Reds Insider
From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

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, April 25, 2008

I'm back blogging

I'm back on the job. It's a been a very difficult few weeks for my family and I. As a lot of you may know my brother, Tim, died after a long battle with cancer. It was probably the hardest thing I've gone through in my life.

But you've got to go on. I'll try to -- with a healthy dose of perspective.

One aside before we move on, I want to thank the people at Mercy Western Hills Hospice in particular and hospice workers in the general. They do God's work.

As for the Reds, a little bit happened while I was out, eh?

I weighed in a bit on the Wayne Krivsky firing. I think it came down to some bad contracts, problems working with others in the front and Bob Castellini's impatience with losing.

But one thing that occurred to me today: What if the big-trade with Nationals had worked out? If Gary Majewski was healthy and pitched like he was capable of, if Royce Clayton was better than marginal, and if Bill Bray was more consistent? (I know that's a lot of ifs) But the Reds would have likely finished above .500 two years, maybe even won the division. Instead, they finished 80-82.

The trade that was supposed to fix the bullpen didn't. More roster tinkering was done that offseason, including signing Mike Stanton. You really can the case that the Nats trade was the beginning of Krivsky downfall.

And the fact that it didn't work was just back luck -- the case of Majewski and Bray.


at 3:17 PM Blogger Brian said...

Welcome back, John. Again, I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

at 3:27 PM Blogger Chris said...

Welcome back- My condolences as well.

at 3:31 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Condolences John, the toughest thing in life is to lose a loved one.

at 3:31 PM OpenID greggers05 said...


I am very sorry about you and your family's loss. You and your family will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead (especially when I read your column).

I would agree that the Nats trade was the beginning of the end for Krvisky. I am sure he will learn from this and move on to something better down the road.

Any word on roster moves in the weeks ahead? Any chance that the Freel trade finally happens? Any chance that the Reds win a playoff game again in my lifetime?? haha (I'm 34.)


at 3:55 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Sorry about your loss, John.

I personally don't view the Nationals trade as a bad one, and still think it has a chance to swing in the Reds favor in the long run. Kearns and Lopez have reputations for being good for some reason. Anyone who has looked at their numbers since the trade knows otherwise. They are terrible. If Bray and Thompson can help the team, then it's not a bad trade.

I think Krivsky did a heck of a job and got the shaft. For every move that didn't work out, he had 4 good moves. In fact, I'd be interested in knowing how he can be reached to let him know as much.

at 3:57 PM Blogger IndyCat said...

Welcome back, John. Sympathies and prayers for you and your family.

at 4:05 PM Blogger Mike said...


You have my sympathies. Its good to get back to work it takes the mind off things. How about you bring us some luck tonight. We need a win.

at 4:13 PM Blogger Jon said...

Good to have you back John!

I'm sorry about your loss, I'll say a prayer for you guys.

at 4:23 PM OpenID dudeworldorder said...


It's good to have you back. Sorry to hear about your brother's passing. I hope your family is doing well.

at 4:32 PM Blogger Tucker said...


I am sorry for your loss.

Interestingly, it appears that for every positive trade WK made there were 4 bad ones and/ or contract extensions

The trade with Washington was terrible, even WK admitted he was duped. Thank you


at 4:37 PM Blogger CARD said...

Welcome back. My thoughts are with Lori and you during the healing porcess of losing your brother. Love reading your blog and look forward to hearing you again during the 2nd inning chats with Marty.

Hope the current road trip turns the tide !!

at 4:37 PM Blogger robby said...

The Reds trade with the Nats was made to get the Reds over the hump and into the playoffs. It was not completed as a building block for the future. The trade failed miserably and there wasn't one baseball pundit at the time who thought the Reds made a good trade. John is right it was the beginning of the end. If Krivsky made 4 good moves for every good one why is the team so bad? It is the same uninspired team it was the day Castellini named Krivsky the GM. And only time will tell if the talent in the minors will ever develop into major league talent. Two years ago Homer Bailey was the next Roger Clemens. Now he can't get out of AAA.

at 4:37 PM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

Blessings to you and your family during these tough times. My father suffered with cancer for 13 months before passing and it is one of the toughest, saddest things you will ever go through.

