Reds wRiting Klassix looks back on past Reds coverage with the unfair advantage of hindsight in order to ridicule, enlighten, make fun of and deride.
With 6 days left and the Pirates making a move last night, the Trade Deadline pressure intensifies on the Reds. I dusted off some semi-old stories of trading and team-building:
"Stats: Trade Arroyo, Keep Dunn" - Cincinnati Enquirer, July 29, 2007
Red Reporter covered this proud infiltration of CIncinnati's paper of record by bloggers - and that thread has some great DVD-commentary track style insights into the making-of the article. Slyde, JinAZ and Greg Gajus - all Red Reporters of various ranks - consulted on a piece John Erardi wrote at the 2007 trade deadline. Erardi's feature laid out a sabermetric plan for the '07 deadline and there was a companion article (see C9) on Adam Dunn's value to the team. Both of these are mostly behind the pay-wall at the Enquirer, but this nugget isn't:
Blow the expected Adam Dunn trade, [statisticians] say, and the Reds would be the Pirates - unless Homer Bailey and prospect Joey Votto become stars, Josh Hamilton and prospect Jay Bruce become All-Stars and Ken Griffey Jr. defies the aging/injury process.
Dunn was widely expected to be traded in 2007, despite being in the middle of one of the best offensive seasons of his career. The Reds waited another year to deal him - and what you think of whether it was wise to wait or not is muddled by sitting in the year 2012. It's also up-for-debate how much Dunn's defense cut into value, especially toward the end of his career as an outfielder.
The irony here is that four of the five events in the perfect storm described above have happened, with qualifiers. Hamilton became an All-Star for another team, though he also turned into All-Star with Edinson Volquez's 2008 campaign. Homer Bailey, meanwhile, has waited until this year to cash in.
"Reds have plan for 2003 season that christens new ballpark" - Cincinnati Enquirer, 1998
Casey and Boone, members of the '99 team, stuck around for 2003, but many of the players projected in the article were - unsurprisingly - gone by GABP's opening. No one could have foreseen the Junior trade and one of the weirdest things to tell a late-90s Reds fan would be that Brett Tomko would be gone by '03, turn into Ken Griffey Jr and then return in 2012:
Brett Tomko, who turns 26 on April 7, could be the anchor of the starting rotation, joined by top prospect Rob Bell, who was acquired from Atlanta in the Bret Boone trade last November.
That, and you'd be living your entire life on the Web.
Also, the article reduces Bowden's GM strategy down pretty accurately to the following: "In other words, a team where everybody is Michael Tucker or Dennys Reyes." It wasn't meant to be derisive at the time.