Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit.
The Cincinnati Reds have almost entirely different owners, managers, and coaches than they did a year and a half ago. At this point, Jerry Narron is the representative of the "old regime" and he's been manager for a season and a half. It would stand to reason that the Reds of the future will not be the Reds of Lindner's tenure. Given the qualilty of Lindner's Reds, I'm hard-pressed to understand why this is a problem, but I understand that change can be difficult, especially when offense was the Reds' greatest (only?) strength during that time.
This team is going to be unrecognizable in a couple of years, perhaps sooner. That's not by happenstance; I've no doubt that that was the very point. It's probably a big reason why Krivsky was hired, particularly over Kullman. The Reds were looking for somebody who came in for the GM interview and said your team sucks and I have no sentimental connection to it, I see no reason to keep this team as it is. This is what I believe, this is what I will do, this is how I will completely overhaul this team. This team was begging for a complete overhaul. And the guy who presented the best plan to do it happened to be a guy who values pitching and defense. That's not a bad thing in general, and it's particularly not a bad thing for this team. The Reds of 2003 did not bother to adjust to their new ballpark. Good pitching and defense are crucial to that park. And while every team needs a good dose of power, a top-to-bottom power-hitting lineup is not crucial in this ballpark. I believe they are trying to make these adjustments right now. They've made it three years harder on themselves, because the ballpark has had time to live up to its worst points, making it difficult to attract good pitchers, and they've had a few years of questionable drafting as well. But they are starting now, and at least they're starting.
A fire sale wouldn't have worked with this team. It had just enough going for it that it wasn't quite to that point. Dunn is an asset to this team, and contrary to the beliefs of many I still believe that Krivsky is going to keep him. Griffey is an asset in some ways, a liability in others, but in any case probably not going to be worth trading in terms of return value. So the overhaul is likely to be as big as it can be without being a fire sale. There will be mistakes along the way and there has already been one major one. But I am willing to put it aside for the time being and wait to see what happens next, because I do respect that the front office appears to have a specific plan and a specific model for a team in mind, and more importantly, it is a model which I think is good for this team. I like all the home runs I saw for the last few years. But I am willing to let them go for a better team.
I expect a lot of moves to be made right away; I think the team will be unrecognizable pretty soon. The problem is that I don't think that the effects will be seen right away, because a) a pitching-and-defense-centric team needs more time to gel than a bunch of collected sluggers, and b) a lot of the hitting parts of this team are still in developmental stages. And yes, we need to address the offensive holes soon. But this is a direction, and I approve of it, and I can be a little patient in waiting for the effects of it to make a difference.
I've been hearing speculation about Wayne's philosophy and his expected moves for a while now and I've been skeptical a lot of it. Sometimes I feel that people have subconsciously made up their mind about what he is going to do and base their opinions of him, either positive or negative, on things that he hasn't really proved yet through his own actions. For me, this signing is really the first move that, when considered with the others, shows a real direction that intends to take this team. How it pans out remains to be seen, and he must prove to me through other moves that he is addressing it correctly (starting pitching and shoring up the offense comes next). But I can say at this point that I do at least approve of the idea of the direction. And unless he makes some crackhead move that goes against it during the rest of this offseason, I will also give him a little more time on it, because it's a direction that requires time and patience to work.
There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.
It's another reason why I think Dunn is likely to stay. Left field can be an "offensive" position. And EdE now seems firmly ensconsed at third and I expect him to improve there.
A lot of Krivsky's moves during the season led a lot of people to believe that he was going to be defense-centric, but I wasn't sold on it yet. Ross, for one; further, the other "defensive" moves were just not as clear (ie. Gary Majewski is not a surefire relief pitcher). Now it seems a little clearer to me. I don't think he was clearing out the offense in order to get rid of the offense on this team. I think he was clearing out certain players to build the team the way he wants to. I don't think that he intends to ignore the offense, but I do suspect he believes it can be gotten more cheaply and easily than defense, and I do suspect that offense to him may mean less power than "hitting" (which is not a bad idea given the Reds' younger players. As long as we keep dunn of course.)
That a very long answer which is usually what happens when I feel I'm not expressing my thoughts clearly, so I hope that makes sense.
There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.
Its a moot point now. The defense will be good and I'm happy about that and it does all hinge on Votto. 2008 should be a decent year. Dunn, Griffey, EE and Votto will provide offense at the corners and Phillips, Gonzalez and Deno provide defense up the middle, while Bailey replaces Milton to give the Reds a dominant starter to go with Arroyo and Harang. 2007 would be a surprise IMO.
The next order of business should be trading Freel as the central figure in a package for an undervalued (if that's possible anymore) number 3 starter and signing a 4th OF with some punch.
Glove man at a glove position... the horror.... the horror.
The game swings back and forth.
BTW: he can hit crappy pitching, he's .294/.324.449 in 136 ab's against the Reds in his career.
Just another FYI with Gonzalez's career batting splits ...
Don't get overly excited about the GABP line as it's only nine games, 36 total plate appearances, and they were against awful Reds pitching from 2003-2005.Code:Alex Gonzalez Career Splits Home: .241/.288/.387 (500 games) Away: .251/.296/.396 (507 games) Fenway: .274/.303/.391 (63 games) Pro Player: .236/.285/.382 (446 games) GABP: .353/.389/.588 (9 games) vs. LHP: .248/.295/.408 vs. RHP: .245/.291/.387 Pre-All Star: .259/.304/.408 Post-All Star: .225/.273/.367 April: .250/.308/.397 May: .249/.290/.383 June: .275/.316/.436 July: .267/.300/.422 August: .209/.261/.349 September: .229/.277/.377
The good news is his road batting stats are slightly better than his home batting stats, though not by much, and most of that is a reflection that Pro Player Stadium is a pitcher's ball park. Gonzalez was a regular for the Marlins from 1999-2005, and his home park factors each of those seasons was 89, 92, 92, 94, 86, 95, and 89. At Fenway Park last season, which is a hitter's park, he performed slightly better at the plate than he had during his time with the Marlins in Pro Player Stadium.
Historically, his two best months offensively have been June and July, and his two worst months offensively have been August and September.
Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis will bring back memories of the Lost Decade.
Does this mean Clayton's not coming back?
Would it be unreasonable to think we can get .720 OPS out of AG?
What would Felipe Lopez have costed?
I like Alex Gonzalez, but I can't be too objective. He's a Venezuelan (as am I) and his name is Alex (yep).
While this signing might signal that Krivsky overvalues defense, it also shows that strikeout don't turn him off THAT much. Alex can K with the best of them.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."