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View Full Version : Why do the Reds (Organizationally) love bad players?



Caveat Emperor
12-16-2008, 06:13 PM
A post in another thread got me wondering:


I think the reason it's [signing Willy Taveras] generated so much discussion is the recent past.

Players we've deemed to be garbage often find their way to Cincinnati and play far more than they should time and time again.

Ownership/Management changes hands, but the same philosophy reigns.

It's not that we're gun shy, it's almost as if we KNOW whats coming.

What is it that drives the Reds organization to target Willy Taveras - an OBP-challenged speedster - just one season after being burned by Corey Patterson - an OBP-challenged speedster.

It's a team that gave a big money contract to Eric Milton and a smaller-money contract to Jimmy Haynes, signed Juan Castro twice, broke camp with Dave Williams as a starter once, actually gave up talent to bring Tony Womack into the organization, allowed Joe Mays to throw 27 innings, and attaches words like "imperative" and "important" to efforts to re-sign flashes-in-the-pan like Jerry Hairston.

The faces in the front office change, but the same sad story parades through the front door.

Why is this?

dougdirt
12-16-2008, 06:20 PM
They continue to hire people who think we still play in the 70's and 80's?

wheels
12-16-2008, 06:22 PM
Thanks for quoting me.

I really wish I understood it, though.

It's not as if it's a bottom feeding type thing. I mean, some of those guys were given really good money to stink up the joint.

Walt Jocketty wins championships elsewhere but then decides Willy Taveras is on of the answers in the rebuilding process.

Wow.

nate
12-16-2008, 06:24 PM
They continue to hire people who think we still play in the 70's and 80's?

Yeah, but you'd think that might at least lead to good fundamentals.

It hasn't even lead to high socks.

dougdirt
12-16-2008, 06:25 PM
Yeah, but you'd think that might at least lead to good fundamentals.

It hasn't even lead to high socks.

No but it leads to an overvaluing of free swinging guys who are fast....

RichRed
12-16-2008, 06:25 PM
"That was the other guy's OBP-challenged speedster. This is MY OBP-challenged speedster. It will work this time."

Cyclone792
12-16-2008, 06:27 PM
As an organization, the Reds strike me as more backward thinking than forward thinking. Other organizations out there, such as the Red Sox, seem to always be seeking out and identifying ways to just do things better. And by things, I mean anything and everything that can make their organization better.

For whatever reason, the Reds just don't seem to be making that type of same progress. I do think they've come a long, long way since Castellini bought the team from the clown known as Carl Lindner, but they still have a long way to go.

Raisor
12-16-2008, 06:29 PM
If I lived in Cincy, I wouldn't be drinking the water. I bet that's it.

dougdirt
12-16-2008, 06:30 PM
If I lived in Cincy, I wouldn't be drinking the water. I bet that's it.

Could be.... I don't remember the last time I had any tap water.

BRM
12-16-2008, 06:30 PM
Yeah, but you'd think that might at least lead to good fundamentals.

It hasn't even lead to high socks.

Taveras wears high socks.

Ltlabner
12-16-2008, 06:35 PM
Keep in mind that with the exception of 1990 and possibly 1999 this organization has been mired in suck since the late 1970's.

After the heyday of the Big Red Machine it's been a big letdown. That's a lot of pressure on a string of GM's. Each one that sits down behind the GM desk has to deal with "we used to be a great team, now you have to get us back there".

That leads GM's to start thinking they have to take risks, or have to talk themselves into why player X isn't as bad as they might appear. After all, if Player X has a career year it will be one step back towards the BRM. 1990 reinforced the idea of simultaneous career years driving a team.

There's a number of other factors, of corse, but the pressure to return the glory days propels GM's to talk themselves into a great deal of bad decisions. Especially since the city is so uniquely obsessed with all things Big Red Machine.

Ltlabner
12-16-2008, 06:51 PM
It also doesn't help that there is a strong culture of "this is the way we've always done things" running through the DNA of South Western Ohio. That's true of many areas, of corse, but in combination with BRM pressure it crushes any incentive to implement any real new ideas of thought.

That's why we hear, "we're getting back to defense" without any real getting back to defense. Other than knowing what good defense looks like there's no real system in place to help them determine which players provide the real thing.

Hell, you can't even get P-Doc to quit yapping about "playing the game the right way" long enough to even consider concrete systems that would lead to "winning".

penantboundreds
12-16-2008, 07:07 PM
Yeah, Taveras isn't the worst player ever, he can actually be pretty valuable to a ballclub, but continue to think he is the worst player ever. 68 stolen bases is probably not valuable, right? Or wait, that's 68 times he at least got into scoring position. I think that's valuable but hey, what do I know, right?

