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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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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fans 55, Narron 0

That's comment count on the posting on the Reds' 5-3 loss to the A's Wednesday. Jerry Narron's decision to pinch-hit Juan Castro for Josh Hamilton caused as much rancor as any move he's made by my measure.

Fifty-five of you checked in. If anyone said, "I can see why he did what he did," I missed it. It's the kind of move that helps get a manager fired. It didn't cost the Reds the game. Josh Hamilton or Rod Carew could have hit, and the Reds still likely lose the game.

But it looked like a desperate move. Narron said he did what he did to get the right-left matchup (which I think is overrated, but that's another post) and because Castro was 1-for-1 off Alan Embree. You could argue that Castro got his one hit, so he's due to go 0-for-7 before he gets another one.

The pop psychologist in me says two things were behind the move: a) Narron is so frustrated he feels like he has to do something; b) he was subconsciously highlighting the shortcomings of the roster.

I didn't talk to Wayne Krivsky or Bob Castellini today, but I'm fairly certain they would have said what they said all along: No move is coming in the immediate future.

But the fans are obviously angry. Fifteen games remain before the All-Star break. My guess -- and it's just that -- is the Reds have to show some signs of life, some improvement or something gives at the break.


at 11:28 PM Blogger Shawn said...

Hamilton has a better on-base percentage than Castro, against lefties as well as righties. Embree gives up more hits and more walks to lefties then righties this season. The ONLY reason to make the move was one at-bat, seven years ago. I teach statistics. Maybe I should teach Jerry Narron something. It couldn't hurt.

at 11:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - makes no sense. What does a major league manager actually do anyway? Basically - avoid stupidity. Narron usually does OK but stupidity got the best of him on that move.
I don't know what's wrong with this team - maybe >> no leaders? Superstars Griffey & Dunn don't seem to care about that.

at 11:36 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

I fully expect the Reds to be worse than 20 games below .500 (and possibly 30) when "Bob loves losing Castellini" performs the unavoidable dugout debridement.

I doubt he'll do that before September. He'll use "mathematical elimination" as his cover (because he cares more about his own ego than he cares about the fans).

Keeping Narron here is utterly ridiculous and he knows it. The problem is, if an owner likes the current product, he'll be tonedeaf to selecting a really good manager.

My prediction is that the next manager during Castellini's reign will be nearly as bad as Narron (can't be worse). The problem is not limited to Narron. Krivsky needs to go, and Bob should sell the team to someone who demands quality, not just wishes really hard for it.

at 12:02 AM Blogger Mark T said...

Sure does sound like frustration - if all the standard moves aren't working, do something non-standard. Team needs to fire the players. Too bad for poor Jerry.

at 1:01 AM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

It was a move straight out of the Bob Boone Playbook. But dumber.

at 1:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad part is, most of the fans have been calling for this since about the middle of May. It goes all the way back to last. Look at the way he has misused/mistreated Edwin (and that also goes back to his DL fiasco last year), look at the way he rides his starting pitchers, look at what has happend to Arroyo because of that. Look at his constant tickering of lineups. The bullpen is bad, but Narron makes it even worse then it is because he overuses/underuses pitchers too. Earth the Jerry, if you overuse you're good pitchers they will become bad pitchers. He hardly ever sticks us for his players, and you never hear his players stick up for him. Narron believes way to much in appendage ball, aka the righty/lefty matchups. He has used Stanton as a LOOGY this year, when over the course of his long (and I mean long career) he has been better against righties. How about letting Coutlangus pitch to Swisher Wed. when Swisher is hitting .360 vs. lefties? He relies way to much on the "veterans who know how to play the game" and not enough on the young talented guys like Edwin and Dunn. i honestly don't think he understand the concept of double switching. Sometimes he double switches when he doesn't need to, other times he doesn't when he should. Look at what happend to Stanton because of that. For a while the only two bullpen pitchers he used. How about benching Edwin for making errors earlier in the year AND last year? Gonzalez has made more erros then anyone, but he stays on the field. How about benching Edwin for "lack of hustle" when he really didn't know where the ball was? Then Hamilton does it and Hamilton stays in the game.

