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View Full Version : Paul O'Neill and his trade



flyer85
05-24-2006, 01:41 PM
I was perusing an article on THT on May trades and the name of Roberto Kelly came up which to a Reds fan always brings back memories of the trade that sent O'Neill to the Yankees.

What happened when Paulie went to NY? The Reds traded him right before his age 30 season and what happened in NY for the next 6 years was completely unlike the O'Neill the Reds had seen to that point in time.

During his Reds tenure his high BA was .276(the only time he broke .270), his high OBP was .346 and his high SLG% was .484. His 92 season was abysmal as his OPS barely crawled over .700. As a Red Piniella had given him the nickname "Big". It was a term of derision because O'Neill was an opposite field gap hitter and Piniella wanted him to be more of a slugger.

O'Neill goes to NY and hits over .300 each of the next six year, slugs over .500 in 5 of those years and basically becomes a different and much improved hitter overnight. During the strike shortened 94 season he had an OPS of 1.063

I didn't see a lot of O'Neill after his trade and my question is why did O'Neill become something with the Yanks he had never been with the Reds? Did Paul change his approach and become the pull hitter that Piniella wanted him to be(his numbers would seem to indicate maybe he tried to be that hitter in 91)? Was it something else?

Bowden has always said that is the trade he regretted the most but looking at the relative age and numbers heading into the 93 season it is hard to say that was a bad deal. It was only awful in hindsight. BTW, Kelly was gone after 1.5 years but he managed to hit .319 in 93 and was over .300 in 94 when traded. However, by then his speed which had been his main asset seems to have deserted him.

vaticanplum
05-24-2006, 01:43 PM
I remember that Piniella and O'Neill did not get along, that Piniella was unhappy with Paul's attitude and Paul was in turn very unhappy with the Reds at that point. Don't know how much this played into the trade, but a lot was made of it.

The rest of your questions, particularly regarding his change as a player once he was traded, I do not know and would be interested in hearing others' takes.

flyer85
05-24-2006, 01:49 PM
I remember that Piniella and O'Neill did not get along, that Piniella was unhappy with Paul's attitude and Paul was in turn very unhappy with the Reds at that point. Don't know how much this played into the trade, but a lot was made of it.Piniella left the Reds after the 92 season so that was likely not the reason

edabbs44
05-24-2006, 01:53 PM
I honestly believe that this was a change of scenery thing. He could never hit lefties in Cincy and, all of a sudden, he is a consistent .300 hitter / batting title contender? Maybe NY brought the best out in him...who knows? That was also during a time where a lot of the better pitching was found in the NL.

And to think Tracy Jones was the right handed hitter of that platoon...

NJReds
05-24-2006, 01:59 PM
Living in NY, I saw Paul play a lot. (He also commentates on YES from time to time and he's a good color commentator.).

Change of scenery and "right-place-right-time" play into his success. Also, Yankee stadium favors LH hitters.

But I've heard O'Neill say that the Reds were trying to force him to be a dead pull hitter. The Yankees hitting coaches just told him to focus on hitting the ball hard to all fields. The Yankees also told him that he wasn't platooning anymore - he was the everyday right-fielder and the coaches were confident he'd get better at hitting LH pitchers. His firey attitude contrasted well with the more laid-back style of other team leaders like Boggs and Mattingly initially, and Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter later on.

I think he found a comfort level in NY that he never found in Cincinnati.

vaticanplum
05-24-2006, 01:59 PM
Piniella left the Reds after the 92 season so that was likely not the reason

Oh, right. But I do think that it contributed to O'Neill's general unhappiness, and this was viewed as a factor in his continuing not to improve.

flyer85
05-24-2006, 02:00 PM
Also, Yankee stadium favors LH hitters.Only a LH pull hitter(due to the short porch in RF), which O'Neill decidely was not.

Riverfront with the Astroturf and overall park dimensions was more hitter friendly than Yankee Stadium.

NJReds
05-24-2006, 02:05 PM
Only a LH pull hitter(due to the short porch in RF), which O'Neill decidely was not.

Riverfront with the Astroturf and overall park dimensions was more hitter friendly than Yankee Stadium.

No, but it's very forgiving down the RF line, and a lot of pop flys can turn to HRs. I think it's 315 to the pole.

Mostly, though, I think the coaches had a lot of confidence in Paul's ability and in turn, he gained more confidence as an everyday player.

westofyou
05-24-2006, 02:05 PM
Piniella left the Reds after the 92 season so that was likely not the reason
The Reds needed a CF after they had flipped E.D.

A year of Dave Martinez will do that to you.

They had also just gotten Kevin Mitchell and Reggie Sanders was coming up, at the time it was a good position player deal, the Reds dealt excess for a need.

flyer85
05-24-2006, 02:09 PM
The Reds needed a CF after they had flipped E.D.

