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Thread: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

  1. #31
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    My criticism of that, though, is if he felt that way about the team heading into the season, if that was the course he set, then why didn't he do more in the offseason? Clearly that would mean he'd assessed what he had and I think it was a mistake not acting in a more definitive fashion from the outset.
    I think he did, but it's just not visible because of where his time was spent, such as changing the adminstration portion of the organization. That alone is a minimum 6-month process. I'm in a company that's changing it's face and if you're looking for quality in people, then it takes time. Not all the people you want are unemployed. Some of them have other jobs in other organizations.

    I'm sure the guy works six days a week and has since he took over this job. Think he's had a vacation since he had this job? I doubt it.

    If you want to do this thing right, then you need to tear down the foundation before building it up with a stronger foundation. After the new foundation is in place then the parts can be added.

    This winter, what Dan O'Brien accomplishes should be a more "visible".

    Nice original post, excellent commitment on the part of the other posters here to give this guy a chance.

    Everyone ripped Wagner when he broke up the Big Red Machine, but Wagner brought in Davis, Larkin, Stillwell, Jones, Browning, etc. We won a World Series in 1990 with the personnel that Wagner drafted.

    This stuff takes time, but once in place, if ownership doesn't change radically (Marge Schott), then with a good foundation in place, sustainable quality can be achieved. Potentially, Lindner could pass away during O'Brien's regime, and whoever becomes in charge after that could shake up what O'Brien will have accomplished. Let's hope he gets five or six years to show us what he can do. It will be obvious at the "end" of each year, if we only look at the overall organization at the whole and not at the Major League product, what O'Brien is accomplishing.

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  3. #32
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    I really wanted to like Dan O'Brien. I did not hold the Chris Reitsma trade against him; it hasn't looked very good to date but it was the right kind of trade to make. I love the level of professionalism he's brought back to the job after years of leather pants and 911 references. I love the restructuring of the scouting department. I like the pitch-to-contact philosophy in that we have no pitchers who can strike anyone out anyway.

    The drafting of a High School pitcher and passing on a MLB-ready SS in Stephen Drew was a huge mistake. Drew would have cost a hefty sum of money, but he would have been the answer at SS as soon as next season. A .400 OBP SS with 15-25 HR ability was there, but instead O'Brien chose a commodity (HS pitcher) that has a failure rate of over 80% in terms of MLB success. With a chance to mark his imprint on his first ametuer draft, O'Brien fell into the abyss that so many other GM's have fallen into. The Reds have now passed on Khalil Greene, Bobby Crosby, and Stephen Drew in the last 3 years, all while knowing that Barry Larkin is winding down with no heir apparent. It's sad that O'Brien was not more visionary in this draft.

  4. #33
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton
    as far as I can tell, you like DanO because you want to like him and because he's done nothing.

    I can see why you'd welcome noncontroversy. On the other hand, we're just marking time so far. And by the looks of the draft, we'll be marking time for a number of years.

    I want to like DanO, too. But he's going to have to do something before I can give him that.

    I want decisions to be made and I want them to work out as well, if not better, than the decisions that I'd have made in DanO's place. That's not asking too much.

    So far there's just one big league decision, Chris Reitsma. Terrible timing to sell when your team subsequently plays well. Oh, well, there's be more decisions. And I'm sure that some will work out better.

    But I smell a five year plan, and while I'm patient, I also think that five year plans usually mean five bad years. As they've shown, the Reds have some players now. Make something out of them. Don't wait five.
    Princeton. Dan O'Brien had nothing to work with. The Cincinnati REDS were one of the worst, if not the worst organization in Professional Baseball. There is so much that he had to clean up first. He needed a wrecking ball for his first duties. O'Brien has been excellent. Get your focus off of the Major League ballclub. That's not where you can measure O'Brien's efforts this year. That's not his club. Those aren't his players, and he had no one, no money to make any changes to that portion of the organization.

    O'Brien has been brilliant, but you have no way of knowing that because what he's done is rebuild the structure of the organization. That's invisible to you.

