Wayne Krivsky

Few subjects divide Red Reporters like General Manager Wayne Krivsky. Most heated arguments, whether about the value of smallball or excessive negativity on the site, can be seen as veiled referendums on Krivsky's tenure. He had near universal support when he took the job before the 2006 season, but The Trade quickly divided opinion on the man. Calls of "Fire Krivsky" (only semi-serious) are now common.

The Case For Krivsky

  • It's Still Early The '06-'07 offseason was Krivsky's first on the job. Although he's done much to remake the Reds, he's still got that new GM smell. Supporters preach patience as a virtue and note that Krivsky inherited a non-competitive team with a barren farm system. Even those who think Wayne has done more harm than good see the folly of changing regimes every other year.
  • Success in 2006 Krivsky's first season on the job was the first in years in which the Reds were competitive late into the summer. Perhaps more than anything this has inspired confidence from Krivsky backers.
  • Acquisitions Krivky's swaps of Wil Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo, minor leaguer Bobby Basham for Dave Ross and a PTBNL for Brandon Phillips contributed greatly to the Reds surprising success in 2006. Attention must be paid.
  • Aggressiveness In contrast to the previous GM, the methodical Dan O'Brien, Krivsky has made numerous minor moves and hasn't been afraid of making major ones. To Krivsky supporters The Trade, for all its faults, revealed an aggressive and proactive determination to fix holes.
  • Transformation Krivsky has attempted to change the Reds from an offensive driven team to a "pitching and defense" team in the mold of Minnesota. His handling of the shortstop position is illustrative. He sent offensive force and defensive blackhole Felipe Lopez packing, then signed Alex Gonzalez (in many ways Lopez's opposite) to a three year free agent contract. This resonates with many Red Reporters who either respond to the aesthetics or conventional wisdom of "smallball", or have given up on an offensive driven team following the failures of the last five years.

The Case Against Krivsky

  • The Trade The less said about this the better. National writers seldom look any farther when evaluating Kriv, pausing only to make jokes at his expense because of this deal.
  • Front Office Friction The departures of longtime front office men Larry Barton and Johnny Almarez in December of '06 brought to light internal squabbles in Krivsky's castle. The two were angry after having their opinions ignored, most notably on The Trade and felt that they had been "frozen out" in favor of those who told Krivsky what he wanted to hear.
  • Talent Evaluation Critics of Krivsky see a troubling trend in the players he targets. This story brings to light the string of players with subpar on base percentages targeted by Krivsky.
  • 2006 Rethought Critics of Krivsky give him less credit for the Reds' surprising run in 2006. When adjusted by the pythagorean method their record wasn't very different than 2005. An 80 win team staying in the race until the last week of the season is more of a result of the ineptitude of the National League in '06 than anything else. Numerous methods of analysis show that The Trade hurt the Reds more than it helped (a fact disputed by Trade supporters).
  • Acquisitions Rethought Krivsky earns less support from his detractors for his successful acquisitions. Few are bullish on Dave Ross's future prospects and it remains to be seen whether he will ultimately be a feather in Wayne's cap. Brandon Phillips is sometimes seen as a "lucky" move, one of Krivsky's many low risk grabs that panned out. The Eddie Guardado transaction reveals troubling traits. Allegedly the only person who expected the closer to stay healthy was Guardado's agent, who Krivsky trusted over more unbiased sources. The acquisitions of players such as Bubba Crosby and Chad Moeller are questionable to say the least. Taken as a whole, Krivksy's successful moves fail to counteract the damage done by his mistakes.
  • Old Relievers Like Jim Bowden's penchant for toolsy outfielders, Krivsky seems to have a soft spot for aging relievers. He gave significant money and years to David Weathers, Mike Stanton and Rheal Cormier, all at least 39 years old. Some see this as a larger blind spot for "veteran presence" in general.
  • Ice Cold Draft It's way too early to properly evaluate Krivsky's first draft, suffice to say that it failed to impress the fans who follow amateur baseball talent. For all his faults Dan O'Brien was seen as a strong drafter, even soon after his drafts.
  • Smallball Follies Red Reporters of the new statistical-minded bent worry about Krivsky's single-minded focus on turning the Reds into a "smallball" team. The fear is that Krivsky has failed to properly value players who don't fit his mold, and wonder whether a Minnesota style will play in GABP. Also Ken Griffey Jr's continual presence in centerfield could sabotage the whole endeavor.
  • Three Catchers Red Reporters are still trying to figure out why a major league team should carry three catchers, particularly when the third catcher tends to be someone like Jason LaRue or Chad "Root Canal" Moeller. True, what other teams do is not necessarily an indication of what is smart, but when only two teams out of 30 do it, you gotta wonder…

In the early days of the site, a campaign to fire Dan O'Brien was waged on t-shirts and URLs. It hasn't yet come to that with Krivsky. 2007 should lead the debate in one way or another. The Wayne Krivsky story continues to be written.

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