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Red Reposter - 8/3/09

Is Banana Bob running this team into the ground?
Is Banana Bob running this team into the ground?

Well, it's been a few days since the Scott Rolen deal and I've had enough time to let my limbic reactions subside and give it some real honest thought.  The good thing is I no longer think the deal was a disaster.  Rolen does make the team better and since the Jays are paying his salary this year we are actually saving some cash this season.  The difference between Rolen's and EdE's salarys for next year isnt negligible, but I'm ok with the price of the upgrade.  It's not a good deal, and I dont think any team in the Reds position should be getting older and more expensive, but this isnt The Trade part II.  I guess there is some solace in that.

But there is something else I'm really concerned about.  I'm afraid that Bob Castellini is meddling too much.  Last year he infamous said "The losing stops now!" when firing Wayne Krivsky, and my big fear is that he not only is rigidly sticking to this axiom, but he also does not know the first thing about building a winning baseball club.  I'm afraid that by "losing" he meant "rebuilding", and this is why this last place team was a buyer rather than a seller last week. 

The rumor was that Jocketty had deals in place for both Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, but Banana Bob nixed the deals, reportedly because he wasnt willing to eat any of the salary.  I understand that every owner in baseball controls the purse strings and righfully they should, so I can understand why he would frown on this.  In the end though it's for the benefit of the team (assuming the return is reasonable).  So if Bob is stingy with the cash, then why was he willing to add payroll to get Scott Rolen?  The only difference I can see in the deals is that one is seen as "rebuilding" and the other is seen as "going for it".  This is the wrong way to play baseball.

Jerry Hairston Jr was the only veteran moved at the deadline, but David Weathers most definitely should have been dealt and guys like Arthur Rhodes and maybe even Jonny Gomes should have at least been actively shopped.  And do you remember the rumor from this spring that the Yankees were willing to take Francisco Cordero for Xavier Nady, only to have the deal cut off by Castellini?

I know the evidence I have built this case upon is flimsy rumor and conjecture, but it still leaves me wondering if we have the next Peter Angelos running our team.  Dusty Baker is frustratingly stubborn, but at least we know he can be fired or not re-signed.  Walt Jocketty may be unwilling to use the DL or cut a worthless veteran, but perhaps these money-related decisions are out of his hands.  My biggest fear is that the problems that management has running this team are not fixable, that the real problem is with the only guy who cant be fired.