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UPDATE: conflicting reports about the Reds’ interest in Paul O’Neill

Oct 10, 2013, 8:16 AM EDT

UPDATE: Andy Martino reports that Reds GM Walt Jocketty says that the team did not reach out to O’Neill. This sort of sounds like semantics, though, as Jocketty does not deny the report below directly. Maybe O’Neill called them. Maybe it was contact to his agent.

8:16 AM: This would be an interesting way to go if you wanted the Reds to be more [insert adjectives that revolve around the idea of “intensity” which people often said about Paul O’Neill in the late 90s]:

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer says that O’Neill would be interested.  He says, however, that it’s a “stretch” to say that the former Red is a candidate for the job. It’s more of a preliminary reach-out kind of thing.

My guess is that they go with Bryan Price, but you can’t fault them for at least considering outside-the-box options.

  1. RoyHobbs39 - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    I would take Larkin over O’Neill. And Larkin has already expressed interest.

  2. Liam - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:36 AM

  3. anthonyverna - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Why would you hire a former player with zero managing experience?

    • tmohr - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      Worked for the White Sox, didn’t it?

      • paperlions - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        The WS are an organization nearly devoid of talent. They are horrible and will probably remain horrible for many years to come.

        Matheny’s only experience managing was in little league before the Cardinals hired him. He hasn’t been a problem so far.

      • blacksables - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        Yeah, sure did. Ozzie won the Series.

    • paperlions - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Because what teams want is a leader in the clubhouse and dugout, they don’t need or want managers to be (or think they already are) great tacticians because most FOs want their manager to follow their philosophy of managing with respect to defensive alignment, bullpen usage, bunting (or not), etc. They would rather hire a natural leader and teach him what they want him to know about in-game strategies than to hire a guy that may or may not be a good leader than already has his own philosophy about doing things.

      • yahmule - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.”

        Casey Stengel –

      • chip56 - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        To the point about not needing a manager to be a great tactician, Joe Torre was a horrible in game manager. His main attribute was his ability to manage personalities, both on the field and from ownership. What he did to overcome his deficiencies once the game started was align himself with a very good in game manager in Don Zimmer as his bench coach.

        A good manager is going to be one who understands his weaknesses and surrounds himself with people who can balance that out. Girardi can be brusk and so he has Tony Pena as someone that the players can lean on; Torre can be very laid back and so he had Larry Bowa to be the drill sergeant.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        And the Drill Sergeant is back in Philly!

      • paperlions - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        Bowa, I presume.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Yup. Someone needs to be the bad guy.

      • paperlions - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        …and it is much easier to be the bad guy when you aren’t “in charge”….so, Bowa can ride the players and still be a person they can go to with complaints/suggestions….I don’t think that dynamic works if the guy is the manager instead of a coach.

    • chip56 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      The Cardinals did and they seem to be happy with the choice.

      Robin Ventura in Chicago is doing pretty well.

      And, even though he was a coach for many years – Mattingly was never a manager until the Dodgers hired him to be theirs.

  4. whitdog23 - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    RoyHobbs…Larkin is only saying he’s interested to get uninformed people like you to keep watching espn. please…ONLY watch espn for live games. otherwise turn it off

  5. contraryguy - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Just stop it already. Jim Tracy is a Cincy-area native, might even live there now, and probably isn’t that busy. Give him a call.

    • Kevin S. - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      We *know* Jim Tracy is a horrible manager. Much better to gamble on somebody who has some chance of being decent than going with the known mediocrity.

      • paperlions - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        …and I think many teams are realizing that it is preferable to hire a guy without experience so that you can mold him into the manager you want, rather than hiring a guy with experience and inheriting his bad habits that he is unlikely to change.

  6. magicrat13 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    paul o’neill might make lou pinella look like mother theresa….

    • hep3 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      And then get Tino Marinez for the hitting coach. Too bad Bowa already has a gig as a bench coach.

  7. largebill - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:29 AM


    If you’re looking for Cincinnati roots, David Bell has been mentioned. Managed couple years in minors. Spent past year as Cubs coach (bench or 3B?). His brother, dad and grandfather all played for Reds. He attended Moeller and led the Crusaders to a State Championship.

    • contraryguy - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      yeah, I know. Not sold on him yet. Is he the motivator these Reds need? Or just a guy?

  8. adross47 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Helluva play 47. Thanks for sharing. I never tire of seeing this. Impressive…with a shade of good fortune to be sure. But still damned impressive.

    • bigharold - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      The only thing better than seeing that play is listening t O’Neill recount it when he’s doing play by play, .. freakin hilarious.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    He’d never ask any of his players to hit two homeruns in one game.

    • jm91rs - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      He also won’t protect his players in the dugout from line drive foul balls.

  10. chip56 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Paul O’Neill was my second favorite player after Don Mattingly but I don’t think he would want to give up the freedom he has with his current schedule for the year long grind of being a manager.

  11. jm91rs - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    O’Neill still lives in Cincinnati, I like his hard nosed style and if the Reds wanted to go with a big name former player rather than a guy with experience, I’d prefer O’Neill over Larkin.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      With you JM. O’Neill just might be the answer!

  12. boots44 - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    If oneil becomes manager just pencil in 15 games where the reds can tell him to stay home rather than get thrown out in the first inning

    • metalhead65 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      as reds I would love a guy who has enough passion for the game that he would get fired up enough to get tossed out of a game. the reds need somebody who will not sit back and let guys play like nothing is wrong after leaving guys on base yet again. they need somebody who will not keep sending guys out when they have not had a hit in 2 weeks,they need somebody who will put guys in the best position for them and the team in the lineup instead of going by speed or whether they are batting from the same side of the plate as the buy before or behind them.

  13. romoscollarbone - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    Anyone who watches Yankee broadcasts know ONeill isn’t manager material. He’s easily distracted and comes off as being a jock. Now sure he could connect with guys on that level but don’t see him as the face of a franchise, giving press conferences, and doing all the extra PR stuff, although if Ozzie can it, I suppose anyone can,

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