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"The Peasants Are Revolting!"
2003-08-05 12:02
by Mike Carminati

"You're telling me--they stink on ice"

Paul Daugherty writes that the Reds, in their two-page open letter to anyone who's still paying attention, never said "sorry"--there was no "mea culpa". Aw. Well, Paul, to quote Sgt. Hulka with the big toe from Stripes "Your mommas are not here to take care of you!"

They proposed they "have immediately improved (the) roster," without explaining how trading your two best players, closer and top lefty in the bullpen for prospects achieved that.

Look, if your "two best players" are Jose Guillen and Aaron Boone, it's time to pack up the farm. This juggernaut was in fifth in the worst division in the NL if not all of baseball. Boone demanded a trade after daddy dearest was mercifully released. Guillen wasn't happy on the bench which is where he would be next year after a hefty pay increase in the offseason. Williamson has struggled.

The Reds fans are up in arms while the Bucs' brass bungles its way through a few trades with the teenage Theo Epstein and are soon to trade the franchise in the form of Brian Giles (a truly great player) to rid themselves of his and Jason Kendall's contracts. What will the Pirates have to show for it? Failed prospects Freddy Sanchez and Xavier Nady, 34-year-old Kevin Jarvis, and a partridge in a pear tree. The Reds got themselves some decent pitching prospects. Will they pan out? They're a better bet than Jarvis.

But Daugherty has better advice:

You want to win? Great. Prove it. Go outside the organization and hire a baseball man. Try Omar Minaya. He's good at making something out of nothing.

Omar Minaya? Omar the Magnificent? He's complaining about the amount of talent the Reds have run through. Does he know anything about Minaya's track record (Bruce Chen, Cliff Floyd, Chris Truby, Bartolo Colon)? This man is the despoiler of Harrisburg! He doles out prospects like it's going out of style. "Step right up and win a Double-A pitcher!" The "something" he is making out of nothing is an average major-league team from a once-tremendous farm system.

But he is correct: Minaya would be a perfect fit with the Reds' philosophy. It seemed that the owners want to change that philosophy by ridding them selves of Bowden and Boone, but clearly Daugherty has his finger on the pulse of this team:

Find out what Davey Johnson is doing. Find out if he'd like to do something else. Such as sit in your dugout.

Wasn't this basically Bowden's first move back in 1993 after relieving Tony Perez of his duties 44 gamesinto the season? Johnson led them to division titles the two full seasons he was in the Cincinnati dugout. Then Marge Schott let him go (supposedly for living with his wife before they were married). There were similar talks of Johnson returning after the 2000 season.

Cincinnati likes to call themselves the oldest franchise even though that mantel falls to the Braves, who also have more of a claim to the original Red Stockings' lineage than the Reds do. Apparently, everyone in Cincy is completely mired in the franchise's history. Undo the Bowden regime by reliving it. They are now reflecting back upon the halcyon days of the Schott era when Schottzie I through VIII roamed freely throughout Riverfront Stadium and Schott shouting the "N" word could be heard in the rafters. Those were the days!

It's a shame that this franchise is finally pointed in the right direction, or at least is no longer pointed in the wrong direction, and yet its fans and their mouthpieces are ready to bail. I wonder who will be first to climb back on the bandwagon when the seeds the team is planting take root over the next couple of seasons. Daugherty will still be bemoaning the loss of the great Jose Guillen for years to come like Sir Bedivere at the crypt of King Arthur:

[H]e groaned, 'The King is gone.'...
He comes again..
Of Arthur, who should help him at his need?'

Maybe Omar Minaya.

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