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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, November 13, 2007

Allen resigning (update)

The Reds announced that COO John Allen is resigning effective Dec. 31.

This was Allen's call. "It's time," he said.

Allen will move to Kansas City, where his wife, Anna, has taken a job.

"This was a decision made solely by John," CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement.

Castellini said Allen would not be replaced. I asked Castellini about the possibility of baseball man coming in as club president. I didn't mention Walt Jocketty's name, but Castellini knew what I was talking about.

"I know what you're getting at," Castellini said. "No, that's not going to happen."

Allen made the decision in September. He wanted to stay on until the election in Sarasota was over. Castellini convinced him to stay on as a consultant as the club selects a new spring training site.

Allen has not been popular with fans in recent years. That happens when you're the head of organization that is not winning. But Allen started Redsfest, revived the Reds Hall of Fame and the Winter Caravan. He also started the Reds Community Fund.

Allen started with the Reds in 1995. He ran the club from 1999 until Castellini took over.


at 3:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best news of the day. Always thought the guy was a snake.

at 3:07 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Allen's a good guy. He was just put in a horrible role under Lindner.

at 3:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great news. Hopefully this will allow some former great Reds like Barry Larkin come back to the Reds.

at 3:15 PM Blogger SL said...

I don't know if he is a good guy or not. I never met him. I just thought he was bad for the Reds. I am very happy he is finally gone.

at 3:18 PM Blogger BDC said...

Outstanding! Christmas comes early. Only Mike Brown hiring a true GM would make me happier.

He may be a good guy, but his legacy is running a major league operation with a minor league imagination.

at 3:21 PM Blogger SL said...

Just happy he is gone.

at 3:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

An early Christmas present...let's hope the trend continues with this and other local sports organizations. Don't let the door hit you in the rear. See ya!

at 3:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering if this will change anything- Can we get a pitcher for him?

at 3:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

He started out with so much promise when he took over for Marge,but after awhile I don't know if his ego got out of hand but he seemed out of touch with joe fan. And the ending of Larkins career seemed a bit babyish on both sides.

at 4:43 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Wow, some fans are really, really short-minded on what all John Allen had to do when he came aboard, and how he immediately cleaned up an enormous mess from Marge, and then how he had to make mandates from the Lindner regime that were not wholly to his liking, namely being the bad guy bearing bad news.

And after what Larkin and Griffey did to McKeon the way Larkin held up the organization for $27 million and declined a trade to the Mets, then the classless way he made his exit, among other little things the public never really saw, I wouldn't let Larkin, that smiling, backstabbing @#$%! near my organization with a 20,000-foot pole.

at 4:48 PM Anonymous Beer Man said...

John, despite what they say about not replacing him would Walt Jocketty possibly be in line for a job with the club?

at 5:13 PM Anonymous Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Barry Larkin, Self-Proclaimed Icon. He and Jimbo deserve each other. Now if we could just find a way to get Griffey re-united with them in Washington.

at 5:26 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Look, Larkin is a nice guy. He really is. And while veteran players earn a sense entitlement on some things, the way Larkin went about other things would have gotten him kicked to the curb if he were Tom Browning, Ron Oester, George Foster or any other B-level Reds icon.

at 6:01 PM Blogger David said...

Exactly on Larkin. He may have been the team captain, but he wasn't a team player in any way, shape or form.

When Bench entered the twilight of his career, he switched positions, though he was arguably the best catcher to ever strap on a mask up to that time. Cal Ripken did the same thing in order to help his team.

But not Larkin, despite more than one manager asking him to do so. For at least the last 5 years of his time in Cincy, Barry was about Barry, not about the Reds.

I don't think he's been "banished" by the Reds upper management. Frankly, I don't think they have the guts. But I'm not in any hurry to see Larkin associated with the Reds again.

at 6:05 PM Blogger Mark said...

Mr Redlegs... George Foster is NOT a B-level icon. Definitely not in the same category w/Oester & Browning... though they are good.

at 7:04 PM Anonymous Eric said...

CSA, Jr.has about as much chance consenting to go to Washington as you do getting off the West side and moving to Indian Hill. You really need to climb out from under that rock. It gets old.

at 8:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What bdc said is quite right----running a major league team with a minor league plan. When Schott got banned (and took up drinking full-time), Allen was the money man who cared more about the bottom line than what it took to put together a winning team. His biggest mistake was not firing Bowden sooner----like by about 6 years. Unfortunately, Jimmy Boy was making all the baseball decisions and Allen just didn't have the know-how or the will to second guess him.

After Lindner took over, Allen became his hatchet man. Lindner didn't want to spend money so Allen had to tell evryone how small the payroll would be. While Allen is not completely blameless for the ways Larkin and Joe Nuxhall were sent packing, these were Lindner's orders in the end.

As for the knocks against Larkin, do you really think he and Griffey are responsible for McKeon getting fired? Be real. Take a good look at McKeon's record. Evry team he's managed, he'll have one good year, then he's gone a couple years later. He treated players with little respect, giving them a minimal chance before he decides they're useless, often saying so when they are in earshot----but not exactly to their faces. If a manager treats players that shabbily, wouldn't you expect the veteran players to take a stand against him? This is what Larkin and Griffey rightly did.

at 8:40 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Uh, Anon 8:30, you don't have one clue of what Griffey and Larkin did behind the scenes about McKeon. Let's just say in the military they would have been lined up and shot.

at 11:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I'd heard about his time in Florida and San Diego, McKeon's disrespect towards younger players generated disrespect toward him from the older players. If Griffey and Larkin got McKeon tossed, it was because he had already lost the clubhouse

at 7:56 AM Anonymous J-diggity said...

