, it doesn't have to be just baseball -- that shows a lot about a manager. It makes a player feel more relaxed and not tight."

Not every exchange with Narron is guaranteed to be a pleasant one. That often comes with the territory when getting business done is the No. 1 objective.

"Jerry is a very credible guy," pitcher Brandon Claussen said. "He lives what he talks. I completely respect that. Sometimes, he may say something to you that you don't want to hear. But it's the truth. Sometimes that will prune you back a little bit. But when you get pruned, you always grow more fruit."

"I'm a guy that believes in treating everybody with respect and honesty," Narron said. "Everybody in that clubhouse knows that I'll do that with them."

The Reds went 27-43 under Miley last season before improving to 46-46 after Narron was promoted from bench coach to manager. Did his straightforward approach equate to more wins? Could it lead to more victories in 2006?

"Absolutely," Freel said. "For the most part, we played good under Jerry."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060220&content_id=1316461&vkey=spt2006news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

4256 Hits
02-21-2006, 10:08 PM
I think I read this same type of artile 2 years ago but Miley's name was in place of Narrons!

JinAZ
02-21-2006, 11:36 PM
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I remember the big thing about Miley's camp was its organization. No sitting around, etc. What a difference from Bob Boone! Thank goodness we have Miley now!
-jinaz

acredsfan
02-22-2006, 12:19 AM
Every player under relatively new management will say that the manager has the respect of the guys in the club house, it is how the managers lead their teams through the bumps in the road that make them good or bad. Dave Miley did have the respect of every player in the club house, but he lost it when the team started losing. It seems to me that Miley was the type of guy that would let a lot of things slide when they were winning, but he tried to become a more stern leader when they began hitting tough stretches in the season and the players didn't like it. He more or less lost the respect of the players because he tried to change who he was. Hopefully Narron can stick to his guns and retain the respect of his players in the club house.

pedro
02-22-2006, 12:32 AM
I really think that Narron is a better manager than Miley. Not that he's not an old school cather type, but still, I think he might be a good clubhouse guy, and that really does go a long way. look at Bobby Cox. Not that Narron is going to be Bobby Cox, but he hasn't done anything to get fired yet IMO.

Tacit approval all around. that's what I'm about. ;)

BCubb2003
02-22-2006, 01:56 AM
Name the players:

"In this business, you're always going to have a few guys here and there who aren't going to like the manager. But with Miley, I can honestly say I have never heard a bad word said about him. He's fair, and everybody knows the rules."

"I think Miley has done a great job here. A lot of guys have played for him before, and we know what kind of manager he is. He's not the type of guy who tries to get us to do things we're not capable of doing. He's not trying to reinvent the game and make up his own rules for managing. He just wants you to play hard, and we want to do that for him."

Caveat Emperor
02-22-2006, 02:51 AM
"In this business, you're always going to have a few guys here and there who aren't going to like the manage. But with Miley, I can honestly say I have never heard a bad word said about him. He's fair, and everybody knows the rules."

Danny Graves


"I think Miley has done a great job here. A lot of guys have played for him before, and we know what kind of manager he is. He's not the type of guy who tries to get us to do things we're not capable of doing. He's not trying to reinvent the game and make up his own rules for managing. He just wants you to play hard, and we want to do that for him."

Adam Dunn

BCubb2003
02-22-2006, 09:58 AM
It was Sean Casey and Danny Graves ...

ochre
02-22-2006, 10:46 AM
I think Miley made some poor decisions, but until I hear otherwise, I will continue to think he was O'Brien's fall guy. I think he was probably too much of the "company" guy. I, of course, have nothing to back this up. Its also possible that the pressure got to him and was thus the source of his apparently aberrant behavior. Part of my justification for thinking that is the collective sigh of relieve that seemed to occur from the players upon O'Brien's firing.

TeamBoone
02-22-2006, 10:50 AM
Part of my justification for thinking that is the collective sigh of relieve that seemed to occur from the players upon O'Brien's firing.

I would too if he had been my "leader".

Chip R
02-22-2006, 11:01 AM
I think Miley made some poor decisions, but until I hear otherwise, I will continue to think he was O'Brien's fall guy. I think he was probably too much of the "company" guy. I, of course, have nothing to back this up. Its also possible that the pressure got to him and was thus the source of his apparently aberrant behavior. Part of my justification for thinking that is the collective sigh of relieve that seemed to occur from the players upon O'Brien's firing.

