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Reds would benefit with right GM choice

The post-Jim Bowden era has begun.

Even without Bowden, Cincinnati Reds assistant general manager Leland Maddox helped pull the trigger on four trades last week that included the departure of

Aaron

Boone, Jose Guillen,

Scott

Williamson and Gabe White.

Maddox will be one of the candidates for the GM position. John Allen, chief operation officer, has a long list that may include Florida manager Jack McKeon who has expressed a desire to return to Cincinnati. He has previous experience with San Diego when the Padres went on to their only World Series.

But no candidate on Allen's list can match the real man for the job.

Joe Pesci.

Yes, the hard-nosed Italian actor would be a perfect fit for Cincinnati's small market. And his assistant would be tight-lipped but equally tough guy Robert De Niro.

I can see it now. If the Reds wanted a certain player from another team, it would be hard to say "No" to Pesci. And if a team -- or player -- said the were not interested,

the repercussion would be felt all the way to the commissioner's office.

Just imagine a meeting in the New York Yankees front office of GM Brian Cashman…

Pesci: Hey you, I'm Joe Pesci, the Reds new GM. I'm looking here at my roster and I sees that I need a starting pitcher. I think that Mike Mussina would be perfect.

Cashman: I'm sorry, Mr. Pesci, but we have no plans to trade Mike Mussina.

Pesci: Maybe you didn't hear right. I said I think he would be a perfect fit for my team. See, I've decided I want him. I'll give you, say, Kent Merker.

Cashman: As I stated, we have no plans whatsoever to trade Mussina, especially for someone like ….

Pesci: Are you talkin' to me? You can't be talkin' to me. And maybe you're not hearing too good. You see, I heard rumors that you guys were looking to make a deal. Isn't that right, Bobby?

De Niro: I heard things.

Cashman: Are you threatening me, Mr. Pesci?

Pesci: I don't make threats, I make promises.

(Cashman swallows. Hard.)

Pesci: Now, get your boss in here and tell him we're making this deal.

Just then, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner walks into the room.

Steinbrenner: So, what's the scuttle in here. Let me in on it.

Cashman: Mr. Steinbrenner, these so-called gentlemen are threatening me to trade Mike Musina to the Reds.

Steinbrenner: Gentlemen, we will only make trades that also benefit the Yankees, and we will not be bullied into making a trade that…

Pesci: What is it with you guys? You need to listen a little closer. I want Mussina. You are starting to make me mad. Are they makin' you mad, Bobby?

De Niro: A little bit. A little bit.

Mussina then walks into the room.

Pesci: Maybe we'll just ask Mr. Mussina what he'd like to do. Mr. Mussina, would you like to be traded to the Cincinnati Reds? Me and my friend Robert De Niro want to know, so please, take your time and think carefully before answering. Very carefully.

Mussina: Mr. Steinbrenner, what should I do? Uh, Mr. Steinbrenner?

Pesci: It don't matter no more, Mr. Mussina. You're coming to the Reds. It seems Mr. Steinbrenner has just decided to give up his interest in the team. Permanently. Now, we just need to discuss salary. I heard you were leaning toward a salary reduction. Isn't that right, Bobby?

De Niro: I heard things.

After what happened last

week, Reds fans have heard enough.

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.