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Jpup
08-07-2009, 12:30 PM
Taking stock and naming names

August 3, 2009 1:05 PM

Posted by Steve Buffum

In my mind's eye, I imagine Mark Shapiro calling his friend Neal Huntington in Pittsburgh trying to make sense of this past week.

Shapiro: Neal, how are you doing?
Huntington: Not bad, Mark. Not particularly good, but, ya know, not bad.
Shapiro: Yes, yes. Yes. Look, Neal, I need a favor.
Huntington: Right, well, let's see, I'll trade you Steve Pearce, Garrett Jones, Zack Duke, Joel Hanrahan, John Perrotto, KDKA, six pierogi, and Robert Morris University for Luis Valbuena, Matt LaPorta, Jess Todd, Justin Masterson, Hector Rondon, Alex White to be named later, Terry Pluto, WKNR, the Lake Erie Monsters, and Case Western Reserve.
Shapiro: No, no, this isn't about a trade, this is, wait, I have Matt LaPorta?
Huntington: Sure.
Shapiro: Really?
Huntington: Hitting pretty well in Columbus, actually. Not as well as Trevor Crowe was, though.
Shapiro: I have Matt LaPorta? Why the heck isn't he in Cleveland then?
Huntington: Well, that's a pretty good question.
Shapiro: Look, no, the reason I called is -- I can't keep track of who plays for my team.
Huntington: It can be a bit confusing. Have you tried Excel?
Shapiro: Yes, of course: Excel, Oracle, Access, I've tried them all, but they just keep getting out of synch. I mean, look: this version says I still have Carl Pavano.
Huntington: Well, yeah, you DO still have Carl Pavano.
Shapiro: No, it says right here: "Pavano's incentives close to kicking in, of no value to a team out of contention, make sure to trade him in July."
Huntington: Well, I wondered about that.
Shapiro: And, of course, the best way to do that was to showcase him twice against really poor offenses, and luckily, we faced Seattle twice in two weekends. Held them to 13 runs in 7 games! It was genius, I tell you. Two Pavano starts against the M's and.
Huntington: Uhm, Pavano didn't start in EITHER Seattle series, did he?
Shapiro: Wait, let me check my notes here. I'm sure we wouldn't have messed that up.
Huntington: He did throw a heckuva game recently, maybe you can still get a nibble.
Shapiro: Okay, look, how do you keep track of all the guys you have flying around?
Huntington: Well, I've stopped using names, for one thing.
Shapiro: What?
Huntington: Yeah, it's a trick I picked up from President Bush. I give them all nicknames and it sort of works out. You know, like when we traded Lippy, Napalm, Biscuit, and Fader for all those other guys.
Shapiro: Lip. I'm not sure that really addresses my issue here, Neal.
Huntington: Suit yourself. I'm not all that attached to these guys.
Shapiro: They are the foundation of your future, you know.
Huntington: Well, kind of. They're more like the foundation of the foundation of the future.
Shapiro: I see.
Huntington: But look, Mark, I think you did a pretty good job building up a collection there.
Shapiro: Well, I appreciate that, Neal.
Huntington: Sure, Mark.
Shapiro: It means a lot coming from you.
Huntington: No problem.
Shapiro: But Neal?
Huntington: Yeah?
Shapiro: Who the heck did I end up with?
Huntington: Well, I mean, I wasn't really targeting the kinds of guys you got, Mark. I couldn't really say.
Shapiro: Damn.
Huntington: Yeah, I mean, I didn't need a catcher, so I wasn't really targeting the guy from Philadelphia.
Shapiro: Well, we don't really need a catcher, either, Neal. We've got Santana, and we like Toregas in a backup sort of way, and we have Shoppach and Gimenez already.
Huntington: Then why did you trade for Lou Marson?
Shapiro: We traded for Lou Marson? That seems a bit silly.
Huntington: Well, I figured since you were trading Victor Martinez.
