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Thread: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

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    Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    I have been posting infrequently of late, and apologize if this has been covered in the last few months, if it has, please take the weedwhacker to it mods. Basically, this is a tangent on all of the threads on the off-season moves to date.

    To sum up, the Reds are now owners, for better or worse, of Alex Gonzalez, Jeff Conine, Chad Moeller and a host of aged relievers. Whether or not those moves do anything to help the club down the road we can all perhaps agree to disagree on, but it seems pretty evident that they have had zero impact on the club's profile in terms of fan excitment for 2007. Other than the natural hope that will accompany the coming of spring training, given how they struggled down the stretch in 2006, there isn't a whole lot to get fired up about in terms of the team. I live in Memphis now, transplanted from Cincy for a decade now, and am not the best measuring stick for game to game attendance decisions, but am at least not at this moment budgeting for my annual sojourn to Cincy for a weekend set of games. That loss of eight game tickets won't exactly ruin the club financially, I would suspect, but I wonder how many around Cincy who go more frequently feel the same way. There just isn't a lot to get the blood boiling about the team right now as they retool the minors and set off on whatever plan it is that WK is putting into effect.

    To the extent I am accurately summing up the ennui that surrounds the fanbase of the team right now (and I think ennui may be arguably a correct term), does that matter to Castellini? If it doesn't, should it? If it does, will we be more likely to see Homer Bailey rushed to Cincy out of Sarasota if he has a good spring, just to give people something to get excited about?

    Frankly, the current juncture of the franchise is a huge concern at the moment. Sitting out the insane free agent market is defensible, and, perhaps, really, the right move. I was one of the ones who tried in vain to hope good stuff out of Eric Milton, and freely admit that his signing was awful for the team. Getting nothing is better than taking on another Milton-bad contract and the performance that has gone with that contract given the prices that decent players have commanded in this market. But what we are left with as a fanbase, then, is more of the same. A same that has worn thin over the years. None of that is Castellini's fault, of course, but it is his inherited problem.

    It's going to be a tough sell this year, when the most interesting thing to happen to this team in the off-season involves Jeff Brantley and Thom Brennamen.

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    There just isn't a lot to get the blood boiling about the team right now as they retool the minors and set off on whatever plan it is that WK is putting into effect.

    To the extent I am accurately summing up the ennui that surrounds the fanbase of the team right now (and I think ennui may be arguably a correct term), does that matter to Castellini? If it doesn't, should it? .
    I'd be shocked if it didn't matter at all to BCast that the Reds are just one of a myrid of entertinament choices in Cincy and they really aren't a "premier" entertainment choices. If it doesn't matter to him he's not a very smart business person...something that would fly in the face of his successfull track record.

    I think it will take more than dangling Homer Bailey to really excite the fans and boost attendence in the long run. That will take winning...and winning over a period of time. That is the only way to erase 15+ years of doldrums and boost the Reds from one of the the choices for entertainment to "the" choice for entertainment.

    Because Krivsky seems to be a fan of small, less than exciting moves for building his team, it will put a lot of pressure on the marketing and promotions department to whip up some level of buzz until the team is a consistant winner. While some might find it distastefull, I think BCast would benefit from the Donald Trump aproach to sell promotion to offset Wayne's understated and unexciting team building methods.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 01-02-2007 at 06:00 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    I get the feeling that Castellini is more worried about fixing the franchise than looking good in the short term. If his time in St Louis taught him anything, it should be that it takes a sustained winner to truly build a fan base. You can spur the base by some flashy short term investments, but the best way to build a base is to win and he seemingly has given WK a significantly leash to do that.

    Aside from building a winner, I think he wants to position the team as more community friendly and involved. I get the feeling he wants the buzz to be based on a more solid base than a flashy free agent pickup or gimmick.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    I have trouble understanding the perception that the door is closed on additional signings or trades. It's not like the calendar has passed the July trade deadline and a door is closed. There are still over two months before spring training begins.