Can somebody honestly tell me something Narron does well as a manager?

To top it all off, he's been managing like a guy to save his job lately. That's not good at all, especially for Homer, Arroyo, and Harang.

It will all be ok though, because WK and JN "are on the same paige." Right.

at 3:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the understandable ill will out there right now among Reds' fans, Castellini could change it in a heartbeat by acting decisively to hire Joe Girardi. The Reds will not make the playoffs under Girardi, but they will hustle more, and play like major leaguers. At the end of the day, it's about players, and the Reds have far too few pieces to contend, but the fans don't need to tortured by a manager who pinch hits Castro for Hamilton.

at 7:25 AM Blogger Mark said...

Maybe it's time for Seinfeld's neighbor Newman to start a new mantra: "GOOD-BYE Jerry..."

at 7:41 AM Blogger Adam said...

What I fear most is that Narron will ruin, or at least negatively affect, our young guys on the roster and hurt their potential. Guys like Homer, Hamilton, Edwin, McBeth, etc. don't need to be subjected to Narron's baseball managing skills otherwise it may have a very negative affect.

at 8:05 AM Anonymous ADMS said...

"Can somebody honestly tell me something Narron does well as a manager?"

1. Mastered the 1000 yard stare
2. Sleeping with his eyes open
3. Bulk white-out purchases for his lineup cards
4. Knows how to count to 110 in six languages to keep things interesting when he adds up pitches
5. Made an entire fan base furious by a total lack of ability to show baseball manager skills, no communication skills between the team and the fans, no fire, and no drive.
6. What he's done the best is to stain and damage the history and meaning of wearing the uniform of the first professional baseball team and one with as much history as the powerhouses in New York and Boston.

at 8:10 AM Blogger Dan H said...

One must remember that when Krivsky was hired he was already saddled with Narron as manager. It was also too late to make a change as spring training was about to start. Narron may not have been Krivsky's top choice as manager but the good start to 2006 may have won over Castellini and masked Narron's short comings. I'm sure prior to Krivsky becoming a GM, he had a few candidates in mind to manage. Like if I ever get a GM job this is the guy I'd like to manage my team. Is Narron really a Krivsky guy who knows. I really don't believe we'll see a move with Narron until after the season since in season moves rarely work out. I do believe we'll see player moves geared toward next year and beyond (Votto,Dumatrait called upand veterans sent to other teams for younger players). Krivsky's had a year and a half to analyze this organization and must know where the fixes need to be made. There are many good players in the minors who appear on the way to helping out (Bruce, Votto, Dumatrait, Gardner,Rosales,Cueto,and a few others). I believe when Castelini bought the team and Krivsky was hired it was to return the Reds to respectable and contenders year in and year out. Castelini thought it could happen almost over nite however, it takes time and a long term plan to do that. I believe Krivsky is headed that way.I,ve said it before patience is needed and don't trade away our top prospects for a quick fix. Patience seems to have worked with Bailey, I'm sure the same will hold true for Votto and Bruce as well.

at 8:24 AM Blogger SolarAl said...

It was a stupid move....but you will not see any moves by anyone...when 30,000 keep showing up for games?
For all the talk on blogs and in the media, good attendence is the real key. When less than 20,000 showup for a set of weekend games...that is when attention will come. Not before.

at 8:35 AM Blogger Adam said...

John, do you know if FOX Sports Cincywill show the 15 minute ceremony on Tv tonight? Thanks.

at 8:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no way the Girardi will come and manage this team, regardelss of how bad we want him. I knew when he interviewed for the Orioles position that he wouldn't take is because his is hoping, just hoping, that the Yankees will tank and that Torre will not be back next year. That is the job he wants more than anything. If he doesn't get that, look for him to be with the Cubs.

