View Full Version : Krivsky will watch closely (3/2)

03-02-2006, 07:48 PM
Krivsky will watch closely
By Marc Lancaster / Post staff reporter

SARASOTA, Fla. - One of Wayne Krivsky's strong- est selling points when he interviewed for the Reds' general manager job was his existing knowledge of the team.

Now that he has the job and spring training games are beginning, it's time to start over. In the scouting world, it happens every spring.

"Guys change," Krivsky said Wednesday. "I mean, I've got a basis to work from, but everybody's got a clean slate when it comes to what's happened in the past."

The meat of the evaluation process for Krivsky and his baseball operations staff - several of whom also are new to the organization - begins today. The Reds will travel to Lakeland, Fla., to face the Detroit Tigers, diving into a Grapefruit League schedule that runs through April 1.

Krivsky hasn't spent much time wandering the back fields of the Reds' complex since workouts began nearly two weeks ago. Much of his time has been spent putting himself and everyone else through crash-course introductions after he was hired barely a week before pitchers and catchers reported to camp.

That's OK, Krivsky said. As far as he's concerned, there's only so much you can learn about a player by watching him go through drills.

"I'm not really that interested in how someone's throwing on the side," he said. "I want to see it in the games. That's where you do your evaluating."

Krivsky and his staff actually got to work on that Tuesday, with the Reds' exhibition game against a Korean professional team, and had another quick look Wednesday during an intrasquad game. But the level of competition is rising now, even as players from other teams pitch a handful of innings or leave the game after a couple of at-bats.

"Every time they go between the lines, it counts," Krivsky said. "So we're into that schedule where it's time to start the competition."

Because Krivsky didn't have time to remake the roster in the offseason, no one can be sure of exactly what he's looking for as he assembles his first Reds team. Both he and manager Jerry Narron are devotees of pitching and defense as keys to winning, and those aspects of the game probably will get plenty of attention.

Asked Wednesday what he would be looking for when games began, the first item Narron mentioned off the top of his head was Adam Dunn's transition from left field to first base. There is no clear starter at second base, either, and the front end of the bullpen appears wide open, with numerous pitchers jostling for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Though Narron said earlier this week that the Reds' starting rotation is essentially set, "barring trade or injury," he insisted Wednesday that he'd keep an open mind as he tries to sort through the 29 pitchers currently in camp and healthy.

"Everybody here could pitch their way onto the team," Narron said. "Every one of them."

Players' past performance will be taken into consideration when it comes to determining the 25-man roster, but those interested in making the cut would do well to impress their manager and general manager on the field over the next month.

As Narron said Wednesday, these games matter.

"It matters when you have guys that have been inconsistent - especially if a pitcher's inconsistent throwing strikes and being able to command the baseball," he said. "It's huge for them to come out and show they can throw strikes and pitch ahead and be able to throw any type of pitches any time they need to. It's probably bigger for them than it is for the position guys."

Even so, in the scrums for the second base job and the final spot on the bench, performance in spring training will count. Especially considering the number of veteran position players the Reds have in camp competing for jobs, the way they play in games will be a key way for the decision-makers to differentiate between contenders.

"Spring training is spring training, but you have to make evaluations," said Krivsky. "You have to pick 25 players, and right now we have 62, so we have a ways to go."

Krivsky said he will watch the Reds play every day during their Grapefruit League schedule, usually with others from the front office on hand. Scouts also will fan out to cover other games around Florida, particularly on the Gulf Coast side so they can check in regularly at the offices in Sarasota.

Reports will be filed, meetings will be held, and by April 2 the Reds will have themselves a team. There's plenty of baseball to be watched before that point, however, and Krivsky is ready to go.

"Let 'em play," he said. "It'll take care of itself."


Regarding the bolded statment... the word "either" being used directly after the sentence about Dunn at first base makes it sound like Dunn isn't locked into the 1B position. Is this something new or am I interpreting it incorrectly?

