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Thread: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

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    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    I was watching the last game of the 76 series and when accepting the trophy from Kuhn, Howsam told Tony Kubek that the 76 club may be the last great "balanced team." A slap in the face to the Commisoner, since the statement was clearly made in reference to Kuhn's very recent approval of free agency. Garagiola brought up the pointedness of the comment in the post game. It could be argued that embarrassing the Commissioner on baseball's largest stage when the world was watching, led to Kuhn nixing the Vida Blue trade in '77. It definitely didn't help. Howsam then got rid of Tony Perez that off season. And soon after Rose, Morgan, Foster, Griffey. It almost is like Howsam was so egotistical that he scuttled the Reds rather than adapt to the reality of the game. If it wasn't his baseball, he wasn't going to play. For all that Howsam was a great GM, his dismantling of the BRM is one of the greatest management failures in the history of the sport-on par with trading Babe Ruth. Not surprising: big failures usually follow the moment someone thinks they're bigger than the game.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    To be fair, I'm pretty sure Howsam was not the GM when Rose,Morgan,Griffey and Foster left via FA or were traded. The "great" Dick Wagner was GM for those moves. Howsam wasn't perfect but he did much more good than he did wrong. He was also spot on correct when he said those things about the 1976 team. He knew a new world in baseball was beginning.
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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    Howsam traded Perez but the rest of the BRM was on Dick Wagner.

    IMO Howsam should be in Cooperstown not only for his work with the Reds but also the Cardinals.

    The Perez trade was obviously a bad one but even the greats like Howsam make mistakes. If anything led to the destruction of the BRM it was the awful drafting that took place during the 70's especially the pitching.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    No, Howsam was very much still influential with the Reds even after was no longer GM. His attitude and reluctance to embrace the changes in baseball were instrumental in the Reds dismantling. Wagner gets an unfair and over large proportion of the criticism but it was Howsam and the Williams brothers who were chief villains. Wagner was their point man. Howsam was President after resigning as GM (til 78) and returned as President in 83. In the intervening years he wielded great influence behind the scenes.
    Last edited by RedlegJake; 10-31-2013 at 03:54 PM.
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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    Howsam could be extreme. He uttered an expletive when told a weekend World Series game was going to be at night. When the writer suggested there might be some wisdom to the Commisioner's decision, Howsam said, "I fill ballparks!" I agree that he was a great GM, but he had a stubbornness and an ego to go with that, which I'm suggesting did not serve him well at the end of his initial tenure with the Reds.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...86/2/index.htm

    The draft had far less effect in the National League, where only four players left their clubs. Despite the loss of Gullett, who played only a minor role in winning the 1976 pennant, smugly superior Cincinnati, which refused to participate in the reentry process
    When the Reds turn to pick cam Howsam would stand and say... "The Cincinnati Reds pass"

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    Howsam was the last great old era GM. He simply couldn't wrap his mind around the changes that crashed in upon the game even though the signs of the inevitability of free agency and players rights were stark. He tried to dig his heels in and say "No, we'll just refuse to do it that way." He wasn't alone in thinking free agency spelled the end for baseball so he can be forgiven being short sighted.
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...86/2/index.htm



    When the Reds turn to pick cam Howsam would stand and say... "The Cincinnati Reds pass"
    They certainly did... Whew.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    why should they participate after all they just purloined the great Dale Murrey and Woody Fryman

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    Far, far more positive with Howsam than negative. He built one of the greatest teams ever assembled at a time when any holes had to be filled through trades or the farm system, not free agency. How about:

    Hiring a virtual unknown to manage the team, a guy who would later win WS titles in both leagues on the way to the HOF

    The Morgan-Billingham-Geronimo trade needs no more explanation

    Stealing sparkplug center fielder Bobby Tolan from St. Louis for a mostly-washed up Vada Pinson. Tolan was a huge key to the pennant winners of 1970 and '72. In the same deal, he also got a reliever who would lead the NL in saves in '70.

    Stealing George Foster from the Giants for Frank Duffy. Future MVP, 2-time NL Home Run champion.

    Stealing Jim Merritt from Texas. Merritt would win 17 and 20 in his two years with the Reds before he blew out his arm.

    Stealing Fred Norman from San Diego, a true mainstay and dependable starter for the next seven years, winning 11-14 games every year.

    Putting together an org that could turn prospects into all-stars like Griffey Sr., Concepcion, and to a large extent, Geronimo.

    Picking up Borbon for next to nothing, who would become one of the true rubber-armed relievers of the era.

    Building a radio network that was unrivaled in sports and helped lead to attendance totals in a small market city that topped virtually everyone.

    The Perez trade was bad, but they had Driessen, thought to be a potential batting champion, with no place to play, and Perez was going on 35 years old. Actually, it was the pitching that fell apart in '77 that killed them, with Gullett gone, Nolan blew out his shoulder, Billingham getting old, and something happened to Eastwick and McEnaney.

    Yes, he tried to hold the line on free agency and when the other dumb owners could not control their spending, he was cooked. He was stubborn and late to the party, but that was a time when you could go to a MLB game for $5 with free parking.

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Far, far more positive with Howsam than negative. He built one of the greatest teams ever assembled at a time when any holes had to be filled through trades or the farm system, not free agency. How about:

    Hiring a virtual unknown to manage the team, a guy who would later win WS titles in both leagues on the way to the HOF

    The Morgan-Billingham-Geronimo trade needs no more explanation

    Stealing sparkplug center fielder Bobby Tolan from St. Louis for a mostly-washed up Vada Pinson. Tolan was a huge key to the pennant winners of 1970 and '72. In the same deal, he also got a reliever who would lead the NL in saves in '70.

    Stealing George Foster from the Giants for Frank Duffy. Future MVP, 2-time NL Home Run champion.

    Stealing Jim Merritt from Texas. Merritt would win 17 and 20 in his two years with the Reds before he blew out his arm.

    Stealing Fred Norman from San Diego, a true mainstay and dependable starter for the next seven years, winning 11-14 games every year.

    Putting together an org that could turn prospects into all-stars like Griffey Sr., Concepcion, and to a large extent, Geronimo.

    Picking up Borbon for next to nothing, who would become one of the true rubber-armed relievers of the era.

    Building a radio network that was unrivaled in sports and helped lead to attendance totals in a small market city that topped virtually everyone.

    The Perez trade was bad, but they had Driessen, thought to be a potential batting champion, with no place to play, and Perez was going on 35 years old. Actually, it was the pitching that fell apart in '77 that killed them, with Gullett gone, Nolan blew out his shoulder, Billingham getting old, and something happened to Eastwick and McEnaney.

    Yes, he tried to hold the line on free agency and when the other dumb owners could not control their spending, he was cooked. He was stubborn and late to the party, but that was a time when you could go to a MLB game for $5 with free parking.
    No doubt he was a great GM. He was just a different era and couldn't adapt to a new radically different one. But was he more great? Heck yes!
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Far, far more positive with Howsam than negative. He built one of the greatest teams ever assembled at a time when any holes had to be filled through trades or the farm system, not free agency. How about:

    Hiring a virtual unknown to manage the team, a guy who would later win WS titles in both leagues on the way to the HOF

    The Morgan-Billingham-Geronimo trade needs no more explanation

    Stealing sparkplug center fielder Bobby Tolan from St. Louis for a mostly-washed up Vada Pinson. Tolan was a huge key to the pennant winners of 1970 and '72. In the same deal, he also got a reliever who would lead the NL in saves in '70.

    Stealing George Foster from the Giants for Frank Duffy. Future MVP, 2-time NL Home Run champion.

    Stealing Jim Merritt from Texas. Merritt would win 17 and 20 in his two years with the Reds before he blew out his arm.

    Stealing Fred Norman from San Diego, a true mainstay and dependable starter for the next seven years, winning 11-14 games every year.

    Putting together an org that could turn prospects into all-stars like Griffey Sr., Concepcion, and to a large extent, Geronimo.

    Picking up Borbon for next to nothing, who would become one of the true rubber-armed relievers of the era.

    Building a radio network that was unrivaled in sports and helped lead to attendance totals in a small market city that topped virtually everyone.

    The Perez trade was bad, but they had Driessen, thought to be a potential batting champion, with no place to play, and Perez was going on 35 years old. Actually, it was the pitching that fell apart in '77 that killed them, with Gullett gone, Nolan blew out his shoulder, Billingham getting old, and something happened to Eastwick and McEnaney.

    Yes, he tried to hold the line on free agency and when the other dumb owners could not control their spending, he was cooked. He was stubborn and late to the party, but that was a time when you could go to a MLB game for $5 with free parking.
    Howsam traded Leo Cardenas to the Twins for Jim Merritt after the 1968 season. The Texas Rangers did not exist then. I believe that Merritt later played for the Rangers but he initially came from the Twins. Merritt's Reds teammates nicknamed him "OC."
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 10-31-2013 at 06:23 PM.
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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    The Reds later traded Merritt to the Texas Rangers for Jim Driscoll and Hal King in 1972.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    hal king was the man

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    Re: Bob Howsam: the great and horrible.

    I believe that if the Perez/Driessen situation existed today, everybody on RedZone would be infavour of dumping Perez and retaining Driessen.

    Sometimes mistakes are amde even though it appears to the majority to be the best choice.

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