I have to admit that Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall stunned me the other day when he traded Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners.
Not that I was shocked Castillo was dealt. We all expected it. But Krall (aka ‘Bull in a China Shop’ per Phil Castellini) somehow got a decent haul of young prospects from the Mariners, who appear serious about contending in the American League.
I confess as to knowing little or nothing about these prospects. Most of us had never heard of them before. I sure hadn’t. But The Bull must have held out and dismissed lesser offers. However, I will not concede that Krall has risen to the ranks of a genius after most of us dismissed him as incompetent just months earlier.
I give his trade a “B”. It may work out. It may blow up. No one knows. I still remember the three lefthanders we got for Johnny Cueto, painful as that is.
And now that the Reds have risen out of the basement of the National League Central, their next goal is to prove they are not the worst Reds team in our lifetime, something which belongs to the 1982 team that finished with an inglorious 60–102 record. The incredible thing about that is in 1981, the Reds had the best record in baseball.
I’m about 80% done with an article comparing those 1982 Reds versus this current Reds bunch on a position by position basis to include Managers and General Managers. I use statistics of course (just based on those two separate seasons) but the problem I have is my own bias.
For example, the left fielders. Eddie Milner played there in 1982 and Tommy Pham does for these Reds. I met Milner before he passed away from cancer and liked him. We talked for a long time at Redsfest. He admitted to me how bad that ‘82 team was. Eddie was a good baseball player but not a great one. Not even close.
But I don’t care for Tommy Pham. I never have. The incident before a Reds game when he had a fight with another player on an opposing team over fantasy football is all I need to know about him. You’re on a last place team and being paid millions of dollars and that’s what you’re focused on before a game?
Release him, trade him, do whatever but get this guy out of Cincinnati. We lose Nick Castellanos and get Tommy Pham. That’s a culture change in the wrong way. I’d go to war with Castellanos.
Sorry to get off track. Back to The Bull.
No Reds GM has been perfect. Even Bob Howsam made some bad trades. He never should have traded Ross Grimsley. Trading Tony Perez and Will McEnaney for Woody Fryman and Dale Murray was a disaster. They all have made mistakes, bad deals, and horrible signings. Remember Eric Milton?
Nick Krall has done the same thing. Maybe ownership mandated him to do some things he didn’t want to do to “align payroll”. Maybe he’s a loyal soldier that will go down with the ship. I don’t have a lot of confidence in him but at least the Castillo trade made sense in this economic age of baseball.
Phil Castellini? I will never forgive what he said about me and thousands of other Reds fans. Never, ever. His “apology” was simply milquetoast. It sounded like someone wrote it for him. I thought it was insincere, at best.
Like it or not, we are at the mercy of The Bull. I can’t remember who made the comment on The Nation but it was “Bull on the Loose.”
That’s perfect. He beat me to it.
Just please, no more three lefthanders.