Raisor
12-16-2008, 07:13 PM
Yeah, Taveras isn't the worst player ever, he can actually be pretty valuable to a ballclub, but continue to think he is the worst player ever. 68 stolen bases is probably not valuable, right? Or wait, that's 68 times he at least got into scoring position. I think that's valuable but hey, what do I know, right?



http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1780124&postcount=373

camisadelgolf
12-16-2008, 07:16 PM
Yeah, Taveras isn't the worst player ever, he can actually be pretty valuable to a ballclub, but continue to think he is the worst player ever. 68 stolen bases is probably not valuable, right? Or wait, that's 68 times he at least got into scoring position. I think that's valuable but hey, what do I know, right?

Being a good base runner doesn't necessarily make a good baseball player. Taveras has value because of his speed, but outside of that, he has negative value unless the Reds don't have any better options. In free agency, there are much better options than Taveras, and you could make the argument that Stubbs or some other minor leaguer in the organization could perform better than Taveras. Taveras isn't the worst player ever, but as much as it pains me to say it, I'd rather have Corey Patterson.

VR
12-16-2008, 07:21 PM
Keep in mind that with the exception of 1990 and possibly 1999 this organization has been mired in suck since the late 1970's.



There were some tough years in the early 80's, and certainly this century.

1985-1995 wasn't a bad time for Reds baseball. Plenty of incredible young talent from the farm system, a few good free agent signings/ trades (Parker, Jackson, Mitchell, et al). 5 - 2nd place finishes, 3 - 1st place finishes.

Unassisted
12-16-2008, 07:27 PM
"That was the other guy's OBP-challenged speedster. This is MY OBP-challenged speedster. It will work this time."Maybe the Reds, Walt and Dusty view low-OBP as a fixable issue?

Ltlabner
12-16-2008, 07:31 PM
There were some tough years in the early 80's, and certainly this century.

1985-1995 wasn't a bad time for Reds baseball. Plenty of incredible young talent from the farm system, a few good free agent signings/ trades (Parker, Jackson, Mitchell, et al). 5 - 2nd place finishes, 3 - 1st place finishes.

That's true.

But it still wasn't The Big Red Machine.

That era is as much a curse as a blessing.

Rojo
12-16-2008, 07:31 PM
What is it that drives the Reds organization to target Willy Taveras - an OBP-challenged speedster - just one season after being burned by Corey Patterson - an OBP-challenged speedster.

It's a team that gave a big money contract to Eric Milton and a smaller-money contract to Jimmy Haynes, signed Juan Castro twice, broke camp with Dave Williams as a starter once, actually gave up talent to bring Tony Womack into the organization, allowed Joe Mays to throw 27 innings, and attaches words like "imperative" and "important" to efforts to re-sign flashes-in-the-pan like Jerry Hairston.

The faces in the front office change, but the same sad story parades through the front door.

Why is this?

This is a shotgun complaint. A lot of teams give 27 innings to bad pitchers or carry a punchless back up infielder. Tony Womack played for seven teams.

Certainly this organization has problems but focusing on our least favorite players gets us nowhere.

MrCinatit
12-16-2008, 07:33 PM
It also doesn't help that there is a strong culture of "this is the way we've always done things" running through the DNA of South Western Ohio. That's true of many areas, of corse, but in combination with BRM pressure it crushes any incentive to implement any real new ideas of thought.

That's why we hear, "we're getting back to defense" without any real getting back to defense. Other than knowing what good defense looks like there's no real system in place to help them determine which players provide the real thing.

Hell, you can't even get P-Doc to quit yapping about "playing the game the right way" long enough to even consider concrete systems that would lead to "winning".

What is sad about this comment is that it could be moved to a Bengals thread, yet still have the same meaning.
Unfortunately, both owners have failed to see that attempting to run their organizations in the "traditional" mode has been a recipe for failure for more than a decade.

What is even more depressing is to look at the leadership of both organizations in the past. Paul Brown. Joe Walsh. Bob Howsam. Sparky. Charles Comiskey. Leo Durocher. Clark Griffith. Miller Huggins. Bill McKechnie. Croslie. Larry McPhail. Warren Giles. These were some of the top minds in the sport. These were guys who were not afraid to take risks, be it with the Reds or another organization, be it in creating another league, putting up lights in a ballpark, or even a "simple" trade.
Those days seem long gone. Mike Brown is literally one of the top five worst owners in sports' history. As for Bob and Walt, time will tell...