Shapiro: That really stunk.
Huntington: Yeah, that stunk.
Shapiro: It couldn't be helped.
Huntington: No, it couldn't be helped.
Shapiro: But Marson? Are you sure we traded for Marson?
Huntington: I'm pretty sure, Mark.
Shapiro: This isn't going exactly the way I planned it.
Huntington: Well, I mean, we were never in the running for a Marson or Donald or anyone like that. We don't really have what you call "saleable assets" like you did. I mean, there's Chunky and Flat Top and Rocquefort.
Shapiro: Donald, yeah, he would have been an interesting player, but we already have a pretty young middle infield set up.
Huntington: Mark?
Shapiro: Don't tell me.
Huntington: Yep.
Shapiro: Great Odin's ear hair!
Huntington: Now, you did mean to get the pitchers, right?
Shapiro: Oh, yes. I feel very good about the pitchers. Why, I even got a pitcher for Ryan Garko I like very much. Huge fellow.
Huntington: Yeah, that guy's big. I made my own move with Brian in the pitching department.
Shapiro: I felt a little bad doing that.
Huntington: Not me. Tim Alderson is going to be one of our best pitchers very soon.
Shapiro: You got Tim Alderson? Gad, what did you have to move for him? I didn't even consider asking for Alderson for Ryan Garko. I mean, Garko's a nice player, but you got Tim Alderson?
Huntington: Yep. For, uhm, Freddy Sanchez.
Shapiro: Freddy. Sanchez?
Huntington: Yep.
Shapiro: Isn't he hurt?
Huntington: Technically, yes.
Shapiro: And old?
Huntington: On the old side? I would have to say, yes.
Shapiro: And not very good?
Huntington: I mentioned this was Brian Sabean, right?
Shapiro: It didn't even occur to me to ask for Tim Alderson.
Huntington: You just stocked your farm system with a full third of every gigantic pitcher in minor-league baseball, Mark. I'm afraid you get precious little sympathy from me on the subject of pitching. Have you seen the back end of my rotation?
Shapiro: I do not want to talk about the back end of rotations, since the back end of my rotation is now the front end of my rotation.
Huntington: Hang on, I have another call.
Jocketty: Hey, whizz kid, didn't see that one comin', did you?
Huntington: No, Walt, I gotta admit, Scott Rolen caught me completely off guard.
Walt Jocketty: Who else is on the line?
Shapiro: It's Mark Shapiro, Mr. Jocketty.
Jocketty: Yeah, another whippersnapper. How you like them apples, Hotshot?
Shapiro: Well, I have to say, it never occurred to me to trade for Rolen there, Mr. Jocketty.
Jocketty: That's right, Homeslice. You don't know what it's like to depend on an erratic young third baseman.
Shapiro: Actually, I'm pretty darn familiar with that there, Mr. Jocketty.
Jocketty: Have you ever seen Edwin Encarnacion play defense?
Huntington: Not yet, no.
Shapiro: Actually, I pretty much see it every day.
Jocketty: Well, now I've got the position locked up with All-Star talent, boy-ee. Do you even know who's playing third for you next season?
Shapiro: Truthfully, no.
Huntington: Me either.
Jocketty: That's right.
Huntington: But I'm pretty sure I won't be making eleven mill next season.
Jocketty: Well, that's just.
Shapiro: Or have a history of back problems.
Jocketty: That's kind of over.
Shapiro: Or be 35.
Jocketty: Age is just a number.
Huntington: For a last-place team.
Jocketty: (click)
Huntington: Was it something I said?
Shapiro: I still don't understand how I ended up with Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Jhonny Peralta, and Carl Pavano still on the damn roster.
Huntington: It's a process, Mark. Embrace the process.
Shapiro: So, you don't know who's still on my team, either?
Huntington: Not really, no. But Mark?
Shapiro: Yeah?
Huntington: Have you considered nametags?

BuckeyeRedleg
08-07-2009, 01:09 PM
We would be lucky to have either as the Reds GM.

Big Klu
08-07-2009, 01:25 PM
We would be lucky to have either as the Reds GM.

The folks up north would agree with you, as they are ready to grab the torches and pitchforks and run Shapiro out of town on a rail.

NJReds
08-07-2009, 01:31 PM
They traded Pavano to the Twins today.

BuckeyeRedleg
08-07-2009, 01:44 PM
The folks up north would agree with you, as they are ready to grab the torches and pitchforks and run Shapiro out of town on a rail.

They're spoiled.

LincolnparkRed
08-07-2009, 03:56 PM
They're spoiled.
They have been to the playoffs, it's been since my freshman year of college that the Reds have(no the one game playoff in 1999 doesn't count).

traderumor
08-07-2009, 04:10 PM
We would be lucky to have either as the Reds GM.Sorry, but Shapiro was so yesterday. The Colon trade, a masterpiece though it was, although it was done on the unlevel playing field of the Montreal debacle, has now fizzled into what, Grady Sizemore? He had a perfect storm playoff run one season.

Huntington has done nothing but continued the brand of Pirates baseball we have come to know and love, keeping us out of the basement. Either of those clowns would be lateral moves, at best.

BuckeyeRedleg
08-07-2009, 04:33 PM
Sorry, but Shapiro was so yesterday. The Colon trade, a masterpiece though it was, although it was done on the unlevel playing field of the Montreal debacle, has now fizzled into what, Grady Sizemore? He had a perfect storm playoff run one season.

Huntington has done nothing but continued the brand of Pirates baseball we have come to know and love, keeping us out of the basement. Either of those clowns would be lateral moves, at best.

Does that mean you think Jocketty is a clown?

traderumor
08-07-2009, 06:36 PM
Does that mean you think Jocketty is a clown?No, not for his entire body of work. All I am saying is that their track record is big shoes and a funny nose, while Jocketty has done nothing to make last year's dreadful squad any better this year, thus no love for the job he's done with the Reds. But his track record is he knows what he is doing, but for some reason hasn't done it with the Reds, so hiring a clown from another organization would equate to the job WJ has done with the Reds

RedEye
08-07-2009, 10:56 PM
Sorry, but Shapiro was so yesterday. The Colon trade, a masterpiece though it was, although it was done on the unlevel playing field of the Montreal debacle, has now fizzled into what, Grady Sizemore? He had a perfect storm playoff run one season.

Huntington has done nothing but continued the brand of Pirates baseball we have come to know and love, keeping us out of the basement. Either of those clowns would be lateral moves, at best.

Huntington's only been around a short time. We should at least wait until players like Alvarez and McCutchen have been around a few years before deeming him incomptent. So far, he's just been cleaning out a lot of chaff and reorienting a very talent-poor roster.

As for Shapiro, I couldn't disagree more. The Indians have been one of the best-run franchises in MLB over the past decade IMO. It's a little early to judge the return on Lee at this point, of course, but it is safe today that, Brandon Phillips misstep or not, the Indians are still reaping the benefits of his one master stroke. That's not all he's done, and I have every confidence that he has a savvy plan to rebuild that roster one more time. I think I'd put money on them returning to the playoffs before the Reds do.

traderumor
08-08-2009, 03:26 AM
Huntington's only been around a short time. We should at least wait until players like Alvarez and McCutchen have been around a few years before deeming him incomptent. So far, he's just been cleaning out a lot of chaff and reorienting a very talent-poor roster.

As for Shapiro, I couldn't disagree more. The Indians have been one of the best-run franchises in MLB over the past decade IMO. It's a little early to judge the return on Lee at this point, of course, but it is safe today that, Brandon Phillips misstep or not, the Indians are still reaping the benefits of his one master stroke. That's not all he's done, and I have every confidence that he has a savvy plan to rebuild that roster one more time. I think I'd put money on them returning to the playoffs before the Reds do.

Huntington has been doing what Pittsburgh has been doing. Wait for what? We know the results, its the same model they've been losing with.

Shapiro-2 winning seasons, 4 losing seasons (5 after this year), one break even. And he hasn't even been around for a decade, he took over for Hart after the 2001 season. I am not sure by what standard that qualifies as a "best-run franchise"?

RedEye
08-09-2009, 09:25 AM
Huntington has been doing what Pittsburgh has been doing. Wait for what? We know the results, its the same model they've been losing with.

Shapiro-2 winning seasons, 4 losing seasons (5 after this year), one break even. And he hasn't even been around for a decade, he took over for Hart after the 2001 season. I am not sure by what standard that qualifies as a "best-run franchise"?

I guess I'm just willing to suspend judgment on Huntington until he has a few years under his belt. The Pirates aren't a franchise that can be turned around overnight, especially with that payroll. I've liked Huntington's approach in a lot of interviews, but I agree with you that we have yet to see results. Sadly, this is the plight of many small market teams these days, but I think the current Pirates brain trust at least has a shot of managing their limited resources more wisely.

