Sunday, September 7, 2003

Reds Q&A


Reds produce cynical fans; Seeing Triple-A ball for major-league prices not enticing to faithful remnant

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E-mailers haven't sent many inquiries lately about how to order season tickets.

Read on:

Q, John from Leitchfield, Ky.: One would have to applaud the Reds' effort to put a winning team on the field. First of all, they fielded a moderately competitive team in an old stadium. Then they built a beautiful new stadium to showcase their product. And finally, they put together the best collection of up-and-coming youngsters and experienced Triple-A veterans. With all this in place, we can now just sit back and watch them compete for the pennant every year. Obviously Carl Lindner and John Allen have watched this formula work in a "minor-league" city like Louisville and figured ... they could make it work in a "professional city" like Cincinnati. They even brought Dave Miley and most of his roster from Louisville. It's just a matter of time before it will all come together. What do you think?

A: I think you're being a tad sarcastic.

Q, from Dan in Cincinnati: This is in response to your "five things the Reds could do to win back fans" article (Sept. 5). I subscribe to the "RedLegs Weekly" online. I just received an email "thanking" me for my support and offering an Internet-only deal for the next Pirates series. All tickets $25 and under are half price.

A: I did not know that. It's good they're targeting loyal fans. Next step is to open it to the general public.

Q, from Mike: Do you think it would be wise to get rid of Danny Graves? I like the guy, but he is not worth $6 million.

A: Graves will be hard to trade at $6 million unless he goes back to closing. His contract was based on him being a successful starter.

Q, from Jeremy in Bloomington, Ind.: Are you serious with what the Reds should get with $50 million? Another rotation of Paul Wilson as their ace isn't going to win half the games, let alone compete for a playoff spot. The Reds need to bring in a true No. 1 pitcher. A No. 1 makes not only every fifth game winnable but improves the entire staff. Forget spending $7 million on Mike Lowell and bring in someone who could be the No. 1 starter.

A: Getting a No. 1 starter on the free-agent market doesn't work for teams with a $50 million payroll. Tommy Glavine got $11 million last year. Sidney Ponson might get $10 million and he has a sub-.500 record. The Reds need someone like Brandon Claussen to develop into a No. 1.

Q, from Dan in Delhi: As the Reds fall further into the abyss, the San Diego Padres inch closer and closer. Meaning: In next year's June amateur draft, the Reds will have the third and possibly the No. 1 pick if the Padres pass them. That means millions to sign the best player. When the Reds had the No. 4 pick last year, they cheaped out, taking Chris Gruler instead of lefty Scott Kazmir. Do you think the Reds will a.) spend the money on the best player available, b.) settle for the cheapest or c.) take someone they have no intention of signing?

A: It better be answer A. The Reds were truly split on Gruler and Kazmir. Had they known Gruler was going to get hurt, they would have picked Kazmir. But hindsight is always a great thing when it comes to the draft.

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E-mail jfay@enquirer.com




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