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View Full Version : Joe Sheehan: Would the Reds be in it if Dunn showed up in the 2nd half?



jmcclain19
09-29-2006, 12:47 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5566


The Reds, however, are done. Two-and-a-half games out of first with five games to play, they sent Chris Michalak to the mound against a team that is loaded from the right side. I suppose if theyíre not going to take their situation seriously, thereís no reason for us to do so.
Michalak lasted just three innings, but the real problem was the offense. The Reds got the leadoff batter on in six of the first eight innings, but went 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left 15 men on in a 7-2 loss.

Iím on board with the idea that the Reds are out of the race in no small part because of the Wayne Krivsky notion that he needed middle relievers more than he needed 25% of his starting lineup. The Felipe Lopez/Austin Kearns trade damaged the Redsí offense and didnít come close to addressing their pitching issues. Thereís no way to evaluate their season without placing that deal front and center.

HoweverÖ

Do you think things might have been different if Adam Dunn shown up for the second half? With another 0-fer last night, Dunn dropped to .153/.344/.264 in September, .230/.367/.426 since the All-Star break. He has killed the Reds for two months, batting .170 in the middle of the lineup with just 13 extra-base hits. Thatís not a slump; thatís a disaster, and itís gone unnoticed in part because guys like me are so used to defending Dunn that we didnít look at him when doing the Redsí autopsy. Unlike in past seasons, when Dunn was criticized for his approach while still being productive, this time the big guy is a big reason why the Reds have failed. Stathead favorite or no, Dunn deserves a load of criticism for his part in this season.

Roy Tucker
09-29-2006, 12:50 PM
Gasoline? Check.

Match? Check.

Ignition.

dougdirt
09-29-2006, 12:58 PM
No need for gasoline or a match. He speaks the truth. You can try to defend Dunn all you want. .230/.367/.426 is not good, any way you look at it. Adam Dunn hasnt even OPS'd at a level that is good for a middle infielder since the ASB.

registerthis
09-29-2006, 01:03 PM
I think, when assessing blame for the failures of this team, it's ludicrous to point to only one or two individuals and make them the sacrificial lambs. This was a flawed team at the beginning of the season, and it is a flawed team now.

Guys like Milton, Griffey, Wilson and LaRue ate up large chunks of this team's payroll while offering very little in return, so certainly some blame goes their way.

The bullpen imploded halfway through the season, and was only serviceable the rest of the way, so some additional blame goes there.

The Reds had only two dependable starters all season (which is more than they've had in seasons past, but certainly not enough to carry a team with a mockery of a bullpen), and the inability to find anyone who could consistently pitch well behind Harang and Arroyo harmed this team.

The O'Brien era carries an amount of blame because of the lack of any goodly number of prospects within the Reds system, and the general incompetency shown in running the franchise which haunts them to this day.

But, what I see Sheehan pointing out is that you also can't overlook the contributions (or lack thereof) of Dunn that aided the Reds tailspin during the final couple months of the season. When your most important offensive player goes into hiding for the final two months, it can't be ignored. But Dunn was simply one cog in a wheel that was missing too many nuts and bolts to realistically compete this season. He's not absolved from blame, but he shouldn't disproportionately shoulder it either.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 01:04 PM
No need for gasoline or a match. He speaks the truth. You can try to defend Dunn all you want. .230/.367/.426 is not good, any way you look at it. Adam Dunn hasnt even OPS'd at a level that is good for a middle infielder since the ASB.

And this is where hyperbole starts creeping in ...

2005 2B: .274/.334/.413
2005 SS: .270/.325/.394

That's a .747 OPS for second basemen and a .719 OPS for shortstops. There's no denying that Dunn's .793 OPS is a massive slump for him, but let's not get out of hand and claim that a .793 OPS - one that is on-base heavy at that - isn't good for a middle infielder.

lollipopcurve
09-29-2006, 01:08 PM
There’s no way to evaluate their season without placing that deal front and center.

Let's see, a season in which expectations were significantly exceeded should be evaluated primarily by looking at a deal deemed a colossal failure. Yeah, that's objective.

registerthis
09-29-2006, 01:13 PM
Let's see, a season in which expectations were significantly exceeded should be evaluated primarily by looking at a deal deemed a colossal failure. Yeah, that's objective.

I'm not sure expectations were "significantly exceeded" this year--rather, it was a case of our competition playing down to our level. There's a decent chance this team will finish in 3rd place with a below-.500 record. That doesn't significantly exceed anything I had hoped for out of the team this year.

guttle11
09-29-2006, 01:14 PM
I think this disproves any notion that Adam Dunn isn't greatly valuable to this team.

As he goes, the Reds go.

jmcclain19
09-29-2006, 01:17 PM
Let's see, a season in which expectations were significantly exceeded should be evaluated primarily by looking at a deal deemed a colossal failure. Yeah, that's objective.

I'm not picking on you lollipopcurve, but I've seen this everywhere and I just don't see it.

The Reds won 73 games a year ago. And had 76 wins in 2004. Right now they have 79 wins, are hoping for a .500 record during a season when at one point they were 12 games over .500. Is that really a significant improvement?

The only thing that has changed, is the teams around them are terrible, as opposed to dominating. Which changes everyone's perspective.

Aronchis
09-29-2006, 01:24 PM
I'm not picking on you lollipopcurve, but I've seen this everywhere and I just don't see it.

The Reds won 73 games a year ago. And had 76 wins in 2004. Right now they have 79 wins, are hoping for a .500 record during a season when at one point they were 12 games over .500. Is that really a significant improvement?

The only thing that has changed, is the teams around them are terrible, as opposed to dominating. Which changes everyone's perspective.

Or are they just more evenly leveled out? Don't short yourself, the Reds overachieved this year, but only in a modest way. Next year we could end up with around the same record but come to that record in a very different way.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 01:32 PM
Let's see, a season in which expectations were significantly exceeded should be evaluated primarily by looking at a deal deemed a colossal failure. Yeah, that's objective.

If you want objective ...

Dunn's post-ASB slump has cost this team ~2 wins.
The Kearns/Lopez trade has cost this team ~2 to 3 wins.
Phillips/Hatteberg/Ross returning to career norms has cost this team ~3 to 4 wins.

If one of the above doesn't happen, this team is likely going into the final day of the season battling for a playoff spot. If two of the above doesn't happen, this team most likely wins the Central division. If all three of the above do not happen, this team easily wins the Central division.

Those are the objective facts, but people will still blame whoever they don't like from the above. Plus, as others have said, the only reason this team is still currently alive for the playoffs is because the National League has been nothing short of awful this season.

Ltlabner
09-29-2006, 01:42 PM
I think, when assessing blame for the failures of this team, it's ludicrous to point to only one or two individuals and make them the sacrificial lambs.

Does this include GM's? :evil:


I'm not picking on you lollipopcurve, but I've seen this everywhere and I just don't see it.

The Reds won 73 games a year ago. And had 76 wins in 2004. Right now they have 79 wins, are hoping for a .500 record during a season when at one point they were 12 games over .500. Is that really a significant improvement?

The only thing that has changed, is the teams around them are terrible, as opposed to dominating. Which changes everyone's perspective.

The Reds were picked to be dead last and be a laughing stock. They will end the season being neither and that is improvement. Should they get swept by Pittsburg they will still have 6 more wins than last year. That is improvement (especially considering how things looked durring various slumps, slides and horrible periods this year).

Absoultley, having the Cards fold has helped us. But to say that we are the same old horrible team and that the ONLY difference was the gift of a medicore division just isn't accurate IMO.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 01:45 PM
If you want objective ...

Dunn's post-ASB slump has cost this team ~2 wins.
The Kearns/Lopez trade has cost this team ~2 to 3 wins.
Phillips/Hatteberg/Ross returning to career norms has cost this team ~3 to 4 wins.

If one of the above doesn't happen, this team is likely going into the final day of the season battling for a playoff spot. If two of the above doesn't happen, this team most likely wins the Central division. If all three of the above do not happen, this team easily wins the Central division.

Those are the objective facts, but people will still blame whoever they don't like from the above. Plus, as others have said, the only reason this team is still currently alive for the playoffs is because the National League has been nothing short of awful this season.

Oh, one more addition, and how could I forget this ...

If Jerry Narron doesn't commit any number of screwups (abusing Arroyo/Harang, failing to play his best players where they should be played, and failure to manage the bullpen more effectively), this team wins some ungodly number of additional games.

The point still stands that people will blame whoever they don't like, but there is plenty of blame to go around altogether, and it just doesn't rest on the shoulders of one person.

lollipopcurve
09-29-2006, 01:52 PM
The Reds won 73 games a year ago. And had 76 wins in 2004. Right now they have 79 wins, are hoping for a .500 record during a season when at one point they were 12 games over .500. Is that really a significant improvement?

The only thing that has changed, is the teams around them are terrible, as opposed to dominating. Which changes everyone's perspective.

When I say they have significantly exceeded expectations, I mean that they are in the top tier of their division in a year where the general media consensus was that they'd be last in the division.

Sheehan's evaluation irks me, like a lot of stuff he writes. I just find it intellectually dishonest. He sarcastically skewers the Nats trade, and claims it is the transaction most representative of the season the Reds have had. Yet, the Reds have had a .500 season, and I'm pretty sure that's better than what Sheehan would have forecasted.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 01:52 PM
If Jerry Narron doesn't commit any number of screwups (abusing Arroyo/Harang, failing to play his best players where they should be played, and failure to manage the bullpen more effectively), this team wins some ungodly number of additional games.

Certainly in all of your research you have happened upon that which was done on the manager's effect on the W/L record.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 01:54 PM
Certainly in all of your research you have happened upon that which was done on the manager's effect on the W/L record.

If I knew this was a serious question instead of a snide remark, I'd actually provide you a serious answer.

But I know it isn't ... so I won't.

Falls City Beer
09-29-2006, 01:55 PM
If I knew this was a serious question instead of a snide remark, I'd actually provide you a serious answer.

But I know it isn't ... so I won't.

Surely you're not suggesting that there's a subtext to traderumor's post. :)

westofyou
09-29-2006, 02:02 PM
Yet, the Reds have had a .500 season, and I'm pretty sure that's better than what Sheehan would have forecasted.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4762


Krivsky did well to lock up Dunn for three years, but the deal doesnít materially change the Redsí chances to contend in that time. What they need is an overhaul of the pitching and defense, and there are very few tools available for that task. Itís unlikely that Dunn will find himself playing into October until he leaves Cincinnati, most likely via trade before this deal expires.

rdiersin
09-29-2006, 02:12 PM
Yet, the Reds have had a .500 season, and I'm pretty sure that's better than what Sheehan would have forecasted.
Here's what he predicted on April 2, 2006


Cardinals 94 68 850 730
Reds 83 79 901 879
Cubs 83 79 764 753
Astros 80 82 681 687
Brewers 77 85 710 741
Pirates 67 95 669 788

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4931

oneupper
09-29-2006, 02:17 PM
Here's what he predicted on April 2, 2006


Cardinals 94 68 850 730
Reds 83 79 901 879
Cubs 83 79 764 753
Astros 80 82 681 687
Brewers 77 85 710 741
Pirates 67 95 669 788

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4931

Not that bad, as predictions go.

BuckeyeRedleg
09-29-2006, 02:23 PM
I also think it to be gross hyperbole to suggest that the Reds were a unanimous pick by the "experts" to finish last in the division and be a laughingstock.

Heck, take look at the prediction archives on this board. Many posters that probably know more about this team than any of the "experts" predicted an average of anywhere between 75 and 80 wins.

This team wasn't seen as some trainwreck by anyone. The truth is, the team has not exceeded any expectations in 2006. They have not faired any better in 2006 than 2005. Just look at the run differential. Maybe one win better, but that's it.

lollipopcurve
09-29-2006, 02:28 PM
Here's what he predicted on April 2, 2006

Reds 83 79

I stand corrected. I underestimated the guy's approach.

Falls City Beer
09-29-2006, 02:34 PM
I also think it to be gross hyperbole to suggest that the Reds were a unanimous pick by the "experts" to finish last in the division and be a laughingstock.

Heck, take look at the prediction archives on this board. Many posters that probably know more about this team than any of the "experts" predicted an average of anywhere between 75 and 80 wins.

This team wasn't seen as some trainwreck by anyone. The truth is, the team has not exceeded any expectations in 2006. They have not faired any better in 2006 than 2005. Just look at the run differential. Maybe one win better, but that's it.

You're exactly, exactly right. Many people, even purported negative nellies, were picking the team to finish at 81-81. It's ridiculous that some have revised history to the degree that now Wayne has somehow turned a 58 win team into a 98 win juggernaut. No. A 73 win team has become an 80-81 win team. Yip-bleepin'-eee! As you say, the pythag/run differential is the same essentially.

Now wait for the "he's only been here 8 months" excuse....

My question is: what will the excuse be when he's been here 18 months? 2 years? and the team is fundamentally dog-paddling? Because there WILL be excuses.

Ltlabner
09-29-2006, 02:36 PM
I also think it to be gross hyperbole to suggest that the Reds were a unanimous pick by the "experts" to finish last in the division and be a laughingstock..

So you are suggesting that the collective expectiations of non-redszoners was that we would be serrious contenders?



This team wasn't seen as some trainwreck by anyone. The truth is, the team has not exceeded any expectations in 2006. They have not faired any better in 2006 than 2005. Just look at the run differential. Maybe one win better, but that's it..

So the improvement in wins vs losses are irrlevant compared to the run differential?

NJReds
09-29-2006, 02:38 PM
Now wait for the "he's only been here 8 months" excuse....

My question is: what will the excuse be when he's been here 18 months? 2 years? and the team is fundamentally dog-paddling? Because there WILL be excuses.

My question is: what is a reasonable amount of time for a GM to turn a team around? 3 months? 5 months?

Please. Talk about hyperbole.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 02:39 PM
If I knew this was a serious question instead of a snide remark, I'd actually provide you a serious answer.

But I know it isn't ... so I won't.Actually it was a serious question and I'm sorry it came off as a snide remark. I would say it is an interesting point to make in contrast to your usual analysis.

Ltlabner
09-29-2006, 02:39 PM
You're exactly, exactly right. Many people, even purported negative nellies, were picking the team to finish at 81-81. It's ridiculous that some have revised history to the degree that now Wayne has somehow turned a 58 win team into a 98 win juggernaut. No. A 73 win team has become an 80-81 win team. Yip-bleepin'-eee! As you say, the pythag/run differential is the same essentially.

Now wait for the "he's only been here 8 months" excuse....

My question is: what will the excuse be when he's been here 18 months? 2 years? and the team is fundamentally dog-paddling? Because there WILL be excuses.

Wow...I'm confused. Just the other day SteelSD told us that the only difference bettwen Harang/Arroyo and Ramone Ortiz/another guy who stinks is 3 measly wins. 3. To me, that implies that wins are pretty hard to come by.

Yet now, a minimum of 6, and probably more wins is a "yip-bleepin-eee" deal.

What did you want Krivsky to acheive this year, FCB to avoid your summary firing squad? Serriously. No flippant answer of "don't make stupid deals" or whatever. What specific, concrete objectives do you think this team should have obtained this year that Krivsky prevented from happening?

Heath
09-29-2006, 02:40 PM
Gasoline? Check.

Match? Check.

Ignition.

http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/rmc0020l.jpg

traderumor
09-29-2006, 02:42 PM
I also think it to be gross hyperbole to suggest that the Reds were a unanimous pick by the "experts" to finish last in the division and be a laughingstock.

Heck, take look at the prediction archives on this board. Many posters that probably know more about this team than any of the "experts" predicted an average of anywhere between 75 and 80 wins.

This team wasn't seen as some trainwreck by anyone. The truth is, the team has not exceeded any expectations in 2006. They have not faired any better in 2006 than 2005. Just look at the run differential. Maybe one win better, but that's it.I don't understand your charge of hyperbole. Many national pundits picked the Reds to battle with the Pirates for last place. The year before that, the same folks charged the Reds with being the worst team in the majors. I think that is what those mentioning such dire predictions are referring to, not those making predictions on this board.

Falls City Beer
09-29-2006, 02:43 PM
So you are suggesting that the collective expectiations of non-redszoners was that we would be serrious contenders?

No, but running to other end of the spectrum and suggesting that what Redleg is suggesting is that most posters were arguing that the Reds were "serious contenders" doesn't refute the point that Redleg was establishing, which is the bias or the belief that the Reds were picked dead last by the experts and laymen alike. They weren't ultimately pegged as 6th place laughingstocks; not by most on this board anyway.




So the improvement in wins vs losses are irrlevant compared to the run differential?

Not irrelevant, but not important either. That the Reds happened to be mildly lucky over the course of 162 games is all that suggests.

Ltlabner
09-29-2006, 02:47 PM
They weren't ultimately pegged as 6th place laughingstocks; not by most on this board anyway.

