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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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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The waiting

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals would like a decision from Tony LaRussa soon:

Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said Monday that the team's wait on a decision from Tony La Russa whether to return for a 13th season as manager has a limit that may be quickly approaching.

"We need to know something relatively soon; that's for sure," DeWitt said after speaking Monday with La Russa. "It's not open-ended. If Tony's not coming back, we need to look for other candidates."

DeWitt spoke of the situation's immediacy as he prepares a list of potential successors to ousted general manager Walt Jocketty. DeWitt described the general manager search as still in its formative stages and declined to say if he has sought permission from clubs to interview candidates. For now, La Russa's verdict remains the most pressing issue.

"I don't think Tony needs to hear more from me," said DeWitt, who offered no hint of how he perceives which way La Russa is leaning.


at 11:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that he is using the media to issue this public ultimatum, after talking with LaRussa yesterday, seems to indicate that LaRussa is leaning towards leaving

at 12:43 PM Anonymous Mark said...

We keep hearing about LaRussa. Who's to say he'll come here especially if the Yankees job opens up. The Castellini ties can only be so tight. What's the word on Girardi? Does he not have any interest in Cincinnati? I also heard a rumor that wherever he goes he wants Paul O'Neill to be his hitting/bench coach. Have you heard this?
Bring back the "Warrrior!"

at 1:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see LaRussa come for just one reason....162+ pre-game shows with Marty---there should be a lot of love there

at 2:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the Yankee loss yesterday it is expected that Steinbrenner will relieve Joe Torre of his job as manager. Obviously it is early in the process and Torre has not officially been let go.

John my question for you is do you think there is any chance the Reds will consider him as a candidate AND do you think Torre will continue to manage AND would he consider coming to Cincinnati?


at 3:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it came down to it, I'd rather have Joe Torre over Tony LaRussa any day. I think Joe Torre is a much better manager and has proven it time and time again. Besides, Torre has ties to Cincinnati and LaRussa doesn't.

at 3:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how Redlegs wants to give Reds management about 20 years to get things turned around since it "doesn't happen overnight," yet in 2006 Cleveland finished with only 78 wins (2 fewer than the Reds) but this year turned it around and won 96. An 18 game improvement in just one offseason.

Both Arizona and Colorado only won 76 games last year (4 fewer than the Reds), but each won 90 this year, an improvement of 14 games.

The Reds, however, who won more than these teams last year went straight backwards by finishing 8 games worse.

Yet Mr. Appologist will appologize and and give management every stinking excuse in the book.

Since BC and Krivsky took over, this teams overall record hasn't improved one ounce while other teams have improved exponentiously.

I wonder, why are the excuses you're giving the Reds management not affecting the Cleveland's, Arizona's, or Colorado's??

at 4:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thing I just heard was that LaRussa would be interested in the Yankee job.

Regarding Torre, their is a rumor that Jorge Posada would like to go where Torre does. How awsome would it be for the Reds to add Torre and switch hitting catcher Posada as well. Please, please, please, Mr. Castillini make a run at Torre and Posada. If you can't land him that is fine, but at least try.


at 4:12 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I have no idea if Torre would be interested. My guess is probably not. The connection is his wife is from here.

at 4:44 PM Blogger Phill said...

Cleveland has had a steady manager in Wedge, a steady GM in Shapiro and when Shapiro came in he dumped old guys and started up a youth movement. In 2006 Cleveland had bullpen troubles..they were using young guns. Guys like Rafeal Perez and Rafael Betancourt. Just like those other two teams(Arizona and Colorado) they had a GM who built the farm system up. The thing with the Reds is that they haven't had a GM be able to build a steady solid farm system. By the time their draft picks are moving up they're long gone because they got fired for not giving immediate results. All three of those teams are playing with young guys with exception to Cleveland where it's a bit more mixed.

The question is, do you want to win now or be in contention to win every season. It seems like everyone wants the quick win.

at 4:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the Cardinals are putting pressure on LaRussa because Torre is their second choice. It seems more likely that he would want to go to St. Louis than here.

at 5:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Torre is leaning towards retirement. He's had a few cancer scares in recent years and has been mentioning retirement after his contract expires for at least a couple years.

Somehow I don't see LaRussa coming to the Yankees. I don't think he'd put up with Steinbrenner's 2-faced nature.

