Friday, August 15, 2008

What is Walt Jocketty Doing?

It's readily apparent that the Cincinnati Reds are in "sell mode" and Walt Jocketty is the guy pulling the trigger. Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn are now gone, and you have to wonder what marquee players Reds fans are going to continue to come out to the games to see. It's hard to really argue against these trades considering that both players are at the end of their contracts, but did the Reds even get returns that were better or at least comparable to the draft picks they would have received had Griffey and Dunn become free agents as Reds? The striking thing to me, though, is that it's pretty strange to see Jocketty in the position of trading off marquee veteran players when he has such a legacy of being on the other end of these types of mid-to-late season deals. This is the guy that got Mark McGwire in a Cardinals uniform. Will Clark, Scott Rolen, Larry Walker... all household names amongst baseball fans, and Jocketty snatched them up in order to put contending Cardinals ballclubs in better positions down the stretch and on into the playoffs.

The Adam Dunn deal has me scratching my head. Really, both Griffey and Dunn had been the subject of midseason trade rumors for the past few years, but dealing Dunn especially after Griffey seems like it's going to make it hard for Reds fans to show their support. I'm not much of a fan of Dunn's game. Excessive strikeouts are probably my least favorite thing to see of a major league player. But the guy is definitely a force when you boil everything down, and it seems like the Reds will get breadcrumbs in return. There are whispers that they may end up with Micah Owings, which would be interesting considering that Jocketty was a major influence on Rick Ankiel's second go-around as a converted outfielder. Owings is a pitcher that can certainly hit.

I got the Walt Jocketty baseball card shown above from Ben of the very excellent The Baseball Card Blog. It was part of a huge box of Cardinals cards that I received awhile back, but something about a general manager on a baseball card made me borderline hysterical. Why does this exist? It's part of a Fan Favorites set from 2005, with the card design being a mock-up of what a 2004 Topps card of Jocketty might look like. It's very silly.

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