Joel Sherman of the New York Post is a reporter who Walt Jocketty and Bob Castellini will have in their old paper rolodexes. Either would be comfortable whipping open a flip phone and giving Sherman an off the record quote. 

This thinking would take the organization in the opposite direction of what I wrote about the other day — many successful teams have hired young managers who would be open to and good at communicating information from the front office to players. Instead, “face of the franchise” candidates like Girardi and Farrell tend to be set in their ways and want to run the show. 

Why would any faction in the Reds hierarchy want that? 

Maybe ownership wants a famous guy like Girardi in the mistaken belief it would sell tickets.

Or, the owner sees signing a famous manager as an ego-stroke, a notch on the organization’s belt, like when the Reds hired Dusty Baker.

Or, the former GM turned Castellini-whisperer is pushing the hiring of a veteran manager because that’s all he knows, and resists modern approaches to winning games. 

Take yer’ pick.

There’s no stinking way Dick Williams wants any of that. He wouldn’t be conducting this extensive of a search just to hire the guy whose Aqua Velva smells the strongest. Williams has signaled all along the Reds are looking for something new. External candidates he’s included in the mix indicate that. 

Obviously, this is guesswork.

But the leak to Joel Sherman has the whiff of resistance through counter-programming. It’s the Old School guys pushing back against a manager search they feel is veering too far in the direction of candidates who would cede ground to front office analytics departments.

Unfortunately for the Reds and their fans, the manager search now appears to be turning into a clash between the old way of doing things and the new. As I wrote two days ago, a divided voice at the top will limit the effectiveness of whomever is hired. 

More importantly — and it’s sad to even have to say the obvious — using ridiculous and obsolete notions like “face of the franchise” as a criteria for hiring a manager is exactly what is slowly, but surely killing the Reds. 

26 Responses

  1. Mike Adams

    A small market team like the Reds cannot outspend the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc.
    I think they need to use a diamond-in-the-rough approach to finding a new manager. He would be the type of manager you wrote about the other day, Steve.
    The old school way won’t bring success to the Reds against the better franchises in MLB.

    • Bmblie

      Managers hardly get paid anything. Aaron Boone makes 1.1M bucks and Alex Cora makes 800k in Boston. Manager salary is a drop in the bucket.

      • Mike Adams

        You are correct.
        Sorry, I was not clear on what I was saying. Let me try again.

        A small market team like the Reds cannot outspend the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc., for free agents or long term contracts. The Reds have to draft wisely, develop successfully, find turnaround players and look for diamonds-in-the-rough.

        I think they need to use a diamond-in-the-rough approach to finding a new manager.
        They may be able to afford an old school, face of the franchise manager but that will not bring success to the Reds against the better franchises with money.

        The Reds have to come up with innovative ways to compete whether in the front office, field manager, drafting, trades, player development, coaching, communications, use of analytics, etc.

  2. Eddiek957

    Sonny Gray is only controllable for next season. He has trouble with homers at yankee stadium

  3. Ed

    I remember his press conference well. Bob said he would bring a world series championship to cincy. The reds were coming off of 5 yrs of losing under carl linders ownership. Another disastrous ownership ! BC claimed if momma aint happy nobody’s happy. Well i must say after 13 yrs of his ownership his wife must be miserable.

  4. Ed

    By the way why is Dick Williams the man supposedly in charge. What the heck is his credentials other than his family owning the minority share of team. This whole thing stinks top to bottom.

    • Ed

      Just because someone has a education and is smart with a good head on his shoulders doesn’t qualify someone to run a major league franchise. Bottom line is the only way he’s got that job is he’s related to the owner. No other major league franchise would hire this man to run them. There are a lot of educated people who dont know what their doing in all walks. We will see. I hope he does well. The fans deserve better than what their getting.

      • Alex

        Have to agree Ed. Truthfully, Dick Williams has no baseball track record at all. He is the minorities owners owners son. They moved him out of the GM role to president of Baseball ops to get the blame off of him and give them someone to fire. Comedienne Nick kroll is the GM just as a face. Walt and Bob call the shots from the fruit stand. Walt hasn’t eaten anything but Castellini green beans from a can for decade and will live to be 130, still calling the shots.

        No, but on a serious note. Ask yourself, would Dick Williams be objectively hired by any other org to be a president of anything? I highly doubt it. Nepotism is killing the reds. Maybe the reason no one seems to listen to him is his job is more ceremonial, like being named the prince of the reds.

  5. David

    Well, could have been Old Spice, too.

  6. David

    I think that this is really about “selling tickets”, especially season tickets, by generating a buzz about a hiring a top drawer manager. Season ticket sales have got to be down, because the Reds stink on ice. Four straight +90 loss seasons, and as Sparky used to say…”The natives are restless”. Castellini, ever the marketing guy, thinks that this is a quick fix.

    Bob Howsam, a pretty smart guy, hired a total unknown in Sparky Anderson. How did that work out?
    Seriously. the manager doesn’t win games by pitching or hitting (well, Pete Rose was a player manager for a few years), but he has to be in tune and on the same page as the Front Office. They have to share the same strategy.
    The campaign to get Girardi or someone like him is a slap in the face to Williams, because he obviously will not be on the same strategy page as Williams. If Williams is not President of Baseball operations (which he is) and setting the strategy for the Reds personnel (which he is supposed to be). then he should quit. And maybe that’s why they hired the son of one of the minority owners, was to put a shine on one fan faction and look like “Hey, we’re modernizing!”
    I think if Williams quit and made some noise about it, that would really embarrass Castellini. But likely, he won’t and Billy Hamilton will be our Opening Day CF.
    This is your 2019 Cincinnati Reds.

    If the Reds hire an “old school” guy like Girardi, then I almost feel like throwing in the towel on being a fan. Castellini is just effing with us, at this point.

    • Jeff Reed

      It becomes more evident that the new manager will be chosen by a divided front office with the ‘old school’ group consisting of Castellini, Jocketty and perhaps Lou Pinella, and the ‘new school’ faction of DW and Krall who are trying to conduct a real search for the manager. Without a united front office, it’s going to be tough for the Reds to move forward.

  7. David

    Yeah, they would certainly play the game…The Right Way (said in George Grande’s voice)

  8. scotly50

    Charlie Montoya or Hensley Meulens would be my selections. One of them, I feel, would be highly motivated and innovative in their approach. A breath of fresh air so to speak.

    But the Braves and Cardinals had success with managers, older mind you, that had been in the organizations for years. Both teams responded well. Maybe in part because the players knew them previously and vise versa.

  9. Bill j

    I’m still afraid this search for a manager is just a show, they have known all along who the next manager is going to be. Hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see.

  10. another bob from nc

    Face of the franchise? The circus closed down. There should be plenty of clowns available.

  11. Mason Red

    I’m sure the Reds have already made the choice for manager and they are following the unwritten rule of waiting until the WS is over before making the grand announcement. As we speak the new manager,FO and ownership are working diligently on the plan to return this franchise to glory. Many player moves are being talked about and failure isn’t an option. A new era of Reds domination will ensue…..Sorry…just being sarcastic.

  12. Optimist

    Follow the money – is there a conflict in the ownership group? Is the timing such that it’s approaching the end of BC’s managing partner status? Who is next in line amongst the group – return to the Williams or another partner? How does DW’s position matter to the managing partner?

    Absent an external or unrelated financial squeeze to one of the partners, I suspect BC’s term has left the franchise in sound to excellent financial condition. IOW, the challenge is managing the bottom line 1st, and managing to contention 2nd. Finance won’t affect the managerial decision.

    All reports indicate DW clearly gets that, so the decision may come down to whether the next manager, or the one after that, is the one for the playoffs and beyond.

    What the Cubs did in the winter of 2014 is the template for upgrading field managers. The Reds aren’t there yet, but they do need to show action that they will be.

  13. sezwhom

    Unless we get solid Starting Pitching for nearly a whole year, they could hire a chimp and it won’t matter.

    • Jeff Reed

      Agreed. And I would add the manager, whoever it is, will not really matter unless the influence of Mr. Jocketty is gone from the front office and the DW/Krall team is given full control over baseball personnel decisions, and that Billy Hamilton is not the starting centerfielder.

  14. Ed

    Bob is making to much money. Forbes article on teams worth is a eye opener. The reds are worth way more than what he purchased them for in 2005. I dont want to hear about the poor small market team anymore. The reds have plenty of money. They went all in on a rebuild so they could save money but it back fired because they have no direction and their player development has failed them. Any business that is bad is because the people at the top are bad.

  15. Ben

    When your headline is a question, it usually signals the article didn’t need to be written. When the article is just negative spin on a vague tweet, it confirms the article didn’t need to be written.

    I love this website but lately Mancuso is like a dog with a bone when it comes to finding ANY reason to get down on decisions the Reds *might* be *thinking about* making. This site has been becoming a Castellini-bashing circle-jerk.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I hope you’re just trolling Ben because if you really believe what you wrote, I don’t know what to think. You certainly are entitled to that opinion but whew, you are likely in the vast minority of readers/posters on this site.

      • RedInIND

        I’m with you, Jazzman. Steve’s critiques, alalyses, and insights provide some of the best reading found here.

  16. Ed

    A circle-jerk ! No ben he’s doing a great job. I’ll take another 13yrs of this bs. You must be a family member. He deserves all the criticism. It starts and ends with the boss. People are fed up.

  17. Ed

    I was speaking about BC not steve. Sorry about the confusiion. I like steve’s topics. I dont like the Circle jerk reference because of criticism of BC. The fo has earned fans criticism.