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

  1. #46
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    The Reds' 1999 OF also had Michael Tucker and Jeff Hammonds ON THE BENCH. Reggie Taylor and Ruben Mateo are poor substitutes.

    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.
    What's so difficult about it? Once upon a time JimBo got great returns for guys like John Smiley, Dave Burba, Jeff Brantley and Jeff Shaw - all of whom were overrated or washed up.

    JimBo used to have the knack for plucking players who were ready to step in and play immediately. He didn't really deal for prospects so much as he went out and collected young talent. That's what a GM on a small-to-medium market team needs to do to keep his team afloat - cashier your second-tier vets for definites and turn your nose up at anyone offering you a maybe. JimBo doesn't make those deals anymore. He's spent two-plus years collecting maybes.

    I give credit to the guy for the days when he was "on" and putting together what became the '99-'00 club. Yet I find when I give him proper credit for those successes it underscores what he hasn't been able to do in recent years. He's no longer a trade svengali. He's never been a development guy (a decade of failure in developing so much as one quality starting pitcher speaks for itself). That leaves you with a GM whose chief skill is rummaging through the bulk bins and finding something of modest value.

    Quite frankly JimBo only had limited skills when it came to his job in the first place. He couldn't afford to backslide on the few things he did well. Well now he's done exactly that. People obsess about Jr. and Larkin, but IMO JimBo's future rests on the backs of Ryan Dempster, Jimmy Haynes, Sean Casey, Aaron Boone, Jason LaRue and Felipe Lopez - because ultimately it's the performance of the water carriers which makes or breaks a team.

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  3. #47
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    OK, based on what M2 just said - and I think he's made a pretty valid point - JimBo USED to make those deals where he got the great returns for the washed up players. So, why ISN'T he making those deals now?

    Could it be that the "GREAT returns" are the guys who aren't getting it done now? Or do you think that the other GM's are a little more careful now when dealing with Bowden?

    I have no doubt Bowden goes into any negotiation looking for a "Burba for Casey" deal, a "Bichette for Reitsma/Curtice" deal, or a "Shaw for Reyes/Konerko" deal. But I wonder if the other GM's - either out of respect or revenge - aren't about to let themselves be taken by Jim Bowden? Three years ago, Bowden could have traded guys like Walker and Dessens, and would have stocked the farm system for years to come. So what has happned? Has he lost it, or has he been targeted by other GM's?

    I'm just thinking out loud here.
    Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, and they don't want someone else's shoved into their face.

  4. #48
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    That's a fair question. I think JimBo patted himself on the back a little too often for some.

    The market has changed too.

    That said, I think JimBo needed to walk away from a few deals over the past few years rather than make them. I know he's got payroll issues, but I think he had to establish the worth of his players on the market. The recent Todd Walker trade is an example. Player-wise the deal makes no sense. It's not shooting the moon to ask for someone who can make your team.

    The phrase "lost it" probably doesn't describe him properly. I get the feeling he's worn down and that he doesn't have the same sense of what kids are about to break through that he once did.

  5. #49
    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    That's like saying a kid with a C on his report card did really good because a few idiots got an F.

    ~letsgojunior~


    That quote should go into the Redszone Hall of Fame, a slam dunk from here to there.

  6. #50
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Originally posted by letsgojunior
    I wouldn't call winning 93 games self-destructing.
    I agree. I prefer to use the word "choking"

    I stand corrected Raisor. Though I think $$$'s had something to do with it also. And I hate "no trade" clauses :mad: . Talk about hamstringing an organization. It's not like they aren't giving these players the "sun and the moon" already.

    lgj says further..."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 hit the "nail on the head" right there girl . IMHO, this is the one area where this organization has shown me that they have huge deficiencies (possibly ).

    If you're telling me that, as a small market team, you can't afford to enter the FA market and basically "run with the big boys", so you must therefore focus your attention/efforts on scouting, drafting and development youth. Then you had better have the right personnel in those places to accomplish this goal. And I'm referring to scouts, coaches, trainers, etc. And I've stated that numerous times over the last few weeks on here. Marge Schott completely down played the importance of this, and destroyed these progams throughout most of the 90's. She hated paying scouts.

