Tagged: bruce

Queen City Stupidness

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In my last entry I said
that Cincinnati had the worst management in baseball.  And the Reds’ latest move (or lack there of) has convinced me I
am totally…….right.  First of all, the Griffey
trade
was a good one for the Reds. 
To give up an old veteran who frankly was not very good anymore, was
smart.  Danny Richar
doesn’t excite me very much, but Nick Masset
was a good acquisition just because he’s a young pitcher.  Looking at it from a Reds standpoint, all you
have to say is “young pitcher” and it is a good acquisition.  

 

But the move I am
referring to in the beginning of the entry is a direct result from the Griffey
trade.  After the trade, Adam Dunn
and Jay Bruce were the only outfielders left on the team that were bona-fide
starters.  Ryan Freel and Norris Hopper
were both injured.  Jerry Hairston
Jr.
(below) was thought to have the starting job in center field for two
reasons.  1) Jay Bruce would move over
to right field, where he will e
nd up eventually anyway 2) Hairston was having a
career season with t
he bat.  

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I wont argue that
Hairston is h
aving a great year.  So far
he’s had a .393 OBP with three home runs and twenty-two RBI in 58 games. 

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But I don’t think Hairston should be the
starting center fielder.  Why do I think
a guy who’s having such a great year be on the bench?   The Reds season has been so bad, every decision made from now on
should be in the interest of the future. 
With that in mind, Chris
Dickerson
(right) should get called up from Triple-A Louisville and be the Reds’
starting center fielder.

Jerry Hairston is 32 years
old, while Dickerson is only 26 years old. 
Hairston has always been a utility guy who can play the infield and
outfield and could and should continue that role.  Dickerson is the only legitimate outfield prospect in the system
besides Drew Stubbs.   As I said before,
Hairston could still help out the club by playing second base, shortstop, third
base, left field, and occasionally center field. 

 

Dickerson is having a
great season in AAA.  Here his
statistics:

G     .OBP      AB          H      HR      RBI     BB      SO     SB      SLG      OPS

94   .385     336     62    96     11       53      53       99     26     .479      .864

 

Those numbers are too good
for him to stay in AAA.  The Reds need
to build for the future, therefore they need to let Chris Dickerson play in the
majors.

 

But I unfortunately doubt
Jocketty (Reds GM) will do I what I suggest because he’s well, I don’t want to say he’s
dumb, but he is. 

 

By the way, what is Corey
Patterson
(below) doing in the majors?  He
has a .221 OBP!   He’s the ultimate
anti-Moneyball
player.  He never walks, and tries to
hit a home run every at-bat. 

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He
intrigues a lot of GMs just by his potential and speed.  But Patterson is 29 years old and I think I
can confidently say that you can say goodbye of any chance of him reaching his
“potential”.  He’s a bad player, nothing
personal but it’s true, and to think he’s the one starting in center field
while Hairston is recovering from his injury is staggering.  The Reds really need to take a different
perspective on running the team.  Out of
all the baseball fans, I think Reds fans have the most right to be
unhappy.  Even more unhappy then Oriole
fans, but that’s something everyone in Baltimore will deny.  I think there is no doubt though, who has
the nicer ballpark.  Reds or Orioles?  Come on O’s fans, you know which one is
nicer.  As for Pirate fans, I could
never be angry with management because I don’t think there is any instance in
professional sports where the nicest venue in the league
has the third
lowest average ticket price
.  It’s
truly remarkable and almost sad.

 

If I really need to
convince everyone reading this blog that Cincinnati’s front office is in
shambles, take a look at this
article.  Yes it’s true.  I’m sorry for all the Red fans out there,
but it’s not some cruel joke.  Watch this
video.  Bavasi was so bad as GM of the
M’s, that Mariners beat writer Jim Street forgot to mention the Richie
Sexson signing
.  How bad does a GM
have to be for a beat writer to neglect to mention the Sexson deal
when going through all the bad moves Bavasi made during his stint?  Really Mr. Jocketty?  The only way the Reds front office could get
worse is if Walt hires Dave Littlefield or Tim Purpura.  It wouldn’t even be funny if mentioned the
possibility of Jocketty hiring Jim
Duquette
.

