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Tony Perez traded before '75, how does this impact Reds, others?

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  • Tony Perez traded before '75, how does this impact Reds, others?

    I was reading "The Machine" recently about the '75 Reds - haven't finished it yet, but don't worry, i know the ending :clowning: - and I came across the interesting tidbit that the Reds sought to trade Tony Perez all through the winter, seekigna third baseman. Among the names mentioned most were Butch HObson, George Brett, and Graig Nettles.

    This struck me as interesting for several reasons.

    1. perez had played third int he past; obviously they felt he was too slow by now for the position, but considering who they wound up with going into the spring,a nd how much the idea of Rose at 3rd was dismissed, I wonder if they considered moving him back; it doesn't sound like it.

    2. The trade of Perez was partly blamed by some for the breakup of the Machine, going down to 88 wins in 77, though losing Gullett also played a part, I'm sure. And the book shows he did seem to be really integral to that clubhouse.

    3. It's not said why the trades didn't work out, but my hunch is the Reds wanted more than Hobson since he was younger & the Sox wouldn't budge, the Royals wanted more from the Reds for the young and improving Brett and the Reds wouldn't budge, and the Yankees wanted a king's ransom for the great defneisive Nettles. Some of that could be hindsight, though (although the book's tone makes it sound like the Yankee part is accurate - he was considered a great defneisive player and not yet known for his really low career batting average)

    So, my questions are as follows.

    1. Would another team have played Perez back at 3rd if the Reds wouldn't? I'm thinking they all have good fist basemen, not sure what order I'd put them in at this point but I can especially see the Red Sox putting him at 3rd, this was a team I don't think of as paying as much attention to defensse as they did to their bats.

    2.How does this impact the Reds? I had no idea they started out 18-19, but then again, that was a very weak division? Could the Reds still win? I think they could, but they likely lose the World Series...probably tot he Red Sox!

    3. Do the Reds win another in 1976, either because they win in '75 or, more likely, they win in 1972, catpuring the World Series,b ut the Mets beat the Dodgers in '73 as the Reds slip to about 95 wins in their post-Series excitement. Not winning the division 2 years in a row would be a good reason for them to pull the trigger on a Perez deal. (And that lets the Reds win a Series - I feel bad for them not winning a couple witht hat talent; but then I am from that part of the country.)

    4. If Perez goes tot he Red Sox, and they win the '95 World Series, who is Series MVP? Looking at his numbers, in addition to the Game 6 homer, which I can't deprive baseball of for this what-if, I'd say Fisk.

    5. Doe sthis make Perez more likely to make the Hall of Fame, or less? I'd say his chances are less as a Yankee, a toss-up as a Royal (depends on if he is part of a dynasty int he late '70s that wins several pennants), and more likely witht he Red Sox. Boston would increase his numbers so he could well hit .300 in '75, '77, and '78, and could have 25 homers in '75-'77, or at least a couple of those years. In addition, if trading for him puts the Red Sox over the top for the first time in generations, wow!

    Interesting thought - Sparky wasn't high on George Foster because he was "too quiet" - though Foster put up good numbers. What if they package Foster with perez, move Rose to first, and get not only Hobson but Jim Rice for LF. Rice wins a World Series with the Reds in '76 but maybe not '75, is recognized as a really good player but not quite Hall-worthy most likely (though he might be if he doesn't have that wrist injury in '80 that sapped some of his power).

    Don't know much about the other teams but the Boston idea for Perez is interesting.
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  • #2
    Some thoughts.

    Perez was a capable defensive third baseman all through '71. Why did they move him in '72? Was it his fielding or did they feel that playing third was starting to hurt his offensive production and wanted to get him back to '69 and '70 levels? I can fully understand why they would not want to moce him back by '75. His hitting improved in '72 and '73 and in '74 it looked like he was in decline despite the positional change.

    The Royals had had a poor year in '74 and a lot of it was due to a drop off in John Mayberry but he was only 25 and the Royals were committed in '74 to having Charlie Lau develop Mayberry's mechanics. Lau focused on Brett and Mayberry. What would the Royals have done there getting rid of an all rookie third baseman and having 2 first basemen. I wonder if there were drug suspicions at the time about Mayberry.

    I was always impressed/intrigued by how the Reds had talent but not always had it fit together the right way. It shows how critical it is to have value at second base, shortstop, catcher. They have at different times I believe Lee May, Vada Pinson, Hal MacRae, and of course Frank Robinson. They knew MacRae could hit after 1973 but they also knew that he wasn't going to fit in.