Not irrelevant, but not important either. That the Reds happened to be mildly lucky over the course of 162 games is all that suggests.

I wasn't refering to those on this board. I was refering to the collective baseball world. While some may have had us pegged to do something this year, the collective opinion was that we were going to be non-factors this year. I'd say the team was, in fact, a factor this year (and a factor for longer than recient previous years), thus an inprovement. How that can be denied is beyond me.

So wins aren't important? Do you mean when measuring improvement? Or for your ranking in the standings? Or for deciding what team actually won the game? When are wins "not importnant" ?

Falls City Beer
09-29-2006, 02:57 PM
My question is: what is a reasonable amount of time for a GM to turn a team around? 3 months? 5 months?

Please. Talk about hyperbole.



You're shifting the terms--you're confusing "getting this team moving in the right direction" with "turning the team around." We must define our terms.

A GM can "move in the right direction" the instant he dots the "I" on his contract. And Wayne did so with two early moves: the Dunn contract and the Pena/Arroyo deals. He proceeded to make interesting low risk/high reward pickups (Ross and Phillips--and I'll be completely honest when I said I wasn't impressed with the Phillips pickup; and of course, I was dead wrong--no argument there). So far so good. In fact, he might have cut his losses there and then. And I would have been alright with it. Contrariwise, I was okay with him making a push for the playoffs. Again so far so good (the gross and scope was I was probably 90-95% behind Wayne until the trade, despite the history some on here want to craft for my opinion of him).

At the point of the trade what Wayne failed to gather was the temperature of the rest of the league viz. what pitching they were willing to give up for offensive players; he completely miscalibrated the market and he overpaid, and overpaying is precisely what a rookie GM should not do, particularly a rookie GM who is responsible for rationing each offensive trading commodity on the franchise. He overspent when he should have been fiercely stingy and hard-bargaining. That's a conceptual and philosophic flaw, and that's where he failed. I hope that he has the ability to self-evaluate because it's not you or I who must understand, ultimately, that he failed in his approach, it is Wayne himself.

Johnny Footstool
09-29-2006, 03:00 PM
The "the Reds are in contention" and "top tier of the division" arguments are misleading.

*They're only in contention because the rest of the division is terrible.* To claim that some miracle turnaround has occurred is simply false. It's luck. Chance. Happenstance. Random good fortune.

The Reds are a sub-.500 team with three games to go. They've been very lucky in exceeding their Pythagorian W/L by 5 games. Their expected W/L right now is 74-86 -- 5 games worse than their actual record. Last season, it was 74-88 -- one game better than their actual record. Their run differential this season *is almost identical to last season.* (-51 Runs in 2006, -55 Runs in 2005).

A better August and September from Dunn would have helped, no denying that. So would a better second half from Hatteberg (.748 OPS), Phillips (.713 OPS), Griffey (.764 OPS), and Freel (.690 OPS).

Blaming Dunn is simply trying to find a convenient scapegoat.



So wins aren't important? Do you mean when measuring improvement? Or for your ranking in the standings? Or for deciding what team actually won the game? When are wins "not importnant" ?

Wins are important. It's also important to be able to identify where those Wins came from, so you can go about acquiring more of them. You don't want to rely on luck. You've got to focus on the process (scoring runs and allowing fewer runs) instead of on the result.

REDREAD
09-29-2006, 03:01 PM
.

The Reds won 73 games a year ago. And had 76 wins in 2004. Right now they have 79 wins, are hoping for a .500 record during a season when at one point they were 12 games over .500. Is that really a significant improvement?
.


When you consider how down the league is (particularly the NL Central), is a 3-4 game improvement even significant? Maybe it is, but it's hard to compare year by year. Houston and StL have certainly slid backwards this year, which helped the Reds. At least I think it did, maybe their W-L vs those teams didn't improve this year.

I'm not saying to fire Wayne now, but I don't see this year as a huge step forward. I think it's been running in place at best. Arroyo and Phillips were canceled out by "the Trade", IMO. Overall, Wayne still gets a passing grade, but not an "A".

We have just as many holes on this team as we did when Wayne arrived. Sure, I'll give him more time, but I wouldn't call this season progress.

Ltlabner
09-29-2006, 03:06 PM
When you consider how down the league is (particularly the NL Central), is a 3-4 game improvement even significant? Maybe it is, but it's hard to compare year by year. Houston and StL have certainly slid backwards this year, which helped the Reds. At least I think it did, maybe their W-L vs those teams didn't improve this year.


There is no doubt that in another division we'd be upteen games back in 3rd place instead of 2.5. That is why I am comparing the WL of 2006 vs 2005 and calling it an improvement. Simply comparing the Reds to themselves they have won at minimum 6 more games than last year (not 3-4 games). To me, that is improvement. Others can dimiss it as luck or any other factor under the sun rather than the Reds did something right, but I consider it an improvement.

And you raise another point. Our division records are much better than last year. While again that is partly due to the stinky division, I don't think that completley and totally negates any improvements by the Reds.

REDREAD
09-29-2006, 03:06 PM
If you want objective ...
[list]
Dunn's post-ASB slump has cost this team ~2 wins.
The Kearns/Lopez trade has cost this team ~2 to 3 wins.
Phillips/Hatteberg/Ross returning to career norms has cost this team ~3 to 4 wins.
.

Not disputing your numbers, but I am curious.. Kearn/Lopez was a deficit of roughly 20-23 win shares .. is that how you converted it to 2-3 wins?

Really, I think the Kearns/Lopez trade cost us more than 2 games. I can believe Maj alone was worth a loss or two extra, and the lost offense was worth more than 2-3 games. I can't prove it, but in theory, if you extrapolate that Dunn/Kearns/Lopez only cost us 5 wins after the break, couldn't you go extreme and say the other 5 starting players could disappear and they'd only cost us 5-7 wins (by extrapolation).. It just seems that there'd be a bigger dropoff from losing the other five guys (even though they didn't exactly play great, other than Aurillia). Again, I have no numbers, just trying to think here. The numbers just seem low.

REDREAD
09-29-2006, 03:14 PM
And you raise another point. Our division records are much better than last year. While again that is partly due to the stinky division, I don't think that completley and totally negates any improvements by the Reds.

I agree with that. You can't totally dismiss the Reds' W-L improvement. The above post was me just thinking about it.

If "the Trade" and the Cormier deal weren't made, I'd give Wayne an A+ for this year, and say we really moved forward. I'm even in the minority that likes the Stubbs pick in the draft.

I think those two moves were bad enough to lower him to a B-/C+. Both those moves are going to hurt us next year.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 03:14 PM
When this team needed him most, Dunn went AWOL. There is no way around that although he does have a history of poor post ASB performance.

I really have no idea what to make of it all moving forward. Unless Dunn makes an improvement in performance I doubt the Reds are interested in paying him $13M for 2008.

Overall, I am rather blah about Krivsky. Did some really good things and some really stupid ones as well. What bothers me more than anything is placing value on players whose performance is due more to luck than skill and not being able to differentiate between the two.

Mutaman
09-29-2006, 03:15 PM
I don't care about Dunn anymore. He is one of ours, I've always liked him and I've consistently cut him slack. I was in favor of signing him to a long term contract. But after the last month its clear that Dunn is not one of those guys who can rise to the occassion. When the money was on the line , Adam disappeared. We had a real shot to get in the post season and outside of Bronson, nobody did the job down the stretch.

So if you want to trade Adam, be my guest. I don't care. i want some guys on this team who know how to win.

NJReds
09-29-2006, 03:18 PM
You're shifting the terms--you're confusing "getting this team moving in the right direction" with "turning the team around." We must define our terms.

A GM can "move in the right direction" the instant he dots the "I" on his contract. And Wayne did so with two early moves: the Dunn contract and the Pena/Arroyo deals. He proceeded to make interesting low risk/high reward pickups (Ross and Phillips--and I'll be completely honest when I said I wasn't impressed with the Phillips pickup; and of course, I was dead wrong--no argument there). So far so good. In fact, he might have cut his losses there and then. And I would have been alright with it. Contrariwise, I was okay with him making a push for the playoffs. Again so far so good (the gross and scope was I was probably 90-95% behind Wayne until the trade, despite the history some on here want to craft for my opinion of him).

At the point of the trade what Wayne failed to gather was the temperature of the rest of the league viz. what pitching they were willing to give up for offensive players; he completely miscalibrated the market and he overpaid, and overpaying is precisely what a rookie GM should not do, particularly a rookie GM who is responsible for rationing each offensive trading commodity on the franchise. He overspent when he should have been fiercely stingy and hard-bargaining. That's a conceptual and philosophic flaw, and that's where he failed. I hope that he has the ability to self-evaluate because it's not you or I who must understand, ultimately, that he failed in his approach, it is Wayne himself.

I agree with everything you said. WK made a mistake, albeit a huge mistake, in overpaying for pitchers that didn't really help the cause.

But I still want to see what he does over an offseason before sending him packing.

Falls City Beer
09-29-2006, 03:21 PM
When this team needed him most, Dunn went AWOL. There is no way around that although he does have a history of poor post ASB performance.

I really have no idea what to make of it all moving forward. Unless Dunn makes an improvement in performance I doubt the Reds are interested in paying him $13M for 2008.

Overall, I am rather blah about Krivsky. Did some really good things and some really stupid ones as well. What bothers me more than anything is placing value on players whose performance is due more to luck than skill and not being able to differentiate between the two.

Another question: should Dunn be expected to shoulder more of the responsibility than his teammates who also saw a decline in their numbers?

Certainly, there's no disputing that his second half numbers were not nearly as good as his first half, but in the bigger picture, what does that mean?

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 03:22 PM
I think that some of us need to put a little more stock into the idea of long-term improvement. 73 wins to 79 wins is not a huuuuge jump, no, but...say the Reds win one more game (and I hope that's a conservative figure). 73 to 80 wins. That's seven wins. It's not incredibly significant...but 80 to 85 wins in 2007 would be...and 85 to 90 in 2008 would be glorious and a great track to see this team on. I was not expecting them to be competitive until 2008 anyway. And that's a five-win jump per year, not seven+ as they (hopefully) will have this year.

Now, the moves the team makes will decide this, not the fact that we had a little jump in wins this year. But that, I think, rather than the number, is what's giving people the impression that the team is improving rather than staying stagnant. People may claim that the Reds will finish with a W/L record about where they expected; that is true for me. I also expected them to rebuild and have the team about where I wanted, and contending, in 2008. Frankly I didn't want them to be that much better that much sooner, objectively speaking, because I thought that would involve a lot of quick-and-stupid scrappy vet free agent cash or whatever.

I'm not explaining this very well, but...it's fair to say that the team isn't wildly better than last year, but it's improved enough that a distinct upward path can be spotted. That is, of course, if the management does its job.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 03:26 PM
Actually it was a serious question and I'm sorry it came off as a snide remark. I would say it is an interesting point to make in contrast to your usual analysis.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1164323&postcount=57

That post from last week includes my chief complaints about Narron. No, I don't believe that Narron has cost us seven or eight wins this season or some similarly high total like that, but I don't believe it is at all unreasonable to conclude that he's cost us in the neighborhood of three to four wins this season.

Edwin Encarnacion riding the bench for an extended period of time while giving a guy such as Royce Clayton over 150 plate appearances is going to cost the team in run scoring, no doubt. For example, the difference over 150 plate appearances between a guy like Encarnacion and a guy like Clayton is in the neighborhood of 10 runs. That's a lot of runs via just one decision and 150 plate appearances. Royce Clayton is just that bad of a hitter, it was known he was a bad hitter, he's not a particularly good defensive shortstop anymore either, but he was still given way too much playing time.

Likewise, continually playing Griffey in center field instead of a much less important position is going to cost the team in run prevention. Failing to put anything close to the most run efficient lineups out there regularly is going to lessen run scoring a little bit. The abuse put on Harang/Arroyo is particularly worrisome because that may also carry into 2007 and beyond.

They're minor things on their own footing, and they result in a couple runs lost here, a couple runs lost there. But they just add up over the course of a full season, and the final result has a high probability of costing this team a couple wins.

My biggest pet peeve with any team's management is when they make decisions that have loads of evidence suggesting that it's a poor decision. Poor decisions invariably cost the team runs - either in run scoring or run prevention - and over the course of the season those runs will add up to a few wins that were never to be.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 03:27 PM
Another question: should Dunn be expected to shoulder more of the responsibility than his teammates who also saw a decline in their numbers?In general, yes because he is looked upon as the teams best offensive performer. If someone wants to point fingers the biggest one would go to the front office where the illness was misdiagnosed and the treatment ineffective.



Certainly, there's no disputing that his second half numbers were not nearly as good as his first half, but in the bigger picture, what does that mean?It means if he doesn't improve then he won't be worth $13M in 2008. Dunn needs to improve in the field and with the bat. At age 27 next year it needs to happen now. Translation is that he will be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Chip R
09-29-2006, 03:28 PM
I'm not explaining this very well, but...it's fair to say that the team isn't wildly better than last year, but it's improved enough that a distinct upward path can be spotted. That is, of course, if the management does its job.

That's the key. Just improving over last year's record is no guarantee that next year will be an improvement over last year. Milwaukee's a perfect example. As much as I think Wayne is an improvement over DanO and JimBo, the re-signing of Castro for 2-3 years and the extention given to Cormier worries me. I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope for more Ross/Arroyo/Phillips type of moves rather than Cormier/Mays/Franklin moves.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 03:29 PM
I think that some of us need to put a little more stock into the idea of long-term improvement. 73 wins to 79 wins is not a huuuuge jump, it is entirely possible the "improvement" was nothing more than random chance and that the 2006 Reds weren't any better than the 2005 edition.

Ltlabner
09-29-2006, 03:30 PM
Now, the moves the team makes will decide this, not the fact that we had a little jump in wins this year. But that, I think, rather than the number, is what's giving people the impression that the team is improving rather than staying stagnant.

I think you hit on two great points VP. The idea of continuous steady improvement, especially considering so many areas of the orginization need improvement (on-field and off). To expect that all of these weaknesses will be turned around in a short period of time, and without mistake is foolishness.

I have referenced the WL reccord many times in this thread, but you are dead on, that it's the changes in the orignization, combined with the WL that lead me to think we've improved.

Falls City Beer
09-29-2006, 03:32 PM
In general, yes because he is looked upon as the teams best offensive performer. If someone wants to point fingers the biggest one would go to the front office where the illness was misdiagnosed and the treatment ineffective.

It means if he doesn't improve then he won't be worth $13M in 2008. Dunn needs to improve in the field and with the bat. At age 27 next year it needs to happen now. Translation is that he will be part of the problem, not part of the solution.


I kind of get the sensation that you're conflating genuine criticism of Dunn and the perceived failings heaped upon Dunn by his more biased critics. That is to say, I'm not sure if YOU are saying Dunn won't be worth his contract or if you're saying that the FO and fans won't think he's worth it. Or both.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 03:34 PM
That's the key. Just improving over last year's record is no guarantee that next year will be an improvement over last year. Milwaukee's a perfect example. As much as I think Wayne is an improvement over DanO and JimBo, the re-signing of Castro for 2-3 years and the extention given to Cormier worries me. I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope for more Ross/Arroyo/Phillips type of moves rather than Cormier/Mays/Franklin moves.

Yep.

I'm not saying that what happened this year is indicative of a definite trend; that will depend entirely on management. But strictly speaking, this year is an improvement about on par with what many of us expected, and yes, this is a better team than last year. Not a great team and not a playoff-caliber team and not different from what we expected. I guess what that means in the end is that most of us expected an improvement this year. And if you go back and check the media predictions (most of which, it must be noted, were made before the Arroyo/Pena trade), you will see that Reds fans were more optimistic in this. Many in the media expected no improvement from this team this year. They were wrong.

I think that the whole accidental playoff contention thing is clouding all of our judgments one way or the other. On the extreme ends, some claim that it is indicative that the team is worlds better; others that the team is not improved, just buoyed by the mirage of a weak playoff race. Take the postseason out of it, and you're left with what's in the middle and what I think is correct: this is definitely a slightly improved team with still a ways to go.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 03:36 PM
Not disputing your numbers, but I am curious.. Kearn/Lopez was a deficit of roughly 20-23 win shares .. is that how you converted it to 2-3 wins?

Really, I think the Kearns/Lopez trade cost us more than 2 games. I can believe Maj alone was worth a loss or two extra, and the lost offense was worth more than 2-3 games. I can't prove it, but in theory, if you extrapolate that Dunn/Kearns/Lopez only cost us 5 wins after the break, couldn't you go extreme and say the other 5 starting players could disappear and they'd only cost us 5-7 wins (by extrapolation).. It just seems that there'd be a bigger dropoff from losing the other five guys (even though they didn't exactly play great, other than Aurillia). Again, I have no numbers, just trying to think here. The numbers just seem low.

It's just simple run value.

The Kearns/Lopez trade has cost us roughly 30-40 runs in lost offense, which is around three, maybe four wins. Majewski has not really done anything to help us, and it could be argued that he's cost us runs rather than helped us with runs, but Bray has provided a little bit of help in saving runs that we wouldn't otherwise have. Still, the swap of Kearns/Lopez for Bray/Majewski/Clayton has probably cost this team somewhere around 30-40 runs lost altogether, and that is around three wins.

One key point to remember in all this is three to four wins is a very large number of wins, or wins lost, depending on how you look at it. Bad players are still worth runs and wins; they're just not worth very many runs and wins.

Think of replacement value and value above replacement value. A straight team of replacement value players could still win approximately 45 wins in a season, and replacement value players are the types of players you could pick up from any AAA litter box (aka guys like a Juan Castro). So if you're working from 45 wins and trying to reach 90 wins, you're making changes to an entire team that are worth a grand total of 45 wins. Drop three wins here with one bad decision, drop another three wins with another bad decision, and suddenly you're taking a significant chunk out of those 45 wins that you're trying to accumulate to go from 45 total wins to 90 total wins.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 03:37 PM
it is entirely possible the "improvement" was nothing more than random chance and that the 2006 Reds weren't any better than the 2005 edition.

Yes, it is possible. I happen to think they were better and I'm willing to be proven wrong by an extensive statistical analysis after the year is over. But they looked better to me. Despite our musical pitching chairs in the 3-5 spots, the starting pitching was worlds better to me. Harang had a solid year, Milton had a better year, and Arroyo was around in 2006. We did lose a borderline-solid 2005 Claussen, but overall, it looks better to me this year, and I think the W/L records is a reflection of that.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 03:42 PM
I kind of get the sensation that you're conflating genuine criticism of Dunn and the perceived failings heaped upon Dunn by his more biased critics. I hope not. Dunn had a rough 2nd half, it is what it is. I think Adam is highly likely to improve and now is exactly the wrong time to deal him. Big guys tend to develop a little more slowly and I expect a breakout in the next two years. Having said that he has to take a share of the blame for the 2nd half collapse. However, even a repeat of the first half would likely not have been enough to get this team over the hump, the Reds needed an increase.


I'm not sure if YOU are saying Dunn won't be worth his contract or if you're saying that the FO and fans won't think he's worth it. Or both.If Dunn doesn't go back to at least 2004 level he likely won't be worth $13M in 2008. And I am positive the FO thinks he won't be worth anywhere near that number without a substantial jump in performance.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 03:43 PM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1164323&postcount=57

That post from last week includes my chief complaints about Narron. No, I don't believe that Narron has cost us seven or eight wins this season or some similarly high total like that, but I don't believe it is at all unreasonable to conclude that he's cost us in the neighborhood of three to four wins this season.

Edwin Encarnacion riding the bench for an extended period of time while giving a guy such as Royce Clayton over 150 plate appearances is going to cost the team in run scoring, no doubt. For example, the difference over 150 plate appearances between a guy like Encarnacion and a guy like Clayton is in the neighborhood of 10 runs. That's a lot of runs via just one decision and 150 plate appearances. Royce Clayton is just that bad of a hitter, it was known he was a bad hitter, he's not a particularly good defensive shortstop anymore either, but he was still given way too much playing time.

Likewise, continually playing Griffey in center field instead of a much less important position is going to cost the team in run prevention. Failing to put anything close to the most run efficient lineups out there regularly is going to lessen run scoring a little bit. The abuse put on Harang/Arroyo is particularly worrisome because that may also carry into 2007 and beyond.

They're minor things on their own footing, and they result in a couple runs lost here, a couple runs lost there. But they just add up over the course of a full season, and the final result has a high probability of costing this team a couple wins.

My biggest pet peeve with any team's management is when they make decisions that have loads of evidence suggesting that it's a poor decision. Poor decisions invariably cost the team runs - either in run scoring or run prevention - and over the course of the season those runs will add up to a few wins that were never to be.

So he may have cost us 3-4 wins, but the 79 games we did win he was a non-factor?

Chip R
09-29-2006, 03:44 PM
I wonder if people would think the Reds improved over last year if the season had been reversed. If they started out like they are playing now and finished like they played early in the year. Would people just say that they were beating up on a bunch of bad teams or would they say that it was definitely an improvement over last year?

flyer85
09-29-2006, 03:45 PM
Yes, it is possible. I happen to think they were better and I'm willing to be proven wrong by an extensive statistical analysis after the year is over.run differential would say that the "improvement" was nothing but smoke and mirrors. This team got better run prevention in 2006 but it was offset by a decline in offense.

I honestly don't think the Reds are any better after 2006 than they were after 2005. They got some really unexpected good seasons from Phillips, Arroyo, Ross, Aurilia, Hatty, etc. The only really poor season was Larue and that slack was mostly picked up.

knuckler
09-29-2006, 03:46 PM
I think this disproves any notion that Adam Dunn isn't greatly valuable to this team.

As he goes, the Reds go.

Well said. If Adam Dunn is in fact dealt for pitching and pitching only, the Reds offense would need some serious help.

Ltlabner
09-29-2006, 03:48 PM
Yes, it is possible. I happen to think they were better and I'm willing to be proven wrong by an extensive statistical analysis after the year is over. But they looked better to me. Despite our musical pitching chairs in the 3-5 spots, the starting pitching was worlds better to me. Harang had a solid year, Milton had a better year, and Arroyo was around in 2006. We did lose a borderline-solid 2005 Claussen, but overall, it looks better to me this year, and I think the W/L records is a reflection of that.

You hit on some key areas that I think represent improvements. Some others....

The addition of Philips to the infield is a key improvement that gives us flexibility to use him at 2b/ss depending on how things shake out. Seeing that EE is infact ready for steady work at 3B is a huge improvement on counting on RA for the comming years. I like the addition of Hatteburg, and when platooned with RA at 1B I think he makes a very effective stopgap until Voto comes up (or someone else is acquired via trade). Brendan Harris and Denorfia could be interesting fill in guys next year.

Coffey looked shakey at different times this year but I think he proved himself a capable bullpen arm. Weathers has been strong this year (but he's getting up there in age). Despite the drama of the trade having Magic and Bray around next year is a darn sight better than starting a season with Rick White and Chris Hammond. Schoenwitz is an improvement but hard to say if he'll be back next year. Having Everyday Eddie was definatley an improvement over the closer by who sucks the least that night plan. It's a shame that we all knew it wouldn't last long.

The change in how prospects are developed is definatley an improvement over past years. Also, knowing that Krivsky isn't afraid to DFA a mistake is oddly reassuring. Let's just hope he doesn't have to do that as often in 2007 as he did in 2006.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 03:52 PM
So he may have cost us 3-4 wins, but the 79 games we did win he was a non-factor?

You can rotate any manager you want onto the team, and that manager will still have the same 25 guys to work with. Those 25 players will produce a similar type of win value for any manager, however, the efficiency in which they're used by a specific manager will be a small plus/minus difference in a couple of wins each season.

The manager's job is to use the 25 man roster he's been given in the most efficient way possible to get as many wins out of that specific set of players as possible. If he does a very good job, then he's been very efficient in getting wins out of those 25 guys. If he does a poor job, then he's been inefficient in getting wins out of those 25 guys.

In Jerry Narron's case, the run value of the players he's used, where he's used them, and when he's used them suggests that his inefficiency in properly using those specific players has cost this team a chunk of run value, and thus, a couple wins from what a greater run value efficient manager could net.

That's a fancy way of stating that he hasn't played his best players regularly all season long, and he's made a number of managerial screwups.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 03:56 PM
I honestly don't think the Reds are any better after 2006 than they were after 2005. They got some really unexpected good seasons from Phillips, Arroyo, Ross, Aurilia, Hatty, etc. The only really poor season was Larue and that slack was mostly picked up.

This is always where I get into semantic discussions with people. To me, the fact that they got some unexpectedly good seasons from THAT many players means that they WERE a better team this year than last. Luck or not, it's improvement. Some of those seasons are probably flukes that will not happen again. Some may indicate genuine, continued improvement. We can make educated guesses as to which is which, but as it stands, that's an improvement to me from 2005 to 2006, period.

What I think you are saying -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- is that you don't think that it's indicative of a fundamentally better team at the core of it. You may be right, but if you're basing that entirely on a handful of surprisingly good years from our players, I don't think there's any way to determine that until next year. I think it's absolutely important to consider in the building of this team for next year; if you're concerned, as a GM for example, that a player has had a career year and is due to regress, by all means, err on the safe side and provide for that possibility. Fill up your team with other options or trade for players who seem like better bets. But I am not talking about the future here. I'm talking specifically about the last two years, and I think the Reds were a better team in 2006 than in 2005.

BuckeyeRedleg
09-29-2006, 03:57 PM
So he may have cost us 3-4 wins, but the 79 games we did win he was a non-factor?


Looking at the season as a round of golf. Over the course of a season, Jerry has birdied some holes, he has pared some holes, and he has bogeyed some holes.

Put he definitely has bogeyed more than he has birdied.

So 3-4 more losses means he's 3 or 4 over par, compared to an average "scratch" manager.

NJReds
09-29-2006, 03:59 PM
That's a fancy way of stating that he hasn't played his best players regularly all season long, and he's made a number of managerial screwups.

A lot of the criticisms of Narron that I've seen on this board would be made against many of the league's managers including Randolph and Torre, who I see quite a bit. I've also seen LaRussa make a lot of head-scratchers. And when the Marlins won the world series, Trader Jack was all over the map with his moves.

Could it be that managing goes beyond statistics and always "going by the book?"

I don't know. But my hunch is that most fans of most teams are not happy with the performance of their manager.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:00 PM
We can make educated guesses as to which is which, but as it stands, that's an improvement to me from 2005 to 2006, period.true, but the real question is the improvement likely to carry over into 2007?

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 04:02 PM
Coffey looked shakey at different times this year but I think he proved himself a capable bullpen arm.

As an aside, I think (and hope) that Coffey is a prime example of a guy on this team who proved genuine talent and improvement this year, someone whom we can expect to get better or at least remain at his current level. EdE I definitely expect to improve. Denorfia. I hold out hope for Phillips. I think that there's a better chance that he'll have production similar to this year's in the future than someone like Ross.

BuckeyeRedleg
09-29-2006, 04:03 PM
To me, the fact that they got some unexpectedly good seasons from THAT many players means that they WERE a better team this year than last. Luck or not, it's improvement.

Yes, but by the same token, Dunn and Griffey have struggled and Kearns and Lopez were let go.

A better season from Harang. Add in Arroyo, Phillips, and Ross.

Overall it's a wash and the run differential backs it up.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 04:04 PM
true, but the real question is the improvement likely to carry over into 2007?

Yes it is ;) I don't know that yet. I will make a lot of decisions about it based on what happens in the offseason. But that's not the question I was answering. For me personally it's important to recognize that I followed a better team this year than last, because I am looking for glimmers of light to get me through the next few days until I have the postseason to occupy my attention.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:06 PM
Yes it is ;) I don't know that yet. nor does anyone else :D.

In the end we will end up making educated guesses based on available data.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 04:08 PM
You can rotate any manager you want onto the team, and that manager will still have the same 25 guys to work with. Those 25 players will produce a similar type of win value for any manager, however, the efficiency in which they're used by a specific manager will be a small plus/minus difference in a couple of wins each season.

The manager's job is to use the 25 man roster he's been given in the most efficient way possible to get as many wins out of that specific set of players as possible. If he does a very good job, then he's been very efficient in getting wins out of those 25 guys. If he does a poor job, then he's been inefficient in getting wins out of those 25 guys.

In Jerry Narron's case, the run value of the players he's used, where he's used them, and when he's used them suggests that his inefficiency in properly using those specific players has cost this team a chunk of run value, and thus, a couple wins from what a greater run value efficient manager could net.

That's a fancy way of stating that he hasn't played his best players regularly all season long, and he's made a number of managerial screwups.

This is a little bit of bizarro world here, but I think any discussion of the manager's impact on the W/L record is negligible and to say Narron is a net 3-4 games in the hole, however you want to say it, is just not quantifiable in any shape or form. I think where folks yell "scapegoat" for Dunn turn around and say "Narron is the real problem."

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 04:09 PM
Ricardo and VP,

Interesting discussion here, though I think you guys are on a slightly different wavelength. Nevertheless, this is my observations on what you guys are discussing ...

Ricardo is assessing the team in what he perceives as future value, or value going forward. He's looking at the active roster and the organization as a whole and concluding that the team is likely worse off going into the future than it was sometime in the recent past. The run value lost in the Kearns/Lopez trade suggests that he's probably right.

VP is assessing the team in what she perceives as what happened in the past, 2005 vs. 2006 for example, and concluding that the team has improved because the 2006 team is better than 2005. Straight comparing 2005 vs. 2006 suggests that she's correct, and historians will likely look back on this season as being slightly better than 2005, though probably not by much.

The example I'll use to illustrate this is Bronson Arroyo vs. Aaron Harang and comparing the two by 2006 ERA and 2006 DIPS ERA.

Bronson Arroyo has been a more valuable pitcher than Aaron Harang in 2006. He's pitched a few more innings, given up a few less runs and has provided the team with better run value this season than Harang. When historians assess their individual 2006 seasons, they will probably conclude that Arroyo was the more valuable pitcher to the 2006 team.

However, Aaron Harang has posted better peripherals and a better DIPS ERA than Arroyo in 2006, all of which suggest he's more likely to have more success in 2007 than Bronson Arroyo. It's not an absolute, probably not close to one, but it's a more likely chance for it happen that way than vice versa.

Basically, the difference is trying to sift through past performance vs. better chances for predicted/future performance. This is a fundamental aspect of a general manager's job to differentiate between the two, and for everybody's sake, I sure hope Wayne Krivsky knows that fundamental difference.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 04:10 PM
A lot of the criticisms of Narron that I've seen on this board would be made against many of the league's managers including Randolph and Torre, who I see quite a bit. I've also seen LaRussa make a lot of head-scratchers. And when the Marlins won the world series, Trader Jack was all over the map with his moves.

Could it be that managing goes beyond statistics and always "going by the book?"

I don't know. But my hunch is that most fans of most teams are not happy with the performance of their manager.
For example, all managers take out their starter after giving up a three run bomb when everyone with brain activity can see it coming. Why bother at that point? :evil:

BuckeyeRedleg
09-29-2006, 04:13 PM
So if there is no way of measuring a manager, why are they ever fired?

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 04:14 PM
This is a little bit of bizarro world here, but I think any discussion of the manager's impact on the W/L record is negligible and to say Narron is a net 3-4 games in the hole, however you want to say it, is just not quantifiable in any shape or form. I think where folks yell "scapegoat" for Dunn turn around and say "Narron is the real problem."

It's very quantifiable when you can compare the likely performance of players he played and where he played them to the likely performance of playing the correct players daily in the correct places to play them.

Royce Clayton playing while Edwin Encarnacion sits on the bench is an example of this. We know what Royce Clayton has produced in a set of plate appearances, and we know what Encarnacion would have likely produced in that same set of plate appearances. The difference between the two is very quantifiable, and when a manager selects the wrong one, that wrong decision is very quantifiable.

Think of it like this: if in 2007, we have all four of Clayton/Castro/Aurilia/Encarnacion, and Narron elects to make Clayton and Castro starters while making Aurilia and Encarnacion reserves. The difference in the team's performance due to that decision is very quantifiable. Now I know this is an extreme example, but it shows how a manager's decisions are quantifiable.

The real life decisions he's made are nowhere close to that extreme, but they're quantifiable in the exact same way, and many, many small incorrect decisions will add up to a handful of wins over the course of a season.

RANDY IN INDY
09-29-2006, 04:15 PM
For example, all managers take out their starter after giving up a three run bomb when everyone with brain activity can see it coming. Why bother at that point? :evil:

The difference being that the manager knows he used most of his bullpen the night before, because he doesn't have people that can get outs, and the remaining couple of pitchers are maoning and complaining that their arms are hurting. Then, to beat all, you have Michalak starting tomorrow.;)

RedsManRick
09-29-2006, 04:15 PM
Cyclone, you know I'm right there with you 99% of the time, but the one thing I would caution is ignorance of the unseen factors. I actually do agree with your general point, but just want to urge caution. Extrapolating observed performance has it's risks. An easy example of this is the guy who kills lefties and gets killed by righties, but then gets handed a full time job after putting up a big line while platooning. The incorrect assumption is obvious in this case, but much less obvious on the 100's of minor decisions managers make during a season such as when to give days off, or who to bat where on a given day.

Sure, Phillips might be the better player between he and Clayton, but what if Phillips is tired? How tired does he need to be before Clayon actually is the better option? Maybe he's facing a guy with a nasty slider and has trouble with sliders. You get the idea. Perhaps certain levels of performance have happened because of, not in spite of, choices which have been made. Real baseball isn't a sim league of percentages versus other percentages all the time

I certainly don't mean to give Narron a free pass, particularly on the big obivous choices, like Griffey's lock on CF, or the hesitancy to play EE because of his throwing issues when his bat was clearly superior. But much too often we make assumptions about smaller decisions without even close to all of the information. We project stats across would be realities, ignorant of the complete circumstances under which they've accrued their current statistical line, or the given circumstance at hand.

Again, given big enough samples, some choices are plainly obvious and there's not likely a consideration we're not aware of. But at the margins, there's a whole lot of information we simply don't have and should be cautious in being overly judgemental. There's nothing wrong with demanding the best. But one of the biggest failures of judgement is failing to give proper weight to the non-observed outcomes. What problems might have arisen that never came to fruition because of a management choice. We'll never really know. That is in no way carte blanche' for the big problems, but a little benefit of the doubt might not be innappropriate on the smaller ones, at least until it's clear that a lapse of judgement is at hand.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 04:19 PM
Basically, the difference is trying to sift through past performance vs. better chances for predicted/future performance. This is a fundamental aspect of a general manager's job to differentiate between the two, and for everybody's sake, I sure hope Wayne Krivsky knows that fundamental difference.

Yeah that whole post is a good summation. No matter what one may think of Wayne Krivsky, I can't possibly believe that he doesn't see that difference. Someone like Phillips, as I said before, is a great big question mark, and I would imagine that baseball people who work with him have a better idea of whether he's likely to continue to improve or whether his good 2006 was a fluke. But you'd have to be an idiot to think that Hatteberg, at 37 years old, is going to have another year like this one (no matter how much you love him and I love him more than anything in the world). Heck, we've already seen the beginning of that regression. And I don't think that the signing of him says that WayneK sees it differently. I think he wants to keep him around as an option, not THE solution, and I think that's fine. that said, yes I think that Hatteberg and his shining wondrous smiley year helped make this team better than it was the year before, and yes I think that you need to understand that some other improvement is going to have to replace that one next year because Hatteberg has one foot in pensionland.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:22 PM
But you'd have to be an idiot to think that Hatteberg, at 37 years old, is going to have another year like this one (no matter how much you love him and I love him more than anything in the world). which means you go in to the off-season looking for a first basemen. Why do I get the distinct feeling the FO sees Hatty as the starting 1b come next April. And if that is true, what does it say?

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 04:25 PM
which means you go in to the off-season looking for a first basemen. Why do I get the distinct feeling the FO sees Hatty as the starting 1b come next April. And if that is true, what does it say?

I don't even have a problem with him being the starting first baseman. They'd just better have a good backup option. Don't we have a good cheap one running around the minors?

edit: I think it is crucial -- management's most important job, even -- to predict what is likely to happen especially in terms of potential regression. But I also think it's important to ride a wave of overachievement. Hatteberg hasn't taken a complete nosedive yet. As long as he's signed and cheap, use him while he's still good and replace him when the time comes. There's no need to speed up impending doom.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 04:26 PM
It's very quantifiable when you can compare the likely performance of players he played and where he played them to the likely performance of playing the correct players daily in the correct places to play them.

Royce Clayton playing while Edwin Encarnacion sits on the bench is an example of this. We know what Royce Clayton has produced in a set of plate appearances, and we know what Encarnacion would have likely produced in that same set of plate appearances. The difference between the two is very quantifiable, and when a manager selects the wrong one, that wrong decision is very quantifiable.

Think of it like this: if in 2007, we have all four of Clayton/Castro/Aurilia/Encarnacion, and Narron elects to make Clayton and Castro starters while making Aurilia and Encarnacion reserves. The difference in the team's performance due to that decision is very quantifiable. Now I know this is an extreme example, but it shows how a manager's decisions are quantifiable.

The real life decisions he's made are nowhere close to that extreme, but they're quantifiable in the exact same way, and many, many small incorrect decisions will add up to a handful of wins over the course of a season.

Yes they are extreme examples that would not happen unless we're talking picking starters for 10 game increments out of a hat. And, even if I give you the "quantifiable" argument, then I suspect you have not gone back through the game log and play by play and determined the games that Narron clearly made a difference in, both in netting a win or a loss. Not to mention you are only discussing game situations and have not even touched on the motivational side of managing. In short, this is a very slippery slope.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 04:27 PM
Cyclone, you know I'm right there with you 99% of the time, but the one thing I would caution is ignorance of the unseen factors. I actually do agree with your general point, but just want to urge caution. Extrapolating observed performance has it's risks. An easy example of this is the guy who kills lefties and gets killed by righties, but then gets handed a full time job after putting up a big line while platooning. The incorrect assumption is obvious in this case, but much less obvious on the 100's of minor decisions managers make during a season such as when to give days off, or who to bat where on a given day.

Sure, Phillips might be the better player between he and Clayton, but what if Phillips is tired? How tired does he need to be before Clayon actually is the better option? Maybe he's facing a guy with a nasty slider and has trouble with sliders. You get the idea. Perhaps certain levels of performance have happened because of, not in spite of, choices which have been made. Real baseball isn't a sim league of percentages versus other percentages all the time

I certainly don't mean to give Narron a free pass, particularly on the big obivous choices, like Griffey's lock on CF, or the hesitancy to play EE because of his throwing issues when his bat was clearly superior. But much too often we make assumptions about smaller decisions without even close to all of the information. We project stats across would be realities, ignorant of the complete circumstances under which they've accrued their current statistical line, or the given circumstance at hand.

Again, given big enough samples, some choices are plainly obvious and there's not likely a consideration we're not aware of. But at the margins, there's a whole lot of information we simply don't have and should be cautious in being overly judgemental. There's nothing wrong with demanding the best. But one of the biggest failures of judgement is failing to give proper weight to the non-observed outcomes. What problems might have arisen that never came to fruition because of a management choice. We'll never really know. That is in no way carte blanche' for the big problems, but a little benefit of the doubt might not be innappropriate on the smaller ones, at least until it's clear that a lapse of judgement is at hand.

Well players deserve rest, and they need rest to be effective. Different players require different amounts of rest, and another part of a manager's job is trying to figure out who deserves what amount of rest. However, I believe those types of decisions are small enough to be relatively negligible, and I also believe those are the types of decisions that aren't quantifiable. We don't know the information that leads to a player getting rest against a certain pitcher or on a certain night, and a few games difference in that area isn't really anything we can judge on.

The problems I'm looking at are the bigger problems, such as Griffey being a lock in center field, Encarnacion being benched for what amounts to several weeks worth of games, or Arroyo/Harang throwing more pitches than anybody else in baseball. Those types of decisions are clear mishaps, and they've got some small type of run value attached to them. If those types of decisions were better decisions, the team would be a couple runs/wins better in the standings.

NJReds
09-29-2006, 04:27 PM
So if there is no way of measuring a manager, why are they ever fired?


Because you can't fire the players. ;)

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:28 PM
I don't even have a problem with him being the starting first baseman. if you know he is going to suck, then why not have a problem with it? If you get extreme subpar offensive performance from 1B it is hard to make all that up elsewhere.

osuceltic
09-29-2006, 04:29 PM
Cyclone, you know I'm right there with you 99% of the time, but the one thing I would caution is ignorance of the unseen factors. I actually do agree with your general point, but just want to urge caution. Extrapolating observed performance has it's risks. An easy example of this is the guy who kills lefties and gets killed by righties, but then gets handed a full time job after putting up a big line while platooning. The incorrect assumption is obvious in this case, but much less obvious on the 100's of minor decisions managers make during a season such as when to give days off, or who to bat where on a given day.

Sure, Phillips might be the better player between he and Clayton, but what if Phillips is tired? How tired does he need to be before Clayon actually is the better option? Maybe he's facing a guy with a nasty slider and has trouble with sliders. You get the idea. Perhaps certain levels of performance have happened because of, not in spite of, choices which have been made. Real baseball isn't a sim league of percentages versus other percentages all the time

I certainly don't mean to give Narron a free pass, particularly on the big obivous choices, like Griffey's lock on CF, or the hesitancy to play EE because of his throwing issues when his bat was clearly superior. But much too often we make assumptions about smaller decisions without even close to all of the information. We project stats across would be realities, ignorant of the complete circumstances under which they've accrued their current statistical line, or the given circumstance at hand.

Again, given big enough samples, some choices are plainly obvious and there's not likely a consideration we're not aware of. But at the margins, there's a whole lot of information we simply don't have and should be cautious in being overly judgemental. There's nothing wrong with demanding the best. But one of the biggest failures of judgement is failing to give proper weight to the non-observed outcomes. What problems might have arisen that never came to fruition because of a management choice. We'll never really know. That is in no way carte blanche' for the big problems, but a little benefit of the doubt might not be innappropriate on the smaller ones, at least until it's clear that a lapse of judgement is at hand.

All of this is correct, and you also have to factor in defense. Freel saved about three games with defensive plays Kearns wouldn't have made. That's not going to show up statistically, but those were three games the Reds wouldn't have won.

Look at Dunn. If Narron would have played Denorfia in his spot the last two months, everyone would have howled (justifiably). But knowing what we know now about Dunn's performance, it may have resulted in more wins. Statistical prediction is just that -- a prediction. Not a guarantee.

Throw in all the personal stuff that we don't know (Player X broke up with his girlfriend, Player Y's mom is in the hospital) and I think there is room for interpretation of Narron's performance.

BRM
09-29-2006, 04:31 PM
which means you go in to the off-season looking for a first basemen. Why do I get the distinct feeling the FO sees Hatty as the starting 1b come next April. And if that is true, what does it say?

Maybe they view him as a platoon guy again? I don't know. I hope they don't view Hat as the "everyday" 1B for 2007.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 04:31 PM
Yes they are extreme examples that would not happen unless we're talking picking starters for 10 game increments out of a hat. And, even if I give you the "quantifiable" argument, then I suspect you have not gone back through the game log and play by play and determined the games that Narron clearly made a difference in, both in netting a win or a loss. Not to mention you are only discussing game situations and have not even touched on the motivational side of managing. In short, this is a very slippery slope.

I can, but some of those decisions aren't really necessary to look in the game logs.

I know how many plate appearances a typical healthy starting position player would receive over 73 games after the All-Star Break, and I know a good estimate of how many plate appearances a typical healthy reserve over x number of positions would receive over 73 games after the All-Star Break.

Royce Clayton's post All-Star break plate appearances projects to almost 350 plate appearances over a full season. That's more than a half season's worth of plate appearances (circa 650). You and I both know that as a strict backup, which is what Royce Clayton should be, he should not be receiving anywhere close to that amount of plate appearances unless forced due to injuries.

FWIW, I actually do have the game log splits for Griffey's defense in center field, and I've been tracking it all season long on this forum.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 04:32 PM
if you know he is going to suck, then why not have a problem with it? If you get extreme subpar offensive performance from 1B it is hard to make all that up elsewhere.

Because he doesn't suck right now. Prepare for him sucking; don't make it happen before it needs to*. That's like accepting all students to college based only on test scores and not how they're performing in class. Stats and test scores and logic show likliehood; prepare for their possibilities. On-field and in-class action show performance level; as long as they're good, ride them out.

*oh, if I had a nickel

Chip R
09-29-2006, 04:33 PM
I don't even have a problem with him being the starting first baseman. They'd just better have a good backup option. Don't we have a good cheap one running around the minors?


There's Joey Votto but he's a left handed hitter as well as being a young player. As long as Mr. Hat is on the team and Narron is managing, that doesn't look like there will be much playing time for him.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:34 PM
Maybe they view him as a platoon guy again? I don't know. I hope they don't view Hat as the "everyday" 1B for 2007.even as a platoon guy he is likely to be subpar. He had a career year, an over 800 OPS, and yet that still is bad for a 1b. What about the regression back to the sub 700 OPS from 2005?

BRM
09-29-2006, 04:34 PM
Because he doesn't suck right now. Prepare for him sucking; don't make it happen before it needs to*.

He does suck right now. .711 OPS in August and a .588 OPS in September.

BRM
09-29-2006, 04:36 PM
even as a platoon guy he is likely to be subpar. He had a career year, an over 800 OPS, and yet that still is bad for a 1b. What about the regression back to the sub 700 OPS from 2005?

Then we hope Narron sits him for a better option.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:37 PM
Because he doesn't suck right now.actually he has for the last two months, its just the first four months offset that.

But if you know there is a high probability that his 2006 performance was nothing but a fluke and he is much more likely to revert to a 2005 level of performance in 2007 then isn't the smart play to be proactive?

Branch Rickey had the motto better to get rid of a player a year too early than a year too late.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:40 PM
Then we hope Narron sits him for a better option.but if you don't plan for it you may not have a better option. Although with what we saw from Clayton the lesson will likely have to be branded on the forehead before something is done (which means likely too late).

Hoping that Hatty will prodcue at a level of anything more than bench fodder
is bucking the odds.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 04:40 PM
.588 OPS in September.

Ok, that is bad. I still think it's worth seeing how he does in spring training. Again, I DO NOT think he should be our only option, but I also don't think it's good to prematurely consign players to the scrapheap when they're doing well solely because of what you suspect they will do in the future. Look at the year Aurilia had. My mistake is that I believe that this management thinks the way I do, when in truth I suspect that they (well, Narron) do hold up the "scrappy vet" thing in name only sometimes. But I still hold out hope that if Hatteberg is at first base on Opening Day 2007, it will be because he proved himself in spring training and because the majority of this year was a good one for him, not just because he's a veteran (Hatte is not very scrappy).

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:43 PM
But I still hold out hope that if Hatteberg is at first base on Opening Day 2007, it will be because he proved himself in spring training and because the majority of this year was a good one for him, not just because he's a veteran (Hatte is not very scrappy).except that ST performance means almost nothing as a predictor for the upcoming season. I honestly think the front office will assemble the 2007 team with the thought that Aurilia and Hatty will repeat their 2006 seasons.

BuckeyeRedleg
09-29-2006, 04:46 PM
Scott Hatteberg OPS

2001 (31 years old) .678 (278 AB)
2002 (32 years old) .807 (492 AB)
2003 (33 years old) .725 (541 AB)
2004 (34 years old) .787 (550 AB)
2005 (35 years old) .677 (464 AB)
2006 (36 years old) .828 (452 AB)

Career: .767

Last two months of 2006:

-August .711 (96 AB)
-Sept. .589 (64 AB)

Over/under for 2007 at 37 years old:

.725

I'll take the under. Our GM obviously takes the over and I expect to see Votto blocked by this man in 2007.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 04:47 PM
I honestly think the front office will assemble the 2007 team with the thought that Aurilia and Hatty will repeat their 2006 seasons.

I don't. That would be criminally short-sighted. Maybe I just believe the best of people, but I just can't believe they'd be stupid enough to really believe that and not provide for the other, more likely chance that they'll decline. But I also don't think that if we see them starting on Opening Day, that indicates that the front office believes they'll repeat their 2006 seasons. As it stands right now, there's enough justification for them earning those jobs; time will tell if they deserve to keep them. Again, the roster moves will say a lot about how the front office feels about that too.

This thread is making me sleepy!

Puffy
09-29-2006, 04:48 PM
The Reds got lucky with Hatteberg this year. It was good luck, but luck nonetheless.

Look at it this way - playing Hold em, and you've got a gut shot straight draw. You stay in because no one raised more than you felt it was worth. You stayed in when you probably shouldn't have but thought the pot odds were in your favor (rightly or wrongly) and then hit the gut shot and won the pot. In short you got lucky. This one time it was worth it, but over the long haul it won't be profitable.

Thats Hatteberg. Krivsky gambled on him and won. He should realize that and not gamble with him again next year. Past numbers, age, and percentages say Hatteberg will not repeat next year - let someone else take that gamble and do something else. Like moving Dunn there, or letting Votto have the position.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:48 PM
Hattys 50th percentile PECOTA for 2006 was .690, heck his 90th was .810

A smart GM would see that and his age and would cut and run like hell(like the A's did after 2005).

Johnny Footstool
09-29-2006, 04:52 PM
I think that some of us need to put a little more stock into the idea of long-term improvement. 73 wins to 79 wins is not a huuuuge jump, no, but...say the Reds win one more game (and I hope that's a conservative figure). 73 to 80 wins. That's seven wins. It's not incredibly significant...but 80 to 85 wins in 2007 would be...and 85 to 90 in 2008 would be glorious and a great track to see this team on. I was not expecting them to be competitive until 2008 anyway. And that's a five-win jump per year, not seven+ as they (hopefully) will have this year.

Again, this line of thinking is looking at the ends instead of the means.

