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Thursday, August 07, 2014

McCoy: Reds HOF inductee Oester about more than numbers

Plenty of Oestertag jazz.

Oester was more known in his playing and coaching days for things he did behind the scenes, his leadership in the clubhouse and for his ability to do things on the field to win games that didn’t relate to personal numbers.

...There was a day in the mid-1980s when outfielder and teammate Cesar Cedeon spent considerable time on the disabled list and was still on the disabled list when the Reds were playing the Houston Astros. Oster, known for playing hurt, was not in the lineup that day against Astros ace Mike Scott.

Cedeno accused Oester of having ‘Scott-itis,’ meaning he was ducking Scott. The words were barely out of Cedeno’s mouth when he was ducking punches from Oester and found himself on the floor with Oester on top of him.

During Oester’s coaching days with the Reds, fellow coach Tim Foli, an outspoken guy, said something disparaging about the team in the cramped quarters of the coaches office. Oester was on top of Foli in a flash and had him down on the floor when Foli bit Oester on the leg.

Oester took no guff.

...Oester became a Reds coach after his playing career and worked for manager Tony Perez in 1994. When Perez was fired only 44 games into his managing career, Oester was incensed and with a show of his immense loyalty he quit on the spot, something Perez never forgot and said, “Oester supported me, showed his loyalty to me.”

Oester returned as a coach for manager Jack McKeon and was the favorite to replace McKeon when he left after the 2000 season. Oester was offered the job and asked general manager Jim Bowden if he could sleep on it. While Oester slept, Bowden offered the job to Bob Boone and Boone accepted immediately without informing Oester.

He never forgot it. When the Reds played their last game in Cinergy Field in 2002, the team brought back players from the old stadium’s past and they lined up on the first-base line. Oester was included. Bowden walked the line, shaking hands with the players. When he got to Oester, Oester turned his back and stared at the outfield, refusing Bowden’s offered hand.

Repoz Posted: August 07, 2014 at 07:08 PM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

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   1. Batman Posted: August 07, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4766701)
Cedeno accused Oester of having ‘Scott-itis,’ meaning he was ducking Scott. The words were barely out of Cedeno’s mouth when he was ducking punches from Oester and found himself on the floor with Oester on top of him.
Carlos Zambrano's leadership at Michael Barrett will be included on his Cubs HOF plaque.
   2. GregD Posted: August 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4766712)
The red ass hall of fame has been in need of a second baseman since billy Martin died. Good move

Wait this is the Reds Hall of Fame?
   3. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 07, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4766717)
When Perez was fired only 44 games into his managing career...
And I attended Game No. 44! Looking at the PBP, perhaps Perez was fired for intentionally walking Matt Williams with Bonds on deck.
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 07, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4766721)
Oester's pushing 60 now. What the article lacks is a list of his more recent grapplings with waiters and UPS men.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 07, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4766726)
Hal McCoy loves nothing more than a cranky #######.
   6. haven Posted: August 07, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4766734)
Oester took no guff.


After reading this excerpt, I took this to mean.....

Oester was a total @sshole.
   7. God Posted: August 07, 2014 at 08:33 PM (#4766741)
Yeah, the excerpt basically leaves the impression that Oester is a first-class a-hole. Which I presume was not the author's intent.
   8. Matt Welch Posted: August 07, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4766748)
Brandon Phillips now has more than 500 plate appearances more as a Red than Joe Morgan. I would not have guessed that.
   9. zonk Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4766751)
He's better than famous for his clubhouse demeanor - he's infamous.
   10. flournoy Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4766756)
How do you pronounce Oester? I've never heard the name spoken aloud. The German pronunciation would seem to be "ooster," but as a kid collecting baseball cards, I didn't know any German, so in my head it's always been "oh-ester." It only just now occurs to me that I was probably wrong.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4766759)
Interesting ...

p-i finds 48 Reds position players with at least 3000 PA. By WAA, Oester is 46th with -5 followed by Gus Bell and Tommy Helms ... both of whom might well also be in the Reds HoF. By WAR he is 45th.

