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Thread: Edskin's bi-monthly column: Edition #1

  1. #31
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    3. If Lindner simply wanted a business in which he could break even, then why choose Major League Baseball? If he pretty much knew that he wasn't willing to lose any money/investers, then why not pick something else?
    Because Lindner is profiting from baseball. Not only is he getting franchise appreciation in $$, he is making yearly profits which are funneled into lobbying money, salaries for the partners, etc. Allen's magic acounting makes profits disappear.

    The Reds had to only spend a minimal amount on the stadium, and the things they did buy were of the cheapest quality they could get away with (hopefully this means Carl is not in it for the long term).

    I still laugh that most people believe that Marge was hemoraging money from the team. When did she ever have to put up her own money? Marge was probably running the team on a break even basis, which angered the limiteds. That's why they wanted uncle carl to own the team, so they could make a fortune off it. If Marge was losing so much money, why did she make a huge profit when she sold? Why were so many people interested in buying?

    Carl would not make any investment which only had the potential to "Break even". The guy doesn't even like baseball. It's a pure investment.

    If Carl is only "breaking even", then why did he buy the team? No one has ever answered that. He doesn't want it for his ego (silent owner), doesn't want to win, and doesn't even go to the games. It's an investment that is adding to his wealth, pure and simple.

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  3. #32
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Let's say you are an investor/shareholder in UDF, Chiquita, or one of Lindner's other holdings, and he's telling you each quarter/year that your dividends/profits will be alot smaller because he's taking that millions and putting it towards the Reds (and organization that you, as a shareholder, have no part with)?

    Isn't that exactly what he's doing with the GAB naming rights though? ( I realize that in realty Lord only knows how that money is being funneled around.. certainly not to payroll though).

    There was enough money to pick up Finley or Colon without causing a real loss. When a club is so cheap that they don't sign draft picks or block trades over 200k, they show their true colors.

    Clubs with less revenue than us (i.e Montreal) manage to sign all their draft picks without dragging into December.

  4. #33
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    Originally posted by M2
    If you're going to be selective about which years you choose why stop at '93, '96 and '97 (other than the fact that it arbitrarily allows you to make the conclusion you wish to make)?

    After all, how many teams had lower payrolls than the Reds in 1998? One? Two? Not really much of an accomplishment being the least bitter of the league's dregs.

    All that tells me is Bowden did a good job of conquering new lands, but ultimately he didn't have what it takes to hold together a kingdom.

    '01-'02 - lofty hopes dissolve and Bowden sputters


    lgj started the whole discussion by using 2002 as her sample. Talk about being selective. Hell, we could include 1989 and 1991 in the sample as well just to make the Reds look even worse. But what relevance does 1989, 1991, 1992-1996 have to the payroll disparities that exist today between big market clubs and small market clubs, when those disparities weren't NEARLY as prevelant back then. It's not like I'm trying to include '94 and '95 in my sample. IMO, payroll disparities started to become a BIG issue when the Marlins bought the WS in 1997. So, if I'm evaluating the effect payroll disparities have had on the game, I think 1997 is a great starting point. That's just my opinion. Remember, lgj started the whole thing by stating that she doesn't buy the whole small payroll excuse anymore, as if it's a non-factor in the game of baseball. Everybody who knows anything knows that it's very much a factor, especially in the last 3-5 years. I'm not saying it's the only factor, clearly not, but it's still a big factor.

    I take it you don't like the Griffey trade. If you do support that trade, then is it Bowden's fault that 20% of his small payroll was tied up in an injured player for the past 2 years?

    Is it Bowden's fault that another 20% of his small payroll was put towards an aging 37 yr old shortstop by his owner?

    A lot of variables to consider here, that's all I'm saying. In today's game, it is extremely difficult to compare GMs and rank them, when each has a completely different set of circumstances to work with. So for every negative you come up with, I can easily come up with a defense or a corresponding positive.

    And we could go on for weeks without resolving anything.

  5. #34
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Sure, you can split hairs until kingdom come.

    lgj, however, has done an exceedingly fair anyalysis. I don't think anyone would argue that Bowden's been a bad GM. Clearly the man has had his successes. It's just that those are past him now. If I judge him by his most recent work or by his total work, then what I get is a guy who's been a middle of the road GM.

    During his tenure, the Reds have had three good, two fair, four poor and one really stinking bad season.

