Krvisky Discusess Decisions with McCoy

In an article written by Hal McCoy with the Dayton Daily News, former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky discusses some of his decisions that he made during his tenure with the Reds.

While most of the quotes don’t represent any groundbreaking news for those who follow the team closely, one did stand out as a possible insight as to what happened while a member of the Reds organization:

“When I’m told before the season that I better win, I’m going to get all the pitching I can get,” he said. “Fogg was a $100,000 gamble, what we would pay him if he didn’t make the team. He made it so it cost $1.5 million and I still think it’s a good deal.

This is very telling of how Mr. Castellini felt about this season and how much pressure was on Krivsky to acquire players that would be contributors to a winning team. It seems as though the decision was already made on the firing of Krivsky and the slow start was a convenient excuse to install Walt Jocketty after only 21 games.

“I was told to get him signed, whatever it takes,” said Krivsky, who signed him for $3 million. Patterson was paid $4.7 million last year.

Again, the pressure to sign Patterson was another decision that was made either by manager Dusty Baker (Patterson being a former player of Dusty) or by Castellini who wanted to win at any cost.

In the article, Krivsky did take responsibility for signing Mike Stanton to a contract the Reds are still paying, and he also took the blame for Rheal Cormier, even though  he added the cavet, “and, actually, with interest we got $2.08 million.”

We are not absolving Krivsky by any means.  If you read between the lines, Wayne certainly has said more in this short interview than he did during his entire 26 months on the job and is able to do so without being constrained by the team.  He is trying to shift part of the blame on Castellini who stated from day one his “win now” mentality.  While it is good to have a positive outlook on the future of a multi-million dollar investment so that investment continues to grow, Castellini shouldn’t be totally immune to criticism either.

Castellini hasn’t reached the level of Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, nor the tyrannical nature of the Steinbrenner family in New York, but when you set the bar too high and expect results to be immediate, you end up putting more pressure on yourself.  When this happens, you make rash decisions based on expectations of fans that hear those words.  As Buster Olney wrote in his column after the firing. [subscription required]

Perhaps it was the closed door nature that Krivsky operated under or it really was the losing, Krivsky should, and probably will get another chance in a front office.

Advertisements

Bray Called Up, Coffey Sent Down

From Mark Sheldon at Reds.com

ST. LOUIS — The Reds swapped out a struggling right-hander on Monday for a lefty with a hot hand.

The right-hander, Todd Coffey, was optioned to Triple-A Louisville and lefty Bill Bray was recalled from Louisville to take his place.

Bray posted a 1.04 ERA with one save in his eight games for Louisville. He walked three and struck out 14 over 8 2/3 innings while opponents batted .133.

Thank you.  Hopefully this is the last time the Reds send Coffey back to Louisville to “work on his stuff”.  It is clear to just about every Reds fan that Coffey cannot be counted on to pitch in tight situations.  Now that the bullpen has become marginally better, one weak link can still ruin the game for everyone.

Good Edwin, Bad Edwin

Today we take a look at Edwin Encarnacion and try to figure out why he has become the media’s whipping boy when trying to find what has gone wrong with the Reds so far this season.

We wanted to take a look at how he compares to other third basemen in the National League.

Stat

Number

NL Rank

AVG

.282

7

OBP

.378

5

SLG

.553

5

OPS

.930

4

BABIP

.273

9

Edwin has done especially well in these categories. Only trailing the likes of Chipper Jones, David Wright, and Aramis Ramirez in these areas, and having an  OPS+ of 139, we don’t understand why Edwin has gotten a bum rap for his hitting. Edwin is also above league average in walks, on-base percentage, and slugging.  Even with runners in scoring position, Edwin ranks 4th among current NL third basemen at .278.

The negative stems from his errors and plays in the field. Committing 7 errors through Saturday April 26, he has almost reached the half way mark of his 2007 season total of 16. This would be reflected in his 0.68 WPA.

Seeing that Edwin is only 25 years old, we hope that he continues to improve and mature so that people won’t be so critical. Improving his defense should be his primary concern, but his hitting is something that will keep him around for a long time. For the time being, we back Edwin Encarnacion and feel good about him playing third base for many years.

Krivsky Fired, Jocketty Named GM

Today the Reds announce the firing of General Manager Wayne Krivsky and the promotion of Walt Jocketty to the General Manager position as well as president of baseball operations. Jocketty, a former GM with the St. Louis Cardinals, was serving as special assistant to owner Bob Castellini.

The move comes as a surprise, not a shock. Jocketty was hired in the offseason to be a special advisor to Bob Castellini. However, due to their prior relationship in St. Louis, this move was not totally earth shattering. Why was this move not made in the offseason when Jocketty could have had more time to evaluate the current team as well as the farm system?

Wayne Krivsky’s struggles have been well documented. “The Trade” with Washington, signing extensions to undeserving veterans, and generally being very tight-lipped with the media when speaking about his vision for the organization were all cited as criticism of Krivsky. However, owner Bob Castellini gave Krivsky an extension through the 2008 season (with a club option for 2009) on June 28, 2006 saying, “”We’re happy with the direction that we’re going. We’re very happy with…Wayne’s performance. It was an opportunity to show our appreciation with how much we thought of [Wayne]”

There were also positives. Finding Brandon Phillips in Cleveland and, to this point, acquiring Bronson Arroyo for Willy Mo Pena were probably the signature moves that Krivsky has made. Signing Scott Hatteburg and finding Josh Hamilton in the Rule 5 daft were also huge pieces brought in. Hamilton was sent to Texas for the stellar young pitcher Edison Volquez who has pitched brilliantly through four starts, something the Reds needed badly.

What we don’t understand is how can someone so happy with what he has fire someone 21 games into the 2008 season? Castellini said in the press conference today that the team’s slow start was the primary reason. We feel that the stubbornness and closed door mentality (not to mention long time Reds scouts Larry Barton Jr. and Gene Bennett quitting in anger under his tutelage) is what sealed Krivsky’s fate.

A Word on Jackie Robinson Day

While this is a very important remembering when Jackie made his way up the dugout steps that day, we feel that the media, when addressing issues such as race, the dwindling numbers of African Americans in MLB (8% is often the most repeated number), and what MLB is doing to correct the problem such as building academies in the inner-city and exposing more black youths to baseball, don’t always speak to the bigger message.

The media never addresses Latin players.  Latin players, mostly light-skinned, were the ones to “break” the color barrier.  While Robinson may have “been the right guy at the right time” for the African-American sector of society, Latin ball players from Cuba, the Dominican, and Central America were the ones who first endured ridicule and hate when owners began to import this pool of talent to the Negro League and Major League baseball.  What does it say when a large population of baseball players today are of  Latin or  South American decent, and yet the media only focuses on Jackie and African-Americans?

Given that the Hispanic population will soon become the largest minority in this country in a matter of a few short years, we believe it is time that the media begins to educate, as they have with Robinson, the country at large about the stories of Latin ballplayers.

To tell the story of baseball, it is important to tell the whole story.  MLB needs to recognize Latin ballplayers of the past (not just Roberto Clemente) like they have for Robinson.

Reds Prospects: Lehr Named IL Pitcher of the Week

Right handed pitcher Justin Lehr was named International League Pitcher of the Week ending Sunday April 13th.

In 15 IP at class Triple-A Louisville, Lehr posted a 6H, 1ER, 1BB, 10 K line.

During his first start against Scranton/Wilkes-Berre, Lehr took a perfect game into the 8th inning before surrendering a home run to Jason Lane. He threw 7 shut-out innings in his second start versus Pawtucket.

-Via Reds Press Pass

Something to Read While Stuck On Base

If you were one of the 32 (THIRTY-TWO!) men left on base while your team hit 6-35 (1.71) with RISP during a three game set with the Pirates, then here are some items of interest to read while you wait for a big hit.

A Dodger/Red Sox blogger writes about “Blogger Night” at Dodger Stadium.
(Can someone contact Rob Butcher so we can do this at GABP?)

Jim Armstrong of the Rocky Mountain News and AOL also hates sabermetrics.
Is this the back-up column for sportswriters who don’t have anything else to write about?
(Hat tip to FireJoeMorgan.com)

With the Pope’s upcoming vist U.S., MLBers who were named in the Mitchell Report will be absolved of their (alleged) sins and face no punishment from Commissioner Selig.  However, some owners and organizational personnel may not be so lucky.

Want to own part of a professional franchise?

A cool video from Uni Watch about Ebbets, a Seattle based company that makes vintage baseball uniforms.

And finally, we want to hear from you.  What do you want to see from this site? More Reds game-by-game thoughts? Statistics? Off-the-wall stuff?  Please let us know by leaving comments so we can better serve our audience.