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Thread: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

  1. #16
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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Heisey has hit better in the majors in a limited sample where his at bats can be cherry picked to his favor (though coming off the bench is certainly hard.... but lets be honest, Heisey is not a .900 OPS MLB bat over a full season)
    I agree with doug on how the two (Larkin/Stillwell) were perceived. I was living in Cincinnati and the debates between my grandfather and his radio (yelling at Marty) often were about the two of them.

    But as for Heisey, I think you are wrong, just as you were wrong about Votto when you had such ardent support for Alonso. You said then that Votto wasn't a .950 OPS bat, more like an .850-.900. You pulled out his BABIP, a stat you actually cherrypick like you do LD% when you want to make a point. IN YOUR OPINION Heisey isn't a .900 OPS bat. I say he is until he proves he isn't. Now I don't think it should be him or Stubbs in CF, I think it should be Stubbs in CF, Heisey in LF. But if it had to be one or the other in CF, and one traded ala Larkin/Stilwell, I'd take Heisey. Stubbs MIGHT have more power upside, but Heisey is at minimum an .800 OPS bat. IMO, that's his floor. Stubbs Floor is a .680 OPS. A floor isn't something you dip to for a week or so. Its sustained performance. We saw a lot of .680 out of Stubbs. I think his sustained level is likely .780-.800, a ceiling of .850-.880. Yeah you'll see stretches higher than that.

    Initial draft position means jack to me, but i see its relevance in this argument. Stillwell had perceived skills that were pertinent to the era. Larkin at the time was the outlier.

    In the case of Heisey/Stubbs, it's performance vs tools. Stubbs may have more tools, but it isn't clear he knows how to use all of them. Heisey on the other hand may have fewer tools, but he's also got better control over them.

    but enough of this diversion. I remember yelling at my radio when Daniels got traded. He was my favorite hitter on that team, just a beast with the bat.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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  3. #17
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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    IIRC, Stilwell started out hot and and that added more fuel to the fire.

    Also, the argument was a product of the times. There wasn't the internet to do any real good research -the Sporting News and the USA Today were the only places you could get up to date MAJOR League averages- let alone minor league averages.

    It's easy to say it wasn't even a difficult decision -but the Reds brass, at the time, struggled with which way to go. Let's also factor race into the issue.

    As for the other guys, Kal Daniels could hit falling out of bed- but it looked like he fielded the same way. I always thought Reds LF's had a hard time fielding in that stadium because LF was the sun field. Fans, at the time, got on Foster, Daniels, Dunn (LF is sun field in new park too), Gomes...they are in LF for a reason. Daniels also had terrible knees and over time that caught up with him. He should been a DH, but never really got a chance to do that.

    O'Neil was a perfectionist who never needed a manager to ride him, but IMO, Lou handled him poorly. He tried to make him something he wasn't -he was a slasher when it comes to hitting and Lou and the brass wanted him to be a strict pull hitter who hit with power. That didn't work out too well and it was good to see the Yankees,of all teams, be able to let him be.

    Jones was a freak of nature- a poor man's Pete Reiser. He would run through a wall a week and then have to sit for 3. I beleive he could have been a lefty masher, but the guy got hurt every other week. They put him at 1st base to try to get him in the lineup. He got hurt the 1st time he played it. I saw a game where he played LF and he ran into the wall so hard you could hear it all the way up to the bleachers above home plate. We all loved that he played football as a baseball player, but he really wasn't a smart player. Smart players live to play another day. The guy was strong and fast and I believe the injuries caught up with him.

    What was clear was how much the Reds loved to draft guys who could run. If you couldn't run -you didn't play. Every guy they brought up (save a catcher or 2) could flat out run. Daniels, Davis, Jones, Larkin, O'neil, Sabo, Harris, Milner, Redus, Roomes, Hatcher, Householder, Duncan. The exception was a guy who couldn't run -and if he couldn't he better hit a ton. This to was a product of the times. When most of the these guys were drafted -the stolen base was considered a viable weapon. They ran fast and played really hard. When they hit it was fun to watch cause they flew.

    It takes an awful lot for things to come together to make a winning team and make one that lasts.

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    Thoughts on O'Neill? His career arc in the minors was measured and slow, kind of like Votto, but how frustrating was he early on? He never hit for much average as a Red.
    He was a solid player with Cincy but wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The trade for Roberto Kelly has become legend, especially in NY, where the Reds look like they got ripped off. But I don't think that anyone would be able to convince me that his numbers weren't chemically enhanced once he arrived on the East Coast.

    Just like Boston got the short end of public perception of the Bagwell deal, there was more to this trade than meets the eye. He gets traded to NY at the age of 30 and then goes on to have his top 6 offensive seasons, a few by a huge margin, for a team who had an inordinate amt of PED usage. Highly questionable, to say the least.

    I loved Daniels and Larkin. Daniels was an unbelievable hitter, but both he and Larkin couldn't get on the field every day. Jones I could have lived without and I wished Stillwell lived up to the hype but it just wasn't there.

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Man, I fully disagree with the "not out of the ordinary" take on O'Neill. He was a line driver hitter with good command of the strike zone and played a phenomenal defensive right field. I was 16-20 during the years talked about here and living in Columbus, so I have a pretty good handle on what the debates were.

    In an ideal world, it would have been Daniels/Davis/O'Neill in the OF with Larkin at SS and multiple World Series titles. Jones got WAY more love with the fanbase than you would expect because of the Rosales factor (white guy who hustled). In fairness to Jones, he had some pop in his bat, but I echo Cooper, he was not a smart player.

    Essentially, Daniels ran himself out of town with not near enough consistent effort and health. But geez, could he hit. Never seen anything quite like Kal Daniels on one of his tears.

    O'Neill, as has been documented by others, was woefully and unfortunately ridden by Pinella to the point of distraction. The Reds really wanted him to get to 30 HR a year, and that wasn't his game. A real shame, because teams shouldn't throw away the kind of talent that O'Neill had as lightly as the Reds did. .320 averages with 15-25 HR power and that defense in RF? Yes please. For an example of O'Neill's gun in RF, look to, I think, Game 2 of the NLDS against the Pirates, he had a throw from deep RF to 3b to cut down a disbelieving Bobby Bonilla that will remain etched on my mind forever. Once saw him take a homerun away from Willy McGee going over the wall. O'Neill's problem was that he was quiet, and I think the fans mistook his quietness and never really warmed up to him. Goodness knows Lou didn't. I consider Lou's mishandling of O'Neill the greatest failure of his tenure in Cincy.

    As for Larkin/Stillwell, I remember being firmly in Larkin's camp for SS. Stillwell was nice and all, but Larkin, man, he was something NEW. The Reds may have had a hard time deciding, but I was smitten early with Larkin...

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Man, I fully disagree with the "not out of the ordinary" take on O'Neill. He was a line driver hitter with good command of the strike zone and played a phenomenal defensive right field. I was 16-20 during the years talked about here and living in Columbus, so I have a pretty good handle on what the debates were.

    In an ideal world, it would have been Daniels/Davis/O'Neill in the OF with Larkin at SS and multiple World Series titles. Jones got WAY more love with the fanbase than you would expect because of the Rosales factor (white guy who hustled). In fairness to Jones, he had some pop in his bat, but I echo Cooper, he was not a smart player.

    Essentially, Daniels ran himself out of town with not near enough consistent effort and health. But geez, could he hit. Never seen anything quite like Kal Daniels on one of his tears.

    O'Neill, as has been documented by others, was woefully and unfortunately ridden by Pinella to the point of distraction. The Reds really wanted him to get to 30 HR a year, and that wasn't his game. A real shame, because teams shouldn't throw away the kind of talent that O'Neill had as lightly as the Reds did. .320 averages with 15-25 HR power and that defense in RF? Yes please. For an example of O'Neill's gun in RF, look to, I think, Game 2 of the NLDS against the Pirates, he had a throw from deep RF to 3b to cut down a disbelieving Bobby Bonilla that will remain etched on my mind forever. Once saw him take a homerun away from Willy McGee going over the wall. O'Neill's problem was that he was quiet, and I think the fans mistook his quietness and never really warmed up to him. Goodness knows Lou didn't. I consider Lou's mishandling of O'Neill the greatest failure of his tenure in Cincy.

    As for Larkin/Stillwell, I remember being firmly in Larkin's camp for SS. Stillwell was nice and all, but Larkin, man, he was something NEW. The Reds may have had a hard time deciding, but I was smitten early with Larkin...
    Offensively he was nothing out of the ordinary in Cincy, and I don't think anyone could have predicted O'Neill becoming a .320 and 15-25 HR guy when he was consistently hitting 60-70 points lower than that throughout his 20s.

    I know the popular belief was that Pinella rode him and wanted him to become a 30 HR guy, which was detrimental to his production, but I'm not a buyer of that story.

  7. #21
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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    When these guys were coming up, the prototypical SS was the guy with the smooth glide over in front of the ball, the weak stick and sure hands. An athletic stud like Larkin with power and speed just wasn't supposed to be capable of handling SS on a daily basis and many didn't thnk he could stay there.

