September 29, 2011
After a season that showed the Cincinnati Reds general manager had less cajones than Wayne Krivsky did when he pulled off the Trade–and yes, I’m referring somewhat positively to that travesty–Cincinnati Enquirer reporter John Erardi filed an excellent report about what the Reds should consider doing this off-season.
The question for the Reds this offseason is how to compete next year with an $85 million payroll.
Toward that end, they must 1.) Play the odds, and 2.) Make sure the entire organization is on board with the plan.
Item number two is particularly apt considering the obvious disconnect there has been between Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker. That clearly has to be addressed. In a season where Baker refused to test out the youngsters in the final month of a lost season, you have to wonder if the manager cared one whit about the general manager’s plan.
In addition, the team really has to consider whether it brings back Brandon Phillips and Francisco Cordero. Both have been very good, but as Erardi writes, there comes a time for a smaller-payroll time where a cost-benefit analysis must be performed. For them, there isn’t enough payroll flexibility to pay for what a player has done. Both Phillips and Cordero have been successful, but they are getting older. The team should consider finding cheaper alternatives.
I’m not totally sold on Erardi’s arguments against bringing the players back. But the team should be having these discussions. And they should trust their scouts and team to make the hard decisions. Doing that has made the Tampa Bay Devil Rays so successful.
It’s a tough spot for the Reds. Perhaps the best line in the article pertains to Cordero.
Keeping the manager from having to think is no reason to re-sign Cordero.
Amen. Every part of the organization has to be rock-solid, and has to be trusted. Just because Dusty Baker has a weakness for veterans is no reason to drop $10 million a year.
Last I checked, his contract is considerably less than that.
September 28, 2011
So I guess this is it, then. It’s over. I barely noticed.
Literally. I was at work and my phone chimed to signal the start of the game. I had every intention of checking in on the Game Day, but the next time I heard my phone ding, it was to say the team was already on its way to the airport to head home. Guess they were in a hurry to get it over with.
It sucks thinking back to the beginning of the season when it really seemed like this wouldn’t be Get Away Day, but what sucks more is that the Cardinals are still in it. Those guys were the pits; even when the Reds were already starting to throw in the towel, the Cardinals were worse, and yet look where they are tonight.
It’s just frustrating, that’s all. I suppose I ought to hypothesize on how it’s the leadership’s fault, or bad luck, or the curse of Rob Butcher, but I’m kinda feeling like calling it a season.
September 27, 2011
CoCo Cordero, meet the strike zone. Strike zone, meet CoCo. I’d like for you guys to get familiar with each other, even get to be friends in the off-season, since the Reds are on a freaking contract extension frenzy lately and you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time together. Or at least near each other. At least we hope so.
Aside not related to the title of this post at all:
In other news, the Cardinals are going to win their game tonight, and continue the hope of overtaking the Braves for the wildcard spot this season. Oddly for the Brewers, they may be rooting, just a little bit, for the Cards, since if they take the wild card, then there’s no way the Brewers would have to play the Phillies in the first round of the playoffs.
September 26, 2011
When we were kids, my brother got the nickname “the tree” on his little league team for setting the league record for drawing walks. He didn’t do badly–taking a walk is good–but he just didn’t do a lot of anything in the box. Nevertheless, he did get awarded bases a lot at the expense of the opposing pitchers.
Since the last time I wrote, general manager Walt Jocketty’s contract was extended for another three years. You might see it as another case of getting awarded first for doing not a lot of anything other than failing to strike out.
I mean, credit where credit is due for giving away Jonny Gomes for big fat nothing and hosting the worlds’ largest game of musical chairs with Louisville, but this team was waving and screaming for two months before finally disappearing into the waves and Jocketty never took the bat off his shoulder.
But he didn’t commit The Trade, so let’s let The Tree grow three more rings (the kind a tree grows that indicates how old it is, not the championship kind) in Cincinnati. Thanks to this contract extension, Jocketty will be in town the perfect amount of time to play it safe and fail to bring in any more help for the entirety of Joey Votto’s contract.
September 25, 2011
W: Willis (1-6)
L: Moskos (1-1)
S: Cordero (35)
As has been well documented, Dontrelle Willis has been searching for a win for a long time.
And in his last start for the Cincinnati Reds in the 2011 season, he finally got it, with very little thanks to closer Francisco Cordero.
Willis turned in his customary 6 innings, 3 runs start, and this time it was enough.
The Reds scoring started in the 1st, when Jay Bruce drove in Brandon Phillips. In the 2nd, Devin Mesoraco drove in Juan Francisco. And then Paul Janish sacrificed a fly to plate Mesoraco.
Willis struggled in the bottom of the 2nd, allowing the Pittsburgh Pirates to tie it 3-3, but he soon took matters into his own hands. In the 6th, Mesoraco singled. Janish doubled. And Willis added his own double to bring both runners in, making it 5-3.
Cordero was brought in to close out the game in the 9th. Like so many previous times, the bullpen allowed some runs. Cordero allowed a run-scoring double to Neil Walker, and with a runner on second base, it looked like Willis’ win was in jeopardy. But Cordero was able to strike out the final two batters to end the game.
The win makes Willis’ record 1-6 on the season, over 13 starts.