    Building new facilities, such as in Dayton & Louisville, and reorganizing your farm system is great. And this organization has done that in the last 3-4 years, and I think that is movement in the right direction.

    But when I hear of guys like Grant Jackson walking out, and also hear stories of scouts quiting, then that disturbs me somewhat.

    And we seem to have a huge "turnaround" in some of our coaching areas.

    Now does that necessarily mean that there is something wrong, or that they were simply tendered better offers elsewhere? That I do not know. But that still shows me an indication of a problem somewhere, if we can't retain these people.

    And we seem to have made great strides in drafting when it comes to developing "position" players, such as a Dunn, Kearns, etc.

    And while in the last 2-3 years we have loaded up on alot of young arms... how many times have we fans seen us make a deal/trade a player and get a pitching prospect in return?... how long (in years) should it take before we start to see results, or if this young pitcher has it or not?

    Because I really don't think we seriously started loading up on alot of these young arms until around the '99 season. We traded for Graves. Willy was brought up through the system. But beyond that...our program for most of the 90's was stripped and in shambles.

    So, if we didn't start seriously making this effort until within the last 3 years.... how long before we start seeing results?

    Or are we going to make the same mistake we did in 2001, nd end up rushing (and possibly ruining) some of these young arms?

    Is it feasible for us to expect to see some of these pitchers to show they are ready for 2003? or should we be showing more patience, and expect it more in '04 or '05?

    Especially when we are drafting high school kids? I mean, to me, it would look like they'd have to be in the system for 5-6 years before we would be able to see results, if any at all.

    I'm not making excuses here. Just asking a question on this issue... "Are we expecting too much too soon when looking at the starting point when this FO started to seriously pursue this?"
    Last edited by GAC; 01-02-2003 at 06:26 AM.

  7. #51
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Bang for the Buck

    One of the mantras of the Bowden backer is that he gets more "Bang for the Buck" then anyone else.

    But is this true?

    The following seven teams have to be considered in the equation (some are going to be a surprise)

    (Note: These numbers are based on the 2000, 2001, and 2002 seasons. Win totals include playoffs)


    Oakland: 31% more wins then the Reds (302 vs 229), 24% LESS payroll ($105,612,329 total for three year period vs $138,253,890)

    Minnesota: 10% more wins (252 vs 229), 43% LESS payroll ($80,009,500 vs $138,253,890)

    Florida: 2% more wins (234 vs 229), 29% LESS payroll ($97,612,417 vs $138,253,890)

    San Diego: 2% less wins (222 vs 229), 2% less payroll ($135,278,833 vs $138,253,890)

    Montreal: 5% less wins (218 vs 229), 22% less payroll
    ($107,397,667 vs $138,253,890)

    Kansas City: 11% less wins (204 vs 229), 23% less payroll
    ($105,812,000 vs $138,253,890)

    Chicago (AL): 13% more wins (259 vs 229), 11% ,more payroll
    ($153,840,500 vs $138,253,890)
    Last edited by Raisor; 01-02-2003 at 10:00 AM.

  8. #52
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Why not put '99 in those numbers? This discussion is too much like a political one for me .... everyone wants to champion their own selective stats that proves their own case.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    --Oscar Wilde

  9. #53
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Redsfaithful
    Why not put '99 in those numbers? This discussion is too much like a political one for me .... everyone wants to champion their own selective stats that proves their own case.
    Check out the "Bang for the buck" thread.

    PSR

  10. #54
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Doh, sorry about that, I start reading threads at the top and work my way down.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    --Oscar Wilde

  11. #55
    Team Tuck
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    Originally posted by letsgojunior


    we have done better the last 5 years compared to the Rangers, Pirates, Tigers, and Devil Rays? That's like saying a kid with a C on his report card did really good because a few idiots got an F.

