Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 11-15-06. Tom Gamble was the host tonight and said he talked to Wayne on Tuesday about calling into the show tonight but Wayne said he had a function to attend at the GM meetings in Florida. Wayne also told Tom there was no news on the Reds front.
After commercials, Tom talked about the manager of the year awards and the Red Sox winning the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaki. He also mentioned the Yankees declined to pick up Mike Mussina's option but they look like they will come to an agreement on a new 2 year deal. Tom then rambled on about the inequities between the larger and smaller revenue clubs.
After commercials, Tom talked about the makeup of the Reds for the next year. He said that Narron is stressing better defense, situational hitting and fewer strikeouts. Tom feels that that could mean an end to Dunn in LF. He says there are a lot of questions on the team. Where does Phillips play; will Aurilia be re-signed; when will Homer be called up, etc. Tom said that you couldn't fault ownership for trying to win and "The Trade" was proof of that. He said whether you think it was good or not, at least they gave Wayne the power to attempt to make the bullpen better. Tom said that he would take almost anything - within reason - for Dunn and go after a Zito or a Schmidt. If you added one of those pitchers along with Harang, Arroyo and Homer, it would be one of the top 5 rotations in MLB (You can't make this stuff up, folks). He said if anyone expected Dunn to carry the Reds was dreaming but when it came time to produce down the stretch, he failed miserably.
The first caller mentioned Kearns and said that if Kearns hadn't been traded, we would have never gotten to see all those diving catches by Freel. Tom felt that Kearns is mediocre offensively. The caller suggested an OF of Jr., Denorfia and Freel. Tom said that he's not comfortable with Deno out there.
The next caller said that the Reds should re-sign Aurilia and said he has done too much for the city not to re-sign him. (Yes, Rich is such a community leader. He makes Anthony Muņoz look like a putz.) Tom said that it's not necessarily what he has done for the city, it's that he's a productive player and ever since he came back from the DL in 2005, one could argue he has been the Reds most productive hitter. He said the Reds will need him. The caller said we need to get rid of Jr. so Freel could play CF.
After commercial, Tom had Zach Bonkowski who is the Marketing Operations Coordinator for the reds on to talk about RedsFest. Zach said it is going to be a lot like what MLB does at the All Star Game and it will be very interactive. Tom said that people enjoy interacting with the players and they talk about that more than they do the game. Zach mentioned some of the things going on at Redsfest. There will be a baseball field in there where they will have a Whiffleball tournament and a celebrity home run derby. There will be batting cages and speed pitches and places where you can run. There will be a hall of fame exhibit which will include national HOF stuff. Zach said he and Phil Castellini went to PIT for the All Star Game and got a lot of ideas from that event. Tom asked about the players who would be there. Zach said Arroyo, Ross, Phillips, Castro, Valentin, Freel, Denorfia, Coffey, Mercker and former players Eric Davis, Mario Soto, Davey Concepcion, Ted Power, and almost the entire coaching staff. Zach said that some guys are on the fence because they have just become fathers like Harang or about to become fathers like Dunn () Jr. has an event in Orlando the day before and the first day of Redsfest but might come on Saturday. Prices are $15 for both days and $10 for one day. He mentioned the uniforms would be unveiled on Friday and Arroyo will give a concert in Friday and there will be a poker tournament on Saturday night.
After commercial, the next caller said that he listens to the Reds almost every night and doesn't go to many games. Tom asked why he doesn't go to many games and the caller said that the team seems to be a bunch of misfits and there isn't anyone on there who you can truly call a Red like Tom Browning or Chris Sabo or even Pete Rose. All the Reds have are guys like Arroyo who talks about going back to BOS and Dunn who can't wait to go home to play in Texas (That must be why he signed that 3 year deal to stay here.) Tom said, that is par for the course for MLB and it's all about there almighty dollar these days and it isn't like how it was back in the good old days. The caller said that he wouldn't sign Aurilia because the Reds should get someone on the upside of their career rather than the downside. Tom understood his point but the minor league system is so bad, you need a stopgap like Aurilia. The caller asked if Barfield would have been a better option than Aurilia and Tom said he would rather have Barfield but things aren't going to be like they used to be. Tom said that the pitching and defense need to improve over all else (And that's why he wants to re-sign Auriia?)
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 11-15-06. So let it be written. So let it be done.