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Ltlabner
11-06-2006, 12:01 PM
Oftentimes some time needs to pass to get an accurate picture of a persons contributions.

Now that we are down the road a bit, what is your honest evaluation of Dan O'brian's performance as a GM with the Reds?

Hopefully our anger with his failings has subsided enough to objectivley weigh his reign; both the good and the bad.

Currently, I'm of the opinion that he was compleltey overwhelemed in the GM role and was shutdown by a fear of making a mistake. He's not a jerk, idiot or dolt. He seems like a decent enough guy that was just not cut out for the gig.

His contract negotiations skills were dreadfull and anchored the team with some real doozies (Milton, LaRue, etc). His micromanagement with silly rules that delt with symptoms (don't swing at the 1st pitch no matter what) left much to be desired.

I seem to remember that he had something to do with Bailey and Votto (perhaps even Bruce?) which would be some significant feathers in his cap. Then again, he was high on Anderson Muchado, Bubba Nelson and Kim Jong Bong Ill.

I think all of the farm system teams came in last place during the 2005 season. I'm more interested in players in the farm system learning rather than winning, but I would think the higher farm system teams could have won something. How much of that can you lay at DanO's feet? Not sure. But for all of his talk of rebuilding the farm system, he didn't do much to rebuild the scouting department (that I am aware of).

DanO strikes me as a smart guy with lots of that magical "baseball knowledge" but he really doesn't know how to manage an entire orignization and subscribes to the "analyize it to death" school of decision making. Thus he tends to wait too long for a decision, miss opportunities, make minor moves thinking its a big move and generally bungle things up.

Some days I almost feal sorry for him that he was so horribly miscast by Lindner.

Heath
11-06-2006, 12:19 PM
Sorry LilAbner, you and I agree on many things, but here's one I'll disagree with.

He still is bad - and the Reds are paying for it. As Dean Taylor's buddy, he was tops. He had a fantastic way of spending four paragraphs to say absolutely nothing. His tandem pitching was bad and he had a problem with too much information.

He's a decent ass't GM, but not for the Top Job.

Z-Fly
11-06-2006, 12:19 PM
I honestly wish we could have kept Dano around as a minor league cordinator or scout. He seemed to be able to see good young talent. Both his drafts were very good IMO.

His major downfall as stated above was, he couldn't manage the major league roster worth a lick.

Ltlabner
11-06-2006, 12:25 PM
Sorry LilAbner, you and I agree on many things, but here's one I'll disagree with.

He still is bad - and the Reds are paying for it. As Dean Taylor's buddy, he was tops. He had a fantastic way of spending four paragraphs to say absolutely nothing. His tandem pitching was bad and he had a problem with too much information.

He's a decent ass't GM, but not for the Top Job.

Maybe I muddled the message, but we are actually in agreement. I think he was a horrible GM, who wasn't cut out for the job and we've been cleaning up the pieces ever sense.

Overall I think he just didn't have the gas in the tank for the job. Further down the food chain in an orginization he might do OK but not in the drivers seat.

terminator
11-06-2006, 12:39 PM
Is there a good site out there that shows you all of the transactions made during a GM's tenure? I have trouble remembering everything he did.

I don't judge him too harshly though. At the beginning of 2005 most people were excited and thought we had a good team out on the field. The offense was #1 in the N.L., so that was just fine. Randa was a good pickup. Jiminez was a bad signing. Everyone else on offense did well. He did trade Randa for some value at least when we were out of the race.

The pitching was just atrocious and he had to take the blame for that. That said, I thought Milton was overpriced and a bad signing, but no one knew he would be so completely and thoroughly awful. (Some have said O'Brien didn't want Milton for the price. I dunno.) Ramon Ortiz put up the worst year of his career (until 2006). Weber really never pitched. Wilson got hurt early and was terrible while pitching hurt. Wagner was much worse than the year before. Ramirez as a rookie in a few spot starts was terrible. So, for the first couple months, Wilson, Milton and Ortiz were so bad that the Reds basically had almost no chance of winning 60% of the time. They weren't that bad in 2004. If the Reds did manage to get to the end of the game, his inherited closer Graves was terrible. That was not forseeable based on the past -- and based on future performance with the Mets and Indians he did make the right call to cut Graves loose.

My point is the pitching for the first half of 2005 was atrocious and injured beyond anyone's reasonable expectation, so I think his "legacy" is tainted by that.

And all that said, I wasn't a big fan of his but he basically got two years as GM which isn't enough to judge him as good or bad for the long run. He made some mistakes, but two years is not enough to implement a plan. Whoever and whatever the plan, a GM needs more time and continuity to see if his plan will work. If you pull the plug after two years, no one's plan will work. So, O'Brien is gone and that's water under the bridge, I just hope that Krivsky -- for better or worse -- gets 5+ years to see his plan to fruitition.

flyer85
11-06-2006, 12:42 PM
The only area where is tenure looks passable is the minor league draft. Other than that he gets a big fat ZERO.

Jimbo drafted Votto.

M2
11-06-2006, 12:45 PM
Dan O'Brien was, bar none, the worst GM I've ever seen in action.

Chip R
11-06-2006, 12:56 PM
Dan O'Brien was, bar none, the worst GM I've ever seen in action.


That's one of the few times I've seen DanO's name and the word "action" in the same sentence.

westofyou
11-06-2006, 02:00 PM
Is there a good site out there that shows you all of the transactions made during a GM's tenure? I have trouble remembering everything he did.

November 2, 2003

Todd Van Poppel granted Free Agency.

November 4, 2003

Released Ryan Dempster.

November 5, 2003

Released Scott Randall.

November 7, 2003

Seth Etherton granted Free Agency.

