Departing Reds staffer takes shots at Krivsky
Longtime scout Barton says Cincy GM wasn't listening to his advice.
By Hal McCoy
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — When Wayne Krivsky became general manager of the Cincinnati Reds in February, one of the main reasons was the support he received from two members of owner Bob Castellini's screening committee — special assistants Larry Barton Jr. and Gene Bennett.
As was reported at the time by the Dayton Daily News, Castellini had decided on special adviser Jim Beattie to be the GM, but the next day Barton and Bennett made impassioned cases for Krivsky, and Castellini changed his mind.
Now, 10 months later, Barton pulled a Johnny PayCheck and told Krivsky, "Take this job and shove it, I don't work here anymore."
Barton, one of two senior special assistants in charge of pro scouting, was offered a contract when his old one expired Oct. 31. But he quit after working for the Reds for 38 years — since Bob Howsam hired him in 1968.
"Wayne has changed," said Barton, confirming the Beattie/Krivsky scenario. "After what went on this year, I just had enough. Wayne isn't the person I thought he was."
Barton's main complaint is that Krivsky wasn't listening to his advice, especially the trade of Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to the Washington Nationals for shortstop Royce Clayton and pitchers Gary Majewski and Bill Bray.
"Wayne came to me in the spring and said he could get (pitcher) Bronson Arroyo for an outfielder — Wily Mo Pena, Adam Dunn or Austin Kearns," said Barton. "Turns out Boston wanted Wily Mo, and that was fine because we had an extra outfielder."
But when Krivsky said he was trading another outfielder, Kearns, and a 25-year-old All-Star shortstop (Lopez) for an old shortstop (Clayton) and a couple of pitchers, "I told him I didn't like the deal and asked who was going to play shortstop next year, and he told me, 'I'm not worried about next year.' "
Barton said when the Reds were ready to acquire pitcher Eddie Guardado from Seattle, a scout told him Guardado had a bad arm that could blow any time, "But Wayne said he had talked to his agent and was told Guardado just had a bad back and his arm was OK."
Krivsky made the deal, and Guardado underwent Tommy John ligament transplant surgery in his elbow Sept. 8 and isn't expected to be able to pitch until the middle of next season.
Barton didn't agree with the Reds carrying three catchers all year in 2006, "Then (Krivsky) trades Jason LaRue, but signs Chad Moeller. So are they going to go with three catchers again? They need pitching, not three catchers."
Reds officials were told Barton retired, but he said, "I didn't retire. I'm not finished. I'll resurface with a job somewhere in baseball. I just got tired of fighting with him on the deals he made late last season."
Krivsky didn't want to get into a word battle and said, "I appreciate and respect everything Larry Barton has done for 38 years in the organization, and it was my understanding he was going into retirement, and I accepted that retirement message."