Reds owner Bob Castellini (Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE)

Past Reds Deals Still Provide Frustration, Haunts


Those of us that have taken the dive into the Twitterverse do so for a myriad of reasons. Among my top reasons is that I like to see the differing opinions of the Good Guys whether from links that tweets furnish or the actual tweets themselves. Both supply us with some insight into the mind of a Reds fan.

This past week, one caught my eye.

On the day it was posted, the top three in the American League RBI: Josh Hamilton, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Dunn (Hamilton and Encarnacion still sit at first and second. Dunn is now fourth). The added “beef” (as you can obviously see) was that all at one time were members of our beloved Reds.

I was actually considering using this as a sub-topic for yesterday’s The Utility Player. I quickly realized that this was a post of its own. As you read on, you’ll see why.

One downfall of Twitter is that you cannot definitely discern the tone of the tweet…unless there is a hashtag attached. Hard to express your complete thoughts in 140 characters…or less. In this case, the #sarcasm tag was not attached to the tweet. But it could have been the tone. Another could have been that it was a badge of honor that all three once wore a Reds uniform. Lastly, it could have been a jab at the front office and/or ownership.

Let’s examine…

Hamilton blasts a homer against the Angels. (Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE)

It’s now evolving into an everyday occurrence where Reds fans bemoan the Hamilton deal. Sure, it would be great if he were still a Red, but as a former BRM Tweet of the Day tells us, it is 2012. We must find the means to carry on. The trade was made and Hamilton is not coming back…unless there’s another truckload of cash backing up to the loading docks at GABP. I don’t see that happening either.

There’s little question that Hamilton’s story is a movie in the making. Keep this in mind. There are instances where the talent cannot overcome the intangibles. I;m not referring to the addiction and issues with alcohol either. Hamilton may have been viewed as one of those individuals. Here’s an example of such from Hardball Talk’s Aaron Gleeman with “participation” from John Fay. It’s short, so you can take the time to read it.

With Encarnacion and Dunn, neither were exactly fan favorites.

Encarnacion was originally drafted by (oddly enough) the Texas Rangers. He and Ruben Mateo were sent to Cincy in exchange for Rob Bell. In 2005, Encarnacion made his MLB debut. He had a bat, but that was about it. And on occasion, that wasn’t all that either. During his final half season, he struggles to keep his average over .200.

His defense was considered even more of a liability. In his first four-plus seasons as a Red, he committed 78 errors in 514 games.

As for Dunn, he was “home grown” talent, a description should would dismiss. I had many opportunities to witness his raw power when he was a member of the Dayton Dragons. As with Encarnacion, Dunn was viewed more as a bat with little glove, little defensive offering. Both were also on the receiving end of fan tirades for a perceived lack of effort. This happened on many an occasion.

Dunn is having a rebirth in 2012. (David Richard-US PRESSWIRE)

Take a moment here. Imagine if the Reds had granted a contract to Dunn that the Washington Nationals did (which was two years, $20MM). Message boards, blogs and forums would have gone into a tailspin if the front office made such a decision. And now, Dunn is in the seond year of a four year, $56MM deal with the Chicago White Sox. He’s due $14MM this season. That’s only the start. We’ve heard Mercurial Marty’s take on Dunn.

The difference: Hamilton quickly became a fan fave while Encarnacion and Dunn were not. The hindsight on these deals cannot be argued or denied. But at what point do we “get over” such. No, it’s not like the line from Airplane II where the guy says he’ll “never get over Macho Grande”.

The “badge of honor” deal? Not sure I would be one to boast of this intel. It doesn’t exactly paint a positive picture of the Reds. Every team can make boneheaded moves. No team is immune to them. They simply happen.

One that can make a little more sense is that the tweet is showing a complete disdain of the trades. That theory would hold water if…

Hamilton was sent packing by Wayne Krivsky. That may have been his demise. Current GM Walt Jocketty sent Encarnacion to Toronto and, at the time, the Reds were viewed as “winners” be acquiring Scott Rolen. Rolen did aid the Reds in capturing the 2010 NL Central title. Rolen hat the bat and the glove. Sometimes, that fact is forgotten. Jocketty was also responsible for the Dunn trade. Neither team benefited from that deal.

Three deals, two different GMs. The front office aspect doesn’t wash either.

The one constant is the ownership…and I’m not sure it’s plausible either.

I don’t know for sure, so I’ll ask it. Would Bob Castellini have a hand in every deal that’s done? I’m leaning the way of “no” here. You have to own a certain trust with the guy you put in the GM position, don’t you? I have confidence in saying that Mr. C had knowledge of both the Encarnacion and Dunn trades, but left the decision to Jocketty. Walt may have asked for a blessing on those.

I honestly don’t think that’s the case with the Hamilton trade. I say that because Hamilton had only one season under his belt. If Castellini did play a role, it may have been because of those lack of intangibles as previously noted.

Sarcastic? Badge of honor? Disdain for the big guys? Not sure I would say any of those. Maybe it’s was simply a wish that would never happen. All were still in Reds uniforms.

Yes, it’s frustrating, almost infuriating, when you see a former Red do well for another team. We can dissect these deals all we want. We cannot alter the before and after results from any of the players involved. All we can do is move on from these. We must move on from them. Lingering in the past isn’t always a good thing.

But it did all lead to a fun exercise…right?

——————————

Like what you’re reading? Stay up-to-date on all things Reds by following Blog Red Machine on Twitter (@blogredmachine). Also, please take a minute and “Like” our page on Facebook!

Next Reds Game View full schedule »
Tuesday, Sep 22 Sep7:05at Baltimore OriolesBuy Tickets

Tags: Adam Dunn Baseball Chicago White Sox Cincinnati Reds Edwin Encarnacion Josh Hamilton MLB Reds Trades Texas Rangers Toronto Blue Jays Washington Nationals

  • dgsapba

    Reds deals have turned sour many times since I became a fan in 1950—-Joe adcock was traded for Rocky Briges, Hoak, Burgess,Haddix were traded for Frank Thomas,Johnny Tempe for Cal McLish–Claude Osteen for Don Blasingame, Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas I have not liked any deal Walt Jocketty has made none.

  • beeker

    I actually liked EE longer than most, but even I got to the point where I felt he had to go. I’m kind of surprised that the Jays stuck with him for as long as they did, but good for him for finally putting it together.
    If people on Twitter are whining that the Reds let go of Dunn because he is having a good year, I’m gonna knock some foreheads. Those would have been the first people to give Dunn the Carson Palmer treatment last year with the horrendous 2011 that he had.
    With perfect 20/20 hindsight, yes it would be great to have held on to Hamilton. But let’s not forget that at first it looked like the Reds were the ones who looked smart on that deal, getting an imperfect but All-Star potential pitcher in exchange for a guy who couldn’t stay off the DL. Even though it is easy to see now that the Reds missed on that deal, there were legit reasons at the time to make it.