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Thread: City Beat Article on The Trades

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    City Beat Article on The Trades

    Bill Peterson had a good column in the latest issue of City Beat. He says Wayne's putting his head in the lion's mouth, not worrying about his popularity with fans and putting together a team that win ballgames. Interesting read:

    Reds Pick Winning Over Popularity

    By Bill Peterson

    August arrives to find the Reds not merely in the playoff hunt but leading the wildcard race as the week began, which means they are the hunted. Adding to their good fortune, the ball clubs doing the hunting aren't very good at it.

    As dedicated professionals, the Reds will tell you they're after larger game than the wildcard, since they played through Sunday only 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the Central Division. We'll reassess their chances on that front when the Cardinals leave town after four games next week.

    It remains that the Reds would be in the playoffs as the wildcard club if the season ended Aug. 1, and the race is not so torrid as the compression of contenders would claim. Nine other NL clubs stalk the Reds from within 6 1/2 games, which could conceivably be made up in a week. But only one, the Arizona Diamondbacks, has won more games than it's lost.

    No front office wants to win a playoff berth more than the Reds front office. One does a double take as those words fly off the keyboard, but it's pretty hard to miss right now.

    The Reds made two more trades to beef up their pitching staff at the July 31 trading deadline, bringing in veteran righthander Kyle Lohse from the Minnesota Twins and veteran lefthander Rheal Cormier from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for two good pitching prospects, righthanders Zack Ward and Justin Germano.

    Unlike the blockbuster with Washington, which sought improvement by shifting the Reds' emphasis from hitting to pitching, the two deadline deals unmistakably bear the "win now" stamp because the loss of two thriving minor league pitchers is a risk against the future.

    But the Reds can make deals for immediacy because the Washington deal so strengthened their bullpen that they've created a chance for themselves. With that chance, the Reds must go for it right away or they'll blow their larger chance to convert a mistrustful public.

    Whether Reds fans respond to the club's new dedication and general manager Wayne Krivsky's trade virtuosity is a wide open question. Not only have the Bengals begun training camp, but Cincinnati fans are slow to catch on when the Reds prosper, in part because the front office has pulled the rug from under them so many times. Through July, the Reds averaged 26,325 fans per home game, 23rd of 30 clubs. Eight National League clubs with losing records drew better.

    But unlike the last Reds regime that said it was trying, the new regime really is. In 25 days ending July 31, Krivsky improved the bullpen from the worst to one of the best.

    Among the differences between the new regime and the old when it comes to regaining public confidence is the new regime's preference for its own professional judgment over knee-jerk fan response. Krivsky and owner Bob Castellini were willing to upset fans in the short term because they're confident and competent enough to prevail in the long run. Think back to the eight-player blockbuster with Washington; try to remember the outrage it provoked in some corners, and one can't miss the point.

    A good number of Reds fans eventually will comprehend that Krivsky understands putting a baseball club together better than they do. More important, Krivsky understands that, which constitutes a refreshing change after last year's regime displayed so little backbone against public opinion. By this time a year ago Reds management couldn't offer up blood sacrifices fast enough to satisfy their angry constituents.

    Two weeks following the Washington trade, its most impressive feature isn't the boldness of trying to win now so much as Krivsky's boldness for sticking his head into the lion's mouth. Oddly enough, one didn't turn over many rocks before finding fans who lamented the general shift from power hitting to pitching and defense Krivsky is trying to manifest in the Reds.

    Cincinnati fans who watched their favorites ride the NL's most powerful batting order to the club's worst five-year run in the past 50 years couldn't contain their fury that the Reds should try winning by more time-honored and fundamentally sound methods. More happiness would have ensued had Krivsky simply traded Felipe Lopez straight up for Bill Bray. The remaining pieces -- Royce Clayton, Gary Majewski, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson for Austin Kearns -- still seem lopsided against the Reds.

    However, the trade's effect on the Reds does not. From the All-Star break through July 31, Reds relievers notched an ERA of 3.50 with seven saves in eight opportunities, compared with a 5.16 ERA and saves in 19 of 32 chances before the break. With relief pitchers who protect leads, the Reds suddenly are a much more reliable club.

    Cormier joins Bray and Everyday Eddie Guardado as acquisitions who give the Reds a relieving lefthander for every occasion. Since coming to the Reds on July 6, Guardado is a solid closer, six-for-six in save opportunities. Bray can work in a set-up role, and the aging Cormier with his 1.59 ERA can dispose of one or two lefthanded hitters in the middle innings. Considering the Reds signed Cormier for next year to complete the deal, the price is right.

    The Reds are taking a flier on Lohse, whose performances have never matched his stuff. The righthander is even less effective this year, putting up a 7.07 ERA. Krivsky might have done his former club a favor, allowing the Twins to unload a problem while picking up Ward and his 7-0, 2.29 ERA performance in Dayton. Presumably, Krivsky has insight about how to use Lohse.

    But Krivsky also is doing the Reds and their fans a huge favor. Naturally, he expects payback, like a playoff appearance and, someday, ticket sales from the public. Whether or not Reds fans like the way they win, they'll like winning, so long as the Reds do it for long enough, starting yesterday.

