Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 2-8-05.
I tape the show and since they usually have news at 6, I've set my timer to go off about the time the actual show starts. But tonight it appears that they broadcast the press conference before that since Wayne was talking when my tape started. So I'll give you a synopsis of what Wayne said and there will be a regular HSL show after that.
Wayne said that he owes a lot to Terry Ryan (Twins GM) and say there's no reason the Reds can't get back to being a winning team. He said that he can't think of a better town to start his GM career in than here. He has covered the team for 11 years in ST and during the season and he knows a lot of people here and considers it a perfect fit for him.
He said when he was hired by TEX out of Duke he worked a couple of years in ticket sales and in the winter of 78 he was about ready to quit and they made a trade for Sparky Lyle and traded Dave Righetti for him. The farm director quit cause he was sick of the owner and the next guy (Joe Kline) was his assistant and he hired Wayne as his assistant.
He then thanked a guy named Sandy Johnson who was TEX scouting director in 1984. He put about 10 drafts together with Wayne and said he learned a lot from him.
After 1994 Johnson wasn't hired as GM (They hired Doug Melvin instead) He moved to the Twins and helped put together a scab team in case there was a work stoppage. He thanked Terry Ryan who he called a mentor and said he showed him how to run a top line, first class organization which he intends to do here. He intends to use the Twins as a model because he knows that one the best. He thanked his wife. He has no kids but they have 4 dogs.
After commercial, Steve started the show. He said he's happy with the hire.
After another batch of commercials Marty joined Steve by phone. Marty said they got it right this time and Wayne should have been hired 2-3 years ago. Marty said he's a great addition to the baseball operations. He comes from a similar market and is very well versed in scourting and player developmet. He's a people person and has a great personality (Oh no, that means he's ugly. ) Steve said that he agreed with Marty and said that from what he knows about Wayne and Bob, he can see why they will be a good fit. Marty agreed and said when he talked to Wayne he was pumped up at this opportunity. He feels Wayne will have free reign to do what he has to do within financial constraints. Marty said long term there is little or no downside. Someone asked Marty if he could turn it around in 2 years and Marty said that he will do enough in 2 years to keep his job. Steve said he's not a guy who sits around and lets the grass grow under his feet. Marty said that he thinks he can make it a better team this year. Marty said he may know more about the Reds than anyone else who is outside the organization. He is great in scouting and player development and is a baseball person who will speak the language that people can understand. (I like him already since he didn't make me want to put a bullet through my head after 5 minutes like DanO did.) Steve said it's good that he scouted the NL and he knows it well. He said that one of the reasons ATL has been successful is that they evaluate their own personnel better than anyone in baseball. Marty said that ATL doesn't overinflate the abilities of the people they have in their organization. Many times people think better of their own talent than other clubs do to justify acquiring the players. He said ATL is brutally honest like that and Wayne is a guy who knows talent and will properly evaluate people for whatever they are worth and the level they are playing at. He gave kudos to Bob and the Williamses, Gene Bennett, Larry Barton, Jr and John Allen for picking Wayne out of all the candidates.
After commercial the first caller asked about the OF situation and asked if Pena would play left and Kearns right. Steve said that was the plan and the caller asked why they don't switch. Steve said that RF is the tougher place to play and Austin's ability out there is the reason he stays there. Steve said you hope that with daily repitition, Pena can be a passable LF. The caller asked if he played Winter ball this year and Steve said he did and probably played LF (I thought I read he was playing 1B)
Wayne joined Steve and after the perfunctory congratulations he asked how much of an advantage knowng the Reds so well was. Wayne said that's a big plus and he can compare his evalutions to others that are still here. Steve asked about how closely he's been following the Reds since he was denied last time. He said you always look at other teams' moves and evaluate them and that's to be expected. Steve asked him about Bob. Wayne said they really clicked he said it's an attractive job and meeting a guy like Bob and Tom Williams you know they will operate the organization the right way, hire the right people, make you accountable, get out of the way and let you do your job. Steve said it's a tough time to take this job and wanted to know how much he could improve the team by Opening Day. Wayne said there are still some free agents out there that they could add on a roster or non roster basis who could be competition for the guys on the roster now. Steve asked about a long term deal for Dunn. Wayne said he anticipates talking to his agent and the people here handling the case to get up to speed. Steve asked about Narron and his staff. Wayne said he's never met him face to face but are both baseball lifers and is looking forward to meeeting him face to face and thinks it will be a real good situation.
After commercial Steve talked to Wayne's former boss. Twins GM Terry Ryan. Ryan said Wayne was a large part of their success. He said he has a great work ethic. He;s deep, relentless and wants to get the job done. He's a doer, aggressive, an excellent negotiator, has good evaluation skills, he's good with the rules and knows the importance of having a good farm and scouting director. He said the Reds have a lot of things that the Twins don't have including a new stadium. Steve asked Ryan about Wayne's ability to be the guy wuith the final say. Ryan said that Wayne could just as easily be in his chair. He said he has more strengths than he has. He feels he's been overprepared. Steve asked him about the payroll similarities. Ryan said it should help him cause it wasn't long ago (1998) their payroll was at $16M. He knows the importance of running a good draft and promoting from within. Ryan said with the Twins pitching and the Reds offense they could make an excellent team. He said Wayne's a creative guy and he knows how to get to the end result by a lot of different approaches.
After commercial Steve talked to Brad Blettner who is the Reds director of business development about Opening Day tickets. He talked about the Power Pack on sale this Saturday.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 2-8-06. So let it be written. So let it be done.