  5. #34
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis
    I think he did, but it's just not visible because of where his time was spent, such as changing the adminstration portion of the organization. That alone is a minimum 6-month process. I'm in a company that's changing it's face and if you're looking for quality in people, then it takes time. Not all the people you want are unemployed. Some of them have other jobs in other organizations.
    I'm talking about player acquistion. You're talking about bureaucracy.

    It's fine that DanO wanted/wants to reorganize the front office. He's still got a team to run in the interim and there's no reason why he shouldn't have molded that team more to his liking if he believed changes needed to be made.

    The Reds need a GM, not an office manager.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis
    Get your focus off of the Major League ballclub. That's not where you can measure O'Brien's efforts this year.
    Sure looks like a dog of a draft his rebuilt organization netted. And most of the club's top prospects have gone down in flames, so his development folks aren't experiencing much success either.

    If anything, the major league ballclub is exactly where DanO supporters should be looking to measure his efforts as it's where he's having the most success, except that he's having it with an inherited team.
    Last edited by M2; 06-24-2004 at 05:00 PM.
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  6. #35
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    I'm talking about player acquistion. You're talking about bureaucracy.

    It's fine that DanO wanted/wants to reorganize the front office. He's still got a team to run in the interim and there's no reason why he shouldn't have molded that team more to his liking if he believed changes needed to be made.

    The Reds need a GM, not an office manager.
    That time will come, but you have to build from the bottom up, not the top down. That was Bowden's philosophy. He can try to help the Major League club, if at the same time he doesn't sacrifice the overall goal of bettering the minor leagues. That's hard to do, but the White deal was an example.

    The improved attendance figures might bring in another player, also, something that doesn't cost as much minor league talent. But he also might save that money for next year, if the REDS fall out of contention. They shouldn't so, he'll probably give them some help.

    I wrote yesterday or the day before....Excpect from O'Brien one move per week for the next 7 or 8 weeks.
    Last edited by Eric_Davis; 06-24-2004 at 04:59 PM.

  7. #36
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis
    Get your focus off of the Major League ballclub. That's not where you can measure O'Brien's efforts this year. That's not his club. Those aren't his players.

    exactly. He's had a negative impact on a GM's no. 1 priority. Understandable if we were losers, but we're not.

  8. #37
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by dougflynn23
    : I love the level of professionalism he's brought back to the job after years of leather pants and 911 references.
    That's the first time I laughed all day.

    I needed that.

  9. #38
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton
    exactly. He's had a negative impact on a GM's no. 1 priority. Understandable if we were losers, but we're not.
    I agree with you that it's the G.M.'s #1 priority to make a winner out of the Major League Club, but I don't see how he could have done that without sacrificing the future. 80 games does not make a season and the team has so many holes, where do you put the plugs? And with what money or prospects do you pay for these plugs?

  10. #39
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Sure looks like a dog of a draft his rebuilt organization netted. And most of the club's top prospects have gone down in flames, so his development folks aren't experiencing much success either.
    I don't see how his draft can be analyzed as good or bad. There isn't any way to measure what the players that have been drafted will be like for at least two years.

    There also isn't any way to measure what his development folks have accomplished in less that half a season either.

  11. #40
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Lidle was a bad signing because it hasn't worked and the chances of it working were extremely low. I don't hold the team to all that high a standard. All I really ask is they be able to figure out things that I can figure out from 1,000 miles away. Lidle was more of the same for a pitching staff that needed a change. He wasn't going to give them a sub-4.00 ERA, likely not a sub-4.50 ERA and quite possibly not a sub-5.00 ERA. Had they spent $500,000 on him, which is about what a "maybe it works, maybe it doesn't" flyer is worth, that would be one thing, but paying $2.75M for one is a dumb idea anyway you slice it.
    Not true. Lidle's signing has worked, and worked extremely well. If Lidle wasn't there, then every pitcher below him would move up one spot. What a disaster that would be.

    Lidle's ERA will be below 5.00 at the end of the year, and more likely will be around 4.30-4.40. He'll pitch 190 innings and have 15-19 quality starts.

