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Thread: Doc: Is winning realistic

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    Doc: Is winning realistic

    Doc: Is winning realistic?
    BY PAUL DAUGHERTY | PDAUGHERTY@ENQUIRER.COM

    There is a fine line between impatience and impetuousness. Compared with the rest of business-as-usual Cincinnati, Bob Castellini has been a tornado of fresh air.

    He wants the Reds to win, and he’s doing everything he can to make that happen. Is he doing too much? Is he trying too hard?

    “I hope I’m not so impatient that I’m imprudent,’’ Castellini said Wednesday afternoon, some eight hours after he fired General Manager Wayne Krivsky and replaced him with Walt Jocketty, the man he hired in January to be his “special advisor.’’

    Successful organizations do not fire their general manager every few years, the way this organization has. Firing a GM isn’t like firing a manager. The skipper leaves, maybe he takes a couple crony-coaches with him. A GM is handed his hat, he takes an entire department.

    This is an awkward time of year for an axing. The draft is less than two months away. The Reds will make calls on players in the next several weeks, major league and minor league. Jocketty has been here barely three months. Who will he rely on for front-line decision-making?

    As “Wayne’s people’’ either leave the organization or remain with the knowledge the ax doesn’t always discriminate, how willing to help will they be? All general managers are territorial; Krivsky moreso than most. Those that remain will be counted on to be pros. We can only hope.

    As for Krivsky, he got it about half right here. For every Mike Stanton, there was a Brandon Phillips, for every Juan Castro a Jeff Keppinger. He fell in love with two-year contracts for marginal players: Stanton, Castro, Todd Coffey. Two years and $7 million for Ryan Freel. He overpaid Corey Patterson. He collected centerfielders, but left Jay Bruce in Louisville.

    He also acquired Josh Hamilton and Jared Burton in the Rule 5 draft and traded Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo.

    Krivsky worked for a win-now owner when winning now was not practical. The Castellini-George Steinbrenner comparisons are not apt. But they do make you pause. Since January, Krivsky labored with Jocketty perched like Poe’s Raven on his shoulder.

    “No question, patience is required,’’ said Krivsky. “Bob will admit he’s an impatient person.’’

    Krivsky was famously tight lipped, not always to his detriment. When the Reds acquired Francisco Cordero from Milwaukee, no one was more stunned than Brewers management. If Krivsky hadn’t been so secretive, that signing would never have happened. No way Milwaukee allows its closer to escape to another team in its division.

    Krivsky leaves the Reds’ minor leagues in far better shape than he found them, but the major league club remains stagnant. As with his predecessor Dan O’Brien, Krivsky’s best work here might not be realized for a few years. “I wish a larger perspective was taken on the whole body of work’’ was how he put it.

    Fair enough. And if the Reds hadn’t been oh-for-winning in the last seven years – and hadn’t missed the postseason for the last 13 – the larger view might have prevailed. As it is, with an impatient owner feeling a debt to his success-starved clientele, perspective is limited to nine wins in 21 tries this year.

    “We’ve just come to the point where we’re not going to lose anymore’’ was how Castellini put it.

    The larger issue here is, can winning be done here while the retooling proceeds?

    Can Jocketty coerce 85 victories from this team, thereby creating the “winning mindset’’ he referred to Tuesday? “We need to change the culture,’’ he announced.

    Having built teams in St. Louis that made the playoffs seven times and won a World title, Jocketty knows about a winning culture.

    Knowing it and achieving it are two different things. Did Wayne Krivsky get the shaft? Where does impatience meet imprudence, and have they already crossed paths? We’re about to find out.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...30100/1062/SPT

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Dumping Krivsky just latest proof Reds don't have a clue

    Scott Miller April 23, 2008
    By Scott Miller
    CBSSports.com Senior Writer

    It was only three springs ago in Sarasota, Fla., that I was sitting in Cincinnati owner Bob Castellini's office, discussing his big plans for the Reds and listening to him rave about his just-hired general manager, Wayne Krivsky.

    Castellini spoke of the importance of patience in rebuilding the Reds. He pointed to the Minnesota Twins -- where he found Krivsky -- as a model organization.