November 16, 2003

Signed Aaron Holbert as a free agent.

November 26, 2003

Signed Corey Thurman as a free agent.

December 8, 2003

Signed Todd Van Poppel as a free agent.

December 10, 2003

John Bale granted Free Agency.

December 13, 2003

Signed Rigo Beltran as a free agent.

December 15, 2003

Eric Valent selected by the New York Mets in the 2003 minor league draft.

December 20, 2003

Signed McKay Christensen as a free agent.

Signed Seth Etherton as a free agent.

December 21, 2003

Russell Branyan granted Free Agency.

Ruben Mateo granted Free Agency.

Reggie Taylor granted Free Agency.

December 23, 2003

Signed Jermaine Clark as a free agent.

January 6, 2004

Signed Cory Lidle as a free agent.

January 7, 2004

Signed Aaron Myette as a free agent.

January 8, 2004

Signed Javier Valentin as a free agent.

January 9, 2004

Signed Luke Prokopec as a free agent.

January 12, 2004

Signed Brian Mallette as a free agent.

January 14, 2004

Signed John Vander Wal as a free agent.

January 19, 2004

Signed Reggie Taylor as a free agent.

January 20, 2004

Signed Mike Matthews as a free agent.

January 24, 2004

Signed Jim Chamblee as a free agent.

Signed Scott Randall as a free agent.

January 28, 2004

Signed Steve Lomasney as a free agent.

February 2, 2004

Signed Jesus Sanchez as a free agent.

February 4, 2004

Signed Scott MacRae as a free agent.

February 5, 2004

Signed Benito Baez as a free agent.

February 11, 2004

Signed Paxton Crawford as a free agent.

February 19, 2004

Signed Brian Rose as a free agent.

March 14, 2004

Released John Vander Wal.

March 17, 2004

Signed John Vander Wal as a free agent.

March 26, 2004

Traded Chris Reitsma to the Atlanta Braves. Received Jung Bong and Bubba Nelson (minors).

March 27, 2004

Released Benito Baez.

March 30, 2004

Signed Todd Jones as a free agent.


April 2, 2004 (Standings)

Sent Rigo Beltran to the Montreal Expos as part of a conditional deal.

April 4, 2004 (Standings)

Released Jeff Austin.

April 6, 2004 (Standings)

Signed Kenny Kelly as a free agent.

April 7, 2004 (Standings)

Signed Jeff Austin as a free agent.

April 22, 2004 (Standings)

Selected Jason Romano off waivers from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

May 10, 2004 (Standings)

Released Jimmy Haynes.

June 18, 2004 (Standings)

Traded Charlie Manning (minors) and cash to the New York Yankees. Received Gabe White.

June 29, 2004 (Standings)

Released Mark Watson.

June 30, 2004 (Standings)

Released Reggie Taylor.

July 3, 2004 (Standings)

Released Scott Randall.

July 9, 2004 (Standings)

Released Corey Thurman.

July 21, 2004 (Standings)

Jesus Sanchez granted Free Agency.

July 30, 2004 (Standings)

Traded Todd Jones and Brad Correll (minors) to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received Josh Hancock and Andy Machado.

August 2, 2004 (Standings)

Signed Darren Bragg as a free agent.

August 6, 2004 (Standings)

Signed Benito Baez as a free agent.

Signed Nick Bierbrodt as a free agent.

August 9, 2004 (Standings)

Traded Cory Lidle to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received a player to be named later, Javon Moran (minors), and Joe Wilson (minors). The Philadelphia Phillies sent Elizardo Ramirez (August 11, 2004) to the Cincinnati Reds to complete the trade.

August 17, 2004 (Standings)

Signed Damian Moss as a free agent.

August 20, 2004 (Standings)

Signed Matt Beech as a free agent.

September 3, 2004 (Standings)

Tim Hummel selected by the Boston Red Sox off waivers.

Selected Juan Padilla off waivers from the New York Yankees.

September 8, 2004 (Standings)

Released McKay Christensen.

September 14, 2004 (Standings)

Released Matt Beech.

October 4, 2004 (Standings)

Corky Miller selected by the Minnesota Twins off waivers.

October 5, 2004 (Standings)

Brian Reith granted Free Agency.

October 6, 2004 (Standings)

Jason Romano granted Free Agency.

John Vander Wal granted Free Agency.

October 7, 2004 (Standings)

Jacob Cruz granted Free Agency.

October 8, 2004 (Standings)

Selected Ben Kozlowski off waivers from the Texas Rangers.

October 10, 2004 (Standings)

Mike Matthews granted Free Agency.

October 11, 2004 (Standings)

Aaron Myette granted Free Agency.

Signed Jason Romano as a free agent.

October 13, 2004 (Standings)

Brandon Larson granted Free Agency.

October 15, 2004 (Standings)

Jeff Austin granted Free Agency.

Benito Baez granted Free Agency.

Jim Chamblee granted Free Agency.

Jermaine Clark granted Free Agency.

Paxton Crawford granted Free Agency.

Seth Etherton granted Free Agency.

Aaron Holbert granted Free Agency.

Kenny Kelly granted Free Agency.

Steve Lomasney granted Free Agency.

Scott MacRae granted Free Agency.

Brian Mallette granted Free Agency.

Damian Moss granted Free Agency.

Juan Padilla granted Free Agency.

Brian Rose granted Free Agency.

October 28, 2004

Darren Bragg granted Free Agency.

Todd Van Poppel granted Free Agency.

October 29, 2004

Juan Castro granted Free Agency.

Barry Larkin granted Free Agency.

Signed Ricky Stone as a free agent.

Paul Wilson granted Free Agency.

November 1, 2004

Signed Aaron Holbert as a free agent.

November 3, 2004

Gabe White granted Free Agency.

November 5, 2004

Released Josh Hall.

November 6, 2004

Signed Brian Rose as a free agent.

November 8, 2004

Signed Josh Hall as a free agent.

November 9, 2004

Signed Jeriome Robertson as a free agent.

November 12, 2004

Signed Randy Keisler as a free agent.

November 15, 2004

Signed Kenny Kelly as a free agent.

November 30, 2004

Signed Paul Wilson as a free agent.

December 13, 2004

Tony Blanco selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2004 minor league draft.

December 14, 2004

Juan Cerros selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2004 minor league draft.

Traded Dustin Moseley to the Anaheim Angels. Received Ramon Ortiz.

December 15, 2004

Signed Dave Weathers as a free agent.

Signed Ben Weber as a free agent.

December 16, 2004

Signed Jared Fernandez as a free agent.

December 20, 2004

Signed Travis Chapman as a free agent.

Signed Kent Mercker as a free agent.

December 21, 2004

Phil Norton granted Free Agency.

Signed Joe Randa as a free agent.

John Riedling granted Free Agency.

December 27, 2004

Signed Jacob Cruz as a free agent.

December 28, 2004

Signed Eric Milton as a free agent.

December 29, 2004

Signed Luis Lopez as a free agent.

January 7, 2005

Signed Santiago Perez as a free agent.

January 10, 2005

Signed Norris Hopper as a free agent.

January 12, 2005

Signed Alex Pelaez as a free agent.

January 15, 2005

Signed Steve Lomasney as a free agent.

January 22, 2005

Signed Rich Aurilia as a free agent.

January 24, 2005

Signed Pedro Swann as a free agent.

February 28, 2005

Signed Dave Elder as a free agent.

March 14, 2005

April 9, 2005 (Standings)

Traded Jose Acevedo to the Colorado Rockies. Received Allan Simpson.

April 16, 2005 (Standings)

Signed Eric Eckenstahler as a free agent.

May 16, 2005 (Standings)

Signed Andy Van Hekken as a free agent.

May 23, 2005 (Standings)

Released Danny Graves.

June 7, 2005 (Standings)

Released Jason Romano.

June 28, 2005 (Standings)

Signed Travis Phelps as a free agent.

July 1, 2005 (Standings)

Signed Jason Standridge as a free agent.

July 3, 2005 (Standings)

Signed Jimmy Serrano as a free agent.

July 4, 2005 (Standings)

Ricky Stone granted Free Agency.

July 7, 2005 (Standings)

Released Jared Fernandez.

July 20, 2005 (Standings)

Kenny Kelly selected by the Washington Nationals off waivers.

Andy Machado selected by the Colorado Rockies off waivers.

July 23, 2005 (Standings)

Traded Joe Randa to the San Diego Padres. Received Justin Germano and Travis Chick.

August 3, 2005 (Standings)

Released Santiago Perez.

August 6, 2005 (Standings)

Signed Jose Leon as a free agent.

August 10, 2005 (Standings)

Signed Alex Graman as a free agent.

September 12, 2005 (Standings)

Released Alex Graman.

October 3, 2005 (Standings)

Aaron Holbert granted Free Agency.

Ben Weber granted Free Agency.

October 5, 2005 (Standings)

D'Angelo Jimenez granted Free Agency.

October 9, 2005 (Standings)

Chris Booker granted Free Agency.

October 15, 2005 (Standings)

Travis Chapman granted Free Agency.

Signed Eric Crozier as a free agent.

Eric Eckenstahler granted Free Agency.

Jose Leon granted Free Agency.

Steve Lomasney granted Free Agency.

Alex Pelaez granted Free Agency.

Travis Phelps granted Free Agency.

Jeriome Robertson granted Free Agency.

Brian Rose granted Free Agency.

Jimmy Serrano granted Free Agency.

Pedro Swann granted Free Agency.

Andy Van Hekken granted Free Agency.

October 27, 2005

Jacob Cruz granted Free Agency.

October 31, 2005

Luis Lopez granted Free Agency.

November 2, 2005

Rich Aurilia granted Free Agency.

November 10, 2005

Signed Jake Robbins as a free agent.

November 16, 2005

Selected Mike Burns off waivers from the Houston Astros.

Signed Andy Machado as a free agent.

Signed Tommy Phelps as a free agent.

November 18, 2005

Released Ben Kozlowski.

December 7, 2005

Signed Jacob Cruz as a free agent.

Released Randy Keisler.

December 8, 2005

Traded Sean Casey and cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Received Dave Williams.

Traded Benjamin Himes (minors) and Kevin Howard (minors) to the New York Yankees. Received Tony Womack and cash.

December 19, 2005

Signed Andy Abad as a free agent.

December 20, 2005

Signed Chris Hammond as a free agent.

Released Ramon Ortiz.

December 21, 2005

Joe Valentine granted Free Agency.

2006

Signed Chris Michalak as a free agent. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)

January 8, 2006

Signed Rich Aurilia as a free agent.

January 12, 2006

Signed Grant Balfour as a free agent.

Released Josh Hancock.

Signed Frank Menechino as a free agent.

January 31, 2006

Signed Rick White as a free agent.

Ltlabner
11-06-2006, 02:10 PM
Well, I guess he gets a *little* credit for bringing in Javy Valentine, EZ Rameriez, David Weathers, Kent Merker and Rich Aurlia. While none of them are superstars they have been servicable parts of the team.

But then you also have to include the Dave Williams, Grant Balfours, Rick Whites, Tony Womack, Chris Hammonds, Joe Valentines and D'Angelo Jimenez in the list which erases any positives from the list above.