I anticipate surprises as far as LaRussa goes. I think it's possible the Angels could even fire Sciocia if they think they can get LaRussa

at 6:04 PM Anonymous jc said...

very few guys in their sixties.... who are not desperate to work... take on rebuilding projects. larussa to the yankees makes sense to me. steinbrenner will have trouble not hiring a name. in addition.... duncan is attached to his hip.... probably the most respected pitching coach in the game.
this would serve to free up an interesting possibility. mattingly who i do believe is an evansville guy.
he would be cashmans choice to manage the yankees. if girardi could not get along with loria in florida.... why does anyone think he could get along with steinbrenner. he yelled at his owner from the dugout for cripes sakes.
i don't want mackannin back. 41-39 does not cut it with me. any team will show some improvement.

at 6:13 PM Anonymous jc said...

i do believe phill made a great point in talking about perez and betencourt. it is the same point i made about some of the young guys we have. take away the coup[le of starts bailey made with a bad groin.... and he had a heck of a year. livingston.,.... even though he had lots of baserunners.... pitched well until he got hurt. coutulangus pitched well. burton was great. bray got hurt.... pitched well and then got knocked around. coffey and majewski were disasters. our disaster is the stanton contract because it puts guardado beyond reach and he showed that he can still pitch. too many lefties.
the rest of the roster is pretty much set. keppinger is your utility guy unless you give up encarnacion for pitching.
freel cannot do the things hopper does. so he is expendable.
cantu an improvement on conine. votto cheaper than hatteberg.... with more power. griffey stays but probably is rested more. bruce comes.
need another starter. and a pitching coach.
no more anonymous posters. make up a name.... how do you respond to anon.

at 6:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Torre's wife's family all lives here... I personally know them.

But anybody could have taken the Yankees to the playoffs with that talent and payroll.......

Remember how he did before the Yankees with a normal payroll team

at 6:57 PM Blogger INDYREDFAN said...


i agree with everything you said except that guardado is beyond reach. With milton and hatteberg gone the reds have about ten million to work with. They need to use it to sign a solid #2 or #3 starter, and strengthen up the bullpen. I think they would be making a huge mistake by letting guardado go. He is a competitor and will get back to his old form.

at 8:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The thing with the Reds is that they haven't had a GM be able to build a steady solid farm system. By the time their draft picks are moving up they're long gone because they got fired for not giving immediate results."


Based on that analysis then you would have expected the Reds to have made the playoffs this year under Dan O'brien?

This would have been what, his 4th or 5th year and he's been our best drafter in the last decade.

Here's the thing, Shapiro was hired in Cleveland and he said at the time that they were on a plan to win in 2005.

When a GM is hired and says this he is given the benefit of the doubt by the fans and by the owner, and he's typically given that amount of time to do his thing.

Krivsky didn't do that. Krivsky was right there with BC saying that we were trying to win now.

Well, after two years "now" has still not come, nor has it come close. As a GM you can't say one thing - have it not work, and then fall back on "well, it takes time, and you have to build up the farm system, and blah, blah, blah." You cannot have it both ways!

This is why people hate hearing fans give Krivsky the benefit of the doubt and excuses. You don't get the luxury of either when not coming through on your initial plan.

If he couldn't make his original plan work, what is there to make me think he can make a new one work?

Actions come with consequences. He couldn't make this team any more competitive than they were when he got here, like promised.

Some want to give him excuses by saying he's working with a youth movement and whatnot, yet, he wouldn't even hive his most highly touted prospect any playing time in September.

It appears as though we are on a continual one year plan with Krivsky as GM. That sure as hell doesn't work.

We need someone who actually has a plan that extends beyond 2 weeks.

at 8:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally don't give a#&@ who manages the team, I just want the Reds to make a consistent at the playoffs. I don't even care about world championships at this point. I've lived here since 96 and so far my highlight is that they almost made it in '99. yay! ugh.

at 10:05 PM Blogger John Fay said...

For the sake of clarity, Krivsky was not there when Castellini said that. Hewas hired a month later.

at 11:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In all due respect, when Castellini said he wanted to "win now", he was selling tickets.

at 7:00 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Anon 2:28, it's fairly easy to be an apologist (no, not appologist) when you understand Arizona, Cleveland and Colorado have been rebuilt from the depth of their minor league systems, along with a great trade here and there while shredding themselves of patchwork veterans and overpriced free agents.

The Reds? One of the worst minor league systems of the past 15 years. Three GMs in five years, three owners in 10 years. No minor league depth to help the big league club, least of all to make impact trades for a positional need; a group of core starting players who either won't bring much in return in trade or have contracts that make them untradeable.

So if your baseball acumen is looking at the standings and then wontonly leaking smelly fumes about where you think the Reds ought to be in only two years, understand that neither Cleveland, Arziona nor Colorado got to where they are today without blowing up expensive, win-now plans in the early 2000s and got serious in trading for young talent, ditching high-priced players and placing higher emphasis on scouting and development.

That's how those teams got into the playoffs this year.

at 8:06 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Torre leaves the Yankees, Girardi will get that job. I believe that if Torre is let go will retire. For those thinking about LaRussa, my guess is he will land in Seattle.
I don't know who that leaves for the Reds but I don't think Pete Mack is the answer.

at 10:30 AM Blogger athleticdirector05 said...