Vada Pinson Fan
12-16-2008, 07:40 PM
That does it! Get a SABRE guy in here to GM for the Reds ASAP! Willy Taveras??? Walt, what in the world were you thinking???:confused::bang::help::scared:

flyer85
12-16-2008, 07:42 PM
because they can't/don't identify them

flyer85
12-16-2008, 07:44 PM
68 stolen bases is probably not valuable, right? it is less important than almost everything else ... and it means nothing without context.

Dan
12-16-2008, 08:09 PM
Two words: Pete Schourek

He was claimed off the scrap heap, came in and had an outstanding season out of nowhere, and the rest is history. Now we try to pick up a fist full of players in hopes the next one is Schourek, part deux.

Highlifeman21
12-16-2008, 08:21 PM
Yeah, Taveras isn't the worst player ever, he can actually be pretty valuable to a ballclub, but continue to think he is the worst player ever. 68 stolen bases is probably not valuable, right? Or wait, that's 68 times he at least got into scoring position. I think that's valuable but hey, what do I know, right?

Just think how many bases Taveras could steal if he actually got on base...

Caveat Emperor
12-16-2008, 08:47 PM
This is a shotgun complaint. A lot of teams give 27 innings to bad pitchers or carry a punchless back up infielder. Tony Womack played for seven teams.

Certainly this organization has problems but focusing on our least favorite players gets us nowhere.

Yeah, lots of teams pitch their Joe Mays for too many innings -- but it's deeper than that with the Reds.

Even beyond roster choices, they play the guys they do have out of position (see: Keppinger, Jeff - Aurilia, Rich, and Griffey Jr., Ken), bat guys in the wrong spots (see: Dunn, Adam and Patterson, Corey), haven't had a decent manager since Trader Jack was fired, and have whiffed on just about every #1 pick they've made other than Jay Bruce for the past 10 years.

This is the franchise that targets major leaguers like Taveras and drafts minor leaguers like Devin Mesoraco or Drew Stubbs over Tim Lincecum. It continues despite the front office changing over and over again.

What is it that makes the Reds this way?

Rojo
12-16-2008, 09:22 PM
Yeah, lots of teams pitch their Joe Mays for too many innings -- but it's deeper than that with the Reds.

The "deeper than that" is key. Its the holes not the plugs.

chicoruiz
12-16-2008, 09:55 PM
My theory is that at some point most Reds executives go to some civic function or other where they end up in close proximity to Mike Brown, and become infected by the incompetence that radiates out from him.

Marc D
12-17-2008, 12:44 AM
I don't think its anything mystical. Every organization(sports, business, whatever) you look at the top and one person sets the tone. Millions of little details but bottom line to me has always been effective leadership at the top will lead to success in that teams line of work.

Look at the Mike Brown led Bengals in contrast to the Rooney family led Steelers or the Steinbrenner led Yankees compared to our Reds. In basketball you have Dr. Jerry Buss running the Lakers and the in the same town Donald Sterling running the Clippers.

Sometimes bad leadership can get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle for a few years and sometimes good leadership can struggle but in the end, to me, the cream will always rise to the top. An organization with an effective leader will win eventually.

The question is do we have good leadership yet?

REDREAD
12-17-2008, 12:49 AM
What is it that drives the Reds organization to target Willy Taveras - an OBP-challenged speedster - just one season after being burned by Corey Patterson - an OBP-challenged speedster.



You have two seperate problems here. Milton was signed due to incompetence. I am guessing Carl thought he could throw a little money at the Reds and have an instant contender, thus raising the price that he could sell the team for. For whatever motive, it was incompetence.

Patterson/Taveras are a different animal. The Reds are a small market team and they are trying to get someone that might have upside to play a key position on the cheap, because they don't feel they have a legit CF.
It's not much different than the philosphy of offering Harnish a chance to pitch here about 10 years ago, as well as all the other bargain FAs that have paraded through here (and other small market teams). It's kind of a given that some of these signings are going to disappoint. Obviously, the Yankees don't have to fish for talent at the bottom of the barrel like the Reds do.

REDREAD
12-17-2008, 12:51 AM
Yeah, Taveras isn't the worst player ever, he can actually be pretty valuable to a ballclub, but continue to think he is the worst player ever. 68 stolen bases is probably not valuable, right? Or wait, that's 68 times he at least got into scoring position. I think that's valuable but hey, what do I know, right?

