What makes the Indians, our northern neighbors and seemingly in the same type of financial market, overall a much more successful organization? Is this strictly a management issue?
-- Craig W., Columbus, Ohio
It's not just management, but Cleveland's stability at the top is a big reason. GM Mark Shapiro has been running the show since 2002 and manager Eric Wedge has held the job since 2003 after the previous five years in the Indians' farm system.
Cleveland also had a plan and patiently stuck it with during a few lean seasons as the Twins and White Sox dominated the American League Central. Shapiro slashed payroll, parted with popular players, made shrewd trades and rebuilt the farm system. The plan bore fruit with C.C. Sabathia, Grady Sizemore, Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner -- among others.
Since Shapiro took over in November 2001, the Reds have had one ownership change, two GM changes and four different managers ... make that five with Baker.
I took this from the Reds mail bag. Often stability is underrated when we get to talking about things that make a successful franchise. It is true that it has to be the right sort of stability. It will not help the Reds if they have the wrong owner and GM leading the team. I think Castellini is a good owner and will spend the necessary money to improve the team, and Krivsky will try and make good trades, and work on rebuilding the farm system. We now have some stability with our management. I believe that Krivsky's plan is to make the Reds follow the Minnesota model and work on improving pitching and defense. We might have a couple more lean seasons, but hopefully we will see the Reds turn the corner, and we might see them reach the playoffs and even make the World Series like Cleveland will this year. Krivsky has also done his own slashing of payroll in getting rid of players that did not have a future with the Reds like Jason LaRue, Kyle Lohse, Eric Milton, and some others who could be mentioned. He has shown a willingness to reward players who have performed on the field such as Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, and possibly even Adam Dunn. I will be watching with great interest to see what Krivsky does to improve the Reds in the off-season.