    The Reds asked Larkin to move to 2B and he publicly rejected the idea and made no secret that he was unhappy about it. He claimed that he was a SS and wasn't moving to accomodate anyone. At first he was considered kind of selfish for it, but he went out and showed everyone why he shouldn't be the one to move. Stillwell was dealt and Larkin ushered in a new era at SS that was quickly overshadowed by the Jeter, Nomar, A-Rod trio. Larkin is a Hall of Famer, IMO, who really was one of the first in a changed profile for the position and people who couldn't see it coming (which was a majority as I recall) were the ones touting Stillwell.
    I think you're hitting the nail on the head. And Larkin was at the vanguard of that transition followed by the more powerful shortstops such as Ripken, Jeter and Rodriguez among others. But at the time, Stillwell was considered a sure fire shortstop in the mold that was Ozzie & Davey and those before them. I imagine one could write a book about the change in the shortstop position.

    Likewise, Stillwell (with Ted Power) was not traded for small change. That trade brought Danny Jackson over from KC.
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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    You can not buy it all you want, edabbs, but from following the team through those years, that's what happened.

    One source:

    http://www.observer.com/node/44700

    By 1987, he was challenging an aging Dave Parker for the

    right-field job. By 1990, he was a regular-hitting .270, knocking in 80 runs or

    so. But by 1992, his average had shrunk to .245.

    Lou Piniella, then the Reds manager, had been pressuring Mr.

    O'Neill to pull the ball and hit for more power. Knowing that was not his game,

    he fought Mr. Piniella and the result was "The Trade"-November 1992, Paul

    O'Neill to the Yankees for Joe Deberry and Roberto Kelly.

    In 1993, his first year for the Yankees, Mr. O'Neill hit

    .311. In the strike-shortened year of 1994, he hit .360. Now he was a member of

    a team and a city that soon came to love him.
    The bad blood carried over to O'Neill's Yankees days and Piniella's Mariners days. The Yankees thought O'Neill was thrown at by the Mariners at Lou's request and at least one near brawl resulted in the 90s.

    A compendium of some of the articles from that time, including Piniella calling O'Neill a "crybaby":

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-72812217.html

    And, a more detailed one from the NY Times in 1996 following a brawl and containing the "crybaby" quotes. Read that and try telling me that Piniella didn't have issues with O'Neill. And given what O'Neill became when he wasn't with a manager who was being a jackwagon, I do consider this one of the Reds' greater player development failures in the last 20 years:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/30/sp...s-o-neill.html

    A choice Piniella quote from that article:

    ''Now I was tough on Paul when I had him in Cincinnati,'' Piniella said. ''I was trying to make him a man. He cries all the time. Outside of that, I got no problems with Paul.''
    Last edited by membengal; 07-21-2010 at 11:21 AM.

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    And more from the "Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty"

    http://books.google.com/books?id=hDP...niella&f=false

    I can't copy from that google book link, but follow it and you get as complete a picture as you might need.

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    You can not buy it all you want, edabbs, but from following the team through those years, that's what happened.

    One source:

    http://www.observer.com/node/44700



    The bad blood carried over to O'Neill's Yankees days and Piniella's Mariners days. The Yankees thought O'Neill was thrown at by the Mariners at Lou's request and at least one near brawl resulted in the 90s.

    A compendium of some of the articles from that time, including Piniella calling O'Neill a "crybaby":

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-72812217.html

    And, a more detailed one from the NY Times in 1996 following a brawl and containing the "crybaby" quotes. Read that and try telling me that Piniella didn't have issues with O'Neill. And given what O'Neill became when he wasn't with a manager who was being a jackwagon, I do consider this one of the Reds' greater player development failures in the last 20 years:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/30/sp...s-o-neill.html

    A choice Piniella quote from that article:
    Maybe he did have issues with him. But I don't think that Pinella was worth 200-300 points on O'Neill's OPS. All that is missing from the classic PED caase study is a failed test. After seeing what we have seen over the past 15-20 years, I'm not sure how this isn't viewed as a probable case.

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Read the link to the Olney book that I put up in the second post...

    ETA: I always thought this was one prime example of the "human element" when it comes to baseball. A manager who understood just how hard O'Neill was on himself and didn't handle him like Piniella did was exactly what O'Neill needed. And, yes, in this case, it was worth two to three hundred points of OPS.
    Last edited by membengal; 07-21-2010 at 11:29 AM.

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    On a fun note, this thread is already on the 4th page of a google search of "Paul O'Neill Lou Piniella"...

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    My observation was that time frame, for my money was the most productive stretch in Reds history as far as producing high ceiling talent. I think about what if with those guys all the time. What if Davis and Larkin were healthy their whole careers? What if Kal Daniels put in some effort? What if they left Paul O'Neil alone and let him be what he was?

