Tagged: cincinnati

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. 

patterson.jpg

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 Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of the Baltimore  Orioles

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The Good


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Unless you are a big fan
of the game, it was very easy to miss the minor move the Baltimore Orioles made
on Tuesday morning.  
Lou Montanez, a
Double-A outfielder, was called up to the Show (Anaheim, actually).  Montanez was it tearing up in Bowie (AA),
and was among the league leaders in many offensive categories:

 

In 116 games:

10th in
.OBP    (.385)

1st in HR            (26)

1st in RBI            (97)

1st in .SLG            (.601)

1st in .OPS            (.986)

1st in TB            (271)

 

More like the leader
in many offensive categories, but he fails to be the absolute best in getting
on base.  No matter, Montanez(pictured) really
earned this call-up.  He earned it way
more than
Chris Waters did, anyhow. 

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Who
would have thought Waters was so bad in AAA, with the way he pitched on
Tuesday?  Wow. 

 

Getting back to Montanez,
if you were really into baseball in 2000, you may recognize the name.  Lou was
drafted third overall by the Cubs
that year, but struggled with the organization throughout his whole
career.  He could get on base pretty
well, but the power never came, and that was his main asset because he wasn’t
very fast.   Finally, somehow, Montanez
found his power this year, his second year in the Baltimore system.  

 

Montanez wasn’t in the
starting lineup Tuesday, but I hope he’s a starter in Baltimore rest of the
year.  I really hope the Orioles don’t
act like the rest of this season means anything. 
Dave Trembley needs to realize that Jay Payton playing everyday over
Montanez would be complete idiocy. 
Montanez needs to play everyday. 
There’s no way around that fact. 
Trembley might be right if he said that Payton playing everyday would
mean the O’s could win three or four more games.  But how many games the Orioles win this year doesn’t matter.  Montanez could play a part in the Orioles
future.  Payton doesn’t. 

 

I hate it when a team that
is completely out of the playoff race, still is focused on winning that
year.  All the decisions made the rest
of that season should be made to benefit the future.  Mark Shapiro is a master of making those decisions. 
Ed Wade not so much.  The decision of who should start in center
for the Orioles is a perfect test on how smart management is.  I have confidence the Orioles will make the
right move and play Montanez, but if the same thing happened in Cincinnati,
Montanez would be on the bench.  Out all
of all the teams, I believe the Reds have the worst management.   I stand by my statement that Brian Sabean
is the worst GM in baseball, but the combination of manager Dusty Baker, GM
Walt Jocketty, and owner Bob Castelinni is extremely bad, just in the way they
all handle the club.

 

In other good news for the
Orioles, their High A club, the Frederick Keys no hit the Salem Avalanche. 
Brandon Erbe (7IP), Ryan Ouellette (1IP), and Freddy Deza (1IP) combined on the feat Tuesday.   I’m not going to pretend this news has that much meaning, but it
serves as a metaphor on how the Orioles are a bad team, but are intelligently
rebuilding.  The Astros are just as bad
of a team as the O’s, but decided against rebuilding.  Nice move Ed Wade.  Now
your farm system is stinking up a cloud.

 

The Bad

 

You’ve got to feel bad for
Hayden Penn(pictured) I mean his 2005 and 2006
call-ups were disastrous, but he was 20 and 21 years old then. 

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Now he’s a much better pitcher, and was
having a pretty fair season at AAA, but missed his first call-up because of
appendicitis.  Then, was scheduled to
get called up again, but suffered a freak injury when a sliver of broken bat
hit his leg.  So, in his place Chris
Waters made the start, and well, Waters will probably stay in Baltimore, to say
the least.  A 5.70 ERA in AAA? 
Then he gives up one hit in eight innings against the Angels?  Whatever works I
guess.  Penn must be frustrated at this
point.  I would be.   Plus, Penn has 2.28 ERA in his last four
starts. 

 

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I originally was inclined
to suggest that the Orioles should move
Dennis Sarfate (pictured) from the rotation
back to the bullpen. I thought the
switch was stupid because Sarfate had never started in the majors before, and I
really liked his future in the bullpen. 
But after I looked at his career statistics, I decided the O’s were not
that stupid.  When you’re a team like the
Orioles, you can afford to experiment. 
Sarfate put up good enough numbers as a starter in the minors, that I
think it’s worth a shot giving him a chance to come into the rotation for the
rest of the season.  Of course, we’ll
see how he does in his new role, but I believe a starter with 4.60 ERA is as
valuable as reliever with a 3.60 ERA.

 

The Ugly

 

We are now at “ugly”, so I
will start off by talking about the Orioles’ worst move this season.  The worst move was the move that was never
made.  Nobody was traded at the deadline!  Sherrill was not traded, Millar wasn’t
traded, Payton wasn’t traded, Bradford wasn’t traded, and Mora wasn’t
traded!  I understand that most of these
players (except Sherrill) were past their prime and getting overpaid, but all
that means is the Orioles can’t get as many or less coveted prospects.  If you read my previous entry “Sherrill Must
Go”, then you know why I felt the Orioles should get rid of Sherrill.  But Bradford, Mora, Millar and Payton also
should have been dealt for prospects. 
None of these players have any meaning for the Orioles in the future. 

 

Because of almacphail.jpgl these
player’s salaries, the prospects involved in the deal would not be
top-notc
h.  The deal would be simple,
though.  The more the Orioles pay of the
remaining money owed to the traded player, the better prospects Baltimore
acquires. For example, if Kevin Millar was traded to the Mets, and the Oriole
s
paid 70% of the money remaining on Millar’s contract, the O’s could acquire an
average AA level prospect like Shawn Bowman. 
But if the Orioles only paid 30% of the money, they would get a prospect
more like Jose Bierd, who’s in A bal
l.

 

Lastly, my biggest
question to Andy and Dave…why is Juan Castro with the club?  I mean you have an 36-year-old lifelong
utility infielder that has a .158 .OBP this year on your horrible rebuilding
team?  Look, I’m all for buying cheap
free agents and plugging them in holes so you don’t have to rush your prospects
to the bigs.  In you’re a rebuilding
team the last thing you want to do is rush your prospects.  But this is a different case.  

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In AAA Norfolk, Freddie
Bynum, Brandon Fahey, and Eider Torres all are being blocked in the majors by
whom?  Juan Castro?!  I would like to see Andy MacPhail speak with
Fahey, Bynum, and Torres, look them in the eye, and explain why Juan Castro is
better than all three of them.  I assure
you, calling up any of the three would not be labeled under “rushing
prospects”.  Any one of these players
could be with the Orioles as a utility men for the next five to six years.  We are not talking about Matt Wieters, but
these guys still play a part in the future. 
It’s stupid to let them play yet another year at AAA.  I have confidence that Bynum, Fahey, and
Torres will all be able to have their .OPS be higher than Castro’s .340.

 

I wrote about as many
different things concerning the Orioles, as the number of times Jerry Manuel
has walked to the mound in the 8th an 9th innings this
week.  Oh dear god, Jerry, just pick one
guy to close.  My pick would be Joe
Smith.  If Kunz can show he’s ready, I’d
turn to him because he’s the only real closer the Mets have.

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Oh, never mind about that
Chad Bradford comment.  He just got
traded to the Rays.  Great deal for both
clubs.  The Orioles acquired the always
valuable PTBNL.

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Oh by the way, milb.com is
having a poll on the best bubble photo. 
Here your choices:

Matt
Dominguez

West
Michigan Whitecaps Bullpen

Dustin
Martin

Vote on the milb.com
homepage in the lower right hand corner.  I voted Dustin Martin, but they are all so funny.