If a CF can't OBP over 370, he's crap :lol: That's all there is to this game. ;)

fearofpopvol1
12-17-2008, 12:55 AM
I'd say it's a bit premature to jump the gun with the new(er) blood.

Walt's tenure thus far has been extremely neutral IMO. I'd wait to see where we're at come spring training.

If your question excludes Walt and looks at the past generation of GMs, that's a different story.

*BaseClogger*
12-17-2008, 12:56 AM
I'd say it's a bit premature to jump the gun with the new(er) blood.

Walt's tenure thus far has been extremely neutral IMO. I'd wait to see where we're at come spring training.

If your question excludes Walt and looks at the past generation of GMs, that's a different story.

Yeah, he hasn't signed Taveras yet. We don't even know if he was telling the truth or stirring up interest with his quote about Taveras...

Falls City Beer
12-17-2008, 10:02 AM
What will happen to this place if Taveras *isn't* signed? I smell meltdown.

membengal
12-17-2008, 10:20 AM
Yeah, Taveras isn't the worst player ever, he can actually be pretty valuable to a ballclub, but continue to think he is the worst player ever. 68 stolen bases is probably not valuable, right? Or wait, that's 68 times he at least got into scoring position. I think that's valuable but hey, what do I know, right?

If two players are on balance the same at, say, a line of 270/350/425 and one steals 68 bases and the other 0 bases, then, yes, I would definitely agree that the 68 stolen bases add value. And then some.

The problem with Taveras, as near as I can tell from following his career and studying his numbers, is that he is challenged with respect to the OBP and SLG portion of the line. The only way his OBP gets to a range where he can help is if he is hit lucky, and his SLG will always be anemic. At that point, no, the stolen base threat doesn't do enough to make up for where else he is deficient. Whatever value they (stolen bases) have is far outweighed by the other hitting negatives.

A Taveras who gives you a 250/300/360 line with 60 stolen bases is a net negative. He just is. No amount of speed can make up for the rest of his game which is knifing your team in its offensive heart. Colorado has clearly come to that conclusion, or they would not have cut him loose. I don't want Cincy to think they can magically fix him, give him 450 at-bats, and wonder why the 45 stolen bases he provided didn't help them win more than 74 games...

ETA: Just went and re-looked at his career stats:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/t/taverwi01.shtml

Linger on the slugging for Taveras. Revel in it. Fear it. His career high SLG? .382. Yuck. Otherwise, .341, .338, and .296 (how is that even possible?). And the .382 came in only 372 at-bats. The other horrible years? 500+ at-bats. The more plate appearances he gets, the more damage to his own team he does through his general horridness. He has no power-he is America before Edison. I would say he is swinging a noodle at the plate, but that might be an insult to noodles. That is absolute death to a team over the long haul, and no amount of speed can correct for that.

Others have said this in the other Taveras threads, and I echo it here, I would rather have Patterson 10 times out of 10 than Taveras.

In a perfect world, for the club I root for, I certainly don't want either.

membengal
12-17-2008, 10:23 AM
By the way, the funniest thing about the new tags feature for me is that I keep thinking it is the Currently-active-users-viewing-this-thread at first glance, and then I think, "wow, I don't remember seeing the user taveras swings toothpick around these parts before"...

Chip R
12-17-2008, 10:27 AM
Maybe the Reds, Walt and Dusty view low-OBP as a fixable issue?


You are assuming they think it's an issue. I haven't seen any evidence that Dusty thinks low OBP is a problem.



I'd say it's a bit premature to jump the gun with the new(er) blood.

Walt's tenure thus far has been extremely neutral IMO. I'd wait to see where we're at come spring training.

I understand where you're coming from and I'm not usually the kind of guy to get the torches and pitchforks out before something has actually happened. But I think there's a chance that if the fans are proactive enough, the Reds will think twice about adding Tavaras. We kind of got blindsided with Patterson last year. You can't say we haven't had fair warning about Tavaras.

flyer85
12-17-2008, 10:33 AM
But I think there's a chance that if the fans are proactive enough, the Reds will think twice about adding Taveras.
they don't care what we think about their potential transactions. Baseball management is insular and arrogant.

Chip R
12-17-2008, 10:36 AM
they don't care what we think about their potential transactions. Baseball management is insular and arrogant.


