Hey, it’s me.

Today for MLB.com, I did a quick phone interview that was posted in the multimedia section of the web site. Honestly, it’s probably nothing you haven’t read here or on the Reds site already. But this version of news tidbits has my voice over moving pictures … so there you go. Enjoy.


Mark…excellent! You gotta admit, that would have taken you a few typed pages to get it on the blog. Ever thought about a combination of written and verbal updates?
Of course you have; I’m just hoping you might consider a mix because today’s verbal blog was excellent, as you covered all current and past hot topics. I’d tell you to enjoy your summer but I have a feeling you are working as much now as you did during the season. Have a good weekend, Mark. Neb

You probably heard on MLB that the Reds were shopping Brandon Phillips–citing his RBI’s for the season was not super due to the # on base infront of him–discussed the conflict over $ when he signed this past season Added $ and length of contract
would make the trade difficult.Intresting conversation…

1. Trading Brandon Phillips would be stupid
2. the 2 hole fix was in front of them the whole time…Votto…his OBP (and overall approach to hitting) and walk ratio is good for the two hole, not good for the 3 hole
3. Of course Latos is not talking, cause he could have pitched the wild card game…but good ol Dusty went with Cueto, who had only pitched two games since coming back, against two horrible teams….Latos is just trying not to throw Dusty under the bus.
4. Hamilton is ready, he has many ways of getting on base, and I didnt see that his hitting was any worse than anyone else in the lineup when he came up.
5. Please, please, no Jim Riggleman…..there is only one candidate that has been mentioned that would be worse than Dusty Baker, and that is Jim Riggleman

You can’t use hindsight to manage. Most people would have started the guy coming off the disabled list as opposed to the guy who was about to go on it.

Some BIG NAMES that could be traded…see anything we may like?

On to today’s playoff game; Dodgers vs. Cards…
Visiting Dodgers
1. Carl Crawford, LF
2. Mark Ellis, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Yasiel Puig, RF
5. Andre Ethier, CF
6. Juan Uribe, 3B
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Nick Punto, SS
9. Clayton Kershaw, SP
Home Cardinals
1. Matt Carpenter, 2B
2. Carlos Beltran, RF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Yadier Molina, C
5. David Freese, 3B
6. Matt Adams, 1B
7. Shane Robinson, CF
8. Pete Kozma, SS
9. Michael Wacha, SP

From the many articles I have read over the last few weeks, the Reds are in the position to challenge a number of players/positions…2B, SS, 3B, LF and CF. Why?
Production at the plate for a number of these positions, coupled with the escalating
salaries of many. The Reds increased their team salary from some $86m to somewhere around $106m (thank you, Mr. Castellini). And, since 1996, the Reds have won a total of TWO GAMES in the playoffs…the least of any NL Central team.
It’s gonna be a fun off season, imo…

Actually, here are the W’s by team in the Central through 2012 playoff season; Cards have obviously added to their total…
Cards 60
I think this kinda answers part of the question…”Why was Dusty fired?”…

From Lance McAlister
ESPN1530 Cincinnati
MLB Network insider Joe Sherman on Phillips:
“Phillips has a 12 team no trade list that he has not made up for 2014. But he’s harder to trade than you think. His 100 RBI stand out, but he had the 4th most at-bats w/RISP. His OPS has fallen four years in a row. He plays a non prime position and he’s 32 years old.”
Richard Justice MLB Network:
“I don’t think Reds management took his comments very well. But trading him is easier said than done.”

Before you trade Phillips, who are you going to get to replace him? I have to believe that Jocketty has no intention of replacing him with anyone available on the mkt. today. His defense is superb, and who is better offensively at 2B than Brandon
(that is available today).
As for Riggleman, I was in Washington, when he was there before resigning in a “contract dispute” a couple of yrs. ago and was a regular attendee at Nats Park. He did a superb job helping to lead that team from an also-ran to a winner. He is a very knowledgeable baseball man. (I know….his W-L record is not so great. But what kind of zero teams was he managing? Answer: they all were.) As for his resignation during the season, the GM, Rizzo, clearly viewed him as a disposable commodity…..despite his record with the Nationals. And he refused to extend his contract for even one yr., or even talk about it, despite his accompishments. I watched this first-hand and greatly sympathized with Riggleman for the obvious disrespect that Rizzo was publicly giving him. While his resignation flew in the face of baseball tradition/history, I saw this developing and was not at all surprised (nor were many, many other Nats fans). I think that he would do a very good job with a good team. Apparently, the Reds see what I see, since they have given him another opportunity in their minor league system. Give the guy a break and judge him on his most recent performance(s) with the Reds. I would have no problem with them doing this. You will be pleasantly surprised. [FYI, I am a life-long Reds fan and
attended Nat & Orioles games because of my love for MLB.]

Riggleman was completely in the wrong when he resigned. He knew how long the contract was when he signed it. The Nats organization had no obligation to discuss an extension mid-season. He his a quitter. A manager should be a leader, not someone who walked out on his team because he didn’t feel a resposibility to honor his contract. There is no way anyone can view him in a positive light with regards to his selfishness.

Your response is in the traditional MLB thought process. I do not agree with it at all. He may be a quitter in your opinion, but having watched that story develop (and end) at close range, I had no problem with his “take this job and shove it” response. In fact I sympathized with him.
Selfishness played no part in his decision. It was pure self respect.

