December 13, 2006

Krivsky’s Got Some ‘Splainin’ to Do

General Manager Wayne Krivsky has done some strange things.

Since I haven't followed the sport that long and since I'm the kind of person who will give the benefit of the doubt well past the point any reasonable doubt has left the scene, I've regarded most of Kriv-dawg's actions with a baffled shake of the head and a muttered comment about how he must know what he's doing.

But the unexplainable nature of Krivsky's moves has been compounded lately with some bad blood. A reports in the DDN about the departure of scout Larry Barton, Jr. paints Krivsky as unwilling to accept input from his team:

But when Krivsky said he was trading another outfielder, Kearns, and a 25-year-old All-Star shortstop (Lopez) for an old shortstop (Clayton) and a couple of pitchers, “I told him I didn't like the deal and asked who was going to play shortstop next year, and he told me, 'I'm not worried about next year.' “

Of course, the appropriate question was not “who's going to play shortstop next year” but “who's going to play shortstop this year” but let's not split hairs. The point is that Barton was storming out in a huff, and not the Aubrey kind.

Today we get news that the Director of Player Development, Johnny Almaraz, is leaving much the same way:

“I’m not included in any of the discussions and, in fact, when I walked into the suite during the winter meetings Wayne and his people would lower their voices to a whisper or take their discussions into the bedroom,” Almaraz said.

Of course, the official statements don't breathe a word of any conflict, and by themselves, these incidents aren't really that important. People quit jobs in righteous indignation all the time. It's a daydream that keeps me going some days.

But add in rumblings from Will Carroll on Baseball Prospectus that Krivsky isn't “making any friends,” and quotes from Krivsky like, “You just can’t go with two catchers – you’d better have depth there,” and you just start to wonder whether maybe this guy isn't what's best for the team after all.

I'm not ready to call for Krivsky's head just yet. His moves, crazy as are, have sort of a mad genius feel to them, like maybe he has a master plan that absolutely requires a roster full of second basemen and entirely bereft of right fielders, and if only we could see his perspective, we would all understand his vision. And admittedly, he has made a handful of good deals and a multitude of deals that didn't actually hurt anyone.

But the time for riding those handful of good deals is done. Hear this now, because things have changed here at Red Hot Mama. I am no longer content to just sit back and watch in morbid fascination as Krivsky emasculates the line-up. If he has an over-arching plan for this team, he needs to share it so that we can understand what the heck he's thinking when he:

  • Trades Jason LaRue for nothing and immediately replaces him with Chad Moeller.
  • DFA's Brandon Claussen with no apparent intent to bring him back to the minor league team.
  • Makes signing Juan Castro to a 2-year deal his top priority.

Krivsky has to let the rest of the world in on his priorities for this team, because right now it doesn't look like he has any. Maybe his moves are genius, or maybe he's just throwing darts at a spreadsheet of free-agent names and signing whomever he hits. You make 100 transactions that way, and maybe you get a Bronson Arroyo, a David Ross, a Brandon Phillips, and a Scott Hatteberg, if you're lucky.

But luck doesn't hold out forever, Kriv-dawg. It's time to share the method behind the madness, so people don't have to go on just thinking you're doing strange things.

10 comments to “Krivsky’s Got Some ‘Splainin’ to Do”

  1. BubbaFan says:

    It sounds to me like he wants to bring Claussen back, but thinks some other team will grab him.

    A couple of years ago, Claussen was the Yankees’ top prospect. The fans were irate when he was traded.

    BP wrote an article about the Yankee’s history of trading away young talent. They called it…[url=http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3280]The Claussen Pickle[/url]. [img]http://www.bubba-crosby.com/graphics/pickles2.jpg[/img]

  2. Jeff says:

    He really doesn’t have to explain anything to anyone other than Castellini.

  3. Geki says:

    Okay, but then Castellini has to explain to the fans.

  4. Red Hot Mama says:

    Welcome, Jeff. It’s a pleasure to have you here!

    I think it depends on what you mean by “have to explain.”

    If you mean “have to explain” as in “is required by his contract to explain,” then yes, Castellini is the only one.

    But if you mean “have to explain” as in “must do if he wants to keep the confidence of the fans and prevent bloggers from starting a massive ‘Fire Krivsky’ campaign,” well then, that’s a different story.

    I think a General Manager bears a responsibility to the fans of his team, because without the fans, there would be no team, and thereby no General Manager. In the same way that a publicly traded company keeps its shareholders in the loop, a baseball team can be expected to share its vision with its fans.

    If he has a vision, I wouldn’t think he’d mind sharing it anyway. If he needs it to stay secret for strategic reasons, he could say that, too. But just pulling a “I don’t have to explain myself to anyone but my boss” isn’t a good way to foster good will among the people who ultimately pay his salary.

  5. BubbaFan says:

    Quite the drama today. The Rays claimed Bobby Livingston off waivers Tuesday…then traded him to the Phillies. Today, MLB stepped in, said that wasn’t allowed, and awarded Livingston to the Reds.

    [quote]”He’s close to the Major Leagues,” Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. “He got a taste of it. We like his athletic ability and durability. He’s a strike thrower and competes well. We think he’s on the cusp on being in a Major League rotation. He’ll be competition with our other starters.”[/quote]

    Claussen’s replacement?

  6. Red Hot Mama says:

    Claussen’s clone, I’m afraid.

  7. BubbaFan says:

    Not Claussen’s clone. His fastball is about 10mph slower than Claussen’s. :)

  8. Red Hot Mama says:

    I stand corrected. 😀

  9. KC2HMZ says:

    Still, Claussen apparently wasn’t going to be ready to start the season. Maybe his arm is really hamburger. I dunno since I don’t get to see the medical reports, but I’m sure Wayne does.

    I think he just cut bait on somebody else’s mistake (Bowden’s…they traded Aaron Boone and a minor leaguer for Claussen in 2003). Claussen’s put up a 1.57 WHIP for his MLB career, and this was his second major arm surgery. He wasn’t cutting the mustard, and the Reds’ pitching is already in a fine enough pickel as it is with Ramirez, Mercker, Milton, Guardado, all coming off injuries/surgery and possibly poised to spend more time in Doc Kreemcheese’s office than they do on the field. Hmmm…who did I leave out there? Oh yeah, Wilson.

    Not to mention Belisle’s back problems. That’s something else that has a way of coming back to ketchup to you again and again.

    :rolleyes:

    HMZ

  10. BubbaFan says:

    The Aaron Boone trade wasn’t exactly a success for the Yankees, either. He had that one nice walkoff homer, but it was off Tim Wakefield – basically a fluke. Wake serves up the occasional meatball, and Boone happened to be at the plate when he did. Boone’s bat was a big disappointment, and his defense was terrible in the post-season…perhaps because of the pressure. He was just one of those guys who melted in the bright lights of Broadway.

    I give him credit for admitting he screwed up his knee doing something forbidden in his contract, though. A lot of players wouldn’t do that.

    And of course, Boonie coming to the Bronx meant Robin Ventura had to be traded…which is how Bubba ended up becoming a Yankee. :)

    The minor leaguer was Charlie Manning. The Reds traded him back to the Yanks the next year. He’s had trouble sticking at the Triple-A level.