Thursday, July 31, 2008
My sources told me Dunn would be a 'fall back' option for the Tampa Bay Rays if the three way deal they were involved in with the Red Sox and Marlins fell through. Tampa was due to get Pirates outfielder, Jason Bay, in that scenario.
Well what do you know, that deal fell through. But by the time Manny Ramirez went to the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates wound up with prospects (suspects?) and Bay wound up in Boston, Dunn was off the market. Walt Jocketty wasn't satisfied with what Tampa was dangling in exchange for Dunn. And besides, down deep, I'm told, Reds owner Bob Castellini wants to exhaust all avenues between now and November in an attempt to sign Dunn to a long term deal. Many in the Reds front office don't want that, but have given their driven owner a concession: they'll wait to see how well Dunn reacts to Griffey, Junior's departure and whether or not Dunn can continue the torrid hitting streak he's been on.
My best guess, Dunn stays. I say this for two reasons. One, the departure of Junior (and Sean Casey, Aaron Boone, Austin Kearns and others) now has transformed Dunn into an elder statesman in the clubhouse. Crazy as that sounds for a not yet 29 year old, that's exactly what Adam Dunn is right now. For a team desperate for clubhouse leadership ever since the departure of Greg Vaughn nine years ago, Dunn has a chance to show he's got something in his game besides mammoth home runs and strike outs. Two, Dunn is a guy who gets comfortable in a hurry. He doesn't like change. Remember his little rant this spring about how bad it would be for the Reds to leave their Sarasota spring training headquarters. Dunn went on and on about how easy it was to navigate through that town, how he knew where everything was and didn't have to learn new streets, restaurants and things like that. It was a little window into the psyche of a guy who like predictability. Staying with the Reds is predictable. Mind you, the Reds will have to be competitive with the open market. But if the dollars come down to a three year deal worth $50 million in Cincinnati versus a four year deal worth $60 million, my guess is Dunn stays here.
But, his future status with the Cincinnati Reds is clearly on him now.
As for the Junior trade, I'd be lying if I said I saw it coming. To me, with his age and medical history, he seemed untradeable. But the White Sox are 'renting' him for about $4 million for the final two months of this season, cheap for that team if it leads to a pennant. They won't pick up Junior's 2009 $16.5 million option and they gave the Reds little in returnn (while making the Reds pay $4 million of their own money just to get ride of him) but it's a low risk move for that team. I'd be shocked if he becomes the everyday centerfielder. Griffey doesn't have that kind of range anymore. But I do think he'll contribute.
Reaction from around the country now, starting with espn.com. There's also some video linked with this story.
Meantime, cbssports.com columnist, Denny Knobler broke the story on what exactly the Reds were getting the the Junior trade (two mid 20's players, one of whom would have to buy a ticket to get into a MLB game), and now has this story on the trade deadline winners and losers.
And this is a terrific story from si.com's Steve Aschburner, who lays out a time line of just how a MLB trade is put together, leading up to the July 31 deadline. Good journalism.
In a way, Thursday defied the recent baseball paradigm: most big, blockbuster deals don't get done until the winter time. But the three way deal between Pittsburgh, Boston and the Dodgers brought some life back to the mid summer swap meet. And of course locally, so did the Griffey, Junior deal.
For the record, I will miss him. Like most of the members of the local Cincinnati media, he gave me a hard time, played me to use the vernacular. But it never lasted more than 10-15 seconds. Though a lot of fans in my town have a tough time understanding this, Junior is a good guy, who does a lot of terrific off the field work away from the cameras. He's a human being who makes mistakes, like the recent 'throat slash' gesture at broadcaster Jeff Brantley. But when you look at his whole body of work, Junior has done just fine. It just didn't work out here, too many injuries and not enough good players on Reds teams while he was in Cincinnati.
I wish him luck.
Finally, you have to see this. At the "X" Games, boarder Danny Way gave us a great, if inadvertent highlight.
