I am a Cleveland sports fan, and I will be until the day I die. I do, however, have a special relationship with the Cincinnati Reds. No, that does not mean that Ken Griffey Jr once offered to show me where the horse bit him. Let’s just say that a few summers ago I had the privilege to cover that team very closely. So, I keep an eye on them from time to time, and I would like to see them do well considering it doesn’t conflict with the Indians doing well, save for two interleague series a year. So, when I saw this article in ESPN the magazine, I took an interest. Steve Phillips penned this article, about how to right the ship in Cincy. I think Cleveland fans will take particular interest in his second point:
2. DUNN DEAL Use Adam Dunn’s power as a chip to get pitchers. The Reds have a limited budget and an even smaller ballpark, so they must deal for arms and develop them. Dunn is in the last year of his deal, so maximize the return by giving an interested team a 72-hour window to negotiate an extension. Go to the Giants, who need offense to replace Barry Bonds, and ask for Matt Cain. Go to Toronto and request a package that includes Adam Lind and Dustin McGowan or Shawn Marcum. Call Cleveland, which is desperate for bats, and ask for Cliff Lee and one of these three: OF Franklin Gutiérrez and lefties Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey.
Can I speak for the collective Cleveland here? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND STEVE PHILLIPS?! First of all, a Dunn for Lee deal straight up would make Mark Shapiro hang up faster than Kevin Bacon’s wife did in Mystic River. But, you want Cleveland to throw in Franklin, Laffey, or Sowers? FOR ADAM DUNN?! Cleveland at this point is hurting for some consistent offensive production, but that’s something Adam Dunn has never been able to provide. I would like Baseball Prospectus to do some research, because I’m pretty sure 90% of Adam Dunn’s home runs come when the Reds are either up or down 5 runs. For instance, he had a home run yesterday in a 9-0 Reds victory. If we wanted a guy who could pile on, he’s your guy. Otherwise, he spends the majority of his time either (a) striking out (b) hitting into the shift or (c) getting ripped on by Marty and Thom Brenneman.
This blog is not the only one taking issue with this article. I never thought I would link to a Yankee blog, so damn you Steve Phillips for making me do it.
Look, the Reds are in some trouble, and they have some contracts that they would love to get out from underneath. But I’m pretty sure Walt Jocketty realizes that the rest of the league KNOWS they are bad, and wouldn’t readily hand over, oh, I don’t know, THE BEST PITCHER IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE for an inconsistent slugger. All of the moves that Phillips suggests the Reds make are sound, and if Cincinnati were able to pull them off, I would give them a shot at the World Series this year. Steve Phillips, I’ll end this post with 1,000 choice words for you: