(EDITOR: Yes, I know we have two posts about this. I wrote this post last night and set it to publish today, as I noted in the game thread. If Bill would just check to see what is in the posting queue before he writes something, we’d have no problem. 🙂 )

(Lowly peion: Sorry master, I’ll try to do better.)

I don’t remember the last time I linked Hal McCoy, but he’s taking off the gloves, it appears:

Pinch-hitter Freddie Lewis hit a ball to dead center. As he has done so often this year, center fielder Willy Taveras broke poorly on the ball, running laterally to his left before realizing the ball was over his head. It fell for a double.

He doesn’t get on base. When he does he doesn’t steal when it is needed. He was brought in to be a leadoff hitter and couldn’t do it and is now batting second. And he is below average in the field. What can Taveras do? He has a nice stereo set in the clubhouse that plays loud, headache-inducing salsa music.

And holy cahooties. Taveras just hit a ground ball to the mound and trotted toward first base. Didn’t run. Jogged. Stopped before he got to the bag. Manager Dusty Baker immediately yanked him from the lineup, replacing him with Laynce Nix.

The Reds later announced that Taveras has a strained right quadriceps muscle. I don’t question the injury, but it was awfully convenient

As far as I’m concerned, and many other fans are concerned, Taveras can rot on the bench the rest of the season. I’ve seen nothing to merit the millions the Reds have flushed down the toilet when they brought this guy in.

Ouch. Go read the entire post by Hal; it’s full of stuff like this.

I defy anyone to provide a defense for this organization permitting Taveras to suck up as many outs as he has, while playing poor defense. Good work, Dusty and Walt.

35 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    I have three defenses.

    1. The money he makes.
    2. He’s fast.
    3. I ain’t no front runner.

  2. Steve Price

    My comment may seem under the circumstances…

    But, we all seem amazed that McCoy is “taking off the gloves.” He’s been writing about the Reds for 37 years, I believe.

    May be we’re seeing why beat writers aren’t necessarily a good idea. It seems obvious to me that McCoy couldn’t say how he felt, or didn’t understand what was going on, being a close beat writer with the Reds…hoping to be around next year. I think he was in a position to having to protect his position.

  3. RC

    I’ve been reading McCoy for every one of his 37 years with the DDN. He has always been critical of the team to a point, although a little reading between the lines was required on occasion. I think the thing that causes him to tread more lightly than you’d like is not his relationship with the organization, but his relationship with the players – without which, it would be difficult for him to do his job. I’m not aware the the Reds org. ever came down on McCoy for being overly critical. Heck, Brennaman bashes the team on a nightly basis – but he doesn’t have to go into the locker room and try to get interviews after a game. I guess you just have to take beat writing for what it’s worth.

  4. Matt Steele

    There is no defense for this

    I hated the Willy T signing immediately because besides one fluke season, he’s basically been a well below average baseball player his entire career. Even that one season his OPS+ was only 89, not even league average.

  5. Andy

    Holy crikey, I think the real story in that column is at the bottom where Hal claims the Reds and the Giants are the finalists for Bill Hall. Apparently, the Brewers want Harang in return. Now I’m not opposed to trading Harang if it gives us some payroll flexibility and nets us an A-ball prospect or two, but picking up a monster contract on a glorified utility infielder is insane. Use the rest of the year to evaluate in house talent, Walt!

  6. Kurt Frost

    I’m seeing rumors that Stubbs is coming up. Why bring him up? Dusty won’t play him.

  7. Glenn

    Harang for Hall straight up would be one of the stupidest trades the Reds have even made. There better be some highly rated prospects coming with that deal.

  8. RC

    I wouldn’t even trade Arroyo for Hall. This is crazy-making stuff right here…

  9. Jimmy James

    I wouldn’t trade Justin Lehr for Hall.

  10. GregD

    If the Reds were adding Bill Hall at the major league minimum without surrendering anyone, and he was strictly used as a bench player, I’d have to think about it.

    Any additional money, players, or playing time, and I’d have to pass.

  11. Travis G.

    I would not sign Hall as a free agent for the veteran minimum salary. Look at his numbers. He hasn’t been the same player since he messed up his ankle and lost his speed in July 2007.

    Trading for him is total insanity; I would not trade Willy Tavares for him.

  12. Kevin Mitchell is Batman

    Whoa whoa whoa…I’d trade Willy Taveras for toilet paper right now.

    It doesn’t even have to be GOOD toilet paper…generic office building TP and I’d do it.

  13. GregD

    He had a fluke HR year in 2006 and the Brewers gave him a big dumb contract. I hadn’t realized had bad his numbers had gotten this year. I was thinking the 2007/08 version of Bill Hall may be worth the final infield bench spot (i.e. ahead of Rosales, who I would currently have behind Sutton)

    But given how much he has dropped, I’d stick with the internal options. Even as a free agent at the major league minimum.

  14. Travis G.

    Bill Hall, who sucks, is owed $8.4 million next year with a $9.25 million club option in 2011, with a $500,000 buyout. Willy Taveras, who also sucks, is owed up to $4.5 million in 2010 and nothing the following year.

    I will take the lesser of two evils, please.

