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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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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Narron speaks

Jerry Narron, always the Southern gentleman, returned my call a few minutes ago. He was upbeat. Part of baseball like is getting fired. Here's what he said:

"As a baseball person, I appreciated the chance to manage the Cincinnati Reds. I can't tell you how much that meant to me. It's a great organization, it's a great city. The fans are great.

"I'm sorry our about record. I've said we're close to being a good ballclub. We were in every game. I'm disappointed we don't have a better record. I appreciate the effort of the players. They did not quit in the least bit. They battled when we'd get down. They never gave up."

"I appreciate the opportunity that Bob Castellini and Tom and Joe Williams gave me. They've been nothing be great to me."

Narron met with Wayne Krvisky after the game Sunday, and then with Bob Castellini.

"It's a critical period for the Reds -- the next six months," Narron said. "I hope Wayne Krivsky can get the job done. This club could go from worst to first. The nucleus is there. It just needs a little tweaking."

Narron said he'll eventually return home to North Carolina.

"I enjoyed my time here," he said. "I love the town. It's a great baseball town. I appreciate the support I've gotten from the fans."

Narron's brother, Johnny, is the club's video coordinator. Will he stay on?

"That's up to Johnny and Mr. Castellini," Narron said. "In no way, shape or form was he hired because he's my brother. He's one of the hardest workers we've got. I appreciate the effort of everyone on the coaching. I hope me getting fired doesn't affect them."


at 11:55 PM Blogger steve said...

Does this mean he does not want to go the front office or was he not ask to stay on with thereds in some way?

at 12:17 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

That was nice of Narron to say those things. I don't believe half of what he said was very accurate (I think the players clearly hated playing for Narron and mentally quit long ago, despite flashes of 9-inning competency once or twice a week).

Anyway, kiss kiss, Narron made nice-nice, we fans are all just so great! I'd be disappointed if Narron really thought that! Being realistic is not Jerry's strong suit.

Really, it was like having Winnie the Pooh manage this team. I hope the new guy kicks ass on the field. We need a disciplinarian, a loud obnoxious attack-dog manager. I know the interim is only an interim but I hope he can be as UN-NARRON-LIKE as possible.


at 12:32 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jerry is certainly a class act, he has every right to put the team right in the crosshairs of the trouble, especially the horrid bullpen, but he took the high road.

Good man, wrong situation


at 2:40 AM Anonymous redifil said...

Firstly, yes, Narron took the high road with his comments and is a good person.
Secondly, I think it was definitely the right move. It probably won't help much this year, but I think it probably will for the future. Jerry wasn't the right man for this team. The question is who is and can we get him.
Thirdly, how can you say the Reds' problems were out of Narron's control, and talk about how well they played for him last year. The injuries to Guardado and Bray hurt this year, but the team's overall performance in ultimately the manager's responsibility, and the Reds have underachieved in every aspect of the game since the middle of last year. Yes, the bullpen has stunk, but you can question how Narron used it – even Sunday (as badlyt as Homer pitched, the Reds' best chance was to hope he could get out of the fourth with the score tied and throw a scoreless fifth; no way was the pen gonna keep that game close for five-plus innings).
As for last year, the Reds were more than 10 games under .500 from sometime in June on, and were especially bad from late August on. They were mathematically alive on the next-to-last day of the season only because the Cardinals started losing and the Reds finally put a few wins together in the last week. Overall, you have to give the manager a so-so grade for the season.
Here's to the future.

at 3:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 5:18 AM Blogger OrangeD00d said...

They could have had Girardi and they blew it. Why? Because he wanted to bring in his own coaching staff, and the Reds didn't want to eat all those contracts.

Penny wise, pound foolish. You'll never compete consistently if you don't pay the doggone devil his due.

at 8:04 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least now we're getting window dressing in the right direction....Let's say we get serious, trade some of those excess home runs in our outfield for effective relief pitching. No point leading the league in home runs and losing the most games.

at 8:06 AM Anonymous jc said...

bobby valentine.

at 8:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decision to fire Narron was a good one, and Narron is a class act for not throwing darts at the organization or the fans on the way out the door. However, the decision to hire Pete Mckanin as his replacement is a total head scratcher. Who has ever heard of this guy? Seriously. If, as some have suggested, the Reds declined to hire Girardi because he was insisting on hiring his own coaches, and the club wanted to save money, why not at least hire someone with an outside chance of being respected by the players, someone with major league experience, like Bucky Dent? I was thrilled when I saw the breaking news of Narron being fired scroll across ESPN News last night ... but after reading the Enquirer article and finding out who Narron's replacement is, you really have to believe that things likely just got worse, not better. Paul Daughtery's assessment is spot on. It's not that complicated. All the fans really want is for someone to articulate what the plan is going forward to fix things. I suppose, were Krivsky asked, "Are you willing to explain the team's plan to fix this mess?" he'd respond by invoking the expression that has become his mantra ... the same expression he used for months in response to questions about the possibility of Narron being fired, "Not gonna happen. Get off it." I must admit, I was elated when Krivsky was hired. My wife is from St. Paul and after we got married a few years ago I started following the Twins, and grew to really like the organization. The Twins seem like the gold standard of how a small-market team can succeed in an era of exorbitant contracts. I figured Krivsky could take the Twins' plan, apply in Cincinnati, and maybe even work a few good trades with the Twins. Unfortunately, Krivsky doesn't really seem to have a plan.

at 8:46 AM Blogger Mark said...

Justin Fernandez is a hoot! It's the 1st time I really laughed reading these posts all year long. (Not much to laugh over this year) But Manager Winnie The Pooh was over the top!

Still, Justin, a drill sgt. with this troop ain't going to happen with the likes of Griffey, Dunn and Arroyo.

Hey, how about a player/manager like Jeff Conine?? You can tell he isn't too concerned about being Mr. Nice-Guy and has been around long enough he might just get the job done.

Naron says, "I hope Wayne Krivsky can get the job done." DOES THAT SOUND LIKE JERRY WON'T GIVE HIM A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE? Maybe I'm reading more there than exists.

John, Since the days of Sparky, how many Reds managers have been dismissed during the season? Seems our timing to pick from a better crop is always a bit off.

at 8:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all begging for Joe Girardi, think again and wake up. I am a huge Reds fan, but right now this job is not as attractive as even Baltimore. For years the Reds have had the mentality to try to compete as the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs and Cardinals do. That mentality has changed to a more realistic approach for a small market team. It will take time to build the organization in a different mode, but soon it will be in the mode of the Twins, A's and Marlins. Those, and this team can compete and win, but unfortunately, more patience is required.

at 9:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would Marvin Lewis feel like being a coach until training camp starts up?

Look to the Bengals for what the team needs. A Kitna/Big Willie type for player leadership. A Ocho Cinco for fun (think Rijo), talent, and the willingness to do the little things. And a guy like Lewis who can (when he wants to) bring the hammer.

I would take Giradi, but also realize that he will bolt for NY as soon as Torre steps down. Is that what the Reds need? I think it would be funny to get a Tracy Jones or Oester in command for the last half. At least they would get fired up and in people's faces. Then the Reds could get serious about someone who would want to stay more than 1-2 years in the offseason.

When does Poole get fired for his lack of pitcher development skills? Will Browning, Soto, or Power take such position? What about the guy the Orioles just let who oversaw the Braves staff for all those years?

Jasper, IN

at 9:38 AM Blogger Ron said...

Tom Kelly does not wish to manage anywhere. He's happy where he is.
A National League team needs a National League manager - someone who understands the game is played with nine players.

at 10:09 AM Anonymous yuk said...

The manager is just the beginning. I'm wondering who will be and how many next to go for sale?

at 10:29 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firing Jerry Narron is a move for the future, but im sick of the future. Isn't the future supposed to already be here? Castellinni wants to win now and later. But you can't win if you don't hire a guy like Joe Giradi, who was the manager of the year in 06, just because he wants his own coaching staff and the Reds won't spend. But the Reds will pend money on consitantly terrible pitchers, such as Milton, Jared Burton (He has good stuff but no control so he's worthless), and they will spend 14 million on a shortstop who WAS the best defender at short, but his skills are slipping. Dunn is awesome, but better built for an AL club (DH). Griffy is FINALLY playing like an All-Star again, but how long before he's injured again? It's the same story every year. The reds need to clean house coaching wise. Brook Jacoby isn't helping the Reds free-swinging mentality, Dick Pole is developing pitchers, and others are taking steps back (Todd Coffey, Bronson Arroyo). The Reds don't need to clean house player wise. Just a few need to go, such as Jared Burton. Give him back to Oakland. Adam Dunn is great trade bait, but his contract needs to be redone. Edwin Encarnacion doen't fit the model defense first. But maybe a Disciplinarian will whip some of the players into what they can be. The mentality was gone under Narron. Maybe a hardnosed guy will be different. Lou Pinella was the last guy like that, and he won a world seris. Narron's firing was good for '08. But what happens when its 2009 or 2010 and the Reds still aren't a contender and have a manager and coaches like they have now? Will ownership spend money then?

at 11:26 AM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Mark, Conine would make an excellent manager. If Mackanin is tough, the Reds players will respond and play better. Teams have played better for certain managers. Lou Pinella is exhibit A. He gave the Reds the fear and confidence to excel in 1990, and in true Cincinnati fashion, we lost little time in getting rid of excellence. Managers who can't instill fear (of the manager and of losing) usually don't win. In Buddy LaRussa's case it's fear of being a passenger in a car he's driving...

Oh for a Nasty Boy or two in the 2007 Red second-half bullpen!

As for the future, a "quick fix" here at 20-games under is not important. What is important is getting rid of the rest of the guys running the Reds who think Hatteberg is the answer at first base, and think that Conine should bat higher than seventh.

You know, Hatteberg and Conine have had their share of good days and clutch hits and game winners but it won't until after they are gone (or Conine is managing full-time; and I'm pretty sure A-Gone is not the answer at SS either) that the Reds will contend again.

First base, Adam "Leaning Tower of Pizza" Dunn, our bench, and our team defense plus a "SS of the future" are still critical problems that need fixing apart from the obvious pitching issues.

A new manager is a nice start. Unless he's going to imitate Narron.

A new GM is badly needed too.

And I still think a new owner will be here before the Reds ever make the playoffs again, because while we do have an excellent nucleus of young talent, Krvisky will keep trading some of them for 5.00 ERA pitchers, while Castellini will keep our highly suspect coaching staff around (let's face it, the Reds play sloppy baseball most games and if players could teach, motivate, and discipline themselves, we wouldn't need coaches!)

At least without Narron the Reds will be more fun to watch again!

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