 

The Reds also recently
designated David
Ross
(pictured) for assignment. 

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He was the
Reds’ starting catcher for the last two seasons, and had a really good year in
2006 for them.  Here’s what he did: 90
games: .353 OBP, 20 HR, 52 RBI, .579 SLG. 
But in 2007 he was atrocious with a .271 OBP and 17 home runs in 117
games.   For Ross, this year was sort of
ying-yang.  He had a .381 OBP but only
hit 3 homers.  He was going to be on
pace for only 9 homers this season. 
Yet, he still was the best catcher on the Reds, way better than Javier
Valentin
and Paul
Bako
.  I could see how Bako could
help the young pitchers on the team, but Valentin was having a horrible year
with a .294 OBP and one home run.  Why
would the Reds let go of the best catcher on their team and keep their third
string catcher who’s older than Ross and is having a horrible year with the
stick.  It doesn’t make sense,
especially when you look at Ross’s high percentage of throwing out would-be
base stealers.  

 

I do however like the
player the Reds called up from Triple-A. 
Ryan
Hanigan
was really swinging the bat well in Louisville and carried a .392
OBP.  He’s not a power hitter at all; in
75 games this season he’s only hit four dingers, and has 18 career home runs in
549 career minor league games.  He appeared in 10 games with the club in September last year, but is a pretty old rookie at
28.  That being said, I don’t see how the Reds’ expectations for Hanigan can be any higher than what Ross did this year.  I just don’t get why the Reds have
three catchers, especially in the NL, and why Javier Valentin is one of those
three, while David Ross is not.

 

Here’s some more
unfairness.  Homer Bailey was
sent down on Sunday.  But that is not
what’s unfair.  Sending Bailey down was
the right move.  He simply couldn’t put
it together at the majors, and hopefully the minors will help him regain his
form.  The part about this that is
unfair is that Josh
Fogg
will replace Bailey in the rotation. 
I have know logical guess as to why Fogg is in the rotation, and Ramon
Ramirez
is still in AAA.  Fogg is 31
years old, but he’s definitely not a part of the Reds’ long-term plan.  Ramirez is already 25 years old, so it’s
time he gets a chance to pitch in with the Reds.  He has a 3.35 ERA this year in AAA, and 1.98 ERA in his last 7
starts.  Why Fogg (who is 2-4 with a
7.98 ERA) is with Cincinnati, but Ramirez isn’t befuddles me.  

 

Another less-publicized
prospect the Reds have is Josh Roenicke. 
He’s in Triple-A at the moment and is plowing down hitters there.  He wields a .227 BAA, and a 2.40 ERA.  I think he’s ready for majors right now, and
he’s already 26, but the Cincinnati bullpen doesn’t have any odd man out at
this point:

Francisco Cordero: 53
games – 3.86 ERA – 22 SV (28 Opp) – 32 years old

David Weathers: 53 games –
3.35 ERA – 38 years old

Jeremy Affeldt: 60 games –
3.67 ERA – 29 years old

Mike Lincoln: 45 games –
3.51 ERA – 32 years old

Bill Bray: 46 games – 2.77
ERA – 25 years old

Gary Majewski: 24 games –
4.66 ERA – 28 years old

Nick Masset: 36 games –
4.30 ERA – 26 years old

 

Gary Majewski is obviously
the weakest link in the pen, but he is still is a good pitcher who bodes well
for the future and the Reds shouldn’t send him down again.  I guess it couldn’t hurt if Roenicke could
put more innings under his belt in Triple-A but he’s a large part of the future and
is another reason why the Reds need to trade David Weathers this
off-season.  He’s too valuable of a
player to be wasting away in Cincy.  A
contending team like the Cardinals would love to have Weathers in their pen
right now.