I think you're right for the most part. I believe that the Aurilia situation was a mandate from DanO as was "Chairgate" and "Uniformgate". I think he did his best job managing when he was initially promoted and really didn't have one boss to please. I believe he felt that he had to please DanO in order to keep his job - remember, DanO didn't want to hire him - and he overreacted with things like the chairs and Graves' uniform in Dunn's locker. The losing was part and parcel of all that. If the Reds had started out hot last year they wouldn't have taken the chairs out of the clubhouse and Graves wouldn't have been released. But Miley's not totally blameless. He could have stood up to DanO and told him he makes the lineup decisions and it's his clubhouse. But he turned Captain Queegish and probably lost the respect of his players.

BCubb2003
02-22-2006, 11:22 AM
It would be good to have a manager who has a certain amount of his own clout, instead of a former interim who seems to work from half-season to half-season. Not that it has to be a top dollar ego like Piniella, but someone with some gravitas.

Redsland
02-22-2006, 11:24 AM
I disagree, Chip.

I think Miley was calling the shots, and things like starting Aurilia were his attempt to give the FO what Miley thought it wanted to see.

Miley was clearly in over his head as a major league manager, and when things went south, he had no answers. The team saw his fumblings, and he began to lose respect in the clubhouse. So he reverted to "authoritarian" moves like Chairgate and Uniformgate, which had served him well in the minors when he'd wanted to reassert himself to kids who were unwilling to rock the organizational boat. Those sorts of things look a bit silliy to veteran millionaires.

Bascially he treated men like boys while looking inept at his actual job. For that, he's got no one to blame but himself.

westofyou
02-22-2006, 11:24 AM
I will continue to think he was O'Brien's fall guy.

Maybe, but the man couldn't communicate with a MLB clubhouse from where I see it, plus his handling of personel seemed to need the guiding hand of an organization because nothing original was going to come out of Dave.

Plus his handling of the BP was horrible, he had a the slowest trigger in recent memory.

As for the manager speak from Narron (not to mention the player speak that is surfacing) it's just ST talk and the fact that it appears around this time of year is only highlighted by the folks who seem to think that it's a bunch of BS.

Of course it is and of course it isn't, but it's always the same every year and it's a rite of spring.

ochre
02-22-2006, 11:31 AM
Don't get me wrong, I was thoroughly disgusted with Miley be the end of his time with the Reds. I just think that the entire management/ownership tree was so infested with ineptitude that its tough to pin the lionshare of the blame on any one of the individuals involved. I see the quotes about what the players thought they had in Miley and then what actually transpired and I try to figure out why that occured. I think there are enough parallels between Miley's situation and Narron's for concern. Granted Narron's "been there before" where Miley hadn't, but he's still not Krivsky's 'guy'.

KearnsyEars
02-22-2006, 12:26 PM
Narron might be old school; but he still owes me a drink for the Vodka and Tonic he tossed down on me and buddies tab at the Hilton last year, (Pre Miley Firing)

KronoRed
02-22-2006, 12:34 PM
Tell us more :D

corkedbat
02-22-2006, 12:41 PM
02/20/2006 2:02 PM ET


"Jerry is a very credible guy," pitcher Brandon Claussen said. "He lives what he talks. I completely respect that. Sometimes, he may say something to you that you don't want to hear. But it's the truth. Sometimes that will prune you back a little bit. But when you get pruned, you always grow more fruit."


http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060220&content_id=1316461&vkey=spt2006news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

Hope it not the twigs 'n berries he's pruning - those don't grow back (unless Brandon speaks of a secret new scientific break through). :eek:

CrackerJack
02-22-2006, 12:44 PM
I think I read this same type of artile 2 years ago but Miley's name was in place of Narrons!

:) Pretty much why I no longer read or subscribe to any local papers or sports talk radio (ugh), same old jock jibberish and regurgitated cliches.

"The only thing he asks of you is to come in every day on time and bust your tail."

Wow! Really? How insightful and interesting.

I wonder what managers out there don't ask that of a player or employee?

Redsland
02-22-2006, 12:50 PM
Hope it not the twigs 'n berries he's pruning - those don't grow back (unless Brandon speaks of a secret new scientific break through).
This season, Brandon Claussen is...

The Gardener!!

Mowing down batter after batter, he'll keep 'em in the yard and off the paths.

Staked to leads or digging out of holes, no one will doubt his golden arm or greenish thumb.

He is..

The Gardener!!