Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wayne Krivsky's firing gives me hope

It gives me hope that incompetent GMs can, in fact, be fired midseason. Please let Ned Colletti be next. Now, Krivsky had his moments. He acquired Brandon Phillips for basically nothing, and he managed to get one good year out of Bronson Arroyo before Cincinnati's home park destroyed yet another flyball pitcher.

It's rare that I'd call for a general manager's head for one or two mistakes, but Krivsky was the exception. Hiring Dusty was the latest. I half expected Walt Jocketty to interrupt the press conference announcing his promotion to fire Dusty Baker, then apologize for the interjection.

But the real mistake for which Krivsky will be remembered is the absolute fleecing handed him by Jim Bowden, the former Reds GM. He sent Austin Kearns, shortstop Felipe López, and minor league right-hander Ryan Wagner to the Washington Nationals for right-hander Gary Majewski (was injured pre-trade, sucked, is no longer with the Reds), left-hander Bill Bray (sucked, pitched maybe forty 40 league innings over the past three years for the Reds), veteran shortstop Royce Clayton (always sucked, insane that anyone wanted him) and minor-leaguers Brendan Harris (useful scrub) and Daryl Thompson (sucked, no idea what happened to him).

Krivsky apparently didn't feel the need to have Majewski checked out, so when he showed up, immediately needed a cortisone shot, told the Reds his shoulder had been sore for months, and then went on the DL, it came as somewhat of a surprise. Caveat emptor. I remember thinking that a player must have been left out of the news blurb. Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez weren't stars, but they were serviceable Major League starters (Lopez was coming off his 23-home-run season) who had been traded for essentially nothing. This is the kind of deal that would have been vetoed in any fantasy league.

The history of Major League Baseball is littered with atrocious swaps. But, there are surprisingly few that were hopelessly and obviously one-sided when they were announced. These are the only two deals I can think of in recent history:

1.) The Kazmir (and a minor leaguer!) for the mediocre Victor Zambrano trade; and

2.) The Pierzynski for Bonser (serviceable Major League starting pitcher), Francisco Liriano (better numbers than Johan Santana when he was healthy), and Joe Nathan (just entering his prime, coming off a year where he more than a K an innings, a sub 3.0 ERA, and a 1.06 WHIP) trade.

In fantasy leagues, the only comparable deal I can remember amongst the leagues in which I knew the participants was in 2001, when Sammy Sosa (coming off three seasons in which he posted averages of roughly 60 home runs, .300 BA, and 145ish RBIs) was traded for Geoff Jenkins (coming off a 34-home-run season) and Moises Alou (coming off a 27-home-run season). Basically, Sosa was traded for two players who, combined, might equal his home run total, and with far worse RBI/runs per at-bats ratios. Believe it or not, the person receiving Sosa was the commissioner of the league.

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