 

The bottom line is the Reds are a bad team
and they need to get younger and continue to rebuild.  They can’t stop at Cueto, Volquez, Bruce and Votto.  They still need to get better and younger.  Their farm system is in bad condition
despite what it’s pumped out the past two years.   


This last little thing
doesn’t have anything to do with the Reds, but I’ll say it anyways.  Didn’t any team notice what Carlos
Rivera
(below) did in the Mexican League last year?  I know it’s the Mexican League but at some point the
numbers start to have meaning.  Take a
look at these things of beauty:

G       OBP      AB       R      H      HR      RBI      BB      SO      SB      SLG      OPS

101   .511     361     75   148    16       73        70      63       3      .615    1.126

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As a GM, wouldn’t you just
take a chance on him, and see what he could do in affiliated baseball
again.  Obviously, Rivera was in
affiliated ball for 11 seasons
until 2007 and didn’t put up those same numbers, but those numbers above are
just so good, it’s tempting to pick him up for a very low price tag and
see what he can do.  He’s still a free
agent and is 30 years old.  Talk about
potential though.

 

Finally to put the
finishing touches on my entry, here’s a “Phunny Photo”.  I know that was lame.  If you have seen it before (it’s fairly
popular) my apologies:

 

“Those Rich Yankee Fans and Their Fancy Seats”
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The Worst General Manager in Baseball

Often I ask myself “Who is the worst GM in baseball”  Well, in my mind, it is a pretty easy answer.  The worst GM in baseball currently is Brian Sabean.   The Giants are just in a horrible situation with a bunch of veterans making big money, and a drained out farm system.  Basically, the only youth on the Giants is Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Manny Burriss, Brian Wilson, and Fred Lewis.  There’s a lot of talent in there, but as a whole, the Giants franchise is a mess.  It all is Sabean’s fault becasue he signed so many old veterans to huge contracts like Omar Vizquel, Edgar Alfonzo, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Rowand and so on and so on.  The Giants at one point had an all 40+ outfield.  Steve Finley, Barry Bonds, and Moises Alou.  So after Finley and Alou left, guess who replaces them?  More veterans: Dave Roberts and Randy Winn.  Then once Roberts left, Sabean signs Rowand to an outrageous contract spanning five years.  Rowand will be 36 years old at the end of the contract.
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Sabean continuously lost top draft picks for signing signing free agents.  Because of Sabean, the Giants didn’t even have a pick in the first round in 2004 or 2005.  Here are the Giants top draft picks since Sabean was named GM along with the overall number they were drafted at.  Yes, that 132 next to Ben Copeland’s name is not a typo.  The first player drafted by Giants was the 132nd overall in the fourth round.  Was signing Michael Tucker as a free agent worth giving up a first round draft pick?
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1997: Jason Grilli – 4

1998: Tony Torcato – 19

1999: Kurt Ainsworth – 24

2000: Boof Bonser – 21

2001: Brad Hennessey – 21

2002: Matt Cain – 25

2003: David Aardsma – 22

2004: Eddy Martinez-Esteve – 70

2005: Ben Copeland – 132

2006: Tim Lincecum – 10

2007: Madison Bumgarner – 10

2008: Buster Posey – 5

Most people know about how Sabean traded away Francisco Liriano, Boof Bonser, and Joe Nathan to acquire A.J. Pierzynski.  No other trade could be as bad as that, but here are some more awful trades made by Sabean.  Click on their names to see their stats, but more importantly, to see how little of Sabean’s acquisitions made an impact in San Francisco.