Please pass this on the Bronson. "You are tipping your pitches!". If anyone here has tape of his last 2 starts, please go back and watch his hands closely. It appears to me that he is holding his hands/glove differently when he throws his breaking pitches then when he throws his fastball. Please, someone have him check it out. I know he doesn't like to watch tape but I think it is a must at this point.

at 4:54 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Sorry on your loss and the hospice people are fantastic as they did a wonderful and caring job with my Dad 3 years ago. Anyway,thinking about the Krivsky firing a few days now, a couple comments. 1- I think he was headed in the right direction with this team and I believe 2009 was the season he was aiming for to compete for the division title. This season was for close to or above 500 and I believe it will end that way come Sept. 2- The Jocketty hiring as advisor was the beginning of the end for WK. Castellini should have just let him go before the season since I believe one of his comments was he was hoping to get thru 2008 with WK before replacing him. The poor start accelerated that idea. Well he obviously had his mind made up in Jan that Jocketty was his man. Tough for anyone to work with your probable replacement looking over your shoulder and having the confidence of the owner. 3- I worry that the scouts, minor league coaches and others hired by Krivsky will be looking over their shoulders. Jocketty needs to address that with them ASAP as the draft is near. The minor league system has rebounded and a step back now could be devastating. Finally, the team needs to show signs of rebounding soon. In the Houston series they looked for lack of a better word "lost". The road trip will be hugh, a 2-7 trip would be a disaster. I have faith they will bounce back, but the west coast is never good to this team. I'll be watching tonite for a new spark from someone.

at 5:35 PM Blogger Jeff said...

John -- I’m really sorry for the loss of your brother. Nothing is worse than losing a close family member. It makes you appreciate how precious your family is.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

at 5:43 PM Blogger robby said...

Bronson may be tipping his pitches but it also does not help that he has lost 2 to 4 miles per hour on his fastball. What will the Reds do with his contract if he doesn't right the ship? I believe he is owed 9 million or so next year and the year after.

at 5:44 PM Blogger Chris L said...

I have mixed feelings because Krivsky did do some good things - see Phillips, Keppinger, Cordero to name a few. But there were way to many bad contracts. I also think he and Baker are to blame for chemistry. People can say what they want about chemistry but I have coached since I was 16 years old (24 years ago) and I have been a high school coach for 12 years. Chemistry is always a focus of mine and my teams have won 75 percent of their games in 12 years. I think he did Freel and Hopper wrong by signing Patterson, Hairston . . . I think he did Votto wrong by keeping Hatterberg and letting Cantu go (even though I like Hattberg), Bruce is hitting .333 (last check) with 6 SBs - Patterson .220 with 2 SBs (there was your leadoff man), hge brough in Fogg instead of letting Bailey learn. If it was good enough for Volquez and Cueto why not Bailey. We still have a problem with catchers and we now have 3 again on the roster which is stupid. Bray should have been moved up by now. Talking chemistry at least Cantu / Votto would know roles, Hatteberg and Votto can't have a clue, Hopper and Freel have to have little or no confidence and I think Bruce and Dunn were getting a long so well I think it was a mental letdown for Dunn when they shipped him down. There are too many things that needed addresses in the off-season than I am not sure Jocketty can do anything about until next December / January. Kepphas to keep playing every day and this Hopper DL thing is a joke. I am not sure Baker knows what the heck he's doing. He wants his boys in there (Patterson and so on) but that is not what is best for this team and it never was. I think Baker is as much to blame at this point as Krivsky was.

at 5:55 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I don't check every pitch on the scoreboard, but I saw Arroyo hit 91at least once two starts ago. I don't think velocity the problem as much as hanging breaking balls.

But, yes, his contract is a concern if he doesn't turn it around soon.

at 6:08 PM Blogger 47 beginner said...

It seems like the Reds have lost their way the last 30 years. 90 was a mirage much like 61 where the wind blew favorable for us the whole year. Who could not learn from a manager of all managers, Sparky Anderson. Base running, power hitters(who did not upper-cut like Griffey and Dunn), stellar defense and pitchers with guts. Sparky knew what baseball character was. He was not a psychiatrist, but knew what buttons to punch or they were gone(Ask Joaquin Andujar). Adam Dunn should have been leading the league in hitting. He picks up the location of the ball 20 feet out of the hands of the pitcher, but he wants to pull everything and don't forget his upper-cut. I've seen him go 4 for 5 when he was hitting the ball where it was pitched with a nearly level swing. But apparently the hitting coach didn't see it and he has been back to old pop-out, ground-out and strikeout self for almost 3years. That day he hit 5 line drives to all fields. There were no home-runs but a couple of doubles in the four hits and a hard hit line drive to left-center the one time they did get him out.

Where did you go Sparky Anderson?

at 6:19 PM Blogger Craig said...

I don't see what was wrong with the Washington trade. Have you seen what Kearns and Lopez are doing in Washington? Would you want those stats at shortstop and right field making $5 million each? They stink!

at 6:37 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

craig...I agree. While the Reds did not net any immediate returns, I was just happy to see those stiffs go, especially Lopez who appeared to always need a nap.

at 7:08 PM Blogger ST fan said...