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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: City Beat Article on The Trades

    Two thriving minor league pitchers?

    I thought they traded Zach Ward and Justin Germano....

    Definitely wouldn't consider either of them thriving minor league pitchers....

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    Re: City Beat Article on The Trades

    the media sure does love Krivsky. I dont understand the logic. if are starting rotation is crap, and we cant put any runs on the board because we lose two good bats, what the hell is a good bullpen useful for?

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: City Beat Article on The Trades

    Quote Originally Posted by KalDanielsfan
    the media sure does love Krivsky. I dont understand the logic. if are starting rotation is crap, and we cant put any runs on the board because we lose two good bats, what the hell is a good bullpen useful for?
    I think this is a point Peterson is trying to make. Krivsky and Castellini are choosing to overlook that Reds fans are overwrought and given to hyperbole with this team.

    In an era when virtually ALL pitching in MLB is weak, the Reds staff is not bad. It isn't strong, but with Harrang and Arroyo are among the best at this point, Bronson quest for that 10th win notwithstanding. Folks forget that Ramierez is only 23 and the word is he's a pretty smart pitcher. He's never going to be a topline guy, but he has shown that he can be a respectable 3 or 4 hole pitcher. Milton v.06 is significantly better than v.05, particulary when handled properly (and Narron has admitted on at least one occasion to having failed to do just that). Milton has given quite a number of quality starts this year and that number would probably go up if you look at rescuing him from the 7th inning on when a runner gets on (the "handling him properly" I mentioned before. Again, he's not your topline guy, but a servicable 3/4 pitcher. The fifth spot has been the elusive crap position. Has the rotation been perfect, by no means! But it's not "crap".

    The offense since the Nats trade has shown itself perfectly capable of scoring runs and winning games as evidenced by their numbers following the break. In their 7-2 stretch immediately following the break, they score 6 or more runs in five of those 7 wins. In fact, I recall saying this showed the offense could continue without Kearns and Lopez with little loss in production. What we've witness in the week to ten days since that initial stretch is a collective slump that was ill timed, to say the least. We've missed a great opportunity to catch the Cardinals and we can't afford that anymore. It's head to head starting next week and we've got to capitalize on it.

    I think we're seeing a way of operating a club that is dramatically different from the previous two regimes. Marge Schott had her heart in the Reds and did allow for improving the ML club. But she never understood the development side and our minor league system went into disarray. Lindner ran the club like an insurance company and never understoody you had to spend money to make money. I think too, he made a clear blunder hiring Dan O'Brien and that has set us back. Castellini has not waivered in spending money to improve the Reds, recognizes that the product must be improved all the way from top to bottom. Many of us have continued to say these things must be done incrimentally (sp?) and while we're in it this year, the Reds must see that it doesn't hurt the development of our minor league system.

    It takes time and I think that's what Peterson's getting at. The fans want it Yesterday, as he said at the end, and we can go for it, but there's tomorrow too and we want a club that is good lasting for years, not just now.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: City Beat Article on The Trades

    My father and I were talking about all the aspects that go into a MLB team besides what you see on the field. Obviously that's the point of the exersize, but it's all the little things "behind the sceens" that add up to wins on the field. Almost like OBP, that without it you can't really be successfull.

    People can hate "the trade" all they want and state that they want DanO back becasue of the failure of Kriv in the last 5 months. But consider all that goes on besides on-field tallent; minor league system, scouting, player development, training, medical staff, etc. There seems to have already been a "sea change" in the FO at least in terms of attitude. And I have a feeling we will see a flury of changes come the off season.

    This may be my favorite line of the piece:
    Among the differences between the new regime and the old when it comes to regaining public confidence is the new regime's preference for its own professional judgment over knee-jerk fan response.
    Well said.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: City Beat Article on The Trades

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner
    My father and I were talking about all the aspects that go into a MLB team besides what you see on the field. Obviously that's the point of the exersize, but it's all the little things "behind the sceens" that add up to wins on the field. Almost like OBP, that without it you can't really be successfull.

    People can hate "the trade" all they want and state that they want DanO back becasue of the failure of Kriv in the last 5 months. But consider all that goes on besides on-field tallent; minor league system, scouting, player development, training, medical staff, etc. There seems to have already been a "sea change" in the FO at least in terms of attitude. And I have a feeling we will see a flury of changes come the off season.

    This may be my favorite line of the piece:

    Well said.
    One of the things I failed to mention that Mrs. Schott neglected was the wide fan base. The franchise in Cincinnati wasn't always "small market". The Reds Country was as wide as the Cardinals territory, much of dating back to prior to the westward expansion and Atlanta entering the market in the mid-60's. She eliminated things such as the Reds Caravan into regional markets like Dayton, Columbus, parts of Kentucky, Indiana and even West Virginia. And she did this just as the Indians were ascending. We used to rule the Columbus market, but we lost quite a lot of that. It's been returning, but it takes awhile. This new deal is another good start. It helps the finances, it helps the base.


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