John Fay has an article that is mostly about the EE not playing situation, but what got my attention were Narron’s comments about Clayton:

“The play Royce made at the end of the game in Milwaukee (Friday) was as good as you’re going to see,” Narron said. “I know everyone fan-wise was disappointed we didn’t turn the double play (in the seventh inning Tuesday). There’s a lot of guys who don’t make that play in Milwaukee.”

I don’t remember the play in Milwaukee on Friday, but “everyone fan-wise” was disappointed? Does that mean Reds coaches weren’t disappointed? It was a routine play that has to be made.

And if we’re going to talk about great plays being made defensively and make excuses for the bad ones, why is EE singled out? He’s made as many steller defensive plays (and some bad errors) as anyone else, but only his seem to keep him nailed to the bench.

Here’s Narron on why Aurilia’s playing 3B most nights:

“With Richie at third, we’ve got a solid guy at third,” Narron said. “I know Eddie works hard. He’s out there every day with early work.”

Plus this gives me a chance to bench him for good when he doesn’t get enought PAs to keep his hot streak alive.

Why can’t this team EVER seem to make a committment to young players that come up and perform? They don’t seem to ever get the same opportunities that veterans do. If you’ve been in the big leagues for years, you can play here and continue to make the same mistakes that you’ve always made, but if you’re a young player, make a mistake and you’re gone (benched or traded).

15 Responses

  1. Cary

    I assume EVER means the in the post Larkin-Daniels-Davis-O’Neill-Morris-Dunn-Kearns-Reese-Casey-Young-Lopez-LaRue era? I mean, Dunn is still on the team, and he and Kearns both were given every opportunity, although another young guy yanked Kearns playing time around some. I don’t think it is as much a historical lack of committment to young guys as it is that perhaps the young guy is preferred over the vet by fans all other things equal, whereas management has done the opposite.

    On the EE thing, I would be happy with a D of Phillips at SS, Aurilia at 2b and EE at 3b with Clayton starting his broadcasting career or spending more time with his family.

  2. al

    castellini is trying so hard to make me like the reds organization, and narron is trying so hard to make me hate them. Though i blame krivsky too, there was no need for clayton, he never should have given narron the option.

    reading articles like this exhausts me. stuff like this is really the only thing that makes me just want to walk away from the team, follow someone like the redsox. I wish castellini and kriv knew how many fans felt like that.

    and wasn’t the critique of lopez that he made the outstanding play but not the routine play? now narron is defending clayton saying the same thing?

  3. Dan Dumoulin

    I admit to being a big fan of the Castellini/Krivsky/Narron regime… if only because some continuity in management was so badly needed in this organization. I do, however, have to join the consensus that the handling of the left side of the infield has me totally perplexed. I was absolutely, totally convinced that LaRue and Aurilia were being “showcased” prior to the non-waiver deadline. Since they are both still here, I expected them to be nailed to the bench from 8/1 on… this is obviously not the case with Aurilia. He would be an excellent everyday third baseman for a team that had an Encarnacion playing somewhere else in the lineup… he is totally not approriate if it means Encarnacion has to sit.
    Can anybody at all make a case for Royce Clayton playing over Castro, Olmedo or even Aurilia at shortstop? Aurilia may not have the range, but if you chart the number of groundballs that several of the Reds pitchers give up to the left side of the infield in any given start, the range issue isn’t as big of a deal as you might think. As long as a player can make the throw and do the turn, lack of range is generally not such a big deal. He may never make “Web Gems”, but it will cost you less than 1 hit per game if he can make the routine plays.

  4. al

    i wrote John Fay and email about his article, and here’s his response in case you’re curious:

    “I think’s too small of a sample to make conclusions on the offense. The Reds have faced Glavine, Sheets, Clemens, Pettitte and Penny since the break.

    Clayton and Encarnacion are unrelated as far as Narron’s concerned. Castro will play short when Clayton doesn’t.”

    doesn’t mention that half of those starters had been in terrible funks before getting to us, but hey.

    anyway, the overall message seems clear: it’s going to take a lot more for this to change. Thing about that, we’re tied for the WC at this point, a lot more will take us out of the race. So our season sinks or swims with Rich Aurilia and Royce Clayton.

  5. Dan Dumoulin

    Wow.. thats an amazing number. Thanks,

  6. bobbyo

    articles like this infuriate me. what is narron’s problem. if EdE ends up being anything less than a hall of fame third baseman, I will blame narron and krivsky.