Apparently, he was OK. Way came back for another three rounds and finished second in his event.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sounds like Adam Dunn will be around here at least until the leaves 'turn' this fall.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Think about this. On Wednesday of this past week, was there any one in the greater Cincinnati area who would have predicted that the front office would release running back Kenny Irons? Second round draft pick last season, tore his knee up in an exhibition game last summer, didn’t play a down of football since. The team flat out gave up on him, second round pick. And given Marvin’s drafts since arriving here, it’s not like they have the luxury to give up on high draft picks these days. David Pollack, gone, Odell Thurman, gone, Chris Henry gone, Madieu Williams Keiwan Ratliff, gone and gone. So to release Irons, whatever his injury situation is, whatever his affect on the 80-man roster is, not something you’d predict would happen. Miss Cleo didn’t even weigh in on that one.
So to sit here today and say definitively what your Cincinnati Bengals may do this season is just a guess. Injuries, injuries to players on teams they’ll face, weather conditions, sub par performances, out of the box performances, there are a lot of variables that affect how a team does from September until January.
That’s why, one of my favorite things to do, and I know this is revealing the geek in me, is to save the pre-season magazines and on-line prediction columns and go back a year later and see how right the experts were. They seldom are.
Nobody picked Cleveland to have the season they had last year. The closest anyone came to saying the Browns would be better was ESPN’s Chris Mortonsen, who said they’d go 3-3 inside the the AFC North. He was right.
Nobody picked the Buccaneers to win the NFC South, that was New Orleans’ division to win. The Saints finished 7-9. NFC North, the Packers? What are you nuts?….Bears all the way. You get the point.
To say the Bengals will go 10-6, 9-7, 5-11 at this point is just beer talk. It’s the kind of stuff you talk about while having a beer with your buddies. The guy who says they’ll go 10-6 has no earthly idea if the Bengals will be able to run the ball late in the year at Cleveland. Or handle Hines Ward in Pittsburgh before Thanksgiving, or go to Dallas and deal with TO in early October. If you’re running around saying this team is no better than 5-11 because of the schedule it has to play…and it is a killer schedule…well, who’s to say the Giants weren’t just a team on a roll late last season, or that Derek Anderson lived a lie last season and is about to be exposed, or that the Steelers won’t be able to block a doorway this year, let alone Ben Roethlisberger.
Professional football is the hardest game in the country to predict. That’s why the house, the bookie, wins every week.
So be wary of anyone who wants to tell you today, right now, the middle of the summer, exactly what the Bengals are going to do this year. They don’t know. When you pick up that magazine this week that promises the complete scoop on who is doing to do what in 2008, put it back on the rack and put the money back in your wallet. The guys who write the reports for the individual teams are a little too close to the teams they cover.
How good the Bengals will be this year will depend on a lot of things. They’ll have to run the ball better than they have since Lewis arrived. They’ll have to get off the field on third down better than they have since 2005. And they’ll have to have a very young secondary play like veterans.
But to sit here today, the day they report to camp, and say they’ll be any specific record, don’t listen to it. Don’t believe it. That’s why they play the games.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I don't know why the Peoria manager wanted to mess with Dayton manager, Donnie Scott. That's one tough hombre.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
They could finish anywhere from 5-11 to 9-7. Depends on injuries...to them and the six teams they'll face from the AFC South and NFC North who made the playoffs in 2007. Comments? Let's hear 'em.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
And then, there's everybody's favorite odd couple, Marvin and Chad. Our man Chick Ludwig checks in today with this, from the Dayton Daily News.
I give it five games....
Brett Favre rumors continue to boil. Now we hear the the commish is involved. Apparently, Roger Goodell is monitoring the situation closely. Where could Favre end up? For that, we turn to our pal Mike Florio, at profootballtalk.com.
I'd love to see him in Tampa. But if you're Baltimore and you've had trouble developing a quarterback since...oh, Johnny Unitas, why wouldn't you leap on this, for a season. Then, you've got Joe Flacco.
But when I get behind the microphone this Sunday morning on 700 WLW (XM channel 173 or http://www.700wlw.com/) I'm sure there will be someone who'll phone in to talk up getting rid of Dunn. Bad defense, doesn't hustle, strikes out too much, yada yada yada. Great, deal him or don't re-sign him after this season. Who are you going to get to replace him? Checked the Reds minor league system lately? Any player who's got a shot at playing in the majors is at least two years away. Outfielders? You really going to tell me Chris Dickerson is going to deliver 100 rbi? Ha!
The only 'fans' who don't want Dunn on this team fall into two categories: vintage fans who believe the true mark of a great player is someone whose feet fly around the field like Fred Flinstone's and get his uniform dirty. (Sorry, there was only one Pete Rose.) Or....fans who live in their parents' basement and bang away on a computer about sabermetrics.
There, I said it.
If Bob Castellini and his rear gunner Walt Jocketty want to trade Dunn, they'll spend the $14-15 million they'll save by doing that, trying to replace his numbers.
What say you?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Henry is a coach killer. That's someone you count on during the week, put plays in for during the week and then get burned on Sunday's when the player doesn't show up, or can't play because he's suspended. Good riddance.
Lewis was speaking at the team's annual media luncheon. That was today, at Paul Brown Stadium. Some of the other headlines: Lewis vows his defense will cut down on explosive plays this season and that the team will run the ball better and more often than in seasons past.
Heard that before....
According to the NY Daily News, the Mets play by play announcers didn't care for Barry Larkin's speech Saturday night at his Reds Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.
You think maybe because Larkin turned down a trade to the Mets in 2000 (his contractual right given his "10-5" status), that has something to do with their ire?
Monday, July 21, 2008
The Bengals report to camp this Sunday and their first two workouts will be one week from today. Chris Henry remains suspended, by the NFL, and unemployed. But his agent hinted last week that the Bengals may be interested in bringing him back. Which led the immensely talented Peter King to deliver one of the all time great quotes in his Monday Morning Quarterback column on si.com. You'll have to scroll into a good story on how Jason Taylor wound up with the Redskins. But it's worth it.
Personally, I'd be in favor of eviction from a county financed stadium if they brought Henry back.
Chad Johnson said today in an espn.com chat that it was only 'business', when he went on several national radio rants this winter. Johnson vacillated between banishing team management, demanding a trade and throwing his quartrback 'under the bus'. Just business? Try doing that in your business and see if you collect another paycheck, let alone one for about $4 million dollars this year.
I've been a long proponent of the Reds re-signing Adam Dunn. Baseball Prospectus apparently is a tad more luke warm to the idea, but still suggests, like I, that Dunn's numbers would be difficult for a team like the Reds to replicate.
Well, this is pretty random. Guy runs out of the stands, half naked, at a soccer match in Moscow this past weekend. And the player who brings the dude to the 'authorities' gets a yellow card from the ref. Look at this!
Almost as good as the fight in the stands Sunday between fans of the Columbus Crew and some fans from an international club that the Crew was playing. Well, maybe even better than that!
See you tonight at 6 & 11p on WLWT Channel 5 in Cincinnati!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
As for Ryan Freel, his hamstring pull could eventually need surgery. And the prospect of not seeing him again this season, I'm told, is very real. Jerry Hairston, Jr. pulled a hamstring muscle in Sunday's game at Milwaukee. At the time, it was described as a 'mild strain'. But I'm hearing it may be more than that.
So, as the Reds embark on their longest home stand of the year, ten games that begin tonight with a 7:10pm match up with the Mets, health continues to be a team issue.
Well, at least someone other than Marvin Lewis believes the Bengals can make the playoffs this season. Here's Dennis Dillon in this posting from sportingnews.com.
Over at cbssports.com, Ray Ratto has some good ideas about how to 'fix' the various all star games professional sports foists upon us.
More as the day/night progresses.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
28 first round home runs? And some were simply the stuff legends are made of. Be careful equating what Hamilton did with what players do in actual games. But that aside, this was something. Deadspin had the video up this morning. But here is a piece of what Hamilton did in Yankee Stadium Monday night.
And the reviews from around the country are pouring in. Among the better takes on this is Jayson Stark's in his espn.com posting.
Even baseball lifer Peter Gammons was impressed enough to write this in his posting today.
And from si.com's Joe Sheehan, this piece of prose about Hamilton.
