Yesterday the Cincinnati Reds did a whole lot of announcing. They announced the promotions of Shawn Pender and Eric Lee to Vice President, Director of Player Development, and Senior Direct of Player Development. One of those roles is brand new. The other one was previously held by Jeff Graupe, who was promoted last month. They also announced a new partnership with Double-A Chattanooga for the next two years. There was also some talk about who they have talked to internally for the managers job in 2019.

After the announcement I saw comments everywhere the echoed the same general thought. And it was those comments that just didn’t quite sit right with me. The initial thought held a little bit of water, but it was the reasoning that followed most of those comments that simply didn’t. And rather than type it all out, I decided that since I’m still paying to keep the podcast up (though it’s going to disappear into the ether soon enough), that I should just record my thoughts and put it out there.

If you want to download the episode directly and listen to it, you can do that here. Or you can just listen to it below.


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11 Responses

  1. Joe

    This yr coming up we will b out of the penalty international wise so hopefully they see that they have to get better at scouting and signing these 16-17 kids and not just in Cuba.we need scouts in every nook n cranny of the world.this and the draft are th only way we dig out of this hole and stay out cuz we’re not spending on free agent talent so they need to double n triple the resources everywhere else to make up th ground or were gonna be th “devil”rays,yrs of no hope

  2. Joe

    I understand these guys had never done thr new jobs b4 this I jus ment it feels there not even looking outside of Building for help everything feels jus of bunch of inside moving parts of people that been thr atleast since th beginning of this rebuild. I kno none of it was thr decision but seems that when u hire that person to begin with no matter th job title it’s because u share the same vision and ideas. With that first list of interviews for manager it seemed it was all intern people so hopefully there’s more to that

  3. Joe

    To me This just feels like a HUGE yr coming up for our redlegs they need show real progress and desire to want to win and not jus by talking about it but by actions or risk losing a lot more than just baseball games

    • Colorado Red

      HUGH? How sow.
      Wins or 100 losses?
      At long as BC meddles, the Reds will stink.
      If the Reds have a flat, and they want to rotate the tires, and drive on.

  4. Alex

    Doug, I dig your points on this. I’m glad you offered your perspective on Twitter to me and I overstated blame on Lee. Fine, Eric Lee isn’t responsible for any bad decisions. But what exactly is he responsible for? Your talking a completely anonymous “Baseball Operations Assistant” who sky rockets in four years to his position now. What is his track record?

    Your talking about an angry and increasingly apathetic fan base that I think is looking for a track record of success. Cause the reds don’t need new ideas, they need good ideas because the bottom line is the reds need to produce their own players. Plain and simple. No really good free agent pitcher with options of where to sign is going to sign up to pitch in that ball park. Itjust isn’t happening and it never has. And I don’t believe that scouting is the problem, the majors is filled with lots of players drafted or signed by the reds.

    Again Doug, angry fans make emotional statements but you’d rather have that then apathy and I appreciate your comments. By the same token, who is this guy? And are we really to believe he is the best guy for the job when you examined the entirety of the MLB? there aren’t hot shots groomed by St Louis, Atlanta or the Ray’s that are looking for a bigger title? Does Jeff graupe have a track record that warranted his promotion?

    I’m not going to spend money on the reds but I still follow it online but that is slowing down. John Fay assured me they were going to make an outside hire thats just going to be great for Lee’s old title, so I’m holding John it.

    • Doug Gray

      I guess I’d ask this question for starters: What kind of track record are you looking for from a farm director? One that produces prospects? We had that guy and people thought he wasn’t good enough. One that produces winners in the Majors? That’s far beyond the scope of the farm director. I don’t know what the answer is, to be honest with you. That’s the tough part. The farm director isn’t the guy picking the players to put in the system. He’s sort of kind of responsible for developing them, but not exactly. The coaches are sort of his call. Sort of. The direction the team wants the overall aspect of things to go might be coming from above his head. Maybe it’s not.

      And your last statement is more of the confusion I spoke of. John said they would be hiring a new international scouting director, likely from outside the organization. That is not what Eric Lee’s job was. That seems to be what a lot of people believed his job was, though.

  5. Colorado Red

    Good talk, however,
    If I recall the Reds spent 6 Mil + penalty on Alfredo Rodriguez.
    He stinks. Bad scouting.
    Then also spent about 5 Mil + Penalty on Vladimir Gutierrez. 9th prospect.
    Still does not look like a top of the line starter.
    There are lot of kids signed between 100 – 300K.
    Looks like bad scouting and just more of the same.
    Sorry to be negative Nelly, but I have to agree with most of the commentators you talked about.
    The definition of insanity, is doing the same thing, and expecting a different result.

    • Doug Gray

      The people who signed every player you speak of are not the ones that got these two jobs. They weren’t the people who had the job previously either.

      Which goes back to exactly what I was saying in my rant. People are blaming these people for things that they literally had nothing at all to do with.

  6. Ghettotrout1

    Doug – People love to complain that is the number one problem. Number two problem is I don’t know the exact percentage of people who comment on the Reds on the various sites but I would have to imagine a high percentage don’t work in baseball, front offices and or any kind of capacity to actually make them knowledgeable on baseball operations. I think its pretty crazy to complain about who the Reds hire to do anything front office related or minor league related because like you said most people have zero idea what the job even entails. Furthermore how can anyone complain about someone they have hired if they themselves don’t actually have any background or met this person. I agree it gets frustrating.

  7. Ghettotrout1

    The Reds suck for various reasons.

    1 – They started the rebuild too late
    2 – Some of the pieces they picked to be their core didn’t work out (Bailey/Mesoraco) but looking back at the decision making you can’t actually argue with the signings at the time
    3 – They are a small market team and mistakes like the above kill you and they just don’t spend enough money to spend their way out of it
    4 – Some of the trades simply haven’t worked out (Cueto trade, Chapman trade)
    5 – lets face it some things in baseball just happen to be luck (injuries and prospects – as Doug pointed out Jose Altuve)

  8. Redsvol

    Tampa is not a bad comparison but they have stayed somewhat relevant for years so their draft position has not been nearly as strong. The Reds have sucked for many years – thereby increasing draft position – and have maintained a strong payroll compared to Tampa. I think a better comparison is Oakland. Their payroll is almost always the lowest and they have the occasional terrible year but they are often on the cusp of a wildcard. They don’t fall in love with their players (no big contracts, trade good players) and churn their roster over at a much higher frequency. Unless you excel at development (a la the Cardinals) the Oakland model is something we should look at copying.