In Cleveland, I think Shapiro's results prove that winning and losing aren't always the final measure of how well a GM performs his job. There are some things a GM can't control. Almost every year, the Tribe has a smartly constructed roster with wisely allocated money. Yes, several of those years have been derailed by freakish injuries to key players (last year Hafner and V-Mart, this year Sizemore, etc.) but overall I like his body of work and think he understands the current business climate of MLB. I would replace Jocketty with Shapiro in a heartbeat.

M2
08-09-2009, 12:06 PM
I'm with traderumor, Huntington's been little more than a punchline as a GM and Shapiro's the architect of a five-year plan that only had a one year payoff. Talk about underwhelming and unimpressive.

RedEye
08-09-2009, 01:00 PM
I'm with traderumor, Huntington's been little more than a punchline as a GM and Shapiro's the architect of a five-year plan that only had a one year payoff. Talk about underwhelming and unimpressive.

How long has Huntington been on the job? Eleven months? If RedsZone can give Krivsky and Walt a few years to prove themselves, I would think we could do the same for this guy--especially given the small market constraints of his position. Heck, he's still getting rid of the dreck he inherited.

For the Reds, one playoff appearance in five years would look darn good. I also think those so-called "poor" results for the Indians were actually a function of some bad luck, since that roster was capable of much, much more. I'm pretty confident that Shapiro will build another window of good opportunity for that franchise if given the chance.

traderumor
08-09-2009, 01:11 PM
How long has Huntington been on the job? Eleven months? If RedsZone can give Krivsky and Walt a few years to prove themselves, I would think we could do the same for this guy--especially given the small market constraints of his position. Heck, he's still getting rid of the dreck he inherited.

For the Reds, one playoff appearance in five years would look darn good. I also think those so-called "poor" results for the Indians were actually a function of some bad luck, since that roster was capable of much, much more. I'm pretty confident that Shapiro will build another window of good opportunity for that franchise if given the chance.In that case, your standards are very low for what defines a "best run franchise." I think the standard setters right now are the Boston Red Sox, who have both home grown and smartly traded themselves into playing championship baseball year after year. Cleveland is nowhere in the vicinity when you start to think of LAA, LAD, NYY, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, St. Louis...those are the teams I think of as the starting point with "best run franchises" in the current era. I would add Minnesota, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Texas, all as having better organizations right now than the Indians, and there are probably others, but its time for lunch :)

REDREAD
08-09-2009, 06:38 PM
Sorry, but Shapiro was so yesterday. The Colon trade, a masterpiece though it was, although it was done on the unlevel playing field of the Montreal debacle, has now fizzled into what, Grady Sizemore? He had a perfect storm playoff run one season.


Actually, it's Sizemore plus the prospects they got for Lee.

Shaperio got Choo for Ben Broussard.

He did good in the Blake trade. They got Santanna, arguably the best catching prospect in the minors now.

This year, he's done what a lot of folks want the Reds to do.. churn the vets into prospects. After all the trades they've done, the Indians probably have the best farm in baseball right now.

I would love to have Shapiro running the Reds.

RedEye
08-09-2009, 07:02 PM
In that case, your standards are very low for what defines a "best run franchise." I think the standard setters right now are the Boston Red Sox, who have both home grown and smartly traded themselves into playing championship baseball year after year. Cleveland is nowhere in the vicinity when you start to think of LAA, LAD, NYY, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, St. Louis...those are the teams I think of as the starting point with "best run franchises" in the current era. I would add Minnesota, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Texas, all as having better organizations right now than the Indians, and there are probably others, but its time for lunch :)

Perhaps I mis-worded that last response--the Indians may not be the "best run franchise." I would maintain, however, that the Cleveland FO is still one of the most savvy in baseball at turning over a roster year after year. Sure, sometimes things don't work out for the best, but Shapiro et al. have done a darn good job at maximizing their odds year after year.

