Reds name Jocketty GM
Longtime Cards executive replaces Krivsky after slow start
CINCINNATI -- When former Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty -- a friend of Reds owner Bob Castellini -- was brought into Cincinnati's front office this past winter, many perceived it as a clear sign that Reds GM Wayne Krivsky's job was in jeopardy.Few expected a change would happen this soon. But just 21 games into the 2008 season, Castellini ran out of patience and Krivsky suddenly ran out of time. The Reds announced on Wednesday that Krivsky was out as GM and that Jocketty will take over as president of baseball operations and general manager. "We had a lousy season last year, and we're starting this season not very well," Castellini told MLB.com. "We felt it was time for a change." Krivsky was Castellini and the new ownership regime's first significant hire when he replaced Dan O'Brien on Feb. 8, 2006. Krivsky previously served as an assistant GM with the Twins for 11 years. He was in the last season of a three-year contract with Cincinnati. The Reds went 80-82 in Krivsky's first season but slipped to 72-90 in 2007. This season, Cincinnati had a 9-12 record when Castellini informed Krivsky of his decision in his office on Wednesday morning. "Completely shocked. I did not see this coming at all," a teary-eyed Krivsky said. "He gave us 110 percent," Castellini said. "He is an outstanding baseball man, and it's difficult to lose somebody like him." Krivsky drew praise quickly when he made shrewd acquisitions that brought in Brandon Phillips, Scott Hatteberg, Bronson Arroyo, David Ross and Josh Hamilton -- often for little or nothing in return. But other efforts to turn the team into a quick contender backfired. The most notorious trade occurred on July 13, 2006, when the Reds sent Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to the Nationals in an eight-player deal that brought back Gary Majewski, Bill Bray, Royce Clayton, Brendan Harris and Daryl Thompson. It was disclosed shortly after the trade that Majewski arrived with an injured shoulder, and he never fulfilled expectations. He and Bray are currently with Triple-A Louisville while Clayton and Harris are out of the organization. Thompson, with Double-A Chattanooga, is considered a rising prospect.
|"Trust me, me and Dusty are very motivated. We're both guys who have a vendetta or a chip on our shoulders."|
-- New Cards GM|
Jocketty spent the previous 13 seasons as the Cardinals GM. They went to the postseason seven times and won the 2006 World Series during that time. Jocketty was named Major League Baseball's executive of the year by The Sporting News in 2000 and 2004 and by Baseball America in 2000.In October, Jocketty and St. Louis mutually decided to part ways after a tumultuous 78-win season. He maintained a personal friendship with Castellini, who used to be a minority shareholder of the Cardinals. On Jan. 11, Jocketty was hired to be a special adviser who reported directly to Castellini. Although he made overtures that he wasn't interested in being a GM again right away because of family concerns, that's just what ended up happening on Wednesday. "Bob came to me [Tuesday] night and asked if I was ready to do this for him," Jocketty said during a press conference at Great American Ball Park. "We talked about it for a while. It's been six months. It was a tough decision. I called my wife and talked to her about it. I talked to my kids. I knew this was important to Bob. It's tough replacing Wayne, because I know what it's like being replaced as I was in St. Louis." The only thing consistent about the Reds in this decade has been change at the top. Counting interims, there have been five GMs in Jim Bowden, Brad Kullman/Leland Maddox, Dan O'Brien, Kullman again, Krivsky and now, Jocketty. Castellini briefly took umbrage at suggestions of high turnover. But he did not waver from his high expectations. "We've just come to a point where we're not going to lose anymore," Castellini said.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.