For the most part, I agree. I don't think there's much of a chance that they could be swayed to not sign Tavaras but it's a hell of an opportunity to make our voices heard.

George Anderson
12-17-2008, 10:50 AM
That's true.

But it still wasn't The Big Red Machine.

That era is as much a curse as a blessing.

But are the Reds that different from other franchises? The Yankees certainly live on their past glory and from what I have seen the Red Sox,Dodgers, Mets and Cardinals also seem to do the same.

I think the problem is the Reds really haven't experienced greatness since the BRM. If the Reds had the same past 10-15 years that the above teams have had then I think you would see less mention of the BRM.

TRF
12-17-2008, 10:54 AM
If a CF can't OBP over 370, he's crap :lol: That's all there is to this game. ;)

How about a CF that can't OBP over .330? and plays a sucky CF? and has as much power as my poor dead cat? and couldn't take advantage of a HUGE OF to at least eke out 20-30 doubles? and was non-tendered by the team that realized not even their mammoth park could help his offensive deficiencies?

does that make him crap?

I am so sick and tired of this team making dumb decisions that 90% of this board KNOWS, not THINKS is a bad move. And it crosses administrations too. JimBo looking to recreate 1999 with nearly every 5 tool OF (I am convinced this is the case as prior to 1999 he seemed to balance his dumpster diving) DanO and Milton, Ortiz and Wilson. Krivsky made a splash early then not one decent move until he acquired Hamilton. Now Walt think Taveras might be the BEST option at leadoff?

ugh. I don't mind so much bad to replacement level players in bit roles, but when they are targeted as starters?

All I want is to see the Reds win. Its not too much to ask really. The farm has graduated three potential stars in Votto, Bruce, Cueto. EE is on the cusp. The rotation is the best it's been since 1992. It's the potential that's driving me nuts. The catching position is at least somewhat solidified. SS and LF. That's all that is missing. A big bat and a stud defender. Let the 5th starter win the job in ST. Bring in a vet to compete with the kids.

Why exactly is this so damn hard?

BRM
12-17-2008, 12:09 PM
How about a CF that can't OBP over .330? and plays a sucky CF? and has as much power as my poor dead cat? and couldn't take advantage of a HUGE OF to at least eke out 20-30 doubles? and was non-tendered by the team that realized not even their mammoth park could help his offensive deficiencies?


You know, I could almost understand the desire to bring Taveras here if he was an elite defender in CF. We could live with a .320 OBP if he was hitting 8th and playing stellar defense but that is NOT Willy Taveras. He does nothing particulary well except steal a base on the rare occasion he actually makes it to first. He's not a gifted defender and he's an out machine. Why on earth people are beating the drum that he can help the Reds is beyond me.

Reds Freak
12-17-2008, 01:26 PM
I hesitate to defend decisions made by the Reds the past decade because obviously something hasn't worked. But every team in the league has guys on their roster and starting lineups that make you say, "Wow, I can't believe he's in the major leagues." And a lot of those teams are very successful too! But since we follow the Reds so closely, we seem to think the Reds are the only team coveting these so-called rotten players.

The Phillies just won a World Series with offensively challenged Carlos Ruiz and Pedro Feliz in their lineup. Walt's Cardinals won a few years ago with So Taguchi, Juan Encarnacion, and Ronny Belliard in the starting eight. Our man Willy Taveras at age 26 has found himself in the World Series twice with two different teams. In 2004, Mark Bellhorn and Pokey Reese were the double play combo for Boston.

I'm not condoning a signing of Taveras (who Boston, interestingly enough, is also after) but there are bad players on good teams everywhere in the MLB. No team will ever have the "perfect" roster, it's just not possible today. You have to fill lineups at times with these type of players. It hasn't worked out for the Reds but these things need to be evaluated with a little perspective...

TRF
12-17-2008, 01:50 PM
Juan Encarnacion was a good defender with a cannon for an arm. He had a little pop in his bat too. Taguchi wasn't a butcher in the field either. Reese may be the best defensive 2B I've ever seen in my life.

Taveras is AAA filler, if that.

deltachi8
12-17-2008, 01:53 PM
By the way, the funniest thing about the new tags feature for me is that I keep thinking it is the Currently-active-users-viewing-this-thread at first glance, and then I think, "wow, I don't remember seeing the user taveras swings toothpick around these parts before"...

Reading the tags, I think I want to change my screen name to dead cat>taveras.