A year of Dave Martinez will do that to you.

They had also just gotten Kevin Mitchell and Reggie Sanders was coming up, at the time it was a good position player deal, the Reds dealt excess for a need.BTW, the Reds later flipped Kelly for Deion and then later flipped Deion for Darren Lewis (UGH).

NJReds
05-24-2006, 02:10 PM
BTW, the Reds later flipped Kelly for Deion and then later flipped Deion for Darren Lewis (UGH).

That's not pretty.

Roy Tucker
05-24-2006, 02:12 PM
He wasn't Roberto Kelly, he was Bobby Kelly.

edabbs44
05-24-2006, 02:13 PM
Living in NY, I saw Paul play a lot. (He also commentates on YES from time to time and he's a good color commentator.).

Change of scenery and "right-place-right-time" play into his success. Also, Yankee stadium favors LH hitters.

But I've heard O'Neill say that the Reds were trying to force him to be a dead pull hitter. The Yankees hitting coaches just told him to focus on hitting the ball hard to all fields. The Yankees also told him that he wasn't platooning anymore - he was the everyday right-fielder and the coaches were confident he'd get better at hitting LH pitchers. His firey attitude contrasted well with the more laid-back style of other team leaders like Boggs and Mattingly initially, and Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter later on.

I think he found a comfort level in NY that he never found in Cincinnati.
Not to bring up a sensitive topic, but didn't the Reds also try and make Dunn pull everything over the last few years? I thought I saw that on the board and/or heard it in the past. If so, maybe the Reds should try and get Paulie O in as a hitting instructor. Or fielding instructor to teach of OFs how to kick the ball to the cut-off man.

NJReds
05-24-2006, 02:15 PM
maybe the Reds should try and get Paulie O in as a hitting instructor. Or fielding instructor to teach of OFs how to kick the ball to the cut-off man.

I think getting O'Neill into the organization would be a great idea.

OldXOhio
05-24-2006, 02:15 PM
A year of Dave Martinez will do that to you.



God that was an awful deal.

Roy Tucker
05-24-2006, 02:16 PM
BTW, the Reds later flipped Kelly for Deion and then later flipped Deion for Darren Lewis (UGH).
and Mark Portugal and Dave Burba. I thought it was a good trade from the Reds' standpoint. They didn't give up much.

July 21, 1995: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds with David McCarty, Ricky Pickett, John Roper, and Scott Service to the San Francisco Giants for Mark Portugal, Darren Lewis, and Dave Burba.

flyer85
05-24-2006, 02:21 PM
and Mark Portugal and Dave Burba. I thought it was a good trade from the Reds' standpoint. They didn't give up much.

July 21, 1995: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds with David McCarty, Ricky Pickett, John Roper, and Scott Service to the San Francisco Giants for Mark Portugal, Darren Lewis, and Dave Burba.Burba was solid and later morphed into Sean Casey who was transformed into Dave Williams. And thus the story seems likely to end there.

So in the end the trade was O'Neill for Williams?

edabbs44
05-24-2006, 02:25 PM
I think getting O'Neill into the organization would be a great idea.
He may have be sucked into the Yankees organization for life.

klw
05-24-2006, 02:29 PM
Where do you get the information on old transactions? I was wondering because I hate to admit it but I have blacked out the circumstances of Eric Davis leaving.

M2
05-24-2006, 02:31 PM
Living in NY, I saw Paul play a lot. (He also commentates on YES from time to time and he's a good color commentator.).

Change of scenery and "right-place-right-time" play into his success. Also, Yankee stadium favors LH hitters.

But I've heard O'Neill say that the Reds were trying to force him to be a dead pull hitter. The Yankees hitting coaches just told him to focus on hitting the ball hard to all fields. The Yankees also told him that he wasn't platooning anymore - he was the everyday right-fielder and the coaches were confident he'd get better at hitting LH pitchers. His firey attitude contrasted well with the more laid-back style of other team leaders like Boggs and Mattingly initially, and Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter later on.

I think he found a comfort level in NY that he never found in Cincinnati.

Excellent summation.

The Yankees let O'Neill be O'Neill, as a player and as a person. I've got a New Yorker friend who despises the Yankees, but he loved O'Neill because he was the quintessential New York ballplayer. Watching O'Neill, for a New Yorker, was like watching your id take the field.

REDREAD
05-24-2006, 02:33 PM
BTW, the Reds later flipped Kelly for Deion and then later flipped Deion for Darren Lewis (UGH).

Well they also got Burba :) and Portugal :cry: in that trade.

The Reds through in some other minor league junk that I don't think amounted to anything.

