From Tracy Ringolsby's weekly column....
The most shocking news in Wayne Krivsky being fired and Walt Jocketty hired as Cincinnati Reds general manager was Krivsky’s claim he was shocked.
“I did not see this coming at all,” he was quoted as saying.
The most stable thing about the Reds is their instability. Since 2003, the Reds have had two owners, four GMs and five managers, including one interim.
Jocketty developed a close relationship with Reds owner/ CEO Bob Castellini when Castellini was a minority owner of the St. Louis Cardinals, where Jocketty was GM until last fall.
When Castellini first bought the Reds, the speculation was he would try to hire Jocketty from the Cardinals, although he eventually decided to hire Krivsky. Castellini did, however, bring in Jocketty as his personal adviser this offseason after Jocketty was let go by the Cardinals last fall, only a year removed from their World Series victory.
Krivsky was not receptive to the hiring of Jocketty, and the word was that instead of trying to integrate Jocketty into the decision-making process, Krivsky shut Jocketty out of high-level talks, which Castellini took as a personal affront because Jocketty was his handpicked representative.
With the Reds struggling at the start of the season, again, Castellini decided to make a move.
Jocketty welcomes the job. Yes, manager Dusty Baker is a larger-than-life figure, but that has never been a problem for Jocketty, who began his big-league career working for the late Charlie Finley and in St. Louis never seemed to have any issues being overshadowed by manager Tony La Russa. In fact, the Jocketty-La Russa relationship was so strong, there was speculation the manager might not return to St. Louis after Jocketty was fired.
The irony for Jocketty is that he gets a second chance to be a GM because of his strong relationship with the team’s owner, which was a burr under the saddle of the man he is replacing.
Given his preference, Jocketty’s arrival in Cincinnati would have been welcomed by Krivsky and the two could have worked together.
In fact, Jocketty initially balked at joining the Reds as an adviser to Castellini because he wanted to avoid creating a situation similar to the one that was his shortcoming in St. Louis, where ownership brought in computer whiz Jeff Luhnow, put him in charge of scouting and player development and had him reporting directly to ownership, not Jocketty.