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Thread: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

  1. #1
    Member Wheelhouse's Avatar
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    Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    on ESPN insider on Narron. Anyone have it? Thanks.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Stark article

    "The bullpen sucks and the Reds need to be re-energized".

    That basically covers it.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Designated Threadkiller LincolnparkRed's Avatar
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    Re: Stark article

    Here it is

    Reds didn't perform for Narron
    posted: Monday, July 2, 2007 | Print Entry

    There's nothing in sports more surreal than a managerial-firing press conference. Is there?
    Here, for example, is some of the stuff said about just-fired Reds manager Jerry Narron on Monday afternoon at the press gathering to announce his firing:

    "He's a good manager," said president and CEO Bob Castellini. "I believe he'll be a manager again."

    "As a person, as a baseball man, a passionate, caring, wanting-to-do-the-right-thing, respecting-the-game ... I can't say enough good things about Jerry Narron," said Wayne Krivsky, the GM who had just fired him.

    "He's a fine human being," Castellini said. "And he cares more than anybody knows."

    Yeah, it was a regular Jerry Narron testimonial, all right. Except for the part about how the honoree wouldn't be working there any more.

    Krivsky even had trouble controlling his emotions at one point -- an honest reflection of his feelings about a guy he genuinely cared about and respected.

    But an equally honest reflection of what those men were doing at the podium came a few minutes later, when Castellini was challenged about whether his team truly had a direction these days. And the owner replied: "Hey, baseball is a tough business."

    Yep. Sure is. Great people sit in those managerial offices every day of every season -- until the day most of them are told it's time to take the family pictures off the wall. Just consult the 17 men who were occupying those offices just two years ago this time and aren't anymore.

    Jerry Narron was one of those great people. Ask anybody who has ever known him.

    But his baseball team was a mess. And since firing about seven members of the pitching staff wasn't an option for that team, he'll be able to spend his 4th of July on a putting green instead of figuring out whether to intentionally walk Barry Bonds. So maybe this wasn't all bad, huh?

    Nothing can sabotage a manager's IQ more than a crummy bullpen, you know. And Jerry Narron could tell you all about that, if he wasn't one of those classy, always-take-the-high-road kind of guys.

    His bullpen was 9-18 this year. It had almost as many blown saves (13) as saves (15). And (if you don't count closer David Weathers, who has had a tremendous year) it had allowed opposing hitters to bat .285 once the starters (who had as many quality starts as the Brewers, believe it or not) hit the exit ramp.

    So Jerry Narron's Reds were a team with 28 come-from-ahead losses. With five walkoff losses. With 16 losses in games they either led or were tied in after the seventh inning.

    No manager can overcome a bullpen nightmare of that order. And Krivsky essentially apologized to him for that mess Monday, saying: "I feel badly that I wasn't able to shore up the (pitching) staff. ... That really bothers me."

    The GM meant those remarks sincerely, too. But he also alluded to the fact that "there were reasons behind making this change." And while he wouldn't tick them off, you'd be correct to conclude that the bullpen sure wasn't the only issue on this team.

    Until last week, I hadn't seen the Reds in person since spring training. It was shocking how much they'd changed.

    In the spring, I found them to be a fun team with an upbeat clubhouse and a potentially imposing offense. By last week, they were a totally different outfit -- a bunch of guys who looked as if they were waiting around for two developments:

    • A) For about eight players in that clubhouse to get traded.

    • And B) for the manager to get fired.

    Or both.

    I'd been hearing scouts talk for several weeks about the lethargy that pervaded almost everyone on the field not named Ryan Freel or Scott Hatteberg. They weren't kidding.

    "They weren't playing hard for him," one scout said of Narron. "They were comfortable with him -- too comfortable. Jerry is such a nice guy, I think they kind of took advantage of him."

    Another scout talked about what once looked like Narron's defining managerial moment -- the April game in which he yanked third baseman Edwin Encarnacion out of the lineup for not running out a pop fly.

    "It's incredible to me the guys on that team who don't run balls out -- big-name guys," the scout said. "But he doesn't take them out or sit them down."

