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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

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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Saturday, July 28, 2007

My theory

I caught the end of last night's game in bar full of Cubs fans. They went from way up to way down pretty quickly. That was one very nice play by Ryan Freel and David Ross. Edwin Encarnacion's big night came at a good time for him. When Alex Gonzalez comes back, Pete Mackanin is going to be looking for places to play Jeff Keppinger. And Keppinger plays third.

Anyway, my theory, which I'll explore further in my Sunday Reds Insider, is that the Reds won't do a lot at the trade deadline. I think they'll trade Kyle Lohse and maybe Scott Hatteberg and/or Jeff Conine. Why? This is simply my theory, but I think Wayne Krivsky wants to give Mackanin an opportunity to get the permanent job.

If the Reds trade Adam Dunn, David Weathers and Bronson Arroyo for prospects, it would be difficult to continue to play as well as they have under Mackanin. By the way, the way the Reds are playing .636 baseball under Mackanin. If they play that well the rest of the way, they'd finish 81-81. That's the magic number (or numbers) for Mackanin to get the job in my opinion.


30 Comments:

at 11:00 AM Blogger Tyler said...

John,
I know this would be difficult to gauge, but who do the players want as their manager? Do players typically have a strong opinion as to who they play for? We've got some classy guys so I seriously doubt anyone will come out and publiclly support any other candidate other than Mackanin.

 
at 11:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John

You are a great guy but hopefully Pete wont get the job.

Whats the definition of insanity? You keep making the same mistakes over and over again..

Read the articles that were written about Miley after he took over... ditto for Narron.. the same enthusiasm you are showing

And just maybe John... the scouts are seeing the same thing in Dunn, etc that we see everyday, plus that 13 million contract for next season.. Just maybe they dont want Dunn, etc

I don't think Krivsky is loyal to anyone except himself and you rationalization as to why we have not made any major trades is a lil bit out there.

If I was Wayne , I would want the best possible manager that I could possibly get.. My job would depend on it.

Laters

 
at 11:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John,

When Alex Gonzalez does come back, who goes back down? Pedro Lopez is already off the roster. I have said for a while that Keppinger is a way better option than Juan Castro. But they wouldn't send Castro to the minors would they? I bet they will DFA Chad Moeller when A. Gonzalez comes back. But what happens when Josh Hamilton comes back? It's gotta be Castro gone.

The Ideal lineup would be the 5 outfielders with Griffey, Dunn, Freel, Hamilton, and Norris Hopper.
(5 total)

2 catchers with David Ross and Javier Valentin. (2 total)

And the infielders are Scott Hatteberg, Jeff Conine, (Both pending trades), Brandon Phillips, Alex Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jeff Keppinger. (6 total)

*Also, with everyone saying people like McBeth and Salmon and Bray should have been called up before Santos, my question isn't why Bill Bray. I'm not saying to get experience for next year like everyone else.... It's because he finally is back from his injury, and he has been lights out his last few appearances and wasn't he in our plans at the start this year?

 
at 11:12 AM Blogger John Fay said...

I think the players like Mackanin a lot. But things have gone very well under him. The test of any manager is how you react when players stop liking you. It happens with all managers.

On the roster, Castro is going to go back on the DL when Gonzalez is ready is my guess. Moeller goes when Hamilton's ready.

 
at 11:13 AM Anonymous mikec said...

If you're right John, my confidence in Krivsky will finally waiver. And I've supported Krivsky and argued with the Justin Fernandez's of the world since he was hired.

You do what's best for the franchise if you're in his shoes. Not some bush league move to give Mackanin a chance to win the job.

That's just asinine.

 
at 11:36 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Krivsky thinks Mackanin deserves a shot. Go back and look at what he said in his press conference. He also thought this team could compete when he put it together, so, again, I don't see a huge overhaul. But that's just my theory and I could be wrong.

 
at 11:53 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

The Reds don't need A-Gon. A-Gon needs to Go. Keppinger and Encarnacion are the future, not chubby old slow overated on defense waste of roster space Alex.

Sorry but that's just reality.

I'm sure he's a great guy but from a baseball perspective, the Reds would be incredibly stupid to give up on Encarnacion or not START Keppinger.

If Keppinger has some sort of issue throwing high to first base playing third won't change that but if he needs to play 2B then put Phillips at SS and deal with the results (which still would be far better than an A-GON "anchored" Infield!)

 
at 11:57 AM Blogger Mark T said...

I look at this team and see competitive quality at every position except the bullpen. That's the Achilles heel. And trading for relievers is dicey - they wear out, come and go. That was Krivsky's big learning experience. So they have to build up a relief staff from within, and they contend.