It is clearly time for Narron to go. Regardless of the moves he has made, the team is underperforming and need someone else to light a fire.

at 9:01 AM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

I honestly don't think you will see the Reds do anything, I repeat, anything before the off-season, other than maybe a minor deal or 2 before the deadline. By doing something, it will be admitting failure and their egos won't allow that. They will stay with what they have, even if it ultimately costs them the fans and media. They just don't care. If they did care, they would come out and say so. Instead it is the same old lines like "We're sticking with what we got. Jerry is our manager and we support him." Doesn't matter what the fans think even though there would be no team if it weren't for the fans.

I suggest the fans that go to the games (I live in Tennessee so I only support from afar) start protesting outside the stadium. Let management know how the fans really feel. I'm sure they don't read this or any blog nor do they listen to talk radio.

Also, someone needs to get in the players faces, in the dugout, in full view of the fans and press, and let them have it. I mean yell, curse, jump up and down, whatever. The fans need to see that some effort is being done, even if it doesn't help. We, as fans, need to know that someone cares.

at 9:11 AM Blogger Mark said...

Joe Girardi! Joe Girardi! Joe Girardi!

at 9:38 AM Blogger Robert said...

Griffey and Dunn are at the games to play baseball and produce for the team. They are doing EXACTLY that.

It REALLY amazes me how people can blame a manager's decision on the whipping boys of the team (Griffey and Dunn).

If either of those guys wanted to be leaders...they would don the captain insignia. Do you see that on either of them?

You really have to be baseball ignorant to blame bonehead managerial decisions on your best offensive players.

Get off the train, people!

at 9:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article:

For all you of you who love to come down on Griffey for his years with the Reds and the injuries he has suffered, take a look at this article. It shines a bright light over one mans ability to give back. This guy is amazing and gives back to more people while keeping it to himself. I wish that someday I could meet him just to say thanks to him for the many lives he has touched. Baseball is just a game what he does goes above and beyond. A future hall of fame inductee on and off the field...




at 10:02 AM Blogger Jerry the Louse said...

What if worker(s) kept screwing up produce shipments? Over time it began costing thousand each day, how long before changes are made?

at 10:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

along with Barry Larkin, Ken Griffey,jr is the most selfish and egotistacal players to play the game. He is a self-centered jerk and should be released immediately and all his records banished. I wouldn't pay a penny to see him.

at 10:11 AM Blogger Nick said...

My vote is also for for Girardi.

at 10:13 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an idea! Maybe Joe Girardi turned down the O's, because he's waiting for Krivsky to call and offer him the Reds vacant managerial position. All we have there now is a cheap imitation of a Major League manager.

at 10:15 AM Blogger Ron said...

Ouch! Does anyone have any confidence in Narron? I don't think Castellini can wait until the break to make the move. Too many people are being alienated by the play of this team. But, let's not get excited about Girardi. If he didn't agree to manage the Orioles for McPhail, why would he agree to manage the Reds? I suggest giving Ron Oester a chance, he at least bleeds Red and wasn't contaminated by that other league where you don't have to worry about double switches and can play for the long ball.

at 10:18 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I feel sorry for Griffey. He's having an awesome year with nothing to show for it. I think Narron is best suited for little league.

at 10:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't decided if firing Narron will improve this club or not. Unless someone can find somebody to get hitters out in the 8th inning this club we'll continue to be terrible. This bullpen is crap. The only consistent performer is Weathers and he has to bail out the bullpen in the 8th inning most nights for us to win . I'm hoping that when we get Stanton, (who was pitching better when injured) Bray and Eddie back we can firm up rolls and star playing and winning some games we have just flat gave away. Hiring a new manager without fixing that problem is pointless. Jerry has given everyone the opportunity to get the job done. Noone has stepped up. If we fire Narron I hope he takes the bullpen out before he gets canned. The Reds could easily be ten games better in the standings if Coffey, Maj,Salmon, Sarrloos,Countlangus and santos were even reasonably effective. While I don't agree with is move of hitting Castro for Hamilton. I might point out he is stuck trying to manage the reds with a roster that has Castro and Moeller when a lefthander is on the mound as you primary pinchitters. Not a good selection to say the least.You also have a lineup that swings and misses at a alarming rate which makes moving runners along and playing small ball late in games when one run is needed very difficult. i think Jerry is just as fustrated as we are. lets get a healthy bullpen out there and make a trade or two at he deadline and see how the rest of the year goes. If know improvement Wholesale changes at the top need to be made.

at 11:09 AM Blogger Don said...

