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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, April 25, 2008

Talking to Jocketty

I just spoke to Walt Jocketty for the first time since he took over as GM. It sounds like he's in the gathering information mode. But moves will come.

"I think they will come eventually," he said. "It's a little early yet."

Jocketty is taking that approach on what to do about Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn. Dunn becomes a free agent after this season. The club holds an option on Griffey for 2009. Jocketty says he hasn't made a call on either.

"Not yet," he said. "Again, this all came pretty fast. I was getting to know the organization. That's something I'm going to listen to a lot people in the organization on before moving forward on anything."

Jocketty pointed to driving in runs in key situations as one of the Reds' big problems. That's pretty apparent. But are there things a GM can do during the season to change that?

"Hopefully," Jocketty said. "The other thing I hope to do is talk to players, get their thoughts on different things. Give them an opportunity to speak their minds."

Jocketty saw the club through spring training. He's been at nearly every home game and he was on most of the last road trip. So he's seen some things he doesn't like. But, again, he says he's taking a patient approach.

"I had some ideas. But I want to get the ideas of other people," he said.

That's what he's been doing since taking over.

"I've been very busy just trying to get with people," Jocketty said. "I had some conference calls and set up some meetings. I've got some (Reds front office people) coming into St. Louis. I"m being brought up to speed on a lot of things.”


at 8:39 PM OpenID bashbrother12 said...

john so far tonight bailey has given up 4 runs on a couple homeruns and walked a couple through 4 or 5 innings while thompson has pitched 5 innings 0 runs 0 walks 3 hits and 9 strikeouts do you think thompson could get a shot before bailey if belisle and arroyo continue to struggle?

at 8:44 PM Blogger Scott in NC said...

Good information as usual. Good to have you back. Best to you and yours.

at 8:52 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

I'm sorry but I don't understand this. Is anyone else getting a mixed message here?

Where has Jockety been over the last three months? He says, "The moves will come eventually and I'm going to listen to a lot of people in the organization before moving forward on anything." HUH? He wants to talk to players and get their thoughts? Are you kidding me?

Not exactly the inspiring words I hoped for coming from the new GM. I mean they may as well have let Krivsky keep his job for the year if it's going to take this guy some time to be "brought up to speed."

at 9:03 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Welcome back John and please accept my condolences.

I'm very disappointed about the Krivsky firing, primarily for the backwards stepping or uncertainty it causes. Wayne was learning on the job as any newbie would do and was improving. If Bob wanted a man with experience he should have hired one originally or kept O'Brien until one was available. Too much change is as bad or worse than too little. Independent, unbiased sources had rated the Reds system very highly. I agree that 'the trade' started the snowball rolling downhill. It's not the value lost in Austin & Felipe but the lack of due diligence on Gary. But it's the kind of mistake that one would never make again. Anyway, I think Wayne made other types of mistakes trying to recover from that one.

at 9:31 PM Blogger LongTimeRedsFan said...

The problem is Dusty. We all knew that coming in, as soon as he was hired. He needs to be on a short lease, and Walt needs to sit him down and explain some simple baseball logic and lineup policies. What he's doing and the on field decisions he's made so far won't get the job done. If he can't play by the rules....he should be gone too.

at 9:32 PM Blogger gannfan said...

John -

Welcome back...thanks for the info.

Personally I hope Mr. Jocketty does take his time to carefully consider the future possibilities.

I don't believe the current Reds team can compete with the Cubs, D-backs and AL teams.

Going to be interesting to see what he does with Dunn. Looking at the Dodgers signing Andruw Jones must make one pause.

at 9:36 PM Blogger Joe said...

It sounded like Jockety wanted us to believe he is just getting to know this team. My take is that he may not want to move too fast because he might see some of the unfulfilled potential that others have seen in the core of this team. He wants to talk to people in the orginization? Not being critical, but what has he been up to the past few months? I think he wants to give it a few more weeks to see if things begin to click with a few minor tweaks, a right handed hitter and the Dunn -Phillips duo getting it going. Is it possible he feels Krivisky was not that far off track? Many baseball people thought this team was going to be a sleeper this year...

at 9:38 PM Blogger Phill said...

Bashbrother12, I think they'd let Daryl see some Triple A before skipping him up to the majors. Then again maybe not.

at 9:45 PM Blogger Brad said...

Walt, here's an idea: trade Griffey to Seattle for C Clement and a couple of other parts. A dependable, solid-hitting catcher has been a need for the team FOREVER. This kid is ready...have the M's tack on a couple of pitching prospects, and we're set.

I love Griffey...have since I was a kid. Truth for ya'll, though: he means more to Seattle, and when the time comes, he's going to Cooperstown w/ that hat on.

Write a good story here, Walt. And help the Reds, too.

at 9:47 PM Blogger Joe said...

I think they should consider calling Thompson up before Bailey the way he is pitching. Through 7Thompson: 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 BB and 10 Ks. Dominating AA ball, the way Cueto did last year.

at 10:04 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

I wouldn't expect much from Phillips unless a lefty is pitching. He didn't do anything against right handers in 2007.

at 10:09 PM Blogger NVreds said...

haha people on here are hilarious.

your complaining about jocketty needing to ease his way into a new job? wow, I'm astounded. If he decided to start firing people or trading players within the 1st day I would seriously wonder if he was cut out for the job. these things dont happen instantly. plus he was expecting to become GM after the year was over, this job just sort of dropped onto his lap. GIVE THE MAN SOME TIME, JEEZ!!

I defended krivsky a lot on here. After digesting this move, I like it. I read some stuff about jocketty's history on mlbtraderumors.com (its still on there, good material) and i realize instead of a rookie (kriv) we're getting a vet, and for this kind of job age/experience is a good thing.

krivsky did a great job for someone without any experience, and this organization will see the benefits for years to come. Jocketty however will work with what we have way better than kriv would have. Bob C had this move in mind the seond he hired jocketty.

please people, realize this is a hard job and he needs to get acclimated 1st. There is NOTHING, i repeat NOTHING wrong with that. I'm shocked people have a problem with this.

at 10:13 PM Blogger Aaron said...

The problem is Dusty? LOL! Is Dusty pitching? Is he hitting with runners in scoring position? Is he making errors? Players win games NOT managers. Lineup is such a minor part of the game. Hey Minnesota's leadoff hitter Carlos GOmez has an OBP of .245 but has 9 stolen bases and MInnesota is a winning team. If anythinhg Dusty isn't afraid to try new things and is taking all the heat off his players and doing his damndest to get this team off the shnide. Anyone blaming him as the central problem is truly clueless and looking for a scapegoat.

at 10:14 PM OpenID bashbrother12 said...

i threw out the clement trade on espn message boards and the seattle fans said they wouldnt do it and their front office wouldnt either i dont know if they would or not but i think it would be a great deal for both teams the m's get a rf or dh power left handed bat in their lineup and we get a young catch who is mlb ready also seattle signed kenji johjima to a 3 year extension today so it looks like hes their catcher for 3 more years we should go after clement now

at 10:20 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I was curious about when Jocketty brought Pujols up. Pujols only played three games in AAA and never played in AA. Most of only minor leauge season was spent in Midwest League.

Pujols is obviously a special case.

at 10:21 PM Blogger Dan H said...

What was Freel thinking or not thinking on that play. The Reds baserunning the past few games leaves much to be desired. Terrible.

at 10:22 PM Blogger Joseph said...

Awesome. Freel gets thrown out trying to go to third on a perfectly good sac bunt. But hey, he was playing the game the right way. He was playing all out.

All guts, not a tablespoon of brains. I cannot stand that guy.


at 10:29 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Tonight's game is advertised as HD. A few weeks ago, they screwed up the aspect ratio and tonight it's not even on the HD channel. Anyone else having this issue?

at 10:51 PM Blogger NVreds said...

aaron is 100% right. Dusty can't play for the players, he can't pitch/hit/play defense for them. We won't know how good dusty is until like 1/2 way through the season. I havent agreed with every move he's made either actually I've disagreed with a lot of agressive things he's done, but lay off the guy, please, its the players fault.

at 11:02 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Dusty on a short leash? Are you serious? He's not been here a month, he's got a three-year contract, he's due $10.5 million. He's not going anywhere so enough with the Dusty madness and stupidity.

Trade Griffey for Clement and maybe some pitchers? Does the fantasy league mentality ever get a brain cell? How about Griffey for a AA and A player? The guy is older than Moses and moves like him, too.

Some of you must think opposing GMs are the stupidest people in the world. Unreal.

at 11:19 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I hate to say it, but Patterson would of had that ball in center off Molina

at 11:22 PM Blogger firefly118 said...

