By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SARASOTA, Fla. - If Jim Bowden isn't brought back as Reds general manager, player development director Tim Naehring is considered the most likely person inside the organization to take over the job.
Tim Naehring was an eighth-round draft pick by the Boston Red Sox in 1988.
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But that is not a foregone conclusion.
"I don't know that there is an heir apparent," one Reds source said.
Naehring is, in terms of title, outranked by Brad Kullman and Leland Maddox, both of whom are assistant general managers.
But Maddox is a Bowden hire, and Kullman is more involved with administration than with managing people.
One of the big factors in Naehring's favor: He was signed to a five-year contract. He's also well respected in and out of the organization.
Naehring holds the same job - director of player development - Bowden held when he was promoted to GM.
The Reds could go outside the organization, but Naehring seems like a natural choice. He is a 1985 graduate of LaSalle High School. He later played at Miami University and for the Boston Red Sox.
He joined the Reds as a special assistant to the general manager in 1999 after his playing career was cut short by an arm injury.
He was named to his current position in October 2000, and the Reds' minor-league teams have won consistently (.543 winning percentage) under him.
Naehring supervises a 42-person staff, and the Reds value his eye for talent. He is sent to scout top prospects.
This summer, Naehring plans to travel with minor-league pitching coordinator Sammy Ellis to develop skills for spotting pitching prospects.
The Tim Naehring file
Current position: Director of player development.
Education: LaSalle High School, Miami University.
Playing career: Picked in the eighth round of the 1988 draft by the Boston Red Sox after being named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year as a Miami junior.
With the Red Sox: Played eight seasons, with a .282 average, 49 home runs and 250 RBI. Best season was 1995, when he hit .307 with 10 homers and 57 RBI.
Charity work: He is co-founder of the Athletes Reach Out Program geared toward unifying parents, children, teachers and coaches to ensure the all-around development of youngsters.
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