    And if you hold Bowden to the standard he set during his heyday, then he's really been scuffling in recent years. TT, this organization has gone backward since that '98-'00 run (and IMO, very little of it has to do with Jr. or Larkin).

  6. #35
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    I guess I struggle with the concept that he had a brilliant run (your word, not mine) from '97-'00, but now suddenly he is middle of the road.

    Over the past two years, Griffey and Larkin have taken up 40-45% of his $45 million payroll, which is a low payroll to begin with relative to the Cardinals, Cubs, and Astros. Regardless of what you may think, the Jr injuries and the Larkin contract certainly haven't helped his cause.

  7. #36
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    Let me clarify my small market comment. The way I meant it was that I am tired of hearing John Allen use it every time the Reds can't get a player or finish under .500. I am fully aware that the margin of error for a small market team is much, much smaller than it is for the Yankees. However, looking at the success of other teams in the league, one can't argue that no success is possible in a small market. It is harder, but doable. That was my point. The excuse I was referring to was the usage of the small market whenever we screw up or when Allen wants to comment about revenue sharing. We can do better than what we are doing now, it is obvious.

  8. #37
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    The key to being competitive for small market teams is loading up on high ceiling prospects who are relatively affordable for a few years. The A's have done a fine job in producing a balance of good position players (Chavez and Tejada) and pitchers (Hudson, Mulder, and Zito). So far, the Reds have produced the young offensive players (Dunn, Kearns, Boone, and Larson), but are still waiting on an impact starter to develop. We have done a great job with relievers (Reidling and Williamson), but need for 2 of 3 of our young starters (Reitsma, Basham, Mosely, Howington, Hall, and Mosely) to come through for them to have a nice foundation for longterm success.
    "Haven't you ever loved something that much?"

  9. #38
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    I agree FTLOTG. And not only have the A's had success in doing this, but also the Twins.

    But then at some point and time, when these players "hit", we see what can easliy happen, and is a "drawback" from being a small to mid market team on a limited budget. Where's Giambi at now? And why did he leave?

    The Twin's GM has already came out and stated that they are probably not going to be able to retain all of their young star players, and OFer Hunter is one of them, due to their upcoming salary demands.

    The point is that you can scout, develop, bring these young players through your system, and hold onto these players for several years before they are arb eligible, and then free agency. But sooner or later, you're gonna have to "face the music".

    You have to have all the right personnel in place to keep "churning" out these young players in order to replace the ones you very well may lose in the future due to they amount of $$$'s they are going to demand, and what the market dictates.

    We're going to face that with kids like Dunn and Kearns in a few years, among others.

    It is so much harder on small to mid market teams. Impossible? NO..but alot harder.

    I don't know the A's financial situation, or the contract situation of their star players. But lets see how long they can keep this star rotation together?

    Where are all the big money players going to this off-season? Or for that matter, players, due to their performance, are DUE to get big money?

    Yankees, Atlanta, Philadelphia (who are idiots IMO), and the Red Sox?

    Some one explain why teams like KC, Pittsburgh, Fla, Milwaukee, Cincy, and so many others aren't in the bidding for these players?

    MONEY

    I guess if you want to, you can level the charge that their owners are just cheap. But I don't think that is the reasoning at all.

    That's why teams are all huddled around the Expos right now. They know that they have as good a shot as anyone at meeting the Expo's demands, because those demands are high level, but currently inexpensive, prospects.

    That's what it's gonna cost you at this point.

    But at least you can "sit at the table" and make a viable a offer if you have the talent. The only "sticking point" IMO is that the Expos want someone to take Tatis (and his salary) off their hands. And that would cause the eligible bidders to dwindle down to only a few teams then. A team like the Red Sox or Yanks could afford to do that (eat that salary). But a team like the Reds would have to "make room" salary wise to be able to accomodate that, along with giving up some talented prospects. It makes it tougher.

  10. #39
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    letsgojunior wrote:
    Let me clarify my small market comment. The way I meant it was that I am tired of hearing John Allen use it every time the Reds can't get a player or finish under .500. I am fully aware that the margin of error for a small market team is much, much smaller than it is for the Yankees. However, looking at the success of other teams in the league, one can't argue that no success is possible in a small market. It is harder, but doable. That was my point. The excuse I was referring to was the usage of the small market whenever we screw up or when Allen wants to comment about revenue sharing. We can do better than what we are doing now, it is obvious.
    Of course, it's doable for a small market team to compete IF they get extremely lucky and all the cards fall just right.