The idea that Narron did this strictly out of a lack of understanding baseball is absurd.
I agree that there was probably an ulterior motive attached to this move. Regardless, what really irks me about this is that Narron was not "doing all the right things" as he likes to say to win the game. I wonder how a guy like Brandon Phillips feels when he is busting his hump to win ball games and looks up to see Castro pinch hitting for Hamilton. Does Narron now have the right to question the effort of any of his players when Narron himself didn't do all he could to win a ballgame? I also thought this was a bit of a slap in the face to Hamilton. If Jerry wanted to send a message, this was certainly not the way to do it. It seems to me that he sees the handwriting on the wall. Guys who are looking to save their jobs wouldn't do something like this.

John, you threw out two possibilities on why Narron did this. Of those two, which one do you feel is the best explanation for what Narron did. I have my ideas, but I am curious if my opinion matches yours.

at 11:26 AM Anonymous david said...

Whether he is just blowing smoke or not, Willie Cunningham said on his show he has spoken to Big O'Neill who wants to be in the game again. Willie is screaming for Girardi as mgr and Big as bench coach. You would have intensity, passion, hustle, and respect for all the rings. Sounds like the fire this organization needs.

at 11:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, a total transformation of the way this franchise does business is needed at this point.

Tinkering with this piece, that piece is worthless because the end result will be the same, it just will have different names attached to it.

Along those lines, the next manager may as well be Jerry Narron may as well be Dave Miley may as well be Bob Boone. No chance (and probably no clue) how to win.

Mike Stanton may as well be Chris Hammond may as well be Kent Mercker. Still mostly washed up veteran relievers.

The same with the last 3 GMs, including Krivsky.

The Reds' "system is perfectly designed for the result you are getting." Until the system is overhauled, the losing will continue, and the fan base will keep eroding away.

Build your team to actually win; demand performance; hold players, manager AND front office accountable (real accountability, folks, not the benching or three weeks in Louisville kind); and something different might happen.

Until then, the 7 years of losing seasons will keep stretching out longer and longer and longer. Poor Marty B--he may already have broadcast the last winning season of the Reds of his career.

at 12:15 PM Anonymous Pete Rose Colored Glasses said...

Someone mentioned starting a firejerrynarron.com, but let's be honest-- That would be a waste of time. That guy is so bad that it is not worth someone's time or money to create that web site!

I would not mind seeing a wakeupbob.com site pop up in the near future...

at 12:33 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

Found this earlier and thought the parallels were pretty striking...

Rangers Fire Narron After Finishing Last (New York Times)

Jerry Narron was fired as manager of the Texas Rangers yesterday after the team's third straight last-place finish in the American League West.

Narron went 134-162 after taking over in May 2001, including a 72-90 mark this season. He replaced Johnny Oates after the team started 11-17 last year. Narron had one year left on a two-year deal he signed two months after he replaced Oates.

Narron is the fifth manager fired since Sunday, the last day of the regular season. The Mets fired Bobby Valentine yesterday, and the Chicago Cubs' Bruce Kimm, Tampa Bay's Hal McRae and Detroit's Luis Pujols were also dismissed.