Ed Otten
03-02-2006, 10:16 PM
I think that should be read as describing the second of two things Narron's going to be watching, but not necessarily watching the SAME thing in each case. Issue #1: Watching Dunn transition, Issue #2: Who's going to play second? I don't think it's meant to infer that there is not a clear starter at 1st. Just my view, although I could certainly see how you could interpret it as "We don't have a clear starter at 2nd, and we don't have a clear starter at 1st."

Ed Fuego

03-02-2006, 10:19 PM
Please play Freel and just shut up Jerry.

03-03-2006, 12:57 PM
Friday, March 3, 2006
Krivsky's got right vision for the Reds
New GM knows what it takes to build winner

LAKELAND, Fla. - His eye was bothering him. Wayne Krivsky had the laser surgery in January, and now one of his eyes had gone fuzzy. How do you watch ballplayers with one good eye? Is that why the Reds haven't developed any decent starting pitchers since the Ford administration?

"They told me not to rub it," said the Reds' newest general manager. "Maybe I rubbed it in my sleep."

He seems to do better with big pictures. We're not yet ready to declare Reds CEO Bob Castellini as an owner who Gets It - let's see if he stays the course when the course includes a reef, some land mines and 75 wins - but he got it right with Krivsky.

The bones of Krivsky's career are solid. The bloodline is good: eight years as assistant general manager of the Minnesota Twins, making chicken salad. An apprenticeship under Twins GM Terry Ryan, who is every bit the small-market magician Billy Beane is, even without the book. Maybe Ryan could call his book "No-Money Ball."

You do not win three consecutive division titles in mini-market Minnesota unless you are smart, creative and aggressive. You don't win if you base your decisions on the whim of the moment, or if the door to your player development department spins like a chicken on ice skates.

Steady and steady wins the race.

"One scouting director," Krivsky is saying. He's talking about the Twins organization during the previous 11 years. "One farm director. Same two assistant general managers. Same scouts. Same fact-checkers.

"You know who you are and how you're going to do things and what's expected. That's huge," Krivsky says.

Who have the Reds been lately?

They were the impetuous Jim Bowdens one day, the timid Dan O'Briens the next.

Either they were going to try to win now, or they were gearing up for that big pennant push in 2012. They needed pitching, so they brought home Ken Griffey Jr. They needed to juice fans' expectations, so they signed Eric Milton.

They locked up so much money in so few players, they might as well have been tied to a phone pole. Their vision was as blurry as Krivsky's eye. The Reds have harped on fundamentals for years. Who knew management needed them more than the players did?

Since the unexpected fun of 1999, the Reds have not done what was needed: Blow up the club and start over. Trade good position players for pitching prospects. Re-invent themselves, the way the Cleveland Indians have done twice in the past decade.

Krivsky might do all of that, or none of it. Regardless, he has the background to know what works.

Within a few years late in the 1990s, the Twins traded three established players for three Single-A prospects. They took hindsight and hit it out of the park: Roberto Kelly for Joe Mays. Dave Hollins for David Ortiz. Rick Aguilera for Kyle Lohse. They acquired a young Eric Milton for an aging-fast Chuck Knoblauch. Some of you might recall when Milton was a very good pitcher.

Krivsky has learned from every GM he has worked for, starting in Texas in the late 1970s. He worked his way up honestly, after graduating in 1976 from Duke. Krivsky started with the Rangers in their season-ticket office, cold-calling prospective fans. Occasionally, they'd think he was from the local police department. The Rangers weren't a high priority in Dallas-Fort Worth.

He moved up the ranks in Texas as a scout and administrator before teaming with Ryan in Minnesota. Krivsky sees what should be obvious in pro sports (or in any business):

"Hire good people. Let them do the job. Be thorough. Get everybody's input. Have a consistent approach," he says. "Collective wisdom," Krivsky calls it. "Then you make the working conditions so good, people don't want to leave."

It's always interesting how men who are so successful running businesses are so lousy running sports teams. Castellini might be one of the exceptions. He hired the right guy. Now he needs to let him work.

"It's amazing what a couple of good decisions will do for you," Krivsky says. For a guy with a blurry eye, he sees well.


03-03-2006, 02:19 PM
Winners don't stifle the only real hitting prospect they have

Don't let Jerry make it harder for us Wayne :D