    It was a veritable non-hustle epidemic -- especially in the many games where the pitchers self-destructed and everybody in the park knew the next entry in the old loss column was just about inevitable. And Jerry Narron couldn't stop it or fix it or cure it.

    "They played like it was Sept. 20 and they were out of the race," said one scout. "Yeah, I know they're out of the race now. But they were playing like it was the end of September."

    And that just can't happen. In Castellini's words, "the results have not been acceptable."

    Krivsky tried as hard as he could Monday not to point fingers, draw comparisons or indict his former manager in any way. But when he spoke about interim manager Pete Mackanin, he tipped his hand -- by using the word "re-energize" three times in one answer.

    Well, the Reds need re-energizing more than Mrs. A-Rod needs a new T-shirt editor. So exit Jerry Narron and enter Pete Mackanin.

    But you wonder if it's the last change on the horizon for this club, because it couldn't have been more obvious Monday that the owner's frustration had officially bubbled over.

    "If we don't get this thing worked out," said Bob Castellini, "I'm liable to fire myself some day."
    Climbing down from the bridge, but keeping the torch lit until Dusty's fate is settled

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    Re: Stark article

    Thanks!
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Re: Stark article

    Boy, a lot of RedZoners won't like that article--to suggest that there may be players who aren't hustling will elicit a flood of posts with the word "scrappy" in it.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Stark article

    I sure hope Stark and these "scouts" don't believe lack of hustle is why the Reds have the worst record in baseball.

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    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    Just how is this different from any other team starting out in the spring with that optimistic glow only to flounder their way into last place?

    Until last week, I hadn't seen the Reds in person since spring training. It was shocking how much they'd changed.

    In the spring, I found them to be a fun team with an upbeat clubhouse and a potentially imposing offense. By last week, they were a totally different outfit -- a bunch of guys who looked as if they were waiting around for two developments:

    A) For about eight players in that clubhouse to get traded.

    And B) for the manager to get fired.

    Or both.
    Really, Jayson, this was "shocking" to an experienced baseball writer?
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    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    So, to recap, the team with the worst record in baseball no longer had an "upbeat clubhouse"? That's phenomenally shocking insight right there...

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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    I think his point was that the Reds lack energy led to them being the worst team in baseball.
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill

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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelhouse View Post
    I think his point was that the Reds lack energy led to them being the worst team in baseball.
    Wayne says he satisfied with the effort on the field. He said at the Narron funeral...I mean, press conference

    Rather scary....

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    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    Quote Originally Posted by RichRed View Post
    Just how is this different from any other team starting out in the spring with that optimistic glow only to flounder their way into last place?

    Really, Jayson, this was "shocking" to an experienced baseball writer?
    Losing will do that to you. But it was up to the manager to influence these guys beyond the trials and stay strong and play to win. But thanks to that great human being, Jerry (for President) Narron that ship sailed quite a while ago.

    Does anybody doubt that the job of a manager is to take 25 guys and make them into a winning combination? That's the guys job.....right? When you hire your manager do you say to him, "it is your job to take my 70 million dollars worth of players and come in last".?

    So, did Narron do the job he was expected to do? Did he meet the mutually agreed upon goals?

    31-51 Nuf said!
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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Stark article

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    I sure hope Stark and these "scouts" don't believe lack of hustle is why the Reds have the worst record in baseball.
    all they really need is for Stuart Smalley to come in and give a pep talk.

    http://home.hawaii.rr.com/snlcn/franken/stuart.html
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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    No manager can overcome a bullpen nightmare of that order. And Krivsky essentially apologized to him for that mess Monday, saying: "I feel badly that I wasn't able to shore up the (pitching) staff. ... That really bothers me."
    That's it? I feel badly?

    Gadzooks....Methinks this issue was glossed over mightily in the article.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    Yeah all these guys need to do is WANT TO WIN and they will

    We all know the real problem is strikeouts.
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Jayson Stark article: Reds didn't perform for Narron

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    Yeah all these guys need to do is WANT TO WIN and they will

    We all know the real problem is strikeouts.
    Actually, the real problem is that the games are played at all. Why do that when they can be simulated using statistics?
    "Don't trust any statistics you did not fake yourself."--Winston Churchill


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