    They were all great athletes, they were all good hitters, they were all great defenders. (Except daniels who could have been). People get excited about the young talent on the Reds now, look at 1987 Reds top 2. Davis was only 25 Daniels was 23.

    G AB R H 2B 3 HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
    Daniels 108 368 73 123 24 1 26 64 26 8 60 62 .334 . 429 .617 1046
    Davis 129 474 120 139 23 4 37 100 50 6 84 134 .293 .399 .593 992

    You figure you also had Larkin, O'Neil and Jones were all coming up around the same time and they looked to be loaded. Of course the achillies heal then as it was for a lot of years since then was PITCHING. While the farm system was wildly productive during the mid-late 80 they never developed much in the way of starting pitching. Lots of names lots of bust.s

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Read the link to the Olney book that I put up in the second post...

    ETA: I always thought this was one prime example of the "human element" when it comes to baseball. A manager who understood just how hard O'Neill was on himself and didn't handle him like Piniella did was exactly what O'Neill needed. And, yes, in this case, it was worth two to three hundred points of OPS.
    I don't doubt that there was an effect, but knowing what we know now I don't think we can pretend like the circumstancial evidence isn't staring us in the face.

    By the way, I thought this was interesting.

    Duquette, in an e-mail response to a query about Clemens, called the future Hall of Famer "a determined, durable, terrifically talented pitcher who has long been one of the best at what he does."

    In addressing Clemens' departure, Duquette wrote, "During the last part of Roger's tenure with the Sox, I got the feeling that the intense pressure of being the most high-profile player for so many years in the boiling cauldron that is baseball in Boston was weighing heavily on Roger and he wanted to move along."

    Not so, said Clemens, who stated that he would have preferred to remain in Boston but that Duquette made his decision to leave easy.

    "It's no different than one corporation asking you to work for them, saying we want you, and the other corporation lets you go," Clemens said. "It's pretty easy. If [the Red Sox] had gotten anywhere close in the ballpark it would have been an easy decision [to stay]."

    Perhaps what damns Duquette's "twilight" evaluation the most -- and seems wholly at odds with Clemens' work ethic throughout his career -- is Duquette's insinuation that Clemens was not in proper shape.

    "For a number of reasons -- such as his health and conditioning, poor run support and minimal support from the bullpen -- his record and performance had slipped in his last few years with the Red Sox," Duquette wrote.

    He added that Clemens "completely re-dedicated himself to his career, got himself in great shape and had two terrific years for the Blue Jays."
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ins...05/27/insider/

    You never know what is true and what isn't. Maybe the Yankees were pumping guys full of PEDs and wanted other teams to believe that they were just smarter than the rest. The Yankees of the 1990s were full of proven users and I think we'd be naive to think that the ones outed were the only ones.

  15. #29
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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    Yep, Kurt Stillwell was clearly a bust who had no hope when we traded him...at age 22. Stillwell had played two years in the majors at an age that most modern day players would still be in rookie league. Not to mention, he was named to the All-Star team a month after his 23rd birthday.

    You talk about scouting reports? Well here is a quote to chew on, especially for someone who in hindsight (although he was too young to remember) calls the dilemma of trading Stillwell a joke/no-brainer/laughable:

    That was said a couple months after the trade by none other than John Schuerholz, a guy that has some fairly decent scouting experience.
    Man, you totally made stuff up there didn't you? Where did I ever say he was a bust or anything close to it? In this thread I said he had glowing scouting reports and some good parts to his game. What I also said is that he was hoped to be everything Larkin already was at the time. Nothing about that says Stillwell was a bust (and if you have read enough of my thoughts on Stubbs or Mesoraco you would know how much I hate that term for players who are still playing). It says that Larkin was better.

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    Re: O'Neill, Daniels, Larkin, Jones & Stillwell: Past Thoughts and Observations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Larkin had major problems throwing the ball his first few years, doug. IIRC, he had almost 30 errors early in his career in one season. And that's on Astroturf for at least half his games.

    Defensively, Larkin worked to be a great defensive player, but he certainly wasn't one at the outset of his major league career. At all.

    Stillwell, meanwhile, was well above average at the position, with great range and a cannon for an arm. Of the two, Stillwell (like Stubbs, ironically) was the best glove man and it wasn't close.
    Between 1986 and 1987, in 110 games started and 131 games played, Stillwell had 34 errors and a .937 fielding percentage at shortstop. He had another 5 errors between 2B/3B in 1987.

    Between 1986 and 1987 Barry Larkin starteed 148 games and had 23 errors and a .968 fielding percentage.


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