Put it this way - they are playing great ball right now with a rotten bullpen. How much better would they be with a good one?

 
at 12:01 PM Blogger Eric said...

John,
I agree that Kyle Lohse is the most likely candidate to leave town along with either Scott Hatteberg, Jeff Conine or both. Also, shouldn't Joey Votto be called up? He has shown the ability to play and should get a chance. I know they've been working Votto out as an outfielder. How bad can it be to give him a try out there or, better yet, leave Adam Dunn where he is and put Votto at first which is his position?. I don't think Adam is as bad an outfielder as he's made out to be anyway. AND, while he does strike out too much, he is also a run producer and does mange to have a fairly high on base %. Plus, he is a team player who never complains and shows that he is willing to work hard to improve. Add that to the fact that they will not get a good market value for him this year.

One more question...how real are the rumors that the Reds could end up with Walt Jockerty and Tony LaRusso next year? I can't stand Tony as the Cardinals manager but I might grow to love him with the Reds!

 
at 12:04 PM Anonymous Bob in Htn said...

Re Trades: You must get value for Dunn, like #3 Starter plus NL-quality reliever, otherwise hold on and check out winter trade. Lohse- get something for him since he's gone anyway. Conine and especially Hatteberg- why would you get rid of what we need? Professional hitters that put ball in play and don't strike out! Plus leaders! They are in shape and play younger than their years. I don't understand trading guys who can hit with RISP...

 
at 12:12 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

If Mac finishes at or above .600 for his 1/2 year interim stint, he deserves ONE, and only ONE additional year. Then if the Reds make the playoffs or finish well above .500 next year, he gets a longer deal.

I must admit Kirvsky was correct about Mac being a suitable replacement for Winnie the Pooh--however I stand by my conviction that Krivsky will make another dumb trade and the Reds will take a giant step backwards as a result.

I am rooting for Mac to stay here an extra year because that SHOULD MEAN A BIG DISCOUNT IN SALARY with that money being freed up to spend on a badly needed Free Agent Starting Pitcher or Closer (not that many are available for just cash)

 
at 12:39 PM Anonymous Gary214 said...

You might be right John. As time inches closer to the non-waiver deadline, it is looking more and more like we won't do much.

Maybe Krivsky thinks he already has MOST of the pieces to the puzzle...things just haven't fallen into place to have them all together at the same time. When Everyday Eddie comes back, my guess is he works his way back to the closer's role, or splits it with Stormy..at least for the rest of this year. Bray was already proven before he got here last year, and they are probably just letting him build up confidence in Louisville. As for Majewski (sic?), I hate to say it as I used to cringe every time he came out of that pen, but he was an All Star when we got him...if he gets back to that form, and with the addition of the aforementioned Guardado and Bray...sounds like a pretty good pen to me.

But what the hell do I know? I'm not one of the Fantasy League GM's that like to contribute to this blog...I mean, I would keep Dunn...$13 million next year sounds like a bargain compared to what his peers are getting. I was listening to Gammons yesterday on his take on Dunn, he said that a lot of the Reds fans focus on what Dunn can't do rather than what he does. There are several teams out there that see his positive side and want to either build around him, or add him to an already good team to make them better. Problem is...they don't have the pieces we need to make the trade worthwhile. Let's face it, if they gave up those wishlist players we would like in return, they wouldn't be in the position to be buyers, now would they? And for all those out there ready to pencil in Hamilton for the next 10 years...careful! Kearns was lights out when he burst on the scene not so long ago, then he kept having these nagging little injuries (just like you know who) and the last time I checked he was struggling to keep his average at .250, and you could count his homers on one hand...

 
at 12:39 PM Anonymous Gary214 said...

You might be right John. As time inches closer to the non-waiver deadline, it is looking more and more like we won't do much.

Maybe Krivsky thinks he already has MOST of the pieces to the puzzle...things just haven't fallen into place to have them all together at the same time. When Everyday Eddie comes back, my guess is he works his way back to the closer's role, or splits it with Stormy..at least for the rest of this year. Bray was already proven before he got here last year, and they are probably just letting him build up confidence in Louisville. As for Majewski (sic?), I hate to say it as I used to cringe every time he came out of that pen, but he was an All Star when we got him...if he gets back to that form, and with the addition of the aforementioned Guardado and Bray...sounds like a pretty good pen to me.

But what the hell do I know? I'm not one of the Fantasy League GM's that like to contribute to this blog...I mean, I would keep Dunn...$13 million next year sounds like a bargain compared to what his peers are getting. I was listening to Gammons yesterday on his take on Dunn, he said that a lot of the Reds fans focus on what Dunn can't do rather than what he does. There are several teams out there that see his positive side and want to either build around him, or add him to an already good team to make them better. Problem is...they don't have the pieces we need to make the trade worthwhile. Let's face it, if they gave up those wishlist players we would like in return, they wouldn't be in the position to be buyers, now would they? And for all those out there ready to pencil in Hamilton for the next 10 years...careful! Kearns was lights out when he burst on the scene not so long ago, then he kept having these nagging little injuries (just like you know who) and the last time I checked he was struggling to keep his average at .250, and you could count his homers on one hand...

 
at 12:57 PM Blogger George said...

I certainly hope Mackanin does NOT get the job. All of the play since he took over has been WITH NOTHING TO LOSE. The last two Reds managers came in mid-season, were "respected by the players", and had enough of a bump in W-L record to get the job. Then the next full season sets in and the team IS NOT READY TO PLAY A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL GAME. No way. I hope Castellini doesn't get taken in by that Fool's Gold again. WHAT THIS BUNCH NEEDS IS A MANAGER WHO IS THE BIGGEST OR ONE OF THE BIGGEST STARS IN THE CLUBHOUSE. That is what these guys respect. Money and stardom. Sorry for shouting.

 
at 12:58 PM Blogger George said...

I certainly hope Mackanin does NOT get the job. All of the play since he took over has been WITH NOTHING TO LOSE. The last two Reds managers came in mid-season, were "respected by the players", and had enough of a bump in W-L record to get the job. Then the next full season sets in and the team IS NOT READY TO PLAY A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL GAME. No way. I hope Castellini doesn't get taken in by that Fool's Gold again. WHAT THIS BUNCH NEEDS IS A MANAGER WHO IS THE BIGGEST OR ONE OF THE BIGGEST STARS IN THE CLUBHOUSE. That is what these guys respect. Money and stardom. Sorry for shouting.

 
at 1:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Plain and simple. Girardi had one lucky year and is entirely overrated. He has very little managing experience, and that is what really matters. He sat next to Torre as bench coach in the American League where a bench coach is useless. Look at Leyland and the Tigers, no bench coach.

Anyone who insists that Joe G. is the answer is sorely mistaken. He is a me first guy and everything revolves around him. Joe puts himself first rather than the team.

Everyone says he wants the best manager available. Well, Mackanin may be that manager.

 
at 1:29 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The Marlins have played about as well this year as they did last year, and Willis is not having as good a year. That says something about the talent there.

 
at 1:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe ANYONE would think of moving Phillips to short for any reason other than they have absolutely no other option. Nothing says clueless like wanting a stellar second basemen to move to short stop so a utility player can play second rather than having him...you know work on playing short stop more. More fielding practice etc etc.

 
at 1:49 PM Blogger sj said...

In my opinion, we need to trade the following players:

1. Lohse: A free agent who will demand more money than he is worth.

2. Conine: Talking about retiring next season, lets get something for him now.

3. Stanton & Coffey: If anyone is dumb enough.

Other than that, lets keep this thing together, get some of the young guys up and get back to making Cincinnati one of the best baseball towns in America. WIth Conine gone you can bring up Votto and have Hattie here to teach him, and you can bring up Phil D to take Lohse's spot and get McBride and Bray up to fill out the bully. I think we can not only go 81-81 but make a run at the NL Central title THIS YEAR!!

 
at 2:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your theory on Krivsky wanting to make the team better so MacKanin can get the job tells me that Krivsky is an idiot or you spent too much time in that bar last night!

 
at 2:32 PM Blogger songlife said...

My opinion is to keep Hatte at all costs. He gives a high quality at bat every time, excels under pressure, and hits the occasional homer. Those are the guys that populate winning teams. Trading him for pitching, just to bring up Joey Votto, is insanity.

Trade EE, worthless A-Gon, and Adam Dumb. Put Kep at short or 3rd permanently. Keep Freel at center no matter what. He's the best in the MLB; gets a great jump on the ball every time, makes stunning grabs routinely, and as he showed last night, has a powerful, accurate arm. Move Hamilton to left permanently, whether he likes it or not. Hopper is the 4th. That leaves short or 3rd open, so they'll have to trade for it, or put Castro/Lopez in there 'til the end of the season.

Problem is, Krivsky probably won't trade A-Gon because his kid has serious health problems and it would look bad to get rid of him in the midst of that. Plus, he obtained A-Gon himself, so his arrogance won't allow him to trade him. Krivsky sticks with worthless players he got for eternity, apparently. That's why he continually brings these terrible pitchers up and down, like Santos. He can't accept that they suck. One man's ego and incompetence is killing this team.

Probably none of the above will happen. He'll trade Lohse and Hatteberg, and think that'll solve all the problems. I expect the absolute worst from him. I am also judging Pete by whether he keeps Freel at center consistently. Any manager who puts Freel elsewhere is moronic. So far, he's done very well with putting Freel where he belongs.

 
at 2:33 PM Anonymous gmirones@yahoo.com said...

John Fay;

I tend to agree with you because any evaluation of the team without those key people would not be fair to Pete M. I also in a previous comment noted that the sounds from the game are different. The loss of Lohse is the opening for Bailey, same parts, longer life span on Bailey. Jeff K. and Hopper have been great additions because they can play the game and every team needs those who just serve. While other fans are screaming for change they are missing, with their vocal out cries for blood, the beginning of something. A great example of Pete M. getting it done was when he went and pulled Lohse in his last start, Pete did not give him the chance to throw that one pitch that would have cost the Reds the game. The same as Friday night, he went and got Bronson before he threw the one pitch that would have cost the game.

 
at 2:51 PM Anonymous Joe R. said...

There is no way that the Reds keep Pete as the manager. I don't care if the Reds go .900 the rest of the year. You only get one chance at having a tandom of Jockety, and LaRussa. A move to bring those two in would give this organization an aspect that they have lacked in years past, stability.

By the way John, how long before we don't have to waste space on the roster with Chad Moeller? I am a huge Miguel Perez fan, and his numbers seem to show that he is hitting relativly better this year. All be it that he is playing high a ball. Is there a chance he breaks camp with the Reds next year?

 
at 4:13 PM Blogger Scott Evans said...

Wow the blogging "experts' continue to defy logic.

1. They want to trade Adam Dunn not for a baseball reason but because he will make $13 million dollars next year.

2. They would rather spend $2-4 million on a manager when Mackanin may actually be the best choice, especially if the Reds end up .500 or better.

3. Anyone who says Keppinger is better than Alex Gonzalez defensively is no expert. Too many people make these moves on their PS3's and expect them to work in real life. I'd rather have a defensive SS than an offensive SS. Does Keppinger play 3B?

 
at 4:37 PM Blogger Jeff Lehner said...

Interesting theory. If you're right, the Krivsky bashers will FREAK OUT!

Mackanin's done a great job under really difficult circumstances. It's tough to make the call with this much of the season to go, but I think he's earned at least the opportunity to interview for the job after the season.

 
at 5:06 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

John, I think you are most likely on target. I do however think that Krisvsky needs to do what's best for the team even if it might make Mackanin's job a little tougher. He has to have the best interest of the team in mind.

When I see how the guys are playing now (even with the subpar bullpen) two thoughts come to mind. #1 Mackanin is doing a much better job of leading this team and #2 the change should have been made much sooner than it was. If the Reds hadn't dug themselves such a huge hole then I think they could actually have a chance but it's just too large a hole for us to dig out of I'm afraid. I enjoy watching this team play again though and so I won't complain about the slow change at manager too much.

Keppinger looks really good at the plate and I love the way he and Hopper can put down the bunt when needed. Both appear to be able to get you a hit when needed. I also think that with guys like Keppinger who can hit for average in the lineup it makes Dunn's deficiencies at the plate less noticeable. I'm just saying that if we hit better as a team then we wouldn't have to depend on Dunn to hit for average as well.

 
at 5:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

to George's comment at 11:57

George, you do not have the first clue about what a big-league ballplayer wants in the clubhouse, on the field, or anywhere else. They certainly do not want the manager to be the biggest star in the room.

What they respect is being treated with respect, and not being called out for every little mistake you think they make.

They do not need or want a manager to yell at them and get them "fired up".

Too many of you think that since you played in high school or even college that you know how to handle a big league player. Well, this is not high school where the rah rah may work.

Even the best college team, Oregon State for example, is no better than a AA team at best. The skill level of a big leaguer is light years ahead of anyone else, so you have to treat them that way.

 
at 5:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's hilarious that John Fay thinks the Reds have a chance to play .636 baseball over a two month span.

Time for a drug test.

 
at 5:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on playing EE at 1st (if Conine/Hatteberg are moved) and Keppinger at 3rd? People were yelling for EE to be moved from 3rd to 1st earlier in the season.

I say bye-bye Lohse. Put Belisle in the 'pen. Bring up EZ, Dumatrait, and Cueto and see what they can do.

 
at 7:50 PM Blogger George said...

To Anonymous' response to my comment:
I never played baseball at a high level, nor claim to know what a big league ballplayer wants. I don't want a rah-rah type managing the Reds. It doesn't take a professional athlete to read a won-loss record. Seems like all that great Reds "clubhouse chemistry" has added up to a whole bunch of bad baseball and a job poorly done. Maybe I don't know what makes a good major league team. But all evidence confirms that the Reds players don't either.

 
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