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Thread: Paul O'Neill and his trade

  1. #1
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Paul O'Neill and his trade

    I was perusing an article on THT on May trades and the name of Roberto Kelly came up which to a Reds fan always brings back memories of the trade that sent O'Neill to the Yankees.

    What happened when Paulie went to NY? The Reds traded him right before his age 30 season and what happened in NY for the next 6 years was completely unlike the O'Neill the Reds had seen to that point in time.

    During his Reds tenure his high BA was .276(the only time he broke .270), his high OBP was .346 and his high SLG% was .484. His 92 season was abysmal as his OPS barely crawled over .700. As a Red Piniella had given him the nickname "Big". It was a term of derision because O'Neill was an opposite field gap hitter and Piniella wanted him to be more of a slugger.

    O'Neill goes to NY and hits over .300 each of the next six year, slugs over .500 in 5 of those years and basically becomes a different and much improved hitter overnight. During the strike shortened 94 season he had an OPS of 1.063

    I didn't see a lot of O'Neill after his trade and my question is why did O'Neill become something with the Yanks he had never been with the Reds? Did Paul change his approach and become the pull hitter that Piniella wanted him to be(his numbers would seem to indicate maybe he tried to be that hitter in 91)? Was it something else?

    Bowden has always said that is the trade he regretted the most but looking at the relative age and numbers heading into the 93 season it is hard to say that was a bad deal. It was only awful in hindsight. BTW, Kelly was gone after 1.5 years but he managed to hit .319 in 93 and was over .300 in 94 when traded. However, by then his speed which had been his main asset seems to have deserted him.
    Last edited by flyer85; 05-24-2006 at 01:43 PM.
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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    I remember that Piniella and O'Neill did not get along, that Piniella was unhappy with Paul's attitude and Paul was in turn very unhappy with the Reds at that point. Don't know how much this played into the trade, but a lot was made of it.

    The rest of your questions, particularly regarding his change as a player once he was traded, I do not know and would be interested in hearing others' takes.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum
    I remember that Piniella and O'Neill did not get along, that Piniella was unhappy with Paul's attitude and Paul was in turn very unhappy with the Reds at that point. Don't know how much this played into the trade, but a lot was made of it.
    Piniella left the Reds after the 92 season so that was likely not the reason
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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    I honestly believe that this was a change of scenery thing. He could never hit lefties in Cincy and, all of a sudden, he is a consistent .300 hitter / batting title contender? Maybe NY brought the best out in him...who knows? That was also during a time where a lot of the better pitching was found in the NL.

    And to think Tracy Jones was the right handed hitter of that platoon...

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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Living in NY, I saw Paul play a lot. (He also commentates on YES from time to time and he's a good color commentator.).

    Change of scenery and "right-place-right-time" play into his success. Also, Yankee stadium favors LH hitters.

    But I've heard O'Neill say that the Reds were trying to force him to be a dead pull hitter. The Yankees hitting coaches just told him to focus on hitting the ball hard to all fields. The Yankees also told him that he wasn't platooning anymore - he was the everyday right-fielder and the coaches were confident he'd get better at hitting LH pitchers. His firey attitude contrasted well with the more laid-back style of other team leaders like Boggs and Mattingly initially, and Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter later on.

    I think he found a comfort level in NY that he never found in Cincinnati.

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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    Piniella left the Reds after the 92 season so that was likely not the reason
    Oh, right. But I do think that it contributed to O'Neill's general unhappiness, and this was viewed as a factor in his continuing not to improve.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds
    Also, Yankee stadium favors LH hitters.
    Only a LH pull hitter(due to the short porch in RF), which O'Neill decidely was not.

    Riverfront with the Astroturf and overall park dimensions was more hitter friendly than Yankee Stadium.
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    Only a LH pull hitter(due to the short porch in RF), which O'Neill decidely was not.

    Riverfront with the Astroturf and overall park dimensions was more hitter friendly than Yankee Stadium.
    No, but it's very forgiving down the RF line, and a lot of pop flys can turn to HRs. I think it's 315 to the pole.

    Mostly, though, I think the coaches had a lot of confidence in Paul's ability and in turn, he gained more confidence as an everyday player.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    Piniella left the Reds after the 92 season so that was likely not the reason
    The Reds needed a CF after they had flipped E.D.

    A year of Dave Martinez will do that to you.

    They had also just gotten Kevin Mitchell and Reggie Sanders was coming up, at the time it was a good position player deal, the Reds dealt excess for a need.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    The Reds needed a CF after they had flipped E.D.

    A year of Dave Martinez will do that to you.

    They had also just gotten Kevin Mitchell and Reggie Sanders was coming up, at the time it was a good position player deal, the Reds dealt excess for a need.
    BTW, the Reds later flipped Kelly for Deion and then later flipped Deion for Darren Lewis (UGH).
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    BTW, the Reds later flipped Kelly for Deion and then later flipped Deion for Darren Lewis (UGH).
    That's not pretty.

  13. #12
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    He wasn't Roberto Kelly, he was Bobby Kelly.

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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds
    Living in NY, I saw Paul play a lot. (He also commentates on YES from time to time and he's a good color commentator.).

    Change of scenery and "right-place-right-time" play into his success. Also, Yankee stadium favors LH hitters.

    But I've heard O'Neill say that the Reds were trying to force him to be a dead pull hitter. The Yankees hitting coaches just told him to focus on hitting the ball hard to all fields. The Yankees also told him that he wasn't platooning anymore - he was the everyday right-fielder and the coaches were confident he'd get better at hitting LH pitchers. His firey attitude contrasted well with the more laid-back style of other team leaders like Boggs and Mattingly initially, and Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter later on.

    I think he found a comfort level in NY that he never found in Cincinnati.
    Not to bring up a sensitive topic, but didn't the Reds also try and make Dunn pull everything over the last few years? I thought I saw that on the board and/or heard it in the past. If so, maybe the Reds should try and get Paulie O in as a hitting instructor. Or fielding instructor to teach of OFs how to kick the ball to the cut-off man.

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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44
    maybe the Reds should try and get Paulie O in as a hitting instructor. Or fielding instructor to teach of OFs how to kick the ball to the cut-off man.
    I think getting O'Neill into the organization would be a great idea.

  16. #15
    I thought you'd be bigger OldXOhio's Avatar
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    Re: Paul O'Neill and his trade

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    A year of Dave Martinez will do that to you.
    God that was an awful deal.
    Originally Posted by nate
    Chapman can be downright pornographic at times.


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