Monday, January 23, 2006

Talking about the Reds makes me slightly uncomfortable

Ok all you many Reds fans reading this, tonight's post is for you guys. New Reds owner Bob Castellini, who just took control of the team the other day, fired GM Dan O'Brien. Castellini was quoted as saying, "It's nothing personal against Dan O'Brien. But we're trying to run a baseball team here, and an Olympic decathlete doesn't really fit with our vision. Plus, those Reebok Dan v. Dave commercials before the '92 Olympics started to annoy me, and O'Brien didn't even make the damn team."

Ha ha ha. I'm very clever.

According to O'Brien, this came as something of a surprise. "I do understand that it's new ownership's prerogative to make changes and hire new people," O'Brien said in a phone interview. "I was somewhat surprised by the move. It's not something that was in my mind 24 hours ago." This is a very diplomatic way of saying, "What the fuck, that asshole just got here yesterday. Doesn't he know I have a family?" If I were O'Brien I'd have just said it that way, but then again, I'm very profane and don't usually think through the consequences of my actions.

I think O'Brien got a bit of a raw deal. All this talk about Castellini wanting to bring in his own man - it's not like he's the president and needs to go with his own trusted Secretary of State here. Couldn't he have given O'Brien a shot? He'd only had two years and while they were not the most successful two years, Carl Lindner wasn't necessarily the best owner and, I think it's widely believed, didn't authorize nearly as high a payroll as he could have.

On the other hand...O'Brien didn't use the money he was given very wisely. $25 mil for Eric Milton? A guy who gives up more homers than anybody in a park that allows a ton of homers? Hell, forget that - $25 mil for a guy who just isn't good? I don't think any sane person defended that one. Then you have the very generous resigning of Paul Wilson, and the Ramon Ortiz move. Also factor in Austin Kearns' non-development, and Wily Mo Pena's so-so development so far (which aren't necessarily all or even mostly the GM's fault), a pointless Tony Womack trade the other month, you're not looking at a great resume. I think the jury is still out on the Dave Miley firing/Jerry Narron hiring. While Narron was unsuccessful during his two year tenure in Texas (alliteration is ever so much fun, you must try it), the Reds played .500 ball for him in '05. So we can keep that out of the assessment of O'Brien's job. Still, I'm less than impressed, and wouldn't be doing cartwheels if my team were to hire him. And remember, my team is run by Omar Minaya.

I wonder how often it is that a small market team's problems get compounded by a GM who doesn't know what he's doing. I'm not saying O'Brien is necessarily such a GM, but he might be. I guess Cam Bonifay is looming large in my head right now, and I don't love what Dave Littlefield has done after him. I'm not wildly impressed with the job Dave Dombrowski has done in Detroit, but I hate to call him a guy who doesn't know what he's doing. I'm pretty lukewarm on Allard Baird. Who wants to study up on this and share your work with the class?

Oh, Barry Bonds announced he's not playing in the WBC. Evidently the fear that Buck Martinez might bat him 2nd in the lineup was too great to bear.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its time for the Reds to trade Griffey before his knee blows out again. By the way, I have Felipe Lopez for $1 so maybe I should be the Reds GM.

10:41 AM  

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