doesn't it seem like this to any of you? how long can the great baseball town of cincinnati continue to get slapped around and disrespected by signings of david weathers and ramon ortiz?
every april we get our hopes up, and every july, we settle back into that dank, shapeless cushion of realization. at least the "lovable losers" and the "accursed" seemed to put effort into their seasons.
our team is becoming an ongoing joke. this hurts me deeply. all i'd like to see are genuine signs of committed interest from our management. and why are ALL of our minor league pitchers suffering serious injuries? might we consider adjusting our method?
ramon ortiz? ben weber? is this our new veteran leadership after we decided barry larkin couldn't carry the torch for another year? longshots, i suppose, but i'm not holding my breath. and the decision not to re-sign larkin is a smack in the jaw for all lifelong reds fans. who's our shortstop? felipe lopez? grrreat. i guess d'angelo won't be with the team anymore? huh. figures.
Good to see you around again benja....haven't checked this forum lately.
I agree with you to a point on the Reds management. The Milton signing is ridiculously bad IMO. Why not use pretty much the same amount of money to lure Pavano or Clement? That makes no sense to me.
We desperately need Claussen and Acevedo to step it up bigtime this year. That would give us a rotation of Wilson, Milton, Claussen, Acevedo, ???. All we need is 4 solid, but unspectacular, starters and I know we can compete. Heck, even Derek Lowe would be a welcome addition IMO.
The Reds have done a great deal in the offseason to improve their pitching staff. They signed three sure relievers and two sure starters. Milton may not be as good as Matt Clement, but he will keep the Reds in ballgames. With their offense, he will be successful.
Their rotation shapes up like this : Milton, Wilson, Ortiz, Harang, Hudson. Harang has shown that he is able to pitch in the major leagues. One of his main problems last year is that he can not go very far in games. The new and improved bullpen will help him tremendously. Luke Hudson was downright exiting at the end of last year. He finally lived up to the hype. If he can pitch at a level that is remotely close to what did last year, he will be an improvment on claussen and acevedo.
The thing that I really like about this year's Reds team is that they do have Claussen and Acevedo to fall back on if an injury limits the play of a starter. Fans wont have to deal with the scrub show anymore (Reidling, Jung Bong, etc.).
The offense is better than it was last year. Our bench is outstanding now. We have Kearns and Freel off the bench. By the way, I know why Jimenez can't play short: He is not a very good fielder. He has limited range and a sub-par arm. He played much better last year, but I wouldn't say that he could play third base, much less short. As a matter of fact, I don't know why Jimenez is back with the Reds. We are paying him too much money and he adds virtually nothing to the team. He sees a lot of pitches, which is important, but is it more important than Freel's speed, likability, and cheap price tag?
PREDICTION: The Reds will finish above .500 this year and restore some credibility.
Welcome to the Cafe, Grump. Your insights are appreciated....but that doesn't mean I agree.
Why pay Milton so much money when Clement had interest in staying around the midwest?
Also, I doubt Ortiz will pitch in the rotation, they have too much young talent they need to mature, such as either Claussen, or Acevedo.
I agree with you about their offense being better than last year...but that doesn't mean they have a shot at the division unless their pitching performs miraculously. I don't think a rotation anchored by Wilson/Harang/Milton is what the Reds need....granted it's an improvement over last year, but either way, it's not that good. It's just a matter of if their offense can stay healthy enough to put the large number of runs that their pitching staff will need throughout the season...that's what their season relies on.
I would also rather have Clement than Milton. He is a better pitcher at an earlier stage of his career. I don't think that the signing of Milton is bad, though. What Milton does give you over Clement is a vetern presence on the pitching staff. He could help to make the Reds pitching staff better (especially Claussen) because of his knowledge of the game. Also, he is a great clubhouse guy. These factors may sound cheesy and have been discarded by the Billy Beane school of thought, but anyone who knows baseball well will admit that these are real factors.
