(returning to Cinergy Field in ’09 : the intense presence that is David Weathers)

From the doing-more-with-less-pile, the Cincinnati Enquirer John Fay previews’ the Reds’ annual Winter Caravan by highlighting the rhetorical approach of CEO Robert Castenelli and GM Walt Jockety that doesn’t quite extend to hyperbole.

œWe want to win, Castellini said. œThat™s our message. I knew we couldn™t win right away. You want to, but it takes time. I said we want to win “ not overnight. You guys took that out of context.

Castellini and general manager Walt Jocketty said the club is already at budget as far payroll “ meaning they™ll likely go to spring training with the roster as is, without another big bat. Castellini said for the first time that the economy is affecting the budget.

œYeah, it is, you bet, Castellini said. œWe™ve got to get the top line (revenue up). We™re focused on it. We™ve got just about the whole team we anticipated we were able to put together.

Last year™s player payroll was $74 million to start the season. The Reds had talked about it going higher “ if it does it will be a slight raise.

œIt™s what it was last year, Jocketty said. œIn fact, it may be a little more.
The Reds aren™t saying they™re writing off the 2009 season, but the focus is on the future.

œI don™t think you can put a timetable on it, Jocketty said. œIt takes time to build a competitive organization “ a consistently competitive organization. You can do some things for instant success. But you can™t sustain it. We want to build the organization to sustain success and be a club that™s in the hunt every year. We really trying to develop our younger players and utilize the talent we have in the organization.

The Reds added catcher Ramon Hernandez, center fielder Willy Taveras and reliever Arthur Rhodes. They brought back free agents infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. and relievers David Weathers and Mike Lincoln.

But they failed to fill one of their biggest stated needs “ a right-handed hitting run producer.

The Reds will probably be picked to finish fourth or fifth in the National League Central at best. But Jocketty is hopeful.

œI think in our division right now, it could be any interesting year, he said. œWe™ll see what happens.

After a full day on an airplane, I’m not sure I am ready to fully absorb the irony that David Weathers is guaranteed baseball employment in 2009, while the man he used to caddy for, Tom Glavine, is not.