    My point was that the Reds have been beaten out more consistently by low budget teams in the past ten years. There is no refuting that. To compromise it by saying that the Tampa Bay's, Detroit's, Kansas City's of the world make us look like a first-rate organization is specious.
    lgj, who in the hell are the small market/low budget teams? Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, Kansas City, San Diego, Montreal, Florida, Oakland. We've established that Oakland has out-performed the Reds, but am I to eliminate the other teams from my small market/low budget pool simply because the Reds have performed just as well or better than many of those clubs? Talk about changing arguments. I thought that was the whole point of the discussion to begin with. Sorry the pool of teams doesn't support your argument. You're welcome to name those small market/low budget teams that have CONSISTENTLY outperformed the Reds. I'll be waiting. So far, I've heard Oakland.....and Oakland.....and Oakland.

  12. #56
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    You've also heard Minnesota.

    Beyond that, Montreal, Florida and San Diego all seem to be on at least equal footing with the Reds.

    St. Louis, Colorado and Phoenix have population bases pretty much the same size as the Reds do, yet no one perceives them to be second-class citizens. I understand the reason for that discrepancy isn't JimBo's fault, but that's who I look to when I'm doing a comparison.

    I don't really care that the Reds are better than the Pirates, Brewers, Royals, Tigers and Devil Rays. They damn-well better be.

  13. #57
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    Originally posted by Team Tuck
    lgj, who in the hell are the small market/low budget teams? Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, Kansas City, San Diego, Montreal, Florida, Oakland. We've established that Oakland has out-performed the Reds, but am I to eliminate the other teams from my small market/low budget pool simply because the Reds have performed just as well or better than many of those clubs? Talk about changing arguments. I thought that was the whole point of the discussion to begin with. Sorry the pool of teams doesn't support your argument. You're welcome to name those small market/low budget teams that have CONSISTENTLY outperformed the Reds. I'll be waiting. So far, I've heard Oakland.....and Oakland.....and Oakland.
    How have I changed arguments?? I never have. I said that to compare the Reds to Tampa Bay (a team that generally had a HIGHER payroll than the Reds, and has a completely idiotic GM) and such in order to enhance their greatness is ridiculous. Since you are using Oakland as your threshold (a team that has posted a better record than the Reds four times on a smaller budget), well I have got news for you. Montreal, the team without a home, without luxury boxes or a new stadium, or any stadium at all for that matter right now, has posted a better record than the Reds on less money in six of the ten years Bowden has been GM. Boston has outperformed the Reds four times, the same as Oakland, on smaller budgets. Houston has outperformed the Reds three times. Seattle three times. The White Sox three times. The Dodgers three times. Anaheim three times. Is that enough yet??

    I am sure you will instantly discount the Dodgers, Boston, and the White Sox because of their "big market" label. Yet Montreal, the stepchild of baseball, along with Houston, Anaheim (which plays second fiddle to the Dodgers), Oakland, and Seattle (a team that was nearly moved in 1995) have all outperformed them on lower budgets three or more times.
    Last edited by letsgojunior; 01-03-2003 at 01:40 AM.

  14. #58
    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Letsgojunior,

    Based upon your research and findings, and while fully considering the on going financial constraints do you foresee the historical record for Mr. Bowden and the performance record of the operations side of the Cincinnati Reds significantly improving by the close of the following seasons 2003 and 2004 over his past ten year tenure?

    Further if you would consider a significant improvement a strong possibility by the close of either season forthcoming, what would you point to as the supporting factors respectively? Would you consider it a high-risk statement that the Reds in all probability will not win the National League Pennant or their division in either season?
    Last edited by Spring~Fields; 01-03-2003 at 04:59 AM.

  15. #59
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    SF,

    To me, 2003 and 2004 are two of the most critical years in the history of the franchise. Why? Because right now we are at a big fork in the road. On one side there are franchises like the Mariners, Indians 95-01, and Giants, who used new stadiums to turn their franchises into wildly successful, popular, and money making enterprises. They went from being bottom of the barrel to the cream of the crop. Unfortunately, on the other side are the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Detroit Tigers, who thought that the concept of a new stadium would be a panacea that would mask all of the tremendous deficiencies in their team. One year later, all of their stadiums have empty seats.

    If the status quo for the Reds is largely maintained, i.e. we make a few fringe moves, I can't see us winning anything (and that hurts to say that). One word: pitching. We do not have a Roy Oswalt. A Mark Prior. A Matt Morris. A Woody Williams. A Kerry Wood. A Wade Miller. A Carlos Zambrano. Our best ERA pitcher (that we still have), is an unproven starter and only made the transition 3 months ago. Haynes and Dempster both posted WHIP's close to 1.5, meaning they allow quite a few baserunners, and given the uncertain infield defense, those may score.

    The problem with the pitching doesn't only exist at the big league club, it has permeated into all levels of the team, meaning no help is in sight. Our highest rated prospect came out of nowhere (Basham). Pitchers are rushed through the organization with seemingly no regard for their health.

    And that doesn't even get to the main problem in my opinion, which is the complete lack of flexibility with payroll. Lets say in 2003 we are where we were circa trading deadline 2002. We had opportunities for and the farm system to get Bartolo Colon, who would have instantly elevated our rotation dramatically. Chuck Finley, Rolen, etc. The list goes on and on. We passed up deals that would have significantly improved our club for minimal financial obligation. As long as Lindner is owner, I don't see this changing. Which means that as long as he is in charge we will see success a firm second to the bottom line.

    Honestly, I see below .500 as a total bust in 2003, because if the ship starts to sink people are going to get mad because they essentially funded the stadium and were given promises of grandeur about how we would be in the thick of things. That would be a very depressing thing to watch, because it would mean we were in the fast-lane to Milwaukee-ville and that any night below 40 degrees half the seats would be empty.

    Given the state of the franchise right now (barring any additional big time moves -- i.e. Colon, Vazquez, Penny), my heart says maybe we can compete, but my head says no.

  16. #60
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    I fully understand what you are saying lgj; but what kind of market/payroll do those 3 teams you list (M's, SF, and Indians) have and exist in?

    I have never "bought into" the logic teams use when they say building a new stadium will greatly help a teams chances to compete. Sure, it will help some; but it is always a temporary fix. I look at the Indians. Where are they at now? Sooner or later you will reach that "saturation point" where the revenue brought in will be out paced by the expenditures. If you cannot control the other various costs, then in the long run, you are fighting a losing battle.

    And organizations such as the Brewers and Pittsburgh, who have just opened new stadiums, is further example of that IMO. It simply "stifles" or slows a process that is continuous, out of control, and will sooner than later catch right back up, out pace, and put a team right back in the situation they were before.

    If a new stadium brings in 20-25 Mil in extra revenue, there is still no way any team is gonna be able to invest more than 50-60 % of it back into payroll due to other misc costs that they will incur with the building of that stadium (stadium lease? any agreement made with the city where located? etc etc.).

    So yeah, an extra 15 Mil ain't gonna hurt; but looking at today's economy in MLB... it'll be eaten up very fast with the way player's salaries are escalating.

    10 years ago, we were one of the top teams in MLB with a 42 Mil payroll. And in a short period of time, a team with that kind of payroll is NOW considered at the bottom tier. That's one heck of an inflation rate when looking at player's salaries.

    And whose fault is that? I cannot fault alot of ML teams who are unable to keep pace with that.

    And the fans solution is...owners need to cough up more and more money, year in and year out, to keep pace with that phenomenal rate of growth in player salaries.

    What good is that gonna do when you have characters in NYC who will always out spend you, and even with a new CBA, shows no regard for the game at all IMHO?

    The vast majority of teams in MLB cannot compete in spending of that types.

    Teams like the A's, Twins, and Anaheim have shown that it can be done by scouting and developing players, while holding down payroll for a time. But unless you can keep "churning" those lplayers out year in and year out, you're still facing an up hill battle come contract time with alot of those players. They want their money, and will go where it's at...PERIOD!

    We can all argue this issue forever. But the problem is alot bigger than what we are facing as an organization.

    Having the money is not the only problem this orgainzation, and so many others are facing.
    Last edited by GAC; 01-04-2003 at 09:20 AM.


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