I am a die hard Marlins fan. I have been since there inception. However, during my time living in Cincinnati and the surrounding area, I somewhat adopted the Reds. This is why I was so shocked when I saw that the team had fired general manager Wayne Krivsky earlier this week.
I understand the realities in modern day sports, where everyone’s job is always on the line, but this is ridiculous and completely puzzles me. This is the man that came on the job two years ago and seemed to have a knack for getting complete steals on the trade market.
He brought in Brandon Phillips for Jeff Stevens. Who? Exactly. For virtually nothing Krivsky found a diamond in the rough who has developed into one of the best hitting second basemen in the major leagues.
Last season he found Josh Hamilton on the Rule 5 draft, a player that suddenly started showing the potential scouts saw in him when he was taken as a first-round draft pick.
In this past offseason Krivsky traded Hamilton…And in return filled a huge need for the Reds. His wheelings and dealings brought in pitchers Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto, two young guys who are off to incredible starts this season. Two guys that could form the core of the rotation for years to come. Just imagine the one-two-three punch if Homer Bailey ever decides to get his act together.
And somehow this all got him fired. Mainly because the ballclub is off to a poor start, which can hardly be attributed to anything Krivsky did. Considering the tight pockets of Reds ownership, there is little Krivsky could do besides look for hidden gems, and he seemed to do that well. He couldn’t make wholesale changes and overhaul the team. This season the Reds look like a team who could contend for a playoff spot in a weak Central division, but they are off to a poor start…just like many teams that have rebounded to make the playoffs.
This move just does not make sense to me, and seems to hint that maybe there was something going on behind the scenes. Or maybe owner Bob Castellini is just insane.
I have been thinking these thoughts since the firing was announced, and then I found the following this evening, by Jayson Stark of ESPN. It inspired me to write this blog entry.
Reds owner Bob Castellini has no idea how many people in baseball he alienated by firing his GM, Wayne Krivsky — as well-liked and highly respected a man as you’ll find in the business.
“They just went from a team you root for to a team you root against,” is the way one veteran baseball man put it Wednesday. Sure, Krivsky made his share of mistakes. Goes with the turf. But have there been three bigger steals in the past two years than Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena, Brandon Phillips for Jeff Stevens, or Josh Hamilton for 50,000 bucks? And Jeff Keppinger for Russ Haltiwanger is right up there, too.
So why was this guy fired again? Because this team came out of spring training with a little promise and then started 9-12? Ridiculous. The Yankees, Phillies, Cubs and Rockies were all 9-12 or worse last year this time — and made the playoffs.
“There’s nothing worse than these owners who treat the national pastime like it’s the frigging stock market,” said an official of one team. “They think it’s got to keep going up, up, up, every day. But that’s just not the way of works. This is a game of human beings.”
My thoughts exactly, Jayson.