    I am not a proponent of bringing bailey up, but isn’t krivsky’s whole philosophy that they don’t want to bring him up and then send him back down later, so as not to screw with his head? shouldn’t that same kind of thinking apply to EdE? why is krivsky allowed to get away with the double standard he applies? and please do not try to rationalize by saying he has no control over who plays on gameday–that’s b***s*** spin.

  7. Dan Dumoulin

    If a GM starts telling the manager who to play and not play, nobody will ever want to work for him. Its a bad rap to get as a GM.. supposedly, Bowden did some of that and it was a big reason why Willie Randolph turned the Reds down (and, of course, that he made way more money as a Yankees coach than the Reds were offering as a Manager!).. I am not a ‘Nats fan, but isn’t that also, supposedly, part of the problem between Bowden and Robinson now?

  8. Mike C

    Anyone think Griffey’s horrible slump and Ross on the DL may have something to do with the run average dropping off in the last 18 games? I’m not too concerned in a drop on the offensive end, though I would like to see EE get more playing time. I would rather chart the bullpen and see what they do long term, specifically how Bray and Majewski (sp?) match up against the guys who’s innings were taken away. Right now, I’d say it’s not good, especially the way Majewski has struggled, but that’s what I’ll look at long term on this deal.

  9. pete


    Your numbers are right. And if you look closer, before the trade, the Reds were being outscored by about 1/6 run per game (.17 r/g); since, twice as much (.34 r/g).

    So much for sacrificing “extra” offense for “improved” pitching and defense.

  10. pete

    The only way this deal makes any sense in my mind is for 2007. That’s not how it was advertised, but that’s the only reality that makes sense to me. In excess of $10 million was saved on 2007 payroll by moving Kearns and Lopez. If that money is used to get a #1 starter, then perhaps this deal can be looked at in a different light.


    1. $10 mill/yr isn’t going to get a #1 starter; maybe a #2.
    2. How much is it going to cost to replace Kearns? Juan Encarnacion, who isn’t as good offensively or defensively, signed for 3/$15 last off-season; Reggie Sanders (again, not as good) got 2/$10. And that doesn’t address SS. Remember, arbitration depresses a player’s salary, because he can’t shop around. So it will take more to address those positions in the free agent market, not less. No money will be saved, unless Krivsky is happy with the offense.

  11. pete


    Well, that’s the thing – Denorfia isn’t nearly as good as Kearns on either side of the ball, and everyone knew that. My hope was more of a Jr/Deno/Kearns OF, with Dunn at 1st. Or trading Jr, with Dunn/Deno/Kearns in OF. But Kearns was clearly the best defensive OF who can hit at the major league level – they cannot replace him without adding significantly to the payroll.

    As for SS, I really hope they don’t move Phillips. He plays 2B so well, I’d just leave well enough alone; that said, no other SS in the system (except Aurilia, whom Narron won’t play at SS) plays defense well enough to make up for the drop from Lopez in offense.

    So this is what we’re left with:

    1. Not enough money for a #1 starter (though money was never offered as a reason for the trade).
    2. Not enough money to replace the value of what was lost (free agents who hit and field like Kearns make 8 figures; which means we’d need a SS who pays to play. And Lopez is much better than replacement level). Since there is no one in the system as good as Kearns, he would have to be replaced via free agency. Or Krivsky would have to be happy with a significantly worse offense. And even though Lopez was poor defensively, he was still better overall than every other option in the system (including Clayton, but excluding Aurilia).

    Even though it was never stated as such, the money involved cannot make sense in the trade. Which, if I’m counting right, is reason #73 I’ve come up with that the trade made no sense from the beginning.

  12. al

    Here’s a simple/great article about why signing big name free agent starters is a BAD idea in almost every case.

    i think the reds wil probably try to trade for another starter this offseason, looking for another arroyo.

    and not to turn this into an offseason thread, but off the top of my head, if the team does decide to drop some cash on free agent players this winter, i’d be real interested in Torii Hunter, Soriano, and probably Craig Wilson, who’s a lot like kearns with less D.

  13. al

    also, there’s no way the sox are going to trade for larue and get saddled with his ’07 year just to get a month of production out of the catcher’s spot. If they deal for anyone, it will be someone who’s a free agent next year.

  14. al

    Chris, first off there’s the obvious point that one of those guys sat every game. Then freel’s baserunning as you mentioned, and rich’s absurd left/right splits.

    So on a given day if we were facing a righty it was more like 2: dun and hat, and that’s how you manage a team into the ground.

  15. Sam

    Tonight’s starting lineup…

    Douche bag Clayton batting 2nd

    Freel RF
    Clayton SS
    Griffey CF
    Aurilia 1B
    Encarnacion 3B
    Phillips 2B
    Denorfia LF
    LaRue C
    Harang P