UH, REDLEGS, niether do you.
you only know what you've read also

at 9:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Redleg you don't have a clue what happened with Griffey,Larkin and Mckeon either.

Its funny you know of everything that happens in the Reds front office and the locker room. Come on man,get a grip!

You really need to seek professional help because are you not only just delusional you are full of crap!

at 9:10 AM Anonymous CHEVIOT SPORTS AUTHORITY said...

When did Tom Browning and George Foster become "B" level Reds?

at 11:16 AM Blogger Kenworld said...

face it, In this town it will always be.
A+ level Reds:

A level:

B level:
any other Reds star you can name

at 11:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evry baseball town has local heroes elevated to a level the rest of the world laughs at. I live in the NYC area. At least the Yankees can back things up with dozens of Hall Of Famers. The Mets fans are absolutely delusional when they wax sentimental for the 69 team. I mean, really, Kranepoole and Harrelson should be in the Hall?

What makes certain players local legends or fan favorites is how accessible they make themselves to the fans and how loyal they are to the team and the city. This is why Browning and Nuxhall are so popular here despite only fair stats in their careers

at 11:47 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Yes J-Diggity, being in that clubhouse and seeing it first hand, and having players like Vaughn and Harnisch whispering in your ear, is akin to reading it from people like me who write it for you.

at 11:49 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Don't think Hollywood has A+ levels for stars, so why would sports?

But it's an excellent question. Who would be the living A-level and B-level Reds?

at 12:24 PM Blogger Mark said...

If Foster and Browning are "B" level Reds, I'll take a team full of B levels any day of the week.

B level Reds sporting World Series rings are welcome on my team any day.

at 12:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Foster and Browning are "B" level Reds, I'll take a team full of B levels any day of the week.

B level Reds sporting World Series rings are welcome on my team any day.

at 12:33 PM Anonymous J-Diggity said...

So Mr R. you are saying that you were in the clubhouse with those reds teams?
c'mon do you really expect anyone to believe that crap?

at 1:13 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Of course Foster and Browning are B-levels. Just because you are on a championship team doesn't raise your level. A-Level would likely be determiend by HOF status first, national superstardom/recognition second, long-time and widespread fan appeal third.

Living A-Levels would likely be: Bench, Rose, Sparky, Morgan, and add Nuxhall, Perez and Larkin for the local factor.

Remember: It's not an A-Level if you put every ol' bird on it.

at 1:16 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

J-Diggity, don't give a flying frog's ass if you believe it not. My media credential folder shows I covered the Reds 14 times in 2000 and nine times in 2001, when my duties covering NFL expanded even more so.

at 1:23 PM Anonymous Joe said...

Finally, Allen gone! Could Junior and Mike Brown be next?

at 1:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Mr R, if it's so, can you give any direct quotes? You're under no confidentiality agreement and are not currently in the same professional position. So you should be able to say who said what about whom.

at 2:03 PM Anonymous J-Diggety said...

Can we see that folder?

at 2:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got to hand it to Mr. Redleg,
He's got credentials for covering the Reds for what 23 times in two years? Yeah that should be plenty of time to know all about clubhouse/front office dynamics. And his "NFL Duties" are in full effect? If thats true how is it he seems to post about every other five minutes with his rehashed,been written a thousand times over, heard it all before rants? Wouldn't you think he'd posting his own blogs on a newspaper site?

Nice try Redleg you still a mere mortal like the rest of us.

at 5:29 PM Anonymous CantonRedsFan said...

To quote Curly Bill in TOMBSTONE: "Well...bye."

at 2:12 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

To quote me, nimrod, "It's called travel and work days" leading up to the weekend.

at 2:23 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Anon 1:40, of course I'm under confidentiality. The players are still alive. That's how you build sources and contacts, and a reputation to do your job professionally. This ain't high school.

Players know and trust you will use the information judisciously, giving you a way to pull together your story with information already gained.

Perfect example: Last year, a member of an NFL team whispered to a colleague of mine about huge discontent among players on his team and the defensive coaching staff. My colleague was able to get an amazing notebook of background info, go to the team and write a huge piece.

That led to some malcontents getting released and one traded, plus some changes on the coaching staff. It was a helluva inside story, tipped off by a player who's still on the team.

On the 2000-01 Reds, I had come to know one quite well early in his career, had written a magazine piece about another fairly recently at the time, and had a friendly relationship with a member of the coaching staff going back almost 20 years.

at 2:36 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Anon 2:20, for a national publication, 23 times in most locker rooms over two years is a lot, and you only need the right relationships and a couple of days in the clubhouse to get the full temperature.

The players and coaches tend to be more open and trusting of the national media than the locals because the locals can generally hurt them more. The locals are there every day and friction inevitably mounts among some players and coaches and the beat guy.

But, because the locals have to work with them each day also means they have to be more careful about all the little crap they might decide to publish. The clubhouse is not an open book. You constantly ask yourself the question:

"Is this [insert item] worth the long-term daily responsibilities you have to cover the team?

That's why a beat guy normally allows the columnist or the No. 2 guy to come in and handle that stuff. It's also why you don't normally hear about some of the more gossipy stuff and typical internal friction until after the season, or seasons down the road.

And, how do you know I don't have my own blog? How do you know I wasn't on national radio Monday morning talking about the Bengals and some things Marvin Lewis needs to do after this season?

You don't. But if you follow the NFL the chances are you read me online every day. Now that's a hoot.

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