On Phillips-Morgan, the comp was better about a year ago but is still pretty amusing:

BP 5555 PA, 1409 H, 252 doubles, 167 HR, 706 RBI, 277 BA
JM 4973 PA, 1155 H, 220 doubles, 152 HR, 612 RBI, 288 BA

You'll likely find no better example of how trad stats, especially not adjusted for league context, can be so misleading. And you won't get any serious disagreement -- no old-school baseball/media type thinks Phillips is anywhere near Morgan's class.

By WAA, it's a 33-win difference, about 4 per year.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4766762)
How do you pronounce Oester? I've never heard the name spoken aloud. The German pronunciation would seem to be "ooster," but as a kid collecting baseball cards, I didn't know any German, so in my head it's always been "oh-ester." It only just now occurs to me that I was probably wrong


I've always imagined it was Oh-ster.
   13. Spahn Insane Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:29 PM (#4766771)
Oh-ster is correct.

And he's a Reds HOFer? Dude. Not like the Reds' history is hurting for actual stars.
   14. Perry Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4766776)
I've always imagined it was Oh-ster.


It is. And I feel very old, since, you know, I heard it innumerable times, beginning when he was a rookie.
   15. God Posted: August 07, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4766790)
Yeah, that question makes me feel completely old. Although not as old as I'll feel in 30 years when some kid asks me how to pronounce "Lincecum" or "Puig."
   16. Walt Davis Posted: August 07, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4766826)
Yeah, that question makes me feel completely old. Although not as old as I'll feel in 30 years when some kid asks me how to pronounce "Lincecum" or "Puig."

Nothing to fear. As we know, nobody under the age of 105 is a baseball fan anymore. They'll be asking you how to pronounce "Pierre-Luc Gagnon".
   17. Ginger Nut Posted: August 07, 2014 at 11:38 PM (#4766841)
Ron Oester is in the Reds hall of fame? Seriously? How big is their hall of fame?
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: August 07, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4766847)

yes O stir.

and how unlimited is this Hall now?
   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 08, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4766854)
Ron Oester is in the Reds hall of fame? Seriously? How big is their hall of fame?


Large enough that he's going in with four-year Red Dave Parker.

They're both from Cincinnati, which I suspect is a big reason they're both getting inducted.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: August 08, 2014 at 01:24 AM (#4766874)
Dan Driessen and Sean Casey are in if that helps.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/hof/hof/

As of 2012 it had 71 members and apparently is the "largest" in MLB. Bell, Billingham, Borbon, Browning, Cardenas, Carroll, Casey, Geronimo, Griffey Sr, Gullett, Helms, Maloney, May, Nolan, Rijo. Sabo, Seaver, Soto just to name a few.

Basically if you were part of the Big Red Machine or traded for somebody who was part of the Big Red Machine, you're in!

We've discussed team HoFs before and the standards of course should be fairly low and it's pretty common that anybody who spent a reasonable time there or did something great there gets in.

However, the Brewers should blow them out of the water soon. From the Brewers HoF (Wall of Honor ... it's a bit unclear) wiki page:

Retired players who have met any one of seven conditions while playing for the Brewers will be enshrined in to the Wall of Honor. Active players will be enshrined upon retirement. This criteria includes 2,000 or more plate appearances, 1,000 or more innings pitched, 50 or more games pitched, winning of a major award (Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year Award, or Fireman of the Year Award), managing a pennant-winning team, being recognized with a statue on the Miller Park Plaza, or being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.[1]

The inaugural class consisted of 58 members. Seven active players (John Axford, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, J. J. Hardy, Corey Hart, and Rickie Weeks) have also met the requirements for induction.[1]


Surely "50 or more games pitched" has to be wrong. Anyway, theirs includes Jerry Augustine, Johnny Briggs, Bill Castro, Chuck Crim (c'mon that can't be correct), Mike Fetters, Bill Hall, Dave May, Dave Nilsson (yes!), Ken Sanders, Bob Wickman. Based on Ken Sanders I'm guessing it's at least 150 games which is still silly low -- 3 relief seasons.

They're both from Cincinnati, which I suspect is a big reason they're both getting inducted.

Good point.
   21. Ginger Nut Posted: August 08, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4766876)
He has a career OPS+ of 87 and 10.9 WAR in 13 seasons. For trad stat lovers, he brings a .265 lifetime batting average and 1118 career hits. A true hall of famer.

But, yeah, he was born in Cincinnati and played his entire career with the Reds. semper fi.
   22. GregD Posted: August 08, 2014 at 01:35 AM (#4766882)
Is that truly a "will be enshrined" on the Brewers Wall? Like no matter how sucky or unpopular you were? Is there even a ratification vote?

That is going to be a huge Hall!
   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 08, 2014 at 01:38 AM (#4766883)
However, the Brewers should blow them out of the water soon. From the Brewers HoF (Wall of Honor ... it's a bit unclear) wiki page:


They just created the Wall of Honor, because the Brewers Walk of Fame is so badly broken the BBWAA laughs at its dysfunction. They haven't elected a single player to the Walk of Fame that wasn't part of the 1982 pennant winner or played for the old Braves. Hell, they haven't elected anyone who played for the Brewers in almost 10 years, and just four people overall (Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette and a former GM, John Quinn) in that time frame. Six of the last eight elections resulted in no one getting the necessary votes for induction. Teddy Higuera hasn't been able to make it, and he was a legitimately great (if short-lived) pitcher at his best who spent his entire career in Milwaukee.

The Brewers Walk of Fame is pretty much the opposite of the Reds' Hall, except for the presence of the home-grown, offensively challenged second baseman who spent his entire career playing for the club, and later spent some time as a coach there.

   24. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 08, 2014 at 01:43 AM (#4766884)
He never forgot it. When the Reds played their last game in Cinergy Field in 2002, the team brought back players from the old stadium’s past and they lined up on the first-base line. Oester was included. Bowden walked the line, shaking hands with the players. When he got to Oester, Oester ...


Was hoping for one last punch-out in the story.
   25. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4766925)
The actual Hall of Fame part of the Reds Hall of Fame is pretty cool. But, yes, if you were from Cincinnati, or had a decent part in any of the Reds World Series teams, you are in the Reds Hall of Fame.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4766934)


Oester returned as a coach for manager Jack McKeon and was the favorite to replace McKeon when he left after the 2000 season. Oester was offered the job and asked general manager Jim Bowden if he could sleep on it. While Oester slept, Bowden offered the job to Bob Boone and Boone accepted immediately without informing Oester.


That's an interesting way of putting it. Another way of putting it, is that Oester rejected the job with a salary of $300,000 and asked for more money, and Bowden gave the job to Boone instead.
   27. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 08, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4766945)
Funny how Oester is being portrayed as the bad guy here, in contrast to the rogues gallery of Cedeno, Foli, and Bowden. Cedeno had a checkered career to say the least (including being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter), Foli had a reputation as one of the game's most ill-tempered players and incessant bench jockeys (though he's calmed down now), and Bowden had a mediocre-to-worse record as a GM (including allegations of taking bonus money from Latino players).

Would I have Oester in the Reds Hall of Fame? No. But I wouldn't be so quick to make him out to be the bad man against the reputations of Cedeno, Foli, and Bowden.
   28. JE (Jason) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4766956)
Oester returned as a coach for manager Jack McKeon and was the favorite to replace McKeon when he left after the 2000 season. Oester was offered the job and asked general manager Jim Bowden if he could sleep on it. While Oester slept, Bowden offered the job to Bob Boone and Boone accepted immediately without informing Oester.

Nice use of the passive tense. Who does McCoy think offered Oester the ####### job in the first place?
   29. Ginger Nut Posted: August 08, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4766988)
Perhaps Boone was afraid to wake Oester up, given his history of punching people out. Boone didn't want to have to pull a Foli and bite him on the leg.
   30. Batman Posted: August 08, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4766999)
I remember the hitter before Ron Oester getting on base with two outs and Harry Caray saying that pitching to Oester with a runner on base makes him much more dangerous. I thought the idea of a dangerous Ron Oester was funny, but of course he hit a home run. I now see that Harry was thinking runners on base made Oester mad and he was going to punch Cesar Cedeno later.