As for your list above, I think it's a bit misleading just to run off the teams that are winning this year. FWIW, I'd agree on a few of them--the BoSox (best of all worlds), Tampa Bay (the model of a small market team right now), St. Louis (they were good with Jocketty and may be even better now that he is gone), and Minnesota (another team that "gets it" on how to compete without a lot of dough). I suppose Colorado, the Phils and the Angels are okay, too... but I don't think I'd put the Cubs or the Dodgers up there. They'd be at the top of my "money wasters" list, actually.

traderumor
08-09-2009, 08:16 PM
Perhaps I mis-worded that last response--the Indians may not be the "best run franchise." I would maintain, however, that the Cleveland FO is still one of the most savvy in baseball at turning over a roster year after year. Sure, sometimes things don't work out for the best, but Shapiro et al. have done a darn good job at maximizing their odds year after year.

As for your list above, I think it's a bit misleading just to run off the teams that are winning this year. FWIW, I'd agree on a few of them--the BoSox (best of all worlds), Tampa Bay (the model of a small market team right now), St. Louis (they were good with Jocketty and may be even better now that he is gone), and Minnesota (another team that "gets it" on how to compete without a lot of dough). I suppose Colorado, the Phils and the Angels are okay, too... but I don't think I'd put the Cubs or the Dodgers up there. They'd be at the top of my "money wasters" list, actually.The Cubs and Dodgers have been strong organizations for most of this decade.

RedEye
08-09-2009, 10:56 PM
The Cubs and Dodgers have been strong organizations for most of this decade.

Only because they have huge payrolls and substantial margins for error. The Soriano contract by itself, for example, would have hamstrung about 50% of the other teams in baseball. That's why I don't think the main criterion for a "well-run franchise" should be winning. It should be what you do with what you've got--and neither the Dodgers nor the Cubs FO's have been terribly impressive in that regard.

Eric_the_Red
08-10-2009, 08:56 AM
Only because they have huge payrolls and substantial margins for error. The Soriano contract by itself, for example, would have hamstrung about 50% of the other teams in baseball. That's why I don't think the main criterion for a "well-run franchise" should be winning. It should be what you do with what you've got--and neither the Dodgers nor the Cubs FO's have been terribly impressive in that regard.

I'd take a poorly run, winning franchise over a well-run loser.

jojo
08-10-2009, 09:15 AM
I'd take a poorly run, winning franchise over a well-run loser.

If you could switch the two organizations without changing allegiances, would you take the Reds over the Indians?

Eric_the_Red
08-10-2009, 09:29 AM
If you could switch the two organizations without changing allegiances, would you take the Reds over the Indians?


No, because the Indians are not winning.

Cleveland 48 63 .432

But I'd take either the Cubs or Dodgers, the two teams that were mentioned as having recent success.

Chicago 58 51 .532
Los Angeles 67 45 .598

My point was that I'll take a winner over a "solid organization". Honestly I could care less about prospects in the pipeline, or the winning percentage of the minor league teams. I want a winner in the majors, regardless if that comes from great home-grown talent or paying for the best free agents each year. Unfortunately for us Reds fans, it doesn't look like either option is happening.

M2
08-10-2009, 09:57 AM
How long has Huntington been on the job? Eleven months? If RedsZone can give Krivsky and Walt a few years to prove themselves, I would think we could do the same for this guy--especially given the small market constraints of his position. Heck, he's still getting rid of the dreck he inherited.

He's been on the job since late 2007 and is coming into the end of his second season in charge. So far his working plan is indistinguishable from his predecessors. Maybe he'll build a good organization that starts churning out higher end talents (like Andrew McCuthchen), but he looks like a by-the-book new school GM to me and I doubt that's going to lead to any outstanding success.


I would maintain, however, that the Cleveland FO is still one of the most savvy in baseball at turning over a roster year after year. Sure, sometimes things don't work out for the best, but Shapiro et al. have done a darn good job at maximizing their odds year after year.

That's a great soundbite, but his results are shoddy. The Indians were supposed to have arrived in 2005 and now they're rebuilding again with only one division crown to show for it. It's been a completely underwhelming job he's done.


I'd take a poorly run, winning franchise over a well-run loser.

Same here. Amazing how perceptions of poorly- and well-run can get flipped when results come into the equation.


If you could switch the two organizations without changing allegiances, would you take the Reds over the Indians?

The right answer might very well be none of the above. The Indians might just have the worst pitching in captivity.

traderumor
08-10-2009, 11:13 AM
If you could switch the two organizations without changing allegiances, would you take the Reds over the Indians?After the Colon prospects made it through, I cannot easily recall an impact youngster that the Indians have brought up. Am I forgetting someone?

So, I'd say its probably about a wash right now, with the Indians having a Sizemore to our Votto, but unless they have a host of studs coming up from the minors, they seem to be in worse shape. Plus, I'll be amazed if Eric Wedge survives the offseason.

IslandRed
08-10-2009, 11:40 AM
The Indians were supposed to have arrived in 2005 and now they're rebuilding again with only one division crown to show for it. It's been a completely underwhelming job he's done.


After the Colon prospects made it through, I cannot easily recall an impact youngster that the Indians have brought up. Am I forgetting someone?

Those comments fit my perception, also.

Shapiro's first season on the job, 2002, was terrific. He inherited an aging team whose window of contention was closing, and he did a masterful job of selling off the veterans. The young players he landed (Sizemore, Lee, Hafner etc.), combined with some more goodness already in the farm system (Martinez, Sabathia etc.), put the Indians back in contention sooner rather than later.

But since then? The core of recent Indians teams was in place at the start of 2003. From then up until it was time to start selling again recently, it's hard to remember anything he did that moved the needle. The Indians usually had some gaping flaw in its pitching or complementary parts that just never got fixed.

He's the right guy to bring in for a liquidation sale, but beyond that, he doesn't strike me as anything special.

lollipopcurve
08-10-2009, 11:55 AM
I've been questioning the exalted status accorded the Indians FO on this board for years. I think they're pretty much in the same boat as the Reds -- midmarket, midwest -- and that defines their current state and prospects better than whatever software they're running to inform decisions. Now an owner with money problems, who's barking about the next labor agreement, compounds the problem. They probably gambled on being able to re-sign CC or Lee, or both. Don't know if that's a failure on the part of ownership or the front office, or neither, but the reality now is that they're like any other struggling team that has to pin its hopes on young, unproven players.

M2
08-10-2009, 12:41 PM
I've been questioning the exalted status accorded the Indians FO on this board for years. I think they're pretty much in the same boat as the Reds -- midmarket, midwest -- and that defines their current state and prospects better than whatever software they're running to inform decisions. Now an owner with money problems, who's barking about the next labor agreement, compounds the problem. They probably gambled on being able to re-sign CC or Lee, or both. Don't know if that's a failure on the part of ownership or the front office, or neither, but the reality now is that they're like any other struggling team that has to pin its hopes on young, unproven players.

They believed their own hype in a lot of ways, assuming that the rotation right now would be anchored by Fausto Carmona, Jeremy Sowers and Adam Miller even if they weren't able to keep Sabathia and/or Lee. As it turned out, the future was less than guaranteed.

The real question is will they entertain trading Grady Sizemore to land another flotilla of kids?

traderumor
08-10-2009, 01:15 PM
They believed their own hype in a lot of ways, assuming that the rotation right now would be anchored by Fausto Carmona, Jeremy Sowers and Adam Miller even if they weren't able to keep Sabathia and/or Lee. As it turned out, the future was less than guaranteed.

The real question is will they entertain trading Grady Sizemore to land another flotilla of kids?Line me up for Sizemore and send the flotillas :)

RedEye
08-10-2009, 08:13 PM
I'd take a poorly run, winning franchise over a well-run loser.

This is a non-sequitor. It's not just about winning and losing. My point is about which FO run their teams the best given their lots in the market. The Reds and the Indians are, as several posters have pointed out, playing with similar hands dealt to them in terms of revenue. And I think most of us would take Shapiro's FO hands down at this point.

Actually, your point only serves to underline the inequity of MLB these days. Clubs like the Dodgers and the Cubs can throw around money willy nilly without worrying about it because they have the latitude to correct any errors--over and over again--by simply buying more players. Had Ned Colletti dealt for Manny or signed Juan Pierre in a Cincinnati or a Cleveland, that would have been his job-defining move. Period. Fact is, GM's like Shapiro and Huntington are playing a different game entirely, and they should be judged accordingly.