Texas, which lost 13 of its last 16 games, finished 31 games behind A.L. West champion Oakland. The Rangers had 17 players spend a team-record 1,429 days on the disabled list, including closer Jeff Zimmerman, the two-time A.L. most valuable player Juan Gonzalez, the 10-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez and the expected No. 1 starter Chan Ho Park.

at 12:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is that you don't know if it cost them the game or not. Since Hamilton is a better hitter and gets on base more, had he reached base the next guy may have played long ball. In that situation you go with the least likely guy to make an out and extend the inning, and that....was Hamilton.

at 12:43 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one of the reasons that Narron hasn't been fired already is that his brother is Hamilton's watchdog. If you fire Narron, they can't exactly keep his brother around (remember what happened to Aaron Boone after his dad was fired). As soon as you get rid of the manager, you are forcing Hamilton to either go it alone or find another watchdog for him. It seems like a somewhat risky proposition for someone who is hopefully one of the building blocks for the future of this franchise.

It is for this reason alone that I expect Narron to last through the season. Giving Hamilton a full season of close support is hopefully enough for him to make sure he is back on his feet.

at 1:10 PM Blogger Robert said...

along with Barry Larkin, Ken Griffey,jr is the most selfish and egotistacal players to play the game. He is a self-centered jerk and should be released immediately and all his records banished. I wouldn't pay a penny to see him.

YOU are a moron for making such a comment. This is the type of crap that makes baseball not enjoyable in Cincinnati. Every town has their village idiots, and this comment is the true epitome of that.

The guy has played a drug free career, same as Larkin and deserve every single bit of attention they get.

He's a first ballot Hall of Famer, and just because he ignores you when you're screaming "Griffey...HEY GRIFFEY!!" doesn't mean he is a self-centered jerk. It means that he has a job to do and that he's concentrating on just that.

Just WHO do you pay to go see at the ballpark? Ryan Freel? Give me a break...the kid is good, but he doesn't produce and he's a 4th outfielder at best on ANY other team in the majors.

YOU are a complete waste of time Mr. Anonymous and a true reason why mothers should never drop their infants.

at 1:20 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Thank you, Robert. That needed to be said. One of the bad things that is bad about this blog is anyone can post anything anonymously. I don't moderate all the comments (others in my office do some of them). Don't know if I would have posted that comment or not, but I surely would responded to it. All you have to do is read John Erardi's story to see the good Griffey does.

at 1:25 PM Blogger Fred Goose said...

Does anyone actually believe that the Reds would pay Girardi what it would take to get him here?

And furthurmore, why would Girardi even come here? This organization is one of the 5 worst run organizations in all of professional sports.

at 1:33 PM Anonymous Amos Rusie said...

As long as Jerry Narron is manager, I suggest we start calling the team, "The Cincinnati Laughstockings."

at 1:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the pining for Joe Girardi is just pathetic. As if he is the only one who could come save us. How did this idea become gospel, anyway? Girardi did a nice job last year with a Marlins team that obviously had more talent than anyone realized. He got much of the credit & became a martyr for "baseball men" everywhere when he yelled at the owner in the middle of the game, which prompted his eventual ouster. Anyway, the Marlins have about the same winning percentage this season as they did last year. They haven't missed him much. But people in Cincinnati will be angry if the Reds don't hire him. Get real. Its not like he is the 2nd coming of Billy Martin, one of the few managers to ever really create dramatic improvement, wherever he went. Of course, he wore out his welcome, eventually too.

John Burroughs
Hyde Park

at 4:33 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

The Cincinnati Laughingstockings was pretty funny.

I wish our fearless leader would listen to the fans. Did he buy the Reds just to please himself? Are we not important? Not even a little?

If we are important, FIRE THE MANAGER, d-word!

Hire Oester, Larkin, Wally Backman, or how about Billy "Martin" Cunningham? Can you imagine "Willie" in the dugout? Arguing with the Umps?

Let's have some fun for a change!

Bill Cunningham for Red's skipper!

at 5:08 PM Blogger Shawn said...

Joe Girardi will not do this team any good. Note that the Marlins are doing just as well this season, without Girardi, as last season, even though their pitching has collapsed.

at 8:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Reds are thinking of trading Dunn for pitching why don't they pick up Milton Bradley. Despite his baggage he can hit and field. The A's would probably pay the bulk of his remaining salary and this would free up a lot of money for 2008.

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