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Thread: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Today's Enquirer had an interesting article on the Reds today. I've quoted Castellini's important quote in the Title:

    Castellini not discouraged

    Rivals' spendfest is no deterrent

    BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    The Reds are going to put on the biggest and what they think will be the best Redsfest ever.

    "We've gone over the top with everything," CEO Bob Castellini said. "It's going to be fantastic."

    The return of Redsfest, which opens today at 4 p.m. at Duke Energy Center in an expanded form, is part of Castellini's promise to build a championship organization. The Reds are working hard to sell their product.

    But improving the on-the-field product in the current baseball environment is a completely different and difficult endeavor.

    Castellini has watched the price of doing business skyrocket this offseason. He has been involved in baseball ownership for almost 30 years, but he says he has been shocked by the amount of money that is being tossed around recently.

    "It's absurd," he said. "Paying $70 million for one pitcher for one year? That's a lot of people's payroll."

    Castellini was referring to the Boston Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Sox paid $51.1 million for the rights to negotiate with the Japanese star. His salary will push the deal to $70 million.

    Closer to home - the National League Central - the Chicago Cubs have agreed to $233 million in free agent contracts this offseason, including the $138 million, eight-year whopper for Alfonso Soriano.

    The Houston Astros signed Carlos Lee to an eight-year, $100 million contract.

    Castellini, however, said he's not discouraged.

    "Of course, not," he said. "We wouldn't be in the game if we were."

    The Reds' player payroll was $60.9 million at the start of last season. It will go up this season, but the club is not saying how much.

    While the money spent by clubs has gone up considerably - largely as a result of the new labor agreement - Castellini was well aware of what he was getting into when he led a group that bought the club on Jan. 19.

    "Absolutely," he said. "It's always been hard. You have to work hard. You have to work smart."

    The Reds signed two free agents early. They signed shortstop Alex Gonzalez for $14 million over three years and left-handed reliever Mike Stanton for $5.5 million over two years. They also traded Jason LaRue to Kansas City, despite having to pay $3 million of his $5.3 million salary.

    The signing of Gonzalez points to an effort to make a long-term fix by improving the defense. But Castellini is not conceding anything for next season. He thinks the club can contend again.

    "We don't plan to be wallflowers," he said. "We're working on this thing 24/7."

    Based on the players under contract and what players like Aaron Harang and Kyle Lohse can expect in arbitration, the Reds' payroll is already close to $70 million, which would be a club record. Castellini said how that money is spent is up to general manager Wayne Krivsky.

    "He has parameters," Castellini said. "But it's up to him. He talks to me regularly. But he has a wide swath. He knows what he can do and can't do."
    I think we forget that these guys are still in the process of moving this club in the right direction. Over on the ORG in the Chad Moeller thread, I think Heath very aptly wrote:

    Wayne Krivsky was hired at the wrong time to succeed. He was hired just before a season started and he basically had to adjust on the fly AND cram for a June draft. I think people think there is some magic (Not Majic) powder or something that you sprinkle on you when you become General Manager of a Major League Baseball Team. It's not that easy.

    Castellini bought the club in January. Wayne Krvisky was hired in March. He's not even a birthed baby yet. When the water breaks, you'll know.

    And Wayne will accept your apology.

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    Member NJReds's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    One thing about pitchers' salaries. The Reds need to take some of the blame here. They overpaid Eric Milton, and that helped set the stage for average pitchers getting higher-than-average salaries.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds View Post
    One thing about pitchers' salaries. The Reds need to take some of the blame here. They overpaid Eric Milton, and that helped set the stage for average pitchers getting higher-than-average salaries.
    Of course, that was the past regime, but I did a little research and the Reds weren't alone that offseason. Here's a little blurb from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal about that year's free agent pitching staff:

    The New York Mets set the market for established starting pitchers early in the off-season when they re-signed Kris Benson to a three-year, $22.5 million contract. This for an injury-prone pitcher with a career record of 47-53 and a 4.28 earned run average.

    That deal set the stage for Jon Lieber and Jaret Wright to get three-year contracts worth $21 million from the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees, respectively. Lieber and Wright have injury-riddled pasts and are not exactly world-beaters, with a combined record of 152-136 and a 4.62 ERA.

    Matt Clement, owner of a 69-75 career record and 4.34 ERA, received $25.5 million for three years from Boston. Cincinnati gave the same deal to lefty Eric Milton, who has a 4.76 career ERA.

    The real stunner came out of Los Angeles, where the Dodgers gave Derek Lowe a four-year deal for $36 million. Imagine what Lowe might have gotten had he not compiled a 5.42 ERA with the Red Sox last season.

    The Brewers hoped to pick off one of those free-agent pitchers but quickly found the bidding too rich for their blood. A year from now, they could be grateful for staying out of that overpriced market.

    "Not many pitchers are consistent over the length of a long contract," Melvin said. "It shows you some clubs were willing to take risks this winter. There are a lot of multi-year contracts out there."

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Backpeddle. I'm guessing Mr. Castellini's become more "patient" of late.

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Based on the players under contract and what players like Aaron Harang and Kyle Lohse can expect in arbitration

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Hey now, Cast said he wants to work cheaply...err...smart.

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    Of course, that was the past regime, but I did a little research and the Reds weren't alone that offseason. Here's a little blurb from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal about that year's free agent pitching staff:
    Yeah, and Lowe was the best of that bunch. Although Benson pitched at about the same level after the deal and was traded for Jorge Julio and John Maine.

    I doubt Milton could bring back a similar haul. Milton was the worst of those signings, although Wright was a big-time bust w/NY.

