When does the winning start?
Monday, August 11, 2008, 07:34 PM EST
When Wayne Krivsky was fired earlier this season, Reds owner Bob Castellini famously said "we're not going to lose anymore."
The Reds have gone 1-9 since trading Ken Griffey Jr. and on Monday traded Adam Dunn, the Major League-leader in home runs, so the question that seems only natural is, "when does the winning start?"
Castellini told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "We're doing the best we can to get better."
However, manager Dusty Baker feels like he's been armed with a slingshot when asked how his team, already an unimpressive 52-67, will compete. The Reds must win 11 of their remaining 43 games to avoid losing 100 games for the second time in team history.
"David slew Goliath, you know. We just have to see. You guys ask me questions, I don't really have any more answers to," Baker said.
When asked if the latest move -- Dunn for minor league pitcher Dallas Baker and two players to be named who have already been decided upon and are on the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster, which include pitcher Micah Owings and Max Scherzer -- put the Reds solidly in the role of David, Baker responded: "I've been in the David role for a while if you haven't see how many runs we've been scoring. You do what you can do. That's my job."
Baker has recently complained about this team not being made up of players he selected -- besides Corey Patterson, obviously, and Francisco Cordero, whom he said he recruited -- he'll have what appears to be a blank canvas this off-season.
With Dunn gone, there's one less free agent to make a decision about, and 11 more for them to make a decision on. General manager Walt Jocketty was in the Dominican Republic and not available for comment.
One of the Reds free agents, reliever David Weathers, expressed optimism in Jocketty, who led the Cardinals to a World Series title in 2006.
In the last two weeks, the Reds have jettisoned two of the franchise's top 10 home run hitters.
"Maybe they're thinking in the future that we'll replace the home runs with guys that are gap-to-gap hitters, are a little faster," Weather said. "Walt has a plan and he doesn't do anything by the seat of his pants. He does it with a lot of thought involved and he's going to build this team."
On Sunday, the team designated catcher David Ross for assignment, calling up minor leaguer Ryan Hanigan, who hit his first career home run in a loss to the Astros.
The Reds haven't announced who will replace Dunn on the 25-man roster, but it will likely be outfielder Chris Dickerson, who is hitting .287 with11 home runs and 53 RBIs for the Bats.
"Talk to Walt tonight to see who is best tonight. It'll be someone relatively young, someone out of AAA," Baker said.
Dickerson is on the teamís 40-man roster, but has never played in a big league game.
The Diamondbacks claimed Dunn on trade waivers and the two teams worked out the deal over the last couple of days, culminating in a finished deal on Monday morning.
"Most teams put everyone they have through trade waivers. It's sort of like fishing, you throw bait in the water," said assistant general manager Bob Miller. "You put everybody out and teams claim, some teams block. Arizona was the team that had the worst record in the National League that selected Dunn when we put them on waivers. Who knows if they were blocking? We don't know what their motives were, but they had interest in Dunn and in the last four days we had conversations and early this morning we got it done."
Miller said "several" teams put claims on Dunn, but the Diamondbacks at 60-58 had the worst record of the teams that put a claim in on him.
The Reds receivers Buck, a 2006 third-round selection, and two other players, who will be announced at a later date.
Buck, a right-hander, led Oregon State to a College World Series title despite arm troubles which caused his draft stock to slip. He tried to pitch through arm troubles for a year-and-a-half before undergoing "Tommy John" elbow surgery last season.
This season he was 1-4 with a 3.94 ERA for South Bend of the Class A Midwest League before being promoted last week to High Class A Visalia of the California League, where he made one start, allowing three unearned runs in five innings.
"He's had 10 starts so far and looked good," said Miller. "He's got a good sinkerball, he's a battler, to pitch that long with a torn ligament, you know heís a bulldog. We liked him in the draft, too, but he had those arm issues."
No matter how good of a prospect he may be, the Reds won't have him the rest of this season.
Although Miller, Baker and others have said no decision had been made about Dunn's future, this move means it likely won't be in Cincinnati. Dunn could sign with the Reds as a free agent, but it's not likely. The Reds may have received two draft picks in compensation had they offered Dunn arbitration and he declined, but he could also have accepted and the Reds would have had a one-year deal with Dunn and not been able to move on to the next phase of the club's development.
Dunn said he received the call Monday morning. He is scheduled to bat fourth and play right field on Tuesday for the Diamondbacks in Colorado.
"I'll get my feet wet out there," Dunn said of playing right. "I don't care where I hit or where I play, I'm just excited to play."
The Reds' next phase started two weeks ago when Griffey was traded and continued Monday with Dunn's departure.
"You don't know anything long term, you never know, it's like planting a tree or making an investment -- you don't know if that investment is going to grow or that tree is going to bear fruit until later," Baker said.
All Reds fans know is that despite the vegetable czar's promises, Castellini hasn't delivered any bananas. Not even close.
I miss Adam Dunn.
Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012
Put an end to the Lost Decade.
Hopefully what they're now thinking is that they'll replace you this offseason, David Weathers."Maybe they're thinking in the future that we'll replace the home runs with guys that are gap-to-gap hitters, are a little faster," Weathers said. "Walt has a plan and he doesn't do anything by the seat of his pants. He does it with a lot of thought involved and he's going to build this team."
Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012
Put an end to the Lost Decade.
a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.
I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate