Letter From Reds Management to the Fans



Yesterday, the Reds' emailed a letter to many of their fans (not me though). Their letter has been discussed on Reds' blogs and other websites, but as a Reds fan myself, I needed to have my say as well. First, the letter:







Dear Fans,
Thank you for your loyalty and support of the Cincinnati Reds. You
are extremely vital to the success of the Reds, and it is important we share
with you the thinking behind our recent personnel decisions.

Since taking ownership of this franchise, we have aggressively tried to improve our Major League roster for the purpose of restoring championship baseball to Cincinnati.
We have sought and signed proven players. We have extended the contracts of
select current players. We added Dusty Baker, a proven winning manager. And, we
have capitalized on our burgeoning younger players like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce
and Johnny Cueto.

We had high expectations for the 2008 season. Unfortunately the team has not played up to our expectations and we have sustained injuries to key players within our starting lineup and rotation.

We opted to trade Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn at this time because we believe it provided the best outcome for the long-term success of the organization. By executing these inevitable changes now, we secured more players as part of our focus towards building a deeper, stronger inventory of young talent.

We are pleased that the trades allow Griffey and Dunn the opportunity to play for teams in tight division races. Both Ken and Adam made significant contributions to the Reds and we are extremely proud and grateful they wore the Reds uniform.

While the run production generated by these two veterans will not be quickly replaced, we chose to endure the short-term ramifications for the sake of building a strong, competitive team for 2009 and many seasons to come.

The vast majority of our 50 draft picks were signed, culminating last week with first-rounder Yonder Alonso and a pair of talented pitchers. Our expanded scouting operations also signed Juan Duran from the Dominican Republic and Yorman Rodriguez from Venezuela, who are arguably the best amateur free agent position players from their respective countries.

As we near September, we will continue to provide valuable playing time to our
young players and new acquisitions who we feel can become significant
contributors at the Major League level. We ask your continued trust and patience
as we build the roster that will get us back on top. We appreciate your support
and look forward to seeing you at the ballpark.

Sincerely,
Bob Castellini
President & CEO
Walt Jocketty
President of Baseball Operations & GM


Now, I don't know who Castellini and Jocketty think they are kidding... Their letter is full of inconsistencies and false hope. For example,


As we near September, we will continue to provide valuable playing time to our
young players and new acquisitions who we feel can become significant
contributors at the Major League level.

Now, that is probably the correct attitude for a team that has no playoff chances to take about this time of year. However, are the Reds actually taking that stance? In a word, no. Here is the Reds' #7 hitter in yesterday's game (the game occurred in the evening, the letter went out earlier in the day).
7. C. Patterson cf (0-3, 1K) .195

In case you don't follow the Reds as religiously as I do (and good for you I must say), Corey Patterson is a free agent after this season. The Reds are paying him $3 million for his .195 average... Do the math, Patterson has 50 hits so far this year... Which means the Reds are paying Corey Patterson $60,000 per hit. But no, the Reds couldn't afford to keep Dunn or Griffey...at least those two were worth watching. What's scary, if the Reds letter is to be believed, Patterson might still be in the plans for next year... I can tell you right now that no other team will sign him - especially for $3 million like the Reds did this year.


I could pick apart almost every paragraph of the letter, but this part also stuck out as something that had to be commented on:

We opted to trade Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn at this time because we believe
it provided the best outcome for the long-term success of the organization. By
executing these inevitable changes now, we secured more players as part of our
focus towards building a deeper, stronger inventory of young talent.


First, I've said it before, I fail to see how trading Dunn provides the best outcome for the long-term success of the Reds. Dunn consistently provides 100 runs, 100 walks, and 40 homeruns. Who else on the free agent market this year could come close to that (answer: overpriced Manny Ramirez and Pat Burrell..aka Dunn II).



Second, ignoring the Dunn debacle, the Reds management seems to not grasp how baseball works. Baseball is a team sport - meaning you need pitchers, a catcher or two (not three), infielders, outfielders, etc. You don't win by having 6 great catchers and no outfielders...which means that "a deeper, stronger inventory of young talent" won't do diddly-squat at the Major League level. You need a strong team, not a collection of third baseman and first basemen. After all, only one third baseman can play at a time...


Finally, I leave you with:

We ask your continued trust and patience as we build the roster that will get us
back on top. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the
ballpark.

Hah. I'm about as big of a Reds' fan as there is (that's why I have this blog and my Sporting News blog, each mostly dedicated to Cincinnati baseball), but even I can't buy what Walt and Bob are trying to sell. I don't know why anyone would pay money to watch a team "led" by .195 hitting Corey Patterson. I don't know why anyone would pay money to watch a team that's more than 20 games out of first. I don't know why anyone would pay money to watch a team that trades its few stars for a "stockpile" of minor leaguers (none of whom are terribly impressive). And finally, I don't know why Bob and Walt can't figure that out...and that might be what scares me the most.

I'd say there's always next year, but next year looks like it'll be almost impossible to not lose 100 games...


Sources:

http://baseballevolution.com/images/dunnh1.bmp
http://www.red-hot-mama.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/patterson_fail.jpg
http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?id=706

Comments

  1. I'm telling you man...there's always a spot available in Red Sox Nation.

    I can't believe they had the gall to print that letter, let alone send it out to people.

    Good work.

    brad

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is inconceivable that Corey Patterson has started 13 games for your team in August. And hey, Jerry Hairston's been having a nice year, when he's healthy, but what were you doing signing a 32-year old who hit .206 and .189 his last two seasons in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If they were really serious then there would be many things done to the roster at this point, including getting rid of Corey Patterson.

    Why not pursue Matt Holliday this winter? Why not shop EE? Is Joey Votto really suited for 1B?

    Just a few ideas, wish the management had some.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, at least they aren't like some of the other small market teams that don't have the means to pay Bruce and Votto when it's there time. I think they could get back in contention in a couple years.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm with Brad. Come to the AL Red team...plenty of space available on the bandwagon...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment