- Shawn takes a look at the final win share numbers for the 2006 Reds. Adam Dunn finished second, which I guess might surprise some people. I wouldn't have thought he'd beat Aaron Harang myself.
- Daedalus has a nice post on surrogate teams. This is a long standing tradition with me, and I've had to pick a "new" team come playoff time too many years when it comes to the NFL as well. In recent years I've rooted for the A's quite a bit because of Moneyball, but this year I feel more ambivalent about the whole thing, I think because the Reds actually made a run. I mostly just want to see the Cardinals lose, but that's not working out.
- JinAZ has his September/October wrap up posted, and it's great as always. In the same vein, The Olde 320 Pub has a year in review.
- Doug takes a look at first round draft picks from 1994 - 2003, and as I'm sure you'll expect, it's not pretty. I'm not sure I'll ever get over Chris Gruler instead of Scott Kazmir.
Paul Daugherty = Michael?
Once more in Sunday's paper, Jerry Narron said the Reds need players who "play the right way.'' He needs to stop.
Every time the manager makes that statement, he's unwittingly indicting himself. The guy has sung that tune for 2 years. His players never added the chorus. While Wayne Krivsky has busied himself dumping power for pitching, the players that remain still play the game one home run at a time.
The Reds don't bunt. They don't hit behind runners. When Griffey and Dunn played every day, they struck out too much. Defensively, they left gaps in left and center as big as a mall parking lot. In the infield, Brandon Phillips is the only guy w/consistently good range. For a manager who dwells to distraction on the "little things,'' his players sure lived big, to borrow a phrase. That doesnt reflect well on Narron's leadership.
He's also too forgiving. Most obvious is allowing Dunn and Griffey to walk to their positions, inning after game after season. It's embarrassing. When I mentioned to Narron that Dunn's loaf out to left could best be timed by sundial, the manager said, "He'll never run out there.'' Oh, really? Why not?
I don't even know what to say here, because it would probably involve defending Jerry Narron, and I'm not sure I want to go there. I'll just say that I certainly have some problems with Narron, but the speed at which Adam Dunn gets to left field is not one of them. Narron could do better deciding where and when to use players (I'm thinking bullpen management when I say this for the most part), but there's not a manager in the game that could have gotten better defense out of the 2006 Cincinnati Reds, because they didn't have the personnel. Maybe, in the end, that's the case with the pen too, and I'm too hard on the guy. It's certainly possible. But hitting behind the runner isn't going to save this team, and that's not what kept them out of the playoffs.
Krivsky has gutted this offense, and it's more true than ever that the only way the Reds are going to sniff the postseason is through better pitching and defense.
I actually think Daugherty is a pretty entertaining writer most of the time, even though I rarely agree with him, but I really think he comes off the most clueless when he writes about baseball.