There are many things that we all wish were going btter for this club -- and those things seem to make good fodder for discussion around here. There isn't anyone that wouldn't want the bullpen performing better and that includes Wayne Krivsky.
Heck, I really wish that they would've won the division last year because it was there for the taking. But even Cardinal fans realize that last year was an anomaly in so many ways. I guess what I am trying to say is that from a big picture standpoint, I want to see ongoing, logical, sustainable improvement and progress with this club.
And, if someone would've said back in the middle of February 2006, that 15 months into Wayne Krivsky's tenure the Reds would've made the following sustainable improvements, I think that most of us would've said...."I'll take that!!!"
(1) Wayne will build a sustainable starting pitching staff that will lead or be at the top of the NL in ERA.
(2) Wayne will lock up his top two starters in reasonable long term contracts.
(3) Wayne will not cave in to the pressure to rush Homer Bailey -- but rather will allow him to develop at a healthy pace (see Kerry Wood for unhealthy)before bringing him to Cincinnati.
(4) Wayne will remove two of the more ominous contracts that were looming on the horizon (Lopez and Kearns) and replace them with cheaper players who will be much more productive offensively and improve the defense at the same time.
(5) Wayne will move and acquire players so that the overall ranking of the organization's prospects from near dead-last in all of baseball to in or right out of the top ten in all of baseball.
(6) Wayne will acquire 1/2 of what is today's starting lineup for essentially nothing and these players will be extremely inexpensive -- Hamilton, Phillips, Ross, Hatteberg, Conine.
(7) Wayne will be in the financial position of having Griffey's and Milton's contracts off the books at precisely the time he has youngsters coming up to replace them from within our own system (Bailey, Votto, Bruce, Dumatrait, etc.).
(8) Wayne will be taking logical proactive steps to improve the two greatest weaknesses of this club back in February 2006) which is incredibly thin starting pitching and poor defense.
(9) Wayne will have a stated plan, the visable and vocal backing of the owner of the club and be pursuing it agressively.
(10) Wayne will be working to bring pride back to Cincinnatiin both the things he says and the things he does.
I could go on -- but I can look at that list and say "I'll take that" -- and encouragingly, it is starting to take shape.
I own my own business and I can tell you that oftentimes the results only follow after you have been making small sustainable improvements over time. Initially the results may not even be apparent -- but in the long run, they will sustain the business through good times and bad.
I believe Wayne Krivsky is doing a great job -- actually having done more and put more sustainable building blocks in place for this club than what any of us probably would've reasonably expected on the front end back in February 2006.