The Reds 6-7 win "improvement" from 2005 to 2006 isn't based on anything tangible. The real improvement needs to be made in Run Differential, and it simply isn't there from last season to this season.

Improving by 5 wins in 2007 really means adding 50-60 runs to the Run Differential. That's not an easy task.

reds44
09-29-2006, 04:54 PM
It would have been different.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:54 PM
Improving by 5 wins in 2007 really means adding 50-60 runs to the Run Differential. That's not an easy task.and that 5 wins has to be based on the Pythag record, not the actual record. That is unless you want to count on getting a large dose of good fortune.

Chip R
09-29-2006, 04:57 PM
If Votto was a right handed hitter he could easily make the roster and platoon with Hatteberg and possibly Aurilia if he comes back. But since both players are left handed, unless Hatteberg is hurt, he's going to get the playing time against right handed pitchers no matter how he is hitting.

But also we don't know what kind of a hitter Votto will be or even if he can hit major league pitching at all. Spring training and minor league results are only good up to a point. Unless I'm mistaken, Votto is projected as a decent hitter with some good pop. The hitting might translate to the majors but the pop could go away and then you're left with a younger version of Casey or Hatteberg. That might not be all bad but it's not what you're hoping for from him.

Johnny Footstool
09-29-2006, 04:57 PM
and that 5 wins has to be based on the Pythag record, not the actual record. That is unless you want to count on getting a large dose of good fortune.

That's what I was basing the estimated 50-60 run improvement on. They're 50 runs in the hole this season. 5 more wins would put them over .500, which would require about a +10 run differential.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 04:59 PM
But also we don't know what kind of a hitter Votto will be or even if he can hit major league pitching at all.that is true, but doing as well as he did in AA at age 22 is an excellent indicator for future success.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 05:05 PM
Hattys 50th percentile PECOTA for 2006 was .690, heck his 90th was .810

A smart GM would see that and his age and would cut and run like hell(like the A's did after 2005).

Don't you think that is just as extreme as keeping a player in solely because he had a good year? Beane is the best in baseball in my opinion and I doubt he regrets his decision, which was a logical one, but the A's could have used Hatteberg this year.

Not everything is always so black and white, and extreme tendencies tend to lead to incomplete outcomes no matter which extreme. You should manage a team based on the most likely outcomes, no doubt. But variations and aberrations occur, and I think it's foolish to throw a good thing out of your lap if it happens to land there while it's still good, as long as you have other options to stand you in good stead if and when the norms creep back in.

flyer85
09-29-2006, 05:08 PM
You should manage a team based on the most likely outcomes, no doubt. and construct one that way as well.


But variations and aberrations occur, and I think it's foolish to throw a good thing out of your lap if it happens to land there while it's still goodgoes back to the former. What is likely outcome? In the case of Hatty for 2007 the answer is not good, so wouldn't it be better to address it before the most likely outcome is a fait accompli?

traderumor
09-29-2006, 05:13 PM
I expect to see Votto blocked by this man in 2007.
So, the Hatteberg complaints rear their ugly head in the midst of a slump in the last month of the season after a solid season until the last one, which is an across the board slump. Votto had a great comeback year, but he is by no means a sure thing and just turned 23 this month. I think that's a bit melodramatic.

registerthis
09-29-2006, 05:52 PM
So, the Hatteberg complaints rear their ugly head in the midst of a slump in the last month of the season after a solid season until the last one, which is an across the board slump. Votto had a great comeback year, but he is by no means a sure thing and just turned 23 this month. I think that's a bit melodramatic.

If only we could exchange conspiracy theories for wins...

RedsManRick
09-29-2006, 05:58 PM
Well players deserve rest, and they need rest to be effective. Different players require different amounts of rest, and another part of a manager's job is trying to figure out who deserves what amount of rest. However, I believe those types of decisions are small enough to be relatively negligible, and I also believe those are the types of decisions that aren't quantifiable. We don't know the information that leads to a player getting rest against a certain pitcher or on a certain night, and a few games difference in that area isn't really anything we can judge on.

The problems I'm looking at are the bigger problems, such as Griffey being a lock in center field, Encarnacion being benched for what amounts to several weeks worth of games, or Arroyo/Harang throwing more pitches than anybody else in baseball. Those types of decisions are clear mishaps, and they've got some small type of run value attached to them. If those types of decisions were better decisions, the team would be a couple runs/wins better in the standings.

I understand those big points. (except for the Arroyo/Harang issue -- isn't that a problem when they break down, not now?) I don't disagree that more PT for EE and Junior in RF would've made the Reds a better team.

However, let's say that at one point Phillips was nursing an injury that we didn't hear much about. To us, it looked like he just got a few extra days of "rest". Now let's imagine that he had played, had aggrivated the injury, and was out for a month. It's this sort of non-event that's so hard to account for. I don't disagree that there were a number of things that could've been done better. However, we don't really have a good feel for the things that were done right, because they didn't show up as failures for us to judge.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be critical of bad decisions. We should be. However, one must be careful when judging the full body of a manager's work , because we're really only privy to a small portion of the information and choices. I happen to believe that some people on message boards are indeed smarter than the average manager. But I also believe that A LOT of things go on we never hear about and never consider.

Certainly you are right given your assumptions. If all else remained constant, and EE took Clayton's 150 PA, we would've been better offensively. If Griffey played in RF instead of CF, we would've been better defensively. We might even have a better record, perhaps 4-5 wins. However, when judging Narron's performance as a whole, we can't consider these changes in a vacuum. You, or I, or Lou Pinella might have been smart enough to make those changes, but maybe we wouldn't have done something else that had an equal positive effect. I'm not claiming that indeed there are these great hidden decisions in every circumstance; Just that we should be aware that it's not quite as easy as holding everything else constant and fixing a few choices.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 06:16 PM
I understand those big points. (except for the Arroyo/Harang issue -- isn't that a problem when they break down, not now?) I don't disagree that more PT for EE and Junior in RF would've made the Reds a better team.

However, let's say that at one point Phillips was nursing an injury that we didn't hear much about. To us, it looked like he just got a few extra days of "rest". Now let's imagine that he had played, had aggrivated the injury, and was out for a month. It's this sort of non-event that's so hard to account for. I don't disagree that there were a number of things that could've been done better. However, we don't really have a good feel for the things that were done right, because they didn't show up as failures for us to judge.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be critical of bad decisions. We should be. However, one must be careful when judging the full body of a manager's work , because we're really only privy to a small portion of the information and choices. I happen to believe that some people on message boards are indeed smarter than the average manager. But I also believe that A LOT of things go on we never hear about and never consider.

Certainly you are right given your assumptions. If all else remained constant, and EE took Clayton's 150 PA, we would've been better offensively. If Griffey played in RF instead of CF, we would've been better defensively. We might even have a better record, perhaps 4-5 wins. However, when judging Narron's performance as a whole, we can't consider these changes in a vacuum. You, or I, or Lou Pinella might have been smart enough to make those changes, but maybe we wouldn't have done something else that had an equal positive effect. I'm not claiming that indeed there are these great hidden decisions in every circumstance; Just that we should be aware that it's not quite as easy as holding everything else constant and fixing a few choices.

Arroyo and Harang is most definitely a concern for right now. Even though they haven't broken down yet, it is best to treat them in a way that helps lower the probability of them breaking down in the future. Zambrano's start today is a classic example of this. Just because he hasn't broken down yet doesn't mean it isn't a bad idea to let him throw 128 pitches as he did today.

I do definitely understand where you're coming from with not knowing about some/many non-events and not knowing if Narron made the right or wrong decisions with them.

The difference, however, may be in how we interpret a manager's job. I expect a manager to do most of his job correctly and to make most of the correct decisions. It's his job to make more correct decisions than incorrect decisions, and I expect him to make mostly correct decisions. There's only 30 MLB managerial positions available in the country so there should be a high demand for a manager making mostly correct decisions. Nobody's going to be perfect at their job, or close to perfect for that matter, but there is an expectation for them to be doing their job right most of the time.

This is similar to your job or my job. My boss doesn't expect perfection out of me, and I doubt your boss expects perfection out of you. But they do have an expectation out of us that we do our job mostly correct. If we don't live up to that expectation, then they have reasonable grounds into looking to replace us.

How this applies to Narron ... if we see him making several very questionable and generally not-very-smart moves, then he has much less wiggle room for mistakes in all those unknown events. It's almost as if to say, ok, if Narron's darn close to perfection in what we don't know, then maybe we should give him a pass with what we do know since we know a few mistakes will be made.

However, knowing some of his mistakes right away on the surface, what is the chance that he's making many more right decisions than wrong decisions in the unknown category? I won't say there's no chance, but I don't believe it's a very good chance.

The ebb and flow of a baseball game and season guarantees that some correct decisions eventually turn out to be the wrong decisions for a specific game. But we do know that the more often the correct decision is made, the more likely a greater number of moves in the totality of a team's games will work out for the better.

mbgrayson
09-29-2006, 06:20 PM
Were the Reds really picked to finish last this pre-season by most baseball experts?

The answer is yes:
1. March 31, 2006 Sporting News said the Reds were fourth from the bottom in all of MLB in the TSN Power Poll. "TSN says: 6th, NL Central"
2. Sports Illustrated Basenball 2006 Preview Issue: Pick 6th place NL Central.
3. Street & Smith's 2006 Baseball: Preseason Pick: #5 NL Central.
4. Athlon Sports 2006 Baseball Preview: #6 in the NL Central.
5. Baseball America 2006 Major League Preview March 27, 2006: NL Central #6. "Big Dead Machine"
6. Rob Neyer ESPN Reds predicted finish: 73 wins 82 losses.
7. Baseball Prospectus Preseason predictions (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4925) :Reds 6th place.

vaticanplum
09-29-2006, 07:04 PM
and construct one that way as well.

Yes, I've said that all along.


goes back to the former. What is likely outcome? In the case of Hatty for 2007 the answer is not good, so wouldn't it be better to address it before the most likely outcome is a fait accompli?

Likely is not definite. His likely outcome for 2006 did not pan out that way either. As I keep saying, you should absolutely prepare for the most likely outcome, and fix things as soon as it's clear that it's going that way. but don't ignore unexpected opportunities if they present themselves.

I think we've reached impasse time here; you and I just feel differently. I try not to count my chickens before they hatch, but I don't kill them before they're sick either, even if I know they'll get sick eventually. And if they stop laying eggs, yes, I will take them out of the coop and replace them with younger, healthier chickens with high OBPs.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 07:18 PM
Cyclone,

Your characterization of Harang's and Arroyo's abuse is a bit overstated. Harang has went deep into many, many games, but there is much more to accusing abuse based on leading the league in pitches. We're talking about two guys who have been healthy all year. Arroyo is a different animal altogether and I don't think merely looking at his pitch counts is evidence of abuse. He has shown that his arm can handle flipping curve balls all day long and he has been strong rather than declining in September. Harang has been inconsistent in September, but he has been inconsistent all year. He is a very large, strong guy and has a nice, easy repeatable delivery and has no significant history of arm problems. I have been wondering if his use with the Reds might warrant shying away from a LTC, but that is just something to consider as a risk, not a statement of fact.

IslandRed
09-29-2006, 07:44 PM
Addressing two subthreads at once:

1. Votto is the first baseman of the future. What we don't know is exactly when that is going to be. Obviously, they're not just going to hand him the job; he's going to have to hit a little in Triple-A first and prove he's still on track. To me, re-signing Hatteburg is a textbook stopgap deal. With a stopgap, a team doesn't want to invest any more time and money than it must to man the position until the kid is ready. The Reds could have pursued a better first baseman, but the investment in years or money would preclude Votto taking over the position in 2007, not to mention the opportunity cost of whatever else we could have spent the money on.

The only way I see re-signing Hatty biting us would be if both he and Votto tank. If Hatty tanks and Votto rakes, OK, we bring up Votto. Vice-versa, we stick with Hatteburg for now. They both rake, then great.

Now, watch Dunn move to first and Votto be traded. :laugh:

2. I love BP's tracking of pitcher abuse, but there's also this truism from one of their guys: Pitching doesn't cause injuries, pitching while tired causes injuries. I only have a major issue with one start each from Harang and Arroyo, cases where I thought it was obvious they were done and kept racking up pitches into the danger zone. Otherwise, they were workhorses, but not dangerously so. They're not kids whose arms need to be babied; they're prime-age hurlers who took the ball every five days all season and took us deep into ballgames almost every time. That's what you want your front of the rotation guys to do. As a result, their total pitches were very high, but game by game -- exceptions as noted above -- I didn't see anything that looked like abuse.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 07:52 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=99961

Harang is third in all of MLB in pitcher abuse points, and Arroyo is sixth. Harang's made a start with as many as 135 pitches thrown, and Arroyo's start on June 13th against the Brewers was 127 pitches. In fact, in that start on June 13th he threw as many as 32 pitches in one inning, had 111 pitches after the sixth inning, and Narron still sent him out for one more inning. If ever there was a case where Arroyo was pitching tired, that was it. His velocity in his final inning that game was significantly lower than I've seen at any other point in the season.

Additionally, after the All-Star break, Bronson Arroyo has seen spikes in his BB/9 and HR/9 while Aaron Harang has seen drops in his K/9 and spikes in his HR/9.

Healthy all year? Maybe so, maybe not. Bronson Arroyo got knocked around for several starts after his June 13th start against Milwaukee. In fact, it was immediately after that date that his HR/9 began spiking up heavily. Maybe he was healthy enough to pitch, but not exactly pitch effectively.

My preference has always been to err on the side of caution when it comes to pitcher abuse. Worrying about pitcher abuse after it occurs when signs of injury may pop up doesn't do much good in preventing pitcher abuse.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 07:55 PM
2. I love BP's tracking of pitcher abuse, but there's also this truism from one of their guys: Pitching doesn't cause injuries, pitching while tired causes injuries. I only have a major issue with one start each from Harang and Arroyo, cases where I thought it was obvious they were done and kept racking up pitches into the danger zone. Otherwise, they were workhorses, but not dangerously so. They're not kids whose arms need to be babied; they're prime-age hurlers who took the ball every five days all season and took us deep into ballgames almost every time. That's what you want your front of the rotation guys to do. As a result, their total pitches were very high, but game by game -- exceptions as noted above -- I didn't see anything that looked like abuse.Essentially what I'm saying, as well.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 08:00 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=99961



Additionally, after the All-Star break, Bronson Arroyo has seen spikes in his BB/9 and HR/9 while Aaron Harang has seen drops in his K/9 and spikes in his HR/9.



I wouldn't see either of those things necessarily as the result of abuse. Any pitcher's HR rate rising in the second half? Go figure. A rising BB/9 after a first half of an inordinately low BB/9, as in Arroyo's case? Again, go figure.

WMR
09-29-2006, 08:03 PM
Everything I've seen out of Krivsky to date does nothing but make me feel he will head into the 2007 season comfortable in the knowledge that Hatte is and will be his everyday first-baseman.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 08:22 PM
I wouldn't see either of those things necessarily as the result of abuse. Any pitcher's HR rate rising in the second half? Go figure. A rising BB/9 after a first half of an inordinately low BB/9, as in Arroyo's case? Again, go figure.

In each start after June 13th until the end of August, Bronson Arroyo pitched 92.2 innings and gave up 20 home runs. That's a HR/9 of 1.92, and not only is that worse than Eric Milton territory, it's nearly twice as high as his career rate. That's a time span of nearly two months with a HR/9 rate of nearly 2, and it's the same type of rate that's unacceptable in a big league rotation.

You'll think it's merely coincidental, I know. I'll think it would have done Arroyo a massive favor if he didn't pitch that final inning against Milwaukee on June 13th.

Follow that up on September 20th in the infamous 5th and 6th innings in Houston when even the ESPN announcers were all over Narron regarding Arroyo being left in the game far too long. In the 5th inning alone, Arroyo threw 38 pitches and was already at 100 pitches after only five innings of work. Narron sends him out for the 6th inning, and 18 pitches later Arroyo puts two guys on base and gives up a home run to Craig Biggio.

Sure, 118 total pitches doesn't look too terribly bad on its own, but when that includes a 38-pitch 5th inning, well, suddenly it's not looking pretty, either.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 08:25 PM
You'll think it's merely coincidental, I know. I'll think it would have done Arroyo a massive favor if he didn't pitch that final inning against Milwaukee on June 13th.

Rather presumptuous of you to speak for another person. You can have the final word on this particular matter.

Cyclone792
09-29-2006, 08:41 PM
Rather presumptuous of you to speak for another person. You can have the final word on this particular matter.

It seems logical to me that tired pitchers have a greater tendency to make mistake pitches, the types of pitches that land over the fence. Arroyo, as outlined by a SOSH faithful in a very detailed analysis back in March, is a pitcher who also has a tendency to get beat on mistake pitches.

You're defending Narron up and down throughout the thread. Frankly, I'd like to hear your defense of Narron's decision to play Griffey in center field, despite a plethora of evidence showing that Griffey gives up runs hand over fist while out there defensively.

traderumor
09-29-2006, 08:58 PM
It seems logical to me that tired pitchers have a greater tendency to make mistake pitches, the types of pitches that land over the fence. Arroyo, as outlined by a SOSH faithful in a very detailed analysis back in March, is a pitcher who also has a tendency to get beat on mistake pitches.

You're defending Narron up and down throughout the thread. Frankly, I'd like to hear your defense of Narron's decision to play Griffey in center field, despite a plethora of evidence showing that Griffey gives up runs hand over fist while out there defensively.You can continue to have the pitch count discussion with yourself or someone else can take it from here...as for "defending Narron," that is a bit of a shallow response. I simply do not agree with you on his overall impact to the bottom line of this team. You don't like Narron for reasons, I get it. For the record, I agree with you on Griffey, and have posted as such on the board for quite some time.

IslandRed
09-29-2006, 09:50 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=99961

Harang is third in all of MLB in pitcher abuse points, and Arroyo is sixth. Harang's made a start with as many as 135 pitches thrown, and Arroyo's start on June 13th against the Brewers was 127 pitches. In fact, in that start on June 13th he threw as many as 32 pitches in one inning, had 111 pitches after the sixth inning, and Narron still sent him out for one more inning. If ever there was a case where Arroyo was pitching tired, that was it.

I said I had a problem with one start for each pitcher, and you nailed them.

Otherwise, I'm worried about absolutes, not rankings. Someone's going to be the most abused pitcher according to PAP regardless of whether he was actually abused... besides the aforementioned starts, I don't think either Harang or Arroyo was worked to the point of abuse, given their profiles.

Chip R
09-29-2006, 10:00 PM
Everything I've seen out of Krivsky to date does nothing but make me feel he will head into the 2007 season comfortable in the knowledge that Hatte is and will be his everyday first-baseman.

I agree. Otherwise why would they have re-signed him? I remember a lot of people on here thought the original Hatteberg signing was a bad move. It actually turned out pretty good. I wonder if he got tired over the last month or so playing in so any games. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing to have Votto on the roster to give him a break against righties every so often. He could also serve as the lefty pinch hitter off the bench but that's a tall order for a rookie.

What I worry about - and I pray it won't happen - is if Hatteberg goes through a dry spell for an extended period of time. I don't see Narron benching him.

VR
09-29-2006, 10:36 PM
When did Arroyo and Harang get rested?

SteelSD
09-30-2006, 02:07 AM
Wow...I'm confused. Just the other day SteelSD told us that the only difference bettwen Harang/Arroyo and Ramone Ortiz/another guy who stinks is 3 measly wins. 3. To me, that implies that wins are pretty hard to come by.

Actually, the projected difference over a full season is about 6 wins based on collective ERA and the other pitcher was Paul Byrd. So yeah, Wins are pretty hard to come by from a Run Differential standpoint.

So let's take a look at a few things...

1. Coming into the season, I projected the Reds' Pythag record at 78-84 based on the projected Run Differential. Claims that the Reds exceeded expectations due to whatever the "media" said are only valid if one only draws their conclusions based on what the "media" says. Personally, I'd rather think for myself.

2. At the All-Star break, the Reds still projected a Pythag record of 78-84 and had overachieved by two Wins.

3. Based on current Run Differential, the Reds would project a full-season 75-85 record at the 160-game mark. They're currently five over their Pythag. But that's not due to a Run Differential gain. It's happened after a Run Differential loss. Red flag to the extreme.

4. The Reds, should they produce their post-All Star break Run Differential over a full season in 2007, project a 72-90 record.

5. Adam Dunn has produced 104.4 Runs for the Reds in 2006. He produced 116.9 Runs in 2005. That's a one Win difference over a full season. If he reverts to 2005 form, the Reds' Pythag goes to 73-89. If Dunn produces more Runs over the next two games, that becomes a fraction of a Win over the course of the season. A fraction.

On a personal note, I heard a lot about how Adam Dunn should get a ton better after Kearns' bad influence vacated the premises. Still waiting for someone to explain to me how well that worked. I also heard how a culture change was a positive and noted that said culture change might end up in Dunn thinking that he had to swing at a bunch of crap in order to drive in more Runs. Well, Dunn's 2006 Pitches per PA are at a five-year low and his August/September K rate is at an all-time high (1 K per 2.42 AB). But what do I know about potential subjective cause/effect relationships? I'm a stats guy after all.

6. Ken Griffey Junior has produced 63.2 Runs for the Reds in 2006. he produced 100.8 Runs in 2005. That's nearly four Wins over the course of a season.

Basically, this team is going into the offseason looking much like it's 2005 predecessor, yet it's worse off. In 2004, the Reds finished 76-86 with a 67-95 Pythag. Folks were warned that the 2004 kind of overperformance wasn't probable for the next year. In 2005 the Reds finished with a 73-89 record and a 75-85 Pythag. Right now, the Reds are the only team in baseball with a realistic possibility of producing a .500 or better record allowing 40 or more Runs than they've scored.

I was hopeful that the 2004 point would have been taken, but it doesn't appear so (not that you were around back then, of course). The Reds had a number of trading chips at their disposal this year but the end result is a worse projected 2007 Pythag based on current team composition than at the beginning of the season. Make no mistake- you have to damage your team during the course of a season to do that regardless of how the league shakes out.

This season, the Reds have a shot at 82 Wins if they win out. Those 82 Wins are real if they happen, but a portion of those are also imagined from a Run Differential standpoint. They're phantoms. Like 2004, they can't be accounted for; which leaves the idea in our collective mind that the team has actually progressed somewhere. However, as currently composed, the Reds project 8 to 10 fewer Wins in 2007 than they might win in 2006. Krivsky's got a LOT of work to do in the offseason to get some Runs back. He'll need about 90 Runs just to project a .500 team. I don't care where those Runs come from but I'd suggest that they can't continue to come from unlikely sources.

If Adam Dunn becomes a 1.000 OPS monster you might just see an additional three wins gained versus 2006. That'd be great and all but I'm still trying to figure out, with so few trading chips, how the Reds get the additional 60 Runs to get to a .500 projection with a roster littered with players who either don't project well to due to age or who don't project to repeat career years and virtually zero trading chips. Interestingly enough, the Reds are currently hoping that both Houston and St. Louis lose out but if they continue to win and neither happens, they might just be going into the offseason without having a protected 2007 First Round pick.

None of that is Adam Dunn's fault, nor is this season. If the Reds finish at .500, folks will credit Wayne Krivsky for improvement. Problem is that most folks don't understand what real improvement looks like.

BuckeyeRedleg
09-30-2006, 08:47 AM
Actually, the projected difference over a full season is about 6 wins based on collective ERA and the other pitcher was Paul Byrd. So yeah, Wins are pretty hard to come by from a Run Differential standpoint.

So let's take a look at a few things...

1. Coming into the season, I projected the Reds' Pythag record at 78-84 based on the projected Run Differential. Claims that the Reds exceeded expectations due to whatever the "media" said are only valid if one only draws their conclusions based on what the "media" says. Personally, I'd rather think for myself.

2. At the All-Star break, the Reds still projected a Pythag record of 78-84 and had overachieved by two Wins.

3. Based on current Run Differential, the Reds would project a full-season 75-85 record at the 160-game mark. They're currently five over their Pythag. But that's not due to a Run Differential gain. It's happened after a Run Differential loss. Red flag to the extreme.

4. The Reds, should they produce their post-All Star break Run Differential over a full season in 2007, project a 72-90 record.

5. Adam Dunn has produced 104.4 Runs for the Reds in 2006. He produced 116.9 Runs in 2005. That's a one Win difference over a full season. If he reverts to 2005 form, the Reds' Pythag goes to 73-89. If Dunn produces more Runs over the next two games, that becomes a fraction of a Win over the course of the season. A fraction.

On a personal note, I heard a lot about how Adam Dunn should get a ton better after Kearns' bad influence vacated the premises. Still waiting for someone to explain to me how well that worked. I also heard how a culture change was a positive and noted that said culture change might end up in Dunn thinking that he had to swing at a bunch of crap in order to drive in more Runs. Well, Dunn's 2006 Pitches per PA are at a five-year low and his August/September K rate is at an all-time high (1 K per 2.42 AB). But what do I know about potential subjective cause/effect relationships? I'm a stats guy after all.

6. Ken Griffey Junior has produced 63.2 Runs for the Reds in 2006. he produced 100.8 Runs in 2005. That's nearly four Wins over the course of a season.

Basically, this team is going into the offseason looking much like it's 2005 predecessor, yet it's worse off. In 2004, the Reds finished 76-86 with a 67-95 Pythag. Folks were warned that the 2004 kind of overperformance wasn't probable for the next year. In 2005 the Reds finished with a 73-89 record and a 75-85 Pythag. Right now, the Reds are the only team in baseball with a realistic possibility of producing a .500 or better record allowing 40 or more Runs than they've scored.

I was hopeful that the 2004 point would have been taken, but it doesn't appear so (not that you were around back then, of course). The Reds had a number of trading chips at their disposal this year but the end result is a worse projected 2007 Pythag based on current team composition than at the beginning of the season. Make no mistake- you have to damage your team during the course of a season to do that regardless of how the league shakes out.

This season, the Reds have a shot at 82 Wins if they win out. Those 82 Wins are real if they happen, but a portion of those are also imagined from a Run Differential standpoint. They're phantoms. Like 2004, they can't be accounted for; which leaves the idea in our collective mind that the team has actually progressed somewhere. However, as currently composed, the Reds project 8 to 10 fewer Wins in 2007 than they might win in 2006. Krivsky's got a LOT of work to do in the offseason to get some Runs back. He'll need about 90 Runs just to project a .500 team. I don't care where those Runs come from but I'd suggest that they can't continue to come from unlikely sources.

If Adam Dunn becomes a 1.000 OPS monster you might just see an additional three wins gained versus 2006. That'd be great and all but I'm still trying to figure out, with so few trading chips, how the Reds get the additional 60 Runs to get to a .500 projection with a roster littered with players who either don't project well to due to age or who don't project to repeat career years and virtually zero trading chips. Interestingly enough, the Reds are currently hoping that both Houston and St. Louis lose out but if they continue to win and neither happens, they might just be going into the offseason without having a protected 2007 First Round pick.

None of that is Adam Dunn's fault, nor is this season. If the Reds finish at .500, folks will credit Wayne Krivsky for improvement. Problem is that most folks don't understand what real improvement looks like.

What he said.

Wow. Awesome post.

RFS62
09-30-2006, 09:18 AM
On a personal note, I heard a lot about how Adam Dunn should get a ton better after Kearns' bad influence vacated the premises. Still waiting for someone to explain to me how well that worked. I also heard how a culture change was a positive and noted that said culture change might end up in Dunn thinking that he had to swing at a bunch of crap in order to drive in more Runs. Well, Dunn's 2006 Pitches per PA are at a five-year low and his August/September K rate is at an all-time high (1 K per 2.42 AB). But what do I know about potential subjective cause/effect relationships? I'm a stats guy after all.



Are you suggesting that Dunn's slump was somehow connected to Austin's departure?

traderumor
09-30-2006, 09:22 AM
None of that is Adam Dunn's faultNothing ever really is.

Johnny Footstool
09-30-2006, 11:44 AM
Nothing ever really is.

Nice and dismissive.

Ltlabner
09-30-2006, 12:16 PM
Basically, this team is going into the offseason looking much like it's 2005 predecessor, yet it's worse off. In 2004, the Reds finished 76-86 with a 67-95 Pythag. Folks were warned that the 2004 kind of overperformance wasn't probable for the next year.

This season, the Reds have a shot at 82 Wins if they win out. Those 82 Wins are real if they happen, but a portion of those are also imagined from a Run Differential standpoint. They're phantoms. Like 2004, they can't be accounted for; which leaves the idea in our collective mind that the team has actually progressed somewhere. However, as currently composed, the Reds project 8 to 10 fewer Wins in 2007 than they might win in 2006. .


So if I am understanding you correctly SteelSD, the message is (simplistically) that we've been lucky two years running (ie. winning more games than we "should have") and that unless we acquire more run producers or a whole lot of run prevention that the luck that was predected to end in 2005 and 2006 is likely to run out in 2007 (ie, you can't rely on luck forever)?

SteelSD
09-30-2006, 12:25 PM
Are you suggesting that Dunn's slump was somehow connected to Austin's departure?

I'm only suggesting that there were more potential effects than the "Dunn might get better" line of thought I heard at the time of the swap. Losing two high-OBP hitters does affect the rest of the lineup in ways we often don't consider. There are other possible effects that could flow out of such an extreme culture change.

Dunn's a perceptive guy. Did the loss of two high-K hitters tell him that he should swing at more stuff in order to try to cut down on his K's (which is the best way to increase them along with his Outs, of course)? Did the offensive hit eventually cause Dunn to begin pressing in an attempt to hoist the offense on his shoulders? Of course, it's possible that Dunn just slumped regardless of any potential residual effect of the trade and/or that BABIP luck kicked him in the groin.

Dunn is seeing fewer pitches and his Isolated Power is down 33 points versus 2005. His 2006 second half smells a lot like 2003 when a certain Boone told him that he needed to swing at more crap in order to drive in Runs. Jerry Narron told us virtually the same thing on the Reds pregame show on 5/13/06. Swing at more pitches out of the zone to drive in more Runs. Narron's poor instruction predates the loss of Kearns and Lopez but Narron also stated that he'd like Lopez to be more aggressive in certain situations. Preach aggression, trade away a player or two who aren't "aggressive" enough and your point gets reinforced in all sorts of ways.

Now, again, I'm not saying that series of events did cause Dunn's August/September performance even though the indicators are suggestive. The slump could have been Dunn all on his own. But what we do know is that the loss of Kearns has in no way helped.

RedsManRick
09-30-2006, 12:37 PM
Great post Steel. I think you correctly pointed out that the past two years' luck has hidden the fact that we're functionally not a whole lot better than we were. Furthermore, I think you do well in pointing out that we no longer have the assets to acquire the players who will help correct that run differential.

That said, if Bray matures, if Majewski depumpkinizes, if Votto can be a .900 OPS guy, if Denorfia can do .820 with GG defense, if EZ can refind his groove, and nobody else gets any worse, we could sneak up to and maybe even a little past .500 territory. The bigger question though, is how do you get from 82-84 up to 92-94 wins. Those are the hardest to gain, and barring some major unforeseen player development or significant cash outlays, I don't yet see the path there.

SteelSD
09-30-2006, 12:55 PM
So if I am understanding you correctly SteelSD, the message is (simplistically) that we've been lucky two years running and that unless we acquire more run producers or a whole lot of run prevention that the luck that was predected to end in 2005 and 2006 is likely to run out in 2007?

Actually, the Reds were pythag-lucky in 2004 (+9 Wins). They played slightly below pythag in 2005 (-2 Wins). This season, the Reds are currently +5. So yes, they've been pythag-lucky.

I'm not saying that the Pythag luck worm is bound to turn from a luck perspective. I'm only saying that if you're on the right side of Pythag luck, folks tend to end up with a skewed perception of exactly how good a team is. If the Reds finish at .500 or better this season, I have little doubt that some folks will be happy with that because they view it as progression. But it's not really progression from a Run Differential perspective and that's a real problem.

After last night's game, the current version of the team projects a full-season pythag of 73-89. Within that projection, Adam Dunn represents the potential for about 1 to 3 additional Wins in 2007. One Win if he reverts to 2005 form. Two Wins if he reverts to 2004 form. Three Wins if he busts out a 1.000 OPS stick next season. Best case scenario if Dunn busts out is a 76-86 projection; which actually shakes out two games lower than what the Reds projected coming into 2006 and at the 2006 ASB.

So, yes. The Reds need to go out and find a bunch of offense, pitching, and real defense in order to get this club to where it projects out at .500. Best case scenario, they'll need about 40-50 additional Runs. Worst case scenario, they'll need 80-90 additional Runs. To project 90 Wins? I'm not sure that kind of Run value is available in a single offseason to anyone- particularly when you can't spend 100 million bucks and your trading chip cupboard is bare.

It'll take a miracle to project 90 Wins next year and that's the lowest projection I'd want to take into a season regardless of overall league strength. And one of the reasons for that is that we've seen incremental Run Diff regression rather than improvement during the 2006 season.

Falls City Beer
09-30-2006, 01:02 PM
To play devil's advocate for a bit: what are the pythags of the other teams in the NL Central? And what makes anyone believe that the other teams in the NL Central are due for a spike in run production next season either in-house or via trade? Because in the end, a trip to the postseason is contingent only upon how a team does relative to the other teams in its division.

What I'm saying is what I said at the beginning of this season: this team COULD go to the postseason in a short period of time; but what will get them there without scuttling the long-term too badly?

SteelSD
09-30-2006, 01:07 PM
Great post Steel. I think you correctly pointed out that the past two years' luck has hidden the fact that we're functionally not a whole lot better than we were. Furthermore, I think you do well in pointing out that we no longer have the assets to acquire the players who will help correct that run differential.

That said, if Bray matures, if Majewski depumpkinizes, if Votto can be a .900 OPS guy, if Denorfia can do .820 with GG defense, if EZ can refind his groove, and nobody else gets any worse, we could sneak up to and maybe even a little past .500 territory. The bigger question though, is how do you get from 82-84 up to 92-94 wins. Those are the hardest to gain, and barring some major unforeseen player development or significant cash outlays, I don't yet see the path there.

Agreed. There are a lot of "ifs" that affect the Reds chances to see internal Run Diff gains versus 2006. If the Reds finish the season, the current configuration will most likely project between 72 and 74 Wins in 2007. To have a shot at 90 Wins, they'll need to find between 160 and 180 Runs assuming they'll play right at Pythag next season. If Krivsky makes any mistakes whatsoever in the offseason, we're looking at potentially needing to find 200 Runs for the Reds to project 90 Wins. A daunting task.

And one of the problems when you've played above your Pythag is that you end up thinking you need less when you really need more.

SteelSD
09-30-2006, 01:10 PM
To play devil's advocate for a bit: what are the pythags of the other teams in the NL Central? And what makes anyone believe that the other teams in the NL Central are due for a spike in run production next season either in-house or via trade? Because in the end, a trip to the postseason is contingent only upon how a team does relative to the other teams in its division.

What I'm saying is what I said at the beginning of this season: this team COULD go to the postseason in a short period of time; but what will get them there without scuttling the long-term too badly?

2006 Cardinals- Actual: 82-77, Pythag: 82-77
2006 Astros- Actual: 81-79, Pythag: 82-78
2006 Reds- Actual: 80-80, Pythag: 75-85

Falls City Beer
09-30-2006, 01:20 PM
2006 Cardinals- Actual: 82-77, Pythag: 82-77
2006 Astros- Actual: 81-79, Pythag: 82-78
2006 Reds- Actual: 80-80, Pythag: 75-85

It's my guess (and it IS only a guess): that if none of the above teams made a single move in the offseason, and returned each member of their extant ballclubs, the Cards and Astros pythags would worsen more severely than the Reds'. And the Brewers, if their roster didn't change, would likely improve in their pythag.

So, in short, it appears, to me, that the division is still very much up for grabs, but the Reds are really going to have to outpace each Central team in the offseason and likely the deadline if they are going to get it done. But I certainly could be well off the mark in my guesses.

SteelSD
09-30-2006, 01:53 PM
It's my guess (and it IS only a guess): that if none of the above teams made a single move in the offseason, and returned each member of their extant ballclubs, the Cards and Astros pythags would worsen more severely than the Reds'. And the Brewers, if their roster didn't change, would likely improve in their pythag.

So, in short, it appears, to me, that the division is still very much up for grabs, but the Reds are really going to have to outpace each Central team in the offseason and likely the deadline if they are going to get it done. But I certainly could be well off the mark in my guesses.

Without running the numbers, I'm not so sure that the Cards will slide next season. True, they received unexpected offensive performance this year from Chris Duncan and Scott Spezio, which helped offset Edmonds' regression. The pitching took big RD hits from Marquis and Mulder, of course. But they'll have a full season from Anthony Reyes next year and he projects very well. I'm not sure whether they'll leave Wainwright in the pen or try to have him fill a rotation slot. There's some real upside there to cover the negative value associated with Marquis and Mulder's rotation slots. That might be the key in how the Cards project next season.

The Astros? Well, unless they can coax Clemens back again they're in trouble. Problem is that if the Reds play like they have post-ASB, their own offense might end up being worse than the Astros.

It's just a bad scenario.

Falls City Beer
09-30-2006, 02:39 PM
Without running the numbers, I'm not so sure that the Cards will slide next season. True, they received unexpected offensive performance this year from Chris Duncan and Scott Spezio, which helped offset Edmonds' regression. The pitching took big RD hits from Marquis and Mulder, of course. But they'll have a full season from Anthony Reyes next year and he projects very well. I'm not sure whether they'll leave Wainwright in the pen or try to have him fill a rotation slot. There's some real upside there to cover the negative value associated with Marquis and Mulder's rotation slots. That might be the key in how the Cards project next season.

The Astros? Well, unless they can coax Clemens back again they're in trouble. Problem is that if the Reds play like they have post-ASB, their own offense might end up being worse than the Astros.

It's just a bad scenario.

I don't think Reyes is going to make up for the further diminishment of Suppan's numbers, Mulder's shakiness/absence, Rolen's potential dropoff, Edmonds' likely absence, Spiezio's dropoff, Duncan's return to earth (though I think Duncan has a chance to be the real thing). I think the Cards have a number of questions, quite a few in fact; but then, they typically address their questions, unlike most teams in the Central.

Though, they didn't exactly address their weaknesses all that well this offseason. So we'll see.

Now that I think about it, losing Edmonds is a pretty big deal--even in a down year for him, he's every bit as valuable as a guy like Kearns was to the Reds, so if talk is true, that they won't pick up his 07 contract, they're going to have to do some real work to replace his numbers.

traderumor
09-30-2006, 03:47 PM
Nice and dismissive.The truth hurts sometimes. Paul Simon had 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Dunn apologists have 50 Ways to Clear the Dunner for any and all criticism.

Betterread
09-30-2006, 06:09 PM
Actually, the projected difference over a full season is about 6 wins based on collective ERA and the other pitcher was Paul Byrd. So yeah, Wins are pretty hard to come by from a Run Differential standpoint.

So let's take a look at a few things...

1. Coming into the season, I projected the Reds' Pythag record at 78-84 based on the projected Run Differential. Claims that the Reds exceeded expectations due to whatever the "media" said are only valid if one only draws their conclusions based on what the "media" says. Personally, I'd rather think for myself.

2. At the All-Star break, the Reds still projected a Pythag record of 78-84 and had overachieved by two Wins.

3. Based on current Run Differential, the Reds would project a full-season 75-85 record at the 160-game mark. They're currently five over their Pythag. But that's not due to a Run Differential gain. It's happened after a Run Differential loss. Red flag to the extreme.

4. The Reds, should they produce their post-All Star break Run Differential over a full season in 2007, project a 72-90 record.

5. Adam Dunn has produced 104.4 Runs for the Reds in 2006. He produced 116.9 Runs in 2005. That's a one Win difference over a full season. If he reverts to 2005 form, the Reds' Pythag goes to 73-89. If Dunn produces more Runs over the next two games, that becomes a fraction of a Win over the course of the season. A fraction.

On a personal note, I heard a lot about how Adam Dunn should get a ton better after Kearns' bad influence vacated the premises. Still waiting for someone to explain to me how well that worked. I also heard how a culture change was a positive and noted that said culture change might end up in Dunn thinking that he had to swing at a bunch of crap in order to drive in more Runs. Well, Dunn's 2006 Pitches per PA are at a five-year low and his August/September K rate is at an all-time high (1 K per 2.42 AB). But what do I know about potential subjective cause/effect relationships? I'm a stats guy after all.

6. Ken Griffey Junior has produced 63.2 Runs for the Reds in 2006. he produced 100.8 Runs in 2005. That's nearly four Wins over the course of a season.

Basically, this team is going into the offseason looking much like it's 2005 predecessor, yet it's worse off. In 2004, the Reds finished 76-86 with a 67-95 Pythag. Folks were warned that the 2004 kind of overperformance wasn't probable for the next year. In 2005 the Reds finished with a 73-89 record and a 75-85 Pythag. Right now, the Reds are the only team in baseball with a realistic possibility of producing a .500 or better record allowing 40 or more Runs than they've scored.

I was hopeful that the 2004 point would have been taken, but it doesn't appear so (not that you were around back then, of course). The Reds had a number of trading chips at their disposal this year but the end result is a worse projected 2007 Pythag based on current team composition than at the beginning of the season. Make no mistake- you have to damage your team during the course of a season to do that regardless of how the league shakes out.

This season, the Reds have a shot at 82 Wins if they win out. Those 82 Wins are real if they happen, but a portion of those are also imagined from a Run Differential standpoint. They're phantoms. Like 2004, they can't be accounted for; which leaves the idea in our collective mind that the team has actually progressed somewhere. However, as currently composed, the Reds project 8 to 10 fewer Wins in 2007 than they might win in 2006. Krivsky's got a LOT of work to do in the offseason to get some Runs back. He'll need about 90 Runs just to project a .500 team. I don't care where those Runs come from but I'd suggest that they can't continue to come from unlikely sources.

If Adam Dunn becomes a 1.000 OPS monster you might just see an additional three wins gained versus 2006. That'd be great and all but I'm still trying to figure out, with so few trading chips, how the Reds get the additional 60 Runs to get to a .500 projection with a roster littered with players who either don't project well to due to age or who don't project to repeat career years and virtually zero trading chips. Interestingly enough, the Reds are currently hoping that both Houston and St. Louis lose out but if they continue to win and neither happens, they might just be going into the offseason without having a protected 2007 First Round pick.

None of that is Adam Dunn's fault, nor is this season. If the Reds finish at .500, folks will credit Wayne Krivsky for improvement. Problem is that most folks don't understand what real improvement looks like.

Great job. The level of detail you provide, and the amount of effort you put into your argument is truly admirable. Your level of interest in the Reds is great, and the thought you put into your hobby is tremendous. One big question I have from this post: if the Reds exceeded their statistical predicators, then shouldn't you be pleased, rather than skeptical?

Reds1
09-30-2006, 09:46 PM
You don't have to go any further talking about Dunn then just listening to him talk about himself. He said he has stunk up the joint. He picked a bad time to go in to his worst funk of his career.

It's still my opinion that this team is still a few players short even with a normal Dunn. Of course a healthy Griffey, Freel and Lopez and Kearns may have helped.

I'm still happy with the season. We can actually say we have 2 solid starting pitchers. We have something to build on and for the 1st time in a long time a potential stud on the way. This team need another big starter and maybe even more a great closer. That will be hard to find in the offseason.

I hope to see a cleaning out of these veteren guys and hope we stick with the EE and Brays of the world on this team. We'll have vets like Hatte, Griff, and maybe Aurlia, but I don't want the AS 40+ bullpen next season. We're on the right track and next year should be fun. Sorry for the ramble.

Krusty
09-30-2006, 10:01 PM
Problem is finding a closer. The free agent cupboard is bare for quality closers and many teams are looking for one. Plus, the Reds need another starter along with upgrading the outfield defense.

I just think that either Junior or Dunn will go this offseason. Junior has more leverage but Dunn has more marketability.

Reds1
09-30-2006, 10:06 PM
Yes, I saw the FA list of closers. Nada. Gagne a big risk and he already says he will take less to stay with LA. I just think a closer would bring the pen together, but they may have to do more of the same. Maybe Scott. Who knows.

Krusty
09-30-2006, 10:12 PM
If Griffey was willing to be dealt in a trade to an AL team and the Reds were willing to pay the remaining defered portion of his contract, a team like the Tigers might would want him as their DH.

Now if the Reds could get a young starter like RHP Zach Minier and reliever RHP Fernando Rodney that would go a long way for the Reds. Minier would be another young starter for the rotation. Rodney has closed a few games for Detroit but with Todd Jones and the kid Zumaya around, his save opportunities will be limited.

flyer85
09-30-2006, 10:34 PM
If Griffey was willing to be dealt in a trade to an AL team and the Reds were willing to pay the remaining defered portion of his contract, a team like the Tigers might would want him as their DH.

Now if the Reds could get a young starter like RHP Zach Minier and reliever RHP Fernando Rodney that would go a long way for the Reds. Minier would be another young starter for the rotation. Rodney has closed a few games for Detroit but with Todd Jones and the kid Zumaya around, his save opportunities will be limited.Heck I'd do Jr for Rodney and pay half of his salary and never look back.

edabbs44
09-30-2006, 11:36 PM
Yes, I saw the FA list of closers. Nada. Gagne a big risk and he already says he will take less to stay with LA. I just think a closer would bring the pen together, but they may have to do more of the same. Maybe Scott. Who knows.

There is no need to bring in an established closer. A few reasons for that:

1) The money spent on a vet closer would be better spent on the other players. Closers are useless if your team doesn't have a lead in the 9th. Mariano wouldn't have made this team that much better.
2) Instead of spending $4 or $5 million (or more) for a closer, why not bring in a few bullpen arms and see who does well? Borowski did well this season. Solomon Torres was lights out late this year as closer. Closers are very unpredictable and the way this team is currently constructed, I'd rather get 2 or 3 better than average bullpen arms than a great closer.

SteelSD
09-30-2006, 11:50 PM
Great job. The level of detail you provide, and the amount of effort you put into your argument is truly admirable. Your level of interest in the Reds is great, and the thought you put into your hobby is tremendous. One big question I have from this post: if the Reds exceeded their statistical predicators, then shouldn't you be pleased, rather than skeptical?

Good question. If the Reds had exceeded their pre-season projections due to a real Run Differential gain, then I'd be pleased as punch. I'd be the first guy to sing Krivsky's praises if that happened because that is, above all else, his job.

But, unfortunately, that didn't happen. The team, as currently constructed, actually took a step back. It's fine if that doesn't show up in the W/L record right now but it's a bad place to be from a projection standpoint because that kind of overperformance doesn't tend to be either repeatable or sustainable.

TeamBoone
10-01-2006, 12:03 AM
There's more than enough blame to go around. It certainly was not just one guy's fault.

SteelSD
10-01-2006, 01:08 AM
The truth hurts sometimes. Paul Simon had 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Dunn apologists have 50 Ways to Clear the Dunner for any and all criticism.

tr, I posted the W/L effect Dunn's 2006 season had on his team. To recap, versus 2005, it was about -1 Win. Versus 2005, it was about -2 Wins. Out of the entire post, you were able to pull one message board sound byte in your initial response:

SteelSD: None of that is Adam Dunn's fault...

Very Rush Limbaugh of you.

BTW, I understand that from a rhetoric perspective, it's convenient to leave out the "..." paraphrase indicators, but if you're going to pull a partial sentence out of context, you should at least indicate that you're pararphrasing the original passage. That doesn't excuse your misrepresentation, but at least it would be less intellectually dishonest.

Here's what that comment was referring to (as you surely know):

SteelSD: If Adam Dunn becomes a 1.000 OPS monster you might just see an additional three wins gained versus 2006. That'd be great and all but I'm still trying to figure out, with so few trading chips, how the Reds get the additional 60 Runs to get to a .500 projection with a roster littered with players who either don't project well to due to age or who don't project to repeat career years and virtually zero trading chips. Interestingly enough, the Reds are currently hoping that both Houston and St. Louis lose out but if they continue to win and neither happens, they might just be going into the offseason without having a protected 2007 First Round pick.

So I'm referring to an additional 60 Runs Dunn can't create by himself even if he's at better than his previous best, a shortage of trading chips, and an unprotected First Round draft pick- all things that Dunn has zero control over.

You show up, wrongly slap an overly simplistic dismissive response onto a partial quote you pulled dramatically out of context and now you're acting as if I'm somehow "apologizing" for Dunn's 2006 performance after I noted, in no uncertain terms, how many fewer wins Dunn was responsible for versus prior seasons and versus what he could be worth should he actualize his performance.

There has been a conversation going on in this thread but rather than join in, apparently it's easier for you to misrepresent points and discard real live information provided to you.

This is possibly one of the worst sequence of posts I've seen from you during a thread. Regarless of your attempt at pigeonholing someone who's telling you Dunn's actual impact, the pinnacle was probably this comment:

traderumor 9/29/06: I wouldn't see either of those things necessarily as the result of abuse. Any pitcher's HR rate rising in the second half? Go figure. A rising BB/9 after a first half of an inordinately low BB/9, as in Arroyo's case? Again, go figure.

What does that even mean? A guy's HR rate goes through the roof. Happens to anyone? "Go figure"? Let's test that out...

2006 MLB HR/9 IP Rates:

Pre-ASB: 1.13 HR/9 IP
Post-ASB: 1.12 HR/9 IP

Yeah.

Interestingly enough, if a pitcher's HR rate can be explained away by "go figure", why couldn't Adam Dunn's second half be explained using the same reasoning? If "go figure" is good for the goose, then why isn't it good for the gander?

The funny thing is that no one is attempting to explain away Dunn's second half using your "go figure" pseudo-logic. Yet others are "apologists" while you're a righteous dude. Right.

Johnny Footstool
10-01-2006, 01:16 AM
The truth hurts sometimes. Paul Simon had 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Dunn apologists have 50 Ways to Clear the Dunner for any and all criticism.

We defend Dunn because it's easy.

Dunn bashers only have about 3 points of criticism (Dunn's attitude, low BA, and strikeouts). It's simple and painless to rebut those arguments. But the bashers seem to enjoy harping on those silly points and ignoring any substantive analysis, so we end up going 'round and 'round.

No one is suggesting Dunn is free from criticism. However, heaping all of the Reds' problems on his back is utterly ludicrous. Pointing out the absurdity of some of these arguments doesn't make us apologists.

dougdirt
10-01-2006, 01:23 AM
And this is where hyperbole starts creeping in ...

2005 2B: .274/.334/.413
2005 SS: .270/.325/.394

That's a .747 OPS for second basemen and a .719 OPS for shortstops. There's no denying that Dunn's .793 OPS is a massive slump for him, but let's not get out of hand and claim that a .793 OPS - one that is on-base heavy at that - isn't good for a middle infielder.

Ok, maybe I jumped the gun a little bit. However, Adam Dunn's .793 OPS would have ranked him behind 6 second baseman in baseball (Utley, Durham, Cano, Derosa, Uggla and Hudson). Adam Dunns .793 OPS would have put him behind 10 shortstops (Guillen, Hall, Jeter, Tejada, Reyes, Young, Ramirez, Furcal, Rollins and Renteria). Now while that was only a half season based on a full season for the other guys, it is skewed a bit. But his second half OPS put him behind 17 Middle infielders who qualified for the batting title. Adam Dunn is supposed to be a slugging corner outfielder, not a slugging middle infielder. There were 21 SS who qualify for the batting title, Adam Dunns .793 would have finished 11th. There were 21 2B with the same qualifications, Adam Dunn would have finished 7th. So i guess Dunn hit like a middle of the road SS for the second half and a last of the top of a 3rd 2B.

Cyclone792
10-01-2006, 01:32 AM
Ok, maybe I jumped the gun a little bit. However, Adam Dunn's .793 OPS would have ranked him behind 6 second baseman in baseball (Utley, Durham, Cano, Derosa, Uggla and Hudson). Adam Dunns .793 OPS would have put him behind 10 shortstops (Guillen, Hall, Jeter, Tejada, Reyes, Young, Ramirez, Furcal, Rollins and Renteria). Now while that was only a half season based on a full season for the other guys, it is skewed a bit. But his second half OPS put him behind 17 Middle infielders who qualified for the batting title. Adam Dunn is supposed to be a slugging corner outfielder, not a slugging middle infielder. There were 21 SS who qualify for the batting title, Adam Dunns .793 would have finished 11th. There were 21 2B with the same qualifications, Adam Dunn would have finished 7th. So i guess Dunn hit like a middle of the road SS for the second half and a last of the top of a 3rd 2B.

I understand Dunn's struggled and that he's had a disappointing second half of the season. Everybody expects Dunn to hit better than he has in the second half. I also realize there's going to be middle infielders who are darn good hitters, and while I haven't looked closely yet, there's a chance I may support one of those middle infielders (Jeter) to be the American League MVP.

But a .793 OPS at second base and especially shortstop is good for a middle infielder, and I doubt those average OPS figures at each position change too drastically in 2006. To put that in perspective, Barry Larkin put together a career .815 OPS, and he wasn't too shabby with the bat for a shortstop (for any others reading, no, I'm not suggesting Adam Dunn's second half makes him a better player than Larkin).

dougdirt
10-01-2006, 01:39 AM
Cyclone, in no way am I saying Dunn can't hit. Just his second half was horrible, especially for him. There will be good hitting MI's, but for the most part you would expect a corner outfielder with 40+ home runs to have a higher OPS over a half a season than that. I was just putting it all into context that he struggled mightily with the second half of the season to the extent that if he were playing a middle infield spot, he wouldnt even be a top tier hitter for that part of the season still.

Cyclone792
10-01-2006, 01:46 AM
Cyclone, in no way am I saying Dunn can't hit. Just his second half was horrible, especially for him. There will be good hitting MI's, but for the most part you would expect a corner outfielder with 40+ home runs to have a higher OPS over a half a season than that. I was just putting it all into context that he struggled mightily with the second half of the season to the extent that if he were playing a middle infield spot, he wouldnt even be a top tier hitter for that part of the season still.

I'm just going by your original post when you said "good" for a middle infielder.

Top tier is better - and different - than good in my book. Top tier is Barry Larkin's 5th best season while good is his 10th best season. ;)

traderumor
10-01-2006, 08:46 AM
tr, I posted the W/L effect Dunn's 2006 season had on his team. To recap, versus 2005, it was about -1 Win. Versus 2005, it was about -2 Wins. Out of the entire post, you were able to pull one message board sound byte in your initial response:

SteelSD: None of that is Adam Dunn's fault...

Very Rush Limbaugh of you.

BTW, I understand that from a rhetoric perspective, it's convenient to leave out the "..." paraphrase indicators, but if you're going to pull a partial sentence out of context, you should at least indicate that you're pararphrasing the original passage. That doesn't excuse your misrepresentation, but at least it would be less intellectually dishonest.

Here's what that comment was referring to (as you surely know):

SteelSD: If Adam Dunn becomes a 1.000 OPS monster you might just see an additional three wins gained versus 2006. That'd be great and all but I'm still trying to figure out, with so few trading chips, how the Reds get the additional 60 Runs to get to a .500 projection with a roster littered with players who either don't project well to due to age or who don't project to repeat career years and virtually zero trading chips. Interestingly enough, the Reds are currently hoping that both Houston and St. Louis lose out but if they continue to win and neither happens, they might just be going into the offseason without having a protected 2007 First Round pick.

So I'm referring to an additional 60 Runs Dunn can't create by himself even if he's at better than his previous best, a shortage of trading chips, and an unprotected First Round draft pick- all things that Dunn has zero control over.

You show up, wrongly slap an overly simplistic dismissive response onto a partial quote you pulled dramatically out of context and now you're acting as if I'm somehow "apologizing" for Dunn's 2006 performance after I noted, in no uncertain terms, how many fewer wins Dunn was responsible for versus prior seasons and versus what he could be worth should he actualize his performance.

There has been a conversation going on in this thread but rather than join in, apparently it's easier for you to misrepresent points and discard real live information provided to you.

This is possibly one of the worst sequence of posts I've seen from you during a thread. Regarless of your attempt at pigeonholing someone who's telling you Dunn's actual impact, the pinnacle was probably this comment:

traderumor 9/29/06: I wouldn't see either of those things necessarily as the result of abuse. Any pitcher's HR rate rising in the second half? Go figure. A rising BB/9 after a first half of an inordinately low BB/9, as in Arroyo's case? Again, go figure.

What does that even mean? A guy's HR rate goes through the roof. Happens to anyone? "Go figure"? Let's test that out...

2006 MLB HR/9 IP Rates:

Pre-ASB: 1.13 HR/9 IP
Post-ASB: 1.12 HR/9 IP

Yeah.

Interestingly enough, if a pitcher's HR rate can be explained away by "go figure", why couldn't Adam Dunn's second half be explained using the same reasoning? If "go figure" is good for the goose, then why isn't it good for the gander?

The funny thing is that no one is attempting to explain away Dunn's second half using your "go figure" pseudo-logic. Yet others are "apologists" while you're a righteous dude. Right.

Spare me the wordy righteous indignation Steel. I can see where this is headed. My turn to get slapped around by you, I guess. I've sat and watched the seconds that elapse between a Dunn criticism and the mutltitude of posters come running to his side with an explanation/excuse. Sort of reminds me of the Verizon commercials to watch the swoop and coverage to squash any and all negative talk of dear Adam. That's why the dismissiveness. The stuff has gotten old, which I'm sure you'll give a right back atcha.

Reds1
10-01-2006, 09:08 AM
To me it's really funny that people don't think Dunn has some issues and problems and wasn't a big part of why we lost. When your stud hits Juan Castro like for an extended period of time that's a bad thing. Funny, I"m usually on the supportive side of players. I was bashed for saying Aurlia was carrying the team awhile. Numbers were thrown at me and I was bashed, but the truth is the truth. Some people can't handle the truth. :)

FYI - this is directed at no one - just a statement. At this point the season is officially over and many of us are bumbed out. Hopefully Adam will get it fixed before next season and have the breakout season for a full year.

Kc61
10-01-2006, 09:10 AM
We defend Dunn because it's easy.

Dunn bashers only have about 3 points of criticism (Dunn's attitude, low BA, and strikeouts). It's simple and painless to rebut those arguments. But the bashers seem to enjoy harping on those silly points and ignoring any substantive analysis, so we end up going 'round and 'round.

No one is suggesting Dunn is free from criticism. However, heaping all of the Reds' problems on his back is utterly ludicrous. Pointing out the absurdity of some of these arguments doesn't make us apologists.

I don't think criticizing Dunn's disappointing season makes one a "basher." I also think this post oversimplifies the issues.

I think many people feel that 92 RBIs for your top power hitter is poor in this day and age. Right now Dunn is tied for 49th and 50th (with Craig Monroe of Detroit) in RBIs in the major leagues. With 30 teams, that means that on average more than half the teams have two players with more RBIs than the Reds' leader. On average (some may have more than two, some may have fewer than two).

I also think many people, like myself, would have no problem with Dunn if this team had a great lineup and Dunn was paid in the middle of the pack. For years we have heard about the tight budget of the Reds. When Dunn gets a contract with a 2008 option at 13 million dollars, that raises concerns as to whether the team will be able to compete for other, better players going forward or if Dunn is the team's centerpiece for the future.

A number of posters have commented on Dunn's fielding as well. I haven't checked today but he has a high number of errors and he is not a plus out in left field.

I appreciate Dunn's homers and walks, and particularly, his willingness to be out there every day, every season. I happen to like his attitude. But I don't think it is unfair for people to be upset when the team's "best player" has a terrible stretch run and the team misses the playoffs by a couple of games. i think it's natural to expect that criticism.

And I have no problem reading the various defenses of Dunn, whether or not I agree.

Krusty
10-01-2006, 12:09 PM
Let's be honest......Adam Dunn isn't one that can carry a team. If he doesn't have another RBI bat in the lineup he becomes a non-feared hitter. And when his best production came out of the second spot in the lineup, do you really want to pay that kind of money for someone batting second in the lineup?

westofyou
10-01-2006, 12:37 PM
Adam Dunn isn't one that can carry a team.


Yes, let's be "honest"

Dunn has been the stink since early August, roadkill, bad, horrible.

However,

If all you use to measure the worth of the wagon (doing the this proposed team carrying) is RBI's and Batting Average then maybe you have an argument. But then you'll be looking past the 31 RBI's he had last July and won player of the month, because he was carrying something that month by teh RBI & BA criteria.

If you are only going to use the last 6 weeks of the season then maybe you have argument, but that disregards the "carrying" he did during the Reds best month (April) and July in 2006.

If you anyone wants to use the "declining by year argument (using 2004-2005) then I'll ask you how did Soriano rebound from the same problem? Or Frank Howard in the mid 60's? Or what will Texiria and Blalock do now that they have the same problems?

As far as batting second..... who gives a rats behind if he rakes in the second spot? As long as he gets up in the first inning why worry if it's in the second slot? Seems like much to do about nothing.

Runs are important, yes his RBI's have stunk, been putrid, horrible, worthless, as well as his batting average.

Meanwhile he sits at 99 runs, score 1 more today and he'll join Rose, Morgan and Pinson as the only Reds to do it 3 times in a row, and only the second under age 27. In fact except for one measly run in 2003 Dunn has led the Reds in runs scored every season since 2002.

While we're being "honest" can we figure out who or what can replace the guy who has accounted for an EBH every 8 at bats in his career, drove in a run every 6 at bats or scored every 5.5 at bats in his career?

Because the Reds haven't produced a guy who can do that in consecutive seasons very often.

Johnny Footstool
10-01-2006, 12:55 PM
I don't think criticizing Dunn's disappointing season makes one a "basher." I also think this post oversimplifies the issues.

I think many people feel that 92 RBIs for your top power hitter is poor in this day and age. Right now Dunn is tied for 49th and 50th (with Craig Monroe of Detroit) in RBIs in the major leagues. With 30 teams, that means that on average more than half the teams have two players with more RBIs than the Reds' leader. On average (some may have more than two, some may have fewer than two).

I also think many people, like myself, would have no problem with Dunn if this team had a great lineup and Dunn was paid in the middle of the pack. For years we have heard about the tight budget of the Reds. When Dunn gets a contract with a 2008 option at 13 million dollars, that raises concerns as to whether the team will be able to compete for other, better players going forward or if Dunn is the team's centerpiece for the future.

A number of posters have commented on Dunn's fielding as well. I haven't checked today but he has a high number of errors and he is not a plus out in left field.

I appreciate Dunn's homers and walks, and particularly, his willingness to be out there every day, every season. I happen to like his attitude. But I don't think it is unfair for people to be upset when the team's "best player" has a terrible stretch run and the team misses the playoffs by a couple of games. i think it's natural to expect that criticism.

And I have no problem reading the various defenses of Dunn, whether or not I agree.

Sorry, I did oversimplify. I forgot to add the tired old RBI argument to the list.

But your second point -- criticising him for his paycheck -- is baffling. If anyone's contract is hurting the Reds, it's Griffey's, followed by Milton's. Dunn is far more productive than either of those two -- far more. Yet still, people want to point the finger at Dunn.

Kc61
10-01-2006, 02:58 PM
Sorry, I did oversimplify. I forgot to add the tired old RBI argument to the list.

But your second point -- criticising him for his paycheck -- is baffling. If anyone's contract is hurting the Reds, it's Griffey's, followed by Milton's. Dunn is far more productive than either of those two -- far more. Yet still, people want to point the finger at Dunn.

Feel free to believe that BA, RBIs and strikeouts are all unimportant. Some of us disagree.

I do agree with you that Griffey's and Milton's paycheck are more of a concern. However, for most of us, we didn't have high expectations for those two at this stage (especially after Milton's 2005). We had far higher expectations for Dunn and many feel he didn't meet those.

SteelSD
10-01-2006, 03:15 PM
Spare me the wordy righteous indignation Steel. I can see where this is headed. My turn to get slapped around by you, I guess. I've sat and watched the seconds that elapse between a Dunn criticism and the mutltitude of posters come running to his side with an explanation/excuse. Sort of reminds me of the Verizon commercials to watch the swoop and coverage to squash any and all negative talk of dear Adam. That's why the dismissiveness. The stuff has gotten old, which I'm sure you'll give a right back atcha.

Oh please. You completely glossed over an entire post that contained actual information as to the effect of Adam Dunn's slump and instead of debating an actual point, you decided to pull a half-sentence completely out of context in order to position a snarky reply that had nothing to do with anything but whatever agenda it is you feel like pimping today.

I'm sure you haven't noticed, but there's been an actual discussion going on in this thread that's had nothing to do with excusing away Dunn's 2006 performance. Either join in or move along.

SteelSD
10-01-2006, 03:16 PM
Feel free to believe that BA, RBIs and strikeouts are all unimportant. Some of us disagree.

I do agree with you that Griffey's and Milton's paycheck are more of a concern. However, for most of us, we didn't have high expectations for those two at this stage (especially after Milton's 2005). We had far higher expectations for Dunn and many feel he didn't meet those.

Who's "us"?

Kc61
10-01-2006, 03:19 PM
Who's "us"?


People who have said so in their posts. Including me.

SteelSD
10-01-2006, 03:23 PM
People who have said so in their posts. Including me.

Can I get a list of usernames? That'd be swell because then I'd know who I'd be responding to.

Or are you really just speaking for yourself?

Kc61
10-01-2006, 03:30 PM
Can I get a list of usernames? That'd be swell because then I'd know who I'd be responding to.

Or are you really just speaking for yourself?

When I have a chance I'll try and make you a list.

I may have other things to do first.

SteelSD
10-01-2006, 03:49 PM
When I have a chance I'll try and make you a list.

I may have other things to do first.

I'd suggest you start by looking up the phrase "argumentum ad numeram".

traderumor
10-01-2006, 03:59 PM
Oh please. You completely glossed over an entire post that contained actual information as to the effect of Adam Dunn's slump and instead of debating an actual point, you decided to pull a half-sentence completely out of context in order to position a snarky reply that had nothing to do with anything but whatever agenda it is you feel like pimping today.

I'm sure you haven't noticed, but there's been an actual discussion going on in this thread that's had nothing to do with excusing away Dunn's 2006 performance. Either join in or move along.Snarky is as snarky does. Moving on along, boss.

Johnny Footstool
10-01-2006, 04:58 PM
Feel free to believe that BA, RBIs and strikeouts are all unimportant. Some of us disagree.

Some people think we never went to the moon, despite all kinds of evidence to the contrary.