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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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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On Howsam

Some thoughts on Bob Howsam, on day after his death:

It is not a strretch to say that the Reds began sliding to shape they're currently in shortly after Howsam left the franchise. Howsam's second tour ended in 1984. He left the scouting and player development departments in great shape. He had doubled them in his tenure.

The 1990 team was mostly homegrown -- Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, Paul O'Niell, Chris Sabo, Tom Browning, Rob Dibble.

But, by 1990, Marge Schott was decimating the scouting and player development. She had success by pumping money into the big leauge payroll. But that was a temporary solution.

The Reds began trying to corrent things in the late 1990s after Schott was forced to sell. But then GM Jim Bowden often reverted to the Schott quick fixes.

Dan O'Brien started to turn around scouting and player development. It's continued under Wayne Krivsky and the current ownership.

But the fact that it's taken so long to get it back to where it was tells you how good it was under Howsam.

By the way, Marty Brennaman just walked in and agrees with the above theory.


at 8:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well if Marty agrees, then I do to!

at 8:39 AM Blogger Sam Cooke Night Beat 1963 said...

Marty read a blog?!?

What's next? A Brennaman OPS tutorial?

While I don't disagree that Marge brought the 1990 title to Cincinnati with a largely unnecessary scorched earth campaign through most of the organization, it's worth noting that the entire game of Major League Baseball has changed considerably since then. (It could be argued that the economic structure of baseball changed more during the 90's than during any other decade in the history of the game.) This doesn't mean that Howsam (or a Howsam-type GM) couldn't win today but it seems that more often than not the teams in recent World Series have arrived there without any disproportionate commitment to player development.

at 8:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still amazed that Howsam is not in the Hall of Fame.

Red's fans (at least as far as I can tell from this blog) are not good at being patient, (Not just a reds thing)

When was the last time that we have had as much Minor League talent as we have now. I believe that Wayne is in the process of making us a club that can produce the level of homegrown talent as we had in 1990. We just need to be patient with the process. Our farm did not get into such a pathetic position over night ant it takes time to rebuild it.

at 8:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can only hope for a Brenneman OPS tutorial. He needs it bad.

at 9:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howsam was a great GM and gave us a team in the 70s that we still can be proud of. But in the end he made a horrible mistake when he turned over his job to Dick Wagner.

at 9:03 AM Anonymous Ben said...

I agreed with you from the start. My youth makes me unfamiliar with much of that situation, but I do trust you as a conveyor of truth when it comes to baseball.

You don't need Marty to justify your thesis. But I'll agree with anonymous, is Marty says it, it must be true. Now all you need is Hal McCoy on your side and it will transform from contention to absolute fact.

You have the best blog though. Keep sharing the knowledge.

at 9:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunn, who is in his walk year will put up MVP numbers this year

I hope Marty agrees

at 9:33 AM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

Rockies were pretty much home grown. Red Sox this year got major contributions to their run. Even Beckett and Lowell were obtained because of the depth of BoSox farm system.

Even the first few of the most recent Yankee World Series titles were won with a good portion of home grown players. But they also made a couple of key free agents signings/trades to coincide with the home grown players. A nod to the Howsam blue print.

There is a interesting article in the last Baseball America by Peter Gammons in which he talks about how most of the contending teams in this decade have not needed to overhaul their rosters to make them competitive.

You can't dismiss the need to develop and strengthen your farm system. I think it's the best way for the Reds to get headed in the right direction.

at 9:01 AM Blogger respectit said...

This is the first and last time I read this blog.Come on so called fans. John Fay couldn't hold Earl Lawson,Hal McCoy,Ritter Collett, etc. jockstraps. He is a wannabe.Has he or Marty EVER worn a jockstrap? Marty knows what he hears. Does a great job as a broadcaster though. He is far from an expert in evaluation of talent,skills, etc. He is a huge frontrunner. Does not relate to struggles of the game. Do players make too much money? Yes (some)Do John Fay and Marty talk or blog way too much about things they are really not very knowledegable about? Yes, yes and yes. I got on this to get information about Reds. Please John do us all a favor and write about something you are a little more qualified for. I know you are reading this. Like I said 1st and last time here for me. Thanks for listening everyone.

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