  12. #41
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyenut
    [why was] the lidle signing was a bad signing. It was a low risk signing. It filled a need. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't but no way it was a bad signing.
    .
    But it was a 3 million dollar signing. Lidle has been Jeckle and Hide this year.He also spent 700k on Vanderwall. So, in theory, he had almost 4 million
    to spend on pitching this winter (maybe more if you believe they were holding money for later ) One could make the argument that with about 4 million in payflex, we could've done better than Lidle. IMO, he was a huge risk, he
    was coming off a horrible season. Luckily, he's been adequate though.
    And the Reds were kind of trapped on the contract. If Lidle pitched well, he's gone after this year. In other words, he was a one year stopgap, not a potential long term solution. As an example, the Jays signed miguel Batista
    to a multiyear deal at 3.6 million. He's doing much better than lidle:

    Batista; 3.99 ERA .244 BA against. Although he does walk more guys than Lidle, which hurts his WHIP.

    But he's a long term solution for the Jays.

    I do like that DanO got Gabe White though. Easily his best move to this date.
    Todd Jones was another good move, although we'll never know if that was foolish luck (grabbing the first available body to replace Reitsma, as some have speculated), or good scouting. I really don't care, it's still a good move.

    Troube was, he sat on his hands all winter. He had a lot more holes to fill, which he ignored.

    Edit: I guess Lidle plus Vanderwall was really closer to 3.5 million than 4 million, but you see the point.
    Last edited by REDREAD; 06-24-2004 at 05:34 PM.
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  13. #42
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis
    I don't see how his draft can be analyzed as good or bad. There isn't any way to measure what the players that have been drafted will be like for at least two years.

    There also isn't any way to measure what his development folks have accomplished in less that half a season either.
    I'm not saying it's written in stone that the 2004 draft will be a disaster, but my initial take on it, and I'm far from alone on this, is that the team spent failed to grab any near talents and that it's a particularly raw draft class. Had the same take immediately after 2001 and 2002.

    And there is a way to measure how the development folks are doing. Take a look at the team's prospects. Are they progressing or regressing? The Reds have experienced a massive burnout rate among their better-regarded prospects this season and it's a rarity to find a Reds player get so much as an honorable mention on something like the BA Prospect Hot Sheet these days. I'm not saying the development folks can't do their jobs, but there are early returns and, like most everything DanO's done, those early returns aren't encouraging. He and his system are off to a crawling start.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  14. #43
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    So to those of you who have already decided you dislike O'Brien I ask you: what is that decision based upon? Has he been irrational, unclear, or whimsical thus far?



    For one I question his actual power in the organization, and I question his decision (or lack of) when he left the roster short a few weeks back, I question his decision to trade Reitsma when we needed middle relief! I also can't understand why he wouldn't even consider giving Aaron Boone a try when it's pretty evident that there will be a need next year for at least a 3rd baseman or shortstop! I also was insulted as a fan when he and Allen went on the air and urged the fans to quit worrying about the financial constraints but focus on the product on the field, but didn't have the guts to take calls from the fans! that pretty much summed up my opinion that the guy is a clown :thumbdn:

  15. #44
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis
    I agree with you that it's the G.M.'s #1 priority to make a winner out of the Major League Club, but...
    no buts. It's priority number one.

    I don't actually mind flipping guys like Casey or Jr even though it costs us in '04, so long as the return makes '05 to '07 look brighter. I also don't mind adding to the '04 team in hopes of having an unlikely playoff run.

    But so far DanO's neither worked on '04 or '06. I assume that'll change this month and the goal will be '06. Because if it's for '04, then he's waited too long and could have done a lot more.

  16. #45
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: In Defense Of Dan O'Brien

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis
    Not true. Lidle's signing has worked, and worked extremely well. If Lidle wasn't there, then every pitcher below him would move up one spot. What a disaster that would be.

    Lidle's ERA will be below 5.00 at the end of the year, and more likely will be around 4.30-4.40. He'll pitch 190 innings and have 15-19 quality starts.
    If Lidle wasn't there, then the club would have had $2.75 million to find someone to take his place. Coming into today, Lidle's ERA ranked 87th out of the the top 100 IP pitchers in all of baseball (120th out of the top 150 IP guys).

    You could pretty much throw a stone and hit a better pitcher.

    I sometimes wonder if it's been so long since the Reds had good pitching that Reds fans can no longer distinguish the good ones from the palookas.
    Last edited by M2; 06-24-2004 at 06:06 PM.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.


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