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OnBaseMachine
06-05-2008, 01:05 AM
It seems like Katz writes a whiny article like this every couple months or so. I know he probably gets tired of watching a loser but doing what's best for the player is the most important thing.

Dragons moving up; team making little progress
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By Marc Katz

the Dayton Daily News

Thursday, June 05, 2008

All of a sudden, players are moving up in the Cincinnati Reds farm system at warp speed.

Those times of being patient to a fault seem to be over.

That's a good thing for the players, and a good thing for the Reds. It's a bad thing for the Class A Dayton Dragons ... a very bad thing.

With the best players moving ahead quicker, teams in the low minors are having a problem finding a way to win.

"In the last couple years, our system's gotten stronger," said Reds farm director Terry Reynolds. "We have more players that have the ability to move."

Players are moved up for two reasons. One, they're considered good enough to be successful at the next level. Two, there's a need for a certain position player or pitcher at the next level. For instance, when shortstop Chris Valaika was moved from "high" A Sarasota to AA, Todd Frazier was moved from the Dragons to Sarasota. Frazier was hitting .321 with the Dragons, and no one on the team now is close to that kind of batting average. The Dragons were in first place when Frazier was here. They're virtually out of contention now.

"We're not trying to win championships in the minor leagues," Reynolds said. "If that happens, that's a great benefit. Our goal is to create big leaguers, and you do that by promoting players when you feel they're ready, or if you have a need on a club to fill a spot."

Reynolds said there are three possible ways for Dayton to get better: improvement of players already here, two to four players still at extended spring training and the two-day draft that begins today, June 5.

"The way kids get better and grow is they go through some tough times," Reynolds said. "Guys who can handle adversity move up. Those who don't, move out."

Reynolds is in only his second season as farm director, so maybe he didn't notice the adversity the system has already been through. For instance, the Dragons failed to make the playoffs four straight seasons before last year's team made it. That's tough to do, since four of the six teams in Dayton's division make the postseason.

And while last year's Dragons team was a good one, as Reynolds points out, by the time the playoffs arrived, the best players had already been moved up. Again, good for the players, but a fine slap in the face for the most well-attended team in the Reds' organization.

Even two years ago when Jay Bruce, Paul Janish and John Cueto now all with the Reds played on the Dragons, they didn't make the playoffs. Maybe that's why the Reds are working on an eighth straight losing season. In the minors, their culture is to develop the players. Team championships appear to be an afterthought.

That might not be the best way to go.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/dragons/2008/06/04/ddn060508spinside.html

redhawk61
06-05-2008, 02:44 AM
"Even two years ago when Jay Bruce, Paul Janish and John Cueto now all with the Reds played on the Dragons, they didn't make the playoffs. Maybe that's why the Reds are working on an eighth straight losing season. In the minors, their culture is to develop the players. Team championships appear to be an afterthought."

That guy is a moron. nough said

medford
06-05-2008, 05:36 AM
There were similar articles last season, or maybe 2 seasons ago. I think Dayton got a little spoiled early on when they made the postseason nearly every year for first 3-5 seasons.

Heath
06-05-2008, 07:31 AM
They've made the playoffs 3 times in 8 years, only one past the first round.

They still average a half-million fans per year.

I think there's enough draw that will keep the rears in the seats at 5/3 Field. I've been to a couple of other ballparks in the MWL and the Dragons have the Taj Mahal.

There was an short rumor running around town the Mandalay wanted to make Dayton a AA, but then they'd have to play in the Eastern League and Mandalay would have to buy an existing AA franchise and it's all too complicated.

Cyclone792
06-05-2008, 08:23 AM
Draft Gordon Beckham and send him straight to Dayton. Then with both Beckham and Mesoraco - two first round draft picks - on the roster the Dragons' complaints should fade away pretty quick.

I do suppose the Reds could send a guy like Beckham to Billings, and I wouldn't be opposed to it, but I think he'd just maul the Pioneer League.

OesterPoster
06-05-2008, 08:36 AM
Katz is a tool. He regularly misspells Dragons' player names and gets his facts wrong a ton of the time. I'd trust nothing he says.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-05-2008, 10:11 AM
I never could understand worrying about how a minor league "team" is doing. If they are winning, great, but I wouldn't lose sleep if my hometown team wasn't winning.

I grew up in Columbus and cannot remember ever giving a hoot about the Clippers or their league standing. They are a farm club. I go to watch the players and realize full well that if they are any good their stay will be brief.

dougdirt
06-05-2008, 10:13 AM
I never could understand worrying about how a minor league "team" is doing. If they are winning, great, but I wouldn't lose sleep if my hometown team wasn't winning.

I grew up in Columbus and cannot remember ever giving a hoot about the Clippers or their league standing. They are a farm club. I go to watch the players and realize full well that if they are any good their stay will be brief.

Yeah, I think though that when you have 7000 season ticket holders though that while they like seeing the Jay Bruce's and Joey Votto's that they like seeing a winner too. Developing players should and does come first but for the fans of the Dayton Dragons (and not the fans of the Reds) winning probably means something to them.

redhawk61
06-05-2008, 10:30 AM
Yeah, I think though that when you have 7000 season ticket holders though that while they like seeing the Jay Bruce's and Joey Votto's that they like seeing a winner too. Developing players should and does come first but for the fans of the Dayton Dragons (and not the fans of the Reds) winning probably means something to them.

But at the same token most Dragons fans are Reds fans, and don't care as much about the winning and more about the players that they hope will one day lead the Reds back to the promise land....Thats at least how I feel about it

RedsManRick
06-05-2008, 10:47 AM
Somebody needs to tell Katz that the Dragons exist for the purpose of supplying the Reds with talent. No Reds, no Dragons. Besides, I don't know anybody who goes to a minor league baseball game because of the team's record...

BuckeyeRedleg
06-05-2008, 10:48 AM
Yeah, I think though that when you have 7000 season ticket holders though that while they like seeing the Jay Bruce's and Joey Votto's that they like seeing a winner too. Developing players should and does come first but for the fans of the Dayton Dragons (and not the fans of the Reds) winning probably means something to them.

Ok, so they win. What does it mean? Win your league and claim to be the 121st best team in professional baseball? I guess I just never could understand it.

I guess you could compare it to college sports, but at least in in college there is more pride at stake with rivalries (usually state vs. state) and the kids chose to go to that particular college. The kids playing for the Dragons would be out of Dayton in a heartbeat if they had the choice.

I had season tickets with the Clippers for a few years and never did it enter my mind to give them up if they were losing. If I were a season ticket holder with the Dragons, I don't think anything would keep me from continuing to go and enjoy baseball in such a beautiful ballpark. That's just me.

dougdirt
06-05-2008, 10:50 AM
Ok, so they win. What does it mean? Win your league and claim to be the 121st best team in professional baseball? I guess I just never could understand it.

I guess you could compare it to college sports, but at least in in college there is more pride at stake with rivalries (usually state vs. state) and the kids chose to go to that particular college. The kids playing for the Dragons would be out of Dayton in a heartbeat if they had the choice.

I had season tickets with the Clippers for a few years and never did it enter my mind to give them up if they were losing. If I were a season ticket holder and the Dragons I don't think anything would keep me from continuing to go and enjoy baseball in such a beautiful ballpark. That's just me.

I am not saying its right, but there are some people who do feel that way. I don't care if we have the St Lucie Mets record, just take your players and improve their skills.

medford
06-05-2008, 11:00 AM
That's a valid point Doug, but I question just how many "hard core" dragon fans there really are. I'm guessing most of those 7,000 season ticket holders are more fans of the "Dragon's experience" than they are of the actual Dragons themselves.

While I can only speak for myself, I know when I go to a Dragons game, I'm more interested in seeing a particular player or 2 for the Dragons. I've seen Kearns, Dunn, Wily Mo, Homer, Howington, Gruler, Acevedo, Olmedo, Janish, Stubbs, etc..... Seeing these invidivual players for the Dragons has always been more intriguring to me than the actual result of the game.

My father and brother in law both have season tickets. I'm guessing my father doesn't go to more than 1-2 games a year, but uses his tickets for his clients. I'm guessing my brother in law goes to about 10 games a year as he & my sister have young kids, but then gives the rest away to his clients and/or employees. I'm guessing a sizable chunk of that 7,000 season ticket holder fall into that group.

For somebody in the greater Dayton area, the Dragons, are closer, cheaper, less time consuming and sometimes more enjoyable than a Reds game. You may not know many of the players, but if you're a Reds fan in general, you'll often know about 1-2 or more of them. You still get to sit outside in a nice park and watch a game of baseball. You can catch most of a game, if not all of it, and still get the kids in bed by 10:00 - 10:30. There's more action b/w innings that appeal to small children that lose their attention rather quickly.

I doubt the Dragons winning or lossing has much effect on the average fan. The players themselves probably care a whole lot more, which I would think in turn would effect the men who cover them (Katz)

dougdirt
06-05-2008, 11:02 AM
I doubt the Dragons winning or lossing has much effect on the average fan. The players themselves probably care a whole lot more, which I would think in turn would effect the men who cover them (Katz)

That sums it up pretty well I would say.

johngalt
06-07-2008, 10:22 AM
This is about the 50th article Katz has written whining about this sort of thing. I get it that you want to see your team win, but at some point you would think they might understand what the purpose of a Low A minor league team is.

redsof72
06-07-2008, 02:13 PM
I will have to go with Katz on this one. Scouts and fans refer to the five tools as hitting for average, power, defense, arm strength, and speed, but I think the most important tool is learning to "win." Games are decided because of performances at critical times when the pressure is on. You learn how to succeed in those situations from being in them. You don't win because of a guy's OPS, you win because he comes through with a key hit or key pitch when the game is on the line. Some players are "winners." They are at their best when it is most important. That is a tool that has to be developed just like any other tool, and I think it is the most important tool.

