Narron gets bosses' backing
Reds' brass give thoughts, take suggestions at forum
BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Bob Castellini, who fancies himself as a fans' owner, met with his people Thursday night.
Reds CEO Castellini, general manager Wayne Krivsky and chairman Joe Williams had a town hall-type meeting at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
Castellini got a lot of suggestions from the fans, and most of them will be looked at. He'll see about having an organist at Great American Ball Park full-time and about having a Redsfest session for season-ticket holders. He'll work on bringing the speakers' bureau back, and he'll even think about having a charity event in which fans could toss with players.
But when a fan suggested Lou Piniella replace Jerry Narron as manager, everyone at the head table was quiet.
When pressed a bit later, Castellini said: "The most maligned Reds manager in my lifetime is in the Hall of Fame - Sparky Anderson. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. We care that you care."
Krivsky gave Narron a strong endorsement.
"I can vouch for Jerry Narron being very sharp, very respected. He can fool you with his quiet demeanor. He can lay down the law when he needs to. I've seen it."
Here are some of the night's other highlights:
Castellini on whether the outfield walls at Great American will be moved back: "No."
Castellini on the new stadium for Sarasota, Fla.: "We've really worked hard to let the people in Sarasota know we want to stay there."
"We need a new ballpark desperately," Castellini added. "We're in the throes of making it happen. ..."
Krivsky on the Gary Majewski trade controversy with the Nationals: "It's something we're looking at. We try to keep a low profile. You can read between the lines that we're not real thrilled with how that went down. Ultimately, it will be in the hands of the commissioner."
Castellini on the return of Redsfest: "It's going to be the biggest and most well-attended Redsfest we've ever had."
Krivsky on the coaching staff: "We're evaluating that right now. It will ultimately be Jerry's call."
Castellini on getting an All-Star Game: "We've applied for it. When you get down to it, it's done by the commissioner, so it's a little subjective. The Cardinals just got a new stadium, and they haven't had an All-Star Game since the '60s. They're going to get one before we do. We're on the list; I'm hopeful for 2011. We press the point every time we get a chance."
Krivsky on the decision not to bring up Homer Bailey: "As an organization, we were divided. Some people thought he could really be the guy. Some others were absolutely adamant that he not come up. ... It comes down to doing the right thing for the player. It's his career. ... I thought the risk outweighed the reward."
Williams on the new ownership: "The important thing is to get back to the World Series. We're committed to it."
Castellini on the new radio voice: "Steve Stewart is such a fine person and a good broadcaster, but we felt like we needed an analyst in the booth. ... That's the direction we're heading."
Krivsky on the minor leagues: "Our system is in pretty good shape. I've got to compliment (farm director) Johnny Almaraz and his people. We had a winning record in the minors. We had two teams qualify for the postseason. We had three batting champions. ... You never have enough good players. The one thing I'm most proud of is we got through the year very healthy. In 2005, we had 44 arm surgeries, a lot of them major. This year, we had 14, without one being major. We're doing a lot of things right."