With the conclusion of the Choo trade a remarkable thing has happened in the world of Cincinnati Reds baseball. Although things can always go wrong, it is not unreasonable to think in terms of 100+ victories for the next three, four, or five years. While so many analysts are concentrating on the the Dodgers, Nationals, and Texans, Cincinnati has an almost set opening day roster that looks to me like the strongest in the National League and perhaps in all of baseball.
As a fan for almost sixty years, I'm grateful for this and thankful for the ownership monies that have made it possible. But my deepest debt of gratitude is reserved largely for one man: Walt Jocketty. Yes, there was some raw talent on the team when he arrived from St. Louis, but it was ill-defined and the team, quite honestly, was going nowhere. Since then, Walt has first given us hope, then organization, and now first rate prospects for as far as the eye can see. His performance has been virtually flawless, and predicated on a basic honesty that makes the teams he trades with--the Padres and the Indians for example--into winners as well. If you want to appreciate this, read Tyler Kepner's New York Times article of September 2, 2010 for Tony LaRussa's appreciation of the man. As importantly, the players he brings in not only meet athletic needs but frequently are also outstanding members of the community. Players now want to play here.
This is my question for Red fans: How do we, acting collectively, say thank you to a remarkable baseball executive? Yes, it's his job, but it's also obviously a passion. We get up in arms when things go wrong, but seldom spend the time organizing to say a collective "thank you" such as would be appropriate now. It would say something important about us and he would undoubtedly appreciate it.
My problem is that I know it's a good idea, but don't know what form the appreciation should take. A petition to nominate him to the Reds Hall of Fame? A Walt Jocketty Appreciation Day at GABP? A huge card to be presented to him during spring training? Somebody who read this will have a great idea.