BRM
12-17-2008, 01:57 PM
Juan Encarnacion was a good defender with a cannon for an arm. He had a little pop in his bat too. Taguchi wasn't a butcher in the field either. Reese may be the best defensive 2B I've ever seen in my life.

Taveras is AAA filler, if that.

Gotta agree. Those other guys at least had one quality asset they brought to the club, namely defense. Willy doesn't really bring anything other than speed. And his speed doesn't help you much since he rarely finds his way to first base.

MikeS21
12-17-2008, 05:19 PM
Probably the thing I see that keeps this team bottom-feeding is the philosophy of those in charge.

Go all the way back to Marge Schott. Her philosophy was, "Here's 25 cents. Buy me a World championship." Carl Linder came along, and he said, "Here's 50 cents. Buy us a World championship." Bob Castelinni comes along and he says, "Here's a dollar. Buy me a World Championship."

My point is that you may be changing owners, but the same philosophy pretty much follows from Schott to Lindner to Castelinni. All of them are old school, therefore all of their baseball GM's (Bowden, O'Brien, Krivsky, Jocketty) are basically a clone of each other. And each GM, in turn, has brought in advisors who are of a similar mindset. In a nutshell, the more this organization "changes," the more it becomes the same."

Until a GM is brought in who has a completely different philosophy, nothing will change.

TRF
12-17-2008, 05:39 PM
Probably the thing I see that keeps this team bottom-feeding is the philosophy of those in charge.

Go all the way back to Marge Schott. Her philosophy was, "Here's 25 cents. Buy me a World championship." Carl Linder came along, and he said, "Here's 50 cents. Buy us a World championship." Bob Castelinni comes along and he says, "Here's a dollar. Buy me a World Championship."

My point is that you may be changing owners, but the same philosophy pretty much follows from Schott to Lindner to Castelinni. All of them are old school, therefore all of their baseball GM's (Bowden, O'Brien, Krivsky, Jocketty) are basically a clone of each other. And each GM, in turn, has brought in advisors who are of a similar mindset. In a nutshell, the more this organization "changes," the more it becomes the same."

Until a GM is brought in who has a completely different philosophy, nothing will change.

I think that's overly simplistic. Marge wasn't afraid to spend money on payroll, she just didn't understand that she needed to spend it on the infrastructure too. Allen essentially took over for Marge and was a serious penny pincher in all aspects. Lindner never wanted ownership. Castelini SEEMS to be willing to spend, but does management understand on who to spend it on? We are seeing the Reds make strides in the international market, which is a GOOD THING. And they have dropped a ton of coin there this year. Now it seems the problem isn't the infrastructure but rather the 25 man roster where DUMB things happen.

Kc61
12-17-2008, 05:43 PM
Probably the thing I see that keeps this team bottom-feeding is the philosophy of those in charge.


My point is that you may be changing owners, but the same philosophy pretty much follows from Schott to Lindner to Castelinni. All of them are old school, therefore all of their baseball GM's (Bowden, O'Brien, Krivsky, Jocketty) are basically a clone of each other. And each GM, in turn, has brought in advisors who are of a similar mindset. In a nutshell, the more this organization "changes," the more it becomes the same."

Until a GM is brought in who has a completely different philosophy, nothing will change.

I don't think the problem is an "old school" philosophy. You can win with that philosophy and you can win with a more modern philosophy.

The problem I see is that the Reds repeat the words "win now" yet are unable or unwilling to expend the resources to win now. It takes a major commitment of funds. They sometimes take a step in that direction -- like with Cordero -- but these acquisitions are few and far between.

I'm sure Lindner wanted to win, as does Bob C, but unless they are willing to go for some top players they can't beat the teams that do have top players.

Let's face it -- guys like Pujois or Sabathia or Texiera may cost a fortune, but there are major league teams who have them. If winning is your goal, it's tough to do it when your competitors have the great players and you don't.

The other option is to fully commit to youth. I mean trade Harang and Arroyo, trade Cordero if possible, trade every valuable veteran for players aged, say, 26 or younger.

The Reds don't love bad players. But they are stuck in a salary structure that can't get them very many good ones. Tell the fans that they are going with youth, ride out a few more bad years, and hope they draft and develop guys well.

Or step up to the plate and get some top guys in here. The middle ground doesn't work.

Chip R
12-17-2008, 06:08 PM
I don't think the problem is an "old school" philosophy. You can win with that philosophy and you can win with a more modern philosophy.

The problem I see is that the Reds repeat the words "win now" yet are unable or unwilling to expend the resources to win now. It takes a major commitment of funds. They sometimes take a step in that direction -- like with Cordero -- but these acquisitions are few and far between.



I agree that you can win with any philosophy.

However, I don't agree that the Reds are unable or unwilling to expend the resources to win now. The problem is talent, pure and simple. The Rays didn't spend half of what we did but they had better talent. The Reds aren't shy about spending money but they spend it on the wrong players. We've beaten Corey Patterson to death but we spent $3M on him last year. We spent the same on Stanton. Almost as much on Ross. $3M doesn't sound like a lot when that's just a little higher than the average salary but $3M here and it adds up.

We also have to remember that the Reds can't just offer whatever they want to some player and he's automatically going to take it. We could offer Manny $25M a year and he won't come here. OAK was offering Furcal a lot of money but he would rather go back to ATL or stay in L.A. So either by choice or by attrition, the Reds make do with lower level players.

Kc61
12-17-2008, 06:43 PM
I agree that you can win with any philosophy.

However, I don't agree that the Reds are unable or unwilling to expend the resources to win now. The problem is talent, pure and simple. The Rays didn't spend half of what we did but they had better talent. The Reds aren't shy about spending money but they spend it on the wrong players. We've beaten Corey Patterson to death but we spent $3M on him last year. We spent the same on Stanton. Almost as much on Ross. $3M doesn't sound like a lot when that's just a little higher than the average salary but $3M here and it adds up.

We also have to remember that the Reds can't just offer whatever they want to some player and he's automatically going to take it. We could offer Manny $25M a year and he won't come here. OAK was offering Furcal a lot of money but he would rather go back to ATL or stay in L.A. So either by choice or by attrition, the Reds make do with lower level players.


When the Reds went after Cordero, he came to the Reds. Dunn, Harang and Arroyo signed extensions with the Reds. Eric Milton didn't work out, but he signed. Griffey signed after the trade. Alex Gonzalez signed. Some guys will sign if you offer enough.

The signings of Patterson, Stanton and Ross don't prove a willingness to spend. All those signings prove is that -- at the low end of the salary scale -- the Reds will compete for players.

At the high end, they will compete once in awhile. Not nearly enough for a win now philosophy.

If the Reds truly can't compete for free agents then let them fess up to it and go with youth. Like the Rays did. But -- in that case -- don't have a charade of winning now, just say you're going with kids, amass a bunch of them, and hope it works out. (I'll still watch.)

On "win now" the question is very simple -- If the Reds signed Texiera and Lowe and traded for Dye this off-season, would you believe they might win next year?

If they sign Taveras, Wigginton, and Miles -- the three non-tenders being discussed -- would you believe they might win next year?

Cyclone792
12-17-2008, 06:47 PM
If they sign Taveras, Wigginton, and Miles -- the three non-tenders being discussed -- would you believe they might win next year?

Depends on your definition of win.

82 wins? Possibly, but still not likely (Taveras would contribute terrible value in too much playing time). Playoffs? Hardly.

Considering it's now been 14 years since the Reds were last in the playoffs, it's playoffs that I'm interested in.

Rojo
12-17-2008, 06:57 PM
The Reds aren't shy about spending money but they spend it on the wrong players. We've beaten Corey Patterson to death but we spent $3M on him last year. We spent the same on Stanton. Almost as much on Ross. $3M doesn't sound like a lot when that's just a little higher than the average salary but $3M here and it adds up.

It does add up but its hard to "all in" on one contract when you've got holes to fill. Nobody bates their breath about the Joe Olivers rising through the ranks but Joe Olivers fill holes cheaply. There's utility in a system that spits out replacement level players.

Kc61
12-17-2008, 07:00 PM
It does add up but its hard to "all in" on one contract when you've got holes to fill. Nobody bates their breath about the Joe Olivers rising through the ranks but Joe Olivers fill holes cheaply. There's utility in a system that spits out replacement level players.

Joe Oliver was a good player. The Reds also had Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Paul O'Neill, Jose Rijo, Danny Jackson, Tom Browning, Randy Myers, and Rob Dibble on the team.

Different era financially, but some pretty high end talent on the ball club. Would be an expensive team today.

Rojo
12-17-2008, 07:11 PM
Joe Oliver was a good player. The Reds also had Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Paul O'Neill, Jose Rijo, Danny Jackson, Tom Browning, Randy Myers, and Rob Dibble on the team.

Different era financially, but some pretty high end talent on the ball club. Would be an expensive team today.

Yes, you need that high end but you can always sign it, provided your system spits some decent filler out every year.

westofyou
12-17-2008, 07:16 PM
Joe Oliver was a good player. The Reds also had Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Paul O'Neill, Jose Rijo, Danny Jackson, Tom Browning, Randy Myers, and Rob Dibble on the team.

Different era financially, but some pretty high end talent on the ball club. Would be an expensive team today.

The Reds moved most of that talent when they got expensive too. Also of note 4 of the pitchers named blew their arms out for the Reds too, that hurt the team financially and depth wise.

Blitz Dorsey
12-17-2008, 10:58 PM
Keep in mind that with the exception of 1990 and possibly 1999 this organization has been mired in suck since the late 1970's.

After the heyday of the Big Red Machine it's been a big letdown. That's a lot of pressure on a string of GM's. Each one that sits down behind the GM desk has to deal with "we used to be a great team, now you have to get us back there".

That leads GM's to start thinking they have to take risks, or have to talk themselves into why player X isn't as bad as they might appear. After all, if Player X has a career year it will be one step back towards the BRM. 1990 reinforced the idea of simultaneous career years driving a team.

There's a number of other factors, of corse, but the pressure to return the glory days propels GM's to talk themselves into a great deal of bad decisions. Especially since the city is so uniquely obsessed with all things Big Red Machine.

Not quite. Check 1994 (leading the division when the strike hit) and 1995. And all the years Pete finished second in the late 80's. Reds were decent in 2000 as well. But yeah, for the most part we've sucked since the 70's.

Chip R
12-18-2008, 12:19 AM
When the Reds went after Cordero, he came to the Reds. Dunn, Harang and Arroyo signed extensions with the Reds. Eric Milton didn't work out, but he signed. Griffey signed after the trade. Alex Gonzalez signed. Some guys will sign if you offer enough.


And that's my point. The Reds will pay to get good players here. But more often than not, they believe a bad player is a good player and they throw money at them. Either that or they don't care he's a bad player and they throw money at him anyway. Either way they will spend money when it suits them.

Some players will go to the highest bidder. Some won't. It's not tough to figure out who the best players on the market are. Guys like Manny, Teixeira, Furcal, Burnett, Lowe and Sabathia are the top players on the market and maybe the Reds can go after them and maybe they can't. But after those guys, they need to figure out who is a good player and who isn't if they are thinking about signing one of them.



The signings of Patterson, Stanton and Ross don't prove a willingness to spend. All those signings prove is that -- at the low end of the salary scale -- the Reds will compete for players.

At the high end, they will compete once in awhile. Not nearly enough for a win now philosophy.


It just shows they are willing to throw good money after bad. Instead of signing Patterson and anointing him the CF and leadoff hitter after he signed, let Jay Bruce play CF instead. He'd have saved them about $2.6M.


If the Reds truly can't compete for free agents then let them fess up to it and go with youth. Like the Rays did. But -- in that case -- don't have a charade of winning now, just say you're going with kids, amass a bunch of them, and hope it works out. (I'll still watch.)


I don't want them going after some expensive free agent just to prove they can throw their money around like the big market teams. I'd rather they put a league average or minor leaguer in there instead.


On "win now" the question is very simple -- If the Reds signed Texiera and Lowe and traded for Dye this off-season, would you believe they might win next year?

If they sign Taveras, Wigginton, and Miles -- the three non-tenders being discussed -- would you believe they might win next year?


It would depend on who the Reds gave up. If they traded for Dye and ad to give up Votto, Bruce and Volquez, I'd have a hard time believing they could win even if they signed Teixeira and Lowe.

Ltlabner
12-18-2008, 06:52 AM
Either that or they don't care he's a bad player and they throw money at him anyway.

Heck, even here at Redszone you have raging debates over players who's hideousness can be seen from outer space. Despite reams of data showing how player X (or in this case player WT) is horrable beyond compare and yet folks cling to them tooth and claw.

I imagine inside a MLB front office ideas get floated causing turf wars to breakout and scouts/GM's suddenly get target fixation and refuse to let go of a player idea no matter what they are shown.

One of the first things I noticed when I got the paper copy of the Baseball Prospectus for the first time was how many teams made horrible, horrible decisions and had bad players on the roster.

lollipopcurve
12-18-2008, 11:14 AM
One of the first things I noticed when I got the paper copy of the Baseball Prospectus for the first time was how many teams made horrible, horrible decisions and had bad players on the roster.

It would be a lot easier for GMs if they could just say who they wanted.