October 15, 2006
Bronson Arroyo is the lone representative of the Cincinnati Reds to who will tour Japan with an exhibition team of American major leaguers.
In other Bronson news, he felt the need to blab to the Rhode Island News about how he can't wait to get back to Boston:
“I still miss playing in that uniform, especially when I turn on the TV and they are 10 games out of first place and there is still a crowd that is maybe more enthusiastic than any crowd in the game,” Arroyo told the Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune in a story published yesterday.
“You never know what's going to happen in the next couple years.”
You've got to admire the guy for his utter lack of worry about alienating the fans for the team he currently plays for.
I recommend the comments on Redleg Nation to see some of the alienation in action. Among my favorites:
That act is tired, and I'd hoped Arroyo would've gotten it out of his system after the year he had in Cincinnati.
Arroyo's at his peak, so trade him and let him go back east. Doesn't want to be in Cincinnati? So good-bye!
And the best in my book…
Hey, Bronson! Obviously the Red Sox didn't want you. Sell the house and stop living in the past, man. At least the sun shines in Cincinnati.
October 15, 2006
Now that the A's are out of the postseason after losing in the second round, I think that Michael Lewis should re-release Moneyball with a new subtitle: “Billy Beane's Step-by-Step Guide to Winning the First Round of the Postseason in Just Eight Simple Years.”
There's no doubt that the A's have had a prodigious number of wins with the resources they've had in the Moneyball era. But what has it gotten them? A baseball team is an entertainment business; a group of professionals putting on a show while patrons spend money on concessions and souvenir t-shirts. This team, despite their unlikely number of playoff appearances, has to put a tarp over the top tier of seats to cover up how empty they are.
It's an organization that's suffering from Dutch door action. They can't see the forest for the trees: they're so concerned with putting together 90 wins a season that they aren't noticing that they had less than 2 million visitors during the regular season. But at the same time, they can't see the trees for the forest: they're so dependent on the aggregate in their playing philosophy that they can't win when it actually matters.
I'm afraid that this is what Wayne Krivsky is trying to do to the Reds. Reds fans have been clamoring for a winning team, and rightfully so. Cincinnati is a baseball organization with a proud tradition that the team has not been living up to for the last few years. But at what cost will we win?
Who's your favorite Red? The one you actually hope to see when you go to the ballpark. Chances are, it's Ken Griffey, Jr., Ryan Freel, or Adam Dunn. Now, why is that your favorite Red? Be honest: it's not because of his win-shares, is it? These are likable characters who also have the ability to put a charge into a game with a well-placed fantastic play.
So, would you rather have a team that's fun but can't win or a boring team that makes it to the postseason?
I want both. The teams that are a success--not just division winners, but also winners of the hearts of fans--are exciting as well as effective. And that's what it's going to take to save the Reds from covering the Red Level with a tarp.