John Fay, who’s doing yeoman’s work lately (especially for a guy with no competition), asked Walt Jocketty to explain the Reds plan.

Jocketty’s answer was beyond poor.  The guy sounds like he’s never even considered the question:

“The plan is . . . we have a plan, let’s put it at that. . . The plan is to try and develop quality young players and build a foundation for the organization for the long-term, not just the short-term.

“We’re also trying to be fair to our fans and be competitive as much as we could this year. I think we were until we were hit with a lot of injuries in the middle of July. We didn’t have the depth to compensate for it.

“The plan is to continue to sign quality young talent and develop it to the major league level. That’s simplifying it. But that’s the plan.”

Do you think you can compete next year?

“I don’t know,” Jocketty said. “I don’t know what the competition will be next year. I would hope we were competing this year until we got hurt.”

That reminds me of Mr. Hand’s great line from Fast Times:

Mr. Hand: [Mr. Hand goes to blackboard and writes the words ‘I Don’t Know’, then underlines them]

Mr. Hand: I like that. ‘I Don’t Know.’ That’s nice.

Mr. Hand: ‘Mr. Hand, will I pass this class?’ Gee, Mr. Spicoli, I don’t know! You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to leave your words right up here for all my classes to enjoy, giving you full credit of course, Mr. Spicoli.

Jeff Spicoli: All right!

Smart remarks aside, Jocketty’s answer reveals exactly what’s wrong with the Reds.

The plan is to try and develop quality young players and build a foundation for the organization for the long-term, not just the short-term.

– Sounds like the Pirates and Royals, but okay.

We’re also trying to be fair to our fans and be competitive as much as we could this year.

– Wait, wait, wait.  That is totally different from what you just said.  Fooling around with the likes of Willy Taveras isn’t “fair” to anyone.  And frankly, it’s insulting to your fans if you think they’ll be enticed to the ballpark by a half-assed attempt to “be competitive as much as you can.”

I think we were until we were hit with a lot of injuries in the middle of July. We didn’t have the depth to compensate for it.

I am so sick of this injury excuse, but it appears that Jocketty/Baker are going to stick with it.  It’s nonsense (every team has injuries) and inaccurate (they were in 5th place by July 9, before the mythical injury deluge).  But more than that, it is no excuse. Walt Jocketty is the guy who built a roster with zero depth.  Yet he’s acting like he’s somehow the victim.

The plan is to continue to sign quality young talent and develop it to the major league level. That’s simplifying it. But that’s the plan.

Taking us back to Scott Rolen, Zack Stewart, and Josh Roenicke.

Do you think you can compete next year?

“I don’t know,” Jocketty said. “I don’t know what the competition will be next year. I would hope we were competing this year until we got hurt.

WAIT A MINUTE.  YOU DON’T KNOW?  Then why were you adding salary and shedding young players for next year just last week? This stuff boggles the mind.