Last spring (2007) the REDS had 3 candidates for second base: Freel, Womack, and I forget who. Brandon Phillips came available and WK picked him up and everybody asked, "Why yet another second baseman." WK's answer was, "Because he's better than what we now have." So why Jocketty? "Because he's better than what we now have."

at 7:16 PM Blogger ST fan said...

Aroyo tipping his pitches! If that's true, this blog has been worth it. Thanks to Ray Kinsella!!! If BA had been effective, the record would be better and maybe WK wouldn't have been fired. Why didn't the field guys pick it up? Baker, Pohl, Baco??

John, I do hope you pass it on and let us know the response.

Thanks again Ray K.!!!

at 7:27 PM Blogger robby said...

You miss the point on the trade with the Nats. It was made to correct the woes in the bullpen and get the team to the playoffs. Neither happened. Therefore, the trade was not successful in achieving the stated goal of making the deal. Or in other words it was a bad deal. At the time Kearns was still highly regarded.

I agree. Arroyo is consistently hanging the breaking ball, but it still appears to me that more often than not he is topping out at about 87 mph.

at 7:31 PM Blogger Pat said...

Welcome back and sorry for your loss, John.

I think the Nats would do well with firing leather pants and hiring Krivsky.

Plus, they'd probably love to trade Kearns and Lopez for Thompson now. Those two haven't done very well in DC.

at 7:37 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

My condolences to you & your family John.

Hospices and the wonderful people who work for them are indeed doing Gods work.
My mother had hospice caregivers for the last 9 months of her life and they were truly a Godsend.

Welcome back and Gods blessings and comfort.

at 8:04 PM Blogger PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

John, God Blessed You and your family.
On Krivsky,
1. Should have trade Kearns for Westbrook.
2. Should have trade Arroyo for Milledge and Heilman.
3. Never signed Stanton or Castro.
4. Trying old has beens to help the roster. (Santo, etc.)
5. Made a trade for Blanton.
6. Cordero, I don't know yet but money is going down the drain if the Reds don't turn it around soon.
7. Trade Griffey Jr. for Clements and Jones last off season.
8. Never hired Baker. Waste of money because he lost control of the clubhouse already. In the spring, Baker was toughed but now, players like Griffey Jr. is being lazy again. Griffey Jr. hits a home run and watches it. A NO No in my book. If I was the manager, Griffey Jr. would have been on the bench with me. I don't care, It's team worked.

at 8:23 PM Blogger Mark T said...

My condolences, John. Though I don't know you, we have this in common: I lost a brother to cancer, and the hospice people were the most caring and compassionate imaginable.

at 8:35 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

No one is missing the point with respect to the Nationals trade. Yes, you want all trades to pay didvidends immediately and that trade did not. I get that and so does everyone else.

That said, we unloaded some stiffs, Kearns included, who may have been highly regarded by a handful of Reds fans but has not produced since leaving here. Those positions opened the door for some other player's who have worked out nicely.

Krivsky made plenty of other bad deals but this one just doesn't bother me that much.

at 8:58 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Hi John,

We missed you, you really do a fantastic job with this blog.

Hope the Reds get better, if for no other reason than to make your job a little more fun and help you through.

Thanks for the hard work!

at 9:11 PM Blogger Monclova Steve said...

So sorry about your brother. I'm sure it makes everything else seem pretty trivial -- as it should.
How the Reds are doing right now, in the whole scheme of things, isn't really that important. As much as people focus on it, it's only sports -- not life.
Prayers for you and your family as you move forward.

at 9:22 PM Blogger reds fest said...


I'm so sorry. I extend to you my heartfelt condolences. Please keep your chin up.

at 9:29 PM Blogger Redsfansince72 said...

Hi John, I wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss and I wondered why you were not blogging and im sorry to find out that your brother passed away. My condolences to your family and know that there are many Reds fans that will have you and your family in their thoughts and prayers.

With the Nationals trade, i always wonder if the Reds would have been steadfast that Cordero was included instead of majic man (how leatherpants loved Lopez and Kearns) how diffferent the last two seasons woul have been??
anyway Thompson might be the hidden
gem :)

at 12:07 AM Blogger Redsfansince72 said...

Hi John, I wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss and I wondered why you were not blogging and im sorry to find out that your brother passed away. My condolences to your family and know that there are many Reds fans that will have you and your family in their thoughts and prayers.

With the Nationals trade, i always wonder if the Reds would have been steadfast that Cordero was included instead of majic man (how leatherpants loved Lopez and Kearns) how diffferent the last two seasons woul have been??
anyway Thompson might be the hidden
gem :)

at 6:56 AM Blogger Dave said...

Welcome back John, we missed ya. Sorry about your brother, that's hard to go through.

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