I've never, ever been a proponent of trading a player who has the potential to affect 162 games a season for a player (pitcher) who can only affect 25-30. And while I still disagree with the trade Wayne Krivsky pulled off with the Rangers last winter, it's hard to view it as anything but a 'win-win' for the two clubs. Edinson Volquez has a chance to be the 'ace' of the Reds staff for a long time. But think about this: how much better would the Reds have been if they had a pitcher in their system like Volquez, home grown, someone they didn't 'have' to trade for? Then, they would have had that guy, as well as Hamilton. Pie in the sky? Not really. If the Reds had drafted Tim Lincecum in 2006 instead of Drew Stubbs, they'd have had had exactly that situation. Lincecum has already won 10 game this season. Stubbs, an outfielder, is stuck in "AA"
Our pal Ryan Parker, the sports songwriter is at it again. Check out his latest video about the reluctant retiree, Brett Favre. Make sure you 'click' next to the speaker icon on the right so you can listen.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Pat Todd and Brian Volpenheim will be the subjects of two stories in our Channel 5 O-Zone (Olympic Zone, come on!!!) specials next month.
But...I thought you'd like to see this piece of video of me, walking away from a rather embarrassing episode at the US Rowing center in Princeton, New Jersey last week.
I had just returned from being squired around a county Lake in New Jersey, watching Pat Todd practice with his Olympic team mates. I had one foot on the dock, one on the boat...and well, you probably know the rest of the story. I'm walking to get some dry clothes, trying to avoid eye contact with a bunch of snickering rowers. It was actually pretty funny...
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Lance McAllister has his “I believe” bit…good stuff, puts a lot of work into it. Most of the time, what he says makes sense. Look forward to it each week on his show.
Peter King, the terrifically talented writer for Sports Illustrated and a commentator on NBC’s Football Night In America has a weekly column that he posts on si.com called “10 Things I Think”. Writes and posts it every Monday. Love it. One of the first things I read every Monday. King has a long and storied history in print journalism. Really began his career here in Cincinnati with the Enquirer over 20 years ago.
So with all that in mind, here are some things I think might happen around here in the next few months. I was out of town on Thursday and Friday doing some work for channel 5’s Olympic coverage, traveling around the country. So I’ve had some time to think. Always a dangerous prospect with me, but anyway not I Believe or 10 Things I Think but perhaps, the rantings of a sports lunatic…..or what I do when I’m sitting at home and the TV is broken.
Off the top of my head, but here goes….
Jerry Hairston, Junior is this year’s Jeff Keppinger. Like Keppinger last year, Hairston is hitting everything in sight. Fastballs look like beach balls to Hairston. But the question I have is…can Hairston do the same thing in 2009? And are the Reds convinced he can, convinced enough to give him the everyday short stop role from here on out. And how badly was he hurt Sunday in Milwaukee?
And if so, do you part with Keppinger or Encarnacion this winter?
I don’t think another starting pitcher, or cheaper outfielder is the number one target for the Reds this winter. It’s a catcher. There is no major league ready catcher in the farm system or on the horizon. Of the every day eight, it’s the weakest position on this team right now.
I think the second most important thing for this team this winter is to find better bench players. This is barely a Triple-A bench the Reds have this season.
I think the Reds have a real shot at making a run at the wild card this season.
The key in these final 65 games won’t Volquez, Junior or Phillips. The key will be how well Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo pitch. Volquez could win 20. But after him, Cueto is a 500 pitcher. Harang and Arroyo will need to put up nine wins each in their final 13 starts. Tall order? Yep. Do-able, Yep.
I think Sunday was a showcase event for Homer Bailey. I don’t think he’s in their long range plans. They’ll say otherwise. But if Bailey can win a couple or three before the trade deadline, he’s gone.
I think the Reds might be nipping at the heels of the Cubs right now, if they had drafted Tim Lincecum in the first round of the 2006 draft instead of Drew Stubbs. Stubbs has wheezed his way up to Double-A. Lincecum iis battling Edinson Volquez for the National League strike out lead. Could you imagine a Reds rotation of Volquez, Lincedum, Cueto, Harang and Arroyo?
Would the Reds have traded away Josh Hamilton if they had drafted Lincecum in 2006?
I don’t think the Reds are going to trade Adam Dunn or Ken Griffey, Junior. I think they re-sign Dunn and I think Junior takes it to the ranch after this year.