    Honestly, I think we'd have a lot more to fear as fans if the Reds had an owner with reactive sentiments that flapped in the breeze outside of baseball season. ("Sports columnists and message board posters are underwhelmed by the Stanton and Conine signings, Wayne. We need to sign someone, ANYONE, now!") That's not a recipe for success.

    The off-season, just like the season, is a marathon, not a sprint.
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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    I am not closing the door on a trade (by this thread, anyway), but it may take something substantial to stir the pot on fan interest at this point. As it stands now, ltl is dead on, the marketing department will have to work overtime.

    I don't see anything left in the free agent pool that would stimulate genuine interest outside of the rabid part of the fanbase (that would be, of course, those in here for certain) and really am not advocating that they have dipped into the crazed market as we have seen it develop. But it leaves this team between a rock and hard place in the short term, with as unanticipated a season as I can remember in some time...

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I get the feeling that Castellini is more worried about fixing the franchise than looking good in the short term. If his time in St Louis taught him anything, it should be that it takes a sustained winner to truly build a fan base. You can spur the base by some flashy short term investments, but the best way to build a base is to win and he seemingly has given WK a significantly leash to do that.

    Aside from building a winner, I think he wants to position the team as more community friendly and involved. I get the feeling he wants the buzz to be based on a more solid base than a flashy free agent pickup or gimmick.
    Good post. And I hope you're right. He came in as a new owner and went immediately into a very tough (and ridiculous) FA market. Now is it going to get any better? No. But that doesn't mean I still throw huge sums of money at marginal players that also would have little impact at helping this team, and more importantly, are not long term solutions at fixing this franchise.

    Crosby and Moellers are not impact players. Krvisky knows this too. They were acquired to be possibly backups (with low risk involved). You can easily cut ties with these types of players . It's hard to do with a player like a Lily, Suppan, or a position player like a Gary Matthews once you commit to that multi-year deal with guaranteed money.

    Now is it a risk waiting (hoping) on a young player(s) like a Bailey, Votto, or Bruce? Sure. But again, I'd take that path then the other option.
    Last edited by GAC; 01-03-2007 at 08:24 AM.
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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Exactly GAC. Thought one might argue that WK has made a lot of missteps, most of them have been pretty small. It's easier to recover from a lack of good moves than it is to correct the damage of a few really bad ones. Outside of "the trade", which saw the team exchange overall talent for money and better talent balance on the 25 man, there haven't been any moves which stunt us. A Gary Matthews or Gil Meche deal has the chance to do WAY more damage than the lack of positive moves we've seen this offseason. WK might not be penny-wise, be at least hasn't shown himself to be pound foolish.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 01-02-2007 at 09:44 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Exactly GAC. Thought one might argue that WK has made a lot of missteps, most of them have been pretty small. It's easier to recover from a lack of good moves than it is to correct the damage of a few really bad ones.
    Really, nothing is worse than doing nothing. Whether it's aggressively pimping your minor league arms or shuffling in players of need through trades, it's ultra-important to keep the moving parts clean. Wayne's not made a single move since the Pena deal that's struck right at the heart of the Reds biggest needs--starters and big time bats. He's merely danced around the issue, and seems sufficiently moved to wait on "the arrivals" from the minors, the tiniest sliver of a percentage of whom will actually make the big leagues. That's the absence of a plan, and a chickenheartedness in the face of really big issues facing this ballclub. Meanwhile, the fan base isn't getting bigger nor is it particularly looking towards trending that way for several years, if the current philosophy remains in place.

    Teams have survived and will survive bad contracts--what teams NEVER get over is being run like the Pirates, Brewers, Royals, Expos/Nationals.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 01-02-2007 at 10:00 PM.

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    That's the absence of a plan, and a chickenheartedness in the face of really big issues facing this ballclub. Meanwhile, the fan base isn't getting bigger nor is it particularly looking towards trending that way for several years, if the current philosophy remains in place.

    Teams have survived and will survive bad contracts--what teams NEVER get over is being run like the Pirates, Brewers, Royals, Expos/Nationals.
    As usual, someone here says it better and says it in much fewer words. This off-season feels to me like the ones they have experienced in those places that FCB mentions for more than a decade now. And, a quick glance at those formerly proud franchises (and formerly proud and vocal fanbases) tells me that Castellini has a real REAL problem if that is the slope the team is on. I am friends with a few genuine Pirates fans, and beaten down doesn't begin to describe them. I would assume it's the same way for Royals fans too.

    Like I said, rock and hard place. Getting into this market didn't make a ton of sense, but then again, sitting it out and rolling largely with what got you to 80 wins doesn't feel like a great option either.

    In the meantime, while we all wait for the alleged cavalry to get here (something by no means a guarantee as we all know), it is a fairly bleak present. And, what if the cavalry gets waylaid by the normal forces (injury, reality, etc.) between there and here? Do we look up in 2009 and wonder where the help is coming from then? Years can slip into a decade or more of losing pretty easily. What are the Reds on, seven straight years of losing records at this point? Heck, not even the arrival of a genuine pitching stud in Milwaukee (Sheets) stemmed their bleeding.

    Again, tough spot for Castellini. Just saying you want your team to be successful on a lower budget a la the A's is easier said than done. There is no Hudson/Mulder/Zito triumvarate to build on here like Beane walked into.

    If I am Castellini, I am concerned as all get out by the current posture of the organization in today's game. At this point, I cannot even conceive of a theme for the marketing department to center on for 2007.
    Last edited by membengal; 01-03-2007 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Clarity.

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Part of the problem is that the Reds have not simply done nothing---they have jumped into the market to the tune of $23M+! I'd like to know any one of those purchases that excite anyone. Names please!

    We often hear from the 'DOW' (Defenders of Wayne) that Krivsky doesn't owe anyone an explanation of what his plan is. Yet, to me, even a minimal explanation falls under the category of marketing. Something as simple as saying that your plan is to bring in players to make a short-term impact while trying to revive the farm system is a marketing statement that helps fans get behind the team. Under the Lindner group we often heard complaints about their marketing ability. But in the area of giving the fans a 'vision' of what the team is trying to do the Castellini/Krivsky group comes up short of their predecessors, IMO.

    Rem

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Really, nothing is worse than doing nothing. Whether it's aggressively pimping your minor league arms or shuffling in players of need through trades, it's ultra-important to keep the moving parts clean. Wayne's not made a single move since the Pena deal that's struck right at the heart of the Reds biggest needs--starters and big time bats.
    How do you address the issue of starters, which we all agree the Reds need, and I'm referring to a quality starter that could not only be effective but also a long term solution, when the market isn't offering any?

    To me.... doing nothing is not worse then giving out a contract to a Suppan, Lily, or Marquis type. Explain how that would move this team forward or improve it?

    Last week you said that teams like the Reds, in order to improve, don't need to play the FA market. Especially one as ridiculous as this current one.

    Now should Krivsky be out there "scanning the field" and trying to make deals/acquire young arms to restock/bring through the system? Yes he should, and he had done that to some extent. But even those organizations, if they have a talented arm, are not going to be so quick to deal it. The Reds aren't too quick to offer a Homer Bailey to those who have inquired, and rightfully so. They, just as other interested teams, know what they have.

    And I've seen a few of the deals/packages you say you'd offer Homer Bailey up for, and most simply shake their heads in disbelief. And that's even if the deal were even feasible to begin with.

    Teams have survived and will survive bad contracts--what teams NEVER get over is being run like the Pirates, Brewers, Royals, Expos/Nationals.
    The Brewers, Pirates, and Royals have just given out some bad contracts. So I guess they'll survive some how.

    We're still trying to "survive" some of the bad contracts we've handed out over the last few years. You're in denial if you don't think bad contracts don't hurt smaller market teams far worse then the larger ones.

    There is a smaller "window" of error.

    You obviously don't subscribe to the fact that some teams do possess limited revenue, and can't afford to make mistakes when it comes to handing out multi-year, high dollar contracts to marginal players.

    And using your line of reasoning, you obviously feel that the Milton contract wasn't a bad investment at all either, or that it should be learned from.... "Go out and do it again. You'll survive."

    I'd have been really peeved and shaking my head if they had come home with that Lily or Suppan contract. That is thrwoing money away needlessly IMO. Poor management.

    Can we at least get out from under a couple of these bad ones before we hand out any more bad ones?
    Last edited by GAC; 01-03-2007 at 08:51 AM.
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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Quote Originally Posted by remdog View Post
    Part of the problem is that the Reds have not simply done nothing---they have jumped into the market to the tune of $23M+! I'd like to know any one of those purchases that excite anyone. Names please!

    We often hear from the 'DOW' (Defenders of Wayne) that Krivsky doesn't owe anyone an explanation of what his plan is. Yet, to me, even a minimal explanation falls under the category of marketing. Something as simple as saying that your plan is to bring in players to make a short-term impact while trying to revive the farm system is a marketing statement that helps fans get behind the team. Under the Lindner group we often heard complaints about their marketing ability. But in the area of giving the fans a 'vision' of what the team is trying to do the Castellini/Krivsky group comes up short of their predecessors, IMO.

    Rem
    I guess it's semantics--yes, he's spent payroll, that's true. But we're not a whit better for it. I guess that's my point.

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    FCB, but the payroll he's spent isn't going to prevent us from spending payroll useful players in the future. 3 years from now, when Gil Meche has put up 3 seasons of a 5.50 ERA, he's still going to be costing the Royals 12MM a year and preventing them from being more active in the market.

    Are the Reds significantly better in 2007 for the additions of Mike Stanton and Chad Moeller? No way. However, would we be significantly better if he had signed Gil Meche, Juan Pierre, or Gary Matthews Jr.? Nope. We'd just be poorer and locked in to salaries that wouldn't be helping.

    I'm not saying I'm an advocate of his approach to the 2007 season. But I'm glad he's not making splashes simply for the sake of looking like he's trying to win and to drum up interest. I don't know what WK's "plan" is and from what I've seen from him, I don't think I want to know. But there's MUCH worse he could've done than nothing. He may not have made the team better for 2007, but there are GMs out there paying a lot of money to make their team's worse.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    FCB, but the payroll he's spent isn't going to prevent us from spending payroll useful players in the future. 3 years from now, when Gil Meche has put up 3 seasons of a 5.50 ERA, he's still going to be costing the Royals 12MM a year and preventing them from being more active in the market.
    And there is a big difference between not wanting to spend rediculas amounts of money to get a mediocre player versus saying "we just don't have the money to spend". Most of the comments from BCast and WK, I remember from the press deal more with not wanting to spend money in a stupid market rather than saying they don't want to spend money period.

    Since we (1) don't know what pitchers WK has gone after (2) what those other teams asked for in return (3) if teams are even willing to part with their pitchers I don't think it makes any sense to leap to the conclusion that they just don't want to make big impact moves.

    I've not been too happy with the "fill in" type moves they have made thus far for position players (except Gonzo). The moves for pitching have been blah at best, but I'm not sure just throwing out anybody at AAA would produce any sort of better result.

    But as far as the imact moves go, I'll trust they are doing their due-dilligence until proven otherwise.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 01-03-2007 at 10:58 AM.
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    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Does Anticipation (or lack thereof) Matter to Castellini?

    The market won't get any less stupid. Ever.

    Wringing your hands and begging out is ridiculously short-sighted, especially when you have an influx of cable-contract cash and a team as close to contention as the Reds.

    And GAC, I don't lump Ted Lilly in with Jeff Suppan and Jason Marquis. Totally different pitchers. I think Lilly will excel in the NL and will have a positive impact for the Cubs.
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