OK. My turn.
I mostly agree with WVREDSFAN. To catch-up on the history a little.
1. Jack McKeon did a really good job here IMO. He seemed to jell nicely with the players, the town and the media. He got some good production out of a good group that grew-up together under his guidance right before our eyes. But then the Griffey trade changed the entire dynamic. Not only did a couple decent young players who fit in the mix get subtracted and the cash commitment wipe out any chance to improve the pitching staff (I think Lindner pulled the rug out from under Bowden on that one), but my interpretation of some of the incidents that occurred and the comments of players that left was that the clubhouse become a sour atmosphere. This atmosphere was not specifically because of anything Griffey did, but because now there seemed to be a small contingent of players who undermined the manager's authority (I do not think they did this intentionally) by having the direct ear of the GM. The manager became caught in the middle and IMO lost his effectiveness. I blame this entirely on Bowden and not the players themselves. In the end, it just wasn't working and either McKeon or Bowden needed to go (I think the wrong one stayed behind).
2. Bob Boone was the worst type of Manager possible. It seems that everyday he seemed to need to meddle with something in an effort to prove what a genious he was. I think he's a good comp for Narron.
3. As far as Dave Miley goes, I agree with Mario-Rijo (welcome back to ORG BTW Mario)
Once the firesale moves a couple veterans out and its time to audition and nurture some kids, there could be a lot worse choices than Miley as an interim caretaker, but as an actual Manager, he seemed to be in over his head. The Peter principle applies IMO.
Miley was a guy who was undone by a lack of talent to some extent and by one fatal flaw he had. He didn't demand respect from his players and the Veterans on those teams took complete advantage and before long so did the rest of the team. As far as X's and O's go he wasn't all that bad and when he took over that putrid team after the firesale his undertalented and non-experienced unit played pretty well for their shortcomings. His record that '03 season? 22-35 for a WP% of .386 and that's w/o Griffey, Larkin, Harang (as we know him now) or Arroyo. That was with such stars as Smitherman, Stenson, Olmedo and Paul Wilson as our ace.
4. On to Narron. I said in the game thread that I'm in permanent Fire Narron mode. My comments about Bob Boone apply and he scares the heck out me with:
A. His mishandling of pitchers. I hope Harang, Arroyo, Bailey etc surivive his imcompetence.
B. His way of dealing with younger players. See EdE, Deno, the young pen guys as examples.
5. Finally to Krivsky. There is no question that the team is better positioned for a core group of young talent and developing minor leaguers coupled with some upcoming payroll flexability to move into contender status. What I'm not sure of is how much is due to Krivsky and his minions and how much is just the new regime riding the wave of events. IMO Krivsky gets a lot of credit for picking some low hanging fruit off the tree and developments over time from things he inherited. I'll give Krivsky some credit for the low hanging fruit moves. He picked some good fruit, but make no mistake, it was low hanging fruit.
A. The Arroyo trade was a no brainer brought about by the need to get Dunn's atrocious glove off of 1B, move Wily Mo to make room and add a competent major league starter. Personally, in the context of time, I think Krivsky overpaid a little. He had the low cost player that was penciled in as a starter and counted on for some big production while Boston had the guy who was put into a mop-up role with a contract that they wanted to move. I think he should have gotten more.
B. Phillips and Hamilton were more astute moves IMO. These both qualify as one time uber-prospects who had faded into oblivion. The Reds had three veterans competing for time at 2B (Womack, Aurilia and Freel) when Phillips was acquired. It would have been easy to pass. I give WK credit for getting him. Drafting Hamilton was a move that seemed pretty surprising to some, but my guess is that other teams were also eyeing him or WK would not have felt the need to trade up with Chicago to get him. Kudos for identifying him and doing what it took.
C. Other low hanging fruit moves were nothing special IMO even though guys like Ross and Hatte have worked out well. Those are balanced by making bad choices on Cody Ross, Brendan Harris, Juan Castro, Rheal Cormier, etc.
D. When Krivsky tried to move to the next level he showed his limitations IMO. We've over discussed the abomination known as "the trade." For me, it was the off-season moves to help the pitching staff that did me in. This team was a solid number 3 starter and a decent pen arm or two from being in a much different position right now. Krivsky chose to rely on full seasons from the trade guys, Cormier and Lohse, supplemented with re-signing Weathers, adding Stanton and trading for Saarloos. Getting Saarloos was the right idea, just the wrong guy. WK need to go after a couple undervalued Arms with upside and get one established top 3 in the rotation type starter. He spent a lot of money and didn't do any of those things. BTW, David Weathers has been wonderful this year, but I still am not high on what he brings to the mound and wonder if we'll see a big drop in the near future. Of course over use will probably be blamed so we'll never know if it happens,
These moves aside, for me WK's job is now entirely dependent on what he does with Narron. If he sticks with him much longer, then I think both he and Narron shoud be fired. If he acts in the near future to stop the insanity, then I'd be willing to wait and see a little longer. Make no mistake though. The perception of a brighter future from youth and payflex is much more due to the players WK inherited (Bailey, Bruce, Votto, Fisher, Cueto, Pelland, Medlock, etc) and the passage of time (Milton, Griffey, etc.) than it is any of his doing. If he sticks with Narron and his pitcher abuse, he's likely to screw that all up.