Eric_the_Red
08-10-2009, 08:44 PM
This is a non-sequitor. It's not just about winning and losing. My point is about which FO run their teams the best given their lots in the market. The Reds and the Indians are, as several posters have pointed out, playing with similar hands dealt to them in terms of revenue. And I think most of us would take Shapiro's FO hands down at this point.

Actually, your point only serves to underline the inequity of MLB these days. Clubs like the Dodgers and the Cubs can throw around money willy nilly without worrying about it because they have the latitude to correct any errors--over and over again--by simply buying more players. Had Ned Colletti dealt for Manny or signed Juan Pierre in a Cincinnati or a Cleveland, that would have been his job-defining move. Period. Fact is, GM's like Shapiro and Huntington are playing a different game entirely, and they should be judged accordingly.

I don't know, I think there may be another way to play, following a pattern the Marlins have displayed in the past. Pay big money to get veteran free agents to mix with rising talent and make a serious run into the playoffs; trade said big name/salary players for more high-ceiling prospects; take your lumps while the young players learn to play the game; repeat.

I'll take a winning team and playoff/WS run followed by 5 years of mediocre to poor play as a pattern. Beats what Reds fans have been getting.

RedEye
08-10-2009, 08:52 PM
I don't know, I think there may be another way to play, following a pattern the Marlins have displayed in the past. Pay big money to get veteran free agents to mix with rising talent and make a serious run into the playoffs; trade said big name/salary players for more high-ceiling prospects; take your lumps while the young players learn to play the game; repeat.

I'll take a winning team and playoff/WS run followed by 5 years of mediocre to poor play as a pattern. Beats what Reds fans have been getting.

Okay... point taken. But I think the Marlins' case only emphasizes the distance that exists today between winning from time to time as a business strategy and winning to build a long-term fan base. In either case, we're not talking poorly run franchises--we're talking picking a plan and sticking to it, which is something the Reds have a hard time doing.

Eric_the_Red
08-10-2009, 08:56 PM
Okay... point taken. But I think the Marlins' case only emphasizes the distance that exists today between winning from time to time as a business strategy and winning to build a long-term fan base. In either case, we're not talking poorly run franchises--we're talking picking a plan and sticking to it, which is something the Reds have a hard time doing.

Agreed. It seems like every 2 years the Reds roll out their new 3 year plan. I wish the Reds FO would A) decide on ONE plan, B) explain the plan clearly to their fans, including a timeline, C) stick to it and D) hold the plan-makers and those executing the plan accountable (and I don't mean the managers or coaches).

traderumor
08-12-2009, 01:45 PM
Indians GM On The Rebuilding Process
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [August 12, 2009 at 10:28am CST]
Indians GM Mark Shapiro told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the Indians plan to rebuild in "mini cycles" and could contend again soon:

•Some of the Indians' deadline deals were "financially motivated," but Shapiro distinguishes them from pure salary dumps like the Alex Rios deal.
•Shapiro doesn't see any of the Indians' division rivals becomining dominant forces in the near future.
•He expects to be the team's GM next year despite rumblings that he could ascend to another front office role. He says he has "unfinished business" as GM, but he acknowledges that he could move on to a different position later on.
•It's hard to say how much the Indians will spend on free agents, but Shapiro says he could sign one or two this offseason, something that would not have been possible with Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez around.
•He knows he overpaid for last year's free agent signing, Kerry Wood, but expects this year's market to be depressed.
•Why didn't the Indians acquire Kyle Drabek or Clay Buchholz? Young talent's at a premium and sometimes the Indians don't value players as much as other teams, scouts or analysts do.
•Carlos Carrasco is close to contributing to the Indians and will compete for a rotation spot next year.

Rebuilding in "mini-cycles"? Meaningless gibberish. Must have read a business school text book recently.

Why didn't they get the Phillies top prospects? "Well, we didn't think they were all that and a bag of chips. We're smarter than everyone else, so we didn't even ask for those guys like some other chump might have."

BuckeyeRedleg
08-12-2009, 03:32 PM
At the rate the Reds are going, the Indians will be in the playoffs (again) and the Pirates will be somewhat relevant before the Reds.