    When you start tracking the teams that make the post season, you will discover that much of their season is filled with incredible good luck.. They might have 2-3 position players who have awesome seasons at the plate. A pitcher or two will come out of nowhere and put up great numbers. Most of the time, a few guys have career years. Injuries are at a minimum. The bench/bullpen has extraordinary years. That was the Reds in 1999.

    PLUS, not only does it require a lot of luck, but it also requires that your division rivals have poor luck. If key injuries hits your division rival, or the rival team hits a slump, it ultimately helps your team. The Reds benefitted from this the first half of 2002. The Cards and Astros were struggling and that helped the Reds. Take the California Angels this year. if Seattle hadn't self destructed at times during the season, it kind of makes you wonder if the Angels would have even made the post-season.

    That's how small market teams compete. Oakland has gotten lucky because certain players have been availible when they drafted them. And they have been lucky because they have been relatively injury free. You let a couple of those young stud pitchers develop arm trouble, and spend an extended amount of time on the DL, and suddenly the A's are back in the cellar with the rest of us small market flunkies.

    The difference between the small market teams and the large market teams is that teams with $$$$ can overcome bad luck by replacing/moving slumping/injured players with more players. Even if the Reds bring in Bartolo Colon, and make all the fans happy, what happens when Colon goes on the DL for two months? There are no replacements and there's no money to bring in another Colon-caliber pitcher. OTOH, the Yankees can stock up on eight starting pitchers. If three of them go on the DL, they still have five others. If Derrick Jeter goes down to a season ending injury, the Yankees can afford to go out and trade for ARod to replace him. If Bernie Williams goes on the DL, the Yankees can go out and trade for Jim Edmunds. But if Larkin goes down, the Reds can only afford to pay Juan Castro. If Junior goes out, the Reds can only afford Reggie Taylor. THAT'S where being a small market team bites you in the rear.
    Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, and they don't want someone else's shoved into their face.

  11. #40
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    Good points from all. As stated, one of the keys for the Yankees is they're able to retain all the great players that they develop in their system - Jeter, BWilliams, Soriano, Posada, etc. Small market teams can develop the talent, but how many can they retain? We've already seen Giambi and we'll see more take off in the next couple years, particularly from the A's and Twins.

    The biggest criticism I can level at Bowden is that rebuilding was put off one or two years too long, OR that our young starting pitchers should be developing quicker. Our minor league system seemed to remain void of superstar talent until about 1998, when Kearns and Dunn were drafted. Since then, it's gotten better, but the one area we've yet to see results is starting pitching. Bowden deserves some criticism here, as does the previous owner's beliefs on minor league scouting/major league payroll. If we had started rebuilding and beefed up our scouting sooner, maybe a young starting pitcher or two would be ready to contribute in '03, which would have us closer to playoff contention. Anyhow, even as it sits now, I don't think we're as far from playoff contention in '03 as most here believe. One or two solid moves between now and the start of the season could make this season very interesting.

  12. #41
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    Mike, good points. Margin of error is small, as small as the payroll number itself. I've said it before, it is simply amazing how many things fell in place for this club in 1999. Ron Villone was tossing one-hitters left and right. Amazing. Is the talent level of the Reds that much lower in 2003 than it was in 1999? Most posters will say yes. What do you guys think?

  13. #42
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GAC
    Where's Giambi at now? And why did he leave?

    He left Oakland because the A's wouldn't give him a no-trade contract, not because of money. Giambi and the A's had agreed on how much and how long, they just wouldn't give him an unlimited no-trade clause.

    PSR

  14. #43
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    if Seattle hadn't self destructed at times during the season, it kind of makes you wonder if the Angels would have even made the post-season.
    I wouldn't call winning 93 games self-destructing.

    Oakland has gotten lucky because certain players have been availible when they drafted them.
    If the Reds had drafted Mulder, Hudson, and Zito, then PROPERLY developed them, I hardly think you would use the word 'lucky'. Drafting is a LOT more than luck. It involves intensive scouting, workouts, etc. And it doesn't stop after drafting. The player has to be properly developed through the system, the perfect combination of patience and caution. Drafting and developing involves a lot of skill. And certain players have been available that the Reds didn't take in various situations. Strong drafting and development is not merely lucky -- good organizations do it well and bad organizations don't.

    We've been drafting as high as Oakland in the recent years, yet don't have a pitcher to show for it while they have three bona fide studs. That reeks of an organizational deficiency and not pure luck.

