Reds tab Krivsky as general manager

Reds tab Krivsky as club's general manager

CINCINNATI -- It required a lot of patience and perseverance on his part, but Wayne Krivsky finally got the job.

After nearly 30 years in baseball, including a little more than two years removed from the last time he interviewed for the same position, Krivsky was named the Reds' new general manager on Wednesday. The former Twins assistant GM was given a two-year contract through the 2007 season, plus a pair of one-year mutual options.

"Things happen for a reason -- everyone told me that two years ago," Krivsky said during a press conference at Great American Ball Park. "I'm not going to look back. I'm looking forward. This is a big day for me, an emotional day. It's something I've strived for for a long time."

Krivsky replaces Dan O'Brien, who was dismissed Jan. 23 by new owner/chief executive officer Bob Castellini. He beat out eight other candidates for the job, but was a finalist with Reds special advisor and former Expos and Orioles GM Jim Beattie.

Castellini said he did not make his final decision until Wednesday afternoon. Once making the decision, he immediately called a press conference for the same evening.

"He's a very knowledgeable baseball man," Castellini said of Krivsky. "He's a keen evaluator of talent. He's a 24/7, get the job done person. He's got grit, [he'll] get down in the dirt and look at 300 ballplayers as a scout. He'll require that of his scouting staff. He'll require a very keen work ethic. He'll lead by example. He's the fellow to kick start this franchise back into championship baseball."

Krivsky, 51, had his first interview with the Reds last Wednesday. On Monday night, chief operating officer John Allen called and said he was being brought back for a second interview Wednesday afternoon.

At the suggestion of his wife, Linda, Krivsky decided to fly from their home in Dallas to Cincinnati on Tuesday to be ready. It proved to be a good idea because Castellini and ownership partner Tom Williams invited Krivsky to dinner that evening.

"It's almost fate I decided to come up a day early. We had a great dinner," Krivsky said. "We connected. We're very compatible, very similar. We had a very similar idea of how you run a quality organization. It was refreshing to hear some of the things [Castellini] had to say that really jived with my ideas."

Krivsky joined Minnesota in December 1994 after spending 14 years as assistant GM with the Rangers. His career began in Texas' ticketing department in 1977.

Working under GM Terry Ryan with the Twins, Krivsky was the club's point man in negotiating multi-year contracts and handling arbitration cases. He was also Minnesota's main National League scout, which made him quite familiar with the Reds' roster.

"He's familiarized himself with the [Reds] since he interviewed there two years ago," Ryan said. "He knows the club quite well and who he will work with. He's as prepared as anybody could be to take over the job."

The Twins claimed three consecutive American League Central titles from 2002-04, and won 83 games last season while missing the playoffs. There was no doubt that the success of that small market club enhanced Krivsky's credentials with Castellini.

"Absolutely," Castellini said. "I think Minnesota is arguably, as a small market club, one of the finest organizations in baseball -- or at least a photo finish with one or two other franchises."

Krivsky will certainly have his work cut out for him to replicate or surpass the Twins' recent achievements. Cincinnati has posted five consecutive losing seasons and hasn't been to the postseason since 1995.

"The Twins are the model for me," said Krivsky, who became emotional a few times during the press conference -- especially when talking about his former club. "There are other good ones out there, but I've lived the one with the Twins. I know that one the best. Terry Ryan has been a tremendous mentor for me."

In a unique situation, Krivsky will have little time to get acclimated, since Reds pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training next Thursday. He's already spoken by phone with manager Jerry Narron and planned to meet individually with the front office and baseball operations staff in the coming days. Fortunately, he packed extra clothes just in case.

"It's unusual timing," Krivsky said. "The calendar certainly has tightened up. But hey, you've got to get to work some time. I'm going to adjust to the calendar. We'll get it done."

The last time the Reds sought a GM, to replace Jim Bowden in October 2003, O'Brien and Krivsky were both finalists for the job. Krivsky was believed to be the choice of several people within the club, including Allen. Former majority owner Carl Lindner overruled them and selected O'Brien.

This time around, Castellini was the ruling voice and his choice was Krivsky.

"It's been a long journey, but it's really beginning in a lot of ways," Krivsky said. "We tell our players all the time, 'Don't be satisfied to get to the Major Leagues. Don't just set a goal to get to the Major Leagues. Be a quality player and an All-Star player when you get to the big leagues.'

"In my case, my profession, this is my Major Leagues here. But I can tell you right now that I'm far from satisfied. This is the beginning. I'm not going to be satisfied until the day comes we're a consistent, quality ballclub and organization, and a contender."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.