Originally Posted by SteelSD
In my mind, the single most important item to be addressed is the hiring of an intelligent General Manager who is comfortable speaking truth to power.
Castellini hired Beattie to (allegedly) assess the pitching situation from top to bottom. Called him an "advisor". To me, that indicates that Castellini is comfortable having those around him who have the ability to speak truth to power. You don't hire an "advisor" if you're not comfortable with that.
That being said, we can only hope that Castellini has the ability to figure out that Beattie hasn't shown any real aptitude during his tenure as a GM. And yes, it concerns me that Beattie is tasked with assessing the pitching situation after he's been co-GM on an Orioles team that has finished in the MLB bottom ten the last two seasons.
Beyond the "Pitch to Contact" garbage, the "Take one Strike" directive (which has merit if implemented properly), team defense at the MLB level, and the starting rotation, Bob Castellini must figure out what he doesn't know how to fix and quickly find the person who'll be best suited to provide creative bold solutions. If that one thing does not happen, the rest are almost entirely moot.
In short, the biggest threat to that end is Bob Castellini's ability to, through introspection, understand the limitations of his own knowledge base coupled with his ability to trust those who can provide solutions Castellini himself may not entirely understand. If the reverse happens and Castellini surrounds himself only with what is familiar while attempting to micro-manage folks who are set on telling him what they know he wants to hear?
Well...let's just say that it takes longer to get rid of an Owner than it does a General Manager.
After listening to Castellini, I'm entirely open to the possibility that he'll be self-aware enough to choose the right course. If he does, he'll be a truly great leader. But then, truly great leaders are rare. So folks will have to excuse me if for being only cautiously optimistic.
Excellent post. The person Castellini hires as GM is critical obviously. One thing I do lie is that the new GM will not have to report through Allen, a guy who clearly knows nothing about building a winning ballteam.
I agree that "take one strike" has some merit if properly implemented. Ted Williams was selective as a hitter and didn't just go up to the plate hacking at anything close to the strikezone. While Teddy Ballgame would on occasion swing at the first pitch, he usually would wait and would only swing a pitch he could handle, strike or not, unless he already had two strikes on him.
For that matter, "pitch to contact" would make sense if it meant "throw strikes," but the idea should be "pitch to avoid contact." Reds pitchers are all too well able to make contact with opposing bats.