…and his name is Lonnie Wheeler. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, Mr. Wheeler takes a dim view of the critical firestorm Krivsky faced last summer when he sent Austin Kearns (“not Al Kaline, in spite of the coincidental initials”) and Felipe Lopez (“the Nationals, bad as they are, conclude that Felipe Lopez at shortstop – Felipe Lopez anywhere, for that matter – doesn’t make them any better.”) to DC in exchange for damaged goods Gary Majewski (above).
We submit that Mr. Krivsky acted in good faith when he negotiated with Mr. Bowden, that this particular exchange may yet prove favorable for the Cincinnati side, and that, if by some subjective measure it were to be judged that the Reds were temporarily disadvantaged by it – a point that we trust you will find invalid – they are, in fact, far better off for the defendant’s dealings at large. In the context of baseball’s delicate balance, no general manager should be indicted by a single zigzag of fate.
Isolating the principals here, let us first address Mr. Lopez. Bear in mind, please, that Mr. Krivsky has crafted a plan for the organization that rests upon a strong defense. A top-flight shortstop is a critical aspect of such a scheme. In view of that, Mr. Krivsky, a noted judge of baseball talent, determined that Mr. Lopez was not the man to anchor the Cincinnati infield. Thereby, the fellow’s greatest value to the team was as trade material. To date, Mr. Lopez’s record in Washington has demonstrated this assessment to be accurate.
Mr. Kearns, on the other hand, showed no deficiency along the defensive lines. He was, however, frequently injured, and had not yet met the potential that was predicted for him. Yet he, too, represented a considerable commodity in the currency of baseball. Given the Reds’ relative surfeit of outfielders, he was thereby deemed expendable.
The plaintiffs have argued that, yes, those two players did possess significant value in the marketplace, the complaint being that, in return for them, the Reds did not receive same. Based on last year’s results, we concede that point. We do, however, point out that the chief failing was in the performance of Mr. Majewski, which was profoundly compromised by a shoulder injury about which Mr. Bowden was something less than forthcoming. We maintain that, had Mr. Majewski and Mr. Bray both pitched up to the personal standards they had previously established, the trade would have served its immediate purpose.
Ambiorix Burgos is suddenly Ken Oberkfell’s problem, as Jorge Sosa (4-0, 1.13 ERA in the PCL) gets the call to start for the Mets tonight in Phoenix. Sosa’s been hammered by Tony Clark previously (5 HR’s, 2 singles in 8 at bats), but on the bright side, he totally owns Pat Burke.
The major difference I see between the New York fan and Arizona fan? Passion and expectation. They are so tolerant and easygoing. I can see why Randy Johnson wanted to come back, He serves up a long ball to Julio Franco – no problem. They still cheer when the inning ends. Long ball to Paul LoDuca – no problem. They still cheer when the inning ends. Down 5 – 1. No problem. Eric Byrnes pops up with two on, one out in the 6th – no problem. They clap, They cheer. Nothing bothers them. They are quiet. They are unenthusiastic. You hardly know they are there.
I’m loathe to be too judgemental in this instance. Having travelled to Phoenix for a Mets/D-Backs series, I’ll give the residents some credit for simply surviving the climate. And if some are a little on the who-gives-a-fuck side of things after spending their summer watching (bad) baseball in a air conditioned shopping mall, I can’t really blame them. It beats staying at home and listening to Gracie.
At the risk of adding insult to further injury, it must be said that Tony La Genius is having one shitty spring.