Re: O'Brien fired! Kullman interm GM, announcement at 5pm
What Dan O'Brien's firing means to the Dragons
By Marc Katz
Dayton Daily News
Let's hope there aren't two men in baseball who believe the low minors need to have tandem pitching systems and batters taking a strike before swinging.
One of them was let go by the Reds on Monday. Dan O'Brien was a nice guy — a man you'd love to have as a father. He was conscientious. He visited the Class A Dayton Dragons several times last summer to look over the prospects.
He also made it nearly impossible for the Dragons to win. He instituted a system he used as an employee with the Texas Rangers, even though the Rangers don't use that system anymore.
It was designed, O'Brien said, to get pitchers into more games while preventing injuries as well as teaching batters to be patient. With it, the Dragons lost 92 games in 2004 and 79 last summer. That's during a 140-game season.
Although none of the Reds development people would ever say so, the system was not popular. There apparently was a movement in the works to cut back on the first-strike decree, but farm director Tim Naehring must now wait to see what direction the new general manager wants to take.
At least O'Brien's two draft classes appeared to be better than the previous four. If players such as pitcher Homer Bailey, outfielder B.J. Szymanski and infielders Paul Janish and Adam Rosales eventually make it to the majors, O'Brien can be hailed for that.
As for the hard-line tandem system and first-strike edict, a half-million fans who watch the Dragons annually will be thrilled to see something different.
And this one belongs to the Reds!!!- Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman