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Krivsky Out, Jocketty in

by Matt Smith

Witnessing an organization getting rid of a manager within the first few of weeks of a new season is almost an annual event nowadays.  What you don’t see quite so often is a team parting company with their General Manager after just twenty-one games.  Well, that’s just what the Cincinnati Reds have done.

Wayne Krivsky has been replaced today by former St Louis GM Walt Jocketty in a move that seemed on the cards (excuse the pun) as soon as the latter was brought into the Front Office over the off-season.  The timing is a surprise though.  The Reds’ owner Bob Castellini is quoted on MLB.com as saying: “We had a lousy season last year and we’re starting this season not very well … we felt it was time for a change.”  2007 was a big disappointment, but so far this season the Reds are sitting at 9-12.  While that’s not a great record, it’s hardly terrible either. 

In football, whenever a manager gets the boot in the first few weeks of the season, the move is often criticised because the new manager gets lumbered with players that the old manager has only just brought into the club.  In baseball, that situation doesn’t crop up with the manager, but it certainly does with the General Manager.  For better or for worse, Krivsky has built this team and if Castellini really didn’t agree with the direction he was taking, why wait until now to make the switch? 

Jocketty does have a good track record in making some impact moves at the trading deadline, so maybe that factors into the decision.  Even so, bringing the 9-12 record into the equation sounds like a fudge to me.  You can’t make a major change like this on the basis of twenty-one games.  Something tells me the slow start is a convenient excuse.

We have to look to the future though.  It should be interesting to see how Jocketty and Dusty Baker work together.  They both know the NL Central well, so there’s plenty of potential there.  And both men have something to prove after the way they left their previous organizations.  Maybe they will be the dream ticket for Reds fans?  One thing I do know is that if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be the owner who takes the wrap.  They’ll sack managers (Baker is the third man at the helm in less than a year)  and they’ll sack General Managers (Krivsky had barely been in the job for two years), but they don’t sack themselves.

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