So with this official listing (instead of my horrible memory) DanO stays squarely stuck in crapville as far as GM's go.

Chip R
11-06-2006, 02:10 PM
January 31, 2006

Signed Rick White as a free agent.


I think that was Kullman's.

Redsland
11-06-2006, 02:24 PM
Dan O'Brien is a man and a person, first and foremost.

Among those who know him and people like him, there is certainly a commonality of sorts.

It would be easy for those of us in our particular circumstance to ask questions among ourselves or to make statements to that effect. But make no mistake; our purpose here is several-fold.

To that end, our hope, and the hope of others, is to press on toward our collective goals. Anything else is less acceptable than would optimally be the case.

With that I'll take some questions.

;)

TRF
11-06-2006, 02:30 PM
I think the man's idea of building a strong farm was the right way to go, and had he been in another market, say Tampa or Milwaukee, that might have gone over better. But in Cincinnati, time began with the Big Red Machine. People that don't remember that team, remember that team. It's almost eerie.

He drafted well. He acquired some good minor league talent. He had no ability to manage the 40 man roster, and even less ability to manage the 25. He traded major parts way to late. He was still saddled with Allen and Lindner, so he was limited there. Milton, Ortiz were awful additions, though Ortiz could have had merit as a setup guy, but not for 4 mil.

The Reitsma trade sparked nearly as much debate as the Kearns/FeLo trade. On principle, the Reitsma trade was right, it just didn't work out. Kearns/Felo on the other hand dismantled the offense, and was NOT a good trade. even on paper it stunk.

DanO didn't lose too many trades, but none of his trades were big impact trades. Getting EZ was a great move, IMO.

paulrichjr
11-06-2006, 03:01 PM
Dan O'Brien was, bar none, the worst GM I've ever seen in action.

I have to disagree with this completely. You need to look at this with some objective reasoning because there is no way you can come to this conclusion if you have been watching baseball for longer than 10 years.

Teams such as the Royals, Pirates, D-Rays all have had much much worse GMs than him. The Reds have had worse in the past 25 years. It is hard for me to think that the Cubbies haven't had worse over the last few years.

DanO drafted really well while many of the GMs for the above teams save the D-Rays didn't even do that. DanO came out ahead on most deals but just couldn't pull the big one. We now have a guy that has proven that he has a slight problem with the big ones also but in another way.

DanO made some smart moves such as Freel, Valentin, Randa, Aurilla etc. I am glad he is gone but he wasn't the worse.

RedsManRick
11-06-2006, 03:10 PM
O'Brien to me seemed to be a GM in the Dave Littlefield mold. Keep cycling crap through the major league system in the hopes that you can catch lightning in a bottle and break .500 while building solely through the minor leagues and low-mid level minor league acquisitions.

That's a decent enough plan if you're Billy Beane and strike gold with 3 aces in your system at the same time. However, if you're not, and you refuse to make real changes in the majors, you end up with a KC/Pittsburgh phenomenon of never being good enough to justify becoming good. Sure, the occasional good prospect comes up, but it's never enough. Sure, he drafted well, but he showed no evidence of an ability to properly recognize and value major league talent that could support an improved farm system. As the Tigers showed this year, you have to have to team in place to which those prospects can contribute. If you wait until they're ready to go, you may not be able to get there at all.

I agree, he probably has a valuable place somewhere in an organization. He just seemed to lack the ambition, creativity, and quite frankly, the balls to be a winning GM.

westofyou
11-06-2006, 03:11 PM
The Reds have had worse in the past 25 years.

Who?

Dick Wagner?

traderumor
11-06-2006, 03:29 PM
I have to disagree with this completely. You need to look at this with some objective reasoning because there is no way you can come to this conclusion if you have been watching baseball for longer than 10 years.

Teams such as the Royals, Pirates, D-Rays all have had much much worse GMs than him. The Reds have had worse in the past 25 years. It is hard for me to think that the Cubbies haven't had worse over the last few years.

DanO drafted really well while many of the GMs for the above teams save the D-Rays didn't even do that. DanO came out ahead on most deals but just couldn't pull the big one. We now have a guy that has proven that he has a slight problem with the big ones also but in another way.

DanO made some smart moves such as Freel, Valentin, Randa, Aurilla etc. I am glad he is gone but he wasn't the worse.Being objective about which pile of poop smells worst. Does it really matter?

M2
11-06-2006, 03:43 PM
I have to disagree with this completely. You need to look at this with some objective reasoning because there is no way you can come to this conclusion if you have been watching baseball for longer than 10 years.

Teams such as the Royals, Pirates, D-Rays all have had much much worse GMs than him. The Reds have had worse in the past 25 years. It is hard for me to think that the Cubbies haven't had worse over the last few years.

DanO drafted really well while many of the GMs for the above teams save the D-Rays didn't even do that. DanO came out ahead on most deals but just couldn't pull the big one. We now have a guy that has proven that he has a slight problem with the big ones also but in another way.

DanO made some smart moves such as Freel, Valentin, Randa, Aurilla etc. I am glad he is gone but he wasn't the worse.

I've been watching baseball for 36 seasons and I'm being completely objective about this.

For the record, Freel was a JimBo pickup (so was Jiminez, who did give the Reds a good season and a half).

I'll disagree that DanO drafted real well. The 2004 draft almost immediately whittled itself down to Homer Bailey and, while I thought the 2005 draft was better, it's hardly provided a lot in the way of depth. Essentially, if something happens to Bailey, Bruce and Wood and they don't all turn out to be quality major leaguers, then his drafts will have provided the club with very little in the way of talent.

And while we're on the subject of providing talent for the major league club:

Number of young pitchers acquired by DanO from outside the organization who've thrived for the Reds - 0 (I'm not a fan of the comedy pitching stylings of Elizardo Ramirez)

Number of young players acquired by DanO from outside the organization who've thrived for the Reds - 0

DanO came in knowing he had to rebuild and in two-plus years came up with zilch. Wayne Kriivsky lapped him twice when he came up with Arroyo and Phillips in short order.

And what did he accomplish onthe veteran front? A decent role player in Aurilia, a backup catcher in Valentin, a middle reliever in Weathers, 90 decent IP from Kent Mercker and half a season of Joe Randa and Todd Jones.

On the flip side you've got Cory Lidle, re-signing Paul Wilson, Eric Milton, Ramon Ortiz, Ricky Stone, Randy Keisler, Ben Weber, Gabe Mike Matthews, Dave Williams and Tony Womack.

Do you really want to compare the value of what went right for DanO to the damage of what went wrong? Because it would be a landslide for the latter category.

Then factor his failure to move Casey, Wilson and Graves when they were at peak value. He also should have moved Jr. before his 10-5 rights kicked in (though he might have salvaged that with the ChiSox deal last year, but Lindner screwed him on that front). And don't forget his resolute failure to lock down any of his young talent before they started hitting arbitration. That's cost the team millions.

Allard Baird and Chuck LaMar both have resumes that could top that. Cam Bonifay did better. All of those guys managed to come up with younger guys on their watch in addition to mining the occasional veteran.

Honestly, if you've been watching baseball for more than 10 years, DanO's failure to address his team's core needs is staggering. Most of what he put into the field he inherited and it's entirely possible the Reds will open 2007 without a single player acquired by DanO. Think about that. Two-plus years at the helm and only a year later his fingerprints will have been almost completely erased from the franchise.

Hell, D*ck W*gn*r did better. He at least left his successors with a deep farm system.

Cooper
11-06-2006, 04:36 PM
I've heard on more than one occasion people having empathy for folks put into a position in which the person did not have the requisite skills....and somehow we are suppossed to feel sorry for the folks when it happens. DanO is the perfect of example of a case where being "nice", but somehow completely overwhelmed makes him a candidate for our empathy.

He was given the chance of a life time. He took little or no risk -he was so risk adverse it was past the point of silly. All people can talk about is how honorable the man is...and i've heard the same about other do nothing CEO's/presidents etc.....they got the job cause no one had any stones to throw and then did nothing when they took office. These folks don't deserve your empathy any more than any other human. Being nice and avoiding risk does not make a person honorable or deserving of great amounts of empathy.

The man was neglectful beyond belief- he set the organization back at least 3-5 years....why does he deserve empathy? Neglect when giving the opportunity to change things is a complete lack of passion. His kind make me sick.

terminator
11-06-2006, 04:36 PM
November 2, 2003

Todd Van Poppel granted Free Agency.


January 31, 2006

Signed Rick White as a free agent.

woy, At what site can I find that info and does it have transactions listed for all teams? Thanks.

camisadelgolf
11-06-2006, 04:37 PM
I didn't like DanO, but I feel a need to defend him. First, I think a lot of the judgments on his actions for the Reds 25-man roster is unfair since he claimed to have a multi-year plan (I believe he said it was a five-year plan), and he never got to finish acting on it.

Second, it appears that his drafting was fairly successful (still a little too soon to judge, though, if you ask me).

Granted, the LaRue contract seems bad now, but part of the reason the LaRue contract looks so bad is becaue David Ross has done so well.

And the thing that happened with the Eric Milton deal was that Lindner suddenly told DanO to spend money on starting pitching, and this was right after DanO had just been told there would be no money available to expand payroll. At the time, the starting pitchers available for that kind of money were slim pickings, and the Reds needed someone.

Also, I think DanO was very smart in the sense that he'd sign quality veterans to short-term contracts and then trade them for prospects. I wish the Reds would do that more often--it's a very efficient way to build a farm system.

Um, "DanO" is fun to say, and other than that, I think he blew. He had a nice try, though.

Redsland
11-06-2006, 04:46 PM
...he claimed to have a multi-year plan (I believe he said it was a five-year plan)...
...and a three year contract.

He was guaranteeing that he'd look like a failure when his contract was up. (Not that we got that far.)

terminator
11-06-2006, 04:46 PM
Pitch counts. The "take the first pitch" and "pitch to contact" mantras were dumb, but pitch counts were a good idea.

Falls City Beer
11-06-2006, 04:50 PM
I don't mind the "take the first pitch" mantra for minor leaguers. I don't mind pitch counts per se, but his limits were kind of weird, IIRC.

Redsland
11-06-2006, 04:52 PM
I'll see your "pitch counts" and raise you a "calling a press conference to announce the signing of 38-year old pinch hitter John Vander Wal."

:)

M2
11-06-2006, 04:58 PM
I didn't like DanO, but I feel a need to defend him. First, I think a lot of the judgments on his actions for the Reds 25-man roster is unfair since he claimed to have a multi-year plan (I believe he said it was a five-year plan), and he never got to finish acting on it.

At the rate he was going, year five would have involved the ending of all sentient life on earth. Redsland appropriately covered the gomerism of a guy on three-year contract implementing a five-year plan.


And the thing that happened with the Eric Milton deal was that Lindner suddenly told DanO to spend money on starting pitching, and this was right after DanO had just been told there would be no money available to expand payroll. At the time, the starting pitchers available for that kind of money were slim pickings, and the Reds needed someone.

No team in the sum total history of baseball has needed what Eric Milton's delivered over the past two years. A good GM would have turned to Lindner and explained how bad the options on the market were and that people would curse all their names for years to come if they threw big money at a batting tee like Milton. That DanO lacked the requisite backbone/foresight to do that is not a mark in his favor.