    You let a couple of those young stud pitchers develop arm trouble, and spend an extended amount of time on the DL, and suddenly the A's are back in the cellar with the rest of us small market flunkies.
    Mulder was on the DL last season, and Hudson and Koch were wild and ineffective for portions and they won 103 games.

    The difference between the small market teams and the large market teams is that teams with $$$$ can overcome bad luck by replacing/moving slumping/injured players with more players.
    I agree with this.

    Even if the Reds bring in Bartolo Colon, and make all the fans happy, what happens when Colon goes on the DL for two months? There are no replacements and there's no money to bring in another Colon-caliber pitcher.
    Colon has rarely been on the DL for his career. He is a horse. But even if he did go on the DL, I would much prefer 4 months of him than anyone else on the Reds staff.

    If Derrick Jeter goes down to a season ending injury, the Yankees can afford to go out and trade for ARod to replace him. If Bernie Williams goes on the DL, the Yankees can go out and trade for Jim Edmunds.
    Jeter and Bernie have been out for periods in the past yet a single trade hasn't been made. The Yankees have NEVER made a trade of the caliber you describe to replace Jeter or Bernie, they have used in-house substitutions. And I am not sure how comparing this to Griffey is fair because he has never been out for the season. And the two teams you are mentioning would never trade ARod or Edmonds or any player of that caliber, it would be absolutely impossible for the Yankees to somehow upgrade despite an injury.

    Our minor league system seemed to remain void of superstar talent until about 1998, when Kearns and Dunn were drafted. Since then, it's gotten better, but the one area we've yet to see results is starting pitching.
    Our system is currently rated #26. Our top prospect is a guy who came out of nowhere (Basham).

  15. #44
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    Team Tuck,

    I think the TALENT level is better now than it was in 1999. It is PERFORMANCE that has faltered.

    If you want an example, compare the Oakland A's and the Chicago Cubs. The A's have had great success with their young pitching studs. OTOH, the Cubs, who have as good or better young pitchers, have not seen the same kinds of perfomances.

    The Reds OF has definitely improved in talent since 1999. But it has yet to produce Vaugn/Cameron/Young like numbers. The infield is in a state of flux based on who is going to play 2B. Casey has been hurt - he says it happened in spring training last year. But I wonder if it happned sometime before that. Doc Kremcheck said his shoulder looked pretty frayed. This may have been a 2-3 year old injury that began as a weakness - based on Casey's lack of power numbers. Larkin has obviously regressed, and Boone has pretty much remained the same.

    IMHO, the pitching talent-wise is better now. Think about it. We had Neagle, Harnish, Villone, Parris, and Tomko. If we could get one ace to replace Neagle, I think Graves, Dempster, Haynes, and Reitsma is better than the other four. We've just not yet seen the results.

    I do agree with your assesment of Bowden. It seems that the last two drafts have not been as good as you would want. Considering the high draft position the Reds held last June, I was VERY disappointed. Gruler was an OK pick for a high school pitcher, but, since Bullington was already gone, I would have MUCH rather seen Bobby Brownlie drafted because he is more polished and would been closer to the majors. And then during the compensation round, Mark Schrammeck ? Maybe it was just because he came from a small school, but the guy wasn't even on anyone's radar until the 8th or 9th round. And the 2nd and 3rd rounds went downhill from there.

    I hope there is an improvement in the draft this year, or somebody's got some 'splainin' to do.
    Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, and they don't want someone else's shoved into their face.

  16. #45
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    If the Reds had drafted Mulder, Hudson, and Zito, then PROPERLY developed them, I hardly think you would use the word 'lucky'. Drafting is a LOT more than luck. It involves intensive scouting, workouts, etc. And it doesn't stop after drafting. The player has to be properly developed through the system, the perfect combination of patience and caution. Drafting and developing involves a lot of skill. And certain players have been available that the Reds didn't take in various situations. Strong drafting and development is not merely lucky -- good organizations do it well and bad organizations don't.
    I don't dispute what you are saying. In fact, you are making my point. The Reds' INABILITY to do these things is good luck to those teams who take advantage.

    Two years ago, Ty Howington was the #2 ranked left-hander in the minor leagues(according to BA). I would call his injuries in 2002 "bad luck" while it stifled his proper development. (By the way, if you want "bad luck," look at the #1 ranked left-hander in the minors: Rayn Anderson. How many injuries has he had?)

    As far as the Reds' troubles in the draft, see my other post in this thread.
    Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, and they don't want someone else's shoved into their face.


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