Originally Posted by M2
What is different about it is that Baker probably means the Reds are going to make a concerted commitment to winning over the next three seasons. Moves are going to be made. Money is going to be spent. We're going to get the kind of go-for-it effort we haven't seen since the Jr. trade. It could be a disaster, but when you've got an old school owner and an old school GM you shouldn't expect them to act like the Red Sox braintrust.
What you are advocating as the upside of this move, a concerted effort to 'go for it', is exactly my primary rationale for disliking the move. In this market, with this personnel, and in this current division the recipe for success should be to follow through with the development of the youthful talent that was already paying dividends.
Following Mac's ascent, we posted one of the better records in the division and league, and that was with heavy contributions from the young talent that should be counted upon to improve and replicate similar production (and which had already demonstrated an ability to shine under Pete). In a division where 10 games over .500 ball runs away and hides with the crown, Pete's 2 games over .500 with a previously 20 games under club, was positive traction.
A franchise like the Reds should be looking to clubs like Cleveland for innovative and forward thinking approaches to rebuilding, and as a how to guide to competing with the larger market competitors. Instead, we went 180 degrees in the opposite direction, favoring retro-backwards thinking, and the common man appeal of a familiar name and nostalgia, to good baseball philosophy.
The problem with this Owner and F.O. 'going for it' is precisely the fact that this is the type of signing that happens when they 'go for it'... Sign a manager who was 34 games under .500 in his last 2 NL Central seasons with a superiorly funded team, over a manager who just went 2 games over with the a lesser team in the same division. When these guys 'go for it' what do we get? When we went for it in mid-2006 Majewski was the center piece of wining now, along with Cormier, and Guardado. When we were ready to contend again going into 2007, it was the addition of Stanton, and Gonzo and Conine etc...
The right track was staying the course with allowing the young positional players, and bullpen hands to continue to blossom (Hamilton, Phillips, EdE, Votto, Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Burton, Cout, Salmon etc...) and to then augment them with a little veteran rotation help, and a more stalwart bullpen enforcer or two. That, and good health, and we're in contention in the volatile NL Central. Instead, where will the shakeup lead? How far will we backtrack? How many bad moves, and how much youth development impeded, will take place in favor of veteran filler who plays Dusty's old school style of ball? Given Dusty's atrocious sense of pitcher/batter matchups, flat earth concepts of lineup construction, and starter usage, will anyone be placed in an optimal position to succeed?
My guess is that Pete handled the bullpen much better, cared for the arms of our key investments (Harang and Arroyo) much better, and handled youth development much better, than Baker ever will. And that the small, incremental gains we made throughout 2007 were likely all just flushed for the splash of a PR move that will go terribly awry.