I do think that the Reds overpaid for Eric Milton, but Dan O'Brien and the Reds are not handcuffed by his contract. Milton's contract is backloaded, meaning each year increases the amount that he is paid. If the current team does not do well, he can be traded. Can you remember a year that a vetern left-hander was not in high demand at the trading deadline? I've heard people say things like "Reds fans, don't complain about baseball's salary structure when you waste your money on Griffey and Milton", but the two situations are vastly different. The only way that Milton will not have trade value will be because of a serious injury.
As for Ortiz, he will be a starter next year for the Reds. He has won 15 games in a season before and looked damn good doing it. Claussen did not look good last year. He was inconsistant and his fastball got by no one. Although he will have an opprotunity to compete with Hudson and Harang for a spot, Ortiz's job is safe. I do not believe that Acevedo is even in the club's plans anymore. He was the biggest disappointment on a pitching staff filled with disappointments last year. He had no presence on the mound as a starter and looked far more comfortable as a reliever. I believe that is the role he will fill next year.
As for competing in the division, I'm not ready to say that the Red's will finish in the top two. All I am saying is that with the formula of strong hitters, consistant starters, and a strong bullpen, they could suprise people. St. Louis did it last year. What those starters did was pretty miraculous. What I do I know that a rotation of Wilson/Harang/Milton/Ortiz/Hudson is a whole lot better than a rotation of Wilson/Harang/Haynes/Lidle/Acevedo. AND a bullpen of Graves/Weber/Weathers/Acevedo/Merker is a lot better than a bullpen of Graves/Reidling/Wagner/Jones/Norton
Finally, even with a horrendous pitching staff last year, the Reds competed WHEN HEALTHY. Even if Griffey gets hurt again this team should finish above .500. Bottom Line: This certainly was not a slap in the face of Red's fans
my "slap-in-the-face" remark was referencing activity prior to the milton trade.
i have to admit now, that the signing of milton demonstrates some (if slightly misguided) intent to win.
but they're dumb about it. way, way too much money for a guy with a whip/era that high. however, i'd really like to focus on whatever the hell is going on in our minor league system: blech. why do we consistently hear of these purportedly magnificent prospects who eventually suffer injury? or stay healthy just long enough to stink it up with the big-league club? who are our crackhead scouting staff? and what are our coaches doing to the prospects to mess 'em up?
on to the offense: please don't knock d'angelo. the number of pitches that guy (and dunn) sees is a HUGE boost to an offense that needs to see more pitches. his defense was passable last season, and continues to improve. i like him as a shortstop, and i like freel as a second baseman. randa is an excellent fielding third baseman, and can hit well enough. i don't think we need to worry about the crowded outfield, because by now, we're all familiar with junior's injuries. everyone will get their playing time.
and junior is another topic on which i need to spout; people giving him a hard time about this and that. prior to mark mcgwire's first visit to st. louis, the town had experienced a bevy of years characterized by tepid fan response to the mediocre cardinals baseball team.
mcgwire brought the hero's color back into the ballpark's cheeks, and lifted the town back up to its musial-day heights. the team owners (cincinnati's witt family) capitalized on the momentum by turning around the revenue and spending on team improvements and general promotion. this could be called a "top-down" revamping.
bowden's idea was to duplicate this top-down success via the griffey-comes-home saga. but griffey got injured, and bowden's spending was handcuffed by "uncle" carl lindner: all wind taken from the sails.
this has left the reds out of position. we need to work from the bottom, up. our recent trade activity has not reflected this perspective. trading moseley for ortiz is a pretty good indicator that we're still trying to top-down the approach, and frankly, i'm eager for someone to spell out to the fans just what the big idea is going to be, now.
lastly, offering miley just the one-year extension--and waiting so long to do it--was offensive.
i've been a committed reds fan for years, and quietly so, but the patchwork nature of the team's business leaves much to be desired.
Interesting thoughts on each side. Good posts by both of you.
I also think D'Angelo is a good player and deserves the starting SS role. Randa was a decent signing, assuming Kearns' defense was not good enough for the spot (we never got to see it).
Milton will never a good signing though. He is not a valuable player at all...and just because he's a lefty, doesn't mean he'll have trade value. I admit it helps that he's a lefty...but there's a difference between a good and bad lefty when it comes to trade time.