Where's Bruce

Where's Bailey

Where's this winning team

To many K's, not enough sacrafices, who is teaching these players to hit?

I have faith that Jockety will put Dusty' butt in gear, and will get the young guys playing.

Trade Dunn... I like him, but we need contact hitters!

at 11:29 PM Blogger redfuture said...

I, like Bob, am losing my patience; but mine is with the aggressive first pitch swinging that Dusty teaches. It's just mind boggling what these hitters are doing against this LH!!!

at 11:30 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Nobody would have caught Molina's ball. It was smoked and never got enough height to run under it.

At some point Reds fans should swig a dose of reality--it's not always somebody's fault when a play or other game goes the other way. Sometimes, ya know, the other team does something to win, like hitting in the clutch or making good pitches.

at 11:32 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Lineup is such a minor part of the game. Hey Minnesota's leadoff hitter Carlos GOmez has an OBP of .245 but has 9 stolen bases and MInnesota is a winning team.

Wow, so he was on base 9 times this year and stole every single time. Yeah, I'm sure his 9 steals are the sole reason that the Twins have a winning record. ;)

Lineup does matter. Phillips is sitting tonight against a lefty, and he hit .340 against them last year. Not good.

at 11:39 PM OpenID PJFan821 said...

The Reds offense is PATHETIC. Can anyone hit? Besides Harang?

at 11:39 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

And Freel strikes out on a pitch that would have hit a lefty in the shoulder.

at 11:45 PM Blogger Joseph said...


Were you talking about the ball Freel dove at and missed? Just curious, because I think even if Patterson couldn't have gotten it, he probably would've stayed on his feet and played it on one hop, which would've kept the hitter at first. You know, instead of diving for the ball and letting it go bouncing toward the warning track while the run scores and the batter goes to second.

The run was maybe going to score no matter what, but cripes ... this is why I feel sick every time Freel is in the lineup.


at 11:50 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Look, were not going to get anyone exciting for Dunn or Griffey. Even at the trade deadline, contenders arent looking for / needing a DH. If they were, they wouldnt be a contender. Besides, neither have post season experience (to speak of). Any team that wants to add them as an everyday player is not a contender, so why trade for them this year? Why not just wait till the off season and sign them without giving anything up? The word is on the streets, The Reds arent making it a priority to keep these guys.

Only way either gets moved this year is a salary dump situation where you get back the proverbial chewing gum and a box of cracker jacks.

at 11:56 PM Blogger NVreds said...

griffey for clement isnt even a fair deal. declining power hitter for an up and coming catcher (by the way a catcher is worth way more than pretty much any other position)

patterson would have had that ball.

freel, come on, you leave the base as far as the guy covering it, its pretty simple. that was one of the dumbest mistakes I've seen in a long time.

sanchez has some rise to his FB, lots of bats going under the ball/popups. adjust guys, please.

at 12:05 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Who cares what Phillips hit against lefties last year? What's he done the past two weeks? It's not stupid. With the midday game yesterday and a night game tomorrow, he gets 2 1/2 days off. It's smart to, you know, have an understanding of your clubhouse mood and players' demeanors when they are scrapping.

at 12:19 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Oh please tell us how Patterson would have caught Molina's ball when they had the batter played straight-away and the ball was rocketed to just right of center and never got more than 6 feet (sic) off the ground the entire way? That ball had no loft.

at 12:32 AM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Who cares what Phillips hit against lefties last year? What's he done the past two weeks?

A homer on Tuesday and a pair of doubles on Wednesday. He was just starting to get going again.

It's not stupid. With the midday game yesterday and a night game tomorrow, he gets 2 1/2 days off.

Since when is sitting on the bench the remedy for a slump? He hits lefties very well, there's a lefty on the mound, the rest is a no brainer.

at 12:37 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Dusty has got to improve his managing. He goes with his heart instead of his brain too much. Several times he has let the pitcher go back out there late in the game because he has pitched well but is behing by a run. His thinking, that the odds improve for the specific pitcher to get a win. That's true, but it decreases the odds that the team wins. When a pitcher is spent, he is spent. Forget getting him the win. Try and win the game for the TEAM.

at 12:41 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Aha! We see Dusty's wisdom of giving BP a night off against a LH! Wow! He elects to play Dunn when Jerry could have played for him. Wow! Wow!

at 12:43 AM Blogger Richie Rich said...