The Dayton situation is not good right now. You are not developing the prospects on that team when you have them in a demorailized, depressed situation when they are going out every night and getting their brains beat in. Good organizations put their prospects in an environment where they can develop all their skills, not one where they hate coming to the ballpark every day.

As for the fans, are you kidding? When 9,000 people went crazy in April when Todd Frazier hit a walk-off home run, do you think they gave a hoot about whether Frazier was ever going to play for the Reds? They were cheering a win, just like high school fans cheer and college fans cheer and, yes, major league fans cheer.

Bottom line, when fans come through the gates, they are not there to see a practice or an instructional league game. They are there to see a competitive effort and hopefully, a win from their team.

dougdirt
06-07-2008, 02:25 PM
I will have to go with Katz on this one. Scouts and fans refer to the five tools as hitting for average, power, defense, arm strength, and speed, but I think the most important tool is learning to "win." Games are decided because of performances at critical times when the pressure is on. You learn how to succeed in those situations from being in them. You don't win because of a guy's OPS, you win because he comes through with a key hit or key pitch when the game is on the line. Some players are "winners." They are at their best when it is most important. That is a tool that has to be developed just like any other tool, and I think it is the most important tool.
You are not in positions to win unless you have good players. I don't think being 'clutch' is a skill you can learn. Good players tend to get hits and bad players don't. Odds of there being a bad hitter that is a better hitter in 'clutch' situations isn't very good. Odds of finding a good hitter that is good in 'clutch' situations is a lot more likely.



The Dayton situation is not good right now. You are not developing the prospects on that team when you have them in a demorailized, depressed situation when they are going out every night and getting their brains beat in. Good organizations put their prospects in an environment where they can develop all their skills, not one where they hate coming to the ballpark every day.
Except thats not really happening in Dayton. These guys don't hate coming to the park every day. You want teams to win, but you can win with a bunch of AAA lifers down in AA, but its not going to develop them into big leaguers. You develop players by having them learn to play the game and improve their skills.


Bottom line, when fans come through the gates, they are not there to see a practice or an instructional league game. They are there to see a competitive effort and hopefully, a win from their team.
And they get that every night. Not a single player is stepping onto the field to not compete. Sure, fans want to see a win but when you are a minor league baseball fan its important to know what they are there for and that is to provide players for the major league team, not to win championships in A ball.

redhawk61
06-07-2008, 03:00 PM
I will have to go with Katz on this one. Scouts and fans refer to the five tools as hitting for average, power, defense, arm strength, and speed, but I think the most important tool is learning to "win." Games are decided because of performances at critical times when the pressure is on. You learn how to succeed in those situations from being in them. You don't win because of a guy's OPS, you win because he comes through with a key hit or key pitch when the game is on the line. Some players are "winners." They are at their best when it is most important. That is a tool that has to be developed just like any other tool, and I think it is the most important tool.

The Dayton situation is not good right now. You are not developing the prospects on that team when you have them in a demorailized, depressed situation when they are going out every night and getting their brains beat in. Good organizations put their prospects in an environment where they can develop all their skills, not one where they hate coming to the ballpark every day.

As for the fans, are you kidding? When 9,000 people went crazy in April when Todd Frazier hit a walk-off home run, do you think they gave a hoot about whether Frazier was ever going to play for the Reds? They were cheering a win, just like high school fans cheer and college fans cheer and, yes, major league fans cheer.

Bottom line, when fans come through the gates, they are not there to see a practice or an instructional league game. They are there to see a competitive effort and hopefully, a win from their team.


67-72

That was the record of the Dragons in 2006

You know who played all year on that team?


Jay Bruce and he still seems like a guy who knows how to win.

others on that team

Johnny Cueto
Travis Wood
Paul Janish

The fans MIGHT care but all the players care about is improving so they can move up and make it to the Bigs

And most Dragons fans are Reds fans and understand. All Minor league teams know that winning is out of their control. That is why there is such a large emphasis on fan experience. The events in between innings, the give aways, the friendly atmosphere, and all the other fun activities are why people go to minor league games. They go b/c it is a good fun time for their family, not b/c they hope the Dragons win the MWL championship.

Sure there might be those who care about the Dragons winning championships, though not many, as the majority just go for the experience. One who would care would be a guy from the Dayton paper who covers the Dragons exclusively, I mean what is he supposed to report on. All he knows would be to report on winning and loosing, and thats why he is upset