Also, I think DanO was very smart in the sense that he'd sign quality veterans to short-term contracts and then trade them for prospects. I wish the Reds would do that more often--it's a very efficient way to build a farm system.

Pray tell, who are these prospects he traded for? Because from where I sit it doesn't look like he fished out so much as a single meaningful young talent for a veteran player. In fact, his failure on this front is, for me, the most daming part of his resume.

harangatang
11-06-2006, 05:15 PM
In all seriousness I would bring him back in a scouting role, but that's it. He was a good evaluator of minor league talent and put together a couple of pretty good drafts. But as a GM, now that's a different story. Whenever a GM's name is mentioned with the likes of Dave Littlefield, you know you aren't talking about too much.

BRM
11-06-2006, 05:21 PM
I see some posts where folks think DanO had two pretty good drafts. I'm curious to know what it is about the 2004 and 2005 drafts that make people think they were pretty good. I see Bailey, Bruce, and Wood but not much else. Are there some other names in those two drafts that have people excited that I'm missing?

M2
11-06-2006, 05:34 PM
I see some posts where folks think DanO had two pretty good drafts. I'm curious to know what it is about the 2004 and 2005 drafts that make people think they were pretty good. I see Bailey, Bruce, and Wood but not much else. Are there some other names in those two drafts that have people excited that I'm missing?

You're missing the need to suspend your disbelief.

BRM
11-06-2006, 05:36 PM
You're missing the need to suspend your disbelief.

I guess Homer Bailey makes the '04 draft a good one all by himself. I sure hope he pans out.

dougflynn23
11-06-2006, 05:48 PM
Absolute fact. Dan O'Brien tried to trade Paul Wilson several times over in August of 2004. He nearly had a deal worked out with Texas where the Reds were sending Wilson, Todd Jones, and Ray Olmedo for Ian Kinsler, but Texas instead traded Kinsler to Colorado for Larry Walker until 3 days later Walker vetoed the trade. By that time Jones had been dealt to Philadelphia and despite efforts to revive the trade it didn't happen.

Fact. After the 2004 season, Dan O'Brien was told there would be no payroll increase to pursue FA pitching or trade for a veteran starter with the exception of resigning Paul Wilson, whom upper management liked as a character guy. O'Brien signed him to a contract that was right for his performance in 2003 and 2004. Fans responded by not buying season tickets, upper management freaked out, and over O'Brien's head signed Eric Milton. O'Brien did make the Ortiz trade, but losing Moseley was not a major sacrifice and Ortiz looked to be a good gamble.

Fact. After Reitsma won his arbitration case, he was a dead man walking. Don Gullett wanted him out, Graves was going back to closing, and O'Brien made what at the time looked to be a very nice value trade. Unfortunatly it blew up.

Source : a former employee of Dan O'Brien who works in baseball operations today for an NL team.

paulrichjr
11-06-2006, 05:52 PM
Who?

Dick Wagner?

Dick Wagner did more to destroy the Cincinnati Reds than DanO ever did.

Also, even though I do not like DanO I just cannot see that he is worse than Baird.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Allard_Baird

"Allard Baird became General Manager of the Kansas City Royals in 2000, when he replaced Herk Robinson. During Baird's tenure, the Royals had three 100-loss seasons and finished above .500 only in 2003. He was responsible for trading away stars Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon, and Jermaine Dye."

Give DanO at least 4 years to prove he is as bad as that...

M2
11-06-2006, 06:24 PM
Absolute fact. Dan O'Brien tried to trade Paul Wilson several times over in August of 2004. He nearly had a deal worked out with Texas where the Reds were sending Wilson, Todd Jones, and Ray Olmedo for Ian Kinsler, but Texas instead traded Kinsler to Colorado for Larry Walker until 3 days later Walker vetoed the trade. By that time Jones had been dealt to Philadelphia and despite efforts to revive the trade it didn't happen.

Fact. DanO wound up getting nothing for Wilson, whom he couldn't sell in a market where contenders were desperate for pitching. This ain't horseshoes.


Fact. After the 2004 season, Dan O'Brien was told there would be no payroll increase to pursue FA pitching or trade for a veteran starter with the exception of resigning Paul Wilson, whom upper management liked as a character guy. O'Brien signed him to a contract that was right for his performance in 2003 and 2004. Fans responded by not buying season tickets, upper management freaked out, and over O'Brien's head signed Eric Milton. O'Brien did make the Ortiz trade, but losing Moseley was not a major sacrifice and Ortiz looked to be a good gamble.

Fact. A good portion of this board and the rest of the baeball-watching universe called the Wilson as a dog BEFORE DanO inked it. Everything about that contract was WRONG.

Now we get the curious argument that the GM wasn't involved in the Milton deal. I'll give you four choices on this one: A) DanO endorsed the signing; B) DanO didn't like the idea of paying Milton that much money, but didn't argue his case that hard because he figured Milton would be passable and at least ownership was giving him something; C) DanO didn't want Milton and was so ineffectual that he could stop the ownership from signing the deal; D) DanO was an empty suit who didn't even know the Milton deal was going down.

I don't see a good option on this one. I think B is the most likely scenario and now DanO's spinning it that Milton wasn't his idea in an effort to try to save face. Problem is, when a team signs a crappy player for big money and you're the GM, then you own it. DanO either made it happen or failed to stop it from happening. Neither speaks well for him.

And maybe you thought Ortiz was a good gamble, but plenty of other folks saw that one coming from a mile away.


Fact. After Reitsma won his arbitration case, he was a dead man walking. Don Gullett wanted him out, Graves was going back to closing, and O'Brien made what at the time looked to be a very nice value trade. Unfortunatly it blew up.

Fact. Blew up is blew up. What DanO should have done is make Gullett the dead man walking and either kept Reitsma or traded him for something far better than what he got. Bubba Nelson and Jung Bong were dogs.


Source : a former employee of Dan O'Brien who works in baseball operations today for an NL team.

I think you've got to question how much of what you hear is DanO trying to excuse away his many and glaring mistakes. Just because someone constructs a rationale for why they've been unable to make good trades and why they collected crappy pitchers doesn't eliminate the reality that they did it. I imagine Neville Chamberlain had eloquent reasons for signing the Munich Agreement too.

And here's a question for your buddy, how do you explain the Dave Williams and Tony Womack trades? How about picking up Cory Lidle, Ricky Stone and Ben Weber? I've got a simple answer to those and many other questions. Dan O'Brien couldn't spot talent if it hit him with a shovel. He was a middle manager who got completely exposed when the Reds made the horrible mistake of making him their GM.

registerthis
11-06-2006, 06:43 PM
Teams such as the Royals, Pirates, D-Rays all have had much much worse GMs than him. The Reds have had worse in the past 25 years. It is hard for me to think that the Cubbies haven't had worse over the last few years.

Give DanO a couple more years, and I have no doubt he would have erased the gap between the reds and those aformentioned teams.

SteelSD
11-06-2006, 07:00 PM
I've heard on more than one occasion people having empathy for folks put into a position in which the person did not have the requisite skills....and somehow we are suppossed to feel sorry for the folks when it happens. DanO is the perfect of example of a case where being "nice", but somehow completely overwhelmed makes him a candidate for our empathy.

He was given the chance of a life time. He took little or no risk -he was so risk adverse it was past the point of silly. All people can talk about is how honorable the man is...and i've heard the same about other do nothing CEO's/presidents etc.....they got the job cause no one had any stones to throw and then did nothing when they took office. These folks don't deserve your empathy any more than any other human. Being nice and avoiding risk does not make a person honorable or deserving of great amounts of empathy.

The man was neglectful beyond belief- he set the organization back at least 3-5 years....why does he deserve empathy? Neglect when giving the opportunity to change things is a complete lack of passion. His kind make me sick.

Coop, both you and M2 have, with precision, detailed my feelings about Dan O'Brien. It's one thing to be put in a position to fail while having no control over being put there. But the guy desperately wanted the position, was handed it, and then proceeded to mess up pretty much everything he touched. I have exactly zero empathy, sympathy, or pity for anyone who does that.

MrCinatit
11-06-2006, 07:22 PM
I'll see your "pitch counts" and raise you a "calling a press conference to announce the signing of 38-year old pinch hitter John Vander Wal."
:)

I think that sums up Dan0's career quite nicely.
He was historically over his head. IIRC, there were many other GMs during the winter meetings who said the same thing.

Chip R
11-06-2006, 07:34 PM
Pitch counts. The "take the first pitch" and "pitch to contact" mantras were dumb, but pitch counts were a good idea.

Actually, it wasn't "take the first pitch". It was "take a strike" which was worse.

Ltlabner
11-06-2006, 08:17 PM
Coop, both you and M2 have, with precision, detailed my feelings about Dan O'Brien. It's one thing to be put in a position to fail while having no control over being put there. But the guy desperately wanted the position, was handed it, and then proceeded to mess up pretty much everything he touched. I have exactly zero empathy, sympathy, or pity for anyone who does that.

Don't let my original comment of "some days I almost feal sorry for him that he was so horribly miscast by Lindner." be misconstrued. I have zero love lost for DanO. As I posted originally, he was incompetant, had no skills to identify tallent and in my eyes his worst sin was his complete inability to make a fricken decision.

I admire decisive leaders who can size up a situation, make a decision and move ahead. I abhore those who are paralized by analysis (which is really a cover for cowardice).

At the end of the day, DanO was a total disaster for the organization.

MWM
11-06-2006, 08:32 PM
Getting value out of a first round pick is not the mark of a good GM. Anyone who follows baseball at all can make a first round pick. It's what you get beyond the first few rounds that tells you who's good and who isn't.

Falls City Beer
11-06-2006, 08:34 PM
DanO netted the Reds Jay Bruce, the best offensive draftee since Dunn. I'd put that move on a par with what Krivsky's done so far.

But it's early I guess.

Yes, DanO sucked fiercely, but I'm not at all convinced this club has reached shore.

SteelSD
11-06-2006, 08:39 PM
Don't let my original comment of "some days I almost feal sorry for him that he was so horribly miscast by Lindner." be misconstrued. I have zero love lost for DanO. As I posted originally, he was incompetant, had no skills to identify tallent and in my eyes his worst sin was his complete inability to make a fricken decision.

I admire decisive leaders who can size up a situation, make a decision and move ahead. I abhore those who are paralized by analysis (which is really a cover for cowardice).

At the end of the day, DanO was a total disaster for the organization.

Oh, that wasn't directed at you, bud. Just a general commentary.

Cooper
11-06-2006, 10:40 PM
What also bothers me is his inability to sell a 3 yr plan (or 5 yr). Hearing the man talk makes he clear he didn't have the skills necessary to sell a plan. Imo, 3-5 year plans are for small minded folks, but even if you did believe in such a thing -well you betterr have some one who can sell it to all those involved--if ya can't sell it then it gets sabotaged pdq. It'd take ya about 30 seconds to know he couldn't sell that kind of thing.....and yet, they hired him anyway....and then neither he or the organization took the steps necessary to sell his plan. His whole administration was doomed from the get go.