  • July 31st 1997 – Sent Livan Hernandez and Edwards Guzman to the Expos for Jim Brower and Matt Blank – Brower was a valuable piece of the Giants bullpen in 03 and 04, but you don’t trade a middle reliever for a top of the rotation starter in his prime.
  • July 29th 2001Sent Alan Embree to White Sox for Derek Hasselhoff– You can understand the Giants wanting to get rid of Embree in 2001, but boy did it turn out horribly for the Giants.  
  • December 17th 2002 – Sent Russ Ortiz to the Braves for Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez – Ortiz won 36 games in his two years with Braves, while Moss did nothing for the Giants.  Valdez could be a good reliever for the Giants but I doubt he will ever win 21 games.
  • November 14th 2003 –  Sent Francisco Liriano, Boof Bonser, and Joe Nathan to the Twins for A.J. Pierzynski – Oh boy, Oh Boy.  Sabean will never get over this, and another bad part about this move is, not only did the Giants get ripped off in talent but they also got ripped off in money.  Pierzynski enjoyed the worst year in his career in his only year in SF.  He made 3 and a half million that year too.
  • July 22nd 2006 – Sent Jeremy Accardo to the Blue Jays for Shea Hillenbrand and Vinnie Chulk – Chulk was an OK middle man for the Giants but Jeremy Accardo is a future closer, and destined to be better then Brian Wilson.

Although Sabean is the worst general manager currently in baseball, I have to say the worst general manager that I have lived through is Jim Duquette.  Duquette always said the right things: “We need to get younger”, “we take advantage of the newest statistical breakthroughs like VORP, and RCPG”.  Duquette seems like he’s smart, but he never makes any good decisions, and also signs a whole lot of veterans as free agents.  Duquette was the Mets general manager in 2004, and the Orioles’s GM in 2005 and 2006.   Well, most of the Mets nowadays is comprised of players that Omar Minaya acquired or signed.  Duquette made a large impact on the Orioles, and well, look at the Orioles now.  MacPhail has done a pretty good job since replacing Duquette, but it will take a *long* time to get the Orioles to the Red Sox or Rays level.
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He was the assistant GM for Steve Phillips from 1998 to when Phillips was fired.  Shortly after Phillips left, Duquette criticized Phillips for the job he did.  Frankly, I’ll agree with anybody who criticizes Steve Phillips, but Jim, YOU were his assistant so you can’t be talking.  Duquette made many bad deals when he was with the Mets and Orioles. Here are some …..

  • October 3rd 2003 – Announced Marcos Scutaro had been claimed off waivers by the A’s – I’m not saying Marco Scutaro can make a wild card card team a pennant team, but with all the second base questions for the Mets the past couple years it would have been nice to have Marcos.  What did Jim and the Mets get?  Nothing.
  • June 17th 2004 – Sent Jeremy Griffiths and Dave Weathers to the Astros for Richard Hidalgo – Hidalgo did nothing but make money, while Weathers became the reliever the Mets needed so badly the past three years.
  • July 30th 2004 – Sent Scott Kazmir and Joselo Diaz to the Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome FortunatoYou can’t call yourself a baseball fan if you need me to tell you how bad this trade was.  Imagine the top of the Mets rotation being Johan, Kazmir, and Maine.  Heck, the Devil Rays even got the better of the two extra players.  To make Duquette even stupider this is a direct quote from Jim after he had made the trade and signed Kris Benson as a free agent:

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    “We’re getting younger and transforming our
    roster that a year ago or two years ago was one of the oldest in
    baseball.  Both of these
    pitchers are 29 years old, they still have a lot of mileage ahead of them,
    pitching-wise.”  So to make a team younger, you trade away prospects?

  • August 27th 2004 – Sent Dan Wheeler to the Astros for Adam SeussWheeler and Weathers would be huge in a shaky Mets bullpen, but at least we got Adam Seuss.  Yay.

Now it’s time for the deals Duquette made after Peter Angelos hired him to run the Orioles.  That Angelos is a smart one.  That must be why Orioles fan are staging protests outside Camden Yards.

