Thursday, July 13, 2006


By Tiger Fan

Here's something Mizzou fans can relate to: It's getting more and more difficult to be a Cincy sports fan. The Reds are making trades for 50 cents on the dollar and half the Bengals are in jail. I know most of you don’t care, but I have to get this off my chest. My hometown Reds just made an absolutely TERRIBLE trade. I know, I know… I’ve been complaining about their lack of bullpen help for months. But how do you trade Lopez and Kearns unless you are getting a known quantity in return? When I saw that they traded those two, I opened up the article, expecting to see that they got Soriano or Livan Hernandez or some well-known closer. Five random members of the Washington Nationals? Ouch.

I have liked most of Wayne Krivsky’s moves so far this year, but I have to say I don’t get this one. After the Arroyo-Pena trade earlier in the year, the ongoing outfield questions seemed to be answered for the Reds. But now, two of the four quality outfielders are gone. Somehow we went from having too many good outfielders to having too few. Meanwhile, Lopez was paired with Brandon Phillips to make one of the most promising young middle infield combos in the majors. Why screw that up? The Reds aren’t going to win it all this year; anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling himself. I like that Krivsky is willing to make moves to compete, but I think he made an unnecessary desperation play here. The only thing I can figure is that he’s hoping to find a closer or a solid starter among these young pitching talents… but the Reds coaching staff isn’t exactly known for developing players like that. Let’s take a look at the players involved:

The Reds lose…

Austin Kearns, OF
-26 years old
-.267 career batting average
-.358 career OBP
-Cannon arm in right field

Felipe Lopez, SS
26 years old
-Batting .268 this season with .355 OBP
-23 stolen bases this season
-2005 NL All-Star

Ryan Wagner, RP
-Minor leaguer who was a first-round pick in 2003
-23 years old
-8-4 with 101 strikeouts this season

The Reds get…

Gary Majewski, RP
-26 years old
-162.1 career innings pitched, 3.27 ERA
-96 strikeouts, 67 walks in his career

Bill Bray, RP
-23-year-old lefty
-23 career innings pitched, 3.91 ERA
-16 strikeouts, 9 walks in his short career

Royce Clayton, SS
-36-year-old veteran
-Probably a defensive upgrade
-Currently day-to-day with a shoulder injury
-.259 career batting average
-.313 career OBP

Brendan Harris, INF
-25 years old
-Major League debut in 2004
-.210 career batting average
-.275 career OBP
-Fifth best Nationals prospect, according to Baseball America

Daryl Thompson, SP
-20 years old
-Still in A-ball
-6-12 career record
-127 strikeouts compared to 54 walks for the career
-Seventh best Nationals prospect, according to Baseball America

And for anyone who thinks former All-Star reliever Eddie Guardado (acquired last week by the Reds) is the answer, check out his stats this season:

24 innings, 8 HRs allowed, 11 walks, 23 strikeouts, 1 win, 3 losses, 5 saves, 5.25 ERA

Not terrible, but not particularly good. I’m not sold. Prove me wrong Eddie.

P.S. What the heck is in the water over at Paul Brown Stadium? The Bengals have a chance to make some noise next year, but only if they can stay out of jail. To recap: Chris Henry has been arrested four times since December, fifth round choice LB A.J. Nicholson is facing robbery charges and 91st overall pick Frostee Rucker has dealt with charges of spousal battery and vandalism. Now comes word that Odell Thurman might miss the first four games of next season due to a drug suspension. That might explain why the Bengals took a chance on another troubled player in today's supplemental draft. Ahmad Brooks has some serious talent, but he also had some serious off-the-field issues that got him kicked out of the University of Virginia football program. I hope the Bengals can get things under control over there because right now they are a tough team to cheer for. Can anyone say Ricky Clemons? Sigh...

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