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.

5 Responses

  1. REDS1

    Well put Chris. They have no plan. And this is the reason this team will have yet another losing season. On the cheap and without a plan will guarantee the Reds are bottom feeders for a long long time.

    Who was it predicting 85-90 wins this season? Now they are not even confident that the team will be competitive NEXT year. At least the head honchos are realistic in evaluating their own personal abilities.

    I hope the media and fans continue to hold Jockety and Castilini’s feet to the fire.

  2. Kerm

    The only people that would ever be satisfied with this answer to “a plan,” would be people that absolutely don’t listen to what someone is saying to them. That person would only understand key words. Much like some people in politcal arguements only hear or use key taglines. Such as “develop young players,” “build foundation,” but then he says “be fair to our fans.” I am so disenchanted right now that I don’t even want to finish out this season. It is becoming a chore to pay attention to this team. The worst part is I feel like there is no hope in sight. The only sentimentalism I feel towards the Reds is starting to fade. These comments by our GM does not help the matter.

  3. Rob

    The biggest question I have is: WHY wouldn’t you want to compete EVERY YEAR! I mean it only makes sense to put the pieces of the puzzle together to make a winning team. How hard is it to say “Yes, we are going to put a team together next year that can win?” That’s not undercutting ticket sales at all!

    The fact that this management is unwilling to just go out, shop around, and bring a winning team to Cincinnati, PROVES the current state of sports in Cincinnati. Can Castellini be compared in the same boat as Paul Brown? I would say so.

  4. Glenn

    I’m with Travis on this one. Normally, I’m fairly patient with managment as they try to sort things out. But WJ’s answer did not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling at all.

  5. REDS1

    “I have heard rumors that the Reds are in very bad shape, budget-wise. I don’t know how that gibes with the Rolen deal, or a possible budget bump next year, but it’s what I’ve heard.”
    I don’t know how they couldn’t be having major budget problems. The team is awful and it is clear the fans have stopped coming to the games. Ofcourse when you lose year-in-year-out that is what happens.

    So very depressing.