  • December 13th 2005 – Orioles Sign Ramon Hernandez to a $27.5 million contract over four years – Hernandez’s contract is probably already labeled a failure no matter how good he does in the last year of his contract.  Hernandez is impossible to trade at this point and never really helped the O’s
  • January 9th 2006 – Sent Nate Spears and Carlos Perez to the Cubs for Corey PattersonI wouldn’t blame you if you don’t recognize the names of the players the Cubs got for Patterson, but you may soon.  Patterson has been atrocious for the Orioles and now the Reds, and has still not been able to shake the habit of trying to hit a home run every time.
  • January 22nd 2006 – Sent John Maine and Jorge Julio to the Mets for Kris BensonFor some reason, Duquette loves Benson, and is taken him everywhere he goes.  Although I don’t like Maine as a person, he’s pretty good when it comes to throwing a baseball.
  • June 25th 2006 – Signed Russ Ortiz to a one year deal – The numbers don’t lie, the numbers don’t lie.
  • November 27th 2006 – Signed Danys Baez to 3-Year Contract worth over $18 million – This deal was doomed from the start, Baez was never that great, and was injury prone.  The worst part is that the Orioles are still forced to pay him for another year.

Duquette has also been extremely unsuccessful in drafts.  He has only had the opportunity to pick in 2004, 2005, and 2006, but he screwed up on every first pick in those years. Here are his drafts picks:

2004: Phil Humber3rd Overall 2008 Stats
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Level        G        GS        ERA        W        L        IP        H        BB        SO
AAA          22       15         5.92         4         7        79        95       37         54
Other Players Duquette Could Have Drafted:
Homer Bailey
Philip Hughes
Stephen Drew
Josh Fields
Glen Perkins
Huston Street
Yovani Gallardo
Hunter Pence
Dustin Pedroia

2005: Brandon Snyder – 13th Overall – 2008 Stats
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Level     G     AB     H     .OBP     HR     RBI     SB     BB     SO     .SLG
A+         74    274    83     .334        7      46        2       12      49      .478
Other Players Duquette Could Have Drafted:
Chris Volstad
Jacoby Ellsbury
Clay Buccholz
Matt Garza
Colby Rasmus
Micahel Bowden
Yunel Escobar
Micah Owings
Steven Pearce

2006: Billy Rowell – 9th Overall – 2008 Stats
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Level     G     AB     H     .OBP     HR     RBI     SB     BB     SO     .SLG
A+         70    236    53     .292       3       33        0       22      65      .347
Other Players Duquette Could Have Drafted:
Tim Lincecum
Max Scherzer
Travis Snider
Ian Kennedy
Joba Chamberlain
Joe Smith
Justin Masterson
Colton Willems
Chris Perez

A sign of a bad GM is a guy that is unwilling to rebuild.  A GM’s goal shouldn’t be to get to .500 and spend money and prospects to do it.  A GM’s goal should be to win the World Series and create a dynasty to last for years.  To create a dynasty, a GM must build from within and end up having a great and large group of talented core players.  If you look at any dynasty in baseball history, 70’s Pirates, late 90’s Yankees, 70’s Reds, early millennium M’s, they all had a large group of players just entering their primes.  Those teams had those players throughout the whole prime of their careers. 

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All teams that have had streaks of losing
seasons have had GM’s that were unwilling to rebuild.  I’m not talking about bad teams like the Astros or Padres right now.  I’m talking about teams like the Orioles, Pirates, and Reds.  Somewhere along the way, these teams have had bad GM’s that chose not to rebuild and that is the reason why not any of these teams have made the playoffs in 14 seasons.
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Well, mlb.com, you should not let people think Jim Duquette is a good guy to inform you on key information.  Assuming that mlb.com is filmed in New York City though, Duquette should be careful walking around Queens or Brooklyn.  I sense St. Petersburg would be a good place for Duquette to retire.

I found this awesome video on YouTube.  Check it out.