I think we all need to start the grass roots campaign for the push for Joe Torre! As Redbeard brilliantly put it, Torre brings a GREAT resume with him, championship runs, playoff runs, but the biggest thing is his ability to bring a team together both young and old players with international players. He has had the most diverse set of individual players come in his locker room, and molded them into a well functioning team. Last years team wasn't very well with pitching... had big names, but that's about it. So, with that comes a player interest to come to a club that has him as a manager, especially former players. It would be a serious upgrade at catcher if Jorge were to come with him. Maybe a pipe dream, maybe not... after all it is a proven fact that anything can happen in the world of baseball! So lets start the campaign... get it in the papers, on the radio, on TV,etc... tell Bob to make the phone call and say here is a blank check, what will it take for you to come here and be a part of the tradition of Reds baseball. Also, I have a feeling that Walt could be a part of this team in some capacity (president of baseball operations) etc... it would hold good accountability for Kriv., as well as someone to council and get another point of view about players, etc.... who is his accountability partner now John Allen? Two major parts of this offseason would be to place these two in the organization. with the free agent market,or lack thereof in pitching, we'll have to trade some good people to get pitching so hopefully between walt and kriv., we can make the best decision for the organization. HIRE TORRE, AND GET WALT IN THE ORGANIZATION!

at 11:42 AM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

It's easy to win when your whole team consists of All-Star players, future hall-of-famers, and you have the highest payroll in major league baseball.

No offense to anyone, but a baseball ignorant person could have coached the Yankees to victory. To me and I am hoping a lot of people, Torre's resume behind the Yankees means absolutely ZILCH.

at 2:08 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

No offense to anyone, but a baseball ignorant person could have coached the Yankees to victory.

No offense to history and facts, but before Torre the Yankees had not won a World Series since 1978 and had not been to the playoffs since 1981.

It's called the right fit of a managerial style at the right time.

at 3:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redlegs, I would also doubt that those other GMs walked into a situation as good as Krivsky's.

We had an owner who was willing to add to the payroll and an offense that's been at or near the top in homers and runs scored for the last 5 years.

He needed to find a little pitching and some bullpen help.

He's found neither after 32 months on the job.

Pitching is hard to come by, but no GM should be this bad at it!

Maybe if he had drafted Lincecum instead of another 5 tool outfielder who k's too much, he would have garnered a little more rope on his leash from fans.

at 5:38 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

I don't know what situation you're talking about Anon 2:06, but the organization Castellini and Krivsky took over prior to the 2006 season was in pathetic condition top to bottom.

In the bottom seven in Baseball America's minor league ratings four straight years . . . only two players (Bailey, 38, and Bruce, 76) rated in the BA Top 100 . . . a major-league product not only picked last in the NL Central, but listed in the ESPN Power Ratings as No. 24 out of 30 teams, behind Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. This after being No. 28 in 2005 and a team that Dan O'Brien did zero to improve in the offseason.

On the day Krivsky walked into the office it was a 100-loss team heading to spring training.

Conversely, in 2006 alone, Arizona had seven prospects in Baseball America's Top 100, five in the top 25; Cleveland had four in the Top 100 and Colorado two (given the Rockies pushed 19 rookies, including nine from BA's 2004 Top 30 list, into service in 2005.

Here's how the organizations ranked according to Baseball America entering 2005:
6. Cleveland
13. Arizona
15. Colorado
23. Reds

Here's how the organizations ranked entering 2006:
1. Arizona
9. Cleveland
11. Colorado
30. Reds (last)

Here's how the organizations ranked entering 2007:
2. Cleveland
3. Arizona
8. Colorado
20. Reds

Additionally, of the 13 players combined who comprised the 2006 BA Top 100 list for the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Indians, seven are on their team's playoff roster. All are on the 40-man rosters and only two did not see time with the big league club this year.

Conversely, the Reds have had only Bailey to reach the big leagues in that time. Granted, Bruce will likely be up by June 2008.

As for your notion, about Lincecum, nine other teams passed as well, with six of them taking pitchers!

As for "he needed to find a little pitching and some bullpen help," wow, talk about an understatement. Go to . . .

. . . and look at the pitchers they had on that team to open the 2006 season. You make it sound like they were one or two pitchers from high contention. Try six or seven.

And every team is looking for pitching. Every . . .one. When you don't have the minor league depth or the integral, contract-friendly big-leaguer to trade for that pitching, you can't get a deal done even if you're Branch Rickey.

Look, I understand the frustration. You're looking for a scapegoat. One of them is dead and the other is selling milkshakes. Too many of you have too narrow of a focus on the Reds' issues. It's not the owner, it's not the GM, it's not even the payroll, to some extent.

It's the fact that two prior ownerships ruined the organization's minor league operations to the point it's going to take five years to get that side of baseball operations close to recovery. There's no magic potion here. You are screwed when you have little of value you can trade and you have no talent depth coming through the minors.

at 3:03 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you're willing to blame prior ownership and prior GMs for screwing up the minor league system yet, once again, let Krivsky off the hook for not taking a guy like Lincecum?? That doesn't even make sense.

So 8 or 9 other teams passed on him, well, he wasn't exactly rated as the top prospect, so realistically I'd say only a couple of teams realistically passed on him, and as desparate as this organization is on pitching there is absolutely no rhyme or reason in taking another outfielder over Lincecum, especially considering that you, yourself said that "every team is looking for pitching."

So, where would this organization - with Krivsky - be right now had he been smart enough to draft him?

Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, and Lincecum sounds pretty good for front four. However, the end result is the same as the previous regimes you mentioned when it comes to the minors, poor drafting.

And I don't think it would have mattered what we had in the minors, Krivsky wouldn't have called 'em up. Just like it took him forever to call Votto up, who should have been here in July, and Bruce who should have been here in September.

If you're trying to rebuild your minor league system then why in the sam hill wasn't Hatty moved in order to pick up a couple of prospects. If Conine brought 2 AA guys over, Hatty should have been worth 3.

Krivsky clearly has NO PLAN.

at 1:26 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

You read it, you seem to understand it, yet you can't apply it? Why?

Suppositions, guesswork, assumptions.

You suppose Krivsky could have gotten something significant for Hatteberg, an aging player who is position-restricted. Don't you suppose the deal would have been made if it helped the organization? The players they got for Conine, who was retiring after the season, are not top prospects. They are roster fill.

You assume because Votto wasn't brought up that the team and player were hurt. The problem with the team wasn't the first base play or the lack of Votto. He doesn't win the Reds the division. It's pitching. Two months mor ein the minors didn't kill Votto's career.

Bruce? Would have liked to see him but again, doesn't kill his career. Doesn't make the team a contender, either. Five years down the road who's going to say, "Bruce sure could have used that September call-up in 2007."

You guess that since Lincecum was bypassed the front office is a band of fools, that they have no plan, yet you have never heard a plan articulated, and if you look hard enough you will see the overwhelming majority of pro sports teams don't announce their "plans" because it only incites this kind of nonsensical fan conjecture.

If you can't keep up the promise of the plan, see what happens--re: Bowden promising a plan for being a winner by the time the new stadium is built.

Should the Reds have drafted Lincecum? Sure. So should the other eight teams. But that's all hindsight. Let me guess: On draft day 2006 you were tossing tomatoes at the wall because that great, highly touted prospect Tim Lincecum was bypassed by the Reds at No. 8.

Guess what? Drafts are not exact. The long and winding history shows the margin of error:

1965—Bench and Nolan Ryan last until the seconod round.

1967--Mets take Steve Chilcott over Reggie Jackson. What?!

1971--George Brett and Mike Schmidt last until second round. Keith Hernandez goes in the 42nd round.

1974—Paul Molitor lasts until 28th round.

1978--Cal Ripken drafted in second round.

1981--Tony Gwynn lasts until 3rd round.

1983--Reds take Kurt Stillwell No. 2 overall, bypassing Rogers Clemens, Calvin Schiraldi, Dan Plesac, Wally Joyner and Robby Thompson. Think this one trumpets Lincecum.

1984--Bypassing Mark McGwire for Pat Pacillo.

1989--Mike Piazza is the last pick of the draft, in Round 62.

1992--Bypassing Derek Jeter, Jason Kendall and Charles Johnson for Chad Mottola.

2001--Taking Jeremy Sowers when he explicitly said he was going to college, thus bypassing Jeremy Bonderman and Noah Lowry.

2002--Taking Chris Gruler at No. 3 overall and bypassing Loewen, Fielder, Francis, Saunders, Greene, Kazmir, Guthrie and Francoeur.

The wide point is--and how this escapes you is beyond my own comprehension--is the Reds are where they are because of the pitiful ownership and the pitiful drafting in the years before Castellini and Krivsky arrived.

Go back and look at the Reds' drafts. If they had made good decisions and had the payroll to sign the picks Bowden wanted from 2001-'04 this team is likely in the playoffs today.

You blame the current regime for the won-loss record, yet you can't seem to grasp the condition is actually improved. It might not show in wins in losses, but the organizational situation over the past three years is greatly improved and if not for a couple of shrewd front-offic emoves this is a 100-loss team in 2006-07.

You seem to think a genie is supposed to jump out of a bottle and fix it all over night, and yet you have no acceptance or open-mindedness about how the situation got so bad. It took Milwaukee eight years to be competitive after rebuilding from within.

Have some breadth and awareness of the situation and history of your favorite team instead some slop you hear on sportstalk radio.

And do some homework.

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