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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Checking in from Hilton Head

I've been reading the comments of the posters this morning. 1 p.m. tee time, you know. The frustration comes through load and clear.

If I were a fan, I'd be frustrated, too. Any fan is when his or her team doesn't play well. The Reds have gone far, far beyond that. But what's more frustrating -- again from a fan's perspective -- is a seeming lack of urgency. I think the Bibby Livingston over Homer Bailey points to that. As I see, the Reds have one really big bullet (Bailey) in the minors. What better time to fire it than now?

Same goes with the Brad Salmon being sent out. He has a power arm. And other than the bad pitch to Lance Berkman, he's been pretty good.

I wrote after one of those losses at home that season was on the brink. It's well past that now. I hear the talk that's it's time to bring up the kids. But other than Bailey, Salmon and Joey Votto, the club doesn't have a lot of talent close enough to the majors to bump up.

That's why they've got to thinking about trading some of the veterans to get some young players in that mold. A fire sale can be a good thing if done right. The last time the Reds had one they got Aaron Harang, Matt Belisle and Phil Dumatrait.


at 11:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homer is caught in the service time game. However many years from now, when he's an ace and we can keep him from free agency an extra year, you'll be writing about what a good idea it was to resist calling him up before 2008.

at 11:42 AM Blogger RedsFan3 said...

Fire sale? The last time I checked it's May 14th and there are well over 100 games left in the season...definitely way too early to surrender the season. In my opinion, the Reds are a few good bullpen arms away from being a very solid team. The rotation is as good as any in the central and the offense is certainly good enough to win games. It will be difficult and it has to start soon, but I don't think it's absurd to think the Reds still have the potential to make it interesting come September. The last thing anyone wants to see is a fire sale. I'm not really interested in seeing guys like Keppinger or Hopper playing every day should that happen.

at 11:58 AM Blogger Don said...

John, Krivksy is not a stupid guy. What is his justification for keeping the status quo? Any move, even if it doesn't work, cannot be any worse than this, and it would certainly show that the organization is doing what they can to solve the problem.

at 12:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what the reds need to do is get rid of Narron. He is the worst coach we have had in a long time. He does not make very good decisions when it comes to pitching and he messes with the batting order way too much. On top of that he keeps putting in the darn Mike Stanton who gets ROCKED almost every time he comes out. When you gonna learn he is awful.

at 12:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not disagree more with the comment that Homer should stay in AAA to aviod free agency. We have recently stepped up to the plate to keep the good pitchers that we have, if we continue this trend we are doing nothing but flushing this season down the toilet by not pulling out all the stops

at 12:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try J. Hamilton in the pen he is doing well everywhere they put him plus he couldn't do any worse then we have right now.

at 12:25 PM Anonymous ChicagoRed said...

John –

Let’s look at this in context. When a decent team/organization dumps veterans because its at the end of a cycle and wants to start new with younger talent, that’s one thing. (EG, the Indians had that great run in the late 90s, then got thin, and now they’re good again.)

The Reds don’t have anything approaching that credibility. Outside of the magical 1999 run – which, for all its enjoyment, ended without playoffs – we’re on Year 13 of “sorry, but this is the best our poor old small market team can do”…So if they have another fire sale, four years after the last fire sale, it begs the obvious question – for what? So that we can have a 3-year window before the next fire sale?

With that said – I still hold faith in Krivsky and Castellini. But it boggles the mind that Krivsky was “taken aback,” as you wrote, when you asked last week about Narron’s job. Jack McKeon won the world series for florida in 1993 after being hired mid-season. And Davey Johnson, even though he couldn't rescue the 1993 season, had the reds in first in '94 and in the playoffs in '95. So mid-season shake-ups can work -- if you bring in the right guy.

I don’t think the season’s automatically over just because we’re 10.5 out (Milwaukee will calm down, there’s the wild card, the rest of the division is mediocre, etc.)…but I WILL think it’s over if nothing is done. And then the icing on the cake would be if Narron gets fired and they promote a current coach. The Bengals, for all of their flaws, correctly saw they needed to bring in someone from the outside when they brought in Marvin, and within three years they were in the playoffs. The Reds have promoted from within for 12 years now…and we have one winning season to show for it, and no playoffs.

With all of that said -- i don't remember how far under .500 the '99 reds were before they caught fire. They also had a very disappointing start...though I don't think as bad as this.

at 12:36 PM Blogger KyleWest said...