Betcha he thinks everyting was going just fine.
Lastly, i really believe Lindner hired him cause he'd be a company man. Other qualities weren't necessary nor even important for him to get the job.

paulrichjr
11-06-2006, 11:00 PM
Honestly, I think DanO was bad at many things such as the stupid first strike thing but no one really knows what he would have done if he would have been given a chance to compete with a BobC at the helm. I personally have less love for Allen than any other person in the past. I believe if you look at the past few years objectively you will see that John Allen and Lindner made some real bone headed moves such as the Larkin signing, the Griffey signing for so many years (not to say signing him was bad) and in my opinion even the Milton signing. DanO cannot take all of the blame when most anyone who followed this team knows that the Reds released funds to sign a pitcher when some of the better ones had committed to others.

I also think the DanO hiring was a dumb move because they seemed to care more about saving money than putting a winning team on the field thus making more money.

I personally give DanO a D for running the team and a B+ for his draft. As of right now my scores for Wayne K are a C for the big club (A- until the deal that even DanO wouldn't have done at the All-Star break) and a C- for the draft. I hope he proves me wrong but his decision making skills while decisive makes me just as scared as DanO. Please WayneK prove me wrong!!!

M2
11-06-2006, 11:02 PM
I view DanO, John Allen and Carl Lindner as a perfect storm.

harangatang
11-06-2006, 11:15 PM
I view DanO, John Allen and Carl Lindner as a perfect storm.I view a perfect storm with MUCAPE's of 3000 J/kg, 0-1 km storm relative helicities about 250 m^2/s^2, the lift index about -10, LCL about 600 m, LFC about 1000 m, etc. But hey, to each his own.

harangatang
11-06-2006, 11:19 PM
Honestly, I think DanO was bad at many things such as the stupid first strike thing but no one really knows what he would have done if he would have been given a chance to compete with a BobC at the helm. I personally have less love for Allen than any other person in the past. I believe if you look at the past few years objectively you will see that John Allen and Lindner made some real bone headed moves such as the Larkin signing, the Griffey signing for so many years (not to say signing him was bad) and in my opinion even the Milton signing. DanO cannot take all of the blame when most anyone who followed this team knows that the Reds released funds to sign a pitcher when some of the better ones had committed to others.

I also think the DanO signing was a dumb move because they seemed to care more about saving money than putting a winning team on the field thus making more money.

I personally give DanO a D for running the team and a B+ for his draft. As of right now my scores for Wayne K are a C for the big club (A- until the deal that even DanO wouldn't have done at the All-Star break) and a C- for the draft. I hope he proves me wrong but his decision making skills while decisive makes me just as scared as DanO. Please WayneK prove me wrong!!!You have to remember DanO was hired for one reason. It may not have ever been said explicitly but DanO and his plan cost Lindner alot less money than a normal GM would spend. I don't know what DanO would have been like as a GM under Castellini, but apparently Bob didn't want to find out.

Heath
11-06-2006, 11:46 PM
You have to remember DanO was hired for one reason. It may not have ever been said explicitly but DanO and his plan cost Lindner alot less money than a normal GM would spend. I don't know what DanO would have been like as a GM under Castellini, but apparently Bob didn't want to find out.

He was cheaper, until Uncle Carl got the binder bill from Office Depot.

Yikes!

Chip R
11-07-2006, 12:36 AM
I don't know what DanO would have been like as a GM under Castellini, but apparently Bob didn't want to find out.


Just my impressions of DanO and Bob are that those two working together would mix like oil and water. DanO is a patient fellow - almost to a fault. He fit in well, as M2 said, with Lindner and Allen since neither one are exactly dynamic personalities and are OK with a patient GM. Plus it was utterly painful to hear DanO talk. Nobody could talk their way around a question like DanO. My guess is that once Bob got the OK to start making changes, he had a chat with DanO and was open to having him stay on until DanO opened his mouth. I truly believe that is when Bob decided to fire him. We will see what other teams think of DanO when the next round of GM vacancies crop up.

RFS62
11-07-2006, 07:48 AM
I view DanO, John Allen and Carl Lindner as a perfect storm.



The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that DanO was hired with preparing the club for sale in mind. Conservative approach, rebuild the infrastructure, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Of course every owner wants to win. But I don't think it was the top criteria for the job when Lindner picked him over Krivsky. They already knew they were going to sell, and they were, in their minds, getting the franchise ready for that. That makes a 5 year plan acceptable to Lindner, if you know you're only there for a couple of the rebuilding years.

paintmered
11-07-2006, 08:20 AM
Dan O'Brien is a man and a person, first and foremost.

Among those who know him and people like him, there is certainly a commonality of sorts.

It would be easy for those of us in our particular circumstance to ask questions among ourselves or to make statements to that effect. But make no mistake; our purpose here is several-fold.

To that end, our hope, and the hope of others, is to press on toward our collective goals. Anything else is less acceptable than would optimally be the case.

With that I'll take some questions.

;)

:laugh:

I've missed your DanO-speak posts. They were one of the few things that got me through his horrible tenure as GM.

Cooper
11-07-2006, 09:53 AM
RFS62 makes a good point. If you are going to sell -i guess it doesn't matter if you have to sell your "5 year plan"....cause you're only planning to get through 2 years of it.

The big write-offs stop after 5 years, correct? (i have no real knowledge about the write-offs --all i know is that when you buy a team you get some big tax breaks for the first 5 years).

Maybe the real blame lies with Lindner. He did nothing, but suck money out of the organization. His ownership certainly was not about philanthropy like some have said. He ain't a multi-millionaire for nothing.

George Anderson
11-07-2006, 10:07 AM
Dan O'Brien was, bar none, the worst GM I've ever seen in action.

I must be older than you because Dick Wagner has him beat in that department hands down!!

TC81190
11-07-2006, 06:17 PM
I like his drafts