    Clement was never the same after getting drilled in the head. But while many on here were clamoring for him, a few predicted that he'd remain mediocre for the most part.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Ever the "glass half full" sort of person, I'm not inclined to take the "working harder, working smarter" comment as meaning we're going cheap. We all agree many of these contracts being given out are outlandish and NJRed correctly notes that we've carried some poor contracts ourselves. That said, do we just want the team to p*** money away? Arroyo, in interviews yesteray, correctly notes that we've got to be wiser spending money because we can't compete financially with the deep pockets today. I think "working harder, working smarter" is the only way a club like the Reds will manange in today's new marketplace.

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    [QUOTE=redsmetz;1202793] We all agree many of these contracts being given out are outlandish and NJRed correctly notes that we've carried some poor contracts ourselves. That said, do we just want the team to p*** money away? QUOTE]

    This is all very true, but are these outlandish contracts ever going to decline in this ever growing market? I doubt it. The reds do have to work harder and smarter. If you are going to make a move, make sure its for a guy that has been very consistant and reliable over the years, so you know exactly what you are getting. That is why I liked the Reds signing Gonzalez. We didn't give him the money expecting him to hit .300 and drive in 100 runs. We signed him to play great defense and sure up the middle infield. To me that is wise spending.
    Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball - Jacques Barzun

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    And going to arbitration with a stiff like Lohse is the opposite of working smarter.

    There's no more pathetic sight on earth than a team committing suicide with heavy doses of a guy like Lohse.

    Giving Lohse 12 million over two years is way more damaging to the club than picking up someone like a Zito (notice I didn't say Zito, but someone like him--the Reds aren't realistically going after Zito) for 6 or 7.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 12-01-2006 at 11:46 AM.

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    And going to arbitration with a stiff like Lohse is the opposite of working smarter.

    There's no more pathetic sight on earth than a team committing suicide with heavy doses of a guy like Lohse.

    Giving Lohse 12 million over two years is way more damaging to the club than picking up someone like a Zito (notice I didn't say Zito, but someone like him--the Reds aren't realistically going after Zito) for 6 or 7.
    I totally agree, FCB.

    You know, there are three camps on here. One camp would fall on the side of RCast-Krivsky-etc no matter what they do. Another camp finds nothing positive in what they do. The third camp is sort of "watch-and-see," what I like to call realists--where you and I are firmly footed IMHO.

    I sometimes think that Cast-Krivsky could re-sign Eric Milton for $12+ million per year and some would say, "give them time--there is a plan and they've only been here x years/months/days." The other side would scream to high heavens on how stupid they are and how they're not long for this club, that the club will never win, and it can't be fixed. The rest of us are scratching our heads and saying, "what the heck is going on."
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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    I sometimes think that Cast-Krivsky could re-sign Eric Milton for $12+ million per year and some would say, "give them time--there is a plan and they've only been here x years/months/days."
    I think that's a little over-the-top. There's not one person on this board who would support that move.

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds View Post
    I think that's a little over-the-top. There's not one person on this board who would support that move.
    Unless Milton pulled an 18 win season out of his butt. Then you would get some supporters. But realistically yeah, no one would want milton at 12 a year.
    Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball - Jacques Barzun

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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    I totally agree, FCB.

    You know, there are three camps on here. One camp would fall on the side of RCast-Krivsky-etc no matter what they do. Another camp finds nothing positive in what they do. The third camp is sort of "watch-and-see," what I like to call realists--where you and I are firmly footed IMHO.

    I sometimes think that Cast-Krivsky could re-sign Eric Milton for $12+ million per year and some would say, "give them time--there is a plan and they've only been here x years/months/days." The other side would scream to high heavens on how stupid they are and how they're not long for this club, that the club will never win, and it can't be fixed. The rest of us are scratching our heads and saying, "what the heck is going on."
    You call yourself a realist with FCB? Especially after your example, I beg to differ. Everyone knows that Uncle Miltie was a DanO signing and it was the "market rate" according to the article redsmetz posted. Milton has done nothing. I'm pretty sure that he is gone after this contract, or if has a pretty good start next year he could be tradebait.

    IMHO - I think you and FCB are the side of whatever the FO does isn't positive. It's not a slam on you, but since you labeled me, I'll label you. (With apologies to Metallica).

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    And going to arbitration with a stiff like Lohse is the opposite of working smarter.

    There's no more pathetic sight on earth than a team committing suicide with heavy doses of a guy like Lohse.

    Giving Lohse 12 million over two years is way more damaging to the club than picking up someone like a Zito (notice I didn't say Zito, but someone like him--the Reds aren't realistically going after Zito) for 6 or 7.
    Has anyone thought that Lohse is going to be offered arbitration, or is he gone? Is a Lohse better than others out there? Are we basing our assumption that John Fay is a lazy reporter and assumes Lohse is back? Are we assuming that since he's an 'ex-Twin', that its assumed that he's back. Or, is he back because he's 27 and has a live arm?

    Let FO breathe now and then. Yikes.
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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    Re: Bob Cast: You have to work hard - You have to work smart

    Quote Originally Posted by Heath View Post

    IMHO - I think you and FCB are the side of whatever the FO does isn't positive. It's not a slam on you, but since you labeled me, I'll label you. (With apologies to Metallica).
    .
    Incidentally, I didn't say I knew that the Reds ARE going to offer Lohse arb. I was using the example speculatively. Read carefully. Yikes.

    And you're wrong, of course: I've praised Wayne on three different occasions. I have nothing to gain or lose by condemning or supporting him. I say what I believe as it relates to the talent he brings in.


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