I am really interested to see McBeth. I wonder how long it will be befor Stanton goes on the DL. He has absolutely no command on the mound.

at 12:40 PM Blogger cow town said...

A couple of comments.

Homer is not being kept in AAA because of potential free agency status. A player needs six full ML season before he can become a FA. As soon as Homer spent a week in AAA this year, it extended his stay with the Reds by a year.

However, if he were brought up now, he might gain arbitration rights a year sooner.

But, I think the bottom line is that Homer's not ready for prime time yet. He barely pitches 6 innings per start, and his BB/K ratio is not good.

As for other moves, optioning Salmon and hanging on to Burton was the clearest sign to me to that the Reds have white-flagged the season. Salmon would help to win more games in the next month that Burton, but the Reds can't send Burton out without first offering him back to the A's. So, the Reds are already playing for '08, IMO, based on this move.

at 12:41 PM Anonymous Andy said...

teams with good managers win world championships. the last coaches to take the reds to the promised land were sweet lou and sparky. managers recently having success include LaRussa and Jim Leyland. somehow, I don't think many would up Jerry Narron anywhere near that level. He's not shown the ability to make good decisions, and he's putting this team in a position to fail again and again.

at 12:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homer isn't ready. He got eaten alive in Spring Training. And he was throwing his best stuff, too. So why waste a year of service time on a lost season for him to suck?

Anyone that thinks Homer is the savior is absolutely nuts.

at 12:45 PM Blogger Laura said...

On May 14, 1999, the Reds were 14-18. Or, after 38 games, they were 19-19. Far cry from right now.

at 12:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not just too soon to call it a season, its also missing the positive things that rhe reds have right now. Griffey is having a great year, hamilton is a revelation and overall they are scoring more than I thought they would. The problem has been the bullpen and the managing of same. Bailey only makes sense if he can pitch in relief -- the starters have been OK. The real need is better arms in the pen and better use of what they have. Besides, the real need around MLB is for bullpen help so if they can get some help from the minors they can probably get more than they deserve for the guys in the pen now.

at 1:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely agree that Homer isn't quite ready for the show. He needs to learn to pitch not throw. As for Narron... he wouldn't be my choice but I haven't seen him pitch in relief or hit sliders yet. The season is long and the better teams will rise by the end of the year. The Cardinals are suffering the same as the Reds right now. I'm certainly glad some of the writers to this blog aren't employed by the Reds!

at 1:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fire Jerry Narron...Ron Oester is the only man that can turn it around.

at 2:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hire Joe Giradi as the coach!!! and bring in Homer Bailey!!! Simple as that but difficult for the owners!! What a joke this is!


Angry Reds Fan (for now)

at 3:49 PM Blogger Robert said...

Bring Bailey up....put him in middle relief for awhile. Get him some big league experience. It can't HURT him like people seem to think. Hell, look at what middle relief is right now for the Reds. It's not good at all, for the most part, so Homer couldn't do any worse in that role. Then when he gets some decent innings in at middle relief, throw him into the starter's role.

Something has to be done with this team, and right now I don't see why that would be out of the question.

Sending Edwin Encarnacion down to Triple A is just a scape goat to the real problems: Narron and the bullpen.

at 4:51 PM Blogger ConMan said...

Jerry Narron is either stupid or well, stupid for running Coffey and Stanton out there every night. he is ruining the season because of his pride. it make me ill to see this team loaded with starting pitching and a better than average offense lose because of this idiot. the fact that nothing is even being contemplated to change team leadership tell a lot about the GM. Letting personal relationship triumph over what is best for the team is deserving of his firing as well. Business is business!

at 5:20 PM Blogger bball452 said...

Are the Reds going push Josh Hamilton to the breaking point before the season is half over. As every Reds fn knows he hasn't played baseball in four years, he isn't conditioned to play 162 game season.



at 5:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should bring in Larkin to coach. That would at least bring some fans to the ballpark.

at 7:41 PM Blogger tom dunne said...

"Are the Reds going push Josh Hamilton to the breaking point before the season is half over. As every Reds fn knows he hasn't played baseball in four years, he isn't conditioned to play 162 game season.


Hamilton is a 25-year old athlete who has been on vacation for four years. I believe he can handle running around the outfield five nights a week for the next four months.

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