And of course Burba got Casey who got Dave Williams.. So who's to say it wasn't a success? :laugh: Darn it, that DanO had to break the chain :laugh:

flyer85
05-24-2006, 02:37 PM
Paul's helmet throwing and helmet kicking tirades were certainly missed when he departed the Reds.

klw
05-24-2006, 02:40 PM
Paul's helmet throwing and helmet kicking tirades were certainly missed when he departed the Reds.
I seem to remember one game where ball was hit to right. Paul thought winning run was scoring kicked the ball back to the infield. For some reason the runner stopped at third and I think never ended up scoring.

edabbs44
05-24-2006, 02:45 PM
I seem to remember one game where ball was hit to right. Paul thought winning run was scoring kicked the ball back to the infield. For some reason the runner stopped at third and I think never ended up scoring.
Against Montreal, I believe.

M2
05-24-2006, 02:50 PM
Paul's helmet throwing and helmet kicking tirades were certainly missed when he departed the Reds.

And embraced when he got to New York. Suddenly no one felt the need to jam a cork in him and everyone applauded when the madman started to flow.

edabbs44
05-24-2006, 02:56 PM
And embraced when he got to New York. Suddenly no one felt the need to jam a cork in him and everyone applauded when the madman started to flow.
But everyone feared for his wife after Paulie took the collar in a big game.

Roy Tucker
05-24-2006, 02:56 PM
Where do you get the information on old transactions? I was wondering because I hate to admit it but I have blacked out the circumstances of Eric Davis leaving.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/

Look up a player and it has his transaction history.

Johnny Footstool
05-24-2006, 03:00 PM
Paul O'Neill never would have blossomed in Cincinnati for the reasons already stated. The Reds wanted him to be something he wasn't and tried to mold him. The Yankees were smart enough to let him hit the way he wanted to hit.

Heath
05-24-2006, 03:29 PM
Where do you get the information on old transactions? I was wondering because I hate to admit it but I have blacked out the circumstances of Eric Davis leaving.

Davis to LA for Tim Belcher. Tim Belcher got traded to the White Sox.

flyer85
05-24-2006, 03:35 PM
I though Paul's helmet throwing and Lou's base tossing went together like peas and carrots. :thumbup:

RedsFanInMD
05-24-2006, 04:36 PM
Well they also got Burba :) and Portugal :cry: in that trade.

The Reds through in some other minor league junk that I don't think amounted to anything.

And of course Burba got Casey who got Dave Williams.. So who's to say it wasn't a success? :laugh: Darn it, that DanO had to break the chain :laugh:

One other point... The trade for Casey enabled us to trade away Paul Konerko for Cameron -- who was later turned for KGJ.

deltachi8
05-24-2006, 04:42 PM
Burba was solid and later morphed into Sean Casey who was transformed into Dave Williams. And thus the story seems likely to end there.

So in the end the trade was O'Neill for Williams?

Not until WK trades Williams to Milwaukee for Sheets

:evil:

klw
05-24-2006, 05:07 PM
http://www.baseball-reference.com/

Look up a player and it has his transaction history.

thank you, very cool site

klw
05-24-2006, 05:08 PM
Davis to LA for Tim Belcher. Tim Belcher got traded to the White Sox.

And John Wettland too. Thanks to cool new reference site for that info.

Hap
05-24-2006, 05:13 PM
Check out Paul O'Neill's salary history. The thrifty owners could not and would not have paid him that much money at that time.

The Yankmees locked him up long term very soon after acquiring him. The Reds could not have done so.

vaticanplum
05-24-2006, 05:15 PM
Check out Paul O'Neill's salary history. The thrifty owners could not and would not have paid him that much money at that time.

The Yankmees locked him up long term very soon after acquiring him. The Reds could not have done so.

The Reds were one of the highest paying teams, if not the highest, when the won the World Series in 1990. Marge Schott was thrifty in the office but not with her players. I cannot speak for exactly where they were at the time O'Neill was traded, but that was when Steinbrenner was suspended and the Yankees were relying heavily on their farm system, so I am willing to bet the disparity in the two teams' payrolls was nothing like it is now.

danwl
05-24-2006, 05:29 PM
Sweet Lou wanted O'Neill to hit 50 HR a year and pushed him to do it, which is why he didn't have the same kind of seasons as a Red that he did as a Yankee, IMHO. Can't say why he left but this couldn't have helped.

Possibly worth it for one of my favorite Reds' quotes ever, by Roberto Kelly, when he went back to "Roberto" instead of "Bobby": "I'm Roberto now. That Bobby guy was always injured."

Heath
05-24-2006, 05:35 PM
It just sucked that O'Neill got traded and then Sweet Lou left that same off-season. 1993 was a such a sucky year.

vaticanplum
05-24-2006, 05:49 PM
It just sucked that O'Neill got traded and then Sweet Lou left that same off-season. 1993 was a such a sucky year.

And then we had a strike! Whoo-hoo!

Thank God for 1990. I wonder how many posters would not be here if the team had sucked all that time in addition to all the other stuff.

Reverend Doo-Rag
05-25-2006, 09:12 AM
And John Wettland too. Thanks to cool new reference site for that info.

Another trade string that O Brien killed! E Davis for Wettland for W Greene for Hammonds for Bichette for Rietsma for Bong/Bubba for DFA

paulrichjr
05-25-2006, 10:31 AM
And then we had a strike! Whoo-hoo!

Thank God for 1990. I wonder how many posters would not be here if the team had sucked all that time in addition to all the other stuff.


Ahh 1990. I was sitting in left-center field when a ball was hit to O'Neill in right and Andy Van Slyke tried to tag up. Man what a throw to Sabo. One of the greatest most exciting plays I have ever witnessed.

Wheelhouse
05-25-2006, 10:35 AM
I was perusing an article on THT on May trades and the name of Roberto Kelly came up which to a Reds fan always brings back memories of the trade that sent O'Neill to the Yankees.

What happened when Paulie went to NY? The Reds traded him right before his age 30 season and what happened in NY for the next 6 years was completely unlike the O'Neill the Reds had seen to that point in time.

During his Reds tenure his high BA was .276(the only time he broke .270), his high OBP was .346 and his high SLG% was .484. His 92 season was abysmal as his OPS barely crawled over .700. As a Red Piniella had given him the nickname "Big". It was a term of derision because O'Neill was an opposite field gap hitter and Piniella wanted him to be more of a slugger.

O'Neill goes to NY and hits over .300 each of the next six year, slugs over .500 in 5 of those years and basically becomes a different and much improved hitter overnight. During the strike shortened 94 season he had an OPS of 1.063

I didn't see a lot of O'Neill after his trade and my question is why did O'Neill become something with the Yanks he had never been with the Reds? Did Paul change his approach and become the pull hitter that Piniella wanted him to be(his numbers would seem to indicate maybe he tried to be that hitter in 91)? Was it something else?

Bowden has always said that is the trade he regretted the most but looking at the relative age and numbers heading into the 93 season it is hard to say that was a bad deal. It was only awful in hindsight. BTW, Kelly was gone after 1.5 years but he managed to hit .319 in 93 and was over .300 in 94 when traded. However, by then his speed which had been his main asset seems to have deserted him.

Hmmm...what does that say about the theory that players always return to their career norms? Maybe coaching/managing had something to do with it? I also think without O'Neill on that Yankees team (and his numbers were very good but not that of a "franchise" player) the Yanks wouln't of had the run they did.

Puffy
05-25-2006, 10:49 AM
Paul O'Neill was the quintessential emotions player. Once he went to the Yankees and they let him play every day, to hit to every field instead of pulling the ball, and let him overreact to every little thing he became THE Paul O'Neill.

The Reds tried to make him a player he wasn't and this, in turn, hindered every facet of his game (the quintessential thing). Thats why the difference in stats.

M2
05-25-2006, 11:18 AM
Hmmm...what does that say about the theory that players always return to their career norms?

As far as I'm aware, that theory doesn't exist. Players usually return to their career norms (once they've established a career baseline), but there's many who get better or worse and no small amount of time is dedicated to figuring out who those players will be.

NastyBoy
05-25-2006, 02:06 PM
I though Paul's helmet throwing and Lou's base tossing went together like peas and carrots. :thumbup:

You can never have too many hot heads on a team... Pinella, Dibble and O'Neill... :p:

4256 Hits
05-25-2006, 10:41 PM
An important item of note is I believe that O'Neill was to be a FA after the season. So they could have keep him but he could have walked then.

redsmetz
05-26-2006, 05:56 AM
Ahh 1990. I was sitting in left-center field when a ball was hit to O'Neill in right and Andy Van Slyke tried to tag up. Man what a throw to Sabo. One of the greatest most exciting plays I have ever witnessed.

I was sitting in the same area for that game. A classic, memorable throw!

As an aside, I was certainly surprised by O'Neill's success in NY. With his temper and how hard he was on himself, I thought for sure he'd implode in the boiler of NY. Instead, he thrived. Was Torre manager back then (I think he was) - I think Torre was the perfect manager for Paul.

RedsBaron
05-26-2006, 06:43 AM
O'Neill is one of my all-time favorite former Reds. I liked him as a Red, I can recall the great throw he made in the 1990 NLCS, and I liked the passion and intensity he brought to the game. His presence on the Yankees, along with a few other guys I couldn't help but like such as Rivera and Torre, kept me from generating up my usual amount of hatred for a Steinbrenner team. I loved the way the 1998-01 Yankees played.