At least the Pirates have hit rock bottom and are ridding themselves of their garbage. Tribe too. And the Tribe has proven that they can build it back up again. The Pirates? Well, even if things don't work out, they'll still be at the bottom with the Reds but playing in one of the nicest parks in baseball.

traderumor
08-12-2009, 03:39 PM
At the rate the Reds are going, the Indians will be in the playoffs (again) and the Pirates will be somewhat relevant before the Reds.

At least the Pirates have hit rock bottom and are ridding themselves of their garbage. Tribe too. And the Tribe has proven that they can build it back up again. The Pirates? Well, even if things don't work out, they'll still be at the bottom with the Reds but playing in one of the nicest parks in baseball.The Pirates have been at rock bottom for what is close to 20 years and are behaving like they love the slums. The Reds are right there with those clubs, none of them seem to have any inclination that they have a failed model.

M2
08-12-2009, 04:21 PM
The Pirates have been at rock bottom for what is close to 20 years and are behaving like they love the slums.

Too harnessed in slums, to rock you wrap your throat.
Standing over your common ground.
We're running joke, running jokes, running dry.
Strip the color from the meat of my eye.

I want waste.
They want waste.
We want waste.
They want waste.

BuckeyeRedleg
08-12-2009, 04:40 PM
The Pirates have been at rock bottom for what is close to 20 years and are behaving like they love the slums. The Reds are right there with those clubs, none of them seem to have any inclination that they have a failed model.

I'll assume that by shedding veteran contracts, accumulating prospects AND investing money in Latin America and the draft the Pirates finally have a plan.

The Reds are also investing in Latin America and the draft, but they continue to acquire albatross contracts and sometimes do so at the expense of youth and prospects. To me, the Reds are right where they have been the last decade - not sure whether to poop or get off the pot and I'm not feeling all warm and fuzzy about it.

The Indians? They have given me no reason to doubt that they will be competing for a division title (again) before the Reds decide what they are doing.

Maybe that's not the GM's fault. Maybe it's the owners fault. Maybe it's not fair to say I'd take Shapiro and Huntington over any GM the Reds have sent out there, but I know, as of TODAY, I'd take those two franchises to compete before the Reds ever do.

M2
08-12-2009, 05:22 PM
I'll assume that by shedding veteran contracts, accumulating prospects AND investing money in Latin America and the draft the Pirates finally have a plan.

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside

At least that's the grand vision. Tends to function more like this:

It's all I can do
To keep waiting for you

traderumor
08-12-2009, 05:35 PM
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside

At least that's the grand vision. Tends to function more like this:

It's all I can do
To keep waiting for youTrying out your different stations on Pandora's today, eh? Quite the spectrum of lyrics you've quoted :)

REDREAD
08-13-2009, 10:30 AM
At least the Pirates have hit rock bottom and are ridding themselves of their garbage. Tribe too. And the Tribe has proven that they can build it back up again. The Pirates? Well, even if things don't work out, they'll still be at the bottom with the Reds but playing in one of the nicest parks in baseball.

The only real garbage I see on the team now is AGon and WillyT. AGon will be gone after this year.

Are Arroyo, Harang, and Cordero overpaid a bit? Yes, but they are not garbage.

Chip R
08-13-2009, 02:45 PM
AGon will be gone after this year.



That's what you think.

traderumor
08-13-2009, 03:17 PM
That's what you think.His current hot streak is a log on the fire. Hate to root against a player's success, but...;)

*BaseClogger*
08-13-2009, 03:56 PM
The only real garbage I see on the team now is AGon and WillyT. AGon will be gone after this year.

That's because Mike Lincoln is hiding in somebody's garage...

cincinnati chili
08-15-2009, 01:32 PM
I'd take Mark Shapiro in a heartbeat, even though I've disagreed strongly with a lot of his moves (e.g. targeting Josh Barfield). Has anyone mentioned that he acquired Travis Hafner and Shin-Soo Choo for their peak years for practically nothing? He got his team one win from the world series.

He's gotta be considered upper tier of GMs. Even Billy Beane is on a bad run at the moment. It happens.

I also agree that Huntington needs more time to be judged. Another thing - Huntington/Coonelly (Huntington's boss) pretty much run that team in tandem. I've heard also that Pirate ownership since McClatchy stepped aside is no picnic to work for. Coonelly presumably is under a lot of pressure from them, and Huntington from Coonelly (a documented workaholic and short-fused indidvidual).