And there you go. Phillips homers off of the lefty. Amazing what logic can do.

at 12:43 AM Blogger robby said...

Dusty Baker is going nowhere and when Griffey and Dunn go, little or nothing will be gotten in return. Hopefully, the Reds can move them without having to pick up a portion of their salary.

Castellini better hope Arroyo returns to the form of the first year or that may be another contract that comes back to haunt him.

This organization is in trouble and frankly one can only hope that Castellini starts to learn from his mistakes and also realizes that baseball is not a game of quick fixes.

One other note. If Bailey and Bruce were ready to succeed in the majors they would both be with the Reds. They are not ready.

at 12:46 AM Blogger Steve said...

Brad is 100% right on his Griffey to Seattle comment. We desperately need a catcher too. No arguement here...excellent post.

This team is awful, boring and lifeless. Jocketty can begin making moves anytime. Getting rid of Dunn would be a good place to start.

at 12:58 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Sitting on the bench for a game (with an extra day's rest) has long been a remedy. Duh. Phillips was 6 for 38 over his last 10 games and looked awful Thursday.

Here's what Baker said about Phillips in the pre-game:

"I want to talk to Brandon, because he is a little frustrated. I want him to collect his thoughts. I can tell the way he is chasing balls that his concentration isn't there. It looks like he is guessing, 'This is going to be a strike,' and then it's a ball. 'Next time I'm taking,' and it's right down the middle.

"I'll just tell him to increase his concentration and do what he can do. He's not a power hitter; he is a hitter. He is a hitter with power. Anybody who can hit the ball to right field the way he can usually doesn't struggle for long stretches. Usually it is the pull hitters who have prolonged (bad) stretches."

And so Phillips gets a pinch-hit home run in the ninth as the pitcher is gassed? Yeah, sure, guaranteed he would have hit homers in the first three ABs, too, eh? Talk about logic. . . .

at 1:03 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

The organization really isn't in trouble; the major league team is just poorly constructed and hamstrung by some contracts. You could see that in spring training. Still, there's five months left in the season and for the most part they're getting pretty good starting pitching during all of this.

But there's no quick-fix because the Reds' spare parts are not going to bring the return to make that fix. Someone of value would have to be dealt because, well, opposing GMs are not as stupid as your average fantasy-leaguer.

at 6:40 AM Blogger Another losing season said...

No one is complaining and I'm sorry if that is the way you took my post. I just don't understand what I read as a mixed message.

Castellini mandates, WIN NOW! That's why he made the move. Jocketty's message in this interview however, is not one of urgency. I'm just confused. Why does he want to talk to players? Does he want to know what uniforms they like or hotels they prefer?

If you're hired as co-CEO, you can bet the organization fully expects you to be up to speed on things by your third month. Wasn't this essentially his postion? Does anyone believe Castellini never mentioned the GM postion to Jocketty and this job was just tossed into his lap?

at 8:58 AM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

I am in agreement that the organization as a whole is not in dire straits. Despite the current status of the major league roster, things aren't has bad as they seem all over the place.

I know most everyone is tired of point of the minor league system improvements as a reason of hope. But you do not construct a building from the top on down do you? You need a solid foundation right? I think we have one when the farm system is rated highly by most rags and experts.

But that being said,I will reserve judgment on the move to put Walt in charge until he makes a plan of attack and implements it.

at 9:20 AM Blogger Tucker said...

if the major league team is poorly constructed, the organization is in trouble. certainly when you consider the losing record over the course of the past 7 years and the high expectations

the major league team is by far the most important aspect of the "organization"

thank you


at 10:09 AM Blogger ST fan said...

What might have been:

OF: Bruce, Hamilton, Kearns, (Freel)
INF: EE, Phillips, Kepp, Votto
Catch: New
Starters: Harang, New, Cueto, Arroyo, Bailey
Closer: Cordero

Use Dunn/Jr salaries and trade value for catcher and #2 starter

Looks like a darn good team. Hindsight.

at 1:08 PM Blogger Middie said...

I know GABP is rather tight in dimension except for 404ft. in dead center, but how about just meeting the ball like Keppinger does instead of trying to hit a home run every time at bat. Rallies and RBI's are made with a series of timely singles etc., not homeruns. Also, since when do major leaguers just hit against a righty or lefty? If you get to that level, you should hit against both. And hopefully, Jocketty will blow this team up, because without it, it's just another lost season.

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