The Unnamed Cincinnati Reds Podcast: Episode 14 Doug Gray March 13, 2018 15 Comments After an emergency episode on Sunday when it seemed that our pitchers heads were falling off, things are back to the normally scheduled time-slot this week. Brian Snow and myself discussed quite a bit on the show this week, including a topic we didn’t plan on that made us both think the other person was crazy. Here’s how the podcast breaks down by topic this week: Anthony DeSclafani down with an oblique injury. Brandon Finnegan, possibly down with something going on – and who fumbled the ball on this one? Is the team looking at Amir Garrett as a reliever only moving forward? Previewing both the shortstop and outfield positions for 2018. If you want to download this episode directly, you can do so here. Subscribing to the podcast and helping out If you would like to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, you can now do that. If you use old fashioned RSS feeds to subscribe to podcasts, you can do that here. We can always use more ratings on iTunes. So if you’ve got a minute we’d greatly appreciate it if you could swing by and give the podcast a rating. It’ll help us move up the rankings and get in front of other listeners. 15 Responses Jasonp March 13, 2018 Podcast is not enjoyable when you can’t move on to the next subject and call what the other person is saying is stupid. You need to figure out a way to stop doing this. Disagree and move on. It is not something I want to listen to. Mike March 14, 2018 agreed … Guys you just needed to move on sooner .. lesson learned .. move on Colorado Red March 14, 2018 Doug, I enjoy the podcast. Leave it as it is. 44Reds March 14, 2018 Doug, I’m a longtime fan of your site, but I somewhat agree with Jason’s assessment regarding the arguing on the podcast. Brian needs to tone down the aggression in his debate style. It seems personal, although I’m sure it isn’t. My two cents. The Duke March 14, 2018 Regardless of how much the franchise is valued and how many hundreds of millions of dollars it has appreciated, they don’t see that money unless they sell. Cash flow and cash on hand is a very real thing, and running multi-year deficits is not a good business plan. Doug Gray March 14, 2018 Many, many businesses operate exactly like that. I’m not suggesting Frank that runs to local diner to take losses every year, because that might actually put him out of business. I’m asking the 21 owners of the Cincinnati Reds, all of whom are worth many, many, many millions on their own, to potentially take some cash losses in order to better the long term product and make them more money. The Duke March 14, 2018 And many many businesses fail. Outside of startup costs in the first few years of a new business, it’s a bad sign if you are running deficits year after year. You as a fan might want them to lose money and win, but they would rather make money and attempt to win. Look around professional sports, who all is losing money year after year? I can’t think of a single example off the top of my head. It’s not like they are slashing payroll to the bone and not spending any money. They spent a bunch the past few years (international, full draft allotment, new statistical analysis departments, minor league training upgrades, etc…), just not as much on the big league roster. This year might have some bargains in free agency, but I agree with the team that this isn’t the year to commit to over priced free agents on the decline. Just not that great of a market. If there were a free agent CF or SS that made sense, then maybe I would have been a little more critical. See where we are this year and go into the next offseason willing to spend a little if we can add a piece that fits. Doug Gray March 14, 2018 But the Reds aren’t running at a deficit year after year. As I said, I’m not asking them to lose $50M a year, or even lose money for a lot of years in a row. But I also don’t think it’s an unreasonable ask for them to lose $10M here and there, even if it’s in back to back years to invest in the product on the field to try and build the brand. The Duke March 14, 2018 And when we were competitive, payroll did go up. As the new crop of young guys get more expensive and under the assumption that we are competitive, I expect payroll to go up again. More this time even with the new TV deal, I could see the Reds with a $130-$140 million payroll come 2022, but at this moment with these free agents, I don’t see that being an investment worth making. Doug Gray March 14, 2018 What I’m saying is that you can get competitive quicker, by spending a little bit extra right now. And in the long run, that’s going to return the investment. Winning 78 games instead of 74 games has real, actual value to the bottom line. The Duke March 14, 2018 74 to 78 isn’t going to make a huge dent in local fan interest. It may be more than 0, but that isn’t making that 5-6000 season ticket increase you were talking about in the podcast. I don’t think you’ll see readily tangible benefits until the Reds are either in the playoffs or just miss the playoffs. I don’t disagree that there is a time to spend money, I just think that time is better suited next year. I haven’t seen a ready free agent acquisition this offseason that would have made a big difference, and I’m not a big fan of the pitchers in this market either. I know you wouldn’t have given up the package it likely would have taken to land Yelich (neither would I) and I don’t think you should spend money just to spend money. If the fit isn’t there, you can’t force it. Well, you can, but odds are you aren’t getting the result you hoped for. DX March 14, 2018 I would spend the money if the Reds were close. They’re not. The Reds look like they are trying to follow the Cubs, Royals and Astros model of building a strong young team and then add what they need when they are close. My opinion is that the Reds aren’t close to the talent level of what the Cubs, Royals and Astros were. The Cubs were solid, but it took spending $100m on free agents to win the world series. The Reds won’t do that. tom March 14, 2018 Hell or high water they will be forced to go for it next year. People won’t wait beyond that. SO, being that they are in actually range, AND even having some outside shot of a wild card with a crazy season, they should have been buying on pitching this year. As we’re watching the Reds staff unfold, it’s going to be a lot more of injuries, inconsistent handling of pitchers, shuttling players around, etc. Here are 2 ways 2018 could go: 1) A satisfactory showing by the pitching staff, but still without a feasible playoff rotation. 2) An unsatisfactory showing by the pitching staff, but nowhere near a playoff rotation. In my view, either way, the Reds should have been buying at this year’s low FA prices when they weren’t in a tight jam. At this year’s deadline, or in the off season, or next year’s deadline, if at any point they want better pitching, they’ll have teams asking for Hunter Greene, this year’s #5 pick, or something likewise meaningful in exchange for what could have simply been bought at a fair price. I refer to the Latos deal, which was expedient and helpful in the short term, but ultimately an overspend on value created during the rebuild. In terms of WAR, the Reds lost pretty badly, not to mention on the financial side with add on’s like Madsen. This is a trapping of the current rebuild plan that the Cubs, Astros, Yankees and others have used or will use. Go for broke when the time comes. I don’t think the Reds should be so sure that when they need to make something happen, they will have the player or cash resources to make it so. At least just add value when it’s available. another bob in nc March 14, 2018 If there were any chance the Reds would spend their money wisely, I’d be all for. It’s easy to spend other people’s money, especially if you euphemistically call it “investment.” Given the way the Reds have spent of late, I doubt it matters. Guy Evans March 15, 2018 One thing that got me was the argument that losing 5 million = spending 5 million more dollars. It was said that 5 million dollars wouldn’t really make too big of a difference in the Reds competing (fair imo). But saying that assumes the Reds only break even. Let’s say the Reds make 25 Million a year (I have no actual clue on this number). So asking to “Lose 5 million” in reality would mean spending 30 million more. Now, with 30 million you can get three guys who can really end up helping your team. And while winning may or may not increase franchise value, it absolutely affects ticket sales, memorabilia, tv contracts, etc, which in turn increase yearly income. So I can definitely see where “losing money” for a couple years could be a good investment long term.