    One of the keys to the Twins' success, he told me, is their continuity. Smart people were running the baseball operations, and they were allowed to keep doing their jobs even in the lean years. The result was a strong foundation that, more often than not, has thrived.

    That Castellini fired Krivsky on a bloody Wednesday in Cincinnati speaks to a couple of things:

    It's the latest telling moment as to why the Reds remain the game's equivalent of a lost ball in tall weeds.

    And it pulls back the curtain to reveal a glimpse of the way things continue to work far too often in this game -- that it's all about who you know.

    Castellini was a minority owner of the St. Louis Cardinals for years. And last summer, as Cards general manager Walt Jocketty was becoming more and more disenchanted with the way things were going there, strong rumors sprung up that Jocketty and manager Tony La Russa would replace Krivsky and whoever the Reds' manager du jour was at the time. (Jerry Narron? Pete Mackanin? Tough to keep up.)

    When the Cardinals fired Jocketty after the season, sure enough, Castellini couldn't contain his lust, quickly striking to add his friend as an adviser.

    That's all well and good -- under certain circumstances. Jocketty had a terrific run with the Cardinals, and as far as a down-and-out organization like the Reds goes, the more bright minds, the better.

    Except Jocketty's presence brought a whole lot of unwelcome questions for Krivsky. And the fact neither Castellini nor Jocketty ever really said Jocketty's days as a GM were finished wound up putting Krivsky in an untenable situation.

    That Jocketty was on deck to take over for Krivsky if the Reds faltered was the game's worst-kept secret. This was the final season of Krivsky's contract, the Reds brought high-profile manager Dusty Baker in over the winter (another sign of Krivsky's eroding power) and most folks figured if Cincinnati didn't contend, Jocketty would be running things in 2009.

    But to blow out Krivsky just three weeks into '08 with the Reds, at 9-12, only 21 games into their season?

    It's a completely knee-jerk move by an owner whose credibility just took a colossal hit.

    What happened to continuity?

    What happened to patience?

    Castellini's words, it turns out, were only lip service. That thing about putting good people in place and letting them do their jobs? Hogwash.

    It's a poor way to run a franchise. It's a worse way to treat a human being (especially one who was hired in February 2006, only days before the start of spring training, and was forced to learn everything about the Reds on the fly).

    Krivsky's record was not perfect, and part of his legacy will be that terrible decision to deal Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez as part of a package to Washington that brought relievers Gary Majewski (who turned out to be hurt) and Bill Bray while the Reds were struggling to contend in 2006.

    But he also struck an excellent trade to bring second baseman Brandon Phillips from Cleveland. He's the guy who was a genius two years ago for acquiring Bronson Arroyo from Boston. And he lasered in on right-hander Edinson Volquez in Texas last fall when the Rangers asked about outfielder Josh Hamilton.

    Through several weeks of trade talks, Rangers GM Jon Daniels told me this spring, Krivsky insisted that Volquez had to be part of any deal for Hamilton.

    "Wayne was pretty clear what it was going to cost from Day 1," Daniels said during our conversation in Surprise, Ariz. "It took us awhile. I tried a lot of different variations without giving up Volquez. But Wayne stuck with Volquez."

    This season, Volquez is 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA in four starts for the Reds.

    A week or so ago in San Diego's Petco Park, with various televisions tuned to several out-of-town games in the Padres clubhouse, future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux sat glued to the Reds game, locked in on Volquez.

    "Who is this guy?" an impressed Maddux asked, as if happening upon an undiscovered gem.

    The depressing thing for those who follow the Reds is that every time the club starts in one direction, it only lasts a few steps before they change again. Now in his fifth season, outfielder Ryan Freel already has played for five different managers.

    Upstairs, Krivsky made some enemies by firing some Reds scouts and rearranging some things, but again, if he wasn't even going to be allowed to finish his third season, what was the point of allowing him that much latitude to begin with? Now all it accomplished was disrupting the organization.

    Of 63 players in camp during Krivsky's first spring in 2006, only 14 of them were left this spring. And of 32 pitchers then, only four were still around in '08.

    There was a plan ... and now there's not.

    During another long conversation this spring in Florida, this one with Krivsky, the now-deposed GM quickly told me to "go ask Walt" when I asked about the inner workings of the Castellini-Jocketty-Krivsky triumverate and whether Jocketty one day would become a GM again. (I did, and Jocketty said at that point he wasn't sure what his plans were.)

    "Everybody has a job to do," Krivsky said. "I've got to supply the players. The player-development people have to do their job. The coaching staff has to do its job. It's a team effort.

    "Stability is important. Look at the successful organizations. It doesn't matter what sport. Look at the New England Patriots, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Twins, the Atlanta Braves. There's some continuity with successful franchises.

    "Look at the Braves, and how long Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz have been there, and a lot of other people, too."

    Now look at the Reds, and how the people continue to shuffle in and out.

    There was a plan ... and now, today, there's not.

    Again.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/sport...10795443.shtml

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    What happened to continuity?

    What happened to patience?
    Wayne had plenty of time. Up until his last day he was more worried about collecting/hoarding prospects for the future than trying to improve the major league roster.

    How is it Cast's fault that Wayne clearly ignored the directive given to him by Cast to get this team winning? Wayne wanted to collect young players. His boss wanted to win. Something had to give, so Wayne got the boot.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Please 2 years isn't "plenty" of time. Miller is deadon.

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Two years? Oh yeah, plenty of time to turn around a huge mess.

    If Walt Jocketty doesn't have us in the playoffs two year from now will you be saying the same thing? I doubt it.

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Forget that, Walt better produce a playoff team THIS year and 3 straight world series titles or he needs to be fired!

    YEESH..it's so easy to produce a winner, why can't everyone do it???
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    Forget that, Walt better produce a playoff team THIS year and 3 straight world series titles or he needs to be fired!

    YEESH..it's so easy to produce a winner, why can't everyone do it???
    3 straight titles, THIS YEAR!
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    3 straight titles, THIS YEAR!
    Damn right.
    Go Gators!

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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Aronchis View Post
    Please 2 years isn't "plenty" of time. Miller is deadon.
    Miller makes some good points, but there are way too many cheap shots for this article to be taken seriously.

    I loved that Kriv had a great eye for the diamond in the rough, a talent that not everyone else could see. He really does have a special gift in that area.

    But Miller really didn't address the fact that Kriv wasted all that money on all those contracts on guys who have already been, or will be released, and no one else will pick up.

    I truly believe that waste is what cost Wayne his job. Not "The Trade." But The Waste. Castellini is a Cincinnati boy, born and bred. He doesn't like to waste money.

    The Steinbrenner act does not play well here in this town, or with me. I'd like to see less frantic thrashing around in the future from this franchise.

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    The Steinbrenner act does not play well here in this town, or with me. I'd like to see less frantic thrashing around in the future from this franchise.
    It will if it produces championships to back it up. I don't agree with the timing of it, if Jocketty was going to be the man, then fire Krivsky in the off season and let him do what he wants with the team. As of now, he doesn't have much oppertunity until the trading deadline.

    It's nice to have an owner that actually cares for a change, unlike Uncle Carl who sat on the deck of a sinking ship and did nothing. While Castilini might not be perfect in approach, I think he's sincere in the idea that he wants to win, and losing is not acceptable.
    Pessimists are well informed optimists

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Wayne had plenty of time. Up until his last day he was more worried about collecting/hoarding prospects for the future than trying to improve the major league roster.

    How is it Cast's fault that Wayne clearly ignored the directive given to him by Cast to get this team winning? Wayne wanted to collect young players. His boss wanted to win. Something had to give, so Wayne got the boot.
    Castellini's the boss. If he wanted quicker results, he's entitled to say so. But let me say this -- if that's the case, he didn't pull his own weight.

    The Reds were a seriously talent-starved organization when Krivsky took over, with some bad contracts and no real help coming from the farm for a couple of years. To expect to be a winner by now without waiting for nature to take its course, there's only one way to do that -- the checkbook. Castellini raised the payroll, but only to league average. Not good enough to play checkbook baseball.

    Yes, Krivsky was inefficient in some of his contracts. But even if he didn't waste a penny, the difference wasn't going to buy enough talent on the free-agent market to get from where we are to where Castellini wants us to be. Not at today's prices, not with the Cubs in our division with a payroll $50 million north of ours. And no GM is going to be perfect in handing out contracts.

    It's possible, maybe likely, that Jocketty is the better choice to take it from here; possible that Castellini was completely unreasonable in his expectations and yet made the right choice anyway. I guess we'll see.
    Not all who wander are lost

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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post
    It will if it produces championships to back it up. I don't agree with the timing of it, if Jocketty was going to be the man, then fire Krivsky in the off season and let him do what he wants with the team. As of now, he doesn't have much oppertunity until the trading deadline.
    That's pretty much what I was saying, R4L. The timing is not good, which is what reminds me of Steinbrenner- just making change because you're throwing a tantrum.

    It's nice to have an owner that actually cares for a change, unlike Uncle Carl who sat on the deck of a sinking ship and did nothing. While Castilini might not be perfect in approach, I think he's sincere in the idea that he wants to win, and losing is not acceptable.
    Oh, I agree with this. I think Cast does care, very much. I like him, and specifically like his sincerity. But you just can't bang your fist on a table and say "The losing stops now!" You have to understand how to make it stop. I think Kriv was getting there, slowly, but surely, and maybe too slowly for some. I don't need to remind anyone who reads here that baseball is a game of streaks- and the Reds are in a funk right now. But that doesn't mean it will last forever.

    Jocketty knows how to get there, but he faces the exact same problems Krivsky does in getting there. He's going to have to feed Cast more contracts to eat, and trade more guys away while paying their salaries in order to improve this team, this year.

    Changing a GM is not going to change a culture of a team, or it's roster.

    Castellini wants to win right now. I admire that, but it is going to cost him a whole lot more money than it even has to this point in order to win in 2007. Kriv had this team set to win more in 2009, I do believe that.

    I look forward to winning again as much as anyone else does.

    When this team does win, in 2009 and beyond, Krivsky and even Dan O'B are going to deserve at least some of the credit.
    Last edited by Always Red; 04-23-2008 at 08:50 PM.

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post
    It's nice to have an owner that actually cares for a change, unlike Uncle Carl who sat on the deck of a sinking ship and did nothing. While Castilini might not be perfect in approach, I think he's sincere in the idea that he wants to win, and losing is not acceptable.
    Come on...this is like RC Cola continuing to fire it's CEOs because it keeps being outsold by Pepsi and Coke.

    Catellini's approach is that of an angry child that is upset that his parents haven't bought him the toy he wants. You can't just scream and flail your way to something like a winning baseball team -- you have to put good people in charge and GET OUT OF THEIR WAY. Either that, or you have to give them an unlimited budget (see: Cashman, Brian) and tell them to make it happen. Casty hasn't done either one of those things.

    By every observable indication, this team is light-years better than the team that was scheduled to take the field opening day '06. Krivsky's plan was working, the owner just had a completely unrealistic timetable.
    Championships Matter.
    23 Years and Counting...

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    By every observable indication, this team is light-years better than the team that was scheduled to take the field opening day '06. Krivsky's plan was working, the owner just had a completely unrealistic timetable.
    This is up for debate. If you ask most on this board, last year's team was better also. They were better everywhere except on the field.

    On paper this team looks a lot better than it did a few years ago. But it also looked that way last year. That was until they started playing. By the ASB the Pedro Alvarez watch was on.

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    Re: Doc: Is winning realistic

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    On paper this team looks a lot better than it did a few years ago. But it also looked that way last year. That was until they started playing. By the ASB the Pedro Alvarez watch was on.
    This team hasn't had a starting pitching trio (Harang, Volquez, Cueto) with this much upside since I've been a fan. There is REAL talent in AAA and AA that can help in the rotation/bullpen as well. The other stuff we make huge deals about on here (RH hitting, 5th starter, bench players) -- details that are completely fixable with Jay Bruce and a good deal or two for some bats.

    If pitching is the pathway to victory, this team is further down the road to the promised land than it has ever been before.

    Krivsky deserved better. He at least deserved the season to see just how close things were.
    Championships Matter.
    23 Years and Counting...


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