I think the Bengals can win the AFC North, with an 8-8 record. I don’t think any team in the North will be any better than 9-7. You’ve seen the schedule, right?
I don’t think the Bengals have upgraded their defense all that much.
But I think Keith Rivers is going to be a good player for a long time in the NFL
The biggest problem for the Bengals this season isn’t going to be Chad Johnson. It’s going to be running the ball. And the biggest problem is going to be an offensive line that has protected Carson Palmer well the last two years, but hasn’t shown lately that it can run block.
I think anyone who believes Marvin Lewis is on the ‘hot seat’ is delusional.
I think the Cleveland Browns will have one of the best offensive lines in football this season. And I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs.
I think the Colts will get caught by the Jags in the AFC South this season, I think the Patriots reign in the AFC is over. Watch out for the Titans. I don’t think the Ravens will suck.
I think Brett Favre will be the starting quarterback, of the Minnesota Vikings.
I don’t think Sean Miller has a chance to be the best coach in the history of Xavier. I think he already is.
Nothing will be easy for Brian Kelly and UC football this year. The Bearcats may be better than last year, but have a worse record.
I think Ohio State better take it easy on my Bobcats in week two of this season or I’m going to stop being a Jim Tressel fan.
I think Cincinnati would’ve been a helluva NHL town. The guys who owned the Stingers back in the day should’ve never taken the money and run. They should’ve given it a shot.
I think the Cyclones deserve another crowd of 12-thousand on opening night this fall.
I think the tennis tournament that comes to Mason every summer is a Cincinnati treasure. But I think unless you’re a hard core tennis fan, you’re not interested unless it’s Federer, Roddick or Nadal.
I think it’s a crime we don’t have a PGA tournament stop in greater Cincinnati.
I think I’m thinking too much. And if it’s giving me a headache, it’s probably giving you one too.
Monday, July 07, 2008
The love for Josh Hamilton continues. Tonight, we hear he's been invited to participate in the Home Run Derby next week at the All Star festivities in Yankee Stadium. Now, more props for Hamilton from the Dallas Morning News.
I'm glad Gary Majewski, the Reds periennely sore armed pitche is feeling better, but read this posting on mlb.com and you'll be surprise, perhaps, about what the Reds have done in their legal greivance against Jim Bowden and the Nationals.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
And we’ve got to be realistic here. Junior, his salary and his age and the season he’s having isn’t going to bring back all that much. The best strategy with Junior, I think, is to ride out this season, market the home run total and let him walk after this season. I still think there’s a place for him on this team past this season. But that’s in a perfect world, with no 16 million dollar option. Reality tells you that the team isn’t going to pay anything close to that, if they want him back and Junior isn’t going to take a pay cut to continue to play here. Less money in Tampa or Miami, maybe Atlanta or Seattle but not here.
We had Ken Rosenthal on this show last Sunday…Rosenthal, one of the better informed national guys in the biz. His take on Adam Dunn would be better to trade him and get some players with a professional track record than to let him walk at the end of the season. But he also said this…and it plays into what I’ve been preaching for all of this season. Better to sign Dunn, or at least attempt to. The theory? You’ll chase his stats with the money you save by not signing him. There is a dearth of power hitters in baseball to begin with, guys who can deliver in excess of 30 home runs and 100 rbi a year. There are damn few that get to free agency. Dunn is a consistent 40-100 guy who plays an average of 155-games a season.
I’ve heard it said that Adam Dunn is a luxury this team can’t afford. That the four years 60-million he’ll ask for this off season is too much. If it is too much of a luxury….and I doubt seriously that it is, then sell the team. You want to run with the big dogs, pay like the big dogs. The Reds have no one in their organization, who isn’t already at the major league level, who can pick up the slack with power numbers if Dunn leaves. My take, Rosenthal’s take.
But let’s say you want to let Dunn take a hike after this season, or trade him in the next three weeks. Who do you replace him with? What is your starting outfield in 2009? Because right now, if Dunn and Junior are gone here it is: Jay Bruce, Ryan Freel and….Norris Hopper? Lucky to be back in time for spring training. He’s due for Tommy John’s surgery Tuesday. Chris Dickerson? Appears to be the next 4-A player in the Reds system. You want to trade for a starting outfielder or a major league ready minor leaguer? Who would you trade? It would appear to me, the asking price is Ednison Volquez, since that’s what it took to get him away from Texas.