Monday, Oct. 21st, apropos of nothing: the Bengals this year have the kind iof magic the Reds never had last season. What is magic? What causes it? How do you get it? Can you trade for it? Can you manage foir it? I have no idea.

Pitching coaches like Reds’ Price a rare breed
Are they simply too valuable to get chance as a manager?
By C. Trent Rosecrans/ October 20, 2013

If Bryan Price is indeed promoted from the Reds’ pitching coach to their manager, he’ll be just the third current manager in baseball who was a pitcher and has been a pitching coach. He’ll also be just the sixth current manager that didn’t play in the majors.

Current Padres manager and former big-league pitcher Bud Black says the reason more pitching coaches aren’t made managers is not because they are undervalued, but because they are actually overvalued. If the current postseason is showing us nothing else, it’s that dominant pitching leads to postseason success, and when you have a successful pitching staff, nobody wants to mess with that success.

“I think organizations and managers realize how good they are and how important they are and they get locked into that role because of its importance,” said Black, who along with John Farrell of the Red Sox is one of only two former pitchers who currently serve as a big-league manager. “I do think over time those pitching coaches with those qualities and leadership skills and with the leadership traits that managers have sometimes get overlooked because they get locked into that valuable role as a pitching coach.”

There’s no debating the value Price has brought to the Reds since being named successor to Dick Pole in October of 2009. The Reds have finished in the top four in team ERA in each of the last two seasons, with a 3.72 ERA in his four seasons as the team’s pitching coach. In the four years before Price took over, the Reds had a team ERA of 4.55. That’s more impressive when taking into account the team plays half its game at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. The Reds were second in the National League last season in team ERA+, a stat that takes into account park factors, and led the NL in 2012.

Price’s first season as a pitching coach was 2000 with the Mariners, where he was in the same division as another first-year pitching coach in the Angels’ Black.

Black, who played for Dusty Baker in San Francisco, says he knows Price, if not well. But he has been able to observe him as a competitor and knows of his reputation in the game. For his part, Black thinks Price would make a good manager.

“I can see the intelligence, the communication skills, the personality, a lot of things line up in regards of his ability to manage,” Black said.

One of Black’s former pitchers, current Reds starter Mat Latos, said the same thing.

“I think he needs to be the front-runner for the managerial position,” Latos said. “He’s a guy who played the game, knows the pitching aspect and works hard. Let’s be honest, look what he’s done with the pitching staff.”

Traditionally, though, that hasn’t been the case for those doing the hiring. Of the 20 winningest managers in the history of baseball, only one was a pitcher. That was Tommy Lasorda. Of the 50 winningest managers, only two more came from a predominantly pitching background, and neither of those two (Clark Griffith and Frank Selee) managed a game after 1920.

There are other successful pitchers-turned-managers, such as Roger Craig, Dallas Green and Larry Dierker.

There’s also Fred Hutchinson, a Reds Hall of Famer whose No. 1 was the first number retired by the team. Hutchinson led the team to the 1961 World Series and amassed 443 victories in six-plus seasons at the helm of the team. He stepped down as manager early in the 1964 season because of his fight with cancer, one that was lost later that year.

Still, many point to the failures of the likes of Larry Rothschild, Joe Kerrigan, Phil Regan and Marcel Lachemann.

In the end, it’s not that pitchers-turned-managers fail at a greater rate than other managers, it’s just that they’re given fewer opportunities.

There are perceived reasons, such as that pitchers can’t communicate with hitters, and the eight position players on a daily basis have more impact than the pitchers. The rise of specialization out of the bullpen could be changing that.

“The specialization of pitching, from closer to set-up man to specialist to long man, and how to use those guys and the psyche of those guys and the egos, how to handle the pitchers is a big part of it,” Black said. “That goes to the importance of having a good pitching coach. Again, it’s a very important position to fill, and that may be the reason they’re overlooked because of that. It’s starting to change, I hope.”

That’s something Latos saw up close in 2010 when he was playing for the Padres. Latos won 14 games and Black was voted the National League Manager of the Year by just one point over Baker.

“In 2010, our bullpen was unbelievable,” Latos said. “Yes, we had a lot of talent in the bullpen, but you have to give a lot of credit to how Buddy used the bullpen, he made the calls as to which pitchers to put in at what times. He played good matchups, pitchers against hitters. … A lot of that I think is from being an ex-pitcher.”

While catchers have long been seen as the conduit between the pitching and offensive sides of the game (and 11 current managers are former catchers, the most of any position), Black said he doesn’t see his lack of a hitting background as a problem when he manages.

“That’s the thing, you learn very quickly that this is a position where I quickly found it’s important to empower your coaches because you don’t have time to do all the things that are necessary to do it the right way and prove it’s the right thing for the ball club, whether it’s the hitters, the pitchers or infield play or outfield play. All of those things,” Black said. “Your job description changes, but Bryan would be a quick study because he’s been around some great managers in his day, from Lou Piniella to Bob Melvin and Dusty, as far as watching them and learning from those guys. I’m sure he understands and his conversations with those guys lends a great experience as far as the daily responsibilities that you have.”

It’s not just that Price is a great pitching coach, Black said, it’s that he’s shown to be a good communicator and leader. That’s what makes a successful manager, not what position he played or his area of expertise.

“The whole thing boils down to whether a manager has those qualities to lead men,” Black said. “And I think that can come from any position.”

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