Article in today’s Enquirer on Jerry Narron:

Narron is at a pretty typical junction for a Reds manager. He’s in his second year, so a lot of people who loved him when he replaced Dave Miley would like to seem him unemployed now.

The same thing happened with Jack McKeon, Bob Boone and Miley. After they take over, they’re seen as a breath of pure mountain air. McKeon was seen as a no-non-sense, straight shooter when he took over for Ray Knight. The players loved him initially. By the time his contract was not renewed, the players would have voted 24-1 to fire him.

Boone came in and he was seen as a laid-back antidote to McKeon – more cerebral than old school.

That lasted about one season.

Miley and Narron had similar honeymoons before the fans turned on them

He lost me at “cerebral”…I’d call him a spaz. But you say tomato, I say tomato.

Narron is often questioned for his in-game moves. But that’s the nature of managing. You make countless decisions in the course of a season. The vast majority go unnoticed. But every one that comes at the end of a game you lose gets second-guessed.

But the biggest complaint I hear about Narron is he doesn’t motivate the players. He pleads guilty to the charge that he is not a fiery guy.

“But I think I get my point across without yelling or screaming,” Narron said.

I don’t know that the comments made here or on the Reds listserv are indicative of “normal fans”, but I’ve heard no complaints about his motivating players. But there have been TONS of complaints about his gametime decisions. He’s brought that on himself by his comments about managing with his heart.

My take on Narron has always been the same: You’ve got to judge a manager by wins and losses. The Reds were widely picked by the experts to finish sixth in the National League Central. They’re going to exceed that.

Bookies, who unlike the experts are rarely wrong, thought this of the Reds in March. They had the over-under on Reds’ wins at 74. The Reds will exceed that.

The fact that they’re going to finish higher makes no impression on me. The record will be better, but will it be above what most consider the “margin of error”? I don’t think so. Is this team better than last year or is the rest of the division much worse?

What can you say has been Narron’s best decision this year? Playing EE. And that took EE playing so well (and other’s struggling) that he HAD to play him and it took quite a while to convince him. I can’t think of another positive decision he made.

This article is a beat writer (Fay) writing a one sided article that doesn’t examine the questions about the job that Narron has done this year.

2 Responses

  1. RickNmd

    Don’t disagree with you about Fay’s article but I think if you do an objective examination of Narron’s job performance that it will still grade out well.

    We can bicker about in-game managing, but this was not a very good team and after some patchwork moves and one big trade (Arroyo), they played above their heads into June and then settled into what they should have been.

    I don’t recall anyone picking this team above 5th in the NL Central. The down-year for the division aside (that’s not the Reds’ fault; everyone else in the division to had to play to this hand), but to be around .500 was not expected by anyone.

  2. Ken

    Us finishing above 74 wins is more of a product of (some of) Kriv’s pick-ups. Arroyo, Ross, and Phillips, namely. As for motivating players, I think the manager does play a role. He certainly hasn’t inspired greatness since in September.