  15. preach

    No, I’d trade Willie for him. I wouldn’t mind having Hall around, personally. As a once or twice a week starter and double switch guy late. And any deal considered for him should be done accordingly. Unfortunately, he would be another piece of ‘veteran leadership’ and would see the field far too often.

  16. David

    On Willy Taveras, the deal absolutely screams Dusty Baker. I’m am absolutely convinced that Dusty Baker forced this one on Walt.

    On Bill Hall, I heard last not on Milwaukee sports radio that Arroyo not Harang was the discussed player. I would do that.

    You have to throw out performances and look at this as a strictly business move. Here’s where the deal is smart. Arroyo’s expected is owed $11 million in 2010 with a $2 million buyout. Hall is owed just $8.4 million next season with a $500k buyout. The net difference is a savings of roughly $4 million.

    Who do we know who makes roughly $4 million next year?

  17. mike

    I had a strange idea today while reading of all things a wonderful blog about baseball cards.

    I then noticed Taveras’s current career trajectory and something doesn’t add up

    Taveras is 27 and should be starting to enter his peak years of baseball performance
    Instead what we are seeing is his 3rd year of decline???

    While there are many prospects or borderline prospects who never make it there are very few who get regular playing time who decline before they are 28.

    A good example might be Bill Hall. He’s declined the last couple years, but he’s also 29
    We’ve seen Taveras’s OPS go from 89 to 56 to 49 and ALL of his other #s go with it, batting average, OBP, etc

    I know this might piss some off, but is Taveras really 27?

  18. Travis G.

    Remember that discussion you and I had a couple of weeks ago, Mike, about speedy guys like Taveras, Mookie Wilson and others?

    I can’t remember what specific stats that lumped those particular players together, but I found that most of them had just two or three good years, tops, and then went into steep decline. And with the exception of Mookie and, I think, one other player, they all peaked between ages 25 and 27 and were pretty much washed up by 28 or 29.

    Speed doesn’t age well, is the lesson I drew. (But Willy could be older, I suppose. He is Dominican.)

  19. mike

    Travis I think you’re probably right. The other thing that doesn’t age well are contact hitters with no power who hit the ball on the ground. When have you seen one of those types play late in their career.

    I guess I was just looking for anything to explain what is up with Taveras. He’s not just bad, he’s one of the worst ever.

    drum roll, and Dusty doesn’t see it

  20. Travis G.

    Slyde says Stubbs will be called up today. I would imagine they’ll place Taveras on the DL to clear a spot for him, but I would endorse a good, old-fashioned designation for assignment.

  21. EKyRedsFan

    I’m still waiting for the official word on Drew Stubbs… I can already hear Dusty… “It’s a long drive from Louisville.. dude’s tired and needs to adjust to his surroundings, so he’ll be sitting out tonight so he can take it all in.”

  22. Matt WI

    Aaron Harang for Bill Hall? Never in life. Hall’s contract is atrocious… it can’t even be a serious consideration. Please, please let SF win that battle.

  23. Josh

    Stubbs will need to chill and marinate, most likely.

  24. Greg Dafler

    David @ 17:
    Why would they trade a player who is contributing to Wins (Arroyo) for a player who is playing as poorly as Taveras with a contract twice as expensive as Taveras just to have extra cash to pay off Taveras?

  25. Matt WI

    There’s no such thing as a player of Hall’s (poor) caliber being “only” paid $8.4mil.If he and Willy were on the team next year, that would be $12mil toward nothing. I’d rather have neither and keep Arroyo.

  26. doktor

    Mike @20 – Ozzie Smith, Omar Vizquel, Brett Butler.

  27. RC

    Plus one suspects that, if the Reds acquire Hall, the 2010 shortstop search will be considered over – he has played some short, 3B is occupied, and his outfield defense has left much to be desired. Frankly, I’d much sooner spend 8 1/2 mil on Hernandez than this guy next year… and I don’t want to do that either. Man, I hope this just blows over.

  28. David

    GregD – to answer your question…

    Hall, for all his faults, is a solid defender at third base and serviceable at LF/RF. Over the past three years, Hall’s numbers are .292/.374/.536 against lefties. This year, he is down drastically. Last year was close to his career norms. At the very least, what you get is a very, very expensive RH PH and defensive substitution.

    You may rightly question why the Reds want to pay Hall 9 million to be that guy when the team could pay close to the league minimum and get the same production. The answer is to save money. There are three guys in AAA which I believe could replace Arroyo’s production, Thompson, Wood, and Maloney. Two others, LeCure and Ramirez, could spot start in a pinch.

    So, would you rather replace a guy making 9 million with league minimum or a guy making 13 million with league minimum?

    The other question is what you would otherwise get in return for Arroyo if you wanted to shed salary, which the Reds do. Even the Yankees didn’t want Arroyo without salary relief. Sending salary relief may get you a prospect who doesn’t sniff Bill Hall’s ability in the future.

    Look, I think both guys are about as useful as a poopy flavored lollypop, but its about money in this deal.

  29. preach

    “about as useful as a poopy flavored lollypop”

    Oh, I could come up with a use for that item….right after I hide Dusty’s box of toothpicks.