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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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Friday, September 21, 2007

Castellini on Mackanin

I spoke to Bob Castellini this morning. He thought Pete Mackanin handled Homer Bailey's outing just right, by the way.

Don't expect a radical makeover of the club.

“If we can get a couple of pitching holes filled, we can have a dynamite team for next year,” Castellini said. “The club has responded to Pete. If we go in another direction, we have to find someone else they respond to.”

“(But) Pete’s made a case for himself.”

I still think the Reds will look outside, but Mackanin's got a real shot at the job.


at 2:49 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Going by Mr. Castellini's comments it appears Mackanin is the guy for next year no matter who is available. However, they must get those pitching holes filled 2 in the rotation and a couple in the pen. Guardado who I was skeptical about earlier has done much better lately and Homer looked pretty good last night. I still think a trade for a starter must happen. As good as Votto has looked I think he is the bait along with possibly Freel in a package deal for a #3 Type starter.

at 2:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mackanin failed to make any discernible difference. Sure the Reds' record was better, but was that because of Mackanin? Did Mac manufacture a single run during his interim stint by, for example, squeeze bunting? No. Additionally, in arguably the most important games of the year, the Pirates double-header, Mac managed like the advance scout he is. LaRussa's gotta be the call if he's available.

at 3:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

“If we can get a couple of pitching holes filled, we can have a dynamite team for next year,”

It sounds like 2008 is going to look an awful lot like 2007.

at 3:57 PM Blogger liz said...

I'm all for Pete!!!

at 4:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe PM deserves a one year contract with an option year. He has done a significant job in restoring order and some semblance of sanity to the bullpen that was very poorly managed by JN. He has also gotten a little more hustle from some key players that translate into a run here and there.

Score another run here and there, save a run here and there (especially in the 8th) translates to a few more wins and a few less losses. Hence the difference between a .350 winning pct and a .550 winning pct.

It's the little things that add up.

at 4:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There certainly are reasons to believe that 2008 can be better than 2007 even with the current cast of Reds players. Why? The number one reason in my opinion is that the bullpen will be much stronger next season than it was for most of this season. David Weathers has proved pretty dependable as the closer and if Jered Burton continues to progress you very well might see him become the closer and Weathers the set up man in the 8th. Either way is better than the desaster that was the 8th for the first half of 2007. Add to the mix a healthy Bray and a more experienced Countlangus and McBeth along with one other veteran (Guardado?, Stanton (I hope not but))and you have the makings of a very fine bullpen. When was the last time the Reds could say that?

If Homer Bailey can continue to develop (and last night was a wonderful performance that really encouraged me) the Reds would have three dependable starters which is 1 more than they had for this year. Still they need to find two more. Hopefully Belisle can improve his mental toughness as his stuff appears to be good enough. That would leave one spot in the rotation up for grabs. It's unlikely that Krivisky would allow Cueto to win that spot before the middle of next year (see Bailey this year for details see Votto and Bruce as well). So adding a dependable veteran arm in the rotation would be great but not likely. I think a guy like Livan Hernandez would be worth pursuing.

The ability to make a move for a starting pitcher is not that easy though. The Reds have plenty of outfield depth and with the emergence and versatility of players such as Keppinger, Freel, and Hopper the bench and depth next year will be wonderful. Given that Griffey, Hamilton, and Freel all appear to be injury prone that depth may well be needed.

I really like what the Reds have in Votto. He has hit the lefties very well too which is impressive. His glove is far better than advertised and in fact has been excellent to say the least. Encarnacion has improved in leaps and bounds defensively and his hitting with runners in scoring position makes him probably the most clutch player on the team. I don't think that trading either of these players for a Kyle Loshe/ Eric Milton / Kurt Saarloos type #4 or #5 starter would be a good move. That is basically the calibur of pitcher that another team would be willing to trade (remember Arroyo was a #6 starter with the BoSox). If Krivisky can find another diamond in the rough such as Arroyo I think it would take less than EE or Votto to get him.

What I really hope happens next year is that the Reds can re-sign Dunn long term and move Griffey at the trade deadline to a team like the Yankees, or Red Sox, or Mariners, that may have a very good chance at getting to the World Series. I think the Reds goal should be to get Bruce up and playing regularly in the outfield by the middle of next year at the latest.

Next year's realistic goal should be to win the division. Then with the growth of the younger players a run at the World Series in 2009 and beyond would be what Cincinnati deserves.

As for the manager I say keep Pete around as I'm not a big fan of Baker, Brenley, or LaRussa.

-- Redbeard

at 4:47 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Good to hear from Uncle Carl, I mean Uncle Bob.

Yes, Pete MacKrivsy has done a wonderful job.

Looking forward to those pitching holes being filled, perhaps the K-man can find another Kirk Saarloos, Victor Santos, Mike Stanton, Todd Coffey, Joe Mays, Gary Majewski, Rick White, Chris Hammond, Rheal Comier, Sun Wu Kim, Chris Mihalik, Joe Johnson, Lizard, Kyle Lohse or Phil Dumatrait to fill those spots.

I think that I will wait just a little longer before I rush out and buy and tickets for next season.

Maybe just a little of that Milton money should go to a personal PR man for the K-man.

The outing by Homer Bailey came as a bit of a surprise. Lets hope that 5-2/3 good innings against the SF "D" unit is enough to proclaim Homer as the savior of this staff.

at 4:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

2008 will resemble 2007. Just a couple of pitching holes? What a knee-slapper! Milwaukee, Chicago, and St. Louis will be better next year too--unless we actually find talented pitching!


Not bad, not great. Far from PLAYOFF MATERIAL THOUGH. Very far! Hello? Bob? If you expect this rotation to take you to October, well, you're a loon!

at 5:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Krisky is handling his job more like GMs do in football. I don't hear this sort of flak for Lewis, 'secret cam' Bill, or any coach/GM in the NFL.

I do believe I would hire a manager who has won a World Series over Mac. Yes, at some point LaRussa, Brenley, and Torre were rookie managers too but... Mac would be a great fall back as he seems to get the guys who were ID'd as not modivated to actually play hard.

One-two SPs, and 1-2 relievers and the Reds win the division next year. They should of won it this year...


at 5:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob is in denial. Those pitching holes he referred to are crater sized. I wish, just once, the organization would aim high instead of shooting for 80 wins, hoping for 85 & praying that is good enough for the playoffs. Either rebuild or go all out.

There are way too many "ifs" with this club right now. If Homer develops, if Cueto is ready, if Bray pitches to potential, if Coffey bounces back. Etc., etc, etc.

The good news is that the pieces on offense are in place, with enough left over to acquire some pitching. The question is will Wayne keep the right guys & make the right trades? 2008 depends on that.

Talk to the Twins about Santana. See what it would take, please.

John Burroughs
Hyde Park

at 6:26 PM Blogger Don said...

Sounds to me that Castellini is pulling out the PR machine here as an excuse not to spend more money. A couple of pitching holes? That would be a true statement if he were talking just about the starting rotation. The bullpen alone is swiss cheese. As was pointed out here by another poster, Castellini is basing his hopes on ifs. If this, if that, if Encarnacion, if Ross, if Bray, if Majewski, blah blah blah. This organization needs to take fate into its own hands instead of waiting for all the ifs to come together. We see where the ifs have gotten the Reds the last couple of seasons.

at 6:54 PM Blogger John said...

If you look at the team record the last 8 years since the Reds sniffed the playoffs the Reds are the same mediocre team year to year. It does not bold well for Reds fans that the team ownership keeps making the same mistakes over and over. This seems to be about the 3rd year in a row that the team is playing well enough at the end of the season that ownership is giddy enough to think a tweak in the off season will squeak the team into a playoff s the next season. Hopefully the fans and the Cincy media will put the pressure on and let it be known that we expect more.
Nashville, TN.

at 7:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shock. The Reds will stick with the cheap manager and probably trade players of value, meaning they make good money, for cheaper pitchers that will fix the problem. Then they will be shocked when Keppinger and Hopper turn out to be backups instead of starters. Should be another solid year. Where do I get my tickets?

at 8:08 PM Blogger Champ Summers said...

The same tired argument from Cheviot, and now down on Bailey.

Bailey had some pretty good stuff last night for any level of play.

at 10:07 PM Anonymous cheviot sports authority said...

I guess the Champ can't read. I'm all for Homer Bailey. I'm just not sure that 5-2/3 innings against that line-up proves a whole lot.

at 11:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets all wait till the off-season to see what happens with the managers job. Will give us something to do besides watching that hideous team that plays in the stadium west of the Reds.

I believe that the manager's job needs to go to the right person not the biggest name out there. All the mentioned canidates have managed team with high payrolls and or extremely talented teams. zOur beloved Reds are neither right now.

Anybody seen what's out on the free agent market this year? If you haven't it looks alot like the stuff the dogs drop off in the backyard. Look at the O's and the $40 million they spent on their bullpen. The answer is to start developing our own pitching and it seems we are headed slowly in that direction.

Is it possilbe to find another Burton in the Rule 5? Thats where Krivsky needs to scour the talent available.

Honestly I'm not sure how the Reds are division winners next year. I hate to say it buts it's gonna be at least two more years.

Be easy on CSA he's/she's lost his/her punching bag Griffey for the last week of the season

at 11:44 PM Anonymous Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I've still got the K-man. I suspect he will provide plenty of bitching material this off-season.

at 12:00 AM Anonymous cheviot sports authority said...

Lets try to name the worst managers in Reds history. This is just a preliminary list, in no particular order at this time:
1. Bob Boone (once sent Jason LaRue in to pinch run and Deion Sanders up to pinch hit.)
2. Ray Knight (the one and only asst manager in history that I know of) graduated to mgr and quickly named a 6 man starting rotation.
3. Dave Miley, he just never had a clue as to handling the players.
4. The 'Baseball Guy' Jerry Narron, once pinch hit Juan Castro for Josh Hamilton.
5. Vern Rapp lasted about as long as Ray Knight.
6. Don Heffner all he did was lose with Dick Wagner's crappy players.
7. Dave Bristol and Russ Nixon, I vaguely remember them, don;t think that they were too bad,

Who else? If we add GMs I know several more.

at 12:25 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey csa, on a positive note >> best Reds managers list (after the main Spark, who's the alltime #1): Dave Bristol?

at 12:43 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Don Heffner managed in 1966 well before Dick Wagner was GM.

On the best list, behind Sparky in no particular order:

Fred Hutchinson ('59-64, .543 winning percentage)
Patrick Moran ('19-23, winning percentage of .564)
Bill McKehnie ('38-46, winning percentage of .542)

Davey Johnson (.543) has to in there, too.

at 12:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may sound crazy, but I actually liked Narron. The biggest problems he had was, while he was a players manager, he lacked an enforcer who would get on players who didn't get the job done. And as had been pointed out, the players who represented leadership (Griffey, Dunn, Hatteberg) were too easy going to do the job either. Narron also played the match-ups with the bullpen and used relievers too often. I think this led to several pitchers, especially Coffey, to get into some bad habits to the point where they could only face one hitter per game. The bullpen, bad as it was, was also getting tired.
Mackanin also goes to the pen too much and is quick to pull them out. Another problem Mackanin has is the same problem Miley, Boone and Knight had----an inability to make a decision and stick to it. Hamilton and Hopper are both hitting? OK, we'll play one today, the other tomorrow and randomly switch them around as we go. That's not going to work for long.
We need a manager who will come in and take charge right off the bat and say, this will be the line up, this is what I need this player to do and the relievers must be able to pitch a full inning or more when we need them to. We need a manager who has a strong personality, a real baseball strategist and an efficient worker----the way Lou Piniella and Pete Rose were.
Problem is, who? I'm pretty sure Castellini will put up the money for someone like Larussa. But Larussa isn't likely to go to the Reds. So who's left?

at 9:19 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is some helpful info about Pete.
a. He has managed extensively in the minors at all levels, over 2,000 games, and knows how to handle and develop younger players.
b. he has managed extensively in winter ball, winning the Caribbean World Series along the way.
c. managing in the Dominican, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, etc. with mostly veteran Latin players is probably more challenging at times than managing in the U.S.
d. he served as 3b coach four years for F. Alou in Montreal, and several years as bench coach for the Pirates.
e. he is fluent in Spanish and relates well to Latin players.

at 9:54 AM Anonymous Cheviot Sports Authority said...

John, you are of course right about Don Heffner being well before the infamous Dick Wagner, but he was one of the all-time worst.
On the plus side, you leave off Lou Piniella and Pete Rose?
Why has Davey Johnson never resurfaced?

Maybe the Reds could name Ken Griffey Jr as player-manager. Since he can do whatever he wants anyway (since he has 593 HRs). Wouldn't it be great to see him trying to get other players to hustle or lay down a bunt?

at 12:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Jack McKeon? How can you leave him off?

at 10:44 AM Anonymous CHEVIOT SPORTS AUTHORITY said...

Yeah, Jack McKeon, our 'superstars' didn't like the fact that he expected them to obey the same rules as the peasants. Shows the kind of upper level management this organization has had for the past several years.

at 9:57 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I went with longevity, world series appearances. Past sparky, i'm lost because it's before my time. I'm not sure how to caps on my iPhone.

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