It must have been this game. Reggie Patterson is the only one of the four Cubs pitchers that I remember at all.
   31. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 08, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4767004)
Yeah, the excerpt basically leaves the impression that Oester is a first-class a-hole. Which I presume was not the author's intent.


I've always read that Foli as a first-class a-hole, so that bit about the scuffle between Oester and Foli kind of rings true...

Another way of putting it, is that Oester rejected the job with a salary of $300,000 and asked for more money, and Bowden gave the job to Boone instead.

That's what I read, except I also read that $300k at the time would have made Oester the lowest paid manager in MLB and... Boone took even less.... and jeeesh Bowden and Boone were/are both massive tools
   32. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 08, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4767019)
I was gonna ask what this means for Jim Gantner before Walt's post 20.
   33. JE (Jason) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4767026)
Perhaps Boone was afraid to wake Oester up, given his history of punching people out. Boone didn't want to have to pull a Foli and bite him on the leg.

Yup, I laughed at this.
   34. Bunny Vincennes Posted: August 08, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4767055)
Jim Gantner is almost a god in Milwaukee, the best fans in baseball that celebrate losing a World Series and a team that actually plays 1500 miles away in a city called Atlanta. I await John Jaha to be elected to the Brewer Wall of "Fame."
   35. Bunny Vincennes Posted: August 08, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4767057)
Oh, and regarding Ron Oester, I had a friend who always refered to him as Ron "Toaster."
   36. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 08, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4767069)
The excerpt says Oester was known for doing "things on the field to win games", then goes on to cite two clubhouse fights and walking out of a coaching position.
   37. Batman Posted: August 08, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4767078)
Ichiro could get bitten on the leg if he wanted to.
   38. Bunny Vincennes Posted: August 08, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4767080)
For a team with a 130 odd year history, their bar for team HOF status is amazingly low. I was surprised when in Baltimore fairly recently their wall of fame was pretty solid for a non-original team.
   39. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4767125)
Eh, it is the Reds Hall of Fame, to celebrate Reds history. For example, the first class, in 1958 was:

Paul Derringer
Ernie Lombardi
Frank McCormick
Bucky Walters
Johnny Vander Meer

All 5 were on the Reds in 1939-1940 for the 2 straight pennants. Lombardi is an MLB hofer, Walters was close, and he and Derringer were both monsters over those 2 seasons. McCormick played for the Reds for 12 years, and was the 1940 MVP. Vander Meer had the 2 straight no-hitters.

The next year was Eppa Rixey and Ival Goodman. Rixey is an MLB Hall-of-Famer, Goodman was the first Red to hit 30 HR in a season and was on the 39-40 teams. Once you get into the late 60's and 70's, you start getting some very iffy selections (who is Mike McCormick?), but, I don't know the voting criteria that was being used, and, it looked like every year they had to elect someone.

   40. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4767135)
Looks like there are a total of 85 people in the Reds Hall of Fame, of these:

19 were a member of the Reds sometime in the 70's, including the entire starting lineup of the 75-76 Reds (minus Pete Rose).





   41. GregD Posted: August 08, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4767153)
Well that 75-76 Reds had a pretty fair starting lineup!

Cesar Geronimo isn't my idea of a team's hall of famer, but Ken Griffey Sr is close, and if you put him in, then it's strange to have 7 of the 8 in (or 6 of 7 eligible with Petey out.)

Now if they put the whole pitching rotation in, then that'd be a different story....
   42. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: August 08, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4767195)
For example, the first class, in 1958 was:

Paul Derringer
Ernie Lombardi
Frank McCormick
Bucky Walters
Johnny Vander Meer



Eddddddd Roush doesn't get in in the first class? Well, f*^& that place.
   43. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 08, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4767223)
That's what I read, except I also read that $300k at the time would have made Oester the lowest paid manager in MLB and... Boone took even less....

Someone has to be the lowest paid manager in baseball. Ron Oester's pride prevented him from ever managing. He should have accepted it while he could, even after the Reds eventually fired him, he may have been a retread managerial hire by someone else.

   44. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4767265)
Now if they put the whole pitching rotation in, then that'd be a different story....


Billingham, Nolan, Gullett. So, just 3 of the rotation from 75-76 are in, and a couple of the relievers, Borbon and Carroll. I am actually quite surprised that Rawly Eastwick isn't in there. He was the closer for 75-76 Reds, and led the league in saves both years. If that doesn't seem like much, well, Jerry Lynch is in the Reds Hall of Fame, and he only had 1727 PA's over 7 seasons with the Reds, but, hit .315/.407/.624 in 210 PA for the 1961 Reds, who won the NL pennant.
   45. GregD Posted: August 08, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4767379)
Eastwick is surprising given the people who are in.

Couldn't be because of the contract dispute, could it?

Nah, no way a baseball team would be that petty!
   46. Batman Posted: August 08, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4767390)
I'm surprised Schottzie isn't in, but apparently they didn't induct anybody for most of Marge's reign.
   47. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 08, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4767395)
Oester has always claimed--and he's been consistent on this--that he never turned down the managerial offer outright. He claims that he asked for more money, was even encouraged by Bowden to ask ownership for more money, but then didn't hear back from ownership when he got the news that Boone had been offered the job.

That's not really Oester's "pride" getting in the way of the job. That's being told to wait--let's see if something can be done about getting you more money--and then having the rug pulled out.
   48. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 08, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4767405)
Who knows the actual truth, but here is one version of the events. The real truth is probably a miscommunication.

http://a.espncdn.com/mlb/news/2000/1103/854766.html


The next morning, they offered the job to Oester, who spent all of his 17-year career in the Reds organization. He was elated at the chance, troubled by the offer -- $300,000 for the first year, $350,000 for the second.

That's substantially less than Pittsburgh, which has a smaller payroll than the Reds, gave to Lloyd McClendon, another first-time manager. McClendon's three-year contract averages $500,000.

When he rejected the offer and asked for more money, Oester said he was led to believe that club officials would ask owner Carl Lindner about an increase. The Reds took it as a rejection and turned to Randolph, who had headed home to New Jersey.

Randolph -- who gets more than $300,000 each year just from his World Series share -- also rejected the contract offer as inadequate, so the club turned to Boone, who had no problems with it.

   49. AROM Posted: August 08, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4767416)
Would I have Oester in the Reds Hall of Fame? No. But I wouldn't be so quick to make him out to be the bad man against the reputations of Cedeno, Foli, and Bowden.


I followed the Reds quite a bit in the late 90's, when I was living in Kentucky. Jeff Shaw was the closer, and was from Ohio. He was about to be a free agent, but liked the location and was willing to do a hometown discount. They finally get an extension done, and then shortly afterwards Bowden trades him to the Dodgers.

Good baseball trade, they got Paul Konerko. But kind of a scummy thing to do. Shaw should have never trusted Bowden, and made sure he got a no-trade clause in return for whatever discount he gave them.
   50. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 08, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4767428)
Couldn't be because of the contract dispute, could it?


It seems like this has usually been a fan vote:

Reds HOF History

It looks like voting was suspended in the 1990s after a ballot-box stuffing (?) incident.

Interesting: Bench inducted 1986, Morgan 1987, then Perez and Concepcion wait till 1998 and 2000, respectively.
   51. Batman Posted: August 08, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4767444)
A book called "The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly" says the 1989 ballot-box stuffing was an attempt to get Ed Bailey elected. That's two ballot-box stuffing incidents involving Bailey. He had some rabid fans.
   52. Walt Davis Posted: August 08, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4767494)
Randolph -- who gets more than $300,000 each year just from his World Series share

Cuz there's no more reliable source of income than a WS share!

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