So if you want Adam Dunn off this team in 2009, then what is your solution to who plays outfield for the Reds in 2009?
Here’s who I think has trade value on this current Reds roster and it’s a short list: David Weathers, Jeremy Affeldt, Josh Fogg. What do they all have in common? Bull pen guys, even Fogg who pitched well starting last night.
Maybe David Ross, if you’re the Florida Marlins.
That’s it. You can put anyone else on this roster on the open market, and with the exception of Bruce, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Aaron Harang and Volquez and the interest will be somewhere between mild to ice cold.
And why would you place any of the above on the block to begin with?
Any baseball general manager will tell you that trades are the sexy part of their business, they get the biggest headlines and the most scrutiny. But the real work, the stuff that separates contenders from pretenders is good home grown talent, players who grow up in your system, They cost less, your searching is done the day you sign them all you have to do, as an organization is help them get better. Make an occasional deal to fill in the blanks and, if you know what you’re doing, you’ve got a contender.
So the trade deadline is coming. I think the best course of action will be to hang onto Dunn and try to sign him. I think if you want to trade Fogg or Weathers or Ross, go ahead.
But I also think the best course for the Reds to take toward a potential world championship is for Bob Castellini to bring some stability to his front office. Walt Jocketty your guy, Bob? Good, give him at least five years. Because all that firing Dan O’Brien and Wayne Krivsky and Jim Bowden for that matter, all that did was create instability at all levels, from the GM’s chair right down to the lowest bird dog scout in the system.
Stability in the front office is how you find the kind of players who help you win. It creates stability on the field. You might want to consult the Atlanta Braves about that. They’ve done reasonably well since, oh the mid-90’s.
Create that kind of atmosphere…and hang onto Dunn. I think you’ll be all right if you do that.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Meantime, the Reds sputter along, dropping two of three to the Pirates this week. Today, they demoted pitcher Daryl Thompson, who pitched so promisingly in his two previous starts. But the Pirates torched Thompson for seven earned runs in 4.1 innings of work Wednesday night.
And if you think things are getting better with Homer Bailey in Louisville, well read this in the Courier Journal about Bailey's night last night.
Meantime, it sounds as though things weren't as rosy as we thought with Josh Hamilton here in Cincinnati last season. The ex-Red unloads a bit on USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
If you check out my web site http://www.kenbroo.com/ right now, you'll be able to download my lastest "Broo View Podcast". I've got an indepth interview with Bengals rookie wide receiver, Andre Caldwell from the University of Florida.
Meantime, if anyone thinks Marvin Lewis is really on the 'hot seat', as this guy at msnbc.com does, they're sadly mistaken. Mike Brown, unlike Reds owner Bob Castellini, has no appetite for paying someone not to work.
Well, just when you think you've seen it all.....actually, I have seen this before....back in the early 90's when Tom Browning fouled a pitch off his face. But Michael Barrett has done it again!
What do you think? Do you think Joe Buck was right to take a 'shot' at what puts food on his table? Are baseball games too long? Send along some comments. I'd really like to know what you think.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Hate to say 'I told you so'...but...weeks ago, I said Ken Griffey, Jr wouldn't be going back to Seattle anytime soon. And today, in this Washington paper, further proof.
And the Bengals offensive line gets the spotlight today from our pal Chick Ludwig of the Dayton Daily News in this latest installment of "Ludwig At Large".
And our other pal, Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com, who also happens to moonlight for thesportingnews.com, says Marvin Lewis is #4 on the list of 'coaches on the hotseat' this season.
And the first three guys on the list are as good as gone right now.