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    • #3
      I was a big Reds fan in the late 60s into the 70s

      Here are some random observations

      1968: In the year of the pitcher the Reds had a team batting average of .273 and compare this to the Yankees who hit .214 or the world champion Tigers who hit .235 and this is why I started liking the Reds as a 10 year old

      1969: Rose had a tremendous season and the OF all were .300 hitters with decent home run power (16, 17 and 21 HR) Lee May and Tony Perez were awesome power hitters (38 and 37 home runs) and Johnny Bench really came on hitting .293 with 26 home runs and winning a gold glove. After the season the Reds traded Alex Johnson (.315, 17 HR) to the Angels for Jim McGlothlin

      1970: The Reds were flying high but changed ballparks in the middle of 1970 which changed the dynamics of the way they would benefit from certrain types of players. Speed and defense were more important in Riverfront than in Crosley where as Sandy Koufax once said "the ball can fly out anywhere". They also had a young pitcher named Wayne Simpson who was having a phenonemal year in 1970 but got injured and then their starting pitching became rather weak and they could not match Baltimore's awesome starters in the World Series. McGlothlin, Cloninger and Jim Merritt (despite a 20 win season) were mediocre starters. Bernie Carbo had a tremendous rookie season hitting .310 with 21 HR in part time play

      1971: Bench had a big dropoff and the team in general took a big dip offensively. Bobby Tolan got injured if I recall in an off season basketball game and missed the entire season. Their pitching improved by almost 100 runs but their hitting dropped by around 200 runs.

      1972: They traded their best player from 1971 Lee May and went for speed and defense. They got Joe Morgan to play second base (trading the steady Tommy Helms) and got Dennis Menke to play 3rd base, an improvement defensively over Tony Perez, who was shifted to first base. They got Tolan back to play at a slightly diminished capacity but were generally weak in the OF although Rose was Rose. They went to more of a speed offense and of course Bench returned to form. The pitching was good with an improved bullpen including Tom Hall who they got from the Twins.

      1973: Bench had health issues and had an operation which took a bit part of his upper body out, he played to a lower offensive level. Rose had a great season but the other 2 OF spots were very weak. Concepcion came on and rookie Dan Driessen came on to play 3B not too well but he was a .300 hitter. The pitching took a small step back especially Gary Nolan who basically missed all of 1973 and 1974

      1974: Bench returned to form and Concepcion continued his improvement but in general the team took a small step backwards, Rose particularly. The team was not up to the rise of LA

      1975: a mid season move to get Foster into the every day lineup (as well as Griffey) and moving Rose to third base was the magical move. Rose was a former All Star 2B so the move was not as risky as some thought. Cesar Geronimo solidified a very good defense by assuming the CF role. Gary Nolan returned pitching well and 2 rookies solidified the bullpen Will McEnaney and Rawley Eastwick. Everything fell into place, a well rounded offense with speed (Griffey, Concepcion, Morgan, Geronimo), .300 hitters (Rose, Morgan, Griffey, Foster), power hitters (Bench Perez, Foster) and defense (Morgan Concepcion, Bench Geronimo) and a solid starting staff with an excellent bullpen (Carroll, Borbon, Eastwick, McEnaney)

      1976: the remarkable offense took a hit with Bench having an off year mainly due to going through a divorce and the resulting distractions, but Geronimo emerged as a .300 hitter and Rose, Morgan Foster and Griffey all having excellent seasons. Foster was leading the team in stats much of the year and thought he was the front runner for MVP but Morgan came on again and claimed his second straight MVP, I personally believe this perceived slight to Foster was the genesis of his monster 1977 season. I even think there were a few grumblings from him in 1976 about not winning the MVP. Through August 20 Foster was hitting .331 with 28 HR but he would finish at only .306 with 29 HR. Through August 2 Morgan was hitting .311 with 18 HR he ended up at .320 with 27 HR.

      1977: The pitching fell apart, Don Gullett left for the Yankees, Gary Nolan only pitched a handful of games. Jack Billingham became a disaster, the Reds had to rely on guys names Doug Capilla and Paul Moskau. Rawley Eastwick held out and was traded I believe. Tony Perez was traded to Montreal while Dan Driessen assumed (very well) the first base position. The offense dipped ever so slightly but the pitching took a big hit and after outscoring their opponents by 240 runs the year before, that dropped to under 75 runs in 1977. A mid season trade for Tom Seaver was too little too late.
      Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 07-21-2012, 09:20 AM.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
        I was a big Reds fan in the late 60s into the 70s

        Here are some random observations

        1968: In the year of the pitcher the Reds had a team batting average of .273 and compare this to the Yankees who hit .214 or the world champion Tigers who hit .235 and this is why I started liking the Reds as a 10 year old

        1969: Rose had a termendous season and the OF all were .300 hitters with decent home run power (16, 17 and 21 HR) Lee May and Tony Perez were awesome power hitters (38 and 37 home runs) and Johnny Bench really came on hitting .293 with 26 home runs and winning a gold glove. After the season the Reds traded Alex Johnson (.315, 17 HR) to the Angels for Jim McGlothlin

        1970: The Reds were flying high but changed ballparks in the middle of 1970 which changed the dynamics of the way they would benefit from certrain types of players. Speed and defense were more important in Riverfront than in Crosley where as Sandy Koufax once said "the ball can fly out anywhere". They also had a young pitcher named Wayne Simpson who was having a phenonemal year in 1970 but got injured and then their starting pitching became rather weak and they could not match Baltimore's awesome starters in the World Series. McGlothlin, Cloninger and Jim Merritt (despite a 20 win season) were mediocre starters. Bernie Carbo had a tremendous rookie season hitting .310 with 21 HR in part time play

        1971: Bench had a big dropoff and the team in general took a big dip offensively. Bobby Tolan got injured if I recall in an off season basketball game and missed the entire season. Their pitching improved by almost 100 runs but their hitting dropped by around 200 runs.

        1972: They traded their best player from 1971 Lee May and went for speed and defense. They got Joe Morgan to play second base (trading the steady Tommy Helms) and got Dennis Menke to play 3rd base, an improvement defensively over Tony Perez, who was shifted to first base. They got Tolan back to play at a slightly diminished capacity but were generally weak in the OF although Rose was Rose. They went to more of a speed offense and of course Bench returned to form. The pitching was good with an improved bullpen including Tom Hall who they got from the Twins.

        1973: Bench had health issues and had an operation which took a bit part of his upper body out, he played to a lower offensive level. Rose had a great season but the other 2 OF spots were very weak. Concepcion came on and rookie Dan Driessen came on to play 3B not too well but he was a .300 hitter. The pitching took a small step back especially Gary Nolan who basically missed all of 1973 and 1974

        1974: Bench returned to form and Concepcion continued his improvement but in general the team took a small step backwards, Rose particularly. The team was not up to the rise of LA

        1975: a mid season move to get Foster into the every day lineup (as well as Griffey) and moving Rose to third base was the magical move. Rose was a former All Star 2B so the move was not as risky as some thought. Cesar Geronimo solidified a solid defense by assuming the CF role. Gary Nolan returned pitching well and 2 rookies solidified the bullpen Will McEnaney and Rawley Eastwick. Everything fell into place, a well rounded offense with speed (Griffey, Concepcion, Morgan, Geronimo), .300 hitters (Rose, Morgan, Griffey, Foster), power hitters (Bench Perez, Foster) and defense (Morgan Concepcion, Bench Geronimo) and a solid starting staff with an excellent bullpen (Carroll, Borbon, Eastwick, McEnaney)

        1976: the remarkable offense took a hit with Bench having an off year mainly due to going through a divorce and the resulting distractions, but Geronimo emerged as a .300 hitter and Rose, Morgan Foster and Griffey all having excellent seasons. Foster was leading the team in stats much of the year and thought he was the front runner for MVP but Morgan came on again and claimed his second straight MVP, I personally believe this perceived slight to Foster was the genesis of his monster 1977 season. I even think there were a few grumblings from him in 1976 about not winning the MVP. Through August 20 Foster was hitting .331 with 28 HR but he would finish at only .306 with 29 HR. Through August 2 Morgan was hitting .311 with 18 HR he ended up at .320 with 27 HR.

        1977: The pitching fell apart, Don Gullett left for the Yankees, Gary Nolan only pitched a handful of games. Jack Billingham became a disaster, the Reds had to rely on guys names Doug Capilla and Paul Moskau. Rawley Eastwick held out and was traded I believe. Tony Perez was traded to Montreal while Dan Driessen assumed (very well) the first base position. The offense dipped ever so slightly but the pitching took a big hit and after outscoring their opponents by 240 runs the year before, that dropped to under 75 runs in 1977. A mid season trade for Tom Seaver was too little too late.
        Very well written and accurate
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