Junior has been traded more than a bad stock on chat boards from here to California and now we’re hearing of teams with strong pitching coaches who might want to take on Arroyo. July 31st is coming, you’ll hear a lot more talk like this in the coming days.. Believe me, you’re sick of it now? You’ll be hurling by late July. But it seems to me, it’s not a bad time to take a look at one or two of the things that go down at this time of the year. Maybe one trade…
My son, who’s a live and die with the Reds, fan alerted me to something he saw on a web site this other. Someone had a discussion going about ‘the trade’. You know it’s a big trade when it’s referred to as ‘the trade’. Now for veteran Reds fans, ‘the trade’ apparently isn’t Frank Robinson to the Orioles for Milt Pappas and a half eaten bag of chips. It’s apparently not Paul O’Neill to the Yankees for Roberto Kelly. Apparently, it’s not the trade that brought Junior here. No, the trade is the one Wayne Krivsky pulled off with the Washington Nationals a couple of summers ago. You remember, the one where Jim Bowden supposedly fleeced him? In this discussion, the game was to evaluate whether or not Krivaky actually got fleeced or did the fleecing. Or if it was just a lose-lose. Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns and Ryan Wagner to the Nationals. Bill Bray, Gary Majewski, Brendan Harris, Royce Clayton and Darryl Thompson to the Reds.
Remember when the Reds pulled that one off. The were actually in a pennant race. I know, tough to believe, they actually had a pulse. The bullpen was the weak link at the time. It needed help. Majewski and Bray were supposedly the answers. So Krivsky dealt two of his every day eight players to get a couple of guys who’d get them a flag. Didn’t happen, Reds bats went into a deep September freeze, St. Louis won the division and the Series. So now, here was are just about two years later. Who won? Well Kearns is on the DL…just had surgery was hitting something like ‘180’ before he got hurt. Kearns, who you remember was demoted before he was dealt, demoted to Louisville for being out of shape, Kearns is hitting ‘250’ so far in the Washington part of his career. Lopez, hitting about ‘250’. Wagner tore his shoulder up, had surgery might be back in late July, he’s won a grand total of three games for the Nationals since the trade. He’s another one of Jim Bowden’s celebrated misses with first round draft picks. If you’re sitting in our nation’s capital today, it’s hard to look at this trade and call it a win. But remember when Majewski showed up here with a bad shoulder Remember when we found out that he had a cortisone shot just days before the deal? Remember how we howled that Wayne Krivsky got fleeced? Well, we should’ve. Because of all the players the Reds got from the Nationals in that deal, Majewski was the center of the deal.
I think it’s fair to call Majewski’s life as a Cincinnati Red ineffective, at best. The mess he made on Friday night in Cleveland is pretty much what he’s done since arriving. Or when he wasn’t working out a demotion to Louisviille. Bray has been both good, bad and hurt. He was the second piece in that deal and was thought of, at one time, to be the Reds future closer. That’s not going to happen. But Bray may turn out to be a serviceable middle relief guy. Clayton, at last check is out of baseball. Bounced around after leaving here, wound up with the Red Sox last year, won a world series ring. Harris was released. Went to the Devil Rays, when they were still the Devil Rays….flirted with 300 there. He’s now the twins second baseman, hitting about ‘250’. On the surface, this would seem to be one of the least significant trades in the history of baseball. Not even a lose-lose, more of a who cares-who cares.
Except for Daryl Thompson, who again acquitted himself well on Friday night in Cleveland. Thompson has not had two solid starts, both on the road since his call up from triple-a. and Thompson only had three starts in Louisville before getting the call to come here. Thompson was a throw in, an after thought perhaps by the Nationals but someone, apparently, that Krivsky wanted. Once again, we see evidence that Krivksy may have known what he was doing and that Bowden still has no clue when it comes to evaluating pitching. Thompson was a single-a pitcher and not a very good one, statistically when the deal went down. And yet, he’s now become the central piece, the only ‘win’ in that deal, that in 2006 was the most talked about deal of that season. I think this good to keep in mind as we move closer to the trading deadline. With the Reds dead in the water and even a winning record a reach, trades are coming. It may not be the blockbuster kind. The one in 2006 wasn’t really that….and those kind of deals usually happen only in the off season. But you will see some players hit the proverbial bricks.
So be careful when you assess the work of Walt Jocketty. Be easier on him than you were on Krivsky. Surely, when and if Dunn or Junior or David Weathers or Paul Bako get the gate, surely there will be some names coming this way you won’t be all that familiar with. Or names that might look like complete busts on their way here. Remember, then the name Daryl Thompson. It can happen. It already did…..